WHCNorth Mobile App

Friday, October 31, 2014

Receive the Holy Spirit

John 20 : 19 - 22, Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, "Peace be with you." When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. NKJV
Sharing this scripture is like watching the final scene from a movie first. We know how it ends, but what has transpired up to this point? Go with me back in time to about forty-two months before Jesus began His earthly ministry, and before He called each of these men, who gathered in this room because they were afraid of the Jews, to be His disciples.
As we’re reading through the gospels, we can watch the spiritual growth of the disciples and even see glimpses of strong faith. If you have ever lost a job or stepped out in faith to begin a new career, you can relate to the faith and courage it must have taken for these men to leave their occupations and their families to follow Christ when He called them into the ministry.
It was as if they had no doubts about Jesus’ call; they all decided to leave their old lives behind. Nevertheless, there are far more occasions that we can read in the gospels where the disciples became fearful, worried, or hardened their hearts because they found themselves in adverse circumstances. At one moment, Peter was walking on water; however, in the next moment this professional fisherman, who could swim, was about to drown and was consumed with fear.
There was a man who brought his son to the disciples and asked them to heal the boy because he had a tormenting spirit. The disciples tried to set the boy free, but failed. I’m sure they struggled at times with thoughts and feelings of frustration and failure when they tried doing all that Jesus did; nonetheless, their efforts fell short of the set goal.
Over the years, I’ve wondered why the disciples seemed to be on an emotional roller coaster. Some days they were strong men of faith, and other days Jesus had to rebuke them for their unbelief and teach them about the error of their ways. Recently, the Lord showed me why the disciples seemed to be double-minded at times.
The disciples did not have the Holy Spirit dwelling in their spirit. All they had was their faith in Jesus, and their faith wavered from time to time. I share this with you today to let you know how vitally important it is for believers in Christ to rely completely upon the power of the Holy Spirit, so that we don’t vacillate from one day to the next in our faith walk.
The Holy Spirit gives us power to become children of God and to live the “life of Christ” daily. He gives us power to do what Jesus did while He walked on the earth. Jesus said that we (the body of Christ) would do greater works than He. After Jesus breathed on the disciples and commanded them to receive the Holy Spirit, we never read of any of them denying Jesus again. We don’t see them fail Jesus or bring shame to His name any more after they received the Spirit of God in their lives.
If you believe in Jesus as the Son of God, then you have the Holy Spirit living within your spirit as well. Now, you have the power to become all that God has called you to be and to do in Christ. It’s time for the church to come out of hiding because of the fear of man and to receive a fresh breath from the Holy Spirit of God. We need to be about our Father’s business, instead of worrying about upsetting the religious world. There is a world that is dying without Christ, and they need to see us (Jesus’ disciples) walking in the power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit.
Let’s Reach this World for Christ,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Brand New Person

A Brand New Person
2 Corinthians 5 : 14 - 17, For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if one died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. NKJV
I’m grateful that God gave Paul these revelations about the difference between our old nature and our new nature. Paul is a wonderful example of how powerful the grace of God is toward sinners who humble themselves before the Lord. Paul was once called Saul of Tarsus. As Saul, he killed and imprisoned many followers of Christ because of their faith. Therefore, if anyone could write about the spiritual transformation that occurs in the hearts of believers when they come to Christ, Paul could. He was able to write from his own experience of Christ’s power to change the coldest, hardest heart and make it new again; Paul was changed so much that he was no longer known by his old ways.
You may not remember when you were born, but one thing is certain. From the moment you were born and took your first breath, you had a sin nature. Even though you were innocent in your conscience concerning sin, no one had to teach you how to sin. “It comes natural to all of us.”
Just as you must be conceived/born in order to exist in this physical world, you must be born again, if you desire to see and enter into the kingdom of God. Whenever you received Christ by faith, God sent His Holy Spirit to make His abode in your spirit. From the very moment that the Holy Spirit made your dead spirit alive, you became a brand-new person before God. Therefore, God tells us through Paul that we are a new creature in Christ, and the old things are passed away.
The old things are passed away because our old nature is dead. Now that we’re alive unto God, we must live the kind of life that is pleasing to Him. The old man and our old identity are also done away with through the blood of Jesus and the Holy Spirit who lives in our spirit (inner man). Once we become born again, we don’t have to live in guilt and fear about our past; neither do we have to live any longer in bondage to sin because the old nature is dead. If the Son has made you free, then you are free, indeed.
The more we know and understand that our past, as well as the old nature, is dead and buried through the work of Christ, the more liberty we will walk in as new converts. Nevertheless, if we continue to see ourselves as just “an old sinner,” who is saved by grace, then we won’t experience the liberty of Christ to its fullest. If the Word of God says that the old man is dead, how can we continue to live in bondage to sin, unless we refuse to believe the Word, or unless we’ve been taught something other than the truth?
If you believe in Jesus as the Son of God and have confessed that He is your personal Savior and Lord, then you are free from sin and your sin-stained past. You have been made a “NEW CREATION” in Christ. You now have “the power and the right” to live for God and to bring glory to His name by living holy; nevertheless, you must still choose to live a righteous life.
It DOES matter what we believe when it comes to our salvation in Christ. If we don’t take the Word of God for what it says, then we won’t be able to experience the freedom that comes with Christ. However, if we simply believe it as it is written, we will experience total liberty from the guilt and bondage associated with the old man.
If you have lived your “saved life” in bondage to a belief that won’t allow you to be totally separated from the guilt and sin of your old nature, then I invite you to taste and see that the Lord is good. Take God at His Word; walk in His love and experience the liberating power of God’s grace.
Free to Live in Christ,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Power of Faith

Matthew 17 : 19 - 20, Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast it out?" So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. NKJV
When Christians activate their faith through the Word of God, it gives them the power to see the miraculous take place in the physical realm. Paul tells us in Romans 12 : 3 that God has given the measure of faith to everyone. All we have to do is learn how to release or activate our faith so that it works in our lives, especially when we face a difficult or seemingly impossible situation.
In the scripture for today’s word, Jesus teaches us how to release our faith so that it can work on our behalf to bring about the things that we need. Jesus told the disciples that if they had faith, they could say what they wanted to see come to pass, and then they would have it. This means that we are to speak those things that we have the faith for; and then we should expect to receive what we have spoken. Our mouths have the ability to create... this is especially true when we confess with our mouth based on what we believe in our heart.
Another example of this same principle is given by Paul in Roman 10 : 9. Paul says, “...if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” We see that he agrees with what Jesus told His disciples in Mark 11. We must declare from our mouth those things that we believe are in accordance with God’s Word so that we can receive the promises of God.
It’s amazing to me how faith can be so tiny, and yet be so powerful that if it is used effectively can move something as massive as a mountain. Nevertheless, that is exactly what Jesus said, and He didn’t exaggerate. This tells us that faith is powerful. Therefore, when we declare those things that we need to happen in our lives, we must stand in faith.
Furthermore, when we choose to respond to a negative report or a bad situation in faith, we are empowered to move forward to victory over the enemy that has attacked us. In other words, faith will help us walk “out of” problems that might otherwise try to hold us captive. Instead of accepting an evil report as the final word for this season of our lives, we must choose to stand on God’s Word in faith and trust in God’s plan to bring us through victoriously.
If you’ve hit a seemingly impossible situation, and everything in your soul is telling you that it won’t pass, then make a conscious decision to stand by faith. Many Christians are living in bondage to past situations simply because they don’t know how to “choose to respond” by faith and walk out of the pit of hopelessness. Personally, I have experienced many setbacks and hardships, and the enemy has tried to use them to hold me back in ministry; however, the Holy Spirit has repeatedly shown me how to keep moving forward by faith until the victory has been won.
Do you need to walk out of a pit today? If so, get in God’s Word and find a promise that “fits” your particular battle. Then stand on that promise as the only option and the final word for your life until your faith becomes sight. Use your faith to help you keep a good attitude and a right-perspective on the battle that you’re facing. If you believe you’re a grasshopper, then you’ll see yourself as a grasshopper. However, if you see yourself as more than a conqueror through Christ, you will be more than a conqueror. Faith works, but you have to work it!
Releasing the Power of Faith,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Where Do I Go From Here?

Psalms 119 : 103 - 105, How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. NKJV
Ephesians 2 : 10, For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. NKJV
Many times in scripture the Lord told one of His servants that He had already gone before them to prepare the way they were to travel. He then gave them specific instructions to follow so that His divine will could be fulfilled, not only in that situation, but in His servant’s life.
In the New Testament, Jesus told His disciples that He would meet them in Galilee after His passion. He foretold His plans to them so that when the time came, they would know what to do and where to be in order to be reunited with Him. It was also a way of building the disciples’ faith... because they would see that all He had said had actually come to pass.
Did you know that God has a map/plan for our lives? He’s not trying to control us; nevertheless, He does want to be there for us to keep us from taking “wrong paths” as we navigate which path or consider choices in life. When we come to an intersection in life, it will demand that we decide which way to travel. Quite often we have to make decisions that will impact our life long term, such issues as relationships, business, finances, health, children, etc. Our decisions are generally based on a limited amount of information. Some decisions come with the promise of a brighter future, but there is no guarantee.
At this point, God, the Word, and His Spirit come into the picture. God already knows the end from the beginning; He knows what paths we should choose and the right decisions you and I should make in order to maximize our fullest potential in this life and assure that we will complete His purpose.
So the next time you come to a “crossroad,” and you need to make a decision, ask the Lord to lead the way. It will show the Lord that your faith and confidence are in Him and will allow Him to keep you safe on this journey called life. Just think of this as GPS (God's Positioning Satellite), guiding you along the right path for your life and family.
Use Caution Up Ahead,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Monday, October 27, 2014

With God All Things Are Possible

Jeremiah 32 : 26 - 27, Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying, "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me? NKJV
Is there ANYTHING too difficult for the God of the Bible? Everything that exists was created by the Lord; therefore, nothing is impossible for Him. Consequently, what may be too difficult or seem hopeless for us is still possible for God.
Perhaps you’re facing a “seemingly” impossible situation, and whenever you think about what you have to face in the natural realm, you feel hopeless. The Lord doesn’t want you to fear; neither does He want you to think that you’re in your situation alone.
Just because things are out of our control, and we have no power to change an adverse situation in our own strength doesn’t mean that we have to accept things exactly the way life brings them to us. The Word of God tells us that He is a very present HELP in times of trouble. God wants to HELP you so that you can overcome the obstacles you face and give you His peace during the process.
Now let’s look at what we must do in order to invite God’s power into our lives. James 4 tells us that God gives His grace to the humble, but He opposes the proud. Therefore, if we want the Lord to move on our behalf and deliver us from trouble, we must be willing to trust in Him for the answer. What is grace and how does it help us?
Paul teaches in 2 Corinthians 12 that grace is the strength of God. When you and I seek the Lord and rely upon Him, He has promised to give us His grace (strength). You will know the very moment that God pours out His grace upon your life to help you because things will begin to seem easier and look doable. Nothing in the natural realm has changed. The only thing that has changed is your perspective about the situation, since you now have God’s strength working for you.
What is impossible with men is possible with God. The key is to get with God; we do this through our faith. Place your faith in God’s ability to transform you and to work His plan in the situations you face, and then watch as God releases His grace and empowers you. I love it when God releases His strength/grace in my life to give me victory over trials and problems that are too difficult for me. I am able to rest and watch as God moves the mountains and destroys the opposition that has grieved me.
After you pray and give God your impossible problems, wait on Him to move. As you wait, you are practicing your faith to rest in Him. Waiting on God is also an act of faith. It welcomes the presence of God to invade your world and give you much-needed relief. Are you tired and weary from the battles you’ve incurred? If so, then give all your burdens and cares over to God today and afterwards rest/wait on Him. The ONE who called you by name is also faithful to you and will perform His good Word in your life.
If God Be for Us,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Friday, October 24, 2014


1 Peter 2 : 9 - 10, But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: KJV
What comes to your mind when you think about something being peculiar? I think of peculiar as strange, odd, or different than the norm. The word peculiar in this portion of scripture means: one’s own property, possession, and preservation- as preserving the soul for salvation. Peter tells us by the Holy Spirit that we are a chosen generation, (God’s own property) that He has purchased so that we might declare His praises to this world.
If you’re truly born again, then I can tell you on the authority of God’s word that you’re not going to fit into this world’s system or its ways. Why? It is because you don’t have the same nature dwelling in your heart as those who are in the world. Therefore, you aren’t typical in the way that the world would define “being normal.”
Jesus tells us in John that we are not of this world because He has chosen us and has separated us from it so that we might become one with Him. Not being normal doesn’t mean that we have to be “weird or spooky." As Christians, who are not of this world, God has called us to be extraordinary. We are to become like our Savior and Lord. Jesus was anything but normal. Nevertheless, He was very level-headed and humble... He was extraordinary in every way.
The Bible teaches us that the JUST shall live by faith. Once we learn how to live by faith as God’s children, we will no longer be normal. People who live by faith also do extraordinary things for God. Through faith, Christians go against the system and defy the odds. We don’t accept whatever life throws at us as being the final word. Faith in God gives us “an out” or an option that the world isn’t privy to because they’re unbelievers.
So what are you facing today that appears to be a dead end or is hopeless to you in the natural realm? As a “faith-walker,” you have a powerful God who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above what you are able to ask or imagine. Therefore, turn this problem over to Him. After you give God your cares, thus allowing Him to move on your behalf, He will give you direction and a way out so that you can obtain victory over the enemy who is opposing you. Let me leave you with an example from the Word that will help you to grab hold of this principle of faith.
Romans 4 : 17 - 22, (as it is written, "I have made you a father of many nations") in the presence of Him whom he believed -- God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, "So shall your descendants be." And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore "it was accounted to him for righteousness." NKJV
As you read about Abraham’s faith-filled reaction to God’s plan to bless them with a son in their old age, you will notice that Abraham didn’t respond in a weird or strange way. Nevertheless, he did respond in an extraordinary way. After God made the promise to Abraham that he and Sarah would have a son, Abraham no longer considered the enormous negative odds they were facing in their own bodies.
ALL of Abraham’s confidence and hope was in God’s ability and not his own. Because Abraham took God at His Word and believed it fully, from that moment on, God empowered him to see with eyes of faith. Eyes of faith refuse to consider the opposition or any mountains that may stand in the way of receiving the promise. The key to Abraham’s victory was solidified when he believed God’s promise; consequently, faith strengthened him.
What mountain or impossible situation are you up against today? Stand in prayer and on God’s promises and allow God to strengthen any weaknesses you may have so that you can inherit the promise by faith. With God, all things are possible.
Give Me Strength Lord,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Becoming A Disciple of Christ

John 8 : 30 - 36, As He spoke these words, many believed in Him. Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, 'You will be made free'?" Jesus answered them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. NKJV
In today’s scripture, we can see very plainly that it’s easier for us to believe in Jesus than it is to receive the truth from Him about our spiritual condition. There were many Jews who believed in Jesus that day; nevertheless, when He told them the truth about the sin in their lives, they disagreed with Him. Let’s look more closely at this scripture and see what we can find out. It’s possible to believe in Jesus and still be bound (as the Jews in today’s scripture). It’s only when we’re willing to receive and obey His instructions that we can become truly liberated.
The Lord opened my spiritual eyes to receive deeper understanding from these verses so that we can see where we may be erring in our faith walk. What does it show others when we say that we believe in Jesus (follow Him), but we disagree with Him when His Holy Spirit puts His finger on our sin issues? As followers of Christ, we haven’t been given the option to “pick and choose” which commandments and instructions we will obey.
Jesus told His disciples (and us) that in order to follow Him, we must first deny self and take up our cross. It’s not enough to say I believe, and then not follow up your belief with action. James tells us that faith without works (obedient actions) is dead.
If you read the remainder of the story in John 8, you will see that the Jews turned on Jesus. They were unwilling to deny self or receive Jesus’ Word as the truth in their lives. Consequently, they rejected Him and tried to stone Him. Self is a Christian’s biggest enemy. When we’re faced with a truth from God’s Word that challenges our wrong way of thinking, we must be willing to lay our lives down, accept that truth into our hearts, and then allow it to liberate us from sin and from bondages. Christ came to set us free; and you can be liberated today through His truth.
The Truth Sets Us Free,
Pastor Asa Dockery 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Identity Crisis

John 8 : 39 - 45, They answered and said to Him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. You do the deeds of your father." Then they said to Him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father -- God." Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. NKJV
Can we actually become a product of the things that we believe? According to the truths that Jesus shared with the Jews in today’s scripture, we certainly can. In the first part of this story, the Jews believed in Jesus; nevertheless, when He began to address their beliefs, they quickly turned on Him. The Jews wouldn’t receive Jesus’ words that they were bound by sin because they believed they were already free.
It’s impossible to believe two different beliefs/doctrines when they diametrically oppose each other. Jesus tells us in Matthew 6 that we can’t serve two masters. By the leading of the Holy Spirit, Moses tells us in Deuteronomy that we must choose whom we will serve. This is also true in the story about the Jews who wanted to believe in Jesus, but refused to agree with His view concerning their identity.
You see; they were blinded by Satan because they had believed his lies. It’s not apparent at first; however, as you read the remainder of the story in John 8, you will discover that they didn’t have God’s Word abiding in their hearts. They were already filled with unbelief and therefore, rejected the truth when Jesus spoke it to them.
Finally, Jesus plainly told them that they were of their father the Devil. They had become a spiritual product (child of Satan) because Satan had spoken lies to them, and they had received his lies as truth. Paul told the believers in Corinth that he had begotten (or born) them through the gospel of Christ that he had preached to them. Peter teaches us in his epistle that we have been born again of an incorruptible seed which is the Word of God. We take on the “spirit of the seed” that we believe.
We have sufficient evidence that confirms that we become a “product or child” of the teachings we believe. In conclusion, we see through today’s teaching that we must guard our hearts very carefully, so that we don’t agree with or accept any teaching from anyone that doesn’t align with God’s Word.
Begotten By the Gospel of Christ,
Pastor Asa Dockery 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Genesis 2 : 4 - 7, This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground. And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. NKJV
In John 10: 10, Jesus said that He came to give us life and that more abundantly. It was, and it still is, God’s intention for His children to be blessed in every area of our lives. Both Paul and Peter declared in their epistles that we, who have been born again by the incorruptible Seed of God’s Word, are blessed with EVERY spiritual blessing in Christ. Nevertheless, most do not know or haven’t received the riches of God in Christ Jesus because they lack the knowledge of truth.
Jesus teaches us in John 6 that if we don’t eat His flesh and drink His blood, we won’t have life. However, if we partake of His flesh and drink His blood, we will have life. Jesus isn’t literally speaking of eating His flesh. Nonetheless, He gives us this illustration to show that we must be more than just hearers of the Word of God, if we desire to receive spiritual nourishment from it. The Lord wants us to become partakers of His Word so that we can receive His life. Those who live by the lusts of the flesh will perish, but those who live by and through the Word of God shall live forever. Consequently, we must get into the Word of life and hide it in our hearts so that we won’t transgress against it and then suffer death.
You may be wondering why I chose today’s scripture from Genesis 2 and what it has to do with what I’ve written thus far. You will notice that according to Moses’ time-line, when Adam was formed from the dust of the ground, God had not yet allowed any trees, shrubs, or vegetation to grow outside the Garden of Eden because it hadn’t rained and there was no man to till the ground. Imagine with me how desolate it must have seemed to Adam when he became a living being, opened his eyes for the first time, and saw nothing but dirt all around.
Let me reemphasize that there was nothing living outside the garden; therefore, God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden in order for Man to have the things that were needful for him to continue to live. Why would God first bring man into a place where there was nothing to live off of and then place him in a small garden? It was a prophetic illustration of us (Christians) being in a world that is filled with sin and death; nevertheless, now, because of our faith, we have been placed in Christ, just as Adam was placed in the Garden of Eden. Our very existence comes from being connected to Christ in the Spirit. We do this by living in the Word and keeping it hidden in our hearts.
Jesus tells us in John 16, “In this world we will have tribulations; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” Why did He tell us this? If we should try to live according to this world’s ways, then we will have tribulations. Instead, we can rejoice while the world is in tribulation because we have been hidden in Christ; He has already overcome the world, and so have we, through our faith in Him.
In other words, God has already provided everything that we need in Christ; and we are to look to Him for our needs to be supplied. There is no need for us to go to the world seeking any need because the Lord has seen to it that we will have all our needs met according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Furthermore, God has promised us that if we delight ourselves in Him, He will even grant us the desires of our heart. Nevertheless, we must be very careful to guard our hearts so that we don’t give Satan a place, lest we open our hearts to destruction and decay as Adam and Eve did in the garden.
From the moment Adam and Eve turned their hearts against God and His commands, they began to experience spiritual separation, which is death. They were still physically alive, but they were disconnected from God’s life. Death slowly but certainly robbed them of every blessing that God had freely given to them while they were in the garden of provision. After they sinned, God drove them from the garden. They had to work hard with great sorrow after committing sin against the Lord. God was no longer the provider of their needs because they had made the decision to become “their own god”.
It’s time for the nations and all believers, who have known God and have experienced His goodness in their lives, but have turned away from Him, to return and live again. Jesus said that unless we abide in Him (His word), and He abides in us, we won’t have life or bear fruit. However, if we will abide in Him, and He in us, then we will abide in His life; we will bring forth much fruit, and our fruit will remain. Spiritual fruit doesn’t decay. God’s blessings don’t add sorrow to our lives. Let’s pray and ask the Lord to turn our hearts back to Him and His Word so that He can become “our God” once again. It is time for REVIVAL! We need to be revived by the truth of God’s Word and live again for Him, alone.
Alive In Christ,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Monday, October 20, 2014

What is Eternal Life?

John 17 : 1 - 3, Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: "Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. NKJV
What is eternal life? When does eternal life begin? Let’s dig into God’s Word today and find the answers.
God created us as living beings. Nevertheless, we did not have eternal life. If we read 1 Corinthian 15, we discover that Paul called Adam (man) a living soul; however, he described Jesus as a life-giving spirit. Therefore, we can conclude that God gave us life in order to “exist.” Nonetheless, He knew that one day we would all decide whether or not we wanted eternal life. Eternal life begins when we come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ; we do this by placing our trust in Him as God’s only-begotten Son. Only through the person of Jesus Christ can anyone be saved and come to know the Father.
Some have suggested that eternal life begins when we are conceived... meaning that our soul never dies, even after we pass away. However, that belief isn’t supported in scripture. We must never mistake “eternal existence” with “eternal life”. We can have eternal existence and never come to know the Creator as our heavenly Father. It’s true; we will all spend eternity somewhere (heaven or hell). Nevertheless, only those who know the Father will be allowed entrance into heaven.
If we all had eternal life from the moment of conception, then Jesus came to earth and died in vain; and if Adam had eternal life from the moment that God breathed into his nostrils, why does the Bible say that he only received the breath of life? Why doesn’t the Bible tell us that Adam became a life-giving spirit when God breathed into his nostrils? If we were created possessing eternal life, then why did God produce the Tree of Life? I belabor this point to prove a greater one. All that have been born of a woman must come to faith in Christ, if they want to inherit eternal life.
God is spirit; and those who worship Him must do so in spirit and in truth. Consequently, if we were created as living souls, and God is Spirit, then we must undergo a conversion before we can truly worship or even know God. The way to eternal life is through Jesus Christ. When we believe in Jesus for salvation and confess Him as Lord of our lives, the Father sends His Spirit into our hearts. At that point, we are no longer living souls; we are spirit beings that have been infused with the life of God.
I know you are a living soul, or you wouldn’t be reading this devotion. Even so, have you been remade into a spiritual being in Christ? Do you know God as your heavenly Father? If the Holy Spirit is dealing with you about the condition of your spiritual heart, then simply ask Him to save you from being “just” a living soul. Allow Him to fill your soul with His holy presence, and you will receive the gift of eternal life today.
If you have prayed, and you have asked the Lord to save you from sin and transform you into a child of the living God, please let us know. We want to celebrate your new birthday in Christ with you. You may email us at prayer@whcnorth.org.
A New Creature in Christ,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Friday, October 17, 2014

Knowing The Will Of God

Matthew 16 : 21 - 23, From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!" But He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men." NKJV
Would you like to have been in the room when Simon Peter began to rebuke Jesus openly? I would not! Nevertheless, let’s take a closer look at what transpired between Simon and Jesus in the above scripture. Simon rebuked God, which tells us that Simon didn’t really respect Jesus as God, or he wouldn’t have spoken to the Lord of glory with such dishonor. Someone might say that Simon was only looking out for Jesus’ best interest because he didn’t want Jesus to have to suffer and die. However, Jesus was God in the flesh. He certainly didn’t need Simon to come to his rescue.
The point that I want to bring out is that Simon was passionate about Jesus, but not according to the Spirit. In other words, he showed great affection and feelings toward Jesus about His death. Nevertheless, his feelings weren’t based on God’s will; they were centered on Simon’s self-will or self-interest. Peter wanted to spare Jesus from death, but he didn’t care that he was being an offense to Jesus and a stumbling block to the fulfillment of God’s plan.
What is wrong with this picture? Simon certainly answered God’s calling on his life. Even so, at this point he had not yet learned the principle of denying self. In the verses of scripture that followed the account of Peter rebuking Jesus, Jesus teaches the disciples that if they want to follow Him, they must first deny self. Denying self simply means that we submit our whole hearts and lives to the teachings of Christ. Instead of allowing self to be our guide, we must allow the Holy Spirit to instruct us who we are to be in Christ and how we are supposed to act.
Simon was about to learn God’s way of developing a true passion for Christ, one that wasn’t according to Simon’s desires, but was in alignment with God’s will. In Matthew 26, Jesus entered the Garden of Gethsemane and asked Peter, James, and John to pray for an hour with Him. Jesus distanced Himself from them and began to pray to the Father. However, after a while, Jesus came and found the three disciples asleep. He told them that their spirit was willing, but their flesh was weak. Where was Peter’s passion for Christ? Why couldn’t he find the strength and discipline to obey Jesus’ command to pray for an hour?
You see; it’s easy to serve God on our terms; nevertheless, we won’t possess the true power and authority that we need to overcome this world and its temptations. Only when we deny self, and then persevere in the Spirit will we have power over our flesh and be able to keep God’s commands in our hearts. What was Jesus attempting to teach His disciples while they were in the garden? He wanted them to realize that only through prayer and personal intimacy with the Father would they be able to honor God’s will and overcome temptation.
There’s a choice all believers must make: we can serve self-interest as Simon tried to do, or we can choose to deny self and serve God by faith. Only through a deep love for God will we find the power that is needed to crucify the flesh nature and fulfill God’s plan for our lives.
Following Jesus All the Way,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, October 16, 2014

I Want More of God

Psalms 24 : 3 - 5, Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. NKJV
The purpose of today’s word is to call attention to our privilege of having the presence of God in and on our lives. In Acts 17, Paul tells us that “in Christ,” we live, and move, and have our being. There are many daily blessings from God that are wonderful, and they enable us to live and to prosper; even so, there is no greater blessing than being able to experience the very presence of God.
When I was praying about the subject of God’s presence, a question came to me: Which is worse, being born under the time of the law and not being allowed to enter into the holiest of Holies as a worshipper, or being born under the time of grace where we have full access to God’s presence, but we have no desire to enter? All believers have been granted a priceless treasure. We have the ability to come into the presence of God, who created us and has redeemed us from the curse of the law of sin and death.
Therefore, since we see the favor and the love of God, and that He grants us passage into His holy presence to commune with Him, what kind of life should we live? We must choose to honor the gift of God’s presence in such a fashion that we conduct ourselves the same way in the world (everyday life) that we would when we’re in the secret place of God. There’s one thing about entering into the presence of a holy and all-knowing God; if our conscience hasn’t been purged through the blood of Jesus, then guilt will manifest in the Lord’s presence.
The psalmist wrote: “Only those who have clean hands and a pure heart will be able to ascend the holy hill of God and be able to stand in His holy presence.” Therefore, it is through our faith in the work of Christ on the cross that we are made righteous in God’s sight and have been granted the grace to enter into the holiest of Holies. Even though we have right standing in God’s sight through our faith in Christ, we still must choose to live righteously, so that we might have the boldness to approach God’s throne in prayer or worship.
The Lord is drawing His people back to Himself. What does that mean? He’s calling us (His children) back to living a life that is dedicated and consecrated to the principles of Christ. Consecration simply means that we have devoted our lives to the sole purpose of pleasing God, both in His pavilion and in the world.
As we commit ourselves to living holy before the Lord, His presence will go with us into the world. As a result, instead of ascending the holy hill of God, we will become carriers of God’s holy presence, just as Jesus did while He walked on earth. Jesus has commanded us to be salt and light to the world. Therefore, even if we are currently living a life that is devoted to Christ, we can still allow the Holy Spirit to use this devotion to challenge us to pursue the Lord at a greater level. Remember, we are being changed from faith to faith and from glory to glory. Just because we are passionate for Christ today doesn’t mean that God wants us to settle at that place and become stagnate. We must follow Him continually and passionately until we cross the finish line.
Not Looking Back but Moving Ahead,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Transformed Heart

Philippians 3 : 7 - 11, But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. NKJV
I thank God for the ministry and the testimony of Paul (Saul). We get our first glimpse of Saul in the Bible when Stephen was being stoned. Saul held the coats of those who carried out the stoning of Stephen, and he consented to his death. However, later, in the book of Acts, Saul has an encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. After this visitation from the Lord, Saul was struck with blindness and had to be led around by others for three days. God was teaching Saul how to walk by faith and not by sight. This encounter with the Lord was the beginning of Saul’s conversion.
Even though Paul suffered many horrific afflictions as a follower of Jesus, he was passionate about his pursuit of Him. What would cause a man who was caught up in the works of the law and the accolades of man to suddenly be willing to both suffer for Christ and to lose everything that he worked so diligently to gain? I submit to you that Paul had an experience with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that transformed his heart.
As a result of Paul’s encounters with the living God and of his seeing the glory of God, Paul viewed his own works as filth. It wasn’t that had God made Paul feel condemned for the things he had accomplished through the power of his flesh; rather, Paul was humbled that God would love him enough to show him the splendor of heaven, despite how he had conducted himself when he was still called Saul.
God’s goodness transformed Paul’s life and set him on a hot-pursuit for Jesus that wouldn’t be satisfied by anyone or anything else. Consequently, God allowed Paul to see and experience things in the spirit realm that were unlawful for him to share with us in scripture. As a result of these encounters with God, Paul developed a hunger for the things of God and lost his desire for the power and prestige associated with man’s religion. Paul was captivated by the love and the grace of God; and, therefore, gladly accepted the loss of the things he once esteemed and placed value on.
I pray that God will also visit us and allow our generation to experience the greatness of His love and glory to the point that the things of this world will lose their hold on us. Nevertheless, we can draw God to ourselves by developing a deep hunger for His presence. Jesus told us in Matthew 5 that we are blessed if we hunger and thirst for righteousness, for we shall be filled.
If you are experiencing a dry place in your relationship with the Lord, then begin a passionate pursuit of Him that will cause you to sense the infilling of God’s presence in your heart. If you already seek the Lord, but you desire more of Him and His presence, then begin to empty yourself in your prayer time; ask the Holy Spirit to fill your heart with more of God. God is passionately pursuing us; now we need to be in passionate pursuit of Him. God has promised that those who diligently seek Him will be rewarded. Let’s lose our passion for this world’s temporal pleasures and fix our hearts on eternal treasures from heaven. There is nothing on earth that can satisfy our longing like having an intimate relationship with Jesus. I encourage you to keep pressing on in Christ.
Going After God with My Whole Heart,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Unintended Consequences

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
Hebrews 12 : 14 - 17, Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears. NKJV
When we choose to disobey God’s will because we are busy satisfying our own, we may reap unintended consequences. Perhaps you have said or heard someone else make a declaration to this effect: “I never intended this or that to happen. All I wanted was to...” When I speak of “this,” it usually involves the person who is making the statement, but “that” generally refers to someone else who was adversely affected by the one making the statement, “The unintended victim of the decision.” Either way, there are usually regrets.
I used two scriptures today so that you could get a fuller understanding of this important Word. Even though God calls and equips us to serve His purpose in the earth, He knows that we still have the freedom of choice. We can either choose to obey God’s will, or ignore it because something else has captured our attention. If believers decide to ignore the “calling of God” on their lives in order to fulfill their own desires, then there will be unintended consequences. For example, Jonah didn’t want to obey God’s command to go to Nineveh. Consequently, he got swallowed by a fish. While in the belly of the fish, he died, and his soul descended into sheol, or hell. Fortunately, God had mercy on Jonah and caused the fish to vomit him up on the shore.
Likewise, Esau despised his birthright as the first-born male. Consequently, he sold it for some stew from his brother, Jacob. However, when the time came for him to receive his inheritance, it was too late. Though Esau sought repentance, there was none found because he had already made the wrong decision. Esau had regret and sorrow; nevertheless, he had to face the unintended consequences of his resolve to despise his birthright.
It seems easy for some people to say “no” to God when He deals with their hearts about fulfilling the calling on their lives. They may live for years and never give any time or attention to God’s call. However, once He has placed them in an individual’s heart, God’s gifts and His calling are irrevocable; consequently, if anyone disobeys the Lord by not submitting to them, they will have to live with the regret and shame.
The Holy Spirit specifically directed me to write this devotion today because He is dealing with the heart of someone who is running from their calling. He wants me to warn you of the fallout that will occur if you continually say “NO” to His instructions. He wants you to repent before you go too far and miss your hour of visitation from the Lord... or you wait until it’s too late in life to fulfill God's call.
There Is Peace in the Center of God’s Will,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Parent’s Prayer

Job 1 : 1 - 5, There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. And seven sons and three daughters were born to him. Also, his possessions were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very large household, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the East. And his sons would go and feast in their houses, each on his appointed day, and would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, "It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." Thus Job did regularly. NKJV
We hear many sermons about Job; they teach us that he was a righteous man, who loved God and abhorred evil. Nonetheless, have you ever heard a sermon about how good Job was at being a godly parent? Like so many parents today, Job seemed to be very concerned about the spiritual well-being of his children. The Bible tells us that Job offered sacrifices unto the Lord on their behalf, just in case they had sinned against God. Job stood in the gap for his own children. He continually came before God for them, offering an animal sacrifice to ensure that their sins were atoned for.
As a pastor, I can say that the most-requested prayer of our members is for physical healing. However, the prayer request that rivals the need for healing is parents’ requests for their children. Christian parents carry the spiritual well-being of their children on their hearts as much as their own well-being; this should come as no surprise. After all, don’t we all want the best for our offspring and shouldn’t the best include them having a personal relationship with Jesus and walking in His Word?
We’re instructed in Proverbs 22 : 6 to train up our child in the way that he should go; and when he is old, he won’t depart from it. Paul further exhorts fathers to bring their children up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. As parents, we have a small window of time to shape the morality, ethics, and character of our children by teaching them the Word of God. After they reach the age of independence, we have to release them and their decisions to the Lord.
We read in today’s scripture that there came a time when God didn’t look to Job’s sacrifice for his sons and daughters; it was time for them to take on the responsibility of seeking God for themselves. At that point, God released Job from continually carrying the weight of their responsibility. No parent can obey God for their child. We cannot climb on their cross and make them serve God. Paul teaches us in Philippians 2 to work out our OWN salvation with fear and trembling. Therefore, if your child is beyond your sphere of influence in spiritual matters and chooses to live for the pleasures of this world, you will need to turn him/her over to the Lord.
As a parent of three grown sons, I know a bit about the subject of “letting go” and giving them to God. What happens to them as a result of their decisions after they reach independence is out of your control and is in God’s hands. Are you continually “sacrificing” on the behalf of a rebellious child? Does guilt cause you to bear an impossible burden that you can’t bear any longer? If you are, then cast that care on God because He cares for you and your wayward child. You can rest in knowing that God loves your child or children far greater than you ever could. As a result of His great love, He knows what is best for them and will see to it that they receive His help in their hour of need.
We have a wonderful picture of a parent’s trust in God in Exodus 2. Moses’ mom hid him from Pharaoh so that he wouldn’t be killed by him. Nevertheless, there came a time when she had to let Moses go. His mother placed him in a basket and sent him down the river; then she told Moses’ sister to follow him to see what would become of Moses. We learn that Pharaoh’s daughter took Moses in and raised him as her own son. Now, let’s look at a couple of truths before I conclude today’s word. God caused Moses’ mom to release her INFANT son into a rushing river. TRUST! Then God allowed Moses to enter the very house of the one who was seeking to kill him. It was there, in the house of his greatest enemy, that God allowed Moses to be provided for and raised.
We might not be able to handle our children, but we know that God CAN and WILL. Even so, we have to take our hands off them. I pray that this word gives you encouragement, but more than that, I hope that you now have the faith to let your child(ren) go. Release them into God’s loving care and rest.
Letting Go and Letting God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Friday, October 10, 2014

Liberated to Succeed

Luke 1 : 68 - 75, "Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David, as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, who have been since the world began, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us, to perform the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember His holy covenant, the oath which He swore to our father Abraham: to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life. NKJV
God sent Jesus into the world to set us free from the bondage of sin and fear. In Christ, we have been liberated to serve God. However, even though I understand what it means to be in Christ by faith in the realm of the spirit, I also understand that I live in a fallen world with many traps, snares, and ploys. What God has spoken over us in Christ is genuine; therefore, it will be equally true in the natural realm when we choose to act in faith on God’s Word or instructions. When we obey the Lord and keep His Word, we are walking by faith. Consequently, we have the power to overcome this world...and all its entanglements. Even so, how will we truly know we have been made free if we never have to face spiritual opposition? If we have been liberated from our enemies and from fear as today’s scripture declares, then we will continue to walk by faith, thereby overcoming every obstacle and temptation.
John tells us in his epistle that our victory over the world is found only in our faith in Christ. If you and I have placed our faith in Jesus as our personal Savior, then we will overcome this world. To overcome this world means that we won’t allow anyone or anything to prevent us from obeying God and from continually walking by faith. Jesus is always our best example. Many times He was tempted and tried, yet He NEVER got off focus. He didn’t allow anything or anyone to distract or derail Him from fulfilling God’s plan. As a result of His continued obedience and dedication to His heavenly Father, He overcame EVERY weapon and enemy that opposed Him while He was on earth.
Many times Jesus was challenged by religious leaders and was often called a blasphemer because He declared to them that He was the Son of God. However, all they really needed to do to prove whether or not Jesus was indeed the Son of God was to stand back and see if He overcame every temptation, snare, weapon, and human weakness that were required to fulfill all the prophecies that were spoken of the Messiah. If they had watched with an open heart, they would have seen that He was the only begotten Son of God.
Shortly before Jesus was crucified He made a statement in John 14 : 30 - 31, I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. NKJV
Jesus gives us the key to having faith and to knowing how to use our faith to overcome Satan and the trappings of this world so that we can live victoriously in Him. He said that Satan was coming to try Him, but he had nothing in Him. In other words, Jesus was ALL love. He loved the Father more than His own life on this earth. Therefore, since Jesus loved the Father with all that was within Him, Satan could find no fleshy ways in Jesus that would attract or lure Him away from living solely for the Father’s pleasures.
You may be thinking, “I could never be so sold out or committed that I could overcome like Jesus did.” However, it’s a choice of our will. We’ve already established that God has made us completely free in Christ. We’ve also concluded that since we have been liberated in the spirit realm, our freedom will be manifest in the natural through our victories over this world. The more we lay our lives down (self-will) in order to serve God’s will through us, the greater we will walk in power over our enemies and over our flesh.
Nevertheless, before we can live, we must first die. Self must perish before we can fully experience the life and the liberty Christ has given us. The writer of Hebrews tells us in chapter 12 to lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us and let us run the race before us with endurance.
Therefore, If you want to have the strength that is required to endure in the race of faith, you must first be willing to lay aside your fleshly ways and any distractions that threaten your course. The more you willingly lay yourself on the altar of sacrifice, the easier it will be for you to keep running in the race. You can do this... in Christ!
Running With Endurance,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Ways of God

Hebrews 3 : 7 - 13, Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness, where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, and saw My works forty years. Therefore I was angry with that generation, and said, 'They always go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways.' So I swore in My wrath, 'They shall not enter My rest.'" Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. NKJV
Romans 1 and Hebrews 10 teaches us that "the just" shall live by faith. Consequently, the only way our souls can live (eternal life) is when we choose to walk out our faith in Christ. Even so, how do we live by faith? Paul tells us in Romans 10 : 17 that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. However, notice that Paul didn’t say faith comes by hearing the Word of God... as some might believe. He said that faith comes by “hearing,” but “hearing” comes from us getting in God’s Word.
In other words, if you want to hear God’s voice and receive faith by hearing Him speak to you, then you must study His Word and learn God’s language. God will never speak anything to you that would contradict His written Word. Therefore, if we walk by faith by keeping God’s Word and by fulfilling His purpose in our lives, then we are walking with God. By faith, Enoch walked with God.
However, if we decide to harden our hearts to the voice of the Lord, then we are making a dangerous decision to distance ourselves from God. Many times in God’s Word we are told that if we hear, heed, and obey the voice and the commands of the Lord, our souls shall live. Nonetheless, what if we should decide that instead of fully obeying God’s Word, we will keep only the parts that suit our fleshly ways and desires? Then we are choosing to distance ourselves from God, who is life to us. Separating ourselves from the Word allows death to enter our souls. Paul tells us in Galatians, “He (she) who sows to the flesh will of the flesh reap corruption.” We can’t disobey God in order to obey our fleshly whelms, and then not expect to reap the wages of our sins. If we practice self-justification, we are deceiving ourselves.
If we truly desire to walk closely with God, then we must keep His Word hidden in our hearts through consistent obedience. Like Enoch, we must walk with God until the Lord takes us. We must not be like the Israelites, who told Moses to speak to God for them, and they would follow God from a distance. We’re told in Psalms 103 that Moses knew the ways of God, but Israel only knew the acts of God. No one can know the ways of God, unless they continually obey His Word, and then take the time to be intimate in prayer with Him.
Since the children of Israel decided to harden their hearts whenever the Holy Spirit spoke to them, they kept themselves from knowing the ways of God. You may be asking, “Why is it is so important for God’s people to know the ways of God?” The answer is in today’s scripture. God said, “They always go astray in their hearts because they have not known My ways.” The writer also warns new covenant believers to beware lest we depart from the living God because of an evil heart of unbelief. If we should decide, as the Israelites did, to disobey God’s voice and harden our hearts through self-justification, then we, too, will stray from the Lord in our hearts. Only by reading and applying God’s Word to our everyday lives will be able to draw closer to God.
Seeking a Closer Walk with God,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Caught Up

1 Thessalonians 4 : 15 - 18, For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. NKJV
We have learned from the scriptures that God came to earth many times to visit with His people. The first account of such an encounter was when God was calling out to Adam while walking through the Garden of Eden in the cool of the evening. Another example is found in Exodus when God came down on Mount Sinai to commune with His people, Israel. Likewise, in John, the Word of God became flesh and dwelt among the Jews, and they beheld the glory of God.
However, it was after four-hundred years of living in bondage to Egypt that God heard the afflictions of His people and sent Moses to DRAW His people out of bondage. I bring up this story because the Holy Spirit is telling me that He is, once again drawing His people out of the world. Consequently, we must overcome the PULL of the world’s pleasures, bondages, and cares. We can accomplish separation from the world only when we first desire a closer and more personal relationship with our Creator and heavenly Father.
Much of what Christians have been experiencing in their daily lives is the result of God shaking everything that can be shaken. As the Lord shakes this world, we will experience separation anxiety from it. The Jews experienced this same unease when they departed Egypt. When they had to face the hardships of the wilderness, they began to look back at what they had left behind. They had to undergo the process of “dying to self” in order to overcome the world. The writer of Hebrews explains in detail what we are facing in today’s world.
Hebrews 12 : 25 - 29, See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, "Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven." Now this, "Yet once more," indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.NKJV
Why is God shaking everything that can be shaken in this world? He must get our ATTENTION! The Holy Spirit is preparing the body of Christ for the move of God that is about to sweep the planet. Therefore, we must make ourselves ready for it. Many times when God was about to reveal Himself to His people or begin a move of His Spirit in the earth, He first called His people to a time of consecration and purity so that they would be prepared for the event.
Even so, we are also living in a season when the Holy Spirit is drawing us out of the PULL of the world’s pleasures, and its cares. Just as the earth’s gravitational pull holds all matter down to the earth, our flesh is, likewise, lured by the force of the world’s temptations. Therefore, we must walk in the Spirit so that we don’t fulfill the lusts of our flesh. Only when we answer God’s call to live holy and dedicated to His purposes will we be able to defy the allure of the world.
Nevertheless, one day the body of Christ will be ready for His return. As a result, instead of God coming down to earth to meet with us, He will call us up to meet with Him in the air. At that moment, no gravitational pull and no earthly lust will be able to hold us from being ONE with the Lord. Are you willing to make yourself ready? The Lord is calling.
Answering God’s Call for Preparation,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

If You Are The Son Of God

Luke 4 : 1 - 4, Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry. And the devil said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread." But Jesus answered him, saying, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.'" NKJV
Do you know your spiritual identity? I ask you this question for a very important reason. When we don’t know who we are in Christ, or we don’t receive our identity from Christ, then Satan will use our ignorance against us. We’re told in Hosea 4 : 6 that the people of God are destroyed for a lack of knowledge (Truth). Therefore, now that we are a new creation in Christ, we should invest the time that is required in prayer and in the study of God’s Word to know who we are. If we’re born again, then we’re not the old man... because he had to die.
Jesus never gave into Satan’s attempts to make Him prove Himself because He knew who He was. If a person knows who they really are, they won’t try to be a people-pleaser or try to fit-in in order to be accepted by others. We must not go-along to get-along at the expense of becoming someone we’re not.
Here is something for you to ponder today: Why did Satan want Jesus to prove Himself? Why did Satan care who Jesus really was? If we don’t know who we are concerning our spiritual identity, then Satan will use people and situations to make us prove ourselves; and if we oblige him, he will pull us into a snare and entrap us in sin. That’s what Satan’s desire was for Jesus; However, Jesus knew exactly who He was. Unfortunately, there’s the other side of the equation. Remember Adam and Eve? She didn’t know who she was spiritually and Satan exploited her ignorance, causing her to commit sin in order to become like God. Did you notice that Satan used identity as a means to entrap her...just like he tried with Jesus?
Nonetheless, why didn’t Eve already know that she was created in God’s image and blessed by Him? We see now that spiritual ignorance about our new identity can be used by Satan to seduce us into sinning against God. Consequently, Satan tried to get Jesus to prove Himself; he wanted Jesus to go against the will of God and sin. Satan’s desire was to bring Jesus into bondage to him so that he could become greater than Jesus.
Many times throughout the gospels, you will see that the scribes, the Pharisees, and the Jews tried to get Jesus to prove who He was to them. Even when Jesus was hanging on the cross, there were Jews who taunted him and demanded that He come off the cross and prove Himself to them... so that they might believe. Nevertheless, if Jesus had obeyed their unbelieving demands and came down from the cross, do you think God’s plan would have been accomplished? Of course, it would not! We can see that Satan is extremely subtle and through this subtlety, he is very effective at pulling people into his web of deceit, and entrapping them in sin.
Jesus never, ever proved Himself to any unbelieving person or demon. All He had to do in order to overcome Satan’s temptations was to speak the Word and obey the Father. Therefore, we need to know our new identity in Christ so that we will speak only the Word against our spiritual foes. As a result, we can fully obey God’s will and plan, and have a blessed life. Because Jesus never proved Himself, He gave His Father the opportunity to confirm His identity with many signs and wonders.
There are many confirmations from His heavenly Father that should have validated to Israel that Jesus was, indeed, the Son of God. Like Jesus, if you walk in your new identity in Christ, not allowing Satan to pull you into one of his divisive ploys, then God will validate you as well. When the enemy comes against you, just be still and know that God has a plan. He will deliver you from your enemies. Knowing you’re a child of God and walking in faith will assure you of victory over the enemy.
You Can Do This,
Pastor Asa Dockery

Monday, October 6, 2014

A Good Work

Colossians 2 : 8 - 10, Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. NKJV
Philippians 1 : 3 - 6, I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; NKJV
In Colossians 2, Paul explains that we are complete in Christ. Nevertheless, we learn in Philippians 1 that God is still at work in our hearts and in our lives; He is performing His purpose in us so that we will be able to stand before the Lord complete on the Day of Christ. Even so, if we take both scriptures and place them together, as I have in today’s word, it appears as if Paul is contradicting himself. In one letter, we’re complete in Christ; however, in the other letter, God is still working on us until we have been made complete.
Why does it seem as though there is a discrepancy in the scriptures? Inconsistencies are seemingly evident when we take scriptures out of their context and take them at face value. So what was Paul really communicating to us about being complete? We know from scripture that Jesus is the only way to the Father. When Jesus offered Himself as atonement for the sin of the world, His gift was accepted by the Father. There is no other “work or offering” that can be brought before God...it is only through Christ’s blood that anyone can be saved. Therefore, we are complete in Christ.
On the other hand, God is performing a work in us to bring us into completion (or perfection.) While our salvation in Christ is perfect or complete, we are not. Therefore, God allows us to be tested so that through our faith and patience, we can become complete. We must remember that God isn’t angry at us when trials come to test our faith and our hearts...God is examining whether or not we will remain obedient to Him. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord will deliver us out of them all. When we confess that our faith is in Christ, it will be tried in order to reveal if it is genuine. If it is sincere faith, then the plans of Satan and his weapons that are formed against it will fail; and we will be successful in overcoming his evil devices.
Do you remember what God said about Job before his faith was severely tried? God said that there was no one like Job on the earth. He also said that Job was a righteous man, one who fears God and shuns evil. Nevertheless, Satan expressed a different view on the character of Job. Satan told God that if He removed all that he owned, Job would curse God. You can read about Job’s response to the trial in the first few chapters of Job. He never sinned against God, nor did he bring accusations against Him. Therefore, the things that Satan spoke about Job’s character were false, and what God said about Job was true. Even so, none of this was established in the natural realm until after Job had been tried.
The trial of Job PROVED that he was a devout man of faith in God. Likewise, when we, who are in Christ, endure the trials and temptations of this world, and overcome them, it is further proof that our faith is in Christ and not in ourselves. James 1: 12, mentions the principle of being approved by trial. He said, “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been tried (approved), he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”
According to James, we’re blessed when we are tempted, but we do not yield to it. Instead, we conquer it through our faith. Nonetheless, have you noticed that when you tell others you’re going through a trial, or that you’ve been tempted by the world, some will condemn you? Even so, James says, if we will endure the trial or temptation by faith, then we are blessed, not condemned. So why does God allow our faith to be tried?
There are a few reasons; the first of which is to see whether we will remain obedient to Him in the fire (Deuteronomy 8). Another reason God allows us to go through the fire is to teach us to fear Him with reverential respect (Exodus 20: 18 - 20). If we will fear the Lord and remain obedient through the afflictions of this life, then God will reward us... after we have proven ourselves faithful to Christ. The result of such a process is the development of Godly-character in us so that we become like Christ.
The final reason or motivation as to why God allows us to endure trials is because He loves us. Therefore, He doesn’t want us to lose our reverential fear for the Lord and go back into sin. The fear of the Lord will keep us from sin. We’re told in Hebrews 12 that God chastens those He loves and scourges every son (daughter) that He receives. Whenever we are chastised by the Lord, it isn’t because He is angry at us; it is because He loves us. God loves us enough to correct us when we allow our old fleshly ways to direct our paths. His love never fails!
Overcoming This World By Faith in Christ,
Pastor Asa Dockery