Blog

God’s Presence

Matthew 28:20-“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

God’s promise that He will be with us is God assuring us of His faithfulness to meet our need for courage and strength to face everything that this life would throw at us, especially in those things that seem unfair and impossible. President John F. Kennedy said, “The problems of the world (I might add- the church) cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited. We need people who can dream of things that never were.” President Kennedy’s dream was to be the first to the moon. You need to know that every dream and every promise will face its critics, skeptics, and enemies. But as you persevere God will prove His faithfulness to be with you. Despite the critics, God will empower you with courage and strength. In this past season my wife and I, like many of you, have faced the biggest warfare and opposition that we have ever encountered. One of the lessons I have learned in over thirty years of ministry is that warfare and opposition just prove that you have the devil mad and that you are threatening him and his kingdom. When the devil feels threatened by you, he influences people to come against you. For the most part, this motivates me with more intense focus and fire for the presence and purpose of God. The truth is the greater the battle the greater the reward. Ask the Psalmist David (1 Samuel 17:25). Through this season this truth -“I am with you…” has been our strength and our reward.

You are a threat to the devil and his kingdom. 

There is no question that the Presence of God brings us great joy, comfort, and peace. The Presence of God will also give us confidence in the face of opposition and any less than favorable circumstance. Moses was called by God to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. He asked God in Exodus 33, “Who will you send with me?” God answered, “My Presence will go with you, and it (My Presence) will give you rest (peace, confidence, and strength).”

It is this revelation of the Presence of God that enabled the exploits of the Apostle Paul. It is what strengthened a king named David. Moses needed this same assurance. They all needed incredible courage to fulfill their callings. Joseph was only 17 years old when God gave him dreams of his future authority to reign and rule. But Joseph found out that everyone does not celebrate with you a Word from God. Yet even though Joseph was hated by his brothers, thrown in a pit, and sold into slavery, the Bible says that the Lord was with Him. Most people would question, If God was with him, then why did he go through those things? The truth is Joseph was falsely accused as my wife and I have been BECAUSE the Lord was with him, and us. Joseph was able to persevere with strength and hope. Because the Lord was with him, Joseph was able to see beyond the pit. He was able to endure being falsely accused and slandered. He was able to overcome the injustice of being wrongly imprisoned – because THE LORD WAS WITH HIM!

Because the Lord is with you, you will be able to persevere.  

It is the same promise of Jesus being with us that should provide confidence, peace, and strength to help us make it through every test, trial, or tribulation. From the pit and through the prison to finally the palace at the age of 30, Joseph finally saw his dreams come true. The Lord was with him through every test during those 13 years which finally brought him to His promise. Whatever your pit might look like, remember The Lord is with you. Do not lose hope. Two thousand years ago when Nero the Roman emperor was unmercifully killing Christians by burning them, crucifying them, throwing them into prison and arenas to be eaten by a wild beast, all for the entertainment of people the Apostle Paul encouraged his spiritual son Timothy -“To endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ”(2 Timothy 2:3). Jesus was with every martyr ensuring them of their eternal reward. No matter what test, trial or persecution comes your way be assured that Jesus is with you. Because if you let the devil steal your hope, he will steal your promise from you.

The Lord is with you, do not lose hope.       

This promise of ” I am with you,” is given to everyone that calls on the name of the Lord. But some live with a greater sense of peace and confidence than others. BECAUSE SOME PLACE A HIGH VALUE ON THE PRESENCE OF GOD, and some do not. Those who do, begin their day seeking the Presence of God and continue to fellowship throughout their day with the Holy Spirit. They are extremely conscious of His Presence and understand how He responds to their WORDS, ATTITUDES, and ACTIONS. The thought of grieving the Holy Spirit brings them great sorrow. This passion for the Presence of God causes us to live in a place of confidence. When “I am with you always…” becomes our reality that invites the supernatural into our daily life. Those with a passion for the Presence of God will be the ones with the constant activity of the Holy Spirit working through them, using them for the glory of God.

My prayer for you today is that you will live with the reality of the assurance that Jesus promised, “I will be with you always…”

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

It’s a Set Up

James 1:2 “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for Great Joy!” 

Did you hear that? Great Joy! This word joy here in Greek is the word “chara.” It means cheerfulness, delight, to have exceeding joyfulness. So then when trials, troubles, adversity come we should approach them with cheerfulness and exceeding joyfulness. God never said that living for Him and living by faith would be easy. But faith takes God at His Word and obeys His Word by faith. Faith is not dependent on any natural situation or condition because faith is usually the opposite of what’s going on. If everything is just wonderful and perfect, what do you need faith for? When trials, troubles, and adversity come it never feels good. So, the choice is to let the adversity control and rule you, or do what God says to do, be cheerful. Every time you act on God’s Word, God stands behind His Word to perform it (Jeremiah 1:12). When we act in faith and act like God’s Word is true, no matter how bad our situation is God will always make His Word work. 

Why act cheerful and joyful? The next verse gives us the answer. James 1:3 – “For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” It’s only through tests and trials that we grow and mature. I youth pastored for fifteen years and over the years I led several missions’ trips and have taken hundreds of teenagers overseas to minister. Most of the kids had to work hard to raise their money with car washes, donut sales, candy sales – whatever it took to go. What was amazing to me was that there was always a kid or two whose parents just pulled out their checkbook. Once we were overseas, those were usually the kids that would get in trouble instead of being focused on ministry. Trials and tests mature us and grow us. Pity the person who has not taken responsibility for their lives. When we understand that when adversity comes it’s our opportunity to mature, then we will rejoice. The truth is for all of us, that our character and faith is always revealed through tests and trials. God challenges us to rejoice, be cheerful through adversity. If we fail to act in faith, we fail the test. And by failing the test there is no growth and maturity in our lives. In other words, when we fail to appreciate the opportunity to grow, the trial wins instead of you. When we pass the test through every growth opportunity, it makes us better, stronger, and more mature. James says that it makes you perfect (mature) and complete, needing nothing. When God sees and hears your faith, He takes up your case and goes to work on your adversity. Anyone can pout and complain about what is happening. Anyone can blame others for their situation, but God only moves because of your faith (Hebrews 11:6).

Pity the person who has not taken responsibility for their life.

This is the attitude that I’ve had to take in over thirty years of ministry. When adversity comes, it proves that I’m doing something right. The devil is mad, so he is stirring up adversity (Ephesians 6:12). When trials come it’s God’s opportunity to bless me (if I act right and rejoice in faith). It’s a God set up! The Lord is going to use the thing that the enemy is trying to use against me to increase me, favor me, and shower me with His abundance (John 10:10). I have lost count of how many times God has proven this to be true. 

This Word is so exciting and powerful because it tells us that what we’re going through RIGHT NOW is developing us, maturing us, and positioning us for an increase. The trial is growing you to be more like Christ. The Word is clear in Hebrews 12:2 – “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the champion of our faith. For the JOY that was set before Him, He endured the cross.” Jesus went to the cross with “chara,” rejoicing, cheerfulness, and exceeding joyfulness. It didn’t feel good or look good but because He knew what the outcome would be, He rejoiced. Rejoicing during your test, tribulation, and adversity will mature you in being more like Christ. No matter how it feels or how it looks, if you will rejoice, you will win!

Jesus went to the cross with JOY!

Keep this in mind as you go through the tests and trials of life. Stand on the promises of God when you are being attacked. Your reward will be great. Keep smiling, keep rejoicing, and keep believing that God is making this work out for your good (Romans 8:28). 

My prayer for you today is that you will stand firm on God’s Word, then you will come out on top.   

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Close the Door

Ephesians 4:27 – ” Do not give place to the devil.”

If we guard every door, close every window, and seal every entry point that the enemy would try to access, we will never have to fall prey to the devil! One of the main entry points that the devil tries to access is our relationships. If there is an unresolved issue, offense, or conflict with a loved one, a friend, or a co-worker, these conflict points become entry points through which the devil can get a foothold in our heart and the relationship. This term “foothold” means that the devil has a stronghold on you, which will determine the direction of your life and the relationship. Once the enemy can slip in through one of these cracks and build an offense in your mind, you’ve already begun to construct a wall that will eventually separate you from the people you need and love. This word- PLACE in Ephesians 4:27 means territory. Because the word “place” means territory, we know that the devil is after every territory in our lives – our relationships, our marriage, our money, our health, employment, business, and ministry. He is so territorial that he wants it all. Remember in Matthew 4, the devil told Jesus that if he would worship him that he would give Jesus the kingdoms (territories) of this world. The devil is after every territory that you have authority over. But for the devil to gain control of these territories in our lives he must find an entry point. When he does, now he can bring his devilish destruction (John 10:10) in our lives and relationships.

The devil is after every territory in our lives.

How does the devil get these entry points? The devil attempts to enter our minds by making accusations against others. But because we are more than conquerors, we do not have to fall victim to his plot. Because GREATER is He that is in you, then he (devil) that is in the world (1 John 4:4) we can overcome every offense. We must choose not to give any territory “place” to the devil. You have the power of choice, no one including God, or the devil can take that away from you. Joshua said, “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15). We can choose to give the enemy a place in our minds and our emotions, or we can choose to walk in the Spirit of love and forgiveness. When we choose the lower road of the flesh and un-renewed emotions, we will end up doing and saying things that might be validated but we will end up regretting it. 

Let’s look at the word “devil”. In Greek, the word is diabolos. One of the definitions of the word diabolos is – to make penetration. Once diabolos has located an entry point of offense he now has access to penetrate our minds and our emotions, to drive a wedge, build a wall between us and others (spouse, boss, friend, family member, pastor, co-worker). The enemy’s objective is to cause separation by accusing and making slanderous accusations. You know when the devil has made penetration because of your whole perception of that person changes. Anytime you become nit-picky, negative, and fault-finding against the people that God has told you to honor and respect ( Exodus 20:12, Ephesians 6:4, 1 Peter 3:1, Romans 12:10) you’ve allowed yourself to become more focused on weakness instead of who they are. This is clear that the “accuser” has found an entry point to penetrate your mind which will now affect the relationship. I want to encourage you to stand up to the tricks and the lies of the enemy (Ephesians 6:11). Don’t allow conflict, disagreement, offense, or disappointment to cause a wrong attitude that will ruin a relationship. Instead of meditating on all the bad things about that person, look in the mirror. Consider how many times you’ve let other people down; how many mistakes you’ve made in relationships; the times that you should have been held accountable but instead were given great mercy.

The enemy’s objective is to cause separation.

Ask the Holy Spirit to take that criticism out of your heart and to cause the love of God to take over. Pray for the person, forgive them, it is impossible to sincerely pray and forgive someone and be critical of them. Pray for an opportunity to strengthen the relationship. Recognize the penetration points that the devil is attempting to come right in the middle of your relationships and decide to “not give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27). Close the door of your heart to the devil by loving and forgiving.    

My prayer for you today is that you will ask God to help you keep the doors to your heart and soul closed to the devil and open to Him. To help you stay free from offense, free of unforgiveness, and free of bitterness.

Point people to Jesus,

Rocky Byers 

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!” 

It’s a Revolution

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

As a believer, our job here on earth is to show up 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 show up and put God on display. To convey that the reality in Heaven can be manifested right here, right now (Matthew 6:10). We are not to be people that only believe the “right” things but we have to be people that have been so transformed by the Word of 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.

Our job is to show up and put God on display.

Not too long ago I was in a sports bar watching an NFL football game. Yes, Jesus through us still goes where the lost and hurting are (John 2:1-11). As the game was coming to an end, 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 that 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 about him was on point – it had happened in his life just as Holy Spirit revealed it. He was blown away that God was speaking to Him in a bar. It was a Word of Knowledge that brought restoration, love, and forgiveness. After I gave him the word that Holy Spirit was revealing, He acknowledged to growing up in the church. And 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 that day in a bar to prove that He hasn’t given up or forgotten about him. The young man assured me that because of this encounter he was returning to Jesus and would be going back to church.

Now I understand that everyone is not comfortable in a bar but there are opportunities around us all the time that God desires to use us in, to show up, and to put Him on display. When you realize who the Holy Spirit is in you miracles can show up where you go. When I pastored in Dallas, I used to say that Wal-Mart was my new mission field. It is time to realize that the lost and hurting are not usually showing up on Sunday morning. WOW, I wonder why? IF IT’S BROKE, FIX IT! If they are not coming to us, we must do something different. It is time for a NEW REVOLUTION. 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 who have walked away from the church. Not because they don’t believe in Jesus but because they don’t believe in us, the church, the people that are supposed to be displaying who Jesus is. The Church at large is spending most of its resources on entertaining “the saints”, keeping everybody comfortable, and keeping the religious machine going. But the millennials, the 96% of this generation who are un-churched (or de-churched) have spoken. And we haven’t listened. We have built our museums and we must pay for them. I LOVE THE CHURCH but it’s time to break the mold! I am believing for the NEW REVOLUTION of the church that will reach the “misfits”. I am calling it “a new church for a new generation.” I am believing that The Revolutionaries with the Revolution are coming!

If it’s broke – Fix it!

My prayer for you today is that God will open your eyes to His opportunities to show up and put Him on display – to reach those who don’t walk into the church on Sunday morning.

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Trust

Isaiah 55:9 – “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

Over the years, the Lord has directed me to do some things, and most of the time my answer was an immediate “yes”. Then, I must admit that there have been times when I haven’t been so agreeable. Those were the times when what He was asking did not make sense to me in the natural and I knew it would be incredibly challenging. One of those times was a little over two years ago when God asked us to come to Sheridan, Montana, and pastor a small dying country church. It made no sense at all. I have pastored in large cities for over thirty years but never a small town like Sheridan. I had been pastoring in Dallas, Texas with over six million people, and moving to Sheridan with about eight hundred people and only three thousand in the valley made no sense to me. When God told me that this was His will, I did not sleep for a month – wrestling and arguing with Him. But God finally won. We have now been here for two years and 3 Rivers Family Church is a growing body of believers that looks like our community. Families, teenagers, moms and dads, young adults, and grandparents. We now have a full band, an anointed worship team made up of young people and experienced musicians. And the Word that the Lord gave me while still in Dallas, “He handpicked me to bring revival to Ruby Valley”, is starting to happen. It always pays to trust and obey!!    

Sometimes, God asks us to do hard things, uncomfortable things, and even strange things.

Imagine being Hosea. God asked Hosea the Prophet to marry Gomer, a prostitute, and have children with her. Believe me, that would not go over with denominational headquarters. Yet she was God’s choice. God said that His instructions to Hosea were an illustration of how Israel was acting like a prostitute, by turning away from the Lord and worshiping other gods. Hosea obeyed God, though it could not have been easy.

Just as God gave out special assignments to accomplish His purposes through unconventional ways, He does the same thing today. There are times when God will tell us what He wants us to do, why He wants us to do it, and what He will do as a result of our obedience; but sometimes He isn’t that specific. Sometimes, it’s just “Be willing and obedient” (Isaiah 1:19). We won’t always know why God asks us to do something, or why He allows somethings to happen. Despite not knowing, we must still trust that God knows what He is doing and always has a good plan (Jeremiah 29:11). That is why this life with Jesus is all about trust. Religion can never give you what only a relationship can provide for you. Relationship with Jesus will always cause you to trust and have confidence in Him. By “Trusting in the Lord with all your heart and leaning not on your own understanding,” will He make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5,6). By trusting simply means that it will work out for good. You might not be able to clearly see or understand right now, but He’s about to bring something good out of this season of testing. You will be blessed! So, keep trusting Him through it all. 

Relationship with Jesus will always cause you to trust Him. 

Our role is not to figure it out but to trust and be obedient, to trust Him through everything. It pleases our Father when we surrender to His will – even though we do not understand. God calls that faith. Abraham did not know where he was going when God asked him to leave everything that was familiar. But Abraham believed God and stepped out in faith and God said that Abraham was righteous because of that (Genesis 15:6). No matter how difficult, unclear, or uncomfortable the circumstance, God wants us to trust Him. 

If your present season is one with a lack of clarity, God is challenging you and stretching you to grow your faith by trusting Him. By trusting Him, He will do greater and more than you could ever do on your own. Hebrews 10:38 – “My righteous ones will live by faith (trust).” Our Father wants to abundantly bless you. So, trust and obey. 

My prayer for you today is that you grow to trust the Lord with your whole heart, in all things.  

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers 

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Prideful Pursuit

John 10:4 – “His sheep follow Him because they know his voice.”

Several years ago, when I was the youth pastor for my mentor and his church, I became prideful (to say the least). I had grown one of the largest youth ministries in the state and became nationally recognized. Because of my pride (which I was not aware of at the time), I opened myself up to a critical spirit towards my Pastor/mentor. During this time people started coming to me pointing out the things that they disliked about our Pastor or did not agree with and I started agreeing with them in my heart. Fortunately, through the voice of the Holy Spirit, I realized that I needed to share these things with my Pastor. My Pastor lovingly helped me see the truth of what was happening, and I stopped listening to their voices to continue hearing my Pastor’s voice. I believe that one decision from years ago is one of the most important decisions I have ever made. It kept me healthy and able to continue in the call of God on my life (1 Corinthians 11:30). In which I just marked my thirty-third year in full-time ministry.

God brings people into our lives to speak into our lives, to help us and bless us. But at the same time, we must be aware that if God can send people into our lives to help and bless us, then the enemy will send people into our lives to separate us and destroy us. The enemy will send people that will distract us by stroking our ego and causing us to become open to the wrong people. Jesus warns us of this in John 10:1 – “That anyone who does not enter the sheepfold through the gate (Pastor), is a thief and a robber.” We must be aware of the enemy’s devices (2 Corinthians 2:11). As I had to learn, any voice that attempts to separate you from the Shepherd’s (Pastor’s) voice is a wrong voice with the intent to divide.

Over the years I have seen many people deceived and pulled away from following a true Shepherd simply because of the voices that they surrounded themselves with. If you surround yourself with the right voices, you will make the right choices. The opposite is true. Wrong voices – wrong choices. One of my mentors, Jim Rohn (who has since passed), used to say, “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.” The Bible is even clearer on this point. Proverbs 13:20 – “He who walks with wise men will be wise. But a companion of fools will suffer harm.” We have all been there, just like King Saul. King Saul started out listening to the voice of God speaking into his life through the Prophet Samuel. But over time he became prideful and believed that he knew best without the man of God (Prophet Samuel). Missing it is not easy to admit, especially when the seeming immediate reward (friends, acceptance, affirmation) of the wrong choice makes so much more sense in our current circumstance. Judas also had those initial feelings (acceptance, affirmation) after his wrong choice, but eventually led him to suicide.

Wrong voices – wrong choices.

When we cut ourselves off from the voice of God speaking into our lives through true Shepherds, the voice of Godly influence becomes faint. Because we have listened to the wrong voices it becomes difficult to make the right choices. We must ask ourselves, who’s voice have we allowed into our heart? “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10). When you cut off God’s voice through His chosen Shepherds, you remove wisdom. People that have cut themselves off from a Shepherd’s voice become the people that the enemy preys on (1 Peter 5:8). When you are removed from a Shepherd’s voice, you start hearing other voices. The truth is, there are only two voices: God’s and the devil’s (Truth and deception).

Whose voice have you allowed into your heart?

We all need people around us who have God’s heart, who are spiritually awake. Meaning that they know what God is doing. We need voices in our life that are not foolish. That is why I am so appreciative of my mentor. He has listened and spoken into my life for over 32 years. Correcting me and holding me accountable when I needed it and counseling me when I needed to hear his voice of wisdom.

We need voices in our lives that are not foolish.

We need the voices of people who genuinely love us and will get into our business. “Why weren’t you in church this Sunday?” “Where were you?” “I missed you.” We all do better when we have accountability. In America and even in the church we struggle with this Biblical principle because we have the idea that in the land of the free no one has a right to hold anyone accountable. In Matthew 25 where Jesus taught the parable of the talents, the point was accountability. Proverbs 18:1 makes it clear that a person without accountability is rebellious. The truth is that rebellion is the fruit of pride. Accountability lets us know that we matter and that someone cares.

My prayer for you today is that you will surround yourself with the right voices.

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Sparks will Fly

Proverbs 27:17 – “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” 

As a boy growing up in Virginia, I have visited Williamsburg, VA many times, and I still enjoy going there. I enjoy seeing the history of the first settlers and what it took to forge a new direction for themselves and their families. I can never forget watching the Blacksmiths masterfully sharpening knives and swords. They would beat the swords with hammers then stick the swords in the fire, only to see the sparks fly. All with the intent of sharpening the sword to make it more useful and effective. The truth is that you really don’t have close people in your life unless every once and awhile some sparks fly. Sure, we all need some “yes” friends. Those people that no matter what, tell us, “your wonderful, your right, you’re so good and everyone else is wrong.” At the right times they keep us motivated and encouraged. But they usually aren’t the ones that fuel change and growth in our lives. Sometimes our own sword needs to be sharpened, and that requires, like it or not, some beating and sparks flying. Because our sword needs to stay sharp, so that we can yield the sword of the Spirit when necessary. And so that we can also be the friend that speaks the truth to those closest to us. To forge new ground and take new territory requires our swords to be sharpened. Unless our swords are sharp and ready for the battles that the enemy throws at us, we will find ourselves on the losing end being devoured and defeated (1 Peter 5:8).

Sometimes our swords need to be sharpened.

It’s the real friend, someone who really cares about you that will tell you the truth. They will tell you when you’re wrong. They will let you know when you need to apologize. We need people that are going to be honest with us because Proverbs 15:32 says – “Those who disregard correction despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.” A true friend will encourage you and motivate you to do the right thing so that you can fulfill your potential. Their sword is sharp enough to do according to Hebrews 4:12 – separate what is your un-renewed mind, your flesh, prideful thoughts, and actions from what are the actions of you living according to truth. We all need that type of a friend. Because a real friend will be there when you need someone for counsel, someone to lean on, as well as to celebrate our victories with. A real friend can see our weakness and even our failures yet will be there to love us, correct us and accept us.

God says in Proverbs 18:24 – “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” The most reliable friend anyone of us can have is Holy Spirit. Especially at those times when the sparks fly between us and those closest to us, we need to lean on Holy Spirit. He will empower us to overcome any possible anger or the temptation to be unforgiving. God knows that for us to become the person that He created us to be, sometimes some sparks must fly. But no matter what’s happening in our lives we need to always stay close to Holy Spirit. He will always lead us into the truth of God’s will, Love!

The most reliable friend anyone of us can have is Holy Spirit.

Love is patient! Love is kind! Love keeps no record of wrongs! Love is always forgiving! A true friend will love at all times and walk with you through the fire.

My prayer for you today is that you will nurture those closest to you with Love!

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

You’re Called by God

2 Corinthians 5:18 – “All this is from God, who RECONCILED US to Himself through Christ and GAVE US the ministry of RECONCILIATION.”

As believers we have been healed to be healers, we have been forgiven to forgive, we have been loved to be lovers, we have been reconciled to be reconcilers. Every believer is called to the ministry, the ministry of reconciliation. No one is excluded, that’s how valuable and important you are to the church. So, what does that mean – the ministry of RECONCILIATION? It means that when people hurt us, we keep loving them. Where there is conflict, God expects us to seek reconciliation. It means that when we are offended, wounded, or heartbroken, we choose to forgive and keep loving through the hurt with the heart to reconcile.

God expects us to seek reconciliation.

The world and the church are full of people who are estranged from one another. We see siblings who don’t talk to one another, parents who don’t talk to their children. We see people who won’t talk to other people in the church. Someone has offended someone; someone was hurt by someone. So, most of the time instead of seeking reconciliation we simply avoid them. Sometimes we convince ourselves that we must avoid them because we can’t tolerate what they’ve done. But is that fulfilling the call to be a reconciler? This calling to be a reconciler is irrevocable because God called us to it (Romans 11:29).

How can we deliberately avoid someone when it’s our responsibility to love them? Where would we be if God ignored us when we messed up? John tells us in 1 John 4:20 -“If you don’t love people that you can see, how can you say that you love God, whom you cannot see?”  God loves us through our messes, through our mistakes, and even through our sinful choices. He keeps pursuing us. He keeps offering love to bring reconciliation to our relationship. Because that is who He is, so He expects us to do the same with one another. It’s our responsibility to reconcile.

God keeps pursuing us through our mistakes.

If you need to be reconciled to someone, take the first step. God took the first step with us, and every step after that – to reconcile with us. Maybe your waiting for them to change before you will accept them. Is that what God does with us? Absolutely not! He loves us like we’ve never hurt Him or disappointed Him. “While we were still sinners, He died for us” (Romans 5:8). Be the one that makes the first move, step up, and be the reconciler that you are called to be. Reconciliation requires us to love like we’ve never been hurt. “Love never fails”(1 Corinthians 13:8). Don’t stop loving. It’s never out of order to love. Sometimes we just need to love – by faith. Because love never fails; love will triumph and bring reconciliation to the relationship. It might take a week, a month, or even years but we are responsible, no matter what has been done or said, we are responsible to fulfill our call to the ministry of reconciliation. I know several people who are called to the fivefold ministry (apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, teacher – Ephesians 4:11) but have not been able to step into their calling because they have not learned how to fulfill their first calling to be a minister of reconciliation. The MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION is the most important ministry in the church because that is the predominant characteristic of our Father. Before we can reconcile any relationship, we must first choose to forgive. Reconciliation hinges on forgiveness. Jesus acknowledged this principle from the cross – “Father forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). Forgiveness always precedes reconciliation.

It’s never out of order to forgive.

Maybe you’ve been hurt so deeply that you think that you can’t be healed. Our Father is loving and powerful, He can bring healing to every situation. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds”(Psalm 147:3). God can give you the grace to love and forgive like you’ve never been hurt. Bring the hurt, the wound, the mess to God. His grace is sufficient. And His love will never fail!

My prayer for you today is that you will love like you’re loved, forgive like you’ve been forgiven, and become the reconciler that God has called you to be.

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Mask or No Mask

John 14:27 – “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. The peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So, don’t be troubled or afraid.”

Today in our country and the world, it is so easy to be troubled, confused, and even downright fearful. Some people feeling threatened because of the color of their skin and their ethnicity. Human rights are being questioned. Getting through an unprecedented pandemic. Mask or no mask? Christians are being slaughtered by the thousands world-wide through religious persecution. Storms and devastation throughout the earth. With social chaos everywhere, what is a person to do when peace seems elusive?

Mask or no Mask?

In Hebrews chapter three God explains why most of the Israelites didn’t enter into the promised land. Remember this promised land was the inheritance that God swore to their forefathers (Deuteronomy 7:8). But most didn’t receive the promise because they allowed themselves to fall into fear and unbelief. They viewed their circumstance as bigger than God or His willingness to keep His promise. Because they chose fear and unbelief, God said, “I swore an oath in my anger, they SHALL NOT enter My rest” (Hebrews 3:11). We rarely see God express His anger like this. He is best known for His mercy and grace. But obviously, God takes fear and unbelief seriously.

Jesus promised us His peace. The word “REST” in Hebrews 3:11 means “in the midst of opposition, you’re able to live in peace.” God fulfilling His promises is not dependent upon the conditions of the world or our condition or situation. The one unchanging characteristic of God is that He is always faithful! He will never change His mind concerning any promise. You can put it in stone. He did, Jesus the stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone (Psalm 118:22). Even though Jesus was rejected, it didn’t change the truth that He is the cornerstone. Whether anyone believes it or not, Jesus is the cornerstone. Because God is always faithful to His Word.

The one unchanging characteristic of God is that He is always faithful!

The Israelites did not enter their promise of REST/PEACE because of their unbelief. We have everything that we need to enter REST/PEACE. They had a promise and we have promises. As believers, we have the promised PRINCE OF PEACE (Isaiah 9:6) living in us. The world cannot say this. It is only natural for unbelievers to be in fear. Anytime we allow ourselves to get into worry, fear, or anxiety, we are looking in the wrong direction and the wrong place. Peace is the gift that came to live in us when we invited Jesus into our lives. We must look internally not externally. Our internal perspective will always overcome what is happening in the natural. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28, “Come unto ME all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you REST/PEACE.” As believers, we don’t have to go far for our peace. He lives in us and is ever-present to comfort all who are burdened. Therefore, religion can never answer the longings of our hearts. Religion only complicates life while a true relationship with Jesus frees us to know Him and HIS PEACE.

We must look internally not externally!

God is always faithful. That’s who He is. Persecution, racial strife, pandemics, bills, and health issues do not change who God is. The only thing that hinders God in our lives is unbelief. He promises that if you’ll bring every situation to Him in prayer and thank Him in faith for being who He is (your faithful Father) then you will not be anxious (Philippians 4:6). In other words, anything can be happening around you and you will enter His REST/PEACE.

It’s not our responsibility to fix the problems of the world but we carry the answer that everyone needs, the PRINCE OF PEACE. There has never been a greater time than today to reach others who are without true peace.

My prayer for you today is that you will enter His REST, by staying close to Him, the PRINCE of PEACE. I pray that you will be open and available to others when those opportunities present themselves.      

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Stand and Fight

2 Corinthians 4:13 – “Since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, I believed and therefore I spoke, we also believe and therefore speak.”

One of the marks of a growing maturing believer is their ability to STAND on the Word. Whether it be a prophetic Word or the written Word, those Words are the truth of who God is and what He is wanting to do in our lives. But, to see the Word from God demonstrated and manifested in our lives requires us to first believe it. Faith and believing are not mental agreeing. Because faith will always be tested, if your faith is only head (mental) faith it will be stolen every time. Jesus said, out of the abundance of the heart. Paul said that it is with the heart one believes unto righteousness (Romans 10:10). A belief does not become faith until it drops into your heart. For that transition to occur, from head to heart, requires confession, repetition, confession, and repetition. Confession and repetition sink the seed of the Word deeper and deeper until it takes root in your heart. What you’re not willing to confess you will not possess. That is the truth that Paul taught, confession is made unto salvation (Romans 10:10). And Salvation encompasses every aspect of our lives with God, from the moment of conversion to our seeing every Word experienced in our lives. Because our faith will be tested, our faith is validated by what we’re willing to STAND UP for and FIGHT for. The enemy always comes attempting to steal, to kill and destroy the Word given to us from God. He comes to oppose with the intent to steal from you what God has spoken. Jesus warns us in Mark 4:15 – “These are the ones by the wayside (shallow, immature), where the Word was sown; Satan comes to steal the Word that was sown.” The only Words that we will ever see the reward of are the ones that we are willing to FIGHT for. I wish it weren’t that way, but the truth is – Only Fighters Win! Those that lay down and accept the lies of doubt, unbelief and deception from the enemy never see the Word manifested in their lives. That is why Paul tells us to “FIGHT the good FIGHT of faith.” In my life growing up with the name Rocky, I have been in a lot of fights. The only good ones were the ones I won. Meaning I came out on top. That is what Paul is talking about. FIGHT the devil with the truth until you come out on top.

What you’re not willing to confess you will not possess.

Only FIGHTERS prevail, only FIGHTERS triumph, only FIGHTERS win!! One of the biggest problems in the body of Christ is that most do not know how to fight the devil. Their good at fighting other people but they haven’t learned how to fight the enemy of their faith. Until you learn how to do that it will be impossible for you to live in victory and possess what God has said belongs to you.

You recall the Word Mary received, that she would be pregnant with Jesus. This Word was incomprehensible and impossible to explain. She had no Biblical precedent for that Word, a virgin giving birth to a child. It was a prophetic Word. But the angel told her in Luke 1:37- “For with God nothing, in the Greek – nothing is the word no rhema, is impossible with God.” In other words, No Word spoken to us by Holy Spirit, which would include a prophetic Word, and No Word that God has given us in the Bible will be impossible. Whenever God gives us a Word, it is not going to seem possible, in fact the natural circumstances are usually contrary. But Mary had the sense to agree. Her response was Luke 1:38 – “Let it be done to me according to your Word.” The only responsibility that we have is to STAND, FIGHT and BELIEVE the Word given. Do not allow yourself to be talked out of the Word. If we Stand and Fight, God will make it happen.

Whenever God has given us a Word, it will seem impossible.

Can you imagine the opposition that Mary encountered? Besides the devil, her family and everyone that she knew, including Joseph her fiancé, she had to STAND up against the stigma of being the mother of an illegitimate child. Everything in the natural and the enemy in the spirit fought her hard, attempting to abort the Word. Anytime we don’t STAND against the enemy’s attacks and his attempts to steal the Word, we are allowing that Word to be aborted. Snatched from the birthing womb of faith. That’s what happened to the Israelite’s, Hebrews 3:19 says of them, “we see that they could not enter in because of their unbelief.” God gave them a Word; any Word from God is His will for your life. But the Israelite’s allowed themselves to be talked out of it. So, the Word even though it was the will of God was aborted.

What are you STANDING on today?

What Word are you FIGHTING with today?

After you have seemingly done all to STAND and the enemy keeps lying, STAND! 

My prayer for you today is that you will – STAND – FIGHT and WIN!!

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”