“A Banner Life”

Banners have long been used since ancient Biblical times for a variety of reasons.  To declare the identity of a people, to signify a hard-fought won a victory or for the surrender of an enemy during a military campaign, to name a few.  As modern-day Believers and Soldiers in the Army of The Lord, we are to recognize Jesus Christ as, “Jehovah Nissi,” “THE LORD IS MY BANNER,” denoting our trust and allegiance in The One True Living God.  He is The ONLY TRUE SOURCE for our deliverance when confronting life’s battles.  He Is The God “Who will never leave us nor forsake us”, no matter what may come our way!  Ref. Deuteronomy 31:6

King David The Psalmist declares this powerful truth for us in Psalm 20:1-5 (NKJV);

“May The Lord answer you in the day of trouble; May the name of The God of Jacob defend you;”  “May He send you help from the sanctuary, And strengthen you out of Zion;” “May He remember all your offerings, And accept your burnt sacrifice.” “May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, And fulfill all your purpose.” “We will rejoice in your salvation, And in the name of our God we will set up our Banners”!  May The Lord fulfill all your petitions.”

If there was anyone who knew first hand the Power of “Jehovah Nissi,” “The Lord Is My Banner,” it was King David.  In all of the tests and trials that he went through, he continually called upon The Name of The Lord and was delivered!  King David lived a “Banner Life” by putting his trust in God, even in the face of costly failures and seemingly impossible situations.

We read about one of those seemingly impossible situations in 1st Samuel 30:1-7 (AMP);

“Now when David and his men came home to Ziklag on the third day, they found that the Amalekites had made a raid on the South (the Negeb) and Ziklag, and had struck Ziklag and had burned it with fire.”  “And had taken the women and all who were there, both great and small, captive.  They killed no one, but carried them off and went on their way.”  “So David and his men came to the town, and behold, it was burned, and their wives and sons and daughters were taken captive.”  “Then David and the men with him lifted their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep.”  “David’s two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail, the widow of Nabal the Carmelite.”  “David was greatly distressed for the men spoke of stoning him because the souls of them all were bitterly grieved, each man for his sons and daughters.  But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God.”

In these verses of scripture my friend, we learn a life-changing lesson, one that David walks out for us so beautifully, and that is this;

“A Banner Life begins with making a banner decision that ultimately leads to a fruitful, “Banner Life” filled with, ”Banner Years”!

As demonstrated in the life of King David, a life well lived for The Kingdom of Heaven is not a “perfect life’ free of faults and failures, it is a “faithful life” that continually gets up in obedience, in the midst of trials, temptations and mis-steps through the Overcoming Strength of The Lord Most High, The One True God to, “Pursue overtake and recover all.”  Notice that is exactly what David did at Ziklag, though his men spoke of stoning him, he chose to encourage himself in The Lord second by second, minute by minute and hour by hour.  This, my friend, is an example of a “Banner Decision” being made under tremendous pressure!

The remarkable payoff?  We read about it in 1st Samuel 30:17-20 (AMP);

“And David smote them from twilight even to the evening of the next day, and not a man of them escaped, except 400 youths who rode camels and fled.”  “David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken and rescued his two wives.”  “Nothing was missing, small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that had been taken; David recovered all.”  “Also David captured all the flocks and herds [which the enemy had], and the people drove those animals before him and said, This is David’s spoil.”

What a day of Divine Dramatic Reversal for David, he went from being a grieving, distressed leader fearing for his life by the hands of his men who “spoke of stoning him;” (which is rather ironic when you think of the fact that earlier in his youth he slew the Giant Goliath with one smooth stone); to an overcoming hero who led the way in “recovering all” that the enemy had taken from them.  The people even chose to set aside the flocks and herds of the enemy and declare it as, “David’s spoil.”  In other words, those who were once against David were now for David, ensuring that he was highly honored and well taken care of.

How did David accomplish this mighty feat….and why wasn’t “the spoiler” (the enemy) able to disrupt David’s Divine Breakthrough?

The answer to this important question can be found in 1st Samuel 30:7-8 (AMP) which reveals The Source of David’s Epic Victory;

“David said to Abiathar the Priest, Ahimelech’s son, I pray you, bring me the ephod, And Abiathar brought him the ephod.”  “And David inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue this troop?  Shall I overtake them?  The Lord answered him, Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail to recover all.”

After all of the years of miraculous feats done by David in The Name of The Lord, he did not rely on his strength or his understanding, he continued to draw near to God and wait upon Him with a “Banner Heart.”  A heart that is positioned in a place of humility and obedience to receive from The Lord.

David did not allow the memories of past victories and the former strategies that The Lord had given him to cloud his expectation and hearing of a “Fresh Word” from The Lord.  Whats more David did not put the responsibility for his authority on a word from Abiathar the Priest to guide him in this dire situation.  David’s intimacy and friendship with the Lord gave him the confidence to don “His Ephod,” and wait until he received the “Banner Word” of The Lord for his situation.  This, my friend, is how David won all of his, “Banner Victory’s” time and time again throughout each season of his life!

The donning of “The Ephod” which was a holy sacred garment used by King’s and Priest’s in ancient Biblical times to set themselves apart to hear the instructions and guidance of The Lord, was significant for David.  Why?….because the heart that beat under that ephod was a “Banner Heart,” that was set on hearing and obeying the Lord His God, no matter what the consequences were!

How did God view a heart like David’s?
We find the answer to that question in Acts 13: 21-22 (AMP);

“Then they asked for a King; and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin for forty years.” “And when He had deposed him, He raised David to be their king; of him He bore witness and said, I have found David son of Jesse a man after My Own Heart, who will do all My Will and carry out My program fully.”

Whose program are we carrying out in our lives? Ours?….Or The Lord’s?

For us, today, “The Banner of The Lord” written upon the tablet of King David’s heart in The Holy Scriptures, is a continual reminder of an overcoming, “Banner Life.”  You see my friend a “Banner Life” will always be lived from a “Banner Heart.”  A heart that is inclined to hear The Heartbeat of Heaven through The Voice of The Holy Spirit as He shares the secret truths and mysteries that God is longing to share with each one of us that call Him Abba Father!  Therefore my friend, “WE MUST NEVER ALLOW OUR, “HEART” TO BEAT AFTER ANOTHER god!

God, Himself states this truth so clearly for us in Exodus 20:3;

“You shall have no other gods before or besides Me.”

Let’s take a few minutes here and ask ourselves the following life-changing questions, I encourage you to write your answers down in a private place where you and The Lord can work it out.

What is written upon the tablet of my heart?

1. Am I living a “Banner Life” life from a “Banner Heart”?…..Or does my heartbeat after another god?

2. Do I recognize Jesus Christ as, “Jehovah Nissi” “The Lord Is My Banner”….. If not, why?

3. What course corrections do I need to make, if any, to keep my heart beating in line with God’s Will for my life?

My friend, when God sent His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ to Calvary as our “Everlasting Banner of Life,” that was and IS His Eternal Heartbeat of Love for a lost and dying world.  A Heartbeat that you and I as believers in Christ Jesus cannot ignore! We must remember that every act of obedience in sharing The Goodness of God with those around us is an act of love that keeps this Heavenly Heartbeat alive and well and beating strong for The Glory of God!

This, my friend, is how we live a “Banner Life”, that will leave a “Banner Legacy”……
“Strong and Free….Boldly For Him”!

Psalm 60:4 (NKJV);

“You have given a banner to those who fear You, that it may be displayed because of the Truth.”

 

© 2020 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

Picture by: Ben White

“Alive And Well”

“Christ’s Resurrection is your resurrection too. This is why we are to yearn for all that is above, for that’s where Christ sits enthroned at the Place of All Power, Honor, and Authority!” “Yes, feast on all the treasures of the Heavenly Realm and fill your thoughts with Heavenly Realities, and not with the distractions of the natural realm.” Colossians 3:1-2 (TPT)

At the beginning of 2019, The Lord instructed me to write two specific blogs to start the New Year. January’s title is, “The Expected End” and February’s title is, “Inner-Action”.  Now as we have come to the last month of the decade, and are about to embark on what I believe will be a “Whole New Era” for the Body of Christ in the coming years; The Lord redirected my attention back to these two blogs.

As I re-read what He had to share with us through these writings, I became keenly aware that these blogs encapsulate what He is now saying to us through this last, “Boldly For Him” blog of the year. With 2019 quickly coming to a close, The Lord wants us to know that as we approach 2020, that no matter where we are or what we may be currently facing, that as Born Again Believers in Jesus Christ, the reality of our, “Expected End” is that we are, ”Alive And Well”, In Him as we recognize, renew, develop and mature our, “Inner-Action” to the truths that are shared with us in Colossians 3:1-2 (TPT).

To fully grasp what The Lord is now saying through this blog, I think it’s important for me to refresh us on the definition of “Inner-Action.”

Inner-Action = The relationship between the mind, the will and the emotions and how they are displayed in an individual’s life through their interaction with God and others.

You see my friend we are entering a time where everything that can be challenged will be challenged regarding what we believe about our identity In Jesus Christ. It is an Era, a decade, a time that will see much fruit as well as much loss within The Body of Christ. Why?….. because of the very pressure that is coming in the days ahead that will cause many to continue to be deceived, stumble and fall in their individual and corporate walk with The Lord. That is why it is so important my friend that you and I, “fill our thoughts with Heavenly Realities, and not with the distractions of the natural realm.”  Ref. Col 3:2 (TPT) 

What we learn and who we learn from can greatly affect what we believe about our God Given identity In Christ Jesus. So much so that the Apostle Paul gave the following instructions to his spiritual son Timothy who was an Evangelist and Pastor in the ancient town of Ephesus:

2nd Timothy 2:15 (AMP);

“Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.”

The Word of God and the Truths that have been “Rightly Divided” and “Accurately Taught” to us must become so “Deeply Rooted Within Us”, that no matter what distraction, adversity or challenge may come our way; we are confident that we can live our lives as one who is “Alive and Well” because of the TRUTH that “Christ’s Resurrection IS OUR Resurrection too!” Ref. Col 3:1 (TPT)  

Understanding and accurately applying this passage of scripture in Col 3:1-2, in our daily walk, as Believers is paramount to a healthy, “Inner-Action” with God and others. An overcoming “Inner-Action” that will lead to Total Victory in every area of our lives, Spirit, soul, and body, in the coming days ahead. To God Be The Glory!

How does this Biblical Principle work in our lives?  

Colossians 3:3-4 (TPT) gives us the answer;

“Your crucifixion with Christ has severed the tie to this life, and now your true life is hidden away with God in Christ.” “And as Christ, Himself is seen for Who He Is, who you are will also be revealed, for YOU ARE NOW ONE WITH HIM IN HIS GLORY.”

This is not just a figure of speech my friend these are the Words of God Himself and the REALITY of Who We Are In Christ Jesus! According to the Word of God, we as Believers, have “severed the tie to this life.”  Meaning we no longer are bound or have any obligation whatsoever to live a defeated life of sin, sickness, poverty, shame, etc.!

Can this be proven by the Word of God? 

Yes, let’s see what He has to say to us in Colossians 3:5-9 (TPT);

“Live as one who has died to every form of sexual sin and impurity. Live as one who died to diseases, and desires for forbidden things, including the desire for wealth, which is the essence of idol worship.” “When you live in these vices you ignite the anger of God against these acts of disobedience.” “That’s how you once behaved, characterized by your evil deeds. But now it’s time to eliminate them from your lives once and for all-anger, fits of rage, all forms of hatred, cursing, filthy speech, and lying.” “Lay aside your old Adam-self with its masquerade and disguise.”

God went to great lengths for you and me my friend to be, “Alive and Well” through the Crucifixion of His Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, and Savior! You see, Calvary not only Confronted, but CALVARY also DEFEATED EVERY FORM of sinsickness, poverty, and disease for all men, for all time…PERIOD! Calvary did not console the enemy, by fearing him and accepting his slander against the Shed Blood of Jesus Christ. Calvary Confronted and Cast the evil works of the enemy out forever!

This is The Resurrection Power of 1st Peter 1:24 (TPT);

“He carried our sins in His body on the Cross so that we would be dead to sin and live for righteousness, Our INSTANT healing flowed from His Wounding.”

Therefore my friend, you and I as believers in Christ Jesus are not to console the enemy by fearing him and caving in when he attacks us with sin, sickness, poverty, and disease, we are to confront him with The Living Word of God and cast him out of our lives, spirit, soul, and body! It is not through our strength that we do this, it is through “The Blood of Jesus Christ”, that was Shed At Calvary. My friend, it is “The Good News” of His Resurrection Power that RESIDES WITHIN US that gives us, as Believers in Christ Jesus, the AUTHORITY AND THE RESPONSIBILITY to Confront and Cast out the devil and all of his evil works from EVERY area of our lives!

Did God give me this responsibility?

YES! Jesus Himself tells us about this “Priceless Privilege” in the following passages of scripture:

 John 14:12-14 (TPT); 

“I tell you this timeless truth: The person who follows me in faith, believing in Me, will do the Same Mighty Miracles that I do—Even Greater Miracles than these because I go to be with My Father!” “For I will do whatever you ask Me to do when you ask Me in My Name. And that is how the Son will show what the Father is really like and bring Glory To Him.” “Ask Me anything in My Name, and I will do it for you!”

Mark 16:16-18 (TPT);

“Whoever believes the Good News and is baptized will be saved, and whoever does not believe the Good News will be condemned.” “And these miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will drive out demons in the power of My Name. They will speak in tongues.” “They will be supernaturally protected from snakes, and from drinking anything poisonous. And they will lay hands on the sick and heal them.”

Never doubt my friend the Power of The Name of Jesus spoken out of your mouth as a Believer in Jesus Christ! It is the same power and authority that was given to the first Disciples! As modern-day Believers it is our turn to do what these Forefathers of Faith did, to take the healing power of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world, to “lay hands on the sick and heal them”, this includes laying hands on yourself!  This Mandate is how we perpetuate the Eternal Message of Calvary! A Precious “Blood Bought” Message that Forever Speaks that, WE ARE, “Alive and Well” and Empowered to,

“Be Strong and Live Free…..Boldly For Him!”

 

© 2019 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

The Expected End

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith The Lord, thoughts of Peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11 (KJV)

Several weeks ago, I heard the phrase, “The Expected End” come clearly to my thoughts from The Lord.  As I began to think about what He was speaking to my heart, I was led to  the above scripture. The more I began to study this scripture, the more I realized how important it is to God that you and I understand that He has an, “Expected End” for each and every one of us.  An “Expected End” that He has thought about long before we took our first breathe!  Jeremiah 1:5 (AMP) explains this truth even further;

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating  you [and] I appointed you as a Prophet to the nations.”

My friend this Word is not just for the Prophet Jeremiah, this Word is for you and me too!   God is Encouraging us that He Has ALREADY Approved of us and that HE Has ALREADY Chosen us for a very specific purpose!  For Jeremiah his “Expected End” was as a “Prophet to the nations”, for you and I that “Expected End” will be whatever specific calling God has placed upon our life.  As the scripture above reveals, that Calling is a literal Appointment by God Himself!  Just as the President of the United States or of any nation has been elected and appointed to his or her office, you and I have been chosen and appointed to our office, our calling by God.

The Apostle Peter gives us some sound advice regarding this in 2nd Peter 1:10 (AMP);

“Because of this, brethren, be all the more solicitous and eager to make sure (to ratify, to strengthen, to make steadfast) your calling and election; for if you do this, you will never stumble or fall.”

We have a God given responsibility my friend to move in the direction of that “calling and election”. To make decisions that promote and live in harmony with God’s will for our specific purpose, and not to make decisions that will cause us to “stumble or fall”.

In order to successfully walk this out, we must never forget that Housed Within The Thoughts of God are Blue Prints that strategically lead us in the way that we should go.  As we hear and heed The Thoughts Of God for our life we will mature, develop and implement with accuracy that “Divine Appointment” that has been placed upon us.

So how do we hear, heed and rightly discern The Thoughts of God for our life?  So glad you asked!  It is vital as Born Again Believer’s in Christ Jesus, that we recognize that we have The Mind of Christ!  1st Corinthians 2:16 (AMP) gives us an exciting description of this reality;

“For who has known or understood the mind (the counsels and purposes) of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge?  But we have the Mind of Christ (The Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His Heart.”

When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, our spirit man, (which is who we really are) is made NEW (Born Again).  We are then instantly infused with The Mind of Christ by virtue of Him Living Within Us!  Time for a PRAISE BREAK right now!!!! Glory….Hallelujah!!!

Recognizing that we, ”hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His Heart”, comes as we cultivate a genuine intimacy with The Lover of our soul, Jesus Christ.  Our hearing in His Presence is heightened as we develop the habit of listening for His Voice in our heart (our spirit) through prayer and through the discipline of reading His Word, The Holy Bible.  We are then equipped to fully obey what He shares with us.  Jeremiah 33:3 (AMP) is a beautiful illustration of this fact;

“Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand).”

Beloved of The Most High God, He is beckoning to you and I right now, desiring for us to go deeper into His Presence, deeper into His Word so that He can share some, “Great and Mighty things, fenced in and hidden which we do not know.”  Will we answer His Call and choose to go deeper in Him?  That is a question that we must answer daily, sometimes minute by minute and moment by moment.

The priceless reward?  The Apostle Paul says it the best in Philippians 3:10-11(AMP);

“[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquitted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His Resurrection [which it exerts over Believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope]” “That if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body].”

This my Fellow Sojourner of The Most High God is our True, “Expected End”!

Happy New Year Mighty Expectant One, as you go forth in 2019 equipped through His Presence and His Word to live out your, “Expected End… from The Beginning”, my prayer is that you will,
“Be Strong and Live Free Boldly For Him”!

 

© 2019 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

RESILIENT

“When you use this, you will be younger and shinier”, said the persuasive salesman to the prospective customer.  Wow!  A lotion that will make me “Younger and Shinier”!  I was almost pulled into the vortex of their conversation as I walked by.  After all, who wouldn’t want to be “Younger and Shinier” by the mere application of this, miracle lotion!  Thank God I came to my senses quickly and kept on walking!  I have to admit though, that I admired this salesman’s commitment to his product.

Recently, I was reminded of this salesman’s claims of being made, “younger and shinier” by using his product, when the Lord brought the word, “Resilient” to me along with this scripture:

Psalm 34:5 (TPT);

“Gaze upon Him, join your life with His, and joy will come.  Your face will glisten with Glory.  You’ll never wear that shame face again”.

The Lord is clearly interested in us being made, “younger and shinier”, not through superficial means however but in a “Resilient” manner.  He is letting us know, through His Word that when we look to Him we will literally, “Glisten with Glory”, from an inward joy because we have chosen to, “Gaze upon Him” and “join our life to His”.  The results of this kind of total trust, love and commitment to The Lord?  “You’ll never wear that shame face again”.  Shame will age you, my friend, on the other hand, keeping our gaze upon Him, “The Author and Finisher of our faith”, (ref. Hebrews 12:2 (b) are rejuvenating!

The definition of the word Resilient is, “Able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions”.  The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines Resilient this way, “Capable of withstanding shock without permanent deformation or rupture”.  Perhaps one of the most impacting descriptions of the word Resilient from The Merriam Webster Dictionary is this, “Implies the ability to recover shape quickly when deforming force or pressure is removed”

In Acts 14:19-20 (TPT) we witness an incredible event in the life of Paul the Apostle, one of the most “Resilient” men that ever lived:

“Some of the Jews who had opposed Paul and Barnabas in Antioch and Iconium arrived and stirred up the crowd against them.  They stoned Paul and dragged his body outside the city and left him for dead.”  “When the believers encircled Paul’s body, he miraculously stood up!  Paul stood and immediately went back into the city.  The next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe”.

Talk about “recovering quickly when deforming force or pressure is removed”!  The Apostle Paul is the epitome of the word “Resilient” and we can learn a lot about being resilient from his life and testimony today.  As a matter of fact, Paul reveals to us in his own words in 2nd Corinthians 4:8-10 (TPT) the cause and effect of a “Resilient” life.

“Though we experience every kind of pressure, we’re not crushed.  At times we don’t know what to do, but quitting is not an option”.  “We are persecuted by others, but God has not forsaken us.  We may be knocked down, but not out”.  “We continually share in the death of Jesus in our own bodies so that the Resurrection life of Jesus will be revealed through our humanity”.

The Apostle Paul went through so much, yet he did not grow weaker, he grew stronger and more “resilient” as he learned to “lean not on his own understanding, but to acknowledge God in ALL of his ways”.  Ref. Proverbs 3:5-6. ”  You are more “Resilient” than you think!  Just keep getting up no matter what the trial, test or challenge may be.   Like the Apostle Paul, Jesus wants to reveal His Resurrection Life through your humanity!  Continue to keep your gaze upon Him and you will, “never have to wear that shame face again”!  Yes, my friend, your Resilient Best Is Here to Stay, because God through His Son Jesus Made The Way!  As a matter of fact, don’t be surprised if you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror looking more,
“younger and shinier”every day!
                                            Questions For Your “Resilient Glow”.

1. How quickly do you recover from offense and tribulation in your life?

2. How do you respond to offense and tribulation when it comes your way?

3. What can you do to improve in your relationship with others?

4. Is there some area of your life that you need to get up and just keep
going in?

 

© 2018 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”