Aug. 14, 2014–Whose Opinion?

sandi krakowski(Be blessed by this DWOD for Aug. 14, 2014 by guest contributor Sandi Krakowski)

When Jesus spoke to the winds and the waves, He said, “Peace, be still.” The transliteration of the word “still” means to be MUZZLED.

When we look at the word “muzzled” in its most natural expression, it means to be prevented from expressing opinions freely. The storm was forbidden to express its opinion.

When the enemy comes to taunt you and harass you, never forget that, he is expressing his opinion!

When a critic comes and seeks to suck the wind out of your sails, remember this—they are entitled to their own opinion and you are well able to IGNORE their opinion.

We can’t keep bad things from happening, or challenges from occurring. We can’t make everyone be quiet. We live in a free will society and God made us to have a free will.

HOWEVER, we do not need to agree with the opinion of the storm or the waves, or anyone standing by the shores screaming, “You will drown!”

Choose to listen to God’s opinion of the storm.

He said YOU are more than a conqueror! (Romans 8:37)

He said you are well able to handle anything that comes your way. (Philippians 4:13, I Corinthians 10:13)

He said that when we are weak, He can and will make us strong, if we trust Him. (Isaiah 40:29)

He said when we don’t know what to do, He will give us wisdom, if we ask. (James 1:5)

He said that when we make big mistakes, if we confess our sin, He will be FAITHFUL, every single time, to not condemn us, but to forgive us. EVERY time. (I John 1:9)

Be very careful whose opinion you are listening to today. Let’s choose to agree with God! Amen?

(Sandi Krakowski, the founder of A Real Change, is a social media marketing expert who serves over 1.5 million clients worldwide. Sandi’s passion and purpose is to ignite people and cause them to burn with the fire that God put in their hearts, to cause them to live in freedom and to be capable of causing them to burn on their own in their respective calling).

Aug. 12, 2014–Pray with Thanks, not with Angst

pray with jooyDo not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)

For a number of years now, I have been offering those who are going through what could be labelled “fearful” situations a Scriptural prescription.

It is one that I heard Paul Keith Davis first mention at a Conference in Toronto at a time when I was facing great uncertainty about my future. The enemy had managed to stir up fear in my spirit. I knew God would take care of everything, but, truth be known, I was not confident about it.

“Dr. Davis” prescribed a daily reading of Psalms 27 & 91. Out aloud. At least once a day. You could do it more frequently. There was no danger of an overdose :-)

No sooner had I received the prescription than I started to take the recommended daily allowance and began to saturate my mind with verses such as these:

“The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day…” (Psalm 91:4-5)

I experienced such great relief after following this prescription that I freely began to dispense it to anyone who was willing to take it…and most did.

However, I also began to notice that not all who took the RDA of these psalms experienced the same results as I had. This puzzled me, because God says very clearly in Isaiah 55:11 about the word that goes forth from His mouth: “It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

As I was seeking Holy Spirit for some revelation on this, He took me to Philippians 4:6 where Paul reminds us to offer our prayers and petitions with thanksgiving.” 

That is when I realized that the attitude with which we follow the prescription had a lot to do with its effectiveness. So, for example, when someone read them out aloud with fear, expecting the worst to happen despite the best outcomes promised by God, they got what they expected—more attacks or the same attacks with greater intensity.

On the other hand, those who recited those same verses with the joyful expectancy that God will keep His promises achieved great results. Why? Because they had no fear of the enemy. They did not expect the enemy to flex his muscles and inflict greater damage upon them. They would not even allow that thought to have any life or influence. They took it captive to Christ, locked it up and threw away the key!!

They replaced anxiety with thankfulness. They started praising and thanking God for the victory that was theirs. After all, it was guaranteed by the Creator of the Universe. Why would they worry about the promise not being kept?

Dear DWOD friend, have you been reading out Scriptural affirmations similar to Psalm 27 & 91 and not seeing good results? Could you be unintentionally sabotaging the outcome with your attitude?

Stop praying with angst. Pray with thanks instead. It will make a world of difference! I can’t wait to hear your testimonies!!

Aug. 11, 2014–How to Transform your Mind

think different(Be blessed by this DWOD for Aug. 11, 2014 by guest contributor Doug Addison)

There are a lot of people telling you that you need to transform your mind or your thinking but few people actually give you some practical steps to do it. Let me share with you some things I have learned on how to practically renew your mind!

Did you know that it’s harder to keep asking yourself to not think a thought, but it is easier to give yourself something good to think about instead? It is actually hard to focus on not doing something, but easier to focus on taking a positive action. When we grasp this, we are no longer struggling and beating ourselves up for thinking and doing things that are not good for us.

Renewing your mind and developing godly character involves more than trying to avoid sin or bad habits. If you continually focus on what you are not supposed to do, or on the negative thoughts and behaviours, then that is all you will be thinking about all the time. Eventually you will feel guilty for not being able to change.

In the New Testament, Peter instructs us to set the focus of our minds on the positive things that are coming as opposed to negative thoughts: Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. (1 Peter 1:13)

Most people are not aware of the fact that our brain is not able to deal with the words like “no” or “do not.” When we are told to not think about something, we cannot help thinking about it. If I tell you right now, “Don’t think of a purple giraffe —don’t do it!” you can’t help thinking of it, because in order to understand what I just said, your brain had to process the command and think of the very thing I told you not to think of.

How about a father saying to his daughter who is wearing a new white blouse, “Whatever you do, don’t spill your chocolate milk.” You guessed it. She spilled the milk. She was not even thinking of spilling it until the idea of spilling it was introduced into her mind as a possibility. It would have made more sense for this father to say, “You are doing a great job drinking your milk.” This would encourage her to not spill it.

This could be why in the Bible you will read more about what you should do, as opposed to what you should not. Yes, there are some don’ts in there, but you will find more do’s than don’ts.

If we are focusing on the negative, we will continually have to deal with negative things. Continual focus on resisting only causes the negative thoughts to persist. Instead, redirect your thoughts to something good, like Peter said, “Think about the grace that will be given to you.” I find this to be much more productive. I get better results in my own life if I focus more on what I should do as opposed to what I should not.

It takes practice to renew your mind and begin to change your character to be more like God’s. Notice that in Galatians 5:22-23 Paul refers to the “fruit of the Spirit” which implies that it does not happen overnight, but there is a growth process involved.

This is not positive thinking but instead, it is thinking positively about yourself. So start to notice how you tend to think. What are your thoughts saying to you? Are they negative or positive? Find ways to turn around your thought life and you will indeed transform your mind.

(Doug Addison is a prophetic dream and tattoo interpreter, conference speaker, author, life coach and stand-up comedian. He travels worldwide, helping people transform their lives and discover their destiny. Doug specializes in teaching people how to hear God’s voice, understand their dreams and tattoo evangelism)

Aug. 10, 2014–He Knows Something You Don’t

50 km speedA stretch of highway that I take frequently has some dramatic changes in speed limits…especially as you transition from an open stretch of farmland into the village of Wainfleet. We go from doing 80 km/hour for six minutes to 70 km for 45 seconds and then 50 km for another 3 minutes before revving up to 80 again.

Our subscribers should be aware that it is as rare to see someone driving their vehicle at the posted speed limit of 80 km as it is to see Fidel Castro at the Republican Convention :-) Yours truly has confessed in a previous column that 80 km in Metric translates to roughly 99 km/hour in SamMetric.

All of this to say that most drivers barreling down Highway 3 at speeds in the vicinity of 100 km/hour find it very difficult to slow down when they get to this particular ribbon of asphalt. They get even more frustrated when they are forced to remove their lead foot off the gas pedal by the slow driver ahead of them.

You may find this hard to believe in view of my confession two paragraphs back, but I morph from speedster to slowpoke in a hurry and adhere strictly to the posted limit until I get through the village and spot the 80 km/hour sign again.

At times I’ve seen drivers behind me signal their displeasure when I do this by swiftly displaying one half of the peace sign. Sometimes bullies draw perilously close enough for a bumper-to-bumper smooch and back off with a screech when I do not give in to their demand to increase my speed.

Why? You see, I know something they don’t know.

What they don’t know is that our provincial (state) government has discovered a cash cow within that small stretch of highway through the village. Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) love to park their vehicles at select spots and pick off unsuspecting speeders with regularity. You can see the blue lights flashing and hear the Cha-Ching! Cha-Ching! as you drive by another victim, I mean, violator.

(For the record, yours truly has not contributed to the coffers of the Province of Ontario for an offence committed on this particular stretch. I plead the fifth with respect to other locations)

There are times in life when we too may be frustrated at being slowed down just as we are cruising along on the road to our destiny. Could it be that God has a reason to make us take it easy through certain stretches because He knows something that we don’t know?

In Hebrews 12:1-2, we read: “…Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith…” Doesn’t this conjure up an image of Jesus as the “fore-runner”, the “lead driver”, who is going just ahead of us?

The Christian journey begins for all of us by responding to His invitation: “Follow me.” Chances are you associate such following with the drastic decision of those who were called first to leave everything behind and go with him.

But following is really something that happens on an ongoing basis, isn’t it? Every day, every hour, every moment of your life you are following Jesus. He knows what lies ahead of us. He has been there. He is already there.

Sometimes He speeds up and bids us follow fast. Other times He slows down because of the traps that lie ahead. (Disclaimer: Radar Traps are not the work of the enemy, as evil as the OPP may appear to the offender…lol!). Most of the time He proceeds at a steady pace.

Dear DWOD friend, you are simply called to trust and follow Him. So, don’t get frustrated when He makes you slow down. It is simply because He knows something you don’t!

Aug. 09, 2014–How to Access Hidden Wisdom

hidden wisdom(Be blessed by this DWOD for Aug. 09, 2014 by guest contributor Lance Wallnau)

Paul calls it “the hidden wisdom” (I Corinthians 2:6-8). What is it? By itself, wisdom is the ability to see and perceive from God’s perspective, for “the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (I Samuel 16:7b).

We cannot understand from our viewpoint. We must leave our earthly, human ability and see as He sees. You have this capacity built into you as a believer. God inside you knows what you need to know.

GOOD WISDOM AND BAD WISDOM

Note: There is a wisdom that comes from ABOVE, and there is a wisdom that is earthly and even DEVILISH (James 3:15-17). You need God’s wisdom to rise up and break up the strategy from hell that tears apart your nation. This wisdom comes from your born again spirit man…not your soul. More on that in a moment.

A remarkable insight into HIDDEN WISDOM is found in Luke 10:21: “Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, ‘I thank You Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for hiding these things from the wise and prudent while REVEALING them to babies; yes Father, for that is Your good pleasure.”

The Father “reveals”. Hidden wisdom is revealed to those who are childlike and receptive. The childlike are humbly dependent on God’s help. This type of knowledge isn’t gained through mental gymnastics, it is the revelation of the Father. Every child of God has access to hidden wisdom stored up for them on the inside.

A SURPRISING INSIGHT INTO WHERE GOD HIDES YOUR ANSWER

“Behold, Thou desirest truth in the INWARD PARTS; And in the HIDDEN PART Thou wilt make me to know wisdom.” (Psalm 51:6)

Notice man has inward parts or compartments. Man is a triune being. Paul wrote: “May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessaloninans 5:23). See that? “Spirit, Soul and Body.”

Now, remember that verse about God desiring truth in the INWARD PARTS? The two inward parts of your inward or inner man are your soul and spirit. The wisdom of God is hidden inside the “hidden part”—IN YOUR SPIRIT!

NOW can you see why “praying in the spirit” amplifies your access to wisdom stored up for you? Likewise do you see why people who meditate on the Word of God have an advantage? The Word of God is spiritual food for your spirit man. God desires “truth in the inward parts”—soul and spirit. Jesus said, “Thy Word is truth.”

We need men and women with hidden wisdom to rise up. Your country, your nation needs leaders with hidden wisdom. In fact God has kept you hidden for such a time as this!

(Dr. Lance Wallnau is a world-class trainer and consultant whose students span the globe. From bestselling authors, pastors, and billion dollar CEO‘s, he has helped to transform the lives of thousands. Please check out his resources at www.lancelearning.com)

Aug. 08, 2014–A Son Lives Under an Open Heaven

Son-001-openheaven(Be blessed by this DWOD for Aug. 08, 2014 by guest contributor Barry Adams)

And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”  (Matthew 3:16-17) 

Before Jesus did anything in public ministry, He received affirmation from His heavenly Father. Before He performed one miracle, healed one sick person, etc., the Father proudly declared His love and acceptance for His boy. The Bible says that the windows of heaven were actually torn open as the Father spoke His words of love and affirmation over His Son’s life.I have never read where the windows of heaven closed after the Father spoke His words of love and affirmation. If that is the case, then Jesus lived under an open heaven all the days of His life on earth.We do read where Jesus tells Nathanial that he will see angels ascending and descending on the Son of Man (John 1:51) so that tells me that the heavens were still open! If we are called to live the same life as Jesus lived because we are in Him, then we too should live a life, hearing the words of our heavenly Dad saying to us… “This is my beloved son, this is my beloved daughter…”Those of us who still struggle with orphan mindsets might not be convinced that this is true. My encouragement to you today is that IT IS TRUE! Jesus paid the price for each one of us to live our lives under the affirmation of a God and Father who has loved us from before the creation of the world.

My prayer today is that God would give us His Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation (Ephesians 1:17-18) so that we might really believe in our hearts that we can live under an open heaven just like Jesus did.

(Barry Adams is the humble vessel chosen by God to bless the world with the revelation known as the Father’s Love Letter. Along with his wife Annelise, Barry ministers the Father’s Love all over the world. Today’s DWOD is from a post he wrote for A Son’s Life Blog. Please check out his new website: http://www.aboutfathersbusiness.com)

Aug. 07, 2014–Surrounded by so great a cloud…

surrounded by so greatTwo summers ago, Sulojana and I and our sons were at Yankee Stadium in New York for the very first time, watching a game between the Yankees and the Orioles along with our sons. For the record, we were in Section 202, Row 14, seats 32-35.

As the first inning began, we heard an unfamiliar chant erupt from the section next to us. Not the usual “Go Yankees, Go!” that one would expect. We soon deciphered the chant and discovered that the fans were calling out “Dickerson, Dickerson”. Chris Dickerson, the center fielder that day, turned toward the chanting fans, promptly took off his cap and bowed slightly, acknowledging their cheer.

They then called out “Ichiro, Ichiro” and waited for Ichiro Suzuki, the left fielder to respond, which he did with his patented smile. They moved on to Raul Ibanez, the right fielder and then on to every one of the infielders except the pitcher and the catcher. It was quite obvious that every player relished their name being called out.

Later on, I would learn that we were witnessing a Yankee Stadium tradition. These are the famous (notorious?) Bleacher Creatures who occupy a block of seats in Section 203 and go through this “Roll Call” at every home game.

It reminded me of Hebrews 12:1 which begins with the words: “Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses…let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us…”

Friends, the Lord wants us to remember that as we run towards our destiny, we are not alone.

The Father watches over us.

Jesus runs ahead of us (that is why v. 2 says that we run “fixing our eyes” on him. The Holy Spirit is within us.

And, if that wasn’t enough, we have this “cloud of witnesses”–here on earth and in heaven–cheering us on, calling out our name…

Wow! I get goosebumps just thinking about it. That is why we are able to run “with perseverance”, with that “Never Give Up” attitude. Amen?

“Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, we will never surrender to our circumstances.”

(This post first was first published as the DWOD for Oct. 16, 2012)

Aug. 06, 2014–To Serve, Not To Be Served

Darren Canning“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” (Galatians 5:24)

The self matters very little. What I desire, what I think I need, what I think I want to do does not matter. All that matters is God. This life that I live must be lived in absolute surrender to the will of God. Those that live for self will die to self. Those who live to promote their own agenda will die in abandonment and the grave. This longing for self is a false longing.

I will be honest with you, dear reader. There are times that I notice my self wanting to be served rather than to serve. There are times when I would rather sit at a table and have someone wrap a cloth around his or her arm and wait upon my every desire – to be treated with respect and dignity. This desire is false because it does not emanate from the heart of Christ. Christ came to serve and not to be served. He came to give his life and not to pick it up.

Even when I work hard and have success I still do not deserve to be served. Even if I have worked for 12 hours straight and feel weary and tired I do not deserve to come home and expect to be waited upon hand and foot. The heart of Christ within me must come home – pick up the towel – and wash the feet of those whom I love. In this dying to self and the desire to be served I will find my new life. Christ within me will glow and those that I love will be edified and built up rather than torn down.

When I expect something from those I love they will live in the pain of my expectation, but when I expect nothing and give, then those that I love will be free to love me in return, since there will be no expectation from me to unsettle them.

My prayer becomes: “Father in heaven, please free me from the desire to be served and radiate a servant’s heart within me. Help me to come to the place of pure desire – a place of serving you and those you bring my way. Holy Spirit, help me to die to the need to have others serve me. Help me to be a servant to the world.”

I believe if you will pray this prayer now a new anointing will come upon your life and you will be set free to serve the body of Christ in a brand new way. Try praying this prayer sincerely. It is my belief that you will be surprised by the joy it brings to your spirit.

(This post first appeared as the DWOD for Oct. 24, 2012)

Aug. 05, 2014–Keep Paddling Upstream

paddling upstream(Be blessed by this DWOD for Aug. 05, 2014 by guest contributor Kenneth Copeland)

“Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.” (Psalm 141:3)

Do you really believe that you need to watch over your mouth? Most believers don’t. You can tell that just by listening to their conversations. They profess, for example, to be trusting God concerning their health. But you’re likely to hear them say something like this: “I’m just sure I’m going to get the flu. I get it every year. I’ll be sicker than a dog too, you’ll see….”

Do people like that have what they say?

Oh yes! Check with them a few weeks later and they’ll be quick to tell you that they got just as sick as they said they’d be. But, odds are, if you try to tell them there’s any connection between the words they spoke and the illness they suffered, they’ll look at you as if you were out of your mind.

Of course, if they’d dig into the Word of God and find out what it has to say about the subject, they’d realize that the words they speak have a tremendous impact on their lives. They’d see that it quite literally determines their future.

If you’re a born-again believer, you’ve already experienced the most powerful example of that. You believed with your heart and confessed with your mouth the Lord Jesus and you changed the eternal course of your life. You know firsthand just how powerful your words can be.

Yet, even so, if you’re like me, you still find that speaking faith-filled words consistently is tough to do. I’ve been at it myself for many years now and, despite all the time I’ve spent on it and all the experiences I’ve had, it’s still something I have to watch all the time.

You see, the world around you is in negative flow. Like a rushing river, it’s always pulling at you, trying to get you to flow with it. Living by faith and speaking words of faith is like trying to paddle upstream. You can do it–but it’s a great deal of work. And there’s never a time you can afford to take a vacation from it. If you relax a little bit you’ll just start drifting right back down the river.

Make the decision right now to set a watch over your lips. Determine to consistently fill your mouth with the Word of God. “Attend to my words; incline your ear unto my sayings” (Prov. 4:20). Let God’s Word be your watch and everything you say will take you a little further upstream!

(This post appeared first in “From Faith to Faith”, a daily guide to Victory. To subscribe to this daily devotional and access other great resources, please go to www.kcm.org)

Aug. 04, 2014–Delegating Joab to do David’s Job

002I don’t know about you, but whenever I’ve heard anyone re-tell the story of David’s adulterous affair with Bathsheba, the narrative usually begins with the second verse of 2 Samuel 11: Late one afternoon, after his midday rest, David got out of bed and was walking on the roof of the palace. As he looked out over the city, he noticed a woman of unusual beauty taking a bath.

His curiosity is aroused, he is overcome with lust, he sends for Bathsheba, the deed is done…and the rest is history.

But there is a telling detail in the first verse that is not always highlighted by most story-tellers. Here is how it reads:

In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. (2 Samuel 11:1)

Had David done what he ought to have done—which is to lead the army into battle—he would not have stayed behind in the palace, gone for a walk on the roof, taken out the binoculars…well, you get the idea!

On the surface, it looks as though there was nothing wrong with David deputizing Joab to lead the army. After all, under Joab’s leadership, they accomplished their mission successfully.

But the fact of the matter is that David should’ve been where the action was—on the battlefront. That is what the commander of the Army does. By choosing not to exercise the leadership that was rightfully his, he sets the stage for the big mess that follows. You cannot delegate Joab to do David’s job.

Are there times when we too are tempted to stay back in Jerusalem when we ought to be front and centre in Rabbah? After all, Jerusalem is a safe place to be, with no additional responsibility.

You may be familiar with the saying: “A ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what a ship is built for…” Since you are part of a “royal priesthood” (I Peter 2:8), we could say that “A royal soldier is safest in the palace, but that is not what a soldier is meant to do!”

You are meant to be on the frontlines of battle, in hostile territory occupied by unbelievers and controlled by the demonic forces of hell. It is there that you show up wearing the armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-17) ready to handle everything the enemy throws at you.

Staying in the safety of your home base (e.g. church building or small group) could potentially lead to problems. You could give in to temptations of the flesh. They may not necessarily have to do with lust or other sexual sin (although that is a distinct possibility). At the very least, you could end up satisfying the carnal desire to play it safe when it comes to living out the Christian faith—to keep it all to yourself without sharing with others, thus fulfilling the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)

We could end up being behind closed doors all the time, debating the merits and demerits of evangelising a certain way vs another. Or we could get focused on simply getting our needs met with a particular style of worship, a certain version of the Bible, etc. No matter what we do, we could end up ignoring those who are caught in the clutches of the evil one.

Dear DWOD friend, let it never be said of you that you delegated Joab to do David’s job. Whenever you are tempted to stay back in Jerusalem, may you rise up and head on to Rabbah or wherever the battle may be raging that particular day. The price you pay for playing it safe could very well exceed the cost of waging war.