April 2018

cross easterHappy Resurrection Day! The word blessed in the Greek means “Oh how happy!” As Christians, our happiness comes from the blessing of God, not this world. Though our circumstances may be bleak, happiness is internal, exuding from the Spirit through faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Psalmist David wrote,

“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.” 1

A Hollywood Response…

What a blessing to hear from Ryan, who saw my interview on the 700 Club from years ago. He wrote,

“Hello friend, peace be with you. I am writing because I saw a clip of your interview on the 700 Club. It really moved me to see the true power of the Lord and the power of salvation. I’m happy that you found Christ, through Him all things are possible and through His love we are all free men.

“I too have wrestled with demons and the grief of past actions. I wanted to reach out to let you know that I’m praying for you. I pray that you continue to follow the light of Christ. I was a touring musician for years and lived a life of sin.

“I would be dishonest if I told you I did not know your story before seeing your 700 Club appearance. I guess that’s why it made such an impact on me; to see true change and to see someone give themselves to the Lord after such dark times.

“I found God in 2012, and I’ve tried my best not to stray from His light. Do you have and advice for a young man trying to do right by the Lord? I feel society and the world is one big temptation, especially in Hollywood where I live. Your friend, Ryan, CA.”

My Hollywood Days…

I recall living in Hollywood like it was yesterday beside the Magic Castle. We’d walk over to the Hollywood Bowl, visit the Chinese Theater and shop on the Boulevard. With a Methodist church on the corner and a Presbyterian one a block over, I had a choice to attend but my mind wasn’t on the Lord. It was consumed with fleshly desires.

“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” 2

For Ryan and us all, it’s a daily choice to overcome temptation, “For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.” As children of God, Jesus won the victory 2000 years ago at the cross, so now it’s up to us “…to walk by faith, not by sight.” 4

Over the years, I’ve built my faith daily “…from hearing, that is hearing the Good News about Christ.” I heard about Jesus from an early age, but my spiritual hunger wasn’t ignited until I was born again in 1975. Then I began studying, meditating and praying God’s Word, even out loud to myself, which resulted in greater faith from hearing myself speak God’s truth. It’s called victorious faith in God’s grace.

Overcoming Temptation…

Temptation isn’t overcome by willpower or positive confession. We’re powerless to fight that demonic, tempting voice unless we speak God’s word in faith. Like today, in the 60s there were drugs, sex and music that aroused temptation to medicate the pains of life. Without the Truth of God’s Word, the enemy is able to invade the mind, but like Ryan says, “…though Him all is possible and through His love we are all free men.” Jesus said,

“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” 6

As Christians, we are not powerless in Christ, the word meaning “the anointed one”. When we were born again through faith in God’s grace, we receive the Spirit of power as anointed ones in Christ, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 7

We’re given the power of the Holy Spirit, love and a sound mind to overcome temptation as our mind comes into agreement or alignment with God’s Word. The battle is in the mind, where the enemy tries to implant doubts, lies and negative thinking, contrary to God’s thoughts. Our job is to walk in the authority of God’s word, responding to His grace and truth, so not to give place to the devil. 8

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 9

The victorious Christian walk is a lifestyle. On this website, I offer the Christian Toolbox, even in brochure form to remind us daily of the truth to keep our minds focused on Jesus. But there is no substitute for meditation in God’s Word and praying it out loud to yourself. For instance, pray Ephesians 1:15-23, 3:14-21, and Colossians 1:9-14 to start the day. You’ll find your faith increasing!

Meditation and even memorizing Ephesians 6:10-18 gives you the way to keep on the armor of God, never ting it off even wile sleeping. Through the night when the enemy shows up attacking, gird up your mind with truth, remind yourself that you are righteous in Christ, and as a result, you have peace with God. Shield yourself from all the darts of the wicked one by faith, “…and take on the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying always in the Spirit… for all the saints.” 10

Lastly, we need to fellowship with saints of like mind. I reminded Ryan that it’s hard to live in victory without close brothers and sisters in Christ as a support system through the week. If you’re looking for a fellowship, don’t be turned off by the first church you visit; try another until you find acceptance and God’s love. It’s His love that gives us hope, so don’t give up!

“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” 11

A Prayer for You…

Father, thank You for the power of Your Word and the faith to overcome temptation at every turn because of Your grace. Jesus won the war at the cross – the war is over! I know it is up to me in Christ to enforce his victory by taking a stand against the wiles of the devil. Now, I commit to fighting the battle of my mind, taking authority over all demonic thinking, so I can experience the victorious Christian life promised to me and pleasing to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Check out: Confession of the Word

Scripture References (NKJ):

1) Rom. 4:7,8; Psa. 32:1,2
2) Rom. 8:5
3) 1 Jn. 5:4, NLT
4) 2 Cor. 5:7
5) Rom. 10:17, NLT
6) Jn. 8:31b,32
7) 2 Tim. 1:7
8) Eph. 4:27
9) 2 Cor 10:15, KJV
10) Eph. 6:17,18
11) Rom. 5:5

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