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Friday, August 31, 2012

The Devil Made Me Do It

1 John 4: 4, Dear young friends, you belong to God and have already won your fight with those who are against Christ because there is someone in your hearts who is stronger than any evil teacher in this wicked world. TLB

I remember as a child listening to a comedian who made the statement, "The Devil made me do it." It's interesting how we can still sometimes fault Satan or others for our own actions. However, if we are a Christian, the Bible tells us that the Greater One lives in us. In other words, we have already overcome the spirit of Antichrist when we received the Holy Spirit into our hearts. We have also overcome the world as well.

What is it in us then that causes Christians to stumble and sometimes fall back into sin or our old ways? We are required by Jesus to take responsibility or ownership for our own actions and behavior as God's children. Before you became born again, you were driven by the same spirit that is at work in the world. It was all about self and what self desired, but now that you have given yourself to the Lord, and His will, your life is to be all about Him. Paul tells us in Romans 7 that he had no good thing in his flesh. He had no power on his own to quit sinning, but God had mercy on him and revealed Jesus to him as the victory over his sin.  

Now that we're born again, God has given to us His HOLY Spirit. The Holy Spirit is alive and dwelling within our spirit to give us victory over our flesh nature. Flesh nature simply means that part of you that still desires the things of the world. Now that you're born again, you don't have to live your life any longer serving the desires of your flesh nature. We have the Spirit of God, who gives us the power over the world and our flesh (Adamic) nature. Consequently, we can serve our HOLY God with this same earthen vessel that used to be in bondage to the power of sin.  

As a Christian, you must practice walking in holiness and righteousness by faith. Paul tells us in Philippians that he had not apprehended all that God had apprehended him to accomplish. However, he didn't allow that to stop him from pressing onward. Every day that you wake up to live another day is an opportunity to die to the old flesh nature and live more for God than you did yesterday.  This will require that you strive in your walk to draw closer to the Lover of your soul and withdraw from the lusts and filth of this world.  

If you feel as though you have very little passion for the Lord, and you struggle to overcome carnal lusts and temptations, then this is your word from the Lord. The more we practice walking in holiness and righteousness by faith, the greater our passion for God will grow. I must decrease in order that He might increase in my life. However, if I don't strive to draw nearer to Him, my flesh nature certainly won't cheer me on to do so. If you are born again, you have the power of God dwelling in your spirit. I challenge you to activate the power of God in your heart through hunger for more of God and watch as He sets your heart and life on fire for Him.

Be That Burning Light That Leads Others to God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, August 30, 2012

He Gives Beauty for Ashes

Isaiah 61 : 1 - 3, "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified." NKJV

In the town where we live, there is a vacant building that is undergoing a transformation. It blesses me to watch the progress the workers have made because the empty building is being restored and filled with purpose once again. In Ecclesiastes, we're told that God makes all things beautiful in its time. Therefore, I suppose the time has come for that old building to be made new again.

We all go through various stages and seasons in our lives. Consequently, this word may find you entering a time when it seems that everything in your life is unraveling at the seams. On the other hand, you may have been in a situation similar to that of Job in the Bible, and God is making all things new to you again. You may have been in that place of bondage for many years, and the Lord has moved to give you a new lease on life. Our God is in the work of redemption.  

It's not significant where we find ourselves in life; however, it is vitally important that we allow the Lord to work in our hearts to restore us back to His original plan. As horrible as sin and its consequences are on us who live in this world, God's redemptive power is even greater. When God performs a work of redemption in someone's life, which others said would never be worth the time or investment, there is a sense of value and validation that emerges from that person's heart. Why? They have experienced first-hand the love of God.

When God looked upon fallen man and the destruction that had come upon us, He still loved us and saw us as redeemed, even though we may not have seen ourselves as worthy. If we will just move on past the place of brokenness and allow God's love and power to restore us, then we will receive from the Lord the strength we need to live the redeemed life. Too many times, Christians fall into a performance mindset, and, consequently, try to live a perfect life. However, God wants us to love and appreciate Him for giving us a redeemed life. When we look at our life through the lens of redemption, it will cause us to be thankful and humble so that God gets the glory for a life well lived.

We've all sinned and fallen short of God's glory, but not from His infinite love. If your life is in need of redemption today, just turn the controls over to the Lord. Give Him your heart; He will begin its renovation and give you a fresh outlook on life. You will have more hope in your heart than you ever thought was possible. If your dreams have been reduced to ashes, won't you give them to Jesus and allow Him to give you beauty?

A Work in Progress,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

God Shall Give His Angels Charge over You

Psalms 91 : 9 - 12, Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. NKJV

In the day that we are living in, we should seriously take the words of this psalm to heart. In Psalm 103, we're instructed not to forget all the benefits of being in a covenant with God. The Word of God is alive. Nevertheless, in order for it to have an impact on our lives and so that we reap the benefits of it, we must keep it living in our hearts. As we honor God's Word by reading, obeying, and declaring its benefits over our lives, we are releasing the power that the Word of God contains into the atmosphere around us. 

If this principle seems strange to you, let me remind you of what Jesus taught us to do when we are faced with seemingly impossible situations (Mark 11). He told us to speak to the mountain (or whatever the opposition) that may be hindering us from moving forward spiritually. As we proclaim God's Word over our lives and the situations that we encounter, it releases the Lord to perform His good Word in our life. He is allowed to move on our behalf.

Notice that it says, "For He will give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways." As we speak, God begins to release the forces of heaven to preserve and keep us safe on earth. He will also remove any spiritual stronghold that might be used by the enemy to prevent us from accomplishing our purpose in Christ. 

If you read Jeremiah 1, you will see where God asked Jeremiah to speak what he saw. As Jeremiah recited the vision back to God, God said that He would watch over His Word to perform it. It wasn't until after Jeremiah proclaimed God's Word that the Lord could fulfill it in Jeremiah's life, as well as in Israel. 

It's obvious that we are living in perilous times, and because we are, we must be proactive with the spiritual weapons that God has equipped us with in Christ. Many people begin to earnestly pray only after a problem has arisen. We should be diligent in praying the benefits of God over us and our family to keep the enemy from gaining an upper hand against us. 

You may say, "Well, I've prayed for God's protection, and bad things still happened anyway." To this I would answer, "The weapon was formed against you. However, because you had already prayed and sought the Lord's protection, the enemy's plans weren't able to prosper." 

As a pastor, I pray weekly over our members and their families. It doesn't mean that they won't have troubles and trials. 
Nevertheless, I have personally seen our members walk away from situations that have taken others out. Praying the Word of God over ourselves works. God has promised that if we honor Him and His Word, He will give His angels charge over us.

Protected under God's Shadow,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Proverbs 3: 1 - 4, My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you. Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man. NKJV

Do you suppose a Christian wakes up one morning and suddenly decides to commit a sin or a crime? Shouldn't the power of the Holy Spirit be enough to prevent God's children from committing the same wickedness as sinners? The Bible teaches us, "Greater is He (Jesus) that is in us than he (Satan) that is in the world?" So what is it that we need to know that can keep us, Christians, from falling from grace and doing the unthinkable?

I can tell you, today, that it can be summed up in one word, "honor"? If a person doesn't honor God, then it limits what God can do for that person. In Matthew 13, we see where the Jews in Jesus' hometown didn't honor Him as the Son of God, and, therefore, He couldn't perform many mighty miracles because of their unbelief. God calls dishonor of Jesus' divinity in people's hearts, unbelief. Consequently, we must guard our hearts from dishonoring God (unbelief), lest we open the door for sin to enter our lives.

I want to give you a couple of examples that will show you just how important it is for Christians to honor God, His Word, and His authority in our hearts...especially when we feel justified to resort to the flesh nature and ignore God's Word in a situation.

King David is described in the Word of God as a man after the heart of God. David found great favor in God's sight, and his throne has been forever established. How could such a mighty man of God fall from the pinnacle of spiritual success that was bestowed upon him, slip into the deepest recesses of hell's power, and sin against God? The answer to this question is addressed in 2 Samuel 12: 8 - 9, I gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more! Why have you despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in His sight? NKJV 

Satan seized a moment in David's life when he had turned his heart from the Lord and despised His commandment. David chose not to honor God's Word in his heart, and it opened him up to the allure of temptation and sin. I must also point out that Satan sought this opportunity to get into David's heart so that he might destroy the king's family as well. If you read chapter 12 completely, you will discover what it cost David personally to dishonor God's Word and to fall into sin. We're told in Romans that the wages of sin is death.

Let's look at an example of a king who was given an opportunity to commit adultery with another's man's wife, much like the sin of David. However, he was kept by the Lord from following through with it. Abraham had lied to the king and deceived him into believing that Sarah was Abraham's sister. 

Genesis 20: 6 - 7, And God said to him in a dream, "Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart. For I also withheld you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her. Now therefore, restore the man's wife; for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours." NKJV

Notice that the Word doesn't describe King Abimelech as a man of God or of faith. It simply says that he was a man who had integrity, and he respected certain lines of morality. As a result of this king's honor, God was allowed to keep him from sin and from bringing death into his family. Hopefully, through these two examples from the Bible, you can see more clearly the importance of honoring God's Word and His will in our hearts.

In Galatians 5, Paul teaches us that if we walk in the Spirit, we won't fulfill the lusts of the flesh. How do you respond to the Holy Spirit when He instructs you to do something, and it doesn't agree with what you want to do in your heart? Do you submit your will to God, or do you ignore the Lord? Sin doesn't just come on us suddenly. God gives us little nudges and warnings, and if we ignore those warnings and despise His conviction and command to relinquish, then we open the door for sin to rule over our hearts. We must remain submitted to God, and we must resist the Devil. Obeying this principle is the only way to keep ourselves from sin. Honor God first.

Praising God for Truth,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Monday, August 27, 2012

Blessings Flow When We Honor God

Deuteronomy 28: 1 - 2, "Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God: NKJV

Whenever Adam sinned against the Lord, he lost the blessing of the Lord on his life; you can read about that blessing in Genesis 1. As a result of Adam's decision to dishonor God and His commandment, he had to live under the curse of sin. As a sinner, he discovered what hard-labor and sorrows were all about. There was something else that man inherited from the sin nature besides hard work, and that is a "works" based mindset. The fallout from living in sin and the neediness it develops in us and from being separated from the life of God is to feel "unworthy."

It doesn't matter how guilty we may feel when we choose to live in sin; nor does it matter how hard we may try to work to earn the blessing of God, it can't be earned. People who refuse to submit to God's will for their lives, but, instead, choose to live on their own terms will, likewise, try to compensate for the void of God's life and blessing in their heart by working harder. It isn't just about getting their needs and desires met; if someone who dishonors God in their heart becomes successful, then they will also seek to draw their identity and self-worth from their accomplishments. Too many times, we equate success with being blessed. However, blessing has everything to do with honoring God in our hearts and not in the riches or acceptance of this world.

 Through Adam's decision and failed example, we can see more clearly that we shouldn't try to earn what can only be freely given through honor. Once the Lord reveals to us that we struggle with a "performance" mentality, instead of trusting and honoring Him, He can then teach us how to learn the principle of honor... and, consequently, we will be blessed. As we honor God and His Word in our hearts, His favor will grant us entrance back into His blessing of increase, fruitfulness, and multiplication. 

This new journey to spiritual liberation from dead works and to becoming blessed by God's presence begins when we seek the Lord with our whole heart. As we endeavor to please Him and to live according to His Word and His will, then the blessing of the Lord will come upon us and overtake our lives. You see; the blessing of the Lord can't be earned. Nevertheless, it surely will be given to those who live to please God. 

Do you find that most of the things that you set out to accomplish are difficult and produce very little joy, peace, and contentment? If so, then stop seeking those things and begin to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all the rest will begin to follow you. It's time to get our hearts in agreement with God's heart, to get our lives in proper order, and to live the blessed life in Christ. 

Honoring God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Love Activates Faith

John 3 : 16 - 17, For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. NKJV

I cannot even begin to imagine what would have happened to mankind had God looked at the world and said, "I believe in you," but, nonetheless, didn't act on His faith. Likewise, God hasn't called Christians just to believe; He requires us to mature in His love and become His disciples, indeed. The Apostle James warns us not to be hearers of the Word only. He exhorts us to be doers of the Word so that we will be blessed. Aren't you eternally grateful that God loved the world so much that He GAVE His only-begotten Son? 

In Christianity, we place a great deal of emphasis on faith and believing; nevertheless, this is only part of the work. Whenever we put our faith in the work that Jesus has already done for us on the cross, according to Ephesians 2:8, it saves us.  However, now that we are saved, is having faith all that it takes to be a child of God? When we become saved, we have only just entered the race. The writer of Hebrews tells us to run the race that is set before us with endurance while we keep our eyes on Jesus.

Now we must begin to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. When we decide to move forward in our faith and allow it to become a "walk of faith," we have moved beyond faith and into love, or faith in action. James tells us that faith without obedient actions is dead. Consequently, there comes a time in every believer's life when we must choose to love God more than ourselves. In other words, we take what we have read and learned from God's Word, and we allow it to change our hearts and lives through "acts" of love toward our Savior. 

Isn't it interesting that after the gospels, God allows those who canonized the scriptures to place a book called, "Acts" after them? Acts is where we move on into a deeper commitment to Christ; it is where we will place Him before self. This is also the place where Christ begins the work of transformation in our hearts through our love and devotion to Him. 

In John 15, Jesus told His disciples, who had believed on Him that if they loved Him, they would also keep His commandments; consequently, they would abide in His love as well. Through faith, we abide in Christ. Even so, when we decide to apply God's Word to our lives through our love, do we begin to allow His love to abide in our hearts? Once we learn how to abide in God's love by keeping His Word, it will give us the power to die to self and to live a sinless life. The psalmist wrote in Psalm 119, "Your Word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against it." The psalmist understood something about spiritual maturity and how it is connected to submitting to the spiritual authority of God's Word. Didn't James teach us to first submit to God, and then resist the Devil, and he would flee? We, in and of ourselves, can't quit sinning, but if we will seek to keep God's Word through love, then we will abide in His love and defeat the power of sin.

God didn't save our souls so that we would have to live in bondage to our flesh and to sin until Jesus returns, or until we go to meet Him. He saved us and gave us the Holy Spirit and His Word so that we might overcome the flesh and sin through our obedient faith and out of our love for God. We love God because He first loved us. Only when we begin to live the Word does God become glorified and honored in our lives. How serious are you about becoming a disciple of God's Word? If you've never been poised with this question, then, please allow me to challenge you to get into the Word and put it into action in your life. 

Growing in the Grace and Knowledge of God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Acts 26: 27 - 29, King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe." Then Agrippa said to Paul, "You almost persuade me to become a Christian." And Paul said, "I would to God that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become both almost and altogether such as I am, except for these chains." NKJV

Christians can find themselves in some challenging situations that often provide opportunities to witness to unbelievers. Even though Paul was the accused and had to defend himself to the King, it was King Agrippa, who ended up being witnessed to about Paul's faith in Christ. Isn't it interesting that Paul's life was hanging in the balance, and yet God used this occasion to give King Agrippa an opportunity to believe in Jesus as the Christ?

King Agrippa wasn't a man of faith in the Jesus, whom Paul both believed in and testified about. Consequently, Paul seized the moment to share evidence and facts about Christ that could potentially lead the king to faith. In order to bring someone to faith, you have to give them sufficient creditable information that will assist them in making an educated decision based on the evidence. Remember, unbelievers only operate based on logic. Their hearts have been made hard by sin; trusting God isn't something they're comfortable doing. Once there is sufficient evidence offered to the unbeliever, they may allow the Holy Spirit to bring them to a place of faith or trust in their heart. This process is called winning them over to Christ.

Paul not only spoke about his own encounter and experiences with Christ, but he also mentioned the writings of the prophets. We, too, must be able to share effectively our own testimony of how Christ has transformed our lives. We also need to have scriptures that we can share, which will bring them to faith in Jesus and His Word. One of the greatest truths that we can take away from Paul's defense of himself, and of his faith in Christ is that he seemed more concerned about King Agrippa coming to faith than his own well-being. 

Ultimately, it was up to King Agrippa to decide whether he would believe or reject Paul's offer for him to believe in Christ... "Almost!" Apparently, Paul gave the king a sufficient argument; nevertheless, the king still decided he wasn't quite ready to surrender his heart to Christ. Even though someone may have enough truth and facts to make an informed decision, they may not be willing to submit their lives to Christ. All we can do as a witness for Christ is to provide sufficient evidence and pray for the person. It is the Lord, who will give the increase.  

Sharing My Faith,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Having the Mind of Christ

Hebrews 11: 6, But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.NKJV

The Word of God says, "Let every man be a liar, and let God be true." Whenever God allows us to face the fiery furnaces in this life, our flesh nature makes it hard on us to trust in God. In our hearts, we still believe that God is good, and that He desires only good things for us. Life can deal us some serious blows that are very hard to endure, much less overcome. Wouldn't it be so nice if Jesus would just protect us so that we would never have to have another bad day or hear an evil report? 

Wake up your daydreaming! We all live in a fallen world. Evil things happen to good people, and good things happen to evil people. Wait a minute; didn't Jesus say that there was none good but God? Yet, God still gave His Son for us, and Jesus still gave His life for us while we were evil. Thank God He doesn't just bless good folks, or we would still be lost with no hope. What you will find is this: there is no justice in this world, but God is just. More than that, God requires the just (Christians) to walk by faith and not by sight or feelings. 

How can a just and holy God allow us to face horrible situations? To answer this hard question, we need to use some more Bible. 1 Peter 4 : 1 - 3, Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. NKJV  

Satan is convinced that when Christians face tragedy or calamity we will betray our faith in God and go back into sin, but Peter, under the leading of the Holy Spirit tells us just the opposite. When we choose to suffer for the sake of Christ, we will cease from sin. So what Satan meant for evil, God, through the Holy Spirit within us, turns around for our spiritual benefit and maturity. Peter also tells us that all who live godly will suffer persecution. Have you faced a few mountains since becoming a child of God? Learning how to stand on the Word of God during the difficult times of life builds godly character in us. In other words, we become stronger in our faith rather than weaker when we choose to stand on the Word instead of running in the weakness of our flesh nature. 

All you must know when facing a trial is what God is speaking to you by His Word and the Holy Spirit. When you have a Rhema Word from the Lord, and you know that it is impossible for God to leave or forsake you, the attack of Satan will only make you stronger in your faith, not weaker. God has predestined us to be conformed into the image of Christ. Therefore, when you go through what might seem like (hell) at times in your saved life know that the old man is being crucified, and the new man is emerging out of the flames of affliction. 

The end result of your battle is victory over the Devil. You might be thinking, "I thought he was defeated at Calvary?" If you believe that, you are absolutely correct, but your carnal mind doesn't know that yet. Our faith doesn't give us so much victory over the Devil as it does victory over the mind that he offered to Adam and Eve when they sinned against God's will in the beginning. We used to be alienated from the life of God because of the carnal mind. Once we pass through the fire and overcome the flood, our faith in God renews our minds and we become one with God in our minds as well as our spirits. 

With each trial we are separating ourselves from the strongholds of this world and becoming one with Christ through our faith. Instead of trials taking us further from Christ, through faith, they bring us closer to Christ.

Becoming Like Christ,
Pastor Asa

Monday, August 20, 2012

Ever Tried to Quit Sinning?

John 15: 5, "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. NKJV

Are you committing a sin, or do you have a habit that you desire to quit, but you can't seem to muster up the power to defeat it? If so, God has given me some wisdom for you today. 

I remember a time many years ago when I was suffering greatly with sinus trouble. Consequently, I had to use nasal spray to keep my sinuses open enough to breathe. Unfortunately, the illness held on for an extended time, and I formed an addiction to the brand of nose spray that I had been using. I tried to quit using the spray because it bothered me to be bound by a substance. One day as I was driving home from work, I felt compelled to throw the spray bottle away. Once the medicine was gone, I knew that I would have to trust God to move me forward without it. Since that day, I have breathed freely, and I've never had the desire or need to use nose spray again. 

On another occasion, I was at a drive-through about to order my usual, which was a biscuit and a cup of coffee. I sensed the Lord's presence in my truck, and I heard Him ask me to lay down my desire for coffee.  I merely drank one cup per day, and only on work days... and I'm not condemning coffee as a beverage. It's just that the Lord asked me to let it go and guess what? I did. It's been at least fifteen years since I last drank coffee. 

Nonetheless, why am I telling you so much about myself? If you've been struggling with a sin or a habit, and you haven't been able to lay it down, let me ask you one question. Are you trying to quit whatever the issue is in your own strength? If you've tried to stop and have been unsuccessful, then know that we, by ourselves, can do nothing to stop sin or addiction. Instead, we must do as Jesus said in today's scripture: We must abide in Him. This term, "Abide in Him" simply means that we keep His commands and obey His voice when He speaks instructions to our hearts. 

Instead of trying to quit a sin or habit, focus your attention on keeping the Word and obeying the voice of God. As you keep the Word, rather than trying in your own power to stop sinning, the Word will empower your faith to overcome the stronghold or yoke of the enemy. David wrote in Psalm 119, "Your word have I hidden in my heart that I might NOT SIN against it." He wasn't focused on discontinuing the sin; he was focused on keeping the Word. Since he kept the Word, it gave him power over sin. When Christians keep the Word, it gives us the power to obtain the victory that we so eagerly seek after. 

If you're in a battle over a sin or an addiction to "nose spray" or whatever, then focus all your efforts on keeping God's Word and listening for the voice of God to speak a (rhema* word) into your spirit that will set you free. It is my prayer that, as you read today's devotion, God's Spirit and power will be released in your heart and body, and will completely liberate you from any bondages. In Jesus' name, I pray and believe with you. 

*Rhema word means a word or scripture that is made alive by the Holy Spirit to you personally from God's Word about your particular situation.

If you have received a breakthrough in your life today, will you share your victory testimony with me? You can contact me at prayer@whcnorth.org. 

Standing in Agreement with You,
Pastor Asa Dockery 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Preserving Your Soul From Sin

James 1: 2 - 4, My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. NKJV

Salvation is comprised of both the work of the cross and the work of grace. The cross is what Jesus did for us so that we might be reconciled back to God. There was nothing that we could do as sinners to redeem ourselves. Jesus came to be our redeemer as well as our Lord. God's grace saved us; however, now that we are born again, it also empowers us to grow up in Christ and become mature children of God.

Faith is just as essential after we're saved as it was in bringing us to salvation. Until we grow in our faith walk to a place where we can begin to see with our spiritual eyes, there will be occasions when adverse circumstances and mistakes of our own can set us back spiritually. Therefore, we must be willing to endure trials and temptations by faith and allow patience to do its work in our hearts.  
There is a very important reason why you will want to endure trials and temptations through faith, instead of giving up and running away from God because of fear. Although your soul is saved by your faith in Christ, you still have to preserve it from sin until you leave this world. We have many examples in the Old Testament where men were called of God; nonetheless, they allowed sin to enter their hearts...for example: Adam, King David, and King Saul. 

When we choose to suffer trials and endure temptations while holding onto our faith and our commitment to God and His Word in the fire, we will preserve our souls from corruption. The Lord has an eternal reason for allowing our faith to be tried while we're living in this world. He wants us to utilize our faith to endure so that we will ultimately overcome our flesh nature and the world's ways. Only when we choose to suffer by faith and wait on God to bring us out of our afflictions will we be able to see or understand the ways of God. 

Whenever believers decide not to remain submitted to God during a fiery trial or while they're being tempted, it opens their hearts up to sin. Apart from Christ, we can do nothing to stop the power of sin. If we remain submitted to Christ while under attack, our faith will keep us from the evil one. 

We have a promise in Romans 8 that tells us that nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ. Nevertheless, we must be strong enough in our faith to keep ourselves from walking away from God's love and choosing sin. Simply exercising your faith during trials and temptations will assure you the victory over the enemy of your soul. Keep the faith and endure suffering as a good soldier, and you will grow into a mighty man or woman of God.

Keeping the Faith,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, August 16, 2012

His Word Produces Life

Isaiah 55: 3, Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; NKJV

Have you thought about the power that is required to fuel the entire world? Take a moment and think about all the things in our lives that require power from all kinds of sources. It seems that anything functional requires some type of power to make it operational. Humans require electric impulses that are fired from our brains to operate daily and to make rational decisions. Our bodies must be fed nourishment in order to maintain strength.

However, society seems to be lacking fuel; it is slowing to a screeching halt in some aspects, and economists and governmental officials are scratching their head trying to remedy the problem. We wind up clocks, plug in our cell phones, and fuel up our cars, but the world doesn't realize that man doesn't live by bread alone. No one can live independent of God for very long. Likewise, society can't flourish and prosper apart from the blessing and power of God either.  

You've probably read on a church sign somewhere that if someone goes seven days without the Word, it makes one weak. Jesus tells us in John 6 that He is the bread from heaven. The fathers of the Jews whom He was speaking to that day had eaten of the Manna that Moses gave them and were dead, but the Bread  He was offering them would give them everlasting life. He also tells us that His Words are spirit, and they are life. The point of today's devotion is to impart some wisdom from God's Word so you can both have life and enjoy it to the full. (John 10: 10)

No one can live eternally without placing faith in and living by the Word of God.  God upholds all things by the Word of His power. In other words, we don't perpetuate life as humans, but God sustains life through the power that is contained in His Word.

John 1: 1 - 5, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. NKJV

Many countries around the world are experiencing very troubling times, and the leaders of those countries are perplexed. They are dumbfounded as to how to go about rectifying their adverse situations. You see; when people neglect the Source of life and try to separate themselves from the Word of God, this negligence allows death to begin to take hold of everything that isn't plugged into the OUTLET.

The Lord is calling His people to repentance and to turn back to His Word, which is truth. The text from Isaiah 55 tells us that if we will incline our ear, turn to Him, and hear, our souls will live. Satan has worked overtime trying to separate the people of the world from the Word of God in order that he might pollute our hearts with sin and cause death to people's souls.

In the beginning, when God spoke light into existence, there was nothing but darkness and death. However, once He spoke, and there was light, it didn't take long before the world began to show signs of life. We must come out of the darkness of Satan's lies and walk in the Light of God's Word so God can empower us with life once again.

God's method of introducing life to the earth, mankind, and dead situations has never changed. In the beginning, we read, "And God said." After this, we read where God spoke through holy men to His people. "Thus says the Lord." In the New Testament, the Word became flesh, and we heard, "Verily, verily, I say unto you. Jesus taught both His disciples and us, to use the Word to speak to dead situations. "It is written." If you are living in a situation that seems hopeless, begin to speak the Word of God in faith over it, until the power of God resurrects it with new life. God has promised us that if we will humble ourselves and pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways, He will hear from heaven and heal our land. Let's speak the Word of God over the nations and watch them be resurrected in newness of life for the glory of God.

And God Said,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Off Limits

Genesis 2 : 9, And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. NKJV

There are some things in the Word of God that on the surface seem contradictory. However, we're commanded in scripture to study the Word and learn how to divide the truth rightly so that we won't be put to shame. Have you ever had someone take something you have said out of context and twist it to make you look bad? If you have, then you're in very good company. People often take scriptures out of context in order to make them fit either their beliefs or their lifestyles. Some have even attempted to defame God by using certain scriptures that seem to contradict other scriptures. Nevertheless, they, too, are taking the Holy Scriptures out of context. 

I would like to pose a couple of questions to you. When God created the tree of knowledge, did He create evil? If we read Genesis 1: 12, we find that God has finished creating the trees which bear fruit..., and He calls them good. Later, in verse 31 of that same chapter, God looks at EVERYTHING that He had created, and He said it was very good. Therefore, if God created the tree of knowledge and included it with all the other trees that were created was He calling evil good? Let's take this discussion even deeper. Jesus said in Matthew 15: 11, "It's not what enters a person's mouth that defiles them, but that which comes out of the mouth which defiles a person. Even though Jesus made this statement, God is recorded in Genesis 2 telling Adam not to eat of the tree of knowledge. Therefore, is this a contradiction?

We are now at a place where the Spirit of Truth must come into the scenario. God didn't just give us His Word and leave the interpretation up to us. In his epistle, Peter warns us against forming personal interpretations from the Word. Now let's answer those questions. Did God create evil? No, He didn't. James tells us that every good and perfect gift comes from God. He also teaches us that God doesn't tempt man with evil. However, we are tempted by our own evil lusts. The tree of knowledge of good and evil wasn't evil. Nevertheless, it was off-limits to mankind because God forbade them to eat of it. A physical tree took on spiritual connotations because God had set boundaries in man's heart concerning the tree. 

Consequently, when Adam and Eve ate of the tree, it was a sin to them because they chose to break God's commandment... not because the tree was evil. What seemed confusing about Jesus' statement is now clarified because He, too, said that it is that which proceeds from the heart of man that defiles them. In Genesis 3, we learn that Eve said to herself (from her heart) that the tree was desirable and could make them wise. She acted in disobedience to God's command in her heart before she ate of the fruit with her mouth.

We see another illustration in Acts 10 when God lowers some food down on a cloth for Peter to eat. When Peter saw what types of food were on the cloth, he told God that he had never eaten anything that was common or unclean. God told Peter that He had made it clean. Consequently, he should no longer call it unclean. 

You can't live life to yourself, and you won't die unto yourself. We will all answer to God for the life that we have chosen to live on earth. Therefore, we should consider God and His Word when making decisions that will affect our lives, but more importantly, our souls. If you're saved, then you have the Holy Spirit living within you. Allow Him to guide you through this life so that your soul will live. He will show you what is right for your life, and He will also reveal to your heart what is off limits.

Looking Unto Jesus, 
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

One Lonely Hill

Mark 15: 22 - 24, And they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull. Then they gave Him wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but He did not take it. And when they crucified Him, they divided His garments, casting lots for them to determine what every man should take. NKJV 

We, Christians are quite often taught on the subject of Jesus' passion and the days leading up to the death of our Savior, but today the Lord has directed me to take you back to where it all began... in the beginning.

In the book of the Revelation, we find Jesus being described as a Lamb, who was slain. In one portion of the Revelation, John reveals to us something that is essential for believers to know about the sovereignty of our God. He is omniscient, which means He knows the end from the beginning. Jesus, as the Christ was revealed to John as the Lamb of God who was slain before the foundation of the world. This name lets us know that long before God created man and before man sinned, God designed a plan and a place to redeem man from the fall.  

As the Lord caused the earth to rise up out of the water and made the dry land appear, He could see the very place where one day His Son would lay down His life. We read in John's gospel that the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He went on to write that all things were made through the Word and without Him, nothing was made. Therefore, as the Word, Jesus was forming the very place that He would one day give Himself for the sins of the entire world.    

Before the seed of a tree was planted in the earth, there was a lonely hill waiting for the day that God would need it to fulfill His redemptive plan for mankind. Even though we have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, God has already made provision for our sin..., and He did this before sin entered the heart of man. God has seen to it that all of our needs have been taken care of long before there was even ever a need.  

Finally, the day of Jesus' crucifixion had come. Satan and the rulers of this world saw a hill call Golgotha that would serve their purpose of ridding this world of Jesus. As He was being hung upon the cross, the forces of darkness viewed that hill as their place of triumph. Little did Satan and his imps know that Calvary was the end of sin and death for all who believe in Christ. On the third day after Jesus' death, the hill that was created in the beginning has now become the place where sinners discover life and break Satan's reign over them.

Through today's word, we can better understand how God is in total control of our lives and destinies. God not only created us, but He has also seen to it that every need is already supplied through His Word. Today, allow your faith to stand on God's Word and access all that you need through Jesus, your redeemer. My God shall supply all of your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. He calls those things that be not as though they already existed. 

Thank God for the Cross of Christ, 
Pastor Asa Dockery

Monday, August 13, 2012

His Mercies Are New Every Day

Lamentations 3: 21 - 24, This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. Through the LORD's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I hope in Him!" NKJV

The other day I was getting ready to leave the house, and just as I normally do, I asked the Lord to protect us while traveling. I had barely gotten that prayer request out of my mouth, and a thought went through my mind: "Don't you think the Lord gets tired of hearing you pray this every day?"

Do you have prayers that you repeat every day? If so, have you heard a thought go through your mind that sounded similar to the one I had? How did you respond to it? As Christians, we must be able to recognize the voice of the enemy. Remember, Satan and his imps operate through the avenue of condemnation; and as humans, we can fall prey his attacks. Even so, as Christians, we must train ourselves to notice when an accusing voice is speaking to us. We should not just accept what it says as fact.

Let's suppose that I failed to recognize the thought that I mentioned earlier as originating from Satan, and I chose to leave it unchallenged by the truth. When we have a thought that rises up against something that we know is scripturally correct, and we accept it through condemnation, it can greatly diminish or stop our faithfulness in that area altogether. Looking back at the times that you have experienced a similar situation, did the enemy's lies cause you to back off from what you were praying? 

Why would a demonic spirit care if I pray a simple prayer of protection every day? Do you suppose that it really is concerned about the Lord being bombarded by repeated prayers? Absolutely not! However, if Satan observes that something we are doing for God is effective, he will try to prevent us from continuing in that vein in the hope of gaining access into another area of our lives. 

The name of the Lord is a strong tower, and the righteous run to it and are safe. There is safety that comes into our life when we cover ourselves and others in prayer. If we should allow a thought from Satan to stop us, then it can give him the availability to bring us trouble. Therefore, we must be able to recognize and challenge thoughts that arise in our mind when we know we're doing the right thing before God.

Shortly after the thought of condemnation shot through my mind, the Holy Spirit gave me the verse that I used in today's devotion. He reminded me that God's compassions and mercies are new every day. The Lord loves to hear from us daily. He cares about what concerns us, and He instructs us in His Word to bring those concerns, worries, and fears to Him. Therefore, the next time you pray, and you hear a condemning voice don't let it go unchallenged, lest it rob you of a blessing. 

Pray Without Ceasing,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Friday, August 10, 2012

Blue Skies

1 Peter 4 : 12 - 13, Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. NKJV 

Peter gives us some very valuable wisdom in today's scripture. He tells us to keep a good attitude when the skies turn from a beautiful blue to threatening. We're instructed to rejoice because we are partaking of Christ's suffering. 

In some respects, life is a lot like the weather. You just never know when a storm is going to pop up. Consequently, we must be prepared in our hearts and in the natural for unpredictable situations.

Recently, our oldest son has had to endure a very painful and trying season in his young life. He hasn't just had a bad day or two; many things in his life have become tried all at once. As a full-time college student and part-time employee, he was constantly on the go. However, a few months ago his health came under attack by the enemy. While he was fighting for his life, other areas begin to come under attack as well. I was telling my wife, Debbie the other day how unusual it is for a young person to have so many problems all at once. 

 Have you noticed that when skies are blue and life is good everything tends to go as planned? Even though your day may not always go exactly the way you might want it to, at least you have peace and not trouble. However, when you enter a stormy season, it seems as though something has entered your life that is robbing you of your joy and peace. 

What do you do, or how do you respond to trouble when you realize that it is on your doorstep? Do you allow the misfortune to rob you of your peace? There's an old saying that goes something like this, "Tough times don't last, but tough people do." Aren't you grateful, especially during the hard days, that rough times aren't the norm? Even so, we must learn that while we're going through trials, God is still in control of our lives. We must strive to trust God in adversity, just as we do when times are good and skies are blue. 

Trials will try us, but they can also teach us to trust and to rest in God's love. Whenever the disciples were out on the water in a boat and a storm jeopardized their lives, Jesus came to them walking on the water. Nevertheless, before He calmed the raging wind and waves caused by the storm, He spoke peace to the disciples' hearts. Why was Jesus more concerned about the condition of their hearts than He was the storm and its potential threats against the men? It was because He knew the storm was already under His control; however, Jesus needed control over the disciples' hearts through faith in order to deliver them from the fear that was brought on by the trial. 

The storm that you're entering or having to endure today won't last. Nonetheless, if you will give the Lord any doubts, fears, or unbelief that has arisen as a result of the storm, then He can bring you out of it safely. Once the storm has passed, blue skies will begin to appear, and the adverse circumstances will disappear. Jesus is the Peace Speaker. Will you allow Him to speak peace to your heart today?

Peace Be Still, 
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Acceptable Time

Psalms 69: 13 - 18, But as for me, my prayer is to You, O LORD, in the acceptable time; O God, in the multitude of Your mercy, hear me in the truth of Your salvation. Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink; let me be delivered from those who hate me, and out of the deep waters. Let not the floodwater overflow me, nor let the deep swallow me up; and let not the pit shut its mouth on me. Hear me, O LORD, for Your lovingkindness is good; turn to me according to the multitude of Your tender mercies. And do not hide Your face from Your servant, for I am in trouble; hear me speedily. Draw near to my soul, and redeem it; deliver me because of my enemies. NKJV

Are you waiting on the Lord to bring you out of a difficult season in your life? Throughout scripture, we can see that God works within predetermined time frames; and today, the Holy Spirit has instructed me to write about "time."

For instance, God told Abraham that his descendants would be in bondage to Egypt for four-hundred years; however, when their time of captivity was over, He would bring them victoriously out of that land. Another example was when Paul and Silas were thrown into prison for ministering the gospel. Even so, that evening, they began to sing and praise God; and at midnight, God caused the prison to be shaken and the doors to be opened. 

Another illustration is when Jesus sent His disciples out on the lake, and He departed to the mountains to pray during the night. As His disciples were crossing over, a storm arose and threatened their lives. Nevertheless, at the fourth watch of the night, Jesus came to them walking on the water and saved them. 

In the scripture for today, David is praying unto the Lord that He would deliver him from his troubles. Even though David asked God to deliver him speedily, David also acknowledged that it was in God's timing and not his own. It's interesting to me how David knew God had an acceptable time in which to hear his plea, yet he still prayed for God to hasten His reply. Are you asking the Lord to bring you out of a pit or a hard situation, but in your spirit, you sense that God's time of deliverance has not yet come? 

Know this; God won't allow you to stay in any adverse situation one moment longer than necessary. Therefore, the key is to trust in the Lord's timing and wisdom, and to wait on Him to bring you out in victory. Consequently, you must choose to have peace and exercise patience and longsuffering as you wait on God's acceptable time. Remember, those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. You don't have to submit to the adversity; however, if you submit to God's will and time of deliverance, then He will give you the grace (strength) to endure until the breakthrough comes. 

Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13 that we see through a glass dimly, but when that which is perfect has come, we will see clearly. We don't always know why God allows us to go through hard seasons and trials. Nonetheless, if we simply trust His heart and Word, then we have been promised that He would work it for our good. Ecclesiastes tells us that God makes all things beautiful in IT'S TIME.

Timing Is Everything,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

There is Nothing about Sin That Is Just

Genesis 3: 6 - 11, So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, "Where are you?" So he said, "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself." And He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?" NKJV

There's an old adage I've heard all my life that says, "A word to the wise is sufficient." Don't you just wish that Adam would have heeded the Word of warning from God not to eat of the tree of knowledge? I sure do, especially when I remind myself of Adam. I suppose we all turn a deaf ear to God from time to time, but the repercussions should teach us to listen the first time.

We all live on this side of Adam's decision to sin against God. Therefore, we must teach ourselves to be sensitive to God and the leading of His voice. He has promised to be a very present help in times of trouble. Since the fall of man, justice has been very difficult to find and to maintain in the earth. People constantly strive for justice and equality in the world, but only a few will find it. The only One who can give us true justice and equality is Jesus Christ. Even though Jesus never committed a sin, He willingly chose to suffer for the sins of the entire world. Where is the justice in all of that, I ask?

When we read Genesis 3 in its entirety, we never find where God punishes Satan, who orchestrated the fall of man and embodied a serpent to pull it off. The serpent was cursed. The woman received great punishment as well as Adam, but we don't see where God addresses the real culprit, Satan. Doesn't that seem a little unjust? If you said," Yes", then you have a good understanding of how unjust sin really is toward humanity.  

Here's something that the Lord revealed to me recently to help my lack of understanding of why God allowed Satan to go seemingly without punishment. Once Adam and Eve sinned, they began to blame someone else instead of taking responsibility for their own actions. Sin in the hearts of the man and woman demanded the other person receive the punishment as a way of getting justice served. They did not realize that they were just as guilty as the other party. Had God cut one off for the sin, he would have had to cut all of mankind off as well. God had a plan, and He reveals it to His babes in Christ. (Matt. 11: 25)

Even though it appears that God was being unjust in His punishment in Genesis 3, He was actually extending mercy toward the man and woman who had violated His law and deserved to perish. Whenever people are guilty of violating God's law or man's law, it seems that they demand justice more than those who are violated by those who break laws.

The world in which we now live is the result of the fall of man. Consequently, we must be willing to wait on our salvation from the curse of sin, by faith. This means we are going to have to endure hardness as a good soldier, especially when we face the fiery furnaces in this life. We can face them because we know that God is with us, and He will one day deliver all the righteous out of this world of sin. At that moment, God will dispense judgment and punishment upon the head of our adversary, the Devil.  

You see. God designed a place called Hell for Satan and his demons before the fall of man. God never intended man to enter the horrors of Hell, but we have a free will. Jesus tells us in Matthew 7 that many will choose the broad way that leads to destruction, and few will choose the way that leads to life everlasting. Many will choose the way that leads to destruction and eternal condemnation simply because Satan has poisoned them against the love of God like he did with Adam and Eve in the garden. Satan convinced Eve that God didn't want her to be like God, so she took on Satan's offence against God and sinned. Beware that you don't allow the spirit of offence to poison your heart thus causing you to depart from the living God through the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3)

I pray that this devotion gives you a greater understanding into the ways of God and Satan so that you might be able to resist the Devil and overcome his lies through your faith in Christ.

God Is Always Good,
Pastor Asa

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pray for Your Enemies

Matthew 5: 43 - 46, "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. NKJV

Have you ever wondered what would happen in the world if every Christian fulfilled the requirements that Jesus gave to us in today's text? The world would definitely be a far better place to live. When we make the decision to live according to Jesus' instructions, it frees us to live a life that isn't bound by wounded emotions or vengeful thoughts. When we choose to obey the commands of Jesus which are found in this chapter, we are also releasing God to settle the battles justly on our behalf.

In Deuteronomy, we read that it is God's will for His people (Christians) to live above and not beneath. Our heavenly Father doesn't want us to live in bondage to anyone or anything. However, in order to live above the influence of this world, we must know and obey what Jesus has said. Nevertheless, even if what He requires is hard for us to do, if we comply, we will greatly benefit as a result of our obedience.

The Lord has given me two examples to share with you of when someone prayed for their enemies while they were being violently persecuted. After the Roman soldiers had beaten Jesus without mercy, they stripped Him of His clothes and nailed Him to a wooden cross. Nonetheless, before Jesus yielded up His Spirit, He prayed and asked His Father to forgive those who had crucified Him. 
This very short, but effective prayer changed the course of history. In Ephesians, 4, Paul tells us that God has forgiven us for Christ's sake. Jesus' prayer on the cross released the Father to have mercy and to show us grace (unmerited favor) so that we might be forgiven. You and I have been forgiven because Jesus chose to honor the very teaching that He gave us during His Sermon on the Mount.

In Acts 7, we read that Stephen was being stoned, yet he prayed unto God and asked Him not to hold their sin against them. Stephen's love for God was displayed to all who were present when he was being stoned to death. He exemplified the very attributes of Christ in his death. Stephen made a very hard, but important decision in the final moments of his life. He chose to love his enemies and to release them from any unforgiveness. 

If you choose to forgive others and pray for your enemies, you are releasing yourself from a potential stronghold of the enemy to harden your heart against God and His Word. When we choose to bless our enemies, we are inviting the presence of God to move on our behalf, thus allowing God's will and not man's to be fulfilled in the other person's life. In so doing, we are living the life that is a reflection of God; therefore, the world will know that we are the children of God. God is love, and everyone who is born of God also loves.

Pray Your Way to Freedom,
Pastor Asa Dockery 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Our Only Hope

1 Timothy 1: 1, Paul, a missionary of Jesus Christ, sent out by the direct command of God our Savior and by Jesus Christ our Lord-our only hope. TLB

I can remember when our sons were babies and learning to stand up on their own. They would crawl over to the coffee table or a piece of furniture and raise themselves up. The furniture gave them the confidence that they needed to take a step without being fearful of falling. Likewise, all of us from our earliest stages of life have learned how to depend on and place our hope in "things" to keep us safe.

We use the life lessons that we have learned, and we place our confidence and hope in natural elements for security. After a while, we begin to rely on those objects and people to support us to the point that we become totally comfortable and at rest. Unfortunately, there are times when we discover that not everything we rely on is trustworthy. Objects break, and people will fail us, causing our faith to be violated and our hope to be lost. 

Let me share a scenario with you that will demonstrate a principle about hope. Life is a lot like taking a cruise on a ship. Because of its strong structure and enormous size, it gives us a sense of safety while it's heading out into the deep. Consequently, the longer we are on the ship the more comfortable we become with its ability to keep us safe. We begin to relax and enjoy the comforts that the cruise liner offers its passengers. 

However, suddenly we realize that the ship is headed directly into a horrific storm. As the ship becomes tossed by the large waves and strong winds, the furniture that we took rest in has now become a flying object. We begin to grab onto anything that is firmly attached to the ship for stability. As the ship is tossed to and fro, we begin to lose our grip, and we are thrown around like a rag doll. 

Now the confidence and the hope that we once rested in has all but disappeared, and we begin to fear for our very lives. The more the storm intensifies, the greater our desperation becomes about our survival. In a panic-stricken moment, we realize that everything we have placed our trust and hope in has turned against us. 

Out of hopelessness, we look up to heaven and turn our focus on the Lord. Why... because He is the anchor for our soul. When this life begins to unravel and fall apart, God is our Rock in whom we can rely and know of a surety that He won't fail us. The writer of Hebrews tells us that He is a very present help in a time of trouble. Nothing in this life is eternal. Everything and everyone at one point or another will fail us. Only Jesus will be there for us when this world and the people in it fail us and break our trust.

When we think of storms, we tend to think about them only in a negative connotation because we've seen what they can do to human life and property. Nevertheless, there are some good things that the storms of life can produce. Whether they're natural, emotional, relational, or spiritual storms can break us of placing our eternal trust in temporal things and relationships. Storms can teach us that only God is the TRUE ANCHOR for our souls. 

If you have been broken because a job, a spouse, or a possession failed you don't despair; there is still hope after the storm. Jesus is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. When the world walks out on you, you can turn to Him, and He will walk in and pick you up. He is the blessed assurance that can never fail you. He will be faithful and go with you, even to the end. 

What could you be trusting in today that might be gone tomorrow and leave you devastated? Everything on this earth has been built by man has a breaking point. Even so, the Lord upholds the universe; and He will hold you when your world crumbles. Jesus is our only hope for eternal life. Are your faith and your hope in Him today? 

My Hope Is in the Lord,
Pastor Asa Dockery 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Made Clean By the Word

John 15: 3, You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. NKJV

As Christians, we have been redeemed from sin through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Satan no longer owns you; now that you have received the Holy Spirit, you belong to God. Does that mean we are made perfect because of the blood of Christ? No, it does not. We have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus, but at the moment of salvation, we were not made perfect or mature. Jesus told His disciples, who had remained with Him over three years that they had been made clean by the Word He had taught them.

When we're only taught the principles of salvation, but never taken on into discipleship it can cause us, "believers," to think that we have achieved all that is required of us from the Lord. If all you know about your walk with the Lord is based on salvation teachings alone, and you practice those principles that have been imparted into your life, it can cause you to feel as though you have "arrived." 

This is why Jesus requires believers to continue in their faith by hearing and keeping the Word of God in their everyday lives after they become born again. Even though we've been cleansed from dead works through the blood of Christ, and our spirits have been regenerated through the Holy Spirit, our souls are yet to be purified. As I wrote previously, the disciples had been with Jesus for almost forty-two months. During this time, Jesus had taught them many truths that had transformed their carnal minds. Through the truths that He revealed to the disciples, they learned the importance of following God's Law and not the traditions of the elders. As Jesus continued to teach the disciples, they became clean in their souls from the pollution of the world's ways, which defiles the soul.   

One day, as Jesus was teaching in the temple, some Jews believed His teachings. He told those Jews, who believed on Him to continue in His teachings, and they would become true disciples. You see; there is so much more to being saved than just becoming born again. Now that we are saved, we must continue living in His Word and keeping His teachings in our hearts and lives. This will purge our souls from the fleshly ways that we walked in as sinners.  

We're all fine (or believe we're fine) until we look in the mirror and see the dirt on our faces. In much the same way, we must look into the Word of God so that it might reveal to us what is hidden just out of our sight... but that others can see very plainly. The Word of God will purge your soul and make you free from deceptive pride and fleshly lusts. 

Lord Show Me through Your Word, 
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Rightful Heir

Roman 8: 14 - 17, For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs -- heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. NKJV

Do you have a need in your life? Have you been petitioning the Lord for a while in order to have that particular need supplied? I believe it is safe to say that all of us have need. However, the Holy Spirit has given me a specific word to share with you today so that you might have the faith in your heart to receive your long-awaited miracle or breakthrough. The Word of God declares that the promises of God in Christ are yes and amen.

As human beings, who are recovering from the fall of man and learning how to live and operate in our new identity, we sometimes struggle with faith when it pertains to us personally. I've heard people make this statement my entire life: "I can believe for someone else's need much easier than for my own need." 

Nevertheless, since God is no respecter of persons, it isn't God that makes us feel inferior, it is our own hearts that do so. Therefore, we must take our focus off us and who we are in the natural, and we must begin to fasten our attention on who we are in Christ. It is only in Christ that we are made the righteousness of God. It is also through Christ that we have become the children of God; and as His children, we are heirs of God's promises.

Christ gives us the "right or the power" to become sons and daughters of God. Jesus has made us legitimate children of God. We have a legal and binding covenant with God through Christ that gives us access to receive His promises. We have the right to be healed and to walk in divine health. It is our right to prosper and be in health even as our soul prospers. You and I have the right to be delivered from bondages and to walk in spiritual liberty.

As Christians, we need to know what our rights are so that we don't allow Satan to rob them from us through spiritual ignorance. Please note that we're not being arrogant to God when making such audacious proclamations. Instead, we're being bold to Satan. If Jesus needed to declare the Word of God about His identity and about God being the source of His needs, then we must be able to quote the Word to Satan as well. When we tell our adversary what Christ has done for us, and we recite the promises of God over our lives to the Devil, it lets him know that we're not standing in our strength; we are standing in faith. Without faith, we can't please God. However, when we stand on God's Word, this allows God to rebuke the devourer from our lives and to release His promises upon us. 

Therefore, if the manifestation of your healing, your deliverance, or your breakthrough has been prolonged, then allow this word to get deep into your heart and begin to declare: "In Christ, I am a child of the Most High God, and I am a rightful heir of God's promises. Christ has paid the price for my redemption and has given me an inheritance." It is my prayer that you will take a stand of faith today against the demonic forces that have invaded your life and have robbed you of God's blessings. Take back what rightfully belongs to you as an heir of God.

Standing in Faith with You,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

You Can Overcome through Christ

Philippians 4: 13, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. NKJV

As a pastor for more than eleven years, I have seen many Christians fall into the traps that were set by Satan, the adversary of their soul. To fall into a trap of Satan simply means we believe a lie about ourselves, and we, therefore, remain in bondage to a demonic stronghold. A lie of Satan becomes a stronghold the moment we believe what he is telling us about a situation or a condition we are facing instead of standing on the Word of God.

In the natural, a trap brought on by a lie may be an addiction, an emotional wound, a crutch, or anything that forces you to believe or think that you can't get past a certain issue or vice. If you think that you can't overcome a problem or an addiction in your life, then you are bound in your walk. Christ didn't come to save us from sin so that we could die in bondage to its power. According to Luke 4: 18, He was sent and anointed to set us FREE!!

I, myself have fallen prey to Satan's lies in recent years and thought I would never break free, but God was faithful. Satan had me blinded and convinced that things would never be any better. For a while, I believed his lies because I was weary from the battles. Nevertheless, through prayer and continued obedience, Satan has lost the strangle hold on my life that was brought on by fear. 

 Like many others, you may be in a trap of Satan today. Are you fighting a battle against something in your life that won't seem to let go? Then you need "MORE GRACE." This is not a cliche'. Instead, it is a truth that can set you free so that you can begin to walk out of the trap. You must not accept defeat. If you are a Christian, then Christ will cause you to triumph ALWAYS. The key is to turn to the Lord and submit yourself (including any doubts, fears, or unbelief) you may be holding onto in your heart. God is for you. However, you must be willing to believe and accept this truth before He can give you the power to come out completely.

Just because you have a stronghold in your life, it doesn't mean that God has abandoned you. The Lord has promised that He would never leave or forsake us. Even so, we must give Jesus our full attention and cooperation in this matter. When the Holy Spirit instructs you to make the first step or to take action, you have to obey His voice and let Him take care of the details. This will require you to submit to Him and trust His instructions at all times. As you take the initial steps, doubt, fear, and unbelief will begin to scream out, "You can't do this." Nevertheless, don't worry; once you obey God's voice, it's not you doing the work. It is God's strength and grace flowing through you.

With each act of obedience and faith, you will find that it will become easier to obey because of the new grace that has been given to you.  "You" have gotten out of the way, and grace has taken over. Remember, before grace, you couldn't even attempt to walk out. However, now that you have submitted, God's grace is moving you forward to freedom. You can walk out of the trap and never look back. 

Before I leave you today, let me share the verses that God gave me for you:

James 4 : 5 - 7, What do you think the Scriptures mean when they say that the Holy Spirit, whom God has placed within us, jealously longs for us to be faithful? He gives us more and more strength to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say, "God sets himself against the proud, but he shows favor to the humble." So humble yourselves before God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. NLT 

The more we submit by faith to God's will and His Word, the more grace He will extend to us so that we can come out of the traps of Satan. 

Walking in Freedom through More Grace,
Pastor Asa Dockery