Relational Investments


Relational Investments



Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 2 Corinthians 9:6

Wise individuals do not spend all their income, they have a process of first giving and saving, before they consume all their cash on themselves. Relationships are like money, we can spend all our efforts seeking what others can do for us or we can intentionally invest in their lives in ways that make them feel valued and appreciated. Investment in others brings them joy and the relational investor dividends of delights: encouragement, hope and reliable resources.

Paul describes the principle of sowing and reaping, though he applies this process to generosity with money the same can be said about relationships. An agrarian culture understood the correlation of prepared soil, sown in abundant quality seed, with ongoing careful cultivation, nurtured in a canopy of conducive weather conditions, produces the reaping of an abundant harvest. Generous reaping is the outcome of generous sowing. When love, patience, kindness and generosity are sown into a relationship there is a reciprocal harvest in abundant fruit of the Spirit.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).

What if you approached relationships with an attitude of how you can give and not how you can get? Seek out someone who may be younger, but is hungry to grow as a person and follow hard after God’s heart. Schedule a monthly meeting to discuss their felt needs such as: discerning God’s will, overcoming fear or how to become a mature disciple of Christ. Also, bring to the discussion ideas you have related to wise money management, an effective prayer life and how to work with difficult people, to name a few. After your time, enjoy a meal together and discuss heart issues.

Relational investment in others flows best out of your relational investment with your heavenly Father. Prayer sown in humility reaps a heart of faith. Bible reading sown in surrender reaps a heart of obedience. Praise and worship sown in gratitude reaps a heart of hope. Dollar cost average time with Christ and over time your compounding interest in others will grow exponentially and your intimacy with the Almighty will grow a ten-fold return on investment (ROI). Relational investments are your greatest asset, so continue to prosper in true riches.

“In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life” (1 Timothy 6:19).

Prayer: Heavenly Father keep me focused on investing time and resources with You and others, so my relational investments bring honor and glory to You, in Jesus name, amen.

Application: Take an audit of your relational assets. Are they growing or declining?

Related Readings: Proverbs 11:25; Matthew 6:20; Luke 16:11; Romans 12:8, 13; 1 Timothy 5:10


How to Walk in the Spirit

How to Walk in the Spirit

You can be guided by the Holy Spirit 24/7. Here are five steps to help you learn how to walk in the spirit.

What’s the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning? A cup of coffee? How comfortable your bed is? Your list of things to do? Every decision and step we take each day is driven by something—a growling stomach, a sense of responsibility, a desire for success. Your day is determined by one of two driving forces—your flesh or your spirit.

What’s the default setting and the natural thing to do? To let the flesh control you. The flesh is loud and demanding. It likes to have its own way, and it sure doesn’t give up easily. It may not seem like it, but you have control over what controls you. You aren’t meant to let your flesh rule your life—you’re meant to walk in the spirit and live on a higher level, where victory reigns and righteousness rules. You can walk in the spirit and be guided by the Holy Spirit 24/7.

Do you want to know how to walk in the spirit? You can do it! The Spirit of God is in you right now. You may not feel like it, but He is there—speaking to you, directing you to freedom and blessing. God wants you to operate in the realm of the spirit—not in this natural world—because that’s how you live the life you’ve always dreamed of. That’s how you claim victory—by walking in the spirit.

If you’re feeling discouraged and defeated—there is a better quality of life available to you when you walk in the spirit, but it won’t happen overnight. It is a transformation from one degree of glory to another and one move of obedience to another. To begin enjoying the blessings of a Spirit-led life, here are five steps to help you learn how to walk in the spirit.

Step No. 1: Walk in the Spirit by Throwing Off Hindrances

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” –Hebrews 12:1, NIV

Notice this verse doesn’t say anything about gently removing things one at a time. No! It says to throw them off. If you’ve ever seen someone who has come in contact with fire ants or bees, you know they don’t stop and consider whether they should remove them, and they certainly don’t do so slowly. They make a vigorous and determined effort to get those pests away from them. Why? Because they know the damage and pain that could be inflicted if left unaddressed.

So, don’t sit around wondering if you should stop sinning or cast the devil out of your life—get rid of it! You weren’t created to be a slave to anything.

What is a hindrance?

Anything that is out of line with the Word of God is a hindrance. That’s why Satan is so determined to strap hindrances onto your spirit. He wants to slow you down and keep you from reaching THE BLESSING. Hindrances can include any of the following:

Sexual vice, impurity, unholy desires, greed Anger, rage, bad feelings toward others, cursing, slander, foul-mouth abuse and shameful utterances Adultery, fornication, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, strife, envy, murders, drunkenness and anything like them (Colossians 3:5-6; Galatians 5:19).

How can you throw off hindrances?

“We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus.” –Hebrews 12:2

To get rid of those things that are slowing you down, and to walk in the spirit, the natural world has to become small in your heart and mind, while the things of God become bigger and bigger. If you have a sin habit in your life—something you know isn’t pleasing to God—now is the time to rid your life of it as fast as you would get away from fire ants and bees.

Maybe there are some things you watch on television you shouldn’t be watching. Things that deplete your spirit. There are times when you just need to say “no” out loud when something is displeasing to the Father. Even shout it out if you need to. Say, “No, I do not receive that. I cast down every high imagination that tries to exalt itself against God.”

Allow the Holy Spirit to correct and guide you as you work toward walking in the spirit every day. He will help you not only to separate yourself from the world, but to desire the things of God more than anything else.

Step No. 2: Walk in the Spirit by Sowing to the Spirit

“He who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” –Galatians 6:8, NKJV

The New Testament in Modern English by J. B. Phillips says, “A man’s harvest in life will depend entirely on what he sows.” This means, if you want to walk in the spirit, you can’t sow your time to the world. You’ve got to sow to the spirit to reap the harvest of a blessed and fulfilled life—lacking nothing.

How do you sow to the spirit?

With your time. Many Christians don’t grow because they don’t get the Word into themselves. If you don’t give God time, natural voices will overwhelm His Spirit in your life.

Sure, you have things you need to do in the natural—but they shouldn’t take up all your time. Give your spirit the opportunity to feed on the Word of God, fellowship with Him, and build yourself up in faith. It doesn’t take a lot of time. Kenneth E. Hagin once prophesied the importance of giving the Lord a tithe of your time—just an hour or two each day. You might say, I don’t have an hour! But the truth is—you’ll make time for anything if it’s important enough. There are no shortcuts to the good life.

When you sow to the spirit, it will take you into a realm where you’ve never been before. In fact, when you get to a place where the truth of God’s Word is so real, the Spirit of God will rise up on the inside of you and you’ll do things you never would have done before.

There was a Christian woman who was on a bus in Washington, D.C. At one point during her trip, some men got on the bus and started robbing people one at a time—taking money, jewelry and possessions. But when they got to this little woman, the power of God came upon her and she said, “In the Name of Jesus, take your hands off me!” It just leapt out of her without her even thinking about it. Well, those men didn’t bother her—in fact, they got off the bus as fast as they could!

She was walking in the spirit that day, and that’s the kind of power available to you when you walk in the spirit.

Step No. 3: Walk in the Spirit by Presenting Your Body as a Living Sacrifice

“Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”—Romans 12:1-2, NKJV

At first, that sounds like a big commitment. It is! But that’s what Jesus did for us—He presented His body a living sacrifice. But what does this really mean for us? How do we present our body as a living sacrifice to God?

1. Lay aside the things of the world. This means being willing to give up activities, friends or habits that don’t match God’s best for our lives—walking away from anything that is not pleasing to the Lord.

2. Obey righteousness, not the flesh. The reason people get so good at sin is because they practice it. For example, a person doesn’t become an alcoholic the first time he takes a drink. He had to practice drinking until the flesh was trained to demand it. To become good at obeying the Holy Spirit, we must practice.

3. Make a daily decision. You make a decision to put on the Spirit each day the same way you would put on a coat. Pastor George Pearsons presents himself to the Lord as a living sacrifice, according to Romans 12:1, by speaking the following declaration first thing every morning:

Father, I present my body to You as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to You, for this is my reasonable service—my divine worship for You. I command my body to submit to my spirit. Father, according to Hebrews 12:1-2, I lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily entangles me so that I may run with patience the race that is set before me, looking unto Jesus, who is the Author and Finisher of my faith.

In Jesus’ Name, I am taking command of my body. Body, mind, you can’t tell me what to do or think. Spirit man, you’re in charge. Body and mind, you submit to the spirit.

As you continue to present yourself to the Lord, it may take some time for things to straighten out, but if you’re willing to be obedient, it won’t take long. It would be backward for us to say we’ll get things right in our lives first, and then walk in the spirit. As we obey the Holy Spirit’s leading first, the other things in our life will straighten out.

Step No. 4: Walk in the Spirit by Praying in the Spirit Daily

“For we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance.” –Romans 8:26, AMPC

The most powerful way to begin walking in the spirit is to start praying in the spirit—it is the gateway to living life above what you have ever known. Praying in the spirit accomplishes so much all at once.

1. It charges and strengthens your spirit.

2. It enables you to overcome the weakness of the flesh—any bad habits.

3. It makes it easier to receive from God and keep what you have received.

4. It strengthens your ability to resist the devil.

5. It causes your inner man to rise up in adversity.

6. It reveals things to your spirit you could never know by your own ability.

If you want to go higher with God and grow spiritually, start praying in the spirit an hour every day. As a result, you will see so much power in your life, you’ll never want to make a decision without praying in the spirit again. It is the secret to revelation in our lives. In fact, the Bible tells us God will reveal mysteries to us when we pray in the spirit (1 Corinthians 14:2).

There was a church in Russia that was holding underground meetings. But, every time they met, the KGB would come and break it up because they had an informant in their meetings. So, the pastor finally told his congregation that he was not going to announce the time and location of the next meeting. Instead, they would have to pray in the spirit to find out. At the next meeting, every person but one showed up in the right place. That’s the power of walking in the spirit.

Step No. 5: Walk in the Spirit by Obeying the Promptings of the Holy Spirit

“The sheep follow him, for they know his voice.” –John 10:4, ESV

The Holy Spirit is ALWAYS speaking to you. There’s an answer to every problem you’re facing today—whether financial, health or family related. The worst problem in your marriage, health or finances is only one word from the Lord away from a complete turnaround. How can you access these answers? Through heeding the voice of the Holy Spirit.

The question is: How far do you want to go in your walk with God?

So many times, people will say I’d go to Africa or China if God asked me to, yet they won’t obey Him in the small things. They won’t forgive someone; they won’t stop watching ungodly television programming; they won’t spend time with Him daily.

That’s what happened to Peter. He told Jesus, “I’d die for You,” yet when Jesus simply asked him to watch and pray with Him one hour, he fell asleep.

Everything God tells you to do is important. So, tune in to the Spirit of the Lord in all things, even when He’s telling you something that seems small, or something you don’t want to hear.

Confess this every day: “I hear the voice of the Good Shepherd, and a stranger’s voice I will not follow” (John 10:5).

When you obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit, you will be in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing with the right people. And you will have success and victory in everything you do.

When you take these five steps toward walking in the spirit, there will be no limit to what you can achieve. You will stop letting your flesh control you and begin living a Spirit-led life of peace, joy and blessing beyond anything you’ve ever hoped or imagined. You will live the God kind of life right here on earth!

A Prayer to Walk in the Spirit

No matter where you are today—you can have the life you’ve always dreamed of! Here is a prayer to help you begin living life walking in the spirit.

There is a key to enjoying everything in life you’ve always wanted. It isn’t a secret—it’s available to all who are willing to take the steps required to board the train of victory. Receiving salvation is a powerful and amazing gift, but it’s only the beginning. True—it opens the door to possibility, blessing, abundance and every good thing you could ever imagine, but open doors require one thing of you—to walk through them.

How do you walk through the door of supernatural blessing?

By living your life walking in the spirit. Sounds mysterious and unattainable, right?

The good news is—it’s right within your reach. The only equipment required: desire and commitment. You can walk in the spirit every day of your life. Here is a prayer to help you get there:

Father, in the Name of Jesus, I thank You that You are the God of blessing, abundance and the supernatural. You are Almighty, the giver of every good and perfect gift. Lord, I stand before You now with a desire to go higher with You.

Father, Your Word says that to walk in the spirit, I need to throw off everything that hinders me. I ask You today to help me to identify and cast off every sin, thought or habit that is holding me back. If it is gossip, fear, sexual immorality, greed, envy or anything like them—I cast it out of my life right now in the Name of Jesus! I declare that I will not be a slave to anything that would try to hold me back from my blessing.

I present myself as a living sacrifice before You today and commit to put the flesh under the control of my spirit. I want to live the way You have called me to live, and I ask You now to give me the supernatural ability to do so. I ask for wisdom beyond my own ability, in Jesus’ Name.

I ask You to minister to my spirit the desire and drive to spend time praying in the spirit every single day. Help me not to give in to distractions that would keep me from fellowshiping with You. As I do this, I ask You to reveal to me mysteries and secrets that will promote and advance me in every area of my life.

Father, help me not to listen to the voice of the world, but to only hear and obey Your voice.

Thank You, Father, for the power of walking in the spirit. In Jesus name, Amen.

Your life is changing! Lay hold of God’s promises today, and receive His supernatural help. Spend time with Him every day. Pray in the spirit, get rid of anything that doesn’t belong in your life, and start living the life you’ve always wanted!

Scriptures: John 10:4; Romans 8:26, 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 14:2; Galatians 5:16, 6:8; Hebrews 1:2, 12:1; 1 John 2:6

Stubborn or Willingly Led? 



Stubborn or Willingly Led?


I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. Psalm 32:8-9 (NIV)

Though I can’t claim to know much about horses or mules, nor the best or most effective way to use a bit and bridle, the words from this Psalm still strike me as deeply moving and convicting. A bit and bridle are used for a creature that has no hope of every truly conforming to the will and direction of its master. The heart of the creature, we could say, is forever oriented towards its own interests and desires, constantly having to be redirected and brought back in line.

The first part of this Psalm promises the nearness and goodness of the Lord to guide and instruct us into the way of peace. His eye is always upon us, inviting us out of our selfishness and into His love. He is never forceful or coercive but instructs and counsels with gentleness and grace. His Spirit draws near to us in our weakness and restores us into His likeness, teaching us what it means to truly live as His sons and daughters.

In light of this mercy and grace, we are given a radical invitation: become by grace what we cannot be by nature. Left on our own, our wills will be no better than a horse or mule, always pulling and pushing away from the Lord and His plans for us. Yet the promise of grace is that we are made new! As St. Paul says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

It is incredibly easy to take on a posture of pessimism. We do this culturally, economically, politically, and often spiritually. We see the greed, selfishness, and pride in national leaders and corporations, we see the shortcomings in those we love, and we know the parts of our own hearts that remain darkened by sin. And yet, in light of all of this, we are as Christians a people of great hope! Christ has conquered all that is broken and disordered and now rules and reigns and welcomes us into His new Kingdom.

Each of us is a work in progress. There are areas of our life where we see great victory and triumph over sin. Yet there are others where we have still not fully submitted to the transforming grace of God. We are still beastly in our desires, like stubborn mules. May God give us the courage afresh to invite His grace into every part of our lives. We are people of hope, and we must believe that growth into Christ’s likeness is always possible!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer)

Application: Take time to identify areas of your life where you function as a stubborn mule, resisting and pulling away from the Lord’s gentle lead.

Related Readings: Psalm 23:2-3; Isaiah 26:7; Galatians 5:25

Peace During A Problem



Peace During a Problem

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33

I have my share of problems. Problems with people. Problems with my health and finances. Problems at work. Problems with family and issues that randomly arise. Two years ago, I encountered a significant problem traveling internationally. On our way to India, my wife Rita became violently ill with a stomach virus. She received excellent care from an airport medical clinic in Paris, but it was an extremely convoluted process. We were separated for an hour and a half and almost missed our connecting flight. During this scary dilemma, we sought Christ’s peace.

Jesus, right before the problematic events of His arrest and death, talked of His peace. He knew after His death on the cross His followers would bear their cross. The Lord prepared His disciples for the problems to come by reminding them of the inner calm from being in Christ.   Because of their proximity to Jesus, the disciples were considered guilty by association. Even a good life in this world will experience bad things. In fact, it may be because of a person’s faith that they face problems. We can take heart if we have given our heart to Jesus. In Christ is the peace of Christ.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).

What problem has threatened, even taken away your peace? A strong willed child, an unforeseen expense or an unexpected change can be the culprits creating anxiety. Or, has your faith placed you in a vulnerable situation? The world can be mean and downright rude to righteous behavior. Darkness becomes uncomfortable and defensive when exposed by the light. Peace and calm are rudders for your faith in the face of criticism. Stay calm and trust Jesus to work it out.

However hard our situation, our Savior’s peace is accessible. Take a deep spiritual breath: inhale Christ’s peace and exhale anxiety. In this world we will always have problems, and in Christ we will always have peace. The Christian life is a dual track of problems and peace. Thus, as we face our troubles, we choose to trust the Lord to see us through. We keep our gaze on God and see our problems as stepping stones to intimacy with the Almighty. Our peace in Christ overcomes the world and protects us from being overcome by the world. Rest in His peace!

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, in Christ I rest in peace. I trust You with the problems I face.

Application: What problem am I facing that requires an extra dose of God’s peace?

Related Readings: Job 22:21; Psalm 85:8; Isaiah 9:6-7; John 14:27; Philippians 4:7


Don’t Be Foolish! 

Don’t Be Foolish!

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Ephesians 5:15-17 (NIV)

It is incredibly easy to drift through life without any purpose or intentionality. We catch ourselves saying things like “where did the time go?” or “has it already been a year?” Rather than proactively forming holy habits and intentional rhythms of life, we become passive slaves to our schedules. We wake up one day and say, “how did I get here,” failing to realize the inevitable results of poor decisions made years ago.

In the face of this spiritual slumber the Scriptures exhort us to stay awake, alert, and attentive. They call forth in us a way of life that must be cultivated and pursued. We never default towards wisdom and understanding. Without divine intervention and submission to God’s grace, spiritual entropy will always take root and continue to spread in our lives.

In Ephesians 5, Paul challenges his readers to pursue wisdom and flee foolish living. The word foolish can also mean “ignorant” or “unenlightened.” I think this is the sense in which Paul uses this word, calling us to not only flee evil and harmful pursuits, but to also actively turn towards the Lord and learn His ways. As he says, “understand what the Lord’s will is” (Ephesians 5:17).

You and I are prone to think higher of ourselves than we ought! We think we are wiser, more careful, and understand more than we actually do. Yet we never graduate from Paul’s challenge to us. The invitation to move from foolishness towards wisdom is a life long journey from which we must never deviate.

Take time to honestly assess the state of your spiritual wisdom and understanding. Are there areas of your life that lack careful attention and proactive investment? Call them out and create a plan to move from the path of ignorance to the way of wisdom. God has given you everything you need to pursue wisdom and learn in every area of your life what it means to walk in His will. Choose today to orient every part of your life towards His transforming grace!

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3).

Prayer: Father, teach me afresh how to live a careful and wise life, seeking your will in every opportunity or situation. Amen.

Application: Where do you suffer from spiritual slumber or carelessness?

Related Readings: 2 Chronicles 15:7; Proverbs 21:5; Philippians 3:13-14

The 7 Habits of Strong Christians

When you establish the 7 habits of strong Christians in your life, it will keep you strong, protect you from the enemy, and catapult you to VICTORY.

The secret to your future is hidden. It’s not hidden from you, though—it’s hidden for you. You see, your future is up to you. Whatever you have and whatever happens in your life isn’t an accident, or necessarily always God’s will—it is in your hands more than you may know.

Where can you find this hidden secret? In your daily routine.

What you do on a daily basis will determine what you have in this life. If you’re sowing to your flesh, the results will never be what you want. But if you sow to the spirit, you will become stronger and stronger (Galatians 6:8). You will get to a place where you confidently stand your ground, resist the enemy, and receive more from God—no matter what comes your way.

You have a decision to make. Is victory important to you?

Proverbs 8:34-35 says, “Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching DAILY at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoever finds me finds life, and obtains favor from the Lord” (NKJV, emphasis added).

In other words, an anointed daily routine produces glorious results. If you want to put an end to being defeated or discouraged, or going around the same mountain over and over—it’s time to take your faith to a higher level. When you establish the 7 habits of strong Christians in your life, it will keep you strong, protect you from the enemy, and catapult you to VICTORY.

Habit No. 1: Strong Christian Feed Their Spirit

“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” –Matthew 4:4, NKJV.

This verse says we cannot live on just food for our body—we need food for our spirit, too. A strong Christian knows the reality and severity of the works of the devil and understands the importance of developing a strong spirit to resist him.

How do you feed your spirit?

By reading God’s Word. Every. Day.

Strong Christians know one snack each week (church on Sunday) isn’t enough to sustain us through the trials Jesus told us would come our way (John 16:33). We need daily hot meals to stand on top of every trial in a victory stance.

Gloria Copeland has always emphasized the importance of spending time in the Word on a daily basis. She says, you must “arrange your schedule around the Word instead of trying to make the Word fit into your busy life.” That means the Word of God has to become a priority in your life—not something you do in your spare time.

Another way to look at it is the way Rick Renner does, which is, “No Word, no breakfast.” Pastor Rick doesn’t eat breakfast until he feeds his spirit with the Word of God every morning.

Habit No. 2: Strong Christians Build Their Faith

“David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” –1 Samuel 30:6, AMPC

Faith is your responsibility. It isn’t God’s, it isn’t your pastor’s, and it isn’t your spouse’s. The only one who can guarantee that you enjoy a strong faith is YOU. God has given you the tools you need to develop a strong faith—the kind of faith that moves mountains, shuts the mouths of lions, quenches the flames of fire, turns weakness to strength, and puts whole armies to flight (Hebrews 11:33-34).

How do you build that kind of faith? By hearing the Word of God again and again (Romans 10:17). Feeding your faith is the seed; hearing it again and again is how you water the seed and build faith. Just as with natural muscles, repetition is the key to building strong faith. To build your faith, try implementing some of these ideas into your daily routine:

  • As you drive to and from work, stream a BVOV broadcast or other faith teaching in your car.
  • Keep your MP3 player loaded with Bible-based podcasts. Then, when you work out, go on a walk, or take your lunch break, put in earbuds and feed your spirit.
  • Turn on the Believers’ Voice of Victory Network (BVOVN) in your home as you go about your daily chores. Click here for ways to access BVOVN.

As you feed your spirit, remember that faith comes by hearing, but so does doubt. So, what are you listening to? What is the news telling you? What are your friends telling you? Guard the precious Word you’ve sown into your heart by refusing to consume anything contrary.

When you build your faith by hearing the Word on a daily basis, truth will come, faith will come and then—VICTORY will come.

Habit No. 3: Strong Christians Speak the Word

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” –Proverbs 18:21, NKJV

You’ve heard the saying, You are what you eat. But the Bible says, in essence, You are what you speak (Mark 11:23).

Strong Christians speak the Word and only the Word over their lives and the lives of those around them. They know it is often a matter of life and death. And, they don’t intend to waste the power and authority Jesus provided for them.

To get to a place where you speak the Word over every situation, work on mastering the first two habits. By putting God’s Word in your heart on a daily basis, speaking His Word will become your knee-jerk reaction to any situation, which means you will react with an automatic, predictable response—FAITH.

When a trial comes your way, don’t become the proverbial bump on a log and let the devil have the final word—talk back! When the devil tempted Jesus, He answered back (Matthew 4:1-11). How did He answer? With the Word and the Word only. When He came across a fig tree that didn’t produce, He didn’t just accept it—He talked to it (Mark 11:12-14). God uses words to “call those things which be not as though they were” (Romans 4:17, NKJV), and we need to do the same.

No matter what you’re faced with, speak healing, speak blessing, speak abundance, speak forgiveness, speak peace. Speak the Word again and again and again and again. Fire off Scripture like a machine gun. Confess God’s Word in faith—it will change your life.

For special access to the Daily Confession of Pastors George and Terri Pearsons, click here.

Habit No. 4: Strong Christians Control Their Thought Life

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” –Joshua 1:8, NKJV

Is your thought life healthy or toxic? The mind, spirit and body are interconnected— your thoughts affect your words, which affect your health, prosperity, joy, peace and every other area of your life. So, it’s worth taking the time to perfect!

On many Believers’ Voice of Victory (BVOV) broadcasts, Dr. Caroline Leaf has shared about the connection between thoughts and overall success in life. When it comes to taking control of your thoughts, she has this to say: “Thoughts are real things—they occupy real estate in your brain. ‘Bring all thoughts into captivity.’ Our brain is designed to do that. And when you do…your brain [will] start operating correctly.”

For more on How to Control Your Thought Life, click here.

To bring every thought into captivity (2 Corinthians 10:5), begin focusing on what you’re thinking about. When your thoughts wander off to things like, you’re not going to get healed; you’re going to die; you’ll never get promoted; how do you capture thoughts like these and cast them down? You resist them. You answer them. Never let your thoughts go unanswered. Instead, say, “I’m not taking that thought.”

You can become a master at thought domination by meditating on the Word of God. To meditate means you don’t just hear it—you focus on it, contemplate it and give it serious attention. That’s how you enlarge your capacity for faith, and that’s why the most spiritual people you will ever meet are those who spend time meditating on the Word of God.

Habit No. 5: Strong Christians Anchor Their Heart Through Praise

“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” –Psalm 34:1, NKJV

Did you know praise is a language? It’s a language of faith and a language of receiving. A strong Christian is fluent in praise. That’s why we’re called to bless the Lord at all times (Psalm 34:1) because no matter what is happening in our lives, we have countless reasons to thank Him for what He has done, what He is doing, and what we know He will do.

If praise is continually in your mouth, does that mean only when it’s good? No. That’s easy. Praise is an act of faith. If you believe you receive what you’ve asked—you’ll thank God for it—even if it hasn’t manifested. Praise says, “I know it’s coming.”

Strong Christians know there is a connection between praise and strength. They know a spirit of praise puts you in position and produces spiritual strength.

To learn 4 Ways to Develop a Strong Spirit in 2018, click here.

Habit No. 6: Strong Christians Pray in the Spirit

“[Build] yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.”—Jude 20, NKJV

A strong Christian knows the importance of keeping his spiritual battery charged. That’s where praying in other tongues comes in. When you pray in the spirit, you edify yourself, which means to improve or uplift. It strengthens your spirit and builds you up in your faith.

The powerful part of praying in other tongues is that it allows you to pray above what you know in the natural. It takes you into the spiritual realm and opens the door to revelation, wisdom, instruction and encouragement.

Learn more about speaking in tongues here.

Habit No. 7: Strong Christians Get Rid of Baggage

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up.” –Hebrews 12:1

Streamlining. It’s a pretty important concept in aerodynamics. To streamline is to reduce resistance, creating a faster and smoother journey. It is studied by NASA engineers, airline pilots, shipbuilders and even athletes. The idea is to remove anything that would slow a craft, or person, down. The ultimate goal in streamlining is optimum performance and a victorious outcome.

That’s what we are called to do in our spiritual lives, too. When God told us to “strip off every weight that slows us down,” He was telling us to streamline our lives so we can enjoy optimum victory.

Imagine watching an Olympic runner trying to round the track and run a race wearing a suit of armor. You’d likely coach him through the TV, saying, “Throw off the armor! It’s slowing you down!”

That’s what God is saying to us.

What kind of baggage are you carrying today? Worry, anxiety, stress or fear? Maybe it’s a habit of sin you haven’t removed or unforgiveness that’s been festering for years. Whatever it is, make the decision to get rid of it today! It’s slowing you down. Take off anything that is hindering you, and run your race to victory!

When you put these 7 habits of strong Christians into practice on a daily basis, you will develop the kind of spirit that will cripple the enemy and ensure the kind of victory you’ve always dreamed of. This is the life Jesus died to give you. This is the life you were meant to live.

What is a Balanced View of Women in Ministry?

What is a Balanced View of Women in Ministry?

Men and women are virtually equal in ultimate leadership potential, but they are not equal in ultimate responsibility in God’s structure of authority.

1. to walk in such love and understanding as to produce the release of women into whatever office or ministry to which the Spirit of God brings them; and

2. to walk in such love and wisdom as to induce the submission of women to the oversight of their authority, including direction, instruction and correction.

Proverbs 9:13 NKJV
13 A foolish woman is clamorous; She is simple, and knows nothing.

Proverbs 21:9 NKJV
9 Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.

Proverbs 21:19 NKJV
19 Better to dwell in the wilderness, Than with a contentious and angry woman.

Proverbs 30:21 NKJV
21 For three things the earth is perturbed, Yes, for four it cannot bear up.

Proverbs 30:23 NKJV
23 A hateful woman when she is married, And a maidservant who succeeds her mistress.

1. there is no excuse for indulging the desire to seize man’s role, and

2. there is no emancipation from man’s ultimate authority with reference to the woman.

I Corinthians 14:34-35 NKJV
34 Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. 35 And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.

I Corinthians 14:34-35 NKJV
34 Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. 35 And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.

I Timothy 2:11-12 NKJV
11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.

An examination of the verbs employed does argue for a submissive woman and for one with a quiet and restful spirit. But the word “hesuchia” which occurs twice in 1 Tim. 2:11,12 simply does not mean “silent.”

In verse 2 of the same passage believers are urged to lead a quiet and peaceable life.

I Timothy 2:2 NKJV
2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.

The idea is clearly one of contented stillness of spirit, undisturbed by strife and discord. In this spirit, the woman is not to “usurp authority”—not to be domineering.

Now in the Corinthian passage the same concept is being conveyed. A different verb “sigao” is used for “be silent.”

The idea is one of quietness, of tongue control. It is not an absolute issued to forbid speech, but a directive to control it.

I Corinthians 14:28 NKJV
28 But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God.

I Corinthians 14:20 NKJV
20 Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.

I Corinthians 14:34-35 NKJV
34 Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. 35 And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.

1. Silence—a peaceful self-controlled spirit that results in restful and controlled “By the Spirit” speech. Interesting “Silence” is also required of men in the same chapter. Verse 28 is the same word for “Silence” in Verses 34-35.

2. Submission—whether man or woman, a proper relationship with those in authority is essential to ministry. There is not an admonition to women only.

3. A student—a wife who is willing to be taught by her husband, receiving guidance and guardianship from him, is qualified for public ministry. Women who are seeking instruction in inappropriate times, places, and attitudes are not ready for public ministry—neither are their male counterparts.

1. How would we know the evangelist Philip had four daughters that prophesied (Acts 21:9)?

2. How shall we correct Priscilla at this late date for her Holy Spirit-recorded share in Apollo’s introduction to a more complete understanding of God’s way (Acts 18:26)?

3. What shall we do after the corrective teaching of 1 Cor. 11:1-12 has been applied to women who prophesy or pray? Having set them in biblical order,shall we then tell them it was only a technicality anyway, since they were not allowed to speak?

Proverbs 31:10 NKJV
10 Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.

“Virtuous” is a wondrously inclusive term, embracing strength, resourcefulness, character, and wealth.

Proverbs 31:15 NKJV
15 She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants.

“Considers” contains a touch of shrewdness or scheming. In good Middle Eastern fashion, she bargains before she buys.

Proverbs 31:23 NKJV
23 Her husband is known in the gates, When he sits among the elders of the land.

Her excellence contributed to her husband’s reputation. The “gate” was the center of political and judicial life in the Israelite cities.

Proverbs 31:26 NKJV
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness.

Proverbs 31:28 NKJV
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her.

Proverbs 31:31 NKJV
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates.

This is a description of a woman who has a lot of ability and uses every bit of it in ways that serve others and surely satisfy her.

Beware of Travel Temptations 


Beware of Travel Temptations 

My husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey. He took his purse filled with money and will not be home till full moon. Proverbs 7:19–20

How do you deal with temptation when you travel? Conversely, what is your behavior when you are the spouse left back at home? Is your house a palace of peace or a prison of confinement? Not only must the weary traveler be wary of wrong behavior, but also the one left holding down the fort. Perhaps as a couple you craft guidelines defining what you will and will not do while separated by travel.

Distance can grow the heart fonder and more faithful or fire the flames of lust and infidelity. If you travel for your work, you most likely are motivated to meet the needs of your family. However, every assignment is for a season. Maybe it is time to get off the road and reconnect with your child who is approaching the teen years, or be there more often for your spouse who is starved for extra emotional support. Just be willing to adjust.

“Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’ Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame” (1 Corinthians 15:33–34).

Moreover, do not drift into travel temptations that become divisive and deteriorate your marriage. One boundary may be to avoid bars and get back to your room soon after work and dinner. A righteous routine on the road gets the right results. Whenever possible, make it a priority to travel with another person of similar values. Be bold by becoming an influencer of integrity: good, clean fun without flirting with sin. On the other hand, your role in the marriage may be to support the children and manage the home daily. Take pride, not pity, during this season of unselfish service.

By God’s grace you are molding their minds to the things of Christ, influencing the culture with His kingdom priorities. As you are working to preserve the family, you are as valuable as the one out working to provide for the family. Stay occupied in prayer, Bible study, and the children’s school, and be available to those who need you. Marriage is a team effort that sees outstanding results when you are both on the same page of love and obedience to Christ. Travel temptations are terminated on both ends through trust in the Lord and trust in each other.

“He trusts in the Lord; let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him” (Psalm 22:8).

Application: What behavioral boundaries related to our time apart do I need to co-create with my spouse?

Related Readings: Numbers 5:11–15; Isaiah 46:6; Luke 12:39–46; 1 John 3:9