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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Full of Light

Ephesians 5 : 8 - 12, For though your hearts were once full of darkness, now you are full of light from the Lord, and your behavior should show it! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, rebuke and expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret.NLT

According to Paul, who was writing to us under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God, we are vessels that are full of God's light. When the light of God's Word enters our hearts, it changes us from the inside out. Even though His light shines in our hearts as His children, we must still seek to know His ways so that we can live in a way that is pleasing to Him.

Paul teaches us that the Word of God is not only truth, which educates us according to the ways of God, but it is also light. Light reveals what has been hidden in darkness and exposes the lies of the enemy. As we become one with the Word of God, our behavior and attitude should begin to reflect a change as well. In as much as we desire to obey the Word, we are choosing to walk in the light.

We must learn to be honest with God and with ourselves if we want our lives to change. Paul goes on to write that once we become established in the truth, and it reflects in our behavior, then we are to rebuke and expose the evil deeds of others, which are done in secret. There are two ways you can expose and rebuke others who are in your life who practice evil deeds in secret. You can share truths from the Word of God that speak directly to their evil deeds and pray that God reveals the light of the gospel to them. You can also live in such a way before God and others that they see the light of God in you, and it brings conviction upon their sinful hearts
of unbelief.

Jesus commands us to let our lights so shine before men that they might see our good works and glorify the Father in heaven. As Christians, we must be careful that others see our actions of faith as carried out through love and not in condemnation. We are to lead people to "Living Water" by making them thirsty for Him in the way that we live and love God. Didn't Jesus call us the salt of the earth? Salt gives food flavor, but it will also produce a thirst in those who taste it.

Therefore, we must season our words and actions with His love so that others will desire more of God. Do you remember how you came to the saving knowledge of Christ? More than likely, it was because you developed a thirst for righteousness and a hunger for truth in your heart. Once you hungered and formed a thirst for Christ, you were filled with His Spirit.

It's high time the body of Christ raised the standard of righteousness in our world. May the Lord have mercy on us and help us to grow to be who He intended us to become and to achieve in the earth all that He has called the body of Christ to accomplish. Do you have peace in your heart about the way you live your life before the Lord? If not, then today can be the beginning of a new way of living for you. If we will confess our faults before Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.

Walking in the LIGHT,
Pastor Asa

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

This Life Is No Dress Rehearsal

Deuteronomy 30: 19 - 20, I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them." NKJV

Have you ever met someone who believed that if they didn't get things "right" in this life, they could just do it over in the next one? We know for certain that the Bible doesn't support that belief. The life that God has already given us is the only one we will have. Consequently, what we do with it now will determine where we spend eternity. The Lord told Moses that heaven records our actions on earth, and those same actions will judge us at the end of the age. 

Further, the Lord, through the writings of Moses tells us to choose life while we are still sojourners in this world so that we and our descendants may live. If it really doesn't matter what we do in this life-time, then why does God command us to choose life now? There is no dress rehearsal, and there is no second chance after this life is over. However, once we realize that we have made some wrong choices and committed transgressions against Him, God gives us the ability through His infinite grace to begin again.

Nevertheless, when we start living for the Lord, we don't always get things right the first time. Thankfully, we have been given the Holy Spirit. He will guide us INTO all truth and show us the way to eternal life. He is the Spirit of God, and He dwells within our hearts. Whenever we stumble or fall into sin, He is the One who convicts us of trespasses and brings us back into right a relationship with the Father.

The only thing in this life that is to be practiced is our obedience to the voice of the Lord. Many of the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Bible didn't fully obey God at the onset of their faith walk. God's spirit worked with the saints of old and with the disciples as well. However, once they became submitted and committed in their hearts, obedience became their first nature. You see; the Holy Spirit will get us adorned and READY for the day that we stand before our Lord. He works in our hearts perfecting us so that we will not be naked and ashamed when we see our Great Shepherd.

Please take a moment to read the book of Jude. In one short chapter, this man of God deposited very important truths, which teach us to abstain from the corruption of this present world. Jude tells us to separate ourselves from wickedness and from wicked people so that we can live a life that is holy and pleasing unto the Lord. Jude understood the principle that God gave Moses in the book of Deuteronomy about making right choices in THIS life.

Are you living your life as if it were a dress rehearsal? Or are you living each day as if it were the last one before you go to meet your Lord? God doesn't want us to be caught off guard; He wants us to be prepared for the Day that we see Him face to face. Who knows? This could be the Day!

Preparing To Meet My Lord,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Inspirational Thoughts,
Jack Jones
Church Elder

Monday, May 28, 2012

Only Be Strong and Courageous

Judges 6: 14 - 16, Then the Lord turned to him and said, "I will make you strong! Go and save Israel from the Midianites! I am sending you!" But Gideon replied, "Sir, how can I save Israel? My family is the poorest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least thought of in the entire family!"  Whereupon the Lord said to him, "But I, Jehovah, will be with you! And you shall quickly destroy the Midianite hordes!" TLB

When I read this passage, it reminded me of a principle that Jesus taught His disciples about servants. He said, "The greatest among you shall be your servant." Generally, a true servant doesn't see themselves as great. However, it seems to me that God has established a track record in the Bible of looking over people who were famous or of a grand stature. Instead, He would pick candidates whom we would think were the least likely to serve Him.

Gideon struggled deeply with a lack of self-confidence because of his "standing" in his community and family. Even so, when God looked on Gideon, He saw a mighty man of valor, a man of strength, ability, and force. We know from the story of David that God doesn't look on the outward appearance of a man or woman; He looks on their heart. Consequently, when God finds a person who may be considered the least of the least, but, nevertheless, he has the heart of a servant-leader or is a warrior of righteousness, He calls them into service.

You may be reading this today and saying, "I can so relate to the way Gideon felt." When we struggle with a lack of confidence, and we can only see our weaknesses, then we need to allow God to speak His Word into our heart. God saw the hidden potential in Gideon and spoke what He saw into Gideon's ears. We're told in Romans 4 that God calls those things that are not as though they were.

Like Gideon, when we see what we've been called to do for the Lord, we can certainly be overwhelmed. Even so, we must understand that God doesn't call us to serve Him in "our" strength, but "His" strength. This is the reason why the Lord could call Gideon a mighty man of valor and why He had full confidence that Gideon could finish all that God had instructed him to accomplish. The Lord knew that Gideon would fully rely on the presence of God and in the Words that He had spoken over him.  Gideon was assured of success because he knew that God was with him. When you and I have God's presence and God's instructions, we will also fulfill the purposes of God; and we will be victorious like Gideon was against the Midianites. With God all things are possible! It all begins with that first step of faith. ..Only when you step out will you know that God is truly with you.

Walking with God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Friday, May 25, 2012

This Could Be A Trial

Galatians 5 : 5, For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. NKJV

Today the Lord has directed me to write to you on the subject of waiting on God for your breakthrough. Throughout the Word of God, we're instructed to wait on the salvation of the Lord by faith. The Lord has already done everything in order to see to it that we are blessed, but sometimes we're required to wait for a promise to be manifested by faith. It breaks the heart of God when His people give up on His faithfulness because He doesn't always come in our time frame. God knows that our spirit is willing, but He also knows that our flesh is weak.

God was indeed faithful to the entire nation of Israel during the wilderness experience, but in spite of His faithfulness, they continually doubted Him. Instead of learning through their past experiences of seeing the faithfulness of God, they would murmur and complain against Him when He didn't respond on their terms. Occasionally, they would become so rebellious that they would rise up against Moses in opposition to God's will for them. 

If we should allow unbelief to rule our hearts during difficult times, it will grieve the heart and Spirit of God because it shows Him that we don't really trust Him. To avoid grieving the heart of God or His Spirit, who leads us through this wilderness experience, we must trust Him with our entire heart. If we will trust the Lord with all our heart and lean not to our own understanding, and allow Him to direct our paths, then He can (and will) deliver us from our enemies and trials.

In today's scripture, Paul mentions three components that must be active in our heart if we're going to see the righteousness of God and experience the manifestation of His promises in our lives on the earth. We are to operate through the Holy Spirit while waiting on the Lord to reveal His salvation on our behalf. God has given every believer the Holy Spirit; He will endue us with His power to endure until the victory is obtained. Secondly, we're to wait. When the Word of God commands us to wait on God for our breakthrough or deliverance, it is with the understanding that we are actively waiting while standing on the Word (Ephesians 6). This reveals to Satan and your flesh nature that you have HOPE in God because you TRUST God more than your flesh nature that wants you to doubt God.

The very reason Satan had the power to deceive Eve was that she didn't know the character or heart of God. You and I have seen the faithfulness of God in every situation, but sometimes we can find ourselves in a new circumstance that challenges our knowledge of God. When this occurs, you must rely on God's faithfulness instead of your lack of knowledge in this particular situation. Even if you can't see God's hand at work right now, it doesn't mean that He has forsaken you. It can mean that He is doing a new thing in which you're not yet familiar, and it can cause you to doubt.   

Today, if doubt is trying to convince your heart to give up on God's Word, and you're growing weak in your faith, then take another breath and decide not to be moved by Satan's lies. Remember, the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead also dwells in you and will give you strength to gain the victory, but you must be willing to lean on Him. Remain engaged in the good fight of faith until God brings you victory in this area of your life. 

Do I like everything our family is going through? Absolutely not! Am I allowing these trials and discontentments to cause me to waiver in my faith? Absolutely not! I've experienced the faithfulness of God in our lives as a family and as a church, and this has convinced me of one thing (or perhaps two things). Satan is a liar, and God is faithful to His Word. The only other component that has to be brought into this scenario is our faith in God and His Word. When we continually stand in faith, the Holy Spirit can strengthen us daily until our faith becomes sight. The Lord will come, but will He find us waiting? Don't STOP! Keep STANDING by faith.

The One Who Called Us Is Faithful,
Pastor Asa

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I Cannot Tell It All

Psalms 68 : 19, Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation! NKJV

The Lord desires that we celebrate His goodness in our lives. Therefore, we are instructed in His Word to acknowledge Him as the Source of all our needs. It is His good pleasure to give us His kingdom and to see that we're provided for in every area of life.

The psalmist teaches us to bless the Lord because He loads us with daily benefits through Christ. You've probably noticed that life has become very demanding. Consequently, as a result of these demands, we can on occasion become overwhelmed.

Nevertheless, we must always remember that it is the Lord, Who has brought us this far; and He will watch over us and keep us as we continue in our walk with Him.

We must guard our hearts from becoming consumed by life's challenges to the point that we ignore the hand of God that moves daily on the behalf of His children. I can't even begin to tell you all that the Lord has done for our family, the church, and the members of WHCN. However, I can tell you that if we keep  our eyes on the Lord and allow Him to move in His time, He will show up on time.

Even though John tells us in his gospel about the works of Jesus, he also said that there are far more things Jesus did that haven't even been written. He goes on to say that if everything that Jesus did while He walked on the earth was written down, the world couldn't contain the books. Amazing!

Do you have a book of testimonies where you've written down the times you've seen the faithfulness of God in your life or in your family's lives? Will you join with me today as I celebrate the faithfulness and goodness of the Lord? Let's tell Him that we know where our daily blessings come from... and we're not ashamed to admit it to others.

I Still Cannot Tell It All,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Sacrifice of Worship

Exodus 10: 21 - 26, Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness which may even be felt." So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. They did not see one another; nor did anyone rise from his place for three days. But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings. Then Pharaoh called to Moses and said, "Go, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be kept back. Let your little ones also go with you." But Moses said, "You must also give us sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God. Our livestock also shall go with us; not a hoof shall be left behind. For we must take some of them to serve the LORD our God, and even we do not know with what we must serve the LORD until we arrive there." NKJV

Do you feel like you're in a place or a season of oppression? Unfortunately, all believers experience hard places in their walk; and it may seem as if it would be better to "make a deal with Pharaoh" and "cut our losses." Nevertheless, we must remember our covenant with God. The Lord revealed something to me several years ago, and it remains just as relevant today. He said, "Men love to make deals, but God only "makes covenants." The terms of our spiritual release from our foes have already been predetermined by the Lord; they are not up for negotiation by our captors.

If you remember, God had promised Abraham, the father of Israel that his people would live in a land for four hundred years and afterwards, they would come out with great substance. Pharaoh told Moses that he would let the people of God go so that they could worship the Lord.... However, he also said they had to leave their livestock behind. Therefore, Moses wouldn't agree with him.

You see; when the enemy seems to have the upper hand in a situation in our lives, we must remember our covenant with the Lord. I'm sure there are some of you reading this today that are in a situation you can't get out of; and your adversary wants you to take a loss before releasing you.

Please note that Pharaoh was willing to let them go, but he wanted to keep their animals so that they couldn't worship the Lord in the wilderness. What is the enemy in your situation trying to steal from you that could be used to bring glory and praise to God if it were released with you? God doesn't want you to come out with regrets. He wants you to walk free with everything that He has given to you; it will be a witness to others of His faithfulness and honor.

God will lead you with peace. When Pharaoh gave Moses the conditions of his release, Moses didn't have peace and, therefore, rejected the offer. So be still and know that God has your best interest at heart. When the conditions match the covenant, then the release will come without strings or regrets. Those who wait upon the Lord are renewed. The Lord waits until we can come out with our praise intact so that the world, and our enemies will know Who it was that has delivered us.

Not Leaving Without My Praise,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Breaking the Stronghold Of Isolation

John 8 : 29 - 30, And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him." As He spoke these words, many believed in Him. NKJV

When God created us, He said that it wasn't good for us to be alone. Although the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, were created in the image and likeness of God, they were not created "self-sufficient." Had God created us as self-sufficient beings, there would not have been any need for man to have a companion. Nor would there have been any need for God to show them what to eat while in the garden. Furthermore, if God had created us as self-sufficient beings, we would not have needed Him. However, this is exactly the lie that Satan perpetrated upon Eve's ignorance about God and about herself. 

Satan convinced Eve that she didn't need God to become "like God" or become "self-sufficient." When he swayed her with his lies about God, it caused her to reject the commands of God and to partake of the forbidden fruit. What was the result of listening to the lies of the serpent? They became alienated from the life of God. Now let's review this for a moment. God created man with certain needs, and one of them is companionship with others. Knowing this, Satan followed God's original plan with his own agenda to separate us from the SOURCE of life, God, and ultimately from one another. God's goal is for us to be one with Him and each other, but Satan's goal is to isolate us. Satan first separated us from God through sin... preventing us from becoming one with each other. As a result of the fall of man, we lost God- consciousness. This simply means our conscience has been defiled with sin, and we are now sin-conscious. 

We see this sin-consciousness in the Garden of Eden shortly after they had partaken of the tree of knowledge. God came to Adam, but he and Eve hid themselves in the midst of the trees because they were afraid, and they were naked (self-conscious). Before the fall of man, Adam was neither frightened, nor was he ashamed. Therefore, we can conclude that as a result of sin (resulting in sin-conscience), we are separated from God through guilt, shame, and fear.

Now that we have been redeemed from sin and from the curse of the law as believers in Christ, how do we break the stronghold of isolation? You might tend to think that the stronghold over us would have been broken off of our lives at the point of salvation, and you would be correct (to a degree). In Christ and through His shed blood, the curse of sin has forever been broken off of our hearts and lives. Our spirit man has been regenerated, but our minds still need to be renewed. This is why Paul teaches us in Romans 12 that we must have our minds renewed so that we're not conformed to this world. It is through the renewing of our minds that we become transformed. This process doesn't happen overnight or with a one-time encounter with God. Remember, the JUST shall live by FAITH. We're not only saved by faith, but we're renewed daily by faith through the life of God dwelling within us.
As Jesus was preaching to the Jews in our opening verses, He told them that He was not alone. Isn't it something that Jesus was preaching on "spiritual isolation?" If He thought it important enough to mention to the chosen people of God, shouldn't we also take notice? As Jesus preached about the Father being with Him, He qualified (or gave the reason) why the Father had always been with Him, and He attributed it to unfailingly doing those things which pleased the Father. Now, remember that Adam didn't please the Father and became isolated from the life of God. The Last Adam, Jesus, obeyed the Father, and He knew or was cognoscente that God was always with Him.

In the following verses, Jesus is sharing to those who believed on Him that day. He made a very powerful and important statement to the Jews. He said, "If you continue in my word, then you are my disciples indeed." This tells us that we're not complete at the moment of salvation... although we ARE made complete in Christ. Salvation is the "beginning" of the restoration process of bringing us to a completed state in Christ. After Jesus told them to continue in His Word, He went on to say that they would come to know the truth, and the truth that they knew or experienced would make them free. If you truly want to break the stronghold of a guilty conscience and the feeling of being isolated from God, then you must live your new life in and through the Word of God. As believers learn and live the Word of God daily, it empowers us to break free from the stronghold of isolation and purges our guilty conscience. As the stronghold is broken, you will regain a God-consciousness. This is a very important principle for Christians to know and understand. 

Why did Satan want man to become separated from God in our minds? He knew that we would become weak and vulnerable to his vicious lies and attacks against us if we walked around with a guilty conscience or unworthy attitude concerning God's goodness. Furthermore, Satan wanted to disrupt and uproot us from inheriting the promises that God had spoken over man in Genesis 1. God had given us dominion over the earth so that we would cause it to become fruitful and bring an increase. God wanted us to REPLENISH the earth, but Satan wanted it to be destroyed. This is the reason he attacked Eve's faith in the garden. Satan didn't want mankind to have spiritual authority over him. He used the power of sin (creating fear in us) to make us feel unaccepted and unworthy of walking with God. 

Today, if you feel as though God has abandoned you because of circumstances that have occurred, then know that it is the stronghold of isolation. Satan uses this weakness of feeling separated in our minds to try and prevent us from stepping out in faith and challenging our feelings. One thing you and I as believers have that Adam and Eve didn't have is "Christ in us the hope of glory." This is the only sign that we need to overcome any stronghold that sin has placed on our minds from our past life. Today, submit this stronghold on your mind to the Lord and ask Him to guide you out of this pit of isolation. Once you pray the prayer of faith, you will begin to think differently. See yourself with God as the victor and not the victim. Finally, stay in the Word, in the fellowship of believers, live your new life according to the principles of God's Word, and in the liberating power of the Holy Spirit. "Whom the Son has set free, they are free indeed."

Walking with God,
Pastor Asa

Monday, May 21, 2012

God's Word Exposes Deception

Hebrews 4 : 11 - 13, Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a Discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. NKJV

The Word of God is alive! And if you take a moment to think about it, it seems strange to our carnal mind. Jesus tells us in John that not only is the Word of God alive, it gives life to those who hide it in their hearts. 

I want you to imagine for a moment how many books there are in the world today... that's a lot of knowledge! When we read one of them, we may be able to gain some great insights into the author's heart, imagination, experiences, and knowledge. However, when we read the Bible, we will gain spiritual life for our thirsty soul. 

When you begin to hide the Word in your heart, you should soon notice that you are gaining a deeper understanding of it. As we set our minds to ingest God's bread from heaven, it will begin to illuminate our understanding, thereby enabling us to comprehend spiritual matters. The Light of God's Word will fill your heart, and you will begin to walk in spiritual discernment. We see examples of this throughout the gospels. Many times people would address Jesus in what appeared on the surface as a goodwill gesture. Nevertheless, He would discern what was really hidden in their heart. Often times their motives weren't pure. Even so, He knew their hearts and didn't fall prey to their schemes.

Jesus instructs us in Matthew 10 to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Through spiritual discernment, God equips us to face the world and to know what is hidden in the deep recesses of people's hearts. We are guarded from getting hurt by those we don't know, if we recognize what the Holy Spirit is telling us about them. As a minister, I rely on spiritual discernment constantly. Serpents in the Bible represent subtlety and deception through smooth speech. Discernment gives Christians the ability to see beyond a person's words, revealing the hidden motives of the heart. Didn't God tell Samuel that He didn't look at the outward appearance of a man, but He looks at their hearts? God wants to protect us from wolves and the poison of bitter people. So we must get the Light of His Word in our own hearts so that we are able to know what is hidden in the hearts of others.

Protected by God's Word,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Emotional Affair

Colossians 3: 1 - 4, If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. NKJV

From the beginning chapters of the Bible until the end, God reminds us about the importance and sanctity of marriage. Marriage between a husband and wife is one of the physical and tangible ways God has chosen to demonstrate our relationship with Christ. 

Just as we are commanded to be faithful to our spouse as Christians, we are also commanded to be loyal to the Lord. Jesus tells us in John that we are to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. If we seek to fulfill this one command to love, it will empower us to live a holy and devoted life of purity to Christ.  

Even though we might commit ourselves to Christ and to our spouse for life, this won't prevent the enemy from tempting us. Therefore, we must continually guard our hearts so that we don't give ourselves over to seduction through deception. Let me explain what I mean by deceptive seductions. Well-meaning and sincere people have fallen prey to emotional affairs simply because they didn't realize they were crossing an invisible line in an attempt to "help the opposite sex."

This is probably the greatest ploy that Satan uses to destroy the marriages of many ministers. It is in a minister's heart to want to help those who are in need. However, if we're not careful, we can cross the line of protection and therefore, veer from giving sound counsel into fulfilling a person's emotional needs. One way to avoid this pitfall is to point those who are in need to Jesus and away from personal emotional interaction.

You will know that you have strayed from the "protected path" when you begin to share your heart and feelings with a co-worker, friend, or counselee; however, you begin to keep those areas closed with your own spouse.

One of the best stories that depicts this occurrence is found in Judges 16. Here, Samson is revealing his whole heart to Delilah. The moment Samson told her everything Delilah knew that she had won him over through seduction. After this, we can begin to see the fall of this mighty man of God. He is pierced through with great pain and sorrow from his sin.  

As Christians, we must be willing to give Christ our whole heart. If we don't, then it can clear the way for Satan to offer us another avenue to get "our needs met." Nevertheless, Satan's way will cost you dearly. Just like Paul instructed us in today's scriptures, we have to set our affections on things above and die to the lusts of our flesh while on earth. Circumcision of the flesh will hurt; however, giving in to an emotional or spiritual affair can destroy you, your soul, and your marriage. 

Take the time that is needed to be fulfilled by the Lord and your spouse (if you are married) so that you don't give place to the Devil. Set your affections on the Lord and delight yourself in Him. He has promised to give you the desires of your heart; and you will be able to live and enjoy a fulfilled life.

Already Taken,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Talking To Yourself

Psalms 103: 1 - 5, Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. NKJV

There are some days that you just have to talk to yourself. Pardon the pun, but the soul has a mind of its own, and it tries to tell us how we're going to act or respond to life based on our feelings. Unfortunately, we're living in a day and hour when people are listening to and obeying their minds and emotions instead of taking control over their souls. When anyone, especially believers, falls prey to allowing their thoughts, emotions, and circumstances to dictate their attitude, it opens the door for the enemy to pull them down on his level. Let me explain.

We have to understand that our soul is weak at best. Therefore, we must look outside of it to draw the strength that is needed to live victoriously. The type of strength that I am speaking about can only be gotten from reading, meditating, and quoting the Word of God.  

Even though we may wake up with certain thoughts going through our heads in anticipation of the day that lies ahead, it doesn't mean we have to take ownership of those thoughts. We're told in Matthew 13 that while men slept on the enemy came in and planted weeds among the good seed. Consequently, when you and I wake up with wrong thoughts or a bad attitude toward the day, we might have to do some "weeding" before moving on. 

The principle that I'm sharing with you today comes directly from the Word of God. The psalmist is recorded in God's Word as he speaks to his soul and instructs it to bless the Lord first. He knew where his strength came from. Likewise, as we lift up the name of the Lord, His presence begins to lift our soul. God's presence will give us a different perspective than the one our soul would want us to live under. 

Even as he told his soul to bless the Lord, he went on to tell it to remember all the benefits that God already gave to him. We, too, have to remove bad thoughts from our minds and begin to replace them with praise and memorization of God's promises and blessings. Lest you become weary of the chore of having to clean your mind's garden continually, let me say that God's Word, once it has been planted, will begin to grow and will spread throughout your entire being. Nevertheless, we must begin somewhere, and the scripture that comes from Psalms 103 is a very good place to start.

Renewing My Mind Daily,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Turning the Page

1 Samuel 15: 35, 16: 1, And Samuel went no more to see Saul until the day of his death. Nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul, and the LORD regretted that He had made Saul king over Israel. Now the LORD said to Samuel, "How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons." NKJV

We all go through difficult seasons in life, and we've all made mistakes and committed sins, which have caused us great heartache. Just as the Lord regretted that He had placed Saul as king over Israel, we, too, have situations that have arisen in our own lives which cause regret and shame. When you read the scriptures, you can see a stark contrast between Samuel's response to God's decision to remove Saul and God's response to it. The prophet mourned for a while; however, God was ready to move on. In fact, God already had a "son" in mind who would replace the disgraced leader of Israel.

There are many attributes that I personally love about God's nature; nonetheless, there's one attribute that I dearly love and that is the one which gives every person on earth the ability to move on in life. The unmerited favor of God (GRACE) gives fallen humanity a chance to start over and make things right. God's grace grants us forgiveness for our past mistakes and empowers us "to turn the page."

If today, you find yourself living with grief and regret over your past, and you feel stuck there, then there is hope for you in Christ. God is in the redemption "business" of turning hopelessness into hope. It is His will and His desire to come into your life and redeem your past. No one can go back into their past and undo what has already taken place. Even so, God has promised us that He will remove our sins and failures through His grace and will remember them no more... if we repent and accept His plan for us.

We can either decide to live in the regret of our past mistakes and mourn about the death or loss of what has been, or we can align ourselves with God and turn the page on a new chapter in our lives. If we choose to move on with God and to fulfill His plan and purpose, then His joy will become our strength. Satan doesn't want us to break free from regrets over our past because he can use those sins as weight. Satan enjoys holding us in bondage and wearing us down over things that we have done. In contrast, God wants us to be strong and filled with His joy. 

We're instructed in Hebrews 12: 1-2, "Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." NKJV

If you allow Him, God will give to you a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. It's okay! Let the past go; give it to Jesus and watch as He turns the page on your life.

Moving on in Christ,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Monday, May 14, 2012

Two Options

Psalms 34 : 8 - 10, Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing. NKJV

As believers in Christ, who also happen to live in a fallen world, we have two options. We can either live in fear of lack, or we can place our trust in the Lord to provide. According to the Psalmist, we can avoid "want" if we will only fear Him. Simply put, this means we must revere and adorn Him over the threats that can loom over our lives. He goes on to write that there is no lack for those who seek the Lord. 

Please understand when I write these words of encouragement to you that I am also living by faith. My faith is not raised to a place that God would want it to be... where there is peace in my heart about every situation. The one thing that we all must do is keep pressing on toward the goal of complete peace no matter what our state of affairs looks like.

The passage for today's word begins by exhorting us to taste and see that the Lord is good. I have found that I can't always experience His goodness without first having to experience some discomfort. It has been in the trials and pressures of life that I have sought the Lord, and He revealed Himself to me. It's not that the Lord's goodness isn't always with us, but that we don't always see or acknowledge it. Could this be the result of this world diverting our attention away from the Lord's goodness because of the care of this world?... Possibly

When lack or higher prices begin to challenge our peace, these are good indicators that the eyes of our faith must remain on the Lord. This will require us to go to the "ROCK" of our salvation and stand until we see the threatening storms subside and the clouds of doubt dissipate. This world does not, nor will it ever, be our provider. The Lord is our Provider, and He knows exactly what we need and when we will need it, but we must be willing to seek Him in the storm. Guard your heart from being consumed and filled with fear by placing total trust in the Lord to take complete care of you and your family.

Resting in Him,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Taking the Shield of Faith

Ephesians 6: 10 - 16, Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the Wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery Darts of the wicked one. NKJV

Amazingly, the book of Job allows us a glimpse into the heavenly realm. One day Satan came before God, and God asked him what he had been doing. He told the Lord that he had been going to and fro throughout the earth. It was at this point that God asked Satan if he had considered His servant Job. On the surface, it appears that God is simply inviting Satan to wreck havoc on Job's life. However, in reality, God is allowing us to see the protective hedge that had been hidden from us because of the fall of man.

There is so much to discover from the book of Job about God, His hidden wisdom, and Satan; however, today I want to discuss the hedge that was around Job. When God asked Satan if he had considered Job, Satan's reply clues us in on something that is a key in the understanding of spiritual warfare. The Devil reminded God that God had placed a protective hedge around Job and Job's livelihood; therefore, Satan could not touch him.

When the people of God are ignorant about God and His protection in our lives, it will cause us to open ourselves to worry, doubt, unbelief, and fear.  Likewise, we see how Job's ignorance of God's protection from Satan caused him to have fear as a father. Job constantly sacrificed to the Lord because he was afraid that his sons and daughters would sin against God and be destroyed...this tells us that Job didn't have personal knowledge of God's hedge. Fear filled Job's heart because he didn't have the truth to establish his faith upon. Therefore, he continually sacrificed out of works.

There are two words used to define "hedge." One is protection; however, the other is restraint. We know from reading in Job how the hedge served as a wall of protection in the spirit realm; nevertheless, how does it serve as a restraint? The Lord warns us in Proverbs to guard our hearts with all diligence. This requires us, as God's people, to show considerable restraint when it comes to living in a fallen world that is filled with great temptation. As we restrain ourselves from the pleasures of this world, we are allowing the hedge of God to keep us from stepping out of bounds into disobedience. Even so, the only way for us to restrain ourselves is through personal knowledge of God's Word and promises.

Now let's fast forward a few thousand years. When Jesus came to earth, He gave the people who heard His message the opportunity through faith to be protected from Satan, sin, and destruction. Once we place our faith in Christ and become born again, we are no longer of this world; we are hidden in Christ. Just as there was a hedge around Job, there is a protective force surrounding the children of God.

We see this in Matthew when Jesus tells Simon that Satan asked God for permission to sift him as wheat. Simon was protected from Satan's ability to touch his life while he was walking with Christ. However, Simon was about to deny Christ and therefore, give place for the Devil to operate in his heart through unbelief. Even when Simon was willing to be used by the enemy to deny his knowledge of Christ, Satan still had to gain access from God in order to invade Simon's life.

We must take responsibility if we desire to keep God's protection on our lives and have hearts that are kept from Satan's deceitful plans. We have been given the shield of faith as part of our spiritual armor. If we use our faith to quench or extinguish the fiery darts of Satan, then we will also keep ourselves from giving in to his lies. Eve didn't use faith when she was approached by Satan; consequently, he led her astray from God's protection. When Jesus was tempted by Satan, He answered those temptations with the Word of God. We, too, must use the Word of God through our faith to adequately address the issues we face from Satan.

Whenever we stand in faith on God's Word and Satan tries to trip us up, God's Word will keep us from falling prey. In the book of John, Jesus tells us that we must continue in His teachings; if we choose to progress in them, we will come to know the truth, and the truth that we know or place our faith in will set us free from bondage. Are you building your faith and life on God's Word?

Standing on the Rock,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Take No Thought

1 Peter 5: 6 - 10, Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. NKJV

In the book of Proverbs, we're instructed to place our complete trust in the Lord instead of leaning on our own understanding. As Christians, we must be willing to acknowledge God in ALL our ways and allow Him to direct our steps or decisions in life. It is God who has given us the privilege of having free-will. However, apart from the wisdom of God, and since we have the freedom of choice, we run the risk of making poor and even destructive decisions in life.

God tells us in Deuteronomy that He has set before us death and life, and He counsels us to choose life so that we and our children might live. Having stated this let me ask you a probing question. Are you pleased with your life? Do you believe the life that you are living is God's best for you, or are you living in bondage? You see; humans have a tendency to take life as it comes, not really challenge it, until it gets to be overwhelming.

Many times in the Word of God, we're told that we will reap the fruit of our choices and suffer the consequences of wrong actions. Therefore, we must be careful to allow God's Word and Spirit to have entrance into our hearts so that we can discern the difference between a bad decision and a good one. God's Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. If we should reject God's principles by not applying them to our everyday lives, then we will walk in spiritual darkness and stumble (stumble means to transgress or sin).

Even though God knew the dangers of giving men a free-will, He loved us enough to give us that freedom. God wants us to choose freely to accept and love Him with our whole heart. Nevertheless, if we decide to ignore God and His love for us, we will pay the price for our decision. We must all come to the place in our life where we're willing to turn to the Lord for direction and spiritual protection; we must forsake our ways for His.

It's not enough to say, "I will turn to the Lord and accept His will." We must also choose to forsake our old ways, old thoughts, and old habits in exchange for His ways. If we decide not to give up that flesh nature, we will FALL short of God's best for us. Instead of choosing to decrease and crucify self, it's simply easier for our flesh nature to add Jesus to our ways. Consequently, the door of our hearts will be left open for the lies of Satan to enter through the old ways of our flesh nature.

In order for the principles of life (God's life in us) to operate at an optimal level, we must be willing to discipline ourselves to come into agreement or alignment with God's Word. If we should fail to transform our ways by applying God's Word, the Word will have very little to no impact on our lives. Therefore, we are instructed to "take no thought" when placing our complete trust in God and His Word. Satan will speak lies from your old ways and try to get you to act the same way you always have so that he can neutralize the power of God's seed from impacting your life.

On a practical level, I have watched Christians who knew God's Word up one side and down the other decide to give themselves over to the desires of their flesh rather than fully obey God's Word. Consequently, they suffer great loss. Instead of allowing the Sword of the Spirit (WORD) to circumcise their hearts of the fleshly ways, they decided to obey their lusts and live in bondage to Satan's lies. James said, "When I know the good that I should do and do not do it, then it becomes sin to me." Whatever is not of faith is sin, and sin will destroy our lives.

So the next time you face a decision that requires you to die to the flesh and live for God's glory, choose life that you might live and possess the promises of God.

Living by Faith,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

When God's Love Reached Down

Matthew 23 : 37 - 39, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!'" NKJV

There is absolutely nothing in this world that can compare to the LOVE that God has for mankind. Throughout the Bible, we can read many accounts of when God stretched out His hands to His people; unfortunately, we can also see where they rejected His love. I would like to remind you that the Bible was written over the space of several thousand years. Still, from the book of Genesis to the Revelation of Christ, God is recorded as being a Savior, who is yearning to save a world that is lost.

Book after book and chapter after chapter, God remains the same in the Bible. However, throughout scripture, His people decided to reject His love and His law, and they ended up in trouble or in bondage. Even so, God had a plan that would bring them out of their afflictions. Over and again, we can read where God brought His people out of bondage and slavery, and delivered them from their enemies. Nonetheless, how many times do we find a place where He was able lead them to Himself?  

Even in the verses that I used today from the gospel of Matthew, we can see Jesus "lamenting" over a Jerusalem, who had rejected the prophets and Him. You can feel His heart break as you read the words that He spoke over Jerusalem when He saw their choice to turn a deaf ear and a hard heart toward Him.

Out of all the stories in God's Word where God is reaching out to mankind, we need to consider a very important truth. Shouldn't it have been the other way around? Shouldn't the Jews and mankind as a whole reached out to God? How many verses do you suppose are written in the Bible where God is instructing His followers to turn to Him and away from the path of destruction?

From a Biblical understanding, I know why it has to be that way. Jesus said, "You did not choose Me, but I have chosen you from the world." What I am asking is, "Where are the hearts of those whom God is reaching out to save?" Which direction are you walking today? Are you pursuing God or the world? May the Lord continue to grant us the privilege to pursue Him with our whole hearts so that we might find Him and experience His unconditional love? If we draw near to Him, He has promised to draw near to us.

In Love with God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Monday, May 7, 2012

You Shall be Above Only

Psalms 19 : 7 - 14, The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, and in keeping them there is great reward. Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer. NKJV

Are you a student of God's Word? Do you have a deep hunger to get into the Word and learn all that you can about God and about living a holy life before Him? The excuse or complaint that I hear most from Christians concerning a lack of hunger for the Word can be attributed to a lack of understanding. Even though Christians have placed faith in Christ, it doesn't mean that our hearts are completely open and ready to trust Him to tell us what we should be doing with our lives.

There is a very good explanation as to why people don't understand God's Word. Paul teaches us in Romans 7 that the Law of God is spiritual; however, we are carnal or carnally minded. When we were out in the world, our hearts were hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. We only trusted in our own knowledge and in those things that we understood with the human mind. God is Spirit; He doesn't speak to our minds, but to our hearts.

Even so, when we come to faith in Christ, it is with the understanding that we have believed in Him with our hearts and not our minds. However, there is a tendency to avoid things that we, humans don't understand. Nevertheless, when it comes to the Word of God, we must be willing to overcome this stronghold. We have to place importance and value on anything that pertains to our soul's salvation. Therefore, if you struggle with a lack of hunger because you don't fully understand the Bible, let me share some truths with you so that you will be encouraged.

Please reread the verses that I shared at the beginning of today's devotion. You will notice that God's Word works first in our hearts, and then it renews our minds. A lack of understanding of God's Word is the result of having the hard heart of a sinner; however, now that you are born again, God will give your heart greater understanding; nonetheless, you must be willing to attend to His Word.

At this point, in your pursuit of God, you will have to exercise your will. You will have to decide to seek God through His Word, even though you don't fully comprehend its message. Once you set your heart to read God's Word, He will open your heart and illuminate your understanding. The truths contained in the Bible will remove and replace everything that sin and Satan planted in our hearts that poisoned our minds and separated us from the life of God.

The greater our hunger grows for the Word, the more God will grant us understanding of it. Some of the greatest "thinkers" of our time were taught the Word of God from childhood. The Bible was once deemed by our Congress as useful in all areas of life and was even taught in our schools. This wisdom from our forefathers gave our nation the ability to lead. However, now that our nation has decided to separate society from God's Word, we can see the fallout that has resulted. Satan doesn't want anyone to read or understand God's Word; it is our victory over him and this world. God said, "My people are destroyed by a lack of knowledge." They rejected the truth of God's law. Cultivate a hunger and thirst for God and His Word and watch understanding and victory follow closely behind.

Seeking God and Finding Understanding,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The National Day of Prayer

Jeremiah 33: 1 - 3, Moreover the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah a second time, while he was still shut up in the court of the prison, saying, "Thus says the LORD who made it, the LORD who formed it to establish it (the LORD is His name):'Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.' NKJV

Psalms 24 tells us that the earth and its fullness, and all who dwell on the earth belong to the Lord. The Lord was expressing this very thing to Jeremiah while he was being held in prison. The people had rejected the Word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah. However, their negative response didn't prevent God from continuing to work through him. After all, the earth still belongs to the Lord, even if its inhabitants don't have the desire to follow His instructions.
Thankfully, the Lord has strategically placed His people throughout the earth so that we might call on Him and allow His kingdom to work in us and His will be fulfilled in the earth. As children of God, we have a mandate and a responsibility to serve the Lord while on the earth. It is through our prayers and obedient faith that God can slow down or stop the plans of Satan and his imps from destroying lives.

Just like Jeremiah, the enemy has launched attacks against the people of God in an attempt to shut up the voice of God in the earth. In spite of the current situations that we face and the opposition from our adversaries, we must train ourselves to turn to the Lord in faith. In the same way that God spoke to Jeremiah in the prison, God desires to show us His divine plan; even so, we must be willing to pray.

Many chapters of the Bible were inspired and written by men who were placed in prison for the gospel's sake. Nevertheless, the circumstances which these men of God faced didn't rob them of their love and devotion to do God's will in their lives. They had no way of knowing that the letters they penned would be printed and sent around the world for generations to come. Likewise, we must not allow the ominous threat that we live under cause us to doubt God's ability to use us to share the "Good News" with others and to pray according to His will.

If there is anything that this world is in need of at this very moment, it is prayer from the people of God. There is nothing that is so wrong with the nations of the world that God can't set them in order through our fervent and effectual prayers. Jeremiah, Peter, Paul, and others could have allowed being in prison to keep them from having faith in God's authority to make life better, but they chose to obey instead of give up. We must have the same resolve and commitment to Christ; we must pray without ceasing for our leaders and the nations.

Many Christians fall in the common trap of Satan that convinces them that they and their spiritual efforts are too little compared to the severity of the situation around them. As a result, many believers will choose to opt out of praying altogether. If you struggle with this mindset, let me encourage you with a Word from God's Word. "Little is much when God is in it." One can chase a thousand, but two can put ten thousand to flight. Finally, with God, all things are possible. Please join with Christians across America and around the world today as we pray for the nations and their leaders.

In the Name of Jesus,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

God's First Command Is Love

Mark 12: 28 - 31, Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, "Which is the first commandment of all?" Jesus answered him, "The first of all the commandments is: 'Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." NKJV

Why do you suppose the first commandment is to love God? God is love. Therefore, when we love Him more than all else, we are allowing the very nature and essence of God to live and flow through our hearts. It's interesting, to say the least, that God requires us to love Him because there is no love (agape) apart from God; and man was separated from God through sin. It is no surprise then that when God gave the commandment for Israel to love Him, they naturally fell short.

As a minister of the gospel, I hear and see many people who confess faith in Christ, but fall short in living for God. The reason they most often give me as to why they fall short is they lack the power to live for God and to overcome the pleasures and desires of sin. What many believers who struggle to live a godly life fail to realize is that it takes the love of God abiding in our hearts before we can successfully live for God.

Even as Christians, we can't love the world and love the Father at the same time; we will have no power to live holy before Him. We are required to choose whom we will serve. The Apostle John tells believers in Christ that if they love the world, then the love of the Father is not in them. Thus, we will fail whenever we try to live for God. We must accept the gift of God's Son, who was given by the Father out of His great love in order to bridge the gap between Him and us.

After Jesus had risen from the dead, He appeared to His disciples several times. About the third time, Jesus "cornered" Simon Peter and asked him if he loved Him. Jesus asked Simon Peter this question three times. Perhaps, Jesus dealt with Simon's heart three times because he had previously denied knowing Jesus three times. Nevertheless, Simon wasn't living for Jesus, and Jesus wanted to know if Simon truly loved Him. It was there with Simon that we see Jesus tying together living and serving God with loving Him.
No one can live for God for a lifetime, if they don't truly love God first. We're told in 1 Corinthians 13 that love never fails.

Consequently, if you regularly struggle to overcome sin and to live for God without feeling under condemnation, then you must ask the Lord to fill your heart with His love. You must also seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. The more you allow yourself to love God by placing self on the cross of obedience, the additional liberty you will have to live for Him.

To love God or even someone else is simply an act of your will. You're willing to put them first in your life. As we prioritize our life to live for God's pleasure, then He will be released to fill our hearts with His divine nature and give us power to overcome the will of our flesh. You can do all things through Christ, and live a holy life.

Loving God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Isaiah 9: 2, The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined. NKJV

In the Bible, the word "darkness" has different connotations; it could mean evil, deceit, hidden sins, as well as spiritual ignorance of the truth. Today, however, I want to explore the latter... spiritual ignorance in the life of a believer. If we walk in darkness or a lack of understanding of God's Word, then we resort to leaning on our own understanding (the word "understanding" is also referred to as LIGHT in God's word). 

In Proverbs, we're told to guard our heart, for out of it flow forth the issues of life. If our heart doesn't have the Word of God hidden within it, then we won't know when we are in violation of His Word. Here is wisdom: we might not know a particular principle that is written in the Word of God; however, our ignorance of that truth won't prevent us from suffering the devastating fallout from the sin that is hidden in our hearts.

The deceitful thing about sin is that it can be very deceptive. For this reason, God sent His Son, the Word incarnate, into the world. God wanted His people to see the LIGHT and, through the truth, be set free from the blindness of sin. We already know that sin produces death. We also know that God's Word is the only way we can both have and enjoy life. Therefore, we must develop a hunger to know God's Word and to hide it in our hearts by honoring it. As we honor God's Word, it will cleanse our hearts and keep us from sin. When we choose to obey the truth and our ways begin to please the Lord, our life will begin to reflect the goodness and protection of God's grace.

Paul teaches us in Romans 10 that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. As we set our hearts to listen to God's Word and receive it as truth, it will begin to illuminate our understanding and reveal what is in our hearts. After we have been enlightened by the Word, we must decide whether to align our life with it or to remain the same old person. You see; God's truth or "light" not only gives us understanding, but it also corrects wrong thinking and wrong action.

Perhaps you have had an issue in your life that wars against your joy and peace as a believer and nothing you have done has seemed to work to stop it. If this describes a situation in your life, James gives us the key to victory. Whenever we find ourselves in various trials/temptations, we are to turn to the Lord and ask Him for wisdom (enlightenment through truth), and He will give it to us liberally.

You have to get serious about circumstances and situations that seem never to end. You must reach a point where you are willing and ready to turn them over to the Lord. As you cast your cares on Him, He will provide you with the answer you need to overcome this problem. James also instructs us to have patience and wait on the Lord as we seek Him for wisdom concerning spiritual mountains that overshadow our lives. Stand on God's Word today; and continue standing until the LIGHT comes on, and you are able to see things through the eyes of faith.

Walking in the Light,
Pastor Asa Dockery