Archive for August, 2015

Are You Living in Goshen?

Posted: August 31, 2015 in Uncategorized

For those of you who don’t know where Goshen is, it is a place in the extreme northern end of ancient Egypt, very close to the Mediterranean Sea. It was a land where a young Hebrew, named Joseph, became the second in authority under the Pharaoh of that day. Pharaoh allowed him to bring his entire family to Goshen, the best land in all of Egypt, in order to provide for them during a global famine that lasted for seven years.

Joseph was a prophetic picture of Christ and His provision for His people. As long as they stayed in Goshen, all their families and livestock were taken care of.

The descendants of Joseph’s brothers remained there for 430 years until Moses, their next leader, came on the scene to deliver them from another wicked Pharaoh. During this time, the land of Goshen became very significant to the survival of the Hebrews.

You may be asking yourself, “So what does some place in ancient Egypt have to do with me today?”

Goshen is not just an ancient geographical location of the past. It’s a real mental and spiritual location inside each one of us today. How well we survive these coming days on earth—which are challenging to say the least—will be determined by whether we’re currently living in Goshen in our hearts and minds.

To know if you’re living in Goshen, you need to know a little history about it first. Interestingly, the name Goshen means to draw near.

Protection During Plagues in Goshen

When Moses came on the scene, the Hebrews had been in Egyptian bondage to Pharaoh for many years. God was preparing to deliver the Israelite’s from his harsh rule; but not before some very serious judgments were released through Moses.

You may or may not have heard this story. But it involves nine serious plagues that affected the entire land of Egypt in that day. Each time a different plague was about to be released, God sent Moses in before Pharaoh to warn him that it was coming, but he continually resisted and hardened his heart toward God.

However, God supernaturally protected the Israelites from all of these plagues while they lived in Goshen; which was part of Egypt. The plagues included flies covering the land, dead livestock everywhere, total destruction of their crops, trees, vegetation, animals, and people, as the result of a hailstorm, and the plague of darkness that lasted for three full days.

Supernatural Deliverance

In Exodus 8:20, Moses went before Pharaoh to warn him about the flies—the fourth plague—but he resisted. In verse twenty-two and twenty-three, God said, And in that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, in which My people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there, in order that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of the land. I will make a difference between My people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall be.”

The Israelites were untouched by this hideous plague. But the bible goes on to say the flies came into the houses and that they covered the land. There are so many symbolisms in this story of God’s protection and deliverance for us today in Christ if you have accepted Him as Savior.

The fifth plague to come upon the land was diseased livestock. Exodus 9:4-6 describes this event as it did the plague of flies. God said in verse 4 that He would make a difference between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt. He finished by saying, “Nothing shall die that belongs to children of Israel.” Verse six says that “all” of the livestock of Egypt died, but of the livestock of Israel, not one died.

The seventh plague to be released was hail. In Exodus 9:25-26 it says that the hail struck throughout the land of Egypt. It struck every man and animal in the fields, as well as every herb and every tree. Nothing was left! Verse 26 says, “…in the land of Goshen where the children of Israel were, there was no hail.”

The last plague mentioned in Exodus 10:21-23 is darkness. In the original Hebrew language, it literally means a darkness that is so thick and heavy that it can actually “be felt”. Interestingly, the word darkness here is the same Hebrew word used for darkness in Isa. 60:2 that describes the spiritual darkness upon the earth in the last days.

And once again, just as before, God performed a supernatural sign. Verse twenty-three of Exodus 10 says, “But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.”

How Do I Get to Goshen?

No matter where we’re living in this world today, we can all live in Goshen (God’s kingdom) if we choose to; but it WILL cost us something! It’s important to understand that Egypt is symbolic of today’s world view on everything. Commerce, lifestyle, morals, entertainment, appetites, economy, fashion, etc. Today’s view for the most part is self-indulgent, self-absorbing, and excessive. In other words, do whatever makes you feel good at the moment with no regard for accountability to authority over you, or how it affects someone else.

You don’t have to be a prude to live in Goshen, but you do you have to have your mind renewed to God’s way of thinking in order to enjoy the benefits of that land (see Romans 12:1-2). Goshen, or God’s kingdom, operates on an entirely different set of laws than this temporal, carnal world does. You cannot successfully navigate the darkness of this world’s age without knowing Who the Light is and how to operate according to His laws.

Starting today, we cannot afford to allow Egyptian thinking to “dumb us down” and limit our faith in Almighty God, Who is superior in every way to disaster, every recession, and every attack of our enemy, regardless of how he comes. If you do, bondage will immediately begin to take up space in your heart, mind, and emotions, and you will not be able to tap into or experience God’s supernatural protection and provision when you need it most.

Goshen Has More Than Enough

God brought this subject of Goshen to my heart a couple of years ago when my pastor’s wife taught on preparing for the coming days. As I was on my way home that evening after church, I heard the Lord clearly say, “Blessings abound in the land of Goshen”. As a result, I began studying it regularly and when I discovered that Goshen meant to draw near, I immediately knew why He spoke that phrase to me.

When the Israelites lived in Goshen, God protected them supernaturally time after time and He did it under the law; which was a significantly inferior covenant compared to what we have in place today. Hebrews 8:6 says now we have a new covenant established on better promises and Jesus is our Mediator.

God protected His people from an evil dictator of that day and He did it under a covenant that was far less promising than what we have right now. Why then, should we not be able to trust Him today to do at least what He did then?

When I was studying for this post, I believe I heard the Holy Spirit tell me the reason few people believe in this concept, including many Christians, is because they’ve never been taught much about it. If few of our spiritual leaders today are actually living and “experiencing” this as an example, how can we as Christians expect to live here unless we take it upon ourselves to be responsible to see it happen in our lives.

I believe God also spoke this to me. He said, “The people of this age have not seen, nor do they begin to really understand My power. I AM literally untapped and have unlimited reservoirs of power, abilities, and resources. And yet, I choose to supernaturally limit Myself to what you’re able to believe! I love you, therefore, I respect your decision to believe Me, or doubt Me. The outcome is totally up to you!

Remember, you cannot live in God’s kingdom and operate in this current culture’s beliefs and appetites and expect to do well. If things are not working for you, it’s not because God is mad at you or is ignoring you. His world simply works differently than this one.

His world operates by spiritual laws of faith, sowing, reaping, obedience, walking in love, denying our fleshly desires and so on. This temporary world that is falling apart as we speak, works by natural laws such as gravity, lift, heat, cold, night, day etc.

It’s not easy to move into the land of Goshen, but it is simple. Just learn to put God first in everything; depend on and trust Him for everything you need…everything!

And you will find yourself living life on a scale that doesn’t compare to anything in this world.

Bless you,

Dennis

*All scriptures above were taken from the NKJV.

This question came to me in the past because of hearing two different views or teachings on the subject of God and His sovereignty.

I agree that God is absolutely sovereign if you mean that He is our creator, the only One true God, the only Savior, and absolute authority over all principalities, powers, and rulers of the darkness.

The All-Sovereign Doctrine

Some people believe that no matter what happens to you or others on the planet, it’s all allowed by God, whether you’re a Christian or not. Because after all, since God is all-powerful, then that naturally means He’s responsible for everything. And that actually implies…everything!

If this were true, then the same God who sent His son to deliver us from evil would also have to be “the source” of evil and that’s not logical thinking, even at the most elementary level of understanding.

What I’ve discovered is that this type of thinking and believing is taught and received most often when accidents, sickness, death, loss of jobs, children getting in trouble, and a host of other unexplainable or unjustified situations occur for which they have no answer.

It’s my personal conviction that this type of teaching comes from a lack of understanding or revelation of the true source of these situations. People simply do not understand the “true” nature of God. Therefore, He gets blamed for catastrophes, sickness, death, adverse acts of nature and a host of other things.

God Gave Us His Authority

Many times Jesus spoke of suffering in the bible because He was familiar with it (see Isa. 53:3, Heb. 4:15) and He cared enough to deliver people from it. When he did talk about it, it was never from a defeated perspective of being unable to overcome it, or not having the answers or the power to defeat it.

While the suffering He spoke of involved physical circumstances many times, it was also true that Jesus made it clear what the source of that suffering was. Sometimes it was sin, sometimes natural things. But many times, it was clearly the result of demonic harassment and oppression that was allowed to continue for either a lack of knowledge, wrong teaching, or possibly a victim that was simply exhausted and too tired to fight any longer.

Many churches today don’t boldly declare that Jesus gave us “all” authority over satan (I refuse to capitalize this name). What’s worse is the fact that by them not assigning sickness, disease, and other tragic things to the enemy of our souls, they allow him to remain largely undetected and therefore he continues his destruction.

In addition, these things can also occur from a lack of knowledge in how to take care of our bodies, or simply not making wise choices in general.

Jesus Himself said in Luke 10:10 (AMP) “Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over all the power that the enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you.” He gave us this authority for the purpose of using it against our enemy. Just as we would if an intruder broke into our homes to threaten the welfare of our loved ones or ourselves or property.

Sadly, there are precious people who have swallowed wrong teaching that says the same loving God who sent His only Son to die for them, is the same One that caused something destructive and tragic to enter their lives. This creates a conflict in their believing because it’s only natural to assume they can’t resist God’s will which brings this on them to teach them something, or to make their faith stronger.

The True Nature of God Always Preserves Life

A serious study of the nature of God will reveal that He is “always” the same…He is GOOD in every situation. And, He can be counted on to be stable in our world which is so unstable.

Two scriptures that I love which clearly describes God’s character, and, which Jesus perfectly modeled, are Luke 9:56 and John 10:10.  The one in Luke says that Jesus “did not” come to destroy men’s lives but to save them. The Greek word save in that passage is sozo, and it means: to save a suffering one (from perishing), i.e. one suffering from disease, to make well, heal, restore to health. to preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to save or rescue. That does not sound to me like a God who wants to destroy you with sickness, disease and tragedy.

John 10:10 (AMP) is a more popular verse that reads, “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). Once again, it’s pretty self-explanatory! It takes religious tradition to disarm the power of this verse in order to be misunderstood (see Matt 15:6).

Jesus also said in John 14:9 (NKJV) “He who has seen Me has seen the Father”. And for the skeptics that may be reading this post, Acts 10:38 should settle this issue once and for all. It says “…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power who went about DOING GOOD and healing ALL who were oppressed BY the devil. 

So who’s oppressing people and making them sick? THE DEVIL…THAT’S WHO! That word oppressed in the Greek is kataponeo, and it means to: tire down with toil, exhaust with labor or to afflict or oppress with evils.

Jesus is NOT GUILTY!

Jesus was and is perfect theology throughout the entire New Testament. He said in John 5:19 that He only did what He saw His Father do. (By the way, the word “saw” in the original Greek means He “literally” saw His Father doing.) If we cannot find Jesus afflicting anyone in the Gospels with sickness and tragedy, (and you can’t) then what basis does anyone have for blaming God for making people sick, or bringing death and destruction on the earth through judgment.

One day this will happen, but today is not the day!

Jesus, on the cross, took ALL God’s wrath so that “we” didn’t have to experience it. So maybe, some of the destructive things that are happening on earth, including all the devastating weather patterns, etc. are the result of sin finally reaching a level that is affecting nature itself. This is also mentioned in Romans 8:19-22.

God could stop all the sin, destruction, disease, and mayhem at any time He wanted to. But, He loves man so much that He actually trusts him with this planet, the people on it, and the personal authority of His Son Jesus Christ.

As a matter of fact, the bible says in Eph. 3:9-10 that God actually intended His church, not the individual denominations, but His church, His body as a whole, to be a witness of His manifold (various expressions) wisdom to the principalities and powers in the heavenly realm.

In other words, the demons, devils, or the satanic realm, is supposed to be aware that we as Christians are here and on the scene, walking in the same authority that Jesus Christ did when He was here.

I don’t claim to have arrived! But I am pursuing it with the help of the Holy Spirit. I have a long way to go, but I know it’s God’s will and I believe I will see Him doing His signs and wonders through me one day as well.

If it seems that I’m trying to protect God’s reputation, you’re mistaken! His reputation is spotless and He sure doesn’t need my help in being His PR guy. But I’m going to take every opportunity He gives me to shoot down or attempt to disprove religious tradition that is clearly unscriptural.

If you’re a theologian reading this post and would like to debate me, you’d win because I don’t have the knowledge that you do. But I do have something that you may not have; experience in my relationship with an incredibly loving and merciful God. I am convinced beyond doubt that He loves me unconditionally, accepts me in Christ, and He is good to me at all times.

I don’t want to imply that I am an authority on any of these subjects. However, I have spent the last 25+ years seeking God for serious answers to some of these issues through prayer, in-depth study, and listening to people that I respect who are much wiser than I am and also have a great deal more experience with God as well fruit being born in their lives.

Bless you,

Dennis Botz

neverquit1954@yahoo.com

Dreaming God’s Dreams

Posted: August 21, 2015 in Uncategorized

Do you have things in your heart that you want to see come to pass? You don’t feel like sharing them with anyone at times because they either seem unreasonable, or they actually scare you because you know it’s going to require you to step outside your comfort zone in a big way. Sort of like getting out of a boat in the middle of the ocean and trying to walk on water.

Have you ever wondered where those dreams and deepest desires originate? I’m talking about the deep desires of your heart to be or do something significant that will positively affect those around you and make their lives better somehow.

God Gave Them to You

He gave you dreams so that He could be the one fulfilling them through you for the ultimate purpose of drawing others to Himself, and showing them His goodness.

God has no intention of placing desires in His children’s hearts and then frustrating them by never allowing their dreams to come to pass in their lifetime. That would be child abuse. But neither does God want us to take those desires that He’s given us and try to fulfill them through our own limited human intellect and abilities apart from His personal involvement.

We Need Him

When we take what God has given us in the form of dreams for our future and then run with them totally on our own—not stopping to take advice from Him—the success of that project or dream is severely handicapped and limited at best. It may actually appear very successful from the world’s perspective.

But many times without the knowledge of its possessor, that thing that was originally a dream conceived in the realms of heaven, materializes as nothing more than a short-lived corruptible monument to man. Sometimes it begins deteriorating almost as quickly as it started…in light of eternity which has no limits, no boundaries, and no end.

If you prefer to be involved in something lasting, something eternal, and something blessed by God’s own hand, then follow the desires in your heart that you know He has placed there.

Lay it Down for a Season

However, there must always be a time when your dream or desire is tested for its motives and validity. The test comes through the passing of time with little proof of its fulfillment, or through a variety of other seemingly unrelated experiences that have nothing to do with making your dream happen.

Occasionally, although very painful, the dream may have to be laid aside or put on the shelf for a season in order to thoroughly test and purify your motives.

I’ve done this one personally many times. I’ve had a dream in my heart for forty-three years this year of 2015. And while the intensity of it has subsided a bit, the reality of its presence is no less obvious than it was more than forty years ago when I graduated from high school. And, I believe the fulfillment of it is on the horizon.

In the process of waiting, God is making you fit and ready for what He has prepared for you up ahead. He’s developing character, perseverance, faith, tenacity, and other valuable qualities inside you as a person. You will need these traits before you get to your dream because they will allow you to bear up under the weight of not only the responsibility of your dream, but the blessings that come along with it which could destroy you if you don’t have the character necessary.

Joyce Meyer has a great quote in this regard. She says, “Your gifts can take you where your character cannot keep you.” This is worth meditating on.

In this “entitlement generation” that we’re living in today, so many people, regardless of age, think the world, the government, corporations, and so on owe them something just because they have a diploma, or a degree, position, money, influence, or whatever. Unfortunately, many don’t have the character necessary to treat their peers with respect when they’re given high paid positions of authority, responsibility, and honor. You can never demand respect; it must be earned!

An Important Final Test

When you choose not to pick up your dream once you have laid it down, but it remains in your heart and affects your thoughts, your emotions, your conversation, you wake up with it and you go to bed with it, the chances are very good that it’s from God.

I believe the bible shows us that there is one final thing that probably should happen to validate whether or not God is authorizing or promoting your dream.

If we’re honest with ourselves and with God, we should be able to admit that we need Him each step of the way if this dream is going to succeed. And there’s no better way than to hear His voice on the matter.

We as children of God need to invest quality time in developing the sensitivity of our hearts to the voice of the Holy Spirit who always speaks to us what He hears the Father saying to Him (see John 16:13). We can do this by reading and meditating on His word, taking the time to talk to Him and letting Him talk to us, worshipping him in private, and sometimes just sitting quietly and soaking in His presence with an expectant attitude of heart.

The most comforting and reassuring way for me to know that God is OK with me pursuing a particular dream is when I receive clear words of confirmation about that desire from the Holy Spirit in God’s word. Secondly, is to have confirmation come through the mouth and heart of a trusted family member, friend, or spiritual leader that I know, and you know is walking in close relationship with the Lord.

God used this method repeatedly throughout the Old Testament scriptures in the lives of men like Abraham, Daniel, Elijah, Ezekiel and many other prophets who had God encounters in the night seasons with dreams or angelic appearances. He also continued using this method throughout the New Testament in the lives of many like Peter, Paul, and many others. And He is still doing it today!

Many times dreams were validated by a word of confirmation—a prophetic word—that would bring further important detailed words of instruction so that their plans and desires would be accomplished successfully.

This is how I know the dream that I’ve been waiting on for over forty years is going to happen in the future. I’ve had many words of confirmation from trusted individuals and I know God is faithful to watch over and perform the words and plans that He has put into action over my life (see Jeremiah 1:12).

God Wants You to Succeed

Does God really want to see my dreams to fulfilled? Absolutely! Will He only allow my dreams to be fulfilled if they are spiritual in nature? No!

Look at this scripture, I love it in the Amplified Bible. Proverbs 16:3: Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed. 

Psa. 37:4-5 are companion scriptures to this one. God said that if we delight ourselves in Him, He will give us those desires (they’ll come to pass) of our hearts. If we just trust in Him, He will bring them to pass. God is so good, He’s not holding anything back from us. But He won’t give us a bunch of stuff if it’s only going to make us more selfish than we already are.

We need to obliterate the religious idea that God only blesses dreams that involve spiritual activities.

Listen to this quote by Pastor Bill Johnson of Bethel Chapel in Redding, CA. “Religion implies that only overtly spiritual activities are acceptable as service to God and that anything that doesn’t have to do with Bible reading, witnessing, church attendance, etc. is not true Christian service. Religion takes us back to the concept of spiritual and secular parts of the Christian life. The person living this dual life needs a list of priorities to survive; otherwise, they will not take care of the matters of importance. Their concept of God doesn’t allow them to actually have a passion for something that is not viewed as a Christian discipline.”

Every good and every perfect gift comes down from God, the Father of lights in whom there is no shadow of turning (Ja. 1:17). In other words, He’s just waiting for you to believe that He really is good and He wants to bless you with the fulfillment of the dreams He gives you. But more than that, He wants an intimate relationship with you, like a Father with His daughter or son. However, you must come to Him through His son and admit that you need Him.

God is the source of all beauty in art in all its expressive forms, as well as beautiful craftsmanship. He is the source of all wisdom, knowledge and intelligence in the business community as well as the products and services created. He is the source of all ingenuity in technology, communication and so on.

He wants to be intimately involved in everything about you. He wants you to succeed in the fulfillment of your dreams so that others are drawn to His love, His beauty, and His excellence that is being released in and through you.

Bless you,

Dennis

neverquit1954@yahoo.com

dennisbotz@gmail.com

Are You Beaten Down By Life?

Posted: August 20, 2015 in Uncategorized

In the course of any given day, anywhere in this world, the average person has to deal with a number of things coming against them mentally, emotionally, relationally, financially and spiritually. In addition, if you throw in the caustic, vindictive attitude of a co-worker or family member to the mix, or a serious illness or loss of a job, or perhaps worse, it’s enough to make you want to throw in the towel and say, “I quit!”

However, we all know there’s no reward in giving up!

Did you know there is someone who really cares about how you feel and what you’re going through? His name is Jesus and He cares, feels, and understands what you’re dealing with (Heb. 4:15-16). And, He has the power, the ability, and the willingness to step in NOW and lighten your load.

Dealing with Stuff

I have personal knowledge of people that are dealing with things right now that would bring some people to the point of an emotional breakdown and totally giving up. However, these people that I know of are leaning on Jesus and He is the reason they are not only surviving, but in time will come through these trials victorious, and a stronger and better person than they were when they started.

Trials of life can make us bitter or better, it really is our choice. As hard as it may be to believe, it’s not the trial you’re currently going through or will be going through in the future that is the “real problem.” Instead, it’s how you respond to the problem that makes all the difference—how you’re looking at it and analyzing your particular situation.

The Horizontal Perspective

Let’s say you’re dealing with a serious physical complication or a long-term personal inconvenience.

God gave us doctors and medicine for the purpose of helping our bodies get healed and restored. But at best, their knowledge is limited. They did not make our bodies. Therefore, they can’t actually heal us. They can only assist our body in what God has already allowed and established through natural physical laws; as well as supernatural divine healing.

If you’ve lost a job, or perhaps are going through a long string of physical and financial hits such as my wife and I have, it’s easy to get discouraged if you’re looking at things with a horizontal perspective only. In the past couple of years, my wife and I experienced financial hit, after hit, after hit, after…. It’s as if we plugged one whole in the dyke and another one would open immediately somewhere else.

I’ll be honest with you, there were some very disappointing and discouraging days to say the least. But when I changed my perspective, it caused me to get “reappointed.”

The Vertical Perspective

A horizontal perspective regarding anything you’re currently dealing with is limited to human knowledge, abilities, and natural resources for the most part.

However, when we address our problems from a vertical perspective or from God’s viewpoint, it can literally open up new vista’s from which to see things. The word vista means: a distant view through or along an avenue or opening or an extensive mental view (as over a stretch of time or a series of events).

You see, when we’re involved first-hand in our issues, or even trying to help someone else with theirs, many times we’re at a disadvantage because we’re so involved personally that we can only see horizontally or in close proximity to the problems at hand.

Therefore, we desperately need the viewpoint or perspective of someone that we know hears from God. Or better yet, we need to be able to clearly hear God’s voice for ourselves regarding what we’re currently dealing with. Because God–who is above us, has all the answers and He’s willing to share them with us.

In James 1:5-7 he says if any man lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to “all men” abundantly and without fault finding. But let him ask in faith…or he won’t be able to receive anything.

God is such a good Father and He loves us so much. He wants to be personally involved in what we’re dealing with every day, that’s why He sent His only Son to earth. He had and has no intention of condemning anyone. He truly desires that EVERYONE would come to Him and have a personal, vibrant, passionate relationship with Him. Not a religion that is full of dead, cold, harsh rules.

A Love Stronger Than Death

I’m sure you notice there’s very little love being shown to each other in the world today. That’s why Jesus made such a strong example in the Gospels of loving people in His day, regardless of their background or position in the community.

He even went to the leper colonies specifically to show them Father God’s love and healing power. He cast out demons and raised the dead, stilled storms, and the bible even says that all the books in the world could not contain all the good works that Jesus did (see John 21:25). And it was ALL for love, an unconditionally, selfless, accepting type of love that always had pure motives.

John 17:23 says that God loves us just like He loves Jesus. And to further prove that to all skeptics, Jesus took this passionate love for us all the way to the cross so that we could have a permanent, eternal, one-on-one relationship with our Creator and lover of our very souls. God himself, in the form of Jesus Christ, who sent the Holy Spirit to earth for the purpose of continual connection and interaction with the Father and the Son until He comes back to take us home.

And all you have to do is invite Him in, ask Him to forgive you for rejecting Him, (John 3:16-17) and His Holy Spirit will go to work immediately in a life-long process of making you like Jesus.

Many blessings to you,

Dennis