I. Get into the presence of God daily.
David understood what so many Christians today do not - the need to really seek God.
When You said, "Seek My face," My heart said to You, "Your face, Lord, I will seek (Ps. 27:8)."
There is a place where the seekers of God know to go. It is a place they go to find peace, joy, and an overwhelming sense of God's glory. It's a place we call the "secret place" or the Holy of Holies; it's that place where deep calls unto
deep. There is no substitute for that place of communion with God. It is a place where we really hear His voice. It is a place where we are refreshed in our spirits, and we receive incredible revelation. It is a place where God can speak to us by His still small voice or by His Word. When we get into that place and then read the Word of God, the Word comes alive. When we have been in his presence we have knowing that all is well because he is with us.
A lady (who we haven't seen in a long time) called today very frantic over a situation in her personal life. I knew that this situation was the result of her not having the covering of a local church, tithing, and seeking God and being in His presence daily. She needed someone who had been in the presence of God to speak faith into her life, which I did, but how much better if she had gone to the Holy One and spent time with Him. She would have had that peace that passed all understanding. In fact she would have avoided the catastrophe all together. Oh, that God's people would discipline themselves to seek His Secret Place.
How to Make the Secret Place a place of refuge in your life:
1. Make it the first place you visit each day.
What we do first every day says something about what our greatest priority is. Of course I'm not talking about brushing your teeth or combing your hair or pouring a cup of coffee, but the first important event of our day makes a statement. Whatever we make our first appointment tells us something about the Lord. Make God your first priority. God is the first person I talk to when I wake up in the morning and He's the last person I talk to before I go to sleep at night. When I wake up I talk to God. He's my continual companion. Make the Lord your continual companion.
2. Worship God and pray in the Spirit until you sense His presence.
The Holy Spirit responds to our heartfelt worship. Make your secret place a place of worship. One of the quickest ways to get into God's presence is by worshipping Him with singing. Ps. 100 verse 2 says, "Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing." If you're not musical put on a worship CD or tape and focus totally on God. He will meet you when you seek Him with all of your heart. Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. Jer. 29:13.
3. Repent of any known sin the Holy Spirit reminds you of.
Repentance is a sincere heartfelt decision to turn away from the behavior and with God's help not to do it again. It is a change of heart that results in a change of mind that results in a change of behavior. Just being sorry is not enough. It has to be a godly sorrow. II Cor. 7:10 says, "Forgodly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death."
4. Stay long enough to make it a memorable and pleasurable experience.
Jumping up and going about our business too quickly does not allow the Lord to do the work in us that He wants to do. When we give God the time He wants, it becomes a very wonderful, pleasurable, and memorable spiritual experience that makes us cherish every moment and leaves us with a desire to return to the Holy place again. When we have a good experience doing something it makes us want to do it again. Being in God's presence is very wonderful. He satisfies the longing of our soul. There is nothing more fulfilling than going into the Holy Place with the Lord on a daily basis. Go at least once a day. If you can, go more often. He is so very awesome. There is no one like Him in all the universe. Taste and see that the Lord is good.
5. Make an appointment with God every day.
The most important people in your life deserve your best time. They deserve your undivided attention. God should be at the very top of that list. If He hasn't been then repent, and put this little lesson into practice.
Keys to A Greater Faith Walk II
II. Get the Doubt Out.
Doubt contaminates faith. When the man with the son with the mute spirit said, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" (Mk. 4:24), he realized he had two opposing forces at work within. That is why James refers to "believers" who doubt as those who are double minded (James 1:8). The Greek word for double minded is dipsuchos, which literally means two souled. The soul is the mind, will and emotions. When we're double minded it's as though we have faith in our spirit man which seems like one mind and really it is the "mind of Christ" and we have doubt in our natural mind or our feelings
are running contrary to what we're believing in our spirit we feel torn. We go back and forth.
This kind of duplicity will end up in our faith eventually being "tossed by the wind" (James 1:6).
The most important thing we can do to stand strong in faith is get the doubt out. So Jesus answered and said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' it will be done.
We have a saying in our church. "Get the doubt out" Even mustard seed faith is strong when it is pure.
One of the ways to have effective faith is to chose to not doubt at all, and keep speaking the Word of God only and believing the Word of God, and Trusting in the Person of God until you see what God said come to pass.
Greater faith comes as we keep the weed seed of doubt from choking out that tiny mustard seed that is going to grow unto a tree of great faith.
III. Keep Your Affection for God because Your Affection Determines Your Confession.
Have you ever noticed that people talk about what is important to them? If sports are important they talk their sport of choice. If the party life is important to them, they talk about their last big bash. If material things are a priority the majority of their conversation is about material things.
This is confirmed by scripture: Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things (Mt. 12:34).
People often, talk about themselves. Why? Because, the fallen nature is selfish and self-centered, at least until we begin to make Jesus the Lord of our lives. Before we are truly submitted to the Lord, we think it's all about "Mesus" rather than all about Jesus. Even after we're saved we can be very selfish if we don't "die daily" (I Cor. 15:31).
The Apostle Paul said, I assure you] by the pride which I have in you in [your fellowship and union with] Christ Jesus our Lord, that I die daily[I face death every day and die to self].
He experienced a daily death to self. How? He went to the Cross in prayer, submitted to the Lord. Each time he came out of his prayer closet, a walking talking dead man. He was surrendered to Christ and His will, because his desire was for the Lord (Phil. 3).
When we die to self, we talk more about the Lord than ourselves. Our affection is on things above and not on things on earth (Col. 3:2). When we are Christ centered, we like Christ centered conversation. We like to be around people who lift Jesus higher. Our hearts are given to Christ and our tongues easily stand confessing the truth of God's Word rather than the obstacle we are facing.
Our affection determines our direction. Because our affection determines our confession and our confession determines our direction (James 3:1-4), our affection can hold us back or propel us forward. If we love God and His Word more than we love some vice or sin, we will easily get out of it. The Apostle Paul said to the Corinthians, " You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections (II Cor. 6:12).
Choose to change your affection and you can change your confession. You can't change your confession until you change your affection. For instance, if a man keeps saying, "but I really like to smoke," he can't quit smoking. His confession is evidence his affection hasn't changed, and until that
changes it will be impossible for him to make a permanent change in his behavior. In order to change something we have to be convinced in our heart that it needs to change and we must want to change. When the affection changes the man changes. His confession automatically begins to take him in the direction he wants to go. When he starts saying, "I hate those cigarettes," You can substitute Fritos, or Big Macs, or diet sodas, or cocaine in place of the word cigarettes and break any habit with the Lord's help. Basically this is the essence of repentance. Repentance is a change of mind resulting in a change of heart that results in a change of confession that results in a change of direction (behavior).
If you want to change something in your life, begin to see it as Jesus sees it. Then choose to change your affection for it. See how quickly you move in the new direction. It works for positive changes too. People who develop an affection for Jesus and start telling Him how much they love him are soon, praying, worshipping, attending church, tithing, and spending time in the secret place.
Change your mind, change your heart, change your confession, and change your direction today. Full deliverance and victory awaits the man or woman who sets their Heart on the Lord. Those who bear fruit, have an honest and good heart who hear the Word of God, accept it, hold it fast and patiently bring forth fruit. And those are they that were sown upon the good ground; such as hear the word, and accept it, and bear fruit, thirtyfold, and sixtyfold, and a hundredfold (Mk. 4:20 ASV). And that in the goodground, these are such as in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, hold it fast, and bring forth fruit with patience ( Lk 8:15 ASV). It is impossible to have an honest and good heart that will accept the Word of God and hold on to it until it bears fruit unless we maintain our first love putting Jesus above all else. Our affection for God means so much. Jesus said if we love Him, we would keep His commandments. If we love Him His commandments are not burdensome and friends we love Him because He first loved us. Love is the key. As this beautiful love relationship grows, our faith will grow.
Have a blessed week.
Bishop Darrell Ellis
Anointed Word International Fellowship