“…and the redeemed of the Lord will return and come to Zion with singing, crowned with unending joy. Joy and gladness will overtake them, and sorrow abs sighing will flee.” Isaiah 35:10
Though this verse speaks of a time “yet to come”, I believe that it is filled with strength and hope for our NOW. God has crowned the redeemed with unending and eternal joy even while living amid a world in chaos and often hopelessness.
As I read this verse this morning I felt as though I heard the Lord say,
“Come and kneel down before me so that I can crown you with unending joy that will make your hearts glad once again.”
Many of you have been filled with deep grief and sorrows that have left you weeping as you look upon what has transpired over the past two years. There has been grief, travail, sorrows that have led to repentance and unexpected losses. Yet, I sense that the Lord is inviting you to come now and receive a crown of unending joy.
This crown will cause your heart to sing and once again be filled with gladness. It will renew your mind and cause you to see beyond the natural into the supernatural hope, joy and future that is sure for those who love God and who are called, “My sons and daughters.”
I see angels surrounding you as you bow before the Lord blowing upon you with the breath of heaven— causing sorrows and sighing to flee. This angelic “breath” is blowing darkness away and breathing life and joy into you. Death is blown away and resurrection life is raising you up into unending joy.
Take a moment today to bow before Jesus as he crowns you with joy that makes your heart glad again.
If these articles have been a blessing in your life, please consider sowing a financial gift to help us continue to bring encouragement to the body of Christ.
Last night I found myself in many hours of prayer throughout the night watch. I was experiencing the burden of the Lord’s heart over many lives that had become muddled in disillusionment, confusion, deceptions and even just weariness.
Though I will not go into sharing the details of the majority of the night, I did want to share a small portion of the experience because it was corporate in nature. As I was praying I suddenly began experiencing and viewing (simultaneously) what I was nothing short of a spiritual, emotional and physical “power washing” (some would call it a “pressure washing”).
The Spirit of the Lord became a power washer and he was power washing our minds, our souls, our emotions and our spirits. There were lies, accusations, doubts, cynicism, judgements, deceptions, confusions, and many other things that had been planted in minds that were tormenting souls and blocking spiritual truths and hearing.
This “power or pressure washing” was not only removing the debris of the past couple of years but even deeply rooted things that had been distorting truth, wisdom, understanding and blocking spiritual breakthroughs that the Lord desires.
I asked the Holy Spirit in that moment to come and power wash me— my mind, my heart, my body, my emotions so that my spirit is fully blessed. I began also to pray this for my children, my husband and God’s global family.
Our family owns a power washer or better known as a “pressure washer” so I know the power that is released through the enormous pressure that is released through these machines. Debris that cannot be removed through any amount of human strength or scrubbing is instantly removed when touched by the power and pressure behind the water that comes from these pressure washers.
I sensed in this experience that many have recognized areas in their minds and hearts that need washing and removal, yet no amount of their strength has been able to remove these “strongholds.”
The Lord’s grace and mercy has allowed great pressure to build so that this power washing could occur. The Spirit is using the pressure to make many willing in this hour and dependent upon him to wash them.
This is a “not by might, nor by power but by My Spirit” act. Not our might or our power but thr power of his Spirit. If the pressure has been upon you, yield to his power. The pressure is bringing many things to the surface so that his power can quickly remove them as they have been exposed.
Do not be overwhelmed by the pressure or even the exposure of things that you did not know existed in your heart. This work is for your good and for your freedom but it is done by his Spirit as we ask for him to come.
Offer him your willingness to receive this power (pressure) washing. He longs to see you free from the debris that has created blockages and strongholds. He loves you so very much!!
As we move into the month of May would you prayerfully consider a request? May you consider sowing into this ministry?
Over the past week, each day as I would approach the Lord in prayer I would hear an invitation to come deep into God’s heart on the issue of covenant, judgement and mercy.
As I would accept the invitation the Spirit would always begin by asking me to thank God for his faithful judgements. In faith and obedience I would begin to just say, “Father, all of your judgments are faithful, right and true. Your love is fully found unwavering within your judgements.”
As I would pray and declare these things I would be ushered into deeper and deeper revelations of his covenant with mankind, with Israel, and with nations. His covenant is always based on absolute love, truth, righteousness, his character and perfect ways. When covenant is violated or broken by man (for God NEVER breaks covenant) there are repercussions— for God disciplines those that he loves just as a parent does the child that he so deeply loves (for there is no love found in parental passivity or the enabling of rebellion.)
If there is no repercussion (when covenant is broken) then truly there was never any covenant and there was not agape love. Just as marriage is a earthly representation of the covenant between God and his people— we see that the marriage covenant binds two people as one flesh in a holy agreement that promises faithfulness, commitment, selflessness and love no matter what they are facing— until death parts them. If one of those two violates that covenant (or promise) it deeply affects both and negative repercussions inevitably ensues.
Each day I was taken into the heart of the Lord as he entered into covenant with his people and i saw a glimpse of the love and longing that he carried and that has not lessened to this day. It was so deep and weighty that I could barely touch it without feeling that I could not survive the revelation of his love and how lightly we have treated his heart within these covenants.
I saw again and again how we have broken covenant and broken his heart— the heart that merely wanted to give us a faithfulness that would bless us in ways that we could never comprehend. And yet, we would still turn to other lovers, other gods and other ways that violated his love and truths. We always think our way is better.
Then he would usher me into the judgements (repercussions) that came from broken and violated covenant. Within them his promise, love and faithfulness was as strong, pure, passionate and true as the moment he entered into these covenants with man— to the point that he would provide his only Son to die to redeem what had been lost. And yet, still— mankind goes their own way but his faithfulness remains relentless.
After four days of experiencing this, I was so undone by his faithfulness, even within his judgements, that I’d weep at the mere thought of it. On the fifth day, I suddenly and clearly heard the Spirit day,
“Now you can ask for mercy to triumph over judgement.”
Immediately I understood (by the Spirit) how we so often ask for mercy not truly understanding that we don’t comprehend the full weight of his faithful judgements— judgements that give him NO pleasure but are immersed in his love. Mercy is reserved for the guilty not the innocent (that is justice). I believe that we have missed this point often when we pray. We have not fully comprehended the heart break of God regarding broken covenant. He is like a husband whose wife has forsaken him and given herself to another or like a father whose beautiful daughter has prostituted herself. Judgement comes merely as a act of faithfulness to bring her back to her senses.
We often cry out for mercy but believe in our hearts that we are deserving of justice. We don’t see the fullness of the betrayal and brokenness that sin and waywardness has brought to the heart of God.
We need to cry out in brokenness and humility for mercy knowing that true justice would render judgement and yet in God’s faithfulness and compassion he desires to give mercy. We need true repentance— which often is found within the revelation of his faithfulness, even his faithful judgments.
I can only pray that by his Spirit you are able to understand this and that what I have been experiencing will be imparted to you so that together we are made ready to corporately cry out for mercy and truly know that it is MERCY that we are in need of…because we have all fallen short of keeping covenant.
Again, justice is reserved for the innocent and mercy for the guilty. Justice is for those who are undeserving of judgement and mercy for those who deserve judgment. In both cases the absolute faithful love of God is perfectly and rightly executed. And in both cases His heart is laid bare in broken compassion for the ones that he created and gave his Son to die for.
Let’s ask for a revelation of his faithful judgements and declare them as such. Then, as our hearts are broken for the things that break his heart, we can bow low and cry out for mercy. He loves to give us what we do not deserve. He waits, like the father in the story of the prodigal son, for our return— for the return of his son or daughter— or nation. We must return to the bond of his faithfulness and become faithful.
“I have heard all about you, LORD. I am filled with awe by your amazing works. In this time of our deep need, help us again as you did in years gone by. And in your anger (wrath), remember your mercy.” Habakkuk 3:2
Now that we are in Christ we have been justified and made innocent to cry out for justice and yet we must understand that our nations often have not come to Christ- therefore we must cry out for mercy while understanding the righteousness of his judgements.
Sidenote: I often hear how the American church did all that they could do in 2020 to bring forth a victory (and I was part of that those who brought continuous offerings) but I think we need to know that the reality is the Jesus is the only one who could (and did) do ALL that needs to be done. Was it pleasing to him…yes! But we must not boast in what we have done but in what he did alone. We offered what he deserved whether we see judgements or mercy. May we always bring that kind of offering- not merely to receive a result but because he is worthy to receive it all.
As I sat in the prayer room today I saw plumb lines drop down from heaven to earth over different individual’s lives. As it dropped the tip of these plumb lines became spouts that poured out the love of God, the oil of healing and the wine of intimacy.
As I looked upon this I saw that angels were assisting these individuals to align them directly under the spout so that they received the fullness of what the Father was pouring out. The misalignment was merely causing the person to miss the fullness of what was being poured out. As these loved ones surrendered to his longing the angels were easily able to move them under the direct flow.
Then I heard,
“Their cups will overflow. I have always intended for my sons and daughters to live in the place of the fullness that overflows.”
There is such love, compassion, restoration and healing pouring out at this time. He merely waits for the smallest “yes” to move under his downpour.
Yesterday I suddenly became aware of the presence of many angels. These angels where descending from heaven with what looked like folded fabric in their arms. These fabrics were many different colors but all had gold threads woven throughout the hems and edges. They were thick and expensive looking materials that had the appearance of something designed for royalty.
Then, in my spirit I saw how the Accuser has been accusing many of the saints of God day and night— relentlessly. His goal was to wear them down and cause them to lose sight of their identity in Christ that had given them strength and authority to do all that they had been doing. Many had become disoriented and felt completely alone as this demonic assignment was unleashed upon them.
With every accusation it was like filth being thrown upon their white garments. Many of the saints of God were being accused with such violence and repetition that they felt cornered and traumatized from the ongoing and relentless assault.
The scene reminded me of the scene in Zechariah 3 where Satan is accusing Joshua the High Priest as he is wearing filthy garments. But just like in that story, the Lord is present and he rebukes the Accuser and calls his angels to come and change Joshua’s filthy garments to clothe him with clean ones. He restores him and instructs him in truth.
As I walked into church yesterday I became once again aware of these angels holding the folded fabric but this time I knew that they were royal garments. The Lord has rebuked the Accuser and is removing the garments that are soiled with filthy accusations (some based on truth and some not), his angels have come to put royal garments of the Lord’s righteousness and identity upon his people. These are garments that restore honor, dignity, calling, position and purity. The righteousness of Christ is covering every place of exposure and nakedness, every place of shame and failure, every place of accusation.
Each garment had also had a turban that guards your minds from the false thoughts and narrative that the enemy has unleashed. The mind of Christ and his thoughts— along with the peace of God that guards our hearts and minds is being restored to many. The torment of your mind will be replaced with peace, truth and salvation.
This has been a violent and vicious attack against many to stop the Kingdom from advancing. But an overcoming spirit is coming upon his people who will rise in even greater authority and purity than before.
The accuser has also unleashed accusations against God and against truth like no other time throughout the world. It is creating a narrative of confusion, hate, rage and division. The spirit of deception has been unleashed on a level that most of us have never witnessed. And yet, I believe that those who have had to overcome this great assignment of accusation against them will arise from this troubled place— this dark wilderness— clothed anew, purified and freed from areas of weakness or sin that was present before this great assault. They will come forth stronger and have authority over deception and accusation that will begin to set many free. They will carry a sword of the Spirit that is able to divide truth from deception and soul from spirit. They will be able to rightly divide and will be used to set many free from the division that has come to keep them from God and his truth.
They will have a spirit of overcoming that is founded in the absolute knowledge of the grace and mercy of God. They will be rescued and saved from this assignment to take them captive. But these are prisoners of hope that never abandoned the hope of Christ in the midst of this torment.
Stand still and watch the salvation of God set you free! When you’ve done all you know to do— STAND! Joshua the High Priest merely stood while the mercy of God took over to restore him.
Your identity in Christ will be even more sure than before you faced this attack. Your heart will be even more purified and your belt of truth will have been tightened!
Do not despair but stand and see the salvation of the Lord come to rescue and save you.
I hear the Spirit saying that now is the time to “shed the old skin of false identity.”
It is time to allow the Lord to put your true identity upon you. You were created in His image and carry within you His Spirit to do great things. If you are living under an identity that bring you shame, distress, insecurity or self-hatred then you are not living in His image or His design for your life.
I know someone, who for many years, denied their call as a leader and as a man of influence. During the years that he denied his true identity he found that within the church he felt virtually invisible. He also continually found great opposition in what he was doing in place of the call of God on his life. He was living an identity that no one could really recognize because it wasn’t who he truly was and what he was living just didn’t fit him. Finally this man allowed God to do a deep work in his life and he stepped out of the false identity, that was based on lies he believed, and into the true identity and call that God had for him. It was an immediate transformation for this man. All of a sudden he was visible and God quickly restored all that he was created to do. He began to walk in favor and authority, as well as fulfillment.
When we live in a way or an identity based on the lies we have believed it downgrades our lives and causes the favor that we were created to walk in to dissipate.
There are men and women throughout the world who do not know Christ but understand their true identity and they experience great favor and success but their success has an emptiness on it that always leaves them striving for greater success and fulfillment. When we know our true identity and are walking with Christ as our Savior we experience favor, success and fulfillment…as well as peace.
If you recognize that you are living a false identity that has downgraded your life and causes you to spectate life more than truly live a joyful and fulfilling life; then now is the time to shed that old skin. It’s time for your upgrade!!!
First, renounce agreement with every lie that you have believed and then ask God for His truth regarding your life. In faith believe and agree with what He reveals to you. Agreement will begin the process of stepping into your true “you”. Then begin to occupy your new and true identity by taking steps to walk in it.
Now is the time for the sons and daughters of God to arise in truth, favor and authority. Now is the time for you to arise and be the reflection of the image of Christ that you were called to display to the world.
Now is the time! Let the “true you” arise for all to see!
Thank you to all of my readers who have stood with us and supported us with financial support through this time of many challenges! You are the “story behind every story!”
“If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” Matthew 16:25
There are so many things that we try to hang onto— afraid to lose what we think that we need. We are living in a time that shouts, “Protect your life! Protect what belongs to you.” We need to exercise such discernment and we need the wisdom of God to navigate these days. I fully admit that after the death of my brother in late January (from the virus) that I spent a good two months pulling back— mostly to grieve but also because I watched him suffer so much that I had to work through some very real fear. There was an element of trauma that it left on my soul. I began to hesitate and count the cost— which was shocking and even disheartening to me.
I began thinking about when Jesus was arrested and Peter was gripped by a very real fear of losing his life— he ran through the streets in panic and confusion trying to get as far away from the threat as possible. When asked if he was a disciple of Jesus, he denied even knowing him— why? Because of the fear of losing his life. And yet the result of denying him probably brought more pain and agony than if he had given up his life. He was deeply grieved and disheartened by what he had done.
I am always so moved by Jesus’s response to Peter the first time they came face to face after his resurrection. While Peter had returned to fishing (for fish rather than men) Jesus waited for him to return to the shore as he cooked breakfast. After the meal he asked Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
He calls him Simon rather than the name he gave him, Peter— why? Possibly because in Peter’s shame and facing the death of Jesus he had returned to his old identity. He returned to boats, nets and fish. Therefore, Jesus is about to call him back to his true identity and purpose. He begins by addressing his old identity as “Simon, son of John.”
He asks him three times if he loves him— the same amount that Peter had denied him. Each time Peter answered with, “Yes Lord! You know that I do.” Then Jesus exhorts him, “Tend my sheep.”
The interesting fact, that is not well understood, is that when Jesus asks, “Do you love me?” He is using the Greek word for love, “agape.” This is the highest form of love. Yet, when Peter responds to him saying, “You know that I love you.” He uses the Greek word, “phileo,” which is a brotherly love that is more conditional (lesser form of love).
The third and final time that Jesus asks Peter if he loves him, he also uses the “phileo” form of love. When Jesus does this, Peter realizes that the Lord is revealing that Peter has loved him with a conditional love that has wanted to maintain his life. The Lord once again responds with, “Shepherd my sheep.” Why? Because a true shepherd will lay down his life in agape love for his sheep.
Jesus is not condemning him but revealing to him that his “brotherly or human love” could not do what needs to be done or even live in a way that will do what Jesus has just done— lay down his life for his sheep.
The phileo love could not support a “life laid down.” Like Peter, many of us have had to come to the end of our human love, strength, and even our beliefs that we will never shrink back. It is here, in this place of weakness and failure, that we can ask the Spirit to let his agape love flow through us and have victory over our phileo love. This is a work of the Spirit, who restores our true identity, our call and our hearts.
As we know, in the end Peter not only was a shepherd of God’s precious sheep but he too laid his life down as the agape love of his Holy Spirit strengthened him to do.
It is easy to say, “We lay it all down” until we come face to face with actually doing that. I have been convinced that I have and would lay it all down because I have left home, family, personal desires and even what I considered safety to follow him many times. Yet, in the moment of looking at, “Could I lose my life?” I hesitated. I had to look at the condition and form of my love.
Is my love phileo or agape? There is no condemnation in this question but rather an invitation to come up higher and to surrender my love for his. The question momentarily took my breath away but was immediately followed by, “Shepard my sheep.” This restores his commissioning and his faith in who he is in us.
So, how do we lay down our lives when we realize that we have phileo love? We must understand that his Spirit lives in us. His Spirit fully possesses agape love— the highest form of unconditional love (that holds nothing back and has no need for personal gain). We then allow our lives to be a conduit of his agape love that lives within us. We recognize that in ourselves we are limited to phileo love but in him we are consumed with agape love.
We cannot lay down our lives wholeheartedly without doing it by the Spirit. Peter had made passionate declarations of how he would never leave Jesus before his arrest. He was not lying but did not realize that in himself the best he could give in his own strength was the conditional phileo love that would always come up short.
Because the Spirit has come to live within believers, we now can allow his agape love to do what we could not do. Our flesh may fail but his Spirit in us will prevail. “Not by might, nor by power but by my Spirit.” This is what the Lord says and how we can lay down our lives.
As we recognize the greater need for absolute dependency on his Spirit, in everything we do and all that we lay down, we will overcome the phileo love that has limited us in so many ways. We lay down all dependency on “self!” We surrender even the best intentions and the most passionate declarations to yield to his Spirit, who can do what we cannot. We let the true Shepherd live through us and lay his life down through us again and again.
“By your Spirit— I lay my life down!”
If these articles are a source of encouragement and blessing to you, will you prayerfully consider sowing a financial giftthat helps us continue this ministry?
There is a popular worship song called, “Nothing Else”, it’s chorus says,
I just want You Nothing else, nothing else Nothing else will do I just want You Nothing else, nothing else Nothing else will do
There may be no truer words ever written. No matter what you think will fill or satisfy your life— if you are not first satisfied with Jesus then you will be left wanting. No place, no person and no desire will ever fill this place.
The longer that I live the more real this truth has become to me. As I’ve realized the fulfillment of many of the promises and prophetic words over my life I find that “I just want him!” As I’ve traveled to other nations, written books, spoken at conferences and raised a beautiful family— the true joy was that my “want” was being met in Christ first!
Seasons come and go, desires come and go and even people come and go…but Jesus remains forever. Nothing else will do!
Blessings are beautiful and they are gifts from God— he truly gives us what we do not deserve. But apart from fully knowing him and being satisfied in him we are still left wanting and lacking.
No one can take him from you and no one can forbid you to have constant (face to face) fellowship with him. No virus, no government, no demon, no lack— not even death! He is constant and faithful through every season and circumstance. His faithfulness does not change and he gives us freedom to soar even when the world removes the freedoms we have known.
So…get caught up in his presence, sit at his feet and experience those holy moments that fill our greatest longings. Nothing else will do!
“Who is the man who fears the Lord? He will show him the way he should choose. He will live a good life, and his descendants will inherit the land. The secret counsel of the Lord is for those who fear Him, and He reveals His covenant to them. My eyes are always on the Lord, for He will pull my feet out of the net.” Psalms 25:12-15
These verses from Psalm 25:12-15 are so great!
This is why the Bible says that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10). The fear of the Lord actually means, “reverential awe” (reverence: deep respect and honor). We stand and live in the deepest honor and respect of His awesome love and wonders!
Verse 14 of Psalm 25 says that those who fear Him will receive his secret counsel. This is the wisdom that is given and spoken of in Proverbs 9:10. Jesus walked in the secret counsel of His Father during his time on earth and we can do that too. We can live in WONDER rather than in “wondering and confusion.”
Psalm 25 promises that as we live in this deep reverence and awe that we will be shown the way we should choose and we will have a good life (that will be passed onto our children). It also guarantees that he will rescue us from any snare our feet get caught in. This is COVENANT and cannot be broken!
I am continually asking the Lord to help me to live in a greater awe, reverence, honor and respect for him in EVERYTHING I do— that this would be the standard that I uphold.
I am asking today, “What in my life is usurping the awe and reverence? Where do I need to lift up the standard of the fear of the Lord in my life?”
These are the question that align us with the Holy One and his secret counsel…his wisdom and his ways. It’s good to ask the Holy Spirit to search your life and to find the areas that lack this standard of awe and honor. Then ask for his help to make the adjustments so that you have all that he desires to give to you today and every day to come!
It brings him such joy to answer us and to align us with the outpouring of his love, counsel and covenant blessings. What joy it is to be loved so deeply and to walk in a standard that honors God and reaps a harvest of blessings!
There is such attention being drawn in this hour to all the negative and the display of evil on earth. I often wonder if we have turned our attention away from the sacred and to focus our attention on the display of the profane?
Today I awoke with a renewed realization of “the God of wonders” in our midst. It is time to turn our eyes, our thoughts and our attention back to who he is and what he does rather than watching the display of the wicked. He is calling us to watch the wonder and turn away from the wicked.
Our God will display his wonders in the midst of the wicked and his hand will be the one that is proven to rescue and save. He is the one that shakes the earth, makes the mountains tremble and is an all consuming fire that comes to purify.
Psalm 17:7 says, “Display the wonders of Your faithful love…”
We say, “Yes Lord! We turn our eyes toward your faithful love where we will see your wonders displayed.”
He is our portion and our cup of blessing (Psalm 16:5) and in him there is no lack. It is time to stop looking at the lack that the world displays and begin delighting in the full portion and overflowing cup that we have been given. May this cup overflow from the lives that have been lavished by his unfailing and faithful love. May his faithfulness be poured out upon a world in desperate need of a drink of pure love.
This refocusing will allow our lives to be conduits of the overflow. As we surrender, as we worship and as we give ourselves fully to him we make room for his glory to be displayed and his wonders to fill the earth.
We silence our tongues from the constant testimonies of what the wicked are doing and we ask the Spirit of the Lord to loose our tongues with the sounds of his love. May the testimonies of Jesus pour forth and prophesy to the dry bones. May the songs of wonder and sounds of awe be released that overcome the shock and awe of the evil that has been displayed. And may our “laid down lives” become the posture of seeing Jesus high and lifted up for all to see.
The God of Wonders has not changed and his arm of salvation has not shortened. Our eyes have too often been pulled to look upon the profane rather than focus on the holy. It has clouded our vision for far too long.
We are not to be unaware of what is happening in the world but let us be far more aware of his wonders and his faithful love. We are “heaven’s journalists”, heaven’s sound, heaven’s reporters and citizens of heaven. Even the world is waiting for a good report and longing to see the miraculous. Many are longing for a savior and for something to give them hope. We carry that hope within us.
Isn’t it time to display the God of Wonders and become yielded vessels of his heavenly overflow?
“Yahweh, our Lord, how magnificent is Your name throughout the earth.” Psalm 8:9
Thank you to all of my faithful readers and followers who have so generously prayed for us financially supported us. You are our heroes!