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).
There is a not so subtle trap in some aspirations. Those that aspire to be “larger than life” and immune to the limitations and frailties of earthly life put themselves in a precarious position which is unsustainable.
Even though the facade can be maintained for a season, it is fraught with dangers. For who do we turn to for help if we are pretending to be self sufficient? And what do we do when our crowd of admirers finally sees our “clay feet,” and leaves us forlorn and rejected?
Much better to be of a lowly spirit and run with a humble crowd. The “bold and beautiful” and the “rich and famous” just don’t need us, and they never will. They don’t even feel the need for God, much less his lowly assistants. The poor, weak, and sick do need us. Our humble Lord needs us. Let us remember the grace of Our Lord who “though he was rich, for our sakes he became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich.” He is our benefactor, not the rich and powerful of this world.
One day we will all be “larger than life.” In the resurrection, we will receive glorified bodies, souls, and spirits. Our fleshly bodies with their accompanying temptations and humble frailness will be replaced with our bodies of light. We will still be ourselves, but we will be the 2.0 version. At this time, we will lose all desire to return to our fallen earthly vessels. We will be limitless.
Time and space will be eliminated as obstacles. Pain and heartache will be gone forever. Yes, my friends, we will be larger than life as we carry on face to face communion with “The Father of Lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
Living an abundant life sometimes requires that we get rid of a few things first.
Sometimes we must delegate, relinquish control, cut it out, or simply say “no” to some things so we can say “yes” to God and what He has purposed for us.
~ XXOO Michelle Bollom
We have all these great people around us as examples. Their lives tell us what faith means. So we, too, should run the race that is before us and never quit. We should remove from our lives anything that would slow us down and the sin that so often makes us fall.
Cold… this weekend was one of the coldest we have experienced. I woke up this morning and it said 3, feels like 0, on my temperature app. Once again, I’m just thankful for the SUN! Being cold isn’t fun, but after reading this verse again I realize that being “warm” is really not ideal.
We have all heard the verse from Revelation 3:15-16:
“I know what you are doing: you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth!
If we stop and think about it, lukewarm weather is when the germs breed. They don’t like the cold and they don’t like the heat. There are some that thrive in hot and cold, but most like a warm environment.
That is something to consider and think about. We might get sick when it is cold out, but then we go inside where it is warm and often the “warm” environment can keep the germs alive. Usually you sweat it out with a temperature. You “kill” the germs with heat.
If this is the case, why do we want to live lukewarm lives? If we live around lukewarm people than it will cause us to get “sick.” Knowing that lukewarm is where the germs thrive should make us want to be hot or cold. And yet, that is when we complain the most. “It’s too hot!” Or “it’s too cold!” are common phrases. Being “just the right temperature” seems to be so ideal.
Maybe “being the right temperature” is not so ideal. I’m wondering if maybe being “too hot” or “too cold” might actually be a positive thing. If we transfer this to the realm of being spiritually hot or cold, we definitely understand that extremes are better. We need to be in or out. And yet, so much of what those in communities of faith are living is “lukewarm.” More and more are caving and walking away from the Words of Truth.
The Words above make it clear that God dislikes those who are lukewarm. He will vomit them out. God does not want germs in His family! Vomiting gets rid of the virus.
It is time we think about our actions. Are we reading the Word desiring NEW insight? Are we reading the Word with excitement? Are we reading the Word with the desire to share the Truth with those around us?
We have choices. We need to decide if we want to be HOT or cold. It’s time to stop being sick. Today, I will enjoy the cold knowing that HE brings the heat and I can trust HIM to take care of everything. Today I will choose to LISTEN to Him and be HIS fire to those around me.
I’ve been thinking so much lately about the Name of Jesus. The very Name above all names (Philippians 2:9). The very Name that causes everything and everyone to one day bow to Him and confess Him as Lord (Romans 14:12). The Name that causes demons to come out (Mark 16:7). The beautiful Name – the ONLY Name – that brings salvation (Acts 4:12).
We had a worship service at my Church this past Friday night, and every song we sang was explicitly about Jesus. The Spirit fell so heavy for a few moments, I could barely sit up. People were physically healed instantly, saved, and even emotionally healed. It was GLORIOUS. I love lifting up Jesus in that way because He always meets us there.
I felt a challenge from the Lord early 2018 to always bring it back to Jesus. And that challenge still stands. Regardless of whether I am writing, preaching, teaching or even just chatting with a friend, I felt the weightiness of keeping Jesus FIRST in everything I do or say. And not in the cliché, “Sunday School,” trying-not-to-sin kind of keeping Jesus first. I am talking about a sincere AWAKENING to the POWER and PURPOSE in the Name of Jesus, and all that He is in this world.
Jesus – above hype, above inspiration, about self-help philosophies. My Jesus.
Anyone who has read my writings or heard me teach knows that my heart is strongly to equip the saints for the work of the ministry by teaching them about their IDENTITY in Christ. But He has been speaking me lately about the fact that it’s identity in CHRIST – we’d be nothing without Him.
Knowing our identity is not just about us walking in freedom and shining a bolder light in this world (though that is indeed part of it); knowing our identity glorifies JESUS because our identity is actually JESUS living resurrected INSIDE OF US (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).
How often I have forgotten that I carry my Jesus within. As He is, so am I in this world (1 John 4:17), and how can I walk in my identity as Jesus when I am distracted by everything but Jesus?
I’m definitely not taking a jab at the Church or ministry or even the world, but I am finding that a tactic of the enemy in these days is to get us to focus on everything else, taking our eyes off of Jesus.
Many times, we forget to USE His POWERFUL NAME! Personally, I have found myself many times chasing after breakthrough instead of chasing after Jesus (Who IS breakthrough). I have caught myself praying for wisdom while I try to find a way quickly through sickness instead of declaring the healing truth of JESUS over my body, when it was by the stripes of Jesus that I was actually already healed (Isaiah 53:5).
At times I see how easy it is to turn to worldly philosophies and ways of doing things when we have the most POWERFUL NAME EVER CREATED living inside of us, just waiting for us to step out in faith and do even greater things than even He did (John 14:12-14).
In a world that is so full of little gods and big problems, let us not forget the POWER in the Name of JESUS.
Let us remember that only Jesus is the WAY, THE TRUTH, THE LIFE (John 14:6). Let’s stand against the spirit of the age who works overtime trying to get lovers of Jesus to become so busy and overwhelmed by the world that they forget that they are now living ABOVE the world, thanks to JESUS (Ephesians 2:6). Put that glorious Name on your lips, and DON’T STOP SPEAKING IT!
~ Mandy Woodhouse
Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, Just to take Him at His word; Just to rest upon His promise; Just to know, Thus saith the Lord.
Jesus, Jesus how I trust Him, How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er, Jesus, Jesus,
Taking Communion Unworthily… It can be about willful sin. But, for me, Discerning the Lord’s body is about intimacy. I can’t fake it. Or, turn it into a religious ritual. As long as I live in this skin there will always be issues, and sins. But, if I can learn to let Him dig deep down into me… So that He can reveal to me those things that I need to see, That’s where intimacy is born.
To just stand still, Let Him kiss me, And not run.
It’s not about being perfect.
When I eat His body and drink His blood, I let Him in.