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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Breaking Yokes - Part V.



Breaking Yokes - Part V.

Are you feeling liberated yet? Feeling those yokes and chains falling away from you as you realize just how much the Enemy has had a field day playing around in your head? Doesn't it feel completely awesome to realize that God's Word speaks against every single negative thought you could ever have? Praise the Lord!


26. God is just so far from me 

Let's fast from the thought that says: "God is far from me." Not only is God with us. Not only is God for us. But He is also IN US. 
 

Remember, that the serpent was subtle in Genesis 3. Thoughts that can defeat us are often very subtle thoughts.

We have to learn to not only discern between right and wrong; but we must discern between "right" and "almost right."

It's "almost right" to ask God to come down and help us. It sounds holy. It sounds humble. But you will truly be free when you discover, HE IS ALREADY HERE. Emanuel means "God with us." When Jesus came to the earth, He put an end to the separation between God and man.

Let's fast from the thought that says: "God is far from me."

Not only is God with us. Not only is God for us. But He is also IN US.

This is an amazing mystery, and we won't understand it completely until we are in heaven. Colossians 1:27 says "...this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."

It's "almost right" to believe that if we become holier, we can get closer to God.

But the separation between us and God is a myth. It's an illusion. The devil wants us to believe it to keep us powerless and misinformed concerning our connection with God. It's true that in Isaiah 59:2 it says that "your sins have made a separation between you and your God." But Jesus TOOK AWAY the sin through His blood. Therefore, THERE IS NO SEPARATION between us and God, if we have been born-again. It's our failure to recognize this that keeps us in bondage, feeling distant from God. We feel sometimes, He is so far away. But He is not. He is here. He is there.

For us today, let's replace this "almost right" thinking with "right" thinking.

1. Psalm 46:1 says, "He is an ever-PRESENT help in times of trouble."

WOW! You have to love this thought. Have you ever had times of trouble? (Ya think!) But notice, He is ever-present. THEN, it says, "help" in times of trouble. It is His "ever-presence" that brings us help in times of trouble.

2. Take Him at His Word.

Jesus said in Matthew 28:20, "Lo, I am with you always; even to the end
of the age." There is no way to misinterpret this verse. "I am with you always." That has to warm your heart and comfort you."


3. Christianity is not a life of attainment, but a life of recognition.

Philemon 6 says, "that your faith might become effective, through the acknowledgement of those things which are already in you, in Christ Jesus." Many people focus on "attaining" God's presence and God's blessing. But the scripture is clear: We must recognize and acknowledge that He is already in us. His gifts are already in us. This produces power that MONEY and RELIGION cannot buy! The first part of the verse says - this is what makes your faith become effective. Acknowledge. Recognize. He is already in you. His gifts are in you.

4. Christianity is not us "finding God."

It's that He came and found us; took us into His arms; spilled His blood to cleanse us from all unrighteousness; and breathed His very Spirit into us. Now He lives in every person that has accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord. Romans 8:11 says, "and if the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you; then He who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead, will give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit that indwells in you."

5. Eliminate every thought that says, "God come down and help me" or "Send your Spirit."

He has already come. He has already sent His Spirit. Our fight, our battle is to believe this whether we feel His presence or not. He is in you!

6. It's not: us living FOR God. It's us LIVING FROM GOD.

Galatians 2:20 says, "It is no longer I who lives, but Christ lives in me."

David said in Psalm 139:7-9, "Where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go to heave you are there. If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. If I take the wings of the dawn and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even THERE your hand will lead me, and your right hand will hold me."

THINK IT & SAY IT:

I decide today to eliminate the thought that I am separated from God in any way.

He is an ever-present help in my time of trouble. His ever-presence brings me help! He is in my boat. And I will rest in knowing I am in His presence.

I recognize that He is already in me. That's what makes my faith work. He has found me and put His Spirit in me. The very same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, is living on the inside of me.

God is not far off. He is right here, right now. I am surrounded by His love and enveloped in His presence. Therefore I am not afraid.

He is my shield and refuge. My fortress and my very present help today.

I am not trying to live FOR God; I am living FROM Him. His power is in me. His presence is in me. His love is in me. And nothing can ever separate me from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus my Lord!



27. I'm Alone In This Storm 

When we fast from wrong thinking, we're not just discerning between "right" and "wrong"; we also need to distinguish betwen "right" and "almost right."
 

There are many things we have believed that are almost right. t's "almost right" to believe that if we worship God with all our heart, we can usher ourselves into the presence of God. Many ministers will even say, "let's press into His presence." But you see, beloved, we are in His presence already, because we have passed through the veil that separated us from the holy of holies. It is through the body and blood of Jesus that we pass through the veil. (Hebrews 10:19-20)

We now stand in His presence unashamed, without guilt, without condemnation, without separation.

Building upon the last couple of days, today we're fasting from the thought that says, "I'm alone in this." "Where is God when I need Him most."

When the disciples tried to cross over to the other side of the sea in the boat (Mark 4:36-40), they were overwhelmed by the storm that struck their ship. They thought they would perish. They feared for their life, bailing out water furiously. Have you ever been in a storm? The waters crashing against you; you don't know what to do; you feel helpless. You cry out, "Lord where are you? Don't you care?"

The disciples forgot one small detail in the midst of their storm ... Jesus was in the boat with them! There was nothing greater than His presence!

Let's overcome the thought that says, "I'm alone in this storm." "Where is God when I need Him most?"

1. He is in the boat with you!

In Mark 4:36-40, Jesus was asleep in the boat. Someone asked me once - "how do we wake Jesus up, when He is asleep in our boat, in the middle of a storm?" Well, I said, "You don't wake Him up. You rest with Him!" If He's not worried, don't you worry. HIS PRESENCE calmed the storm then, just as it will do now.

2. The disciples didn.t need Jesus to awake. They needed to awake to the fact that God was with them.

When you know He is with you, there is nothing to fear; therefore, there was nothing to fear. Psalm 23:4 says, "though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear NO EVIL for You are with me!"

3. Great miracle: Jesus calmed the storm. Greater miracle: Jesus slept IN THE MIDST of it.

When you realize He is in your boat with you, you will have supernatural peace. Calming the storm is great. Peace in the midst of it is greater!

4. DO NOT MISTAKE A FIRE IN YOUR LIFE FOR GOD'S ABSENCE.

In Daniel 3:22-25, Jesus was the 4th man in the fire with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. His presence was felt in the middle of the fire. Just because you don't feel His presence, doesn't mean He isn't there. BELIEVE HE IS WITH YOU, and eventually, your situation will FEEL HIS PRESENCE!

5. Psalm 91:10 says, "No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your tent."

Notice, the next verse says, "for He will give His angel charge concerning you." There are many angels involved in our lives, but this is talking about HIS ANGEL. The Old Testament "Angel" is Jesus Christ. He is Lord, therefore He has charge concerning us!

THINK IT & SAY IT:

There is nothing greater than God's presence, and His presence is with me and in me. As surely as He was with Moses, He is with me.

I am not trying to get in God's presence. I am already in, through the blood of Jesus. He is in my boat with me. He is not "over there." He is "here" right now - with me and in me!

I awake to the fact that He is with me. There is no separation. I can rest with Him, in the midst of any storm. I can walk with Him in the midst of the fire.

I am fearless, because He is with me. Therefore, no evil shall befall me, nor shall any plague come near my dwelling place - my church, my home, my body, my life - in Jesus. name.



28. It's Just So Hard

Today, we're fasting from the thought that says, "It's so hard!"

Many people don't even start some things because they have conditioned themselves to think it's too hard. We defeat ourselves with this thinking, before we even start.

Let's fast from this thought:

1. realize you are yoked to Him.

Many people find the Christian life so difficult because they are trying to do it on their own. The Christian life was not meant to be lived that way. We were meant to be yoked to Jesus. He said, "Take My yoke upon you. For My yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28)

2. Accept that some things are difficult in your own strength, but God wouldn't ask us to do something that He doesn't give us the strength to do. (1 Corinthians 10:12-13) His grace is sufficient for you. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

3. Keep in mind (meditate on) the fact that we are one with Him.

2 Corinthians 13:5 says, "Do you not recognize that Christ Jesus is in you?" He is in you, so whatever you are facing, He is facing with you. Your problem is His problem. Your trial is His trial. Your debt is His debt.

4. Meditate on God's nature; His ability.

Jeremiah 32:17 says, "Ah Lord God, Thou hast made the heavens and the earth by thy great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too difficult for Thee." The Message Translation says, "Dear God, my Master, You created earth and sky by Your great power, by merely stretching out Your arm! THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN'T DO!"

5. Matthew 19:26 "With God all things are possible."

6. Don't focus on doing things "for Jesus", but FROM Jesus.

Galatians 2:20 says "It's no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me and the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and delivered Himself up for me."

You see, what is impossible and too hard for man, is easy for God. The God of the impossible lives in you.

THINK IT & SAY IT:

I am not alone in the challenges and responsibilities of my life. I am yoked to Jesus. His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

The Holy Spirit is my Helper. He lives in me and gives me His strength, encouragement and power.

God knows what I'm going through, and He has given me the grace and ability to make it. I have a covenant with God, therefore my battles are His battles.

Nothing is too difficult for Him, and all things are possible for me, because I believe. I live life from the strength that He supplies in me.

I can do all things through Christ, who infuses me with His strength!



29. God must somehow be mad at me 

Many people think that God is mad at them, or the reason bad things are happening is because God is against me. Or, perhaps you don't think He's overtly against you, but He's just not aggressively helping you.
 

Today, we are fasting from the thought that says, "God is mad at me."

Wrong thoughts are designed by the devil and our flesh to undermine our faith. If you think God is mad at you, you won't be EXPECTANT toward God to bless you.

Let's take this thought captive (the word "captive" means: "to conquer with a sword." We conquer wrong thinking with the sword of God's Word!)

1. God is not mad AT you. He is mad ABOUT you!

When you accept this thought, you will have confidence, expectation and peace. Who couldn't use that! How do I know this is true? Romans 8:37 says "Nothing can separate you from the love of God..." You are forgiven (1 John 1:9) and you are LOVED (1 John 4:10).

2. Think this new thought: God loves me as much as He loves Jesus!

In John 17:23 Jesus says to the Father: "I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, that the world may know that You sent Me, and LOVED THEM, AS MUCH AS YOU HAVE LOVED ME!" What an amazing truth. God loves you as much as He loves Jesus. And there is no way God can be mad at Jesus.

3. He thinks precious thoughts about me ALL THE TIME!

Psalm 139:17-18 says "How precious are Your thoughts toward me, O God...If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with you!"

4. What God said to Jesus, is the SAME to you: "You are My beloved Son. In You, I am well-pleased." (Mark 1:11) Hallelujah!

He doesn't sound mad at Jesus! He sounds "mad about Him"! Well, 1 John 4:16 says, "As He is, so are we." Look, there is no getting around this marvelous truth: God doesn't love Jesus half-hearted, therefore He doesn't love you half-hearted either.

5. There is nothing God is holding back from you!

Romans 8:32 says "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not also with Him, freely give us all things!"

6. YOU ARE NOT CONDEMNED!

Romans 8:1 says "There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus..." Condemnation is an expression of strong disapproval. God approves of you, because of your faith in Jesus, not because you have done everything right. God's love for you is non-negotiable. Deuteronomy 7:8 says He loves you with an everlasting love. It cannot be stopped, quenched or compromised.

THINK IT & SAY IT:

God is not mad at me, He is mad about me. He loves me as much as Jesus. He thinks precious thoughts about me all the time! I am His beloved, and He is mine!

There is nothing God is holding back from me. He didn.t hold back His best, therefore He won't hold back the rest!

I refuse to be condemned. I am forgiven. I reject the thought that He is mad at me or against me. God is for me, and not against me. His love toward me cannot be stopped.



30. God Is Judging Me 

We're fasting today from the thought that says: "God is judging me." "Why is God doing this to me?" "Why is this happening to me?"
 

We all feel at times like when we don't measure up, that perhaps God is mad at us. And we replaced that wrong thinking with the thought that "God is not mad at me, He is mad about me."

We're fasting today from the thought that says: "God is judging me." "Why is God doing this to me?" "Why is this happening to me?"

When something goes wrong, it's easy to think, "maybe God is letting this happen because of what I did or what I didn't do."

This kind of thinking distorts the true view of our Heavenly Father. We need to stop seeing God as a vengeful and judgmental God. He is just. But His justice is satisfied, through the shed blood of Jesus. All that's left is His mercy and grace.

We're going to blast this "judgment mentality" out of our heads!

1. It is impossible for God to give anything that is not good.

Psalm 84:11 says "No good thing does He withhold from the righteous." (And don't forget: you are righteous through the blood of Jesus, not through you own works.)

2. God's judgment "passed over" the children of Israel through the blood of lambs.

In Exodus 12:12-13 God said, "On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn - both men and animals - and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt."

Therefore, God's judgment passes over us more powerfully through the blood of Jesus.

3. Every good and perfect gift comes from above, from the Father of lights! James 1:17 - God doesn't change. He is GOOD, and the author of good. Never doubt that again.

4. EMBRACE HIS MERCY.

Lamentations 3:22 says His mercy is new EVERY MORNING. I love what Paul says in Hebrews 4:16, "So let's walk right up to Him and get what He is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help." HE IS NOT JUDGING YOU!

5. Meditate on what mercy is.

A woman approached Napoleon to ask for mercy for her son and let him go free. He was to be hanged for crimes against Napoleon and France. "Do you know what he has done, madam? He doesn't deserve mercy!" She responded: "If he deserved it, it wouldn't be mercy, sir." Napoleon released him.

The next time you think, "why is this happening to me," EXPECT GOD TO TURN IT INTO SOMETHING GOOD, rather than thinking God is judging you.

THINK IT & SAY IT:

God is NOT judging me. He is my Father, and He is madly in love with me. I deserve judgment, but He gives me mercy.

When things don't go right, I will not believe it's God's judgment. I will not believe that I have lost favor with Him. His favor SURROUNDS ME like a shield.

His judgment passed over the children of Israel, therefore His judgment passes over me. I expect GOOD to happen to me. EVERY DAY, something good is going to happen.

I embrace His mercy. It follows me all the days of my life. No matter what happens in my life, I expect God to turn into something good!