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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Follow The Unseen God

Hebrews 11 : 24 – 26, By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. NKJV
When my sister was a child, our mother took her for piano lessons. However, after she had gone to a few sessions, the teacher told mom that giving my sister the lessons was a waste of money. It wasn’t that my sister could not play the instrument. It was that God had given her a natural talent and ability that had its own way of manifesting. I use my sister’s story here to share a principle with you that will encourage you to seek the Lord and His will more and more each day.
When Jeremiah was a young boy, God told him that He had known him even before Jeremiah had been formed in his mother’s womb. God also revealed to Jeremiah that He had called and ordained him to be a prophet to Israel. Can you imagine being a very young boy and have the God of heaven and earth declare such a prophetic utterance over you? To say that Jeremiah was slightly intimidated would be a gross understatement.
I bring up these stories to prove to you that the unseen God has already mapped out your new life in Christ. Here’s a very important key to discovering your purpose in Christ that many have failed to lay hold of: If you desire to live the life and fulfill the purpose God has for you, you must be willing to seek Him first. As we seek God by faith, He will begin to reward us for our diligence. This is the awesome part of seeking God. Once He sees us set our hearts on knowing and serving Him, He begins to unlock for us the treasure and the mystery of who we are in Christ.  
There are people who have made fortunes seeking out and finding lost treasure. Even so, as we seek God, and in return discover the treasure that He has buried deep within our hearts, we become the new person that God intended us to become before we became sin conscious. This is part of the redemptive work of Christ that is released in our lives once we choose to follow God’s path; it began on the cross, but is completed in each of us who believe in Jesus.  
There are two schools of thought I know of which are used to discover and develop the hidden potential in each one of us. Many people in the Bible were raised and developed in a formal setting. Nevertheless, there are many others who had no formal training, yet seemed to have a natural ability to know just what to do and say. Just as we need teachers and mentors in our lives that can see our hidden potential, we also need to maintain a healthy communion with the Lord, so He can reveal to us our potential to serve His purpose.  
You may feel as though God overlooked you when it comes to possessing great talents and abilities. However, let me remind you that God has a great purpose for every believer in Christ. Our roles may not seem considerable in man’s eyes, but they are in God’s, and in ours, if we will humble ourselves and accept our place. In Christ, God has already accepted us; nonetheless, when it comes to us accepting ourselves, there can be a huge struggle. This is why God gives to every person the measure of faith that Paul tells us about in Romans 12. It is our faith in Christ that empowers us to overcome what the world has called us; and it will also be our faith that will cause us to move on to become what Christ has ordained for us.
Through faith, Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He didn’t fit the “person or identity” that the world placed on him. Why and how did he know these things, since he was raised in Pharaoh’s house? Remember, when he was a baby, Moses’ mom placed him in a river and his sister watched over him until he arrived where Pharaoh’s daughter was bathing.
Without Pharaoh and his daughter knowing what was happening, Moses’ sister told them of a woman who could nurse the baby, who happened to be his own mother. God reunited the two in the house of Pharaoh, the enemy of Israel’s new-born males. This time of nurturing was a great opportunity for Moses’ mother to teach him about his Jewish heritage.
Once Moses came to the age of accountability, he began to accept his calling from the God of the Jews; he now knew what had been buried deep inside his heart. He also knew that there would be a reward if he chose to fulfill his calling. Most of us have come up in life under very harsh circumstances, but God has been with us the entire way. He has waited on us to arrive at the place that we would accept Him and all that He has called you and me to fulfill in the earth.
If you’re not fulfilling your heavenly calling and purpose in Christ, make a commitment to step out in faith today. Don’t allow what the world has said and done to you hold you back from being all God has called for you to become. Like Moses, know that there is a better day coming, and when that day arrives, you will be greatly rewarded for breaking out of the mold and into God’s liberty.
Following the Map of God’s Will,
Pastor Asa Dockery

The Choice

Romans 8: 10 – 14, And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors -- not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. NKJV
Do you find it difficult to trust the Lord? It often seems easy to answer a vague question such as this; but sometimes God gets very specific with His questions, and it is in those times that trusting the Lord can become deeply challenging. How is it that we can trust God with our eternal salvation and then struggle when He instructs us to do something that goes against our desires, our own wills, or our comfort levels? The answer is extremely simple; however, the process of walking out the answer in our daily lives can be very daunting.
All humans enter this world having a carnal nature and mind. This nature originated from the fall of Lucifer and was perpetuated in humans through Adam and Eve’s decision to sin. The carnal nature is all about “self,” and it being in control, not God. Therefore, when we come to Christ, we are required by the Lord to die to self and place our complete faith and trust in God.
Since we have no control over eternity, it’s easier to trust God about it. However, when it comes to the life which we live now, it becomes a different story. We want to have control of this life, so we use our gifts, talents, desires, and our influence in order to sustain the will of self. As a result, it can give us a false sense that we are in control of our lives; but in reality, we move, and live, and have our being because of God’s love and mercy.
This brings us to the reason for today’s word. We will either be led in this life by our desires and decisions, or we will be led by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. We make decisions everyday that can alter and affect the rest of our stay on earth and not think anything about it. Nevertheless, when God asks us to do something by faith that aligns us with His will, we can begin to question Him about His reason or the motive behind His direction for our life.
Here lies the problem with believers allowing the carnal mind to control their new life in Christ. Though we have confessed our faith and devotion to Christ as believers, we still need to have our minds renewed and begin to put on the mind of Christ. Until we learn how to become like Christ and trust our heavenly Father in the same way that He did, we will continue to resist God’s will and direction for our lives.  
God not only sent us His Word, but He has also given us the Holy Spirit. It is through the Holy Spirit that we can access the presence of God; consequently, we build our faith in Christ through an intimate fellowship with our heavenly Father. You see; Jesus knew His Father, but we must come to know Him for ourselves. When we don’t know our heavenly Father through personal time invested in His presence in prayer, it can cause us to waiver in our faith when He instructs us to lay something down and walk away from it.
I’ve said it many times; but it still bears repeating. You can’t trust someone that you do not know. Consequently, how can we say we fully trust in God when we do not know Him or His ways? We’re told in Daniel 11 that those who KNOW their God shall be strong and do great exploits. Therefore, we are to become acquainted with our heavenly Father so that we will be able to trust in Him and obey His will over our own will. After all, it is the plan of God to prosper us and to give us a hope and a future.
The process of dying to self begins with us taking the time needed to know God as our heavenly Father. Just listen to people who say they’re Christians; how many call the Father “God” and how many refer to Him as “Father?” I don’t call my father Frank; I call him dad because I know Him. Who is God to you? Make the right choice; get to know God and allow Him to become your heavenly Father.
Trust is key,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Against All Odds

Romans 8 : 34 – 39, Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. NKJV
Do you suppose Paul could have been persuaded to believe that nothing could possibly separate us from the love of God in Christ, if he hadn’t gone through most of what he listed in the above scripture? With all that the Bible teaches us about the sufferings of Paul, it’s plain to see that he knew the One, who had called him into the ministry.
There are two ways of looking at the suffering of a believer which can help us to overcome feelings of isolation and abandonment. First of all, there is the human side. If you have lived in this world for any length of time, you have more than likely encountered some pain and loss along the way. It helps us to know that others have already been where you might be today, and they were triumphant because they knew the love that God had for them during their anguish. Aren’t we told in Hebrews that we have a High Priest, who has been touched with the feelings of our infirmities? This tells us that He can relate to both whatever we have already faced, and what we are currently going through.  
It is added assurance to know that Christians have gone through and conquered similar trials; however, it’s an even greater encouragement to know that Jesus, who has suffered more than we can imagine, has the power to comfort, strengthen, and empower us to overcome. Once you have defeated your test of faith, you will be able to be a support and source of solace to others.
Secondly, there is a spiritual side to consider when discussing the suffering of Christians. Before Paul became converted to faith in Christ, He was known as Saul, and was filled with self-confidence. However, as Paul learned the cost of becoming a follower of Christ, it taught him to place his trust in the Lord. The result was a decrease in self-confidence and an increase in spiritual strength because he trusted in the Lord. The fruit of Paul’s suffering was the knowing that God would always be with him and love him through the fiery furnaces of life.
You may be facing some of the toughest situations that you have ever faced; but remember the words of a man that has been where you are today. Paul said by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that NOTHING will be able to separate you from the love of God in Christ. Today, begin to see yourself as more than a conqueror through Christ, who gave Himself for you.
Let me close today’s word with a testimony: When our second son was a baby, the doctors diagnosed him with pneumonia. I was at work when Debbie called me with the news. Furthermore, as a fairly new dad, this report from the doctor was overwhelming to me. I didn’t know if our son was  be strong enough to pull through, and the thought of losing him was more than I could stand.
On the way to the hospital, I was driving over a high mountain that allowed me to have a panoramic view of the mountain range. It was at this place, and with my eyes filled with tears and my heart filled with fear, that I saw a vision of Jesus. He appeared to be standing behind the mountain range; consequently, I could only see Him from His waist upward. As I watched Him overshadowing the mountains, I heard His voice speak peace to my heart. These are the words that He said to me, “I will be BIGGER than any mountain that you will ever face.”  
He’s Still God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Freedom From Condemnation

John 8: 2 - 11, Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?" This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first." And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, "Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?" She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more." NKJV
This story of the woman who was caught in the act of adultery is an illustration of God’s mercy and grace. Only God can take a horrible situation and bring good out of it. We can see the redemptive power of God’s love illustrated throughout both the Old and New Testaments. The Bible allows us to witness how God redeemed many people from their old lifestyles and made them into new creatures in Christ for His glory. We sometimes get overwhelmed when Satan attacks our lives, but if we will turn to the Lord and place our trust in Him, He will begin the same redemptive process in us. Do you have a story of redemption in your life?
We are accustomed to living under condemnation because of sin. Therefore, it can be very easy to condemn others when they fall into sin; while at the same time, we demand mercy from God when we fall prey to Satan’s seductive lies. Through the story today, we can see how Jesus brought mercy and balance to a situation that had neither.
Too many times we make this account all about the woman’s sin. Nevertheless, Jesus seemed to be more focused on the sin of the men who wanted to stone her. Why didn’t Jesus agree with the men and condone her stoning? After all, they were just carrying out the requirements of the law? If you read the gospel of John, you will see that when Jesus came to earth, He was full of truth and grace. In John 3, Jesus said that He came into the world to save the lost; He did not come to condemn us. Therefore, the bigger story contained within the lines of “her” story was about God’s grace and not His law.
Even though the attention of the would-be-stoners was on the woman, Jesus’ attention was on the sin that was in their hearts. This tells us that Jesus sought to expose and destroy the voice of condemnation in this woman’s life so that He could later address the issue of sin in her heart. You see, Jesus confronted and defeated the voice of condemnation that once held the world in bondage to fear. When Jesus gave His life upon the cross, it made the way for God and man to reconcile. Does this mean that God doesn’t care if we continue in sin since He didn’t send Christ into the world to condemn the world? Absolutely not! We were already under condemnation from our own sins and were on the road to eternal damnation. Even so, God opened the way for us to choose life and not death through His grace.
God’s grace doesn’t require you to die for your past sins, neither does grace require you to go to hell and pay for them. Grace does require that we make Jesus the Lord of our lives after we have received forgiveness from God for our sins. So the purpose of Jesus confronting the men’s hearts before He confronted the woman’s heart was to show us how we must first overcome the stronghold of condemnation through God’s grace. Like this woman, we, too, must be willing to accept God’s grace along with His forgiveness, if we are going to have the power to defeat sin in our own lives.
After Jesus had addressed the condemning voices of her accusers, He instructed her to go and sin no more. If it were impossible for “sinners who are saved by grace” to stop sinning, then He wouldn’t have told her to stop sinning. If God’s grace has the power to forgive us without penalty, then it also has the power to keep us from sinning as a new believer in Christ. Once we become free from the condemnation of sin, sin has no hold on our lives. This is why Jesus came filled with God’s grace.
Living Free by God’s Grace,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Monday, February 24, 2014

Why Believers Struggle With Their Faith

Galatians 5: 1 - 10, Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love. You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is. NKJV
The Apostle Paul is addressing the new converts in the church at Galatia. He has discovered that someone has caused them to fall from grace, and, consequently, they have gone back under the law. Instead of obeying the truth by faith and abiding in the new liberty they had received in Christ, they were persuaded to add the works of the law to their faith.
As Paul began his letter to the church, he exhorted them to stand fast to the liberty by which Christ had made them free. He was calling them back to their commitment to live by faith, and calling them away from the works of the law. So why did these new converts from Judaism to Christianity decide to return to their old ways and fall from grace? It was because they had been persuaded by non-believing Jews that they must add works to their faith. However, how could these non-believing Jews cause them to stumble and fall? Not all the Jews believed that Jesus was the Son of God; therefore, they also doubted that HE was the only way, truth, and life. They didn’t believe that Jesus’ teachings were the sole way to the Father. Consequently, they swayed these new believers into going back into bondage and giving up on the liberty they had gained in Christ.
Doesn’t this illustration from scripture sound very similar to the kinds of situations that face brand new believers in our day? The voice of condemnation taunts new converts trying to get them to add something else to their faith in order to be “saved." The sacrifice of Christ on the cross fulfilled the law and appeased the wrath of God against mankind. If we place faith in Christ as our only way to the Father and the sole way to have eternal life, then the Father will forgive us and fill us with His Spirit.
New believers struggle with their faith because they haven’t completely broken away from the old mindset of the flesh that ruled their hearts before Christ filled it. Now that you and I are born again and have been given a new nature, we must resist the temptations and accusations of the enemy that try to pull us back into bondage. This is the place in your walk where you will have to decide to make Jesus your Lord, not just your Savior. When we commit to the teachings of Christ, every bit of the old ways and the old thinking that we once walked in as sinners will be stirred within us. Continuing in this stale mind-set can cause old desires and thoughts to begin to pull us away from the narrow path of righteousness, but if we will resist the old man and crucify him through obedient faith, the grace of God will begin to remove the condemnation.
Another reason new believers struggle in their faith arises once they begin to follow their faith with obedience to Christ. Remember, the Jews that were saved in Galatia believed in Jesus, but struggled with obeying the truth. If we obey the truth every day, it will hold us personally responsible and will empower us to live by faith, therefore, pleasing our heavenly Father. Nevertheless, once the believers in Galatia tried to obey the truth, they were met by the resistance of non-believers.  
After you have made a commitment to Christ, you must begin to live your new life according to His teachings. At this point, there will be a crossroad where you will meet a lot of resistance in your walk. Why does this happen to new converts? It is because they have decided to walk contrary to the ways of the world and their old nature; and this decision will challenge every opinion, relationship, belief, self-confidence and pride that they had before they became born again. This is why Jesus told us in Matthew that, if we desire to come after Him, we must deny self, take up our cross, and follow Him. You will have challenges that might try to convince you to give up, but hold on to the only faith that has the power to save- your faith in Christ.  
If you struggle with walking by faith and living by the Word of God, then I want to leave some verses with you that will help you endure and overcome the condemning voices of the enemy.
Hebrews 10: 32 – 36, But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings: partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated; for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven. Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: NKJV
 As you face the battles that arise when you pledge your loyalty to Christ, remember that your faith and commitment will empower you to defeat all of your adversaries along the way. Stand fast in the liberty that you have in Christ and endure your cross with the hope that God is making you free and will one-day reward you for your faithful endurance as a good soldier. God rewards those who endure their cross, and they become filled with His love and power. Hope waits until the promise comes to pass.  
Waiting on the Promise,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Friday, February 21, 2014

Stepping Out Of The Boat

Exodus 3: 9 – 12, Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt." But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?" So He said, "I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain." NKJV
Jeremiah 1: 4 – 8, Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations." Then said I: "Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth." But the LORD said to me: "Do not say, 'I am a youth,' for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you," says the LORD. NKJV
 Several readers have asked me for prayer because they were anxious about speaking or ministering for the first time. However, the Lord has instructed us in His Word that we must be willing to step out of our comfortable places and share our faith with others. Let me say that every minister has had to face the same nerves that you may be experiencing. Being a representative for the Lord is a huge responsibility and should be taken seriously. Nevertheless, you must always remember. It's not about us; it's about what the Lord wants done through us that matters.
Inevitably, when we “step out of the boat” to share our faith or to preach our first sermon, there is a process that we all must undergo before we become comfortable in front of a crowd. You will notice two common principles in both scripture references that I have chosen today. First, we see that Moses and Jeremiah have been instructed by the Lord to represent Him to His people; however, both of them have their eyes on themselves. We shouldn’t get into condemnation about this. The fear of being rejected is just human nature.
There is one important point concerning our humanity that needs to be addressed because it will help us. Even though human nature causes us to be self-conscious about speaking on behalf of the Lord, we must not allow any fear or selfish desire to cause us to make “IT” about us. It’s all about serving and pointing the way to Christ. Here’s an indicator that you have focused too much on “you:” If you speak about yourself and what you have to do for the Lord, then it’s not about Jesus.
After Moses and Jeremiah told God the reasons why they couldn’t take on such a daunting task, the Lord brought correction to the understanding of them both. God wanted them, and He wants us to focus only on the Lord and the task that is at hand. He does not want us to pay attention to ourselves or even to those to whom He is sending us to minister. God spoke to Moses and Jeremiah only about what He wanted them to say or do as His representative.
The second common principle we find in both passages is that God let Moses and Jeremiah know that He was with them. It may seem insufficient to calm your nerves, and it might sound like a cliché. Even so, it’s still what ministers and all Christians need… God is with us! Isn’t that all that Jesus had when He was on earth and represented the will of the Father to mankind? Yes! He said many times that He was not alone because the Father was with Him. He never, ever made it about Himself. Nevertheless, you will notice that His enemies ALWAYS tried to make it about Jesus instead of the Father.
When I began teaching a Bible study many years ago, I was bound by the spirit of fear. It was so strong that I almost fainted the first time I spoke. Why? I was very shy and self-conscious. I sure would’ve liked to have known then what I’m writing to you today. Now, when I stand before a congregation or a television camera, there are no butterflies in my stomach and no sweaty palms. I’ve learned how to keep my eyes on the Lord and to rest in His grace instead of focusing on myself.
You can do it too. Just take a step of faith, get out of the boat, and keep your eyes on Jesus. He will keep you from sinking into anxiousness and dread. The anointing flows freely when we just relax and allow the Holy Spirit to minister through us. After all, we’re merely conduits that God has chosen in order to pour favor and love on His people. So go out there, enjoy God’s calling, and let Him take care of the details. Just be prayed up and prepared in His Word.
Nothing like Serving Jesus,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Does Prayer Work?

James 5 : 14 – 16, Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. NKJV
Recently, I was praying to the Lord on behalf of the requests that we have received, and a question crossed my mind about prayer. Does the person we’re praying for have to be present when we’re praying for them, or do they need to hear that we have prayed for them before they are able to receive their answer from God? The answer that I heard in my spirit was a resounding, NO!
As quickly as the question entered my mind, the Holy Spirit brought scriptures to my remembrance that increased my faith concerning prayer. Many times Jesus instructs us to be secretive about the things that we do for the Lord so that He can reward us openly. The Lord commands us to pray, to give, and to fast in secret. You see; it’s not about others knowing what we have done on their behalf, but rather it’s about God hearing our faith and seeing our obedience to His instructions (Matthew 6).
The Holy Spirit reminded me that Jesus has prayed for a person to be healed who was not present with him. In Matthew 8, we read about a Centurion leader who had a servant who was gravely ill. This soldier sent servants to Jesus, who told Him that the Centurion wasn’t worthy for the Lord to come to his house; therefore, he asked that Jesus only speak the Word. The servant who was ill wasn’t anywhere near Jesus. Nevertheless, when the leader’s servants returned to the house, they discovered that the sick man was healed.
The only One who needs to hear our prayers is the Lord because He is the only One who has the power to answer them. As for the recipients of the prayers…they may never hear yours’ or my prayers for them; however, people have often told me they could “feel the prayers” that had gone up to the Lord on their behalf. Isn’t it something how the Lord will allow people who are in need to “feel” or sense that others are praying for them? That’s our GOD!
Do you have a prayer request that you would like for us to agree with you about? Please take a moment and send us a brief description of your need, and we will take it to the God who hears and answers. Contact us at prayer@whcnorth.org
Praying in Secret for You,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Fire Of God

Isaiah 6 : 1 – 7, In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. KJV
I recently discovered something that was new to me about the fire of God. Once the Holy Spirit revealed this truth that I am about to share with you, I began to see how this principle is taught throughout the Bible. Before I proceed with today’s teaching, let me address an issue concerning the “Fire of God.” Many people are fearful of the power of God. When the power of God is released upon a person, they often respond with emotions, tears, and extreme behavior.
My years of experience as a pastor have taught me that people who have deep-rooted hurts in their emotions tend to show extreme responses to the fire of God when the Holy Spirit touches their heart. As a result, many believers and non-believers are leery of being in the presence of God’s fire when it is released in a service. It is my prayer that today’s teaching will give us a deeper understanding about the fire of God, so that we won’t feel “on guard” when we’re in His presence.
You will notice that I highlighted “live coal” in today’s scripture. Another translation renders its meaning a “hot stone” that was taken with tongs from the altar of God. Can you imagine a hot stone being placed on your lips? It might seem terrifying to you, but you will notice the only thing that the fire burned was Isaiah’s iniquity and sin. So the fire of God doesn’t harm us; it merely destroys what IS ALREADY harming us. Isaiah’s physical body wasn’t hurt at all. However, the sin and iniquity were eradicated from his heart and soul.
When the children of Israel were led to Mount Sinai by Moses, they saw the mountain, and that it was covered with smoke. They heard the thundering and saw the lightning as God’s presence sat upon the Mount of God; and in response to the fire of God, the children of Israel withdrew from God’s presence out of fear. However, you can read in Exodus 20 that Moses drew near to God and entered into His presence. Why wasn’t Moses afraid of God’s presence, and why were the children of Israel so fearful of God? We’re told in Psalms 103 that Moses knew the ways of God, but Israel only knew the acts of God. Moses took the time to know God for himself, but the children of Israel allowed fear to keep them from seeking after the heart of God.
Why wasn’t Moses afraid to enter into the presence where the fire of God was? If you read Exodus 3, the Word says that Moses saw a bush that was on fire, yet it wasn’t consumed… and he was astounded. God allowed Moses to see first-hand how His presence was very much real; and more importantly, it didn’t consume the bush. Therefore, when it came time for him to enter God’s presence on Mount Sinai, he wasn’t afraid.
Now let’s break this down as I conclude. The presence of God is what protects us from being consumed by the fire of God. John told his followers that he baptized with water unto repentance, but he said that Jesus, the Messiah, would baptize His followers with the Holy Spirit and fire. Notice that He makes a distinction between the Holy Spirit of God and the fire of God. If you’re a believer in Christ, then you have the Holy Spirit dwelling in your body. Since you have His presence, the fire of God won’t consume you. Like Isaiah, the fire will only consume what has been planted by the enemy in your soul that may be causing you harm.
King Nebuchadnezzar had the three Hebrew men bound, and then thrown into a fiery furnace, which was heated seven times greater than normal. The heat was so intense from the furnace that the men who were supposed to throw the Jews into the oven were killed. However, the three men fell into the fire only because they were bound with restraints. Even so, when the king looked into the fire, he saw the three men free and walking around… they were not consumed. You may ask how it was possible that a physical fire didn’t destroy these men. The Bible tells us in Daniel 3 that the king saw a fourth Man in the fire, and He looked like the Son of God. All four were free and walking around in the fire and were not hurt by it. God’s presence in the fire had kept the three men from being consumed by the fire.
In conclusion, if you have the presence of God, then you have no need to be fearful of the fire of God. Satan wants us to be afraid of God, so that we won’t allow God’s fire to burn away the bindings that he has placed on us through sin and fear. Do you desire to be filled with the fire of God today? If so, then ask the Lord to fill your heart and soul with His fire, and you will experience freedom as never before. There’s liberty in the presence of God!
Fire of God Fall Fresh On Us,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Nose Spray

Mark 9: 20 – 23, Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth. So He asked his father, "How long has this been happening to him?" And he said, "From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us." Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." NKJV
When I was seeking the Lord today, the Holy Spirit told me that many people have the desire to be set free; nevertheless, fear has them bound. Allow me to expound for a moment. Over twenty-five years ago, I suffered with sinus issues and couldn’t breathe through my nose. Consequently, I did what many of you have probably done; I bought a spray that promised to open my nasal passages. Unfortunately, I became dependent upon the spray and later discovered that the brand I had purchased was very addictive. Initially, the spray helped my blockage, but after a while, I found my nasal passages were closing once again. This problem went on for some time.
I didn’t like being bound by the nose spray, but I didn’t believe that I could do without it; therefore, I wouldn’t try. Finally, one day I was driving home from work, and I had had enough. Even though I feared giving it up, a boldness rose up in my spirit, and I heard the Lord tell me to get rid of the bottle. I immediately obeyed Him and threw the bottle away. God healed my sinuses, which was my original problem, and then He set me from the dependency I had formed for the spray. I was set completely free…I never had to use it again.
I told my story in order to illustrate what the Holy Spirit talked to me about in prayer today. He told me that not only does He want to remove people’s troubles and health problems, He wants to rid them of the fear associated with their afflictions as well. Just like me with the nose spray, they don’t know if they can break away from the dependency that they have formed as a result of their conditions.
If you have a similar situation in your life, then you must do as I did that day on my way home from work. You must be willing to let go and trust God. Not only does He want to heal you of the original affliction, but He wants to break the chains of bondage that the enemy has used to hold you in captivity through fear and unbelief. Now you can better understand why I chose this particular scripture for today’s devotion. The young man’s father was desperate to have his son healed, but he was also struggling with unbelief. However, instead of allowing the unbelief in his mind to keep him from Jesus, the father asked the Lord to help him with his unbelief so that his son could get the miracle he needed.
This story wasn’t solely about the son’s deliverance; it was just as much about removing the unbelief from his father’s heart, so that the father could trust in Jesus to heal his son. Do you have unbelief in your heart concerning your situation? Do you have fear because you’re bound to a substance, a situation, or a person that is a result of your affliction? If so, ask the Lord to help you both with the unbelief and the fear in your heart; and then, step out in faith. Throw yourself at the feet of Jesus and let Him catch you and set you free from any chains that may have you bound. You can do this. Let go and receive your miracle today.
No More Spray for Me,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Monday, February 17, 2014

Consumed By The Fire Of God

Romans 12 : 1 – 2, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. NKJV
1 Kings 18 : 36 – 39, And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, "LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that You are the LORD God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again." Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench. Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, "The LORD, He is God! The LORD, He is God!” NKJV
Before Jesus came to earth and gave Himself as the ransom  payment for man’s sin, God required burnt offerings and animal sacrifices. However, today, we live under the new covenant, and God requires us to present ourselves as a living sacrifice before Him. Now that the WAY has been made for us to be reconciled to God, God requires us to live holy through His Spirit and grace.
We understand all too well that we are human; and, at times, we all struggle with our mortal weaknesses and propensities to sin. Nevertheless, these “issues” didn’t stop God from following through with His plans to redeem us from the power of sin and Satan. Now that we’ve been born again and have been given a new nature through Christ, we have the POWER to overcome any obstacles that may have stood in our way of becoming who God ordained us to be in Christ.
Through Christ, who dwells in our hearts by the Spirit, we have power over the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. We have the power to overcome. Nonetheless, do we have the willingness to die to our “self” nature and live for Christ?
In Romans 12, Paul challenges us to present our bodies as a living sacrifice unto the Lord. Just as the priests in the Old Testament had to present the animal sacrifices unto the Lord, we must prepare ourselves and do likewise. Elijah built an altar on which he laid the earthly sacrifice. The moment the fire of God fell and consumed the offering, Elijah and the children of Israel knew that God was pleased with it.
Even though we have weaknesses and fall short at times, if we will bring those traits and behaviors and offer them to the Lord as a sacrifice, His fire will consume them, and we will be free. Let me give you a scripture to help you better understand what I’m writing about. In Matthew 15, Jesus let the Jews know that anyone who comes near the Lord with their lips, but doesn’t give Him their heart, He said that their worship was in vain.
If the Holy Spirit reveals a sin or evil desire that’s hidden in our heart, we must be willing to present it to Him so that He can remove it by the fire of God. Too many times, people come to the altar and offer themselves to God; however, they turn around and walk away from His presence still bound in their affliction. They’re unwilling to pay the price to give it to God and then allow Him to fill that void in their lives.
Has the Lord revealed something in your heart that He wants to remove from your life by His fire? Won’t you lay it down in His presence today… allow His Spirit to burn that sacrifice out of your heart and fill the void with His freedom. It’s time to let that bondage go; it has probably been tormenting you for years. Allow the fire of God to consume it, and you will experience the liberty of being loosed from it. Whom the Son of God sets free, they are free indeed.
Be Set Free Today,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Friday, February 14, 2014


2 Samuel 4: 4, (There was a little lame grandson of King Saul's named Mephibosheth, who was the son of Prince Jonathan. He was five years old at the time Saul and Jonathan were killed at the battle of Jezreel. When the news of the outcome of the battle reached the capital, the child's nurse grabbed him and fled, but she fell and dropped him as she was running, and he became lame.) TLB
Today’s scripture reading is just one verse from the Old Testament; however, let’s look at all the treasure it contains. We see here that the very person that had been picked by the family to protect and take care of Mephibosheth as a child was the one who inflicted the most pain. As the nurse was running to protect this child from being killed, she fell and dropped him, which caused him to become lame.
As tragic as this story is, we can learn a lot from the principle within it. What do you do or how do you respond when someone who is trying to protect you ends up hurting you? I’m not talking about an abusive parent or spouse. I’m speaking of someone whose intentions are to not to harm, but love and care very deeply for you; nonetheless, their actions end up causing you pain. The nurse’s fall caused Mephibosheth to suffer his entire life, not to mention the loss of his independence.
Pain can enter our lives through those who love us just as easily as it can through those who don’t. We live in a fallen world that gives us opportunities to harbor ill feelings; and at times we can become almost bitter over the tragedy and loss that we incur. Nevertheless, we must remember that we are children of the king. As such, we are promised that God will restore to us the years that the enemy has stolen from us. The key is for us to keep our eyes on Jesus and off of the attacks and pain that have been inflicted by our adversary. Satan’s primary goal of afflicting God’s children is to turn us against our faith in God so that we no longer adhere to His commands. Why, you may ask, does Satan do this against God’s people? He does it so that he might cause us to bring a curse upon ourselves by turning our hearts away from God’s love and authority.
Since Mephibosheth was the grandson of King Saul, he was granted favor in King David’s heart, which allowed Mephibosheth to sit at the king’s table and eat bread continually. Please notice that it wasn’t Mephibosheth’s “condition,” rather it was his relationship to King Saul; in other words, it was his “position” that gave him the favor of restoration. God has given us this story to show us that our favor from God comes because of our faith in Christ, and not because we have been the victim of Satan’s devices.  
It is Satan who will try to exploit our condition so that he might turn our hearts away from our position of faith; thus making us forfeit the victory that we already have in Christ. So, if someone who has said they loved you has dropped you and caused you to have severe pain or loss in your life, remember this story of God’s redemption. Through faith, we can overcome every weapon and trap Satan has formed against our faith in order to rob of us our favor in Christ.  
When this favor was bestowed on Mephibosheth, he was living in Lo-debar, a place of hopelessness. He was in a state of mind, and in a place where he saw himself as a “dog.” He felt unworthy to receive mercy and compassion from the King. A feeling of unworthiness is just another lie that Satan inflicts on people when we go through his sifting. Unworthiness can cause us to reject the king’s favor…just as Mephibosheth tried to do with King David.
When God brings us out of a low place and causes us to sit in a heavenly place in Christ, He knows that it will be a process, and it will take time. The Word of God declares over and again that God is longsuffering, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. It’s time for a turnaround in our lives and situations. Even though we have been in a low state, the favor of God is going to lift us up and sit us on high, far above our adversaries. Even when we can’t walk, we can still walk by faith and be restored through Christ.
Walking in God’s Favor,
Pastor Asa Dockery    

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Reaching Others with the Hope of Christ

Galatians 6: 6 – 10, Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. NKJV
The Lord has graced me with the ability to write and share daily devotions with thousands of people around the world. Nonetheless, some of you may not know that I used to be limited by a condition called dyslexia. It kept me bound so that I couldn’t clearly understand what I read. Even so, by the grace of God, I was able to pass all my subjects and graduate from high school. Perhaps the greatest disadvantage of having dyslexia was that I had no passion for reading. I avoided it; and to this day, I struggle to finish reading a book.
One day in the mid 90's, I was walking through our living room, and I heard the Holy Spirit speak to me so clearly, “Go and read Isaiah 50.” When I read the chapter, my eyes were drawn to verse 4. “The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned.” NKJV
Shortly after this experience, I began to notice that I had a desire to read God’s Word. The Holy Spirit opened my understanding, and He showed me a revelation from 1 Corinthians 8 that started me on a new journey in ministry. Indeed, God has given me a tongue of the learned, and I have shared the “Good News” with so many over the past twenty years.
Kingdom Moments Daily Devotions (KMDD) is only one of the ministry outreaches that we oversee through Bridge of Hope Ministries, International. God uses these devotions to impact and to uplift the hearts of so many around the world. We receive praise reports and testimonials weekly from folks who tell us how God’s Word has helped them in their walk of faith as Disciples of Christ. To God be the glory for the great things He has done through this ministry. It’s such a blessing for us to receive feedback from KMDD subscribers and to hear all that God has done in people’s lives through the daily words of inspiration. If you would like to read just a few of the testimonies that we have received, log onto our church’s website and click on the devotion tab to see them.
Today, I am asking you to prayerfully consider sowing a financial seed into this ministry (KMDD). It costs the ministry $450.00 each year to have our emails sent out by the company we use. The bill for this service is due now. If only 90 of our subscribers would donate a one-time, tax deductible gift of $5.00, this need will be met. I don’t make a habit of asking for donations because that’s not what (KMDD) is about. We’re here to encourage you in your walk of faith. Nevertheless, we need your assistance to meet our need.
If you would like to donate today, you can click on the donate tab and give securely online through Paypal. You can also mail your gift of support to: Bridge of Hope Ministries International, P.O. Box 968, Morganton, Ga. 30560. All proceeds received will go directly to this particular ministry and will be very much appreciated. Thank you for subscribing to (KMDD) and sharing them with your family and friends. You can also let us know how this ministry has been a blessing to you by emailing us at prayer@whcnorth.org
Thank you and God Bless,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

God Is Not Mad At You

Ephesians 1 : 3 – 8, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace… NKJV
Do you really believe the Word of God when you read in it that God loves you? One of the most well-known scriptures of all time is about the love God has for the world and how He demonstrated that love through Jesus on the cross. Nevertheless, many people believe that God either hates them or is angry at them. Therefore, we need to answer the question, “Why do so many people believe that God is angry with them?”
Paul tells us in Romans 8 that the carnal mind is an enemy of God; it is our fallen nature that is at odds with God and defies His authority. Therefore, we can say God loves the sinner; but He hates the sin nature that was introduced to man in the Garden of Eden when the serpent beguiled or deceived Eve into believing God had rejected her. It was one lie from Satan that convinced Eve to sin against God; however, it is easy to see with just one example how Satan instigated the separation of man from God through that lie.  
Today, let’s look at God’s heart from a biblical perspective as it pertains to sinners, and let’s see if it gives us the same view that the world would have us believe about Him. Shortly after man sinned, we read that God killed an innocent animal in order to cover the nakedness and shame of fallen man. Does this sound like a wrathful God to you? Instead of condemning Adam, Eve, and all their descendants to eternal damnation, God took the life of an innocent animal and covered them; this demonstrated His love for man, even though they had fallen from His grace, and they were naked and ashamed. This is the first sign or prophetic story that portrays the future sacrifice of His only-begotten Son, who would die in man’s place. Does this sound like God is mad at us? Certainly not!
Let’s fast-forward to the time of Moses. Israel was in Egypt for 400 years; and God heard the cries of His people and saw their afflictions. This situation symbolizes us being sinners in the world and under the rule of Satan, and of God sending His deliverer into the world to save us. Just before God delivered the nation of Israel, He instructed Moses to have the people kill lambs and to apply the blood of those lambs to the doorposts and lintels of their homes to protect them from the death angel who was about to sweep through the land.  
You can see that God wasn’t angry at His people; He sacrificed hundreds of lambs to protect them. However, He destroyed the first- born males of the Egyptians. It might sound as if God was angry at Pharaoh and the Egyptians…, and it does appear to be that way from a human perspective; but remember, Pharaoh represented the defiant, sin nature that opposes the heart of God and His love, and, which sought to enslave and destroy God’s chosen people. The Egyptians suffered God’s wrath because of their rebellious ways and their idolatry. It was what they represented that brought the wrath of God on them.  
If God is so angry at people, then how do we explain the cross where He gave His ONLY begotten Son to die in our place? Lest you think that I’m teaching a slanted view of God, let me conclude with these final thoughts. It’s true that God has wrath stored up. It’s also true that God hates SIN, not sinners. Even so, it is also TRUE that God’s wrath against mankind has been forever appeased in Christ. So if you have accepted Christ, you will never experience the WRATH of God. Hebrews tells us in very plain terms that we are appointed unto salvation and not wrath. If anyone should harden their heart against Jesus and decide to reject the gift of eternal life, which He died to give to us freely, then we can know that they WILL experience God’s wrath. However, it won’t be because God didn’t love them; it will be because they wouldn’t submit to His WAY of redeeming them from sin.
Therefore, the spirit of rebellion that they have chosen to align themselves with will cause them to suffer His wrath. It’s a spirit that brings on the wrath of God, and it’s called rebellion… the rejection of God, His truth and His love. Are you submitted in your heart to God? If not, then today can be the day that you overcome the greatest enemy of your soul and live forever apart from God’s wrath. Simply bow your heart and head before God, and ask Him to forgive you for Christ’s sake; and He will do just that. Ask Jesus to be your Savior and LORD and to fill your heart with His love for God and mankind. If you did this, then you have been saved from God’s wrath and from eternal damnation. Let us know if you prayed the prayer of surrender to the Lord so that we can rejoice with you.  
prayer@whcnorth.org is our email address to contact us.
Yes Jesus Loves Me,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Whose Report Do You Believe?

Romans 8: 35 – 39, Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. NKJV
Nothing pleased Satan more than when Adam and Eve decided to act on his lie and sin against God. Since the fall of man, Satan has used fear and condemnation to oppress mankind and to hold us without mercy in his prison. Just as Satan exploited the desires of Eve and used them to lead her into a trap of spiritual bondage, he also wars against you and me trying to keep us in bondage to our Adamic nature. Nevertheless, in Christ, we have been redeemed from the power of sin and Satan. We no longer have to pay attention to the lying voices of doubt, fear, unworthiness, and unbelief.
People who have been beaten down their whole lives have a tendency to accept that they are unworthy; and this can cause them to give in to the lie that tells them sinning is all they will ever be able to enjoy. I have faced adversity my entire life. I too have heard the voices of condemnation, shame, and unworthiness that try to keep me at the back of the line, but there has been a larger power within my heart that kept telling me, “It’s not so”! You see; the Bible says, “Greater is He who is in you than he that is in the world.” I’ve been saved since I was around the age of 7 or 8; however, I still had to face some very intimidating giants who exploited my fears and weaknesses.  
Unlike the world, I chose to submit to God. I did not allow the voice of condemnation to tell me that sin, and perversion was the only way to enjoy life. As I remained submitted to the Lord, He gave me the grace to “turn the other cheek” whenever someone bullied or cursed me. I didn’t allow their opinions or the curse words directed at me to define me and cause me to abort my assignment in Christ. It is because I chose to remain submitted to God, instead of becoming filled with bitterness and rage that God empowered me to resist the Devil and overcome his lies. Had I not had faith that God was for me, and that, through Christ, I would be able to endure and overcome, I would have fainted and given into a lifestyle of sin and destruction.
If what I have written today resonates with you and describes the kind of oppression that has taunted and lorded over you, I want to encourage you to take back your life. I’m not talking about regaining it by revenge or rebellion, but through faith in Christ. We must understand that our battles are not with those who have hurt and wounded us; they are with spirits of darkness. So we fight back by standing on God’s Word and character. I refuse to allow people’s opinions and hate-filled words to hold me back from being the person God ordained for me to be from the foundation of the world. He ordained me to be a holy and loving man long before there was a Devil, a serpent, and a beguiled woman.
Instead, I choose to believe the report of the Lord. I stand on what He has declared over me and my family. You must, AT NO TIME, allow the enemy to obtain a place in your heart that will cause you to believe that God doesn’t love or care for you because you’ve had to face some JUNK in your life. NEVER GIVE IN!!! As you stand and continue to stand against the pressures of guilt, shame, fear, unbelief, unworthiness, condemnation, and isolation, you will grow in the power of God. Instead of seeing yourself as a grasshopper and your enemies as giants, they will begin to see you as one of God’s giants and themselves as the grasshoppers.  
You must choose whom you’re going to serve today. Are you going to allow Satan to convince you that God doesn’t love you, even though He gave His Son in your place? Or are you going to believe the Word of God? If you said, “God’s Word,” then you will have to stand on IT when Satan throws another jab or punch at the weak areas of your life. You must resist the temptation to respond out of your flesh, causing you to sin. God didn’t create us to live in sin; He created us to have authority over the Devil and dominion in this world and to be blessed so that we will be a blessing to others. Now hold your head up high and know that God has your back.
Sitting in Heavenly Places in Christ,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Monday, February 10, 2014

Rock Solid Faith

Acts 4 : 8 – 12, Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the 'stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.' Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." NKJV
Our beliefs alone will not get us into heaven or paradise; rather, it is in whom we have placed our belief that will determine whether or not we see God. Just because someone places faith in a religion, it doesn’t mean that their faith will prove one day to be correct. Let me ask you a very important question about belief. Have you ever believed something to be true only to find out that you were wrong? We can be mistaken about many things; consequently, we must not assume or hope that we’re correct when it comes to our eternal existence.  
Therefore, we must have proof that what we believe about our faith in Christ will become reality one day. Personally, I would find it much harder to believe in someone or something for my salvation when there is no real evidence to back up the claims of that religion. We cannot grasp a hold on something without confirmation and believe in it. Even so, Christ already confirmed to us that He is the ONLY WAY to the Father and to have eternal life.  
There is a huge difference between walking by faith in the Words of Christ and walking in blind faith period. I know that various religions, especially those who are widely accepted and respected make many claims that their way is the only way, but they can’t confirm it will become reality to the believer. The writer of Hebrews defines the Christian faith. Our faith in Christ or the result of our faith in Christ is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for and the EVIDENCE of things not seen. In other words, our faith in Christ has built within it a support system which confirms that what we believe from the Word of God about Christ is indeed truth.  
We know that when Jesus departed and returned to heaven, He promised us that He wouldn’t leave us orphans. He told us that He would pray to the Father, and the Father would send us the Comforter, who is the Spirit of Truth. Once we place faith in Jesus as the Christ, God forgives us of our sins and imparts into our spirit, His Holy Spirit, who seals us until the Day of Redemption.
The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God; we are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. Now I ask you, does this sound like blind faith to you? Certainly not! Why would anybody believe in something or someone if there is no confirmation or proof that what the religion claims is really truth, unless they are already blind in their heart?
If you have placed your faith in Jesus and believe that He is indeed the Christ, the Son of the living God, then you are not all by yourself. In fact, from the very moment that you believed and confessed faith in Christ, you have never been alone. The Spirit of God lives and dwells within your being; you have yet another confirmation that tells you that you’re born again, and that is peace with God.
The religions of the world can make many claims, but none of them can give a sinner peace with God. Finally, you have the blood of Jesus, which has cleansed your guilty conscience so that you can know God and have peace with Him. If you look at those who worship other gods or religions, you will see that they try to earn or work their way to peace. God tells His children to be still and find rest when they come to faith in Christ.
Do you have rest for your weary soul today? Do you have peace in your heart about where you’ll spend eternity? If not, I challenge you to put God to the test and place your complete faith in Christ. Act on your faith; take just one step, and you will find the Lord already waiting there for you.  
Our God Is An Awesome God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Sweet Taste of Freedom

Exodus 5: 1 – 2, Afterward Moses and Aaron went in and told Pharaoh, "Thus says the LORD God of Israel: 'Let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.'" And Pharaoh said, "Who is the LORD that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, nor will I let Israel go." NKJV
Very few things in life deserve the price of spilled blood and the loss of life in order to obtain it. However, freedom is definitely worth the fight. If you have never been held against your will, imprisoned, or bound by an addiction, you may not give much thought to the value of freedom. Nevertheless, for millions of people around the world who live under great oppression and persecution, freedom is forefront in their minds.
God created man to have and enjoy liberty. Man had this right because God placed us over the works of His hands; we were “in command." However, along with liberation and authority, the Lord God gave us freedom to choose. Unfortunately, the result of man’s freewill was that he chose to subject himself to the control of Satan and his will. Since the fall of man, men have fought throughout history in an attempt to regain their freedom. Still, after thousands of years of conflicts, battles, and wars, we’re living in a generation where freedom is only a dream to millions around the world; and those who are a free people are constantly threatened by the enemies of liberty.  
Let’s look at Israel; they cried unto the Lord to be liberated from their afflictions in Egypt.  Even so, after the Lord sent Moses into Egypt to set His people free, the children of Israel soon turned on their liberator. When faced with the harshness of the wilderness, they longed in their hearts for the past land of bondage. Is it not amazing that they sought God for deliverance? Yet, after they were emancipated, they desired to go back into slavery once again? What they didn’t realize and what Adam and Eve failed to see is that freedom comes with responsibility. Even though God had delivered the children of Israel and had given them their own land, we see where they forsook God for the idols of the heathen and went back into bondage as slaves to Babylon.    
As sweet as freedom tastes to us all, there is still something that lies within all humans that looks for ways to keep us in or pull us back into the bondage of sin. The fallen nature of man doesn’t desire to be submitted to God. In fact, the old nature and the carnal mind are enemies of God; we must die to "self" in order to live in freedom. We know that Christ came to free us from the power and the curse of sin. He dealt with the sin nature on the cross so that we could be set free to live a life of liberation through submission. Now that we have accepted Jesus’ spilled blood as payment for our sin debt, we have overcome the sin nature. However, we must choose to submit to God’s will daily in order to obtain victory over our carnal mind and fleshly lusts.        
We all must make one decision. Is God’s freedom worth the price it costs us to gain and maintain it? In the natural, the only way to freedom is to win the victory over our enemies. However, in the Spirit realm, Christ has already won our victory. Nevertheless, the only way to hold on to freedom is to surrender our hearts and lives to God. Satan doesn’t want you to view God as an ally; he would love for us all to view Him as our enemy to personal freedom. We must choose to believe the Word of God and live by it, if we truly desire to live free from sin. Faith in Christ is the victory that overcomes the world. If your life isn’t surrendered to Christ and His plan for you, will you consider turning the control over to Him? Be set free so that you can enjoy life in Christ today.
Freedom Is Everything,
Pastor Asa Dockery