God blesses and energizes those who sacrifice by fasting sleep in order to pray. Special grace accompanies this experience, along with the privilege of witnessing miracles, healings and visitations of God's Spirit.
Being available to God all through the evening hours and denying the flesh produces an environment that welcomes His manifest presence, provokes intercession and brings clarity of His will. Once God reveals what is on His heart, the waiting watchman is invited to intercede in agreement with His purposes. read more
No more profound biblical example of costly obedience and trust exists than in the figure of Abraham. His trust in God was resolute, and his worship was expensive--it cost him everything.
He was asked to sacrifice not only his son but also his interpretation of what God had promised in the generations that would come through him. Nevertheless, he was willing to trust God with the consequences of what He required, and he established a testimony of faithful obedience by which all followers of Jehovah could be inspired. read more
If it is for freedom that Christ set us free, why do we seek to entangle one another in yokes of bondage, otherwise known as religious traditions?
Before I became a Christian, I had a reputation for being a "worldly woman." Once I accepted Christ, my heart's desire was to be accepted as a "church sister." The problem was, I didn't look like one yet.
I wore extremely tight clothes, my hair was three colors, and I had a mouth full of gold teeth. At one church I was called "Jezebel" and asked to leave. A deacon pulled me aside and warned me that the people there didn't like "my kind." read more
TODAY, THROUGH REVIVAL, WOMEN ARE RECLAIMING THEIR DIVINE DESTINY AND SEEING THEIR LOST INNOCENCE RESTORED.
At this moment in revival history, God is raising up women into roles of leadership and service that we never dreamed possible. We are like racehorse fillies straining at the starting gate, beating our hooves, waiting for the door to fly open and the race to begin. We're just chomping at the bit to start doing the work of the ministry God has called us to do!
But before that gate can open and the release can come--before we can embrace our destiny as ministers in Christ--we must embrace the Lord's original intention for us as women. read more
To be a follower of Christ is to enjoy the blessings of His fellowship, His protection and His provision. For it is His duty to preserve the lives of those in His care.
As in nature, a disobedient or unruly sheep is subject to danger and appointed for chastening by the Shepherd. But along the paths of obedience reside provision, peace and rest from enemies within and without.
The very presence of our Shepherd refreshes and restores us. His persistent love and kindness will pursue us forever. read more
WE KNOW THAT BITTERNESS HINDERS OUR EFFECTIVENESS FOR GOD. BUT HOW MUCH FORGIVENESS IS ENOUGH?
Most of us have times in our lives when we are pushed to our limits with regard to forgiving others. I have vowed not to retell my story, but suffice it to say, I had never been hurt so deeply before or since.
I couldn't discuss it with my family members. But one friend from Romania was far removed from the situation, so I was able to tell him everything. read more
In her moment of greatest rejoicing, Mary, the mother of Jesus, sought the maturity and wisdom of her older cousin, Elizabeth, who had also received a miraculous visitation.
But upon Mary's appearance, the older Elizabeth became subject to the younger woman, because of the magnitude of Mary's assignment from God.
These two women's lives were strategically intertwined; they were family, but more. Their relationship was eternally significant. The same would be true of the relationship between their sons--John the Baptist and Jesus the Messiah. read more
For most of us, envisioning how God wants to use us is easy. The real work comes in faithfully taking steps each day in the direction of His will.
At times, the way seems clearly laid out for us. But at others we feel confused, unprepared and inadequate.
You've undoubtedly had the experience of ministering to someone and coming away thinking you had utterly failed. But a few days later you encountered that person again, and she told you your ministry was an answer to prayer! read more
We should not be surprised when we see tremendous blessing and great evil appearing side by side. As believers today, I think we often look at the spiritual condition of our country and the rest of the world and we're given to think that God's kingdom is not advancing as it should be.
The other day, I heard someone say that the apparent worsening of the world's condition is not the result of our lack of spiritual authority and influence. Rather, the rise in hostility toward Christianity is a response to the power of God making inroads into the devil's domain.
Reading 2 Corinthians 1 in a contemporary version really opened my understanding on this subject. Paul wrote: "We don't want you to be in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia province. It was so bad we didn't think we were going to make it. read more
Children naturally seem to welcome the reality of God. In their innocence, once they are introduced to the Lord, they accept His existence and, unless they are hindered, readily begin to relate to His presence.
Adults need the freedom to worship, sing and dance with the abandon of children. Our natural reserve makes it all the more important that we embrace and encourage the enthusiasm with which our children interact with the Spirit of God. read more
In each of us the ongoing work of the Spirit is the cultivation of a yielded heart, obedient to His most subtle promptings. More than an act of the will, it is a continual dying to self that releases in us the power to overcome the flesh and surrender to God.
Andrew Murray acknowledges our role in willing our lives to be yielded to God's purposes but de-emphasizes it. He stresses instead our dependence on our faithful God to supply both the desire for surrender and the power to activate it. read more
Because we aren't thoroughly convinced of God's unconditional love, we place enormous demands on others and ourselves. When the standards of performance aren't met, we have difficulty accepting God's love and forgiveness, and we withhold those things from others.
In order to protect ourselves, we tend to shy away from conflict. Often we choose to forfeit relationships or settle for less than adequate ones rather than risking the unpleasantness of confrontation and change.
But with God's help, we can learn to benefit from the very relationships that seem the most troubling. In resolving difficult issues, we don't have to allow conflict to drive us apart. We can use it as a catalyst for growth. read more
The life of ardent, incessant prayer is one of supernatural power, provision and peace. In essence, it is the life of Christ formed and activated in us.
Jesus, who lived a life of total dependence on His Father, was at all times at rest in God's will and firmly anchored in His purpose. Even when He went to the cross, Christ's life was open to the Father so that He was able to pray that God would be glorified.
The praying life is connected to the divine flow of God's Spirit at every moment. It is an existence in which there is rest and continual access to the supernatural life of God. read more
We were created in the image of God in order that we might respond to Him, fellowship with Him and reflect His love, glory and holiness. As carriers of the Spirit of God, we are to exemplify His nature in our interactions with other people. For this is how we bring glory to His name--by being filled to overflowing with His presence and allowing Him to be seen in us.
But how do we become fit vessels to contain the glory of God? Not surprisingly, God will be pleased to fill us with His glory when we humble our hearts to pray, worship Him and walk in obedience to His will. read more
Most believers can attest to the difficulty in winning loved ones to Christ. With so many underlying emotions at work, it can be a daunting task that involves great personal risk.
A lover of God has no recourse but to utilize every means of making Him known to others. Any risk is worth it when we consider the calling to follow Christ's command to spread the gospel.
Ultimately, every individual must decide to accept or reject Christ. Each situation requires sensitivity to God and wisdom from Him to communicate the gospel to members of our family. Through Him, we can be effective witnesses and overcome any fear of rejection or loss of relationship. read more
How awesome it is to have the ministry of the Spirit informing us, guiding our decisions and revealing the truth when it would be outside the reach of our natural sensibilities. Discernment is a gracious offering from God to His children to protect them from deception. But discernment works by faith and must be cultivated like any other gift through use.
We must choose to operate from a spiritual mind-set rather than a carnal one. When we are open to the leading of God's Spirit, He will give us discerning wisdom that may be totally hidden from us otherwise. The more we use our powers of spiritual discernment, the more keenly developed they will become. read more
The storms that we encounter in life can so devastate us that we fail to remember there is One present with us upon whose strength we can draw. Amy Carmichael and others believed that even dark clouds attest to the presence of God with us in life's storms, for they are but the shadows of His hand.
God will deliver us from every peril. But we can know this only through experience.
George Matheson wrote: "There is a life stronger than natural life. How could we learn this if natural life never failed us? How could faith begin if sight were perfect?" read more