At the beginning of this week, I had an overwhelming urge to do something!!! I want to start a church, Bible Study, preach more, pray for people more, minister more!!! I feel like I have so much that I can do to build the Kingdom of God, but still no direction where to apply it. This is frustrating, but I know that God is using us, and working in us to prepare us for the next step. This does not make the waiting time any easier though. Here is the third part in a devotional series that God has been speaking to me to help me and my family walk more into the destiny that He has for us.
Now, since we know that we are Designed for Destiny and as we are removing every obstacle and making sure that we are receiving the Best Possible Signal, we must be very careful not to let anything destroy the destiny that God has for our lives. There are a broad range of things that can be destroyers, Anger, fear, insecurity… but one of the most common destroyers of destiny is unforgiveness.
Imagine you order a meal from McDonalds. You scarf down the burger and are eating the fries when you discover a used band-aid nestled at the bottom of the box. Would you be able to finish the rest of the fries? Would you even want to?
Something bad no matter how small can ruin the rest of a good thing!!!
You should know, God wants you to walk in dynamic destiny right now. You must position yourself to receive and remove all obstacles. One of the most dangerous destroyers of destiny is unforgiveness. The devil will use this to steal from you. If he can cause you to take up an offense, your destiny begins to wither and die until you are able to forgive.
Read Matthew 18:21-35
Here, Jesus tells a parable explaining forgiveness. One servant was forgiven an immense sum that he would never be able to pay back, but that servant would not forgive his friend a few bucks. Because of his lack of mercy, the unforgiving servant was punished.
You are called to be a representative of Christ. When you come to Him, He forgives you such an enormous debt that you could never repay Him. He gave His life up completely for you. Because of this mercy that was freely given to you, you do not have a right to be unmerciful. No, what they did is not right, and yes it hurt you deeply. But God granted you mercy and freedom from death, and you also must grant mercy and let God deal with it. In releasing that offense, God is able to release you into fully walking in your destiny because you are a better representative of Him. Get rid of the band-aid and enjoy the fries!!!
Challenge: Ask Holy Spirit to reveal everyone that you need to forgive. Write their names down on a sheet of paper. Release each name to God and ask Him to help you forgive them completely. Rip your list up and throw it away as a physical act of canceling their debt.
Suggested Reading: Matthew 6:9-15, Ephesians 4:29-32, Psalm 103
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!
Due to lack of good internet, we are just now able to upload the video from our time in Kosovo. God opened a door for us in the nation of Kosovo! We were able to partner with Him in His ministry there, praying for the people who were in war less than 15 years ago, missionaries sent there to teach the children, a missionary recently diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer, and our friends, Liz and Sam, who were called to be missionaries there. We also got the opportunity to do an interview for Christian-focused online magazine, Awaken Magazine!
Before we left on our journey, my sister had a prophetic vision for us. This vision was rather long, but part of it included that God would give us unique words and prayers to pray into the problems in the countries that we would be ministering in. God has been faithful to reveal to my wife, myself, or both of us unique things to pray over each place.
Upon our arrival, we rode with Pastor JoseMaria and his wife from the airport to his house. He mentioned casually that the night before we had come, an unusually strong wind had woken him up twice during the night. We thought nothing of this until we were praying and seeking the Lord the next day. God began to speak to us both, separately, that this was the wind of the Holy Spirit. After this was revealed, I began to study the characteristics of Holy Spirit and how the wind is used to describe Him. As I did, The Lord led me to Ezekiel 37. Here, The Lord takes Ezekiel to a field of dry bones. He tells him to prophesy to the bones. All the bones come together and flesh and skin even comes to the bones, but these people are still dead. Then Ezekiel is commanded to prophesy to the “Ru’ah” (this is the Hebrew word for wind and it is used interchangeably for wind, breath, and Spirit) that the bones may come to life.
Here, in Spain, the spiritual climate could be described as a dry and dead one. The church is Catholic, but none of the young people go to church. Those that do, often go out of duty and obligation and never out of desire to know God. However, Spain has a rich history and is even said to be a place where Paul journeyed during his lifetime.
There may be bones here, but bones speak that there was once life!!! No matter how hopeless and dry these bones seem, the wind of Holy Spirit is coming to breathe new life into these bones. When the Spirit comes it brings change to the climate. Even as the wind of the Holy Spirit is bringing life to the bones, He is ushering in a change of climate that is bringing the rains of revival. My wife shares here Rains of Revival what God has spoken to her on this subject, and this is how we have been praying for Spain. I believe that the churches are coming together in unity and begin to be formed into the body that they are supposed to be. As we pray and cry out for Holy Spirit to pour himself out upon this land, He will usher in revival and all that comes with it!!!
I urge you to pray this out not only over Spain, but over your life as well!!! In all of our lives, we have places where life has gone and death has come. Where is the vision of our younger years? Where is the passion of the Gospel we once had? Where is the faith in The Lord we were so eager to live in obedience to? Where has the desire to give ourselves as living sacrifices to The Lord and spend our time coming to know Him more?
Without the life and freedom Holy Spirit brings, we are walking in that valley of dry bones!!! I say to you prophesy to Holy Spirit and cry out to Him that the spiritually dead things in you may come back to life!!! Cry out to The Good Father and know “…your Heavenly Father [shall] give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” (Luke 11:13).
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!
What a year 2013 was!!! In short it was (Fire by Night and new friends, the Proposal, long months of waiting, Encounter God’s Presence youth camp, confirmation of our calling, marriage, honeymoon in Mexico, beginning of Gibson’s Go Global, flying to NYC on Sept 11, Circuit Riders in Norway, YWAM and Fire Starters in Scotland, Christmas and New Year in Newcastle) not that short. I know for many of us, this was a busy year and we should be able to look back and see how we have changed. If there has been no change between this year and last year, it is seriously time to examine if we are walking in God’s will. I am not talking about a physical location, although in our case it obviously was. I am talking about how you have changed in your relationship with The Lord. I encourage you to review your year with Holy Spirit and see what you find out.
This morning, God has given me an encouragement that I want to pass on to you:
Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
I can see as I look back over my life, even in the last year, how much that God has brought me into greater and greater freedom. He has strengthened us and empowered us to walk in this new freedom. Even when we are tempted to fall back into old things, we have the strength to stand fast!!! We must stand in the freedom that Christ has bought with so great a price and not go back to having bent and broken backs under the weight and oppression of sin that the enemy deceives us into thinking is better somehow. Do not be entangled again, but walk in the glorious freedom that has been given to us!!!
What kind of freedom is this? Unrestrained selfish freedom? Of course not!!! We know that is not freedom but only bondage to ourselves. A few verses later, we see the freedom that is called for:
Galatians 5:13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
This is not a selfish fleshly freedom, but a freedom in Holy Spirit that encourages us to love others in greater and greater ways. We like to explain the freedom of The Lord as we can say, do, watch, listen to whatever we want because we are free in Christ. Through this verse, we see that our freedom is not to be one that satisfies our flesh, but we are spiritually free to love and serve others with our actions. It is such a tragedy in my mind when Christians talk down the standards of other Christians or try to get them to compromise their convictions. There was one instance I know of that everyone was watching a movie with some coarse language. They knew that there was a girl who did not watch or listen to anything with language as much as she could control. Knowing this, the girls apologized to her, but were unwilling to turn off the movie. This was neither loving or serving this girl or the standards Holy Spirit had set up for her. Was this godly freedom? I think not!!! This was the selfish freedom that leads into bondage but no one saw the deception of the enemy.
I am so glad for those who call us to higher standards with their freedom of loving and serving. One quick story, while in YWAM my leader Sage was constantly challenging me in a healthy way. The week before we went to Outreach in Cambodia, we had a team fast. Getting through that was okay, but then he tells me that he is going to do a Daniel fast for the first 40 days of the trip. My thought is “Good luck pal!!!” Then, thinking of all that we wanted God to accomplish and why we were really there, I decided that I would join him. He did not pressure me or even ask me to join him. I was just encouraged to walk with Him in freedom as we loved and served each other. You know I look back now and do not regret one moment of that fast. Yes, it was extremely hard, but I believe that God is worth it!!!
I encourage you as this New Year begins 2014, stand fast in the freedom God has given you and walk in it in such a way that the people around you are affected by the freedom, love, and service you have for them. I pray that those around you who are the closest and those who barely know you will be called to the deeper and greater things of The Lord because of the consecrated life of freedom you are walking in!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!