This week has been such a unusual week. Like every week, the days seem to get shorter and shorter. The week seems to fly by so fast. I have been spending some personal time with the Lord over and beyond my usual time with Him this week. Hence why the blog is being posted so late in the week verses our usual Tuesday/Wednesday blog. I have realized this week just how truly in love with the Lord I am. Sure, I knew that I loved the Lord, but this week has truly been a week of reflection. Often we discourage large amounts of energy and thought in the past. We discourage it simply because there can be pain the past that will try to re-attach itself to the present time. This week, I have been thinking of things in the past, but not the negative or hurtful things that I have experienced. Instead, I have been revisiting all the memories that I have stored in my brain of all the times in the last few years that God has shown me and my family His mercy and grace. I have been pondering the incredible display of His glory and power in our lives within the last few years.
Often, people forget how incredibly important it is to take time to look back at all the amazing things that God has done in our lives in the past. When we take time to look back at all He has done, it truly is a amazing experience. One example I will share is when He reached down from heaven with his healing hands. Shortly after Ace was born, he was sent to the ICU. I can vividly recall the emotional rollercoaster that began as soon as we heard the words, "this child needs to be in ICU ASAP." It happened so fast that it was a shock to the heart that cannot be explained unless you are reading this right now and can relate. One minute, there is this perfect baby boy sitting in his little crib in the Hospital room. Within a split second, he's gone. They take him out of your care and put him in ICU crib with wires and tubes running everywhere. This was a moment, that in the natural, surely didn't seem edifying whatsoever. I remember telling my wife that everything would be fine an God was in control. Even though I truly believe that, the devil did his best to torture my thoughts with doubt and insecurity.
I remember leaving the hospital to get a moment alone with the Lord. I drove to a local parking lot, put the vehicle in park, and closed my eyes. It was a moment I will never forget. What was supposed to be a celebration of life and health had turned into a desperate cry for life and health on Ace's behalf. I heard the Lord speak to me something very specific. He said, "the adversary is trying to take your sons life, what are you going to do about it?"
I remember wondering, what can I possibly do about this? I told the Lord, "your God, only you can heal this boy, not me!" Of course he reminded me that, while that was true, we still have the power to heal the sick, in Jesus name. God was trying to show me that my faith, without works, would result in death. This of course is parallel to the book of James. I realized in that instant that if I wanted to see my son survive, it would require faith and works working together in harmony to see result in this battle. We started laying hands on this boy and praying nothing but a full recovery. Within a week, Ace started doing great! He was recovering and the devil was defeated, as usual.
The reason I shared this story with you this week is simple. Sometimes, when we look back at all the things the Lord has done for us in the past, it paints a vivid reminder that the future can only hold more testament to His greatness! I have had satan fighting me like crazy in the last few months. He hates this ministry, he hates the fact that I am healed and focused. He cannot stand to see us living any sort of abundant life. Because of his jealousy and hate towards God, he hates us because we are simply made in the very image of God. Think about it this way, when you are living a faith filled life full of the Word of God, Satan doesn't see you, he sees GOD IN YOU! This is why he hates us so much. He can never again have the chance for redemption. He certainly doesn't want us to have any security in supernatural concerns. This is why he uses vanity and the cares of this world to entice the minds of so many. Anything he can do to get your mind off of Christ, he will do.
In the 4th chapter of Luke, we hear Jesus teach us something truly remarkable. So many people have been consumed with religion that they think a Godly life, is a life of poverty and heartache. This is so sad, yet so many people think this is how Christians are supposed to live. People have this idea implanted in their thought process because of what they have heard preachers teach over the years, and believed it. This same mindset leads to people giving credit and attention to things that are not God. A prime example of this is when, you hear someone give credit to the sickness they experienced. I have heard people say, "if it wasn't for that sickness, i would have never found God." All the while, they mean well when they say this, they are giving the sickness the credit and not the God who removed the sickness. This is a very slick form of deception that the devil has used since the beginning of time. He will do anything to convince your mind to be conscious of the situation, and not the one who resolved the situation. There are people, all over the world, who are inadvertently giving Satan credit when God should have received the Glory instead.
It all goes back to that "sin tag." People who are still holding on to the idea that we are still sinners, yet Christ freed us from sin and the grave when He died on the cross!! Instead of thinking we are just, "good o'l sinners saved by grace," We need to see ourselves as the righteousness of God! the Word of God clearly says that we have been made righteous through Christ! Sure, we have the ability to sin, but we are NO LONGER SINNERS! Our sin was bought with a very high price, don't you ever forget that. The minute you forget what price was paid for your sin, will be the moment that pleasing God and His word will no longer be your first priority. Let's take a quick look at Luke Chapter 4.
Luke 4 KJV
16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. 17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
You'll notice that it says, "as His custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day." This is a clear indication, that even though he was God in the flesh, He made it a point to worship on the Sabbath, regularly. This is important. Jesus set a serious example here. Think about it this way.. Jesus, was God, is God, always will be God. And at that time, he would go into the synagogue, every week, and listen to the priests in the synagogue , preach scripture, that JESUS wrote. In other words, He was listening to them teach what He all ready wrote before the beginning of time! This is truly incredible if you really try to wrap your brain around it. I often wonder what was going through His mind, on any given Sabbath. The priest would stand up and start reading from scripture, and Jesus would be sitting there, being taught, what He wrote before that priest was even born! I honestly get a kick out of just imagining what that must have been like for Jesus.
Now let's look at what He says when he stood up and started to teach. he said, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor;
Let's stop here for a second and really process what He was saying. Of course, the spirit of the Lord was upon Him because He was God! The next thing he says destroys the idea that Christians are supposed to be broke and poor financially. He says that He is anointed to preach the Gospel (GOOD NEWS) to the poor. Think about it, what is good news to a poor man? The obvious answer is, to NOT BE POOR ANYMORE! God has no desire for us as believers to be poor in finance. He made this world, and he knows that in order to sustain in a economic world, finance is surely part of the equation. God isn't stupid, not even in the least bit. This is why Jesus came to bring GOOD NEWS to the POOR! What was that news He was talking about? The answer is in 3rd John Chapter 2, verse 2. 2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. Think about what He is telling us here, ABOVE ALL THINGS, that we shall prosper, and be in health! EVEN, as our SOUL,(Our mind, will, and emotion) prospers! Prosperity is a blessing, poverty is a curse!
This is an incredible example of why Jesus came to preach the Gospel to the poor. He has NO desire to see the people whom He died for to be in bad health or suffering financially. What a blessing to know, that the God we serve, has our physical and spiritual and financial health on His mind! Now let's move on to the next thing Jesus said in Luke Chapter 4.
He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
The next thing Jesus has on His mind is to heal the broken hearted! In other words, after your health and finances, after your mind, will, and emotions, He is concerned with our heartache. This is truly incredible and a wonderful promise from our savior to anyone who knows how much it truly hurts to have heartache. Heartache can be more excruciating than any amount of physical pain at times, and Jesus knew the importance of fixing it with His power and love He has for those who make Him the Lord and savior of their lives. The next thing we see is Jesus saying He is bringing freedom to the captives, ( freedom from sin, addiction, destruction, etc.) and recovering sight to the blind (Physically and spiritually). To set at Liberty (freedom of oppression in this world) to PREACH THE ACCEPTABLE YEAR OF THE LORD!
Wow, its no wonder that the scripture says that after Jesus spoke these things, they were truly amazed and in wonder of His words. Jesus, a man in the flesh, just told these people that HE is going to do all these things. You can imagine how much wonder and doubt was floating around that room that day. The best part is, after making all these claims, HE Actually DID IT! He proved every single promise and Word he Spoke and still does to this day! This is why I have been spending time in my mind in the past this week. Looking back on all the incredible promises that He made for you and I come to pass in reality over 2000 years later is truly a feat that no-one in this world has ever accomplished expect for Jesus Christ.
My challenge for you this week is simple, set aside some time to look back, and think of all the incredible things that the Lord has done for you. You will be amazed at all the things He truly has done, assuming you give Him the credit and not the situations. God bless each and everyone of you this week, until next time...
~ Pastor Ian Potter
Reverend Ian Potter is a Spirit Filled Evangelist who preaches the Raw , Uncompromised , Gospel of Jesus Christ.