Something Greater

Acts 8:13
13 Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done. NKJV

In the days of the early church, just as now, there were people dabbling in the power of the devil.  They could do all sorts of magical things through the power of darkness.  This power is real.  There was one man named Simon who was able to work in witchcraft and had the local people’s respect from young to old people.

1 John 4:4 tells us that great is He who is in us than he who is in the world.  Simon who had everyone’s attention and respect for having this magical power saw something greater.  He saw Philip come in to Samaria, preach the Word with signs and wonders.  He saw people healed of sickness and disease.  He saw demons flee at the mighty name of Jesus.  He saw something greater.  He saw something that he knew he didn’t have and he wanted that power.  He wanted that joy.  He wanted that peace and victory that only comes through the Mighty Name of Jesus the Anointed One.

Simon knew the power of darkness, but he knew it was shallow and unfulfilling because it wasn’t from the God of Light, it was from darkness.  Simon accepted Jesus as his Savior that day through the ministry of Philip.  He not only accepted Jesus and confessed His name. Verse 13 says he continued with Philip.  He hung around.  I can just picture him following Philip wherever he went.  He didn’t just get something and go, he go something and wanted more.

Just like the rest of us, Simon was human.  Once you are saved you have to work at changing your way of thinkjing (Romans 12:2) from your old ways to God’s ways.  When Simon saw people receiving the Holy Spirit of God by the laying on of hands in verse 19 he wanted to be able to do the same thing.  Before he knew God, he could buy things. At that point, he temporarily reverted to his old ways. He thought he could buy the gift of imparting the Holy Spirit.  Peter was upset with him for thinking this way, but Simon knew there was something greater than anything he had ever done through the power of darkness working before him.  He knew that God was in this and he wanted to be a part of it.

God has something greater for you.  Maybe you are in a job that you don’t like.  Maybe you are in a financial situation that is below the Biblical prosperity God has for you.  Maybe you have got everything you could possible have but you still feel empty.  That is because we all need something greater.  Humanism, socialism, politics, environmentalism, relationships, drugs, music, sports; nothing can fill our built-in desire to know God.  But more importantly, we shouldn’t just stop at meeting God.  In John 10:10, Jesus said “I have come that you may have life, and have it more abundantly.” It is pretty clear there are two choices here.  One is to have eternal life.  The other is to have it more abundantly.

Don’t settle for what you have now, go for something greater.  Go deeper with the Almighty God.  You will never be disappointed.  But more importantly, you will always be satisfied in a relationship with God.  The Almighty God is a god of abundance!

Prayer-
Father God, I thank you for the great plans you have for me.  I thank you that you love me and died for me.  I want to know you deeper and know your ways.  I want to walk in that same faith and power that Philip walked in.  I don’t want to be a conformer, I want to be a world changer.  Holy Spirit, guide me and direct me.  Help me to be sensitive to your plan, will, and calling for me and make it come to pass.  In the Mighty Name of Jesus.  Amen.

Posted on 12 February, 2007

What Do You Think?

Romans 8:5
Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.  NLT

Many unbelievers go to church and they hear a message on giving and get very turned off to the Gospel and God’s Word.  They leave the church with this feeling that the minister is only giving the message as a fund raiser.  Well, frankly speaking, this could very well be the case.  Many ministers get nervous about budget shortfalls and sometimes pull out scriptures like Malachi and beat their church family over the head with the scripture.

God wants you blessed.  It is a spiritual law, that those who give receive.  There is no better of a place to describe this than Japan.  In Japan, when you give someone a present they are obligated by culture to give something back.  In Japanese it is called ‘okaeshi’ or something in return.  For example, in the new year parents and grandparents many times give their children ‘otoshidama’ which are small envelopes with a little bit of cash.  The children can use the cash to buy something for themselves.  Of course, most of the young children opt for the nearest toy store to ‘invest’ in a toy or something there.  If the otoshidama is given by the grandparents or someone else, the parents feel an obligation to give something back to the giver.  A similar thing happens at Japanese weddings, the guests bring gifts for the bride and groom but they also leave with a gift as well.  I am sure that there are times when people forget to give something back and it is not a good reflection on them in society.

When you give into God’s kingdom, it is the same but better.  The Word says, “Give and it shall be given to you, pressed down, shaken together, running OVER!” But what does this giving have to do with thinking?  God says to give with a cheerful heart in His Word.  When you give, you can know that God will reward you for your giving.  The Bible says God will return, 30, 60, and 100 fold if you believe him and have clean hands and a pure heart before Him.  This is why what you think is so important.

Immerse yourself in the Word of God.  Think the way God thinks.  Think on things that are right, pure, and pleasing to Him.  There is not a speck of darkness in God.  If you find yourself thinking about things that are not bright and holy (clean living), then you should examine what you are watching and reading.  Proverbs 4:22 tells us to guard our hearts for out it flow the issues of life.  The entrances are your eyes, eyes, and senses.  Permeate yourself with the Word of God.  Watch movies, listen to music, read books that nurture your soul.

Posted on 6 February, 2007

What makes a good leader?

 

Acts 6:2-4 
3 Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; 4 but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” NKJV

In the 6th chapter of Acts we see that the early church was experiencing growing pains.  A church is a gathering of believers.  Getting together with other believers is something that God says He blesses.  (So if you aren’t regularly attending a Spirit-filled, Bible-believing church, then don’t expect God to bless what you are doing).  But as with all groups; with more people, come more problems.  If you don’t deal with the problems, they will come to bite you later.

This church had some logistical or communication problem that started among the members.  There was concerned that a certain group of widows were not being taken care of like the others.  People started getting upset.  The friends of Jesus Christ dealt with it quickly.  They appointed people to help make sure things were done right.  They delegated the work and didn’t try to do everything themselves.  Church is a team, and that is exactly what they did.  But what type of people did they select to be leaders in the church?

Acts 6:3 says they picked people 
1) Of good reputation 
2) Full of the Holy Spirit 
3) And, full of wisdom

It is one thing to be smart.  If you work at a company, usually the smart people get promoted (there are some exceptions but they usually don’t last long or the company doesn’t last long).  In God’s Kingdom smart is not good enough.  You have to have a proven record, a good reputation.  On top of having this history of being consistent and being smart (full of wisdom), there is one other trait that unbelievers can never have.  You have to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Being filled with God’s Spirit is being filled with God.  You know His heart, His will for the situation.  With God filling you, you can never be beat. 

Posted on 30 January, 2007

The Tithe—Is it Still Necessary?

To receive the optimum God-kind of abundance, you must not overlook or under-emphasize the basic building blocks of your biblical abundance plan. To open heaven’s windows and keep them open, you must tithe. Biblically, tithing is not optional. You owe God the tithe.

God says when we don’t tithe, we rob Him. We tithe at His command, not our discretion. By faithfully bringing Him the tithe, we establish our honesty and obedience.

In Hebrews 7:1-10 we see that Abraham paid tithes. In fact, Abraham tithed for all posterity—for his natural children (seed), and for the spiritual children (seed) who now live in the dispensation of grace: “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal. 3:29).

The obligation of tithing reaches across the pre-law dispensations, the dispensation of the law, and now into the post-law dispensation of grace.

Remember: Faithful tithing opens the windows of heaven, making this basic giving (the tithe) vital. Without the windows of heaven open, nothing can flow from God to you or me.

Source: The Basics of Abundance by John Avanzini
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Posted on 16 January, 2007

Spiritual Bodybuilding

Pumping Iron Spiritually

Spiritual Bodybuilding

1Tim 4:6-8 
In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; 8 for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

Recently I started weight training in the morning after a ten year lapse. After a long break the first work out is a bit painful, using parts of your bodies that you haven’t used in a long time is something your body doesn’t let you forget soon; your chest, forearms, back of your arms, stomach, and legs. With each work-out you feel the strength come to each muscle group that you exercise. Accompanying those strength gains is the confidence knowing that you will not easily be injured and you can easily do those things that need to be done.

Around the house you can pick up the garden, clean out the garage, reach up and pick up something without hurting your back. I was recently inspired by my sister’s father-in-love (as we calls in-laws) in Oregon who was bucked off his horse and kicked and sustained only minor injuries.

The inspiration is that he is getting close to eighty years old! His doctor commented that “if you were not so strong, you would have sustained some major injuries”.

1 Timothy tells us that physical exercise is good and I believe it. But the Word emphasizes the need for spiritual exercise more than physical. Why? We are spirits with souls and we live in bodies (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

It may sound strange but we will someday leave the bodies we now live in. They’ll go back to dust so all the weight-training, swimming, and jogging won’t mean much when we get into God’s presence. That is only for this world, but spiritual strength is something we can take directly with us. How do we begin our spiritual strengthening? By setting aside time every day to study, meditate, and pray the Word of God. Just as in the physical, if we stray from the spiritual discipline to spend time fellowshipping our Father and getting to know Him; in a short time we will lose our spiritual strength. I’ve noticed this in my own life. As I am in the Word and flowing with the Father my spiritual strength cannot be stopped.

# My prayers for the sick are powerful and healing is quick (and a person with a spark of faith.ignites in strong healing power) 
# I quickly put demonic powers in their places. 
# I can clearly hear God’s voice on the various decisions I have to make throughout the week. 
# God can do the same for you! If you aren’t already, start your spiritual body-building today. Mark a daily time appointment in your calendar and write GOD in bold in the space and keep those appointments. 

Posted on 19 December, 2006

Filling the God Vacuum

Praise the Name!

This is a very interesting article from CBN.  We are not sure how long it will be up there so we will cut and paste it below.  The link is 
http://www.cbn.com/CBNnews/73217.aspx

Japan: Filling the God Vacuum 
By Sarah Pollack 
CBN News 
December 18, 2006

CBNNews.com – Contrary to popular belief, Japan is far from being a “reached” country with a growing, vibrant church.

In fact, Japan has fewer baptized believers in Jesus Christ than some Muslim countries.

Christianity in Japan has faced an uphill battle for hundreds of years. Religious freedom didn’t come to the island nation until around the time of America’s civil war.

Before then, persecution was so severe that many Japanese Christians were nailed to crosses or burned at the stake with their children.

As recent as World War II the emperor called himself god, demanding the worship of his country.

After Hiroshima and surrender, the call went out for 1,000 missionaries. U.S. General Douglas MacArthur called Japan a spiritual vacuum.

Sixty years later, it still remains leaving a state of confusion.

In today’s Japan, there’s a popular saying: Japanese are “born Shinto, marry Christian, and die Buddhist.”

The lines between the predominant religions are blurred in a spiritual hodge-podge.

Many have looked to the economy to fill their ‘God vacuum.’

But recently it’s been faltering, and many jaded Japanese have lost hope.

One Japanese, called Kiku, explained, “But now we have everything, but what is lacking is purpose. Why are we here? We can’t answer the question ‘who are you?’ unless we know the Creator God—then everything makes sense.”

“There is what you might call a ‘dark night of the soul’ to use that phrase to describe the Japanese right now,” said renowned researcher George Gallup, Jr.

In fact, Gallup found that 11 percent of the Japanese wish they had never even been born.

That’s reflected in the country’s unusually high suicide rate.

But a new survey by Gallup says that might be changing.

When asked about their religion, four percent of adults and seven percent of teenagers checked “Christian,” out of a list of many different religions.

That figure made big news when it was released earlier this year.

The official number of Christians, according to the CIA World Fact Book, is less than one percent of the population.

Pastor Hosoi Makoto leads a congregation in Tokyo. He said, “From our point of view, the sense we have that the percentage suddenly went from under one percent to maybe five times that is, uh, unimaginable—and we don’t get the feeling that that has actually happened.”

While that number may not be born-again believers in Jesus Christ, researchers believe it could definitely mean Japanese hearts are softening toward the Gospel.

“This doesn’t mean that they are church members,” Gallup said, “And it doesn’t mean that they are solidly committed, but they identify with Christianity. Something about the ideas of Christianity and the values of Christianity appeal to them.”

One of the reasons why so many Japanese feel they can associate themselves with Christianity is the popularity of Western or Christian-style weddings.

Gallup said, “It’s the element of joy that comes through in the Christian weddings that appeals to the Japanese.”

Beyond that, the Japanese love affair with all things Western means a growing number of them are trading in the traditional kimono for the big white dress and tux.

Another reason the Japanese are softening up to the message of the Bible is the incredible phenomenon of black Gospel music.

Believe it or not, the reserved Japanese love the toe-tapping, finger-snapping, always swaying music.

Gospel music singer Garrison Davis has lived in Japan for eight years.

Davis said, “When they get in to an atmosphere of faith, where there is the Word being spoken or where there is Gospel music that is anointed and coming forth, their spirit is pricked. They really don’t understand what’s happening at that point. What they’re dealing with is really the emotional aspect of it.”

Many Japanese who like Gospel music have yet to understand the words behind the music, and much of it has become a commercial industry.

“They don’t have a sense of value with regard to who God really is and why we need to receive Christ,” said Davis. “What they see is the Western images of ‘religiosity’—‘religiosity and Christendom, if you will.”

That is where Gallup believes a movement called the Alpha Course can have some success.

People meet in small groups and hear a thorough presentation of the Gospel, while hitting real-life issues head on. It meets the Japanese at their point of need, hoping to shed some light into the “dark night of the soul.”

Kiku said, “God says, ‘You are precious in My sight, I love you.’ And that is a key word for Japan. Everybody is looking for their value, worth, state of worth, but God says, ‘You are valuable.’”

It’s that disconnect between a Christian image and a real relationship with Jesus Christ that the Japanese don’t seem to get.

“More Japanese need to know who Jesus is and what Christianity stands for,” Gallup said. “Jesus is irresistible, regardless of culture. That’s the way I feel. If you know enough about Jesus, He’s irresistible.”

Scott Parrish, a missionary with Asian Access, said, “Romans 10:14 is really key. It says you can’t believe in One you haven’t heard of, and you can’t hear unless someone tells you…Unless you hear about Him, you can’t believe.”

Posted on 18 December, 2006

God’s Boldness

Acts 4:30-31 
31 And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness. NAS

As a Christian, it is quite easy to get timid and go with the flow of the world around us.  Television promotes unholy lifestyles, movies are filled with things we should not watch, and even music can be filled with filthy language and graphic ideas that we should not expose our hearts to.  All of this contributes to the very sad world we live in.  If you take it as is and just go with it, you will be disappointed.  However, if you go with God’s way you will never be disappointed. 
There is this feeling out there that Christians have to suffer and be humble to be holy.  My friend from Australia who grew up in the Salvation Army said that was what he learned.  And you know what?  He wants nothing to do wih that type of lifestyle.  But you know, God wants nothing to do with that either. 
God is a god of light.  There is no darkness in Him.  He would never expose Himself to any of the dark things in the media that we mentioned above and neither should we.  How are we to respond?  If you are starting to watch TV and they are showing things that you know you shouldn’t be watching, turn it off.  If the music is bad, switch the radio station to something that glorifies God or turn on your music player. 
As we look around the world we live in, we see a lot of people that call themselves ‘Christians’.  The word Christ-ian means ‘Christ-like’.  If we are doing the exact same things the world is doing, how can we be like Jesus Christ the Anointed?  Furthermore, if we are not filled with the Holy Spirit we are ‘missing the boat’ spiritually because we have not been empowered by the spiritual strength of the Spirit that God gave us specifically for living on this earth.  It is deplorable, that people have labeled conflict as something Christian.  Terrorism is not a Christian in any way.  Years ago the Catholics and other denominations were supposedly fighting in Ireland.  These folks were not Christian.  They were just religious people making up excuses to fight. 
God wants us to be filled with His Spirit.  Why?  So that we can have power.  In Acts, the word for this power is ‘dunamis’.  Dunamis is the Greek word that we get words like dynamite from.  Dunamis is the explosive power of God.  If you have confessed Jesus the Anointed as your savior, but yet have not been filled with the Holy Spirit, then you need that filling.  You need that empowering for daily life.

Eph 5:18 
18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit..  NKJV

The ‘be filled with the Spirit’ above should literally be translated, ‘be being filled with the Spirit’.  In the English language, we call this the present progressive tense.  Something I am doing now, that continues (or is progessing) on into the future.  
That would be a pretty good indication that Spirit-filled Christians have to consistently make sure they are spending time in the Word, spending time in His presence (praying), and praying the Spirit (praying in tongues).  Getting filled up with the things of God will help you in the time of need.  In Acts 4:8, Peter stood up before religious folks and the Holy Spirit empowered him to speak with boldness.  They noticed. 

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. 
Acts 4:13 NKJV

The world gets drunk to solve their problems.  We all know that when you become sober again the trouble is still there to be dealt with.  Christian Believers should be so filled with the Holy Spirit, that when the trouble comes, He gives us the wisdom and the power to deal with.

Posted on 13 December, 2006

Cleaning Up Before A Move

Ps 24:3-4

3 Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? 
Or who may stand in His holy place? 
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, 
Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, 
Nor sworn deceitfully. 

NKJV

It is amazing once you’ve lived in one place for a while, how much stuff one can accumulate.  No matter how much effort you make to avoid becoming too much of a ‘pack rat’, things just seem to add up.  A few things here and there, throw them in the box, and they fill it up.  Out comes another box and a few loose items to fill it up with.  Before you know it, you have things that are boxed-up and stacked up that are only just taking space.

We recently moved.  My wife is very good about getting rid of things that we don’t use.  There is a lot of stuff that is very nice that others can use.  We sow that into other people’s lives.  Then there are other things that just need to be trashed.  Although, we thought we were doing pretty well we found that as we were ready to move, there was some stuff in our house that was just taking space.  These were things that were unnecessary and not used in our lives but were taking space.  These things that were just luggage for us to carry around, but had absolutely no benefit to us.

Spiritually, the situation is exactly the same for all of us.  We get so involved in our everyday lives that we don’t trash stuff.  Someone says something or does something that hurts us, so we hold unforgiveness in our hearts towards them.  We hold onto these things that hurt us, not the person we’re upset with.  It wouldn’t do any good to return like for like anyway.  We hold onto something that happened to us, things people said to us, and all sorts of things that hamper going deeper with God.  Our hearts get cluttered.

When the Holy Spirit moves on us and our churches, He begins to clean us up.  Things that might be acceptable to the common man, are not acceptable to God and we need to just start throwing them out, never to see them again.  It is like that stuff that has accumulated at your house before a move or spring cleaning; you can’t carry it around.  You have to get rid of it, otherwise it will slow you down.  It will prevent you from going deeper with God.

Who can go deeper into their relationship with God?  A person ‘who has clean hands and a pure heart’. A person who has not got the clutter of the world distracting them from doing right.  Someone whose priority is their relationship with God, over their wine, television watching, career, their car (or any other hobby or sport).  God is willing to go deeper with us, but we’ve got to take the first step.  The as we go deeper with God, He rewards us.  Psalm 24 continues on.

Ps 24:5 
5 He shall receive blessing from the Lord, 
And righteousness from the God of his salvation. 
NKJV 

God blesses those who go after Him.  Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!  I want to be blessed so I can be a blessing.  We should be so blessed that when we pray for the sick, they are healed.  When we see financial needs we are able to give to help people with food or funding to help them get back on their feet.  We are so blessed that we are a bright light in our community to save the lost.

How about it?  Are you ready for a move from the world’s ways to God’s ways? 

Posted on 7 December, 2006

Revival In Japan- The Word of Faith

Japan is an island nation made up multiple islands. The largest island holds the two major cities Tokyo and Osaka. Tokyo is the largest city spread out over 50 miles with 28 million people.

The geographical location of the Japanese islands has provided physical separation and maybe even isolation from the Asian continent.

The Japanese people are distinct and very strong as a group. Japanese corporations are extensions of that group mentality. As groups, Japanese are excellent at studying products and processes and perfecting them. The Japanese were demoralized by the loss of World War II to the Allies but quickly rebuilt thanks to help from the US and the great sense of teamwork. This group mentality is a strong. It is both a positive and a negative.

The first missionaries came to Japan in 1549. They were well received and many people came to know Jesus as their Lord. Even Japanese leaders were born from above and baptized into the kingdom. By the end of the 1500s insecurity in leadership arose and missionaries were expelled and many Japanese believers were tortured, persecuted, and in many cases murdered. This was something that happened on and off through Japanese history and forced many Japanese believers underground. The much famed Japanese tea ceremony was actually an covert way of celebrating communion.

Due to much persecution for the Word, many modern-day Japanese came to associate the historical persecution with what one has to be like to serve God. Worse yet, many Japanese Christians associate this lifestyle of not enough and sickness as something from God. These two factors have been successful in keeping many people out of church.

Most Japanese churches are under 30 people and the average age is somewhere around fifty. The pastors are old and suffering. They teach their flocks to go and do like-wise. Due to the small sizes of the churches and the insecure leadership, there is almost a dictatorial rule of pastors of the people. Much friction between pastors arises from members switching churches, or the fear thereof.

Many missionary groups have come to Japan with limited success in reaching the lost for Jesus. Every year, experts say 8,000 Japanese nationals return to Japan after being saved in the United States. Most apparently stop attending church within a few months of their return.

October 1997, after a week of intercession for Japan, Patrick Wolfe got an answer to why the church was failing. He saw a vision of a Japanese church while riding into Tokyo on a commuter train. The church was full of about 20 or 30 folding chairs. There was a cold tile floor. The pastor was not preaching but holding and eye-dropper over the front of the pulpit. In front of the pulpit were five or six Japanese members. They were skinny, bony and looked somewhat like the hungering people of Africa. They were starving, but giving the best to catch even a drop of the water coming over the pulpit.

The Lord spoke and said that the water represented to Word of God. He said the reason why the church was failing is because the leadership was not preaching the Word.

In 2001, after serving 3.5 years in a Japanese church, Spencer & Mariko Patrick left their church. It was a difficult step, but God spoke to Mr. Patrick that He had a great plan for Japan but was waiting for people to step into those plans. With this word from God, Victory Word Church was founded and plans were made on how to reach Japan for Jesus.

If spiritual things were considered in business points Japan should be thought of as a market of market of great potential. Less than 1% of the population is “Christian”. The Japanese are avid readers and are quick to pick up on something once it is understood properly. Japan is the world’s second largest economy behind that of the United States. This is even after the formation of the European Union.

Keys for success in Japan-

1) Create a committed prayer team of people willing to interceded for Japan
2) Build a team of people hungry for God and His Word. People willing to go all-out with God and work well together towards increasing the citizens of The Kingdom. This team will come together with people in Japan and families coming from the US.
3) Preach the uncompromised Word of God
4) Provide Word of Faith materials in Japanese. This is crucial for once the Word gets out, we need to have materials ready that people can access.

Posted on 28 November, 2006

Protect Your Heart! It will affect your whole life.

Prov 4:23 
23 Keep your heart with all diligence, 
For out of it spring the issues of life. 

NKJV

When we say protect your heart, most people in the world today would think of physical exercise to strengthen the heart.  Or possibly eating lots of greens that help keep the body pure and the heart pumping well and unhampered.  The New Living Translation says,

Guard your heart above all else, 
for it determines the course of your life.

What is it about the heart?  Is the Word of God (the Bible) talking about the physical organ that pumps blood in your chest throughout your body?  Actually, the Bible is talking about the center of your being.  Your heart is you. We know we are a spirit, we have a soul, and we live in a body from 1 Thessalonians 5:23.  But the book of Proverbs, and the rest of the Bible talks about the heart all the time.  Why?  Because the heart is the center of our being; the center of us.. our implicit self.  If someone is ‘heart-sick’, they can end up physically sick and possibly even die.

The spiritual entrances to our heart are our eyes, ears, and senses.  That is why we really need to be so careful about what we see, hear, and read.  I remember seeing something scary on TV as a kid and it was as if those images were burned into me.  When the lights went out, I would fear that whatever I saw on the TV was actually real and happen to me. It took years for me to forget those horrible images.

Someone once said you are what you eat.  I would like to expand that.  You are what you think.  In Japan, we’ll often see people practicing their golf grip, swing, and follow through, all on the station platform as they are waiting for the train.  They are consumed by golf as that is what they think about.  They read golf magazines, talk about golf with their friends, watch gold programs, and rather than spending time with their family on the weekend that are out on the golf course.  Golf has consumed them.

Others take a look at something they shouldn’t be looking at.  Just one look and it is hard to erase that mental picture they have taken.  The imagination is a powerful tool that the Bible tells us to keep in control.  The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 10:5

2 Cor 10:5 
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 
NASU

We must protect our heart if we want to have success in life.  We cannot allow ourselves to look at things or spend time doing things that take us away from the abundance that God has planned for us.  In the end, it all leads to death.  If you go after God, 100% you will have more than you can ever imagine, spiritually, physically, financially.  Everything comes together. 

God wants to know you, but you have to want to know Him as well.  If you allow your world to be crowded by the cares of this world, hobbies, sports, or things; you are missing the perfect plan God has for you.

Don’t be satisfied with what things are like now.  God has more for you, but the key is keeping your heart clear and free so that you can be led by the Holy Spirit. 

Posted on 21 November, 2006