FAITH: Abiding In Him

Excerpt from “A.D. 30” by author Ted Dekker (Chapter 23):

…”If anyone steadfastly believes in Me, he will himself be able to do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these.”

Did I trust? Did I have faith? Did I believe in this way?

But I now had at my disposal a way to know if I trusted. By only listening to my own heart, I would know if it placed its faith in the storm or in Yeshua, who was the way.

If I feared the storm, my faith was in its power.

If I feared for my own body, my faith was in that body, what I would eat or drink, how it might survive and be satisfied.

If I feared for Judah’s life, I put my faith in death and in him.

If I feared Aretas, I put my faith in his ability to hurt me, like any storm.

If I feared my own misunderstanding, I put my faith in my own ability to know the mystery beyond me.

This was the way of the world, protected by position and sword and gold and knowledge. Yeshua’s way was to protect nothing and let go of all grievance, as Stephen said.

His way was faith…

Faith has everything to do with identity, purpose, and obedience. It’s about total and complete trust, believe that God is who He says He is. Believing that His promises are true. What you believe, where you place your faith, determines what you do and what you don’t do. The Lord asked me this question: “Are you governed by fear or by love?” Faith in Jesus Christ, absolute trust in His work on the cross, creates the calm in the storm where we step out on the water, walking on His word. He is the unmovable, unshakable God!

1 Peter 5:6-12 “If you bow low in God’s awesome presence, He will eventually exalt you as you leave the timing in His hands. Pour out all your worries and stress upon Him and leave them there for He always tenderly cares for you. Be well balanced and always alert because your enemy, the devil, roams around incessantly like a roaring lion (pride/fear), looking for its prey to devour. Take a decisive stand against him and resist every attack with strong vigorous faith. For you know that your believing brothers and sisters around the world are experiencing the same kind of troubles you endure. And then, after your brief suffering, the God of all loving grace, who has called you to share in His eternal glory in Christ, will personally and powerfully restore you and make you stronger than ever. Yes, He will set you firmly in place and build you up. And He has all the power needed to do this – forever, Amen!” (The Passion Translation, TPT)

Hebrews 11:1 & 6 “Now faith brings our hopes into reality and becomes the foundation needed to acquire the things we long for. It is all the evidence required to prove what is still unseen. — For we come to God in faith, knowing that He is REAL and that He rewards the faith of those who give all their passion and strength into seeking Him.” (TPT)


Be encouraged and strengthened in the Lord, beloved. Come abide, remain, stay, live inside of His love. He is the Vine. Apart from Him, you can do nothing. Don’t let the enemy use your weaknesses against you. Instead, let the Lord prove Himself strong through them. In this, He receives all of the glory, and you become whole. I wanted to share some revelations Jesus gave me while singing about faith, hope, and love:

Sung from my heart: I will lean myself on You, my faithful One. Lay my head on Your chest. Here I will rest. I will lean myself upon You, my faithful One. I have chosen You alone. You are my inheritance. You are my prize, my pleasure. My portion. I have chosen You.

Sung by the Lord to me, to us: Just keep coming back to Me. I will give you the faith, the eyes to see. That you would believe, I am your strength when you are weak. In rejoicing, in suffering. Through life’s twists and turns, frustrations and offenses. Keep your eyes on Me. I will restore you, make you stronger. Just keep coming back to Me. I will give you the faith, the eyes to see. I will set you in a firm place, build you up by My grace. I will set you in a firm place. Stand firm in your most holy faith.

Let Me tell you what I see. Pure. Spotless. Wrinkle free. Holy beauty. You put your faith in Me. You put your hope in Me. You put your trust in Me. I declare this over you. You have the faith to walk upon the water, to say to this mountain “be cast into the sea” . Your eyes are ablaze. You are strong in my ways. I have set you to see My face. You are My friend. I trust you. Yes, I’m talking about you. Can you see the door? It’s what you’ve been praying for.  

It’s opening to release more…of Me. When you believe, you will see signs, wonders, miracles done by Me. This is who you are. Ones after My own heart.

My response to Him: Lead me to the secret place, before Your throne of grace. Changed from glory to glory by faith. This is where I lean on You, my faithful One. 

You are close to me always. My confidence will never be shaken. I can feel You all around me. I can feel You rise up inside. You lift my hands over the battle. You have parted the sea. I can feel You all around me.

When I give myself to loving You, I am healed. When I give myself to loving You, I am free. Overwhelm me with Your love. You are my passion. You are my delight. You are my satisfaction. All that I need. With all my heart, I seek You.

You bring me continual revelation of Your resurrection life, deep inside. And we will come up leaning on You…


In John 15, Jesus talks about how He is the Vine. He is the source of all life. He is the source of all love, hope, and faith. He spoke of His love, His heart…that we would love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (body). That we would love each other. The dream of God’s heart begins and ends with love: FAMILY. We are saved by grace through FAITH and we were created to work out our salvation TOGETHER. 

You are NEVER alone, beloved. Don’t let the enemy isolate you and cause you to believe that no one cares or no one knows how you feel. We do. He does. It’s not about me and my relationship with Jesus. It’s about us, together, arm in arm, fighting for each other. We are a family. A family created to abide in faith, hope and love. To abide in Him.

I will be the first to admit I have not “arrived”. In fact, I’m convinced the only place to “arrive” at is the place of humility at the feet of Jesus in the secret place. The Lord told me to PROPHESY FAITH..over myself and over His Bride, His Body, His sons and daughters. And I will prophesy and I will believe that He who is faithful will finish the works that He has started (Philippians 1:6). Not by my will, righteousness or strength. Faith is a journey, defined by the life, death, resurrection, and reign of our King, Jesus. Take hold of who you are, beloved. His faithfulness establishes you. Lean on Him.

My prayer for all of us that He will continue to teach us His ways; that we would humble ourselves and allow Him to transform our hearts and minds; that we would see Him as He is and believe what He says is true. I pray that we would be fearless and on fire, abiding in His love, worshipping in the beauty of holiness, satisfied only by His fulness. I pray that His sons and daughters, my brothers and sisters, would be bonded together by the cords of love, fully believing, putting fully their faith in Jesus that true unity and true transformation in our cities and nation can and will be done! Jesus, because of You, anything and all things are possible! Let us cast off doubt, unbelief, pride and fear and exchange them for faith, hope and love. I think You for Your lovingkindness, Your patience and that we fight from the place victory. We love You, Abba. Amen.

(Song of Solomon 8:5-7; Psalm 34:8-10; Psalm 16:5-11; Matthew 6:33; Philippians 4:6-9; Deuteronomy 7:9)

faith

 

The Ones The Father Seeks

I realize it has been a few months since I have written. Until now, I found myself in a place of lacking motivation; the place of complacency, lacking passion and desperation for God, not fighting for the place of prayer. I could see what was happening and knew what needed to be done as far as running into the arms of my Father, but even in that, it felt as though I had a big wet blanket thrown on me. Inside I have been wrestling, wanting fire and passion, boldness and compassion, to pray, to speak, to shine the Light that dwells within me. I could see others around me that seem to be experiencing the same thing, wanting to slap them out of the funk and self-focus and push them forward and lift up their gaze. What was the Lord trying to show me? What’s happening?

So I asked Him. And He simply said, “Worship Me, in spirit and in truth. These are the ones I seek. Remember the tiny cloud.” (1 Kings 18:41-44)

As I dug deeper, it all began to make sense. 

John 4:23-24 (Jesus speaking) “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.  God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

The word “true” in the Greek is defined asreal, authentic, genuine; reality, “true inside and out”; living inside the reality of the full revelation of God’s faithfulness. To be a worshiper” is defined as someone “who kisses the ground when prostrating before a superior; to worship, ready to fall down/prostrate oneself to adore on one’s knees; to do obeisance. This suggests the willingness to make all necessary physical gestures of respect, honor, adoration, reverence.

A true worshiper lives inside the reality of the full revelation of God’s faithfulness and worships in total humility before Him, fully recognizing who He is and loving Him with all heart, soul, mind and strength. 

The word “spirit” simply means “spirit, wind or breath”, and when I read that, this Scripture came flooding to my mind.

John 4:5-8 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

God is Spirit. When we are born again in the Spirit, we become a son and His Spirit dwells within us. Then this Scripture came to mind.

Romans 8:14-15For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.  For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

Sonship is a state of being, living inside the reality of the full revelation of God’s faithfulness, fulling receiving His grace and leaning on His strength, knowing that every word from His mouth not only sustains you, but will accomplish what He set it forth to do! Every word He says is TRUTH. These are the ones who, in spite of their earthly reality, choose to declare God’s reality and prophesy in boldness His judgments and truth. He is seeking those who will worship in spirit and TRUTH.

What is the TRUTH? God’s Word. His reality. When all of heaven and earth pass away, His Word will be all that remains. I can still hear Him say, “WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM?”

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It is obvious that many of us seem to be in a place of waiting for some kind of breakthrough. Waiting for something that always seems to be just out of reach. But is it really? What of the waiting itself? It’s a tough place, yet a very good place. Sometimes there is movement forward and sometimes there is rest. I see it almost like a dance with the Lord.

1 Peter 1:6-9 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,  whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.”

John 20:29 Jesus said to him, “……..Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

God is going after something deeper in His sons and His daughters. In the midst of waiting, there is refining, redefining, and strengthening happening. This time should not be taken lightly; should not be despised nor complained about. It’s deep crying out to deep to establish a solid foundation, a solid identity in Him that WILL NOT BE SHAKEN. A foundation composed that of the Father’s love. He is seeking those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth; those who will follow Him, fearless and on fire, defined by Perfect Love Himself.

How else to we come to this fulness but with waiting and trials? It is not necessarily a “grand arrival” we need “to come to”…the journey, the waiting, the trials…. these are what produce an eternal weight in gold. It’s the every day, little “yes” in our hearts; the daily molding and making, furnace and breaking, becoming vessels for His glory. It’s about focusing on the hand that holds you and letting His voice write truth on your inward parts.

Walking in victory is a state of being. Being a son defined his Father’s love, regardless of the proverbial “thorns” in our sides. It is discipline, it’s patience, kindness, believing, hoping, and bearing in all things. I’m not trying to make light of difficult and painful situations. This is TRUTH being spoken INTO those situations.

HIS GRACE, HIS FAVOR, HIS POWER AND DESIRE, THAT HE HAS PLACED IN US, IS SUFFICIENT AND IN OUR WEAKNESS, HE IS MADE STRONG.

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It’s about Him establishing and sustaining PEACE AND HOPE within us!

Don’t despise the waiting. Don’t waste the time you’ve been given. It’s your heart He’s after. More than your calling, your gifts and talents. He wants your heart. Perfect Love wants your heart and nothing less. Do not let the enemy lie to you, distract you or pull you away from the secret place; the place of prayer. Press in, beloved. There was one other thing the Lord spoke to me.

He said, “The only way to “soldier mode” is to be in “lovesick mode”.

Think about this. As a soldier values his love and loyalty for his country and his comrades more than his own life so should we value the love of God and His kingdom more than our own lives. To live those who are the bright and burning lamps, set ablaze by Love’s Holy Fire.

Embrace the fire now. Embrace the waiting, the trial. His love is worth laying down my life, again and again. He gave His life for me. For You. How could I do anything less? How could I complain about anything? Who am I but a flower, here today and gone tomorrow? Who am I that He would be mindful of me and love with such great passion? Redeem the time, beloved. Worship Him. Worship is where battles are won.  You are a son and deeply loved by your Father.

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This is call to every son, every believer, every heart…

Psalm 27:4,14One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple….Wait on the LordBe of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!”

Psalm 91:1-2  He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.”

Waiting is resting. Waiting is active. Waiting is trusting. Waiting is receiving grace upon grace. Waiting is strengthening. Waiting is growing, becoming a worshiper, embracing sonship. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

Surround yourself with friends, brothers and sisters, who will fight with you and for you! Seek counsel and encouragement from those who will speak the Father’s heart and prophesy His Word for you. We are a family. We need each other!  When we worship, pray, and fight the good fight TOGETHER, the enemy CANNOT stand!

 

Heart In Crisis

For the past 6 months or so, my Father has been speaking to me about love. During one particular fast, my heart was to make His love my goal. I realized the lack of love I had in my heart for others and wanted to change that. The irony of that fast was even though I had wonderful encounters with the Lord and many revelations, it was as though my heart become more devoid of love, yet I didn’t realize it until about a week ago.

My time with Jesus was suffering. I was reverting to old things I used to do. With the season and the changes that I and my husband are in, I didn’t realize the pain I was feeling. The kind of pain where you see where the Lord has you, and it’s very good, but you also see the price and are counting the cost of everything. When you’re not spending time with the Lord and experiencing pain or loss, everything around you becomes hazy, confusing, and heavy and you tend to draw back and isolate (especially when someone hurts or offends you), which was exactly how I was feeling. God was doing something in me, I just couldn’t see it or feel it.

A few days ago, I went to the One Thing conference at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City (IHOPKC). It was as if the entire thing was tailored just for me. It’s funny how God times things out in your life, if you really pay attention. I was able to attend the Leadership Summit for the first time this year. This summit brings together pastors, ministry leaders, house of prayer leaders, and many others together to share their hearts, their successes and failures, and to talk about what God is doing in the earth, getting a biblical and prophetic perspective, and how to lead from the place of love and boldness. I was greatly encouraged by the wealth of knowledge from leaders all over the world. During a time of Q & A, there was a few statements made that really impacted my heart:

“Loss (or pain) has a way of putting us in a place of questioning who we are and what we are doing. In these times, we need to look to the character of God. It’s important to stay together and not give into isolation; to stay vulnerable and connected, even though it hurts. It’s even more vital to stay in the place of prayer.”

As a leader, it’s important for me to love like I’ve never been hurt before. To be connected and vulnerable, and keep seeking God’s heart for others. To consistently live a life of giving value to others, and finding my value in God.”

“Loving others counts as loving God.”

“We must not be too busy trying to find a way out of pain, but rather find Jesus in the place of pain.”

It is very important to NEVER make decisions when you are in an emotional crisis! You need to surround yourself with godly prophetic people who can speak into these situations and take your time walking through it.”

“As a leader, self discovery is a process that can be painful. It’s the question of “who am I?” It can be difficult in those times when reality doesn’t match up to expectation, causing much pain.”

There is a great danger in being to busy to point of neglecting your own heart. You need to ask the question: what is success? Is is the great, wonderful, many things or is it that your heart is large? How well do you love?”

“You must schedule your life in ministry AROUND your family and your devotional time with Jesus. Those two things are pivotal in maintain a vibrant heart alive in love and in prayer!”

At the table I was sitting at, I was given a word that centered around Mark 10:42-45, centering on verse 43, “…but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant.” Humility. God brought me back to same place He did the last time I was here. The place of humility. The place of 1 Corinthians 13…”If I have not love, I am nothing.” 

When I walked into the bookstore, I saw a book called “Humility: The Journey Toward Holiness” by Andrew Murray. I bought it immediately and started reading. I haven’t finished it, but so far, these statements jumped off of the page at me:

“Let us consider how our lack of love, indifference to the needs and feelings of others, even sharp comments and hasty judgments that are often excused as being honest and straight forward, are thwarting the effect of the Holy Spirit on others. Manifestations of temper and touchiness and irritation, feelings of bitterness and estrangement, have their root in nothing but pride. Pride creeps in almost everywhere, and the assemblies of the saints are not exceptions. Let’s ask ourselves, what would be the effect if all of us were guided by the humility of Jesus, that the cry of our whole heart, night and day, would be, “Oh, for the humility of Jesus in myself and all around me!” Let us honestly fix our heart on our lack of humility-that which has been revealed in the likeness of Christ’s life, in the whole character of His redemption-and realize how little we know of Christ and His salvation.”

“Of His own power, His own will, His own glory, His whole mission with it’s works and teaching-of all this, He said, I am nothing. I have given myself to the Father to work; HE IS ALL. This life of self-abnegation, of absolute submission and dependence upon the Father’s will, Christ found to be the source of perfect peace and joy. He lost nothing by giving all to God.”

GUILTY. I find myself guilty in these words of truth. Todd White spoke at the One Thing conference and in the midst of his message about love he said, “People hurt other people because they don’t know who they are, and people get offended and hurt because they don’t know who they are either. It’s an identity crisis on both sides.” Neither know how deeply they are loved and that they are called to live in the place of love. The place of humility where Jesus lived and lead.

Allen Hood was another speaker at this conference. He talked about the Church of Ephesus and the letter Jesus told John to write to them in the book of Revelation. Jesus commended them for their works, their patience, and for their labor, but He held ONE THING against them: “…that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.” THIS HIT ME SO HARD, as though I was hearing it, really hearing it for the first time! Allen Hood went on to say, “Beloved, God will not multiply a loveless people!”

God will use my gifts and talents to further His Gospel, even in my lack of love. But there will come a day when I will stand before Jesus and I will be judged. It won’t be about all of the wonderful things I did in His Name. I will be judged for how well I knew Him. Ultimately, for how well I loved.

In this moment, I felt the guilt and shame of my hurt and anger; of all of the offenses I was holding onto. You see, I’ve known these things. I have had these revelations before. My Father was speaking to me clearly and for quite some time, but in this moment, it felt as though all of my walls, the fortress I had built around my heart shattered into a million pieces, and my lungs expanded out and suddenly, I could breathe again!

I heard the Lord say, “STOP TRYING TO PROTECT YOURSELF. OPEN YOUR HEART AND LET ME PROTECT YOU.” I saw myself standing, arms wide open, my heart like a rose, opening, exposing everything precious inside of me to the wind, rain, the harshness of all of the elements, feeling the pulls of intense pain and the fullness of joy and freedom at the same time! And I realized, as a lover of Christ and even more as a leader, this is the place I must live and lead from: THE PLACE OF LOVE.

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What does this mean? It means I have much repenting to do to my friends and family, to the other leaders God has placed around me. It means I absolutely WILL NOT go forward in making plans and building a ministry until I know that those around me are vibrant, healthy, and in the place of healing and hope. I will settle for NOTHING LESS than the humility of Christ. It won’t happen over night and I do not have it in me to make myself this way.  I know I will make mistakes and say and do the wrong things. I know that there will be times where I will be hurt, offended, and angry, but the difference is NOT holding onto those things and letting them define and dictate my life. My Father encouraged me with a word from a stranger and this word is for all of you who read this:

“Your heart is OPEN. You don’t have to worry about the future because your heart is open and He knows you will keep coming back to Him. You heart is open and that is your safety.”

I realize this blog is long, and it’s a lot to digest, but it is an absolute vital and pivotal message. One I long to become. You become what you behold, and my deepest heart’s desire is to keep the One with fire in His eyes every before me: Jesus, my Savior and my First Love. If I have to lose everything to gain love, so be it. I don’t need to be a leader in a ministry, I don’t need a platform to do what I’m called to do; to love and be loved. My prayer is to keep myself in the place of sacrifice; to diligently seek the face of God and let love have His way in me. I am weak and feeble, but in my weakness, He will show Himself strong in me as He will in you. Keep your heart open. All things are possible with Him!

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The Father’s Heart vs Condemnation

A little over a week ago, the Lord spoke something to me that left a defining mark on me. This simple revelation has forever changed how I see Him and how I see myself. It has set up a standard between me and the enemy where he can no longer bind me in lies and hopelessness.

We have been in this place. The place where we come before the Lord with our heavy weights and/or sin. We cry out in repentance. We ask for strength to let go and to turn away from these things that seem to keep us bound. We feel free in that moment. We experience this freedom anywhere from one day to possibly many years. Some never return to the heavy weight and the sin, while many of us do. Then the guilt settles in. The guilt causes us to withhold ourselves from the love of the Lord even though we know He is a good Father. Even though we know His kindness leads to repentance…we hesitate. It feels like we are in this perpetual never ending cycle of nearness and distance with the heart of God…

But what if what we define as freedom isn’t true freedom?

What if freedom looks different than we think it should?

The way we view freedom affects the hope that we have…or don’t have.

I never knew how I truly viewed freedom until I met with the Lord 9 days ago. I was feeling overwhelmed with feelings of guilt. Over the past few months, my life has accelerated with things that have to be done. Both my husband and I have been under large amounts of stress, good and bad. Because of this, my time with the Lord has suffered. When I’m feeling stressed and not spending time with Jesus, I immediately give myself to my vices, whether it be watching TV, playing games on my phone, reading, etc. I am searching for whatever will pull me out of reality so that I don’t have to think about it and somehow relieve myself and be lazy. This opens a door to temptation in my life, to sin, to return to the things I used to do. Thus, the seeming “cycle” continues.

I came before the Lord, in hopeless tears. I had the IHOPKC live feed on in the background, trying to connect with His heart. All I could think about was a Scripture so I looked it up:

“For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice…O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:19,24)

When I read these Scriptures and everything in between, my heart broke and I wept even more. The Lord spoke and told me to keep reading into Romans 8. I have read Romans 8 many, many times. I have studied it, prayed it, repeated it to others and myself in encouragement; I have even sung it. But this time, it was as though I was reading it for the first time…

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2)

(Paul then goes into talking about being spiritually minded and recognizing that the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of the One who raised Him from the death lives inside of us,and how the Spirit is life because of righteousness. Then he goes into how His Spirit makes us sons of God.)

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:14-15)

(This leads into suffering, hope, the Holy Spirit helping us in our weaknesses, how everything works together for our good, being conformed into the image of His Son, being justified by Him, and forever loved by Him.) 

….then the Lord spoke these words to me that are for you too!

“I am teaching you something. I am teaching you live by the Spirit. To put to death the deeds of the flesh. Consistency. To keep coming back to Me again and again and let My love burn away everything else. Until only I remain in you and you in Me. Look at Me. I am putting you in a position to always lift your head and look at Me. You are not defined by the sin but by the Spirit of My Son in you. You fall, I lift you up. It’s my discipline. You have been set free, My child. The fact that you can and do run to Me in confession and hope speaks of your freedom. You are not a slave, you are My son. Bondage shuts the mouth of hope. Hope is your song. The song I have given you. So arise and sing, keep looking at Me. This is the freedom you will lead others to. So lay aside the heavy weight, the sin, and I will heal you. You don’t hide from Me anymore as you once did. You are more open than you’ve ever been before. Do not forget to remember how far you’ve come. We move forward together. Your hand inside My hand. Remember, I have marked you for Myself forever.”

A seemingly simple revelation, but completely life-altering to me! I realized in that moment how I had always viewed freedom in the Lord. I believed that if I had true freedom and victory over something, then that meant I would never do it again. Time passing only proved this to me. But now in this time of my life, where I have returned to those things that once bound me, I have felt defeated, worthless, believing that there is something inherently wrong with me with no reason for hope. I still came to the Lord to repent and let Him love and forgive me, but I carried the guilt, wondering what was wrong with me…but this revelation has changed EVERYTHING!

In the midst of this, I was asked to sing on the Worship with Word set at the house of prayer that has been focused on Psalm 27. This Psalm centers around the hiding place, the secret of the Lord, being with Him, looking at Him, inquiring of Him, seeking and trusting Him, and being strengthened by Him. As I was reading this Psalm, which I have studied, prayed and sung numerous times as well, I saw it with fresh eyes in light of what God has spoken to me. I was so moved because I realized this Psalm was written by a true son of God. It’s a state of BEING. A heart who really knew God, who understood how God saw him and loved him.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes,they stumbled and fell. Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; Though war may rise against me, in this I will be confident. One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple. For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord. Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice! Have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”          (Psalm 27:1-9)

Confident (in Hebrew) = to hie or go quickly for refuge; to trust, be confident or sure, be bold (confident, secure, sure), put confidence, (make to) hope, (put, make to) trust

Hide (in Hebrew) = hide as by covering over, protect, keep close, conceal

Pavilion (in Hebrew) = a hut (as of entwined boughs); also a lair — covert, den, pavilion, tabernacle

Rock (in Hebrew) = cliff, place of refuge

Sacrifices of joy (in Hebrew)= clamor, i.e. acclamation of joy or a battle-cry; especially clangor of trumpets, as an alarum

Hear (in Hebrew) = shema = listen, pay attention, heed

Cry with my voice (in Hebrew) = to call out to, properly, address by name, to call aloud

Have mercy (in Hebrew) = to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior; to favor, bestow; causatively to implore (i.e. move to favor by petition)

Answer (in Hebrew) = to eye or (generally) to heed, pay attention; by implication, to respond; to begin to speak; specifically to sing, shout, testify, announce

I love digging deeper into the Word with the Hebrew and the Greek. It opens up my vision and my heart to get more of the fullness of what is being communicated. This Psalm, as far as my research can tell me, was most likely written around the time of 1 Samuel 22, when David was still on the run from Saul who had just had over 80 priests killed because 1 of them helped David. This was a time where Saul wanted him dead, as did many others. With his enemies surrounding him, he still turned his eyes to God. He had a revelation and a deep understanding about who God really is, even then, in a time where the concept of God as a close, intimate Father was not evident in their beliefs or teachings. 

The Hebrew word for “HEAR” in this passage is “shema”. A friend of mine is in the midst of a deeper study into that one word and it’s Hebrew letters, which each have their own origin and definitions. He told me that in the word “shema”, it speaks of the King, the Father who comes to meet His son, to embrace him, and put a robe around him, welcoming him in, welcoming him home.

When David was crying out to God, he saw himself in the hiding place, in the safety of His Father, set high upon a rock over his enemies, knowing that when he cried out, God would come to him! He knew his Father would have mercy (bend or stoop in kindness) on him and would answer (have His eye on and speak) him! Suddenly, I saw myself in that same place!

Psalm 32:7-8  You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah 

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.”

Psalm 91:1-4  He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge;

Psalm 23:5-6  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.

Romans 8:37-39  Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

KEEP COMING BACK TO HIM. LIFT YOUR HEAD, OPEN YOUR EYES, AND LET HIM SHOW YOU WHERE YOU REALLY STAND. WHO YOU REALLY ARE. IN THIS, HE WILL TEACH YOU ENDURANCE, PERSEVERANCE, AND TRUST.

TRUE FREEDOM IS RECOGNIZING THAT EVEN THOUGH YOU MAY RETURN TO THE SIN, THE DISTANCE, THE BUSINESS, OR THE HEAVY WEIGHT, YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO TURN AWAY FROM IT AND COME BACK TO HIM. THE FACT THAT YOU CAN DO THIS PROVES THAT YOU ARE NO LONGER IN BONDAGE AND ARE TRULY FREE!

THIS INCREASES FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE IN OUR LIVES. IT’S NOT A LICENSE TO SIN. IT IS A TRANSFORMATION PROCESS THAT PRODUCES HOLINESS, RIGHTEOUSNESS, GOOD CHARACTER, AND HOPE. YOU ARE AS FREE AS YOU CHOOSE TO BE. BONDAGE SHUTS THE MOUTH OF HOPE. GOD IS YOUR FATHER WHO LOVES YOU, WHO WAITS FOR YOU IN THE SECRET PLACE. HIS FIREY HOLY LOVE WILL CHANGE YOU IF YOU BELIEVE AND RECEIVE. AND YOU WILL MOVE FORWARD IN A FREEDOM THAT WILL LAUNCH YOU INTO THE FULLNESS OF ALL GOD HAS FOR YOU IN A WAY YOU NEVER THOUGHT POSSIBLE!

Father, I pray for every person who reads this to receive this revelation. Let the revelation and understanding of true freedom take root in our hearts and produce the fruits of holiness, righteousness, joy, faith, hope, and love. Only You can do this. All we need do is say YES and believe. Holy Spirit, You are the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of Christ that lives in each one of us. You are the Resurrection and the Life. Jesus, You are our Savior that set us free! You said whoever the Son sets free is free indeed! And we believe You, Lord. We have the freedom and hope of coming back to You, of being covered by You, of being lifted up by You, and being transformed into Your image. Let us be CONFIDENT in this! You are good, You are faithful, and everything You say is TRUE. We are no longer slaves. We are Your sons. Let us make a sacrifice of joy, a shout, a battle cry of declaration: I AM A CHILD OF GOD AND I AM LOVED! Father, gives us new eyes to see You with, to see ourselves with, that we would walk in the victory and in the glory that You have given us. Thank You for your patience, Your kindness, and for Your forgetfulness when it comes to our short comings. We love You, Lord. In the name of Jesus, amen.

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A Critic Or A Son?

How much of your time, as a follower of Jesus, do you spend in the Word and on your face, crying out to the Lord for mercy, speaking light and truth, love and true identity, into the Church (as a whole)? How much of your time is spent in critical thinking, speaking anger, bitterness and judgment, and flinging mud at the Bride of Christ? I realize that sounds harsh, but it is a reality. I find myself being incredibly humbled in this time that we are in. I have been on my face before the Lord, becoming even more painfully aware of my own weaknesses, and reaching out for the wisdom, purity, and righteousness of God. I see the issues and problems as well as the judgment and wounds we inflict on each other, all in the name of righteousness… but who’s? 

Democracy in our nation, in any nation, only works when the self-governing people of that nation operate in the righteousness of God (i.e. God’s justice and mercy).(National Monument to the Forefathers (The Foundation of Democracy) His righteousness sets up a parameter that protects us from selfish ambition, man’s logic, jealousy, anger, hurt, and all range of thoughts and emotions that most often take control and cause division, imprisonment and pain. 

It is the same for Church government. We were designed to function as a democracy; more accurately, as a family who humbly submit to one another (Ephesians 5:15-21). If we, as leaders and as the body of Christ, do not seek the good fruit of the righteousness of God, we become driven by our own ideas and logic, weakened,  divided, and self-destructive. Our righteousness takes the place of God’s causing us to misinterpret His Word and ignore His Spirit. We lose sight of what actually is right and wrong. Ultimately, we lose sight of LOVE (John 15, 1 Corinthians 13, 1 John 3).

“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.(James 3:13-18)

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As a nation and as the Church, we must come to the place of true humility. Sounds impossible, right? With man, it is, but with God, all things are possible! Which is why as followers of Christ, it is for our good and His glory, for us to humble ourselves before Him, be healed of our wounds and bitterness, and seek His good and perfect will; to let His perfect love cast out all fear, that our faith be strengthened in truth and in power by the Holy Spirit! As sons and daughters of the living God, it is our call and passion to pray for one another, to speak light and truth into each other, to confront sin, in love, with the righteousness of God.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)

But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in allTherefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”    (Colossians 3:8-17)

I recently looked up the definition, in Greek, of the word “peacemaker” found in Matthew 5:9. “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God.” The word peacemaker means to “bravely declare God’s terms which makes someone WHOLE.” I had this sudden, simple revelation that when we humble ourselves (not just in a moment, but a lifestyle of humility) and seek His righteousness, it opens the floodgates to peace and ultimately, UNITY! How do we become peacemakers? Praying, singing, speaking, declaring and prophesying the Word of the Lord! Being a peacemaker requires being poor in spirit (humility), mourning, meekness (controlled strength), desperation for righteousness, extending mercy, and purity (Matthew 5:3-10, Sermon on the Mount). Loving our enemies while not compromising the Truth. Speaking life and light, prophesying the truth of God’s Word over the Body, the Bride of Christ, regardless of her weaknesses, iniquities, and sins. GOD LOVES HIS CHURCH! And so should we. It is our testimony to the world that Jesus IS who He says He is!

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.(Jesus’ prayer for us, John 17:20-26)

Scripture says that judgment will first come to the house of God and then to all nations (1 Peter 4:17-19). My prayer is for judgment to first come to my own heart. How can I possibly dare to judge the entire Bride of Christ before looking into my own self-righteous soul? I want to know Him and be found in Him, carrying His righteousness and His love. I will pray and prophesy light and truth into the Church. I will cry out for mercy! I will pray that all believers will humble themselves before the Lord, will be found in His Word and on their faces, seeking His good and perfect will. It is His desire to lead us down the path of righteousness, the path of life. He wants us to know His heart and His will! We can know which way to go, how to vote, how to move forward…all we need to is ASK, SEEK, KNOCK and the DOOR WILL BE OPENED.

“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:7-11)

He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.(Psalm 23:3)

Thus says the Lord who made it, the Lord who formed it to establish it (the Lord is His name): ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’” (Jeremiah 33:2-3)

I pray, not just for this election or for this time, but for the future. For those who have yet to be born, I am willing to lay down my life, my agenda, my entitlements, my self-righteousness for the Greater Love (John 15:3). I want to be one who is willing to give my life for those I love and for my enemies. Jesus did. He is my all in all, and my life is His. Let us all seek to be peacemakers, to be true sons of God. Give us the mind of Christ, I pray. Father, let is be so, I ask, in the name of Jesus.

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Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:1-4)

Yes, I’m Voting

I read a status on Facebook today from a friend who was frustrated with all of the political opinions and comments and just wanted everyone to stop. I know we can all relate to this frustration. This presidential election is incredibly volatile, and it feels like it could catch fire any second now. After I read her status, I sat there for a moment…thinking about the candidates, all of the things they have said and have been spoken about them…then I started thinking about God’s heart, His plan, and who He has chosen to anoint to lead this country. After all, it is His decision. Prayer is the key to seeing through the eyes of God, laying aside our thoughts and opinions in exchange for His. Even if we disagree with Him, He leads in wisdom and righteousness, and I trust Him.

That being said, as a Christian and an American citizen, I cannot, in good conscience, not vote. I may be one small person amongst millions, but my vote counts. YOUR VOTE COUNTS. Not voting is the SAME as voting. It is our responsibility and duty as members of the Kingdom of God and the United States of America to help in making the biggest decision our country has ever faced!

Yes, I have chosen a candidate. I have chosen based on policy and what God’s Word says. I will be voting for the protection of the unborn. I cannot and will not bend on that! I will vote for their protection as well as the protection of our borders. I will vote to protect our current freedoms. Led by personal conviction and through prayer, I have chosen to give my vote to Donald Trump.

I am nervous about putting this out in the universe. It amazes me how quick we are to crucify each other for our principles and what we believe, especially in the Church! It breaks my heart how we are quick to engage in arguments and sometimes even violent in our words without first going to the King of Kings in prayer and supplication, allowing His peace to guard our hearts (Philippians 4). As His sons and daughters, we are called to be the peacemakers; ones who seek His face who walk in love, yet not compromising the truth.

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at handBe anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”   (Philippians 4:4-7)

 

I have read several articles, ranging from mainstream news to well known speakers and pastors and Christian news. I have listened to some of the debates as well as to interviews on the radio. I don’t necessarily agree with everything Trump says and does. He has a way of being harsh with his words and ideas and can be “out there” with his way of thinking. It is quite obvious that the man is flawed, but from what I have seen and heard, he recognizes he is flawed and is open to what others have to say. I’m not justifying flaws or sin. I can respect how he is willing to see and deal with his issues, and has chosen to surround himself not only with people who have strong political and military experience, but also people who have strong Christian values and walk with God. That to me speaks of wisdom. I recently stumbled upon an article in Charisma News about Donald Trump being a possible Cyrus (Isaiah 45).

Is Donald Trump a Modern-Day Cyrus? (You can click the link to read the full article.)

When I read this, I thought about the possibility. I thought about how, if we as the body of Christ, came together and prayed for this man instead of cursing him, God good use him to do great things! What if we silenced our opinions and offenses and instead, asked God to help us see this man and this entire election through His eyes? What if we stood as the “watchmen on the wall” and prayed for the His Kingdom to come and His will to be done instead of being critical and self-righteous? I don’t know for sure if Donald Trump is the one God has anointed to lead, but I am willing to give him the chance to be a great leader. No human being changes over night, but I am willing to pray for him, that he would receive wisdom, revelation, and understanding from heaven. I am will to trust that God knows, and now, more than ever, I will lean on His faithfulness. 

I…do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayersthat the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Himthe eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling…” (Ephesians 1:16-18)

I’m not writing this to convince anyone of anything.  I am not claiming to have a definitive answer to anything. This is not intended to be a “soap box” blog. I am simply expressing my heart and personal convictions in the gentlest and most loving way I can.

I agree with Franklin Graham when he said, “The only hope for the United States is God. Our nation’s many sins have permeated our society, leading us to where we are today. But as Christians, we can’t back down from our responsibility to remain engaged in the politics of our nation. On November 8th, we will all have a choice to make.” (article by Jessilyn Justice, Charisma News).

MY HOPE IS NOT IN A MAN OR A WOMAN OR AN INSTITUTION. MY HOPE IS IN GOD!

Jesus is our only hope! And we, as Christians, are the body of Christ! We must return to the Word and to the place of prayer! We must seek the righteousness of God and not make decisions based on our own. We must come together in the name of Jesus and the God-fearing men and woman of action we are called to be! God’s ways are not our ways, but He is GOOD. His eyes is ever on those who fear and trust Him! We have yet to face our darkest days in this world, but we have a promise of the glory of God being revealed through us in greater measures than ever seen before! (Psalm 2)

Father, I ask for wisdom. I ask for the revelation of Your heart, of Your plan. I pray for the turning of hearts back to You, to seek Your face and Your strength. I pray for those who are diligently seeking You now for direction, clarity, and peace. You are the one sitting on the throne of heaven. You are not afraid nor are You nervous or unsure. You are searching for a people, sons and daughters, a Bride who will stand on Your Word and by Your side. Lord, make us those who are fearless and on fire for You! Unwilling to compromise and who choose to rest in Your righteousness and justice. Give us grace to dig deeper. Give us eyes to see and ears to hear; that we would not just be hearers of Your Word but DOERS of Your Word! Give is divine strategy to change the course of our nation. Bring us together, Father! I believe that You are good. I believe that You are faithful. I believe that no matter what lies ahead, You are faithful and good to those who put their hope in You. You have opened the door to Hope. Let us receive all that You have for us, Father. Not our will, but Yours be done, I ask in the name of Jesus, amen.

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ASK. SEEK. KNOCK. REMEMBER WHO HE IS. DECLARE TRUTH. BE SANCTIFIED BY HIS WORD. HIS WORD IS TRUTH. HE IS THE GOOD SHEPHERD. HIS SHEEP KNOW HIS VOICE. LISTEN. TRUST. BELIEVE.

HE HAS OVERCOME THE WORLD!

 

 

“COME UP HERE!”

God is doing something. He is in the middle of something that is over my head and bigger than we can comprehend. I feel so incredibly encouraged and strengthened. Over the last few months, God has been healing my heart, rewiring my thinking, and strengthening my resolve to trust Him completely. I have not “arrived” to the fullness of what that means, but that, in and of itself, is the point! My willingness to let go of everything and lay it at His feet in combination with the “yes” in my heart has opened a wide door for Him to accomplish His will in me. But it’s not just for me. It’s for all of us who love Him, fear Him, who call upon His Name, who call Him Savior, Father, and King. He is pouring out grace upon grace. I feel His mercy. I hear His voice so clear. He says…

“There is so much that you don’t see, child, but I see it all. Things are changing. I will open your eyes to see. So many tears over so many years form a river of life. It’s streams flow to where there is darkness and death and bring light and life. I see light. I see life. I see hope. I am building a resolve within you, my child, my Bride. You are stepping into something of which you have never known before. I am establishing a resolve in you now. You will have a beauty that is Me. You will have a strength that is Me. You will have a unity that is Me, that no man can boast. Your time is My time. It all belongs to Me. You do not see all that I see, but I will open your eyes. I’ve called you stand on the wall. I have called you to pray. Wait on Me, and I will strengthen your heart. You know I have new mercies, new strength for you each day. As you have asked, I will do, and remember, I am always with you.

Our strength and our resolve comes from remembering God. Remembering who He is and what He has done, and declaring His faithfulness and goodness. Remembering and keeping Him ever before our eyes is the key to moving forward. Remembering and declaring causes us to abide in His never dying love and defines our very being. I see Him pouring our more of Himself to each one of us, opening a new ancient door to something very old and very powerful. Inviting us to step into Him, the All-Consuming Fire, and become one with Him in the flame. Letting Him consume and burn away ALL that hinders the fullness of love in us.

During this fast we have been doing at the house of prayer, I have become painfully aware of the lack of love in my heart for others. I chose to make this a “fast for love”, giving the Holy Spirit full permission to invade my heart, that He would perform invasive heart surgery and bring me closer to Jesus, to become more like Him. To really love God with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength. I have yet to live that out, but I’m realizing it’s not a final destination to strive for…it’s about the journey of looking into His eyes of fire and standing on the firm foundation of His Word. In this, I feel the resolve rising on the inside. He is in the middle of a deep preparation, and it’s in all of us. How willing we are to let go will determine the measure of the fullness we will walk in. 

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I feel a draw to wait, to rest, to stop everything and listen to Him. I see an open heaven over us, to reach up and grasp divine knowledge.  The knowledge of the Holy. To be encompassed in His love, wisdom, and faithful strength. I see a map of His heart, of time and space…eternity written on our hearts. It is a time to engage Him and yield to the movement of His hands that He may establish us.

Return, O Lord! How long? And have compassion on Your servants. Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days! Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us, the years in which we have seen evil. Let Your work appear to Your servants, and Your glory to their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands.  •Psalm 90:13-17•

My prayer has been that God would open my eyes to see what He sees…and He has. I am praying also that He would open the eyes of His sons and daughters to see Him and to see what He is doing. That all is NOT lost! There is hope! There are warring angels riding on our prayers, changing the atmosphere, pushing back darkness and the oppression of the enemy! 

I have begun a study on the recorded account of Gideon. This study has been wrecking my life in the best way! My desire to study this out was ignited one day in the prayer room when in the midst of my prayer, I prayed that we would become like the army of Gideon, though small in number, we would be strong in the Spirit of the Lord, leading to the defeat of the enemy and freedom. Gideon was a “judge” in the book of Judges, but not a judge as we define one today. In that time, judges were defined as a leader that God chose to raise up “to unify the people of God, to fight against the oppression of the enemy, and operate by the empowerment of God’s Spirit” (quoted from “Gideon” study by Priscilla Shirer). 

Come, now is the time. Come, now is the time to ascend. Behold, I see a door standing open in heaven. Behold, I hear a voice say, “Come up here.” “I AM WHO I AM. Cannot be grasped by any man. But do you want to see? Do you want to know? How far do you want to go? There is no height, no depth, no length, no width, That you can measure. There’s so much more to see. There’s so much more to know. Come up here with Me. Come up here!”

GOD DOESN’T WANT TO JUST RAISE UP ONE OR TWO DELIVERERS. HE WANTS TO RAISE UP A PEOPLE, HIS CHILDREN, HIS BRIDE, MEN AND WOMEN WHO ARE WILLING TO DIE TO THEMSELVES, TO STEP INTO THE FLAME, AND GIVE THEMSELVES COMPLETELY TO GOD; TO BE SONS AND DAUGHTERS WITH THE NAME “I AM” WRITTEN ON THEIR FOREHEADS AND WEAR HIS LOVE AS A SEAL UPON THEIR ARMS.

I see sons, I see daughters. Looking up, being awakened. Their eyes are open, it’s so clear. Their eyes are so clear to see. The Lord is stirring, waking them up. I see their mouths are open and there’s a song. The song of the Bride, the song of the Spirit, the new song. Releasing light, releasing light. They’re looking up and there is a groan. It’s hidden in the song, it’s the sound of the heartbeat of the Father. It’s the new sound, the new song, the groan Of sons and daughters who didn’t even know, they don’t have a clue. But it’s coming and I see it, clarity in the eyes, song coming out of their mouths. Releasing the light, looking to the Father, heeding His voice. They see the mountain in the distance But there are those who are forerunners who will lead them down the way to go. But I see it, it will happen. Sons and daughters, releasing glory, coming to the mountain of the Lord…

And it’s more than just a moment, more than just a breakthrough. It’s more than just a sudden change or a feeling. It’s a state of being, it’s a solid foundation, a firm way to stand. Yes there will be passion, yes there will be emotion, But there will be a steadiness, a steadfastness. A faithfulness embedded in our souls, embedded in our hearts. Stitched in by the Holy Spirit. Where we will know simply because we KNOW. Not just because of a feeling or an emotion. We will know that we know because He is I AM. That’s the ground on which we will stand. The resolve, the groan, the knowing will be a state of being. We will KNOW.

Father God, I pray that would keep doing what You’re doing. I pray that You would open the eyes of your sons and daughters; that you would awaken them to the call! Cause us to REMEMBER YOU and all that You have done! To bring to mind Your faithfulness, Your goodness, and Your love. Father, I ask that You would open our eyes to see what YOU SEE and to bring our hearts and minds into agreement, into alignment with what You are doing. You lead in righteousness and justice. You heart is to save, heal, and love. Holy Spirit, speak so loud and so clear, move our hearts to pursue the fullness of love in our lives! Help us to remember Jesus and to keep the Cross ever before us, that we would daily pick up our cross and seek Your face and Your strength (Psalm 105). It is Your faithful never dying love that is what our strength is made of. You are in the middle of something! Let us not miss it! Draw us closer to Your heart, oh God. Draw us back into the place that prayer and intercession, that we would become the “bright and shining lamps” You have called us to be! Establish us in love and power. In the Name of Jesus, amen.

REMEMBER WHO I AM. REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE. DO NOT LOSE HEART. I HAVE OVERCOME. EVERY PRAYER ROOM IS A WAR ROOM. EVERY PRAYER ROOM IS SAVING LIVES.

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It’s Not Too Late

I was able to visit a church I’d never been to before this morning, and they had a guest speaker from Brazil. His message was profound and incredibly encouraging to me because it is exactly what God has been speaking to me. His message centered around this scripture:

 (The word of the Lord speaking…) “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.”     (Ezekiel 22:30)

I have read this scripture before and its context, but today, it breathed new life into the fire that has been shut up in my bones! I must confess, over the last couple years of being in a pit (that I am now fully out of!), I did not do much interceding for anyone or anything. There are people in my life I know I am called to pray for; people that I love dearly who are family and friends. Then there are the people I don’t know, all over in every nation, I am to stand in the gap for, especially those in my own nation.

Over the last few months, I have had a wrestle in my heart regarding God’s judgment and His mercy. In my course of studying and meditating on His Word, I have discovered they are not opposite, but they are very much intertwined as one in the same. God is holy, and He is love. In His righteousness and justice, He never shuts the door of redemption. As I read that scripture again, I also read over the side notes that are written in my Spirit-Filled Bible. This is what it said:

The heart of God is searching for those who will answer the need for someone to “stand in the gap.” The picture is clear: without someone in place, invasion of darkness occurs and eventual destruction of people takes place. Answer the Holy Spirit’s call. Don’t allow the price that needs to be paid make intercession a passive issue. It will cost time, energy (Is. 64:7), sleep (Mt. 26:40), purity of motive (Mt. 6:6), and greater faith than most other things we do. Immediate results are seldom seen; sometimes we may wait for many years to witness God’s answer, or it may occur beyond our own lifetime. Let us be the opposite of the neglect referenced in Isaiah 9:16, 63:5. God has made it clear from Genesis to Revelation that prayer is the match that lights the fuse to release the explosive power of the Holy Spirit in the affairs of men. Let us give it priority time.

As I was reading this, two more scriptures came to my mind. There is one that we all have heard and should know well, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (Chronicles 7:14)  The other scripture is out of Isaiah 58 where the Lord calls the kind of fast that: loosens the bonds of wickedness, undoes the heavy burdens, lets the oppressed go free, and breaks every yoke…to take away the yoke, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness and instead, extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul…to become the Repairer of the Breach.” (The word “gap” also means break or breach.) There are promises that God WILL fulfill IF we are humble, IF we pray His heart, IF we lay ourselves down for one another. 

As I was thinking over these things, wanting to connect with the heart of God, I began to cry, a cry from the deep of my heart. What I’m about to share with you is something I would rather keep to myself, hidden away in my journal, but it is a fire shut up in my bones that cannot be contained:

I cannot give up! I cannot stop praying! A few years ago, God said to me, “Understand My mercy and why I wait.” That none would perish. I know the time of sorrows as such we have never seen before is coming, but I believe in Your love, I believe You are good, and I believe You move on behalf of the one who is willing to risk it all, even in the face of suffering and persecution, and stand in the gap! I believe that despite of deception and conspiracy, You bring the counsel of the nations to nothing and make the plans of the peoples of no effect. I believe You are higher, stronger, and so much greater, and I want to be a vessel of glory for You! 

I am not ignorant of the enemy’s lies and schemes. He has one goal: to kill, steal, and destroy the sons and daughters of God by any means necessary. As His child, I trust Him wholeheartedly. If I ask for bread, He will give me bread. The by-products of pouring my life into gazing on Him, listening to Him, and resting in His arms are discernment, wisdom, a hunger for holiness, and being made fearless in His love. And when you see God for who He is…how can you not fall before Him and cry out, “Here am I, God! Send me!” How can I not give my life for this Worthy One? How can I not believe that what He says is true? How could I waste my life on anything else? How could I not stand in the gap and intercede for a great move of God, whether it be for a single life or many?

It takes faith, humility and sacrifice to believe that God is good and that His Word is true!

IT’S NOT TOO LATE! Pray for those you love. Pray for those you don’t know. Pray for those you see in the store or on the street. Pray for your nation!! The disciples asked Jesus, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus said, “With men, this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:25-26). What does this mean? It means the prodigal son can return home, the addict can be set free, the deceived can know the truth…even the extreme terrorist can encounter Jesus and be saved!

God is searching for those who will stand in the gap. He is seated on the throne, in full control of everything. He is righteous and sovereign, and only He knows what the future holds, yet He chooses to partner with us in changing lives. As His beloved, we can move the heart of God. We have access to the knowledge of His will, to pray and walk it out. We can speak out the things that are not as though they are!  Jesus did.  It’s time to stand. To put on the armor of God and stand on His Word. He is a merciful God who desires that none should perish! And He has chosen to use us. In all of our weakness, He shows Himself strong. So, let us seek His face, pray without ceasing, and go into all the world with boldness and love!

Father God, give us Your heart. Let us never stop our pursuit of the greater love in our lives. Let us stand firmly on Your Word and believe. I pray that we would declare Your Word over and over, breaking the hold of unbelief in our lives. I once heard a wise man say that “changed people change people”. I know it’s not too late, God. You can turn a nation as easily as you can turn a single heart, and I won’t give up! Holy Spirit, release to us the groan. The groan of the Spirit that pulls us into the heart of the Father, that causes us to weep in desperation for You to move. Start with us, Jesus! Let us be conformed into Your image, and shine the light of Your love and salvation for all to see! Keeping our eyes on You, to really know You in a deep way and not be moved from our conviction. Give us the strength and joy to stand in the gap and pray. Release fresh revelation and understanding every day enabling us to pray without ceasing. Forgive us for allowing the breach. God, let us be repairers of the breach, that You would be loved and glorified. I pray this in the name of Jesus, Amen.

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Discipline & Faith: Declaring What Is True

The Lord has been speaking to me about discipline and real faith. I am beginning to have more understanding of how the two are intertwined. In Proverbs, it says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The fear of the Lord (humility, putting Him first, loving Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, full reverant submission to the truth of who He is) is the center of our relationship with Him because it ultimately leads to abiding in Love, trusting Him without question in following His commands. I cannot seem to escape Hebrews 12. This chapter has been on my heart and mind for over 4 years, and there is yet still so much to understand!

 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,  looking to Jesus, the Founder (Author) and Perfecter (Finisher) of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.  In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.  And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
    nor be weary when reproved by Him.
  For the Lord disciplines the one He loves,
    and chastises every son whom He receives.”

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness.  For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees,  and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.            •Hebrews 12:1-12 (ESV)•

In the Greek, the word discipline means to train, instruct, teach, correct, and chastise (purify). As I have been spending time reading over this and praying, I find myself not only asking the Lord to discipline me, but that I would remain in that discipline, walking in His ways and keeping His Word. I have come to realize the lack of His discipline in my own life. In His mercy, He has over and over again kept saying to me, “Just keep coming back to Me.” Did you know that even in this simple thing, it takes discipline to come to Him every day? It takes discipline to keep our eyes on Jesus. His discipline leads us to the strengthening of our faith (our hands and knees) and straightening our path (for our feet) because we allow Him use us in our weakness, to crush us into producing holiness and righteousness. The other passage I can’t seem to get away from is Isaiah 40.

“To whom then will you compare Me, that I should be like him?” says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of His might, and because He is strong in power, not one is missing.

Why do you say….“My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God”? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; His understanding is unsearchable.

He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted;but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary;they shall walk and not faint.  •Isaiah 40:25-31 (ESV)•

I know I’ve used this scripture before, but I encourage you to read the entire chapter and take in the context. The summarization of this passage is essentially that God is on the throne, He has all power and authority, He sees all and knows all, and all we need to do is wait upon Him, come to Him, and He will show Himself strong. Did you know it takes discipline to look at God and declare what is true about Him? Did you know that when you make those declarations, everything changes? Repeating the truth until we believe it. His discipline is not only when He rebukes, corrects, or teaches; it is also about walking daily in that discipline as a son of God, resting and trusting in Him! There is great power waiting to be unlocked within the sons and daughters of the Living God! This passage goes on and on about the greatness of the Lord, of how He is the Creator…NO ONE and NO THING can compare! There is NO ONE like our God! (Psalm 18 is also another chapter that has set my spirit ablaze!)

There is so much out there bombarding our eyes and minds every day. There is so much that is false, deceptive, tantalizing…so much to distract us from the ONE THING (Psalm 27:4). To dwell in His house (abide in His love), gaze on His beauty (see Him for who He is and be transformed in His presence), and inquire of Him (wisdom, revelation, understanding, and declaration). The calling on my life and life of every child of God is to love Him and declare what is true about Him thus changing our hearts, compelling us to love others and change the course of history! Jesus did this very thing!

The discipline of God can be painful and unpleasant, but it restores what is lacking in our faith and leads us to holiness, righteousness, and total trust in His strength alone!

Father, I pray for more of Your discipline my life. When You return, I want to be found faithful in the place of prayer, declaring what is true about You. I want to know You and be found in You. I ask for more grace, more power, for a greater desire to keep my gaze locked on Yours. You are God, Yahweh, the self-existent One. You are the Beginning and You are the End…the Founder and Perfecter of all that is in between. You are the one sitting upon the throne, the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and You are our Father! Jesus, I thank you for the victory we have in You. Come and restore what is lacking in our faith! Give us more understanding of how You lead that it would be faith in You alone that compels us forward and not be what we see in the natural. Give us a fire in our hearts for Your Word. Holy Spirit, remind us of truth, of the words of Jesus. Teach us about real faith! Teach us Your ways! Let us be diligent to watch and pray, for our flesh is weak, but our spirits are willing. Let us come to You in holy fear, in humility, keeping You ever before us. I thank You, Father, for Your mercy and for great joy, even in suffering, because we have tasted and we have seen, we know that You are GOOD! Amen!

 

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Real Love, Real Hope

I have been thinking about love these past few days. My thoughts were triggered by our Worship With Word scripture focus a couple weeks ago out of Psalm 63.

“O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You.”                  •Psalm 63:1-3•

His lovingkindness is better than life. I looked at the word lovingkindness in the Hebrew, and it speaks of His goodness, kindness, devotion, faithfulness, mercy, and unchanging love. When I looked at the individual Hebrew letters and their definitions, His lovingkindness encompasses grace, life, God’s support and protection, the joining of man to God, Holy Spirit, power of God, and repentance. Again, I am amazed in seeing the connection of a life bent in humility before the Lord and the release of grace and power, ultimately  becoming one with Jesus as He is with the Father. It is so beautiful!

In my study, I decided to look up the word love in the English dictionary. Love is defined as “an intense feeling of deep affection, a person or thing that one loves, and to feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone).” This is the simple definition. When it look at the full definition, it does eventually mention “God’s fatherly concern for mankind” and a “brotherly concern for others”, but the first definition is predominant in what I’ve found.  Love is an “intense feeling”, a feeling of affection, which can be of a familial, devotional, and/or sexual nature.

But love is so much more! Love is NOT just a strong feeling. Feelings come and go. Love is a laid down lifestyle that affects ALL situations and ALL relationships. Love is a person. That person is God. That person, in the flesh, was and is Jesus. Heidi Baker was quoted, saying, “Love looks like something…” What does it look?  How do I know real love? How do I find it and hold onto it? Through my own personal walk with Jesus, and according to what is written in the Word, here is my definition of love.

Love is a Person. God IS Love. Love is patient and so kind in that He suffers much, laying down His life that all would know freedom and truth. Love stands in boldness for truth and justice in the midst of pride, selfish ambition, and pain, and yet, Love covers a multitude of sins, covers the broken, and the fatherless. Love chooses to forgive and submits to discipline. Loves bears the burden, believes, endures, and sustains hope in everything. Love chooses others first, and does not seek to be seen. Love is strong, bold, and confident, yet exhibits meekness and a servant heart. Love is forever faithful and encouraging, cultivating wisdom, righteousness, and strength. Love chooses LIFE, sacrificing everything to bring about redemption, restoration, and new life. Love sees passed confusion and deception, the hard exterior, and sees the tender, broken heart longing for something more, something real.

Love is a Person. We need real Love. We need God. We love because He first loved us. Love is eternal. Love NEVER fails. Love is so much more than a feeling, affection, and physical touch and intimacy. Love is a STATE OF BEING. Abiding in God. All who abide in God, abide in Love. Love is an all-consuming fire that conquers death, that burns away all that ties us down then compels us to holiness, truth, joy, and abundant life! Love looks like something. Like Someone. Love looks like Jesus. 

“For this reason, I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of GodNow to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”  •Ephesians 3:14-21•

 Father God, let us overflow with Love, that Your glory would be displayed  in and through us into the world! Let us be enveloped in Your faithfulness and strength, that we would arise fearless and on fire in the beauty of Your great Love and holiness. Let us be gentle as a lamb yet bold as a lion! We want to walk in Your Love that produces confidence, joy, and HOPE. In Your Love, You have made us so much more than conquerors. We are Your sons, Your daughters, kings and priests; we are Your beloved! Nothing can separate us from Your strong Love! You are GOOD and Your mercy endures forever!

Here I Come