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A Word from Rich Fick
As I was meditating and praying about the coming year, the thought came, “Stand Tall, Walk Straight, Appropriate and Celebrate, for God will be Great in 2008.” Here is a brief exposition on these thoughts.
STAND TALL! This word resounds from the heavenly throne. When God gives such a decree, we can know that great grace will be coming so we can fulfill His decree. When God speaks, He enables His people to respond and to receive the empowerment both to become willing to do what He is decreeing and to do what He is asking us to do. I believe God is asking us to stand in these days. Many are fearful, but God says, “Stand.” Many are faltering and are weighed down with the cares of life, but God says, “Stand.” Many are living as if they were in a fog, unsure of their calling and destiny, but God says, “Stand.”
When God called me to go to Mount Sinai in 1979, He confirmed the call by pre-announcing the birth of our second child, Tim. When I was there, He spoke through Hebrews 12:22-29, foretelling of a great shaking that would come on the earth and in the heavens, causing the removal of things that were not of His kingdom, so that only the things of His kingdom would remain. He had written of these things in Hebrews, encouraging us to listen to Him who is speaking from heaven (Hebrews 12:24-25). As we learn to hear His daily word for us, we can rest in His almighty power and love. As we gaze on Him who has been exalted and reigns in the heavens, we can rest assured that He is able to bring us through difficulties and give us additional grace and provision so that we can help others in their times of need.
We need to realize that the warfare in the spirit realm is continually increasing and that we need to know Him in an ever-greater way as the Captain of the Lord’s Army. He is the One who has started the war against the evil ways and evil spiritual powers of this world. We are called to put on the whole armor of God. These “pieces” of armor are not things we are to try to emulate; rather they are descriptions of the very nature of God that we are to receive, live in, bring into all areas of our life, and use against the devil’s plans. These are imparted into us as we focus on Christ and become partakers of God’s Nature. Our enemy, Satan, is a liar and the father of lies. As we receive and live in the truth of God’s character, the lies of Satan and of this world are exposed and we can cast them away from us. The Bible says, “‘No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is from Me,’ says the LORD” (Isaiah 54:17 NKJ). Words will be spoken against us and against the truths of God’s Word. Satan will accuse us of our sinfulness, placing guilt and shame on us, directly or through others. But God forgives our sins as we confess them, and He removes them from us and cleanses us. Jesus then has victory for us, as He overcame all of our sinful desires when He bore them on His cross. The Bible tells us there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ. The Bible promises that if we walk in the spirit we can have victory over the sinful ways of this world. God has victory for us.
Let us stand tall in His victory. He won the victory for us and will win the victory in us and through us. WALK STRAIGHT! When we hear God’s command to “walk straight,” we need to see it coming from a loving Father. He knows the environment we are living in, and He is speaking this kind of word to us because He cares greatly for us and our overall wellbeing. But also we need to see Him calling us to do this. He promises to go before us to make the crooked ways straight for us. He will remove the stumbling blocks that trip us up. He will remove the seemingly insurmountable things that get in our way when we try to walk in God’s ways. He does this by going before us.
Jesus has already gone before us. He was made weak like us, subject to the temptations of the sinful flesh, the world and Satan. Under the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit, He was able to do what His Father was leading Him to do. He walked straight by keeping His eyes on His Father, doing what He saw Him doing. He waited on His Father. He spoke what He heard His Father speaking. He trusted in His Father, believing that His will was best for Him. He became weak like us so that He could be our example. He went to the cross so He could pay for our sins and take them into hell for us. He died so that His life could be multiplied and made available to us. He was raised from the dead and went into heaven so that He could be the administrator of His life into us and fulfill His calling as our heavenly High Priest and Mediator of the new covenant.
In these days we can WALK STRAIGHT TO GOD. Jesus is our heavenly High Priest, who lives to make intercession for us. He died for us, so that now He can put His holy life into us. His life in us will enable us to do exceedingly great and glorious things for God in the days ahead. Difficulties are coming into the world. Immorality and pressures are increasing. Our need in this hour is for God’s supernatural life and power to come into us and be manifest by us. That is why God calls us to WALK STRAIGHT to His throne of grace. We WALK STRAIGHT to God so that we can WALK STRAIGHT for God. God has promised to reveal Himself to the world as a loving and gracious Father. We are the means through whom He will do that.
We should WALK STRAIGHT for God, by showing the world the only way to live. God will show Himself as a forgiving and loving Father to us so we can declare these things to those we live among. God will empower us with His love so that we can show His love to others. He will impart His holiness into us so that we can live above the lusts and passions of our sinful flesh and the world. Jesus Himself was beset with the weakness of sinful flesh, yet He did not give in to those lusts. He was tempted in all ways like we are, the Bible says, yet He was without sin. Now He can bring that life into us, as our Heavenly High Priest and as the Mediator of the New Covenant. We can WALK STRAIGHT FOR GOD because we have WALKED STRAIGHT TO GOD in every moment of our lives!
APPROPRIATE! According to the dictionary, the word “appropriate” means “to set apart for, or assign to a particular use, in exclusion of all other uses; as, a spot of ground is appropriated for a garden.” We should appropriate the blessings God has given us; we should set them apart for the particular purpose for which they were given. This involves the act of consecration, of dedicating to the Lord, for His use, what He has given us. God has purchased our whole being with the blood of Jesus. We belong to Him, and He wants to use us for the purposes He had in mind when He created us. The Bible says we are His workmanship, created in Christ unto good works (Ephesians 2:10). If I use something I have received from God for the wrong purpose, often difficulties and problems develop.
When I was living for the high of alcohol, I was using many of my God-given gifts and talents for my own purposes. I was abusing alcohol by using it excessively. I was abusing the days God had given me, by letting the desire for the effects of excessive alcohol dominate my life. I was using the financial blessings God was providing me, to keep up my alcohol-focused lifestyle. The sinful use of God’s provision caused me to go through difficult times, because of my self-centeredness and desires for self gratification. But God in His mercy redeemed me. He brought me back into the eternal plans and purposes He had for me. He used my self-inflicted difficulties to cause me to cry out to Him. He has, through His life in me, caused me to want to use appropriately all He has given me.
God has a plan and purpose for all He has given to us. Paul says we should present ourselves a living sacrifice unto God. We should consecrate our members, time, talents, and treasures unto Him for His purposes. We are priests unto God, called to serve Him and to live for Him. We are to appropriate all we have and are for His service. Life becomes disjointed and difficult when we live for ourselves. The Bible says, “He died for all so that those who live should not live for themselves but for Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5:15).
Jesus lived this way. When He came into the world He said, “A body You have prepared for Me, …Behold, I have come--in the volume of the book it is written of Me--to do Your will, O God’ " (Hebrews 10:5,7 NKJ). When He was being given the grace to be our Heavenly High Priest, He said, "And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth” (John 17:19 NKJ).
In His mercy God is teaching me that He is able to use ALL things for His Divine purpose, which is for me to become infused with His life through Jesus and to be His heavenly vessel as He brings all things under Christ’s dominion. He continually shows me my desperate need to be made a partaker of His Holy Nature and to know His eternal, Divine purposes for me and for all of His creation. After He showed me how to embrace all that happened to me, and all that I did, He is able to use these things for His Divine purposes. What He is doing for me has enabled me to declare from my heart experience: APPROPRIATE AND KNOW GOD WILL BE GREAT IN 2008!
CELEBRATE! When we honor, praise or commend someone or something, we celebrate. In our society we might celebrate our favorite team’s victory or someone’s birthday. It is good to celebrate! It is best to celebrate the most honorable Being or the greatest of all accomplishments.
We can celebrate through worship. We can learn of the magnificence and splendor of our great and glorious God through reading in His Word of His character, nature, actions and desires. We can know about God’s character and nature as we study His names. Our Father has called Himself, “Merciful,” “Glorious,” “Longsuffering,” “Goodness” and “Truth.” He has called Himself “Your Holy One,” as He not only is Holy, but He delights to impart His holiness into us, making us partakers of His Divine nature. Jesus promises to reveal Himself as our Wonderful One, our Counselor, our Mighty God, our Father of Everlasting Things, and our Prince of Peace. The Holy Spirit reveals Himself as the Spirit of Revelation, Knowledge, Counsel, Might, and our Comforter. The Bible reveals many other names and attributes of God, giving us cause to celebrate our great God through worship.
We can celebrate what God has done. We can reflect on our personal testimonies. We can reflect on the complete victory Christ has won for us on the cross, where He conquered the powers of hell and sin, suffering at the hands of Satan and the people. ALL FOR US! We can celebrate knowing that God empowered Jesus with the Holy Spirit and that He is now our heavenly High Priest, able to impart His life into us and to send the Holy Spirit to enable us to do all God calls us to do. We can celebrate because we are receiving a life that is dead to the ways of sin and alive to God--a life that loves to do God’s will. We can celebrate because God, in Christ, is committed to uniting our whole being with His so that we become one with Him, as Christ and the Father are One.
We can live with our spirit celebrating Him during all of our day. Jesus lived this way and now lives to bring these ways into us. We can celebrate knowing that God is able to give us wisdom, grace and power to bring His supernatural love and wisdom to others through us. We are His ambassadors for His heavenly kingdom. His kingdom will continually increase--in us, through us, and for us. Let us Celebrate, for God will be Great in 2008!
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from the Almond Branch Newsletter, March 2008
Serving God as He Unites Heaven and Earth in Christ
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