Know Your Position in Christ - Ps. Ben Hakalitz - 29.10.2017
The Lord is my Shepherd - 01.10.2017 - Janet Nangit
Strengthen Yourself! 24/9/17
A Message by Pastor Bill Page, Living Light Gospel Church, Cairns.
We all face challenges and trials. God is on the throne of our lives and He loves us and plans the best for us, but sometimes in the process of producing in us the character that He knows will enable us to stand against all opposition from the world, the flesh and the kingdom of darkness, and to live a life that glorifies Him, He allows us to face tests.
The critical thing for us to remember is that He has everything under control, and we must respond according to the Spirit and not react according to the flesh.
1 Samuel 30:1-8 David and his men returned home to find that the Amalekites had invaded the city and “burned it with fire”, taking away their wives and families “from small to great”. David and his men “lifted up their voices and wept”. All that was left of their homes was smoking ruins.
The Amalekites were an ancient tribe, descended from Amalek, who was the grandson of Esau. They were the first enemy that attacked Israel after they crossed the Red Sea, having come out of slavery in Egypt.
Esau’s line represents “the natural man”, which will always be in opposition to “the spiritual man”. In the “natural” Esau was the first-born and was a man strong in his “natural” abilities. He was a man of action and strong emotions.
Jacob, his twin brother represents “the spirit man”. He was “a mild man”. God wrestled all night with Jacob and changed his character and his name to Israel, which means “prince with God.” God chose Jacob (Israel) over Esau. He chooses the spiritual man over the flesh man.
“Amalek” means “cutting the neck”, or severing the head from the body. The flesh nature, the “natural man” will always war against the spirit man in you, endeavouring to separate you from the Head, Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:46 “The spiritual man is not first but the natural, and afterwards the spiritual.” We begin in the “natural” but by the grace of God and the blood of the cross we become spiritual beings, saved and given eternal life by Jesus Christ. The first enemy you must overcome as you build a life following Jesus Christ to the place of His promises is “the natural man”; your flesh (the Amalekites) that will try to separate you from your Head, Jesus Christ.
Faced with this terrible tragedy, David and his men “wept until they had no more power to weep” then his own people turned on him and “spoke of stoning him”! As if the destruction of his home and the capture of his family was not enough, now those closest to him wanted to kill him! “It’s all your fault! If you were a better leader this wouldn’t have happened!”
Sometimes, when you are facing a heart-breaking challenge, something else again can come “out of the blue” that you were not expecting, to make your life even harder!
So what will David do? He could argue, or he could fight them, or he could go to the place where he will never be rejected and where he will always find strength.
Verse 6: “David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” When your world is collapsing and there seems to be pain upon pain, we must get into the place of worship and “strengthen” ourselves! Don’t wait for somebody else to do it for you. God is waiting for you. Get alone with Him!
Verse 7: David said, “Please bring the ephod here to me.” The temple had been destroyed so he couldn’t go there. His city was nothing but ashes, but David put on the garment of worship and “strengthened himself.”
Abiathar was the last priest left alive after Saul had slaughtered them all at Nob and this was the only ephod left in all Israel. Sometimes, we have to be stripped back to rock bottom so we can find a firm foundation on which to build a new life.
1 Corinthians 3:11 “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
Then in that attitude, God spoke to David and promised him victory over his enemies.
All of the rest of David’s team were reacting according to the flesh; angry and resentful, wanting somebody to pay for their pain. Be careful that your sorrow doesn’t lead you into self-pity; that is of the flesh and will war against the purposes of God for you.
David worshipped God and the break-through came. He struck the Amalekites and took everything back that the enemy had stolen from him!
Worship is not passive: it connects us to the awesome might of the One who will fight our battles!
We, too, can “strengthen” ourselves in worship and position ourselves to receive a fresh word from God, and for His guidance into a future of victory. It’s up to you.
2 Corinthians 12:9 In a time of great testing, God said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
No matter what we are facing, we must be people who receive and extend the grace of God. (“Grace for grace”: John 1:16.) That then makes us “sufficient” for every circumstance. And then, God’s “strength is made perfect in weakness.” It is the opposite of the way of the world.
Too many of us never see God’s “perfect” strength because we are still too strong in the “natural man”.
Allow yourself to be emptied of all the natural strength and the ways of the flesh: the ways of the Amalekites: and when you are at your weakest, fill yourself up with the grace and the strength of the Lord and victory is certain.
Hearing God’s Voice 17/9/17
A Message by Pastor Bill Page, Living Light Gospel Church, Cairns.
We all need to hear God’s voice for ourselves. Be careful not to receive all of your revelations from God from another human vessel, no matter who they are. Human vessels can fail, but the voice of God Himself speaking to your spirit will never let you down.
Elijah was one of the most powerful and effective prophets and ministers for God in the Bible. He stood out from the crowd and was not afraid to speak God’s word, even if it meant that he must stand alone or attract enemies.
In 1 Kings 18 he had the well-known encounter with the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. He called down fire from heaven, executed 850 prophets of false Gods and all Israel fell on their faces declaring, “the Lord, He is God!” (Verse 39). But in the process he attracted a very wicked and powerful enemy, Jezebel, who gives her name to demonic spirits of lust, witchcraft, deception and control, which are still very active today.
1Kings 19:2 Jezebel said, “I’m going to kill you!” and Elijah “ran for his life.” Now this is the guy who just called down fire from heaven! Who proclaimed a drought in the whole land of Israel for three and a half years, and at his word it rained again! And this evil woman threatened him and he ran away! Why didn’t he just go and see her and call down fire from heaven again? We are all human vessels:
2 Corinthians 4:6-7 God plans for us to be filled with “the light of the knowledge of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” That’s what our “vessel” is for: to reveal Jesus and to glorify God. But you and I are masters of our own vessels. We are destined to be filled with faith, but sometimes, through adverse circumstances we can allow our faith to leak out and fear can fill us; or anger, or grief, or uncleanness… the list goes on. So Elijah ran away.
1 Kings 19:3-4 He left his servant and went on alone until he collapsed “under a broom tree”. He cried out to God, “Enough!” “I’ve had it! Kill me now!”
Verse 5-8: Even though Elijah had a bad attitude and had run away from the battle, God still came to him and provided for him and strengthened him to continue the journey.
You may think that God has been unfair to you, or that things have become too tough to go on, crying out, “Enough!” “Kill me now!”
Numbers 11:11-15 Moses did it! Sometimes the road just seems too steep and rough, but God in His mercy and grace will come to you and give you what you need to go on.
Exodus 3:15 When Moses met God at the burning bush and wanted confirmation that it really was God speaking to him, God said that He is “The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” Why “Jacob”? Why not “Israel”? Jacob means “deceiver, supplanter” and as they wrestled together God changed his name to “Israel” which means “Prince with God”, from whom the whole nation is named. So why introduce Himself as “the God of Jacob”? Because He is the God of the deceiver, the failure, the sinner and the back-slider! “For God so loved the world…” No matter what you have done, He will always be your God!
So Elijah journeyed on and “he went into a cave”. Like David in the “cave of Adullam”. We might retreat into a cave because of opposition, fear or distress, but even there God will minister to us, if we will tune into His voice.
Verse 10: Elijah complained to God. Never be afraid to complain to God: read the Psalms. We don’t approach God as spiritual giants; what a joke that is; we come to Him simply as His sons and daughters. Open your heart to Him!
Verse 11-12: God taught Elijah a very important lesson: He tore the mountain with a wind, sent an earthquake and then a fire, but God was not in any of it!
Be careful that we don’t base our faith in God on physical manifestations or an experience of the miraculous: Satan can do those, too! Many people have become “shipwrecked in their faith” because they have followed “signs and wonders”, or personal prophecy and not the word of God. If any miracle, manifestation or prophecy does not line up with the word of God, throw it out. The enemy is out to “deceive if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24) and we see that happening, so we are called to watch and to “test the spirits.” (1 John 4:1)
And because you have the Spirit of God in you, you can be led by Him all the time, in every situation. We train ourselves to test and discern what is of God by immersing ourselves in His word. (John 15:7)
1 Kings 19:12 Here is the point of the lesson God was teaching Elijah: “a still, small voice.” When speaking directly to the spirit of a man, God’s voice doesn’t thunder; it isn’t like a trumpet blast; it is “still” and it is “small”, that’s why we must focus on Him and listen.
When Elijah responded to that “still, small voice” a new destiny opened up for him. Elisha was called to serve him for more than seven years until he was “taken up” into heaven.
Elijah’s fears and frailties did not disqualify him from his amazing destiny in God. Our Heavenly Father knows our hearts and He understands, and He is longing to come close to you and whisper His plans and purposes.
Let’s decide today that we will shut out all the distractions and the things that are calling us away from a pure walk with Him, and listen. He will open up a marvellous new life for you if you will do it.
“Love Covers” 13/8/17
A Message by Pastor Bill Page, Living Light Gospel Church, Cairns.
1 Peter 4:8 “Love will cover a multitude of sins.”
True love will not “seek its own”; it does not highlight the failures or the wrongs of others. It does not expose others to shame; it refuses to become offended. (1 Corinthians 13) As we go through our lives in this modern world there are plenty of challenges and ample opportunity for misunderstandings and offences. We must resist the temptation to react according to the flesh, but respond according to the Spirit.
Genesis 9:18-27 After all of the challenges that Noah faced during the building of the ark, the triumph over wickedness through the flood, and their eventual arrival at a place of “rest” on Mt Ararat (Genesis 8:4) God made a covenant with Noah, promising that “the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh” confirming it with the “rainbow”.
So in this new place of God’s choosing, “Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard.” Noah and his family tended the animals, established gardens and planted grapes to make wine. But Noah is only human, and he drank too much wine and collapsed naked in his tent. His middle son Ham saw his father in this sorry state and told his two brothers. Ham had the wrong attitude to his father and exposed him to shame.
But Shem and Japheth “took a garment”, stretched it between them and “went backward and covered the nakedness of their father.” They didn’t laugh at him; they didn’t expose him to shame. They turned their faces away so that “they did not see their father’s nakedness.” Love and respect. Yes, Noah had done something foolish. One of his sons exposed him to shame and received a curse. Two covered him and received blessing.
How do you and I respond to the failure of another? Do we run to spread the story or do we lovingly cover them, not even looking at, or judging their situation?
Galatians 6:1-2 If anyone is “overtaken” by sin, if we are truly “spiritual” we will “restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness” because it can happen to any of us! How would we want to be treated in such a situation?
Jesus, by His blood and by His death on the cross has covered all of our sin, just like Shem and Japheth covered Noah. He knows that we have sinned but by His grace He laid down His own life to cover all of our wrong-doings.
Psalm 85:2 “You have forgiven the iniquity of your people; you have covered all of their sin.”
When God was preparing to release His people from slavery in Egypt, Pharaoh refused to let them go. Ten terrible plagues of judgment fell upon the Egyptians, the last one being the worst of all; the death of all first-born: of the people and their animals. In order to separate God’s people from the idol-worshiping Egyptians, they were to take a lamb “without blemish” (Exodus 12:5) kill it and spread its blood on the two doorposts and the lintel above the door as a “covering”. When “the angel of death” came to execute God’s judgment, it would “pass over” the houses with the blood. Whoever was inside; slaves from other countries, Egyptians seeking sanctuary; anybody who was in the house with the blood was saved from judgment and death.
This is a powerful picture of what Jesus has done for us. His blood covers us, and saves us from death and separation from God. Just as Shem and Japheth covered Noah’s nakedness, Jesus, by His blood and His death covers us. “Love will cover a multitude of sins.”
God considered the original Passover so significant as the beginning of Israel’s new life as a nation, that He recalibrated the calendar! From now on, Passover would represent a new start and a new life in every way!
Exodus 12:2 “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you.”
Today God is calling us all to a new beginning. Let the blood of Jesus cover all of your sin. Allow Him to wash you and cleanse you, washing away all of the guilt and shame of your past. Let today be “the first month of the year” for you!
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”