Point Of Hope

Point of Hope - Melissa Pearce - Enduring Hope Ministries

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Authority In The Battle

 

The Spiritual Battle Was Intense:

I knew this short-term mission trip to Honduras was going to be met with resistance but wasn’t sure how until the week before we were supposed to leave. There were eleven people signed up for the trip, including my wife (who had been to Honduras previously) and my two daughters (who had never been on a global mission trip before). One by one, I kept hearing reports from the team members about various challenges and struggles they were experiencing that were quite unusual.

One woman, on her first mission trip, had raised the full amount. She was in the middle of preparations for the trip when her father was diagnosed with cancer. Her family (who had not been supportive of her going because they were afraid for her safety in Honduras) told her she should not go to Honduras but stay in Pittsburgh to care for her father. Another woman suddenly could not sleep very well in the days leading up to the departure. In one night of restless sleep, she dreamed she was going to be killed violently in Honduras. Another trip member’s brother was diagnosed with cancer, and her mother broke her hip; she would ordinarily have been the primary caregiver for both. She decided to go on the trip to Honduras anyway. Just about every person scheduled to go on the trip shared dramatic situations at work, family tensions, relational struggles, financial strain, fear, anxiety or health problems in the days leading up to the trip.

I sensed it in my own family. My wife and I were at odds with each other much more than normal and knew right away that it was spiritual warfare. I knew we had to pray. I prayed with my wife a lot. We prayed with our family a lot. Our team gathered for a team meeting and prayed a lot. We started an email chain where we prayed for each other a lot. Do you know what happened? God was victorious! We were victorious! The more we prayed, the more resistance we met. The more resistance we met, the more encouraged we were that God was going to do something amazing with this group in Honduras!

And, wow! Did God do something amazing in Honduras! Not only did our team not experience death and destruction while in Honduras, we experienced life! We experienced life to the fullest! Lives were transformed within our group members and also with the host families, leaders, camp counselors and children from the urban ministry that we partnered with in the capital city of Honduras, Tegucigalpa. The enemy wanted to obstruct every part of our trip, but our team had full access to God’s authority! And we were privileged to be part of an amazing movement of God in Honduras!

In response to resistance, we lived passionately on mission. In response to divisiveness and turmoil, we embraced each other and the calling God had given to us. All of the team members experienced freedom in Christ. And many of the children and leaders that we worked with in Honduras experienced freedom in Christ. In the end, all the spiritual battling that we partook in was worth it. As God’s sons and daughters, we took Jesus up on the authority that He so freely makes accessible to us. Jesus received so much glory from our time in Honduras! In spiritual battles (and in life), God’s authority is real!

The Great Commission

One of the most well-known passages of Scripture in the Bible is Matthew 28:16-20, often referred to as the Great Commission. After all the drama throughout the biblical narrative (and especially the Gospel of Matthew), the climax of human history takes place in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Then, Matthew ends his Gospel with this compelling vision that has inspired millions of Christians throughout the past two thousand years:

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” – Matthew 28:16-20, ESV.

We may sometimes have doubts, but Jesus passionately compels us to follow Him. Jesus lives, speaks and leads with authority. And He passes that same authority on to us as we live our lives and seek to participate in God’s redemptive mission. Jesus ushered in the Kingdom of God. We are most fully alive when we are fully living in the authority that God has given us in His kingdom. We will face many challenges because we live in a present evil age. However, we need not shrink in fear and anxiety when faced with evil. We can engage the world with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit and the authority that comes with being children of God because of what Jesus has done for us.

That’s A Lot To Take In!

We have unimaginable authority in our lives because of Jesus’ profound love for us. As it turns out, this was God’s plan all along. God gave Daniel a vision of Jesus’ authority in the sixth century B.C., around 600 years before the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ:

I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed – Daniel 7:13-14, ESV.

Daniel’s prophecy describes Jesus. Jesus often referred to himself as the Son of Man more than any other title. Jesus fulfilled the prophecy, establishing a new kingdom defined by God’s glory, power, dominion, and authority with all of mankind and the entire creation for all time. Everything and everyone exists to love and serve God. The good news is that the Kingdom of God is here now. We don’t have to wait for eternity. All of God’s authority and power is available to us now during these beautiful lives that we have been given!

We live in the now, but not yet. The Kingdom of God is here. But we will face tremendous resistance and persecution because we have an enemy who seeks to steal, kill and destroy us. There is a cosmic battle that we are intimately caught up in between the forces of good and evil. And, in the battle, God has chosen to work through His Church to accomplish His mission. He wants to work through us. And He desires to work through us because He loves us so much. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s image. We are not mere mortals. We have infinite worth in God’s eyes. And, God chose not to leave us ‘out to dry’ in these tough times we face. God gives us His full authority to live lives of victory and perseverance.

Many Ups-And-Downs

We can participate in God’s Kingdom and victory now, but there will still be many ‘ups and downs’ in this epic adventure that is God’s grand narrative. Sometimes, it helps to know the end of the story when we get discouraged while we’re living in the midst of the sin and brokenness that is rampant in this world. Thankfully, God has already showed us how all of this ends. It’s a good ending! And, Jesus’ authority is right at the heart of God’s plans. We see this clearly in the book of Revelation:

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords – Revelation 19:11-16, ESV.

This is such a powerful picture of Jesus and His ultimate victory over evil, sin and death. Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords, will lead His people and hosts of angel armies to the ultimate victory. Jesus is able to do these things because He has been given that authority, and He is trustworthy with that authority. And Jesus loves to give His authority to His children in order for us to become all that God has in mind for us and for His Story.

Why Do We Fail?

So, if all of this is true, and we all have access to the authority that Jesus generously and freely gives, why do we fail to live lives of purpose and meaning and courage and power and victory? So often, we live small and are overcome by our circumstances. Or, sometimes we misuse the authority that God has given us. We try to control it and use it to gain advantage over others. We try to dominate them instead of radically loving them. The truth is that both passivity and overly aggressive, dominating behaviors are sinful, representing gross neglect of the authority God has given us to accomplish His purposes.

God gives us full access to His authority so we can use it to radically love others. That radical love includes not just our own friends and family members, although that is important. God gives us His authority to radically love people who are far from Him and even our enemies. That is the central message of what it means to follow Jesus Christ. Jesus modeled for us how to live and how to love. Not by being people who passively stand by while others participate in God’s Story or by overpowering others with our words and actions but by utilizing God’s authority to give ourselves away to other people through prayer, service, humility and joy in the midst of challenging circumstances.

Are you living life like you have been given full authority from the Most High God? Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection did not occur just so that we can get into Heaven. Jesus desires we experience life to the fullest now and throughout all of eternity. Just like the short-term mission team to Honduras, we may experience tremendous spiritual and physical battles in life. But, we will not be deterred. Through the authority that comes through Jesus, we can thrive and overcome in order to fulfill the unique callings that God gives to us all. Let’s choose to live in that authority every day of our lives!

~Dr. Bryan McCabe

Destined to Walk in Authority

Over the last couple of months, I sensed the Lord is doing something new in many lives. While reflecting on His words to me, it became clear that many are in a season of transition. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines ‘transition‘ as a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage or style to another. I believe many are in a season of transition to discover who we truly are in Christ Jesus. And with our identity comes the authority He has given us. In other words, we are evolving into who He destined us to be (and become)! We operate in (and from) our inheritance, not allowing intimidation or fear to hold us back.

We stand on God’s Word despite personal circumstances and/or uncomfortable situations. We have determined not to back up, back down, back out or back off! This season, our hearts are ignited by utter passion for God!

FERVOR OF LOVE

Jesus displayed this passion toward the Father when He cleansed the temple: “And His disciples remembered that it is written [in the Holy Scriptures], Zeal (the fervor of love) for Your house will eat Me up. [I will be consumed with jealousy for the honor of Your house.] (John 2:17, AMPC). This type of passion (or zeal) comes from love, and this is what God births within us. God, Who is love (1 John 4:8), places within us a greater hunger and/or desire to honor Him above all else. By doing this, we demonstrate our love to Him. God wants His fervor of love to captivate every part of our heart. His fervor of love unleashes truth about who we are in Him and what we can accomplish for Him.

SPIRIT OF ADOPTION

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For [the Spirit which] you have now received [is] not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which we cry, Abba (Father)! Father! The Spirit Himself [thus] testifies together with our own spirit, [assuring us] that we are children of God” (Romans 8:14-16, AMPC). Note the correlation of these verses. Paul was speaking to the church of Rome about their identity and authority. Both identity and authority come from our relationship with Jesus Christ.

Our Spirit of adoption releases not only our identity but also our authority. Our Spirit of adoption removes the bondage of fear. Let me apply this concept to both our identity and our authority. First, our identity: When we truly realize we have been adopted into God’s family, we no longer are intimated by and/or fear man. The questions that hold us in bondage: “Will I be liked by others? Will I be rejected?” are invalid. Why? Because the fervor of God’s love supersedes any fear we might experience. Our assurance (and security) rests in His love – knowing we were chosen before the foundations of the world, and He has accepted us for who we are! Jesus understood the Father’s love. He was never concerned by what others thought of Him; He was never manipulated by His critics. Jesus concerned Himself only with what the Father thought of Him. What about you? Do you worry about other people’s opinions? Does this hold you back from being who God called you to be?

Our Spirit of adoption also releases us to embrace our God-given authority. We are no longer bound by fear, intimidation and/or doubt. As we embrace our God-given identity, we operate in the authority He has given us. Fear once held us in bondage but is no longer our master! The Spirit of adoption ignited by His LOVE enables us to face (and do) the impossible.

POSITION OF SONSHIP

Jesus operated from His position of sonship when He cleansed the temple. The Jews were angry, demanding proof of who gave Him the authority to act as He did: “Then the Jews retorted, What sign can You show us, seeing You do these things? [What sign, miracle, token, indication can You give us as evidence that You have authority and are commissioned to act in this way?]” (John 2:18, AMPC). The evidence: He knows Who He is! We must be confident in who we are in Christ. At times, people will question our intention, even our character. We must operate from our position of adoption into God’s family. At times, the enemy will sling his fiery darts to intimidate us with fear and doubt; he does not want us moving forward. We must operate from our position of sonship. We are a child of the Most High God; He has chosen us and appointed us to be His representative on earth!

In this season, God is raising up a mighty, fearless army! God desires His people to be filled with His unstoppable love and their hearts to be ignited by His zeal – to bring His Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven! We were born to make an impact on those around us. We were born to make a difference in someone’s life. We were born to complete the mission for Him!

Rise up, mighty woman (or man) of God! Take your position as His daughter (or son)!

In Him,
Rev. Melissa Pearce

Spiritual Authority

Shelly Hess - Authority and Agreement

What is Authority?

Dictionary.com defines authority as: 1. the power to determine, adjudicate, or otherwise settle issues or disputes; jurisdiction; the right to control, command, or determine; 2. a person or body of persons in whom authority is vested; 3. persons having the legal power to make and enforce the law.

Today we’ll look at 4 aspects of implementing spiritual authority…

1) Take authority over your flesh

First, you must take authority over your flesh regarding your own life, so that you manage it well: “You can’t take authority over your life if you don’t have authority over a sink full of dirty dishes or a messy garage” (Joyce Meyer). The Bible tells us to be good stewards of our time, our thoughts, our words, our choices, our gifts, our money and our bodies. In other words, we are instructed to take authority over our lives, by being good managers of our lives in these ways. How are we to do this? “‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty” (Zechariah 4:6). We are to ask the Lord for His grace, His ability, to do what He has instructed us to do. We rely on the ability of God at work on the inside of us, not our flesh. In addition, we put shoe leather to the stewardship of our lives. The Bible says (1 Corinthians 3:9) that we co-labor with Christ. In other words, we work together toward the same goals. One example of a goal is, as we get authority over our thoughts and emotions, we are less likely to be led around by them. Another is, as we get authority over our bodies, we are less likely to give way to every food craving. As the definition states, taking authority over our flesh is taking control of and having jurisdiction over it.

2) Our Mindset

Second, we often walk in defeat instead of in authority that leads to victory because of our mindset. Mindsets are like the bumpers put in the gutters of bowling lanes. If they are godly, they keep us on the straight and narrow. However, if they are not, whether because they do NOT agree with the Word or because they are simply out of season and old, they act as blinders. Instead of safety nets that surround us, they become stumbling blocks we bump into that prevent a victory. Many times, we have fixed mindsets about what we can and can’t do, what we like and don’t like, how God can and cannot use us, how God will and will not do things, what others can and can’t do. Instead, we must have a growth mindset that allows us to open ourselves to other, new ways of doing things and different belief systems that still align with the Word of God. This is why we are to be good stewards of our minds and submit to the Lord. As the definition states, here we have the authority to determine our mindset. Life is not something that happens to us; we are participants, profit participants, in fact! Our actions and choices determine many outcomes in our lives.

3) Declaring God’s Will

Third, you can declare the will of God over your life because, within the Word of God, the will of God is revealed. Whenever the will of God is known, you can agree with His Word and send it forth! The definition states that authority gives you the right to command.

Jesus is quoted in Isaiah 46:10 as saying, “…My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.” Determine that you will believe the Word of God. When you believe the Word of God, whether written, prophesied over or spoken to you, when you come into agreement with the Lord and believe His Word, you are standing on it in authority, knowing that it’s the Word of the Lord alone that stands firm in the heavens (Psalm 119:89). We can go to war with the Word of God, meaning that in His name, we can declare the Word that revealed the will of God into every situation in our lives.

4) Agreement

Fourth, because of the authority given to us by Christ as His co-heirs, we are not subject to the enemy. Luke 10:19 says, “…I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy…” One major way you can exercise your authority over the enemy is by not agreeing with him but agreeing with the Lord instead. As the definition states, as a Christian, authority has been vested to me, and I have authority to enforce the law (the Truth, the Word, the power of Christ, in this context).

As you can see, there is power for defeat or victory in agreement. Do you remember when David came to the battlefield against Goliath? In 1 Samuel 17, David called Goliath an “…uncircumcised Philistine…” He did so because Israel, whom Goliath was coming against, had a covenant with God, symbolized by circumcision. Goliath did not have a covenant with God, hence the reference to him being uncircumcised. David knew the will of God. He knew who he and his people were to God. And, he agreed with the Word of the Lord concerning them. Upon that authority, he stood and the following story unfolded as a result, “David said to the Philistine, ‘You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.
As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 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 face-down on the ground.
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
” (verses 45-50).

As the definition of authority states, David settled the dispute.

If there is any dispute in your mind about the Word of the Lord, settle it! You have been given the authority to agree with and determine the course of life with it!

~Shelly Hess

Fearless Conference

Taking Spiritual Authority Over the Devil

Pastor Glaze - PUT SATAN UNDER YOUR FEET

PUT SATAN UNDER YOUR FEET

“And hath put all things under his feet…” (Ephesians 1:22).

What a powerful word picture! Christ has put all things under His feet. The imagery comes from the ancient world where a king would put his foot on the neck of the enemy. This act symbolized that the enemy was in total submission to the king. In the previous verse (21), some of the things under His feet are listed—principalities, powers, might and dominion. These words refer to Satan and his demonic forces. Praise God! Jesus has put His foot on the neck of the devil and all he represents.

Later on, Paul would say the believer has to be “raised up together, and made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6). It stands to reason, if we are seated together with Christ in heavenly places and He has all things under His feet, we have the same authority. You can put the devil under your feet, Pete— realizing your position in Christ and walking in authority over the evil one. I heard a Christian rapper say in a song—“You don’t have to work with the shovel, you’ve got the power to step on the devil.” Let me offer three ways a believer can step on (take authority over) the devil:

By Using the Bible

Find specific verses that address the problem to believe, trust and stand on during Satanic attacks (Matthew 4:1-11). Each time that Satan tempted Jesus with something, He believed and stood on the Word of God.

By Putting on the Armor of God

We read in Ephesians 6:10-18, God has given His children a special suit of armor. To put it plainly, this armor is given so that we “may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (verse 11).

Through Implementing Prayer

After instructing the believer to put on the Armor of God, Paul says, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit…” (Ephesians 6:18). What gasoline is to a car, prayer is to the armor. A car is useless without gas, and the armor is just a bunch of metal without prayer. Prayer is the key to making the armor effective in one’s battle against the devil. Prayer as a weapon against Satan is further seen in Luke 22:31-32 where Jesus told Peter, “…Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat; but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not…

Prayer:
Exalted Savior, please remind me that when I feel overwhelmed by the devil, You have given me all authority over him. Even though he has power, I serve the One Who has all power and is able to subdue the forces of darkness.

~Dr. William R. Glaze

Authority Has Been Given

Authority Has Been Given - Mary Beth Pecora | Enduring Hope Minsitries

As we focus on AUTHORITY this quarter, let’s first establish where our authority comes from as believers!

Scripture teaches: …All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me (Matthew 28:18, NIV). This ‘me’ is Jesus!

As Jesus spoke these words, He commissioned His disciples to complete the mission. The word ‘commission‘ is “an instruction, command, or duty given to a person“. These were His last words, after Jesus appeared to His disciples following His resurrection.

As He authorized them to go and make disciples in all nations, He established their authority in Him!

Let’s Look a Little Closer at This Authority

Daniel had a vision of this authority in Jesus:
In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed (Daniel 7:13-14, NIV).

Listen to the words of Jesus:

  • All things have been committed to me by my Father (Luke 10:22, NIV).
  • The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands (John 3:35, NIV).
  • You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am (John 13:13, NIV). (An instructor would normally be called ‘Teacher’ but ‘Lord’ refers to one occupying the Supreme place. Jesus accepted both titles!)
  • For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him (John 17:2, NIV).

As the Apostle Paul prayed for the Ephesians, he spoke in depth about the authority that Jesus gives to US, as believers. I recommend you read it carefully and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal things you have never before seen. I love when, as our Teacher, He does that! I join with Paul in prayer that we can achieve a new understanding about walking in the authority of Jesus Christ. While writing, he prayed:

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power (authority) is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way (Ephesians 1:17-23, NIV).

The Son of Man (JESUS) rules over everything!

As His followers, that same authority is given to us!

The Amplified Bible says: and [so that you will begin to know] what the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His [active, spiritual] power is in us who believe… (Ephesians 1:19, AMP).

Do you believe this? Do you believe in Him? No matter what your circumstance – stand in faith and hold onto His promises – His Word. His Words are NOT empty promises! They are for YOU! As you grow as a believer, ask Jesus to point out His promises to you for your specific situation. And, when He does, hold onto them as His Word to YOU – His particular Rhema word to you.

The Lord does not want us captivated by our culture but by His love. We must not let critical comments impact how we feel; we must feel secure in Him. Do not allow yourself to be motivated by the praise of others but be motivated to praise Him above others.

May our frustration over problems be dissolved, as we trust Him. May we stand strong in trials and temptations or when the enemy tries to intimidate us. When intimidated, we are bullied.

When we walk in the authority of Christ – WE intimidate the enemy. Be fearless, knowing that Jesus has your back.

No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me,’ says the Lord (Isaiah 54:17, NKJV).

Our heritage is our inheritance! Jesus gives this to us!

Do you understand that your authority is the Lord’s authority? No more identity crises! This is our identity in Him! If Jesus said it, I believe it! It is His Word, and He does not lie!

When times get rough, make a commitment! You WILL NOT back up, back off, back down, back out OR backslide! His authority makes you a warrior, not simply a survivor! Continue to move forward in His grace and authority!

Father, I thank You that all authority in heaven and on the earth has been given to You, Jesus –everything I encounter on this earth has to first go through You. Every attack, every negative word spoken against me – You turn it around for my good and for the good of others.

Father, I thank You that when You were resurrected, You gave that authority (that power) to us, Your body, Your church. Help us walk in that authority. Keep us humble as You release that authority and as we do exploits for You.

Lord, this authority and power is to make disciples, to bring in the harvest, to reach those who do not know and have not heard!
May we use YOUR AUTHORITY for YOUR Kingdom, to build YOUR KINGDOM – and never for our own gain!

In Jesus Name, I pray, Amen!

In His Love and Authority,
~Mary Beth Pecora

Operating from Our Core

Earlier this year, God gave me the tagline, #ChildBrideWarrior, to be used on all the social media for the ministry. Each word is simple but filled with so much power, hope and truth!

Operating from Our Core - Melissa Pearce

This phrase depicts how God sees us and how He longs for us to operate from these core truths. The dynamics of how we see ourselves and how we handle various trials and difficulties stem directly from our core.

| CHILD

Do we believe we are a child of God? “Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God…” (NKJV – 1 John 3:1). When we see ourselves as a child of the Living God, it changes the dynamics of how we approach our circumstances. Too often, we get stuck in a rut. We allow our circumstances and/or situations to define us, making us believe we are defeated, unworthy, helpless and unacceptable. This is untrue! God wants us to see ourselves from His viewpoint. He wants us to see we are His children – and with Him, all things are possible!

In this season of our lives, God is removing what I call ‘the poverty spirit’ from us. A poverty spirit attacks our identity as a child and causes us to see ourselves as a victim rather than a victor. This causes us to fall into bondage. In bondage, we cannot operate in the fullness of what God has for us. In bondage, we do not operate in the authority God has given us.

How do you know if you encounter the poverty spirit? Do you see lack? A poverty spirit always sees lack. It always believes what is will always be, with no opportunity for advancement or change. It does not have hope. It believes God does not care about particular areas of your life. It believes you must always hold back because there is never going to be enough. It believes you must defend and/or provide for yourself. It believes there is no future.

We must start operating from our core.

This year, God desires to break, remove and/or restructure our thought processes concerning our approach to circumstances in our lives. God is advancing His Kingdom, and we must be ready! We must start operating from our core. Our core (inner being) gives stability and strength. If we do not have a strong core, we cannot function accordingly.

When reading Luke 15:11-32, we often view the passages as simply the story of a prodigal son. However, I would suggest that there is so much more! We see both sons had a victim mentality. They did not see themselves as their father did. Nor did they see their father in the way he intended. How often do we fall into the same trap with our Heavenly Father?

And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me’” (NKJV – Luke 15:12). This son understood he had an inheritance but did not operate in it correctly. Don’t we do this? Hasn’t God given us an inheritance as His child? Yet, we do not operate in our inheritance correctly!

When we operate correctly in our inheritance, it removes (breaks) the spirit of poverty from us. We no longer see ourselves as victims but victors! We realize we are blessed (Deuteronomy 28:1-14)! We realize we are loved, adopted, accepted, forgiven, redeemed, called and chosen (Ephesians 1:3-14)! These are not mere words but core truths we must live out and abide in. We must not allow our circumstances to detract from these core truths causing us to forfeit our inheritance. When situations arise in our lives, we approach them with confidence – confidence in God to see us through, because we know we are blessed, loved and chosen!

The older son did not realize what he possessed. He believed his relationship with his father was based on performance, not resting in the father’s unconditional love: “So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends’” (NKJV – Luke 15:29). Once again, this son operated from a victim mentality. He didn’t operate in the inheritance the father provided for him. He believed his relationship with his father was based on performance, structure and/or good deeds.

| BRIDE

This brings us to the second part of our tagline, ChildBrideWarrior. The second son didn’t operate in the grace bestowed upon him. As a bride of Christ, we are completely free in Him because of what He has done for us (Ephesians 1:3-14)! How often do we do the same with God? We strive to gain His affection? Do we fully comprehend what we possess because of our relationship with Jesus Christ? The more we rest in God’s unconditional love, the more we operate in our inheritance!

The enemy wants nothing more than for us to remain in bondage. But God needs us to start operating from our core! He wants us to realize we are His child. And as His child, He desires the best for us! He believes in us! He has provided (and will continue to provide) everything we will ever need.

| WARRIOR

When we operate from our core, it positions us to unlock the warrior within us. We have been given authority by God to rule and reign on this earth with Him! We are not a victim; we are a victor! We can do all things through Christ, Who gives us strength! Stop second-guessing yourself! Don’t listen to the lies of the enemy!

God sees us as His warriors. And, as His warriors, we fulfill His greatest conquest on earth – that is demonstrating His LOVE! God is love (1 John 4:8), and LOVE covers a multitude of sins! LOVE believes the best in others; LOVE protects the interests of others; LOVE always perseveres. In the end, LOVE never fails! There are many desperate hearts in need of Jesus; God wants to use us as His ChildBrideWarriors! The only limits are those we place upon ourselves! God already unlocked every prison door that held us captive. We must now choose to believe and receive what He has done for us!

Unleash the #ChildBrideWarrior within you! Then watch God do amazing things within (and throughout) your life!

In Him,
Rev. Melissa Pearce

Voice of Truth

What we agree with… what we focus on… we empower.

Enduring Hope Ministries

According to dictionary.com; to ’empower’ means “to give power or authority to; to enable or permit“.

Whose voice do you give authority? The voice of the enemy says: ‘It will never work out for you!’ ‘You will be left out!’ ‘You will never get well!’ or ‘Your dreams will never come to fruition!’ Do you recognize this as a voice of authority you must listen to? Or do you recognize it as the voice of a liar to be disregarded? Conversely, when hearing the Lord’s voice or reading His Word (even if it is contrary to what you can see), do you recognize it as the Voice of Truth? Or is it difficult to recognize as the Voice of Truth because of what you see or have experienced in the past?

Let me ask in a different way…Does the Lord’s voice and His Word have authority in your life?

In Matthew 4:4, the Bible says: “…It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.’

God’s Word, whether written or spoken personally or through His prophets, are words to live by. They must have authority in your life! Every word of God precedes the manifestation of the Word, just as during Creation (Genesis 1:3): “Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.

Whatever you empower will manifest in your life.

You must allow the Word of the Lord to create vision for your life. The Bible says, in essence (Proverbs 29:18): ‘Without vision, the people perish.’ Without vision, we have no hope. I say, if we embrace the vision the devil reveals, we have no hope. We must hear the voice of the Lord concerning our life and give authority to whatever He says. We must determine that His voice speaks the truth. We must decide it doesn’t really matter what things look like, because the Word of the Lord precedes the manifestation of the Word. We must empower the Word of the Lord in our life by coming into agreement with it, because the voice of the Lord is the Voice of Truth. When we agree with the vision the Lord places before us, we have hope.

Think of the Israelites after the Lord set them free from slavery in Egypt. The Lord took them into the wilderness. He provided manna each day, and He went before them as a cloud by day and a fire by night. But they lost sight of the vision of the Promised Land while in the wilderness. Because they lost their vision, they actually desired to return to Egypt where they were enslaved. This happens when the voice of the Lord is allowed to lose authority in our life. We lose our vision and end up enslaved by agreement with what the enemy has to say about us and our future.

Give those words authority and power:

Let’s work on the vision for our life that is built on the words that come from the mouth of the Lord! Let’s give those words authority and power over our life by agreeing with them!

1) Let’s start by looking at the Bible, the written Word of God. Write down your answers:
-What does the Lord say about you?

  • -What does the Lord say about your sin?
  • -What does the Lord say about His plan for your life?

2) Now, write down any prophetic words you have received from the Lord through His prophets.

3) Lastly, write down things the Lord has spoken to you personally. Spend some time Him, writing down what you hear during your prayer time. Submit them to the Lord for confirmation you heard Him correctly.

Now, look at your answers to these exercises. I ask again: Does the voice of the Lord have authority in your life? Do you regard His voice as the Voice of Truth? Speak to your pastor or spiritual mentor about your answers to these exercises for confirmation and guidance. Keep them always before you, having faith that the Word of the Lord precedes the manifestation of His Word. I recently downloaded an app on my phone and recorded myself reading prophetic words the Lord has been speaking to me. I listen to that over and over on my headphones. I keep the Word of God always before me. I regard it as the Voice of Truth. I am empowering the Word of God by agreeing with it. I believe the Word of God precedes the manifestation of His Word in my life. Do you?

~Shelly Hess

Failing to use the power of God


And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:19-20).

It was a nice summer afternoon, and I was out working in my yard. Suddenly, there was a terrible thunderstorm that knocked all the power out in my neighborhood. The power outage lasted well into the evening hours. As I sat in the dark, I remembered I had not closed my garage door. When I went down to close it, I discovered the rest of my neighbor’s power had been restored while I was still in the dark. Upon a quick examination, I realized when the power went out it blew a fuse in my house. After rectifying the situation, the thought hit me – I sat in the dark for hours while, unknown to me, my power had been restored. I had the power but did not utilize it. Isn’t that like many Christians? They have the power of God but fail to use it in their lives.

ABILITY:

In Ephesians 1:19-20, the Apostle Paul informs us that the same power that raised Christ from the dead is available to the believer. Now that is downright amazing! Think of it! The power that gave life to a dead body is at the child of God’s disposal! Upon further examination, the depth of this power is even more amazing!

First, he says, “And what is the exceeding greatness of his power…” The word ‘power’ is the Greek word dunamis. This is power that gives one the ability to perform a certain task. It endows an ordinary person with the ability to do extraordinary things in God’s Kingdom.
Prayer:Lord, let me do something extraordinary for You.”

ENERGIZE:

Second, Paul states, “according to the working of his mighty power…” The word ‘working’ is another Greek word for power, energeo, which is an energizing power. It is the energizing force of the Holy Spirit that empowers a person to live for the Lord.
Prayer:Lord, give me the energy to live a life that pleases You.”

OVERCOME:

Third, we see this is a “mighty power…” The word ‘mighty’ is another Greek word for power which is ‘kratos‘. This is power which enables a person to overcome addictions, bitterness, unforgiveness, insecurities, fears, self-doubts, etc.
Prayer:Lord, enable me to overcome any besetting sins and bad habits in my life.

ABIDE:

Fourth, it is a “mighty power…” The word ‘power’ here in Greek is ischus, which refers to God’s power. We catch a glimpse of this power in Ephesians 6:10 where Paul exclaims, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” This is where the believer abides in a strength not of his own but of God’s.
Prayer: “Lord, let my weakness be made perfect in Your strength.

Fellow believer, let us not sit in the dark, failing to use the power God has made available to us!

~Dr. William R. Glaze

Transformation

Transformation - Dr. Bryan McCabe

As a child, I never really knew my father. My mother battled drug addiction and poverty. I was constantly surrounded by negativity and dysfunction. Things got so bad that I was eventually removed from my mother’s house and placed in the foster care system. That’s when I started really acting out. I did my best to cause as much damage as I could to the families that took me in. I was angry, and I wanted to sabotage every relationship. I was eventually adopted into a family, and I wreaked havoc on them. I did everything I could to cause pain to the parents that had adopted me, but they persisted. And I finally settled in there for the remainder of my childhood. My parents were not Christians, so I never went to church; I didn’t know anything about God. I stabilized enough to finish high school and go on to college. Something was missing, though. There was a God-sized hole in my life. Somebody invited me to church when I was in college. I went to church and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior! And now, my life is on a completely different path!

I could not believe what I was hearing the first time my young friend opened up to me about his life’s story. He was in his early twenties at the time. I was a relatively inexperienced pastor. Sitting in my office, as my friend shared about his journey, all I could think about was what a remarkable transformation was taking place in his life. I would have never guessed he had such a troubled past. The man in front of me was brilliant, funny, outgoing, talented, respectful, compassionate and filled with zeal for life and for God that was unparalleled. He was an excellent student at his university, and he was well liked by everyone. He was hungry for spiritual growth. He asked lots of great questions about his budding Christian faith. He read his Bible constantly, prayed passionately and served faithfully at his church. How could such a likeable young man overcome so many difficult challenges in life?

God is on a redemptive mission to transform lives.

That same young man has become a spiritual son to me since that day in my office when he shared the obstacles that he persevered through in his life. He has become part of my family. He continues to shine the light of Christ everywhere he goes. He is graduating from law school this month, and I am officiating his wedding to a wonderful Christian young lady next month. He already has a job lined up at one of the most prestigious law firms in the region upon graduation. I have no doubt he is going to make a huge impact with his career. And he is going to be an incredible husband. I believe all the dramatic progress he has made in life can be contributed to the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. His is one of the most amazing stories of transformation I have ever witnessed! And I see the work of the Lord throughout every part of his life!

God is on a redemptive mission to transform lives through the power of the Holy Spirit. All things are possible because of God’s transforming power. There are many examples of people becoming empowered to overcome challenging life circumstances throughout the Bible. One of my favorite examples of empowerment is found in a little letter in the New Testament called Philemon. The letter was written by the Apostle Paul while imprisoned in Rome, mostly likely in the year A.D. 62. Paul wrote the letter to his friend Philemon, a wealthy businessman from Colossae that Paul led to Christ during one of his missionary journeys. The letter to Philemon was written in order to advocate for a young man names Onesimus that Paul led to Christ in Rome. Onesimus had become Paul’s spiritual son.

Onesimus was a slave belonging to the household of Philemon. As a young man, Onesimus got into a lot of trouble because he stole from Philemon and ran away. He made it all the way across the Roman Empire from the city of Colossae to Rome to hide out among the crowds of the big city. At some point, Onesimus crossed paths with Paul and heard the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Onesimus became a follower of Jesus, and Paul discipled him. During their discipleship journey, Onesimus decided to open up to Paul about the baggage from his past. As fate would have it, Paul actually knew the man Onesimus was running from. What are the chances?

Everything becomes different.

The easiest thing would have been just to let things go. Onesimus had become very useful to Paul and his ministry in Rome. Paul knew his time was short; he needed all the help he could get with the ministry. However, Paul knew something about the character of God. When a person becomes a follower of Jesus Christ, everything becomes different. The old self dies, and a new creation emerges empowered by the Holy Spirit. Paul profoundly trusted in the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. Paul came up with a plan to send Onesimus back to Philemon so the two brothers in Christ could be reconciled. In that ancient context, with slavery so prevalent throughout the Roman Empire, Philemon would have been expected to kill Onesimus at the very moment of his return to make an example of him.

With the stakes so high, Paul sent Onesimus back to Philemon carrying a letter advocating on behalf of his spiritual son. And what a powerful letter it was! After Paul’s greeting to Philemon and his family, here is what the letter said:

I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.

Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, yet for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you – I, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus – I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I became in my imprisonment. (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart. I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel, but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord. For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, no longer as a bondservant but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother – especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.

So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it – to say nothing of your owing me even your own self. Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ.

Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. At the same time, prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping that through your prayers I will be graciously given to you” (Philemon 4-22, ESV).

Why does this letter in the New Testament represent such an amazing story of empowerment and transformation?
Beginning with the empowerment of Onesimus, we know a little bit about what happened to him through studying church history. It’s understandable that Onesimus would go to great lengths to preserve the important letter Paul had given him, as he risked his life traveling back across the Roman Empire to the far-off city of Colossae to give the letter to Philemon. Paul also sent other important letters with Onesimus. Onesimus became pretty good at risking his life to preserve letters meaningful to the early Christians. Today, we have important parts of the New Testament due directly to Onesimus’ preservation efforts. Onesimus, once a scared runaway youth, was empowered by the Holy Spirit to preserve Scriptures for the global Church.

There is no such thing as a lost cause.

The Bible doesn’t tell us what happened when Onesimus reached Philemon with the letter. It appears as though Philemon did something radical, though, instead of killing Onesimus. We know that a man named Onesimus became the bishop of the largest church in the world at that time – the church started by the Apostle John. Most biblical scholars agree this was the same Onesimus for whom Paul had written his letter. Onesimus’ process of transformation was so profound, empowered by the Holy Spirit, that he overcame the challenges of a dysfunctional life to become pastor of one of the most influential Christian churches in the world. There is no such thing as a lost cause. God can redeem any situation in anyone’s life. This is especially true for vulnerable people on the margins of society such as Onesimus.

Philemon also represents a remarkable transformation empowered by the Holy Spirit. Before encountering the Gospel of Jesus Christ through Paul’s ministry, Philemon was most likely living a comfortable, successful-looking life as a wealthy businessman in a world-class city like Colossae. He seemed to be doing just fine, even if his wealth was acquired by enslaving others. Yet, he accepted the love of Christ, and his life would never be the same! A church started meeting in his home. His shady business practices would be dramatically transformed. He would willingly trade his selfish existence to die to himself and fully embrace the cross of Jesus Christ – an act that might cost him everything. Yet, he was a new creation in Christ. The old Philemon died; the new Philemon was expected to demonstrate radical forgiveness and love toward runaway slaves who stole from him. He would model grace and reconciliation for his city and the world to witness to bring glory to God. We learn from Philemon’s example that God empowers people to overcome the trappings of wealth, comfort, materialism and selfishness in order to find purpose and joy through Christ.

The Apostle Paul discovered the Gospel of Jesus Christ empowers people to live differently and demonstrated that profound truth through his relationships with Onesimus and Philemon. Nearly 2,000 years later, I learned that the Gospel of Jesus Christ empowers people to live differently through my friend and spiritual son. The Holy Spirit led my friend through a process of transformation. And God led me through a process of transformation to discover that God can do literally anything through people that He chooses to work through. God empowers people for His purposes.

~Dr. Bryan McCabe


Point of Hope - Magazine

Issue #36 - December 2016

Point Of Hope - Magazine


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