Defiant Confidence

Psalm 27 invites us to wonder what life could look like if fear ceased to dominate. 

Psalm 27 encourages us to live boldly, courageously, and powerfully. Our faith doesn’t remove us from intimidating situations. This psalm acknowledges that reality in the first two verses, envisioning a terrifying scenario where “evildoers assail me to devour my flesh”and “war rise up against me.” Having faith does not mean avoiding reality. Faith, instead, addresses intimidating circumstances with defiant confidence in God. After describing a host of imposing realities, the psalmist pushes back in verse 3, saying, “Yet I will be confident.” 

The defiant confidence of the psalmist is attainable for each of us. To the full extent of our ability, we can push back, with God-soaked conviction, against opposition in our life. Yes, social distancing can take a toll. Yes, screen fatigue is real. Yes, shouldering long hours at work—or even looking for work in the first place—can be taxing. But, like the psalmist, we can be defiantly confident. God is our shelter and our hiding place. We overcome fear by approaching every situation as an opportunity to lean on God as our light who brings direction, our salvation who brings us safety, and our stronghold who protects us when we’re vulnerable. 

With defiant confidence, I charge each of us to wait on the Lord today. “Be strong and let your heart take courage,” for together, we will see the goodness of God in the land of the living. 

Cultivating a justice imagination requires defiant confidence. Defiant confidence confronts intimidating circumstances. It replaces our fears about what might go wrong with the convictions of what might go right if we take courageous action. 

Breathe in, then exhale deeply. As you breathe, ask yourself what defiant confidence means for you. After several breaths, write down one or two sentences about what it would look like for you to walk unapologetically, knowing that God is your light and salvation.

 tonydegruy@comcast.net

The House Is In Prayer

The 4th Year Prayer Guide

Bishop Sean Teal, Th.D. © 2023

Every success is a prayer success! This year’s celebration as a church is a praise to God for four years of full-time ministry. We are a wonder! The House is a work of the Holy Spirit. To God we give all the glory!

The love of Jesus and the power of prayer is what we offer the world and the lost. The House is uniquely anointed for this moment and for this ministry. We are an apostolic assignment.

Forward and onward we have many opportunities and challenges. We have a plethora of possibilities. We are anointed with an advantage. We are a gift to the Body of Christ. We are sent! We are sent into the world as ambassadors of Jesus. We are intercessors.

The House is in need of more powerful and prevailing prayer. The apostolic assignment must be an answer to prayer. Every apostolic assignment is launched from prayer. Intercessors are essential! 

We are dealing with modern modes of ministry that are being incubated in a carnal culture. Spiritual immaturity is the norm in most churches. Lovelessness and prayerlessness in church must be countered.  Prayer and the ministry of The Word needs a revival and renewal in The Body of Christ.

We have committed ourselves to the prophetic vision of Isaiah 56:7. This is what Jesus wants for The House (Matthew 21:13, Mark 11:17, Luke 19:49). We are called to be connected to His calling!

We have a 30 Day Prayer Guide for 3o days!  You can pray daily for The House! 

Pray one point every day for thirty (30) days.

For your FREE copy info@itsthehope.org

The Principles of Firstfruits

The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God… (Exodus 23:19).

This scripture is a statute. A “statute” in The Bible usually refers to a certain genre of The Written Word of God. Other words like “commandments”, “decrees”, “ordinances”, “precepts” or “laws” describe different genres of God’s Word.

A “statute” is a strategy for success. In its original etymology it is a picture of a doctor handing a patient a prescription. What is written is now a strategy for success, healing and well-being.

Firstfruits is a strategy for success. It is not a commandment like the tithe (Malachi 3:8-12). The first fruit does not test us or prove God. The first fruit is a divine strategy that gives the believer the opportunity to experience exponential increase in things material and financial. Honor Jehovah with thy substance, And with the first-fruits of all thine increase. So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine (Proverbs 3:9-10).

The tithe is all about integrity. The offerings are all about investment. The firstfruits is all about increase! There is a level of financial blessing, riches and wealth that cannot be obtained by the believer without the practice of the firstfruits. Think of that! 

The pattern, protocol, promise, practice and place of firstfruits are all revealed according to this short and simple statute recorded in the patterns and practices of The Tabernacle. The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God… (Exodus 23:19). 

The first commentary is upon the pattern of the firstfruits. The pattern is too simple. “The first…”. The pattern is “God first!”. See Matthew 6:33.  This is at the core of  kingdom living. You are not even kingdom conscious until you are God-first focused. Does God come first is the most pertinent point? Where is God’s place in your faith? Family? Finances?

The second commentary is upon the protocol of the firstfruits. “The first of the firstfruits” sets the order. Order is God’s strategy for increase. The first fruit protocol is to bring the prototype. The statute of the firstfruits directs God’s people to bring the best of their first. Firstfruits is bringing the first of your best so that your best will be blessed. Upon the return home by the worshiper and the harvester there was an expectation that the harvest still in the field would be just like the harvest that he put in the hands of the priest. And the first of all the firstfruits of all kinds, and every offering of all kinds from all your offerings, shall belong to the priests. You shall also give to the priests the first of your dough, that a blessing may rest on your house (Ezekiel 44:30).

The third commentary is upon the promise of the firstfruits. “Of thy land” is referring to the Promised Land. Their harvest was a promise. What they gathered was a grace. What they had at harvest time was because of a covenant that had nothing, yet everything, to do with them. They prospered on a promise. They reaped because God kept His word. Out of this grace and gratitude they brought God their first and best. All the best of the oil, and all the best of the wine, and of the wheat, the firstfruits of them which they shall offer unto the LORD, them have I given thee (Numbers 18:12).

The fourth commentary is upon the practice of the firstfruits. “Thou shalt bring”. The firstfruits is not only spiritual and financial; it is also very personal. Bringing the firstfruits is a ministry to your ministry. Your priest, pastor and prophet are recipients of the firstfruits. You are personally connected to the anointing, life and ministry of the one who receives your first fruits. Your gift makes room for you and joins you into partnership with your man or woman of God. Now if the firstfruits are holy, so is the whole batch. And if the root is holy, so are the branches (Romans 11:16). 


The fifth and final commentary is upon the place of the firstfruits.  “Into the house of the LORD thy God”. The “house of the LORD thy God” is the house of prayer (Isaiah 56:7, Matthew 21:13, Mark 11:17, Luke 19:46). The house of prayer is the place where God receives tithes, offerings and firstfruits. “Burnt offerings and sacrifices” are offerings that represent your best and your first. And at the same time some were appointed over the rooms of the storehouse for the offerings, the firstfruits, and the tithes, to gather into them from the fields of the cities the portions specified by the Law for the priests and Levites; for Judah rejoiced over the priests and Levites who ministered (Nehemiah 12:44).