Breaking Point by Natalie Fortunato

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Mark 2:22 "And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins." (New Living Translation)

Something happened to me in 2018 that changed my life forever...I came to my breaking point. I had been living by the Old Testament (all about what I do) and New Testament (all about what Jesus did) at the same time. I was putting old wine into new wineskins. I was constantly frustrated. Something had to give..."New wine calls for new wineskins".

Then it happened, I turned in my old wineskin of self-effort and sin consciousness for a new wineskin - the pure, unforced rhythms of God's goodness and grace. A life where the Word is more real than my senses. A life of faith in the finished work of the cross.

As you enter into 2019, consider these powerful words, "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 The Message). After all, “no one puts new wine into old wineskins”.


The 490 Forgiveness Club


Mathew 18:21-22 “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive Him? Till seven times? Jesus said to him, “I say not to thee until seven times, but, until seventy times seven” 

There’s a tremendous amount of liberty that comes with recognizing and releasing Christ in you. When you’re really angry with someone, don’t turn the other cheek and say through gritted teeth, “I love you”.  It’s better to say, “Father, in my flesh, I’d like to punch them in the nose right now.  But in my spirit, I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me”. Please live through me, help me to release supernatural compassion for this person so I can love them!”  

Peter thought he was being generous when he asked, “How many times should I forgive my brother, up to seven times a day?” Jesus answered, “Not seven times, but seventy times seven”…490 times in one day!  In other words, there shouldn’t be a limit on your forgiveness. 

In your flesh you might be able to forgive a person for something once, twice, or maybe seven times in a day, but what Jesus asked goes far beyond your human ability.  The only way you can forgive like that is by saying, “Father, I can’t do it, but You can.  Lord please love them through me.” 

When you humble yourself, and turn away from your own natural ability and look to God and His divine ability, you’ll discover a supernatural strength flowing through you.  You have an unlimited supply of the God-kind-of-love in your spirit. In your spirit, you have an unlimited ability to forgive, endure, believe, and hope. 

If you catch yourself saying, “I can’t stand this anymore, I just can’t take it, I’m at the end of my rope”, this is good news.  What you’re really saying is, “I’ve come to the end of my flesh!”  Now let your spirit take over. Pray, God, I’ve been trying this myself, which is why I’m burned out, frustrated, and angry. Live Your life through me.  I believe you’re Word. In my spirit, I’m a brand new person, in my spirit I know I can do this!”  Join the 490 Forgiveness Club, the membership is free!


Did You Miss the Parade? by Natalie Fortunato

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Colossians 2:15 - "Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it" 

What a great time we had at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade many years ago.  Getting up before dawn, taking the train into the city, loading up on hot chocolate, bundled up and standing street-side along the parade route.  Made some great memories.  Loved it! 

As awesome as it was, there is no match for the greatest parade in history.   When God disarmed Satan and all principalities and powers, making a show of them openly!  What a triumph.  What a victory.  Satan is defeated.  It is finished. 

Yet there are Christians still engaging in "spiritual warfare".  If you're still engaging in spiritual warfare, you must have missed the parade!  Warfare is between two undefeated foes.  Every time you say you are "warring" against the devil, you are declaring that he is on equal status with you.  He's not!  Satan was defeated by the blood of Jesus on the cross.  You won.  You have dominion over all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19).  

There's a battle raging, but it's not with Satan.  It's between your two ears.  "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ" 2 Corinthians 10:4-5  

To the obedience of Christ.  Not our obedience.  His obedience made us righteous.  His obedience made us victorious.  His obedience defeated the enemy once and for all.  You're not trying to get the victory, it's already yours!


Why is it Taking So Long for God to Answer My Prayer?

Daniel 10:12  "Then he said to me, 'Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words"' 

Day 1: Daniel prayed.  Day 10: Didn't see the answer yet.  Day 20: Still didn't see the answer.  Day 21: Angel shows up, Bam!  He sees the answer to his prayer.  Wow.  Have you ever prayed for something, and it came rather quickly, and then at other times it seems like it took a long time?  

Why does God answer some prayers in a short period of time, and some prayers in three weeks or three years?  Here's the problem with that question.  God answered your prayer the moment you prayed it.  However, we think God answered it when we see it with our own eyes.  God told Daniel, "from the first day…your words were heard, and I have come because of your words".  The variable is not God.  It says in John 4:24 that "God is Spirit", He moves instantly. 

So what happened?  In verse 13, it says, "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days".  Your faith is like a bridge from the spiritual world to the physical world.  If you quit standing in faith to see the answer to your prayer because you can't see it, you can stop the manifestation.  What if Daniel had quit on the 20th day, right before the 21st day when he got his answer?  When we pray, we must believe that the power of God is released instantly on the first day that we pray. Period.  Expect to see it, no matter how long it takes.  Don't quit.  Every day is the "20th day" until you see it!  You're "21st day" is coming.  


A Meal. Or a Mountain.

Matthew 17:19-21 "Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?  And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting." 

What comes out only by prayer and fasting?  The spirit?  No.  He was referring to unbelief.  It's unbelief that only goes out by prayer and fasting.  He fully expected the disciples to cast that spirit out, on the spot, or He wouldn't have rebuked them saying in verse 17, saying, "O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you?"  The issue wasn't casting a spirit out, it was their unbelief. 

Prayer and fasting brings us from a place of unbelief - where my mountains refuse to move, where everything seems impossible to me - to a place where nothing is impossible for me.  

When we fast, we are enforcing the positional truth that the sin nature was crucified with Christ and our flesh no longer has the power to rule over our spirit.  Our fasting doesn't move the devil, he's not the one with our problems.  Fasting doesn't move God, it moves us into a place where we can receive from God.  

Fasting destroys the hold that the flesh has had on our lives, that has defeated us time and time again, year after year.  Lies that tell us things will never get better, or that we will never accomplish more than we've already accomplished, that this is it for us.  

Fasting has the same effect on our flesh as it had on Jesus' flesh: it braces us against the temptations of the devil and helps us shut down the flesh by enforcing the perfect standing Jesus has already given us.  As the flesh loses ground, the peace of God can begin to rule in our lives.  

You choose.  A meal. Or a mountain.  Which would you rather do without?


No More Religious Do Do

Romans 4:6 "Just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:" 

Because of the finished work of Jesus on the cross, as Christians, we no longer live a life of do, do, do.  Under grace, we live a life of done, done, done!  Everything promise in the Word of God is already ours through Christ.  

Do, do (aka: doo-doo).  Sound familiar?  It's that little "present" that your dog leaves for you when you're out of the house for an extended period of time.  

Similarly, a "performance based" Christianity, or trying to do good so that we will get good is what I call, "religious do, do".  Trying to pray long enough, or read the Bible long enough, or fast long enough, just to get good, is religious do, do.  Trying to earn God's goodness, or living in fear of something bad happening if you don't do enough, is a total "waste" of time.  Religious do,do. 

Don't get me wrong, praying and reading the Bible and fasting are all good when you are living a life of grace, and enjoying the freedom and victory you already have in Christ.  In Romans 4:6, Paul says the man who God imputes righteousness without doing anything to earn or deserve it, is blessed.  That’s powerful and liberating!   You were made righteous, it was a gift, you can't do anything to earn it.  So, no more religious do, do.  At the cross it became done, done, done! 


Loose Lips Sink Ships

Ecclesiastes 10:20 "No, don't even make fun of the king, even in your bedroom. For a little bird might deliver your message and tell them what you said" 

Have you ever heard someone say, "loose lips sink ships".  Did you know that this phrase was coined as a slogan during World War II, as an attempt to limit the possibility of people inadvertently giving useful information to enemy spies. This was one of several similar slogans as part of the campaign's basic message - "careless talk costs lives". 

So what does this mean to you and me? It means that unguarded talk may give useful information to the enemy!   In other words, victory in our public life really begins with what we say in our private conversations at work, at home, and with our friends and family.  

We need to make sure that what we pray lines up with what we say.  We can't pray in agreement with God's Word in one area, and then try to be politically correct and speak contrary to the Word as we go about our day, it won't work. Our words need to work for us and not against us or what we're praying for.  


Check's in the Mail

Daniel 10:12  "Then said he unto me, fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, Thy words were heard, and I come for thy words".

Years ago when I was in a windows and siding business, after I would make a huge sale, I would stop by the customer's house at scheduled intervals to pick up a check for the job. When they didn't have it ready, I would get a little (okay, a lot) impatient and I would call the customer to check on the check!  Their response, these famous words, "the check's in the mail".

In Daniel chapter 10, it appears that it took three weeks for Daniel's prayer to manifest.  However, in verse 12, the angel of the Lord, said something really powerful and revealing to Daniel.  He said, "For from the first day...thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words".  That tells us that every prayer that's in agreement with God's word is answered instantly. 

It was the prince of Persia that withstood Daniel's prayer (verse 13), for 21 days.  The prayer was answered but the manifestation took time to get there! That's huge, but how come?  Daniel was under the old covenant he didn't have authority to speak "TO" the delay.  Daniel had to wait because he didn't have the authority on the earth that you and I have.

Do you have any "unanswered prayers"?  Don't give up.  If your prayer is in agreement with God's Word, it's on the way, "it's in the mail".  Use your authority and command the answer that rightfully belongs to you, and expect to see it!