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Archive for May 2013

7

Ask Donnell: What Is Doubt And How Do I Get Rid Of It?

Ask Donnell: What Is Doubt And How Do I Get Rid Of It?

We received the following question from Roshawn;

"Good night Donnell,

I need to have a clear understanding of doubt from this perspective; Jesus spoke of us being able to move mountains if we don't doubt and we will have what we desire (Mark 11:22-24); the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (James 5:16); all things are possible with God and we will do His works and greater works (John 14:12); and much more.
Jesus resurrected Lazarus so the disciples will believe. If a believer believes and wishes to do the same must he first get such an instruction from God? If he says "I believe God has given me the power through the Holy Spirit to do the same, so I will pray for person X to be resurrected" but then says in the blink of an eye, "- but I wonder if this is God's Will?" Is this doubt? And did he just blow the opportunity for the miracle to be performed? And finally how do you get rid of doubt from your life? - thanks Donnell"

Roshawn, this is a very deep and important question. We need all the help we could get from The Holy Spirit to get to the bottom of this one. Jesus said in John 17:17 that The Word of God is truth and in John 16:13 He called The Holy Spirit by another name; The Spirit of Truth who will guide us into all truth. The scriptures will surely provide the material but The Holy Spirit will guide us in the right direction. Over the years many interesting thoughts have been shared on this issue. Some were right. Some were wrong. However, the line between right and wrong can get a little blurry sometimes and keeps getting blurrier if we don't hold on to a fixed standard of truth.

I once heard a prominent speaker say that doubt is good. It's our doubt which drives us to ask questions instead of blindly accepting what we're taught. Once our questions are answered our doubt is removed and faith is strengthened. Only then can we stand firmly on what we believe. In other words, doubt is good because it's the key to us testing our faith on our own instead of pretending we believe and then falling apart under pressure. Think about that a little. His perspective sounded quite profound at the time but profundity is not our goal; truth is. We don't want the answer that seems right, we want the truth.

In fact, similar logic was also used by another speaker to say that fear is good. It's our fear which drives us to be cautious and think through the consequences of our decisions before making them. Great explanation but is it the truth? Can doubt or fear be good if the end result is good? Should we then be comfortable with a little doubt and fear in our lives since they are so useful? That's what they said. 🙂 People's opinions and logical analysis alone can sometimes contradict Biblical truth so we should always be careful. The best sounding answer based in logic can still be the wrong answer if it's not the truth. Anyway, let's see what The Bible says.

Mark 11:20-24(NKJV) - Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.” So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

In this scripture, the Greek word used for doubt is "diakrinō" which in this context means; "to be at variance with one's self, hesitate." The same Greek word is also used in another place to mean; "to separate one's self in a hostile spirit, to oppose, strive with dispute, contend." It's also used in Romans 4:20(KJV) - "He staggered (diakrinō) not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God" and Acts 11:2(KJV) - And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended (diakrinō) with him..

So from this definition, when you doubt you separate your mind into parts. One part of your mind thinks one thing while another part thinks something else. These different parts dispute and contend with each other causing you to hesitate. If your mind can't give a clear signal to your body there's no way for you to move in a particular direction. The internal mental battle caused by doubt actually paralyzes you. Until the dispute is settled you're going nowhere in the area that you doubt. Let's expand on this some more with another reference.

James 1:6-8(KJV) - But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (diakrinō). For he that wavereth (diakrinō) is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

A doubter is likened unto a wave of the sea that moves with every wind that blows it. In other words a doubter is controlled by outside influences. The power to control that person's thoughts has been handed over to others. If a man can't control his own thoughts he is not a man of faith. If that's the case, nothing will work in God's Kingdom for that man because the entire Kingdom is activated by faith.

Ask Donnell: What Is Doubt And How Do I Get Rid Of It?

John 13:21-22(KJV) - When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake.

In this passage, the Greek word used for doubt is "aporeō" which means;
1) to be without resources, to be in straits, to be left wanting, to be embarrassed, to be in doubt, not to know which way to turn
2) to be at a loss with one's self, be in doubt
3) not to know how to decide or what to do, to be perplexed

The same word is also used in 2 Corinthians 4:7-10(KJV) - "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed (aporeō), but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body."

To bring emphasis to the same meaning, the word "diaporeō" is used in Luke 8:7, Luke 24:24 and Acts 2:12 to mean; "to be entirely at loss, to be in perplexity."

This brings another dimension to the definition of doubt. When you doubt you don't know which way to turn, you're at a loss with yourself and perplexed. In other words, doubt leaves you hanging. It leaves you unsettled. Have you ever been lost before? I mean, really lost to the point where you've not only lost your sense of direction but you cannot decipher your current location. Do you remember that feeling? Well, that's how you feel on the inside when you're at a loss with yourself. You don't know your position and don't know where to turn, hence your doubting leaves you with an empty feeling. Let's continue to go even deeper now.

Matthew 14:25-31(KJV) - And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt (distazō)?

Last but not least, the Greek word, "distazō" means "waver". Why did Peter's miracle stop suddenly? One word; Doubt! If faith makes you superman, doubt is kryptonite. Peter had enough faith to get out of the boat and walk on the water. However, doubt cut his faith short. If you are unsure of what you believe you're not really believing it. Now that you have a proper understanding of doubt let's answer your specific questions.

"I need to have a clear understanding of doubt from this perspective; Jesus spoke of us being able to move mountains if we don't doubt and we will have what we desire (Mark 11:22-24); the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much (James 5:16); all things are possible with God and we will do His works and greater works (John 14:12); and much more.
Jesus resurrected Lazarus so the disciples will believe. If a believer believes and wishes to do the same must he first get such an instruction from God? If he says "I believe God has given me the power through the Holy Spirit to do the same, so I will pray for person X to be resurrected" but then says in the blink of an eye, "- but I wonder if this is God's Will?" Is this doubt? And did he just blow the opportunity for the miracle to be performed? And finally how do you get rid of doubt from your life?"

We already addressed Mark 11:22-24. Now let's address the reference to prayer in James 5:16. Pay attention to some specific details in the preceding and you'll see something interesting.

Ask Donnell: What Is Doubt And How Do I Get Rid Of It?

James 5:15-16(NKJV) - And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

The type of prayer being addressed in these scriptures is very important. This is not just any prayer but specifically, the prayer of faith. Romans 10:17 says "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Therefore, if you are praying in faith you are praying the scriptures and only the scriptures. What does that mean? The only way your prayer qualifies as a prayer of faith is if it is based in The Bible. You can confirm or deny if something is God's Will based on what The Bible says. So if you want to see results from your prayer you should be able to name the specific scriptures upon which you are standing in faith.

John 14:26(NKJV) - But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Now let's look at the role of The Holy Spirit in all of this. If you store the scriptures in your heart (Psalms 119:11) He brings to mind exactly which scriptures you need at the time you need them. Once again, there is no faith outside of God's Word. You can't have faith in what you want, you can only have faith in what God said. However, without The Holy Spirit leading you, the scriptures are just a dead letter (2 Corinthians 3:6). You can quote them all you want like they're some kind of magic spell and nothing will happen if The Holy Spirit is not behind you.

Remember, even the devil quotes scripture and he tried to use that against Jesus. So did The Pharisees and they had absolutely no power. No Holy Spirit, no power! 2 Timothy 3:16 says that all scripture is "God-breathed". However, if you separate The Spirit from the scripture you take the breath out of the words. Therefore, they're just words without Him. You will only be able to have faith in God's Word when The Holy Spirit confirms which scriptures apply to your situation.

John 14:12-18(NKJV) - “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. “If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

Why did Jesus say that we would be able to do the works He did and even more? One reason. He was going to His Father. Why was that so important? When He returned to His Father, He sent The Holy Spirit. Why was that so important? Instead of God being with us as Jesus, God could be in us as The Holy Spirit. Romans 8:11 says; "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you."

The same Holy Spirit who gave Jesus the power to rise from the dead already lives in us. So the power to raise the dead is inside of every Christian. We just need our faith to rise to the level that it needs to be for us to make use of that power. Now let's get to your last question; "How do you get rid of doubt?"

We'll tackle this one in the next blog.

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Can You Just Figure Out God's Will?

Can You Just Figure Out God's Will?

Today's blog is another sneak peek into my new book. It's a continuation from yesterday, "What's God's Will Anyway?"

Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:7-9 NKJV

According to Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the human brain on average weighs approximately three pounds and occupies two percent of our total body weight. Proportionally, it's easily the largest as well as the most intricate brain of any mammal. However, when compared to the infinite wisdom of our omniscient God, the human brain is nothing. We don't have enough processing power in those three pounds to just figure God out because we're not on His level.

Hence, you will need to accept the truth that God's Will for your life may not fit into what you have envisioned for yourself. Since your thoughts are based on your frame of reference, the best you can possibly imagine for yourself is limited to what you've been exposed to. In contrast, God's Will knows no such limitations. What He sees for you is based on His frame of reference and thankfully, He sees everything.

These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.
1 Corinthians 2:13-15 NKJV

God is a spirit and His wisdom is spiritual. This means that time and space are non-factors in His eyes. In contrast, natural wisdom is confined to horizons of time and space. When a natural man looks into the wide expanse of the ocean he sees what appears to be a straight line at the furthest point. That line is called the horizon and represents the furthest distance that can be seen with the human eyes.

In the same way, if you go outside tonight and watch the stars, what you actually see is the past. Instead of being able to see where those planets are right now you can only see where they were when light left them several light years ago. Only when that light enters your eyes can you “see” what's going on. Therefore, what you see may not really be what's currently in place. Your perspective is limited.

There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
Proverbs 14:12 NKJV

With a limited perspective your eyes can easily deceive you. What you may consider to be a great idea just might not be as good as you think in the end. Your plan might look amazing in your eyes but just beyond your horizon of time or space could be trouble. Hence, only God's plan can be completely trusted. He sees the present, knows the past and sees the future.

It's time to discover and accept God's plan for your life. Even if you can't see what He sees you should trust Him. Your plan seems right but could lead you to the wrong place. His plan is right and will lead you to the right place. There's no way you can lose with God's plan so make a decision right now to do whatever He says. His Word can be trusted.

Join us for our upcoming discussion on this topic;

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May 28, 2013 Posted by admin in Books

What's God's Will Anyway?

What's God's Will Anyway?

Today's blog is a sneak peak from my upcoming book. Enjoy.

For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" - Esther 4:14 NKJV

Why am I here? Go ahead... ask yourself. What's your answer? If you don't know, don't worry about it, you're in the right place. By the time you're finished reading this chapter you will be one step closer. You were born during this period of time for a very specific purpose and you need to know what it is. Your role in history is an important part in God's detailed plan for mankind.

Maybe nobody has ever told you how important your life is and you've underestimated your purpose. On the other hand, maybe you're like Esther in Esther 4 and you're just too afraid to carry out what you know God has called you to do. Let this moment be your Esther 4:14 experience when Mordecai confronted her and reminded her that God put her there for a reason. This is your reminder!

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. - 2 Timothy 4:6-8 NKJV

At the end of your days on the earth you should be able to say with confidence that you finished your purpose and are prepared to transition into eternity. God's overall plan spans tens of thousands of years from the day He created Adam and Eve to the day Jesus returns as The Resurrection (John 11:25). He divided the plan into progressive seasons which build upon each other.

This is your season. Your contribution is like one piece in a huge jigsaw puzzle. By itself, it seems insignificant but it's value is only appreciated when it's in place. The Apostle Paul was the perfect example of a man who lived with purpose. From the moment Jesus changed his name and called him into the ministry in Acts 9 he was unstoppable.

You can make many plans, but the Lord's purpose will prevail. - Proverbs 19:21 NLT

Don't waste your life! If you come up with your own plan and don't do what God put you on the earth to do you will waste your entire life. That's a scary but true reality. God has already set a purpose for you and discovering it is all you are expected to do. It's a perfect fit for your season on the earth so get with it while you still have time.

Each person's purpose is unique and tailored to fit. Once you understand this, it will be virtually impossible for you to completely pattern your whole life after anyone else. You are a designer's original and God is counting on you to deliver. Like the story of Jonah in The Bible even if you rebel against God's purpose He knows how to redirect your life.

For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]. - Ephesians 2:10 AMP

There are specific good works and specific paths assigned to each of us. God doesn't force us to do those good works or take those paths but we should. God lays out His Will for us but if we don't want what He has to offer the devil will gladly suggest some alternatives. Both sets of options have eternal consequences so choose wisely.

According to Ephesians 2:10 God's Will was planned beforehand and prepared ahead of time. Therefore, people cannot create their own purpose. They can only discover the purpose God already has for them. The Bible says in Romans 12:2 that you can't copy anyone else. You have to renew your mind in order to discern God's Will for you.

Here's a simple example;

Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” Then said I: “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.” But the Lord said to me: “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ For you shall go to all to whom I send you, And whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, For I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord. Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, To root out and to pull down, To destroy and to throw down, To build and to plant.” - Jeremiah 1:4-10 KJV

Jeremiah didn't choose to be a prophet because it looked like an awesome job. He also didn't see the need for prophets and voluntarily rose to the occasion. Even though that sounds noble it's not how God's Kingdom works. Maybe in the world you can do whatever you like or whatever you think is important.

However, God puts people in positions to fill specific needs in His Kingdom. He saw the need for Jeremiah to speak the truth to the people of Judah so that's why he was born. When God was ready for him, God called him into the ministry. Jeremiah's only choice was to either accept or reject the call of God on his life.

To learn more, you are invited to join us at "The Body" Bible Study. Check out the video below.

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Where Do You Fit In The Body?

Romans 12:3-8(NLT) - Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

One Body.. Many Parts... Where Do You Fit?

Join us for The Launch of The Body Bible Study....

Date: June 8th, 2013
Time: 6:00 PM
Location: Atlanta, GA

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Kingdom Economics - God's Plan For Your Increase

Matthew 6:33(KJV) - But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
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May 23, 2013 Posted by admin in Prayer

"It's Your Move!" - God

"Do you want to see a move of The Lord? Let there be a move of the people! Seek me and you will find me. If there is going to be a breakthrough of The Holy Spirit in your life there must first be a breaking of your heart toward The Holy Spirit." - God

James 4:7-8(NLT) - So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.

While praying at church this week I heard The Lord loud and clear. If we want to see Him move among us we have to move first. He's ready and willing but is awaiting our invitation. It was an important reminder for me because I've started to grow tired of a lack of spiritual renewal among the young people at our church. We have prayed and prayed and prayed for a move of The Lord. We have sought The Lord to revolutionize their lives but we're still waiting for something major to happen.

He said it before and He said it again. If they don't move toward Him, nothing's going to happen. If they don't pursue Him from the depths of their hearts there's nothing we can do to force spiritual renewal upon them. It's just not going to happen. A move of The Lord is not something that starts on the outside and affects us on the inside. It starts on the inside of us. He moves in our hearts when we open our hearts to let Him move. Therefore, our focus should be on opening our hearts towards The Lord and encouraging them to do the same.

Acts 17:24-28(NLT) - “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries. “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

The more I seek The Lord, the more He reveals Himself to me. When I don't seek Him enough my spirit remains stagnant. What about you? Are you looking for The Lord to move in your life in a big way? Have you been seeking after Him in a big way? We read about the great revivals of the past and yearn to see God move like that among us. However, we don't consider the hearts of the people and their collective commitment to seek His face before He descended upon their communities. God desires for us to make a move toward Him so He can respond by causing the power of His Spirit to explode in our hearts.

I guess I'm changing. I've grown bored with the typical religious practice of church attendance and "church-related" activities without true passionate pursuit of God. Going through the motions cannot satisfy my deepest desire for The Lord. Everyone's not ready for that type of relationship but goodness, I want that so much. God's been calling us to Himself for a while now and maybe I'm just hearing Him loud enough to make a move. Do you feel anything where you are? Can you sense Him tugging at your heart? Is any of this real to you?

Psalm 34:18(AMP) - The Lord is close to those who are of a broken heart and saves such as are crushed with sorrow for sin and are humbly and thoroughly penitent.

Psalm 51:17(AMP) - My sacrifice [the sacrifice acceptable] to God is a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart [broken down with sorrow for sin and humbly and thoroughly penitent], such, O God, You will not despise.

I don't want to wait until I stand before Him at the end of the age to get serious about the matters of His heart. I don't think you should either.

2 Chronicles 16:9a(KJV) - For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him....

"It's your move!" - God

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Ask Donnell: "I'm A New Christian! Where Do I Start?"

Ask Donnell: "I'm A New Christian! Where Do I Start?"

We received the following question from Friska;

"Hi Donnell, I fell in love with your writings when I read the article about hearing God’s voice. I finally received Jesus into my life about a week ago (I was born a catholic, but then decided to be an atheist-agnostic around two years ago). There are some questions that I want to ask;

1. My friend told me that there are six types of calling; is it true? And, she said that everyone has their own calling; how do I find mine?
2. I really want to hear God's voice, am I allowed to pray for it every day?
3. What should I feel when I pray? I was told that I should be able to feel God’s presence..?
4. I don’t know why, but I always get scared when I hear people speaking in tongues.
Sorry if it sounds silly. I'd love to hear from you! Thanks!"

Welcome to The Body of Christ, Friska. We pray your first week in the family of God was better than ever. I'm happy you got the opportunity to read our blog on hearing God's Voice. That's a great place to start. Thanks for the great questions. There is absolutely no need to apologize for any of them. They certainly don't sound silly. The only silly questions are the ones you don't ask when you need to.

Anyway, before I address your specific questions let me share a few quick encouraging words of wisdom from the scriptures for you to consider. When you first become a Christian the most important thing you need to do is get to know The Lord in a real and intimate way for yourself. That usually starts with becoming established in The Word of God.

1 Peter 2:1-3(NKJV) - Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

The Word of God is the foundation upon which your lifestyle of Christianity will be built. Hence, you need to develop such a hunger and thirst for the scriptures that you can't seem to put The Bible down unless you have to. Read, read and read The Bible some more. Feed your spirit with God's Word so that you will grow stronger and stronger in the things of God.

Like milk to a newborn babe, The Word of God has all the essential nutrients for a new Christian. It contains the answers to all of your questions so start digging in. Now let's address your specific questions and see what The Bible says. I'll answer these questions quickly without going into too much detail but I will point you to more detailed resources so you can get a proper understanding.

1. My friend told me that there are six types of calling; is it true? And, she said that everyone has their own calling; how do I find mine?

This is an interesting question. Let's see what The Bible says.

1 Corinthians 12:4-11(NLT) - There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us. A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.

In 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, Apostle Paul says that each of us has been given a gift by God to help each other. He then lists nine as a small sample of the type of gifts we've been given. Therefore, from this list alone there are more than six gifts. Why is this relevant? Romans 11:29(AMP) says; "For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.]"

What does this mean? The gifts God has given you and His call on your life go hand in hand. So if you want to discover God's call a good place to start is where He's gifted you. Apostle Paul continues to add more gifts later on in the same chapter so read all of 1 Corinthians 12 for a better understanding. There are definitely more than six callings. There are probably more than we can count.

Additionally, if you want to find out what God has called you to do, there are some Biblical steps that will help you. I have a new book coming out that will outline these in detail but that won't be until the end of this year. Until then you can watch these two videos and take lots of notes.

2. I really want to hear God's voice, am I allowed to pray for it every day?

You're hearing God's voice right now. Your prayer has been answered. He speaks in many different ways including through His Word, through His Spirit inside of your heart and through His people. If you can't hear God's voice it's not because He's not speaking. He's always speaking. You just need to tune your spiritual ears to His frequency the same way you tune a radio to the frequency of a particular station.

Therefore, you don't need to ask Him over and over to speak to you because He probably answered that prayer the first time you asked. Anyway, how do you tune your spiritual ears to hear God? Go to this blog, "Respect God's Voice In Other People." Follow the links backward to study all seven steps to hearing from God.

3. What should I feel when I pray? I was told that I should be able to feel God’s presence..?

Prayer is communication with God. You don't necessarily have to feel anything when you pray especially if you're just getting started. At this point in your spiritual development, don't measure the effectiveness of your prayer by how you feel. You just talk to The Lord from your heart and believe that He hears you then listen with your heart for a response from Him. First read this blog, "Initiating Conversations With God." Then take some time, follow this next link and read these articles on prayer, they will help you to better understand what's going on.

4. I don’t know why, but I always get scared when I hear people speaking in tongues.

The only person who needs to be scared of tongues is the devil. 🙂 When he hears it, he needs to run for his life. The gift of speaking in other tongues is one of the most popular spiritual gifts out there because it can be desired by any believer. When you speak in tongues your spirit is praying and the words you speak come from The Holy Spirit. Therefore, it enables you to speak in a language that only God understands causing you to pray the perfect prayer with guaranteed results. This is one gift you need to get. I have three blogs I want you to read for the details; "The Mystery Of Tongues", "Coded Messages" and "How Do I Speak In Tongues?"

In sum, this is a very exciting time. We will gladly help you find whatever you need in The Bible. You're signed up for the mailing list so you'll start receiving messages from us every weekday. Once again, welcome to the family.

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May 21, 2013 Posted by admin in Prayer

"Get Up And Pray Or Give In To Temptation!" - Jesus

Luke 22:46(NLT) - “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.”

"If you can't find time to spend with The Lord, He can help you find some." - Anonymous

Did you spend any time with The Lord this morning? Yes or no! If your answer is no Jesus has a few words for you. Get up and pray! That's what He said. He couldn't have made it any simpler. If we don't pray, we will give into temptation. That's about it! Sometimes, we make things more complicated than they need to be. However, Jesus was very clear on this issue. When your prayer life begins to suffer your resistance to temptation gets weaker. When your resistance to temptation gets weaker you're going to fall into sin.

There are two things we know about Jesus; He never sinned and He always prayed. 2 Corinthians 5:21 and Hebrews 4:15 confirm that Jesus never sinned. Matthew 14:22-24, Luke 5:16 and Luke 6:12 show that He led a lifestyle of prayer. What we may not all know is the connection between the two. His consistent prayer life and His ability to resist temptation went hand in hand. How can we be so sure? We know it by what He said! He made the connection in His own words and proved that it worked in His own life. So, how does this work? So glad you asked. 😛

Mark 14:38(NLT) - Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

Your spirit is willing to pray because prayer is a spiritual activity. When you pray you activate your spirit which is the part of you that connects directly to The Lord. Hence, it's suprisingly easy to pray when your spirit is leading the way but it's a total struggle for your flesh. Whose flesh wants to roll out of bed early in the morning to spend time with The Lord? A little more sleep is much more valuable to your flesh than prayer, isn't it?

When you continuously defer to your spirit, your soul (mind, will and emotions) begin to change. You develop a spiritual habit that becomes more difficult to break over time. You'll get so accustomed to praying consistently that if you miss your time with The Lord you just won't feel right. If you do it enough your soul will begin to crave God's presence as much as your spirit already does. Romans 12:2 calls it the renewal of your mind. Eventually, you'll be transformed and your life will be defined by things of the spirit instead of things of the flesh.

2 Corinthians 3:17-18(NKJV) - Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

I've heard it said that married couples begin to resemble each other after a long time. That's actually true according to a 1987 study by Dr. Zajonc of the University of Michigan along with his graduate students Pamela Adelmann, Sheila Murphy and Paula Niedenthal published in the journal, "Motivation and Emotion". In the same way, the more time you spend in God's face the more you will look like Him. Your interaction with His glory directly affects your life as you are changed from glory to glory into His image. Maybe that's what Adam and Eve lost when they no longer walked with God. Fortunately, Jesus got it all back for us. Now you can spend time with The Lord and look more like your renewed spiritual nature and less like your fallen human nature.

When you fellowship with The Spirit of The Lord He begins to change you from the inside out. Exodus 34:29 says that Moses spent so much time with God that His face began to shine. If that happened to Moses before The Holy Spirit was poured out on The Day of Pentecost, what do you think will happen to you? Have you ever seen someone come out of a bad situation, get saved, delivered and set free by God then seem to age in reverse? Like Psalm 103:5 says, one of the benefits of salvation is the renewal of your youth like an eagle. The old sinful person you used to be will begin to fade as you experience a spiritual renewal.

Isaiah 50:4(NLT) - The Sovereign Lord has given me his words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort the weary. Morning by morning he wakens me and opens my understanding to his will.

Psalm 63:1-8(NKJV) - O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips. When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me.

Every morning is an opportunity to spend time with The Lord. Before you do anything else seek His face. Even if you're struggling to find the time, it's worth it. Make His presence your priority and see how much better your life will become. Don't rob yourself of the joy of His presence. (Psalms 16:11) Don't remain trapped when The Spirit of The Lord brings freedom. Whatever you do, don't forget these words;

"Get Up And Pray Or Give In To Temptation!" - Jesus

Galatians 5:16-17(NLT) - So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.

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Ask Donnell: How Will God Confirm Someone As Your Future Wife?

Ask Donnell: How Will God Confirm Someone As Your Future Wife?

We received the following question from a Christian brother;

"If God tells you that He is entrusting you with someone what does that mean? Also, does it spell confirmation that the young lady is your wife?"

Psalm 37:23(NKJV) - The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way.

"I don't know all the factors that determine a succesful marriage but marrying the right person certainly helps." - Anonymous

Great question brother. I have heard it said several times that God doesn't get involved in your choice of a spouse. It's really up to you. It's really one of those decisions that is left to personal preference. God gives you choices and you have to make one. Is that really true? Let's see. On one extreme, some people credit God for decisions that do not involve God. I acknowledge that people have abused the prophetic gift and have pretended to hear from The Lord concerning a potential spouse. I know of both men and women who have heard "The Lord" tell them they were supposed to marry someone and were completely wrong.

However, let's not go on the other extreme and think God wants nothing to do with the decision. Is it really true that the selection of a spouse should be completely up to you without the involvement of God? After seeing some of the disastrous decisions people have made when selecting a spouse I surely hope not. Would God really abandon us to make one of the most important decisions of our lives on our own? Would He leave it up to chance knowing that if we get it wrong we could pay the consequences for the rest of our lives? What does The Bible say?

Proverbs 3:5-6(KJV) - Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

In how many ways should we acknowledge Him? All! What does that mean? God will direct your path in any area of your life that you choose to allow Him to direct. Yes, He has an opinion. He knows the future. He can tell you if you are making the right decision or you're about to make the worst decision of your life. Trust in The Lord with all of your heart. What could be more a matter of the heart than marriage? If there's any decision that needs to be directed by God, it's this one.

Like any other decision God won't make the decision for you but He sure can tell you which decision to make if you ask Him. He didn't force you to choose Christ but He pointed you in the right direction. It was your decision to choose Christ. The same goes for your wife. James 1:5 says if you lack wisdom ask God and He will give it to you. How does He give wisdom?

Psalm 119:105 says that God guides you through His Word. John 16:13 says that The Holy Spirit guides you into all truth. Proverbs 11:14 says that there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors. Proverbs 31 describes the type of wife any man should desire. Proverbs 21:19 and 27:15 describe the type of wife no man should desire. 1 Corinthians 17 defines how single and married people should act. These are just a few of the ways in which God can guide your decision. Now on to your specific question. 🙂

Question: "If God tells you that He is entrusting you with someone what does that mean? Also, does it spell confirmation that the young lady is your wife?"

Hmm... God is entrusting you with someone. It sounds like He's trusting you to take care of someone. Does that sound like the role of a husband? Let's not make anything up, the easiest way to approach this is to understand the role of a husband as defined in The Bible. Let's see what it says.

Ephesians 5:25-30(AMP) - Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, That He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things [that she might be holy and faultless]. Even so husbands should love their wives as [being in a sense] their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself. For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and carefully protects and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, Because we are members (parts) of His body.

God expects a husband to nourish, carefully protect and cherish his wife like he would his own body. That sounds like God entrusts the wife to her husband. If you're wondering if that young lady He spoke to you about is the one God has for you then what God told you could be a sign. On its own it may have many interpretations but you just need to combine it with the other ways God guides you, some of which I mentioned earlier. God will speak through His Word, His Spirit and His people. If you've heard from Him in all the other ways and then He told you that He is entrusting her to you I think you need to start saving your money for that ring. 🙂 Anyway, let me stop. This is serious business.

If God is saying something to you then you should feel safe to seek confirmation. Emotions also speak so if your emotions contradict God's Word, He'll say something different through an alternate avenue. Every way in which God speaks should be consistent. He will continue to say the same thing including what He says to her concerning you. This is no easy decision but it sure helps when you can hear God's voice clearly and it's confirmed. There's no need to rush, make assumptions or draw your own conclusions. You definitely want to get this one right.

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