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A few months ago my friend Linda gave me an artificial bonsai tree. I brought it home and placed it in my office, and from the moment I sat down I sensed the Spirit’s whisper. “Research this tree. I have a message for you.” I was intrigued and excitement rose within as I uncovered the truth I share with you now.

Bonsai is an Asian art in which trees are miniaturized by limiting their growth. The art of bonsai is to form the tree to appear as if it has grown a certain way purely as a result of natural forces.

First, a very young tree is potted in a diminutive pot. It will spend the rest of its life in a pot this size. Next, as the tree attempts to reach its full stature its limbs are pruned and wired to take on the shape the gardener desires. Lastly, the roots of this tree are pruned and re-potted into the decorative container. They are able to live for years in this confined space. China claims to have in its possession a bonsai tree that is 500 years old. It is still the same size!

The little tree in its completed form brings praise and applause for its maker, but it never fulfills its destiny to become a great tree where the birds of the air can lodge and find refuge in its branches. It never provides shade for a family to spread their picnic blanket under its canopy, and look into the flawless blue sky beyond its towering heights. Its branches will never bear the weight of a swinging child, nor will a young visionary mount its limbs and sit atop, dreaming lofty dreams and talking to God. And native fowl will never be satisfied with its delicious fruit.

Its destiny has become another man’s vision, not what was originally intended. The Creator had a purpose in mind, but another imposed his own plan and formed a distortion of the original intent that, though beautiful, is limited in its function.

The enemy of your soul is somewhat like that. He speaks religious words of guilt, shame and condemnation that can stifle God’s original intent for you, thus confining you to the life he wants for you rather than what God purposed.

“Who do you think you are? I knew you when. You must be resolved and happy in your small constricting pot and remain small (humble). Remember your failures! They define you. How prideful to think that just because you are forgiven you can cease dwelling on those things! Oh, no, if you are truly a Christian you must never … never … never forget your sins and your shortcomings!”

Words, words, words! These are lies, lies and more lies! The devil’s deceptive bait just gives an appearance of sweet humility! But, it is not humility to encase smallness as a mindset, but rather timidity and unbelief. These are not pleasing to God. True humility embraces the Word of God as a little child and simply believes.  Take a look at what God tells you in His Word.

“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV).

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3).

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).

“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).

My sisters, here’s the truth! We are completely redeemed daughters of the Most High God! We have been bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God! We have been given entrance into His private chambers. We can go before Him in times of temptation and trial and everything else under the sun, and His arms are always outstretched toward us! Believe it.

Satan’s list is exhaustive and there will always be a “good” reason—albeit never God’s—to stay confined like the bonsai, in your place or “pot;” a good reason to remain in your past and your failure. The thoughts from Satan will forever malign the Word of God, but God’s truth cuts through all that.

And the truth is that we are not mere beggars showing other beggars where the bread is!  But rather, we are the apple of His eye and the object of His affection. Let’s come out of self-restriction and confinement to be all that He says we are. Let’s begin here! Believe it! Do it!

PRAYER POWER FOR THE WEEK OF 6-20-2011

As you pray this week thank God for the truth of His Word and begin to declare what it says about you out loud. Ask Him to show you the specific scriptures that speak to your need and circumstance. Stand on those promises and declare them over your situation. Pray that God’s people would lead the way to revival through humility and repentance. Continue to pray for those struggling with physical, emotional and economic losses in this season.  As school lets out, pray for the wellbeing of our children, the protection of our families, cities and borders, and continued wisdom for President Obama and others leading our nation. Remember Israel, our military and allies. Ask God to send more laborers into His harvest field. Rom. 8:31; Jer. 29:11; Ps. 103:12

To enrich your prayer life and learn how to strategically pray with power by using appropriate scriptures, we recommend the following sources by Apostle John Eckhardt: Prayers that Rout Demons, Prayers that Bring Healing, Prayers that Release Heaven on Earth and Prayers that Break Curses. To order any or all of these click here.

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