Archive for September, 2015

UNSHAKEABLE

Monday, September 21st, 2015

God is our refuge and strength,

A very present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear,

Even though the earth be removed…

Though the mountains shake with its swelling.

Psalm 46:1-3 NKJV

As the earth shakes, principalities and powers plot and plan, media moguls spin and deceive, and a thousand voices cry “conspiracy!” and “the end is near,” I want to remind you of something: our Father is still on the Throne of the universe. He rules, He reigns, and even satan’s schemes are playing directly into the Almighty One’s final plan.

So heed not the voices that incite fear. The world is not ending this week, and there is yet much work for us to do. The real battle is being waged in the heavenlies for the souls of men – and our prayers weigh mightily in the balance. Let us not shrink back in fear and self-focus, but press forward with prayers, praise, and seeking Jesus like never before.

Power Principles for an Unshakeable Life:

  1. Faith moves mountains; muscles don’t. God doesn’t ask – or expect – you to solve your problems, change your circumstances, fix yourself (or your family, or friends, etc). Just give it all to Jesus, and invite His help (He’ll be faithful!)
  2. You can’t win a spiritual battle with natural weapons. That’s why much of our human effort seems only to complicate and confuse, rather than simplify and solve. We are not wrestling with flesh and blood – so identify the real foe, and use your mighty spiritual weapons – like praise, prayer, and speaking God’s Word over your life and family.
  3.  Where’s your focus? Watching the wind and waves of this world (Matt. 14:30) can dim our love and dull our faith.  It’s time to refocus our faith by fixing our eyes on Jesus (“looking away from all that would distract” Heb. 12:2 AMP) and His sacrifice of love for us. I heard a seasoned saint recently say, “Keep your eyes off the oppression of the world – it only brings you down.” Wise advice!
  4.  You can’t choose your cross, but you can choose to embrace God’s will for you (even the parts that hurt) instead of merely enduring it. If there was a better or gentler way for you to be formed into Christ’s image, your Father would choose it. But He’s shaping you for a special and specific plan (an eternal plan, in fact). And He knows what’s best – so trust His love, and embrace the cross He has given you.
  5. Your VICTORY is absolutely, 100% certain and final. And His grace is 100% sufficient for you. The size of the trial is – in a sense – irrelevant, because God ALWAYS gives greater grace (James 4:6). He has a ram in the thicket, five smooth stones in a brook, ravens overhead – He is still the God of miracles, and He will show His unfailing power on your behalf as you trust Him.
  6.  GOD IS NOT DONE HELPING YOU. Whatever triumphs and trials you see in your past, God holds a plan of HOPE and FRUITFULNESS for your future.  Will you move forward with Him? You will once again see His goodness in the land of the living (Ps. 27:13), and you’ll see your strongholds destroyed and spiritual foes fall.   The time to rejoice is nowbefore the breakthrough – and watch what the Lord of hosts will do for those who put their trust in Him! 

Much love in Jesus our Savior,

Pastor Matthew Casey

© Springs of Life Ministries, 2015

Presence, Power, Delight, Love, JOY!

Monday, September 14th, 2015

The Lord your God is with you,

He is mighty to save.

He will take great delight in you,

He will quiet you with His love;

He will rejoice over you with singing.

Zephaniah 3:17 NIV

One verse, with so many promises! Let’s invite the Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts as we feed on His Word to start this week:

  1. The Lord your God is with you.” Think about it: He’s with YOU! Right now! Nearer than your next breath, closer than the next beat of your heart… He is with you, forever, for good.

For He Himself has said,

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Hebrews 13:5 NKJV

He wants you to experience and enjoy the miracle of His presence with you – this moment, this week, no matter what you’re facing.

2.He is mighty to save.” GREATER than your need, greater than your biggest problem, greater than all your foes – Your Father is FOR you! His awesome power and angelic hosts are at work on your behalf. So then, what do you have to fear?

 

3.He will take great delight in you.” Amazing! And I ask myself: “Am I taking great delight in HIM?” He deserves no half-hearted lovers or fickle followers ~ it delights the Father when we delight in Him. And thus we discover how delightful and transforming time in His presence truly is (greater than anything this world could possibly offer).

4.He will quiet you with His love…” The Hebrew word for “quiet” (in context) suggests “a silencing of words about past sins and failures.” The Amplified version expresses it as:

“He will be quiet in His love [making no mention of your past sins]…”

What overflowing mercy! Not only to forgive our sins with His sinless blood, but even removing our transgressions “as far as the east is from the west” (Ps. 103:12), and stating that their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more” (Heb. 10:17).  If you are living in regular remembrance of your past sins, realize: your Father is not. Once you have genuinely repented, they are forgiven, forgotten, forever.

  1. He will rejoice over you with singing…” Incredible! The High and Holy One is so delighted that you are His own, that He actually rejoices about it with singing! The Hebrew word (“gil”) translated “rejoice” is actually much stronger in the original language – thus, some translations word it, With shouts of joy to give it more oomph. Moreover, some rabbis teach that “gil” actually suggests a “circle dance” common in ancient Jewish tradition ~ thus painting the picture of someone rejoicing with such gladness that they spin circles, dancing for joy over the object of their affection.

Do you believe that God loves you like THAT? That He’s actually THRILLED to be your Father? Whether you believe it or not, it’s true ~ He delights in you, watches over you with His mighty power, is WITH you, and will never fail or forsake you. And nothing would delight His heart more than for you to believe that truth, and walk in the light and confidence of His perfect love for you.  

May the reality of:

     His presence within you,

          His power toward you,

               His delight in you,

                    His love for you, and

                         His joy over you

Fill and flood your life as you believe and receive His truth…

Let your heart delight in Him this week!

Pastor Matthew Casey

© Springs of Life Ministries, 2015

 

Let Hope Arise

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

Hope is dawning… All across our land, in broken hearts and barren-looking lives… Where vision has tarried, and hope deferred has stolen the joy of living… Hope is dawning once again. Children of God are awakening to the reality that they still matter to their Father – no matter what they’ve done, no matter how they’ve suffered – that His love for them is unrelenting, and that He has a purpose and plan for them still. They are hearing a call to really live again, to leave the questions and hurts behind, and to move forward in love for Jesus and in prayer for this nation.

“Can these bones live?”

Maybe you feel like the battles and betrayals you’ve experienced in the past disqualify you from hope dawning on your future… Looking across the years, all you see is a graveyard of dead dreams, broken promises, and unfulfilled visions. Many questions, few answers.

God is not daunted by our graveyards:

And He said to me,

“Son of man, can these bones live?”

So I answered,

“O Lord God, You know.”

Again He said to me,

Prophesy to these bones, and say to them,

‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!

‘Thus says the Lord God to these bones:

“Surely I will cause breath to enter into you,

and you shall live.”

Ezekiel 37:3-5 NKJV

Ezekiel spoke GOD’S report over the graveyard before him – and the result was new life where all appeared dead and hopeless:

So I prophesied as I was commanded;

and as I prophesied, there was a noise…

Ezekiel 37:3-5 NKJV

Speaking God’s Word over our lives, families, and situations is just as powerful today! I don’t mean speaking our own desires and wishes, but identifying and proclaiming God’s promises over even the most impossible-looking places in our lives. And as we do, His Spirit changes us on the inside through the power of His Word (see 1 Thess. 2:13).

Want to Speak LIFE over your graveyard?

Begin with PRAISE!

Nothing cleanses the heart from discouragement and casts off the cloak of depression like putting on the garments of praise – I mean daily, persistent, confess-it-even-when-you-don’t-feel-like-it PRAISE! It breaks the oppressor’s yoke, invites the Holy Ghost’s power down (Ps. 22:3), and sets the captives free around you:

But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God,

and the prisoners were listening to them…

Acts 16:25 NKJV

“The prisoners were listening to them…” I bet they were! They’d heard complaining, crying, cussing in that prison – but never before had they heard PRAISE GOING UP by those who had JUST GONE DOWN into the “inner prison” (16:24). Their feet were “bound in stocks,” but their hearts were soaring in God’s peace and presence as they prayed and praised.

You know the rest of the story ~ Paul and Silas praised, God SHOWED UP in power, and EVERYBODY’S chains were broken. The jailer and his whole family were saved that night (and I imagine some prisoners had a “come to Jesus” talk that night as well). J

Speak God’s Word, and dry bones live…

Praise God in the prison, and chains are broken.

May the Lord bless you with His hope and joy this week,

Pastor Matthew Casey

© Springs of Life Ministries, 2015

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13 NKJV

America’s Last Hope

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Many voices are warning of difficult days ahead in our nation. From Wall Street to China to “Blood Moons” to ISIS, from massive wildfires to devastating droughts to slain policemen to racial riots, from warmth toward Cuba and Iran to coldness toward Israel, from Ashley Madison to harvesting organs from unborn babies, to the ugly new totalitarianism called “tolerance” (which vilifies and attacks anyone who dares fall out of lock step with its Fuehrer-like dogma) – it’s a heavy day in America, even heartbreaking.

Some years ago, I wrote a message of exhortation and warning to the American Church entitled “The Return: an end-time epistle to the Church in America” (Elijah Books, 2010). I’m sad to say that the prophetic warnings I gave in chapter 11 (“Satan’s Agenda for Our Nation”) have come to pass far more rapidly than I would have believed possible. The enemy is pressing his agenda down America’s throat like one who knows his time is short (see Rev. 12:12).

How to Respond?

Some Christian voices are advocating in essence a “save yourself” mentality (with enough ammo and freeze-dried food, we’ll be fine!)… But Jesus said, “He who seeks to save his life will lose it.” We’re here to save souls, not save our own hides. If you ever have to choose between dying for Jesus’ glory or living for yourself, choose option #1 ~ you’ll have all eternity to enjoy the benefits of your decision as you share in His glory (see Rom. 8:17).

And then, I see some Christians basically acquiescing to whatever culture demands ~ “Just keep your head down, go with the flow, otherwise they’ll call you judgmental”… the language of compromise. Let us recognize: that is what most German Christians did in the 1930’s, and it resulted in the Holocaust.

Still others are putting their hope in politics, looking to next year’s election as the answer to turn our nation around. But there will be no political solution to a spiritual problem; government cannot fill the role and calling God has appointed to His children.    

What to do, then? Is all hope lost?

Out of a heart of love for God, for His Church, and for the unsaved, I want to passionately share my deeply held conviction:

The time is desperately late for our nation.

America’s last hope is found in a Scripture passage that we have preached and sung much the past few decades, but have experienced little:

“If My people who are called by My name

will humble themselves,

and pray and seek My face,

and turn from their wicked ways,

then I will hear from heaven,

and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

2 Chronicles 7:14

“My people” ~ this means ORDINARY BELIEVERS like you, and me, and the friends we fellowship with. If WE will hear the Spirit calling us to do the simple yet powerful things – like humbling ourselves before Him, and responding “Yes Lord!” with our lives in repentance and intercession – then I believe there is yet hope for forgiveness and healing in America.

Our humble, fervent prayers move the heart of our Father… And when you move His heart, He soon moves His hand, comes in power, and shows His glory in hell-shaking, pride-breaking revival…

And THAT is the only hope for America.

America needs you and I to live in the light of eternity (for it may be nearer than we think). Souls hang in the balance; let us seek the Lord:

Sow for yourselves righteousness;

Reap in mercy;

Break up your fallow ground,

For it is time to seek the Lord,

Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.

Hosea 10:12

May God bless and stir you this week,

Pastor Matthew Casey

© Springs of Life Ministries, 2015