The Scripture says that, “The thief’s (Satan’s) purpose is to steal, kill and destroy.” (John 10:10 TLB). What has the devil stolen from you? Is it your health, a relationship, your finances, something physical? God is in the restoration business. He desires for you to reclaim what is yours. Today, let’s look at how one man in the Bible got back what was stolen from him.
David, future king of Israel, and his men had been out fighting their enemies. When they returned to Ziklag, their home base, they found everything had been taken – their wives, children, and everyone else. In addition, the Amalekites had burned everything to the ground. 1 Samuel 30:4 says David and his men “wept until they could weep no more.” But then David’s men turned against him and threatened to stone him. What did David do? 1 Samuel 30:6 (KJV) says, “And David was greatly distressed…but (he) encouraged himself in the Lord his God.”
David encouraged himself in the Lord. When you are at a crossroads, how do you do this? You do it with the Word of God. You remind yourself what God has said about you, the dominion He has given you as a believer, and the promises in His Word which cover every situation you can ever face. Secondly, you remember the victories He’s given you in the past – the times He’s healed, restored relationships, provided for financial needs.
The next thing David did was to pursue. David asked the Lord if he should pursue the enemy. “And He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them...” (1 Samuel 30: 8 NKJV). David gathered up his men, pursued his enemy and attacked him until he was defeated. How do we pursue as believers today? We determine we will not settle for the thievery, we take up arms, and we go after what has been stolen.
God has provided us with the weapons we need – His Word, the words of our mouth, and the knowledge Jesus won the victory over the powers of darkness when He rose from the dead.
The third thing David did was to overtake. After God told David to pursue, he said to him, “You shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all” (verse 8, NKJV). God guaranteed David’s success. But it didn’t come easily. The Scripture says “David attacked them from twilight until the evening of the next day” (1 Samuel 30:17, NKJV). How do we overtake? We rebuke the devil in the Name of Jesus. We bind every spirit that comes against us. We keep speaking the Word of God. And we use the spiritual forces of faith and patience by which we inherit the promises.
And the best part? Not only did David recover all but he took the spoils from the Amalekites as well. That’s what happened to Job. He regained double for everything Satan had taken from him. Don’t just go for what you’ve lost. Anticipate more. In Jesus, you are more than a conqueror. The Scripture says if we catch a thief, he must restore seven times what he stole. (Proverbs 6:31). So take back what has been stolen from you. Bankrupt the devil.
As a born-again believer, you have divine favour with God. That’s right. His Word says so. “For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield.” (Psalm 5:12 NKJV). Favour is mentioned over seventy times in the Bible. The favour of God guarantees His presence and power to accomplish His purposes for you. His favour lasts a lifetime. “For His anger is but for a moment; His favor is for life…” (Psalm 30:5 NKJV). For every season of our lives, God provides His favour. That especially comforts me in the golden years of my life.
You can grow in the favour of God. “Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the Lord and also with man.” (1 Samuel 2:26 ESV). “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” (Luke 2:52 NKJV).
I would like to look at five aspects of God’s favour.
So, dear believer in Jesus, walk in the light of God’s favour today. It’s all around you and protects you like a shield. God says so.
In Christ Jesus, God has done so much for us as born-again believers. In this post, I want to list just a very small portion of what we have in Him as His blood-bought children.
We've been made His righteousness. “For God made the only one who did not know sin to become sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God through our union with him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 TPT).
Jesus has given us His Name, the Name above every name. “And these miracle signs will accompany those who believe: They will drive out demons in the power of my name. They will speak in tongues. They will be supernaturally protected from snakes and from drinking anything poisonous. And they will lay hands on the sick and heal them.” (Mark 16:17 TPT).
In addition to His Name, Jesus has given us His authority. “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 MSG).
We have His armour. “Put on truth as a belt to strengthen you to stand in triumph. Put on holiness as the protective armor that covers your heart. Stand on your feet alert, then you’ll always be ready to share the blessings of peace. In every battle, take faith as your wrap-around shield, for it is able to extinguish the blazing arrows coming at you from the evil one! Embrace the power of salvation’s full deliverance, like a helmet to protect your thoughts from lies. And take the mighty razor-sharp Spirit-sword of the spoken word of God. Pray passionately in the Spirit, as you constantly intercede with every form of prayer at all times.” (Ephesians 6:14-18 TPT).
His supernatural weapons belong to us. “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5 NKJV).
We can come boldly to His throne of grace. “By the blood of Jesus, He has given you the privilege to come boldly to His throne of grace and to find help in your time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16 World English Bible).
No earthly force or demonic power can separate us from His love. “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39 NLT).
Through an abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness, we are to reign in life – not just when we get to Heaven. “For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive an abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!” (Romans 5:17 Berean Study Bible).
In addition to the above, He has given us His protection, exchanged our poverty for His riches, we’ve been adopted into His family as sons and daughters and made ambassadors of His kingdom. We are more than conquerors and have been made “…kings and priests to his God and Father, to him is the glory and the power to the ages of the ages! Amen.” (Revelation 1:6 Young's Literal Translation).
My heart is bursting with joy as I look over these Scriptures and I trust that yours is also. We can speak with the writer to the Hebrews in Hebrews 13:6 NIV, “So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?"
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5.
As born-again believers, we must be diligent to cast down thoughts, reasonings and ideas which are contrary to the Word of God. For example, if you have a financial need and are standing on God’s promise in Philippians 4:19, which reads in The Message: “You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus”, and Satan whispers in your ear, “Not this time. He’s not going to come through for you this time,” cast down that thought in the Name of Jesus and declare, out loud, the truth of God’s Word.
One of my mentors in Christ taught me a valuable truth and it is this: You can’t fight thoughts with thoughts. You have to fight thoughts with words. The words we fight with are the very Words of God.
Back to my example above. When Satan lies to you that God is not going to meet your need, get in Satan's face and tell him that according to the Word of God, God has promised to take care of everything you need. Remind him that God clothes the lilies of the field, and that you are more valuable than they are.” (Matthew 6: 28-30). Tell him that Jesus told his followers to “take no thought, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’…For your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things.” (Matthew 6: 31-32). Inform him that you’re going to do what Jesus told you to do – not to worry but “…seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be given to you.” (Matthew 6:33). In other words, you must fight to keep the seed of faith planted in your heart by the Word of God, for “… faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17 NKJV). Don’t allow Satan to steal the Word of God out of your heart. If you do, you allow him to steal your victory.
In 1 Timothy 6:12, NKJV, the Apostle Paul told us to fight the fight of faith. “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” I believe one aspect of the fight of faith is holding on with dogged determination to the promises of God and casting down anything that is contrary to His Word. Like a dog who has a bone and will not let go, we will not let go of God’s Word, no matter the whispers from the enemy, the circumstances, or the contrary reports. We must be like Abraham, who “staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God…” (Romans 4:20).
The Greek word for stagger is diakrino, which means “to waver”. Remember what James says in James 1: 6-7 (Berean Study Bible). “But he must ask in faith, without doubting, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
Today, may we determine as men and women of God, to cast down anything contrary to the Word of God, to fight the good fight of faith, and not to stagger at the promises of God. May we be strong in faith, like Abraham, so we can receive all that God has for us.
Being a self-published author has its challenges. One of them I find particularly taxing is the marketing of my book. There are so many confusing voices on the Internet telling me that if I purchase their service, my advertising will reach hundreds (or thousands) of people. How do I know what is true – what works and what doesn’t?
Of course, there are many ways to market my book without spending money, such as approaching bookstores, libraries, joining groups on social media, and sending queries to podcasts and radio stations to interview me regarding the book. It’s the advertisements that promise me the moon that I’m unsure whether to invest in or not.
For example, I purchased an ad on one of the social media sites and ran it for seven days. I got clicks but not purchases. I gave up after one campaign. But should I have? I receive blogs regarding book marketing and one blogger stated that you have to keep trying different ads to see which ones are successful and which ones are not. This makes sense but it also costs money.
I think my quandary is where will my advertising dollar have the most success? And when you get right down to it, the only way to find out is by trial and error. Not very reassuring. But I’ll keep plugging away. Giving up is not an option.
There’s a verse in Ezekiel 12:28 that someone brought to my attention recently. In The Living Bible, it reads as follows: “Therefore say to them: ‘The Lord God says, “All delay has ended. I will do it now.”’
The context of this verse is that Ezekiel prophesied that the prince – Zedekiah, would go out from the land of Israel carrying his baggage, covering his face so that he did not see the land. He would be taken captive to Babylon. However, the people of Israel said that the prophecy was for many days in the future and that the prophecies failed. God told Ezekiel to tell His people that the prophecy would take place now.
What were the people of Israel saying? In essence, they were saying that God’s words were not true.
“All delay has ended. I will do it now. Each of us has an “it” in our lives – a prayer we need answers to, a promise we are waiting to see fulfilled. During this time, Satan comes to us and tells us that God’s words are not true – that He does not keep His promises. Will we believe Satan’s lies or the truth of God’s Word? Here are some verses to bolster your faith and help you to stay on course.
Joshua 23:14 NIV: “Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.”
1 Kings 8:56: “Blessed be the Lord, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised; not one word has failed of all His good promise, which He promised through Moses His servant.”
Psalm 89:34: “No, I will not break my covenant; I will not take back a single word I said.”
Psalm 138:2 NKJV: “I will worship toward Your holy temple, And praise Your name For Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.”
Isaiah 55: 11 TLB: “…so also is my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It shall accomplish all I want it to and prosper everywhere I send it.”
Isaiah 65:24 TLB:” I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking to me about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!”
Jeremiah 1:12 NIV: “The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.”
Lamentations 2:17 a NIV: “The Lord has done what he planned; he has fulfilled his word, which he decreed long ago…”
2 Corinthians 1:20 TPT: For all of God’s promises find their “yes” of fulfillment in him. And as his “yes” and our “amen” ascend to God, we bring him glory!”
Hebrews 10:23: “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”
I could go on. A man by the name of Evert R. Storms, a Canadian school teacher, on his 27th reading of the Bible, found 7,487 promises by God to humankind. So when we’re tempted to give up, let’s meditate on the promises of God and take to heart the admonition given to us in Hebrews 10:35, NIV: “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.”
Dear Lord Jesus, I choose today not to cast away my confidence in Your great and precious promises.
In 1 John 5:14-15, The Living Bible, it says, “And we are sure of this, that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will. And if we really know he is listening when we talk to him and make our requests, then we can be sure that he will answer us.’”
Do we really believe God will answer us when we pray in line with His will?
In Mark 11:24, it says, “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” We’re to believe we receive when we pray. Immediately, we receive in our spirit by faith. Later, the answer manifests in the physical.
It’s the time between when we receive the answer in our spirits and it manifests in the natural realm that often gets us into trouble. We begin to doubt God’s Word. If Satan can get us off the Word of God, he can steal our victory. That’s where the spiritual force of patience comes in.
Hebrews 6:12 in the Berean Literal Bible says, “That you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” What it says about becoming sluggish is important. When it takes a long time for the answer to come, it’s so easy to take our focus off the promise we’re holding onto and to look at the circumstances instead.
It reminds me of Abraham. God told him when he and Sarah were old, had no children, and Sarah had been barren all her life, that through Abraham’s offspring, the nations of the earth would be blessed. “I’ll make you a great nation and bless you. I’ll make you famous; you’ll be a blessing. I’ll bless those who bless you; those who curse you I’ll curse. All the families of the Earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12: 2-3 MSG).
A long time passed and no children appeared on the scene. So, Abraham and Sarah decided to help God out. Abraham took Sarah’s servant as a wife so he could have children with her. The results were disastrous, which are still evident to this day. Abraham and Sarah did not allow the force of patience to keep them steady until the promise was fulfilled and Isaac was born.
But after God changed Abram’s name to Abraham, ‘father of many nations’, and Sarai’s name to Sarah, ‘mother of many nations’, they remained steady and at the time promised by God, Isaac came into the world.
“In spite of being nearly one hundred years old when the promise of having a son was made, his faith was so strong that it could not be undermined by the fact that he and Sarah were incapable of conceiving a child. He never stopped believing God’s promise, for he was made strong in his faith…And because he was mighty in faith and convinced that God had all the power needed to fulfill his promises, Abraham glorified God.” (Romans 4:19-21 TPT).
As born-again believers, let’s be strong in faith, glorify God and stand on His great and precious promises, no matter what we see around us. In the power of the Holy Spirit, let’s walk by faith and not by sight.
There’s an interesting verse in Micah 4:9. It says the following: “Now why do you cry aloud? Is there no king among you? Has your counselor perished, that pains have taken you like a woman in labor?” (Amplified Bible, italics mine). I’m sure if the Body of Christ was asked this question today, we would give the right answer. “Yes, there is a King among us, Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords.” So why, then is the church not making more of an impact on the world?
Perhaps it’s because we’ve lacked a kingdom perspective. In the Scriptures, Joseph, Daniel, and Esther, to name a few, were chosen, taken out and raised up to represent the Kingdom of God before the kingdoms of this world.
As born-again believers, we too have been brought out, trained up and sent back with the good news and demonstration of God’s kingdom. “… you are a chosen people, set aside to be a royal order of priests, a holy nation, God’s own; so that you may proclaim the wondrous acts of the One who called you out of inky darkness into shimmering light.” 1 Peter 2:9 The Voice. “The reason the Son of God was revealed was to undo and destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8 TPT). We as His church are to be the enforcers of the victory Jesus won over satan and his minions when He rose from the dead.
“Jesus replied, “While you were ministering, I watched Satan topple until he fell suddenly from heaven like lightning to the ground. Now you understand that I have imparted to you my authority to trample over his kingdom. You will trample upon every demon before you and overcome every power Satan possesses. Absolutely nothing will harm you as you walk in this authority.” (Luke 10:18-19).
“Then Jesus made a public spectacle of all the powers and principalities of darkness, stripping away from them every weapon and all their spiritual authority and power to accuse us. And by the power of the cross, Jesus led them around as prisoners in a procession of triumph. He was not their prisoner; they were his!” (Colossians 2:15 TPT). Sometimes I think we as Christians, myself included, act as if we’re satan’s prisoner rather than him being under our feet.
“So don’t ever be afraid, dearest friends! Your loving Father joyously gives you his kingdom with all its promises!” (Luke 12:32 TPT). Another translation says that it’s the Father’s good pleasure to give us the kingdom (MEV).
“Since we are receiving our rights to an unshakable kingdom we should be extremely thankful and offer God the purest worship that delights his heart…” (Hebrews 12:28 TPT). The kingdoms of the earth are extremely volatile. But the kingdom we belong to – the Kingdom of God, is unshakable. It is God’s desire to see His will be done on the earth as it is in Heaven (Matthew 6:10).
“For he has rescued us out of the darkness and gloom of Satan’s kingdom and brought us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who bought our freedom with his blood and forgave us all our sins.” (Colossians 1:13 TLB).
After reading over these verses, my heart is singing. As believers, we need to remember who we are in Jesus. We are not victims but victors. Let us rise up as citizens of God’s kingdom and do what He has appointed us to do.
There are two aspects of writing I do not like. They both involve description. One is the physical description of people. The other is the description of scene.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION OF PEOPLE
It is important for the reader to have a mental picture of what the characters in the novel look like. Are they tall or short, heavy-set or thin? Do they have long faces, or round cherubic ones? What color are their eyes? Do they have a short, stubby nose or a long patrician one?
There are any number of characters in a work of fiction, most of which will require a physical description. What I find challenging is making each one distinct. It takes a lot of thought. Does their physical description match what their character is like? Or do they look like an angel but act like the devil?
DESCRIPTION OF THE SCENE
I remember reading books that went to great length to describe the scene. I usually read one or two lines and skipped over the rest. So, the test is to make the reader acutely aware of the scene the character is moving in, but not to bore. It’s a fine line.
How is the character experiencing the scene? What does he/she see, hear, touch, taste, and feel? If I write that a stiff breeze blew from the west, what does that breeze feel like on my character’s skin? If I write that a plane flew overhead, did the sound hurt the character’s ears, irritate or interest? If I write that a river sparkled in the distance, does the character want to go and see it up close, jump in for a swim, or just view it from afar?
Physical and scene description are extremely important for the reader to “see” what the character looks like and where the action is taking place. I think I don’t like writing them because, although necessary, they don’t move the story along.
However, no matter whether I like writing them or not, these are two skills that I must continually develop to improve as an author.
In Jesus, we have the victory! As born-again believers, we’re on the winning side. Our God always wins. He never loses a battle. Today, here are some verses to encourage you.
“For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”
“The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.”
“He will swallow up death in victory; And the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; And the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: For the Lord hath spoken it.”
1 Corinthians 15:54
“And when that which is mortal puts on immortality, and what now decays is exchanged for what will never decay, then the Scripture will be fulfilled that says: Death is swallowed up by a triumphant victory! So death, tell me, where is your victory? Tell me death, where is your sting?”
1 Corinthians 15: 56 – 57
“Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
2 Corinthians 2:14
“In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ.”
“Then Jesus made a public spectacle of all the powers and principalities of darkness, stripping away from them every weapon and all their spiritual authority and power to accuse us. And by the power of the cross, Jesus led them around as prisoners in a procession of triumph. He was not their prisoner; they were his!”
1 John 5:4
“You see, every child of God overcomes the world, for our faith is the victorious power that triumphs over the world.”
“They will go to war against the Lamb but the Lamb will defeat them, proof that he is Lord over all lords, King over all kings, and those with him will be the called, chosen, and faithful.”
Praise the Lord! As believers, we will be with Jesus when He defeats the last of His enemies. We are the called, chosen, and faithful. We have every reason to rejoice!
In this Blog, I want to share with you some of the things I've learned from many years of following Jesus.