Horizons Unlimited April 14, 2024 through April 22, 2024

Sunday April 14, 2024: Who Do You Need to Throw Out of Your House?
Monday April 15, 2024: A Desire Is Not a Need
Tuesday April 16, 2024: The Tragedy of Tradition
Wednesday April 17, 2024: In the Light of His Countenance
Thursday April 18, 2024: Love: The Tool or Weapon of Choice
Friday April 19, 2024: From Sheepfold to Shepherd
Saturday April 20, 2024: Never Relax Your Grip on God's Counsel
Sunday April 21, 2024: Consider God First
Monday April 22, 2024: My Voice Is Heard There

Horizons Unlimited PDF Archive

Sunday April 14, 2024
Who Do You Need to Throw Out of Your House?

Mark 5:40, KJV: And they laughed him to scorn. But when he put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him and entereth in where the damsel was lying.

Just because the young girl was lying was not an indication that she was dying. Jesus' works never become powerless because of what is going on around Him. On the contrary, it is His words that cause the power necessary to change things.

When Jesus arrived with His disciples to the home of the sick child, the commotion from the crowd was an indication that the place was filled with unbelief. He had to put the crowd out allowing only the parents; the disciples Peter, James, and John; the child; and Himself. Even after the child was on her feet, the Bible says, "...They were astonished with a great astonishment" (Mark 5:42).

Whose report are you going to believe? The day must come when we, His body, stop being astonished at His work among us. It is time we expect it and trust Him in spite of the negative circumstance surrounding us.

I am through trying to "get" the victory. I fight the good fight of faith from an already victorious position. The victory that overcomes the world is my faith (1 John 5:4). I finally got smart enough to cast all my cares, anxieties, and burdens on Jesus Christ. The barrage of demons that had been assigned to me had to report back to their leader that they had failed in their assignment because I was still standing and still believing in Jesus and His name.

You will find that your trust in the Lord will often diminish the number of those around you. That's okay, especially since all they seem to want to do is cry and mourn. Criers and mourners never improve the situation. Put them out before they cause you to lose the little faith you have. Jesus threw them out-so can you.

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Monday April 15, 2024
A Desire Is Not a Need

Proverbs 14:21, TM: It's criminal to ignore a neighbor in need, but compassion for the poor-what a blessing!

What are the needs of the poor? I believe that food, clothing, water, and shelter are needs; everything else is desires. It is criminal to see someone hungry, "naked," thirsty, and without shelter to protect themselves from the elements, and not attempt to aid them with as much as is within your power to give.

However, I believe you really need to seek God's wisdom in discerning whom He wants you to assist. There are times your helping someone could interfere with what God is working out in that person in trying to get him or her to learn to depend on Him. God will clearly tell you when He wants to use you to benefit a brother or sister in need. Some people, without realizing it, have habitually trained themselves to make a phone call rather than go directly to the Lord.

Every time I have been in need of anything in my life and went to the Lord as my source and supplier, He spoke to the individual He chose to use to meet my need. This way, I felt no obligation to the person, and the person knew he heard from God rather than have his emotions dictate his giving.

Scripture says, "My God shall supply all my need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Phil 4:19). Once I learned the difference between my need and my desire, I could comfortably go to God, confident that He would always provide the basics for me. He always has. He always will.

Watch that you don't set in motion habits, traditions, and culture that the Lord cannot continue to allow if you are going to be used effectively in His kingdom. I never tell anyone except God about my situation. He may speak to many about it. It is then up to them to obey Him.

When someone comes to me, not knowing I have a need, and tells me the Lord told him or her to give me certain things, I am comfortable that we both have heard from Him. "You have not because you ask not" (James 4:2) does not mean that you are to look to anyone but God. He wants us to enjoy others but to depend on Him. A desire is not a need.

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Tuesday April 16, 2024
The Tragedy of Tradition

Matthew 15:3, KJV: But he answered and said unto them, "Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?"

We have become so hardened by the traditions of the world and those around us and their interpretation of the Bible that we have lost our ability to hear from God directly and be led by His Spirit.

For the Thanksgiving holiday following Clinton's death, I was inundated with dinner invitations by so many well-meaning friends and family members that I could have started at midnight and eaten my way through the day until the following midnight. Instead, I chose to purchase some rib lamb chops, steam some vegetables, and whip up some mashed potatoes. I spent the day alone except for a two-hour visit from my granddaughter who was on her way to have dinner with her other grandmother.

The point I am trying to make is that my choice had no effect on the day which the world has decided to call "Thanksgiving." For the first time in my life, my choice was my choice. I was not dictated to by the world's choice, and I was not abandoned. I had Jesus, some quality food, and more time on my hands to spend with the Lord than I can ever remember enjoying. In fact, I found myself repenting for all the previous years that I spent preparing natural food to feed people physically, which did nothing to feed them spiritually.

Paul was so warped in his zeal and traditions as a Jew that he surpassed many of his contemporaries as he championed Judaism's traditional regulations. But God, who set him apart from birth, called him by grace to reveal Jesus and to preach to the Gentile heathen. He abandoned conferring with flesh and blood and returned to Damascus where, after three years, he met Peter. This resulted in the one who formerly followed tradition, praising and glorifying God for what He was doing in him.

What traditions do you need to release?

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Wednesday April 17, 2024
In the Light of His Countenance

Numbers 6:24-26, KJV: The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD Himself make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

I get very excited when I see blessings and promises made to Israel because I know that, as the spiritual seed of Abraham, I have the promises and Jesus also. Wow! Look at what Aaron was directed to pronounce over the children of Israel. And notice who was going to initiate it: "The Lord-He is going to bless you." One of the Hebrew words for "bless" is to kneel. When we kneel to God as an act of adoration, He will cause everything else to kneel in our presence, or to bow as a benefit to us.

The Lord will also keep me, or hedge me about. He will guard and protect me, and attend, preserve, regard, and save me, and look narrowly or be single-minded about me. To have His face shine upon me is to have Him smile on me. He makes Himself luminous and shows me light, or enlightens me and sets me on fire! When God is gracious to me, He is saying, in effect, "I will bend and stoop everything in kindness to you as one would an inferior. I will bestow favor and give or grant you your protection. I will be merciful and show you mercy. Instead of your having a pity party, I will pity you and pray for you."

The Lord's lifting up His countenance means He is lifting up His face and giving us peace. He is never down; His face is always up. We have used the expression so many times, "In your face, devil" to explain our victory over satan and his demons. But we've missed it in that it is not about being in his face. It's about drawing so close to the Lord that we discover that the peace, the benefits, the smile, the gifts, and the prosperity in every area are found from God looking us full in the face (Num. 6:26, TM).

When we humble ourselves and submit to Him, kneeling as an act of adoration, He causes everything that disrupted our peace to bow before us in order for our peace to be restored in the light of his countenance.

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Thursday April 18, 2024
Love: The Tool or Weapon of Choice

Let me see what I am capable of without the Holy Spirit's first controlling and directing my life. It frightens me to understand that apart from daily contact with the Vine, Jesus Christ, that I could be reduced to such vile things. But because of Him and My union with Him, nothing is impossible to me.

Others are permitted in my life both to hinder and to develop me. However, I do not have to yield to anything or anyone who operates contrary to God's Word or plan for me. I am all that He desires me to be, because I follow His voice and promptings. They are never wrong.

Victory is mine in Christ Jesus. Defeat knocks regularly at my door, but I refuse to go out to play, because God has a better choice to offer that will benefit mankind and me. That brings glory to Him.

Endurance has become my battle cry when I find myself overwhelmed by the mire of things sent to attract or to distract me. Once I settled that I do not have to have anything until the Father provides it as a gift-without the strings that the world attaches to what it offers-I began to see beyond my limited eyesight into a realm that most people ignore or disdain.

I have Jesus, who has made me complete in Him (Colossians 2:10). I have His character and nature of love, which allows me to wield it as a weapon against the adversary or to yield to it as a representative of the One I serve. The choice is mine. It's also yours. The devil has no say in these matters.

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Friday April 19, 2024
From Sheepfold to Shepherd

Psalm 78:70, AMP: He chose David His servant and took him from the sheepfolds.

During David's day, he was God's choice and selection to lead His people, who were His inheritance long before David assumed his role and assignment. For a time, another man, King Saul, was in the position that God had chosen for David. When God chooses you, He is also responsible for taking you to the place of His assignment for you. And it appears that God observes how we handle what we're doing in the natural to help determine the success of our spiritual assignment.

The people of Israel were in need of a shepherd-a leader- but they were God's inheritance, not David's (Psalm 78:71). If we take a lesson from that today and never forget that God's people don't belong to us but to Him, He will allow us to work with Him on their behalf.

Pastors, are you listening? Verse 72 of Psalm 78 reads, "So David was their shepherd with an upright heart; he guided them by the discernment and skillfulness which controlled his hands" (AMP). What's the lesson in this for us? It is always God's choice whom He wants to lead His people. Therefore, it becomes His responsibility to take us from our sheep pen, pigpen, or anywhere we are and, hopefully, be able to teach us how to discern and to do, just as He did with David.

Occasionally, we learn to discern, but fail to do. At other times, we do, not having discerned first what exactly is to be done. I believe we can achieve balance when we train ourselves to stay humble, recognizing that all things and all people belong to Him. For whatever reason, God chooses us not just to work for Him, but to work with Him. But we must understand that He always has the lead role. His supporting role is that of being our leader, not our follower. You will be surprised at where He will take you from and where He will take you to if you will stop trying to make it happen.

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Saturday April 20, 2024
Never Relax Your Grip on God's Counsel

Psalm 119:87, KJV: They had almost consumed me upon the earth; but I forsook not thy precepts.

Bring your body in line with God's promises, because the body parts grow weary of waiting for what He has said to come to pass (verse 81). At times we ask, "How long, Lord?" The things we put up with appear to be endless. We know every word He utters is truth. Still, we must resist the lies of the devil. Our enemy never lets up, so we can't, either.

The more the enemy surfaces to try to prevent my walk with You, God, the more determined I become. I dig my heels in and act like a bulldog with a bone when someone is trying to take it from him. Whatever You say will outlast heaven and earth, for they will one day pass away, but not Your Word.

Truth is always the fashion of the day, so I determine to wear it well. Your Word is truth and is more reliable than anything that exists. There have been moments in which, had I not known and understood Your Word, I would have thrown in the kitchen sink along with the towel. Hard times come, but Your Word becomes the shield that helps ward off the attacks.

You have never misled me. What was both written and spoken has sustained my life. I search everywhere, in everything, for Your wisdom, and I find it. I know that I am a target for the wicked one, but I am only interested in what You have planned for me. Human limitations are revealed to me, but the farthest horizon cannot contain what You have spoken and continue to say to me personally. With Your help, I will not relax my grip on Your commands. They are a sure thing.

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Sunday April 21, 2024
Consider God First

Isaiah 1:3, KJV: The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider.

It is one thing to be uninformed, or to lack information. Most of the time, such ignorance is tolerated. But it is another thing to be unwilling to consider a thing. That is a very dangerous position to be in. People failing to use their spirits as the yardsticks to make judgments often become hardened, rebellious, stubborn, and dogmatic. It is not wrong to stay open; it is wrong to open yourself up to things without filtering them through your spirit.

God was saying through the prophet Isaiah that even supposedly dumb oxen are familiar with their owners. Even a donkey can recognize home as the place where it is sustained and maintained! These animals do not look to anyone other than their owners, nor do they expect to find their resources and supplies in cribs other than the ones their masters provide.

What has happened to us? We say God promised to supply all our need. We say we will not lean to our own understanding but will acknowledge God in all of our ways. Yet when the unexpected arrives at an inopportune time, we consider everything but God. Our conversations with God (which are what prayer is all about) are to be offered as deposits in times of peace so that in the day of adversity we know our Banker and are confident to withdraw what we have on deposit.

I am so glad that my deposits not only include prayer to God but that even when I did not know what to pray for, He had already provided a promise to cover it. Get to know Him so that in anything and for everything He and His promise will be the first thing you consider.

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Monday April 22, 2024
My Voice Is Heard There

Jeremiah 18:2, KJV: Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.

I believe God is saying: "If you are not hearing My voice speaking clearly to you, examine where you are. There are many places you can go, but you will only hear Me 'there.' There is always where I told you to go. No amount of wishing and praying for Me to speak to you will help if you neglect to be in the place called there. You cannot hear My voice simply because of your desire to hear. You can only hear Me when I cause it to be. I cause you to hear Me when you obey Me by going there.

"There is never your choice for you. There is not even your destination. There is where your journey towards your destination begins. So obey My prompting, My leading, to go where I have commanded you--because there is where you will receive additional instructions".

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