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Jehovah Jireh – The Mountain (Repost)

I’m taking a couple of weeks to do some hiking and praying off in the woods.  While I’m gone I’ve felt that I should repost my Top 10 most read articles.  Some of you have been following me long enough to have read them already.  If so, my prayer is that they will again be a blessing to you.

Originally, this was the final post of a series about how Abraham positioned himself to receive God’s supernatural provision.  To go to the original series, click here.

At this point, we find Abraham with the knife raised, about to sacrifice his only son.

But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham!  Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said.  “Do not do anything to him.  Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”
Genesis 22:11-12

Abraham was able to come through this time of testing victoriously.  But there was something that always puzzled me.  God said, “Now I know that you fear God.”  I thought God knew everything, so why would He say that?

The Hebrew word for know is Yada, which means to know by seeing.  What God said was that now Abraham’s faith could be seen.  His fear of God was now obvious to everyone.

That’s the reason for trials and testing.  We may have faith quietly tucked away in our hearts.  Without works, it’s not yet a living faith.  It must be proved genuine.

It’s the trying of our faith that causes it to be seen by those around us.  That’s why Scripture tells us over and over again that without trials we’ll never become mature in Christ.

It was when his faith was tested, and proved genuine, that Abraham’s eyes were opened to the provision of God that was before him.

Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns.  He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.  So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide.  [Jehovah Jireh]  And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”
Genesis 22:13-14

Jehovah Jireh – the God Who provides.  There are many who think this name is a promise of unbridled wealth.  They think that it’s all about their physical comfort.  What they fail to see is that Jehovah Jireh is a place of supernatural provision in Christ.

As I said in the first post of this series, it’s a spiritual mountain that must be climbed.  To get to that place in God, it will require the same thing from us that it did of Abraham.

It will take a life of immediate obedience to God, perseverance, speaking our faith, and a decision to give up everything for the cause of Christ.  That’s the real mountain that Abraham had to climb.  The physical mountain was easy in comparison.

As with all things in Christ, God has already provided everything we need for life and godliness.  The problem is that we need to position ourselves to receive the provision of God.

That’s the point.  Why do we want God’s blessing?  To accomplish His will or ours?

If you want Christ to be exalted in you, then you’re in a position to receive.

Question: What is God calling you to do that you need His supernatural provision for?

© 2018 Nick Zaccardi

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Posted by on August 29, 2018 in Faith, God's Provision, Spiritual Walk

 

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Last Days’ Finances

What’s your attitude toward money? Is there a different view we need to take because we’re living in the last-days? James has something to tell us about this.

Because the book of James was the first book written in the New Testament, the following passage is the first mention of the last-days.

Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.
James 5:1-3

Please understand that James is not condemning you simply because you have a lot of money. It’s the attitude that’s wrong. There are certain key words that give us a clue.

He keeps repeating the word “your” in this passage. Your wealth, your clothes, and your gold and silver. He explains that these were things that were amassed or reserved for your own use in the last-days.

This is in stark contrast to what the believer’s attitude toward wealth should truly be. Everything I own actually belongs to God – it’s all His property. He’s made me to be a steward over it while it’s in my possession.

The person who thinks that this wealth is all mine for me to do with as I please is acting according to their flesh. It’s selfish and has no place in the kingdom of God. That’s what James is speaking to. He takes it even further.

Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.
James 5:4

I believe that we’re very close to the coming of the Lord. I also believe that in our generation we’ll see a last great harvest of souls before Christ’s return. But the reality is that this harvest needs to be financed.

In the last days God is going to bring financial blessings into the lives of His people. But these riches are not for us to spend totally on our own pleasures. Much of it is to be used to preach the Gospel. We need to reach as many as we can before the end comes.

As a minister of the Gospel, I’m trusting the Lord for the finances I need to do my part in winning this generation. I have to admit, I’ve cried out to God, asking Him why there seems to be so many uncaring Christians. I’m talking about those who simply hoard up wealth with no thought toward missions giving, or even getting involved in any kind of outreach project.

You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you.
James 5:5-6

That’s the problem. Not that they have money. But that they’re using it for luxury and self-indulgence. When we withhold money that God is calling us to use for outreach; men and women are condemned to eternity without God. Many of them could have been reached and saved if the Gospel was financed and presented to them.

Don’t fall victim to this trap. According to James’ prophecy in this passage you have a choice to make. If you hoard it up, with no though of God’s will, you’re going to lose it. If, on the other hand, you obey the Holy Spirit’s prompting on how to use it; you’ll have a rich reward now and waiting in eternity.

Question: How have you been blessed by financing the Gospel?

© Nick Zaccardi 2017

 
 

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A Soul at War

mhXQFuIHow healthy is your soul? I’m taking a few posts to talk about soul health and prosperity. Most people ignore the health of their soul. It’s just like the health of your body.

Some people just assume that they’re healthy. They go to the gym, but then smoke 2 packs a day. There are Christians who treat their soul the same way. Yet it’s the most important part of my being.

My soul determines who I am. It decides whether I listen to my spirit or my flesh. It’s important that my soul be healthy and attentive.

Your environment plays a big issue. What do you allow yourself to be exposed to? The Apostle Peter had this to say about Lot, Abraham’s nephew.

…for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard.
2 Peter 2:8

Because he moved into the wicked city of Sodom, Lot placed himself in a position of constant attack on his soul. Many of us do the same things. The movies we watch, the music we listen to, and the friends we spend time with all have an effect on us.

In Lot’s case, it caused him to compromise and eventually he lost everything he held dear. That’s because when we chase after the world system, it affects the health of our soul.

Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.
1 Peter 2:11

We need this attitude. The knowledge that this world system is not my home. I belong to a different Kingdom. I’m simply a stranger passing through. I live by a different set of laws.

The word abstain in the above verse literally means to keep your distance from. We need to understand that the closer we get to the world, the more we want what they have. These desires cause a conflict in our souls.

Unfortunately, it’s not a fierce fire fight that we can win with one decisive strike. No, instead it’s a constant siege. It wears down our strength little by little until we find ourselves in a position we never thought we would ever be in.

If you want to maintain the strength and health of your soul, then you’ll need to be careful how close you get to the world. Obviously, we can’t live like monks. We need to go to work, school, and other daily activities.

What we don’t need to do is adopt their standards. We can’t live by their lifestyles. Our foundation for living is in the Word of God and our strength is in the Holy Spirit.

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
Psalm 62:1-2

That’s why time with the Lord is so important. It’s where we find rest from the constant siege of the world. As we remain in Christ, we find that our soul has the health we need to overcome in this life.

Question: How often do you find your rest in Christ?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2014 in Prayer, Spiritual Warfare

 

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Your Soul is Important

MirrorIt’s important to keep our soul healthy and prosperous. Probably even more than the physical. That’s because what happens in your soul is the foundation for the rest of your life.

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (NKJV)
3 John 2-3

Soul prosperity is the basis for physical prosperity and health. Of course there are those who say that this is just a greeting. They teach that you can’t trust God to perform this in your life based upon this verse.

Wasn’t it the Holy Spirit who inspired John to write this? If so, then it should be applicable to my life. What about the Apostle Paul? When he greets the church by saying “Grace and peace through the Lord Jesus Christ,” does that negate the truth of it? The truth is that the blessings we experience in our Christian walk are directly tied to how our soul prospers. That brings up a question. What is my soul and how does it prosper? I want to post about this for a bit.

So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.
1 Corinthians 15:45-46

In the above passage, the word natural is the word soulish in the Greek. Right now we have inherited a soulish body from Adam. That means that our body responds to commands from our soul – which is our mind. It’s who you are. The soul includes your personality and all of your memories.

It’s the Greek word psyche. It’s where we get our English word psychology, which means the study of the soul. Your soul is the real you. That’s why the Scripture refers to people as souls.

When I speak or write, it’s your soul that I want to communicate with. I don’t just want to stimulate your eyes and ears. It’s the person on the inside that matters.

Even animals have souls – but they don’t have a spirit. That’s what sets us apart from them. Yet without using the spirit, our lives are not much better than the animals.

When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.
Psalms 73:21-22

That’s what humanity is like without Christ. We end up storing up nuts like squirrels. Or constantly searching to mate, like dogs.

The fact is that if you want a good life with health and prosperity, then you need your soul to prosper. Our problem is that we usually don’t take good care of our souls. We let things slide and then wonder why our lives get messed up. I want to take a few posts to look at what it takes to get your soul in shape.

Question: What are the characteristics of a healthy soul?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2014 in Healing, Revival

 

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Is the Word of God Your Obsession?

Lion2I’ve been talking about the three levels of Scriptural meditation. It’s something that the body of Christ needs to once again focus on. In my last post I talked about the first level.

On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night.
Psalm 63:6

The next step takes the thinking process deeper into your heart. In the above verse think of is the Hebrew word Hagah. This word is a strengthened form of the verb Hagag. It means to intensely think about.

Meditation at this level requires memorization of the Scripture. You have to become intimate with the Word of God.

At this level you begin to obsess on the Scripture. You dwell on it. You imagine the sights, the smells, and the textures. If it’s a teaching Scripture, then you imagine yourself obeying it. Get inside the Word. See it as written in you and about you. This starts to give you a deeper understanding of the application.

Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
Joshua 1:8

We all want prosperity and success. But are we willing to do what it takes to achieve the level of excellence necessary to lay hold of them? In order to develop a spirit of excellence, it will require you to use at least this level of meditation.

This is what the LORD says to me: “As a lion growls, a great lion over his prey – and though a whole band of shepherds is called together against him, he is not frightened by their shouts or disturbed by their clamor – so the LORD Almighty will come down to do battle on Mount Zion and on its heights.”
Isaiah 31:4

You may wonder what this verse has to do with meditating on the Word of God. Scripture describes it as a lion meditating on its prey. Hagah is the word growl in the above verse.

It doesn’t matter that a band of shepherds are trying to distract this lion. His focus remains fixed and unbroken. He has one thing in mind – lamb chops!

We need to obsess over the Word of the Lord the way a lion does over his prey. Don’t let the devil or the world distract you from your objective.

The question isn’t whether or not you have to do this. You can get by in your Christian walk without meditating on the Word of God. Even if you’re in the full-time ministry, there are enough books and tapes around to keep you in sermons and Bible studies for the rest of your life.

We should always desire something fresh from the Word. A major portion of what you’re preaching and teaching must come from your walk with the Lord. You can’t build a ministry of excellence if all you do is rehash what everyone else is saying.

When you allow the Holy Spirit to meet with you in the place of meditation, you’re in communication with the Author, Himself. In this way, you will gain insight you never thought possible.

This is something you must desire and go after. The choice is yours. You can stand before the people with a nice teaching; or you can come to them with a Word from God.

In my next post I’ll move on to the highest level of godly meditation.

Question: How often do you purpose to memorize Scripture?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

This series is adapted from my book, Breaking Free from the Pack – How to Develop a Spirit of Excellence.

 

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Are You Setting Yourself Up for Offense? #wordofGod

RockyI’m posting about the different “heart soils” in Luke 8.  Today I’ll deal with the rocky soil.  This is about rocks with only a thin layer of dirt to cover them.  The seed germinates and springs up quickly.  But just as quick, the sun comes out, scorches the plant, and it withers and dies.

Jesus explained the spiritual application this way.

“Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.”
Luke 8:13

This verse literally says is that these people receive the Word in the middle of joy.  It sounds like camp meeting to me.  There’s excitement in the air.  The whole atmosphere of the meeting is charged with a heavenly joy.  It’s easy to believe in a place like that.

We’re not talking about people who don’t believe what they hear.  They believe it’s for them.  The problem is that what has sprung up so quickly, also withers just as quick.  What is it that withers?

For, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.
1 Peter 1:24-25

What withers is the glory of man.  This type of person hears the Word and believes that it’s “all about me.”  That’s why there’s all the joy and excitement.  They think that the Word is for my blessing, health, and prosperity.  Forget about what God’s ultimate purpose is.  It’s me that’s important.

The Lord says that in this rocky heart there is some faith exhibited for a while, but it doesn’t last long.  Eventually trials and testings will come.  When this happens, Jesus literally says that they will become offended.  Why does Christ use this word?

When I go through a time of testing, I realize that it’s not all about me.  I get offended that I’m not the center of all the attention.  I don’t want the spotlight on Christ and what He’s trying to accomplish in me.  I want the priority to be my comfort and happiness.  The result is that I get offended and walk away from the Lord and His plan for my life.

If I want my heart prepared for an abundant harvest, I must assume that the Word of God spotlights Jesus Christ.  I must desire to know His heart.  There are many who read the Bible and pursue God only for what they can get from Him.  The big question on their minds is, “What’s in it for me?”

Instead, we should be focusing on God’s eternal purpose – to draw all humanity into His kingdom.  The blessings of God are great, but they’re not an end in and of themselves.

God has promised us prosperity, but it’s to finance the spread of the Gospel.  God has promised us health and healing, but it’s so that we can minister the Good News of His love to the best of our ability.

All the promises of God should be viewed through the filter of God’s will and plans.  That’s what’s missing in the shallow faith of rocky soil.  We need to keep our hearts clear of the rocks of self-centeredness.

Question: How is God working through you to bring about His purpose?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2013 in Word of God

 

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Mountains and Hills

Psalm 72:3
The mountains will bring prosperity to the people, the hills the fruit of righteousness.

I have always thought this was an interesting verse.  It tells us that the mountains will bring God’s people prosperity, the fruit of righteousness.

How can a mountain “bring” anything?  It can’t unless we do something first.  If it is to be an abundant harvest of crops, then the mountainside or hillside must be cultivated, planted, and harvested.  If it is to be a spiritual harvest, then we must climb the mountain by prayer and intimacy with the Lord.  Either way it will require an effort on our part.

The mountain cannot do it alone.  We are expected to initiate the blessing.  People talk about “mountaintop experiences”, but I don’t think they fully understand them.  They think it’s just a happy time in their life.  That’s not quite it. A spiritual mountaintop is a place of clarity in your walk with God.  It is a time when you see that way ahead and have a renewed vision for your destiny.  This is the basis of true prosperity.

Seek out these mountaintop times with the Lord.  Find a quiet time and place to prepare your soul to hear from the Lord.  You can be changed in His life-giving presence.  You can receive a new abundance in your life that you have never known before.

Spend time with the Lord today.  Have a “mountaintop” experience.  Come down from that place refreshed and renewed in your inner man.

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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