NBA center Jason Collins and University of Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam aren’t drinking buddies, but they may soon have more in common than a love for the sports at which they excel.
If reports from the New York Times and ESPN are accurate, Sam, who came out gay to his teammates during college, is poised to repeat Collins’ professional basketball revelation in the football arena. Like Collins did in the NBA, Sam is set to become the first openly gay player in the NFL.
Like Collins, Sam has skills that are taking him to the upper echelon of the sports world. The first-team all-American was named the Associated Press defensive player of the year in the Southeast Conference—and his teammates named him Missouri’s MVP. With such a positive experience in college, he has decided to brave the tougher NFL waters. The New York Times is suggesting the young star could become a symbol for the country’s gay rights movement or a flash point in a football culture war—or both.
As I was meditating on 2 Corinthians 10:4, I got a revelation about our words as weapons. This is not a positive confession revelation, although I believe in confessing what the Word of God says rather than confessing negative thoughts and feelings—and that’s totally scriptural. No, this is not a new twist on a good confession. This is a spiritual warfare strategy that will send the devil fleeing as we submit our words to God and resist the temptation to allow our mouths to issue weapons Satan uses against us.
The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds in our minds. But the weapons of Satan are carnal, mighty in our flesh for the erecting of strongholds in our minds—and we’re the ones arming him.
Jesus “disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them” (Col. 2:15). Many who oppose spiritual warfare practices point to that Scripture and say we don’t have to fight because the devil is already defeated. Yes, the devil is already defeated, but Paul nevertheless told Timothy to “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Tim. 6:12) and told the Ephesians we “wrestle against ... principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of the age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).
If Jesus disarmed principalities and powers, why are we still wrestling them? We still wrestle, in part, because we are arming the enemy with the words of our mouth, handing him our God-given authority to use against us. Satan has no authority over us unless we give it to him, just like the serpent had no authority in the garden until Adam gave it to him.
Last week we watched an historic debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye. What were the implications? President Obama prayed at the National Prayer Breakfast. What does that say about his spirituality? Are pulpits in America doing enough to preach and prophesy God's will in the face of rising persecution? Check out Jennifer discussing these and other issues on the radio.
"To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord," (Ephesians 3:10-11).
This verse says that the wisdom of God will be revealed through the church. Last week we talked about the wounded condition of so many people because of the church. But, is it because the church speaks truth or is it because the church is not truly living up to her full potential? Being hurt by the church when she speaks of the things that are righteous and true versus when we are injured by believers not acting like the church is not the same thing.
Placing our trust in men and not in God and expecting men to fulfill the role that only God can fulfill in our lives is often what leads to being hurt in the church. How can Pastors do a better job of handing off their members to God rather than perhaps feeling that they need to resolve all of their members issues? Would this solve some of the hurt issues both for the minister and for the members?
Has your prophetic gift been misunderstood? Do people reject your prophecies? Check out this video teaching on the topic and break free from the spirit of rejection.
There are two sides to prophecy: the one who delivers the word and the one who receives it. Last week we talked about receiving personal prophecies that just don’t make any sense at all to the natural mind—or even necessarily bear witness with your spirit. Indeed, some prophetic promises are so exceedingly, abundantly above all you could ask or think that it’s tempting to dismiss them without even praying it through.
Now, let’s flip things around. Have you ever delivered a prophecy that someone flat out refused to receive even though you were convinced it was from God? The prophecy was pure. It didn’t breed fear, seek to control, or violate Scripture. The prophecy exalted Jesus and was delivered in a spirit of humility. Nevertheless, it wasn’t received—and maybe you were even harshly criticized or labeled a false prophet for delivering it.
I’ll repeat what I said last week: I believe in judging prophecy before receiving it as Holy Spirit-inspired truth, but as I explain in my book “Did the Spirit of God Say That,” judging prophecy isn’t always an exact since. That means you could be delivering a perfectly accurate prophetic word that’s perfectly passed over as false. What’s a prophet to do?
What can you say about a nation that reads Facebook more than the Bible?
Facebook, which celebrated its 10th birthday on Tuesday, reports 757 million daily active users. About 19 percent of them are in the United States and Canada, which translates to about 143 million people logging on to read Facebook posts each and every day.
According to a 2006 CBS News poll, 15 percent of U.S. adults read the Bible (or some other religious text) every day. The Associated Press did some quick calculations to determine that these numbers mean about 40 million people in the U.S. and Canada read the Bible every day. And that was eight years ago. It’s more likely that the number of Bible-readers has declined rather than increased, given the downward spiral of our nation.
Cosmopolitan is known for its raunchy sex tips proudly displayed on its cover each and every month. Now, the progressive women’s magazine is turning its attention to the most disturbing sex tip of all: abortion.
Headlined “Our Choice: How Abortion Changed Our Relationship,” author Liz Welch explores the world of couples who opted for abortion and suggested three possible relationship outcomes for those who choose to end their pre-born baby’s life: “Abortion can test a relationship, cement it, or end it.”
Welch opines, “The more people tell their personal stories the better. It gets these conversations out of the political realm and into people’s real lives.” That’s only correct if women tell the truth about the horrifying aftermath of abortion. Some women may never share the pain, but life after abortion is never the same.
Have you ever received personal prophecy that just didn’t make any sense at all to your natural mind? Maybe it didn’t even bear witness to your spirit. Perhaps the prophetic promise was so exceedingly, abundantly above all you could ask or think that you dismissed it without even praying it through.
I believe in judging prophecy before receiving it as Holy Spirit-inspired truth, but as I explain in my book Did the Spirit of God Say That? judging prophecy isn’t always an exact science. Sure, if it violates Scripture, you should immediately toss it out the window. But sometimes you should just put your prophetic word in a drawer, so to speak, because it might begin to ring true years—maybe even decades—later.
That was certainly the case with Sarah, who laughed out loud—and then denied it—when she heard the Lord prophesy to Abraham that she would have a son (Gen. 18:10-12). It was also the case when Jacob heard Joseph’s prophetic dreams. Jacob actually rebuked Joseph for sharing a dream in which his brothers bowed down to the young lad.