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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mind Games

2 Timothy 1:7 - "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."

Fear becomes sin when we refuse to take it captive to the obedience of Christ.

It is a very effective weapon waged by our enemy in the battle for our soul (our mind, intellect, emotions, etc.) This is where the Christian's battles are fought (as you well know!) Fear tempts us to let go of belief; to turn our backs on faith.

This is partially why Paul tells us, in 2 Cor. 10:3-5, "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses."...

"We are destroying SPECULATIONS and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ".

Fear is what stands in the way of obedience and is the ultimate enemy of our faith. It's primary purpose is to DESTROY our faith by producing, in us, disobedience.

When we refuse to take it captive, we sin. We tell God, "I don't believe You are bigger".

We idolize Fear.

© Copyright Derek Hickman 2009

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Most of us do NOT have an effective prayer life.

I'm convinced this is our reality because of our lack of understanding in the process of prayer. If we do succeed in praying daily (which is becoming so rare these days), for the most part it consists of us telling God what we need and want.

Then we go and live our lives.

What a travesty! We become guilty of a casual or perfunctory prayer life without realizing that our outlook determines our outcome. We must have a proper view of the process of prayer, and this includes a mental platform or foundation made up of a principled mindset. There are several key realizations and beliefs we must have to actually have a real prayer life.

In Scripture, we find many uses for prayer, such as prayers for covering, strength, blessing, healing, peace, rest, praise, petition, tearing down of strongholds, and more. The first realization we must have, however, is that we are in a Spiritual War. We pray through Jesus to God against our Enemy. Every prayer encapsulates this process.

Secondly, we must be blameless before God. After our initial prayer of repentance, our prayers must be consistently lifted from a holy life and mind of Christ. We must be holy as He is holy, and this can only be imparted to us through the Holy Spirit working in our surrendered body, soul, and spirit. This is a huge reason we are ineffective in our prayers. Many of us either live with sin in our lives, or we refuse to give full control to the Holy Spirit. We must be sanctified entirely! This empowers us, and makes our prayers effective. "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" (James 5:16)

The third realization we have is that God is bigger. Bigger than what we either know or don't know. Bigger than our limited view of His will. Bigger than anything we can imagine. This realization alone allows us to compare our earthly fear against the backdrop of His nature. "The Fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever. The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether" (Psalm 19:9)

Earthly fear loses. Period. And once we live our lives without fear, we start to see the freedom God gives. The abundant life . . .

God is BIGGER.

You can illustrate this point by finding a picture on your wall in your house. Walk up to this picture and put your eye flush against it, as close as you can. Without previously knowing what the picture looked like, there is no way you can discern what the picture is. You are simply incapable of seeing the BIG PICTURE. God reveals to us parts of the picture, as we mature and walk with Him, but His revealed Word is primarily about the Gospel, which is more than enough for now.


And this brings us to another important realization so vital to our mindset of prayer.

It’s not about what we want
, only because our wants are so limited. Our view is simply not big enough to even be able to see what we should want.

Our will is not irrelevant, however. No, it is actually the most powerful tool in the makeup of humanity. We do matter in this equation, because and only because He chooses to take our surrendered will and use us, through that choice we make, to do HIS WILL. His will is all-important, and our entire fulfillment, the reason we enjoy life, is found through HIM using US.

He is Trustworthy
. For us to realize this in our prayer life, we must give up control. This is so hard for us, but it is vital to our success. We must trust Him with our life. We must lay it down voluntarily for Him to take it up again. This is what the Father commands. What helps us in this process is the growing realization we have that He loves us so much. Couple that with our knowledge that He is bigger, and we have a recipe for trust.

We are to pray Expectantly.
Scripture tells us to come boldly to the throne, and why wouldn't we? If we believe and know that He is God, and we have the proper mindset, then there is no reason for a faithless prayer life. The Father's will be done, and we speak through Jesus our intercessor, in His name and for His sake . . . BOLDLY.

"Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever. Amen"

© Copyright Derek Hickman 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Impotent Gospel and the End of the Gospel (notes)

When we reject the Truth God gives, we take the pardon He offers, this way out of our Monstrous Mess, and we trample it, nullify it, and render it useless for the saving of our soul. We reject it. We render it IMPOTENT. The definition of impotent means “To be powerless: lacking strength or power; being unable to perform the function designed for.”

We render the Gospel Impotent when we try to live it without the empowerment of the Spirit, and we render it impotent when we reject Truth.

But why would we want to? The insanity of sin. Professing to be wise, we become the fool!!!!!

The Gracious Gift of God . . . miscarried . . . The Impotent Gospel.

There is the Equality of the Gospel. We have all sinned, thus making us equal in our sin and equally important to God in His redemptive nature.

There is also the Effectiveness of the Gospel. We cannot be effective communicators of the Good News until the Holy Spirit takes full residence in our beings. We cannot be effective until we are empowered.

The Equality of the Gospel. The Effectiveness of the Gospel.

Then finally, in the truest sense of Word, there will be an Ending of the Gospel.

There is coming a day when the offered pardon of God will end. There is a terrible finality coming that we cannot imagine. No more second chances. No more do-overs. No more mercy, renewed and refreshed each day. No more offer of Forgiveness. No more prevenient Grace. No more call to the Gospel, and no more rejection of the Gospel, because it will be GONE, out of reach to the one who refuses to believe and follow.

This is a day when Truth is shown to be what it has always been – the ultimate deliverer for those who stand with it, and the damnation of those who have already rejected it.

Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. Isaiah 55:6-7.

© Copyright Derek Hickman 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Gospel Incarnate

This is what I'm preaching on Sunday . . .