Fresh Wind

Are you in love?

christianity, devotionals, faith, inspiration, Mind No Comment

love

In Reading John Bevere’s book, Good or God, there is a section where he talks about his love for Jesus.  He compares it with dating, where all you do is think about the person you love, all day, every day.

I am sure we have seen couples where all they do is hold hands and look into each other’s eyes.   You can’t pry them apart. They  spend all day with each other, and if that was not enough, they spend the evening talking on the phone.

That is the love John Bevere talks about that we should have with Jesus, continually, every day, ALL. THE. TIME.

So I had to ask myself:  Do I have that type of love for Jesus?  Do I think about what it was like for Him to be hanging on the cross while I was still a sinner, the pain and humiliation He endured for me?  Do I imagine what it must have been like for Him to carry the entire weight of sin on the cross, because of His love for mankind?

Somewhere along the way, the honeymoon turned into a routine.  I pray, read the Bible, pray for others,  go to church,  thank the Lord and start all over again.

Col 3:1-2 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.   Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth

Our mind is set upon what we thinkTweet This

So where is my mind?

Is my mind on the doing the work of the ministry, or the One that gave me the ministry?

What do we seek?

Do I seek recognition, acknowledgement, or an intimate relationship with Jesus?

I don’t want my love for Jesus to be a routine, where it can get bored and I lose interest.  I want that spice back, to fall in love with Jesus all over again.    I want to set my mind on things above, Jesus, and His love and goodness for me.

As I started to purposely think about Jesus, especially before going to sleep, I noticed a change taking place.  Jesus began to fill my thoughts, not my to do list and worries.

This is certain:   The more I meditate on Jesus and His goodness, the more I fall in love with Him all over again.

Try to purposely think about Jesus and His love for you, and He will invade your heart all over again.

Fresh Wind

Are you Unprofitable?

christianity, devotionals, faith, inspiration No Comment
Courtesy google images
Courtesy google images

Have you ever felt or were told that you were unprofitable, or in other words, just not good enough?  Maybe you have heard these words from others, or worse yet, you repeat these words to yourself.

Perhaps you have tried different things throughout your life and  you have found failure.  Maybe you wanted to start a business, a writing career, ministry, a different career path and life got in the way.

Philemon 1:10-11 says: I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten while in my chains, who once was unprofitable to you, but now is profitable to you and to me.

There was man named Onesimus, and at one time the scripture called him unprofitable. In other words, he was of no use. He was of no use to Paul and to the ministry. But something happened.  The scripture says that Onesimus left, but when he came back, he was profitable to work alongside Paul.  He became so valuable, that Paul says that he is his beloved brother and asked Philemon to receive Onesimus as he would receive Paul.

Imagine that, Onesimus at one time unprofitable, left, and upon his return was profitable to the ministry, to the Apostle Paul and to the Body of Christ.

Onesimus means useful.

I am a firm believer that we need to take some time to  dig deep within ourselves to reflect, find out what our desires are and pursue our passion.   To do that, you have to be brutally honest with yourself and find the answers to what is hindering you.  The worst deception is when you lie to yourself.

 

I do not want to say when I am older,  “I wish I would have tried…… in my life”   Now is the time to act.   As long as I have breath in me, I still have time to do something profitable, and that goes for you as well.

Whatever Oneseimus did, it worked.  He came back focused, recharged and useful.

Don’t let fear, insecurity, unbelief, doubt, lies or others place a shadow on your dreams. Dig deep within yourself to find out what is hindering your passion, and come back profitable.

God can turn your failures into triumph.  Every time you fail, it is something valuable to you, a life lesson learned which cannot be taken away.

Now is the time to be profitable, all you have to do is start.

Fresh Wind

Decree vs. Declare

christianity, faith, inspiration, prayer No Comment

decree

In Christian circles we hear the phrase I decree and declare while praying.   I would do this, but did you ever consider that this is incorrect?

I found out that there is a difference between the two words, and I would like to share it with you.

First,  what is a declaration?

If you have ever traveled out of the country, the airline gives you these funny little forms you need to fill out to declare what you are bringing into the country that you are visiting.  How much money do you have on hand, how many pieces of luggage, any fruit, and so forth.

Merriam Webster defines declaration this way:

  • The act of making an official statement about something : the act of declaring something
  • Something that is stated or made known in an official or public way

Declare means to make known.

When we declare something in prayer, we are making an official statement about something that already exist.  For example, I declare that I am saved by grace through Christ.  I declare that I am seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

Decree

We see in the book of Esther the king told Esther to issue a decree after Haman’s plan was foiled.

Est 8:7- 8   Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and Mordecai the Jew, “Indeed, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and they have hanged him on the gallows because he tried to lay his hand on the Jews.   You yourselves write a decree concerning the Jews, as you please, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s signet ring; for whatever is written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s signet ring no one can revoke.”

Later this decree was executed.

Merriam Webster defines decree as an official order given by a person with power or by a government

A biblical definition is one of the eternal purposes of God, by which events are foreordained.

My friends know that when they call and ask how I am doing, I  answer I am blessed.  I am decreeing that I am blessed, even though I may be having a horrible day.

Decrees are a tool by which we cause the truths of the heavenly realm to be manifested into the natural realm. For example, we decree healing when we are sick, we decree provision and abundance when we are lacking and so forth.

When I pray for people, I decree that they will walk out their new found freedom in faith, and will be strong to come against the attack of the enemy.

I went to prayer asked the Lord about decrees, and this is what He said.

There is nothing magical about a decree.  It is what is placed in your heart, and will be released with your mouth and the decree will go forth throughout the earth and accomplish its’ purpose.  It is your job to speak it forth, a decree comes from your spirit.

When I learned that there was a difference, I changed my prayers.   I now know when to declare and when to decree.  Having my prayers align with he truth is what I aim for.

 

Fresh Wind

Can a Christian have demons?

christianity, Demons, ministry No Comment

christian-demons-300x200
Luke 4:33 -38
  Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice,   saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”   But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him.

If you were to ask the questions, can a Christian have a demon, I am sure you would receive a variety of answers.  Some would say yes, others a definite no, and some may say they are not sure.

Almost 1/3 of Jesus’ prayers/commands for divine intervention involved the casting out of demons.  Many people today do not practice that, and many believers go on suffering, not understanding why they cannot progress in certain areas of their lives.     In the verse quoted above, Jesus cast out an unclean spirit out of a man.

But did you read where Jesus was?  He was in the synagogue, or in today’s term, he was in churchJesus cast out demons while in church!

Yet the main argument I hear that a Christian cannot have a demon is that demons cannot reside within a spirit filled believer. That is true, yet we are made up of three parts:  Spirit, soul and body.

Demons reside in the flesh.

In the Bible, Jesus calls us to cast devils out, Matthew 10:8.   For something to be cast out, it (demons) must first be in.

Many well-known preachers  are now  convinced not only that a Christian can have demons but also that there are demons that operate in the realm of theology, encouraging us to argue and debate endlessly over doctrine rather than meeting the needs of people who are hurting.

Demons actually help promote the teaching that a Christian cannot have a demon because they gain strength by staying hidden. They can operate in their destructive ways without even being recognized or challenged!

How do demons enter a person?
The majority come from generational sin, curses, ancestral vows and the like through conception.  Even when you do accept Christ as your Lord and Savior, many of the generational sins do not depart since we don´t know what our ancestors were involved in.

In addition to generational sin, if the person has committed personal sin such as: sex, drugs, and variety of other things,  by the time you come to the Lord you will need deliverance on some level.   There is just too much sin, contamination and defilement in the earth today to escape it.

We are called to do what Jesus did.    1 Peter 2:21- For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:

Jesus is our example, he cast out demons, and gave that authority over to us.  It´s time for believers  to be truly set free once and for all.

Fresh Wind

10 ways to pray for your prodigal

christianity, faith, inspiration, prayer, prodigal, Uncategorized No Comment
courtesy google images
courtesy google images

I am not ashamed to say that I have a prodigal son.  Being in full time ministry, others may think we should have this perfect lifestyle and everything must be in order.

Not so.  We are humans and  far from perfect, and I am no exception.

As parents we have made many mistakes, and some really bad mistakes, all the while going to church and professing Christ as our Lord and Savior.

One of the most difficult things we  found is being a first generation Christian.

We did not have parents that taught us their mistakes and failures. We did not grow up in a home where we prayed, read the bible or had devotions.  We did not have parents that we could go to or ask for prayer when facing a difficult situation or receive godly advice.

My husband and I had to learn all of these things on our own, and we failed along the way.

Is this an excuse?  No.  But I use this example to tell our son that since we have made so many mistakes, he can learn from us so that he does not have to repeat them.

As a result, our only son is not serving the Lord and into the world.

So what do we do?  We pray.  Here I would like to share with you some of the things we do and pray for our prodigal.

    1. Ask for forgiveness.  As parents, we asked our son for forgiveness for anything that may be  left unresolved.  We let him know that as we have been healed, we desire the same for him. A few years back as a couple, we went through a healing process, and learned that the things we do are learned behaviors.  The problem with that is that they are not all healthy.  We learned to discard what was bad, and made new, healthy behaviors.  We shared our healing experience with our son and how we are enjoying life and our marriage better than ever before.
    2. Point your child in the right direction.  it does not matter the age. Our son at this moment is working and living a lifestyle that can generate repercussions to his health.  We share with him the benefits of healthy living and having a career.  We share how God has a plan for him, a plan that includes Gods’ love and prosperity. He has yet to listen to us.
    3. Keep the communication lines open. Our son lives in a different province and we don’t see him as often as we would like.  When we are going to prayer, we ask him if he has any prayer requests.   This lets him know that we love him and care for him.
    4. Tell your child that you love him/her. Let  them know that whatever happens, you are there for  them to help and guide.   We can count on Jesus, so we should let our prodigal know that they can count on us, and certainly on Him.
    5. Declare scripture over your prodigal. One of my favorite things to do is make prayers for my son.  For example, May the love of God be poured into (prodigals s name) heart by the Holy Spirit.  Romans 5:5.   I thank you Lord that (prodigals name)  will come back to his own border.  Jeremiah 31:17. The Holy Spirit will lead him/her into all Truth, I speak forth the spirit of Wisdom over (prodigal´s name)  and lead him/her to the deep things of God.  There are many more scriptures and prayers that I declare over my son, but these are just a few to give you an idea.
    6. Ask the Lord to show you what is going on when you pray. When I pray, I ask the Lord to show me and I ask for a vision, and God never fails. You may not see anything when you ask the first time, but continue to ask and He will show you. What you see in vision, add that to your prayers. For example, I have seen my prodigal behind a pulpit.  I pray and thank the Lord that my son  is serving him, preaching the Lords’ good work from the pulpit, and someday he will share his testimony to help others.
    7. Ask the Lord to tell you about your prodigal.  Include that in your prayers as well. Ask, “Lord, how do you see (insert name)?”    The Lord answers: “Your prayers have reached the heavens, and I am doing a work behind the scenes.  Continue to pray, even though you may not see any fruit or change. I am working.”  Praise him for that and receive it by faith.
    8. Thank the Lord that your prodigal has in an interest in the opposite sex. In today’s world where everything goes and trans is in, we want our prodigals to be true to the word.   I pray for my sons  spouse, and I thank the Lord for her and bless her even now.
    9. Have faith in God. Mar 11:23-24 says:   For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.   Believe that every time you pray for your prodigal, you will have him/her back.  He/she will serve the Lord,  they will be repentant, the relationship will be restored with you and most importantly with God.  That mountain called the world, pain, resentment, hurt, ( insert in your own words here,) will have to move and get out of the way in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth who came in the flesh.
    10. Finally, It ain’t over until the fat angel sings. Be persistent, do not give up. You now have vision, you now have a promise, and you have the declared word over you prodigal.  It’s the word of God that will not return void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.   Isaiah 55:11.

Your prodigal will prosper; your prayers are not bouncing off the ceiling. Your prayers are reaching the heavens and being answered.

I decided to not be embarrassed about my prodigal, why?  Because when he comes back to us and to the Lord in full force and with passion, zeal and might, I can give God all the glory, and shout it from the rooftops.

That will be an awesome testimony indeed.

Fresh Wind

Why we should all arise and go into the city

christianity, devotionals, faith, inspiration, preaching No Comment
New York Skyline
New York Skyline

Acts chapter 9 relates the story about Saul, (later known as Paul) well known and feared for persecuting the Christians.  As he is on his way to do more harm, he is blinded, and falls to the ground on the road to Damascus.

Saul ask who are you, “Lord?”   Jesus confirms his suspicions. He replies, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”

While on the ground, trembling and blind, we see how quickly Saul changes sides.  He goes from persecuting those of the Way, to asking Jesus, “What do you want me to do?”

The Lord replies with ¨ Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what to do.”

This was the first step of obedience that Paul did.  He arose and went to the city.  His change was so radical, that he became a follower of Christ.  Thanks to the Apostle Paul, we have most of the  New Testament written by him.

I saw several things here.

First the Lord can do anything to draw a person to himself.  This gives me hope, because I know the Lord can turn around the most messed up person to serve him in a most amazing way.

Second, The Lord gave one directive to Paul.  Arise and go to the city.

Third, just obey.

The Lord did not lay out his whole life plan at one time.  He gave it to him, one step at a time.

If the Lord had told him his whole life story, about his imprisonment, stone beatings, being shipwrecked, missionary trips, do you think Paul would have backed out?   I think I would have.

I have a secret for you.  We are not supposed to have the full picture.

When we begin our walk with the Lord, He gives us only so much, one step at a time. For that I am grateful.

God´s ways and plans are always bigger than ours.  As we continue our walk in obedience, the Lord is faithful to equip us to fulfill the calling upon our life.

For us to fulfill our calling there are two things we need to do.  We need to ask the Lord what He would like us to do, and we need to arise and go into the city.  It is then He will gives us the next phase of the plan.

Fresh Wind

Was it God speaking?

christianity, faith, inspiration, Prophecy, revelation, word of knowledge No Comment

courtesy google images

A few years ago we attended a small all Spanish speaking church with a very gifted pastor.  Just like any human being, we all have our flaws. There are some flaws that we can overlook, but something this pastor  would often say just never sat right with me or my husband.

He would brag about receiving phone calls, and how the Lord trained him in his prophetic gifting and word of knowledge this way.

He said God would tell him who was calling, and God was always correct.  He got so good at it, that when the phone rang, if it was someone he did not want to speak to he would not answer. (This was before caller ID was around.)

He would brag about this to the congregation, and there would always be oohs and aahs, but at the same time his message was- I know what is going on.

When one receives a prophetic word or word of knowledge, it should always point to Jesus, and it is to bring edification and exhortation to the church.

These “words of knowledge”  this pastor was receiving every time the phone rang did neither.  Its only purpose was to boost his pride and ego.

So was it God speaking to him?  The obvious answer is no.   In case you did not know, there is such a thing as a false prophet spirit.

1 John 4:1  Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world

A  way to test any word from God is to ask the following questions. Does it point to Jesus?  Does it bring edification?  What is the purpose of the Lord telling me this information?

It was sad to see how this pastor could not grasp that it was the enemy speaking to him, and not God.

We need to keep ourselves safe from falling into deception and having our pride grow. Our goal should be for edification of the Body of Christ, as the word says 1 Corinthians 14:12

What a true prophet will do

  • A prophet will never expose your sin.  If the Lord reveals your sin to the prophet, it is to steer you on the right path and to draw you to repentance unto the Lord, but the sin should never be mentioned.
  • The prophet will be spending time in prayer and have an intimacy with the Lord, that will include love for His people.
  • A true prophet will give you direction and guidance, and that will always include God’s plan for you and His love for you.
  • The gift is to build and exhort the church, hint: you and me.
  • A  prophet will not call out your faults, embarrass you or cause you shame or bring condemnation.  Jesus loves us too much to hurt us.
  • The prophetic word will bring hope.
  • When prophetic  words or words of knowledge are received, it should always bring Glory to the One that gave us the revelation.

Knowing these guidelines will keep you safe from those claiming to be God’s spokesman/woman.

Have you ever received an incorrect word from a prophet?  If so, how did you handle it, what did you do about it?

Leave your comments below, I would love to hear from  you.

 

Fresh Wind

Why women should be in ministry

christianity, faith, ministry, preaching, Women in ministry No Comment

joyce_meyer (1)
1 Corinthians 14:34 Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says.

For some time I have heard this passage preached and written regarding women in ministry. I have read and heard both sides of the argument. There are a few things that I have learned that I would like to share with you here.

You will always find an argument for women serving in the ministry.Tweet This

There, I said it.

The Lord has anointed many women to do Kingdom work.  Some are teachers, prophets, pastors, evangelists and yes, even apostles.  So in seeing these women rise up and fulfill the calling the Lord has placed upon them, how does the scripture quoted above fit in?

First we need to understand what the scripture says exactly, and the time it was written in and in the context in was written.

The passage above was written in the first century.  Women sat on one side of the church, and the men on the other side of the church.  Women did not receive an education, as a result, they would have questions during the sermons.  Paul was literally asking them to respect the service, and to ask the questions to their husbands when they got home.

The word ¨speak¨ here in the original Greek refers to chatting, questioning and arguing, and the word  “silence” refers to having a calm undisruptive spirit, and be open to learning.

Other Bible translations read that women should keep quiet during the meetings.

Paul was emphasizing order in the church, not that women should never speak or be active in the church.

Understanding the position of women in the early Church is important because it establishes the foundation for the ministry of women in the Church today.

Women were very instrumental in the church. Let´s look at a few examples:

Intercessors
Women in the early church were intercessors in prayer.  In the city of Philippi, a group of women met by the river to pray

Act 16:13 And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there.

Women were recipients of the Holy Spirit
The book of Acts records that the Holy Spirit came upon all, men and women:

Acts 2:17 ‘AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS IN THE LAST DAYS, SAYS GOD, THAT I WILL POUR OUT OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL FLESH; YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS.

Acts 2:18 AND ON MY MENSERVANTS AND ON MY MAIDSERVANTS I WILL POUR OUT MY SPIRIT IN THOSE DAYS; AND THEY SHALL PROPHESY.

Women  were prophetess:
Acts 21:9  Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied.

We have an account of a woman Apostle:
Rom 16:7 Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.

Junia, a woman,  is noted as an apostle, a fellow prisoner.

I have heard testimony from notable men of God;  where they once frowned upon women in ministry,  the Lord changed their mind.

If you remove women from ministry, you are actually removing the gifts, calling and anointing’s the Lord has placed upon them to spread the gospel.

I leave you with this last verse:
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor  female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

I think it´s best to be one, to work as one, and to spread the good news of Christ. Don´t you agree?

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School of the Spirit

School of the Spirit

Isaiah 61:1-2

"The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn.
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