Tag Archives: breakthrough

This is Only A Test!

j0255382I wish I had the beep sound which comes on the TV and Radio when there is an emergency which alerts “Beeeep this is only a test.”

Today I want you to hear that familiar beep and know that whatever you are going through this is only a test!

When we become children of God some feel as if there should not be any problems in their lives. But we have never been promised that. What we must know is that we have already been given all the power and authority we need by Jesus to overcome whatever trials we are facing.

Testing is a normal part of life; nearly every moment of our life–is a test. Tests are common to all of us; we all go through what we call “seasons of testing.” And just like when we were in school – we had tests to take to pass to the next school level – we also have tests to take so we can move up in our so called levels in life and in our spiritual walk.

We can pass the tests in life if we know what the Word of God says. Just as we studied for a test in school, we must study the Word of God in order to pass the tests we are enduring in our lives.

Nothing and no one is exempt from testing in life, think about it – even our cars, our appliances and even our computers go through testing in order to prove they are ready for use! The testing you endure is what proves you for God’s use!!!

And as you endure the test, you must realize you are being prepared for promotion! Your test is proving your potential, your maturity in Christ, your willingness to do His will, and thus resulting in a higher level of promotion!

In Genesis 22 we all have read the story of Abraham’s test of faith. God was using his promised son Isaac to test Abraham on his obedience and his trust in God. (Where is your obedience and trust during your test?)

The Bible gives us examples on testing:
Psalm 17:3, Psalm 26:2, Psalm 139:23-24

The Apostle Paul wrote in his final letter to the Corinthians with some very specific instructions 2 Corinthians 13:5

Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!

The Amplified translations says: “Examine and test and evaluate your own selves to see whether you are holding to your faith and showing the proper fruits of it.”

Did you see that, we are to examine ourselves to see if we are holding to our faith – are we holding to what the Word of God says AND are we showing proper fruit! Proper fruits- so while we are being tested what is our fruit showing?

Your fruit would be your actions and your words.
What actions are you doing in this testing? Does it line up with the Word of God?

What words are you declaring in your testing? Do your words line up with the Word of God, or do they speak of defeat, lack, failure, doubt and worry!

What is your fruit showing and is it proper fruit for your test!!!

James 1:2-4
Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations.

Do you feel enveloped in your test right now, does it seem like you can’t get out?
Well James goes on to say:
Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects],…

(Listen to this)
James finishes by saying –
lacking in nothing!

So when you endure your test, joyfully as James says, or as Paul said, showing proper fruits, as you let endurance and steadfastness do a through work in you – in the end you will be lacking in nothing!

Again here is- promotion for the test- lacking nothing in the end sounds like a promotion to me!

Here are some truths about testing:
1. WE ALL EXPERIENCE TESTS AT EACH STAGE OF OUR GROWTH NO ONE IS EXEMPT! We ask the Father, “oh use me Lord, I want to be a vessel for you,” then when some testing comes up we are rebuking every devil and crying out to God, when He is doing exactly what we asked – testing us and preparing us for His use – to be a vessel used of him.

If you had a huge company and someone came in and said make me the president- you would not, you would first test this individual. You would research them and see what they have done.

So why do we think we in our humanness we should not be tested when we want God to use us. We have a lot of messed up stuff in us which has to be removed. We have to get harder to be the vessel God needs in order to do the job He needs. A clay pot stays as soft clay but must go through the fire, the testing, to be a harden pot to be used properly.

2. TESTING ALWAYS PRECEDES PROMOTION (SAY THAT OVER AND OVER AS YOU ARE GOING THROUGH YOUR TEST, I AM BEING PROMOTED!)

3. OUR GOAL IS TO PASS THE TEST (TELL YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER: “FATHER IN JESUS NAME I ASK YOU TO HELP ME TO PASS THIS TEST, TO COME OUT WHERE YOU WANT ME TO BE WHEN THIS IS OVER. TO BE THAT VESSEL YOU CAN USE!”)

4. KNOW THIS: SELF PROMOTION AND THE PROMOTION OF OTHERS CAN NEVER REPLACE GOD’S DIVINE PROMOTION. HE KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING. HE KNOWS THE PLANS AND PURPOSES OF EVERY PERSON ON THIS EARTH; HE CREATED THEM. SO KNOW THAT WHEN YOU WAIT FOR GOD TO DO THE PROMOTING IT WILL BE LASTING PROMOTION!

Stay tuned for part 2 next week!

{Know someone who is facing hard times? The Drying Pot; And The Refining Fires Necessary To Become A Vessel Used By God}

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Breakthrough; How to Have It Happen For You!

Breakthrough; How to Have It Happen For You!The word “breakthrough” is one I like to call a “Christianese”  word. Words that we say as Christians, but do we really think about what they mean? The Dictionary defines breakthrough as, “Advance all the way through and beyond an enemy’s front-line defense.” Think about breaking through in the situation you currently face. Your  job is to advance all the way through. This means you cannot stop, give up, or give in! You must go beyond the enemy’s front line! Who is the enemy? Satan and all his cohorts are your enemy. Your enemy is not the person you are having a disagreement with or your financial situation. The Word of God tells us, “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12). That word “wrestle” means warfare between the saints (you) and spirit rebels who are against God. Not against whomever our disagreement or frustration is with. No matter what situation you are facing, the root of it is the enemy who is trying to steal, kill, and destroy you. You my friend have the choice, you can choose to fight back by going ahead to the enemies front line and advancing all the way through. Or you can choose to stand and allow him to fully overtake you. You must not give in or the enemy will gain ground. If you do not trust your Heavenly Father and all He has given you to battle the enemy with, then you are handing Satan an advantage.

How do you keep advancing against the enemy? To win your battle, whether it is sickness, despair, loneliness, depression, financial, other people, NO matter what it is; Jesus has already won the victory for you! That’s what the cross and rising out of the grave were all about! Your responsibility is to spend time in prayer, worship, and in your Bible! These 3 steps are sure fire ways to advance against the enemy. However, you must know you are in a battle. The enemy has waged war on you and you have the choice whether or not to fight. The Father knew you would have battles so He already provided you the equipment you need to win! (The following is an excerpt from my new book; “Help! I’m Alone With My Mind! A Guide To Having Victory Over Your Thoughts”) –

Your Heavenly Father has already equipped you with the right “equipment” you need to face any battle you come up against. He has given you your armor, but you must put this armor on according to Ephesians 6:11 when Paul plainly says, “Put on all of God’s armor…” Why? “… so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.” This tells you, you must put on this powerful armor in order to be left standing at the end of the battle. “Battle??!!!” I hear some screaming, “I did not sign up for a battle!!!” Well you my friend are in a battle every single day. We battle many things in our lives but let’s not forget the biggest battlefield is our own mind! And to win the war over your thoughts, you must use every piece of equipment provided to you. Notice you have been given your list of weapons right there in Ephesians 6. You are to put on your belt of truth, your breastplate of righteousness, your Gospel shoes, your shield of faith, your helmet of Salvation, and your sword of the Spirit! Once you are spiritually dressed for success you are able to use these valuable pieces to win the battle which rages between your ears and in your life! You are to use these weapons of mass destruction and cut off those thoughts which are contrary to the Word of God! I want you to see a few valuable points about the armor of God you are wearing.  

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:10-18). Congratulations you are dressed and ready to battle against the enemy and stand against his attacks.  I know you may be standing, but also you may begin to get weary sometimes when the battle is long and hard. This is where your thoughts must line up with the Word of God, which you are allowing to dwell in you richly. What so often happens is you have allowed the enemy to have a playground with your mind, and therefore you feel you cannot stand. But this passage of scripture instructs you when you have stood then what – you stand some more! But how do you stand? You are to stand with the full armor on and ready, then use your armor for specific purposes. Verse 16 says you take up the shield of faith, and with your faith, you extinguish the fiery darts of the enemy. Your faith is your shield. Faith is so important to God, that when you are not standing in faith, you are not pleasing the Father (Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God”). Therefore, it is your faith which is the shield to stop the darts of the enemy. Do you see that? God does not hand you a shield, but He says your faith will make a shield. In other words, like a blacksmith pounds metal into the shape of a shield for protection, you use your faith and grow it. As you do, you are pounding the shape into a shield for your protection. Your faith is your shield! It is vitally important to grow up your faith with the Word of God, or your shield is going to be very small and frail, or maybe even non existent! Can you imagine a warrior without a shield to protect him in battle? Remember those movies of old, which have the warriors out fighting on the fields with their sword and shield, riding on the brave strong horse? Then when the opposing army shoots millions of arrows through the air, the defending army kneels down and puts their large shield over their head to protect their entire body from the enemy’s arrows. You must have your shield large and strong to fight the enemy and his arrows! His arrows are the fiery darts which come into your mind, and it is your responsibility to use your faith (not what you can see, but what you know the Word says will happen) and to extinguish those fiery darts invading your mind! 

Now let’s look at verse 17 – Paul’s says you are to take the Sword of the Spirit (that is the Word of God) and you are to “wield” it, the amplified translation says. The word “wield” means to handle a weapon or tool with skill and ease. However, it also means to exercise authority or influence effectively. Oh you are missing what I am trying to teach you here! You are to take the Word of God and exercise your authority which Jesus has already given you! And when you use this authority, mixed with speaking or “wielding” the Word of God, it says you will use it effectively! Using the Word of God against whatever is invading your mind, will effectively rid it of intruders as long as you use it and wield it. If you are feeling overwhelmed, you grab your sword and attack the thought with the truth, which states Jesus is your rock and your salvation! When doubt tries to invade you, disprove the thought by declaring Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. 

The Sword of the Spirit is a dual weapon. It is both an offensive and a defensive weapon. Think about football offense and defense teams. When you are on the offensive team your one goal is to get as close to the end zone as possible – that’s how you win the game! The defensive team’s job is to keep the offensive team as far away from the goal as possible. Now, when using the Sword of the Spirit (remember this is the Word of God) against the enemy, while you are on the offensive team you speak out the Word of God to cause you to win the game. Speak scriptures which declare you are the winner! When you are on the defensive team, you use the Word of God to keep the enemy from scoring a touchdown so to speak. Speak out the Word which tells the enemy to stop!

Another great aspect of the Sword of the Spirit is it is considered a two edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). The Greek translation reads it is a two-mouthed sword. It is vital you speak out the Word of God. You must not just pray it in your head. Look at all Jesus did in His life here on earth, however, He spoke out loud and then things happened. You too must speak out loud the Word of God. Now notice – the Greek I said means two-mouthed sword, this means it is God speaking on one side and you speaking on the other! If you are not jumping you need to read that again! God speaks out His Word and commands over your life as you speak the Word of God out! Wield your sword and speak it out!

Another great piece of your armor in the fight against your thoughts is the helmet of Salvation. This helmet means it covers depression, worry, wrong thoughts, and things which invade your mind, because this helmet of Salvation is who you are in Christ and the authority given to you! Jeremiah states, “Our heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.” (Jeremiah 17:9). How true it is, and because your flesh wants to lead you in the wrong direction, you must be careful or you might end up on the wrong side. Therefore, you have to be ready and always keep your thoughts in line with the Word of God. You have to be prepared for action by preparing your mind, wearing all of your armor, and bracing up your mind with the Word. The enemy always shows up in your mind. He knows if he can get your thoughts on the problem versus what the Word of God says, he will destroy you. 1 Peter 1:13 tells you to, “Gird up the loins of your mind.” In other words, you are to guard your mind with the truth of God. The word “gird” means to encircle, to fasten or secure, to surround, to equip or endow, (and my favorite) to prepare oneself for action. You are to prepare yourself for action, dressed in your mighty armor! Now that’s something worth thinking about! 

Your breakthrough comes as you wear your armor, pray, praise, speak out the Word of God over your situation, and keep advancing through the enemy lines until you see your victory!

God desires for you to walk in victory in all areas of your life; including your mind. He has made a way for you through His Word. Unlock His secrets and begin to walk in all He has for you – starting with your mind! In my book “Help! I’m Alone With My Mind! A Guide To Having Victory Over Your Thoughts” you will learn how to take your thoughts captive and step into the full peace of God – No matter your situation!

Being Equipped for Your Life’s Valleys

How to handle tough decisionsWe all experience different seasons in our lives. Seasons of greatness and seasons which we would rather skip all together. Psalm 84:6 says, “Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.” The word “Baca”, according to some scholars, signifies a mulberry tree. A mulberry tree grows in dry, barren, and sandy places. Which makes me think of a valley. A valley can be dry, barren, and even sandy as opposed to a mountain top which is refreshing, fertile, and bountiful. It is in the valley season where we look around trying to figure out how we got there. A season of difficulty is the signal we are in a valley. So just how do you equip yourself for those valley seasons in your life? You spend time building up your faith in the high seasons. You spend time reading the Bible, because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Your faith is only built up by hearing the Word of God. Think of it as preparation before a dreaded decent to the valley. It will help you remember the God of the mountain is indeed the God of the valley as well!

Since most associate the valley seasons with storms it makes me think about raging storms. In Florida we have hurricane season and that means when the TV weather person tells us a storm is coming we know we must prepare by buying supplies that we can use when our power is out for weeks and even covering our windows so we can be safe from flying glass and debris. Preparation for your daily walk is no different really. Yet most people tend to turn to God only when a storm is already in full force with no preparation at all.  However, the key is to learn to equip and prepare yourself before everything is shaking and breaking. If you grow your faith during the good seasons of your life, you are preparing yourself and becoming fully equipped for the storm or the valley. Not only are you equipped to come through the valley, but you begin your climb back up the mountain.

It all starts in your prayer and Bible time. If you do not have time for this in your life you are indeed setting yourself up for failure when the decent down the mountain starts. You can become dependent on Him but you want to prepare yourself to know what He has already done for you and what He will do for you now. It has been said that success is where preparation meets opportunity. I say you prepare on the mountain and then give God the opportunity to meet you in your valley.

{Know someone who is facing hard times? The Drying Pot; And The Refining Fires Necessary To Become A Vessel Used By God}

Am I Praying Properly?

Sandra Hersey. live life out loud. Keys to victorious faithPrayer is vital to our lives, as most of us know. However, most give their “grocery list” prayers I like to call them, which sound something like this: “God, help me pay my mortgage this month. Help my mom to feel better. Send me someone to give me some HELP. Make my spouse understand me more. Please God make my children mind! Thank you Jesus. Amen.”

Though prayer is important, it is of the most importance that we know how to pray properly. And as with anything we must look to the Bible for the correct answer, and who better to look at as an example than Jesus!

When we face times of trials, and storms rise up in our lives, we can seem to be like a tossed ship in raging waters. But God intends for us to chart those “storms of life” with the promises He has already laid out for us in His Word. Jesus knew this when Satan tempted Him in the wilderness. Now you may say “I’m not being tempted to sin, I just need an answer to my prayer.” Think of this my friend, when we are worried we ARE being tempted to sin by not trusting God. God does not want us to worry or His Word would not declare “Be anxious for nothing!” ( Read here for more on why we should not worry). The point I want to show is not about temptation, it is how to follow Jesus when we have Satan bringing on a storm in our life.

Let’s look at Matthew 4: 1-11- 1THEN JESUS was led (guided) by the [Holy] Spirit into the wilderness (desert) to be tempted (tested and tried) by the devil. 2And He went without food for forty days and forty nights, and later He was hungry. 3And the tempter came and said to Him, If You are God’s Son, command these stones to be made [loaves of] bread. 4But He replied, It has been written, Man shall not live and be upheld and sustained by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.  5Then the devil took Him into the holy city and placed Him on a turret (pinnacle, gable) of the temple sanctuary. 6And he said to Him, If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, He will give His angels charge over you, and they will bear you up on their hands, lest you strike your foot against a stone. 7Jesus said to him, On the other hand, it is written also, You shall not tempt, test thoroughly, or try exceedingly the Lord your God. 8Again, the devil took Him up on a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory (the splendor, magnificence, preeminence, and excellence) of them.  9And he said to Him, These things, all taken together, I will give You, if You will prostrate Yourself before me and do homage and worship me.  10Then Jesus said to him, Begone, Satan! For it has been written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him alone shall you serve. 11Then the devil departed from Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.”

Notice Jesus had the same reply to everything the devil threw at Him; He said over and over “it has been written!” Jesus took the Word of God and declared “It is written” then He spoke out what the Word said about His particular situation!  For example when Satan tried to tell Jesus he would give him all things Jesus said in verse 10 “Begone, Satan! For it has been written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him alone shall you serve.” Jesus spoke out it is written and backed it up with Deuteronomy 6:13. Jesus also said, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you” (John 15:7). We must have God’s word abiding in us so we can declare it out when we need answer to our prayers!

It is vital we follow Jesus’ examples and instructions. He knew how to talk with His Father  and get His prayers answered, as well as how to send the devil packing when he showed up!

First, find the scripture which has already been promised to you in God’s Word. If you need healing find a healing scripture like 1 Peter 2:24. If you need help in your finances stand and declare Philippians 4:19. If you have an unsaved loved one; bind up the devil over their life according to Matthew 12:29, and pray the Lord of the harvest according to Matthew 9:38 will send labors into their lives to lead them to Jesus! There is a promise from God to you in His Word for EVERY situation in your life! You must find that promise!

Second, you pray out “Father, in Jesus Name, it is written in your Word….” then add the Scripture you are standing on!

Third, give thanks to the Father IN ADVANCE for doing what He promised He would do. THIS is walking in faith! When we know BEFORE it comes that God WILL do it, THEN we are walking in faith. Faith is NOT hoping God will. Faith is not wringing our hands and pleading with God; it is declaring out of our mouths the Word of God. Declaring “it is written, and in Jesus Name” to the Father. Then we keep thanking Him that it is done, NO MATTER what we see in the natural!

We must come to the point where we know we must declare first “It is written” before we can claim “it is finished!”

Know someone who is facing a storm they can’t seem to get out of? Sandra’s book The Drying Pot; And The Refining Fires Necessary to Become a Vessel Used By God is a book of trials and triumphs! She takes you through her real life trials and how she overcame! See how you can move God to change your situation!

Keep on Keeping On

Sandra Hersey. Live life out loud. Keys to Victorious Faith

We don’t have the right or the privilege to stop. We must keep on keeping on. We keep on going after what we are seeking – enduring the storms of life which blow over us all the while.  Matthew 7: 7-8 declares Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened.”

We all face the storms of life where we feel we just can’t run any longer. Times when keeping on no longer seems an option. Our spiritual legs are aching and we are out of breath. Our lungs hurt and the finish line is nowhere in sight. Storms are a fact of life. We need to know how to weather the storms and keep on keeping on until the end. I think about a beautiful bent tree covered road. Those trees did not just become bent. They were bent over by the storms of life – yet they are beautiful and strong after the storm has passed! You and I are to be like the strong tree, maybe bent, but now we can be used in a beautiful way by God! But how do we weather the storms life sends us?

Jesus taught us how to weather the storms of life through prayer and faith. Matthew 8:23-27 says Now when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold! A severe storm arose in the sea, so that the boat was covered by the waves; but he himself was sleeping. Then they went and woke him by saying, “Lord! Save us! We are perishing!” So he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” After he got up, he rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became absolutely calm. Then the men were astonished, saying, “What kind of a man is this One, that even the winds and the sea obey him?”” 

Look again at verses 23, 24 “Now when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold! A severe storm arose in the sea, so that the boat was covered by the waves; but he himself was sleeping.”

A lot of Jesus’ disciples were already fisherman on the Sea of Galilee. They knew from experience this body of water was notorious for sudden storms. The storm on this occasion however was especially furious. The high winds churned into vicious waves. The waves swept over the disciples’ boat, spilling huge amounts of water into it, threatening to capsize it and to throw them into the sea. The disciples were very frightened.

While all this was happening Jesus was sleeping calmly in the back of the boat. We might wonder how He could sleep so calmly through such a storm while His disciples were so frightened. Here we see the genuine humanness and faith of the man Jesus. He got tired physically and needed sleep and He slept so calmly because He knew His heavenly Father was with Him and watching over Him. (Most of us can’t even sleep through the night for worry and fear has come upon us.) He simply put Himself into His Father’s hands, unafraid of whatever storm of life might overtake Him. If only we remained so calm and trusted in our heavenly Father’s providential care through our storms of life, right?

From the disciples we can learn to turn to Jesus in our storms of life (v. 25). What troubles or hardships or dangers have swept down upon us? How are we weathering them? Storms are neither pleasant nor easy to cope with! When the storms of life are crashing down around our ears, they are frightful and sometimes painful. What do we do then to batten down the hatches and bail out our sinking boat? We need to do what the disciples did–turn to Jesus. Pray: “Lord, I trust you to save me from drowning. I may feel like I am about to perish but I know you won’t let me!”

As Jesus was present with His disciples in their storm of life, so He is with us in our storms. He does not forsake us, leaving us to struggle alone and to drown. He is with us to hear our pleas for help. Even if our plea must be “help me Jesus to keep on keeping on through this storm!” (Notice I did not say deliver me from the storm, sometimes we must keep on keeping on through it in order to be changed!) Jesus however is there to answer us in the midst of our troubles. He tells us in Psalm 50:15: “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.” So in our storms of life we must rely on Jesus to carry us through them and to deliver us from them.

This requires faith in Him and His promises. This is what the disciples lacked in their storm of life. They allowed themselves to become frightened. They saw themselves perishing in the sea. Think of this – they were fishermen, they knew how to weather a storm, yet this time, even though they were already equipped, they allowed fear to overcome instead of relying on what they had been previously trained to do. Jesus rebuked their littleness of faith in the face of danger. They had nothing to fear. Jesus was with them. He would not allow them to perish. He then acted to still their storm and to calm their fears. Thanks to Jesus the disciples’ storm of life was over. His almighty, powerful word was sufficient for the task. His word was authoritative. His word accomplished what He said and commanded. And His Word, the Bible, still speaks for Him today on our behalf. We however must speak His Word aloud over our storm!

How is our faith during our storms of life? In the face of hardships, troubles, and dangers is our faith strong and as firm as a rock? Are we determined to keep on asking, seeking, and knocking in the midst of our storm- trusting in God’s Word? Or, is our faith no better than the faith of the disciples on that day? Would Jesus rebuke us also for the littleness of our faith?” Would He say to us, “O you of little faith, why are you so afraid?”

How confident are we when we must undergo hardship? How strong are we when we have lost our job and bills are raining down on us? How firm are we when our children or spouse has gone astray? What will build up our faith so we are confident, strong, and firm is the power of  God’s Word. His Word! His Word is authoritative. His Word accomplishes what He commands and promises. He can speak God’s Word and still our storm of life. He can deliver us from danger with the power of His Word BUT you and I must speak out His Word over our storm!

Because of Jesus and the powerful, life saving and giving words He has spoken, we have no reason to be spiritually timid and of little faith. For Jesus with the perfect life He lived for us and the innocent death He died in our place has already delivered us from the power of death. Hell cannot claim us. Death and the grave cannot hold us! We who put our trust in Jesus and the Words of His promises will be able to keep on through any storm! Jesus has atoned for our sins with His Holy, precious blood. He has purchased with His blood the full forgiveness of our sins. (If you have not asked Him to do this for you, do it now!) He has delivered us from the storm of death and hell. We have no reason to be afraid.

Since Jesus has delivered us from the most vicious storm to threaten us — death and hell, we can be sure He will deliver us from the lesser storms of life that sweep over us. Whatever the storm of life may be, we must weather that storm through prayer and faith and keep on keeping on-keep asking, seeking, and knocking in faith believing Jesus and His Word!

Some of this content is from my book I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer; Declaring the Word of God and Taking Back What The Devil Stole from Me!

How do we endure and fight when we are feeling knocked down?

How to endure when you feel knocked down too many times. Author Sandra HerseyWe all have seasons in our lives; times when we are riding high on the blessings of God and then there are the times we are feeling as if Satan has won the first 11 rounds in the prize fight of the year! We must remember the more Satan views us as a threat the more he is going to come at us with all he’s got! And our Heavenly Father does not always step right in and take over for us, in order that we build up our faith muscles to win the so called “championship” fight in the future.

So how do we endure and fight to the end when we are feeling knocked down one to many times? James 1:2-12 jumps right in by saying, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all men generously and without reproach and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind, for let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. But let a brother of humble circumstances glory in his high position and let the rich man glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away, for the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed. So, too, the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away. Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

The last verse is the summation of the point here. “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial.” Trials produce blessings-now we can shout here! I my friend am entitled to a HUGH amount of blessings with all the trials I have been through! I am sure this is true for you as well. One of the prize fights of the year for me was the fight for my youngest son’s salvation. Let me share with you a little bit of the story from my book about trials and how we overcame in victory:

“Surrender according to Webster’s Dictionary means to give up, abandon, or relinquish. Surrender is something we all like to think we can do but I can tell you from experience it is very hard to actually surrender something you love more than anything to God and allow Him to do whatever He sees fit to do with it. I had to surrender my youngest son to God. He had been walking on the wrong side, far away from God as possible since middle school. Then high school presented more and more problems taking him farther and farther from God. My son had gotten involved in many different ways of the world on a fast train to hell so to speak! No matter what I did in the natural it did not seem to change him. I would pray over this child every day, I would anoint his pillow while he was at school, and I would lay my hands on his clothes hanging in the closet and declare him into the Kingdom of God. Then one day a very strong woman of God, who had been where I was walking, told me I had to surrender my son to God. I was angry with her. I wanted to surrender him and I had told God “here he is; I surrender him to you,” however I would go back whenever something went wrong and start the ritual of what I had done in the past, trying to bring him to God. I knew I was afraid to give him totally to God because I had just watched my best friend surrender her son to God and her son went to prison! I did not want my son to have to go to prison! I was not really willing to surrender him totally and allow whatever God wanted to use to get to him; even if it meant prison. However, I did give my son totally and completely to God. I told God I trusted Him to take care of my son; no matter what happened in the natural. I would like to tell you once I gave over my son to God’s more than capable hands that all went well and He turned his life to Jesus. But that did not happen- at least not at first. First everything seemed to spin out of control in the natural. Literally it felt as if all hell broke loose and I did not know what was happening in the natural, but I trusted God and confessed I trusted Him every second of every day. Just to give you hope my son did come to God; he did get his life together. Now I watch this former drug dealing, pill popping, rebelling teenager go to his room to study the Word of God. I hear praise music and I hear him crying out to the Lord. He is now in Bible College and an anointed man of God. God has His hand upon him now as much as He had His hand upon him when I surrendered him to my Heavenly Father to mold him and to change him. (He has now graduated Bible College and is an associate pastor, married to an amazing woman of God and the father of my amazing grandson. Now I watch as he touches and changes lives! Blessed IS the woman who persevered under trial!!)” {Exert from The Drying Pot; A The Refining Fires Necessary To Become A Vessel Used By God}

How do you turn trouble into blessing? That’s really the issue here. James was concerned with such matters. In verse 3 he says, with the testing of faith – with you and I being put through a test – it will reveal the strength or weakness of our faith. We all have tests or trials. The Word of God is filled with others who endured tests, they are in there for a reason- to show us how to endure, to show us others had to endure and we are not alone! And to show us victory is always on the other side for those who are in Christ Jesus! (2 Corinthians 2:14)

The purpose for trials or these fights is so that we may know the strength or weakness of our faith and that in enduring through the trial we may be blessed. God has a perfect plan for us through our trials – to grant to us gracious and eternal blessings.

So how I hear you asking? Well strap on your boxing gloves because here we go:

First, the fight is to develop a joyous attitude! We have all heard the saying our attitude determines our altitude. We go up by changing our attitude. You and I were never promised no trials on this journey of life. We were however promised blessings as we persevere!

Second, we need an understanding mind. We have determined the key word in verse 2 is joy, so the key word in verse 3 is knowing. In Greek the word is “ginosko” which means to know, understand, perceive, have knowledge of. Personal knowledge gives us the information we need to evaluate the trial we are in, in order for us to look forward to the joy. When we come to know “this is only temporary” and “this is not the end, this is only the process to the victory!” James said the testing of our faith produces endurance. If you are like me there are many times I do not feel I can endure. However, what I have realized is that I can BECAUSE of my past trials I HAVE developed the faith to endure a little further – and most of the time a little further is all I need to go to knock out the Devil!

The final way  to turn trouble into a blessing is by using fighting words- The Word of God! Would a contender for the heavyweight title fight without training and developing skills? Of course not, but yet as Christians we run right into the ring with the enemy when we really don’t know how to fight. The Word of God is to be applied to our reality of life -it’s not just there to read – it’s to be acted on! The Bible tells us “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 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;” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

When the enemy has stepped into the ring, that is the time we pick up the Word of God and fight with it! It is a weapon given to us according to Ephesians 6!  Notice Jesus shows us exactly how to fight; when the Devil came to tempt Jesus in the wilderness Jesus said, “It is written.… It is written.…It is written.” Jesus shows us- when the enemy has shown up as the contender for the title – we must get out our boxing gloves – the Word of God – and hit the Devil right between the eyes with it! There is no other way for the Christian to fight! The Word wins EVERY time! Yet it is our responsibility to use it as our knock-out punch!

{Want more devotions? I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer; Declaring the Word of God and Taking Back What the Devil Stole from Me!}

How to Sing for Joy When You Have No Joy

How to Sing for Joy When You Have No JoyEach morning I start my time of prayer with Psalms and Proverbs before my devotional. For me Psalms is a way for me to express to God all I want to say.  I read the verses out loud as prayers to Him and add my own prayers along side. Then I move on to the Proverb of the day, if the date is the 2nd I read Proverbs 2 and turn it also into a prayer.

Today I kept coming to verse after verse which read “sing for joy.” Then I started to think about storms raging in my life and then I thought of you and what you might be facing right now. The Holy Spirit prompted me to remind both myself and you that we must sing for joy when facing obstacles which want to overtake us!

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. And these fruit are the very characteristics of God. He has given us joy however it is our responsibility to exercise this characteristic and make it grow. We must use this fruit of joy during the times when we are not feeling too much joy. How do we exercise this joy? Well one way is to sing for it! Look at Isaiah 12:

2 Behold, God, my salvation! I will trust and not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and song; yes, He has become my salvation.

3Therefore with joy will you draw water from the wells of salvation.

4And in that day you will say, Give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name and by means of His name [in solemn entreaty]; declare and make known His deeds among the peoples of the earth, proclaim that His name is exalted!

5Sing praises to the Lord, for He has done excellent things [gloriously]; let this be made known to all the earth.

6Cry aloud and shout joyfully, you women and inhabitants of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

We have reasons to sing for joy:

1. God is our salvation – verses 2-3

“With joy shall you draw water from the wells of salvation.”

For us Jesus is like the river which flows from the infinite divine nature – the one true God.  He is for us the only source, the inexhaustible source. The apostle Paul said it this way: “…They drank from the Rock which followed them, and that Rock was Christ.” (I Cor. 10:4)

The well was also the meeting-place in those hot lands where the shepherds came in from the fields and the maidens came from the tents and they met in the cool of the evening. I can envision laughter and talk was all around. Joy ringing out as they spoke of the day. So joyful is the heart of those whose soul is filled and feasted with God – our salvation.

II. God is our strength verses 4-5

We may recall God’s triumph for the Israelites over the Egyptians at the Red Sea; then Moses and Miriam led the Israelites into singing the praises of God and exalted His mighty strength (Exodus 15:2). The prophet Isaiah called upon Judah to do the same. Let’s move beyond Egypt and beyond the nation of Judah to our own deliverance in Christ.

We must focus on and be grateful for His mighty deeds and sing for joy. We must know that He is strong enough to handle all of our challenges in our lives – no matter what they are!  Notice also, that His mighty Name and deeds are to be proclaimed to all nations. We may not be called to a world-wide ministry to proclaim to other nations the goodness of God, but we should however never lose sight of the fact that God is the God of the whole world and He can and will move on our behalf! And we proclaim His mighty deeds and Name to our little corner of the world – our family and friends!

Unfortunately what happens is no matter how much scripture we can quote or how long we have been a child of God, we don’t really and truly believe deep down that God can help our difficult situation or even wants to help us! I’m not talking about our easy fixes – we believe He can fix those. I am talking about the really hard ones. The ones that are raging so strong we feel as if we are not going to be able to hold on much longer! Now let’s be honest here. We can sing for joy and walk in faith when it’s all good! But let the earth start shifting under our faith walk and bam! We start wondering what’s going on- and the longer this journey goes the less our faith and singing gets. We start buying into the lie of the enemy that we must have done something wrong which angered our Heavenly Father. God loves you and I so much He only wants what is good for us. Scripture after scripture tells of His goodness and His wonderful promises to us! But do we really, entirely, and wholeheartedly believe that when we are in the midst of raging storm?

Are we supposed to go through hard times as Christians? Of course we are! We were never promised a perfect walk. Walking by faith is having faith when it’s tough to see the victory; but you know it’s there! Singing for joy is not having the joy because of the natural circumstances but we sing praises to our Lord and Savior and exercise that joy while we are feeling defeated – hence; singing FOR the joy!

We must stop thinking our trouble is a sign that we are in sin or that God is unhappy with us! We must realize when we face times of trouble that we must dig our heels in deep – deep into the living Word of God and stand on it. We must lift up our voice and pretend we are the next American Idol and sing to the top of our lungs with songs of praise to our God who loves us no matter what! Sing my beloved friend – sing FOR the joy in the midst of your trial and feels His peace cover you!

{Know someone who is facing hard times? The Drying Pot; And The Refining Fires Necessary To Become A Vessel Used By God}