Yesterday

YESTERDAY

You shall not go out with haste,…for the Lord will go before you….

Isaiah 52:2

God is the God of our yesterdays.  It is true that we have lost opportunities that will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future.  Let the past rest, but let it rest in the sweet embrace of Christ.  Leave the broken, irreversible past in His hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him.

Oswald Chambers – My Utmost for His Highest

“And Every Virtue We Possess”

“AND EVERY VIRTUE WE POSSESS”

…All my springs are in you.

Psalm 87:7

God is trying to get us in contact with the life of Jesus Christ – a life that can never be described in terms of natural virtues.  He does not take our natural virtues and transform them, because they could never even come close to what Jesus Christ wants.  But as we bring every part of our natural bodily life into harmony with the new life God has placed within us, He will exhibit in us the virtues that were characteristic of the Lord Jesus.

Oswald Chambers – My Utmost for His Highest

Deserter or Disciple?

DESERTER OR DISCIPLE?

From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.

John 6:66

You can never be the same after the unveiling of a truth.  That moment marks you as one who either continues on with even more devotion as a disciple of Jesus Christ, or as one who  turns to go back as a deserter.

Oswald Chambers – My Utmost for His Highest

Continuous Conversion

CONTINUOUS CONVERSION

…unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 18:3

These words of our Lord refer to our initial conversion, but we should continue to turn to God as children, being continuously converted every day of our lives.  Our natural life must not rule – God must rule in us.

Oswald Chambers – My Utmost for His Highest

Where the Battle is Won or Lost

WHERE THE BATTLE IS WON OR LOST

“If you will return, O Israel,” says the Lord….

Jeremiah 4:1

Not often, but every once in a while, God brings us to a major turning point – a great crossroads in our life.  From that point we either go toward a more and more slow, lazy, and useless Christian life, or we become more and more on fire, giving our utmost for His highest – our best for His glory.

Oswald Chambers – My Utmost for His Highest

The Lord Disciplines Those He Loves

Please take a moment and read this posting from Rick Joyner’s Word for the Week.

As we consider the lessons from the recent elections, a major factor was that more moral firewalls were breeched as America continues down the road defined by the Lord in His Word as “wickedness.” This is the road He affirms that He will judge the world for. We are no doubt headed for increasingly severe judgment. We must keep in mind that God’s judgment is not condemnation or destruction but discipline from the Lord for those He loves.

The Lord usually calls, beckons, and even reasons with nations before He sends judgment. When judgment is necessary, He is usually as gracious and merciful as possible, always preferring mercy over judgment. It becomes more serious if we continue to resist and go down the wrong path. There is a time when only severe judgment will work. Then there is a time when no discipline will work, and that is followed by destruction.

There are four major causes that bring God’s judgment on a land in Scripture: 1) the shedding of innocent blood, 2) turning to what the Lord defines as “wickedness,” 3) turning from the Lord to worship idols, and 4) rebellion. There are others, but these are the four most frequently addressed in Scripture and have the most severe consequences. For more than half a century, America has been heading in the wrong direction on all of these. America has been under an increasingly severe judgment also. Nothing to date seems to have gotten the attention of more than a few. Now let’s briefly look at these four factors and how America might be doing:
Continue reading

How the Devil Hides in Religion

Devil Hides in Religion

Has the American church given the devil a place to hide?

Nobody I know has ever taken a photograph of the devil, and we couldn’t find a recent snapshot to use on the cover of Charisma this month. The only images we located were paintings, drawings and a few sculptures—all based on artists’ notions of what the Evil One must look like.

I certainly was not inclined to pursue an interview or a photo-shoot, since I really don’t care to see Satan in person. But for the sake of journalistic accuracy I need to inform our readers that the red-faced monster we featured on our cover is probably not a realistic depiction.

Most of us tend to think of the devil as a grotesque creature: a half-man, half-reptile with forked tongue, goatee, black fingernails and creepy, Darth Vaderlike voice (and bad breath of the sulfuric variety). He’s like all the things we feared most when we were kids: Dracula, Freddy Krueger or any twisted character played by Vincent Price. Kids today might give the “Most Like Satan” award to the dark wizard Saruman from The Lord of the Rings films.

But the issue for us is not whether the devil has pointed ears or carries a pitchfork. Regardless of his real appearance, he is a master of disguise. That’s what makes him so dangerous.

We Christians are always on the lookout for the devil’s work. But it seems we spend way too much energy looking in the wrong places for his fingerprints.

A few years ago, for example, some Christians worked overtime to inform parents about the evils of Pokémon, claiming that Satan was plotting to take over the minds of children by using a Japanese cartoon. That was only after another group of Christians circulated a warning that a major U.S. household-products company was controlled by devil worshipers. (It wasn’t.)

Today, many believers act as if the Harry Potter books are hell’s primary tools to infiltrate our families with witchcraft.

I don’t buy that. Satan is much more subtle.

The apostle Paul, who wrestled with plenty of demonic powers in his day, told us that we must know our enemy in order to outwit him. One thing we must understand is that the devil’s primary target is the church­—so he snoops around there a lot.

He comes “as an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14, NASB) and is an imposter who claims to speak for God. He can mimic piety. He’s OK with choir robes, clerical collars and the whole Sunday morning routine. He knows how to dress to fit in.

He detests genuine praise music that exalts God, but he’s fine when he can turn worship into dead formality or manipulate it in a fleshly way to glorify the performer. He hates the Bible (because he must bow to its authority), but he has impressive knowledge of the Scriptures and can twist them to create false doctrines.

He despises preachers, but if he can tempt them to embrace greed or arrogance (or lure them into denominational politics), he can use them like puppets on a string. He hates it when Christians love each other, so he uses every trick in his bag to trigger jealously, strife, divorce and painful church splits.

The apostle Paul didn’t seem too concerned about the devil’s influence in pagan culture. He was much more alarmed that Satan had infiltrated the church without anyone’s knowing it.

“Who has bewitched you?” he asked the Galatians (Gal. 3:1). He told the Corinthians: “I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ” (2 Cor. 11:3).

Has the American church given the devil a place to hide? Satan thrives on religious hypocrisy. He also loves backbiting, pride, greed, selfish ambition and hidden perversion. As long as we tolerate such things, we create an atmosphere of spiritual compromise that attracts the enemy and gives him a safe haven.

Religious people don’t even realize they are part of this evil plot. But radical Christians who are full of the Holy Ghost must go on the offensive, chase Satan down, invade his territory and liberate his captives. When our masked enemy is faced with a church that walks in genuine love, Christlike humility, bold authority and biblical faith, he must tuck his scaly tail between his legs and run.

J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma and the director of The Mordecai Project (themordecaiproject.org). You can follow him on Twitter at leegrady. His latest book is Fearless Daughters of the Bible.

This article was taken, in full, from Charisma Magazine.  You can find the original article here.