Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Casting Down Despair

Casting Down Despair

If you have ever gone through a traumatic experience in your life or lived through a period of time when you could not see your faith at work, then this lesson is for you.
Times of despair come into everyone's life, but how you handle those times will determine whether or not you will live a victorious life or a defeated one.

Before we get into the lesson, we need to make sure we know what despair is. To despair according to Webster's Dictionary is to be utterly at a loss, to no longer have any hope or belief that a situation will improve or change, to lose all hope or confidence, or to lose heart and become despondent. In 2 Corinthians 1:8 and 4:8, the apostle Paul shares some of his experiences with despair.

Instead of being caught up in despair and giving up based on our situation (which is temporary), we have to focus on what the complete opposite of despair is; hope.
To hope is to cherish a desire with anticipation, to desire with expectation of attainment, or to expect with confidence.

In order to have hope, you have to know something. James 1:2-3 Our hope must always be based on God's Word.Psalms 119:114, 116; 130:5; Lamentations 3:24, 26; Romans 4:18; 15:4  When we place our hope in God and not in things or people, we are never disappointed.Romans 5:5 Problems with despair come when we place our hope in the wrong thing. We have to stay aware of the fact that we do have an enemy who tries his best to fulfill his job description (John 10:10) by bringing trials and temptations into our lives, which depending on our reaction to these situations can bring despair or hope. We also need to remember that the enemy comes after our faith, which will not operate without hope. Our faith has to have something to work through. Hebrews 11:1; Romans10:17 When times of  trial and testing come into our lives, we need to have God's Word planted firmly within us so we will know how to react to each situation that arises and we will be able to walk in victory. 1 John 5:4 

Why does despair come?
  • Because you have an enemy who is after your faith in God's Word. Matthew 13:19-21; John10:10
  • We can open the door to despair based on our lack of faith or wrong reaction to a situation. Job3:25
What do we need to do when despair comes?
  • We must remember who we are in Christ Jesus. 1 John 5:4
  • We must remember Who God is. Hebrews 6:18-19 AMP
  • We have to remember to seek God's wisdom concerning our situation. James 1:5, Proverbs 4:5-7; 9:10
  • We have to use our sword (which is God's Word) Ephesians 6:10-17
How do we cast down despair?
  • We must speak the Word of God out loud when the enemy sends evil thoughts our way. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
  • We must keep our minds stayed on God. Isaiah 26:3; John 16:33 AMP
  • We can use praise as a weapon against despair. Psalms 71:14
  • We can encourage ourselves with the Word of God. Psalms 42:5,11; 43:5
Remember, when despair comes your way in any situation, you can place your hope in God and His Word. Times of despair may come into our lives, but it is up to us to choose hope and to operate in victory!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

People Aren't Your Problem! pt.2

In part one, we talked about situations where we are surprised or upset by the behavior of people. We also talked about the need to see everything from a spiritual perspective. Hebrews 11:3 AMP To see things from a spiritual perspective, we must understand the Law of Dominion. God gave mankind dominion over the earth in Genesis 1:26, 28. So now, if God wants to do anything in the earth, He has to use the free will of a human being to do it. The same is true for the kingdom of darkness. They cannot do anything without a person's free will. Exodus 3:7-10
Dominion is a product of us operating within our area or domain of assigned authority. When we walk into a room, we bring the Kingdom of God with us. The problem with that is that the enemy does not want us to take back our territory. So, he stirs things up with people who are in darkness. Dominion is also a product of partnering with God to manifest His will in the earth. The enemy does not want God's will coming to pass in the earth. So the enemy uses people and the law of dominion to try to stop God's will. We immediately need to recognize that the enemy is at work when a person is acting contrary to God's Word. The devil knows God will not break His own law to intervene in the earth. That is why it is so important for us to be used by God in the earth.
It is also important for us to be in the Kingdom of God. When you are separated from God, you are just another creature subject to the circumstance. Mark 16:15-20 We also must understand that God is restrained by His Word from intervening in your situation without your permission. Mark 10:51-52; Luke 18:41-42; Matthew 13:54-58 The enemy is also bound by the Law of Dominion and has to find a willing body in order to manifest. Acts 13:6-12; 16:16-19 AMP
Religion has been a hindrance to the body of Christ and stopped us from waging successful warfare. We must have our minds transformed by God's Word, learn how to operate in faith and walk in the unseen. James 2:17-19; 2 Corinthians 5:7

Saturday, January 18, 2014

People Aren't Your Problem! pt.1

If you have ever been in a situation where you were taken back by the behavior of people, even those you know and love, then this lesson is for you.
Ephesians 6:12 AMP "For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere."
You may be asking, "If people aren't the problem, then what is?" I am glad you asked. The problem is that we are participating in two realms: spiritual & physical. In order to be effective in the Kingdom of God, you must be aware of what is coming against you. There is always a resistance to you operating in the Kingdom of God from those in the kingdom of darkness. The enemy does not want you to take territory that he is currently occupying. We must be aware and we must not ignore God's Word. Ephesians 6:11 We also need to remember that the devil does not possess any omni attributes. The devil can only be in a certain place for a certain season. Job 1:6-7; Mark 1:21-27
These are the things that the devil attacks in spiritual warfare: God's character, God's will for you, and your identity. Genesis 3:1-7 The weapons that the devil uses against you are: your appetites, your doctrine, and your allegiance to God. Luke 4:2-12 The enemy's tactics are to steal, kill and destroy. John 10:10 When you are dealing with people who are being used by the kingdom of darkness, they are coming against you because you have made the choice to do things God's way while they have chosen to do things their own way. Matthew 11:11-12; Luke 16:16