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Streams in the Dessert

“Jesus saith unto him, "Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way." (John 4:50).

“When ye pray, believe.” (Mark 11:24).

When there is a matter that requires definite prayer, pray till you believe God, until with unfeigned lips you can thank Him for the answer. If the answer still tarries outwardly, do not pray for it in such a way that it is evident that you are not definitely believing for it. Such a prayer in place of being a help will be a hindrance; and when you are finished praying, you will find that your faith has weakened or has entirely gone. The urgency that you felt to offer this kind of prayer is clearly from self and Satan. It may not be wrong to mention the matter in question to the Lord again, if He is keeping you waiting, but be sure you do so in such a way that it implies faith.

Do not pray yourself out of faith. You may tell Him that you are waiting and that you are still believing Him and therefore praise Him for the answer. There is nothing that so fully clinches faith as to be so sure of the answer that you can thank God for it. Prayers that pray us out of faith deny both God's promise in His Word and also His whisper "Yes," that He gave us in our hearts. Such prayers are but the expression of the unrest of one's heart, and unrest implies unbelief in reference to the answer to prayer. "For we which have believed do enter into rest" (Heb. 4:3).

This prayer that prays ourselves out of faith frequently arises from centering our thoughts on the difficulty rather than on God's promise. Abraham "considered not his own body," "he staggered not at the promise of God" (Rom. 4:19, 20). May we watch and pray that we enter not into temptation of praying ourselves out of faith.

“The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.”
--George Mueller

You will never learn faith in comfortable surroundings. God gives us the promises in a quiet hour; God seals our covenants with great and gracious words, then He steps back and waits to see how much we believe; then He lets the tempter come, and the test seems to contradict all that He has spoken. It is then that faith wins its crown. That is the time to look up through the storm, and among the trembling, frightened seamen cry, "I believe God that it shall be even as it was told me."


40 Days of Fire Devotional Day 40

40 Days Devotion – We Win!
Day 40- The New Heaven and Earth

In the reading for today we read about our heavenly destination. The destination we are headed to is one of complete paradise. John's description of the splendor of the New Jerusalem is great encouragement of what is to come.

As Christians, we have the privilege of knowing what the end for us entails. In everyday life it is very easy to get so focused on little details that we end up missing the big picture. While the little things are important, if we are not careful we will let those minute details weigh heavily on us. Someone that does not know where their final destination is, can easily get bogged down in the everyday "hustle, and bustle" of life.
Someone running a race must keep the finish line in mind at all times. If not, they may become more concerned with how much strain is on their body, and easily become overwhelmed. Due to being caught up in their present circumstance they may easily forget they are almost at the finish line, and quit the race.
Thankfully, we know that those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength, they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk, and not faint (Isaiah 40:31). In Christ, we know the final score. God has given us a remote control that fast forwards to the end of the age. The book of Revelation tells us that in the end, we win!

No matter what things look like, if you have the end in mind you know you have a glorious destination and future. Let's strive to keep the end in mind, and not get weighed down with this world. We are in this world, but not of this world (John 17:16). Be encouraged today in the fact that God has a purpose for you, and a plan (Jeremiah 29:11). Keep your eye on the finish line and remember if you stay the course, in the end we win!

Bible Reading: Revelation 21-22
Bonus Reading: James 5

40 Days of Fire Devotional Day 39

40 Days Devotion – Choose Blessing
Day 39 – Pure Religion

This man shall be blessed in his deeds, is the summation of what James was teaching in the first chapter of his writings. From the declaration of counting it joy when you face temptation or learning to bridle your tongue, the ultimate goal is to live in that blessed place.

If you endure temptation you receive a crown of life. If you lack wisdom all you need to do is, ask in faith to receive. If you receive the engrafted word it is able to save your soul. If you keep yourself unspotted from the world and take care of those who are in need you will find pure religion.

So, by these previous statements living blessed is conditional. You must choose the path of blessing. You must look into the perfect law of liberty and choose to be a doer. To live blessed is not a passive gift that God gives us, but it is the result of looking into the mirror of God’s Word and not forgetting what his commands.
God desires to bless us, James 1:18 says, it is of his own will that he begat us by the word of truth that we should be a kind of first fruits. It is God’s desire for us to be blessed in our deeds, but the decisions we make while doing life, determine the outcome.

If we give in to lust, if we do not let go of the filthiness of the flesh, if we waver in our faith, if we neglect those in need, then we will receive the reward of these actions which in the end is separation from God and ultimately death.

Choose pure religion. Choose the good and perfect gifts that come from a God who never changes. Choose blessing!

Bible Reading: James 1
Bonus Reading: James 4

40 Days of Fire Devotional Day 38

40 Days Devotion – A New Identity
Day 38 – The New Man/God’s Temple

Many people today wear uniforms or have a certain dress code, whether formal or informal for the type of work they do. We are a uniform society, not to the extent that everybody looks exactly the same, but we have managed to sort of separate people and their dress according to their role in life.
This is Paul's point in Colossians 3. You need to dress yourself to meet your identity spiritually. From the spiritual standpoint, when we are born again the old man dies, and we are a new creature in Christ Jesus. The new man doesn't want to wear the old man's clothes.

Christian living requires that we continually ‘mortify’ the deeds of the carnal nature. The best way to do this is to obey Romans 13:14 – But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. Romans 6:6 states that the only way to destroy the body of sin is to crucify the old man.

The whole idea of putting on the new man is predicated on who the new man is. If you are a Christian, dress like one. It is essential that a Christian understands that the reason he is to change his lifestyle is because God has changed and transformed his life. A new life demands a new lifestyle.
Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8, that if we want a godly life-style, we need to let our minds dwell on godly things. And as we dwell on these godly things, we need to practice the behavior that goes along with them. As we practice this new behavior, it becomes a godly lifestyle.

Try this: Sow a godly thought, reap a godly action. Sow a godly action, reap a godly habit. Sow a godly habit, reap a godly lifestyle. In this way we can truly crucify the old man and ‘put on Christ’.

Bible Reading: Col 3:1-17/Rom 6
Bonus Reading: James 3

40 Days of Fire Devotional Day 37

40 Days Devotion – Life or Death
Day 37 – Jesus’ Example

What a fascinating portion of scripture we find in Philippians 1:18-26. Paul, in prison while writing this, was languishing between two ideals. First was the struggle concerning life or death.
On the one hand, Paul writes of his belief that he will be delivered from prison. I’m sure he remembered well his imprisonment in Philippi. One of his readers was likely that very Philippian jailer who with his family were saved that one night.

Paul states his belief, that their prayers and the power of the Spirit will free him. He expresses his earnest desire to again be with them. However, he then quickly turns to speaking of the far better reward, which is death and eternity with Christ. He declares, “to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” What would our thoughts be in a situation like this?

What a testimony of a life lived for God! Paul was so completely surrendered to Christ that in life his sole purpose was the kingdom of God. He gave no thought to his own suffering, ministry, fame, money, or any such thing. His only thought in living was the kingdom of God.

When our life is consumed with living completely and absolutely for Christ, we also can declare as Paul did, “to die is gain.” He had no qualms or fears about laying down his life for God. He had the utmost confidence that he was assured a crown of righteousness, streets of gold, and the presence of Jesus for eternity and was eagerly anticipating that time when he would at last “be with Christ”.
Let us give every moment, every day of our lives on earth totally to Christ. Then like Paul we can also say from our hearts, “to die is gain.”

Bible Reading: Philippians 1:18 – 2:18
Bonus Reading; James 2

40 Days of Fire Devotional Day 36

40 Days Devotion – The Process of Growth
Day 36 – Biblical Living

In today’s reading Paul is calling the saints in Ephesus to live with a higher commitment toward godliness. He urges the church to no longer be children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:14). We are to all become mature as we grow spiritually. Paul describes for us the qualities of godliness that make a mature, fruit bearing saint.

As a child evolves from crawling to walking they will take a step forward, a step back, and at times will even fall. With this they learn how to get back up, balance themselves, and keep trying. During this time, the child may also revert back to crawling as it may appear to be easier, more familiar, or a better course of action. With instruction, supervision, and love they will decide they no longer desire to crawl and will walk. However, if they had not been urged to walk do you think they would have stopped crawling?

These passages as declared by Paul encourage each of us to no longer crawl but to run. Paul wants the church to use all the gifts God has provided. Therefore, each of our lives must be walking testimonies of the Word, practicing the day to day process demonstrated by Godly living. We need to live a life of accountability to God’s Word.

Does your life show you are answering this urgent call? Each and every step running towards Christ counts. Do not be afraid to step out. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Bible Reading: Ephesians 4-6
Bonus Reading: James 2

40 Days of Fire Devotional Day 35

40 Days Devotion – Take Action…STAND
Day 35 – Freedom In Jesus

Adversity…struggle, these are things we would rather avoid. But in our walk of faith there will always be situations that call for decision making. This process at times puts us right in the center of adversity or struggle.

The scripture is clear that there is war between the will of the flesh and the will of the Spirit. This war calls for us to decide what we will choose. Those who live in the flesh will reap the works of the flesh and those who live according to the Spirit will bear the fruit of the Spirit.

When you look at the results of each, you think it would be an easy choice. But the flesh, if not under subjection to the Spirit, will win this war. Paul instructions the Galatians to not entangle themselves with the things that had brought them bondage, but to walk in the Spirit, which results in liberty.
To walk in the Spirit, requires action. We will not casually achieve spirituality. We must choose the Spirit. How do we know if we are choosing the Spirit? Look at the fruit of your life. In your life is there hatred or joy? Strife or peace? Uncleanness or goodness?

Galatians 5 begins with an instruction that seems passive at first glance, but is truly an act of decision…STAND! How? Put on the whole armor of God, resist the devil, submit to God, and when you have done all STAND! Don’t be afraid to make the decision to stand for the life in the Spirit, to stand is to choose liberty.

Bible Reading: Galatians 5
Bonus Reading: James 1

40 Days of Fire Devotional Day 34

40 Days Devotion – Power To Live A Christian Life
Day 34 – The Power of the Resurrection

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the most powerful events in history. For a Christian, all that our life and worship is about is based upon this foundational, pivotal moment in time – the fact that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. It speaks of a potential source of power for every believer. Paul spoke of knowing Christ in ‘the power of his resurrection’ (Phil 3:10)

Jesus came to this earth as a man, with the power of heaven resting upon him. He demonstrated this divine power on earth: healing the sick, setting captives free, and raising the dead. Jesus’ own resurrection from the dead was accompanied by a divine proclamation that he was “the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4).
Any hope of life beyond the grave depends on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. As the Apostle Paul said, “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:21–22). Jesus' victory over death promises us that we too can overcome death.

Without the resurrection the Gospel would be incomplete. We identify with the resurrection of Jesus when we are filled with the Holy Ghost and rise to walk in newness of life. “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.” (Romans 8:11).

The resurrection gives us power to live the Christian life. It is a power that causes us to live holy lives, a power that overcomes sin’s dominion, power to overcome every sin and temptation known to mankind, power to walk in a righteousness that comes from God alone. To obtain this power is to know Christ in the power of his resurrection.

Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 15
Bonus Reading: 1 John 4-5

40 Days of Fire Devotional Day 32

40 Days Devotion – Overcoming Power
Day 32 – March 4 – The Battle of Sin/Life In the Spirit

Throughout the Bible we see people who have fallen to their own desires, and tried to fix their faults to no avail. It seems as if we have an automatic response to clean up messes we have created. We see this with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden when they tried to cover their nakedness after falling into sin. This can also be seen in David’s life when he tried to hide his sin by having an innocent man murdered.

When we try to cover sin the results are always the same, we fail. It may seem like we have a perfect plan, but even the very best things without God will come up short. Paul speaks of the struggle between the Spirit and the flesh (Romans 7:8). He called himself wretched because he had no power to do good although he wanted to.

Thankfully, we don’t have to fight this battle alone. The Bible teaches us to depend on God. We cannot overcome sin on our own. We are overcomers by the blood of the lamb (Revelation 12:11). The battle is not ours it is the Lord’s (2 Chronicles 20:15).

It is through the Spirit of God that Paul was able to stand in the most difficult circumstances and be a conqueror (Romans 8:37). When we immerse ourselves in the Word of God, and resist temptation it is then, that we are no longer in the flesh, but we are in the Spirit since the Spirit of God is in us (Romans 8:9). We are able to walk in newness of life (Romans 7:6).

Wherever you may find yourself today, rest in the fact that all things work together for your good (Romans 8:28). It is not by might, nor by power, but it is by His spirit that you are victorious (Zechariah 4:6). Submit yourself to God, depend on Him in all things, and watch how he works it out.

Bible Reading: Romans 7-8
Bonus Reading: Psalm 119

40 Days of Fire Devotional Day 33

40 Days Devotion – The Power of Love
Day 33 – The Way of Love
1 Corinthians 13 is one of the most familiar passages of scripture in the Bible. It is well known and yet not well understood. You see, the concept of love is complex. To many, love is a feeling, like butterflies fluttering around in your stomach. To others, it is but a word used to describe how I feel about my dog, my car, tacos, and my wife. To better understand this word, “love” let’s look at what the Biblical concept of true love looks like.

1 John 4:8 says, “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” So, God is love, and to know him means we will show that love to others. In fact, John 13:35 tells us that our love one for another is how others will know we are Christ’s disciples. How then, are we to show this love that is so vitally important to our relationship with God and others?

1 Corinthians 13 gives us the key to consider this deep biblical love. The list, which 1 Corinthians gives in verses 4-7, is interesting in that it never mentions a feeling. It also does not give qualifications for what others must do to receive this love. You see, love is not a feeling but a decision. You cannot fall in love or fall out of love. Regardless of circumstances and actions you can choose to love.

The problem with the concept of love in this world is that it is self-centered, whereas God’s definition of love is outward focused. Conventional wisdom says that the opposite of love is hate. The truth is that the opposite of love is selfishness. Ultimately love is about others, not me. Love must be the root of everything we do as a Christian.

Before putting away your Bible for today try this exercise. Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 again but this time replace the word love with your name. How convicting to recognize our glaring shortcomings compared to this measure of love. Now read those verses again but instead of your name insert, “Jesus” in the place of love. How great the love of God is for us! Jesus is the ultimate example of love. Let us strive to grow in our love of Christ and of others.

Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 13
Bonus Reading: 1 John 1-3
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