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Encountering Life's Issues - Is there a God? Is God real? Forum : Encountering Life's Issues - Is there a God? Is God real?
Subject Topic: This is a Season for Words of Grace, Not Despair, to Begin Falling from the Lips of God’s Church - Garris Elkins Post Reply Post New Topic
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Posted: 08/02/2010 at 8:14am | IP Logged Quote Moderator

This is a Season for Words of Grace, Not Despair, to Begin Falling from the Lips of God's Church
Garris Elkins
Garris Elkins

Recently, I read an article from Central Oregon about the despair hitting the business community over financial losses in this economic downturn. And as I meet with pastors and leaders, I am finding that many ministries are facing some of the most trying times in memory. Some families are now faced with hard and painful decisions about the homes they once thought they would live in forever. There is a spirit of despair prowling our land.

The definition of "despair" is formed from two words. One part of despair means "the point that something begins"—in other words, a trigger event. The other part of the word means, "to feel like you have no way out." Despair is not just a general malaise. Despair originates with certain events and begins to tell a person that there is no way out. The person afflicted by despair begins to feel hopeless.

"We are Pressed, But Not Crushed"

In 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 Paul addresses despair and the circumstances that surround it:

"We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies."

Paul described us as "fragile clay jars." Alone, we could easily collapse under the pressure; but because God's Spirit lives within us, external pressure—no matter how intense—cannot crush our lives. Paul said in verse 7 that this picture of a fragile clay jar filled with God's presence is a very clear witness to the world that the power to remain uncrushed is from God, not from ourselves. This is one of our most powerful testimonies.

"I Believed, So I Spoke"

Paul provides a way to defeat the spirit of despair in 2 Corinthians 4:13-18:

"But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, "I believed in God, so I spoke." We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus, will also raise us with Jesus and present us to Himself together with you. All of this is for your benefit. And as God's grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever."

Verse 13 says, "I believed in God, so I spoke." This means that words of faith can be spoken no matter what the pain or pressure of my despair feels like. This instruction to speak words of belief came after words like "pressed," "perplexed," "crushed," "hunted down" and "knocked down" were used to describe conditions in the early Church. Words of belief will always trump our feelings of despair. We are able to speak these words of life because we are linked to the Resurrected One.

Paul went on to say that our reason for not giving up (vs. 15 & 16) is the provision of God's grace that reaches more and more people. When this grace comes to us, it does battle against our despair. For example, when we were trapped in the despair of our sin, Christ came and redeemed us in the greatest act of grace ever demonstrated—the Cross. Grace has always destroyed despair and will continue to do so until Christ returns.

The children of Israel failed to enter the Promised Land because they complained in the privacy of their tents as recorded in Deuteronomy 1:27. They said God hated them and that He brought them to this place in the wilderness to die. Then the road map for the next 40 years of Israel's wilderness wanderings were charted behind the closed doors of their homes with the ink and pen of faithless words spoken in despair.

This is a season for words of grace, not despair, to begin falling from the lips of God's Church. Words of death will hurt us, and, unless repented of, these words will return to bite us. If you have found yourself yielding to despair and speaking death to your future, confess it as sin and let God's grace re-craft a new response to your circumstances.

How to Defeat the Spirit of Despair

How is the spirit of despair defeated? Paul gave us the solution in verse 18: "We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen." We aren't supposed to fixate on the despair-producing events that surround us, but on an imagery this world cannot produce. If what we speak about each day are the events that produced the despair in the first place, then the controlling environment in our lives will be despair. We have a choice of what we fix our eyes upon. Spirit-empowered sight produces Spirit-empowered words.

One of the missing elements in the Church today is an eternal perspective. Someday you and I will live between a new Heaven and a new earth. We will walk upon an earth that no longer groans in sorrow for what it once was. We will experience the beauty of Eden. We will also worship around God's throne in the beauty of holiness. Gaining an eternal perspective is the greatest equalizer to the inequities of this life.

When we fix our eyes on the unseen world of eternity, we see what we will become. Our calling, as God's Spirit-empowered Church, is to capture a vision of eternity and bring it back into this world and speak it out. This kind of eternal language, the language of the prophet, is many times mocked because it sounds other-worldly. It is!

Living for the New Dawn

Last week, I hiked up on top of a mountain near my home to pray in the dawn. I arrived about 10 minutes before the sun actually crested the horizon. As the sun climbed up the other side of the mountain, the day began to get brighter and brighter until the full dawn exploded into my view.

I had the beginnings of this word about "despair" that I am writing to you now in my heart as I watched the new dawn emerge. Prior to the actual dawn, I recalled the unresolved issues I went to bed with the night before and the upcoming issues I needed to face in the new day. As I remembered all these things that needed my attention, I found that my vision was beginning to focus on the new day in an ever-increasing way. I was living for the new dawn. Somehow the issues of life facing me were diminishing in their urgency.

If you are living in despair, I would suggest you do something that will destroy the power despair might have in your life. Grab hold of the trigger event of despair in your life. Maybe your ministry is facing a financial drain—take hold of it. Maybe your family is about to lose your home—take hold of it. Maybe the one you loved left you and you are now alone—take hold of it.

Now, fix your eyes on the horizon of eternity that is beyond your despair. As you hold despair in your grip, look into the unseen realm of eternity and allow God's Spirit to download your eternal destination to you. Speak about what you see and the person you are destined to become. Begin to speak words of life over your feelings of despair. As you speak these new words of life, you will sense the controlling power of despair begin to diminish. Each time despair wants to raise its head, take hold of it and deal with it from an eternal perspective, and soon it will flee from you.

Garris Elkins, Senior Leader
Living Waters Church - Medford, Oregon

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The Spirit of Life Overpowers the Spirit of Death
John Mark Pool

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.—John 10:10 (KJV, emphasis added)

John Mark and Sandy Pool

We have been recently hearing many reports of the "suicide" spirit hitting homes, families and our nation. We rebuke that spirit of death and destruction off God's creation now in the name of Jesus!

During our prophetic evangelism journey across this great country, we have had the honor to be invited to stay with dear friends and fellow ministry families. We have grown to enjoy our wonderful fellowship with such quality and anointed ministers who live to spread the Living Word of God into every nation! During our ministry in the Arizona area, while discussing the miracles there through testimonies, we knew the Holy Spirit was telling us to publish a message of the Lord as our Giver of Life through Jesus! We knew the Lord was telling us to share with you how the Father's light and life is more abundant than any evil spirit's attempt to destroy others with a "death and destruction plan!"

Declare the Life and Light of Jesus Christ!

John the Beloved wrote it like this, "In Him was life; and the life was the light of men" (John 1:4).

God is an awesome God who wants to show His creation His love and relationship in such a deeper way that we must now begin to bind together to set the captives free!

As we continued to minister in a local outreach and rescue ministry in Prescott, Arizona for lost souls who have nowhere or no one to turn to as they come to the end of themselves, bound by sin and misery, we actually witnessed an amazing miracle of a man that was physically transported into the service! This man related his testimony and said he had used all his funds to purchase a bottle of booze and then was planning on committing suicide when drunk enough—and would end all his misery!

As he was relating this testimony before our message, I was unable to control the tears as this man shared that he had no way of understanding how or what placed him in this church, but when he opened his eyes, he was on his knees in front of the church crying out and asking Jesus to come into his heart, save him and fill his hurting heart with everlasting life! This man was saved by the transporting and transforming power of life in Christ that has overcome the spirit of death! You cannot tell me that Jesus Christ has not defeated the spirit of death! Jesus even said, "I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of Hell and of death" (Revelation 1:18).

Death could not hold our Savior, or you and me, in its nasty grip! We must decree the abundant life of Jesus into lives held sway by the enemy's destiny of darkness! Is it any wonder, with a lost future of utter darkness and eternal damnation, that the devil has a "chip on his shoulder" when it comes to the soon-fulfillment of his sentence to his irrevocable doom? Not only does the devil hate going, he must hate the ability of a child of God being able to rescue the dying and bring them into the light and life of Jesus Christ! Jesus paid the price, and we can not only enjoy life eternal, we can bring thousands into this abundant life every year we live on this earth! If you are in Christ, then let your light shine the life of Jesus into desperate hearts!

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.—Romans 8:2

Wow—we must know that when we pray for others and when ministries are obedient and positioned to fulfill His Great Commission, we will hear thousands more life-changing testimonies such as these examples here and continue to testify to life over death!

Father of Light and Life!

The Lord recently told me, "When you have touched My Son, you have touched the Father of Light and Life!"

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.—James 1:17 (KJV, emphasis added)

When God spoke into existence His creation, He commanded light to be the first miracle of His awesome creation list. His light preceded our life! He was, is and forevermore will be the light of the world and our eternal abode! God is not like the light, He is not brilliant as similar to light—God is Light!

When we have the radiance of God, we have the ability to shed clear illumination to our soul, mind and spirit. As God's searchlight goes through us, He reveals our total necessity to receive His Son, the life of the light of the Father! When we do, as many physically have been transported into a church, or found themselves on their knees asking Jesus into their hearts, it is because God wants His creation to know Him in Spirit and in the light of truth. That has now been made possible by the gift of salvation through the obedience of His dear Son, Jesus Christ, the message of life and light!

But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.—2 Timothy 1:10 (KJV, emphasis added)

Jesus Christ came to bring us to His Father and that we begin in the new light and life when we breathe a simple prayer asking Jesus into our hearts! We have then become the illumination of God's everlasting light to the lost who sit in darkness needing a ray of hope!

Jesus came that we may have life and that we may live it abundantly demonstrating the glory of the Father of lights to all those whom the enemy is seeking to kill, steal and destroy!

I have a declaration the Lord gave me and hopefully you can now decree this over your life, your home, your setting—and then turn and do that over the lost in need of new and everlasting life!

Let us Decree Light and Life into Darkness and Death!

Father, in the name of the Most High God, we decree life and life more abundantly into our life, our home, our family, our region, our state and our nation! Father of Light, we now use Your powerful, sharp, two-edged sword of Your Word to decree life and light into the enemy's plans for death and darkness over Your creation! We break the spirit of suicide and death off Your creation now, by the life-giving, precious Blood of Jesus! We now stand upon Your living Word and we prophesy "Abundant Light and Life" into all the darkness of this nation and the world! We declare that God is the Father of Light and in Him there is no shadow of turning! We now decree the life of Jesus Christ will go into dark and depressed hearts, and it will go to them through me in Jesus' name, Amen!

We will now begin to experience many testimonies of hearts being transformed from depression, misery and abject destitution into the light and life of our wonderful Father of lights!

Please pray and intercede for those who have had many circumstances that have caused the enemy to accuse them into agreeing with his ugly plans of death! God is far greater and well able to save those whom the enemy has plans to destroy, and we can declare, publish and preach the message of "eternal life wins, now and forever!"

The Joy of the Lord is Our Strength!

When we give the abundant life of Jesus, we give the joy that passes all understanding! A sure way to turn mourning into dancing is to prophesy joy into hurting hearts! They must have the joy of the Lord, and as we demonstrate that before the lost and dying, they will indeed become "transported by the Lion of Judah" into the light and life of the Savior!

For the joy of the LORD is your strength.—Nehemiah 8:10 (KJV)

Today is to be the day the salvation and the solution depressed and hurting hearts need as we prophesy to them, "The joy of the Lord is your strength!" Remember, because of Jesus Christ, we can now continue to decree to all the hurting, "The Spirit of Life overpowers the spirit of death!"

John Mark Pool
Word to the World Ministries

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Gayle Getz
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Posted: 08/12/2010 at 2:48pm | IP Logged Quote Gayle Getz

The Spirit of Life says, "Surely goodness and mercy will follow you ALL the days of your life."  HALLELUJAH TO KING JESUS!!!

Shalom-nothing missing, nothing broken-Gayle
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