Monday, January 29 2018
Genesis 2 gives us a picture of a perfect garden that man had been given dominion over.
The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil...Genesis 2:8-9
God created this perfect place that had all the provision man would need and then he formed man and gave him dominion over it. We understand that Adam and Eve fell and that is where most people get stuck. We see, however, such a beautiful picture of redemption as we understand that the first Adam fell and we lost dominion of that garden but the second Adam (Jesus) purchased it back through his sacrifice on the cross. Satan gained authority over that garden because Adam would not exercise his authority over what was entrusted to him. The bible gives us such a beautiful picture of God restoring man back to the garden.
And he showed me a pure river of water, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month...Revelation 22:1-2
Throughout the whole Bible is the story of how God's whole intent was to bring us back to the garden. Through Jesus and his victory over sin and death he took the keys away from the serpent and gave us the path back to the garden where we have dominion. What a beautiful picture of God's design and God's heart for our lives. For most of us, we think we live in a sin filled world that is going to hell and there is no hope. They look around them and see only dead religion, dry bones, a weak church, and poverty. They blame the church, they blame the government or whatever they can - but if we have dominion and we are not exercising that dominion over what has been entrusted to us then who is ruling and reigning?
Gensis gives us a picture of the provision of God in our gardens. Genesis 2:10 tells us that a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads.
The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one which skirts the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. Pishon means full flowing. The first river mentioned is a picture of prosperity in the life of a believer and their habitational place of authority. We are to be blessed and prospering. Out of us should flow the blessing to our regions. These 4 rivers marked the boundaries of the land pledged to Abraham. The "paradise" of Canann's land was given to Abraham and his descendants. Makes sense that God wants us to experience a full-flow of His presence and power in our lives that will flow to others.
The second river was called Gihon - which means bursting forth or gushing. This river became the primary water supply for Jerusalem. It does not produce a steady flow, but gushes out at irregular intervals. If we move beyond full-flowing to bursting forth then the nature and character of God coming out of us is bound to influence and impact others also. God does not want us merely living lives of survival or success, but to move beyond that and truly live lives of significance - not merely focusing on what we need or want for ourselves, but on what we can contribute to others.
The third river is Hiddekel which means swift and darting (word picture of a swift arrow in flight). An arrow is first aimed at a target before it is released. Prayer is an arrow aimed at a particular target. Being specific in prayer for a believer is important. We are not to be aimless in our lives. We are to be like swift arrows in flight.
The fourth river is Euphrates which means fruitful (sweet water). If we have the first three rivers flowing in our life (fullness, overflow, and purpose) then it will result in us experiencing sweetness and fruitfulness.
We as believers have been given a garden. This represents OUR families, OUR city, and OUR businesses. This is a picture of the garden we should be establishing in our regions. If your region does not look like this...than stop blaming the devil and begin declaring that these rivers are flowing from YOUR life into YOUR city and YOUR family. Declare today that you are a full-flowing stream that becomes the water supply for YOUR city, YOUR family, and whatever place of dominion you have been given. We are to create Eden in our lives. God made the provision already established when he placed ME in the garden. Through the Holy Spirit flowing through me I become those rivers that supply to my life and those around me. We create "paradise" (Goshen). I believe we can completely protect our cities from any harm and see those that are plundered released from their oppressor. We can see our cities prospering during a famine. Adam thwarted the plan of God by relinquishing his authority to the serpent, but Jesus through his blood gave us that authority back. He took the keys away from the serpent. It is our responsibility to stand in that place of authority and to release the plan and purpose of God and to thwart the plan of the enemy in OUR cities, OUR families, and OUR finances. There is not one more thing Jesus needs to do...he finished it! Now we exercise that authority in our place of dominion to establish HIS kingdom rule.
If you are not doing this then you are too focused on what the enemy is doing because you have not taken your rightful place of authority to see that change. Quit blaming our government...quit blaming religion...quit blaming others. It is time for us to arise in our God given authority over our regions and take back our garden and to see those rivers flowing through us to be healing to our regions. That stream flows from the throne of God through us to our families and our cities. We will never see the change we desire in our regions if we won't take our rightful place in our gardens to see that change.
Thank God he did not wind up the clock and leave us to figure it out...he gave us the blueprint to follow and placed us in the garden until we see it become God's creation through us.
Saturday, January 13 2018
The Testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophesy...Rev 19:10
Why is it so easy to accept the testimony of those that have died before us. When faced with a death sentence it is so easy to relate to those that have died of the same disease as if..."well if they were such good people and died then it must be something we just need to accept". All the while there are so many that have been healed and delivered. I believe it is because of not knowing our identity in Christ; we don't walk in the forgiveness of what the cross did for us so we think we deserve it and that somehow we can't control what happens to us but we can go out with dignity.
When a Pastor who stands up before his congregation and with COURAGE is facing death because of cancer begins to talk about how it is an honor to carry this cross he has to bear, my heart is so grieved because he does not understand what Jesus paid for him. Jesus carried that cross, Jesus paid that penalty so we don't have to. There is a misconception that suffering for Jesus is partaking of his suffering in death, but that is a lie. The suffering we endure for Christ is as a result of preaching the gospel that leads to persecution not dying of a debiilitating disease. It took no courage for that Pastor to face dying. If he had known who he was in Christ he would have stood up before his congregation and declared he was the healed of the Lord because of what Jesus did on the cross.
The lie is that we somehow deserve it. I believe people can't receive the fact that Jesus died for our sins and that the blood covers us and cleanses us from all unrighteousness. Therefore, we stand before God sinless, righteous and the word says the prayer of a righteous man availath much (James 5:16). We somehow relate more to the sin than the cross. Jesus is not telling us to bear this cross and suffer for him by dying. The word clearly says it is the enemy that comes to steal, kill, and destroy but that HE came to give us life and life more abundantly (John 10:10). Where is the suffering in that? When we receive what the blood paid for us we no longer have to have that sin consciousness that somehow we deserve this.
James 5:15,16 says - And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. The Wade translation says - And the prayer offered in faith will restore the sufferer to health, and the Lord will raise him from the sick bed.
It is possible that we are so ignorant of the word that we simply don't undestand the power we carry. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit...Proverbs 18:21. This indicates that what we say is what we have. If you are talking death...then death you will have. If you are talking healing...then healing you will have. What you say will produce the fruit of what you are saying.