Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Are You Occupied?


I Samuel 31:7 When the Israelites along the valley and those across the Jordan saw that the Israelite army had fled and that Saul and his sons had died, they abandoned their towns and fled and the Philistines came and occupied them.

Matthew 12:43-44 When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order.

One of the most significant movements for justice since the Civil Rights movement has been the Occupy Wall Street movement. Thousands of people took to the streets and federal banks to protest the corruption on Wall Street. The main issues are social and economic inequality, greed, corruption and the undue influence of corporations on government particularly the financial service sector. The OWS’ slogan, “we are the 99%,” addresses the growing income inequality and wealth distribution in the U. S. between the wealthiest 1% and the rest of the population.

There have been many clashes with local authorities because many of the protestors have occupied without permission. They have rightfully occupied places that should be working with them instead of against them.

Occupation has always been associated with a strong military force overpowering a conquered opponent to take up residence. In the Old Testament, the Philistines Occupied Israel after the army fled and King Saul along with his sons were killed. In the New Testament, the Romans Occupied Israel after they defeated them in military conquest. Jesus spoke of Spiritual Occupation when he talked about a man who had an evil spirit taken out of his house but when the evil spirit came back he found the house swept clean and unoccupied. He then brought back seven other evil spirits who occupied the house and the man’s condition was worse than before. When the enemy comes to your house and sees a vacancy he will try to occupy what does not belong to him.

You are in danger of the enemy occupying you when:

1. You are defenseless. Psalms tells us when the enemy comes in like a flood, God will raise a standard against him. In order to keep the enemy out we have to raise God’s standards for our lives. Our defense system is to have some standards.

2. You are Idle. It’s not enough to stop negative activity in your life when you give your life to Jesus. “Don’t do this, don’t do that.” The question is, “What are you doing for Christ?” When you are idle, an idle mind becomes the devil’s workshop.

3. You are Empty. When the devil finds an empty house he wants to fill it with his influence. You need to make sure you are filled with the Holy Spirit so that the enemy has no room to get in.

Dear God,

Occupy my heart and my home. Don’t let the enemy in my space. You are the only one Jesus that has the right to occupy. I deny access to the enemy and I will be intentional with my activity to ensure that no unclean spirits move back in my house. I am occupied by the Holy Spirit and I have no vacancies for evil.

In Jesus Name,


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Did You Get My Message?

Matthew 11:10
This is the one about whom it is written: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.”

If someone is really trying to reach you they will make sure they leave you a message. Oftentimes, when people call me and don’t leave a message, I think to myself they must not have wanted anything. However, if it is someone I’m in close relationship with I will call them back if I see that I missed their call. There are so many ways to leave a message these days that we are without excuse in being reached. We have cell phones, answering machines, voice mail, text messages, Tango, Voxer, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, etc. If somebody wants to reach you they can get you but it’s also necessary for you to receive and respond to the message. It can be frustrating when people leave you a message and you don’t respond. It can also be detrimental for you because the message they left might affect your future.

Every day, every week God sends out a message to his people via text. God leaves us a word in the text of his Holy Word and it’s often delivered through his messengers, prophets, preachers, and teachers.. God leaves you a message because he cares about you and he wants to prepare you for your future. In Jeremiah 29:11 God said, “I have plans for you, plans for you to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” But the next verse God tells Jeremiah that he has to return the call. “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

God’s messages fall into one of three categories according to Paul as found in 2 Timothy 4:2 when he tells Timothy to Preach the word in season and out of season. He says the word of God should:
  1. Correct—when God gives us a message it’s to correct our course before we self-destruct.
  2. Rebuke—when God gives us a message it’s because we’ve already messed up and he loves enough to discipline us.
  3. Encourage—sometimes God simply sends a message to strengthen us when we get discouraged.
God always sends out a messenger to prepare you for what’s next in your life but you have to check your messages. Jesus was talking about John the Baptist as the messenger of God who prepared the people for his arrival. He wanted to make sure the people knew what a gift they had in John and if they had gotten his message. When you get a message, make sure you:
  1. Receive it. Write it down let it get in your spirit so that you know the word. When you hear preaching or teaching you should take notes so you can process what’s being said.
  2. Review it. Go back and listen to messages again and again. That’s why you should purchase sermons or go to our New Direction Christian Church App to listen to sermons over and over again to make sure you got it.
  3. Respond in a timely manner. Whenever you hear a message there is something you are supposed to do that is time sensitive. Respond ASAP.
  4. Return the Call. Once you get the message there is somebody that you need to reach out to with the message you got. Jesus told his disciples, “Go therefore and teach all men whatsoever I have taught you.”
Dear God,

Thank you for sending your messenger ahead of me. I got your message and I’m doing everything to carry out what you asked me to do. Keep talking to me because your servant is listening.

In Jesus Name,


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

God Got Me Out!

Psalm 34:19
A Righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.

I once was young, but now I’m old and I’ve never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed in the streets begging for bread. Over and Over Again God has been faithful! Just when it seemed like there was no way out he made a way out of no way. There will be times in life when there is trouble on every hand but you must believe that God will come through on your behalf and get you out of trouble.

When you are in relationship with God and your life reflects his Glory through your lifestyle, God will make sure you are covered in every situation and get you out of trouble. God has a responsibility to the Righteous. He loves you so much that he will not let you remain in trouble. He’s zoned in on you at all times and knows your whereabouts. He knows just how much you can bare and he won’t put more on you than you can handle.

God is like the Navy Seals, when you are in deep trouble, surrounded by the enemy he will come in to rescue you when it appears that you don’t have a way of escape. David wrote this 34th Psalm after he almost died in the enemy’s camp. David was fleeing from King Saul of Israel and had to seek refuge in the enemy’s camp. They recognized him and told the Philistine King, Achish that this is the dude they wrote a song about killing on the Philistines. David heard them talking about him and he didn’t see any way out so he started acting crazy. He pretended to be insane by drooling, and scratching on the wall. The King said, “Get this crazy man out of here!” David made it out and wrote Psalm 34:

1. I will Bless the Lord at all times. One of the things we have to learn how to do is to bless the Lord at all times even when we are in trouble. If we can learn this secret then we know that any situation that we find ourselves in is an opportunity for God to show up and show out.

2. I sought the Lord and he answered me. Verse 4. Jesus said, “Seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened, ask and it shall be given. “ David aggressively sought out God and God in turn got him out of all his trouble. Seek the Lord while he may be found so that when you need him to seek you out, he will find you to get you out of all your trouble.

3. I turned from evil to God and he extended my life. Verses 12-13. When we turn from what we were doing wrong and start doing right God will stop what he’s doing to come see about you. We must live a consistent life dedicated to God so that when trouble comes God will show up on your behalf.

Dear God,

Thank you for keeping me and for getting me out of trouble. You kept me from dangers seen and unseen. Today God, get me out of any snags, conflicts, traps, debt, and troubles in general. If you show me a way out of what I’m going through, I promise you I’ll take it! Thank you for getting me out of all my troubles.

In Jesus Name,

Make Your Escape Good!

I Samuel 19:10
Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear, but David made good his escape.

God always provides a way of escape and we have to make good on it. Many of us are like the ‘Great” Howard Houdini, the escape artist. We have made a life out of escaping but we haven’t made good of it; instead we’ve made a game of it. The problem is that eventually even Harry Houdini dies trying to escape one too many times trying to entertain people with his ability to escape.

Samson had escaped from the Philistines each time because of some Philistine women he was messing with but he didn’t make good on his escape. When Delilah had learned the secret of his strength by pinning him down on the bed, she had his hair cut after she had sex with him. The Philistines came in and Samson woke up. He thought to himself, “I will get away as always!” But he didn’t know that the Lord had left him. He lost the ability to escape.

We have to be careful when people try to pin us down, especially people who have ulterior motives. Sometimes, we are in relationship with these kinds of people or we work with them. David happened to be in a situation where both factors came into play. David worked for someone that was jealous of him and wanted him dead. Saul should have been David’s biggest fan because of his success on the battlefield but instead Saul’s own disobedience caused an evil spirit to control him. On several occasions Saul tried to kill David but this last time, David made “good” on his escape. He left and never came back until Saul was dead. When David came back, he came back as King.

How do you make good on your escape?

1. Recognize the pattern of people or situations that are life threatening. How many times do you almost have to die before you make good on your escape? How many more times do they have to hit you? How many more times do you almost have to go to jail? How many more bullets do you have to take before you realize it’s time to get out?!

2. Don’t let people pin you down with something that could kill you. Don’t let them use guilt or manipulation. Don’t let them blackmail you. Don’t let them seduce you. Don’t let them use violence to intimidate you. Get out Now! Paul said, “Flee or Run from Sexual temptation!” Run Forest Run!

3. Come up with an exit strategy. When David got home that night. He and his wife talked about how her father Saul wanted David dead, so they came up with a plan of escape. You need to think about how you are going to get out of whatever is threatening your life. What’s your exit strategy for that dead end job? What your exit strategy for that abusive relationship? What's your plan of escape for your addiction?

4. After you leave seek refuge in an anointed house. David fled to the Prophet Samuel’s house. When the soldiers came to get him they fell down and started prophesying. When Saul came to get David he fell down, took off all his clothes and prophesied all night long. The Spirit of God would not allow the enemy to kill David in an anointed house. It’s time for you to make good your escape and get in an anointed church, house, or business where the enemy can’t touch you. Touch not my anointed and do my prophet no harm!

Dear God,

Keep me from getting pinned down. Thank you for letting me escape with my life and my anointing still intact. I’m making good on this way of escape you have provided.

In Jesus Name,

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Don't Panic!

Don’t Panic

1 Samuel 13:8 He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter.

There’s an uneasy feeling when you are waiting on your help to come and it does not come when you thought it would. Not only that, but your resources are running out. the people who are watching you as leader are trembling in fear because it is not turning out like you said it would. As a leader, you have to have the ability to keep your head while everybody else is losing theirs. Don’t panic.

Saul had assembled his men for one of their biggest battles yet. He faced about 20 thousand Philistines, when it was all said and done he had about 600 men left. Saul was waiting on the Prophet Samuel to show up and make sacrifice on behalf of the Nation of Israel so that God would give them success in the battle. Saul waiting Seven Days for Samuel to show up and bless them but he didn’t. Saul’s soldiers started scattering.

in church people vote on the leadership of the Pastor with their feet and their money. If Panic sets in a congregation they start walking out and stop giving. When Saul’s soldiers start scattering he starts panicking as if everything now depended on him. As a result Saul does three things:

1. He offers unsolicited Sacrifices. He starts killing stuff that God didn’t ordain him to kill. There are some Sacred Cows that need to be sacrificed but you can’t do it out of panic. Your timing has to be right. The seventh day wasn’t over, he still had time but he panicked.

2. He tried to manipulate God’s favor. You can’t make God bless you. God requires obedience before sacrifice. It doesn’t matter what you give up if God didn’t tell you to give it.

3. He resorts to coMmingling of responsibilities instead of spiritual discipline. As the leader you can’t abandon your responsibility to lead and start doing the job of other people. You don’t have time to leave your duties as commander-in-chief to start writing checks. Commingling literally means "mixing together". Used in a legal context it is a breach of trust in which a fiduciary mixes funds that he holds in the care of a client with his own funds, making it difficult to determine which funds belong to the fiduciary and which belong to the client. in other words, when things go bad you don’t know who to shift the blame to because it’s all mixed up. If God said he’s going to do it, then you have to stay out of it and let him do his part.

As a result of Saul panicking, Samuel gives him the consequences of his panic. God’s going to select another leader after his own heart because he was not obedient.

Saul doesn’t get the concept of ‘doing more with less.’ he sees his numbers go down and he starts panicking, but there’s hope in the camp because his son get’s it. Jonathan gets it because in the next chapter Jonathan tells his Armor bearer, “come lets’ go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised fellows. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.

In other words, God can do more with Less! God gave them the victory because they did not panic but the enemy started fighting each other! Why? Because in chapter 14 verse 15 it states, “because Panic struck the whole army--those in the camp and in the field...IT was a panic sent by God.” God defeated the enemy of Israel because Jonathan didn’t panic but instead he had faith that God could save by many or by few.

Dear God,

Thank you for letting me keep my head when everyone else was losing their minds. I thank you that it ain't what it looks like. We have the victory if we would only keep still. Give us the quiet confidence to wait on you.

In Jesus Name,

Get Rid of It!

Get Rid of It!

I Corinthians 5:7

Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed.

Yeast are a fungi that have fermented and cause the fermentable sugars present in dough to turn into the gas carbon dioxide. This causes the dough to expand or rise as gas forms pockets or bubbles. When the dough is baked, the yeast dies and the air pockets “set,” giving the baked product a soft texture.

Yeast is good for bread but bad for the body. Jesus took the Bread on Passover and said, “This Bread is my Body.” The Passover Bread was made without Yeast! When we allow yeast into the Body of Christ it causes a yeast infection. Yeast was never meant to be in the Body of Christ. All it takes is a little yeast to mess up the body of Christ.

Paul used yeast as an analogy of malice and wickedness, particularly, Sexual Wickedness. A man in the church was sleeping with his Father’s wife. This caused a spiritual yeast infection in the church. Sin began to rise in the church because nobody put this man in check. It wasn’t so much this one man’s disobedience as it was people in the church knowing about it but not doing anything about it. In fact, Paul said, “They were proud and boasting about it!” It always amazes me how many people already know about something bad going on in an organization before it finally blows up. A lot of scandals could have been avoided if people would have spoken up about yeast infections. Sometimes, we experience unnecessary warfare and defeat because people allow yeast in the body to go untouched. Israel was defeated by the smallest city AI because one man kept some devoted things in his house. God made Moses get rid of that man and his family because he caused everybody else to be defeated. When we allow wickedness in the camp to go unchecked it is because:

1. There is no accountability. 1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. 2 And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this?

2. There is no Correction. 5 hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh,[a][b] so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.

3. There is too much bragging about that which we should be ashamed of. 6 Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough?

4. There is too much corroboration. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister[c] but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

Paul says, “Get Rid of Old yeast so that you can be a New Batch.” What are some things you need to get rid of that are threatening your success? What are some things that can destroy your movement from the inside out? Get Rid of It.

Dear God,

Search me, if you find any yeast in me, in my ministry, in my business, in my relationships, take it out, so that I can rise to the top.

In Jesus Name,


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Are You Still Gleaning?

Ruth 2:8

So Boaz said to Ruth, “My Daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with my servant girls.

Why would you leave a place where you are gleaning from? Why would you walk away from a field when its harvest time; especially when you are gleaning so much? Maybe it’s because many of us don’t understand the word “Glean.”

The word Glean means to gather something slowly and carefully in small pieces; to gather from the field after harvesting. Maybe the reason people leave a field where they are harvesting is because of the key words in that definition, “slow,” “careful,” and “small.” We live in a time where we don’t want to glean anything slow, carefully, or in small amounts. We want to hit the lottery all at once. We want overflow immediately. We don’t want to take our time and glean behind somebody else in somebody else’s field. We want it now! So we leave one field to go to another field and then get to the end with not much to show for all our movement.

When I was a little boy my job in the Tobacco fields was to pick up or glean leaves behind the harvesters. In cutting the tobacco, the workers would inadvertently drop leaves that were valuable in the market. All those little loose leaves when strung together could make a good amount of money at the market, so the children were tasked to pick them up. As a child our eyes were on big leaves and we would jump from row to row picking up leaves. The older more mature workers would stay on one row and by the time they got finished they had more than us! Why? Because they gleaned more by staying in one field and being steady not jumping from one place to the next.

In life we jump from one relationship to the next. We jump from one job to the next. We jump from one bed to the next. We jump from one church to the next never really gleaning anything substantial because we have not learned how to follow other workers and be faithful in somebody else’s field.

Boaz told Ruth to stay in his field. What she didn’t know was that Boaz had instructed his workers to drop some extra leaves on purpose because she found favor with him by sacrificing for Naomi. What you don’t know sometimes is that the field you’re in is where God wants you to be and the unseen sacrifices by others is seen by God and he’s about to drop some blessings in your path if you would just remain steadfast. When you Glean where God puts you:

1. He will drop extra stuff in your path. Vs. 16

2. He will make sure you are protected. Boaz told the Workers not to touch her.
V.9 When you do what God told you to, he will put a shield of protection around

3. He will not embarrass you or bring you to an open shame even when you mess up.

Dear God,

Keep me in the right field. Don’t let me be anxious for anything. I know you planted me here and you will provide me with everything I need and some of what I want. Thank you for putting me in this field.

In Jesus Name,

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Are You Ready for a Resurrection?

2 Corinthians 4:14

Because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence.

Our faith is built on the fact that Jesus died for our sins and God raised him from the dead. If there was no resurrection we are still condemned by our sinfulness but we who are in relationship with the Living Christ know full well that there is a Resurrection.

This Holy Week is a reminder that Jesus Christ was crucified, died, and was buried but on the third day he rose again with all power in his hands. The Good News is that we were raised with him. When Jesus died our old nature died, our sins were nailed to the cross. Based on some of the painful experiences we’ve been thorough many of us died emotionally. Some of our near death experiences left us lifeless and in fear of living again. Some of us are in need of a Resurrection right now! Our hopes have died, our marriage has flat lined, our jobs were terminated, our dreams aborted, our relationships ended, and we lost ourselves in the process. The good news after death is that through Jesus there is a Resurrection!

This coming Sunday you should come to church to experience the Resurrection Power of Jesus Christ. When we know that God raised Jesus from the dead we also know he will raise us. Knowing that Jesus has risen and he will raise us we should remember that:

1.Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

2 Corinthians 4:16

New International Version (NIV)

2. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

2 Corinthians 4:17

New International Version (NIV)

3. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:18

New International Version (NIV)

Dear God,

I’m ready for a Resurrection. I’m excited about what you’re getting ready to do in our lives. What we thought had died is getting ready to be Resurrection, New and Improved! Thank you Jesus for getting up, Now I can get up! Let the Resurrection begin.

In Jesus Name,

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Take the Veil Away!

2 Corinthians 3:18

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s Glory are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Have you ever felt like you had to hide who you were from people who couldn’t handle who you are? I think the younger we are the more we try to veil who we really are. I was reading a brochure about what to expect from your Jr. High student. The brochure stated that the Jr. High student’s identity is tied up with the group. Their number one priority is not to stick out. They don’t want to stand out so they veil themselves to fit in.

It’s time for us to graduate to a level of being unveiled. We have to remove what is blocking God’s Glory. It’s only when we turn to the Lord that the veil is taken away. When Nelson Mandela was released from 26 years of being in prison to become the President of South Africa he quoted this poem in his inaugural address: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frighten us. Help us to walk in the light.

Moses used a veil to hide the Glory of God. Moses had spent 40 days and 40 nights with God on Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments. When he came down the mountain his face was glowing with God’s fading Glory. The people were afraid and begged him to cover up his face. There are some people who can’t handle God’s fading Glory on your face and as a result you have covered up some of your gifts and talents so as not to offend people at the bottom. That was in the Old Testament, in the New Testament everybody is supposed to have some light. If you can’t take your veil off around people then you are hanging with the wrong people. It’s time for you to take your veil off!

This is how you take away the veil:
1.Turn to the Lord; repent to God for hiding your gifts. When you have a light you don’t hide it under a bush. If God has anointed you then you are supposed to let the world see your light.
2.Be Filled with the Holy Spirit. It is God’s Holy Spirit that allows us to reflect his Glory. It’s the Lord’s Spirit that sets us free to shine. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom!
3.Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. God’s Spirit is constantly transforming us. We must continue to study to show ourselves to be approved. We should never stop growing in wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.

Dear God,

Transform me from the inside out so that I can remove the veil once and for all. There is more that you want out of me and I refuse to shrink back to make other people comfortable. I’m not afraid to let your light shine and I will not veil myself behind mediocrity and mendacity. I’m ready to let your light shine in everybody’s face today, especially mine.

In Jesus Name,