Yokefellows

Our Father has placed us in relationships and given us responsibility in these relationships.  He has done this by his grace to develop Godliness and Christlikeness in us.  

Our relationships and responsibilities are meant to be a blessing, not a curse, a joy and not a burden.

So, what happened?  Where did we go wrong?  Better yet, how do we reclaim our God given favor and blessing in our numerous relationships and responsibilities?  I suppose we are to learn to hold everything loosely – people and even our responsibilities.  I suppose we must remember to constantly relinquish all of our cares into Our Loving Heavenly Father’s loving hands.  If we don’t, we will be crushed by what was meant to lift us up.

Ideally, we will be able to nurture such an intimate relationship with The Father, through faith in The Son, that he becomes our all consuming passion, and all relationships and responsibilities become just various aspects of our multifaceted, multidimensional love affair with God.

Alone, people and responsibilities can become oppressive to us.  As we unite ourselves with Christ, they can become a delight, both to us and to God.  We are co-laborers in the harvest, we are yokefellows; we are a team, and together we are the winning team!

~ Brad Heilhecker

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A Shift In Loyalties

Jesus said, “Blessed are you when men insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they treated the prophets who came before you.”  

Really?  Can this be done?  Can we really become not only indifferent but joyful when rejected?  This has to be a work of the Spirit; in the natural, this is a real impossibility.

So, let’s look at this…insulted, persecuted, slandered…rejoicing and gladness…great reward in heaven…treated like the prophets.  

This blessing is going to take great faith to realize.  Are we really going to depend on heavenly rewards instead of earthly rewards?  Are we really going to willingly suffer like the prophets of old?

This is where I would like to insert a hearty “Amen!”  Prudence tells me to be a little more cautious.  It is one thing to listen to the preaching. Another to accept it as true.  But entirely a whole different animal to live it.  

It requires a mentality divorced from natural human expectations and hopes.  So much of what we desire is earth bound.  We need much grace if we are going to shift all of our expectations and hopes to our eternal rewards.  

So, let us “Set our hopes completely on the grace to be given us when Christ is revealed.”  For, “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.  For whoever comes to him must believe that he exists and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.”  

Jesus said, “He who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”

We must have a change of citizenship, a shift in loyalties.  

He also said, “How can you believe when you receive honor from one another and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?”

And I do not think that he meant for this last question to be rhetorical.  The answer is “You can’t.”  They are mutually exclusive.  

To believe in God means that our hopes and our pursuits are grounded in pleasing him.  

And this necessitates forsaking the need to be pleasing to men.  

May the “Only Wise God” be gracious to us and bestow upon us abundant mercy and courage to run our race, fight the good fight, and keep the faith!

~ Brad Heilhecker

Asleep In The Red Zone

The Red Zone, the last 20 yards, make it or break it, win or lose, crunch time.

This football scenario is not unlike our present day condition.

The deterioration of society seems to be escalating and the time seems right for the coming of the Lord.

If this is true, the church has to make a choice to either ignore the challenges facing us or to develop winning strategies to overcome the daunting opposition to Godliness in our age.

Either Christ is our life, or he isn’t. Either we have taken up our crosses, or we haven’t. Either God is pleased with us, or he isn’t.

~ Brad Heilhecker

Asleep In The Red Zone

Five Precious Metals

In this world, we will will need precious metals in our bodies.  

We will need backbones of iron, nerves of steel, foreheads of bronze, hearts of gold, and tongues of silver.

Iron in our backbones – courage to face the vicissitudes of life.

Nerves of steel – patience and long-suffering to wait for the perfect timing for every endeavor.

Foreheads of bronze – tenacity to contend with well entrenched and intransigent adversaries.

Hearts of gold – love for all growing out of a heart for God.

Tongues of silver – commitment to speak only life into the hearts of our hearers.

Iron, steel, bronze, gold, and silver—all precious metals in Our Father’s eyes.  

For we need courage, patience, tenacity, love, and pure speech to overcome in this life. It is a multi-dimensional war that we fight and a multi-faceted gospel that we preach. We serve an infinite, all powerful, and ever loving God. He abundantly provides us with all of the materials that we need in our efforts to work with him in constructing eternal dwellings.

However, conversely, the Bible talks about building with wood, hay, and straw. These things represent temporal and self centered endeavors, and they will perish in the refining fire. Let us be sure that we are building on the foundation of faith in Christ and obedience to his commands.  

If we will, we can be sure that we will be supplied all of the precious metals that we will need in our work.  And, in addition, there will be precious stones in our crowns of gold that we will be awarded on judgement day!

~ Brad Heilhecker

Five Precious Metals

Far Better

I got super wounded recently.

Someone’s true motives were exposed that turned out to be so different than what I had thought and I felt duped and shock and hurt, But I was determined not to get offended or take the bait.

I was crying out to God and bawling and snotting a bit over it – teetering back and forth from mad to hurt to starting to get offended to back to praying for them and their ministry

when God spoke to my heart…

”Trust me Michelle! – whatever you feel you lost or were hurt or rejected by is My hand positioning you for more and better alignments – It’s for your ultimate protection and for something far better.”

REALLY, how could that be? The devil must have gotten a hold of this person to do this… I have pretty HIGH LEVEL Discernment, How did I not see this coming?

Honestly y’all ….I wanted to shout from the rooftops that this person had Done Me Dirty! Then, when I found out they also had flat out lied to me on top of things I really felt like they had Double Done Me Dirty!.

But, God kept saying,

Let Me Fight Your Battles!”

I wanted the last word, I wanted instant vindication, I wanted them to apologize or pay or feel sorry for what they did. I wanted them to be exposed for their lies so no-one else got HoodWinked or hurt by them.

God wanted me to Forgive, Release, Bless, Pray for them and sit back and keep my mouth shut while He worked it all out for my ultimate good.

It was a few days and somedays I trusted, other days my head space got wacky and I had to step back and praise and dance through my disappointments and trust and worship Him when I felt defeated or discouraged or not seeing what possibly was He doing in this situation to speak to me or teach me or was He really doing anything about this injustice I felt had been done to me, HELLO.

I obeyed and chose to

do it God’s way.

I prayed. I forgave them for lying to me. I forgave them for doing what they did. I prayed for them and their family, their ministry and released them to God. I released the hurt and toxic emotions every time they creeped up and in. I thanked God for seeing what I didn’t and for removing this alignment.

I also unfollowed them so I wouldn’t have to see their face for awhile while God did His complete work in healing my heart.

(So, you may need to do that too to some folks.)

Within days… literally mere DAYS later I had 3 specific big answers to prayers I was waiting on from God. He answered in Crazy Big ways that I would not have even dreamed possible.

He partnered me with a couple of amazing people to finish some big projects. He even showed me a couple of crazy “God Winks” by number sequences aligning up in a HUGE blessing to me and Restored Ministries that will bless many others through this special alignment.

As I sat there just MIND BLOWN – God said –

“Who and how you thought about alignment/s is NOT how I am doing things” …. “Thanks for trusting Me and letting Me remove the old to make way for the new.”

He has taught me to Look again and Look closer… To release my control because His ways are so much better than my ways.

He taught me to wait. To Trust. To keep doing what I needed to do amidst the hurt and betrayal.

On this side of the hurt feels Oh’ so much better!

I was like, “OH YEAH…High Five Myself… BYE FELISHA …God Gots me! Oh, Won’t He Do It!!! Boom Shaka Lakka Boom. Yep, God is THE BOMB DIGGITY … and SO much more.

But I realize as I can celebrate now in my wounding, some are still deep in the betrayal and hurt side of things. Some may have not even gotten there yet. But we will, I will, you will, we all will, at some point be hurt and disappointed and hoodwinked and betrayed again.

As a dear friend felt alone and wounded and just about to throw in the towel, I told her my story and how God worked it out. That’s how we overcome, by the words of our testimonies and the blood of Jesus, and by being real and raw and taking things to God and trusted friends and praying and letting God fight our battles.

God may not work hers out the same as mine, He may do something even grander and over the top, because that is what I am praying for her. Exceedingly and abundantly more than she could hope, think or even ask for.

But, whatever it is…

God is not a respecter of persons and what He does for me He can do for her and for you and anyone else.

Hey, even for the one that “Did Me Double Dirty”…

He still loves them too.

Trust God to fight your battles. Let Him remove those alignments…Hold on loosely…and regardless how hurtful or shocking the betrayal..do the work to keep your heart unmoved by offense, stay humble, and alway Forgive, Release & Pray/Bless those that hurt you.

~ XXOO Michelle

Look Closer

Have you ever seen a display or bowl of fake fruit or food?

They can look so legit, until you get closer and inspect them. Sometimes, they are so authentic looking that you may even have to touch it or taste it to realize it is a counterfeit. A big ole FAKE!

The counterfeit market is such a big problem. I saw a documentary stating it was a multi-billion dollar industry.

People passing off fakes as authentic items and getting lots of money to dupe and lie to people.

People duping people, people using people, people lying to people, all that is not something new and not just happening in the designer watch and purse markets. It happens everyday, even in Christian circles, churches, and ministries.

We have all discovered those wolves hiding in sheep’s clothing.

We usually discover it not by seeing a little zipper exposed or a raveled thread. Although our discernment may pick up on those things; it usually happens by personally being wounded by someone that appeared authentic, but instead really turned out to be an abuser or user.

So, the moral peeps –

L👀k Closer!

Inspect the fruit!

or food, or purse or watch or person….

L👀k Closer!

It can seem robust and lush and shiny and beautiful or enticing and authentic, but once you really inspect it, touch it, spend some time with it, and maybe taste it, it could be just a Big Ole Fake!

I saw this funny Meme… It said,

“Try to remember the greener grass across the fence may be due to a septic tank issue.”

Discernment is key!

Lord, thank You that nothing hidden stays hidden. Reveal to us those counterfeit alignments and associations that are not for us. Bring us the authentic real alignments and Divine Connections You have designed for us to carry out Your assignments, plans, and purposes. Give us discernment and clear vision to recognize those counterfeits and wolves in sheep’s clothing. May we move in boldness and courage to walk away and release them. We trust You to sift the wheat from the chaff.

~ XXOO Michelle