The Quickening Power
of the Resurrection
... dealing with the strongholds of spiritual death
We pray with a renewed understanding, that the quickening power of the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ would release us from that downward pull that would renders us of little value in the Kingdom for which we were created.
Comes upon our darkened mind and brings
the light of understanding.
Finds us in the deadness of sin, and makes us
alive with Christ Jesus
Sets us free from the downward pull of the world
Equips us to overcome demonic attacks
Brings us out of unbelief
Helps us overcome carnality
How the quickening power of the resurrection comes upon our
darkened mind and brings the light of understanding
DAY 1—A Prayer for our Darkened Understanding
Ephesians 1:18a,19,20a—The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know... what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead...
(TNIV) 18-20 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His Right Hand in the heavenly realms,
Father, my mind has been darkened. Too much of my memory and understanding, too many of my thoughts and ideas have come from the darkness. I am ready to give this darkness to You. Let the light of Christ's Resurrection shine in me so I can see and enter Your Kingdom.
How Life and Light Came to Lazarus—John 11:39-44
DAY 2—Release from A Darkened Understanding and a Blinded Heart
Ephesians 2:3a—We all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind…
(MSG) 1-6 It wasn't so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn't know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat.
Ephesians 4:18—Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart…
(MSG) 17-19 And so I insist—and God backs me up on this—that there be no going along with the crowd, the empty-headed, mindless crowd. They've refused for so long to deal with God that they've lost touch not only with God but with reality itself. They can't think straight anymore. Feeling no pain, they let themselves go in sexual obsession, addicted to every sort of perversion.
Father, my mind was as dark an anyone's. It kept me separated from You. My heart too, was blinded to Your love and power. Even now, in knowing You, my path is dim. Draw me out of this darkness into the light that is ready to come upon me. I yield to this light.
Puffing Away the Former Way of Life—Eph 4:20-24
DAY 3—An Understanding Set Free to Do God's Will
Ephesians 5:17—Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
(MSG) Don't live carelessly, unthinkingly. Make sure you understand what the Master wants.
Colossians 1:9—For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
(MSG) 9-12 Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven't stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to His will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works.
We pray that you'll live well for the Master, making Him proud of you as you work hard in His orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work.
We pray that you'll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that He has for us.
Dear Lord, my darkened understanding kept me from Your perfect will. I have done so much that is wrong that, now, I have little hope outside of Your mercy. But oh! Please, Lord, extending that mercy to me today and bring light to my mind so I can know You and walk in Your will.
Prayer for Understanding—Ps 119:34,73,125,169
How the quickening power of the resurrection finds us in the deadness of sin and makes us alive with Christ Jesus
DAY 4—Coming Out of Our Spiritual Death
Colossians 2:13—And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened (made alive) together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses.
(MSG) 11-15 Entering into this fullness is not something you figure out or achieve. It's not a matter of being circumcised or keeping a long list of laws. No, you're already in—insiders—not through some secretive initiation rite but rather through what Christ has already gone through for you, destroying the power of sin. If it's an initiation ritual you're after, you've already been through it by submitting to baptism. Going under the water was a burial of your old life; coming up out of it was a resurrection, God raising you from the dead as He did Christ. When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive—right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ's cross.
Ephesians 2:5—Even when we were dead in sins, (He) hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved.)
(MSG) 5-6It's a wonder God didn't lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, He embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on His own, with no help from us! Then He picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.
Lord, what a miracle You have worked in my life! You brought me right out of spiritual death and sin and made me alive with Your Son Jesus! I have no ground on which to stand in this new life except the ground of Your grace. I rejoice in this. Thank You for redeeming me.
Visiting the Scene Where It Happened—Mark16:1-8
DAY 5—Discovering the New Life that Is Now Ours
Romans 6:4—Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
(MSG) 3-5 That's what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we're going in our new grace-sovereign country.
Colossians 3:10—And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created Him…
(MSG) 9-11 Don't lie to one another. You're done with that old life. It's like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you've stripped off and put in the fire. Now you're dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with His label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ.
Father, the new life You have given me is wonderful. I have been slow in yielding to its embrace. I have known too little of its power. But today I am ready to yield to its energy. Receive me and heal my weak spirit.
Putting Off the Old, Putting On the New—Eph 4:22-24
DAY 6—Seeking Things that Are Above
Colossians 3:1-3—If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection (your frame of mind) on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
(MSG) 1-2 So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that's where the action is. See things from His perspective.
3-4 Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you'll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.
Dear Lord, I believe You are setting me free from the downward pull my soul has felt for too long. I am ready to seek the things that pertain to Your Kingdom. Draw my spirit after You. Entice me with Your Kingdom's delights. Enrich my mind and my heart with new desire for You and all that pertains to You.
What We Actually Leave Behind—Col 3:5-9
DAY 7—The Fruit of the New Life
John 8:32—And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
(MSG) 31-32 Then Jesus turned to the Jews who had claimed to believe in him. "If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you."
Romans 6:22—But now being made free from sin, become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness and the end everlasting life.
(MSG) 22-23 But now that you've found you don't have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way! Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God's gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master.
Father, I am ready for the fruit of the new life you have so mercifully given, to spring forth in new abundance, the fruit of holiness. Search me and reveal to me where holiness is lacking in me. Work it in me in such a way that others can partake of it within me without the condemnation self-righteousness would bring.
The New Creation—Gal 6:15; II Cor 5:17; Heb 10:19-22
DAY 8—Partaking of the Divine Nature
II Peter 1:3,4—....His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the life of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature…
(MSG) 3-4 Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned Your back on a world corrupted by lust.
Gracious Lord, reveal more to me of the exceeding great and precious promises You have given. I want to know more about being a partaker of Your divine nature. Let your faith, Your wisdom, Your righteousness and Your Kingdom's purposes come over upon me.
The Additions to the New Life—II Peter 1:5-7
How the quickening power of the resurrection sets us free from the downward pull of the world
DAY 9—Why We Should Give Up Affection for the World and Its Ways
Isaiah 13:11—And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
(MSG) I'll put a full stop to the evil on earth, terminate the dark acts of the wicked. I'll gag all braggarts and boasters—not a peep anymore from them—and trip strutting tyrants, leave them flat on their faces.
Matthew 16:26—For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall he give in exchange for his soul?
(MSG )21-22 Then Jesus made it clear to his disciples that it was now necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, submit to an ordeal of suffering at the hands of the religious leaders, be killed, and then on the third day be raised up alive. Peter took him in hand, protesting, "Impossible, Master! That can never be!" 23-26 But Jesus didn't swerve. "Peter, get out of my way. Satan, get lost. You have no idea how God works." Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. "Anyone who intends to come with Me has to let Me lead. You're not in the driver's seat; I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I'll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?
Father, the world has too great a hold on me. I am ready—right now—to renounce its downward pull and let the attraction of Your Kingdom become the joy of my soul. Please bring about this adjustment in my life.
Our Connection with Him Who Made the World—John 1:9-12
DAY 10—How God Loved the World
John 3:16-17—For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.
(MSG)16-18 "This is how much God loved the world: He gave His Son, His one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in Him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in Him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust Him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person's failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.
Father, if I love the world, let me love it as You love it. Let me love the world so much that I'll give my all to help others who are in the world know You and Your Son. Equip me to go among those caught in the world's darkness. I do not want to partake of their darkness. I do want Your light to shine through me to them.
How We Are to Love the World—Mark 16:15; John 15:15,16
DAY 11—Withstanding the Contempt of the World
John 15:19—If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
(MSG)18-19 "If you find the godless world is hating you, remember it got its start hating Me. If you lived on the world's terms, the world would love you as one of its own. But since I picked you to live on God's terms and no longer on the world's terms, the world is going to hate you.”
John 16:33—These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
(MSG) 31-33 Jesus answered them, "Do you finally believe? In fact, you're about to make a run for it—saving your own skins and abandoning Me. But I'm not abandoned. The Father is with Me. I've told you all this so that trusting Me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I've conquered the world."
Lord, I am not prepared to receive persecution from the world. Work into my spirit, my mind, my emotions, and my will the stamina of Your Kingdom and the power of Your Resurrection. Then I can withstand the hatred the world has for You and Yours.
How Jesus Prayed for Us in the World—John 17:14-23
DAY 12—Jesus' Testimony as to His Mission in the World
John 18:37—Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
(NLT) Pilate said, “So you are a king?”responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.”
I Timothy 6:13—I give thee charge in the sight of God, Who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, Who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession.
(MSG)13-15 I'm charging you before the life-giving God and before Christ, who took His stand before Pontius Pilate and didn't give an inch: Keep this command to the letter, and don't slack off. Our Master, Jesus Christ, is on His way. He'll show up right on time, His arrival guaranteed by the Blessed and Undisputed Ruler, High King, High God.
Gracious Father, help me remember the testimony of Your Son as He was about to be crucified. Give me the boldness to stand before all men, great and small, with a sure testimony of my own. Let my testimony be that I have taken Jesus as my King.
Holding the Testimony of Jesus in the Day of the Lord—Rev 6:9; 11:7; 12:17; 19:10
DAY l3—Deliverance from this Present Evil World
Galatians1:3,4a—Grace be to you and peace from God the Father and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world...
(MSG) 3-5 So I greet you with the great words, grace and peace! We know the meaning of those words because Jesus Christ rescued us from this evil world we're in by offering Himself as a sacrifice for our sins. God's plan is that we all experience that rescue. Glory to God forever! Oh, yes!
Galatians 6:14—But God forbid that I should glory, save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
(MSG) 14-16 For my part, I am going to boast about nothing but the Cross of our Master, Jesus Christ. Because of that Cross, I have been crucified in relation to the world, set free from the stifling atmosphere of pleasing others and fitting into the little patterns that they dictate. Can't you see the central issue in all this? It is not what you and I do—submit to circumcision, reject circumcision. It is what God is doing, and He is creating something totally new, a free life! All who walk by this standard are the true Israel of God—His chosen people. Peace and mercy on them!
Father, I take my deliverance from this present evil world. I exalt Your Son, even now, as my King. I yield to His rule in my life. Teach me to listen for His commands. Teach me to love His ways. Teach me to embrace His will for my life. Help me come into right relationship with all who are in His Kingdom.
Withstanding the Forces that Will Rise Against Us as the Age Comes to Its End—Matt 24:6-14
How the quickening power of the resurrection equips us to overcome demonic attacks
DAY l4—How Jesus Spoiled the Enemy's Strongholds
Matthew 12:29 ... How can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.
(MSG)28-29 "But if it's by God's power that I am sending the evil spirits packing, then God's kingdom is here for sure. How in the world do you think it's possible in broad daylight to enter the house of an awake, able-bodied man and walk off with his possessions unless you tie him up first? Tie him up, though, and you can clean him out.”
Colossians 2:15—And having spoiled principalities and powers, He (the Lord Jesus) made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
(MSG)He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets.
Father, I want to move with the Lord Jesus in His triumph. Open my understanding so I can know more of what He has done to the enemy. It seems I am constantly beset with trouble from the enemy's hand. I am ready for his overthrow in my life and in my affairs. Discipline my soul to worship You and walk in the triumph You give me.
How God's Mercy Prevails to Help Us Overcome Our Enemies—Ps 41:4-13
DAY l5—The Example Jesus Set for Us in Dealing with Demons
Matthew 4:23,24—And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And His fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto Him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and He healed them.
(MSG)23-25 From there He went all over Galilee. He used synagogues for meeting places and taught people the truth of God. God's Kingdom was His theme—that beginning right now they were under God's government, a good government! He also healed people of their diseases and of the bad effects of their bad lives. Word got around the entire Roman province of Syria. People brought anybody with an ailment, whether mental, emotional, or physical. Jesus healed them, one and all.
Dear Father, help me get my life in order so there will be nothing in me the accuser can use against me. I take my stand in Your Son. I confess I am accepted before You in Him. I am complete in Him, equipped in Him, and made ready to stand against the enemy in Him.
How Jesus Commissioned His Disciples to Deal with the Enemy—Matt 9:38-10:1
DAY 16—How an Early Evangelist Dealt with Unclean Spirits
Acts 8:6,7—And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.
(MSG)5-7 Going down to a Samaritan city, Philip proclaimed the Message of the Messiah. When the people heard what he had to say and saw the miracles, the clear signs of God's action, they hung on his every word. Many who could neither stand nor walk were healed that day. The evil spirits protested loudly as they were sent on their way. And what joy in the city!
Lord, raise up Evangelists today who will minister like Philip. If You want me to be one, I am willing. Teach me. Help me bring my life into order with Your Kingdom. Anoint me. Give me compassion for those who suffer.
How Jesus Commissioned Seventy Others beside the Twelve—Luke 10:1-17
DAY 17—Getting Our Priority Right in Our Conflict with the Enemy
Luke 10:18-20—And He said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
(TNIV) ... "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."
Father, I turn my rejoicing and my worship toward You. You have received me into Your fold. Thank You. Now as I rest in this give me understanding regarding our triumph over the enemy that will soon be known in all the earth. Teach me to walk in this triumph even now.
The Understanding Moses Had about Israel's Triumph at the Red Sea—Exodus 15:1-7
DAY 18—The Increased Wrath of the Devil at the End
Revelations 12:12—Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhibitors of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
(MSG) 7-9 War broke out in Heaven. Michael and his Angels fought the Dragon. The Dragon and his Angels fought back, but were no match for Michael. They were cleared out of Heaven, not a sign of them left. The great Dragon—ancient Serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, the one who led the whole earth astray—thrown out, and all his Angels thrown out with him, thrown down to earth. Then I heard a strong voice out of Heaven saying,
10-12 Salvation and power are established!
of our God, authority of His Messiah!
Accuser of our brothers and sisters thrown out,
accused them day and night before God.
defeated him through the blood of the Lamb
the bold word of their witness.
weren't in love with themselves;
were willing to die for Christ.
rejoice, O Heavens, and all who live there,
doom to earth and sea,
the Devil's come down on you with both feet;
's had a great fall;
's wild and raging with anger;
hasn't much time and he knows it.
Father, teach us the secret Jesus knew and Paul knew about dwelling in the heavens while they lived on earth. Open our understanding to know we are there, in Christ, with You. Help us know He is here in this conflict in us. Teach us to rejoice in the face of the devil's wrath.
The Secret of Overcoming—Rev 12:10,11;Rom 8:33,34
How the quickening power of the
resurrection brings us out of unbelief
DAY 19—Trying to Serve with "Little Faith"
Matthew 6:30—Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
(MSG)30-33 "If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think He'll attend to you, take pride in you, do His best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way He works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how He works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
Matthew 8:26—And He saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
(MSG)Jesus reprimanded them. "Why are you such cowards, such faint-hearts?" Then He stood up and told the wind to be silent, the sea to quiet down: "Silence!" The sea became smooth as glass.
Matthew 14:31—And immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
(MSG) Jesus didn't hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, "Faint-heart, what got into you?"
Matthew 16:8—Which when Jesus perceived, He said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?
(MSG) 7-12 Thinking he was scolding them for forgetting bread, they discussed in whispers what to do. Jesus knew what they were doing and said, "Why all these worried whispers about forgetting the bread? Runt believers! Haven't you caught on yet? Don't you remember the five loaves of bread and the five thousand people, and how many baskets of fragments you picked up? Or the seven loaves that fed four thousand, and how many baskets of leftovers you collected? Haven't you realized yet that bread isn't the problem? The problem is yeast, Pharisee-Sadducee yeast." Then they got it: that He wasn't concerned about eating, but teaching—the Pharisee-Sadducee kind of teaching.
Dear Father, we're so much like Your disciples of old. Our faith has been little, but Your faithfulness has been great. Help us to know that even when we have but a little faith, it can reach through mighty barriers and touch Your heart and receive the power You give.
Coming out of Blindness by Faith—Matt 9:27-31
DAY 20—How "Great Faith" Dwells in Unlikely People
Matthew 8:8,10,13—The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldest come under my roof but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.... When Jesus heard it, He marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel... And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou host believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.
(MSG) 5-7 As Jesus entered the village of Capernaum, a Roman captain came up in a panic and said, "Master, my servant is sick. He can't walk. He's in terrible pain." Jesus said, "I'll come and heal him." 8-9 "Oh, no," said the captain. "I don't want to put you to all that trouble. Just give the order and my servant will be fine. I'm a man who takes orders and gives orders. I tell one soldier, 'Go,' and he goes; to another, 'Come,' and he comes; to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it."
10-13 Taken aback, Jesus said, "I've yet to come across this kind of simple trust in Israel, the very people who are supposed to know all about God and how He works. This man is the vanguard of many outsiders who will soon be coming from all directions—streaming in from the east, pouring in from the west, sitting down at God's kingdom banquet alongside Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Then those who grew up 'in the faith' but had no faith will find themselves out in the cold, outsiders to grace and wondering what happened." Then Jesus turned to the captain and said, "Go. What you believed could happen has happened." At that moment his servant became well.
Lord, sometimes I am put to shame by the faith of others who seem to know so little of You. This shows me Your great power will reach into the heart of any person, even one who has followed you from afar. Here, now, are some I draw in before You that You might release faith and healing in them. They are far off and they need You.
Another Example of Great Faith—Matt 15:21-28
DAY 21—Faith that Moves Mountains
Matthew 17:19-21 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him (a demon) out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
(MSG)14-16 At the bottom of the mountain, they were met by a crowd of waiting people. As they approached, a man came out of the crowd and fell to his knees begging, "Master, have mercy on my son. He goes out of his mind and suffers terribly, falling into seizures. Frequently he is pitched into the fire, other times into the river. I brought him to your disciples, but they could do nothing for him."
17-18 Jesus said, "What a generation! No sense of God! No focus to your lives! How many times do I have to go over these things? How much longer do I have to put up with this? Bring the boy here." He ordered the afflicting demon out—and it was out, gone. From that moment on the boy was well.
19 When the disciples had Jesus off to themselves, they asked, "Why couldn't we throw it out?"
20 "Because you're not yet taking God seriously," said Jesus. "The simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, a poppy seed, say, you would tell this mountain, 'Move!' and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn't be able to tackle."
Lord, there are so many impossible situations surrounding us that we can't even count them. I sometimes feel they are greater than You are—but I know they are not. Place in me the strong desire to wait before You till I see Your greatness rise and the mountains move away.
A Song of Faith Born in the Midst of War—Ps 46:1-11
DAY 22—Living by the Faith of the Son of God
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.
(MSG)19-21 What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn't work. So I quit being a "law man" so that I could be God's man. Christ's life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with Him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not "mine," but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.
Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God's grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.
Loving Lord, my life is a failure. I am ready to confess that I have no hope to become an overcomer—except by Your grace. You took the penalty for my sin upon You. You went to the Cross in my stead. You were raised up to give new life to me. Now You are giving me Your faith. I receive it. Now I can live the Life of Your Kingdom.
A Lesson Jesus Taught about Believing—Matt 21:18-22
How the quickening power of the resurrection
helps us overcome carnality
DAY 23—How the Carnal Mind Opposes God
Romans 8:5a,6a,7—For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh... For to be carnally minded is death... Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
(MSG)5-8 Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God's action in them find that God's Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what He is doing. And God isn't pleased at being ignored.
Father, the tendency of my life has been toward carnality. Sometimes its strong pull was more than I could resist. I am sorry. This has not brought glory to You or to Your Kingdom. It has brought grief to me. Teach me how to yield to Your Spirit so He can always win out in me.
The Contest in Which God's Spirit Wins—Rom 8:1-14
DAY 24—The Carnal Mind Is Unable to Receive Spiritual Things
John 16:12—I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
(TNIV) 12 "I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify Me because it is from Me that He will receive what He will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is Mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from Me what He will make known to you."
I Corinthians 3:1-4—And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
(NLT) 1-4 Dear brothers and sisters, when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to spiritual people. I had to talk as though you belonged to this world or as though you were infants in the Christian life. I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready, for you are still controlled by your sinful nature. You are jealous of one another and quarrel with each other. Doesn’t that prove you are controlled by your sinful nature? Aren’t you living like people of the world?
Dear Father, I know that envying, strife and divisions among Your children are a grief to You. Please help me renounce them. I do not want carnality to keep me from hearing Your voice. Forgive and cleanse me wherein I have participated in such. Give me a heart that listens and listens—all the day long—and that yields to You.
The Tendency of a Carnal Person to Follow a False Prophet—II Pet 2:1-10
DAY 26—Why Carnal Christians Cannot Participate in Spiritual Warfare
II Corinthians 10:3,4—For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.)
(MSG)3-6 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.
Father, l renounce every carnal thing that will hinder me in overcoming the enemy. Convict me. Show me what displeases You. Cleanse me. I call on the power of the Cross and the Resurrection to set me free and bring me to maturity for Your Kingdom's purpose on my life.
The Removal of Every High Thing that Opposes the Full Knowledge of God—II Cor 10:5; I Cor 1:18-29
DAY 27—The Sin that holds on to The Death
Romans 8:1,2 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit). For the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
(MSG)With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ's being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.
Lord, I thank You for prevailing in me over the carnality that once ruled me. I see the new law at work—that principle of Life in Christ Jesus. Oh, what a wonderful Life He is working out in me! I want its work only to increase. By Your grace it shall!
We have a new confidence in our life because of Christ Jesus—Phil 1:6; Eph 1:13,14
DAY 28—Now we have a hope of righteousness.
Romans 8:3,4—For what the Law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (not according to the flesh but according to God’s Spirit.).
(MSG)God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn't deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that.
law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn't deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us.
Dear Lord, I’m tired of the downward pull of the flesh. It has controlled me far too long. It has pushed me toward sinful acts that are disgusting. From this day on I want to be under the control of Your Spirit. Take me on, take me on in this! It will be a new way for me. I need Your help!
We are washed, justified and sanctified in the Name of the Lord Jesus—I Cor 5:9-11
DAY 29—Through Christ Jesus we are now free from the sin imposed on us from Adam.
Romans 8:5,6 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
(MSG)Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God's action in them find that God's Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life.
Great and Loving Lord, I thank You for the peace that has become mine. It is now ruling in my life. Even when the darkness tries to creep in, Your grace prevails for me. I praise You for this.
We are coming to know the rule of God’s peace—Gal 6:14-16; Col 3:15
DAY 30—We have found the futility of carnality.
Romans 8:7,8—Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
(MSG)Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn't pleased at being ignored.
Father God, I certainly have learned that I cannot please You by carnal means. I praise You for drawing me to know Your Spirit. Thank You for teaching me, guiding me, reprimanding me, and loving me.
In Christ, we learn our lives are not to be governed by the ways of the world—Eph 4:17-24
DAY 31—Through Christ Jesus we are now free from the sin imposed on us from Adam.
Romans 8:9,10—But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead (has lost its power to rule) because of (the) sin; but the Spirit is life (alive in us) because of righteousness (the new righteousness that has become ours in Christ Jesus).
(MSG)9-11 But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won't know what we're talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God's terms. It stands to reason, doesn't it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he'll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ's!
Lord, 1 thank You for prevailing in me over the carnality that once ruled me. I see now that new law at work—that principle of Life in Christ Jesus. Oh, what a wonderful Life He is working out in me! I want it only to increase. By Your grace it shall!
Our bodies become living temples for the Holy Spirit—I Cor 3:16; I Cor 6:19; II Cor 6:16
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