Truth To Live By

Revelation 1:17-18… “Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death” (KJV). “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades” (NIV).

What a great truth. Jesus was not the great “I was,” but He is the great “I am.” The entirety of Christianity rests upon the truth that Jesus Christ rose from the dead and the grave and is now seated at the right hand of God continually making intercession for us. Jesus is the Living One. Romans 10:9-10 states that we cannot be saved (born again) unless we believe that God has raised Jesus from the dead. It is with our heart (spirit) that we believe, and it is with our mouth that we verbalize that belief. “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (v. 13, KJV).

Ephesians 1:19-20 teaches that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead works on our behalf. Think on this. Paul uses the word “greatness” in the KJV. This word means “God’s exploding force,” or “God’s outward display.” In other words, the full dimension of God’s power works on our behalf. We are living in dark days. I choose to believe that God has greater power to keep us safe from harm than the devil has to harm us. Perilous times have arrived, and in those perilous times, God’s power is working on the behalf of all who believe. This is a truth to live by today.

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2012 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Refuse To Be Discouraged In Evil Times

Psalm 37 deals with the problems of everyday life. Many people struggle, “Lord, I love You. I believe in You. Why then are there constant struggles within me? It seems everything is out to get me.” This psalm teaches the believers how to refuse to be discouraged in evil times. Refuse to be sidetracked. Refuse to listen to negative words. Refuse all the things that can distract you from Christ.

Psalm 37:1… “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity” (KJV). The word “fret” means “to glow or grow warm”; i.e., “to blaze up, to be angry or jealous, to burn, be displeased, to grieve, to get hot or incensed.” Don’t get annoyed. The Lord is saying, “Cool it.” Don’t get irritated to the point that you get envious at evildoers. Irritation will lead you to wrong things. The prodigal son in Luke 15 was restless when he saw the way the ungodly lived. The psalmist in Psalm 73 nearly slipped when he saw the wicked prospering. Fretting will cause all kinds of problems. It will cause you to be peevish, ill-humored, difficult to please, and agitated. Fretting will cause you to put Christ in the back of you instead of out in front of you.

Psalm 37:3... “Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed” (KJV). Trust cures fretting. When you fret it is hard to trust, and your faith wanes. The words “do good” mean “to be constructive.” Fretting causes you to lose your creativity. Many in society have lost their creativity because they fret over some accident that happened in their lives. Notice what else this verse says: “So shall thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.” In other words, God has a place for you and you will be able to provide for your needs. You will be able to maintain and sustain your life. Trust in God’s ability to lift you up and not in the devil’s power to keep you down. Faith cures fretting.

Psalm 37:4… “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (KJV). If you fret you will not be able to “delight.” The word “delight” means “to be soft, pliable, or pleasant, a ‘sport'”; i.e., have fun with God. Enjoy God. Give yourself to Him and you will receive from Him; make God your joy. This verse simply teaches that as you joyously give yourself to Him you will enter into his contract of giving and receiving. Notice, He will give you the desires of your heart. Yes, healing miracles also, financial miracles, ministry miracles, and more.

Psalm 37:5-6… “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday” (KJV).

If you cannot delight, it’s hard to commit. Note… commit thyself and thy way to God.

Fretting delays commitment. You will not be able to get through your problem if you are not committed to the Lord. Verse six states that God wants to bring you forth; meaning, there is so much good in you that He wants to bring out. God wants to light up your life. The word “judgment” refers to vindication. Your problem no longer keeps you in bondage or handicapped. The noonday sun is at its brightest. God wants you to shine, but lack of commitment and fretting keep you in the dark.

Psalm 37:7… “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass” (KJV). The word “rest” means “to stop, forbear, hold peace, quiet yourself, hold still, hold steady.” Fretting robs you of peace. In trials many people get agitated, talk too much, complain too much, and criticize too much. Wait for God; walk with God. Don’t get ahead of him. God is worth waiting for.

Psalm 37:8-9… “Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth” (KJV). Fretting leads you to do wrong things. “I’ll get even.” Fretting makes you want to retaliate and take vengeance. God says evildoers shall be cut off while “good-doers” shall inherit the earth. The word “inherit” means “to occupy (by driving out previous tenants, and taking possession in their place).” The Lord is saying that when you cease fretting, you can drive out sickness, you can drive out the devil, and you can drive out poverty. Inheriting the earth means taking possession of health and taking possession of prosperity instead of poverty.

Psalm 37:34… “Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it” (KJV). The word “wait” as used here means “to bind together.” You and the Lord are intertwined together; don’t unbind yourself from the Lord. Keep His way; i.e., keep His rules of conduct. You will see victory. Fretting unbinds you. What “land” are you wanting to inherit? What is your goal, your vision? Intertwine yourself with the Lord and you will see it.

Psalm 37:37… “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace” (KJV). The word “perfect” means “complete, pious, gentle, coupled together, perfect, plain, undefiled, upright.” The word “mark” means “to take notice of what ‘hedges’ the perfect and righteous man.” A man hedged is a man peaceful. God wants your everyday life peaceful. It’s up to you… Stop your fretting.

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2012 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Overcoming A Lack Of Courage

2 Timothy 1:7… “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” (NLT). I want to talk to you about the lack of courage… It’s called “passivity.” Passivity can refer to a lack of courage, lack of confidence, and lack of persistence to accomplish what God has called us to do. Passivity is also inactivity, being subdued in attitude, not responding to a word or action that was received. Passivity also refers to the inability to resist evil. It refers to being dull and without energy, emotionless, and inexpressive. The apostle Paul told Timothy that God did not give him the spirit of fear (passivity), but a spirit of power and love and a sound mind.

Does passivity have a hold on your life? Here is how you can tell…

a) Do you procrastinate over plans? You talk and think over plans and then take no action.

b) Do you expect others to take care of your needs? You are loyal, yet you secretly expect others to take care of you.

c) Do you blame others for your losses and circumstances? Do you look at people as being in your way more than you look to the power of God?

d) Do you lack the ability to communicate, confront, and talk things over? When you try to do so, are you afraid of the possibility of an emotional outburst?

e) Are you intimidated when you ask for counsel and help? Are you so proud of your own capabilities that to ask for help would make you embarrassed?

f) Do you focus on the failures and weaknesses of others in your life to take attention away from your own weaknesses, so that you don’t have to face them?

g) Do you allow others to use you and manipulate you? Have you a victim mentality, i.e., do you feel that you have been victimized?

h) Do you give up easily when you are under pressure? Or, like Isaiah 40:31, do you renew your strength? “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (KJV).

The major cause of passivity is fear, the fear of failure (Romans 8:14-15). It is not God’s will that you stay in bondage to fear. God gave you the spirit that cries, “Abba Father.” Come to Him.

Another cause for passivity is the fear of rejection (1 John 4:16-18). See God as full of love, mercy, and grace. Quit looking on Him as someone who is demanding and one who waits for you to mess up so that He can punish you. God is full of loving-kindness. Psalm 75:1 says, “For that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare” (KJV). The word “near” refers to being near in location, near in place, near in time, near for whatever purpose you have need of.

The third cause of passivity is the fear of death. Fear and rejection often give you a spirit of “I will not make it; I will not succeed; my plans will die.” God says here, “I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again” (Isaiah 51:22-23, KJV). Take this as a promise.

The three keys to overcoming passivity

a) Power… the ability to make right decisions for any course of action you make take. Power is effective and creative.
b) Love…
is patient (1 Corinthians 13). Love lets you keep your balance and your focus.
c) A sound or disciplined mind… Set good goals for yourself, but be ready to readjust them if your expectations are off-center. Pray, “Father, open my heart to receive Your transforming power. Plant in me seeds of faith and courage. Revive my spirit, set me afire… Change me.”

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Mental Dispositions

Psalm 27:8… My heart has heard you say, ‘Come and talk with me, O my people.’ And my heart responds, ‘Lord, I am coming’” (TLB).

I want to talk to you very briefly about your mental disposition in the time of crisis. Looking at this psalm we see two distinct parts. In verses 1-6, faith is dominant. When everything is going well, our faith is full of confidence. The Lord is my “light”, “salvation,” and “strength” (Psalm 27:1, 28:7). Faith recognizes that to assault a God-anointed person is fatal to the assailant. The idea is that if the devil or any of his plans try to invade my life, they will stumble and fall. Faith reaches out into our future as well. The Lord who helped us in the past will help us in our future too.  Because of this, a God-anointed man or woman will yearn for more of God in their lives. They want “to behold the beauty of the LORD” (v. 4, KJV). It is His beauty that lifts up our head in a time of crisis. His beauty in our life is more than enough to counter the powerful temptations that come against us. No righteousness other than God’s shall be able to withstand the evil in the days ahead.

In verses 7-14, fear seems to be the dominant disposition. We must remember, there is only a small dividing line between faith and fear. In a time of crisis, what is it that drives you to seek God’s face? Is it faith or is it fear? “A fear that soars is faith; and a faith that sinks is fear” (W. Graham Scroggie). When faith fails, often the vocabulary that comes out of our mouth changes. Is it faith or fear that calls out for God’s mercy in verse 7? Is it faith or fear that drives our minds to call our spirit to seek God’s face in verse 8? Note Psalm 27:8: “My heart has heard you say, ‘Come and talk with me, O my people.’ And my heart responds, ‘Lord, I am coming’” (TLB). Is it your faith or your fear that says, “I am coming, Lord?” Is it faith or fear that calls for acceptance in verses 9-10? The words “hide not thy face” in verse 9 refer to refusing a case as a judge that refuses to hear your case. God will not refuse to hear you when you hurt. Is it faith or fear that calls for guidance and teaching in verse 11? Is it faith or fear that calls for deliverance in verse 12? These are good questions…

In verses 13-14 we see that fear can bring a collapse (fainting, a caving in), but faith believes it will see the goodness of the Lord operating in life. The word “goodness” refers to the best, that is, everything going well for you and producing gladness. Faith will bring this into your life. It doesn’t do any good to fall apart. If you do, you have two problems, your crisis and your collapse. This psalm teaches us to stay strong and above the turmoil (crisis).

It is also important to talk to your soul in good times and in times of crisis. “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD” (v. 14, KJV). God will strengthen your heart (spirit). Battles are won in the spirit. Both faith and fear resides there. People who have a strong sense of God in their lives tend to be healthier in spirit, soul, and body. They experience less fear, less depression, and they recover more quickly. That’s what this lesson is all about. It’s about caring for your spirit. A good question to ask is this: “Is it faith or is it fear that drives your heart to call, “I am coming, Lord”? Choose faith over fear.

(Adapted from W. Graham Scroggie’s book, “A Guide to the Psalms”)

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Crisis Or Oppportunity

Psalm 99:8… “Thou answeredst them, O LORD our God: thou wast a God that forgavest them, though thou tookest vengeance of their inventions” (KJV). As the song of Moses, Psalm 99 is supposed to represent Israel’s toughest year. Prophetic messages are God’s way to warn us and alert us about things to come. There is a lot of fear in the land about the darkness that is coming. Saints, that darkness cannot not hide God’s light, nor will it put that light out (John 1:5). Prophets keep us well-informed, but we should never let their prophecies overtake our lives to the point that we let them put us under the bondage of fear. The devil would love that to happen. He will get you to doubt God’s Word in order to drive you to fear so that you will be obsessed with the dangers of our times. Many Christians are addicted to the feeling of fear. Fear dominates their thinking. Paul exhorts us in Philippians 4:6-8 as to what is supposed to dominate our thinking (whatever is noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy). What is dominating your thoughts and is causing you to lose your peace? What is consuming your time with worry?

When Isaiah and Jeremiah alerted the people about hard times, they didn’t wait around watching for hard times to happen–they talked about God’s glory and mercy and loving-kindness (Isaiah 25:8-9, Jeremiah 30:17-22). Haggai 2:5 reads, “This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear” (NIV; see also vv. 6-9). What a great promise. When you were born again, God’s Spirit was there and remains with you today. Instead of fearing, trust God, who gave you salvation and eternal life. When Jesus saw the concern of God’s people about food, shelter, and clothing, He said in Matthew 6:8, “Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (KJV). Note the words, “Your Father knoweth” (see also Matthew 6:32, Luke 12:30). Confess this promise out loud every day. When Jesus said, “Take no thought,” He was saying, “Don’t lose your focus.” Seek the Kingdom of God, and you will receive more than you need (Luke 12:31-32). “[Crave the Lord] as your soul’s first necessity” (2 Chronicles 15:2, AMP).

We can make any problem into a crisis that causes us to fear, or we can make it an opportunity to use our faith to reach out and touch lives with the gospel. Are you laying aside extra food? Then lay aside a little extra to help others. Develop resilience. Resilience means the ability to get through a crisis, to thrive after a trauma, and to get over trials and tribulations. Resilience may very well be the skill needed for the problem. Changes are everywhere. The Holy Spirit can give you the skills and wisdom to thrive in the face of stress. Resilience means we can be challenged and not break down. Solomon tells us that righteous people get up after they have been knocked down (Proverbs 24:16). Daniel 2:22 makes a good point: “He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with Him” (KJV). This is the positive mentality we should have.

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Moments Of Truth: The Spirit Of The Hittites

Joshua 3:9-10…  “And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, Come hither, and hear the words of the LORD your God. And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites” (KJV). In a recent lesson we talked about the Canaanite spirit and how it hangs around your financial dealings to make you covetous in spirit. Today, I want to look at the Hittite spirit.

The word “Hittite” comes from a word meaning “terror, dread, fearfulness.” Terror and fear bring about human effort instead of trust in God. What is the thing that makes you afraid? The words “fear not” are used over three hundred times in the Bible. Fear stops you from inheriting the blessings of God. Fear will waste you, drain you, and make you timid. Israel, under Moses and Joshua, was afraid to possess the land. It is the Hittite spirit. Joshua was warning the congregation that when they entered their land, the Hittites would try to make them afraid. The spirit of fear started in Eden. In Genesis 3:10, Adam said to God, “I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself” (KJV). The basis of fear is “conscience troubles,” brought about by the guilt of disobedience. When Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden tree, their conscience came alive. Guilt made Adam hide himself because he dreaded God. Paul teaches in Romans 2:14 that the conscience is the sense that differentiates between what is right and what is wrong. It is the sense that witnesses the decision that we make. The conscience will condemn or approve our thoughts and actions. Too often we make decisions by what we fear instead of by what God has said. It is the Word of God that must judge us as to what is right or wrong. Our conscience is a poor guide as to what is or what is not the will of God. Adam feared because of the guilt of knowingly doing wrong. Adam was experiencing the dread of having to face God. If you live by fear and by guilt you are saying, “I’m under the condemnation of God.” If you are living by faith and by righteousness you are saying, “I’m under the blessing of God.”

The Hittite spirit will bring intimidation and fear and discouragement. In Numbers 21:1-4, King Arad heard that Israel was coming. He fought against Israel and took captives. Israel made a vow to God and asked for His help. God accepted the vow, and Israel, with God’s help, won the battle… but the Hittite spirit did damage. “And the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way” (v. 4, KJV). The people began to speak against Moses and against God. The Hittite spirit had done its job of making Israel fear. They were discouraged because the way was hard. Warfare is not easy. When things get rough we often fear and grumble and complain. God will allow the hardness of our ways to test our resolve and our faith. God will test our vision and our growth. The Hittite spirit will try to steal your faith and replace it with fear and dread. Have you ever dreaded having to meet someone? Has terror ever gripped you when you had to face some unknown thing? It’s the Hittite spirit.

Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life” (ESV). The word “hope” refers to expectations. When expectations are delayed, fear, dread, and terror set in. Interest fades, the heart gets discouraged, and despondency sets in. The Hittite spirit will do that to you. To face the Hittite spirit we need to “stand” as Paul exhorts in Ephesians 6:10-11. We need to declare, “I will not let the Hittite scare tactics of intimidation take a hold of me.” Great men have been intimidated by fear. Elijah the prophet ran from Jezebel when the way was hard. Jeremiah cursed the day he was born because of his troubles. It is hard to lead a people when they are always in a rejecting mood. The Hittite spirit always attacks when the way is hard. If you listen to the Hittite you will become a “fearling.”

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Looking For Trouble

Philippians 4:6… “Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God” (Amplified). Peter says in 1 Peter 5:7, “Let all your anxieties fall upon him, for his interest is in you” (Moffatt). Did you notice it? God’s great interest is in you. Proverbs 8:31… “and my delights were with the sons of men” (KJV).

Very often in the course of our life we get emotionally upset over a problem that we anticipate will come, and we wander out of our place. The synonyms for the word “anxiety” are “uneasiness, worry, apprehension, misgivings, distress, tension, suspense, fretting, uptightness, dread, fear.” King David said in 1 Samuel 27:1“But David kept thinking to himself, ‘Someday Saul is going to get me. The best thing I can do is escape to the Philistines. Then Saul will stop hunting for me in Israelite territory, and I will finally be safe’” (NLT). David was anticipating trouble, and he was upset. He thought that Saul would eventually kill him if he stayed where he was. He figured that he would be better off if he moved to another state (the land of the Philistines), so he did. While there he met King Achish (“angry”) the son of Maoch (“pressure, squeezed, compressed”), and the king of Gath (“winepress”) who gave to David Ziklag (“winding”). This is what happens when you wander out of your place. By anticipating trouble, David ran into a greater squeeze and into more grief. He didn’t let his anxieties fall upon the Lord. He forgot that God had a great interest in him.

Proverbs 27:8… “As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place” (KJV). Whenever you get into difficulties and run to a place that God is not in, you will find greater anxiety and emotional upsets. Everything doesn’t work everywhere. For instance, you can’t grow cotton in Alaska. The climate that controls the soil is not suitable. This is an important lesson to learn when you are serving the Lord. The Bible teaches to make your calling and election sure (2 Peter 1:10). Jesus taught in Matthew 10:11, “Find out where you are received and stay there.” James was most successful in Jerusalem, Paul in reaching the Gentiles. Phillip found his place in Samaria. Jesus found greater success in Galilee than in Judea. King David got out of sync when he fled to the land of the Philistines. Stay in the place where you fit best. Stay with what you do best. God has an interest in you. Accept what God has determined for you, and quit trying to duplicate in yourself what God has determined for someone else (get out of copycat mode). Bad judgment brings loss, hurts, and sorrows.

Daniel 6:18-23… King Darius was emotionally upset when Daniel was thrown in with the lions. He anticipated that Daniel would be eaten up by the lions because of a wrong decision that he had made. Darius spent a sleepless night and was not able to eat. He was full of anxiety and was restless. God has an interest in you, and He is not passive towards us to the point of ignoring our needs. He seeks us. Jesus makes house calls. He didn’t say, “Make an appointment to meet with me at My office.” Jesus didn’t confine Himself to synagogues only, or to your church only, or to special seminars, or to regional conferences. He traveled over dusty roads to villages and towns and found interest in people. He met the women at the well at high noon, He found fishermen at their boats, and He found the sick on the roads and in homes. He was about His Father’s business. He worked the works of Him that sent Him. Jesus has an interest in you.

Mark 16:1-8… Some fine, believing women were on their way to anoint the body of Jesus and they anticipated trouble in moving the stone that blocked the entrance into the tomb. When they arrived, the stone was rolled away. Often in life we have unpleasant jobs to do and we get emotionally upset, only to find in arriving at the problem it was already solved. God has an interest in you. You must believe this.

1 Kings 19… Elijah was emotionally upset and anticipating trouble because Jezebel threatened to kill him. So Elijah wandered out of his place and ran for his life. He ran into isolation. God, however, still had an interest in him and sent an angel to feed him and refresh him. God personally came and spoke with him. He asked Elijah what he was doing outside his proper place. To make a long story short, Elijah went back and anointed Elisha to be prophet too. When your pressures are heavy, remember that God has an interest in you. He has a lot invested in you. Psalm 37:8 (ESV) says, “Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.” (It also leads you to wander out of your place and be squeezed into the devil‘s mold.)

Isaiah 55:6 exhorts us to seek the Lord. God’s purposes for your life are not easily seen sometimes. You need to look for Him even if He is near. Daniel set his face to seek the Lord (Daniel 9:3). We do not seek the Lord in a casual manner. Seeking Him is serious business. People wander out of their place because they are not seeking God’s will in the time they anticipate trouble. Many run from prophet to prophet to justify their wandering from place to place. God is not lost. When we wander out of our place, we are the ones who are lost. Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not” (KJV). God has an interest in you. Instead of anticipating trouble, anticipate God’s grace helping you. Today, God is saying to you, “I am God. I will be handling all your problems. Please remember, I do not need your help. If the devil happens to put you in a situation that you cannot handle, do not attempt to handle it by yourself. Just put it into the “’Something For Jesus To Do’ box. I will address it in My time, not yours. Because I never slumber or sleep, there is no need for you to lose sleep or wander out of your place. Fret not. If you need to contact Me, I’m only a prayer away.”

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved