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Archive for December, 2011

Words and Thoughts

21 Question Test of Spiritual Maturity
Words and Thoughts
Fact: One of the biggest indicators of immaturity in a person is when they cannot control their thoughts and especially their words.
 
Psalm 19:14 (The Amplified Bible) Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my [firm, impenetrable] Rock and my Redeemer.
The Science of Words and Ideas
Words and thoughts are closely related.  Words are in fact vocally expressed thoughts.  Furthermore, everything begins with a thought whether we realize it or not.  We have the power to control what we say by controlling what we think, and it is done successfully through consistently meditating on the Word of God.
Hebrews 4:12 (The Message Bible)
God means what He says. What He says goes. His powerful Word is as sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.
Thoughts are communications from the physical to the spiritual world.  If we think the right thoughts, we can communicate with God.  Thoughts are also seeds that when planted give birth to something.  Words are the power of life and death that are in fact spoken thoughts.  There are different kinds of thoughts which include God’s thoughts (based on the Word), the devil’s thoughts (based on destruction) and our thoughts (based on what we want).
We are not responsible for the thoughts that we do not accept.  God only judges that thoughts that we receive along with the attitude of our hearts.  That means that we can choose our emotions.  In addition, attitudes are chosen from the thoughts that we decide to receive.  This is why it is important for us to be watchful about who we associate with along with who and what we listen to.  No matter what you see, choose to be positive and see life from God’s point of view.
Obtain Victory Wise Speech and Thoughts
Maturity is the planned parenthood of thoughts, and it is receiving only godly seeds while rejecting everything else.  The result is the birthing of good things in your life. If you do not check your thoughts, you are in a losing battle (Hebrew 3:1).  Mature people have disciplined thoughts and understand that they have to take charge over the thought world.  They also understand that it is critical to store the Word up in their minds in order to speak victory in their lives.
Ungodly Thinking
Ungodly thoughts point us to struggles in the physical realm in order to camouflage demons.  It is our job to take captive over every evil thought which is a stronghold, or an old/set pattern of negative thinking.  This is why we cannot afford to let ungodly thoughts run ramped through our minds (Hebrews 4:13, Genesis 6:5-6).
Ephesians 6:12 (The Amplified Bible) For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 (The Message Bible)
The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.
Evil thoughts cause God pain, but when we walk in faith, He is impressed.  In the spirit world, thoughts are just as important as actions.  When we have godly thoughts stored inside of us, it leads us to make godly choices. Therefore, we have to make it a habit of checking those ungodly thoughts.
The Lord has already given you victory in every area of your life!  You even have the ability to control not just your confession, but your thoughts as well.  It does not matter what atmosphere you are in, you can influence your thoughts to reflect the Word of the
Lord.
Love,
Dr. Joyce Oliver

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Faith for Health

21 Question Test of Spiritual Maturity
Faith for Health
Fact:The devil tries to use illness as a weapon to deter us from our purpose.  The world has facts on health, but God has the truth.  As children of the Lord, we already have divine health because Jesus died for it (1 Peter 2:24).  The devil may try to attack us in our bodies, but we have to continually believe the Lord for our healing.  Because the Lord keeps us, we are kept (Deuteronomy 8:4).  The devil is jealous of Christians because we have all of the privileges that he used to.  The devil only has the power that we give him.
Sickness Sneaks In, but We Drive it Out!
The devil tries to give us reasons to be sick.  He wants us to justify and pacify it.  However, sickness is an obstacle to us fulfilling our purpose.  Illness is one of his greatest strategies to destroy Christians.  Therefore, God is looking for us to fight by walking in faith.  For example, the Syrophoenicianwoman, despite her status, fought for her daughter to be healed.  She confidently approached Jesus and did not leave Him until He blessed her daughter (Matthew 15:26).
Let’s learn from this woman.  It took humility and faith for her to approach the Lord.  Therefore, we should make sure that our hearts are turned to the Lord, trusting Him completely.  Further, she did not tolerate the devil tormenting her daughter; therefore, we Christians should not let him wreak havoc on our bodies either.  Sometimes, if we experience a slight pain or a tiny sniffle, we brush it off.  But remember that all illness comes directly from the enemy.  He is never satisfied with a little symptom; he wants to amplify illness to the point of death.  Satan is an illegal alien, and he nor his influence do not belong on the earth.  It is our job to seek the Lord and give Him no rest until our healing is manifested.
To Hell with Sickness!
Good news! The devil is on his way to prison (Luke 10:18, Revelation 21:7).  No matter what it may look like, he has no power over you.  No need for midnight runs to the pharmacy or calling off work because you’re under the weather, let the Word of the Lord be your medicine—it’s the kingdom health plan! The good thing about kingdom medicine is that you can’t overdose (Proverbs 4:20).  Keep loading up on the Word!
The devil may try to bring sickness to us, be we certainly do not have to accept it. Every time we resist the devil, we grow and become stronger more mature and solid in our faith.
Love,
Dr. Joyce Oliver

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What Grade Are You In?

Fact: In school, students are promoted to the next grade when they have proven themselves as successful students and are able to pass all important tests. On the other hand, if a student is not able to prove themselves, they have to repeat the class until they are ready.  This strategy is no different in the kingdom of God.  As Christians, we are all in different grades, and we will not get promoted until we pass all appropriate tests.  When we can pass a test successfully, it confirms our maturity.

All Christians equally share rights to the benefits of God’s kingdom.  However, not all Christians access their rights; this causes them to be in various grades.  In fact, many people are not aware of what their spiritual rank is.  Do you know your rank? If you want to rank high in the kingdom, you have to actively grow in the Lord.  Take a look at the list below.  It reveals that immature Christians:

  1. Are just like real babies (cry and whine when they don’t get their way and make messes expecting others to clean it up).
  2. Don’t like criticism or instructions.
  3. Are selfish.
  4. Are easily offended.
  5. Demand attention.
  6. Lack discernment and are vulnerable to the enemy.

 Time to Grow Up

We should strive to attain a whole measure of fullness in Christ.  Mature Christians are God’s agents; they are leaders, committed to the work of the Lord, they are steeped in the Word and walk in their Godly authority.  Furthermore, mature Christians know who they are.

Ephesians 4:11 (The Amplified Bible)
And His gifts were [varied; He Himself appointed and gave men to us] some to be apostles (special messengers), some prophets (inspired preachers and expounders), some evangelists (preachers of the Gospel, traveling missionaries), some pastors (shepherds of His flock) and teachers.

Mature Christians live disciplined lives and keep their priorities which are God first, consistent church attendance and obedience to the Word of God (Hebrews 10:25, 2 Samuel 11:1, Luke 18:17).

As long as you live on the earth, you will be tested from time to time.  Tests are a part of life because they reflect your level of maturity.  When you are tempted to act against the Word of the Lord, remember that it is only a test.  Ask God for strength and pass your test so you can go on to the next grade.  The people that get promoted get more blessings and privileges.

 2 Timothy 2:15 (The Amplified Bible)
Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.

Love,

Dr. Joyce Oliver

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