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Reign In Life

"Beautiful Garden of Prayer"
Ezra Bufford


If you've been a Christian for any length of time at all, there's no doubt you've noticed there is something about adversity that attempts to convince us of its reality, strength and stubbornness to leave. If left unchallenged it will surely leave a dominate mindset of hopelessness and despair. This really shouldn't surprise us because that's the goal of the enemy of our soul, to attempt to put us as Christians back into bondage and remove the freedom and joy of the Word of God from our lives.

Did you know that our God is a victory God? Yes, and He's always spoken to me in this fashion and has raised me up to expect victory in every situation in life. This is the God that I know. When I first dedicated my life to Him, He made such an impact on my life that I turned the television off and for about 3 years just saturated myself with His presence and His Word. I began to talk to Him and I took the time to get quiet, listening intently, expecting Him to respond back to me, and He did! I spent hours in the presence of God and He became my best friend, and His word to me was to always expect His best and to expect His Word to manifest.

I remember going shopping one day as I was in need of a new shirt. I scoured the whole mall, from one end to the other trying to find something that I liked. Then I saw it! It was a great shirt, I loved the pattern, and it was definitely me. I dashed to the rack and began to sort through the shirts looking for my size - but guess what? Not one extra large on the rack! I was really disappointed. It had been a long day and I was tired of shopping. I got my hopes up when I saw this rack of shirts and they were soon dashed when I realized my size was not there.

So, I decided to go back to a another department and pick out a shirt I could get by with even though it wouldn't really be to my liking - "at least I'll have something to wear and I can finally go home." I reached out and started to take a certain shirt off the rack, when the Lord spoke very firmly to me, "Do you like that shirt?" "Not really," I replied. Then He became real matter-of-fact and firm, "Don't you EVER settle for just any old thing in life or second best. If it's not what you want, then don't get it or accept it. You are my son and deserve the best, and besides - you never did ask for My help in this matter."

So, realizing my error, I asked Him right then and there. "Lord, would you please show me where to go to get the shirt I want." I waited a couple of minutes and He impressed my mind with a store name at an entirely different mall across town. I drove to the place He told me to go, went to the men's department, found the rack with the same exact patterned shirt that I liked. I began to sort through the rack one shirt at a time and wouldn't you know it - the very last shirt was my size!!! I instantly thought of how much time and energy I had wasted trying to do this on my own. The lesson here; don't settle for second best. We are God's children, expect favor, expect His best, and get His leading on how to proceed.

Many years later, I was stricken with lower back problems. It seemed as if there was no rhyme or reason as to when my back would go out - it just did. And when it did go out, the pain was nearly unbearable. My body would be bent sideways, leaning a bit forward, and simple tasks such as putting on my socks and shoes was nearly impossible. I was only able to slowly shuffle my feet to walk, oftentimes spending a week or more in bed, and would end up having to go to a chiropractor for therapy to help speed the healing process. It was a terrible time.

At the time this back trouble came upon me, I had been hiking twice weekly for a couple of years and was becoming stronger and more proficient, and was able to go farther than before. Hiking had become a real joy in my life and was precious quality time that I spent with the Lord. You see, we live within a couple of miles of the San Gabriel mountain range and we have a wealth of hiking trails that are full of a rich history to take advantage of. My favorite place to go at this time was up to the old Mount Lowe railway and hotel site on Echo Mountain and then on up to the Mount Lowe camp ground then over to Inspiration Point, and back down. It's a hiking loop of about 10 miles with an elevation gain of 2700 feet - it's a great workout!

I remember one particular time when my back had gone out, I was laying in bed with great pain, feeling sorry for myself and mumbling to the Lord: "It's too bad this back problem has happened to me, I guess I'll just have to give up hiking - because after all, if my back goes out on the trail how in the world will I ever get back down - they would have to rescue me." As I was telling this to the Lord, He spoke very firmly to me in a strong and rather matter-of-fact voice, "Do you want to hike?" I replied "Yes, Lord you know I do." He responded with; "Then go hiking! Don't you EVER allow circumstances to dictate what you can or can't do in this life - YOU dictate to them what you are going to do!"

In a flash I recalled to mind what He had told me regarding the shirt experience a few years earlier. So, I slowly rolled out of bed, managed to get my hiking clothes on, readied my backpack, and off I went. When I got to the mountain trail head, fear was right there speaking to me, "You're not going to make it, this is a foolish thing you're about to do. When you get up there your back is going to be worse, and everyone will see you on the six o'clock news, as they will have to rescue you off this mountain by helicopter!"

I answered that fear with the faith that had come because of hearing from the Lord; "Shut up devil, I am a child of the King. The Word says I am healed by the stripes of Jesus, and I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. You are under my feet! I am taking a stand of faith led by the Lord, and faith has action - so I am going to hike and be done with this problem."

I began to praise and worship the Lord as I hiked, and I spoke out the promises of the Word of God all the way up and all the way down the mountain. Yes, I hiked at a much slower speed that day, but I've been hiking ever since. That day marked the end of back problems in my life. Now I'm back to my regular hiking routine, I even spend multiple days in the wild on over night trips carrying a heavy pack. I climb the highest mountains I can find, and I have the fastest hiking time for Echo mountain in our hiking group. In fact, I out hike most of the younger guys that are half my age and I'm in my 50's. I'm in better shape today than I have ever been in and I rarely forget where I was in life when the devil tried to steal this wonderful recreational hobby away from me.

You see, when I was hurting, laying in that bed, I could have agreed with the devil and his fear and not listened to God and would have been an invalid for the rest of my life, missing out on all the wonderful places the Lord has taken me to. Many times when I am up in the mountains, my eyes well up with tears of appreciation for the understanding He has given that's allowed me to partake of the beauty He has revealed to me in His creation. O, the glorious sights, places, waterfalls, and explicit wonders I have seen. O, the precious moments I have enjoyed in His presence in His beautiful creation. I wish I could share them with you all!

Let's take a look at what the Word of God has to say regarding this victorious mindset. Romans 5:17 tells us; "For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one [Adam], much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ."

This verse is telling us that through Adam's disobedience and sin, death reigned in life to all men down through the ages. But when Jesus went to the cross and shed His blood, that sacrificial act broke the sin barrier, delivering us from the curse and opened up the way to not only eternal life, but also victorious living in the here and now for those who accept Jesus Christ as Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:21 assures us that through Jesus' work on the cross, those of us who are born-again are not just entitled to, but have become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. We've been brought into the place of righteousness and right standing. If you have a King James Version of the Bible you will see in Romans 3:25-26 that through salvation, God has declared us righteous! Let me tell you - when you've been declared righteous by Almighty God, whether you know it or not, you've been plunged into certain great and wonderful rights and blessings that now belong to you!!!

I want you to look at Romans 5:17 again, but this time let's read it in the Amplified Version: "For if because of one man's trespass (lapse, offense) death reigned through that one, much more surely will those who receive [God's] overflowing grace (unmerited favor) and the free gift of righteousness [putting them into right standing with Himself] reign as kings in life through the one Man Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)." Wow!!! Are you getting a hold of it?!

Now look at Revelation 1:5b-6: "To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."

Yes that's right, your place of right standing in Jesus Christ enabled you, gave you the right to live on this earth as a king. What do kings have? Kings have dominion, kings rule, kings have authority and they have the right to use that authority. You may not see yourself as a king in this life, but you are. That's the main problem with many Christians, how they view or see themselves. We need to see ourselves through the mirror of the Word of God. That's exactly why we need to be in the Word daily, so we will renew our thinking and our minds to the correctness, the reality of the Word of God (Romans 12:1-2). That's where true health begins! (O, don't miss this)

I want you to know that you have been given the right to reign in this life, free of the bondage of the enemy, free from the bonds of poverty, sickness and disease. Free from the lack of creativity, free from generational issues that may have plagued your family line, free from small thinking as you begin to realize that you've been given the mind of Christ. You are part of the royal race of God's children that are born anew as free men. A new race of people that are one with God, anointed and empowered with His Holy Spirit that resides on the inside of all who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

As the Word tells us in John 8:36; "So if the Son liberates you [makes you free men], then you are really and unquestionably free." Amplified Version.

This is your covenant right, to walk in the freedom and liberty of the Word. To live a life that is flourishing in Him. Take hold of the Word of God today, get your precious promises back out and begin to meditate and mull over what our God says about you. A good place to start is with the "I Am List" and the "Never Again List" on our web site and refresh yourself with the promises of the Word. Don't you think that it's time for you to begin to reign in life instead of the circumstances always reigning over you? You're the Kings kid. Get back up and begin to take your stand in Him!

Dan Downey
All Rights Reserved (c)
Dan Downey 2009

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