Sunday, October 25, 2015

Remove your sycamore tree--Part 2


     And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. (Luke 17:6) 

                       In our last study, we saw how to identify the obstacles that hinder our prayers from being answered (1). Too many times, we hear people blaming the obstacles on Satan and his demons but I submit that many times, it can be other factors. Factors such as the flesh, a mountain or a sycamore tree. In this study, we are going to deal with the sycamore tree. Is there a sycamore tree in your life? We will deal with this subject as we bring up the 2nd step to be discussed in removing the sycamore tree in your life--getting to the root of the problem.
                        Trees have roots. A Sycamore tree was known to have bitter fruit. It's roots were strong and entrenched on the ground. Notice the wisdom of Jesus, he compared this to unforgiveness. Take some time to read Luke 17:1-6. In these passages of scripture, he spoke concerning forgiving others 7 times in a day.          
              Now, some of us will forgive 1 or 2 times in a day but 7 is a challenge, especially if the person continues to do the same thing over and over again. It is no wonder they said----Increase our faith.(Luke 17:5) In getting to the root of the problem, we see Jesus offering a solution. The disciples asked to increase their faith. Have you ever heard of people praying for more faith? Maybe it might have been you?
                 Jesus talked about planting seed! (Luke 17:6) Hear me out, beloved, please do not pray for more faith, instead start planting the seed which is God's word. When you pray, pray God's word over any situation or any circumstance. The Bible says that faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. 
               Guard your heart because that is the ground in which you will deposit the seed. God's word is alive but your heart has got to be right. Many say that the heart is the spirit of man and that is true but in other passages, heart involves the mind, will and emotions. In Prov 4:23, the Hebrew word is "Labe" (Strong's concordance 03820) Labe means the emotions, affections and the mind. A look at the Message version gives us more clarity on the word heart---

 Above all else, guard your affections. For they influence everything else in your life. (Prov 4:23)(Message bible) 

                       Our spiritual inner being has been redeemed and is saved but the mind, will and emotions need to be renewed. That is why we need the mind of Christ to transform our thought life. As we spend some time on who we are in Christ and what belongs to us, we can become futile ground for the  seed(word) to grow. When we harbor bitterness, that hinders our prayers and growth. Now, we know that the fruit of the sycamore is bitter. We need to examine our hearts as far as bitterness is concerned. 
                   Many of us do not have a problem forgiving but bitter memories still linger in the lives of some Christians. They regress to the past and rehearse past hurts. We are soldiers for the Lord and this is a battleground. When a soldier is wounded, he/she cannot fight. (Prov 18:14) We need to deal with a broken heart and wounded emotions because it can cripple our faith and affect others as well. (Heb 12:15)
                      Thank God, Jesus dealt with this. In Luke 4:18 and Ps 147:3, God has promised to heal broken hearts and bind up emotional wounds. I am convinced that the reason many turn away from God and backslide is because of a broken heart. Marriages have been destroyed because of a lack of knowledge in that area. So, if you have a broken heart, there is good news---Jesus wants to heal you and give you a new beginning. As you do that, you will be able to begin the process in tossing that sycamore tree out of your path and getting results in your prayer life. God bless!

Prayer---Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you so you could examine me. If I have any offense against anyone, I ask you to forgive me. I, by faith, forgive whoever has trespassed against me. I ask you to bless them. I will commit to erasing any memory of that hurt. I receive healing of a broken heart. I receive healing in my emotions. You said that you have come to heal broken hearts and to bind up my wounds. I declare healing in my emotions and in my mind. I will walk in love and refuse to rehearse the past. I, now, start a new chapter in my life and I thank you for a new beginning. In Jesus name....Amen.

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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Remove your sycamore tree! Part I.

                                                          A old Sycamore tree (1)

                                           And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. (Luke 17:6) 

                        Do you have a sycamore tree in your life? Before you answer, let's consider some major points----
  1. We have to learn how to identify the enemy and the obstacles that hinder us from having our prayers answered.
  2. We need to get to the root of our problem.
  3. We need to uproot and destroy that which is set before us.
             I) Identifying the enemy or obstacles that are before us.

             Prayer is a battlefield. In a war, we need to study and
observe what we are up against.  Sometimes, our obstacle can be 
Satan or a host of demons. Other times, it can be our flesh.
Mountains and sycamore trees can be included in this category, too. 
                              Sometimes, we are busy casting out Satan, when it can be a mountain or our flesh. Wisdom in battle is needed to identify what enemies or obstacles are placed before us. That is why when you are dealing with a testing that just will not go away, you need to pray in tongues. 
                        The subject of tongues is very,very controversial. 
Many say that it has passed away. Others say that it is from the devil but the truth of the matter is that it is scriptural and it is for today. Please think twice before you call it a sign from the devil. Jesus warned us about the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. (Matt 12:31-32) 
                         There are many things that I would say about praying in tongues but I do not want to get off the subject of identifying the enemy or the obstacles that we must face. I would add that when you pray in tongues, you are praying mysteries. 
            There are times in which you can edify your spirit and speak in tongues but there are other occasions in which you are, actually, speaking the mysteries and it's answers to your problems. That is why the word encourages us to pray that we may interpret those mysteries in our own understanding. (I Cor 14:2, 13) 
                 You may ask how do I know what to pray for? Simple, When you just want to edify your spirit, you just speak in tongues knowing that it is strengthening your inner being. When the problems and testings are so out of control, that you do not know what to do, specify your prayer.
            In other words, say Lord, I am praying for the answer to my problem. Speak to me and show me what to do. Reveal your solution for this mystery that I am going through in Jesus Name. Now, after you prayed that prayer, start praying in tongues for as long as the Spirit leads. Afterwards, exercise some patience and praise God for the answer. 
            It may come in the next 10 minutes or it can take days. At times, it can be longer than a few days but I assure you, the answer will come. It can come in the form of Revelation knowledge, a dream or even a word in a church or Bible study. I realize that for some, this may be deep or perhaps you may be in disagreement with me but it is real. That is why we need to pray the prayer of Ephesians for ourselves and others.(2) When we do, we will see what the Spirit wants to show us and be effective in our prayer life. We will continue on this subject soon---God willing. 

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for teaching me in this day. Help me to identify key obstacles that are hindering my prayer life. Help me to focus more on praying in the Holy Ghost. Show me how to deal with the mysteries of my life and help me to walk in victory. In Jesus name...Amen! 

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