Sunday, May 26, 2013

He Is Enough by Reba Altizer

He is enough

This song has been rolling over in my heart all week. Please listen to it before you read the devotion. I believe it will prepare your heart for what the Holy Spirit will speak to you. In the wake of all the devastation this past week, The Lord has had me praying this song over the areas that have suffered so much loss. The trinity is so important, as is remembering the person of the Holy Spirit and its function in our lives.

Noun    1.      Holy Spirit - the third person in the Trinity; Jesus promised the Apostles that he would send the Holy Spirit after his Crucifixion and Resurrection; it came on Pentecost
Holy Ghost, Paraclete

1.  Our Comforter

John 16:7, 8, "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment."

This is what I have meditated on this week: We need to open our hearts up and allow Him to comfort us and pray for those who are in pain to be comforted by the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is the only true  comforter for hurting hearts.  Only the Holy Spirit can heal them. My prayer is, I give the time and opportunity to for the Holy Spirit to do a work in my heart.

I remember, years ago, I was reading a book.  It spoke about the trinity and the differences of each individully.  I remember The Lord showing me, its not all just squeezed together, but each part has it's own awesome purposes.   The Holy Spirit helps our comforters.

 John 14:18, "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." In other words, He uses human instruments to do His comforting. There are times when the Holy Spirit will comfort you himself without human aid.

There are times when He will empower and strengthen OTHERS to say just the words you need and give you just the comfort you need. This does not mean the Holy Spirit is not doing the comforting. He is leading and strengthening someone and using that someone to comfort and strengthen in the time of need. Other times, He runs alongside to help when no human aid is in sight. In either case, this is the work of the Spirit. He simply sometimes chooses not to use human help and other times He chooses to do so.

2. Our Teacher and Guide

1 John 2:27New King James Version (NKJV)
27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will[a] abide in Him.

A teacher instructs you in the way to go or in the way to do something. A Guide, leads you and  tells you what is to come and how to prepare. We need a teacher and guide to help us navigate in this world. I have heard so many stories how people were in the right place at the right time by hearing the Holy Spirit. We live in a time when it is so important we hear the instruction of the Holy Spirit.  It can literally mean life or death.

John 14:26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost,
whom the Father will send in my name,
he shall teach you all things,
and bring all things to your remembrance,
whatsoever I have said unto you.
John 16:13Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come,
he will guide you into all truth:
for he shall not speak of himself;
but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak:
and he will show you things to come.

Again this doesn't just happen. We have to believe He is important enough.  We have to wait in His presence even when we want to act now.  We need to invite Him into our atmosphere-  to long for His presence. We can't stay where we have been, but desire to go deeper. In this day, we can't coast on what we have learned in the past about Jesus, but we must invite Him into our daily lilfe...Daily!  He is enough, but we must let Him flood our lives, and be overcome by His presence.  The Holy Spirit is identified by Isaiah as the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of Wisdom, the Spirit of Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel, the Spirit of Might, the Spirit of Know- ledge and the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord (see Isa.11:2). He is enough!

Reba Altizer is a member of Victory Christian Center in Tulsa, Ok. She graduated from Christ for the Nations in Dallas TX with a bachelor degree in Practical Missions. She has been involved in missions and evangelism for the past 20 years serving in 28 nations. The past 10 years she and her husband have worked at Victory Christian Center as the Coordinators of the Victory World Missions Training Center which is a school to help prepare students for full-time missions work. She has lead women's teams to Italy several times, Slovenia, Finland & Estonia. She has a real desire for women to know they are valuable and to fulfill their God given purpose.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Who Is Your Goliath? By Reba Altizer

Who is your Goliath? 

I was reading this week about David and Goliath. I think God made this story such a great visual for us. Even as a kid most of us remember imagining the Big Giant standing face to face with David. It's always easy to imagine our self being David and beating the giant- the graphics of the scripture not only tell that he killed him but cut off his head. We see a real picture of a victor. As I read the story over again this week, I felt The Lord put some thing's on my heart.

1. Who or what is taunting you?  

The tactic of the enemy is always to scare and intimidate. 
 In 1 Samuel 17
4 And a champion went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. 6 And he had bronze armor on his legs and a bronze javelin between his shoulders. 7 Now the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his iron spearhead weighed six hundred shekels; and a shield-bearer went before him. 8 Then he stood and cried out to the armies of Israel, and said to them, “Why have you come out to line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and you the servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.” 10 And the Philistine said, “I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.” 11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.  
I know at times when I've faced things, I have said to myself, "Okay what's the worse thing that can happen  in this situation?".  This may not be the best thing to say, but sometimes dispels enough fear to go for it.  Other times the "worst thing" being something worse, even death. This is when the bully,  the devil,  has to be dealt with head on- not with your words, but with Gods Word. Just like in the following example:
Matthew 4: 1-7
4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’[b]”

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
    and they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’[c]”
7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’[d]”

2.  Don't loose Faith in God

David was gathering facts.  He wanted to understand the situation, and at that point had not even said that he wanted to go fight. His oldest brother started judging his heart and motives in the matter.
1 Samuel  17:28 When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”
This is what can happen when we face our Goliath's as well.  We have to choose to Stand on the Word of God, which is the Truth, and not focus on the situational facts facing us. Good meaning people might think we are acting out of  pride, but it is not pride when we truly put our confidence in the Word of God. David was putting his confidence on the Victory's of the past, and this gave him confidence to take on Goliath. 
1 Samuel 17:34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”

A good thing to remember is God helped David overcome the lion & the bear.  This happened, who knows how many times, while watching the sheep, before he faced the giant. God had prepared David for that particular time in his life during the ordinary tasks of his daily life. The things that have prepared us for our Goliath might not seem all that significant, but it's important to remember what God has done for us in past.  We need to remember and thank God for our daily victories.  He is the same yesterday and today. He will deliver you from this Goliath too.

3. Go in what your comfortable in! 

This had never really stuck out to me before, but when I was reading this week, I felt like The Lord said to me, "wear what I give you, and not everything others are wanting you to wear".  I so love this because sometimes when we face our Goliath we think we need to be like so and so.  No, God used all of who David was to defeat Goliath, his testimonies of the Lions and the Bears gave him the confidence to face Goliath. I  just had this thought: "Be the best YOU, you can be, with God that is enough.
38 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.

“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.
48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.

50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.

51 David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.

We all know how this story ends. David kills the Goliath with one stone so why did He grab 5? I heard a preacher say once its because Goliath had 4 other brothers and He was prepared to take them on as well. 

2 Samuel 22
New International Version (NIV)
David’s Song of Praise

22 David sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.  
The whole chapter is great but these verses sum up the chapter of David's gratefulness for all God ad done. 

47 “The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock!
    Exalted be my God, the Rock, my Savior!
48 He is the God who avenges me,
    who puts the nations under me,
49     who sets me free from my enemies.
You exalted me above my foes;
    from a violent man you rescued me.
50 Therefore I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
    I will sing the praises of your name.
51 “He gives his king great victories;
    he shows unfailing kindness to his anointed,
    to David and his descendants forever.”
Amazing Word Reba!  I love it!!
~Kasse D.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Faith that Moves Mountains by Reba Altizer

Faith that Moves Mountains by Reba Altizer The Bible gives this description of faith in Hebrews 11:1: "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." (NIV) Definition: Faith is belief with strong conviction; firm belief in something for which there may be no tangible proof; complete trust in or devotion to. Faith is the opposite of doubt. Faith is possibly the single-most important element of the Christian life. Hebrews 11:6 states, "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." (NIV) I grew up in church, loved God, heard the Bible taught, but still didn't get it. God wants us to get it.. 1. Faith for Salvation Except You Become As Little Children... Matthew 18:3 New International Version (NIV) 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Notice that this is something all who wish to enter that heaven must do! 2.Faith to move Mountains What does this mean? What mountain are you moving with your Faith? When I was 19, I remember going to church and seeing this big sign hanging in the front of the church that said RUSSIA. I suddenly felt I wanted to go. At this point, I had only been on one mission trip. I had grew up thinking all my life that Russia was the "Bad Guy", so I knew that wasn't my flesh wanting to go to Russia, but my Spirit. I don't think I knew this at the time, but God showed me this story later in life. What makes your Spirit jump or what draws you? It is important to recognize this, so you can truly be in Faith and not just fleshly. Most of the time, when God moves, it doesn't make sense in the natural world. For example, I was going to cosmetology school at the time. I was living with an elderly woman and helping her so I didn't have to pay rent. I had no extra money. I was just believing for gas at this point in my life. Why would I think I could raise thousands of dollars for a mission trip? This is how The Lord works. Mark 11:20­26 In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!" "Have faith in God," Jesus answered. "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins." Luke 17:6 6 And the Lord said, “If you had faith like the grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. 3. Steps of Faith A. I went home and read Hebrews 11:1 in a different light. FAITH IS BEING SURE OF WHAT YOU HOPE FOR AND CERTAIN YOU DON'T SEE HOW IT CAN HAPPEN! I thought I qualify as being in FAITH:) I begin to tell everyone. I was so excited! It didn't take me long to realize I was not moving in wisdom, because discouragement came, doubt came, the devil came. Who do you think you are? B. Be led by the Holy Spirit. The next lesson came: Don't tell everyone. Be discerning. Tell those who can be in Faith with you. If God said it, He will make a way. I was working one day and overheard a lady talking to someone about Russia. I felt in my Spirit I was to go tell her I was planning on going to Russia. My first thought was "that is weird". First, I didn’t know her at all. I was overhearing the conversation, but I was young. "Okay, I will just do it". I went right over, and told her I overheard her talking. I told her I was planning on a mission trip to Russia. To my surprise, she was so excited. She followed me back to my working area and asked me what she could do to help. No one had ever said that to me. I just told her to pray. She said she would pray, but she wanted to know how much money I needed. I didn't want to tell her, because it was February. I was suppose to go in July. I had no passport or money... Right then, she gave me a check for $50. This was a great miracle to me. I told her I would give it back if I didn't go. Where was my faith? I think she had more faith in me than I did! GOD WILL ENCOURAGE YOU IN THE DIRECTION HE IS LEADING YOU! STAY IN FAITH AND BELIEVE. ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. 3. Get started. I remember calling the lady in charge of the trip to Russia, telling her I had only $80 dollars. I told her I didn't how this was going to work. She said, "well how much is a passport". I told her $80. She said, "well, get your passport, you're not going anywhere without a Passport" Use what you have... 1 King 17 Elijah and the Widow at Zarephath 7 Sometime later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. 8 Then the word of the Lord came to him: 9 “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” 10 So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.” 12 “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.” 13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’” 15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah. Once I sent for my passport Money came in little by little. 3. Your faith will be tested. I remember when it was getting closer money was coming but not enough and started thinking people are going to think I am lying but The Lord was so good He encouraged me in His Word. Proverbs 16:9 New International Version (NIV) 9 In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. My trust and dependence was now trusting God if this going to happen. Day by day more money came, and the opportunity to share in home prayer groups came. Humility stayed, because I don't know how it was going to happen. I had to keep planning and trusting God. The lady I had met in the beauty shop weeks earlier started sending money. She sent the first $300 dollars. She would always put John 3:16 at the end of the letter. The next check she sent was $500 dollars. I just kept wondering why she was doing it. When I would receive, I would just cry and thank God. Less than a month from the time I was to go, the woman from the beauty shop called my work. She wantedme to come by her house. I was so nervous because I still lacked $1000. I gathered my courage to see her. Once in her home, and seated, she questioned. She said, "honey how much do you lack?" I told her just pray. She said, "I did, but we have to put some legs to these prayers". She was persistent, and again asked me how much. I told her, and she wrote a check. She didn't know me or any of my family. I could only think this was a miracle from God. The final lesson: I learned when people ask, have a ready answer! God wants to move in your life and provide for you. He wants to put legs to your faith, but we have to take the steps- walk it out with Him. He loves you, He will see you through, and your faith will grow. I went on that trip and 16 more between the ages of 19 and 25. Faith works!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

National Day Of Prayer: My Prayer

Heavenly Father, I come to you today to give you all honor and glory. I come to you with a thankful heart, knowing that everything that is good in this life is a gift from you. We are blessed beyond what I fear we can even imagine. Lord, I pray you give us the realization of the depth of our blessings. Thank you Jesus for my life- for saving me, and for awakening me. I pray for my own strength to walk out your plan for my life. I pray you equip me to do my part while listening to only you each step of the way. I pray a special prayer for women today. I pray you rise up women to bring refreshment and encouragement to our nation- to reclaim this land, and our families as yours. I call on your name for the awakening of your sleeping daughters, our sisters who are lost, or sleep walking. I pray our eyes are opened wide. I pray you help us see ourselves for who we really are, so we can allow you to change the parts of us that are displeasing to you. I pray that we will bow our heads today and humbly go before you in surrender, asking forgiveness for the role we have played in the fall of our society. I pray we lift up our husbands and children to you in prayer to restore any part of them we ourselves have broken. Forgive us Lord in our doing. Forgive us of our pride and arrogance, for our selfishness and neglect. Forgive us for our mouths that betray. Restore our speech that we will only bring refreshment to those around us. I pray we will not be silent when truth needs to be told. Give us peace- quiet our restless hearts. Stop our striving spirits. Allow us to see materialism and greed for the ugly demons they truly are. Reveal our true motives and agendas. Break our hearts for what breaks yours. Allow us to see others as You see them. Give us your heart for those around us. Restore kindness and patience. I pray we quiet ourselves and listen to what it is you are calling us to do. Take our pride and fear of man. I will lay them at your feet. I pray you replace them with a boldness that can only come from you. Mold us, Lord, into warriors for your purpose. I pray you give us Godly wisdom and discernment to build our families in your name. Give us the strength to guide our children in a wicked world. Guard our hearts from Satan’s schemes and plans. Pour your spirit on all those who are willing to walk in your purpose. Help us to be your hands and feet on this earth. Give us the strength to stand. Cover our families in your grace and mercy. Lord Come Quickly. Amen!