The assignment of the spirit of depression is to silence you. Let me reiterate that point. The purpose of the spirit of depression is to silence you. Conversely, the purpose of the spirit of faith is to encourage you to speak.
June 12, 2023
The assignment of the spirit of depression is to silence you. Let me reiterate that point. The purpose of the spirit of depression is to silence you. Conversely, the purpose of the spirit of faith is to encourage you to speak. Therefore, speaking is the manifestation of the spirit of faith. I believed and I spoke, as the spirit of faith prompts us to do. The spirit of depression seeks to silence you, but I choose to embrace the spirit of faith. So, let us speak. God is good. I just want to emphasize the importance of our posture as we stand in the presence of the living God, who is holy. The Bible attests to this fact in various accounts.
Throughout the Bible, there are numerous accounts of people encountering God and being overwhelmed by His holiness and awe-inspiring presence, causing them to fall. Even though you are in different physical locations, it is essential to recognize the significance of God’s presence. His presence is manifested through His words. As the word is spoken, you will experience His presence. However, it is crucial to align the posture of your heart with the posture of your body. In the Bible, Paul never mentions praying while he was sleeping; he emphasizes bowing his knees while he prayed. The posture of your body can influence the posture of your heart. So, make sure your body posture reflects attentiveness.
The Psalms mention that people have limited God, but the truth is, God is limitless. It’s amusing to think that mere humans can impose limitations on an infinite being. Therefore, it’s important to remind yourself to remove any self-imposed limits. We believe in a supernatural God who is capable of accomplishing anything—nothing is beyond His reach. Nike coined the phrase, “impossible is nothing,” but that sentiment truly applies to God. Nothing is impossible for Him. It goes without saying that nothing is impossible for God, as it is simply a matter of common sense. However, when you enter into a partnership with God, you discover that nothing is impossible when you have Him by your side. So, with God, nothing is impossible for you.
Today, I want to discuss the topic of shame, although it wasn’t originally part of my prepared content. Specifically, I would like to delve into how one can overcome feelings of shame.
2 Timothy 1:7 – For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
This is a widely recognized and frequently quoted verse, particularly among Christians. It states that God has not bestowed upon us a spirit characterized by fear, but rather one filled with power, love, and soundness of mind. Now, you might be wondering why I am addressing fear when the topic is shame. The reason is that fear serves as the root cause, while shame manifests as the resulting fruit.
Fear is the root, Shame is the fruit.
2 Timothy 1:8 – Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God.
Fear is the underlying source of all shame, as highlighted in verse eight. Therefore, it admonishes us not to feel ashamed of the testimony about our Lord. In this passage, Paul addresses his spiritual son, Timothy, emphasizing that one must never be ashamed of Jesus and should not feel shame in association with himself. It is important to note that shame stems from fear. In fact, verse seven states explicitly that God has not bestowed upon us a spirit of fear. Fear is not a divine gift; it originates from the devil. Hence, if fear is something unwelcome, one should simply refuse to accept it.
You are not obligated to accept everything that comes your way or open every door when it is knocked upon. It is essential to discern what you are being presented with. If it is something undesirable, you have the choice to reject it. The spirit we receive is not arbitrary; the spirit of fear, in particular, is not bestowed upon us by God but rather by the devil. Therefore, if you identify fear as the offering, refrain from accepting it. In fact, the passage affirms that God grants us the spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. This signifies that for every assault launched by the devil, God equips us with three-fold strength, love, and clarity to combat the challenges. Therefore, when the devil tries to burden you with the spirit of fear, remember that God blesses you with the spirit of power, love, and a sound mind.
If God has given you something that is powerful enough to defeat the devil, being from God, it surpasses any inferior reality. Therefore, when you receive something from a superior reality, it is sufficient to overcome whatever comes against you from an inferior reality. Remarkably, God provides you not with just one, but three things: the spirit of power, the spirit of love, and the spirit of sound mind. With these gifts, there is no reason for you to convince yourself that you are defeated. God has fully equipped you with the spirit of power, the spirit of love, and the spirit of sound mind. Embrace this truth and have faith.
This is the second letter that Paul is writing to Timothy, penned from a prison cell. Timothy finds himself in a situation where fear and shame seem justifiable. To understand Timothy’s story, it is important to recognize that he served as the senior pastor of the largest megachurch in Ephesus. Historical accounts indicate that the church boasted an impressive membership of around a hundred thousand believers—a truly remarkable number. However, Timothy’s era was marked by severe persecution instigated by the government, a new development in Christian history. Previously, Christians faced religious persecution from their Jewish brethren, but governmental opposition was a novel challenge. This persecution first emerged under the reign of King Nero.
To grasp the historical context, it is crucial to comprehend the nature of King Nero. He was infamous for his erratic behavior and was even referred to as “the beast” due to his animalistic tendencies. Nero audaciously claimed divinity and, astonishingly, ascended to the throne of the Roman Empire at a tender age of 17. Entrusting such power to an adolescent resulted in an inflated ego that knew no bounds. Nero’s madness reached such depths that he was rumored to have murdered his own mother.
Nero had an inflated sense of self, believing himself to be a remarkable musician and poet. In the realm of Indian cinema, he could be likened to a “Thesuperstar” who possessed extraordinary talents across various domains. Nero’s performances were grand spectacles, commanding the attention of massive crowds. Anyone daring to leave while he performed faced severe consequences, including death. Consequently, attendees were compelled to endure his entire performance. Remarkably, I recently discovered a tale recounting a pregnant woman who found herself in one of Nero’s concerts. Unable to leave, she ended up giving birth right there, amidst the captivating yet oppressive atmosphere.
You can truly grasp the prevailing atmosphere of fear during that time. King Niro possessed a peculiar notion that he, being a self-proclaimed great architect, should demolish the old Rome and reconstruct it entirely from the ground up. He presented this audacious plan to his senate and ministers, declaring his belief in its greatness. However, their reaction was one of disbelief and concern. “Are you out of your mind?” they exclaimed. “We cannot permit you to destroy our homes, burn our dwellings, and start anew.” Despite their objections, King Niro remained resolute in his determination. He dispatched his servants to carry out his orders, resulting in the complete conflagration of the entire city within a single day. Countless lives were lost, leaving behind only ruins and debris. In an attempt to divert attention and shift blame, as many governments do, King Niro scapegoated the Christians. He accused them of being responsible for the devastation, propagating falsehoods about their beliefs and practices, claiming they were followers of another king and engaged in cannibalistic rituals involving the consumption of flesh and blood.
It was indeed the Christians who were unjustly blamed for the devastating fire that consumed Rome. This accusation marked the beginning of a period of immense persecution against them, characterized by brutal acts such as being torn apart by lions, burned at the stake, and subjected to various forms of torture. The level of persecution they endured is truly unimaginable. Amidst this hostile environment, Timothy served as a pastor in Ephesus, a thriving city within the Roman Empire. Ephesus was known for its prosperity and bustling activity. Leading a megachurch in such circumstances meant that embracing the Christian faith became a choice of life or death, far from a convenient or easy decision. It is important to understand that one’s faith is truly revealed when tested by the fires of adversity, for it is in the midst of trials that one’s character and conviction become evident. Fire, in a metaphorical sense, has the power to expose the true nature of one’s faith.
During this time, the faithful Christians faced a grave threat as many of them were being killed for their beliefs. Unfortunately, there were also those who had merely aligned themselves with the Christian faith for personal reasons, and when confronted with the dangers and persecution, they swiftly renounced their association with Christianity. The atmosphere was suffused with insecurity, shame, and fear, and as a young leader of a declining church, Timothy undoubtedly experienced these emotions acutely. For any pastor, witnessing a congregation dwindle in numbers is disheartening. The joy that comes with the growth of a church is contrasted by the pain of witnessing people abandon their faith in large numbers. To illustrate the magnitude of such a situation, there is a well-known account of another pastor, who had a congregation of 5,000 individuals. Just imagine the sheer size and influence of such a congregation. However, in a single day, more than 4,900 people chose to leave. The name of that pastor is Jesus. This example serves to highlight the challenges faced by leaders when their churches experience rapid decline and the emotional toll it takes on them.
He was left with only twelve people. Jesus glanced at his disciples and asked, “Do you also wish to leave?” In times of adversity, when challenges arise and the heat intensifies, it is through fire that our faith is tested and revealed. Thus, it is understandable that Timothy feels apprehensive and fearful. Uncertainty looms over him, unsure if he will lose his life. Additionally, he grapples with the responsibility of leading those who stand by him. In response to this, Paul reminds us that God has not bestowed upon us a spirit of fear but rather a spirit of power, love, and soundness of mind.
In that sense, we are fortunate that our lives have not forced us to face the choice between life and death based on our belief in Jesus. However, allow me to share something with you: Believing in Jesus is indeed a matter of life and death. This truth is emphasized by Paul in the book of Ephesians, chapter six, where he explains that our struggle is not against mere human beings, but against the spiritual forces of darkness. To comprehend the significance of this wrestling, it is essential to consider the perspective of the Greek and Roman cultures. Their understanding of wrestling vastly differed from our contemporary portrayal. Unlike the staged performances we often witness, their wrestling matches involved real and intense combat, where individuals would fight until one of them met their demise.
It was indeed a brutal and savage form of wrestling in those times. The matches knew no bounds or rules, allowing contenders to employ gruesome tactics such as gouging their opponent’s eyes with their thumbs, breaking their bones, and inflicting severe injuries. There were no referees to intervene and dictate what was permissible. Wrestling was a relentless struggle for survival, a battle of life and death. Thus, when Paul addresses his fellow Christians, urging them to recognize that their struggle is not against mere human beings but against the powers and principalities of darkness, they comprehend the gravity of the situation. They understood that the principalities they fought against were determined to jeopardize their very lives. Therefore, it is crucial to acknowledge that the devil, who disrupts your life with headaches, offenses, and stress, has an ulterior motive behind these challenges. His objective is not simply to afflict you with these hardships but to accomplish something far more sinister.
His ultimate motive is indeed to bring about your destruction. The devil seeks to steal, kill, and utterly annihilate your life. It is crucial to recognize that his objectives extend far beyond mere inconveniences that may last a few hours. He is not merely seeking to inconvenience you; he is aiming to end your existence. However, by the grace of God, we have been empowered to withstand and overcome the destructive forces of the devil. While we may perceive these challenges as inconveniences, we should not underestimate their gravity. Instead of merely managing and attempting to minimize their impact, we must actively engage in fighting and rebuking the devil. It is vital to understand that the devil’s intention is not limited to causing inconveniences but rather to bring about the complete destruction of your life.
Do not attempt to manage or accommodate fear and shame in your life. Instead, confront and rebuke them once and for all. Do not allow yourself to become complacent by dismissing these issues with statements like, “It’s just fear” or “It’s just shame.” Such an approach may seem convenient, but ask yourself, how effective is it truly working for you? Avoiding conversations about shame or neglecting to address it will not lead to genuine healing and transformation. Similarly, don’t ignore important aspects of your well-being, such as checking your sugar levels. It is crucial to take proactive steps to rebuke the devil and overcome these challenges. I am reminded of the words God spoke to Cain in Genesis, asking him why he was upset and reminding him that if he did what was right, his sacrifice would be accepted. God warned him about sin knocking at his door and urged him not to let it overpower him but to overcome it. In 1 John 5:4, it is stated that those who are born of God are conquerors of the world, and faith is the key to victory. The moment you accepted Jesus, you were called an overcomer. Heaven sees you as such, so do not live a defeated life. If your name is Shanti, live up to the meaning of peace. And if you are called an overcomer, embrace that identity and live like one.
When you walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, you have the ability to conquer fear and shame. These negative emotions can only persist in your life as long as you continue to manage and tolerate them. However, by embracing the power of the Holy Spirit, you can overcome these hindrances. Before I share three keys with you, let me read a couple of verses that affirm this truth.
2 Corinthians 3:17 – Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
This means that in the presence of the Holy Spirit, you experience true liberation.
Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
This verse declares that in God’s presence, there is abundant joy.
Psalms 91:1 – Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
Exodus 33:14 – The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Genesis 39:2 -The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered
I am presenting these words to you with the intention of persuading you. My objective is to convince you of the advantages that come with experiencing the presence of God. If you embrace the spirit of God, it brings numerous benefits to your life. Amen. Where the spirit of the Lord resides, freedom follows, and where the spirit of the Lord exists, there is an abundance of joy. In the presence of the Lord’s spirit, protection from all evil is granted, and prosperity can be found. Rest can also be attained. You can enjoy these benefits by living in the presence of God through His spirit. Undoubtedly, these advantages are remarkable. May I share something with you?
The presence of God is not invoked solely through worship. Before I clarify, let me give you reference.
John 15:7 – If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
The way to abide in God is by allowing His words to abide in us. The presence of God is accompanied by His words. It is the word of God that unleashes His presence. Now, why is worship important? Worship serves as a gateway to hearing God’s word. Worship is like preparing the ground, which represents our hearts, to receive the seed that will bear fruit in our lives. If the seed is the word of God, our hearts are the soil. Worship prepares the soil. It is a preparatory act. This is why we prioritize worship before receiving the word, because worship opens our spiritual senses to receive God’s word. Through the spoken word of God, we encounter and experience His presence, as the spirit of God resides in His word. Since God is spirit, worship holds significance. The first key to living a lifestyle of worship is to truly embrace it. Live a life immersed in worship because it paves the way for your heart to receive God’s word. Worship serves as a gateway.
Worship is not primarily centered around music or songs. In fact, it is not reliant on them at all. While music can serve as a catalyst for worship, it plays a minor role in the essence of worship. The core of worship lies in sacrifice. Let us acknowledge the significance of sacrifice.
Romans 12:1 – Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Worship devoid of sacrifice holds no true meaning. Sacrifice is at the heart of worship, as it has the power to open our hearts. When we offer something as a sacrifice to the Lord at the altar, it opens our hearts to receive God’s word. Yes, sacrifice is essential in worship.
You’re absolutely right. Offense can indeed hinder our ability to receive God’s word. There is a story in the Bible where Jesus returned to his hometown, and it is mentioned that he could not perform many miracles there, except for healing a few sick people. Now, you raise an interesting question: Isn’t healing the sick considered a miracle? Yet, the author states that Jesus couldn’t perform many miracles. However, upon studying the word “sick” in the Greek, it becomes evident that it refers to those who were in a coma, as coma patients cannot experience offense.
People who are paralyzed cannot experience offense. We can appreciate this as a testament to God’s grace. Jesus was able to heal them because they were not burdened by offense. However, those who were offended in that place were unable to receive the power of God, as offense hinders our ability to accept God’s work. Offense brings dishonor and stifles the heart, impeding our reception of God’s message. On the other hand, sacrifice has the power to open our hearts. Worship is an act of sacrifice, wherein we offer something dear and valuable. Through such sacrifice, we awaken our spiritual senses, recognizing the gravity of the situation at hand, understanding that it is a matter of life and death.
When you come to church and willingly give away everything you have in your wallet, not knowing how you will make it back, your spiritual senses become heightened. Every aspect of your spiritual being becomes receptive as you earnestly seek to hear from God. It is in those moments when there seems to be no other source of hope that the power of sacrifice becomes apparent. There is something remarkable about sacrifice; it has the ability to unlock our hearts and create a deeper connection with the divine. Worship itself is an act of sacrifice. Allow me to share a story about David. When he presented offerings to the Lord, he proclaimed, “I will not offer anything that does not cost me.” This attitude of giving without reservation or concern for personal gain illustrates the profound impact of genuine sacrifice.
Your sacrifice should indeed carry a significant cost, regardless of what holds importance to you. It is through this sacrificial offering that you truly demonstrate your devotion. Giving should not be a comfortable or effortless act; there should be a slight pang in your heart as you part with something valuable. This is the essence of genuine sacrifice. It may seem contradictory to our desire to be compassionate individuals, but allow me to share a thought-provoking story involving Jesus.
In the setting of the temple courts, Jesus observed an elderly woman as she contributed her two small coins to the offering. This account challenges our conventional understanding of compassion. Notably, Jesus was attentively observing the amount that individuals were giving. While it may seem surprising or even contrary to our perception of compassion, this story serves as a reminder that our actions and intentions are known to Him. It encourages us to reflect on the sincerity of our offerings, reminding us that even our smallest contributions hold significance in the eyes of God.
Jesus observes our giving and acknowledges its significance. After witnessing a woman’s offering, Jesus exclaims, “See, what she has done is far greater than what these wealthy Pharisees have done. They have given out of their abundance, but she has given out of her poverty.” Some may question why Jesus doesn’t intervene and reassure her, saying, “It’s alright, God understands. You can return home.” However, Jesus refrains from doing so because he comprehends the power of sacrifice. What may appear as sacrifice in the present moment is not merely a sacrifice, but rather an investment in the kingdom.
Sacrifice is often perceived as an act without returns, whereas investment implies expecting something in return. However, when it comes to the kingdom, we should view our actions not as sacrifices but as investments. In the moment, it may feel like we are sacrificing, and we may find comfort in thinking that we are sacrificing for the kingdom. Yet, we fail to recognize that it is actually an investment with abundant returns. Even if these returns are not solely financial blessings, which they often are, the moment we sow that seed of sacrifice, we immediately reap a spiritual harvest. Our spiritual being becomes more attuned to God, allowing us to experience a deeper level of worship and prayer. So, if you find yourself feeling spiritually dry, unable to worship or pray, I encourage you to bring your sacrifice to Jesus. When you lay your life on the line and offer everything to Him, your spiritual essence comes alive. Worshiping through sacrifice should come at a cost, and it should not be a matter of convenience. Embrace the understanding that it will require something from you.
The value of our offering is not determined by the monetary amount we give, but by its impact on our hearts. God is not concerned about our money; He cares about our hearts. However, our hearts are often reflected in our wallets, which is why God takes notice. Money itself does not benefit Him, but He knows that someone who willingly offers their heart to Him can be transformed. And if He can transform a heart, He can transform an entire city. The kingdom does not require money; it requires transformed hearts. Transformed hearts change cities. Worship is an act of sacrifice, and sacrifice necessitates a cost. Are we blessed in return? Absolutely. Let me share an example from the Blessed Life Conference we recently attended. I invited Elvin to come forward and share his testimonies. Every time he shares, he expresses how the Lord has blessed him. He also mentions the two-hour drive he makes. It’s not an easy task. While we can appreciate the effort he puts into the drive, let’s understand the significance of what he sees here that motivates him to drive for two hours. The value he receives in return far outweighs what he sacrifices.
This is precisely why we don’t say to Elvin, “It’s okay, you’ve attended enough Sundays, take a break, stay at home.” We don’t do that because we understand the immense power of sacrifice. What Elvin has received in return for his sacrifices is far greater, much greater. Sometimes, we may find ourselves giving ourselves too much credit, saying, “Look at all I’ve done for the kingdom.” While it’s true that you have done much for the kingdom, it’s essential to recognize that the kingdom has also done much for you. Keep your focus on the kingdom and understand its value. When you grasp the value of the kingdom, your sacrifices will not be driven by self-righteousness. This is why Paul urges in Romans 12:1, “I beseech you, brothers, by the mercies of God.” Another translation states, “In view of God’s mercy.” This means that to offer yourself as a living sacrifice, you need to first recognize and acknowledge God’s mercy. You cannot be a blessing unless you understand that you are blessed. So, in order to be a blessing and offer your sacrifice, you must recognize that you are already blessed. You become a blessing and, in turn, become blessed once again. It becomes a cyclical lifestyle. We don’t give solely to receive; we give to receive so that we can continue to give.
Hear God’s word
Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Ephesians 6:17, focusing on the final phrase, “and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
So, my second point to you is Hear God’s word. Listen attentively to the voice of God through His word. Your deliverance lies in hearing and receiving God’s word. The very presence of God is infused within His words. To abide in His presence, you must immerse yourself in His words, allowing them to dwell within you.
These two references highlight the word of God as a sword. Now, what is the purpose of a sword? It serves two primary functions: warfare and protection. A sword is utilized both for offense and defense. In Ephesians chapter six, which discusses the different components of the armor of God, the sword represents the word of God and is the only offensive weapon mentioned. All the other pieces of armor are defensive, designed to safeguard against the enemy’s attacks. However, it is the sword, the word of God, that inflicts harm on the enemy and makes a significant impact. Having the full armor is crucial for protection, but without the sword, you may still find yourself under attack. To truly overcome and defeat the enemy, you need to wield the sword and decisively strike back.
The first purpose of the sword, representing the word of God, is spiritual warfare. It is through the word of God that we engage in spiritual battles, both defensively and offensively. However, the author of Hebrews introduces another aspect of the sword’s function. When describing its sharpness and its ability to penetrate joints, marrow, spirit, and soul, the imagery shifts to that of a surgical instrument. This smaller, precise sword is used for surgical purposes, highlighting its ability to make deep cuts with precision. In a similar way, the word of God acts as a spiritual surgical tool, bringing inner healing and cleansing. Just as a soldier’s flesh may be pierced by a foreign object in battle, the word of God can identify and remove anything unnecessary or harmful within us. It has the power to divide, discern, and target specific areas in our lives that need transformation. The word of God is incredibly sharp, and it selectively attacks only what needs to be addressed, bringing both internal cleansing and external victory over our enemies. Therefore, we must embrace the word of the Spirit, recognizing it as the word of God, for it serves a dual purpose in spiritual warfare and inner healing.
Using a sword effectively requires a high level of knowledge and skill. Without proper training, one can cause self-inflicted pain. Sometimes Christians may resist hearing God’s word because it can be painful. This pain stems from a lack of understanding and proficiency in using the word for their own benefit. It is essential to undergo training to wield the word of God correctly. If the word of God does not bring significant benefits into one’s life, it may be because they have not received the necessary training. As a result, they unintentionally hurt themselves. They may find that previously hidden aspects of their lives are now being exposed and challenged. It is crucial to recognize that self-teaching may lead to detrimental outcomes. Proper training, under the guidance of a knowledgeable mentor or teacher, is indispensable. The power of the word of God should not be underestimated. However, without the appropriate skill and knowledge, one runs the risk of causing harm to themselves. This is why we sometimes observe wounded Christians who are bleeding emotionally and spiritually.
I’m bleeding, pastor. Who caused you this hurt? Self-inflicted. Do you know who can use words to attack you apart from your own foolishness and ignorance? The devil; he can employ scriptures to assail you. He did the same with Jesus. If he targeted Jesus, why would you assume you are immune? He will manipulate scriptures, and yet there are many bleeding Christians who mistakenly believe they are on the path to redemption, when in reality, they are only suffering from self-inflicted pain. “My people perish for lack of knowledge.” Join me in acknowledging one truth:
What has been revealed will be restored.
What this means is that if the Word of God, which is like a guiding light, has exposed any dark areas of your life, you should not feel condemned, ashamed, or fearful. If something has been revealed, it will be restored. In Genesis chapter one, it says that on the second day, the earth was void, dark, and empty. The Spirit of the Lord was hovering over the waters. Similarly, the Spirit of the Lord is already hovering over every dark area of your life. However, there is a crucial aspect to understand. The Spirit of the Lord hovers because it awaits the release of the Word of God. You see, when the Word exposes your weaknesses, most people tend to hide and isolate themselves. But that is precisely the place where true transformation occurs. Allow the Word of God to address those weaknesses because the Spirit of God is hovering over that darkness. So, if something has been revealed, it will be restored. There’s no need to feel ashamed.
The prevalent sickness within the church is being condemned, as we are still grappling with the profound significance of the blood of Jesus. However, there is no valid reason for us to bear the burden of guilt, for the blood of Jesus has already accomplished it all. He declared, “It is finished.” Therefore, when the Word uncovers a vulnerable aspect of your life, do not feel ashamed or fearful. Resist the temptation to be burdened by guilt.
At the same time, trust and say, “Thank you, Jesus, for saying, ‘It is finished.'” I have faith in your redeeming blood. What has been unveiled shall be renewed. Allow the power of God’s Word to manifest in your life. Do not feel ashamed. Remain steadfast. Let me share a story about Jesus encountering a woman in Samaria. He approached her and said, “I can give you living water.” The woman replied, “Yes, please give me this living water so that I no longer thirst and don’t have to visit the well every afternoon. I’m more of an introverted person and prefer to avoid interactions.” Jesus responded, “If you truly desire this living water, bring your husband.” The woman honestly confessed, “I do not have a husband.” Jesus acknowledged, “You are correct. You have had five husbands, and the man you are with now is not your husband.” You see, Jesus was revealing what she had been concealing. However, it was in this exposure that true healing could occur. If the Word of God uncovers something or exposes a truth, do not be afraid. Stay in that moment, for if it has been revealed, it can be restored.
The same woman, who was once terrified of encountering people due to her troubled past, now fearlessly proclaims throughout the entire town and village, “Come and meet the Messiah! He is a prophet because he revealed everything about me.” It’s true that her past actions were nothing to be proud of, but now that she is completely healed, she proudly acknowledges that Jesus is a prophet. The purpose of exposure is not for God to humiliate you; it is for you to find healing. God does not desire to shame you through exposure. Therefore, when the Word of God reveals something, stand firm on His promises and believe that if God has exposed it, He will also bring healing. Do not attempt to heal yourself by applying superficial remedies or quick fixes that ultimately prove ineffective. Instead, allow the Word of God to work through you.
Hebrews 4:2 – For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed.
Remember, I mentioned that the Word of God is a spiritual word that requires extensive training, knowledge, and skill. Without proper training, one might inadvertently harm themselves. In Hebrews 4:2, we find the foundation of this training: “For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them because they were not united by faith with those who listened.” When we hear the Word of God, it is essential to receive it with faith. If we fail to mix our hearing with faith, it will not bring us any benefits.
Consider the example of the Israelites who left Egypt, a staggering two million people. They were on their way to the Promised Land, and everyone heard the Lord’s promise that they would enter it. However, only two individuals truly heard it in faith, and as a result, they were the only ones who entered the Promised Land. The rest of the Israelites couldn’t enter because they didn’t receive the promise in faith.
Let me provide an example to further illustrate this point. A member of the church approaches Jeremy and delivers a prophecy regarding his upcoming exams. “Jeremy, your exams are approaching, and we believe you will score 95%,” they proclaim. This is the same word that someone else received as well. Now, let’s imagine another person, Alvin, also receives the same word. Alvin, you are going to achieve a remarkable 95% in your exams. Both individuals have received the same word.
Now, Jeremy starts to contemplate the implications of this word. “Oh no,” he thinks, “I now have the weight of a 95% expectation on my shoulders. The pressure is immense. What am I going to do? I haven’t even studied that much. What will people think? My exams are just two weeks away, and the results won’t be out for another three months. Maybe I’ll only stay in this church for three months before quitting.” He chuckles, considering the pressure he feels.
On the other hand, Alvin reacts differently to receiving the word. He calmly says, “Ah, 95%. That’s great news. I can relax now.” Many individuals in the church struggle to benefit from such words because they attempt to rely solely on their own efforts to make them come true. They overlook the fact that the manifestation of the word doesn’t depend on their own work. Instead, it requires qualities like self-control and patience.
When a word has been revealed, it possesses the power to restore. Therefore, when you receive a word, rejoice! It is not through your own strength or might, but through the Spirit of the Lord. The manner in which the word will accomplish its purpose is not our concern. Once we have received the word, it will work within us to make us doers of the word. It is the word within you that must bring the word to fruition. You cannot achieve this on your own. Our responsibility is to listen to the word and continue to listen until it becomes a tangible reality.
If self-control is an area in which you struggle, seek out relevant scriptures that address self-control and meditate on them until they become a living reality in your life.
Receive the message with faith. Without faith, you may perceive the same light that is meant for your benefit as something working against you, leaving you feeling blinded. Perhaps you can relate to the experience of driving at night and being momentarily blinded by the beam of an oncoming car. Similarly, if you fail to approach God’s word with a heart posture of faith, you will experience this blinding effect. It will hinder rather than benefit you. Therefore, the key to utilizing the power of this word lies in believing the word that you have received. The word itself will accomplish the work. Place your trust in the word, not in your own efforts.
Lastly, the third key is to intentionally be a blessing. While Christians often desire to be a blessing, it tends to be done in a random manner. We may bless others haphazardly, based on convenience or circumstances. However, the call is to be an intentional blessing. Deliberately choose whom and how you will bless others. Even before the week begins, identify the specific areas of people’s lives where you can intentionally bring blessing. Become a purposeful giver of blessings.
John 7:38 : Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.
In John 4, Jesus spoke about drinking from the living water, which grants eternal life. When you receive Jesus, you receive this well of eternal life. Repeat after me: “I have the well of eternal life.” Therefore, whatever you need to live a godly and blessed life, it is already within you in this well. You can draw from it through joy. The Holy Spirit dwelling within you is more than sufficient for you to live a blessed life, and it has the capacity to bless your family as well. Moreover, the potential of the Holy Spirit within you is like multiple streams of living water, not just one. These streams are not only meant for you, but also for the nations.
The spirit of God upon you has the power to bless nations. By choosing to intentionally become a blessing, you operate under the anointing of the spirit.
Philippians 2:17 : But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.
Just like being poured out as a drink offering, live an intentional life, not holding back. Don’t worry about conserving energy or resources, thinking you may not have enough. When you pour yourself out, the one who flows through you will fill you. Be intentional in being a blessing. Avoid being random, but instead purposeful. Often, when we ask Christians if God is first in their lives, they would all affirm it. However, a clear indication of whether God truly holds the first place can be found by examining their bank statements.
If you’re not currently employed and are a student, it’s important to take a closer look at how you manage your time. The way we prioritize things typically revolves around our allocation of time, money, and energy. Therefore, it’s crucial to be intentional in these aspects. Additionally, being intentional in blessing others is equally important. Here are three key factors to consider:
First key is worship. Worship is not limited to a singular act but rather a way of life. It encompasses everything that involves sacrifice. True worship should come at a cost to you. By practicing genuine worship, you prepare your heart to receive God’s word.
Second key is hearing God’s word. Cultivating a lifestyle of actively seeking and listening to God’s word is essential. It is not a one-time event but a continuous process. However, the foundation of benefiting from hearing God’s word lies in receiving it with faith. When the word has taken root in your life, it will bring about its intended results. Believe in the word, even if it appears illogical or impossible. Regardless of how it may sound, if the word has been spoken, embrace it and have faith.
Third key is make a conscious effort to be a blessing to others. Intentionally seek opportunities to bless those around you. By incorporating these practices into your lifestyle, you will consistently experience the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit. This applies not only on Sundays or when things are going well, but at all times. You will never run dry or feel weary because your focus rests on the word of God. Yes, amen. Your mind is fixed on God’s word, and those who keep their minds on Him are rewarded with perfect peace. Peace and joy serve as strong indicators of staying in the presence of God. They are evidence of a firm faith. Peace provides assurance, while joy sustains and strengthens faith.
Let me reiterate this point: Peace and joy serve as strong indicators that you have embraced God’s word and are abiding in His presence. Peace represents the assurance that comes from faith, while joy exemplifies the endurance of that faith. These two qualities are significant indicators. Therefore, make it a priority to cultivate and maintain a state of peace and joy in your life. Peace and joy are your rightful inheritance. Amen. There are no valid reasons that should hinder you from experiencing the peace and joy that God offers. Peace and joy are your birthright. So, if you find yourself grappling with stress, shame, or fear, I declare this truth over your life: Peace and joy belong to you. Peace and joy are your portion. The kingdom of God encompasses righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. This Holy Spirit, whom you have received, brings the peace and joy of the kingdom.
You already possess the peace and joy of the kingdom. Believe in it with unwavering faith, even before you feel the presence of peace. Have faith in the peace and joy that the Holy Spirit brings. So, let’s embrace it with faith. Come on, raise your hands and believe. By faith, I receive the peace and joy that Jesus offers. I receive the peace and joy of the kingdom. Come on, believe it with faith, declare it with your words. Come on, release your faith through your words. So, if there are people of faith here, speak forth the Word of God. Say, “I receive the peace of Jesus. I receive the joy of Jesus. I receive it wholeheartedly. I receive it completely. For the peace and joy of the kingdom are my portion. I reject stress. I reject shame. I reject condemnation. I reject guilt. I reject fear. I rebuke every spirit of fear in this place. I wholeheartedly embrace the power of Jesus in my life.”