We stumble. We fall. We get back up. Such is life. It is nice and glorious when we are soaring in the heights, when everything is running smoothly, and when our pathway is smooth and easy, but these seasons don’t last indefinitely.
Eventually, the days of darkness come around again, and then we will find out what we are really made of, where our true refuge is, and to what we will look to find strength.
As long as we see temptation as fatal and as a flaw in our character, we will find tough times even tougher to deal with. When we learn that the darkness and the difficulty is part and parcel of our covenant with God The Father, then we can relax and patiently wait for the sun to reappear and for the birds to start singing again.
So, we learn to move and breath with the rhythm of the universe. We come to understand our maker, and we develop compassion for one another. Ultimately, we learn to love ourselves better. For if we reject ourselves and despise our weakness, we will never be able to embrace others in their weakness, and we will never develop the broken and contrite hearts that The Father yearns to see in his beloved children.
So, let’s take our place at the table. Let’s open our hearts to The Father’s embrace. Let’s open our arms to the wounded and the weary. Let’s truly live the Christ life and not some artificially flavored imitation.
Change… Last week I wrote about running and how challenging that is for me. Well, change can be the same way. It’s easy to get into a routine and just get comfortable. I would rather have comfort over the pain of change. Pain isn’t fun…
And yet, change moves us forward. Change pushes us to our limit and actually makes us stronger (remember what the refining fire does????). Change causes us to think outside the box. Change actually blesses us with the opportunity to do better.
What I am thankful for, as I face change, is that God never changes. This verse from Malachi says it all:
Malachi 3:6 “But because I, Adonai, do not change, you sons of Ya‘akov will not be destroyed. (CJB)
God was not exactly thrilled with the way the Israelites were acting. They were not following the instructions He had given them. He had made it clear that if they followed His teachings they would have LIFE. If they did not, there would be death.
The verse above shows His grace and mercy in the midst of their disobedience. He chose several times not to destroy them even though they walked away from His commands.
Today, as change is a constant in our world, walk it out with HIS teachings in your heart and on your mind. Hold them close to you and let HIS Words bring you LIFE. Walk out change, knowing in your heart that HE LOVES YOU. Change doesn’t have to be difficult when HE is in charge.
Find peace in the midst of the storm by TRUSTING deeply in the God Who created you in HIS image. HE NEVER CHANGES!
Love and blessings,
(I chose the picture I did because to me a tree always has change. The wind, temperatures, lack of rain, or too much rain, all affect the tree. This woman dancing shows the freedom one can have in the midst of the change. The sun streaming through shows HIS love and warmth.)
What if I told you that Holy Spirit is stirring up hunger in His Body, even as I type this?
Would you believe it if I told you that there is a great fire in the Spirit that is spreading across nations and generations, causing people to be set aflame again for His Name?!
My insides quiver at this thought. I hope I can articulate well the weight of what the Lord is saying to me through this.
Let me share a vision I had to help:
A few weekends ago I was running late to a worship service at my Church. Worship had already started, and I saw with my waking eyes a cloud of thick smoke in the back of the room, pouring out from the sanctuary where people were deep in worship. It was so thick and heavy I could barely see. I looked around frantically to see if anyone else was seeing this or responding, and I realized that the cloud was not something to be concerned with, but a manifestation of God’s Presence that was descending upon the service.
Once I found my seat and began to worship, I kept seeing a picture of a building that had burnt down – only the solid foundation and some structural pillars remained. It wasn’t sad or traumatizing though. There was a PURITY and a PEACE and even EXPECTATION attached to it.
When I opened my eyes, I saw with my eyes FIRE across the entire room. Fire was either inside hearts or over heads; even the walls of the Church were aflame! I then saw a giant angel standing on stage right, with a pitcher of oil and fuel. He was waiting for his invitation to pour more fuel into hungry, passionate hearts. He was at the ready, and I had a feeling he was going to burst with excitement at getting to pour more “fuel to the fire” of what was happening in that room.
I found out later that week that I was not the only one who saw fire and passion in that service.
Now I realize that this is an encouraging vision for my specific Church family. However, when praying into this vision, I also felt the Lord say that it is a word of encouragement for the Body of Christ at large, as well.
The hunger and passion that we all felt in that room was the catalyst for the manifestations and visions of fire – and this is a hunger and passion that belongs to the ENTIRE body of Christ, not just a few hundred people in a Church in Australia.
Hunger has been a hot topic amidst many of my Christian friends lately, both at my own Church and across the globe. My good friend, Ps. Mark Greenwood, says that “intimacy is the anchor” for hunger. We need this anchor to keep us hungry so that we are not hungry just for hunger’s sake, or just to experience manifestations of fire in worship services. We are hungry because we know the Lord intimately – which means we not only know HIS heart for hunger, but we also know that He is SO worthy of our hunger. And we burn for Him like never before when we see His face.
As a prophet, I feel that there is such a call to a readiness for a move of His Spirit. A readiness that adds, subtracts and realigns us to anything that anchors us deeper to intimacy and at the same time grows our hunger. This readiness moves beyond the point of convenience. It sees everything else as a distraction to ushering in revival in our communities.Staying hungry is imperative to staying undistracted.
In my vision, I had seen a building who had been burnt up and had only a strong foundation and some structural pillars remaining. I believe that this is what’s currently happening to many in the Body of Christ.
Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. – 1 Corinthians 3:12-15
Jesus is obviously the firm foundation, and for many in the Body He truly is their firm foundation. However, for those who have started to build on top of this foundation things that do not last, these things are being burned up for the purpose of rebuilding something that will hold and steward the measures of revival that God has promised in the last days. Even things as beautiful as good works will not stand if the Lord did not lead the builder to it.
“Unless the Lord builds the house, the workers build in vain” (Psalm 127:1).
Sometimes people build in vain because they are not driven by hunger or passion, but by religion or obligation. And sometimes people build too quickly, forgetting that they must wait for God’s GO and for His leading into the perfect timing.
To use my friend Helen’s phrase, we must learn to “hold for maximum impact,” and the best way to do that is that anchor of intimacy.
I believe that there are indeed Heavenly host who wait with eager expectation to pour out fuel over those who burn for Him. We know that those who hunger SHALL be satisfied (Matthew 5:6).
I also see that there is a great fire that is sweeping across the Body at the moment, that is burning up anything that has been built either in vain or that will not be conducive to ushering in and stewarding the glorious, weighty Presence of God that is coming to the Bride. There is also a fire that is beginning to burn deeply in those who have continued to pursue intimacy at all costs. More than anything, I pray that we all burn and hunger for INTIMACY above anything else.
All of these things are signs of the times – the God of revival is on the move!
Jesus wrote to the church in Ephesus that they needed to return to their “first love,” and “do the things that they did at first.” Wise counsel indeed for all of us whose passion has died and who are looking for a vision to sustain us in our long journeys homeward. This counsel is good for married couples, parents, singles, workers, and employers.
Often, we falter not because of a lack of new insight but because we have strayed from the straight and narrow path on which we first started.
It is written: “To the law and to the testimony. If they don’t speak like this, it is because they have no light” – Isaiah 8:20. Also, it is written: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths; ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and then you will have rest for your souls” – Jeremiah 6:16.
Many start their Christian pilgrimages full of hope and faith, but when the way starts to become narrow and difficult, they falter. This is understandable, but the only solution is to start fresh, resolutely devoted to Christ and his gospel.
No new revelation is forthcoming; there is “nothing new under the sun” – Ecclesiastes.
We all long for that “first love” experience, where all is fresh and new and full of life, and the songs of the birds and the beauty of nature enthrall us. However, we don’t need to go looking for a new lover; we need to rekindle the love that we have been given with the loved ones with which we have been entrusted.
Christ, Our King, is the author of life and the reality of our revival.
He himself will refuel us for our long and often lonely treks through the wilderness as we journey towards our promised land.
Where is the peace? Where is the joy? Where is the love? Where are you, God?
This is a difficult place to be where rest is precious. So, may “tribulation produce perseverance, which produces proven character, which produces hope, which does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts.” A hard lesson to learn – perseverance, for we all prefer the easy path of least resistance. In this wilderness called earth, we must come to expect and prepare for rocky paths – it just comes with the territory.
Will there be good days? Sure, and lots of them. But, make no mistake, there will be days in the valley of the shadow of death. There will be “vales of tears.” There will be sleepless nights and long, hard days. There will be sickness and the inevitable death. But what matters most is whose hand we are holding along the way.
It is written: “He will hold us with his hand; he will guide us with his counsel, and afterwards he will take us into glory.”
So, where is the peace, the joy, and the love? Where is God?
He is wherever people are trusting in him. He is often wiser than us. He knows where he is not wanted, and he knows how to make himself scarce. We would do well to learn from him.
We are shaped and molded by our friends. May we choose wisely our traveling companions.
It may be the universal fear: to be found worthless in the eyes of God and man, to be rejected as unfit for fellowship, ministry, or communion.
This may be a healthy fear, not an irrational fear or paranoia, for if we will face this fear and overcome it, we will be ready to scale mountains, face down giants, and lift up the lowly and oppressed.
So, what is the antidote to this fear? How can we ever truly know that our life has intrinsic value to God and others? May God keep this next statement from being trite or banal; we have worth because we are created in God’s image.
Just as your children are invaluable to you, God’s children are invaluable to him. And not just the born again ones. Every living, breathing soul is precious to Our Father. To be sure, he is pleased with the righteous, and he is angry with the wicked, but even God’s anger is born out of a broken, loving heart. He does not share our propensity to despise and disregard the weak or the sinful.
They are the chosen ones, the objects of his gaze and the desire of his heart. The young and the strong, the bold and the beautiful, the righteous and the wealthy are often tempted to ignore God, and so God may not be able to do much with them or for them. However, the weak, sinful, and needy are constantly on his mind and heart. He is forever devising strategies to win their love.
Worthless. Unusable. Rejected. This judgment may indeed be the fate of some who despise God’s goodness and kindness, and with their dying breath curse their maker. However, by God’s mercy, we have escaped this judgment. Let us rejoice in our blessed fate. Let us not fear rejection, but let us cling tightly to Our Father’s hand and rest contentedly in his arms, lying close to his heart.
All he wants from us is our trust in his love. He knows that we have no love or virtue of our own. He just wants us to be willing recipients of his love and mercy. Then we will be worthy companions of God and man. Then we will be free from fear. Amen.
Run… I really dislike running. In high school when I had to, I did well. I wasn’t great, but I wasn’t terrible. I have friends who run. Friends who are running marathons. My husband enjoys running. My son has started to enjoy it as well. I want to like running. I want to enjoy it. I really wish I could. But I don’t.
And yet, the main concept in life is that we have to keep running. We have to keep moving forward, and “run the race.” To be honest, this makes it a struggle for me. Since I don’t like running, the thought of pushing through the tough times and to keep running is difficult. Perseverance is not a strong point for me. I often “give up.”
The Word makes it clear that we must continue on… We must persevere through the hard times. When the trials come we have to keep on going. Let the cloud of witnesses cheer us on. Be thankful in the hard times.
My encouragement to you today is to keep on going. Keep on trusting. Keep the faith. Don’t lose heart. At some point there will be a line to cross to say you have completed the tasks and finished the race. You might not be the first one to cross the finish line, but you completed the race. You endured.
Keep running friends. Keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Hebrews 12:1 So then, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us, too, put aside every impediment — that is, the sin which easily hampers our forward movement — and keep running with endurance in the contest set before us,
Roman’s 5:3 But not only that, let us also boast in our troubles; because we know that trouble produces endurance,
2 Chronicles 15:7 But you, be strong, and don’t slack off; for your work will be rewarded.”
I feel the Father’s heart today for those who are experiencing TORMENT IN THE MIND.
There are two types of torment that I speak of. For some, there are indeed strongholds that have built up over years of agreeing with the devil’s lies. Sometimes just partnering with Holy Spirit to speak truth and tear down these strongholds is enough since the weapons of our warfare are divinely powerful for pulling down the fortresses in our minds (2 Corinthians 10:3-6). Sometimes, we need someone we trust, who also partners with Holy Spirit, to help point out lies we are believing and “blind spots” that we cannot see. If you are speaking to a counselor, pastor, therapist or trusted friend, WAY TO GO! We all need people to help us realign to God’s truths. But there are also those who are struggling with a specific spirit of torment who has been attacking thoughts, dreams, even emotions in this last few months.
I am one of the latter.
While praying in the Spirit recently, I was going back and forth between tongues and making declarations of LIFE and TRUTH over myself and the circumstances that had caused a bit of torment for me. I had a waking vision…while praying and then declaring identity truths over myself…of a beat-up looking scarecrow on a post. The scarecrow had a handful of crows sitting on it, pecking at the stuffing in its head. As soon as I would pray in tongues, the birds became greatly agitated and started to peck harder. But then as I continued to push through the torment of lies that were coming at my mind, I spoke LIFE and God’s Biblical truths over myself, and I saw the scarecrow come to life and hop off the pole! He looked like a real person. I then saw the dirty birds scatter and never return to that scarecrow.
As I came out of the vision, still praying in tongues and declaring truth, I felt that my mind was FREE from the chatter and noise. I knew the Lord had shown me something of great encouragement and importance – a new weapon to pray the tormenting lies away!
John 8:32, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
TRUTH is what sets you free. I heard Holy Spirit say to not allow the enemy to distract you with the “what did I do wrong” thoughts, but to partner with Him to stand in victory. Keep your eyes and heart turned toward Jesus, and stay surrendered to Holy Spirit’s leading. Begin to declare LIFE and TRUTH and allow Holy Spirit to work you will soon find yourself waking up to Heaven’s truth and the tormentors will have no choice but to fly away. You are NOT an old scarecrow stuck to a pole, you are a new creation that is coming ALIVE to everything that God has for you!
Isaiah 26:3 (AMP), “You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character], Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation].”
Peace is a promise. It is a gift to those who are born-again and who keep their minds fixed upon Him. The tactic of the enemy is to get your mind EVERYWHERE ELSE BUT ON JESUS. Psalm 84:11 says “No good thing does He withhold from those who love Him.” God does not withhold peace from a born-again Christian. It’s the enemy of your soul who tries to steal it. Jesus has promised abundant life (John 10:10).
I’ve felt for some time now that God is issuing an invitation to give more attention to the “helmet of salvation” mentioned in Ephesians 6. A helmet protects your head, and many scholars say that the helmet mentioned in this chapter of Ephesians helps to keep your thoughts protected. I believe that the helmet is also a WEAPON that has gone overlooked. It protects your mind, yes, but it’s not just any old helmet – it’s the HELMET OF SALVATION.
As the Church grows in her understanding of the true substance of her salvation, I see that this helmet will be used more often and seen to be as powerful a tool as the sword of the spirit and the shield of faith. In conjunction with the rest of the armor of God, the Helmet of Salvation will be one of the greatest weapons we have against the tormentors of our minds because we truly are awakened to WHAT JESUS DID, in full, on the cross and beyond. The fact that we are new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), and that we actually partake in the same divine nature that Jesus has (2 Peter 1:4), and even that we are actually dead to sin (Romans 6).
I am convinced that if we let it, the Helmet of Salvation will protect our minds from the outside, and keep our thoughts turned toward TRUTH from the inside. And as we know, TRUTH is what sets us free.
I have continued interceding for those who have battled with tormenting thoughts.
If that’s you, I rebuke shame and isolation off you! I call out TRUTH over you, in the Name of Jesus! John 8:36 says, “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” I declare FREEDOM OVER YOU, in the Mighty Name of Jesus! YOU ARE FREE INDEED. I speak over you the supernatural ability to RISE UP, CHILD OF GOD, and pray in tongues and DELARE TRUTH over yourself!!!
Hear me when I say, if you are born-again, you are a NEW CREATION IN CHRIST (2 Corinthians 5:17) and these tormenting thoughts are NOT WHO YOU ARE. I encourage you to partner with Holy Spirit and prophesy over yourself today.
I see those tormentors who peck at your brain FLEEING NOW. As a body, we stand together. We speak the blood of Jesus over ourselves today, Lord. We take a stand, place the Helmet of Salvation over our heads, grab a hold of the Sword of the Spirit (the Word of God), putting on the whole armor – every important piece – and we say NO MORE to torment! We reject you torment, rebuke you torment, and bind you up in the Name of Jesus! We release the peace of God and the LOVE OF THE FATHER over ourselves. We receive, by faith, YOUR TRUTH about who we are in Christ. We choose to AGREE WITH WHAT YOU SAY about us. And we remind those tormenting spirits that “The God of peace will soon crush satan under OUR feet” (Romans 16:20), in Jesus Name!
I believe that the vision that God gave me was a tool that will help others through mental torment. Pray in the Spirit, speak truth over yourself and the circumstances (even if you struggle to believe it right away), and watch how the tormentors leave as you come alive again! Prophesy over yourself! Partner with Holy Spirit to find the Biblical truths that pertain to your situation and slay those giants of torment with your sword while remembering who you are as the Helmet of Salvation protects you.
“Speak tenderly to ‘Jerusalem’ [instead of Jerusalem, insert your name here], and tell her that her season of warfare [on the mind] has ENDED….and that she has received DOUBLE from the Lord…” (taken from Isaiah 40:2).