Jebrosis on Rewards and the Love Walk Kathy Rittenhouse on APPLYING THE BLOOD OF JES… Kathleen on God’s Delight Oscar on The Most Fertile Soil… Micki Todd on Happy Thanksgiving!
Posted in Uncategorized Leave a comment
New Book Coming!
Hello everyone, I am currently writing a new book that I want to publish this year. I’m halfway through, so I think it will be done. It is called “The Immovable Position: Establishing Mountain-Moving Faith.”
The times we are living in requires great faith to not give in to fear, to stand against an onslaught of evil that I have not seen since I’ve been on the earth. This book will help you understand your position in Christ and give you the tools you need to take a position of faith that Satan cannot move you off of. That is called “the immovable position.”
When the enemy sees that you won’t be moved, then he is the one who has to flee because the Bible tells us to “resist the devil and he will flee.” The problem that so many Christians face is when the stand is long with no apparent change, it wears you down. That is why it is so important to get into position to stand. A position of strength that comes through the intimate relationship and a firm knowledge of what your benefits and responsibilities are in the Kingdom of God. That is what this book is about.
Like my other books, this too is a “tool book” that you can refer back to during the toughest parts of your stand. Hopefully you will find encouragement to keep standing and to press in deeper into Jesus to be able to stand strong.
A few of the topics we will discuss include “Understanding Who You Are in Christ,” “Understanding Intimacy With God,” and “Understanding the Power of Your Words.” I believe the Lord wants to provide a comprehensive book that addresses everything that we need to do and become in order to get into this position of immovable faith.
I will publish this book on Amazon and Kindle in both electronic and paperback formats. Once it is published, I will create an eBook of the teaching and put it out here on the blog under PDF and eBook Downloads under the Resources menu tab. I don’t write books to make a lot of money, I write the books He tells me to write to give His people help to live victorious lives.
I will make another announcement once the book is published on Amazon and then another to let you know when the ebook is available.
The Widow’s Husband
“Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; and do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; but you will forget the shame of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. For your husband is your Maker, whose name is the LORD of hosts; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth. For the LORD has called you, like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, even like a wife of one’s youth when she is rejected,” says your God. (Isaiah 54:4-6 NASB)
I always claim Isaiah 54 as my chapter because I am alone. My life has been a series of stupid mistakes that led to two divorces and other failed relationships. So now I’m alone, but my Maker is my Husband. I have discovered that He is the best Husband EVER! Ever faithful, always loving and so so wise. I can’t imagine, nor do I want to, what my life would be like without Him in it. Truly, He is the Pearl of great price that Jesus talked about in the Gospels!
It’s 3:30AM and I’m wide awake, so I got up to spend the fourth watch with Him. He spoke “The Widow’s Husband” to my mind and I knew He wanted me to do a blog post on this. It’s a play on words of course, but widows don’t have to be alone. Not with Him in your life. I have friends who are very social and cannot stand to be alone, but I thrive in it because I’m not really alone….He lives with me here in my house. His presence is always here. His peace is noticeable. People have commented on the peace in my house.
A widow is not limited to women who have lost their husbands to death. In today’s world, it’s any woman who is alone. This applies to men too, by the way. I have discovered that God is able and willing to fill your life to overflowing with Him. This includes His plans for you, His purposes for you. He will give you a ministry if you listen to Him. He will give you projects and income streams. And He will fulfill the husbandly duty of taking care of your needs….if you believe He will. That is the key. You must believe in your heart for God to work in your life the way He wants to.
I could fill a book on the things God has supernaturally done for me since my widowhood began over 10 years ago. I’ll share a couple of them now:
I live in southwest Louisiana, which is a place where the weather can get crazy sometimes. Extreme humidity, extreme heat and extreme storms. In August of 2020, Hurricane Laura hit us with one hundred and thirty mile an hour winds for hours. I live in a mobile home and limited funds so I could not leave and go stay in a hotel somewhere. The storm came right up the highway a mile from my house. My house is surrounded by trees. My back yard was so shady I couldn’t grow a garden, which is what I really wanted to do. I had to depend on my Husband to protect me and keep my house from blowing apart. My sister and I prayed all night long while the winds howled and tree limbs were falling. Finally the winds stopped at seven in the morning. When we opened the back door, the whole area looked like a war zone. Trees were uprooted, huge limbs and tree tops covered my back yard. The very first thing I noticed was that my backyard was now open to the sunlight! The Bible says that God turns what the enemy meant for evil and turns it for our good. I recalled that verse as I looked at my now opened back yard. I didn’t pay attention to the tree limbs covering my yard, I saw what God had done through that storm. My Husband, kept my house together. My roof only had a few shingles missing and a small hole in the roof, which my nephew came out and tarped that very day. My front porch never moved. It’s just sitting in front of my house, not attached, but it is a place of prayer for me and God kept it from moving. It amazed me how God kept all the things that were important to me. A tree was uprooted and landed four inches from my car. It didn’t have a scratch on it. My shed didn’t move and it wasn’t even tied down. The only thing destroyed was a cheap plastic greenhouse that I didn’t want anyway and my picnic table blew away somewhere. My insurance paid in three weeks so I could get a new roof. My light pole was broken and my friend and her husband bought me a brand new pole and had it installed for me! I supernaturally was given a generator to run two small air conditioners since the power was out for almost three weeks in my area. I now have a greenhouse that is one of my dreams! His faithfulness is overwhelming to me and I saw how very real and faithful the Great Yehovah really is. Six weeks later, we were hit with Hurricane Delta, which brought eighty mile an hour winds and a LOT of rain. No damage, no flooding. God is faithful to me because I believe that He is my Husband and will take care of me in any storm that comes upon me. Because I have lived through this, my faith is stronger and Satan cannot convince me that God isn’t faithful. See how God turns everything for our good?
The second testimony happened over the last two days. Since Hurricane Laura, my refrigerator had been making clicking noises and sometimes the freezer wasn’t working very well but would get back to normal shortly. As time went on, it became more frequent the times it wasn’t working well until two days ago it stopped cooling completely and both freezer and fridge went dead. My funds were limited as it is the week before my big pay week. I booked an appointment for repair services to come out and see if I had to buy a new refrigerator or get this one fixed. The guy came out and God gave me supernatural favor with him. He gave me such a great deal on parts and labor, that I had enough money to cover it! It was truly a supernatural repair. He told me, that normally my service would have cost over six hundred dollars, but I paid half that. I don’t have to get a loan to get a new refrigerator. Instead, I can now begin saving for a new one next year. I kept thanking Him and praising Him for this beautiful thing He did for me.
Finally, I have noticed that when one of my income streams dries up, another one opens up before or shortly after it dries up. I’m retired and on social security and yet I live in amazing abundance.
It is the things that He does over time that builds your faith and trust in Him to go through the fires and the flood waters. As a widow, I am also childless with no sons to help me do anything, so I completely depend on God to take care of my house, my health and my finances….and He does.
If you are a “widow” and alone, you don’t have to be. If you are young and want to get married and have a family, why not let Jesus be your Husband and wait for His choice of a husband for you. The same goes for men and a wife. You can trust His choice because He knows what is in that person’s heart! If you are literally a widow who has lost your spouse, why not ask Jesus to be your Husband and let Him heal the grief you feel for your loss? Begin a new life with Him and before you know it, you’ll see your earthly spouse again or He will bring another one to you. If you are divorced like me, why not ask Him to be your Husband and heal the wounds of divorce and bad marriage or relationships? Jesus Christ is the ONLY One Who can heal people from the inside out. Counselors can help get it out, but they cannot heal it. Jesus is the One who binds up the broken hearts and heals the broken spirits.
Whatever your situation, the widow’s Husband can make your season alone, whether it is temporary or permanent, be a joyous time that you will treasure for the rest of your life.
Don’t know Him?
The Book of Remembrance
“Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another; and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name. “They will be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts, “on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.” So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between the one who serves God and the one who does not serve Him.” (Malachi 3:16-18 NASB)
God keeps meticulous records. He keeps all our tears, our prayers and even when we talk about Him to other believers. If you think God doesn’t know where you are, think again. so many times we, as Christians, get tired of the fight. Galatians 6:9 says “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” One of the best ways to strengthen ourselves is by talking to other Christians about how wonderful and great our God is! It builds our faith, it refreshes our weary souls. And when we do this, the book of remembrance is brought out and God has our praise and statements of faith recorded. He considers us His prized possessions! There are a few interesting nuggets I’d like to bring out.
“Then those who feared the LORD” ~ Fear doesn’t mean trembling in terror. It means “morally reverent.” Those who fear the LORD have a reverent respect for Him and everything to do with Him. They what I call “intentional” with God. Live before Him on purpose or intentionally. People who fear the LORD have made Him their number one priority, They put Him above everything else in their life.
“For those who fear the LORD and esteem His name” ~ The book of remembrance is not all inclusive. Only the words of the faithful are in this book. A lot of people subscribe to the Christian religion, but in comparison, relatively few are interested in an intimate relationship with Him. It costs too much. The word esteem means to hold in high regard. His name is precious and above all other names. This boils down to one question. How much do we VALUE God’s presence in our lives? Is it very important, somewhat important or not important? If it’s anything less than very important then you are probably not in the book of remembrance.
“They will be Mine on the day I prepare My own Possession” ~ Another translation says that we are “precious jewels.” The Amplified version says it like this ““They will be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts, “on that day when I publicly recognize them and openly declare them to be My own possession [that is, My very special treasure]. And I will have compassion on them and spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.” Those who are in the book of remembrance are a “special treasure” to Him. I don’t know about you, but I want to be in that number!
” So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between the one who serves God and the one who does not serve Him. ” ~ There is a marked difference between those who serve God and who does not. There should be a distinction that tells the world around us that we are different. The Bible calls us “peculiar.” I Peter 2:9 says ” But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a [special] people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies [the wonderful deeds and virtues and perfections] of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” Peter isn’t just talking about Jews. This includes all those who call on the Name of the LORD.
I personally believe that the book of remembrance is for the Bride of Christ. We are a peculiar people and a special treasure that He will spare from the wrath to come. On that day, He will publicly acknowledge us and call us His special treasure. Where? At the wedding supper of the Lamb of God (Jesus Christ). What a wonderful day that will be!
In these days, where nothing is certain, as Christians, we need to really get serious about our relationship with God. There is so much out there that can easily distract us from “esteeming” His name the way we should. I know I’ve been struggling and I thought I had a close relationship, but in these days, it’s critical that we push into His presence all the more. In this age of isolation, we should find other believers and encourage one another among ourselves. When we do, He will have His book of remembrance right there to write down our praises….
Don’t know Him?
The Character of God – Part 1 ~ Agape Love
“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” (I Corinthians 13:2-8 NASB)
On the surface, this scripture is instruction for us, as Christ-Followers on how to live our lives as believers. However, this scripture tell us the true character of God. When we are truly born-again into God’s Kingdom realm, our transformation begins. This transformation is at its core, in this scripture. We are to love God, love others and bear much fruit for His Kingdom. This is a journey that we begin at our second birth and it does take a life-time, yet in cultivating the character of God, we are able to show His true nature to the world around us. How can people not want Him if He is represented this way?
There is a place in the heart of every person that is reserved for God alone. Nothing can fill it but Him. People try to fill it with all kinds of things, but nothing “fits” in this place. I call it the “God Spot.” The God Spot is filled with Him at our second birth. This makes us different than those who are not filled. We are peculiar. It’s noticeable, or at least it should be noticeable.
Even though our God spot is filled, we still have a “flesh” problem. The task of putting our flesh under the control of the Holy Spirit begins and thus begins the war between our spirit-man and our flesh-man. Some people never win this battle, but many do. It just takes diligence and determination.
How is God’s character represented in this scripture? First, God is love. He is Agape Love and He sheds abroad in our hearts this love at our second birth. “And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:5 NASB) It is the Holy Spirit Who brings us this love, but we have to develop it through obedience to the Word of God. We must cultivate it. Let’s look at God’s character through this scripture.
Love is patient ~ God is VERY patient! Where would we be without His patience with us? 2 Peter 3:9 says “The LORD is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” He does not get frustrated at the amount of flesh we exhibit to the world around us. Instead, He looks at how we OUGHT to be. He sees the finished product, not the lump of unformed clay. We need to look at people the way He does. The finished product instead of the clay.
Love is kind ~ God is noted for His lovingkindnesses towards us! It’s who He is. His compassions fail not. He is so kind-hearted and warm. Psalm 63:3 says “Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips will praise You.” God is never put upon when it comes to man. His love is so great towards us. He is always ready to listen and to help when we ask in faith. The next time we have an opportunity to be frustrated or kind, let’s determine to be kind. Kindness in the face of rudeness always make an impact on the other person. Who knows but that God will use your act of kindness as a seed in that life?
Love is Not Prideful or Arrogant ~ There is a difference in knowing who you are and pretending to be someone you aren’t. Pride is really fear at the root of it. There is no fear in God. He has no need to boast or be arrogant. He knows His majesty and power. The Bible says that “perfect love casts out fear,” so there is no way that God is proud and arrogant. In fact, James 4:6 says “But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” People fall victim to pride and arrogance because of fear of other’s opinions. That is one thing that marks Jesus Christ, He was completely unafraid of the opinions of others concerning Him. We need to get over ourselves because when we get over ourselves, no one can offend us or hurt us because God’s love reigns in our hearts.
Love is not rude or act unbecomingly ~ God is not this way. In fact, even in His judgment, He always seeks to find a way to be merciful. At the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, He told Abraham about it because He knew that Abraham would intercede for the city. He was willing to spare the city for ten righteous people, but there weren’t even ten. Mercy cannot be rude. When our hearts are full of mercy, we can look at the rude store clerk or bank teller and pray for them to have a better day. The rest of the world, especially these days, is so easily offended and throw temper tantrums at the drop of a hat. We should never be among that number! Our love walk should exhibit God’s character and that makes our light shine even brighter in this dark world.
Love does not seek it’s own way or easily provoked ~ If you look at the life of Jesus, He always put others’ before Himself. His whole agenda revolved around the redemption of mankind. Part of putting our flesh down is letting go of selfishness and preferring the other person over ourselves. This is very hard because the fallen nature of man naturally is self absorbed. We are self-conscious and full of self-preservation. I saw this during the pandemic when people were hoarding all the toilet paper. Leaving nothing for another person. Seeking their own preservation. How many people today get offended at children’s books names or syrup labels? That is easily offended or easily provoked. Christ-Followers should never be among this number!
Love Pays no attention to a suffered wrong ~ Even when we have just cause to be offended, God’s love pays no attention to it. Look at Jesus’ attitude on the Cross as He was dying. Luke 23:34 says “But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” Love in the face of hatred is the brightest light you will ever shine and it brings God great glory for you to do so. Jesus told us to pray for our enemies and do good to those who hate us and despitefully use us. It is illegal in God’s Kingdom realm to be offended. Offense is a favorite tool of Satan and he has ensnared and shipwrecked many people who begin to follow Jesus but refused to let go of offenses.
Love does not rejoice at unrighteousness but rejoices in the Truth ~ God is a righteous and holy God. He cannot be otherwise. His delight is in those who are righteous and seeking to walk in His ways. Agape love is grieved at unrighteousness and prays for those caught in it. Agape love will always speak the Truth of God’s Word to those caught in unrighteousness. Jesus did that all the time. He infuriated the religious people but He refuse to not speak the truth. They killed Him for it. We too must be as fearless as our Master when telling people the hard truths sometimes. Who knows but our love of truth might snatch them from the fires of Hell?
Love bears all things ~ Jesus said to cast our cares upon God because He cares for us. He bears with our immaturity, our flesh problems. He always believes the best of us. He looks past our current state and looks to our full maturity in Him! So too, we must bear one another’s burdens and troublesome moral faults. This is a mark that Christians should exhibit to the world around us. How many of us Christ-Followers have joined a “Christian” group on Facebook, only to see that those there are no different than the rest of the world in their rudeness, bullying and hatefulness? This should not be and Satan just laughs and laughs that he has successfully stopped the transformation of these people into the image of Jesus. They are in his image instead.
Love believes all things ~ Love believes the best of everyone and every situation. Love says the glass is half-full instead of half-empty. Love is positive not negative. In watching the series The Chosen, I notice in Jesus’ selection of His disciples, that He did not look at their current state. He looked at their hearts and chose them because of WHO THEY WOULD BECOME. We too must look at each other and everyone the way that God looks at them. What they are today does not define who they will be in the end!
Love hopes all things ~ Hope is the beginning of faith. It is the things we dream about and hope for that when we ask God to get involved becomes our reality. Love looks at the impossibly lost family member with eyes of faith that they will come into the Kingdom. It was God’s love of man that inspired Him to create us in the first place. It was His great love and hope of our redemption that caused Him to become the Lamb of God for us. The Bible says that Jesus Christ was slain from the foundation of the world. It was already decided before man was even created.
Love endures all things ~ Hebrews 12:1-3 says “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes upon Jesus, the Author and the Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God, for consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Jesus Christ does not require us to do something that He Himself has not already done as an example. Yes, it’s tough to love some people, it’s tough to turn the other cheek, it’s tough to forgive grievous offenses and injustices, but we must if we are to finish our race and not become shipwrecked.
John 13:34-35 says “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” ~ The lost of the world will never know the true character of God if WE don’t show them by our love for one another. This is the living testimony of each believer. What is your testimony going to show the world around you? Let your life be an exhibition of God’s character and He will draw all men to Himself through YOU…
Don’t know Him?
The First Position
“Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. It does not rejoice at injustice but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening]. Love never fails [it never fades nor ends].” (I Corinthians 13:4-7 AMP)
Most Christians have heard or should have heard about the God kind of love found in I Corinthians 13. It is the kind of verse that pricks our conscience because how many times throughout our lives have we failed to walk in this kind of love? Too many to count for me. Yet it remains the most important commandment in the New Covenant. Jesus laid out the two commandments of the New Covenant: Love God and Love others.
Mark 12:29-30 says “Jesus answered, “The foremost is, Hear, O Israel! The LORD our God is ONE LORD; and you shall love the LORD your GOD with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. The second is this, You shall LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”
What exactly does this entail? What does this look like in our modern twenty-first century world? The modern world is like living in a pressure cooker. The pace is fast. Fast food, instant this and instant that. The pressure for us begins when we start school, especially nowadays with all the crazy sex education they are doing. It continues the rest of our lives with grade school, middle school, high school, college and then we begin our careers and start our families and the cycle begins for our children. Who has time to put God in a priority position?
And yet if we want to be successful, we must do exactly that. God has a beautiful way of straightening out the most crooked paths we are walking down. He can untangle the most hideous messes we find ourselves in.
The first commandment is to put God first in our heart, our mind, our soul and our will. We must give Him the first position. It also means we are not to allow people, things or situations to take us away from Him in this position. These things become idols in our hearts and we enter a very dark place if we don’t repent return to our first love. God is very adamant about His position in our hearts.
The second commandment IS I Corinthians 13. It is spelled out for us in these two verses. We cannot love our neighbors properly until we learn how to love God properly. This is because when He is our priority, we will exhibit His character and His character IS I Corinthians 13. He is patient, He is kind, He is longsuffering, He believes the best of us and the list goes on.
What Agape love is:
- Full of peace
- Rejoices with the Truth
- Bears all things
- Believes all things
- Endures all things
- It ignores wrongs
- Never fails
What Agape love is NOT:
- Jealous our envious
- Does not brag
- is not arrogant
- Is not rude
- is not overly sensitive
- is not self-seeking
- is not resentful or fretful
- is not easily angered
- does not champion injustice
These things are not a list of do’s and don’ts but rather they are what defines us as people who exhibit the character of God. In other words, it’s not what we do but rather who we become! We can only live this way by putting Him first in our lives no matter how hectic our lives are because sooner or later what we are dealing with WILL pass. Children grow up, spouses die or leave sometimes. Our current circumstances WILL change. Why not let them change for the better by putting your LORD and Savior first in your life? Why not trust your life to the One who makes the crooked places straight? Who lays the lines to you in pleasant places?
Where do we begin? I made the decision to give Him the first part of my day before I get started on anything. I get up a little earlier I have coffee ready to brew and I just spend some time in worship and talking to Him and reading some scriptures. I give Him the day and ask that He bless it and use me somehow to help someone and show His love to those around me. I started with 15 minutes and now I’m up to 30 to 45 minutes. You may only have 5 minutes, so start there. Just go to your place of prayer and spend the very first part of your day with Him. THAT is putting Him first in your day. You will be amazed at how your day will go. I know I am.
Since I’ve been doing this, I have noticed how smooth my days go. I tend to get good parking places at the store, I just miss the bad traffic on my way to work. I get the best cars to drive at work. It’s amazing how God’s blessings will flow to you all because you put Him in His rightful position: FIRST….
Don’t know Him?
The Price of Prayer
“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:15-18 ESV)
“And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.] (Mark 16:15-20 ESV)
“Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high. And he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God.” (Luke 24:44-53 ESV)
“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4 ESV)
Perhaps the most notable thing that marked the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ and also the early church were the signs, wonders and miracles. The sick healed, the lame walking, devils cast out and people raised from the dead. It drew massive crowds of people to see what He was going to do next. Jesus passed this anointing onto His church, His people…you and me.
On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit entered the earth realm to help Jesus’ followers do the same signs, wonders and miracles that He did and even more according to what Jesus said. Because of the power of the Holy Spirit, we too can raise the dead, heal the sick and cast out devils. We can be the hands and feet of Jesus at any time. So why aren’t we seeing this considering how many Christians are in the world today? Shouldn’t we be turning the world upside down like they did? Why are we so weak compared to them? One word: unbelief. We simply don’t think we can do that. Even some denominations say all that died out with the Apostles. It’s only died out because WE won’t do it because we don’t believe we can.
The big buzz going around Christendom these days is “the great awakening” and “the outpouring.” That all sounds very exciting except that God has already poured out the Holy Spirit back on Pentecost two thousand years ago. He’s already here without measure. Jesus said “It is finished” and that means that He has provided EVERYTHING we need to turn the world upside down. In reality, it’s NOT us waiting on the Holy Spirit to pour out, but HE is waiting on us to pay the price in prayer for Him to bust out.
Moves of God only come through one thing: PRAYER. One accord, as touching prayer of believers who are desperate for Him. Think about the day of Pentecost. One hundred and twenty people were gathered together (without masks or social distancing) in one room crying out for the power of God to come. What marked them was their unity of purpose in their prayers. They were all praying in UNITY. The Bible says that “when two or more agree as TOUCHING anything they ask I will do.” What a promise!
Yet here we are in America, the land of the free, and people are afraid to go to the House of God and cry out for the power to move in their church. Their churches aren’t even opened. But let’s get real. Even when churches were opened, the least attended meeting in any church, large or small, is the prayer meeting. Out of a church of one hundred people, maybe ten or twenty would show up for the prayer meeting. Why? People just don’t value prayer. They have life to deal with. Family, kids, work and the list goes on. Why are we surprised then when we don’t see the power of God move in our churches?
You get out what you put into anything in life. That is the law of reciprocity. You reap what you sow. If a church sows one-accord unified prayer for God to move and the Holy Spirit to bust out in their church, then He WILL. But who is willing to pay the price of prayer? Everyone is looking up for Holy Spirit to come down when He is already here waiting on people to PRAY.
Every great move of God was birthed through prayer. It always started with just a few people who were willing to pay the price of prayer and God was faithful to grow it until Holy Spirit exploded in power in their midst. The Brownsville revival was birthed after nine months of focused prayer for God to move in their church. Boom! He did when people paid the price of prayer. The Asuza street revival began with three people praying in someone’s house. Crying out for God to move in their midst. Boom! He did when people paid the price of prayer. The Hebrides island revival happened when two old ladies (Donald Trump’s great aunts) cried out for God to move in their midst. Boom! He did when people paid the price of prayer.
All over the world there are just a few people praying; paying the price of prayer and one day, boom! He will move. What about you? Does your church have a prayer meeting? Is your church even opened? If not, you can begin to pay the price of prayer with other people at your house. If your church is opened and has a prayer meeting then start attending it. Gather to pray for God to move in your church; that signs, wonders and miracles can flow from you just as Jesus commanded us to do. How else is the world going to see the power of God if we don’t demonstrate it?
As important as it is to meet for one accord prayer, it’s not enough to just show up. We must show up ready to pray in one accord for God to move, NOT just show up as a religious duty. We must all show up in faith, expecting God to hear us and receive our unified prayers.
One critical component of a prayer meeting is that people must come together physically. In the world of virtual reality, it’s just not the same. Call God old fashioned, but He moves when people agree as touching. Gathering together in a room and praying is what He is looking for. But who is willing to pay the price of prayer to see God move in their midst? Make no mistake about it, we aren’t waiting on God, He is waiting on US to pray, to cry out for more of Him! God is ready, willing and able to explode in power in any church who is willing to pay the price of prayer.
Posted in Uncategorized 2 Comments
The Audit of the Heart
“Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard; for out of it flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4:23 AMP)
“Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit in me.” (Psalm 51:10 AMP)
“So kill (deaden, deprive of power) the evil desire lurking in your members [those animal impulses and all that is earthly in you that is employed in sin]: sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed and covetousness, for that is idolatry (deifying of self and other created things instead of God).” (Colossians 3:5 AMP)
“My son, give Me your heart and let your eyes observe and delight in My ways.” (Proverbs 23:26 AMP)
“Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24 AMP)
One of the responsibilities of Christ followers is to guard our hearts against 1) our own flesh and 2) Satan’s wiles. The Word of God is clear on the necessity of guarding and submitting our hearts to God for His analysis.
Why is this important? Think about the times we are living in. Daily we are bombarded with sights and sounds that are desperately wicked. Television and social media are filled with images of violence, hatred and sexual impurities. Great temptations are literally at our fingertips to draw us away from God’s perfect will for our lives.
Our hearts are the new “Eden” where God wants to walk with us in the cool of the day. The same command is given for us to guard and tend the garden of our hearts as was given to Adam to guard and tend the Garden of Eden so long ago.
For gardens to produce the desired end result of produce, we much watch over it and maintain it. There are critters out there that want to eat our produce; there are varmints out there who want to trample our garden down. There are thieves out there who want to steal our seed. A garden must be tended to every day to maintain it properly. A neglected garden gets full of weeds that choke out the good produce and makes it difficult to even get to it with briars and brambles growing up in it.
The way we “tend” our garden is to make sure we have no evil way in us and this must be done with God as our “auditor.” He sees the deepest motives and cries. He sees things we have buried and are no longer in our consciousness. That’s how deep He is into us.
How do we ensure our hearts are clean before God? We ask Him to do an audit of our heart and show us where we need to repent, to change and to turn. What chokes our garden? There are several things that can choke out and stop our purpose in God.
The cares of life ~ this is perhaps the greatest “weed” in a neglected garden. It draws us away with distractions and we get colder and colder towards the things of God. A “care” can be a natural disaster and the process of recovery. It can be a stressful job or marriage. It can be a rebellious child or other family strife. It can be a health crisis or a financial crisis. These “cares” can overwhelm us to where everything else just has to be put on the back burner. Little to do we realize that if we would only run to God FIRST, we could avoid a lot of heartaches.
Spiritual Heaviness ~ This is very insidious because a lot of times we don’t’ think we are depressed. We just keep on plodding along not allowing the joy of the Lord to strengthen us. We neglect our relationship with Him. Our perspective becomes darkened with the glass half-empty instead of half-full mentality. Our words begin to reflect the negative state of our heart. This results in Satan’s ability to attack us based on the words of our mouth. The Bible says to throw off the spirit of heaviness and we do this through time spent with Him and in worship and praise.
Disobedience to His Commands ~ When we have a close relationship with God, and we recognize His voice, He will give us personal instructions that are aligned with His Word. For example, He has given me personal commands to take care of myself more wisely. If I make the wrong choices that I KNOW He doesn’t approve of, I am disobeying His commands. This is disobedience. These choices will bring a rift in the intimacy I have with Him. I can tell it. I feel spiritually “cold.” Because I hate this, I repent and make the right choices quickly so I can live once again in that beautiful place. This is life on the narrow road. The choices are hard, but the rewards far outweigh them.
Harboring Offense ~ This is another heavy-weight weed that the enemy can use to choke our garden. If we are easily offended at others, then our love walk is not right. We should not care what other people think or say about us. Our focus should be on what God thinks and says about us. Everything else is dung in comparison to His opinion of us. When we get this perspective, we can look at the haters and feel God’s compassion for them. We should ask God to help us see people like He does. This keeps offense at bay in our lives. This is why Jesus said to “pray for your enemies and bless them.” God is well-pleased when we show mercy to others in the face of their hatred because that is what He did for us when we were lost.
Unrepented Sin ~ Guilt of sin will trample our garden quick. Our fellowship with God will be broken and the only way back is through repentance. A turning away from the sin. This is closely tied to disobedience, but it is more serious. Especially sexual sins, which have bad consequences that we have to walk out. A perfect example is King David’s sin with Bathsheba. He paid dearly for that sin even though God forgave him. According to the Law of Moses, he and Bathsheba should have been stoned to death. But David’s quick repentance caused God’s mercy to be applied to his life. Absalom, his son, rebelled against him and slept with his concubines on the rooftop before all Israel. His children rose up and killed one another. It was a mess. Don’t be deceived, sin has consequences even though forgiveness is given to us by God.
How does a heart audit work? An auditor requires an appointment to go through your finances. Likewise, God requires an appointment to examine your heart. He needs the “keys” to all the doors in the hallways of your heart so He can go in and examine each “room” in your heart. If that room has issues, He will bring it to your attention and you need to deal with it at that time.
The auditing process, requires that you know God personally and you have an intimate relationship with Him. This means that your relationship has a two-way communication component to it. For example, a lot of people talk to God only when they are in trouble and expect Him to fix their problems only to return to their neglectful ways with Him. You can’t hear God’s voice if you don’t know Him intimately. This requires a daily level of time spent talking to Him and listening to Him. If the only thing you do in your time is praise and worship, but no talking and listening, then you are not going to recognize His voice. It is crucial that we actually KNOW Him and live with Him daily. God is very pleased with the person who submits their life to His audit and cleansing process. He can really flow through someone like this.
How often should we seek an audit from God? As they say “life happens,” so we should let life set the times. Troubles come and we need to ensure we don’t get side-tracked or if we do, get back on track quickly. On the flip side, prosperous times can corrupt us and make us complacent. If you notice your level of intimacy waning, you need an audit. If you feel “dry” then you need to seek an audit from the Lord. The Bible says to “submit yourself to God and He will lift you up.” That is what this “audit” is. It is bringing your life to God for Him to adjust and tweak it to re-align it back to His perfect will.
We are responsible before God to maintain the garden of our heart. The Bible says to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” It is a serious thing to God to maintain the heart garden so He can come and fellowship with You—just like Adam and Eve did so long ago in Eden. Take the time today to take spiritual stock of your relationship with God. Ask yourself these questions:
How often during the week do I spend quality time with the Lord?
Have I placed time with Him on the back burner because life is so hard right now?
Am I obeying what I know He has instructed me to do?
Am I holding offense against anyone in my heart? Have I forgiven everyone? Am I looking at them through God’s eyes?
Am I committing sin against God’s Word? Do I want to stop? Is my sin more valuable to me or is my relationship and eternity with Him more important?
Am I depressed because of the cares of life? Have I lost my motivation to seek His face daily? Have I lost my hunger for His ways and His Word?
I must say that we are living in not only perilous times physically but more importantly we are living in spiritually perilous times. This is the time of the end and great deception is everywhere and strong delusion are part of the norm in the world today. It is more important than ever before to dwell in the Secret Place of the Most High. The number one priority must be God. You can carve out time for Him in your busy day. It is crucial that you do. You will find that as you put Him first, He will direct and order your steps in pleasant places and bring you through the waters and the fires of life to the other side.
The moral of this message is this: Put God first and watch what He does with your problems! “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you!” Letting God audit your heart often ensures you are seeking Him first and that is going to bring you into a very beautiful place of victory…
Posted in Uncategorized 2 Comments
It Was Theirs to Lose
“But Moses said to the people of Gad and to the people of Reuben, “Shall your brothers go to the war while you sit here? Why will you discourage the heart of the people of Israel from going over into the land that the LORD has given them? Your fathers did this when I sent them from Kadesh-Barnea to see the land.
For when they went up to the Valley of Eshcol and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the people of Israel from going into the land that the LORD had given them. And the LORD’s anger was kindled on that day, and he swore, saying, ‘Surely none of the men who came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, because they have not wholly followed me, none except Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua the son of Nun, for they have wholly followed the LORD.’
And the LORD’s anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years until all the generation that had done evil in the sight of the LORD was gone. And behold, you have risen in your fathers’ place, a brood of sinful men, to increase still more the fierce anger of the LORD against Israel! For if you turn away from following him, he will again abandon them in the wilderness, and you will destroy all this people.” (Numbers 32:6-15 ESV)
Israel had come full circle. They were again at the Jordan river, ready to cross over into the land promised to them by God to their forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Their parents and grandparents faced the Jordan forty years earlier but they believed the evil report.
“Forty days later, they came back from exploring the land. They came back to Moses, Aaron, and the whole community of Israel at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. They gave their report and showed them the fruit from the land.
This is what they reported to Moses: “We went to the land where you sent us. It really is a land flowing with milk and honey. Here’s some of its fruit. But the people who live there are strong, and the cities have walls and are very large. We even saw the descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites live in the Negev. The Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the mountain region. And the Canaanites live along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and all along the Jordan River.”
Caleb told the people to be quiet and listen to Moses. Caleb said, “Let’s go now and take possession of the land. We should be more than able to conquer it.”
But the men who had gone with him said, “We can’t attack those people! They’re too strong for us! So they began to spread lies among the Israelites about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored is one that devours those who live there. All the people we saw there are very tall. We saw the Nephilim there. (The descendants of Anak are Nephilim.) We felt as small as grasshoppers, and that’s how we must have looked to them.” (Numbers 13:25-33)
Not only did the ten spies refuse to believe that God would help them take the land, they spread lies among the people, polluting everyone’s faith! What was the result? God told them they would never enjoy the promised land because of their unbelief so they spent the rest of their lives living as nomads in the desert. They lived far below what God had for them simply because they were afraid to face challenges and believe God for miracles.
But what about Joshua and Caleb? Weren’t they in faith? They were but two men can’t fight the enemies they were facing. They needed the entire force of the people behind them. So what happened? Joshua and Caleb had to wander in the desert with those people for forty years. They were young robust men at that time, now they are at the Jordan river again as eighty year old men. But they were BLESSED by God in the middle of the wilderness because their strength never waned.
Now they are ready to go into the Jordan river but the tribes of Gad and Reuben are lazy and don’t want to fight. They want to stay on this side of the Jordan river where they won’t have to die for someone else’s’ land. So here Joshua and Caleb are ready to go in and there is a segment of the body full of unbelief, fear, and doubt. Can you see how poisonous unbelief is to other peoples’ faith? The promised land was theirs to lose.
Here in America, we are at a “Jordan river” ourselves. We are facing an unprecedented voter fraud perpetrated on the American people by one party determined to get power at any cost. We are facing “giants” that seem to have got everything locked up and fortified. They are spreading lies among the people to bring fear, doubt and unbelief into their hearts–and it’s working for them too. Many Christians are in despair, and yes God does have a remnant of prayer warriors and intercessors standing against this in prayer and yes, there are many Christians who are standing against it as well. The question is: will the voices of the unbelievers silence the voices of the faithful? How many people of faith are willing to take this challenge in prayer head on and trust God to bring victory? Israel only had two: Joshua and Caleb. How many do we have?
I daresay we are even at a “Red Sea” moment, where we either retain our freedoms by believing God to bring justice in this situation or we go into the slavery of Communism. They can sugarcoat their agenda all they want but it boils down to slavery. No freedom of speech, no freedom to protect yourself, forced vaccinations, property confiscation, and the list goes on. This kind of “utopia” they are espousing is that the elite have everything and everyone else is equally poor and miserable. Just ask any Cuban in Miami or anyone from Venezuela and they’ll tell you what it’s really like.
What strikes me about this story is that Joshua and Caleb had to suffer right along with the unbelievers even though God preserved them until they could go in and eventually they got to live free in their land and died as very old men. A true testament to God’s faithfulness to those who believe Him and Trust Him.
The people of God are at a crossroads. Do we believe God or believe the evil reports? God spoke through the Prophets that President Trump would serve two terms and I believe he will be re-elected. Now 2024? Who knows? But God has an agenda and Joe Biden/Kamala Harris are not on it. I don’t usually speak about politics on this blog, but I feel that Christians need to make the right choice to trust God and believe God to bring about His promises in spite of the “giants” in the land.
Even if you don’t believe it, don’t say anything negative because our words have an impact in the world around us even if we don’t realize it. Remember: life and death are in the power of the tongue. We will eat the fruit of it one way or another. This election, like the promised land for Israel, is ours to lose if we don’t trust God and speak His words over it.
Keep the faith….