Monday, July 1, 2013

Binding and Loosing 2

http://tv.ffoz.org/episodes/binding-and-loosing.html#.UdHYOo4Tvw4

I have posted about binding and loosing before, but I just found this cool website called First Fruits Of Zion.  

The teaching of Matt 16:19 and Matt 8:18,19 about binding and loosing is still very problematic for the church.  Truly, Jesus is not teaching us to bind and loose Satan.  In this sense, these passages are not about spiritual warfare.  We have much authority over the demonic realm, but that is not what these passages are about.

On the other hand, there is an aspect of binding and loosing that is related to spiritual warfare and that is the power of our words.  Our words hold the power of life and death.  What we come into agreement with (believe in our heart) and confess with our mouth can either bind us to the truth of the Word or loose us from it.  Our words can either bind us to the power of life and healing or it can loose the power of death and destruction.  We must bind our minds to what is true and right and loose our minds from lies and deception by taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

If you have a moment to watch this video or poke around this website, I think you'll find it interesting.





http://tv.ffoz.org/episodes/binding-and-loosing.html#.UdHYOo4Tvw4

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Legalistic Abuse

Acts 18:5-11, 13
When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ.  But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, "Your blood be on your own heads!"  I am clear of  my responsibility.  From now on I will go to the Gentiles."

Then Paul left the Synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God.   Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.

One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: "Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent.  For I am with you and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city."  So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.

The Jews made a united attack on Paul and brought him into court.  "This man," they charged, "is persuading the people to worship God in ways contrary to the law."

Religious legalism is one of the most difficult strongholds to overcome.  When God reveals something contrary to the "the way it's always been taught", you can be sure the legalists will start to attack.

The law of God is perfect, reviving the soul. (Ps.19:7)  The Jews of Paul's day rejected his message because it was prophetic in nature.  It did not contradict scripture, it brought it to life.  Paul's message appeared new to them, but in reality it was written in the scriptures long before.  God is even now revealing what has been hidden in scriptures up to this point.

Over 100 years ago, Dr. C.I. Scofield said in his notes on Revelation in the Scofield Reference Bible, "Doubtless, much which is designedly obscure to us will be clear to those for whom it is written as the time approaches."  

The closer we get to the end of the age, the more God will reveal "new mysteries" that have been there all along.  I like to refer to these mysteries as things hidden in plain sight.  Since Noah's day, God has chosen to reveal truths through His prophets. Even today, God is using those with the gift of prophecy to bring the mysteries of scripture to life.

Be fore-warned if you think you have the gift of prophecy!  Down through history, God's prophets were hated, stoned, beheaded and crucified for their message.  On a less severe note, the prophets were laughed at, scoffed and told to stop preaching their message as is was considered false and heretical.  A prophet's message always has been and always will be, "repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand".

Believe you me, that message is not well-received - especially by those who believe they are already religious, those who are "law-keepers",  by that I mean those who by all outward appearances are righteous and well-versed in the scriptures...just like the legalistic Jews!

Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent.  For I am with you and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.



Saturday, May 18, 2013

Everybody Needs a Nehemiah


Looking back I now realize that everyone needs a Nehemiah – someone who will pray, mourn, fast and weep until your strongholds are demolished and the beautiful walls of the City of God are rebuilt in you.

Ecclesiastes 3:1,3
There is a time for everything… a time to tear down and a time to build.

I sat in a heap; utterly broken with everything I knew crumbling down around me.  “How much longer, Lord?  How much further must I fall?  My life is in ruins, yet it continues to crumble!”

“Until it’s all down”, He replied.  “It must all come down.  All your false beliefs and expectations about your marriage, your home and financial security even the expectations you have for your children.  All the things you hold higher than Me must come down.  Everything that has exalted itself up against the knowledge of God (II Cor 10:5) must come down.”

I was an absolute disgrace as I sat in the rubble of my life and cried.  For seven long years the enemy had out-witted me and I was totally unaware of his tactics.  Did I know I was to keep watch so I would not be caught unaware? Did I know I had armor and weapons at my disposal to defend and protect myself from the enemy’s merciless onslaught?  No.  And so my unpreparedness led to my swift and sure defeat and I was carried off into exile, so to speak– captive to my own bitterness and failure to forgive.

I began to questions God’s goodness.  I questioned His ability to deliver me.  Was God’s arm too short to save?  My soul hung in the balance between belief and unbelief.
Then word came to Nehemiah, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace.  The wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates have been burned with fire.” (Neh. 1:3)  When Nehemiah heard these things, he wept, and mourned and fasted.  And he prayed to the God of heaven and asked the king, “If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in your sight, let him send me to Jerusalem so that I can rebuild it.” 

So, Nehemiah went to Jerusalem and found a few good men and he said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins and its gates have been burned with fire.  Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem and we will no longer be in disgrace.”

I don’t know who my Nehemiah was, but somebody stood in the gap for me.  Somebody who had more faith and more strength to pray stood at my portion of the wall, spiritually, and held me up until I was able to stand on my own.

At first, I didn’t even realize the wall was mine to rebuild.  I didn’t see any design or purpose in my suffering.  I couldn’t see that this was part of God’s plan, but God had made it clear to me that my old wall had to come down first.  It was weak and crumbly; yet, I held onto all the crumbling pieces hoping that somehow I could put them back together again.  But the more I held onto the pieces, the more they just disintegrated and slipped through my fingers. 

My wall was built on pride, rebellion, stubbornness, self-reliance, performance, control and the list goes on.  I thank God for sending a messenger into my life who helped me identify these strongholds of the enemy and for teaching me these words from scripture:
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.  (II Cor 10:4-5)

The strongholds came down with one final nudge, but the enemy plotted to stir up trouble and fight against the good work that was being done.  The enemy, Satan, became aware that I had plans to rebuild my portion of the wall and he was very disturbed.  He hurled insults at me, “Can you bring stones back to life from those heaps of rubble?  Look what you are building, if even a fox climbed upon it, he would break down those walls of stone!” (Neh 4:2-3)

From that day on, I did my work with one hand and held a weapon with the other. (Neh 4:17).  And so the wall was rebuilt as I bound myself to the truth of the Word.  Immeasurably more than just my marriage was saved.  God’s faithfulness and goodness toward me was never-failing.

Thank you, Lord, for my Nehemiah, whoever it was.  Remember with favor my Nehemiah, O God, for all he has done for me.  Send a Nehemiah to the next person on the wall.  Station him at the lowest points where there are exposed places and families. You, O Lord, are the God of all mankind and nothing is too difficult for you! (Jer. 32:17)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

So What's The Big Deal About Marriage?

Marriage is under attack today like no other time in history.  As state after state puts forth legislation to redefine marriage as no longer between one man and one woman, it's important to know how God views marriage.

The reason marriage is fully under attack is that if Satan can paint marriage as difficult, painful and doomed to failure - if he can deceive some into believing that men and women are incompatible, then he has succeeded in putting a foul taste in our mouths for a relationship with the God of Heaven who has chosen us as his bride.

I am the only female in a house of five males and my six year old son asked me a funny question the other day.  He said, "Mom, what would happen if the whole world was 'boys only'?"  I said, "Well, life on earth would end in less than 100 years, because there would be no women to have babies and so the earth would become desolate when the last man died."  He said, "Oh, I never thought of that."

Did you know that the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation is about marriage - marriage between a man and a woman.  In the Old Testament, Israel is depicted as God's bride.  He made a marriage covenant with Israel saying if you will agree, I will be yours and you will be mine.  Is. 54:5  says that God is Israel's husband.  In fact, the whole book of Song of Songs is about God (the husband) and His beloved, Israel.

For your Maker is your husband - the Lord Almighty is his name. Isaiah 54:5
As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.  Isaiah 62:5
"Return, faithless people", declares the Lord, "for I am your husband."  Jeremiah 3:14

Author and preacher, Perry Stone, said it well, "The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed."  So, if the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed, then we know that the New Testament is also a picture of marriage.  There are two parallel stories running through Scripture.  God uses the story of Israel in the Old Testament to foreshadow the story of the church in the New Testament.  Israel is the bride of God, while the church (worldwide) is the bride of Christ.

From the ancient days of Abraham up to the present time, God is painting a picture of a bride and a groom and their wedding.  There are stages in a wedding from the engagement (betrothal) to the wedding feast.  Some of these events have already taken place in the course of Israel's history and in church history, some have yet to happen.  For the Church of Jesus Christ, our marriage has not been consummated   We are still in the betrothal stage waiting for our bridegroom to come and get us.

God's whole message throughout Scripture is about marriage.  That is the story and the illustration He chose to show us how much he loves us and desires to have a relationship with us.  It is just like our enemy, Satan, to wage an all-out war on marriage - to destroy the story and the illustration.  God defined marriage when he created Adam and Eve - not Adam and Steve.  Who are we to re-define what God created?  Only God has the right to define what He has created.  He is the author and illustrator - the final authority.

Revelation 19: 7-10
"Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!  For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.  Fine linen, bright and clean, was given to her to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)  Then the angel said to me, "write: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!"

As followers of Jesus Christ, we have a battle before us on two fronts:  1)  the battle for marriage in our nation and 2)  the battle for marriage in our homes.  We can be sure of this - that God is for marriage!  He desires for your marriage to be a beautiful illustration of His love for his bride.  If your marriage is feeling hopeless, don't give up my friend, God is for you not against you.  Please read my post  You Gotta Have Hope.

The Spirit and the Bride say "Come!" Rev. 22:17


A Prayer for you:
Almighty God, maker of heaven and earth, you have made man and woman in your image.  You have ordained marriage as the story and illustration of your relationship with us.  There is an enemy who is out to destroy my marriage and the marriages of my countrymen.  Show me, Father, what true marriage is supposed to look like.  Soften my heart towards my spouse that I may freely forgive him and love him as you have forgiven and loved me.  Restore what has been broken so that it will bring glory to your name.  In the name of Jesus, my savior, Amen!


Grace and Peace be yours in abundance today!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Year Of The Lord's Favor

2011 was truly an incredible year for me and my family.  Many of you have asked for a testimony as to what God has done for us over the past 2 years.  I have struggled to put into words the amazing transformation that has taken place, but as I was reading in Isaiah 61, I found that God had already summed it up for me.  He calls this type of year The Year of The Lord's Favor!


The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
 to proclaim freedom for the captives,
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim The Year Of The Lord's Favor 
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion - 
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of His splendor.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.
Aliens will shepherd your flocks;
foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
And you will be called priests of the Lord,
you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
and in their riches you will boast.
Instead of their shame
my people will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
they will rejoice in the inheritance;
and so they will inherit a double
portion in their land,
and everlasting joy will be theirs.
For I, the Lord, love justice;
I hate robbery and iniquity.
In my faithfulness I will reward them
and make an everlasting covenant with them.
Their descendants will be known
among the nations
and their offspring among the peoples.
All who see them will acknowledge
that they are a people the Lord has blessed.
Isaiah 61:1-9

Although the book of Isaiah was written by the prophet Isaiah, Jesus applied these verses to himself in Luke 4: 18-21 when he said, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."

Yet, not every believer has laid hold of this type of blessing.  All the promises and blessings of God must be laid hold of forcefully and tenaciously.  I believe with all my heart that not only is it possible to see this kind of blessing in our lives, it is our call, our privilege and our responsibility as ones who have been redeemed!

So, what exactly is a Year of the Lord's Favor?  If we take a closer look at this chapter we see a joyful progression from:
Freedom for captives,
to a garment of praise,
to rebuilding ruined places,
to a double portion of inheritance,
the blessing will be passed to your offspring
and finally to everlasting joy!!!

I've written a lot on this blog about "Freedom for the Captives".  I believe that our true freedom comes by delving into the deepest, darkest corners of our lives to unearth everything that has wormed it's way into our heart and mind like a cancerous tumor and keeps us living in crazy-cycles of defeat.  Some of these cancerous tumors are:

1.  Involvement in cult or occult practices: palm reading,  horoscopes, hypnosis, Masons/Freemasons, Yoga, New Age, TM, Zen Buddhism, Mormonism, Jehovah's Witness and MANY others.

2.  Idols of the heart: food, money, computers/gaming, celebrities, TV, fitness, work, image, children, hobbies, parents,  busyness, pleasure, control, popularity, etc.

3.  Spirit of Fear - a deception of the enemy saying "God can't be trusted."

4.  Failure to Forgive (How To Forgive Someone Who Has Hurt Me) - releasing the root of bitterness

5.  Rebellion or failure to submit (see The Liberating Truth About Submission)

6.  Pride - a deception of the enemy saying "I can do it better than God."

7.  Word Curses spoken by you or to you (see You Hold The Key)

This is certainly not a complete list and, as you can tell, the process of purging and pruning all of these various tumors from one's life, home and family tree might require some help from other sources.
The book Bondage Breaker is a really great place to start and will help immensely!  But, if you live in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area I recommend the Ministry Of Reconciliation - a free ministry that will work with you on a one-on-one basis to help you identify and weed out your areas of strongholds.

Once these areas are weeded out of our lives, our relationship with God is unhindered and our prayer life becomes so much more vibrant!  Hope is restored as we begin to see freedom from our cycles of defeat.  Our natural response is praise - "a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair".

The next step of progression is the rebuilding of relationships and dreams that have long been ruined - "places long devastated."  Any time a marriage is restored this is certainly for the "display of His splendor."  


We're given new dreams and a new song in our heart.  One of the biggest dreams is to see others find this healing as well and so "we are named ministers of our God".  There is nothing more rewarding than helping someone else step into the abundant life that is rightfully ours in Christ Jesus.

The last part of this blessing is that we inherit a double portion, "because, I the Lord, love justice and I hate robbery and iniquity."  In other words,  God, in His justice, will give us a double portion of all the things the enemy stole away such as love, joy, peace, goodness, meekness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Not to mention that this blessing overflows to your children and your family, "and all who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the Lord has blessed."  Wow!  How great is that!

This is the testimony of what the Lord has done in my life and in my family.  We, by no means, are a completed work.  On the contrary, we have a long way to go still, but the blessing is already there.  We know it because we have seen God use the power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead to resurrect our marriage and bring blessing to our family!

May 2012 be The Year Of The Lord's Favor for you as you seek Him with all your heart, and all your soul and all your strength!

Grace and Peace be yours in abundance~


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Monday, October 17, 2011

Open Hearts at Christmas




Today I am sharing with you a guest post from my blog friend over at Kindling.  Thank you, Judy, for this great post on an evangelistic tool called Chrsitmas Gatherings.  What a POWERFUL way to share the message of Jesus Christ at Christmas!!!


Open Hearts at Christmas
Christmas! Family time! Trees and decorations and carols and gifts. Traditions. Fabulous feasts.







And the time when more people are open to meeting the one we celebrate.
For many years now, women across the U.S. and around the world have used this festive time to invite neighbors in, serve them yummy goodies and open the conversation about the true meaning of Christmas.
Of course, this is best done in the context of ongoing relationship with those neighbors. But it is remarkable how people’s hearts are open to talk, learn, even meet Jesus.

My friend Joyce Bademan has been doing such Christmas Gatherings for several decades. She has recently put all the ideas and resources online—available free to you. Here is her invitation:
Are you looking for a Christmas program that effectively reaches outside of the usual social circles? Even if you thought that talking about Christ is something people just don’t do anymore with their neighbors and coworkers, Christmas Gatherings provide a unique opportunity in our culture.
During the holiday season, talking about Jesus as part of the Christmas tradition is a very natural thing to do. The question is “How can we make the most of this opportunity?”
Christmas Gatherings provide opportunities to talk about God’s gift through Jesus and invite people to Bible studies.
Now, the resources to host your own Christmas Gathering are right at your fingertips! A newly designed, easy-to-navigate website has been created to give you all the helps you need for a successful party!
Visit www.christmasgatherings.com/ to get started.
We are excited to offer you informative videos and links that answer just about every question you might have. These training videos are designed to give you step by step guidance from invitations, to speakers, to hosting, and much, much more.
Christmas Gatherings have spread across the nation – and the world – by word of mouth and by people like YOU sharing the idea with a friend. Often, it results in an opportunity to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in homes, churches, clubs or wherever women gather for a meal or dessert.
But this event is not just for women. It is a perfect opportunity for couples to gather for a holiday event with a purpose – to share an evening of fellowship, and the best news we can share at Christmas-time.
Won’t you consider forwarding this to your friends, your pastor and women’s ministry director – even to missionaries you or your church supports?
Or, consider hosting a gathering this year yourself. If you have already hosted a party, perhaps you could encourage a couple of friends to watch the training videos with you and HOST a party.
I look forward to hearing how you have used this unique tool.
Joyce Bademan 
Founder, Christmas Gatherings


Christmas Gatherings was a featured on Live The Promise with host Susie Larson.  I had the privilege of sharing how Christmas Gatherings have impacted my life.  Here is a link to that interview http://www.faithradionet.com/2010/using-christmas-to-share-the-gospel/


Grace and Peace be yours today!


~Nena

Friday, July 1, 2011

Restorer of Broken Marriages

I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me? Jeremiah 32:27
Grand Portage State Park

On June 29, 2011
We celebrated 20 years of marriage!

This is truly a testimony of God's power to heal and restore the most broken of marriages!
These pictures were taken on our anniversary trip to the arrowhead region of northern Minnesota.  We stayed at the beautiful Lutsen Resort on Lake Superior.
Grand Portage State Park.  Highest waterfall in MN
Lutsen Resort - Sea Villas
Sovereign Lord, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm.  Nothing is too hard for You!  Jeremiah 32: 17

Lake Superior National Forest wildflower
Lake Superior Lupines

Temperance River - Lake Superior, MN
Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.  This will be for the Lord's renown, for an everlasting sign which will not be destroyed.  Isaiah 55:13

God gave me this verse in 2010 as a word picture of what my marriage would be like.  He took my marriage, full of thorns, and transformed it into a beautiful flower as a lasting sign of His ability to heal and restore.

If you find yourself in a difficult or hopeless marriage.  I pray this post will give you courage and strength to hope again.
Temperance River agate beach
I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me? Jeremiah 32:27

Grace and Peace be yours in abundance today~

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