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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Need Peace Today?

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
Even though God initially didn’t give Abraham any details concerning the land that He had promised to give him and his descendants, it didn’t keep Abraham from believing in God (Genesis 12).
Likewise, even though I don’t know where God is taking my family and me, I choose to move forward in Christ. I may not know any details of the journey or the destination; nonetheless, I am not discouraged from continuing to walk on, through faith in God.
The New Testament believer is commanded to walk by faith and not by sight. Even so, what exactly does that mean to us who have placed our trust in Jesus? It simply means that we have chosen to surrender control of our lives to Christ on earth, both now and in our future, and to allow the Holy Spirit to guide our steps. What are we really giving up or surrendering when we finally yield our plans and desires to the Lord? Do we actually have the ability to determine just how long we live or how well our life will be in future years? We absolutely do not! We are not God; however, we can be rewarded if we will seek God first and please Him by faith.
When we’re young and filled with zeal for life, it is normal to have visions of grandeur and high aspirations for ourselves. Even though we may have plans for our lives, we also know that life doesn’t always go according to our plans. Depending on what time of day you opened this email, you may have already realized that today isn’t cooperating with your schedule. However, we are learning  to place our plans and our lives in God’s control, and He will work all things for our good.
I bring up the issue of having plans to point out to you a deeper truth. Even though you have plans for your life, and though you may be on track to fulfill most, if not all, that you have purposed in your life, it doesn’t mean that your life is pleasing to your heavenly Father. There is no eternal value in our plans unless  we come into an agreement with God’s plan and will for us.
The Word of God tells us that we have no promise of tomorrow. God only promises us today. “Today, if you will hear His voice and not harden your hearts..." Just having plans doesn’t mean we will have a hope or a future, but when we surrender our agendas and dreams to include God’s will, then He can guarantee us both fulfillment in this life and eternal bliss in the life to come. The great reward that I have learned from trusting the Lord and obeying His plans over my own plans is this: I don’t have to sweat the details. I simply obey what He requires of me, and I leave the rest up to Him to work out for me and my family.  
A life that is surrendered to the Lordship of Christ is one of peace, security,  reward, and of hope for the life to come. “Won’t it be wonderful there, having no burdens to bear?” When we enter His rest, we cease from our own labor.
Peace Beyond Comprehension,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Praise Your Way Out

2 Chronicles 20 : 21 – 22, And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the LORD, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: "Praise the LORD, for His mercy endures forever." Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated. NKJV
In the Old Testament, the people of God fought in the natural/physical realm, but under the New Testament covenant, believers war with spirits of darkness. These spirits war against our hearts and our minds trying to bring us into captivity and bondage. As Christians, we must be on guard and watchful when we find ourselves being controlled more by our emotions than by the leading of the Holy Spirit. Where the Spirit of the Lord is (in control), there is (or will be) liberty.
The Holy Spirit gave the instruction to write this devotion for someone, in particular. If this word resonates with you, then receive it as a word from the Lord for you today. Life is moving at such a rapid pace that it becomes a little overwhelming at times. What we might not realize about living in such a fast-paced world is this… our senses are stimulated by all the techno-gadgets, and this can “work” our emotions into a frenzy. If we don’t keep a check on what is allowed to grab our attention, and we latch on to everything that comes along, we can quickly become emptied in our soul. Once we become weak or have an empty feeling in our hearts or emotions, we can be opened up to negative feelings.
Our soul is not the source of our life, but rather it must be constantly filled by the presence of God. If all that feeds us during the day primarily comes through our senses and from this world, then eventually we will become depleted. Therefore, we must pull back from the world that is vying for our attention and begin to set our hearts on praising the Lord. As we praise God from our hearts, the presence of God will begin to be released through the anointing that comes from praise.  
Your praise will invite God’s presence into your heart and fill your emptied soul with light and life from the Holy Spirit. Doesn’t the Word of God command us to put on the garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness? Heaviness can occur when we become either tired or weak with a lack of spiritual energy caused by being away from His presence.
One of the primary reasons we were created was to give God praise. Therefore, we must fulfill that function if we desire to be satisfied in our soul. If we neglect the vital essentials that keep us strengthened and well, then the world can begin to tear down our defenses and make us susceptible to becoming emotionally driven. As sons and daughters of God, we’re to be led by the Spirit of God and not by our emotions or desires. By maintaining a consistent focus on praise, prayer, and time in God’s Word, we are feeding our soul with God’s life.
Paul and Silas were thrown into prison, and at the midnight hour, they began to praise God. As they praised the Lord, His presence began to shake the foundations of what was holding them against their will. Likewise, when we choose to praise God in our place of bondage or pain, God’s presence is released into our situation to break strongholds from our hearts, our souls, and our minds. Let your faith supersede your feelings and begin to attract the presence of God into your “prison” today.
Praising God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Monday, April 28, 2014


Nehemiah 6 : 1 – 3, Now it happened when Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall, and that there were no breaks left in it(though at that time I had not hung the doors in the gates), that Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, "Come, let us meet together among the villages in the plain of Ono." But they thought to do me harm. So I sent messengers to them, saying, "I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?" NKJV
God has called you and me to do a great work in the earth. Therefore, there is no higher calling or mandate than to accept and to fulfill the purpose of God for our lives. There came a time when Nehemiah, the king’s cupbearer, heard about the destruction of the wall that once protected the Jews from their enemies. When he received the news and realized the reproach that such an evil deed had brought upon his people, Nehemiah became very sad, and his countenance fell before the king. God gave him favor with the king, and Nehemiah was relieved of his duties, so he could go and rebuild the wall.
Occasionally, we are called upon by the Lord to lay aside one calling in exchange for a higher calling so that God might use us to rebuild walls and lives that have been torn apart by the enemy. If the Lord has moved you from one place to another, or released you from one purpose in order to prepare you for another, then you must be aware of the schemes Satan will try to use to distract you from serving God’s will in a new place or new season. Satan has only a few weapons at his disposal, and one of the most effective of those is distractions. He works very diligently to capture our focus away from God’s purpose for us so that he might cause us to leave off God’s work.  
Here is one of the main indicators that let me know whether or not something is a distraction from Satan: He will use both situations in your life, and he will use the flesh of others to direct the focus of your attention to you. This is the ploy used by Sanballat and Geshem that we read about in today’s passage. Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem used intimidation, threats, and manipulation like weapons to distract Nehemiah from fulfilling God’s purpose through his continued obedience.  
Please take the time to read the first five chapters of Nehemiah to get a full understanding of all that Nehemiah had to endure and to overcome just to remain committed to the rebuilding of the wall. God had called Nehemiah away from serving the king because there were many lives at stake. Likewise, isn’t it interesting how Satan will use people, threats, intimidation, and seduction to try and pull us away from serving God in order to protect ourselves?
Consequently, Nehemiah was an excellent example for us to model our prayer life after when faced with these types of attacks. Throughout his book, we read where Nehemiah would call on the Lord to provide strength, protect, and fight for him so that he could continue to rebuild the wall.  
Satan loves to distract Christians so that lives are left unguarded from his lies and assaults. He will use lusts and fear to cause us to place our focus on “self” instead of serving the purposes of God in our life. Do you know without any doubt that you’re in the center of God’s will? If you answered “Yes,” then you must guard your heart from becoming distracted. If your answer was “No,” then you must be willing to seek God’s face and allow Him to remove any distractions from your life, thus enabling you to focus clearly on His will and not your own. You will know when you receive a “mandate” from God because you won’t be able to ignore it or run from it. Like Nehemiah, God’s hand will rest upon you.  
Staying Focused During the Storms,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Friday, April 25, 2014

Why, God?

Matthew 26 : 40 – 41, Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." NKJV
There’s a valuable lesson in the passage for today’s devotion that I want to share with you. When we allow our flesh nature to rule our hearts and cause us to disregard our obedience to the Lord’s command as the disciples did, it will cause us to enter into temptation. God has done everything within His power for us through Jesus Christ in order that we might be saved and obtain spiritual victory. Nevertheless, there are still some THINGS we must obey so we will be able to walk in victory over our flesh and over unbelief.
We know by what Jesus said to the disciples that none of the disciples “had” to enter into temptation. However, they chose to allow their flesh to rule their spirits. Instead of praying for God to strengthen them for the battle that was just ahead of them, they slept. They did this because of unbelief. Anytime we can hear the voice of God and ignore Him as the disciples did, it tells God that we don’t believe His instructions.
We also see this unbelief in operation with Adam in the garden. God told him not to eat the forbidden fruit, but he disobeyed and indulged anyway. We always talk about and preach on the sin of commission (doing something wrong), but did you know that there is also a sin of omission? James tells us, when we know the good that we should do and choose not to do it, to us, it is sin.  
The thing that opened Adam and the disciples up to being tempted and sinning against the Lord was their lack of obedience to do what He had previously told them. God has promised to make a way of escape so that we won’t have to enter into temptation because something is too hard for us to handle. Nevertheless, if we should choose not to heed His voice because of unbelief, then we will allow the enemy to tempt us into sinning against the Lord.
Why is OBEDIENCE so important to the child of God as it pertains to living in victory over the Devil? To obey God is to walk or live by faith. When we choose to obey and live by faith, we are, at the same time, crucifying the flesh nature and living a victorious life over the wiles of the Devil. John teaches us in his epistle that our faith in Christ is our victory over the world. If we should allow unbelief to rule our hearts, and if we give place to our flesh instead of the voice of God, we are allowing ourselves to be placed in bondage to Satan’s lies.  
Let’s advance this teaching to the reason for today’s word. When we find ourselves living in unbelief as the disciples did, there’s a tendency to begin to complain to God about the conditions that we have to live in. Look at how many times the disciples hardened their hearts and walked in fear when Jesus expected them to walk in faith. They did this over and again because they doubted the true identity of Jesus. Had they submitted to His Lordship and obeyed Him, they wouldn’t have had any problems with unbelief.
We also see this principle of unbelief at work in the generation that God delivered out of Egypt. Every time the Holy Spirit spoke to that generation, they hardened their hearts because of unbelief. The only way to please God is by our faith, and that is demonstrated through our obedience. Therefore, when they chose to operate in unbelief, it prevented them from inheriting the promises of God.
Consequently, they walked in lack. When they encountered lack, they began to murmur and grumble to Moses and God about the awful conditions of the wilderness. Unbelief had them blinded to the fact that the condition of lack wasn’t caused by God, but, instead, by their own disobedience.  
When Christians choose to walk in unbelief, we will be blinded. Moreover, our blindness will cause us to blame someone else for our lack of faith, as Adam blamed Eve. In conclusion, we know the unbelief that both the generation that was delivered in the wilderness, and the disciples of Jesus struggled with was caused by their unwillingness to surrender to the authority of God in their hearts.
Therefore, whenever their unbelief got them into a desperate situation, they turned on God (Jesus). When we choose to ignore the voice of God because of a flesh-fit, and it opens the door for trouble, we must be careful not to murmur;  instead, we should repent for our unbelief, lest we tempt God with it and force Him to become angry with us. God overlooked the sin and the weaknesses of Israel when He delivered them; He has looked beyond our faults as well.
However, there is one thing God won’t overlook, and that is a heart that murmurs against Him because it is filled with unbelief. If you find yourself murmuring against the Lord, you might want to check your heart with the Holy Spirit to see if you have missed an earlier command from the Lord.
Just sayin’,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, April 24, 2014

"It's Not My Fault"

1 Samuel 15 : 8 - 12, He also took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed. Now the word of the LORD came to Samuel, saying, "I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments." And it grieved Samuel, and he cried out to the LORD all night. NKJV
As children of God in Christ, we have been made kings and priests unto the Lord. However, even though God has appointed the body of Christ to walk in Kingdom authority and to fulfill certain duties on the earth, there are times when we struggle to be obedient to His will. If you struggle to obey God, and you beat yourself over the head, so to speak, know that you’re not the only one. Many Christians, if not all of us, struggle to obey God from time to time.
This isn’t an attempt to justify self-justification, but rather a lesson on what it might cost us when we allow ourselves the liberty to disobey God’s will. Let me say that partial-obedience is still disobedience in God’s eyes, and we see this in today’s passages. King Saul was commanded to destroy utterly all the Amalekites, as well as all the animals. Saul destroyed all the people, but he allowed the king and the best animals to continue living. This greatly displeased the Lord to the point that He regretted appointing Saul the king of Israel.  
It doesn’t require much faith to obey God when we already agree with His will. However, what do you do when God’s will opposes your will in any given situation? Do you submit to His will, or do you respond to God with self-justification? This is where self-justification can begin to enter our hearts, adversely affect our faith-walk and greatly reduce our authority to carry out the will of God in the earth.
I use King Saul’s story today to illustrate what happens when children of God partially obey and use justification to prop up their disobedience. You see; if God takes the time and effort to order our steps, but we fail to see the value of His request, know that there is going to be severe repercussions for our disobedience.  
Why does a child of God partially obey or justify disobedience before God when we know that He already knows what we’re really telling Him is NO? We see the answer to this in today’s passages on King Saul. He had an agenda in his heart that caused him to assess the situation differently than God. As a result of Saul’s agenda, he overrode God’s plan and sinned in God’s sight. Had Saul yielded his plan to God’s will through faith instead of acting out of fear, then God would have been pleased by his faith and given him greater dominion. Since Saul chose to act in fear of the people and please them rather than God, God chose to remove him as king of Israel.
When we seek to please ourselves or other people when God has given us specific instructions, as He did with King Saul, then we will forfeit our spiritual authority as well. Finally, when we seek to disobey God and justify our sin, we will also have to blame someone else in order to shift the blame from us. As you read the entire chapter on Saul’s rejection of God’s perfect will, you’ll notice where the king had to blame the people whom he had previously used as an excuse to God for his sin.
1 Samuel 15 : 13 – 15, Then Samuel went to Saul, and Saul said to him, "Blessed are you of the LORD! I have performed the commandment of the LORD." But Samuel said, "What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?" And Saul said, "They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and the oxen, to sacrifice to the LORD your God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed." NKJV
King Saul declared to Samuel, the prophet, that he had fully obeyed the Lord and utterly destroyed the Amalekites, but Samuel could hear the sounds coming from the animals taken from Israel’s enemies. Afterwards, Saul continued to justify his wrong deeds by placing the blame on the people that he was supposed to have ruled over. King Saul sought to please himself and man more than God, and it ultimately cost him the throne.
Beware of partial obedience and self-justification because they will cost you far more than your fears threaten to take from you if you obey God. God told Samuel that He looks upon the heart… which was the very reason He chose David as King of Israel and rejected Saul. David was a man after the heart of God. He loved the law of God and hid it in his heart.
Seeking to Please the Father,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Power Of God

Philippians 2 : 12 – 15, Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation… NKJV
Throughout the Old Testament, we read that God moved upon men and women to do, what must have seemed like impossible, acts of faith. Noah was moved upon by God to build an ark and to gather every species of animal. This large vessel would be used to save his family and the animals from certain destruction.
However, can you imagine how Noah must have felt when God spoke such a great word to him? There was much that Noah didn’t know or understand about rain since it had never before rained. Noah didn’t have a degree in engineering arks, nor did he have the understanding of the buoyancy of such a great floatation device. Nevertheless, one thing Noah did have, and apparently he did this one thing very well, was his ability to hear and OBEY the voice of God. As Noah obeyed the voice of God, the Spirit of God moved upon him giving him great abilities to complete the vision of God to build an ark.   
The Bible is full of stories where God moved upon plain, ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary acts for His glory to be displayed in the earth. The longer God gives me the breath to serve Him, the more I realize and see where Christians struggle the most in their walk of faith. There is somewhat of a disconnect that occurs in believers between hearing the Word of God and being willing to obey or implement the Word that they have heard. So we must be willing to hear and obey the voice of God just like the saints of old.
It is here that you and I must realize that God told Noah to build an ark. He also told Abraham to leave his father’s country and kindred, and He would give him the land of promise. It was God, who told the widow at Zarephath to give Elijah a cake to eat “first,” and God blessed her. So we can conclude that they all had one thing in common. They all heard the voice of God speak specifically to them about His will that had to be accomplished in order that He might be able to bless and keep them from harm.
Does this mean that God will speak to our heart each time He is about to do something new in our lives, or that He will warn us of impending storms on the horizon? Paul addresses this question in Romans 10, which is used by ministers around the world to teach newborn believers on the concept and operation of faith. You must first hear, and then you must follow through with what you have heard. Obey God’s will, and then He can pour His power through your obedient actions.
Jesus tells us plainly in John 10 that His sheep know His voice, and they won’t follow another. So why does it seem as though there is a disconnection among many in the body of Christ between hearing the voice of God and obeying His will? It’s very simple. We must be open or become willing to hear God’s voice, and then we must begin to move forward as He reveals the details.
If a “Christian” is not receptive to hearing God’s voice, not to mention willing to step out in faith and obey His will, a disconnection will occur. We must be open in our hearts to hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit speak to us, whether He brings glad tidings or harsh warnings. When God speaks to us, it is always with the intention of bringing us into a stronger and closer walk with Him and to allow His power to be displayed through us. If God should show you a vision or give you a warning that seems more than you can bear… STOP, DROP, and PRAY!  
Through prayer, Jesus was given the power to face and to endure the suffering of His crucifixion. It was also through prayer that Paul could accept and move forward in his ministry when God told him that His grace was sufficient. Prayer and a willing heart invite the grace of God onto our lives so that we are able fulfill the task that is set before us. Grace will empower us to the point that we will have joy fill our hearts, instead of an attitude of unwillingness filled with complaints.
You see; when we go to God in prayer about the mountains that He wants us to remove through our faith and His grace, He empowers us with the Holy Spirit upon us to have the joy to overcome the weaknesses of our flesh man. It doesn’t mean that we will “enjoy” what we have to confront, endure, and overcome.
God’s grace gives us the power to endure an impossible season in our life. The Holy Spirit will give us the ability to walk through that season with joy. And the result will be a life that gives honor and glory to God and denies self the right to complain. Victory is sweet in Jesus.
Rejoicing in Christ,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Hebrews 12 : 1 – 2, Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. NKJV
Have you ever tried to talk with someone in a room that is filled with other people conversing? Restaurants in America seem to enjoy playing music at a very uncomfortable level. Consequently, when you have loud music and even louder voices in a closed room, it can become very distracting. I suppose you could stand up and shout for everyone to be quiet and ask the restaurant manager to turn off the music, but you might be asked to leave. Except for walking out of the loud room, I suppose the only other option at this point is to remain focused on the person you’re talking with while turning a “deaf ear” to the other voices and noises.
As we seek to learn more about Jesus and to please Him with our lives, we will have to overcome the distractions of Satan. You might be able to walk out of a noisy restaurant, but you can’t run away from the distractions of Satan. The only way to overcome distractions is to learn the principle of being focused on Jesus while living in a world filled with spiritual distractions. Our flesh nature, even as Christians can cause us to fall prey to distractions from time to time. So we must train ourselves to remain focused on Christ no matter what cries out for our attention.
We must guard our hearts when focusing on Jesus so that we don’t allow fear to overcome our faith. If we allow this to happen, we will take our spiritual eyes off of Jesus and drown in our unbelief. Which would have been easier for Jesus, giving Simon the power to walk on water, or silencing the storm for Simon? You may be asking what that question has to do with Simon being distracted. Why is it? Simon had the faith in Jesus to walk on water, which is humanly impossible, but didn’t have the faith that Jesus could have authority over the storm? Perhaps we can learn a very valuable lesson from Simon’s story. It’s easier to walk by faith when there are no storms or threats that oppose us while we’re walking by faith. However, if our faith can’t stand up to the fire of a trial, then what good is our faith?  
This story perfectly illustrates just how important it is for Christians to maintain our spiritual focus on Jesus, especially when storms arise. We must keep our eyes on Jesus in order to continue walking above the weight and the sins of this world. We must ask ourselves one question, as it pertains to maintaining focus by overcoming distractions. Why doesn’t Satan want us to keep our eyes on Jesus? He knows when Christians have their complete focus and heart’s attention on Jesus, he has no power over them in which to stop them from reaching Jesus.
Therefore, if you struggle with “spiritual attention disorder,” and you allow fear to rule your walk and cause you to lose focus, then you must learn how to die to the flesh nature. Dying to the old nature, which vies for your attention, is a day-to-day process, but it is an obtainable goal. This is the victory that overcomes the world even our faith. Satan couldn’t stop us from coming to faith in Christ because Christ originated our salvation, so he attempts to distract us from walking by faith so that he might cause us to go back into unbelief.
Walking in Victory Toward Jesus,
Pastor Asa Dockery  

Friday, April 18, 2014

Victorious Life

1 John 5 : 4 - 5, For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world -- our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? NKJV
As children of God, who have been redeemed and made alive unto God in Christ, we must see ourselves as more than conquerors in every situation. Please note that it doesn’t mean you will win every conflict or sail through every trial without hurt or loss. Remember the Words of Jesus in John 16 : 33, “In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world.” The key in this verse isn’t about how well we will fare in this world of hardship and heartbreak; it is in knowing that, through Christ, we have the power to overcome any obstacle, weapon, or offense formed against us. Consequently, we learn to never lose sight that we have already obtained the victory in Jesus.
According to John 3 : 16, if we believe in Jesus as the only-begotten Son of God, we have eternal life. This foundational truth gives our heart and soul the assurance that when this life is over, we will bypass death, hell, and the grave. Since we have this hope concerning our eternal existence, we also have hope that no weapon formed against us in this present life will be able to separate us from the hope that we have in Christ.  
Preachers and Christians alike seem to focus primarily on the subject of the eternal. However, today, I want to point out that Jesus includes our trials and tribulations in the victory that we have in Him while remaining in this world. If we believe that we are truly born again, then we will view ourselves as more than conquerors through Christ, who gave Himself for us. Jesus doesn’t just want us to know that we have victory as God’s children in the after-life; He also wants us to utilize the hope and comfort His victory has provided in order to strengthen and sustain us while we must live in the “nasty now-and-now”.  
Proverbs 23 tells us, as a man thinks or believes in his heart, so is he. Therefore, what we believe, and what we hold to be true in our hearts will affect our existence both today and tomorrow. We must see salvation as more than eternal life with God, and begin to embrace the truth which Jesus declared to us in today’s passage: in Him, we have victory over the world and its tribulation. If we fail to see the connection between eternal life in Christ and in the victory we possess in order to live in this corrupt world as more than conquerors, we can take on a victim mindset, and then become open to an offense against God…the very One who saved us while we were yet sinners.
We can now see more clearly how our beliefs directly affect our attitudes as believers. If we don’t see ourselves as “saved and victorious,” then we can become weak in our faith and allow doubt to influence our point-of-view. Consequently, our Christian witness will be adversely affected. When the Holy Spirit saved us from the “old man,” He did more than just give us victory for eternity. Through our salvation, we also have been given the victory that we need to overcome this world and to live victoriously. It is up to us to decide. The Lord told Israel through Moses, “Today, I set before you life and death, blessing and cursing, therefore, CHOOSE life, that both, you and your seed may live.”  
We have the faith, but we must put our faith to work. Through the Word of God, we can activate and implement our faith to overcome this world and its problems.
More Than a Conqueror in Christ,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Empowering Grace

Ephesians 2 : 8 – 9, For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. NKJV
If you’re a child of God, then God’s grace has been at work in your life. However, which do you think is harder for God to accomplish, transforming a sinner into a child of God or transforming a child of God into the image of Christ? Both require our cooperation and faith in Christ. Without active faith, we can’t please (or agree with) God. James tells us that faith alone cannot save. If we believe in Christ, then we will obey the Lord and seek to please Him.
The work of justification can only be released into a person’s life after they act on God’s will or Word. If we are saved by grace through faith, then we must also live by faith after becoming born again. Therefore, we must not live for our own pleasures and agenda, but rather for the pleasure of our heavenly Father. After all, it is God who works in us both to will and do His good pleasure. When the Holy Spirit, who dwells within all believers in Christ, speaks specific instructions to us, we must be willing to obey Him. In the text for today’s devotion, Paul mentions the grace of God and the works of man. If God instructs us, then it will require our obedient faith. However, once we step out in faith, God will release His grace on us so that we can accomplish what He has required. This is a work of grace.
Let’s look at an example of someone’s faith and will being aligned with God’s will and grace. A young virgin named Mary was asked to bring the Son of God into the world. When she heard from the angel, Gabriel, about the will of God, she was puzzled as to how this could happen, since she was not yet married. Gabriel told Mary about her cousin, Elizabeth, who was once barren, but was now six months into her pregnancy. Then he went on to tell Mary that she wouldn’t need a man; the Holy Spirit would overshadow her, and she would conceive the holy Child of God. When she HEARD His instructions, Mary agreed with God’s will and said, “Be it unto me according to your word.” When she believed and SUBMITTED or ACCEPTED God’s will, it released the power of God (GRACE) to bring about the manifestation of God’s promise.
We sometimes have a tendency to dig our heels in the ground when we come upon something that is hard or appears to be impossible... even though God hasn’t told us to stop doing it. However, once we cease walking forward by faith, we also forfeit God’s grace, which empowers believers to move forward in their walk and maturity in Christ. Further, if we should allow an offense by someone or something to stop us from obeying or walking by faith, we will also stop the flow of God’s grace.  
In Galatians 5, Paul points out this very truth to the believers in the church of Galatia. They started out believing in Christ and walking by faith, but other non-believing Jews told them that they also had to be circumcised in order to be saved. After the Messianic Jews heard that they had to add circumcision to their faith, they reverted to the works of the law. Paul informed them that they were no longer living by faith and had FALLEN FROM GRACE. Yes, that is correct. You can read Galatians and see; that is exactly what Paul told the Jews, who had reverted to their old ways.  
You don’t need faith in Christ and something else. Nevertheless, once you have placed faith in Christ, you must then obey Him and walk by faith in order to grow and mature by God’s grace. If we don’t operate by faith as a New Testament believer in Christ, we will try “works” to measure up or try to replace the absence of God’s grace on our lives.  
Finally, we can see how our faith and God’s grace work hand-in-hand (together) by the story of Peter walking on the water to reach Jesus. Jesus came to the disciples walking on the water during a storm. When Peter saw someone out on the water, he said, “Lord, if that is You bid me to come out on the water.” Jesus told Simon to come. When Simon HEARD the Lord’s command, faith arose in his heart, and he stepped out of the boat onto the water. As long as he obeyed the Lord’s command and kept his eyes on Jesus, God gave him the grace to walk on top of the water. However, the moment Simon allowed the storm to distract him, and he took his eyes off Jesus, fear and doubt filled his heart. The Grace was gone. Consequently, Simon began to sink into the water. When faith no longer held Simon’s attention on Jesus, the flow of grace was no longer allowed to be released…the very thing which empowered Simon to do the impossible.  
Are you moving forward by faith or are you sinking deeper into something that you once had victory over when you were walking by faith? We all need God’s grace, but He requires faith and agreement to flow from our hearts.
Walking Under the Grace of God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Feeling Abandoned?

Matthew 16 : 19, And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." NKJV
Even as Christians, we don’t always understand the ways of God. As I was praying today, the Lord was speaking to me about people, saved and sinners alike, who struggle to believe that God is a very present HELP in a time of need. He let me see a person in their distress crying out to Him, “Why God, where were you?” However, we can’t always lay the blame for “calamity and trials” at the Lord’s doorstep and not be willing to assume some responsibility in the matter. Taking responsibility to do “our part” doesn’t include getting under condemnation; it simply means that we are proactive rather than reactive to the devices of Satan. Allow me to share some keys that will assist in closing the door to Satan’s lies, and in opening the door for God’s presence to be your strength in times of trouble.
We can have as much or as little of the power and presence of God in our lives as we desire. However, we’re the ones who have to initiate the release. If we tend to ignore God in good times, and, instead, we only desire to seek Him or feel His presence in times of desperation, then Satan can use that mindset to make us feel isolated and abandoned by the Lord. We’re the ones who must invite the Lord into our heart, life, family, home, job, and church.
In Genesis, God gave man, both male and female dominion over the earth. They had been given the power to bind or loose whatever they desired. God left the decision up to them, but only after He let them know the boundaries and repercussions of wrong decisions. Unfortunately, they chose to use that liberty and authority to indulge in fleshly activity and not in obeying the Lord. As a result of their careless decisions, the door was opened for Satan to move in and separate them in their hearts and minds from the presence of God. Their decisions to neglect God’s will for carnal desires ultimately caused man to feel abandoned by the Lord. Nevertheless, man made the initial decision to choose self over the Lord.
In the New Testament, Jesus has given us the authority to bind and loose, and to invite the presence of God into our lives on a moment-by-moment basis. God is always with us, but He doesn’t always manifest on our behalf because we haven’t invited Him or given Him that place in our life. If you’re a parent of older children, you understand this principle very well. As Children mature past adolescence, they begin to seek their own identity and independence. While they are going through the process of becoming mature adults, you will discover they don’t always seek your advice. However, they will accept your help when their decisions cause them distress.  Unfortunately, Christians can be the same way with their heavenly Father.
If you’re a child of God, but you have sometimes felt that God has abandoned you, or maybe in a time of need, you felt He wasn’t there for you, then decide to allow His presence to fill your heart and life through a deeper hunger for Him. Through the fall of man, Satan has been given access to cause people trouble, but he can’t be successful in separating us from the love of God in Christ.
Make a commitment to allow the Holy Spirit to have greater influence and access in your life. As you draw nearer to God, God will draw nearer to you. Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. We will make a choice based on how we treat our daily relationship and fellowship with the Lord; we will either have power over the enemy, or we will allow him to rule over us. Which will you choose?
Seeking the Lord Daily,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Amos 3 : 3, Can two walk together, unless they are agreed? NKJV
Psalms 133 : 1 - 3, Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there the LORD commanded the blessing --Life forevermore. NKJV
When Jesus established His church, He set it upon the foundation of who He is. He is TRUTH. Jesus didn’t base it on man’s opinions, conjectures, or philosophies.
Consequently, if divisions should arise in the church, they will stem from man’s beliefs and not because of the truth. In Ephesians, Paul writes to us about the body of Christ coming to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
We must all grow in our faith, until we all come to the unity of the faith. Christ is the only way to the Father. He is the only- begotten Son of God. Until we become mature in our faith and understand this truth about Jesus, we will continue to be divided over what we choose to believe about Christ and the Word of God. All Christians, who are truly born again, already believe unanimously that He is the Christ, the Son of God. Nevertheless, the body remains largely divided by our personal beliefs about scripture and/or our personal interpretation of the Word.
Truth isn’t divided, nor can it ever be. Therefore, if we walk in the truth and don’t hold too closely to our opinions, then we will also walk in unity in the body of Christ. If all that I have written up to this point is, indeed, truth, how will we know when someone is walking in the truth, or just sharing a personal interpretation, or is operating under the influence of the spirit of error? This is where the Holy Spirit comes into the maturation process.
When Jesus was preparing to return to His Father, He told His disciples that they would not be abandoned. They wouldn’t be left to try and figure out everything that He had taught them concerning the Kingdom of God and the Father on their own. The Father sent the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus also called the Spirit of Truth.  
Whenever truth is taught and when it is heard, it is the work of the Holy Spirit to bear witness or confirm to the hearers that it is truth. If someone should interject opinions, or conjecture, then the Holy Spirit won’t bear witness to these. This brings up a very important question. How can a believer know when they have heard from the Holy Spirit? The Spirit of Truth will only speak from the Word of God and won’t confirm man’s beliefs as being the truth.
Therefore, as a believer, it is your personal responsibility to be willing and ready to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit when He either confirms or rejects something that has been proclaimed as truth. If a person should harden their hearts to the voice of Truth, then it will open them up to be deceived by man’s deceitful ways.
Divisions arise when something other than truth has been spoken to a body of believers as truth, but not confirmed by the Spirit of Truth. When division occurs, either in the body of Christ or a body of believers because someone has presented opinion or personal beliefs as truth, then know that some have heard the Holy Spirit, and some have not.
The Apostle John teaches us in his epistle that this is the way we will know the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of error. If you’re truly concerned about being deceived by a minister, and you don’t know if they’re really hearing from God, you must do as Proverbs 3 : 5 – 8 says, Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones. NKJV
Jesus tells us plainly in Matthew 7 that if we, being evil know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more will the heavenly Father give good things to those who ask Him. Where there is truth, (if all are hearing from the Holy Spirit) there should also be unity, and where there is unity, there will also be the blessing of God—life forever.  (Psalm 133)
Walking in Agreement with Truth,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Monday, April 14, 2014

Overcoming Tragedy

Psalms 139 : 7 – 10, Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. NKJV
The Bible has much to say about times and seasons. I have noticed over the years of being in ministry and counseling that oftentimes believers go through certain seasons or trials together. A term that is commonly used to describe this phenomenon is, “it comes in waves.” You may not hear about a certain issue for a while, and then it seems that many people are hit “all at once” by the same type of opposition.  
Unfortunately, Christians aren’t immune to trials and tragedies just because we have faith in Christ for eternal life. Knowing this, we must remember that we are God’s children, and our heavenly Father has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit, we are empowered and comforted by His presence to face, confront, and overcome the fallout which is associated with pain and loss.
Please pay close attention to what I’m about to share with you. Christians are still human. We have feelings and thoughts that arise during (and especially after) trials hit us. Whenever a person is hit with sudden pain, grief, or loss because of a tragedy or unexpected setback, the human nature demands a response. This “natural” response can cause a believer to feel rejected and alone, even in a crowd of other believers.  
Since we know that this reaction can occur during a personal loss, we must be on guard with our faith. Recently, I’ve heard several people sharing their hearts about feeling lonely. Loneliness is yet another response of our emotions to experiencing loss or rejection, which can cause Christians to draw back from society and from fellowshipping with other believers. At this point, we must also realize and acknowledge that, even though sorrow and loss are a part of this season, God is still in control, and His presence is with us no matter the hardship.  
Satan knows by observation that “saved humans” will wrestle with their faith when affliction enters their lives. So we must see him as a wolf whenever we have a season of suffering or grief. Wolves work very diligently to seek out weak or vulnerable sheep who have strayed away from the rest of the flock. The sheep who are isolated or separated from the rest of the sheep make an easy prey for the wolves to attack and devour.  
As hard as it might be for you to see God as a loving, heavenly Father, who cares for you during a difficult season, you must, once again, see that God is with you, and that you’re not alone. By your faith, you can silence the “voices of hurt, loss, rejection, and isolation” and turn your attention back to the goodness of the Lord.
I can personally attest to this truth; “It works!” Whenever I have had to face dark seasons, I’ve learned to keep my eyes on Jesus and my ears attuned to His Word. Trials and personal tragedies must be met with the faith and determination that God is with us, and He has not forsaken us. Therefore, I don’t have to believe my emotions or thoughts.
Instead, I choose to stand on the truth of God’s covenant Word with me and my family. You know what? My emotions and thoughts have failed me, but God and His Word have always carried me and our family through the darkest of times.  
Jesus Is a Very Present Help,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Friday, April 11, 2014


Galatians 3 : 16 – 18, Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, "And to seeds," as of many, but as of one, "And to your Seed," who is Christ. And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise. NKJV
If there was a law of God that we could keep in order to inherit eternal life, then there would be no need for faith. Please take a moment and meditate on that statement. There is no law or no good thing that we can do that would grant us access into heaven. If we really know this to be the truth, why do so many “believers” try to avoid operating by faith? Ignorance isn’t a legitimate excuse in the Kingdom of God. In fact, the prophet Hosea wrote under the leading of God’s Spirit, “The people of God are destroyed from a lack of knowledge.” If we choose to plead ignorance as an excuse for not walking by faith, then we are only deceiving ourselves and opening a door that will allow us to be devoured by the enemy.
The writer of Hebrews tells us in chapter 11, “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Paul teaches us in Romans 10 that faith can only be released in our hearts when we hear God speaking to us through the Holy Spirit or through His Word. Therefore, we can conclude that the only way to please the Father and to inherit the promises of the Kingdom of God is to seek to learn and to obey His will.
Some might try to say, “This sounds like you’re adding works to salvation. After all, aren’t we saved by faith in Christ alone?” To this I would ask, “Is there another way that I can walk by faith and be in complete agreement with the Father while I fulfill His purpose for my life on earth?” Paul has already taught us that the inheritance can’t be given by keeping the Law.
We’re told in Romans that the JUST shall live by faith. In Hebrews, we find the same statement. However, it is followed by this verse. “If any man draws back in unbelief, the Lord will have no pleasure in them.” James also teaches us to add action or works to our faith. Well, we can’t just do our own thing and call it God’s will. So we can say then, that walking by faith means we listen for the voice of the Father, and we read His Word to train our spiritual ears to hear and our hearts to obey His commands. Just like there’s only one Way to the Father, there is only one way to live by faith and in agreement with the Father once we accept Jesus as the Christ in our life.
We had better understand now, through this principle that those who continue to walk by faith after their initial commitment to Christ are walking in a relationship with the Father and not operating by works. Christianity is based on a relationship and not on our works. We can’t commit to Christ as our Savior and afterwards live by the Law or do our own thing.  
If we are truly saved by grace through faith, then we will add obedience to our faith, and do everything that God commands us to do. This will let the Lord see “through our actions” that we are living by faith. Then He can reward us with the fulfillment of His promises because we have chosen to “live” by faith and not just accept Jesus by faith. The question we must ask ourselves is this. “As God’s child, am I living my life according to God’s will or according to my will?” Allow the Holy Spirit to give you the answer. It’s all based on a relationship by faith.
I Love the Lord,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Night Vision

Ephesians 1 : 15 – 21, Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. NKJV
Welcome to a new day to live out the plan of God for your life and to glorify your Lord. However, we don’t always know what His plan is. Even so, not knowing is a good thing because it keeps us looking to God for wisdom and direction, especially when we encounter a trial or setback that wasn’t expected. Have you had “the unexpected” happen in your life recently? Have you been blind-sided by a situation that has caused you to lose sight of the path for your life? If this describes where you are in your walk with Christ, then Paul has given us an answer in today’s scripture that will assist us when we go through dark seasons and blinding tragedies in life. Nevertheless, first, let’s lay some foundation so that you will have a better understanding of it.
If you read Genesis 3, where Adam and Eve partook of the tree of knowledge, you will discover that their eyes were opened, and they became self-conscious. Just as the serpent had predicted, they had gained an understanding of good-and-evil. I have always found this portion, “the eyes of them both were opened,” of scripture interesting, since they could already see. Consequently, we know that Moses was alluding to the eyes of their understanding and not their physical sight. Once man had partaken of sin, we became aware of a fallen world, and in exchange, we lost God-consciousness, in the way that Adam and Eve had only known.
This brings us to the scripture for today’s devotion found in Ephesians 1. When we rejected sin and believed on Jesus as our personal Savior and Lord, our heavenly Father gave us the Holy Spirit. Through Him, we have the ability once again to know God and learn about His ways and to see God without the use or benefit of our physical, human eyes for sight. Besides our eyesight, we also have what Paul described as “eyes of our understanding.” When Adam and Eve sinned, mankind lost the understanding that allowed us to see or perceive God and to trust in Him even though He is invisible to the human eye.  
You may be asking, “Why is this information important to me as a Christian?” As you face dark seasons in your life, where it seems as though the Light of God’s presence has been extinguished, or you are blind-sided by tragedy, you don’t have to allow yourself to feel isolated, lonely, or abandoned by God anymore. Since becoming a child of God and receiving the Holy Spirit, you now have someone who will remain with you through every season of your life. He will be there when this world goes “dark and cold” to reassure and comfort you.  
It is during the trying times of life that humans can lose all hope. However, once we accept Christ and receive the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit gives us enlightenment. He does this so that we will have hope in our heart to stand, when it appears that in the natural, physical realm, there is no hope to be found. We must, at that moment, decide to either look to God or look at our circumstances.
If we will choose to take our eyes off what is seen and begin to trust in the unseen God, who dwells within us, then He can begin to enlighten our understanding and lead us on in our walk of faith. Through the truths that God has given, we all can learn to lean more on the God of hope during times of isolation and heartache. We can know that we have a hope and a future, even when it seems as though all hope is gone. Allow the Lord to enlighten your understanding and to lead you into greener pastures and a greater hope in Christ. Remember, this world is not our final destination. We’re just passing through on our way to an eternal reward in Christ.
Seeing the Invisible through Eyes of Faith,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Grateful Heart

Job 1: 20 – 22, Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong. NKJV
It seems that with each passing week, Jesus’ prophecies concerning the last days are speaking louder and louder. We can see with our own eyes the unveiling of the final days and the fulfillment of Jesus’ Words. However, we must also remember that Jesus warned His disciples what would happen before His return. He foretold end-time events to them (and to us) so that when these things come to pass, we wouldn’t be offended by them.
The prophet, Hosea, tells us, in no uncertain terms, that God’s people can be destroyed if they don’t know the truth. Ignorance of Christ, what He requires of His disciples, and what it will cost to follow His teachings in a fallen world can prove to be disastrous. If we are ignorant of these truths, but we still seek to follow or obey Christ, then Satan will exploit our ignorance and bring an offense. Offense means: to stumble or cause to sin. Peter warns us in his epistle that Satan is going about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Therefore, it is incumbent on us to know what the Word of God says about being a true disciple of Christ and to know what Christ requires of us, lest we become offended and return to sin.
Furthermore, we must also realize the same truth that Job knew when he served God… we “own nothing.” If we understand that God has allowed us to steward His possessions on earth in order that He might know whether we can be trusted with eternal riches and glory, then we will gain victory over the offenses of Satan.
Job didn’t charge God foolishly; neither did he sin against God because he had a good understanding that God had given him everything. Therefore, he could say without malice in his heart, “The Lord has given and the Lord has taken.” Jesus told the disciples, “Freely you have received, freely you are to give.” If we should love anything or anyone more than Christ, it will open up the door for Satan to bring an offense and cause us to stumble.
Satan knows his end is drawing closer with each passing day. Consequently, he is like a raging and roaring lion. His desire is to take out as many of God’s warriors as he possibly can through the “door or avenue” of offense. We don’t have to fall prey to Satan’s devices because we have the Greater One living within us; we are not alone. John tells us in his epistle not to love the world, neither the things that are in it. If we love the world, then the love of the Father is not in us. He goes on to warn us that this world will pass away, and the lusts of it will also, but only those who do the will of God will live forever.  
Our focus as Christians in these last days must be on what God has already done for us on the cross. We must not fall in love with this world to the point that we disobey God’s will. What will it profit us if we were to gain the entire world, but forfeit our souls in the process? We must live by faith like never before. We must hold on to our faith and love God more than ever. By these, we will be able to keep the faith and overcome this world for Christ. Then we will have a great and eternal reward awaiting us in heaven. There’s nothing as fulfilling as the goodness of God to a grateful heart.
Thankful for the Gift of Eternal Life,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Life Liberated

Colossians 3 : 1 – 11, If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.  Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all. NKJV
According to scripture, Satan is his most effective when he is coming against the minds of believers. The reason for this is very simple. Our minds aren’t based on truth; they are carnal and are not submitted to God’s Word. Therefore, Satan can use our lack of knowledge of the truth to try and convince us of things that are based on his lies, and we will believe them, if we don’t know who we are in Christ.
Since our unregenerate or carnal mind isn’t submitted to truth, nor can it be, Satan will use situations of all types in an attempt to get us to react to his lies about us. If he can get us “to move” out of our position of authority because of something that he originated, then he knows that we don’t have the knowledge of the truth in that area of our life and will proceed to use that ignorance or weakness to hurt us.
Satan embodied the serpent and was successful in his plan to deceive Eve because she was devoid of the truth concerning God and her identity in Him. Satan simply convinced Eve (though it was a lie) that she didn’t have the things she desired when she obeyed God’s will. He told her that she wouldn’t die if she partook of the forbidden fruit, but rather she would be like God.
If everything that we are and have is wrapped up in Christ, then why would we desire to look to the world? This principle is very important, and all Christians need to be aware of the consequences of violating it. When we look to the Lord to be the source of all that we desire and all we do, He will keep us protected from the devouring spirit that operates through the deceitful lusts of the world. In Christ, we are kept, and in Him, we are complete. However, if we look to the world, it will show us what we lack and will try to provide that need for us. Nevertheless, it will cost us our liberty in Christ.  
We must not look to the world to show us what we are in need of or lack as a child of God. Consequently, by doing so, we open ourselves up to be pierced through with many sorrows just as Adam and Eve were after the fall. The old flesh nature has to die in us, who have accepted Christ as our Savior and our only Source. When we die to the carnal (or flesh nature) that makes us view ourselves as incomplete, even though we’re in Christ, we won’t feel the need to look outside of Christ for our needs or desires to be met.
The world loves to tell us that we are incomplete, so that we will act in our own strength and attempt to fill that void which was created by the world. You can see that this will lead to a vicious cycle; we will never be fulfilled. It is for this very reason that we’re told throughout the New Testament to put to death the deeds of our flesh and live to God. Keep your eyes and your desires focused on Christ and live a healthy, fulfilled, and blessed life filled with peace and contentment. As we learn to delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart. When God gives us a desire, it also means that it was given without any strings attached.  
There is a void in every person on earth. This void is the need to live in liberty. As long as we try to fill that void through carnal thinking, by viewing what the world has and basing our need on its values, we will live in bondage as believers. However, if we will die to the need to look outside of Christ to find freedom and liberty through people or "stuff," then we can have and maintain a life of fulfillment and peace.  
Rich in the Blessings of God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Monday, April 7, 2014

Protect Your Relationship

Ephesians 4 : 29 - 32, Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. NKJV
For a while, the Lord has been speaking to me about believers and the need for us to guard our hearts from the wiles or strategies of the Devil. I see two primary and effective ways that Satan works in order to cause a Christian to grieve the Holy Spirit. Satan will find entrance into our hearts so that he might gain power over our decisions when we act or react to temptation and/or offense.
Many times when Jesus made reference to the Holy Spirit being our Comforter, He also mentions that He is the Spirit of Truth. If we should allow anything (offense) or anyone (offender) to cause us to stumble from obeying the truth, then we, too, will grieve the Spirit of Truth.
When we’re single and out on our own, it’s easy to make a rash decision and do something on the spur-of-the-moment, but when you get married, there’s another person who must be included in the decision-making process. When you and I were out in the world doing our own thing, it was all about self and what made us happy, but now that we’re born again and married to Christ, we must first consider His will over our own. Doesn’t Jesus instruct us in Matthew 6 to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness? Remember, “Father knows best.”
As the Lord has been showing me specific principles and examples of what can happen once these principles are violated, I couldn’t help but share these valuable truths with you today. When God called John the Baptist into the ministry, He told John how he would be able to recognize the Christ. Obviously, God had foretold to John that one day he would have the high honor of baptizing Israel’s Messiah.
John 1 : 32 – 34 says, And John bore witness, saying, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God." NKJV
Please notice that, even though Jesus and John were cousins, John didn’t know Jesus was the Son of God until the Holy Spirit made Him manifest by descending upon Jesus. Once the Holy Spirit lighted upon Jesus, John knew for certain that, indeed, this was the Christ. At this moment, John was fully engaged in his calling to be the forerunner of Christ and to bear witness of Him. However, later in John’s ministry, something transpired that caused John to fail to see Jesus as the Christ, and he began to question the calling and authority that rested upon Jesus.
Matthew 11 : 2 – 3, And when John had heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, "Are You the Coming one, or do we look for another?" NKJV
You’re probably wondering the same thing that came to my mind when I realized what John was actually doing in this passage. How could John, the forerunner and witness of Christ, suddenly doubt the VALIDITY of Jesus’ calling and authority? What could Jesus have possibly done to John that caused him to doubt Jesus was the Christ and to forget all the times that God through the Holy Spirit had confirmed this to be true? Jesus did nothing against John, but rather John took an offense over something that had gone wrong in his own life or ministry.
Matthew 11 : 4 – 6, Jesus answered and said to them, "Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me." NKJV
Let’s take a moment to look at the spirit of offense in John’s life. Notice that John’s perception about Jesus changed when he came under the influence of offense. He began to see Jesus in a different way than the way that was revealed to him by the Holy Spirit. The spirit of offense had “so” blinded John that he began to question the very One that he-himself had confirmed to be the Christ.
This also happened with Adam and Eve after they entered into temptation and offended the Law of God in the garden. They viewed God with a different understanding after their offense than they did before it. When they opened their hearts to sin and the spirit of offense, they became afraid of God for the first time. God didn’t change. However, sin had changed their hearts, which distorted their perception. The same transformation had taken place in John’s heart as well. He no longer stood in confirmation and agreement that Jesus was the Christ, but was in opposition to the point that he wanted Jesus to prove Himself to him.
John had allowed an offense to replace the influence of the Holy Spirit. He had begun to grieve the Holy Spirit by the new attitude he had developed...probably while he was in prison awaiting to be executed for the gospel’s sake. Even though he confessed on the banks of the Jordan, “I must decrease and Christ must increase.” Apparently, John wasn’t in total agreement with the way God was allowing him to decrease. Maybe he didn’t feel he deserved to be in prison.
So beware how you handle an offense when something unexpected or tragic occurs in your walk with Christ. We cannot allow the spirit of offense to push the influence of the Holy Spirit completely out of our hearts and begin to disobey the will of God. John was going back on his calling when he made the decision to allow an offense to make him doubt the authority that was on Jesus’ life.
There’s so much more than can be said about today’s subject, but I realize this is a devotion and not a book. To protect your heart from taking on offense when faced with a seemingly impossible situation, ask the Lord to keep your heart. “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from all evil.” In Jesus’ name, I pray.
Enduring the Test of My Faith,
Pastor Asa Dockery