TURNING AROUND BY DIVINE HOPE
A screening process takes place in your conscious mind which allows you to accept some things and reject others. The controlling factor that allows these things to come to pass is not in the mind, it is inside the spirit. Your spirit becomes the clearing house for everything. The person who makes up his mind that he is going to succeed will overcome all obstacles to cause that to take place. This will be possible as long as the idea is lodged in the spirit.
EXAMINING YOUR SPIRIT
Many people react from their spirit instead of thinking with their mind. Their spirits are controlled by the traditions they have accepted over the years. New ideas will not be accepted if they differ from those traditions. Jesus was faced with this problem when the paralytic was healed.
A group of scribes and other leaders made an appointment to see Jesus. They came from many cities in the area, filling the house where Jesus was ministering. The local people had to stand outside, therefore blocking the doorway. The sick man could not get through the crowd so his friends made a hole in the roof to let him down.
Luke 5:17 Now it happened on a certain day, as He was teaching, that there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every town of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was present to heal them.
Luke tells you that the power of the Lord was there to heal. The sick man had not arrived yet, but the scribes, Pharisees, and teachers would not accept this healing because their spirits were bound up by tradition. Their primary purpose for attending the gathering was to find fault with the Lord.
Luke 5:18 Then behold, men brought on a bed a man who was paralyzed. And they sought to bring him in and lay him before Him. 19. And when they could not find how they might bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the housetop and let him down with his bed through the tiling into the midst before Jesus. 20. So when He saw their faith, He said to him, "Man, your sins are forgiven you." 21. And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, "Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?" 22. But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answered and said to them, "Why are you reasoning in your hearts?
When Jesus saw the faith of the four friends who brought the sick man, He told the man that his sins were forgiven. Jesus had to get to the root of the problem that would stop his healing. The leaders of the Jews immediately objected, because their spirits told them that only God, who was in heaven, could forgive sins. Had they been thinking with their minds, instead of their spirits, they may have asked Jesus why He thought He could forgive sins.
Many Christians are in the same category. They feel that the Lord does not heal today. They claim that it was necessary, during the time of the apostles, to get the Church started. They teach that you can only expect healing of the spirit. This is another one of Satanís tricks to try to deceive you into rejecting the added blessings of God. People who are bound by traditions like this are thinking from their spirits and not from their minds.
Matthew 12:35 A good man out of the good treasure (good deposit) of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure (evil deposit) brings forth evil things. 36. But I say to you that for every idle word (careless, or non-productive word), men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.
Each one of us is continually making a deposit of ideas into our spirits. These become the controlling factor in our spirits which controls the circumstances around us. The good deposit produces good ideas which will be brought to fulfillment by the power of the Lord. A bad deposit, or a deposit of trivial things will produce negative results. Many people have stated that every winter they have a cold. They immediately set up the process to start the fulfillment of those words. They fail to realize that Matthew 12:37 will be fulfilled in their own lives, because they will be condemned by the words they use.
Many pastors have asked their people to help them and frequently the answer has been: "I canít do that." Are they quoting Philippians 4:13 or Ephesians 3:20?
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.
GUARDING YOUR TONGUE
James 3:3 Indeed, we put bits in horsesí mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. 4. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. 5. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! 6. And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. 7. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
James, the half-brother of Jesus, who wrote the book of James, did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah, until after the resurrection. Later he began looking over the life of Jesus, and realized that Jesus continually lived by faith. He was constantly using His words as tools. Jesus would not allow Satan to use any of His words against Himself. Jesus did not perform any miracles during His childhood. The first miracle you see was when He started His ministry at the wedding in Cana, see John 2:1-11.
James 3:8 states that no man can tame the tongue. It takes the spirit of man to take full control of the tongue, and this is only possible when the spirit of the person is being guided by the Holy Spirit.
The Lord has not promised you a bed of roses as soon as you get saved. You were promised problems, see Job 14:1, Psalm 34:19, John 16:33, Acts 14:22, 2 Timothy 3:12, Hebrews 10:32, and 1 Peter 4:12. Trouble will produce patience, which will produce maturity. Maturity will produce completeness, which will enable you to trust God, so that you will lack nothing, see James 1:2-4. The natural circumstances around you that are controlling you are the result of the words of your mouth. You release the power of God to work for or against you. The tongue starts the problem. Satan is after your mouth to control your words. You then become controlled by the circumstances.
2 Timothy 3:12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you.
James 3:6 tells you that the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. Fire can be very useful, depending on how it is used. Food is cooked with fire, while steel is hardened with fire. Fire can also be very destructive, destroying homes or forests. When you compare how much good the average person says about others, to how much bad they say about others, you find that their words are more frequently destructive. This fulfills the second part of the verse: "The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body." Our whole body becomes affected by the words of our mouth.
The third thing James shows you in verse 6, is that your words set on fire the course of nature. The only authority Satan has over you is the authority you give him. It is necessary for him to deceive you into thinking that there is no answer to your problems. Satan then gives you words you can use, which allows the power of God to be released, which causes negative things to happen instead of the will of God. Setting the course of nature on fire, is changing the course of nature. James is telling you that your words can do this. Your words will affect you favorably or adversely. Job states that you declare a thing and it will be established, Job 22:28. Jesus gave us the same idea in Mark and John:
Mark 9:23 Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes."
Mark 11:22 - 24 Jesus was matter of fact: "Embrace this God-life. Really embrace it, and nothing will be too much for you. This mountain, for instance: Just say, ĎGo jump in the lakeí - not shuffling or shilly-shallying - and its as good as done. Thatís why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything as you embrace the God-life, and youíll get Godís everything." - The Message.
John 14:12 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
Jesus is showing you that you are to go to the Scriptures to see what things He had authority over. As you abide in the will of God, you have the same authority over every aspect of nature that He came against.
Next, James shows you in James 3:6 that your words can be set on fire by hell, when the words you were using were coming from Satanís forces. Many times people have said things about others, and then concluded their remarks by saying: "I am only telling the truth". In the past it may have been the truth, but now it is no longer the truth. When God forgives, He forgets, and you should do the same. Repeating Satanís lies will produce a harvest in your own life, that will not be welcome when it matures. This is definitely sowing seeds that youíll wish the crop had failed.
GUARDING YOUR THOUGHTS
What do you see concerning your problems, in your mind? People who are terminally ill seem to have a tape running through their mind, continually seeing the fulfillment of the doctorís report. Others constantly see a picture of financial disaster, or how lonely they are. Be alerted when these thoughts start bombarding your mind and turn Satanís attack back with the Word. God wants you to guard your thoughts and think on His thoughts. Expect the promises of God to be fulfilled in your own life, and not just in the lives of others.
Several years ago I did some wiring for a lady who wanted to start a sewing factory, making clothing as well as curtains. Later she decided to make backpacks and similar types of bags, and phoned a company to order a bagging machine. When she called to confirm the delivery date, she discovered a big problem. She was asking for a sewing machine which was designed for making back-packs, and they thought she was wanting a sewing machine for closing bags of corn or rice. I was told to wire the sewing machine area for 360 volts three phase, but the company we were getting the sewing machines from pictured in their mind that I needed motors for 240 volts single phase. When the machines arrived I tested each one of them and found out that they were all the wrong voltage. The company had the wrong picture in their mind when they filled the order. They had to send the replacements before I could continue the installation.
When you pray, what do you see in your mind? Are you seeing God meeting your need, or are you seeing yourself trying to talk a reluctant God into meeting your need? Is it possible that you picture a line of people stretching half a mile, waiting their turn to present their need to God? In your mental picture the man at the front of the line wants enough money to build a hospital, but all you want is money to pay your rent. You then picture in your mind that by the time you get to the front of the line, God will be out of money. These thoughts must be gotten rid of, because He tells you in Hebrews 4:16 to come boldly to the throne of grace, because He is amply able to meet the needs of everyone. When you pray, your thoughts must line up with the thoughts and plans God has for you. Answers will come because you are praying in His will.
Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.
Jesus told us not to worry or take any thought about a number of things, Matthew 6:25-34. Thoughts are brought into your mind from:
1. The Holy Spirit
2. The Word of God
3. The world
5. Ourselves - developing our own thoughts
6. An evil spirit.
God wants you to be selective about your thinking. He wants you to get rid of thoughts that will make you say words that will work against you.
2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds. 5. Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
Satan comes against you in your thought life. He attacks you with thoughts of doubt, unbelief or lack, etc. He comes to steal the good seed you have received from the promises of God, Matthew 13:19. You allow him to operate in your life when you use words that agree with the thoughts he has given you. Put down thoughts or reasoning's that are contrary to the will of God.
When you have a thought, you must make a decision to accept it or reject it. You accept the thought by saying it or thinking about it. When you continue to think and speak the thought, you will eventually have it planted in your spirit. When the thought becomes planted in the spirit, the spirit will then cause the thing to come to pass.
CHANGING YOUR THINKING
How many of us are trying to get God to save someone? Do we say, "Letís pray to see if God is willing to save this person?" That would be a needless statement. God wants every person to receive salvation, see 2 Thessalonians 2:10; 1 Timothy 2:4; Titus 2:11.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
God has already provided the way of salvation at Calvary. Salvation is yours if you will accept it. It is up to each of us to accept the free gift. Divine healing or supplying your needs fall into the same category. The secret is to use divine faith to act upon the knowledge God has placed in His Word.
Matthew 18:19 Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.
Many times your thoughts and words can stop Godís power from meeting the need because you are agreeing with the wrong thing. You look at the situation and immediately come into agreement with it which allows the problem to remain. This takes place in order to fulfill Matthew 18:19. You must change your focus and look to Godís promises. You must agree with Godís Word, instead of agreeing that the problem still exists. You become the deciding factor with whom you will agree. When you donít agree with the Word, you wonít see the answers to your prayers.
HOW DO YOU OVERCOME THOUGHTS THAT ARE GOING TO GIVE YOU A BAD HARVEST?
1. Make a decision not to be defeated by satanic forces.
2. Go to the promises of God which cover the situation.
If the situation is a financial problem, you should not frequently say: "I donít know what I am going to do", or "I donít know how the need will be met." What does the Bible say?
Philippians 4:19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
God is not telling you that your needs will be met according to what you have, but the needs will be met on the basis of what He has. In a matter of months your total picture can be changed by filling your spirit with the hope of God, and making your words match what His Word says.
Go to the Word that covers the problems. Donít listen to people who keep telling you that the promises of God will not work for you. Donít listen to people who are failures; instead listen to the ones who are a success at believing God will make His promises work for them. Search for the promises that God has for you and anchor your spirit with these promises. Donít quote what someone else says; instead quote Godís unfailing Word.
3. Refuse thoughts that are contrary to the things that God wants you to have.
4. Act on the requirements that God has to receive the promises.
Are you doing what the Bible teaches, so that God can honor His Word in your life? Spiritual laws are real and they work. You must not go by what the traditions of your church say; go by what the Bible teaches. Some Christians have stated that some of the promises of God do not apply for today. They are releasing their faith to receive NOTHING from the Lord, which stops any answer from being received.
You are made in the image of God. You have a mouth, so speaking words from the image of divine hope will produce answers. God has also given you the choice to speak against the vision of divine hope and this will give you negative results. The secret to success is how much of the promises of God do you have in your spirit. The amount you have there, will be equal to the amount of time you spend with the Word of God. Any person in the world can take Godís Word and succeed. It does not make any difference what country they are from. Apply the promises of God you have planted in your spirit.
5. Anchor your spirit to the promises of God. Put down all imaginations which are saying you will not receive the answer to your prayer.
6. Place all of your care on God the Father.
1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Matthew 11:28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
A person once said: "Worry is an old man with bended head, carrying a load of feathers which he thinks is lead." Many Christians carry a heavy load of care that they do not have to carry. Frequently they claim that this is "the cross that they have to bear." The Lord wants them to give the care to Him. Many people ask the Lord to take care of the need, then walk away with the same need still not met. The image of divine hope He gave you, shows that He WILL take care of the need. You are to take God at His word and expect Him to meet your need.
7. Be diligent. Set aside daily time to study the Word of God. This will build up Godís hope in you.
Fill your spirit with an image of the fulfillment of the promises God has given you. Be diligent to keep out things or ideas that will destroy the divine hope God has given you. Ask God to direct you how you are to spend your time to increase your divine hope.
8. Take responsibility for previous actions and ask God for forgiveness where you have failed Him.
You are to judge yourself to avoid judgment later on, see 1 Corinthians 11:31.
9. Ask God for wisdom.
Once I started on a 600 mile trip into Mexico. I used a quarter of a tank of gas in the first twelve miles, so I stopped at a friendís house to resolve the problem. We soon found five holes in the fuel line that came from one tank. After replacing the fuel line I solved my problem. Asking the Lord for money for more fuel would not have solved the problem. We need to ask the Lord for wisdom to correct the situation.
10. Be willing to be corrected by God or His Word.
Sometimes corrective measures are needed before God will supply the need. He wants to give you lasting instead of temporary results. Ask God to show you what He wants you to do.
Colossians 1:9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.
Colossians 2:2 That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, 3. in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
STOPPING THE OPPOSITION
Food goes into your mouth and when itís digested it becomes strength in your body. The Scriptures, or the promises of God, enter your mind as words or ideas. If they only stay in your mind, they will have as much power in your life as good thoughts from any other source.
The words from the Scriptures must enter your spirit. They will then be changed into divine faith, which will allow the power of God to change the situation and provide the answer. As soon as you start to place the promises of God into your spirit you will find that Satan will immediately come with thoughts of doubt. He will tell you that God may do this for someone else, but will not give you the answer you are needing. Resist him by quoting Scripture.
John 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
Romans 10:8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach).
James 4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
Make a decision that you will continue to believe that God is going to meet the need. Expect God to bring the answer. You must not allow the satanic forces to change your words to expressions of doubt.
Isaiah 1:19 If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.
1. I will first find out the will of God for what I am asking
2. I will only act in faith
3. I will speak only in faith
4. I will continue to believe until the answer comes
5. I will refuse any thoughts that come from Satan, see 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.
Mark 9:23 Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes."
Mark 11:22 So Jesus answered and said to them, "Have faith in God, (Greek: the faith OF God). 23. "For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ĎBe removed and be cast into the sea,í and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will come to pass, he will have whatever he says. 24. "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believes that you receive them, and you will have them."
TO THE BELIEVER:
All things are possible.
TO THE DOUBTER:
He receives nothing through the power of God.
Deuteronomy 30:9 The Lord your God will make you abound in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your land for good. For the Lord will again rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your fathers, 10. if you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
The key to receiving the fulfillment of the promises of God in your life is seen in Deuteronomy 30:10. You are to follow the directions He has given you. If you do not obey Him, you will find that you will be in the same situation a year from now. Your deliverance comes through believing and speaking the promises of God.
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