HEALING CONFESSION

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

Thank you, Father, that you are the LORD, who heals me, you are my life-giver and you bring me health.  Exodus 15:26b

You will take sickness away from the midst of us. The number of our days you will fulfill.   Exodus 23:25-26

Father, I choose life that both my seed and I may live. You are my life, and the length of my days.  Deuteronomy 30:19-20

I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.  Psalms 42:11

Father, I will set my love upon You, therefore will You deliver me: You will set me on high, because I have known Your name. I shall call upon You, and You will answer me: You will be with me in trouble; You will deliver me, and honor me. With long life will You satisfy me, and show me Your salvation.  Psalms 91:14-16

I am planted in the house of the LORD. I shall flourish in the courts of my God. I shall still bring forth fruit in old age; I shall be fat and flourishing.  Psalms 92:13-14

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgives all my iniquities; who heals all my diseases; who redeems my life from destruction; who crowns me with loving kindness and tender mercies; who satisfies my mouth with good things; so that my youth is renewed like the eagle’s.  Psalms 103:2-5

I will cry unto You LORD in my trouble, and You will save me out of my distresses. You sent Your word, and healed me, and delivered me from my destructions.  Psalms 107:19-20

I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.  Psalms 118:17

Thank you Father that Your words are life unto me, and health to all my flesh.  Proverbs 4:22

As I wait upon the LORD I will renew my strength; I will mount up with wings as eagles; I will run, and not be weary; and I will walk, and not faint.  Isaiah 40:31

Surely You have borne my griefs, and carried my sorrows. You were wounded for my transgressions, You were bruised for my iniquities: the chastisement of my peace was upon You; and with Your stripes I am healed.  Isaiah 53:4-5

Father, Your word says that You will restore health unto me, and You will heal me of my wounds.  Jeremiah 30:17

Thank you Father that you will hasten my recovery and my cure.  Jeremiah 33:6

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

If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in me, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken my mortal body by His Spirit that dwells in me.  Romans 8:11

Christ has redeemed me from the curse of the law, being made a curse for me: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree.  Galatians 3:13

Jesus Himself bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes we are healed.  1 Peter 2:24

I WILL CONFIDENTLY TRUST MY GOD

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

What time I am afraid, I will have confidence in and put my trust and reliance in You. By [the help of] God I will praise His word; on God I lean, rely, and confidently put my trust; I will not fear. What can man, who is flesh, do unto me?  Psalms 56:3-4 AMP

When I am afraid I will trust in my God. I will place my confidence in Him. I will trust Him and rely on Him. I will not be confident in my ability. I will not trust the arm of the flesh nor rely on human reasoning. I will exalt his word in my life. His word is true. I will trust His word. I will believe His word and stand on it. I will not consider my circumstances, but I will look to His word. I will not allow fear to control me nor to influence my decisions.

In God have I put my trust and confident reliance; I will not be afraid. What man can do to me? Your vows are upon me, O God; I will render praise to You and give You thank offerings. For You have delivered my life from death, yes, and my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life and of the living?  Psalms 56:11-13 AMP

I will confidently rely on my God. I will continue to praise and thank Him, demonstrating my faith. I praise Him because I trust Him. He will sustain me. He will preserve my life.

Be merciful and gracious to me, O God, be merciful and gracious to me, for my soul takes refuge and finds shelter and confidence in You, yes, in the shadow of Your wings will I take refuge and be confident, until calamities and destructive storms are passed. I will cry unto God Most High, Who performs on my behalf and rewards me [Who brings to pass His purposes for me and surely completes them]!  Psalms 57:1-2 AMP

My God is merciful and gracious. My soul takes refuge and finds shelter and confidence in Him. My mind is stayed on Him. My will is submitted to His. I am calm because He is my strength. I have His peace in my heart. I know that I can call on Him and that He will be there for me. I will cling to Him and He will protect me. I will ride out the storm in the palm of His hand. I will shelter in the shadow of His wings. No matter how powerful the storm I am safe in His presence.

God has a plan for me. He performs on my behalf. He does those things that He said He would. He rewards me by bringing to pass His purposes for me. He completes me. He completes my life. Not only does He begin His work in my life, but He also completes it. He follows through with His promises. He does everything that He says He will do. He will never let me down or take me only half way. He will take me all the way. If He said it – He will do it!

“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?  Numbers 23:19 NKJV

The NIV says, “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change his mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?”

Not only can I trust Him – I can confidently trust Him – because He does not lie. He will fulfill His promises to me.

YOU BEGAN WITH THE SPIRIT – NOW STAY WITH THE SPIRIT

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Galatians 3:1-4 NIV

The apostle Paul went to the province of Galatia to minister to the Galatians, to preach to them the Good News. He came to help them to leave the old life of sin and bondage behind them and to live their new life in the liberty of the Holy Spirit. He suffered many persecutions to bring them the Gospel and he also invested many precious hours praying for them and teaching them and helping them. He felt responsible for them and protective of them as if they were his very own children – which they were, in the Lord.

There were a group of Christians, converted from Judaism, who had not left the law and self-efforts and work-programs behind them. They preached that circumcision was necessary for salvation – even for the gentile converts -and they sowed confusion and bondage wherever they went. This made Paul very angry, because the Galatians were saved and free in Jesus, but now these Judaizers were trying to place a yoke of bondage back on them. Paul writes a letter to the Galatians to try to provoke and compel them to come back from law and bondage to grace and faith.

15 “We who are Jews by birth and not `Gentile sinners’ 16 know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.  Galatians 2:15-16 NIV

Those who were Jews by birth were descendants of the Jewish nation and of Jewish parents. The Galatians were the “Gentile sinners.”  When Paul refers to them as “sinners,” he is not questioning their morality, but rather he is referring to their non-observance of the law. They were brought up worshipping idols, without any knowledge of God or of the law. The Christian Jews knew that there is no distinction between Jews and Gentiles as far as their salvation is concerned – it is all by faith, not by inheritance or works. Because it is by faith, they are all on equal ground with God.

17 “If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18 If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. Galatians 2:17-18 NIV

If we acknowledge that we must be justified by faith in Christ, but we find that we also need to be circumcised, then what we are really saying is that what Christ did is not good enough – it was not a complete work. We are saying that we are not really saved after all and we make ourselves to be sinners again. How can Christ’s redemptive work make us a sinner again? And yet that is what you say when you say that something other than the blood of Jesus is essential for salvation.

This line of human reasoning stems from the belief that God is not pleased with us unless we DO something to earn our salvation, when all along God is telling us that the only thing that pleases Him about us, is our FAITH. The law has been abolished by the death of Christ. If someone acts like a Jew and imposes the observance of the law – which has been abolished – on the Gentiles, then they are building again the things that they destroyed and, in this way, they make themselves transgressors once again, undoing their justification by faith in Christ.

Christ does not promote sin in releasing us from bondage only to bring us back under a legalistic system. We become the transgressor when we revert from Christ back to legalism. The law makes us conscious of sin, but the law gives us no power to overcome sin. The law cannot make us acceptable to God, therefore we must turn from the law altogether.

19 For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  Galatians 2:19-20 NIV

I was in Christ when the law executed Him in my place. In Christ, I died to the law and paid the penalty of the broken law and in so doing, died to the law – the law has no further claim on me. When Christ arose, I arose with Him, and now I might live unto God. I was crucified with Him and I live with Him. It is not really my life – it is His life that I am a partaker of. I have died to the old life and have risen to a new life. My new life is a life of faith in Christ. Galatians 3:11 says, “The righteous will live by faith.” I will place my trust in Him alone, not my own efforts, for it is His grace and His mercy and His blood that has saved my soul and my life.

PUT YOUR HOPE IN GOD

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” 4 These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joyand thanksgiving among the festive throng.

5 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and 6 my God.

My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon–from Mount Mizar. 7 Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. 8 By day the LORD directs His love, at night His song is with me–a prayer to the God of my life. 9 I say to God my Rock, “Why have You forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” 10 My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?” 11 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God. Psalms 42:1-11 NIV

King David was a man who was hungry and thirsty for God. He had a great reverence and respect for the presence of God. Even when he became a great king, he continued to humble himself before the Lord and give God all the glory and honor. He went through hard times just as all of us do, but he kept his heart right before the Lord. He made mistakes and wrong choices, he even committed murder in his quest to cover his sin of adultery, but he was quick to repent when God confronted him.

Through his lifetime, he endured a lot of persecution and hardship. Even though he was God’s anointed, he had to run for his life – first from Saul and then from his own son – and live in caves. There were many times when he felt miserable, abandoned and neglected. However, he maintained his relationship with the Lord by praising and worshipping Him and by rejoicing in His Word and His goodness. Because he continued to praise God in the good times and the bad – God protected him and delivered him – even though he was chased and threatened, his enemies never could get the victory over him. He knew Who his Rock was – he knew Who watched over him, protected him and provided for him on a daily basis.

For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.  1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 NIV

We need to encourage each other and ourselves in the Lord. We need to remind each other that, as we honor Him, God is on our side. We need to tell our soul – our mind, will and emotions – how they feel and not allow them to dictate how we feel. We need to control our feelings and not let them control us. Your feelings are inconsistent and unreliable – they change with the weather; they get offended; they don’t naturally display the fruit of the Spirit. Your Spirit needs to take control over your flesh and your feelings and tell them what to do and feel. Tell yourself to be joyful and cheerful. Tell yourself to rejoice. Begin to praise the Lord and your feelings will come into line.

Even if you feel bad, if you make your face smile, you will already feel better. Doctors say that smiling and laughing causes a chemical reaction in your body that makes you feel much better than you did before. But God already knew that a long time ago. He knows that as we praise Him and as we rejoice, we will begin to throw off our mourning clothes and put on robes of rejoicing. As you praise your feelings feel better. You were created to praise God and that is why you feel so good when you do it. God inhabits the praises of His people. When you praise, He shows up and when He shows up, the devil departs in a hurry. He cannot hang around in the presence of God – he cannot function in an atmosphere of praise.

Why do you think that he tries so hard to prevent you from praising God? He tries to convince you that you can’t do anything unless you “feel” like it. He tries to make you feel shy and embarrassed about praising God. But when you get a revelation of how much God loves you and that He is on your side – even when your circumstances are really, really bad – you can begin to praise Him and see His hand move on your behalf to change your situation. Don’t wait to feel good before you choose to praise God. Tell your feelings what they should feel, begin to praise God, and then see His mighty works in your life!

THE SEPARATOR

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

Then Jesus said, I came into this world for judgment [as a Separator, in order that there may be separation between those who believe on Me and those who reject Me], to make the sightless see and to make those who see become blind.  John 9:39 AMP

For thus it stands in Scripture: Behold, I am laying in Zion a chosen (honored), precious chief Cornerstone, and he who believes in Him [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] shall never be disappointed or put to shame. 7 To you then who believe (who adhere to, trust in, and rely on Him) is the preciousness; but for those who disbelieve [it is true], The [very] Stone which the builders rejected has become the main Cornerstone, 8 And, A Stone that will cause stumbling and a Rock that will give [men] offense; they stumble because they disobey and disbelieve [God’s] Word, as those [who reject Him] were destined (appointed) to do.  1 Peter 2:6-8 AMP

Jesus is Who He is. When Moses asked God what His Name was so that he could tell Pharaoh Who had sent him, God told him to tell them that the Name of the One Who had sent him was “I am that I am!” Jesus is the Son of God. He was with God in the beginning. He was there when the earth was created. He knows Who He is and He is not shy or ashamed of it. He is equal with God. If you have seen Jesus, you have seen the Father. It is no secret that He was born into the body of a man through the womb of a virgin. He walked and lived as a man and died as a man to cut an unbreakable covenant between God and man. He was raised from the dead after He defeated the enemy, and He lives now, seated on the right hand of the Father.

Those who believe on Him will live forever in His presence. Those who do not will die without Him and spend eternity in torment in hell. He cannot be both a chief Cornerstone AND a rock of offense – He is either one or the other. However, in the hearts of men, He is different things to different people. Jesus is always the same – but whatever you believe about Him – that is what He will be to you. In other words, He is to you whatever you make of Him. If you choose to believe Him, your eyes will be opened to see the truth, but if you reject Him, you are destined to walk in darkness and confusion. You will be living in darkness and believing a lie.

For the son dishonors the father, the daughter rises up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law–a man’s enemies are the men (members) of his own house.  Micah 7:6 AMP

Therefore, everyone who acknowledges Me before men and confesses Me [out of a state of oneness with Me], I will also acknowledge him before My Father Who is in heaven and  confess [that I am abiding in] him. 33 But whoever denies and disowns Me before men, I also will deny and disown him before My Father Who is in heaven. 34 Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to part asunder a man from his father, and a daughter from her mother, and a newly married wife from her mother-in-law–36 And a man’s foes will be they of his own household. 37 He who loves [and takes more pleasure in] father or mother more than [in] Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves [and takes more pleasure in] son or daughter more than [in] Me is not worthy of Me; 38 And he who does not take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conforming wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also] is not worthy of Me. 39 Whoever finds his [lower] life will lose it [the higher life], and whoever loses his [lower] life on My account will find it [the higher life]  Matthew 10:32-39 AMP

There is a separation between those who accept and love the Father and Jesus, His Son, Whom He sent to pay the price for you and for me. Even within families, there is a separation. On earth, family relationships are the strongest bonds that we have. However, the only thing that matters in eternity is who we chose to serve here on earth. If we compromise what we believe to please our family and to make life more comfortable for ourselves, we may lose our own life and burn in hell forever, but if we choose to serve Jesus over the objections and even persecution, rejection and emotional blackmail of family and friends – the people we care about – we will find the higher life and live with Jesus in eternity.

YOUR SACRIFICE CANNOT MAKE UP FOR YOUR DISOBEDIENCE

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

And Samuel said to Saul, You have done foolishly! You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God which He commanded you; for the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever; 14 But now your kingdom shall not continue; the Lord has sought out [David] a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince and ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.  1 Samuel 13:13-14 AMP

When the Israelites begged God for their own king, just like the other nations had, God gave them a king – Saul. God warned them that it was not in their best interests to have a king. He wanted to be able to choose and raise up leaders for them Himself, who would be godly leaders and who would lead them into the will and the blessing of God. God knows what is in men’s hearts and He knows who the best man for the job is. If a leader does not honor God, the people would not honor God – as we can see when we read through First and Second Samuel, Kings and Chronicles. This would bring the nation down. Also, after that king died, the throne would be passed to his son, someone who felt entitled to it, and not too someone who had earned the honor and who appreciated it.

God’s choice is always the humble spirit and not the proud or arrogant. Having a system of kings would not keep the people in the will of God.

Because Israel insisted, God gave them the king that they thought they wanted. Saul was physically impressive – he stood head and shoulders above all the other men – but, unfortunately, his heart was not wholly committed to the Lord. This was a problem for him, his family and all of Israel. Because Saul was foolish, disobedient and proud, God told him that his sons would not sit on the throne after him, but another man, whose heart was perfect toward Him, would become the king. Amazingly, enough, this did not seem to faze him too much. He did not make an effort to change his ways at all – he just became worse.

God had told Saul to wipe every trace of the Amalekites from the face of the earth. He told him, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, I have considered and will punish what Amalek did to Israel, how he set himself against him in the way when [Israel] came out of Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek and utterly destroy all they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” (1 Samuel 15:2-3 AMP) This was a fulfillment of a Word that God spoke to Moses in Exodus 17:14 AMP, “And the Lord said to Moses, Write this for a memorial in the book and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under the heavens.”

Unfortunately, Saul and the people did not obey God – they had a “better” plan – they did not kill the king or any of the Amalekite’s healthy animals. Apparently, they had spared them so that they could “sacrifice” them to the Lord. But God did not tell them to spare them for a sacrifice – He told them to kill them all!

Then Samuel said to Saul, Stop! I will tell you what the Lord said to me tonight. Saul said to him, Say on. 17 Samuel said, When you were small in your own sight, were you not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord anointed you king over Israel? 18 And the Lord sent you on a mission and said, Go, utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites; and fight against them until they are consumed. 19 Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord, but swooped down upon the plunder and did evil in the Lord’s sight? 20 Saul said to Samuel, Yes, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord and have gone the way which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag king of Amalek and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But the people took from the spoil sheep and oxen, the chief of the things to be utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal. 22 Samuel said, Has the Lord as great a delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as idolatry and teraphim (household good luck images). Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.   1 Samuel 15:13-23 AMP

When God confronted him, through Samuel, about his disobedience, he first lied, claiming that he had done what was asked of him and then he blamed the people for it. Because of this, Saul was stripped of his kingship and the kingly anointing that was on his life. Only after it was too late did Saul even begin to cry out in repentance, but even then he did not humble himself before God, instead he asked Samuel to go with him to worship the Lord in front of the people so that he did not lose face with them. He was always too worried about what people thought than what God thought and it was his downfall. Saul’s disobedience changed his own destiny. Because of it, God could never again anoint him or use him.

It is always better to obey God than to offer many sacrifices afterwards.

COVETOUSNESS IS IDOLATRY

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

No servant is able to serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stand by and be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (riches, or anything in which you trust and on which you rely). 14 Now the Pharisees, who were covetous and lovers of money, heard all these things [taken together], and they began to sneer at and ridicule and scoff at Him. 15 But He said to them, You are the ones who declare yourselves just and upright before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted and highly thought of among men is detestable and abhorrent (an abomination) in the sight of God.  Luke 16:13-15 AMP

Jesus says that a person cannot serve these two masters – God and mammon. Mammon is riches, money, possessions, or anything in which you trust and on which you rely. God and mammon are diametrically opposed to each other and you will always end up choosing one over the other. When you choose to serve one you are in effect rejecting the other. Nobody can avoid this choice. Every single person on the earth makes the choice either for God or their stuff. You cannot love God and love mammon. You cannot trust in mammon and trust in God at the same time. If you trust in mammon it is because you do not trust God to supply what you need or to take care of you.

If you truly trust in God, then you will not be dependant on money or possessions – it makes no difference to you whether you have any or not – you know that God will take care of you on a daily basis. If you do not trust God to take care of you and supply your needs, you will be clinging to your mammon for dear life. The Pharisees were supposed to be spiritual leaders, but they did not love God anywhere near as much as they loved money. The very reason that they were angry and offended at Jesus is because they were covetous and lovers of money. If they were not, they would not have been offended at all. Jesus hit the nail on the head and exposed their sin and so they reacted violently. Instead of receiving the word and humbling their hearts before God, they derided Jesus – they sneered at Him, ridiculed Him, and scoffed at Him. This is a religious spirit.

A religious spirit hates it when you talk about money and giving and being a blessing. A religious spirit makes the appearance of being humble, but in reality it is very proud at heart. A religious spirit makes the appearance of honoring God, but it is serves and promotes itself. A religious spirit makes the appearance of obeying God, but it does what it thinks is right without asking God what He wants. Many religious people are sincere, but they have been taught wrong principles and ideas by their religious leaders and they just don’t know what the word of God actually says about their situation.

The devil likes to cloak himself in religion and deceive people into rejecting the living word of God that will break bondages and bind him up. The devil knows that if you tithe, God will rebuke him and not allow him to destroy you or your family. The devil knows that if you get a hold of God’s word and begin to put God first in your life and begin to obey Him in your giving, that God will begin to bless and prosper you. The devil is going to try to prevent people from getting to the truth because when they know the truth, they will realize that they can take authority over him!

Colossians 3:5 AMP says, “So kill (deaden, deprive of power) the evil desire lurking in your members [those animal impulses and all that is earthly in you that is employed in sin]: sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed and covetousness, for that is idolatry (the deifying of self and other created things instead of God).”  Covetousness is idolatry. You worship money and stuff instead of God. 1 Timothy 6:10 AMP says that, “the love of money is a root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have been led astray and have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves through with many acute [mental] pangs.” Covetousness will cause you to sin – to be jealous of what others have, to steal from them, to lie, and even to kill. The devil wants to control and destroy you and if he can get you to make mammon your idol, he can do both!

Luke 12:15 AMP says, “And He said to them, Guard yourselves and keep free from all covetousness (the immoderate desire for wealth, the greedy longing to have more); for a man’s life does not consist in and is not derived from possessing overflowing abundance or that which is over and above his needs.”  Covetousness, according to the Amplified Bible, is the immoderate desire for wealth and the greedy longing to have more. Covetousness will cause you to reject God in your pursuit of possessions. The most important thing you need is eternal life and this you can only get from God. Money cannot buy salvation. The devil knows this and this is why he tries to fill you with either fear or arrogance or both – so that you will keep your focus on your stuff and trust in your stuff and neglect to pursue God, Who holds the key to heaven and your freedom.

Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God]  Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor  give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not,[I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor  let [you] down ( relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]  Hebrews 13:5 AMP

PAY WHAT YOU VOW

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

And Moses said to the heads or leaders of the tribes of Israel, This is the thing which the Lord has commanded: 2 If a man vows a vow to the Lord or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break and profane his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth. Numbers 30:1-2 AMP

In this day and age, it is becoming rarer to find a person who always keeps his or her word. So many people today think nothing of promising what they cannot or will not deliver. They don’t ever plan on keeping their word, but they give it anyway. They promise to do something and then “forget” and never show up; they promise to pay something and then default on the loan; they marry and promise to be faithful and then they cheat on their spouse; they promise to give something and then never follow through. It is time for us as Christians to come clean and make a fresh start. If you make a promise or a pledge or a commitment, you should do everything you can to fulfill it.

It is a snare to a man to utter a vow [of consecration] rashly and [not until] afterward inquire [whether he can fulfill it]. Proverbs 20:25 AMP

You cannot and should not make a promise if you have no idea whether or not you have the means to actually keep that promise. If you make it a priority to always keep your word then you will not be rash with your promises. If you commit to keep your vows, then you will be careful to promise only what you are prepared to fulfill.

Vow and pay to the Lord your God; let all who are round about Him bring presents to Him Who ought to be [reverently] feared. Psalms 76:11 AMP

Some people solve the problem of unfulfilled vows, by never committing to anything. This is not a solution. You need to commit to give to the Lord in as many areas as you can—generously. He is so generous with you and me! You need to decide for yourself what you will give—of your time; your effort; your money—and you need to give it freely and joyfully.

I will come into Your house with burnt offerings [of entire consecration]; I will pay You my vows, 14 Which my lips uttered and my mouth promised when I was in distress. Psalms 66:13-14 AMP

Many people make all kinds of promises to God while they are in distress, but when He comes through for them, and when they are all fine and dandy, they just conveniently forget about the vow they made. These people have no respect for Almighty God. It is very important that we acknowledge God’s hand in our deliverance. It is very rude to ignore the One Who saved you. If you made God a promise in exchange for His help, then you must follow through and keep your word to Him. He did what you asked of Him and He expects you to do what you said you would.

When you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not be slack in paying it, for the Lord your God will surely require it of you, and slackness would be sin in you. 22 But if you refrain from vowing, it will not be sin in you. 23 The vow which has passed your lips you shall be watchful to perform, a voluntary offering which you have made to the Lord your God, which you have promised with your mouth. Deuteronomy 23:21-23 AMP

When you make a vow to the Lord, you should not be slack in paying it. God requires that you keep your word. It is a sin for you to be slack in your promise.

Be not rash with your mouth, and let not your heart be hasty to utter a word before God. For God is in heaven, and you are on earth; therefore let your words be few. 3 For a dream comes with much business and painful effort, and a fool’s voice with many words. 4 When you vow a vow or make a pledge to God, do not put off paying it; for God has no pleasure in fools (those who witlessly mock Him). Pay what you vow. 5 It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. 6 Do not allow your mouth to cause your body to sin, and do not say before the messenger [the priest] that it was an error or mistake. Why should God be [made] angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands? 7 For in a multitude of dreams there is futility and worthlessness, and ruin in a flood of words. But [reverently] fear God [revere and worship Him, knowing that He is]. Ecclesiastes 5:2-7 AMP

Don’t be rash with your mouth; don’t be hasty to make promises before God. It’s great to have plans and dreams, but it takes much time and effort to make them happen. Just because you talk about doing something, doesn’t mean it will just happen. You need to work the dream; you need to do what you say you’ll do. Pay what you vow. It is better to never make a promise than to promise and not keep it. Don’t just be a talker, be a doer. If you will keep your word to God, He will keep His word to you.

LOVE THAT PRODUCES PEACE AND TESTIFIES TO THE WORLD

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another. 35 By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves].  John 13:34-35 AMP

Jesus gave us – His children; His disciples – a commandment to love one another. Love is what sets us apart from the rest of the world. The unselfish love we continue to show each other is what tells the world that we are not like they are; that we are like Jesus; that we are His disciples.

But concerning brotherly love [for all other Christians], you have no need to have anyone write you, for you yourselves have been [personally] taught by God to love one another. 10 And indeed you already are [extending and displaying your love] to all the brethren throughout Macedonia. But we beseech and earnestly exhort you, brethren, that you excel [in this matter] more and more, 11 To make it your ambition and definitely endeavor to live quietly and peacefully, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we charged you, 12 So that you may bear yourselves becomingly and be correct and honorable and command the respect of the outside world, being dependent on nobody [self-supporting] and having need of nothing.
1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 AMP

Love is not love until you DO something. We must extend and display our love for one another, living together quietly and peacefully. Believers need to take care of each other so that none of us are dependant on the world for anything. We must be a blessing to one another. We need to be able to get help from each other when we need it, without taking advantage of each other. We also need to care for one another without poking our nose into each other’s business. We need to mind our own business first, making sure that we faithfully attend to our own responsibilities, and making sure that we have a right attitude at all times. When we bear ourselves becomingly and when we carry ourselves correctly and honorably, we will command the respect of the outside world.

I therefore, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to and beg you to walk (lead a life) worthy of the [divine] calling to which you have been called [with behavior that is a credit to the summons to God’s service, 2 Living as becomes you] with complete lowliness of mind (humility) and meekness (unselfishness, gentleness, mildness), with patience, bearing with one another and making allowances because you love one another. 3 Be eager and strive earnestly to guard and keep the harmony and oneness of [and produced by] the Spirit in the binding power of peace.  Ephesians 4:1-3 AMP

Paul begs us to lead a life worthy of the divine calling to which we have been called. He encourages us to behave in a way that is a credit both to God and to the call of God on our lives. If we want to serve God and we say we are serving Him, then there are requirements we must fulfill. The way we conduct ourselves tells the story – it testifies as to whether we are serving God or ourselves. God asks us to humble ourselves and be meek and patient with each other, to bear with each other and to make allowances because we love each other. This does not just come naturally, without the influence of the Spirit of God, but it is something we must cultivate and develop with His help. God expects us to submit to the Holy Spirit and to eagerly work to preserve harmony and oneness between ourselves. Peace is the result and peace is what binds us together. This peace testifies to the world that we are His.

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Philippians 2:1-4 NIV

Selfish ambition and vain conceit cause division and strife amongst people – even God’s people. Love and humility is the antidote. Therefore, it is so important for us, the Body of Christ, to be humble and to consider others better than ourselves. We need to be like-minded; we need to have the same love for one another; we need to be one in spirit and one in purpose. We need to not only think of ourselves and our needs, but we should care about each other and make sure that we are a blessing to one another. If we ALL do this, we will accomplish the will and purpose of God.

Shun youthful lusts and flee from them, and aim at and pursue righteousness (all that is virtuous and good, right living, conformity to the will of God in thought, word, and deed); [and aim at and pursue] faith, love, [and] peace (harmony and concord with others) in fellowship with all [Christians], who call upon the Lord out of a pure heart.  2 Timothy 2:22 AMP

If we, the Body of Christ, are to live together in peace and harmony, then it is essential that we all make a quality decision to personally press into God, allowing Him to have His way in our lives, and also to walk consistently in the love of God toward one another.

Obligating God with Your Offering

Obligating God with Your Offering
Foundation Scriptures: Genesis 22 verses 1-14

Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” 3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. 5 And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.” 6 So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. 7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8 And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together. 9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.” 12 And He said,”Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” 13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided.”  Genesis 22:1-14 NKJV

1. God spoke to Abraham and asked him to sacrifice his son, Isaac.

a. He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love.”

b. These words have significance. They are a type and shadow of that which is to come.

c. God and Abraham were in covenant together and God wanted to see the extent of Abraham’s commitment to Him.

d. He wanted to see what Abraham was willing to sacrifice—what he was willing to give up.

2. This was a test from God to see if Abraham would give up his son—his only son—and if he did, then it would put God in a position where He would then be obligated to give “His Son, His only Son”! Abraham represented all of mankind when he passed this test.

a. God provided a Lamb for the sacrifice.

b. In verse 14, Abraham called the name of the place, where God provided the ram, Jehovah-Jireh—The-Lord-Will-Provide.

c. The Bible says that the Lord will even provide seed to the sower.

d. The covenant was in full force here. Abraham was willing and obedient to obey God’s commands and he experienced the abundant, supernatural provision of God.

f. Obligating God: God challenges us to obey His Word. He even says, “Prove Me!” (Malachi 3:10) When God makes a promise, He obligates Himself to keep it. When we do what is required of us, He does what He said He would. Obey God, and you obligate Him to keep His Word. You can obligate God through your obedience to His word and His commandments.

Pastor Adonica’s thoughts:
When God makes you a promise and you meet the conditions of that promise, God WILL do what He said He would do. God has blessings in store for you. Do you really trust God? Do you really believe His word? Do you dare to step out in faith and obedience so that you can see God prove Himself true and faithful to you once again?

Pastor Rodney’s thoughts:
The Bible is a record of God’s interactions with man through the ages. It is a record of His Word, His Will, and His Plan for man. God does have a definite plan for each person and He presents tests—opportunities to make the right choice—to all of us. The question is: Do we have faith? Do we really trust God enough to obey, even when the thing He asks us to do doesn’t make sense to us? Even if we have obeyed God in the past, He may once again test us to see if we are prepared to go to the next level. It is about trust and faithfulness—can you be trusted to obey Him; will you be faithful with what He tells you to do? The Lord wants to see how far you will go. Are you prepared to go to the next level? Will you do what God has told you to do—without fear? God will probably ask you for something that means a lot to you—your treasure. Because where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. From what I have seen, every man or woman that God has used in an extraordinary way has been at the same place that Abraham was, and passed the test. Will you?

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