Going To the Enemy’s Camp

That’s right, that’s where we are going but we are going prepared.  In unity we sing the old song, we are going to the enemy’s camp to take back what he took from me.  Sounds exciting until we go to battle against the enemy and see what we perceive as obstacles.  God said, “Be not afraid, only believe for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”  Warfare is messy business and many times the challenges are providing and demonstrating the love of God to those who don’t seem to deserve it.  If we are not fully prepared by having on the whole armor, we’ll be reeling on the battlefield like a drunken man.

God is calling all warriors to rally in unity for our struggling prodigals and the enemy is desperate to distract us. Rapidly fired demonic bullets of fear, worry, anxiety, frustration and anger can cause offense which wounds us terribly.  “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” (Ephesians 6:10-11).  Schemes, wiles, devices and tricks are tools the devil uses to  project his poisonous thoughts into our minds.  He suggest we do things his way instead of listening to and obeying the voice of God.  One way we hear the voice of God is through our conscience.  A Spirit filled conscience does not tell us to speak harsh words to or about our brothers and sisters.  It does not tell us to go out and rob a store or kill someone. No, that is the voice of the enemy projecting his thoughts onto us. By complaining and criticizing instead of thanking God during a trial, we allow the enemy free access in our lives. Vesta Mangun once said, “Anything you don’t bring before God for counsel, hell is authorized to counsel you about it.”

I read in Matthew chapter 18 where we are turned over to the jailer (tormentors) if we don’t forgive.  We are tormented daily by the video reel playing the offense over and over in our head until we repent.  I have experienced the darkness of jail several times in the past due to perceived insults and misunderstandings. I was hurt and in return hurt others. Through reading scriptures about offense and forgiveness, the Word washed me,  I came to my senses and realized I was in violation and had sinned against God by holding on to unforgiveness. God delivered me when I cried out for mercy.  I  also went to the people and ask them to forgive me.  I did this in order to obey the Word which says if you are offering your gift at the altar and  remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar.  First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.  By forgiving and asking God to order our steps, speech, attitudes and even our facial expressions, we are protected and victorious!

To remove wounds, we lay them on the altar of repentance and are cleansed, forgiven and God forgets. We speak His Word in faith, believing and problems disappear. We pray until every word that comes out of our mouth aligns with God’s Word. This is the will of God where signs, wonders and miracles operate.  This is where our prodigals are set free.

God bless and keep reaching for the prize of the high calling (what the Spirit is telling you to do) of Jesus Christ.

Praise Report:  We have five prodigals from the names in the vase who have come back to the altar. This is powerful! Let’s give God great praise.  If anyone has not put their prodigals’ names in the vase please send to our President Robert Thompson (Robert.thompson@azusastreetriders.com) and he will write the name out on paper and add to the prodigal vase.

Video from our President Robert Thompson:   Prodigals_4012

Chaplain Diane Beall, ASR National Ladies Chaplain

 

 

Worship Is More Than A Song

As Apostolics we are very familiar with the expression of worship and praise by declaring thanks (Hebrews 13:15), by clapping our hands and shouting (Psalm 47:1), by musical instruments and dancing (Psalm 150:4), by singing praise songs (Psalm 9:11), by psalms, hymns and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:19-20), by making a joyful noise (Psalm 98:4), by lifting our hands (Psalm 134:2), by being still (Psalm 4:3-5), 46:10), and by being loud (Psalm 33:3, 95:1-6). These beautiful acts of worship and praise elevate us into God’s presence, giving us power to overcome obstacles, walk in the miraculous and live a joyful life.

Dedication is the basis of commitment, without it we are not able to give God anything else. Committing our thoughts and emotions unto obedience to Christ shows our respect for Him. To obey Him willingly involves our intellect, emotions and will (Romans 12:1-2). Our body is to be dedicated as a living sacrifice to God. We are to avoid being conformed to the world, but must strive to be transformed by the Word. Only then can we discover God’s perfect will for our life.

Worship refers to the supreme honor given either in thought or deed to a person or thing. It is reverence, a deep respect, admiration and honor given to God. The Bible teaches us that God alone is worthy of worship (Revelation 4:11).

Worship is not just for Sunday morning church. We should daily live a life of obedience to and worship of God. The single most important act of worship for any Christian is to totally present ourselves to God as an obedient servant. Jesus’ dedication to God involved His body and mind, “Nevertheless, not my will but yours be done.” Our minds coordinate the actions to be executed by the body while the body carries out the will of God. Once the mind and body are completely devoted to God, we become instruments of righteousness by which His will is done in earth as it is in heaven. He chooses to use us to perform His Will.

Praise is an outward expression of faith. When we praise Him, we are telling Him that we believe He is there to protect, comfort and to do battle on our behalf. God wants us to be so dependent on Him that no matter what the circumstances we face, regardless of how dark the night, we know that God is working out all things for our good. He wants us to be confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in us will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

What is your default reaction when things don’t go your way, when the trials and tribulations of life surround you? Do you respond by worshipping God and thanking Him for the storm that draws you closer to Him or do you react by getting angry and/or withdrawing from God, sulking in the hurt and pain? Paul and Silas were arrested for casting a spirit of divination out of a girl. The local authorities beat them and threw them in jail. Beside the trauma of being beaten, they were chained in stocks and their arms and legs were essentially immobile which caused cramping and loss of circulation. It was truly a depressing atmosphere. Despite the throbbing pain and depressing circumstances, Paul and Silas were heard praying and singing praises to God. Suddenly there was an earthquake and it shook the prison. The doors opened wide freeing Paul, Silas and all the prisoners. Praise and worship are the keys to the miraculous. In times of suffering, we sometimes forget this powerful principle that Paul and Silas understood. God inhabits the praises of His People not the complaints.

Choose worship and praise. When a storm develops in our life, it is our responsibility to go out before the battle, to sing praises to God — to shout the victory! No negativity and grumbling allowed. When we worship and praise God, He will elevate us to new heights and give us greater revelation. The degree to which we worship God reflects the degree of His worth to us. Each morning when we wake, we should ask God what he would like for us to do during the day. Ask Him who can we speak life to; give hope to today. Plan your day by telling God, “As I prepare for this day, I appoint it to be used for Your glory. Everything that happens will be used for your purposes. Even the problems that happen will be appointed to be used for Your glory.” Not my will today God, but Your will be done.

Diane Beall,  ASR National Ladies Chaplain

Fasting Breaks Strongholds

Sincere Christians who have studied the scriptures understand the importance of prayer and fasting.  Our awareness of God can dim over time as we stuff ourselves with the cares of life. Fasting calls us to refuse our fleshly appetites and eat only on the pleasures of the Word of God.

There is a spiritual excitement and joy in God that far exceeds the pleasure of this world. Once we “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8), we are no longer slaves to our fleshly desires. When we commune with the One our soul longs for during prayer and fasting our faith in God increases as well as our desire for Him.

Fasting reveals our deepest need for God and the joy and pleasure we find in Him. It also reveals what we are slaves to and the strongholds we need to repent of and tear down.  Make a list of the things that separate you emotionally, spiritually, physically, socially, intellectually, and/or occupationally.  How do these 6 dimensions interfere with your fellowship with Christ?   Paul said, “all things are lawful but not profitable.

During fasting our minds quite down so that we can hear the still small voice of God above the chatter of worldly desires. Fasting creates an atmosphere of Faith in God for self-revival. Our desire for others to know of God’s goodness rises to the forefront of our minds.

What are the strongholds affecting your life?  What steals your time from prayer, fasting, reading the Word, fellowship with God and outreach?  By allowing a stronghold to become a part of your life, you have made an agreement with the enemy to set up his fortress under your roof.  Sometimes prayer alone is not sufficient to remove a stronghold. You certainly can’t fast a stronghold for a few days, return right back to it and expect to have power with God.  They are so deeply rooted that you need prayer and fasting to pluck them up and cast them off.

Fasting and Prayer prepares us to have joy through suffering.  We understand  that when we walk through terrible things, we don’t lose joy in Christ, for in His presence is fullness of joy.  It is only when we have completely died to self that the power of Christ is fully manifested.

Through fasting and prayer we can we find the same deep confidence and contentment in Christ that carried Him to the cross.  Through His strength we can face any trial or hardship.

Our church, Christian Life Center of Myrtle Beach, will begin the Daniel Fast February 3rd and end on Saturday of “Bind The Strong Man.” We ask that all join us at some point during the month in fasting and prayer for this service.

Fred and I are so excited for all who are able to attend “Bind The Strong Man.”   Anyone who has ever heard Bro. Hurt speak knows how rich and life-changing this service is going to be.