blessings

Prepare Yourself for a Blessing

Want to see God work wonders upon wonders? Consecrate yourselves and prepare to be ushered into the promised land God has for you! Consecration equals sanctification. Consecration requires separation for a holy purpose and suffocating hindrances that are keeping you from moving to the next level.

Joshua was a leader who understood the necessity of preparation through sacrifice to receive miracles from God (see Joshua 3:5). After Moses died in the wilderness, God chose Joshua, Moses’ right hand man, as the new leader of the children of Israel. Joshua’s faithfulness to God, along with his courageous, submissive, and wise traits made him fit to lead the people of God. In Joshua 3, God was preparing to take them into the Promised Land in three days. The number 3 signifies resurrection, change and miracles. In this passage, Joshua and all the children of Israel came to the Jordan river and prepared to cross. Crossing the Jordan River symbolized a baptismal experience, as they prepared to experience new life in the Promised Land.

After Joshua instructed the people to consecrate themselves and the priests to take up the Ark of the Covenant and go ahead of them, Joshua received a word from God for the priest to take the Ark and stand in the water. As soon as Joshua got the word from God, he went into action. We as children of God should desire to grow to the point where we are immediately obedient when God instructs us.

Even though God only told Joshua to tell the priests to stand in the Jordan with the Ark, Joshua added that God would stop up the river when they stepped in. Although God didn’t specifically say that He would stop up the river, Joshua used his faith and believed that God would clear a path in the Jordan River just as He had for them when they faced the Red Sea. Likewise, if we want to see God perform miracles and wonders in our lives, we must humble ourselves, commune with God and walk in faith as Joshua did. Just as we come to crossroads in our lives, the children of Israel were at a crossroad and had to be prepared to move forward. That preparation requires faith that after you consecrate and purify yourself, that God will take you into an abundantly blessed place.

God’s blessings come when we humble ourselves and are obedient to His word. 2 Chronicles 7:14 provides the basic formula for allowing God to turn situations around in our favor. It says to be humble, seek God, pray, and turn from sin. Humbling ourselves includes a willingness to suffer. Even though our flesh creates a constant struggle with sin, we must be willing to crucify our flesh so that Christ can rule in our lives (see Galatians 2:20). We must also remember that to see the glory of God, we must also be willing to share in His suffering (see Philippians 3:10; 1 Peter 4:12-13, Romans 5:3-5; Matthew 5:10-12; 1 Peter 2:9, 20).

Even though seeing God work miracles and wonders in our lives comes at a price, if we humble ourselves and pay the price by purifying our lives through consecration, God will bless us abundantly!

A Lesson from Ruth: Stay in a Blessed Place

Want to know where your blessing is? God has a special time and place for us to receive your blessing if we commit to following Him. The story of Ruth gives us insight to how we should approach our relationship with God. (see Ruth 1:11-16) Ruth followed and worked for Naomi, her mother-in-law, just as we should follow and work for God. Ruth rested at her husband Boaz’s feet, just as we should rest at the feet of Christ. Ruth and Orpah’s, Naomi’s second daughter-in-law, journey to Moab from their home in Judah to escape famine represent those who leave God when situations become difficult. When we face difficult situations while living for God, we should never wonder whether He will provide. However, instead we sometimes leave the place God has designated to bless us because circumstances are difficult. But we have to remember to always trust God through it all!

Even if someone turns away from God, God has a plan to bring His child back. (see Genesis 26:2-3) There is always hope! We, however, must be willing to go back to our place in Christ. We also must be aware of the influence we can have over others. When one returns to Christ, that person can bring another along, just as Ruth returned home with Naomi. Ruth accepted the God of Israel and of Naomi as her God. However, Orpah rejected God. Orpah would not leave her home or her idol gods to serve the one, true God. Likewise, some people won’t give up the world because they are afraid of being scoffed by relatives and friends. But if you want to be blessed, you have to be where God wants you. And as children of God, we should want to take advantages of the blessings He has for us. (See 2 Peter 1:4)

In the story of Ruth, Boaz can also represent Christ. Boaz would not allow his faithful workers to go empty handed. When we are in need, God will lead someone to help or guide us if we would just be faithful and obedient. When your are in the right field, God will bless your abundantly! (see Psalms 126:6)

In order to receive blessings from God, we also must be obedient to Him. God instructs the church not to have spiritual fellowship with the world. (see 2 Corinthians 6:14) We have to follow ALL of God’s instructions. There are no blessings in circumventing His word.

Ruth was blessed because she followed instructions and was faithful. Likewise, we must do the same in our walk with God. Ruth could have been like Orpah and went a different direction. However, Ruth chose to stay with Naomi and follow God. We must also follow God, even when we see others reject Him. If we, however, commit to living according to God’s word and to keeping our place in Christ, God’s blessings will surely come!

Bishop Gates: Stop holding up your Father’s hand

Scripture: Genesis 48
Bishop Lambert Gates, assistant presiding bishop of the Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith and senior pastor of Mt. Zion Apostolic Church in Indianapolis, preached the message “Don’t hold up your Father’s hand” during Day 1 of the DC, DE, MD District Council Young People’s Convention.

Notes: Moses was anointed and appointed of God to capture the message of Genesis through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Everything starts and emanates through God and His presence. He is, was and is to come. He spans time and the space outside of time. He can never be late, he’s always on time. He has every aspect of our lives covered. Whatever dilemma we find ourselves we can rest in the fact that he is everywhere at the same time. In the beginning the earth was void, without form. Aren’t you glad you serve a God that can work with dark stuff and put it back all together again?

We should be able to relate to the beginning of Genesis and how we used to be. Life does not begin until the Lord gets a hold of you. You were void and full of darkness until the Holy Ghost moved. He made us all over again and has the ability to take something messed up and recreate it without any preexisting material. He just said let it be. Aren’t you glad the word of God still works? We are saved because God says we are saved. We didn’t come from apes but the hand of God; we are his handiwork from the dust of His hand.

God told Abram to make a new beginning. Like Abram, God moves us to bless us. When you look back you can see it was God that put you where you are and were. Thank God for making us move when we don’t want to move and positioning us. Get ready for a move and a brand new beginning. Sometimes our roots are stuck so deep that we can’t go. (more…)