Posted by: Mariah Hollifield | January 26, 2011

21 Day Fast – Day 17 Reading

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This is one of the most dazzling stories in the Bible. You can surely relate to the situation these three young men faced–when facts fly in the face of truth. The facts were that they had broken the law, the punishment was death, Nebuchadnezzar was the most powerful man in the world, the fire was hot enough to kill a nearby guard, there were plenty more guards to throw them in, and they were either going to bow or burn. Period. But the truth opposed those facts, and truth was what the three men stood upon. The truth was that either their God was going to deliver them or they would willingly die in His service. The truth is that the Son of God walked with them through the flames. What facts are you facing that defy God’s truth? Take the facts to God in prayer today and believe with boldness that your God will be with you in the fire.

1 King Nebuchadnezzar made a gold statue ninety feet tall and nine feet widet and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. 2 Then he sent messages to the high officers, officials, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates, and all the provincial officials to come to the dedication of the statue he had set up. 3 So all these officialst came and stood before the statue King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

4 Then a herald shouted out, “People of all races and nations and languages, listen to the king’s command!5 When you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes, and other musical instruments,t bow to the ground to worship King Nebuchadnezzar’s gold statue.6 Anyone who refuses to obey will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”

7 So at the sound of the musical instruments,t all the people, whatever their race or nation or language, bowed to the ground and worshiped the gold statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

8 But some of the astrologerst went to the king and informed on the Jews. 9 They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “Long live the king! 10 You issued a decree requiring all the people to bow down and worship the gold statue when they hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes, and other musical instruments. 11 That decree also states that those who refuse to obey must be thrown into a blazing furnace. 12 But there are some Jews—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—whom you have put in charge of the province of Babylon. They pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They refuse to serve your gods and do not worship the gold statue you have set up.”

13 Then Nebuchadnezzar flew into a rage and ordered that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought before him. When they were brought in, 14 Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you refuse to serve my gods or to worship the gold statue I have set up? 15 I will give you one more chance to bow down and worship the statue I have made when you hear the sound of the musical instruments.t But if you refuse, you will be thrown immediately into the blazing furnace. And then what god will be able to rescue you from my power?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. 18 But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”

The Blazing Furnace

19 Nebuchadnezzar was so furious with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that his face became distorted with rage. He commanded that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual. 20 Then he ordered some of the strongest men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So they tied them up and threw them into the furnace, fully dressed in their pants, turbans, robes, and other garments.22 And because the king, in his anger, had demanded such a hot fire in the furnace, the flames killed the soldiers as they threw the three men in. 23 So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, securely tied, fell into the roaring flames.

24 But suddenly, Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in amazement and exclaimed to his advisers, “Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace?”
“Yes, Your Majesty, we certainly did,” they replied.

25 “Look!” Nebuchadnezzar shouted. “I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a godt!”

26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came as close as he could to the door of the flaming furnace and shouted: “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”
So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stepped out of the fire. 27 Then the high officers, officials, governors, and advisers crowded around them and saw that the fire had not touched them. Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn’t even smell of smoke!

28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego! He sent his angel to rescue his servants who trusted in him. They defied the king’s command and were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 Therefore, I make this decree: If any people, whatever their race or nation or language, speak a word against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, they will be torn limb from limb, and their houses will be turned into heaps of rubble. There is no other god who can rescue like this!”

30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to even higher positions in the province of Babylon.

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Posted by: Mariah Hollifield | January 26, 2011

WHO DREAMED UP THIS PLAN FOR SURVIVAL?

David Wilkerson Today

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 26, 2011

“And the word of the Lord came unto him [Elijah], saying, Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan” (I Kings 17: 2–3).

As Elijah looked ahead to the coming crisis, things must have looked absolutely hopeless to him. But God had a specific survival plan in mind for his faithful servant. He instructed the prophet, “Go east to the Jordan River, and there you will find Cherith, a little tributary that runs off. You can get all the drinking water you need from that brook. In addition, I’ve arranged for food to be delivered to you daily, by my courier ravens!” How could any person, in a million years, ever dream up this kind of a plan for survival? How could Elijah ever have imagined he’d be sent to a hidden brook to find water to drink, when there was nothing but drought everywhere else in the land? How could he ever have thought a daily supply of bread would be brought to him by ravenous birds that ate everything they sank their beaks into?

Later, times got hard for Elijah, because the brook finally dried up. But God stepped in again, giving the prophet another fresh word of direction. He said, “Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow there to sustain thee” (v. 9). Again, I have to ask—how could anyone ever think a poor widow woman, in the midst of a depression, could feed a man for days, weeks, months on end? But the fact is, God uses the most despised, insignificant things of the world for his glory. And he told Elijah, “If you’ll go to her and do what I tell you, you’ll survive. Listen to me—heed my direction—and you’ll make it through!”

The evidence is overwhelming: God—our adviser, counselor and survival expert—has a detailed plan for every one of his children, to help us face the worst of times!

Posted by: Mariah Hollifield | December 13, 2010

WHEN SIFTING COMES

David Wilkerson Today

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2010

“And the Lord said, Simon, Simon; behold, Satan hath desired to have you,
that he may sift you as wheat” (Luke 22:31).

You must understand that Satan seeks to sift only those who threaten his work.
He goes after the tree with the most potential to bear fruit. But why did the
devil desire to sift Peter? Why was he so anxious to test him? Well, for three
years Peter had been casting out devils and healing the sick. Satan had heard
Jesus promise the disciples another baptism, one of Holy Ghost power and
fire—and he trembled! Now, the devil heard God’s ultimate plan for Peter.
He realized that the past three years would be nothing compared to the greater
works Peter and the other disciples would perform. Having already pulled down
Judas, he would have to look for a measure of corruption in Peter to build on,
to make Peter’s faith fail.

Perhaps, like Peter, you are in the sieve right now, being shaken and sifted.
But, you ask, why me? And why now? First of all, you ought to rejoice that you
have such a reputation in hell! Satan never would have asked God’s permission
to sift you unless you had crossed the line of obedience. Why else would he
spend his efforts harassing and troubling you, scaring you and shaking all that
you have? He is sifting you because you play an important part in God’s church
in these last days. God is doing a new thing once again in this last generation,
and you have been set apart by him to be a powerful witness to many. He has set
you free, and is preparing you for his eternal purposes. And the greater your
gifts, the greater your potential, the greater your surrender to the will of
God—the more severe your sifting will be.

When someone is going through the fire of sifting, what should those around him
do? What did Jesus do about Peter’s imminent fall? He said to him, “I have
prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not” (Luke 22:32).

I look at this wonderful example of Christ’s love and realize I know almost
nothing about how to love those who fall. Surely Jesus is that “friend who
sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). He saw both the good and the
bad in Peter and concluded, “This man is worth saving. Satan desires him, but
I desire him all the more.” Peter truly loved the Lord, and Jesus told him,
“I have prayed for you.” Jesus had seen this coming for a long time. He had
probably spent many hours before his Father talking about Peter—how he loved
him, how needed Peter was in God’s kingdom, how he valued him as a friend.

Lord, give all of us that kind of love! When we see brothers and sisters
compromising or heading for trouble or disaster, let us love them enough to
warn them as firmly as Jesus warned Peter. Then we’ll be able to say, “I am
praying for you.”

Today we have yet another “It is written” with which we can do battle
against Satan. It is this: “I have prayed for you, that your faith should not
fail.” You can tell the devil, “You may have gotten permission to sift me,
to try to tear down my faith. But you need to know this: My Jesus is praying
for me!”

AMEN AMEN AND AMEN!!!!! This devotion really blessed me this morning!

Posted by: Mariah Hollifield | November 17, 2010

GOD’S PURE MERCY

David Wilkerson Today

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2010

Isaiah had a revelation of God’s great delight in us. He prophesied, “O
Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name;
thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and
through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the
fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee”
(Isaiah 43:1-2).

Isaiah wasn’t talking about a literal flood or fire. He was talking about
what people go through spiritually and mentally. Israel was in captivity at the
time. Their floods were trials; their fires were temptations; their rivers were
testings. These were all Satan’s attempts to destroy and overwhelm God’s
people.

Isaiah’s words were a message of pure mercy for Israel. The people were in
captivity because of their own stupidity and foolishness. But God sent them a
brokenhearted prophet who said, “God wants me to tell you that you belong to
him.”

Right now, you may be in the midst of your own swirling waters. You may feel
overwhelmed by a trial or temptation that threatens to consume you. You’ve
got to understand from these biblical examples that the Lord does not always
calm the waters. He does not always keep the floods from coming or put out the
fires.

Yet he does promise this: “I will walk with you through it all. This trial or
circumstance will not destroy you. It won’t consume you. So, walk on. You’ll
come out on the other side with me beside you.”

Posted by: Mariah Hollifield | November 4, 2010

IN HIM WE LIVE AND MOVE AND HAVE OUR BEING

by David Wilkerson | November 4, 2010

Paul said, “In him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). Men and women of God live within this very small circle; their life, their every move, their very existence is wrapped up only in the interests of Christ.

To know nothing but Christ, there must be continual flow of revelation from the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit knows the mind of God, if he searches the deep and hidden things of the Father, and if he is to be a well of living water springing up, then that well of flowing water must be a continual, never-ending revelation of Christ. It awaits every servant of the Lord who is willing to wait on the Lord—quietly, in faith believing, trusting the Holy Spirit to manifest the mind of God.

Today we need his infallible word—a true and living revelation. Samuel had that kind of word from God, and all Israel knew it. When Samuel spoke, of all the voices in the land, his came through and not one word fell to the ground.

Today multitudes are trying to sift through all the voices to hear the clear word of God. Saints of God are getting weary of a barrage of voices, while finding only a few kernels of truth. Christ alone is the light! The whole world lies in darkness, and light alone dispels that darkness. You may be in a dark place right now.

Peter said, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place” (2 Peter 1:19).

Paul said, “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).

John said, “His kingdom [Satan’s] was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain” (Revelation 16:10).

Your good works won’t dispel that darkness and our preaching on social issues won’t cut through it, either. All your personal experiences won’t do it. I’ll go a step further—even your binding the powers of darkness won’t work without the light of Christ shining forth. All darkness vanishes in the light of God’s glory reflected in the face of Jesus Christ! Let us study Christ alone in the secret closet. We serve the same God and are taught by the very same Holy Spirit as all others who have known Christ in fullness.

 

Posted by: Mariah Hollifield | November 3, 2010

In God’s Time

November 3


“For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry”   (Habakkuk 2:3).

Mercy may seem slow, but it is sure. The LORD in unfailing wisdom has appointed a time for the outgoings of His gracious power, and God’s time is the best time. We are in a hurry; the vision of the blessings excites our desire and hastens our longings; but the LORD will keep His appointments. He never is before His time; He never is behind. God’s word is here spoken of as a living thing which will speak and will come. It is never a dead letter, as we are tempted to fear when we have long watched for its fulfillment. The living word is on the way from the living God, and though it may seem to linger, it is not in reality doing so. God’s train is not behind time. It is only a matter of patience, and we shall soon see for ourselves the faithfulness of the LORD. No promise of His shall fail; “it will not lie.” No promise of His will be lost in silence; “it shall speak.” What comfort it will speak to the believing ear! No promise of His shall need to be renewed like a bill which could not be paid on the day in which it fell due-“it will not tarry.” Come, my soul, canst thou not wait for thy God? Rest in Him and be still in unutterable peacefulness.

 

Posted by: Mariah Hollifield | November 3, 2010

Without Faith

Daily Devotional

By Milan Ford
This week’s topic:
Examine Yourself

 

The conversation began around 11:30pm. And it ended around 4:15am.

About a year or so ago, I decided to stay up late and share with my wife about something rather unusual that was going on inside me. While I could not adequately describe to her what it was, I told her that it felt like it was a combination of extreme restlessness and interestingly enough, a sense of peace.

And then, after hours of emotional rambling, I said these words to my wife: “I feel like I have gone as far as I can possibly go…WITHOUT FAITH.”

I sincerely believe that where many of us are in life today is not actually a testament of our faith in God, but rather a testament of our individual skills and talents. And there (for many of us) lies the problem.

 

As believers, we tend to exercise our faith only in areas that we have seen God move before. But when it comes to the unknown, our faith remains still. Which as Hebrews 11:6 indicates, is not faith at all.

 

“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.”

Sometimes I wonder if we find more security in knowing who we are or have been in times past, than we do in believing who God is. As we enter this final stretch of the year, many of us have come to the end of some rather long roads in our lives that now require faith to move forward.

As we examine our hearts and lives today, many of us must come to the realization that the skills and talents we so heavily relied on in the past can no longer move us forward. Neither can the resumes (and perhaps associations) we worked so hard to build.

 

What lies before many of us now is a faith in what seems to be impossible. A faith that fosters a sense of restlessness, yet at the same time, a sense of peace.

May you and I lean hard into that peace today.

 

Scripture Of The Day: Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!” – 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NASB).

 

Posted by: Mariah Hollifield | October 27, 2010

PUTTING LIMITS ON GOD’S POWER AND PROMISES

David Wilkerson Today

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2010

 

Scripture says of Israel, “Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited

the Holy One of Israel” (Palm 78:41). Israel turned away from God in unbelief.

And likewise, I believe we limit God today with our doubts and unbelief.

 

We trust God in most areas of our lives, but our faith always has boundaries

and limits. We have at least one small area that we block off where we don’t

really believe God is going to undertake for us.

 

For example, many readers have prayed for the healing of my wife Gwen. But

often, when it comes to healing for their own husband, wife, son or daughter,

they limit God. I limit God most in the area of healing. I have prayed for

physical healing for many, and I have seen God perform miracle after miracle.

But when it comes to my own body, I limit God. I am afraid to let him be God to

me. I douse myself with medicine or run to a doctor before I ever pray for

myself. I’m not saying it’s wrong to go to the doctor. But sometimes I fit

the description of those who “sought not to the Lord, but to the

physicians” (2 Chronicles 16:12).

 

I ask you: Do you pray for God to bring down walls in China or Cuba—but when

it comes to the salvation of your own family, you don’t have an ounce of

faith? You think, “God must not want to do this. My loved one is such a tough

case. God doesn’t seem to be hearing me in this matter.”

 

If this be true, you are not seeing him as God. You are ignorant of his ways.

God’s desire is to “do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,

according to the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20).

 

God told me, “David, you’ve tied my hands; you’ve shackled me. How can I

heal you when you don’t really believe I will? Your doubt hinders me from

being God to you. I tell you, you don’t know me unless you know that I am

more willing to give than you are to receive.”

 

Israel murmured continually, “Can God…? Sure, he made a way for us through

the Red Sea, but can he give bread?” God gave them bread. In fact, he spread

a table for them in the wilderness. “But can he give us water?” they asked.

He gave them water from a rock. “But can he give meat?” He gave them meat

from the sky. “But can he deliver us from our enemies?” Time after time,

God provided and delivered in every area. Yet, the people spent forty years

saying, “Can God…? Can God…?”

 

Beloved, we ought to be saying, “God can! God can!” He did—and he will!

God can and will do all that we ask and believe him to do!

Posted by: Mariah Hollifield | October 22, 2010

DELAYED ANSWERS TO PRAYER!

David Wilkerson Today

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2010

Most of us pray as David did: “In the day when I call answer me speedily”

(Psalm 102:2). “I am in trouble: hear me speedily” (Psalm 69:17). The

Hebrew word for speedily suggests “right now, hurry up, in the very hour I

call on you, do it!” David was saying, “Lord, I put my trust in you—but

please hurry!”

 

God is in no hurry. He doesn’t jump at our commands. In fact, at times you

may wonder if he will ever answer. You cry out, weep, fast and hope—but days

go by, weeks, months, even years, and you don’t receive even the slightest

evidence that God is hearing you. First you question yourself: “Something

must be blocking my prayers.” You become perplexed, and over time your

attitude toward God becomes something like this: “Lord, what do I have to do

to get this prayer answered? You promised in your Word to give me an answer,

and I prayed in faith. How many tears must I shed?”

 

Why does God delay answers to sincere prayers? It certainly isn’t because he

lacks power. And he is most willing for us to receive from him. No, the answer

is found in this verse: “He spake a parable unto them…that men ought always

to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1).

 

The Greek word for lose heart, or faint in the King James Version, means

“relax, become weak or weary in faith, give up the struggle, no longer wait

for completion.” Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not be weary in well-doing:

for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” The Lord is seeking for a

praying people who will not relax or grow weary of coming to him. These people

will wait on the Lord, not giving up before his work is completed. And they

will be found waiting when he brings the answer.

 

 

 

Posted by: Mariah Hollifield | October 21, 2010

Miracles

And these signs will follow those who believe.

Mark 16:17

Jesus promised believers He would work with them, "confirming the word through the accompanying signs" (Mark 16:20). Throughout the book of Acts those who spoke the word had it confirmed with miraculous signs and, like Jesus, many believed the good news (Acts 5:12-16; 19:8-12). Unlike the Pharisees, believers did not follow signs; the signs followed them.

Some claim such signs are no longer needed today since we now have the completed Word of God, the Bible. If all that first-century believers had was the living voice of the apostles, and they still needed signs, how much more do we who live in the twentieth century!

Like believers throughout the ages, we need both the word of God and the power of God to do the work of God. Anything less is not only sub-biblical, it is ineffective. Therefore, expect miracles! Expect the Lord to confirm His Word with signs as we, like the early disciples, obey His command to "go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15).

 

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