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Isaiah 7:14 – “The Lord Himself will give you a sign; The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel.”

Christmas is to be a season of “Great Expectation.” It’s a time where once again our hearts are filled with the majesty and the mystery of the Incarnation of Christ with all its implications. Because He came as the “Hope of Israel”, we now have a future and a hope too! So, I encourage you to lift your EXPECTATION in this season. The King came! The King is here! and The King is coming!

Growing up as a child, I went to a church where they celebrated the tradition of Advent. The season of Advent is intended to make the journey toward Christmas full of meaning. The word Advent means “coming” or “arrival”. The focus of the entire season is the celebration of the birth of Jesus the Christ in His First Advent and the anticipation of the return of Christ the King in His Second Advent. Advent is marked by a spirit of expectation, anticipation, preparation, and faith.

There are many variations of the traditional Advent wreath and candles but the one thing they all have in common is the meaning attached to hope and expectation. Advent reminds us that the HOPE of the whole broken world (which includes whatever situation you might be currently facing) is found in Jesus.

Consider the hope given to us by the Apostle Paul in this scripture, “But when the FULLNESS OF TIME had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those (us) who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).

Because Jesus is “The Word”, when our “Great Expectation” meets His “Fullness of Time”, every Promise in His Word that we are standing in faith believing becomes our  REALITY! Most of what God wants to do in and through our lives is directly connected to the proportion of our EXPECTATION…our FAITH. In Matthew 9, Jesus asked the blind men, “Do you BELIEVE (have faith) that I am able to do this?” Then Jesus said, “Be it done unto you according to your FAITH” (Matthew 9:28,29). Their “Great Expectation” met the “Fullness of Time.”

So what are you expecting God to do in your life during this season of Advent? Do you have “GREAT EXPECTATION”?

My prayer for you this Christmas season is that you will have “GREAT EXPECTATION” of encountering Jesus as the greatest gift ever given.

Pointing People to Jesus,
Rocky Byers
“On earth as it is in Heaven!”

John 3: 16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Your gift has great value. The Bible says that a gift is as a precious beautiful stone (Proverbs 17:8). A gift is of value and our gift makes room for us (Proverbs 18:16). In other words, our gift will open doors of opportunity for us. God gave the first and greatest gift. The idea of a gift making room is not something new. God was the very first to act upon this law of reciprocity. The Bible says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave…” (John 3:16). And throughout Scripture we see that the most important gift of God is Salvation through His son Jesus Christ! Now, a gift can create opportunity. Because God gave to mankind, His gift created the opportunity for Him to have more than His one “only begotten Son.”

You see, Jesus is referred to as the only begotten Son of God. But now because of Jesus THE GIFT, the Scripture describes Jesus as “the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29). The word “begotten” means born of. So that now when someone receives Jesus as Lord and Savior, that person is born of God. That makes you as a believer a begotten son of God. You are as much a child of God as Jesus the Anointed One is. As a believer the Bible describes Jesus as being your Elder Brother (Hebrews 2:11). The elder brother always had the responsibility of modeling the family’s values to his siblings. Jesus’ life always expressed the Fathers heart for His family and the world. Acts 10:38 makes it clear, “God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power, and He went around DOING GOOD and HEALING ALL….” Jesus our elder brother has shown us how we are to live as begotten sons and daughters.

The Bible even calls the Church, Jesus, because it says that Jesus is the Head of the Church, which is His body (Colossians1:18). The Church is the Body of Christ. And Jesus is the Head of His Body, the Church (Ephesians 1:22,23). Well, if the head is in one place, then the body must be there with the head. Because where the head goes, the body goes! Spiritually speaking, Jesus is the Head, and we are His Body. That is why the Apostle Paul gives us the revelation “That we are raised up and seated together (NOW) with Christ” (Ephesians 2:6). Heaven is not only a place that one day eventually we get to enjoy. Heaven is our home NOW because our Father resides there with our elder brother Jesus and us, His sons, and daughters. God gave us His most valuable gift, His Son Jesus so that we could become begotten sons and daughters enjoying the benefits of the family NOW (Psalm 103:2-5). This benefit plan is a GIFT provided through our big brother Jesus. Obamacare (or any other insurance plan) can’t compare to it. Whatever family benefit that you need you can NOW access through the name of your elder brother “Jesus” (2 Corinthians 1:20).

So, God gave us the gift of Jesus. That gift opened our heart to God and it created the opportunity for Him to receive a multitude of sons and daughters. If you’re a believer, then you are a son or daughter representing God your Father and His Kingdom so that through you He can receive more sons and daughters. Because you are the possessor of a gift, you are a gift to the world and a gift makes room! It opens doors of opportunity! Ask God to open your eyes to these open doors of opportunity to DO GOOD and HEAL ALL.

My prayer for you today is that this Christmas season will be the greatest Christmas ever for you and your family because you CELEBRATE JESUS! The greatest gift ever given.

Pointing People to Jesus,
Rocky Byers
“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Philippians 4:8 – ” And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable, if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.”

New age religion and yoga didn’t create the practice of meditation. God himself created it to be used by the believer to combat the forces of darkness that try to invade our minds and lives with everything that is contrary to the mind of Christ. The truth is that every one of us meditate but it is usually on the wrong things. The word meditate simply means to repeat a thought, to murmur, or to speak to yourself. We all meditate but our natural tendency is to focus on the negative.

Jesus said, “When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness” (Matt. 6:22.23). What are you focusing on? Each day we get to decide where our focus will be. And we don’t have to look hard to find things to complain about. Our job, gas prices, the economy, the President, our health condition, etc. God gave Adam and Eve everything they needed in the garden, but they chose to focus on the one thing that brought death (and we are still being affected by the consequences of that choice). It is so much easier to focus on the negative because it’s all around us and sometimes upon us. But in order for us to live an overcoming victorious life, we must resist the tendency to focus on the negative and focus our hearts and minds on what God has done for us “In Christ”.

Focus on the good things that God has done. Focus on the things that are praiseworthy. Jesus said, “He is the vine, we are the branches” (John 15:5). Focus and MEDITATE on the truth that everything “In Christ” is in you – right now! The Apostle John said it like this in 1 John 4:17, “As Christ is we NOW are, in this life.” Those truths ought to give you enough praiseworthy things to MEDITATE on to defeat any negative thought or circumstance. Philippians 4:8,“MEDITATE on these things.” When we meditate (focus) on the goodness and faithfulness of our Father we will see our attitudes change, our thoughts change and then our circumstances will change. Many times, we are just a re-focus away from a breakthrough. Because our focus will always determine the direction of our lives, when we correct our focus everything around us will change.

My prayer for you this Christmas season is that your focus will be on the goodness of our Father and the truth that He sent His son into our world so that we could experience Him and live life with Jesus in this world.

Pointing People to Jesus,
Rocky Byers
“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Isaiah 43:19 – “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

While I was worshiping recently I had a vision of a huge waterfall. Growing up in Virginia I have visited the waterfalls in the Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway many times. The beauty of a waterfall is breathtaking but what captivates me even more is the power of the waterfall. As I was worshiping and had this vision of a waterfall I heard the Lord ask me, “What are you going to do?”

Over the last several months I’ve had opportunity to visit several churches throughout Dallas/Fort Worth and other parts of the country. And after conversations with many leaders and believers, the one thing that has struck me is the weariness of people and the church. This NEW THING that I believe God is calling us to is nothing new to Him – because He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). So many times, we get stuck in the rut of surviving and just doing life and believe it or not, the church gets stuck too. We need what seems like a NEW THING.

When God showed me the waterfall and asked, “What are you going to do?” I sensed He was giving me the option to stay where I was and just look at the waterfall or I could step into the waterfall and experience its power. So, I stepped into the waterfall and could hear our Father saying, “I’m washing you from the accumulation of the dirt of this world and refreshing you from the weariness of the battle.” The Apostle Luke said it like this, “Times of REFRESHING come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19). I believe God is calling us back to the place of living and doing church from His Presence. That was always His intent, but we have accepted less than His purpose. Jesus told the church leaders in Jerusalem, “Your traditions have nullified the Word of God.” It’s time we stop pursuing the presence of people and start pursuing the presence of God. It’s time we stop doing church to please people and be the church that pleases Him!

“Do you not perceive it?” God is wanting to do something new in your life today. It’s a new day in the body of Christ so I encourage you to take a step of faith and let go of your old way of thinking and take hold of the new thing that God is wanting to do. Jesus said, “Blessed are those that hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). Just like the deer pants for water, our life depends upon His refreshing. Righteousness means that we desire to be in right alignment with God and what He desires – more than our comfort and our way of thinking. His ways will always take us higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9).

In Isaiah 43:19, God says, “NOW it springs forth.” He didn’t say maybe next week, next month or next year, NOW! I believe that this is a right now Word from God calling us back to His original plan – to live from the place of His Presence. He is pouring His Spirit out on His sons and daughters (Acts 2:17). Our Father is calling us to get under the waterfall of His cleansing flow of power and refreshing in our lives. This WATER-FALL of cleansing and refreshing occurs through the saturation of HIS WORD and HIS PRESENCE (Ephesians 5:26, Acts 3:19).

My prayer for you today is that you will perceive what God is wanting to do for you and pursue Him – like your life depends on it, because it does! To live the AWESOME ABUNDANT LIFE that He desires for you depends upon His WATER-FALL in your life.

Pointing People to Jesus,
Rocky Byers
“On earth as it is in Heaven!”

P.S. We need $100,000 to renovate our new building. I ask that you seek God about how much He would have you give this year to advance His Kingdom. God Bless you as you seek His Kingdom first.

Genesis 1:26 – “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in OUR IMAGEOUR LIKENESS, to be LIKE US. To have DOMINION……”

We understand that God’s original intention in creation was to have relationship with us His creation. That through relationship we would be the exact expression of Himself on earth. But because of Adam’s treason, his sin fell on us all (Romans 5:12). Then began the tarnishing of the image of humanity. One generation begat another generation of tarnished image bearers. And with every generation the sin became more engraved and more extreme. But because of God’s dream to have image bearers on earth He sent His son Jesus to be His exact expression and our redeemer (Hebrews 1:3). Literally Jesus exchanged places with us to restore us back to God’s original idea of being His IMAGE BEARERS. God’s dream is that we live like Him on earth and have DOMINION over all the power of the enemy. Romans 5:17 explains it – “By the trespass of one man (Adam), death reigned through that one man. But even greater is God’s grace and His gift of righteousness, for ALL who receive it (the gift of righteousness) will reign (have dominion) over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.” Through Christ God did what it took to revive His dream of having IMAGE BEARERS on earth.

So that now, (you and I) His IMAGE BEARERS’ main objective is to be transformed from the life that we possessed before Christ to the life that we now have in Christ. This transformation only occurs as we change the way that we think. We must become people who allow God and His Word to eradicate every thought that would keep us from fully expressing who He is. Jesus makes an incredible statement in John 17:22 “I have given them (us) the GLORY that you gave me.” We are the exact image (glory) of Jesus, so that anything that doesn’t look like God in our lives, bear His image, we must oppose and take authority over. I love what Bill Johnson says about this, “We will know our mind is renewed when the impossible looks logical.” Jesus never questioned the willingness or the ability of His Father. In John chapter 11, when Jesus was facing an impossible situation in the natural, He ordered the stone to be removed from Lazarus’ burial tomb. Now most people would say, “Well, it must have been his (Lazarus’) time.” But watch Jesus being an IMAGE BEARER, while all eyes were on Him He gives the instruction that changes everything. John 11:40, “Didn’t I tell you that If you believe, you will see the glory of God.”

If you believe? Here lies the answer to transformation. What do you believe about your Father? Because what you know about your Father will change the image you have of yourself. This is the importance of relationship. Having a religious experience and having an intimate relationship are two totally different places that we can live from. Relationship changes us. Relationship transforms us into being intimate sons and daughters. Because of relationship with the Father Jesus tells us in John 11:41,42 -“Father, I thank you that you have heard me, I know that you always hear me.” Because of this confidence in their relationship Jesus then exclaims “Lazarus, come forth.”  It is out of the place of knowing the Father that we have confidence that He hears us and that His ability to answer and provide never comes into question.

When you know God as the Good Father (Psalms 136:1) you’ll know that it is His will to always exceed our hopes and dreams (Psalms 37:4). Because as His IMAGE BEARERS God desires that our lives are the expression of who He is. The GLORY of God that we possess compels us to something greater in our lives that we have yet to experience. REIGNING, RULING, having DOMINION in righteousness is who God is in us as His IMAGE BEARERS. He is always able and willing to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we ask (Ephesians3:20). But when we don’t really know who God is, we don’t ask – because we don’t know Him. Our Father has no limitation concerning anything that pertains to our lives.

There is an abundant supply of peace for those who ask. There is an abundance of financial breakthrough for those who ask. There is an abundance of healing power for those who will believe and ask. Always pray and ask in expectation. Never allow your or someone else’s past experience to limit your faith. Because He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we ask.

My prayer for you today is that you will see yourself the way that your Father see’s you, as His IMAGE BEARER, reigning and ruling over all the power of the enemy.

Pointing People to Jesus,
 Rocky Byers
“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Galatians 5:16-18, “My counsel is this: Live motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with the Spirit, just as the Spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence?”

Choosing to side with God’s Word is a continual challenge. It’s not something you do just once. It’s a process of choosing to believe and act upon the Word of God over and over in every situation and circumstance. Choosing Jesus and His Word is what we all must do, if we want to live free from the bondages of sin and the pull of this world. Years ago, I decided I was going to choose Jesus and His Word. Since then I’ve had to choose Him again and again in situations every day. I’ve chosen Him as my Lord and Savior. I’ve chosen Him as my Healer. I’ve chosen Him as my Provider. I’ve chosen Him as the Head of my household. I’ve chosen Him as the Head of my ministry. And I still must choose Him moment by moment. It’s deceptive to believe that a choice that I made for Jesus sometime in the past is securing my destiny. Jesus said that “those who ENDURE to THE END shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13). This life is not just about making it to heaven. If that is your understanding of salvation, then you haven’t really understood why Jesus came. NO, this life is about living in the VICTORY that Jesus won for us NOW – here on earth. That VICTORY can only be realized and demonstrated in our lives as we choose Him in every decision. “Because as a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).

Sometimes the choice is hard, but God has promised that it will never get too difficult that He hasn’t made a way of escape. At times when circumstances are overwhelming and contrary to what God has promised, we are tempted to believe the circumstance over the Word. We must recognize that every temptation is the work of the enemy. The choice to not believe is the temptation of UNBELIEF. In 1 Corinthians 10:13, Jesus is saying He will not allow us to be subjected to a temptation we’re unable to overcome. With every temptation, He will make a way of escape. He will ALWAYS make sure you have a choice and the GRACE to OVERCOME the temptation through FAITH.

When the devil comes to tempt you, the Spirit of God is there providing you with the way to overcome. God isn’t off duty somewhere unaware of what is happening to you. God matches the toughest temptations with the weapons of His WORD and the GRACE you need to conquer them. He always “makes it possible for you to choose righteousness and life, the path that leads to immortality” (Proverbs 12:28). Consistency is important. Others are watching, and your consistency establishes your reputation – your reputation with others, God and the devil.

So, DO NOT EVER GIVE UP!! My prayer for you today is that “you will be strong and courageous to endure to the end” (Ecclesiastes 9:11). So, choose to be consistent. Choose to walk in love. Choose to walk by faith. Choose to live by the Word. Choose to be led by His Spirit. Choose to ask for Grace.

Pointing People to Jesus,
 Rocky Byers
“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Hebrews 13:20-21 “Now may the God of peace who raised up our Lord from the dead…make you complete in every good work to do His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

One of the major reasons God wants to use us is to give irrefutable proof of who He is. Supernatural living demonstrates what God wants to happen on earth.

Our job here on earth is to live and prove the will of God. In other words, to show other people what He is like. Our calling is to make God’s will obvious. If we believe in the life and words of Jesus, then there is no option for us. Jesus commanded, “go heal the sick, raise the dead and cast out devils” (Matthew 10:8). It’s not a mere suggestion. Our job is to put God on display. To convey that the reality in Heaven can be manifest right here, right now (Matthew 6:10). We are not to be people that only believe the “right” things, but we are to be people that have been so transformed by our Father that we express Him in everything we do. Our lives should cause others to realize, “Oh, that is what God is like.” Healing, deliverance, and restoration give people a clearer understanding of who God is.

A while ago I was in a sports bar watching an NFL football game. Yes, Jesus still goes where the lost and hurting are (John 2:1-11). As the game was ending, a young man walked up to the bar and soon he was surrounded by several friends. As I watched I realized that the left side of his body was paralyzed. I must admit that at first, I wanted to leave when the game was over but the longer I thought about it the more convinced I became that if I left I would be letting Jesus down. So, I finally got up the boldness to put God on display and I approached the crowd. After introducing myself and expressing that I believed Jesus wanted to heal him, he agreed l could pray for him. I believe that Jesus touched him, and he is being healed. But while I was praying for him, God gave me a “word” for his friend that was there. The young man couldn’t believe it. Everything I shared was on point –  it happened in his life. He was blown away that God was speaking to Him in a bar. It was a word of restoration, love and forgiveness. He acknowledged to growing up in church. As a teenager, his Pastor had a prophetic word over him about being called to the ministry. He admitted that his disappointment with church eventually led to his leaving. But God reached out to him to prove that He hasn’t given up or forgotten about him. The young man assured me that because of this encounter he was turning back to God and would be going back to church.

There are opportunities around us all the time that God desires to use us to put Him on display. It is time to realize that the lost and hurting are not showing up on Sunday morning. WOW, I wonder why? IF IT’S BROKE, FIX IT! If they’re not coming to us, we must do something different. It is time for a NEW REFORMATION. The “word” that has been prophetically spoken by some of the prophets in our land is that the next great revival will be a revival of the “misfits.” Those that have walked away from church. Not because they don’t believe in Jesus but because they don’t believe in us. The Church at large is spending most of its resources on entertaining “the saints” to keep the machine going. The 96% of this generation who are un-churched (or de-churched) have spoken. But we haven’t listened. We’ve built our museums and we have to pay for them. I LOVE THE CHURCH but it’s time to break the mold!! I’m believing for the NEW REFORMATION of the church that will reach the “misfits.” I’m calling it “a new church for a new generation.”

My prayer for you today is that God will open your eyes to these opportunities to put Him on display, to reach those who don’t walk in to the church on Sunday morning.

Pointing People to Jesus,
Rocky Byers
“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Matthew 7:7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

As a believer I’ve noticed that I can become complacent and satisfied knowing that I’m going to heaven. But Jesus gave His life so that we could live abundantly here and now! To live the abundant life includes us taking on His heart. Jesus instructs us in Matthew 11:29, “take my yoke upon you.”  Jesus came “to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). This yoke that Jesus is speaking of is His heart for the lost and the hurting.

Everything that Jesus has called us to do in His Kingdom requires more than human effort or religious duties – it requires the anointing. Jesus made it possible for us to have a greater anointing. Recently a Prophet told me, “There is a double anointing coming on you for healing and the prophetic – you are about to be elevated.” I love it when God speaks His heart to us. It encourages us and reminds us that we are on His heart and mind. In 2 Kings 2:9 Elisha told Elijah, “Let me receive a double portion of your spirit (anointing)”. There is opportunity for all of us to receive a double portion (a greater anointing). Are you willing to go after it? Just like Elisha went after Elijah and boldly asked for a double portion, if you are willing to die to complacency and selfishness, and to seek after the heart of Jesus, there is a greater anointing for you.

Everything significant that happens in our lives is because of the anointing. And like Elisha who followed Elijah to THREE different places to receive the double portion, we too must go to these places for a greater anointing.

FIRST, we must be willing to let go and leave the old things behind. In order to live in a greater anointing, you must be willing to separate yourself from anything and everything that is hindering you from making progress on your journey. Romans 12:9, “Hate what is evil, cling to what is good.” True repentance is required to live in the anointing. Turning from everything that is sin and turning to God. We must be willing to walk away from everything that is evil.

NEXT, we must seek God with our whole heart. Jeremiah 29:13, “If you seek me with your whole heart, then you will find me.” We were created to encounter God. It’s out of our encounters that transformation happens in our lives. It takes more than going to church to live in the anointing. To live an anointed, transformed life is necessary if you want to truly experience “the abundant life”. The heart of Christ is experienced in greater measure as our minds are transformed through encounters with His Word and His Spirit. Jesus said in John 6:63 “The Spirit gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The Words that I speak to you are Spirit and life.”

One thing that we have to understand, is that the anointing of God is not just for what we consider religious activity. Yes, the anointing will affect how we pray, how we worship and everything that we consider religious. But when we’re living in the anointing, it (power of God) will affect my business, my money, my health, my family and every part of my life. So, we must be like Elisha and have the attitude of being willing to do whatever it takes to receive the double portion.

The THIRD PLACE Elisha had to go to receive the “double portion” was to serve. In thirty years of pastoring, this is the place where most people lose out. Most people don’t have an issue going to church or reading their Bible occasionally, but serving someone else goes against our selfish-pride. The prophet Isaiah makes it clear in chapter 55 that to live in the anointing would cost us something. In other words, Grace is free, but the anointing is not cheap. Elisha served Elijah unquestionably for eight years before receiving the double anointing. Most church people have a hard time serving for eight months before wanting their recognition, a position, and THEIR MINISTRY. If you want greater anointing for your life, find an anointed minister and serve them without an agenda. Fortunately, my mentor told me years ago, “Rocky, you must serve another man’s vision before God will trust you with your own.” Because of my mentor’s wisdom, I served as a Youth Pastor under my Lead Pastors for fifteen years before God gave me my own vision. Living in the anointing is worth whatever it might cost us.

The ANOINTING doesn’t come easy, but my prayer for you today is that you are willing to go after the double portion (like Elisha). Go after God with all your heart and see what’s in store!

Pointing People to Jesus,
Rocky Byers
“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, ALL who are weary and burdened, for I WILL give you rest.”

I’m sure I am not the only one who has been experiencing warfare during this season, so I feel the need to write about it. The enemy himself is opposing our purpose and calling. And because our purpose is very important to our Father, the enemy does not want us to fulfill it. So, he attempts to discourage us and talk us out of it. Years ago, I adopted this statement from Kenneth Hagin Jr., “I will not be defeated because I will not quit.” We need that kind of tenacity to persevere and endure until we see the prize!

During this season of testing and trial, it is easy to become overwhelmed, exhausted, and run down. But contrary to what many believe, we need to add something to our to-do list rather than reducing things to make life more manageable – REST IN THE LORD! I’ve noticed that I can take a vacation and many times need a vacation after my vacation. “Rest in the Lord,” does not mean the absence of task or business but rather the absence of weariness. We can “Rest in the Lord” and find ourselves at peace and joy in the midst of all the test and trials that the enemy might throw at us.

Maybe your life seems out of control, in total disrepair or burdensome. Jesus invites us all to Himself, to take a break from the rat race. His desire for us is to come to Him especially in those times of being under attack. In 2 Chronicles 20 – the people of God were under attack from their enemies. God told them they would be victorious by praising and worshiping Him – not by fighting their enemies. In fact, if we make worship and praise a habit (rather than fighting) I believe we will find ourselves less weary and stressed. He promises that when we come to Him – HE WILL give us rest. Worship always draws us to God and attracts His presence (James 4:8). In His presence there is an abundance of JOY that strengthens us to overcome all attacks (Nehemiah 8:10).

Luke 5:16, “Jesus often withdrew to be alone and prayed.” With all the demands that were on Him, He found it absolutely necessary to get alone with His Father. Why don’t we take the time to get alone with our Father when Jesus Himself needed to? Do we think we don’t deserve it or maybe we don’t believe it will help?

Hebrews 4:1 “Since the PROMISE OF REST still stands, let us be careful that none of us be found to have fallen short of it (REST).” The word REST means to cease from stress and weariness.  No matter what may be going on in our lives, we are called to live in the place of rest. Rest is our right as sons and daughters, but the face of our Father must be sought after. When we seek His face, He will REFRESH, RESTORE, and REVIVE US. He will defeat our enemy and relieve us from stress and weariness. He will grant us the rest that we need.

Every workout routine has time set aside for a break (REST). No matter how hard a person trains or how many hours a person works out, there are days of rest. In those days and times of rest, the muscles are restored, recovered, and refreshed. The same is true in our relationship with God. Amidst our busy schedule, the most important thing we do is not complete another task or meet another deadline. The most important thing we can do is take the time to get alone with our Father. Take the time to just “hang out.” Don’t be in a hurry, rest, lie at His feet and take comfort in His presence. He probably has something good to tell you.

My prayer for you today is that you will push everything aside that is trying to keep you from our Father’s presence and seek Him, so that you will experience HIS PRESENCE, HIS JOY, HIS PEACE, and HIS REST, then you will see Him fight your battles!

Pointing People to Jesus,
Rocky Byers
“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Psalm 92:12,13 – ” The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God.”

The word flourish means to experience GREAT Breakthrough, advancement, and increase! Because I am an expository teacher and because I want that great breakthrough for myself and for you, I asked the Father, “How do the righteous flourish?” And He took me to 2 Chronicles 20:20, “Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be establishedBelieve His prophets (man of God), and you shall prosper.

One thing that is really huge with God is relationships. He has called us to live in relationships. He did not call us to live independent of loving and caring relationships. Because the enemy is a deceiver and hates the children of The Most High God, the biggest tactic he uses against us is PRIDE. Pride was his personal issue that brought him down and it’s the same issue he uses to influence us – PRIDE. Independence is nothing more than pride. Pride is the thought that I don’t need anyone. I can make it on my own. I’ll do things my way and look out for me – #1. The biggest lie the enemy tells us is, I do not need a pastor. My relationship with God is personal – it’s between me and God. I definitely don’t need a man telling me what to do. “Pride comes before destruction” (Proverbs 16:18). The devil knows that if he can separate us from God-ordained and called relationships with a true Prophet/Pastor then he can shipwreck us from God’s blessings and purposes for our lives.

In Matthew 8:10, Jesus said this about the centurion soldier, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone with such great faith.” Jesus found GREAT FAITH impossible to ignore. But why did Jesus recognize the centurion as a man with great faith? The centurion told Jesus before this affirmation, “I am a man UNDER AUTHORITY.”

In order for us to FLOURISH in the plans and purposes of God we must be under authority and seek Godly relationships speaking into our lives. The word righteous in Psalm 92:12 means being in right alignment. In other words, to be in right alignment with God requires us to be in right alignment with a Pastor/Prophet. In America because of our independent spirit we have been deceived in the church to believe that the only relationship that matters is our relationship with God. God does not endorse that belief nor does He teach that in His Word. According to 2 Chronicles 20:20, proper alignment with God requires that we be in relationship with a man of God (Pastor/Prophet). We are called by God to be in relationships that will speak into our lives, hold us accountable and give us Godly leadership and counsel. According to 2 Chronicles 20:20 a relationship with a pastor/ prophet is necessary for our own good and protection from deception. When we make decisions that affect our lives and the lives of others it is absolutely necessary to seek counsel from a man of God (Prophet/Pastor). I am very fortunate to still be in close relationship with my mentor after 30 years. I have found that when I have an important decision to make I can consult with him. He has always been there for me. He has not always told me what I want to hear, but he has always told me what I need to hear. After 30 years of  being a pastor, I have seen that most people do not want relationships that hold them accountable. But in order to fulfill God’s purposes for our lives we have to be in relationship with a God-called, God-ordained Pastor/Prophet.

The writer of Hebrews tells us in chapter 13, ” Submit to those who lead the church because they watch out for our souls.” The reason that most do not seek counsel from these relationships is that they are afraid the man of God will not agree with what they feel led to do. If that is true, it does not relieve us from how God has designed for our lives to be led. If what we feel led to do is from God, it should be important enough to us to go about it God’s way – by seeking counsel from a man of God that we are in relationship with. We should always seek counsel to confirm or correct what we believe we are being led to do. If the only counsel we receive is from our friends or spouse, we are probably deceived. Not that our friends or spouse are deceived but our friends and spouse usually support us and go along with us because they want us to be happy. However, true happiness and fulfillment will only occur when we go about our lives the way God has designed it. I encourage you to find a Pastor/Prophet that you can be in relationship with so you can, “Believe His prophets so you will PROSPER!”

Do not think you are so mature you can do life on your own – without accountability and Godly counsel. The Bible calls that PRIDE. My prayer is that Jesus will say of you, “I have not seen such GREAT FAITH”, because you positioned yourself under authority. I’m telling you that if you do it God’s way all your dreams will come true. “Believe His prophets and you will prosper.”

Pointing People to Jesus,
Rocky Byers
“On Earth as it is in Heaven !”