“What Should You Do If God Seems Silent Or Absent?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

silence 

What Should You Do If God Seems Silent Or Absent?”

Does it seem as if God has packed up, moved far away, and left no forwarding address for you?   Are you going through a painful situation and you are not sensing His presence, promptings or hearing His voice?  Have you been praying to The Lord and all that you’re getting back is “silence?”

I recently read in a newsletter the following words, “When you are going through something hard and wonder where God is remember, the teacher is always quiet during the test.”  

While that’s a cute and humorous saying, the truth of the matter is that many people believe “silence is painful when it comes to God in our lives.”  For it often leaves a person confused, agonizing with uncertainties entering into their minds and even wondering if God has completely abandoned them.

In 1st Kings Chapter 19, we read the story of the mighty Prophet Elijah.  He had just been used by God to perform a great miracle which resulted with the destruction of 450 false prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel.  But afterwards, when he received word that the wicked Queen Jezebel wanted to destroy his life, he fled away.  For he had complained about how he was being treated and began to think that God had now abandoned him by being silent.

Then in 1st Kings 19:10 NIV, Elijah cries out in sheer anguish, “I have been very zealous for the LORD God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

We see in this passage of Scripture that Elijah’s concerns were not true.  Elijah thought God was silent and that he was the only one left standing for The Lord. God, who is never silent, revealed to Elijah that He had an army waiting in the wings, ensuring Elijah that he was not alone.   In 1st Kings 19:18 God informed him “Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.”

God is NOT indifferent to the needs or the dangers that face His Children. He is always mindful of the tears and cries of His people.

If you’re not sensing or hearing God’s voice in your life, then the very first thing you must do is to examine your heart and make sure that the following sins are NOT in your life:

That you are not harboring secret sins, that you are not filled with anger, that you are not full of unbelief, and that you are not carrying grudges or walking in unforgiveness.   That you are not living a rebellious lifestyle or not following a rebellious spirit, that you don’t have the wrong image or portrait of God,  or that you’re not too busy to spend intimate quality time in God’s Word.

But, if you ARE living a prayer-less life instead of a prayerful life and if your love for the world is still greater than your love for God, then know that it’s time to repent and make changes in your heart.

Whenever it may appear that God is silent, HE NEVER IS.  What may look like silence or inactivity is just Our Lord working things out both inside of us and orchestrating in our affairs.  He’s then allowing you the opportunity and privilege to draw closer to Him and listen to “the still small voice” of The Holy Spirit.  Then you will receive a fresh revelation of His Love, Grace and Power as you STAND ON HIS WORD.

As you’re standing, don’t panic and be moved by what you see.  Standing is your statement of faith, even if you’re still under pressure that you believe God’s Word.  Standing means that you’ve set yourself to hold fast to the Word and Promises of God with the confidence that He will do what He said He would in His Word.

Yes, there’s always going to be times where we as believers will have to STAND IN FAITH, WALK IN OBEDIENCE AND ENDURE HARDSHIPS as we wait on The Lord. But rest in the assurance of His gracious promise, as declared in Hebrews 13:5, where He promised “I’ll never leave you nor forsake you.”

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

“Is There Any Such Thing As Being In The Wrong Place At The Wrong Time?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

wrong 2 

Is There Any Such Thing As Being In The Wrong Place At The Wrong Time?”

Suddenly, I was hit from behind by a young drunk driver as I was stopped at a red light this past Saturday morning while driving to my office.  It was 5:30 AM, still dark and very quiet, when I suddenly felt the impact.

I had been praising The Lord in song and worshiping up to that point, when I suddenly felt the impact of her vehicle from the rear.

As I slowly got out and walked to her car, I asked for her license and registration.  While she was heavily intoxicated, she kept murmuring, tried to argue and refused to comply.  As I quickly wrote down her front license plate number and dialed 911 to inform the police, she immediately sped off rapidly into the darkness, running the red light.

Within 2 minutes several police arrived and I informed them of her condition saying, “She’s either going to hit someone else or hurt herself.”    So, I quickly prayed and asked God to stop her from hurting any other people.

After completing police report, I left the scene and finally arrived at my office 10 minutes later.  The very moment I sat down at my desk, my telephone rang.  It was the police!  There had been another accident about a mile down the same street with the same young drunk driver and they asked me to come and identify her.

As I arrived at the scene, I observed that her car had been totally demolished.  Several police cars were at the scene and had blocked off the street because she had struck a light pole at a high rate of speed.  Amazingly, she appeared unhurt as the police officers were giving her different sobriety tests, which she all failed.

After providing a positive identification, giving a recorded statement and getting more documentation, I returned back to my office.  Still in shock about all of the early morning events, the damage to my car and the soreness I feeling, once again I began to converse with The Lord.

Unforeseen occurrences, tragic experiences, bad decisions, comical accidents,  bad luck, fate or negative chance encounters have all been explained in this world, in the natural, as “Being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

In John 16:33 NASB,  Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

While this world is filled with forces of darkness, misery, untold suffering and all other types of ungodly activity, as believers we still have “The favor of God in our lives.”

Though we as believers are exposed to a variety of calamities in this world,  I am fully convinced that nothing ever happens to us in this world that “catches God off guard.”

In Job 13:15, Job declared, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.”   Despite everything that had come against him, Job held on to his testimony.   Without any glimpse or appearance of hope in this world,  Job was yet determined to believe God for His intervention and eternal salvation.

When things come against you and you don’t understand why, are your eyes also fixed upon  Him?

I can only give Christ praise!  For in all things I recognize that He alone is my salvation, healer, deliverer, protector and much more. I can only rejoice, despite this incident, because His amazing grace had once again been demonstrated by the wonderful hand of God. 

 

“Why Don’t You Rise Up And Do Something That The Enemy Doesn’t Expect You To Do?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

courage 

Why Don’t You Rise Up And Do Something That The Enemy Doesn’t Expect You To Do?”

A surprise attack before dawn on MAY 10, 1775, gave America one of its first victories of the Revolutionary War.  Ethan Allen, who commanded the Green Mountain Boys of Vermont, captured Fort Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain.  Without suffering the loss of one man, they overran the British stronghold in the early morning, while the British troops were sleeping.

Rushing suddenly upon the enemy, Ethan Allen shouted: “In the Name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress we demand your immediate surrender.”  The British surrendered and were sent back to Great Britain.  Then three weeks later, in addressing the Massachusetts Congress, the joyous shout was, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

Amazing things can and will happen in our lives when we start looking to Jesus, trusting God, and rising up to go forward in faith.  “The Lord is our refuge and strength, a very present help in the time of trouble.”  (Psalms 46:1)

Too often, to keep you discouraged and procrastinating, Satan sends forth “the spirit of hopelessness and helplessness” to implant his lying thoughts to your mind to paint a vivid picture of gloom and doom before your eyes.  In speaking to your mind, Satan is trying to convince you “there’s absolutely no possible solution or any way out of your situation.”

By stealing away your hope today, Satan is trying to rob you of your future.  He knows that if you are experiencing hopelessness by keeping your eyes on yourself, your feelings and your present situation, you will be distracted from following God’s plan and purpose for your life.  Satan knows that you are covered by Christ’s blood atonement and does not want you to walk in the victory that is yours.  He is working overtime giving you pictures of mental defeat, financial destruction and a hopeless future. However, remember he IS a defeated foe!

God wants you to realize that the only situation that’s hopeless belongs to the Devil.  He is the defeated one, the liar, the deceiver, the thief, the manipulator, the destroyer, and might I add, “The loser!”  Satan’s unchangeable destiny is to be cast into The Lake of Fire!  Even NOW we, as believers, are given authority over him in Jesus’ name!  He is UNDER our feet!   So, how can the devil mess with your mind about your future, when Christ has already predicted and announced his?

Remember, whenever your outlook is not looking so good, “Try Looking UP!”  Depression is not a stage you go through, “IT IS AN ATTACK!”   Discouragement and depression can lead to a physical and spiritual breakdown.  It will immobilize you through frustrations and fatigue, and cause fear and bitterness.  It will have draining, damaging and paralyzing effects.  If you allow it to happen, your enthusiasm will dry up, and your conversation will become sour as you become dazed and engulfed in self-pity and grief.  However, The Holy Spirit of God has called you to be “more than a conqueror” through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:37)

Realize that you will completely surprise and anger the devil when you rise up in faith in the name of Jesus Christ and remind Satan of his place.  Satan knows the power within you, but does not expect that you know it, or will use it!

NO!  Satan thinks that you believe the thoughts he has implanted that tell you that you are defeated and finished. Therefore no matter how beat up or drained you might be feeling, realize that it’s time for you to fight back, stand up against those negative thoughts, and rise above circumstances, by praising God.  Know that you are NOT alone!

Stand on God’s Word, get before His Presence, learn who you are in Christ, be filled with His Holy Spirit and step out in faith!  Then you’ll find significance and value, break the bonds of demonic influence, overcome discouragement and depression, and break free from the stress, grief, anxiety and guilt that have been holding you prisoner.

Go join that prayer group and start interceding for others. Move out from your comfort zone and start sharing Christ with others in your community.  Start giving with a cheerful heart to your church or ministry and support of others.  Rise up and offend and attack the forces of darkness by doing whatsoever God has placed in your heart to do.

God has called you unto Himself, placed His Spirit inside of you, and now desires to work in you, through you, by you and with you.

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

“Are You Running To Win Or Just To Get By?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

winning

Are You Running To Win Or Just To Get By?

Problems do not change who you are; they reveal what you are. So regardless if you find yourself in a severe winter storm or blistering summer heat of life, you must adopt the mentality of an athlete and continue to persevere on your journey.

Hebrews 12:1 NIV says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

While observing the ancient Grecian games, which exercises or events consisted of running, wrestling, hand to hand combat and fighting, The Apostle Paul presented the allusion of the athletes in these games to believers on their Christian Journey.

In view of these events, the athletes had to take an oath that they had been in ten months of disciplined training and wouldn’t violate any of the regulations. Then they lived enduring rigorous exercise while experiencing painful exertion through cold and heat. Then they followed a strict diet of refraining from wine and certain foods, and lived a life of self-denial so that nothing could be left undone and prevent the winning of the crown.

Then once the events began, a great multitude of spectators, usually, occupied the circular seats in the amphitheater, from which they could easily observe all of the athletic events and cheer on their champions. In like manner, he revealed that the “stadium or our race” is our world and that we should be encouraged by the example of the multitudes who have run the same race before us, and who are possibly now looking down upon us from heaven, observing our conduct and seeing our conflicts, are cheering us on to victory.

However, then The Apostle places the Christian race in contrast to the games; in that only one can only receive the prize, though all participated. However, in the Christian race, all that run will receive the prize. So we are to run with purpose, not aimlessly, with such perseverance in the heavenly course to please God and get to heaven just like others do to obtain their earthly prize.

Now in order to diligently run, you are further instructed to put aside any type of weight or encumbrances that would slow you down or keep you from finishing or winning the race.

There’s always the present danger of yielding to fleshly desires, pampering the body, fulfilling its lusts or satisfying its appetites, dangers of pride, vanity, worldliness, or in having an ungovernable temper, a corrupt imagination, an insensible heart, or an unholy relationship. Whatever else it could be, we are advised and encouraged to lay it aside or cast it down.

Remove anything which can obstruct your progress and keep these dangers from impeding, overburdening, preventing, controlling or weighing you down so you may win the divine prize.

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

“Does The Devil Really Tremble When You Arise Every Morning?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

power

Does The Devil Really Tremble When You Arise Every Morning?”

Are you a threat to the kingdom of darkness? Are you in fellowship with Christ Jesus and being led by The Holy Spirit of God?  Are you a prayer warrior?  Are you living in obedience to God and His Word?  Are you filled with God’s Spirit and trying to advance to work of the ministry and Word of God?  Are you on Satan’s “Most Wanted List”?

If you have answered a joyous “YES” to all of the above questions, then you should be a living threat and terror to the forces of darkness and evil.   In your homes, on your jobs, schools, in your times of labor and your times of leisure, evil spirits can recognize Christ living within you, the anointing of The Holy Spirit, the authority of His Word and the faith that you have in God.

After performing a mighty miracle at sea, upon walking upon the shore, Jesus encountered a man possessed with many demonic spirits, living under some of the most despicable conditions around.

Then Mark 5: 6-8 NLT says, “When Jesus was still some distance away, the man saw him, ran to meet him, and bowed low before him.  With a shriek, he screamed, “Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In the name of God, I beg you, don’t torture me!  For Jesus had already said to the spirit, “Come out of the man, you evil spirit.”

First notice that the man bowed down before him.  This act of paying homage was an acknowledgment of His power and authority over the demonic spirits. Then using the vocal cords of this possessed man, one of the evil spirits screamed, expressing their great fear, horror and the dread of being cast out by The Son of God.

The story continues to inform us that the demonic spirit referred to themselves as “Legion, for we are many.” A legion of soldiers consisted of six thousand men or more so, what a multitude of demonic spirits that existed within this one poor wretched man.

After being cast out, there appears to be a torment or misery for these evil spirits just to roam around the earth.  Filled with hatred of God and perhaps envious of mankind, these evil spirits are striving to keep men apart from salvation from God, fellowship with Christ, walking in the authority of the Scriptures, being used of The Holy Spirit and spending eternity with God.

They are forever excluded from such, for their judgment has been pronounced, their doom has been sealed, their destruction is evident as the sentence of hell remains unchangeable, and there is no escape.

More importantly, as believers we must know and understand that Jesus did not perform any miracles or acts of deliverance until after He was baptized, and The Holy Spirit came upon Him. 

Then just before His arrest, He told His disciples about The Holy Spirit.  He told them that they should receive power and even do greater works because of The Holy Spirit in their lives.

Without The Holy Spirit, in our own physical or mental strength, we are no match against our spiritual enemies, but in Christ we have the power of God and His might.  Then we are enabled to not only withstand, but take authority over all the power of the enemy, even though there may be legions of them.

Therefore, the forces of darkness tremble when they see Jesus Christ in us, who is stronger than all of them.  Remember that Satan is a created but fallen being which has a multitude of created but fallen beings that report to him.  They are not all-powerful or all-knowing, and are not equal with God or Christ.

Believers are not to be intimidated by the forces of darkness because they are a defeated foe, which were disarmed and rendered powerless by the resurrected Christ.  

Therefore, let your prayers forever glorify God, stand in the authority of His Word, walk in His love towards others and be not afraid as you step out everyday in the mighty wonderful name of Jesus Christ.

“Standing Through The Storms In Life Through Faith In God”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

standing tall 

Standing Through The Storms In Life Through Faith In God

Years ago I received an emergency call from a family in my church and immediately left my job as I rushed to the hospital.  The pregnant wife’s family was being informed that due to her sudden severe illness, the possibility of her carrying the baby to full term was in jeopardy, and even if the infant did survive, the baby would be born with severe retardation.  So, they were recommending terminating the pregnancy.

As their pastor, I was allowed into the intensive care ward and quickly taken to her room.  She had been sedated and was being given other needed medications as she was being cared for.  So I quietly stood along her bedside and began to call upon THE GREAT PHYSICIAN, The Lord Jesus Christ.

I already knew Him as a doctor, but could I believe that He wouldn’t lose this case?  As I sensed His Presence, I realized Christ never cares about your previous medical history, doesn’t look at medical charts, doesn’t care about the diagnosis, isn’t concerned how you got to this place, and doesn’t even review your X-rays.  I had long discovered that when things even appear hopeless, There’s Always His Grace, so I prayed.

As I prayed, I tenderly held her hand.  Then knowing her heart, even while she slept from the medication, I entered into an agreement before God to believe Him for the birth of a healthy baby and the healing of this mother and her life.  I took authority over the condition, the sickness, and the circumstances, all in the mighty name of Jesus ChristI fully believed and confessed that when Jesus hung on that cross, He died that she and her baby would live.  I quoted scriptures over her and I prayed with such fervency until my clothes were drenched with perspiration.

I firmly stood on John 15:7 where Jesus Christ said, “If you abide in me and my words abide in you, then you shall ask what you will and it shall be done unto you.”

Any believer in Christ who has engrafted God’s Word into their heart, should have no will that is not in harmony with the Divine Will of God.  Upon realizing their union or relationship with Christ, every believer should be charged with His thoughts, burning with His purposes, and allowing His Words to control or affect their lives.

I prayed according to God’s promises in His Holy Word and stood in faith that not only would He do what He said, but that it was already done through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Then after embracing and encouraging her family, I went home.

This family had a major decision to now make.  Would they believe in The Lord that I represented and that a few of them had come to personally know?  Would they believe in the words and encouragement of their pastor from the Holy Bible?

As a young pastor, I had come to know the extreme importance of knowing Christ, believing in The Power of God through prayer, and the importance of giving good biblical and spiritual counseling as I looked to the Lord.

That Sunday morning I preached, telling the church that “often God expects us to believe Him and His Word without any outward sign or evidence apart from faith in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”  

No matter how dark, dismal, or discouraging our situation may seem to be, we are instructed and encouraged to have faith in God.  Everything is predicated on what God has already done for us through Jesus Christ.  The Lord wants us to believe and have faith in Him despite our surroundings and what they dictate to us.  We are to be open to the voice of The Holy Spirit of God for further direction.

That family stood in faith.  They believed in the God that I had taught them about and they looked to Jesus Christ.  Several weeks later, that mother gave birth to a very healthy strong baby boy, and over the years I watched him grow throughout childhood. 

That mother didn’t know that I had come into her room and prayed like I did.  While she was later told of my visitation and prayer, I jokingly teased her that I had to buy a new suit because I never had prayed before where my suit had become so drenched that it couldn’t even be cleaned.  We all laughed as we were filled with great joy and gave God the glory.

As a further result of this, the majority of her family came to church.  Some members of her family came who had never darkened the doorway of a church before in their lives.  Many came to Christ and began reading the Bible for the first time.

There’s Nothing Too Hard For God To Do, but the issue at stake is, “Will You Trust Him And Believe In His Word?”

 

“Will You Allow God To Bring You Out?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

Jonah 1

 “Will You Allow God To Bring You Out?”

Jonah’s deliverance is more than a mere example of God’s power being expressed over all the creatures of the earth.  It’s a wonderful expression of our Lord hearing the distressful prayers of His children and a demonstration of His mercy and grace to those that trust in Him, regardless  of what you are experiencing.

Jonah 2:10 NIV says, “And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.”

Jonah’s experience reveals that it doesn’t matter how you got where you are, what you have done, how long you have done it, or the severity of the darkness, God has to power to bring you out.

It is time for all people to learn and remember, who is in charge of our circumstances, who is orchestrating behind the scenes and who is working events out for His will and glory.

The Prophet Jonah’s rebellious attitude and actions had brought him to a place of low degree.  After being swallowed alive and imprisoned in the belly of this great fish, Jonah prayed and God heard his cries.

Is your experience in the belly of the whale financial hardship?  Is it marital struggles or family division?  Is it an unexpected illness or from an unforeseen tragic accident?  Is it a result of any type of disobedience? 

Repentance, drawing closer to God, surrendering to the leading of The Holy Spirit will always produce have dramatic affects in your life and circumstances.  God then commanded this great creature of the deep and under His Almighty influence, this fish ejected Jonah out onto the dry ground of Nineveh.

All things must yield to His will and word of God, so even this creature of the deep could no longer retain Jonah in its belly.

While Jonah’s deliverance is a type of our Lord’s resurrection from the dead on the third day, it’s a glorious example of God’s divine love and power.  If God then brought Jonah up from the belly of the great fish and resurrected His Son from the belly of the grave, why should you think it difficult or impossible for The Lord to bring deliverance to you?

There are NO adverse circumstances, negative situations, painful conditions or damnable demonic attacks that can withstand or resist the authority of God’s commands.

Through all of our bad experiences, as we draw closer to The Lord, there are great lessons that we too must learn.  While experience is a teacher, you must not allow it to become your undertaker.   Therefore, call upon The Lord and place your confidence in Him.

Upon Jonah’s ejection from his imprisonment  in the vile darkness of the whale’s belly, he immediately began to preach and testify of God.  His persuasion, influence, message and exhortation was so great that within 40 days, all Nineveh repented and turned unto The Lord.

What was your experience as you reflect back and remember what God has brought you through?  Is your life currently bearing testimony of the goodness and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ?

 

“Are You Aware That God Grants You The Power To Go On?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

never give up

Are You Aware That God Grants You The Power To Go On?”

As I sat in church yesterday, gazing around the assembly, this wonderful couple suddenly caught my attention.  As my eyes  became fixed upon their smiling and radiating faces during worship, The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said, “They are trusting Me for the power to go on.”

As I meditated on His Words, I began to reflect upon their severe struggles and tragic experiences:  Their two young children were killed in a plane crash, then later the wife suffered a massive stroke, leaving her with a length period of hospitalization and physical therapy.   As she’s trying to regain and manage her ability to walk and maneuver, she received more bad news from her doctor, the diagnosis of cancer and is now undergoing chemotherapy.

Her faithful and loving husband, has never left her side other than to attend church services, then he would immediately return back to her bedside.   Once she was able to come to church, being pushed in a wheelchair, her husband lovingly ushers her in to be blessed by The Word of God and loved on by the other saints in the church.

This wonderful couple is one of the “unsung heroes of faith.”  For through it all, they have not lost their faith and are still looking to Jesus Christ as their Lord.

Many people think that they have reasons to complain or find fault with God because of adverse circumstances, negative situations or painful conditions.  But, we must learn to trust God daily for our strength, provisions, His intervention and His Grace.

Suddenly, I remembered the Old Testament story about King Asa….

2 Chronicles 14: 11 NLT says, “Then Asa cried out to the LORD his God, “O LORD, no one but you can help the powerless against the mighty!  Help us, O LORD our God, for we trust in you alone. It is in your name that we have come against this vast horde. O LORD, you are our God; do not let mere men prevail against you!”

King Asa, David’s great-grandson, was sitting on the throne of Judah. Because he had eliminated idolatry from within Judah, God gave the land peace.  Suddenly, after many years of peace, a foreign army, which was greater in numbers and equipment rose up and came against them.

After he set his troops in order, he fell down on his knees and prayed to God.  Asa’s prayer contained the essence of a believer’s attitude whenever threatening dangers or conflicts arise in our lives. 

While Asa’s prayer is short, his cries are the real language of faith and reveal his expectation from God.  No matter what life throws at us or the devil brings against us, we must trust God to be our refuge and rest in Him and the promises of His Word.   Often we must endure a variety of hardships while standing, but we must continue to look and depend on our Lord.

While we may not be able to always choose what will happen to us in life, we always are in control of the attitude that we will take towards the things that do happen.

King Asa chose to never give up and God intervened.  And just like the earlier couple in this report, against all odds, they are still standing in faith on God’s Word, trusting God for their daily strength, enduring many different hardships, taking it one day at a time, while yet rejoicing in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Never give up on trusting in God.  Allow Christ to grant you the power to go on, for His Grace is more than sufficient to see you through.

 

“Are You As Close To The Lord As You Should Be?”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

home 

Are You As Close To The Lord As You Should Be?”

What is it that is keeping you distant from Him or from doing His will?  Past disappointments?  Unanswered prayers?  Things not turning out the way you’d hoped or planned?   Confusion, hurt, anger, or grief?  Sin?

What you don’t realize is that Christ knows more about you and your circumstance than even you do.

Are you aware that your cure, inner healing, answers, comfort, forgiveness, deliverance and strength will all come as you draw closer to Him?

Luke 15:20 NIV says, “So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”

In this familiar illustration, the son had “messed-up” just like so many of us have time and time again.  No doubt, just like so many of us, rather than drawing closer to God and allowing Him to make “sense out of our non-sense,” we keep going. While we keep struggling to “save face” by continuing to handle matters ourselves,  the pit grows deeper and our misery escalates even more out of control.

Then like the prodigal son, suffering, sadness and despair brings many to the place of realization that where they are is not the father’s will for their lives.

So even though he was ashamed and was being driven by his needs, he arose, shook off the effects from being with the swine and started his journey home.

Now, it doesn’t matter if you are a great distance away and it’s been years since you’ve thought about God or if you’re just not as close to Him as you need to be as you’re struggling to make it in life.

The beauty in the parable, which Jesus Himself told, of the prodigal son was of the father’s wonderful reaction and exciting love as he saw his son coming to him.   The father had been hoping and watching for his son’s return and once he caught a brief glimpse of him, he ran towards him to love on him.

The father did not concern himself with what had happened in his son’s life or the misery that had overtaken him, HE LOVED HIM and only showed His compassion towards his returning son. Then the father unexpectedly but wonderfully threw a large reception to celebrate the occasion.

Though wretched, improvised, beat-down, emaciated and hungry, when the father saw his son, he ran towards him and met him in love with arms wide open.

Now, the hunger that is in your heart for God and the need for His divine intervention in your life are enough to bring you to Him. 

Be like the prodigal son and set you eyes towards Your Father.  Do not confer with flesh and blood, do not listen to discouragement from others.  COME HOME!!!   DRAW CLOSER TO HIM!!!

Know that you’re out of place not being with Him, close to Him, filled with His Spirit or being led by Him.

Forget about your circumstances or what you’ve gotten yourself into,  TURN TO CHRIST!!!  You will not have a cold reception because He is looking and has made provisions for your return.

He is ready to shower you with His love, forgiveness and amazing grace.  And that is just the very beginning.

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!

“Don’t Lose What You’ve Got!”

Today’s Daily Devotional from Pastor Andrew Bills

God note

Don’t Lose What You’ve Got!”

Due to a variety of reasons, so many that have started out walking with God have left their first love (Christ Jesus) by allowing their faith to become shipwrecked through disappointments, temptations, deceptions or lies.

The Apostle John encourages believers to remain vigilant, watchful and stay on course against all the different deceptive attempts to distract and lure the heart’s of believers away trusting God.

Trials, tribulations, temptations, sorrows and disappointments are only part of this earthly life, but believers must remember that God has a lengthy and faithful history of saving, delivering, healing, protecting and providing for his people no matter what the temptations, obstacles, challenges or impossibilities.

Our Christian faith is solely predicated on what Christ did on Calvary’s cross and through His Resurrection from the dead.  As believer’s, we are partakers of His Divine Nature because His Spirit resides within us, but we have a responsibility to guard our minds and hearts against Satan and all his devices.

The Apostle John firmly declares in 2 John 1:8 (NLT) which says, “Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked so hard to achieve. Be diligent so that you receive your full reward.”

Deceivers come in many different shapes, genders, colors and sizes.  One such deceiver was named Delilah.

Samson was the 13th Judge in Israel, and The Spirit of The Lord mightily used him, empowering him with supernatural physical strength.  As long as Samson remained faithful to the vow of not letting a razor cut his hair, God mightily used him to defeat the enemy of Israel.  Samson’s power was not his hair; IT WAS THE LORD, but his hair only symbolized his commitment or vow to God.

While Samson had the power to conquer the Philistines, he lacked the power to overcome fleshly temptation, so Satan used Delilah’s lap to give Samson a “haircut in the wrong barbershop.”  (Read the entire 16th chapter of Judges)

For 1100 pieces of silver from Israel’s enemies, Delilah seduced and pressed Samson daily until he exposed his heart and revealed his secret to her.  (Judges 16: 16-17) 

Then in the 20th verse it says, “And The Lord departed from him.”  It was not God’s will for Samson’s mission, calling, career and his efforts to end like they tragically did.

The enemy took him, blinded him, enslaved him, ridiculed him, publicly humiliated him and laughed at God.  Even though The Lord was forgiving and gracious enough to allow Samson’s hair to regrow and strength to return for one final victory over the enemy at his death, Samson’s story should inspire believers everywhere to ”be on your guard and don’t throw your confidence away!” 

Don’t lose what you’ve been given and achieved!  Keep you heart secured in Christ and don’t allow yourself to become exposed to dangerous people or deceptive devices and methods.

The way to our reward is to abide in God’s Word and let the love of Christ Jesus abide in and through us.  Clinging to the Word of God not only keeps you in fellowship with Christ but sets faith ablaze within your heart and allows you to operate in the power of The Holy Spirit.

THEREFORE, HAVE FAITH IN GOD!