Jul 2019

When Someone Hurts You Financially – Offense, Part 11

There was a time in my life where things were very tight financially. Basically, Ceci and I were living paycheck to paycheck. I had a friend who asked me to come and speak. Then, he additionally asked me to stay over and speak on Sunday, because the initial class he’d invited me to speak to was about 10% of what he had projected it would be. So, I went and taught the class, then he told me I would not be speaking at his church on Sunday. He had gotten me a couple of other churches to speak at. That seemed strange. Then, when I got to those other churches, they were just tiny, little places. I had to drive an hour and a half one way to get to one of them! They each gave me about $40 for the service. That barely covered my gas. I later found out that this happened because the original church was having financial constraints and they wouldn’t have been able to give me an honorarium. I thought, “This is all really strange.” Anyway, the original guy owed me for three days of teaching, my material sales, and a flight reimbursement. He hadn’t paid me yet when he took me to the airport, and I wondered how he was going to handle that. Sure enough, when we got to the airport, he said, “Ah! I forgot to get you a check! I’ll have the staff get it in the mail today.” I remember it didn’t feel right at the time. Well, nothing ever came. He didn’t even give me the money for the material sales or the flight reimbursement. Forget the honorarium. I went in the hole for about $600-700. It was really tough. I thought, “Man, I want to teach him a few things about ethics. I’m going to call him! I’m going to tell all my friends what he did!” However, the Lord started teaching me a few things. 

“If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat as well.” (Matthew 5:40; ISV)

Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:

  • Declare, “The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; the world and all it contains, You have founded them.” (Psalm 89:11; NASB)
  • Say, “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” (Proverbs 11:24-25; ESV)
  • Speak forth, “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over [with no space left for more]. For with the standard of measurement you use [when you do good to others], it will be measured to you in return.” (Luke 6:38; AMP)
  • State, “Love your enemies and be good to them. Lend without expecting to be paid back. Then you will get a great reward, and you will be the true children of God in heaven. He is good even to people who are unthankful and cruel.” (Luke 6:35; CEV)
  • Forgive anyone who has hurt you financially. Release them from any offense you hold against them. That offense could be tying up the Lord’s blessing to you. This could be a promotion you expected that went to another. It could be identity theft. It could be property stolen from you or damaged, where you had to foot the repair bill. Maybe you are upset with a ministry leader for the way they used a donation you gave. Don’t let offense steal your blessing!

A prayer you can pray:

(Say the above scriptures out loud. Say them more than once, if you don’t mean it yet. Deal with any financial offense as you do so. Then, forgive as the last prayer point invites you to.)

Today’s decree:

God’s people radically giving and expecting nothing in return will be a sign and a wonder to our communities and nation.

Jul 2019

Getting Ahead of the Enemy – Offense, Part 10

If you’re offendable, God wants you to know that. He doesn’t deal with everything in our hearts all at once. He waits for a certain time. We also know that He deals with baby Christians one way and mature Believers another way. He raises the standard as we grow up in Him. Regardless, I can tell you that He knows how to push our buttons. If there’s something offendable in you, He wants you to know. It is His mercy to show you. He gets ahead of what the enemy will mean to kill or destroy your life or character at an inopportune time. I’ll be frank with you, I have failed the Lord’s setups. I’ve failed, because I hate to be falsely accused. The Lord will keep faithfully coming to deal with this area of my heart until I finally overcome and, finally, do not pick up that offense. When He allows these tests, He is causing us to learn Hs principles of turning the other cheek, and blessing those who hurt us and despitefully use us. 

You know, people living at the time Jesus came thought that He was going to come and overthrow Roman rule and set up a Kingdom. That’s what John the Baptist, thought. Then, Jesus left him in prison with the rats. John finally had enough. If you read between the lines, you’ll see that John was getting offended at Jesus. He sent his disciples to say, “Are you the One or should we look for another? Basically, John was saying, “I thought I knew who you were. Now, I’m not so sure.” Remember, John was filled with the Spirit in his mother’s womb. He was the forerunner of the Christ and he knew he was the forerunner. He saw the dove descend on Jesus. He knew He was the One. Yet, even he could pick up an offense.

“But I tell you not to oppose an evil person. If someone slaps you on your right cheek, turn your other cheek to him as well.” (Matthew 5:39; GWT)

“Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.” (Luke 6:28; KJV)

Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:

  • Thank the Lord that He sets up situations where your heart is tested to see if you are offendable. Praise Him that He does this before the devil can!
  • Are you struggling with some situation in your life where you are wondering why God isn’t “being God” in your life? Are you wondering, like John, “Are You God or not?” Or are you quietly asking, “Where are You God?” Realize that this is a test. He will help you pass it.
  • Bless those who are persecuting and using you.
  • Intercede with all your heart for those who are offending you.
  • Are you offended at anyone on the national stage? Is there a government leader or media personality who offends you to the point that you can’t stand to even see their name or hear their voice? Pray for them. The enemy may be trying to destroy their life and keep them from Jesus.

A prayer you can pray:

Lord, thank You! Thank You for offending me on purpose! I never thought I would be grateful for this, but today I have the revelation that You are getting ahead of the devil’s plan. He wants to cause us to stumble, become offended, and ultimately become bitter. Satan is working overtime to sow offense everywhere he can, dividing families, the Church, end even the nation. Offense is so wicked. It come sin a tiny seed form that sprouts into division and hate. It is so hard to undo its fruit! (Intercede here for those offending you, even national figures. Intercede for those personally persecuting you or unfairly treating you.) Holy Spirit, forgive them. They really don’t know what they’re doing. I release them from my judgement and I ask You to bring unity into this nation. Amen.

Today’s decree:

God is allowing lessons of offense in our lives, so the enemy cannot use offense to further divide our nation!

Jul 2019

You Just Need to Trust Him – Offense, Part 9

In John, Chapter 6, Jesus said some pretty confusing things to the masses. He said that to be His disciple, you had to eat His flesh and drink His blood. They didn’t know what He was talking about. They hadn’t had His beloved communion meal. Hey didn’t know about the cross and how it symbolizes the blood and the broken body. As far as they were concerned, He was preaching cannibalism. They began to leave Him. They loved Him up to this point. They now said, “This guy’s weird. We’re out of here!” The disciples came to Him and they said, “You know, that was a difficult saying. It was strange. It was hard.” Jesus replied, “Does it offend you that I say things and don’t explain it all? Does it offend you?” The people kept leaving Him and the disciples kept pressing HIm. The Bible says they were murmuring and they were bothered by this. So, He looked at them and asked, “Are you guys going to leave, too?” He was saying, in essence, “You guys need to get over this. I’m not going to change the message, and this time, I’m not going to explain it either.” There were times when He would teach things they did not understand and He would say to the disciples, “I’m not going to explain it to the masses, but I’ll explain it to you. Let me give you the interpretation of this parable.” This time, I think He thought, “I think I see some attitudes here and I’m going to call them on it. Once in a while they need to know that I’m Lord. I am going to do things they will not always understand, and they should not question me when I do. They need to trust me.”

“Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, ‘Does this offend you? Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe.’ For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. He went on to say, ‘This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.’ From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.” (John 6:61-66; NIV)

Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:

  • Does it offend you when Jesus doesn’t always explain things to you? If you are feeling the sting of conviction, spend some time talking with Him about why this is the case. Be healed.
  • Let’s go further. Have you become offended with the Lord in any regard? You will know this, if you feel distant from Him, when you were once very passionate toward Him. I know you want that place of intimacy back. Let the Lord show you where the offense occurred. Be restored to the joy of your salvation!
  • And, a little further. Do you trust Him with the circumstances of your life, your family, this nation? Explore this with Him.
  • Say, “You are Lord, and You get to decide what You do with my life.”
  • If you are able to take communion, do so.

A prayer you can pray:

Lord, I don’t always understand You or the things You do. Just like the disciples, I don’t like the fact that You don’t explain Yourself. When things happen in my life or in the nation, I want to know what You are doing. I want to know why things don’t always turn out the way I feel led to intercede. I want to know why You seem to delay. Your silence can be disconcerting. I only share this with You, because You already know I am feeling and thinking these things. (If you have become offended at Him, talk with Him about this. He already knows how you feel.) Thank You for restoring passion and fire to my relationship with You! Don’t let me ever hold You at arms-length. Let me experience the joy of my salvation every day that I live! Holy Spirit, cause a fresh wind of grace to blow over Your Church, removing any distance between us and You. Renew our trust in You. Remove any questions, doubt and unbelief. I made You Lord of my life, Jesus. You get to be Lord in every regard. Just point me in the right direction and put a guard on my heart to keep me from questioning your wisdom and Your ways. Thank You for the shed blood of Jesus that keeps my door to You forever open. Amen.

Today’s decree:

Jesus Christ is Lord! He does not owe us an explanation. He can do with our lives whatever He chooses to do! 

Jul 2019

God is the Deliverer – Offense, Part 8

I think that offense is Satan’s most subtle snare. When offenses come, especially when we know we are right. So did you know the Lord will offend you on purpose sometimes? I am not unconvinced that the Lord didn’t purposely have that policeman look over at me just at the right moment to misinterpret what had occurred. There were some things in me having to do with pride, authority, even justice, that God wanted to put His finger on. He’ll do that, you know.

In Matthew 15, Jesus offended the Pharisees. You might say He was rather blunt. He called them hypocrites. The disciples came to Jesus and said, “Do you know you offended those people?” The Lord’s response never ceases to amaze me. He said, “Leave them alone. They are the blind leading the blind. They have hardened their hearts. Just leave them alone.”

He doesn’t mind offending any of us some of the time. He doesn’t mind offending me at times. Does it offend you when Jesus speaks to you plainly? If He confronts you and speaks to you about something that you don’t want to feel convicted about, are you okay with that? Maybe, He does that through another person. I can usually receive things directly from the Lord, but I hate it when He does that through others. It’s one thing when I’m going about my day and He begins to shower down on me His conviction. He tells me I am so wonderful, then says, “But, change this.” Be honest. You hate it too when He uses someone else to bring the message to you.

“Disregard them! They are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14; BSB)

Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:

  • Do you ever misinterpret what you see? Are you sure you know the full situation behind the words or actions you observed? Repent.
  • Have you been on the receiving end of someone jumping to conclusions about you? Forgive.
  • Welcome the correction of the Lord into your life. Pray that you will not be blind to your sin, so He will not have to use others to clean you up.
  • Intercede for our nation’s media members. They are often found jumping to conclusions lately, especially about what President Trump says or does. Call by name the ones you know are doing this.
  • Stand in the gap for government leaders who publicly brawl with one another. Do not pick up their offense or choose sides! Keep your heart pure, so you maintain your ability to judge rightly and intercede purely.

A prayer you can pray:

Father, I don’t know what it is about human nature that causes us to jump to conclusions. Sometimes it really does seem like we are seeing something unholy, unrighteous or unjust, but things are not as they appear. If it’s not our concern, we need to learn to keep our mouths shut. If it does concern us, we need to remain non-judgemental until we can sit down and hear the other side of the matter. We need greater discernment, as well. I strongly dislike others jumping to conclusions about me and I repent where I have done that to others. Forgive me, Lord. I forgive those who have misjudged my words or actions. I give You full reign to correct me. Let me hear Your gentle rebuke before You have to expose me to others for Your righteousness’ sake. Please check our media in this. They are running rampant and seemingly purposefully causing offense every day, especially against President Trump. Cause our government leaders to stop before they open their mouths in judgement of other government leaders. Let them think of how they would feel about untruthful things said about them. Let them feel the sting of others misinterpreting their actions, then shouting it out on social media! Prompt me to intercede more intensely for Your grace and peace and intervention. Thank you, Jesus, for working with us to defuse all this offense we are living in day to day in America. Amen.

Today’s decree:

May our hearts remain pure, so our intercession is righteous and just!

Jul 2019

Falsely Accused – Offense, Part 7

I once got offended at a cop. He made me so mad. I was innocent. I’ve had my share of transgressions, but this time, I really was innocent. A car in front of me saw this police officer and hit his brakes. I had seen him a way back and was already slowing down. So, when the guy hit his brakes, I hit mine a little harder. I closed the gap pretty fast, though I avoided an accident. I had done the right thing. The policeman pulled me over for tailgating. He didn’t agree with my assessment that I had done the right thing in preventing an accident from the other guy’s knee-jerk reaction. He lectured me. I began to seethe, because I knew that I was innocent. Well, it gets worse. 

He asked me for my registration. Did you know you are supposed to sign it? No? Neither did I. I think this guy was having a bad day or something, because he says, “You didn’t sign this. Did you know I can write you up and charge you $18.00 for not signing this?” Doing my best to be calm, I said, “I did not know I was supposed to sign it, but I can sign it right now, if you want me to.” He gives it to me to sign, then goes back to his car for a minute. In the meantime, I am just seething, because I am being falsely accused, and I know I didn’t do anything wrong. Never mind that I get away with other minor traffic offenses all the time. (Don’t look at me like that! We all do.) What’s that got to do with anything? I was innocent!

He came back with the ticket and told me to drive safely. I replied, “I always do.” I bet my blood pressure was off the charts. Ceci didn’t help. She just told me I needed to calm down. “What do you mean, calm down? I was falsely accused!” I exclaimed. The last thing you want in a moment like that is the truth. 

It took me a couple of days to calm down. I was really eating that raw meat. I was extracting every morsel out of it. That officer was just out there doing his job. I’m sure he was a good man who just made a mistake. I really needed to give him the benefit of the doubt and let it go. I put that thing down and picked it back up at least 10 times over the next week. “I forgive him,” I would think. Then, the next time I would see a cop, all of the emotion and anger was back. But, you know the Lord. He didn’t give me any break. As those emotions rose up, He dealt with my attitude toward authority and toward the law. He made me look at the roots of that anger and my pride. He extracted every morsel from it to bring healing into my life.

“If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done.” (Matthew 6:14-15; GNT)

Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:

  • So, we are now on day seven of asking the Lord to look through the hidden recesses of our hearts for any dregs of offense. Did you think we were done? Not yet. Thank Him that He is not done with us yet!
  • Patterns of behavior are clues to our need of deliverance. Just like I seethed for a while every time I saw a police officer, you probably have those things that trigger you all over again. Time after time after time. Some of these offenses may be quite old. Some may be very recent. All of them need to get to the cross. Be brave and ask our faithful Savior for help finding root issues.
  • Pride, envy, jealousy, covetousness, greed, and idolatry are root issues of sin in our life. Fear springs from these. Anger springs from these. Addiction, a side-kick of idolatry, does, also. These are fruit off a bad tree called sin and iniquity. Yes, we are saved when we ask Jesus into our hearts, but we are also “being saved” or sanctified as we daily work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Ignoring the fruit and roots of sin in our lives gives Satan a place in us. Get him out! Acknowledge your sin and iniquitous bents and apply the blood of Jesus there.
  • Pride is in everyone. The Bible calls it the foolish pride of life. It manifested at the fall of man in the Garden of Eden and has been with us ever since. It is often hidden in plain sight; plain sight, that is, to everyone except ourselves. It holds us back, because it makes us think we know better than God. Open the door to your heart and let God root out the pride daily. It is in your best interest to do so. God blesses the humble, but opposes the proud.

A prayer you can pray:

Father, thank You that You are not done with me yet! You are faithful to apply the rod at the right time to keep me on Your narrow path of righteousness. You are the One Who makes us holy, for You cannot partner with the sinful and pride-filled. How beautiful is Your work in my life! My soul knows it well. So, for yet another day, I bring my heart to Your throne of grace. Use Your faithful scalpel of Truth, Holy Spirit. Cut between the thoughts and intents of my heart and don’t leave anything untouched that is meant to be removed today. Pride, envy, jealousy, covetousness, greed, and idolatry. If you are hiding anywhere, His light is about to shine on you. I will be changed by the great love He has for me. He is doing this work today in many thousands of Believers, so your kingdom can be undone in our lives and communities and nation. Revival and awakening are birthed in these waves where He calls us to turn from our wicked ways; to exchange them for righteousness and holiness. We repent of the fruit. We take His axe to the roots, and we will be free! Pride goes before a fall, but the Lord God gives favor and blessing to the humble. Root pride out of us, Lord Jesus. Amen!

Today’s decree:

“The meek shall inherit the land!”

Jul 2019

Be Angry and Sin Not – Offense, Part 3

In the story of Cain and Abel, one did it God’s way and the other didn’t. And, the one who didn’t became angry. He didn’t deal with his anger properly. There is nothing wrong with growing angry. Sometimes we get angry at the wrong things, but it is not a sin in and of itself to get angry. The Bible talks about being angry and not sinning. God made us with emotions. We can even have righteous anger. It is not anger in and of itself that is the problem. If someone hurts you and offends you, the key is what you do with that anger. How do you process it? How do you carry it? How do you get rid of it? 

Cain’s anger turned into depression. His countenance fell. He began to mope and sulk. The next thing you know, that turned into a deep hatred for his brother and he murdered him. God laid a sentence on him. He said, “You are going to be a vagrant. You will be a wanderer in the earth.” It is fascinating to me that Cain says, “Hey, this is too strong a sentence on me. Now, everyone who sees me is going to want to kill me.” God says, “I’ll take care of that. I’ll put a mark on you to make sure no one kills you.” Notice the fact that even though Cain was at fault, he was not punished with death. He was just cast out. 

“‘Why are you so angry?’ the Lord asked Cain. ‘Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.’’” (Genesis 4:6-7; NLT)

Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:

  • Fairness and justice are two key words in the nation today. Fairness is defined as “impartial and just treatment or behavior without favoritism or discrimination.” Justice is “the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited awards or punishments. The establishment or determination of rights according to the rule of law or equity.” Think about these definitions for a minute in light of the truth that God is always just.
  • People cannot decide how we should be treated by God. Only God gets to decide that and He is trying to save us! Say, “God is always just. God is always true. God has made a way of escape from the snare of the fowler and “Jesus” is that way of escape.”
  • Intercede for those you know are in the battle for justice. Here are a few: David Daleiden, Jack Phillips, Abby Johnson, Will and Dehavilland Ford, and Dr. Alveda King.
  • Ask God to examine your heart. Are you offended at Him? Humble yourself and work it out with Him, if so. Ask Him to keep you from sin.
  • Are you offended at His Church? If you are, Repent and work it out with God. Pray for His beautiful Bride to become unoffendable.
  • Acknowledge His Divine protection over your life, deserved or not, and worship Him.

A prayer you can pray:

God, You are a God of Justice. You are always righteous and good. You know the end from the beginning and You get to decide where You bestow mercy, grace, and favor. Keep us from becoming offended at You. When we see You grace another with favor and blessing, keep our hearts from misunderstanding fairness and justice. You are the Author of these things. You are the One we can call on to correct injustices against the innocent, even those who do not know You. Correct things in our society that are out of order due to the sinful nature of man. We can also ask You for justice for those who love You. We pray for those fighting against injustices, such as David Daleiden and Jack Phillips. Help them, Jesus! We join our prayers to those battling for righteousness and justice for the unborn, against racism, to deliver from gender identity issues, the breaking of poverty, and other such things in our society. These are matters where tempers flare on both sides and our nation is divided over them. We need Your intervention, Lord. We need Your Wise Counsel. We must find a way to stay unoffended at those we disagree with, so we can bring Your solutions to the table. Forgive us when we have become offended at You, thinking we know best about these things, or thinking You are delaying. Forgive us for becoming offended at Your Church. Wake her up, Lord! Cause every Believer to engage in some way in the battle over these lost souls, and for our nation’s atmosphere to shift! Only You can save us, Jesus. Amen.

Today’s decree:

God is always just. God is always true. God has made a way of escape from the snare of the fowler and “Jesus” is that way of escape.

Jul 2019

The Lesson of Cain and Abel – Offense, Part 2

There’s an interesting progression in Genesis, Chapter 4, between Abel and Cain, where the first murder occured. The progression that took place in Cain’s life, I think, is very common today. He offered the Lord a sacrifice from the first fruits of the ground. He was a farmer and he brought a sacrifice to the Lord of his crops. Abel, on the other hand, was a rancher, and he brought the sacrifice of an animal, which he offered to the Lord. There is actually a lot going on here. You won’t understand fully, unless you understand some of the words that are used. The passage says that God had regard for Abel’s sacrifice, but not for Cain’s. The reason is that, from the time of the fall (of man), the sacrifice required the shedding of blood to atone for sin. Cain brought an offering to God of the first fruits of the ground. So, God had regard for Abel’s offering. The word “regard” here, means “to gaze at with favor” or “to turn the face toward”. In other words, Abel’s sacrifice, the blood sacrifice, meant that God could turn toward Abel, fellowship with him, and accept him. This was a precursor of the shedding of Christ’s blood on the cross, an atoning for sin. He could not accept Cain’s offering, because there was no blood sacrifice. So, Cain became really offended.

The Lord said several strong things to Cain. Let me paraphrase what He said, “Why are you acting this way, Cain? You know the rules. You know the way this works. If you want My gaze, if you want My acceptance, you have to do it this way.” In fact, He says to him in verse 7, “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up?” That’s what this was all about. One was accepted. The other was rejected. 

“It came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell.” (Genesis 4:3-5; NASB)

Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:

  • Understand the conflict that will occur when God turns in favor toward those that accept the sacrifice of His Son. Those who don’t yet know Him will feel this tension.
  • Intercede for the salvation of the lost.
  • Ask the Lord to show you where you are trying hard to get God to accept you. He accepts you through the blood of His Son. Enter His Hebrews 4 rest!
  • Thank Him for saving you! Worship Him!

A prayer you can pray:

Father, my heart is overwhelmed with praises to You for You have done a wonderful thing! You have given every human being an opportunity to be regarded with favor by giving us Your Son, Jesus, as the ultimate blood sacrifice. We can choose to accept Him or not, but the sacrifice is made. Your face now turns toward those who receive that precious life laid down. It is more and more obvious that those not yet accepting that sacrifice see the difference. They feel the lack and don’t understand why they are so frustrated and angry. They lay traps for the godly and long to see us fall. Father, save them! Let us refrain from being offended by them, and love them to You, instead. It is not always easy. Sometimes we may feel like we want to hurt them back, find ways to punish or humiliate them, or make them eat their words, but this is not Your way. That’s the way of offense. Lord, keep us from picking up that bait, so they may see You in Your Church! Grace for the harvest, Jesus. Amen.

Today’s decree:

There is only one acceptable sacrifice by which we may be saved – that of Jesus. May we make Him known across our land!

Jul 2019

Offenses Will Come – Part 1

In Luke 17:1, Jesus is teaching His disciples and he uses a word translated “stumbling blocks”, which could also be translated “offenses”. What is a stumbling block or offense? The Greek word here is “scandalon”. We get the word, “scandal” from it, because sometimes when you do “offensive” things, it can create a scandal. There was an object that was a “scandalon”. It was the trigger on a trap, used to trap animals. They would take a raw piece of meat and put it on the trigger of the trap. Then, when the animal would take the meat, take the bait, the trap would be sprung and the animal would be captured. It was also used to describe a pit where they would throw meat or something enticing, then an animal would jump in but couldn’t get out because the pit was too deep.  They would be caught. The point here is that you are going to be baited time and time again in life to pick up an offense.

Sometimes someone will say something to you that hurts, or does something to you that you don’t like. Sometimes it isn’t even wrong, but you have a place in you that’s susceptible. So, time and time again, you are going to go through moments in life where you are tempted to take the bait. When you do take up that offense, then you are snared, and you will be in trouble. Jesus said that it was inevitable that offenses would come. Don’t you love that promise?

“He said to His disciples, ‘It is inevitable that stumbling blocks should come, but woe to him through whom they come. It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he was thrown into the midst of the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble. Be on your guard. If your brother sins, rebuke him. If he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times a day, saying, “I repent,” forgive him.’” (Luke 17:1-4; NASB)

Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:

  • Acknowledge to the Lord that His Word is true and offenses will come into your life.
  • Ask the Lord to teach you how to deal with your responses to offense.
  • Pray for those who you believe have  offended you and repent for where you know you have offended others. This prepares your heart for the Lord’s instruction.
  • Become alert to how national issues affect your emotions. Are you offended at the political side you disagree with? Are you interceding or just reacting? Have you become offended. Be honest with the Lord about this. He already knows.
  • Intercede for those you know are attempting to “bait” an entire society for their political purposes.
  • Ask the Lord to work with you until you are able to keep from taking the bait the enemy throws out for you.

A prayer you can pray:

Lord, it is sobering to realize that You have said that offenses will come in our lives. Indeed, they do. There are many opportunities to become offended. There are situations that offend us personally. There are national situations that offend us, culturally, morally, and spiritually. You must train us how to deal with offenses that come our way. We need to look at why they came and who they came through. If You have any part in allowing the offenses, what are You after in allowing them? These are lessons we must learn; new things we want to learn about Your nature. Our country is dealing with many matters that can offend us. We can read or listen to the news daily and get offended all over again at certain circumstances. However, You would have us intercede, not react. You would have us carefully watch and seek You and pray, not post all over social media, as fast as we can do so. Jesus, keep us from taking the bait and getting snared, which could cause us to lose our voice. Help us to look for opportunities to extend grace and to forgive. Lord, heal our nation, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Today’s decree:

May God’s people turn away from the bait the enemy is throwing down in the nation!

Jul 2019

Women, Walk in Your Calling! You Are Anointed and Dangerous!

“Does everyone have Judges 4 and 5 in their Bibles? Has anyone torn them out? I ask that question, because I rarely hear anyone, at least in evangelical circles, preaching from Judges 4 and 5. Why is that? Because, the primary character in this narrative, Deborah, does not fit modern American evangelical religious tradition. We don’t know what to do with her, so we just ignore her. I think that’s a big mistake.

“You know the story. God is the one that raised up the judges. It was not man’s opinion or vote. God Himself appointed the leaders of Israel at that time. Deborah was appointed by God to be the Judge of Israel and the Prophet of the Lord in that season. I have heard leaders in the American Church say, ‘Deborah was a judgement on Israel. Israel was backslidden at the time and one of the ways God deals with that is to give female leadership.’ There is a problem with that interpretation. First, the Bible never says that. It says that God appointed these leaders, including Deborah. It also says that because of Deboarh’s leadership, Israel enjoyed 40 years of peace! 

“Deborah was very sensitive to the Holy Spirit. She listened to God and understood by the Spirit that the nation was in danger. She understood that the enemy out-numbered them 10-1 and had [advanced weapons of war.] It was a very serious moment in the history of Israel. This woman of God that was attuned to His voice and partnering with Him, went out across Israel and spoke to all the tribes, and rallied an army. Then, she went to her General, Barak, and told him that they had to go to war. She said, ‘The enemy is going to be invading. We have to be ready, and if we will trust in the Lord, He will overthrow the enemy, even though we are out-numbered.’ 

“Barak told Deborah, ‘If you will go with me, I will go. But, if you will not go with me, I will not go.’ Some say that this is evidence that Barak is some kind of a ‘momma’s boy’, because he would not go to war without a woman. However, giftings of God have nothing to do with gender. Barak was not concerned about gender here. He was honoring the office and the anointing that was on this woman. Barak didn’t want to be in battle without the Prophet of God by his side! If you are not sure about this, go to Hebrews 11, where Barak is mentioned as a hero of faith. She prophesies that the battle will be won by a woman, then she goes with him, a beautiful picture of gender partnership. God did a miracle and wiped out the entire enemy army, except for their leader, Sisera. Sisera was killed by a very wise woman, named Jael. She dealt him a lethal blow. She is one of 5 women in the Bible that dealt their enemies lethal blows.” (J. Lee Grady)

“Villagers in Israel would not fight; they held back until I, Deborah, arose, until I arose, a mother in Israel. ‘Wake up, wake up, Deborah! Wake up, wake up, break out in song!’ ‘Arise, Barak! Take captive your captives, son of Abinoam.’ Most blessed of women be Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, most blessed of tent-dwelling women. He asked for water, and she gave him milk; in a bowl fit for nobles she brought him curdled milk. Her hand reached for the tent peg, her right hand for the workman’s hammer. She struck Sisera, she crushed his head, she shattered and pierced his temple. At her feet he sank, he fell; there he lay. At her feet he sank, he fell; where he sank, there he fell—dead.” (Judges 5:7, 12, 24-27; NIV)

Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:

  • Ask God to forgive the American Church for largely discounting the gift of the Holy Spirit in women who know Him. What great power the Church could have!
  • Ask the Lord to release revelation of the passages of scripture where women are called and anointed of God. We need to be done with this argument in the Church.
  • Declare, “The early Church very clearly understood that gifting came from the Holy Ghost and that none of that gifting was about our ability.”
  • Intercede for women to shake off fear, and societal and denominational traditions of men.
  • Say, “Women of God, rise up and be everything God has created you to be! Come alongside your brothers in Christ and war in the Spirit together until every enemy is routed form this land!”

A prayer you can pray:

God, forgive the Church of America! Half the army of God in this nation has their arms tied behind their backs—by the Church. “We are missing the boat in not empowering Christian women. We, the Church, have a challenge before us. The Holy Spirit in this hour in which we live is trying to get a message across that we must unlock the potential of our women. We must recognize that spiritual gifts do not come in pink and blue packages. When the Holy Spirit was poured out on the early Church, there were not pink flames on the women and blue flames on the men. The early Church very clearly understood that gifting came from the Holy Ghost and that none of that gifting was about our ability. It is something supernatural working on the inside of we jars of clay, male or female. Lord, You love to take even the weakest of those vessels and display Your power. We must train our women to become fearless, even as Deborah and Jael were.” We must train our men to understand how much they need the advantage of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in women. In man and woman together is the fullness of the Holy Spirit revealed! In that united strength is where the enemy is routed! The American Church needs this revelation! Do it, Jesus! Amen.

Today’s decree:

“Women, walk in your calling! There are some Kingdom assignments reserved for women!”

1 Learn more about J. Lee Grady here.

Jul 2019

The Brave, the Strong, the Proud, the Free

“In June of 1775, the Continental Congress created a unified army out of the revolutionary forces encamped around Boston and New York, and named after the great George Washington, Commander-in-Chief.

“The Continental Army suffered the bitter winter of Valley Forge, found glory across the waters of the Delaware, and seized victory from Cornwallis of Yorktown.

“At Fort McHenry, under the rockets’ red glare, it had nothing but victory. And when dawn came, their Star Spangled Banner waved defiant. 

“At Shiloh, Antietam, and Gettysburg, our soldiers gave the last full measure of devotion for the true unity of our nation and the freedom of all Americans.  

“In the trenches of World War One, an Army Sergeant named Alvin York faced an inferno of enemy fire and refused to retreat. He said, ‘I won’t leave. I won’t stop.’ He shot his rifle 18 times, killing 18 of the enemy. When they fixed bayonets and charged, he killed seven more. The entire German machine gun battalion surrendered because of one man, Alvin York.

“A generation later, the Army returned to Europe, and embarked upon a great crusade. With knives and rifles in hand, the Rangers scaled the cliffs of Normandy. The 101st Airborne leapt into the danger from above, illuminated only by enemy flares, explosions, and burning aircraft. They threw back the Nazi empire with lightning of their own, from the turrets of Sherman tanks and the barrels of the M1 rifle.

“Outnumbered, American warriors fought through the bunkers of Pork Chop Hill and held the line of civilization in Korea.

“In the elephant grass of Vietnam, the First Cavalry made its stand amid a forest consumed in flame, with enemies at every single turn.

“The Army brought America’s righteous fury down to Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and cleared the bloodthirsty killers from their caves.

“They liberated Fallujah and Mosul, and helped liberate and obliterate the ISIS caliphate, just recently, in Syria.  One hundred percent gone. 

“Through the centuries, our soldiers have always pointed towards home, proclaiming, ‘This We’ll Defend.’

“The future belongs to the brave, the strong, the proud, and the free. We are one people, chasing one dream, and one magnificent destiny.  We all share the same heroes, the same home, the same heart, and we are all made by the same Almighty God.” (President Donald J Trump; Salute to America)

“When you go out to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, is with you. When you are approaching the battle, the priest shall come near and speak to the people. He shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel, you are approaching the battle against your enemies today. Do not be fainthearted. Do not be afraid, or panic, or tremble before them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.’” (Deuteronomy 20:1-4; NASB)

Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:

  • Before you go on, declare this over yourself, then over the Body of Christ, “Hear, oh Church, you are approaching the battle against your enemies today. Do not be fainthearted. Do not be afraid, or panic, or tremble before them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.”
  • The United States is fighting or facing a number of potential battles. Some are with other nations, some are moral, and some are internal governmental power struggles. Ask the Lord to target your prayers to at least one of them. (We have given you some to consider below.) 
  • Start by saying, “This, we will defend! Show us how to intercede, Lord. This battle belongs to You!”
  • Physical battles: Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and others (click here for a current map.)
  • Where the enemy is threatening: Iran and North Korea.
  • Moral battles: abortion and the fight for Life, gender identity, racial division, other human sexuality/purity, drugs and the opiod epidemic, and pornography and sex-trafficking.
  • Political and governmental division and in-fighting, including hatred of President Trump, the crisis at the U.S. southern border, economics and the rise of socialism.

A prayer you can pray:

God, I declare, “Hear, oh Church, you are approaching the battle against your enemies today. Do not be fainthearted. Do not be afraid, or panic, or tremble before them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.” (Choose a topic from the list above. Let Holy Spirit touch your heart for at least one of these matters. Do research, if need be, so you are praying with insight and current information. Before you intercede, say, “This, I will defend! Show me how to intercede, Lord. This battle belongs to You!”)

Today’s decree:

“The Lord is fighting our nation’s battles. He will save America!”

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