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21 Days

Matthew 17:18-21 – “And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” So, Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, that if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not come out except by prayer and fasting.”

The goal of praying and fasting has never been to change God or His will. Through prayer and fasting, we are the ones that experience change and transformation — spiritually, emotionally, physically, etc.  Coming into alignment with God through prayer and fasting helps us recognize our doubts, fears, and unbelief to overcome them. 
 
When we pray and fast, the thing that leaves — the thing that “comes out” – is our unbelief.  That is why the disciples were not able to have victory in this urgent situation of Matthew 17.  The emphasis Jesus gave on prayer and fasting to his disciples was to remove this kind of unbelief, not a “this kind” of demon spirit. You must understand that as a believer you have been given authority over demons through the name and blood of Jesus at all times — whether fasting or not. As a believer, you can exercise the authority that Jesus has given you over sin and all the works of the devil because of what He has already accomplished. This type of authority is not because of anything that we do, other than act and speak in faith. Even though Jesus has won the victory over all of hell and has given us His authority to this victory, unbelief will keep us from living in the authority that we have (Luke 10:19). It is when we have faith to believe, that we can pray with confidence and faith knowing that “nothing will be impossible for the one that believes” (Mark 9:23). 

As a believer, you’ve been given authority over demons.

In this time of fasting and prayer, let us ask God to strengthen our hearts to fully believe Him and His Word. It is okay to recognize and acknowledge if you struggle with unbelief. It is the first step in allowing God to strengthen your faith and bring you into alignment with His plan for your life.  I believe it brings great joy to our Heavenly Father when we believe Him (Hebrews 11:6).

It is okay to recognize that you struggle with unbelief.


What is it that you need faith to believe for? Align yourself with God’s Word and promises during these 21 days of fasting and prayer.  Release, renounce, and repent of your unbelief. Write down the things you are believing for and pray with confidence, knowing “nothing will be impossible for you.” 

My prayer for you today, as we start this new year is that you will consecrate these next 21 days unto the Lord. To daily make some special time available to sit with Him, to hear His voice as He wants to minister to you for this upcoming year. 

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On earth as it is in Heaven!”

The Year of More

Isaiah 54:2 -“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold backlengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.”

As I prepare myself for what God has for us in this upcoming year, I glance back at 2020 with a sigh of relief. I realize that many people have also experienced the same thing. The enemy has been harassing, almost like what the Apostle Paul encountered in 2 Corinthians 12. To the Apostle Paul, the enemy’s attack seemed like a “thorn in the flesh” trying to get him to quit and shrink back into comfort and lessen his territory and impact. As I prepare for our annual 21-day fast, I believe that one of the Words the Lord is speaking into 2021 is Isaiah 54:2. I believe that this coming year God will break through the boundaries and the hindrances that we have been experiencing! 

This coming year will be a season to stretch our faith for more. More of God in our lives causing us to take more territory for His Kingdom. The year of more. More God through More prayer! More fasting! More Word! More worship! For you to see God’s breakthrough in your life and for 2021 to be different than 2020 is going to require us to hunger for more! God is wanting to expand our tent pegs beyond our limitations. I believe that God is wanting to do a “new thing” that we do not have a paradigm for. We must not settle for comfort, but we must push forward for more. God is always challenging us to grow but this year He is calling us to ENLARGE our territory and sphere of influence. Go for it – that BIG DREAM that is in your heart. I ask, what do you have to lose? God is saying, “ENLARGE, STRETCH, LENGTHEN, STRENGTHEN, DO NOT HOLD BACK!” In other words, GO FOR IT!! Grab your tent peg – rip it out of the ground of comfort and stretch to a place that seems impossible. In Psalm 42:7 God says that “Deep is calling unto deep.” But before we can STRETCH or lengthen there must first be an enlargement. An enlargement of God in our lives, an enlargement of vision, an enlargement of His heart in us. God is saying, “It’s a new season that I am calling forth the deep things that are in you.” There is a treasure in you, dreams in you. Dreams that you may have ignored, pushed down, or even forgotten about. This is your year to “Just go for it!”. When Canon Andrew White was struck with MS, he was given some advice, “Don’t take care, take a risk.” God is calling us out of the safe place to take a risk. We all are comfortable operating at a certain level. It is usually a place that does not require us to take a risk. This year 2021 is different, God is calling us out into the deep – to take a risk.

Before we can stretch there must first be an enlargement.

In this season, God is waiting for you to step out of the boat of comfort and familiarity to experience what He has set up for you in this moment of your life. God has called us to partner with Him. He wants to anoint us and empower us to ENLARGE, STRETCH, and LENGTHEN our reach of influence. But it is going to require us to step out in faith and take a risk. According to Hebrews 11:6, God always rewards faith. No one ever accomplished anything great by sitting in the boat of comfort. So, the greater the STRETCH the greater level of reward you will see and receive. For many of you, this is going to require you to stop – just going to church. There is a God dream in you, ENLARGE, STRETCH, and LENGTHEN. Go for it! For some of you, it is going to require you to get out of the church that you are in. What God is wanting to do will not happen through dry, dead, religious churches without the Presence of God. For us to do what God is wanting to do in 2021, we need more of God.

True faith requires risk.

My prayer for you is that you will be thankful for what you have experienced but realize that it is not enough. My prayer is that you will hunger and thirst for more of God and His presence this year. That your spiritual eyes would be opened to see what God is calling you to. A deeper spiritual hunger that will cause your heart to become one with the Father’s.

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

He Came For You

Isaiah 9:6- “For us a Child is born, for us a Son is given. And His name shall be Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

This is probably my favorite scripture describing the purpose of the birth of Christ. The real meaning of Christmas lies not only in His birth but also in His life. He came to earth to model for us what life with “The Father” looks like. His life of miracles, His life of love, and His teaching all demonstrated the heart of God for us. The truth is that His death and resurrection made all that possible for us to experience and possess for ourselves. Because of Christ’s birth, His life, and His death we can now personally know God, as Father. Because of the Father, nature of God, we can have Him and every aspect of Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. During this time of year, we celebrate Jesus coming to earth, but for many of us, this season just seems to add to the busyness of life that distracts us from the real reason He came.

Because of the birth of Christ, we can now personally know God, as Father.

In Luke 10 we read where Mary and Martha invited Jesus into their home. There was much to be done, and Martha was “distracted by it all.” Maybe, like me, you can relate to Martha. There is so much to do, with people placing expectations on us. Yet during all the busyness, it says that Mary set herself down at Jesus’ feet. She seemed unaffected by all the hustle and bustle. She kept her priorities straight. She longed to spend time with Him. So, Martha (like many of us), complains because she is so busy, “Don’t you care Lord that I’m so busy and Mary (and no one else) doesn’t seem to care.” Yet Jesus reminds us, as He did Martha, that in all the hustle and bustle, STRESS and preoccupation with shopping and life, Mary has chosen and discovered what is best. Being able to sit at Jesus’ feet is why He came.

Mary set herself down at Jesus’ feet.

When we remember why Jesus truly came and recognize our need for Him, then we will take the time to be with Him. Then we will prioritize our Sunday mornings and every other morning. That through sitting at His feet, we will gain His strength and His peace – especially during all the busyness of life. When we keep Jesus as our priority (Matt.6:33) we will always experience His faithfulness, His blessings, and favor in our lives. So, what does your relationship with Jesus look like? Is it filled with His peace and presence? He came for you. His coming is proof that you are worth it. Since He came for us, we should take the time to honor Him and His purpose. Jesus came so that we could have His peace and be filled with His joy and strength.

He came for you.

In His presence, at His feet is where real joy and peace is found, and strength for the days ahead. Not in getting all the busyness done. But Jesus reminds us like He did Martha “choose what is better.”   

My prayer for you today is that during this busy season you will truly discover why Jesus the Lord was born.

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

Your Key to Wellness

Psalm 100:4,5 – “Enter His gates with THANKSGIVING and His courts with praise; give THANKS to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues to all generations.”

With Thanksgiving Day this week, it allows us to pause from the busyness of life and once again reflect on the goodness of God. As we gather with friends and family to feast on turkey and watch some football let us take time to be thankful for the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness. We may avoid counting calories, but we do not want to miss out on counting our blessings. 

All too often, our minds dwell on our problems, an uncertain future, faded dreams, and regrets. While there is no question that life does bring its share of challenges and disappointments, it also brings us relationships built, problems solved, promises kept, and dreams fulfilled. 

An attitude of gratitude provides us a lifeline to carry us through the darkest moments of life. As we keep ourselves aware of God’s faithfulness and provision, nothing is impossible (Matthew 19:26). That same spirit of thankfulness will cause our hearts to overflow with joy, even during the toughest of times. I learned this from my pastor while youth pastoring at his church for years. We had a growing church of over three thousand people which meant that we had bigger problems to deal with. Right after we finished building our three thousand seat auditorium the Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart falls happened. Attendance dropped and it hit us financially. I watched and learned how to be optimistic during the toughest of times. To talk to and watch my pastor, you believed that this was the best thing that ever happened. We never missed a bill or lost sight of our vision. Gratefulness brought us through.

The spirit of Thankfulness will cause our hearts to overflow with joy.

Medical research has proven the impact that a positive attitude has on our physical and mental well-being. Reports prove that being thankful not only encourages the enjoyment of life but will add years of health to your life. Grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions and life satisfaction, vitality, and lower levels of stress. Studies show that grateful people do not have fewer negative situations, they are just able to have a more positive optimistic outlook in their situations. As people of faith, we should make it a daily habit of being thankful. Thankfulness is our response to who our Father is, “For He is good and His mercies endure forever” (1 Chronicles 16:34). Because of who He is, Psalm 68:19 tells us “To Bless the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits and blessing.” He daily gives us blessings, which means that we should be thankful and grateful every day. Whenever I allow myself to get down and discouraged it is because I am forgetting who He is and all the blessings that He has given me.

Thankfulness will add years of health to your life.

I challenge you to sit down with pen and paper, write down all the blessings that are in your life. Starting with the truth of salvation through Christ and then being thankful for all the good people you are in a relationship with. So many times, we take these blessings for granted. This is so important because ungratefulness leads to forgetfulness. Take the time to express your thankfulness to God and to those that you love. Not just on this Thanksgiving Day but every day, because expressing gratitude is showing appreciation to our Father and to others who are gifts in our life. Now let your thankfulness spill over into jubilant praise!   

My prayer for you today is that this Thanksgiving will become a way of life. 

Pointing People to Jesus,

Rocky Byers

“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”

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!”