I woke up recently with these words singing in the background of my mind,
“Day and night, night and day let incense arise…”
It is my deepest cry that our God receives the incense of worship, prayer, our deepest affections, and fully surrendered lives every moment of every day. There is truly no better place to live than in the place of being a “burning one” who, through surrender, has become one with the One who gave His all.
As I heard these words what rose up in my spirit were the words, “And Don’t stop! Don’t give up!”
It was like a shout from the hosts of Heaven to His people on earth. The incense of your life is affecting the atmosphere. As you allow the scent of Christ to rise from your life, it releases an incense that brings heaven to earth and causes demons to flee. God in you and pouring forth from you shifts the atmosphere and releases the supernatural into the natural world around you.
He is worthy of it all! Let your praises arise today and do not hold back. Let no one and nothing stop you from releasing the incense of praise. Don’t stop! Don’t be stopped. This is the way that you move into alignment with heaven. Fill the earth with His glory.
The angels are even now taking down the enemies that have come against you. Our Warrior King has gone out to fight for His inheritance. Your position is to let your “incense arise”.
“But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the LORD’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the LORD is with you!” 2 Chronicles 20:17
Be still and watch God bring forth victory after victory. Don’t stop, for God is mighty in battle and He deserves the glory and honor that will come forth from your life. You are the testimony of his unfailing love and mercy.
Some of you are so very weary right now. Jesus wants you to know how deep his compassion is toward you. He is with you right where you are with no expectations except for you to allow him to love you and give you rest.
Some of you are so very burdened right now. The weight of what you are carrying feels like if your strength fails that everything will fall to the ground and crumble. Jesus wants you to know how deep his compassion is for you. He is with you right where you are to remove the yoke and burden that you are carrying. He will trade it for his yoke which is merely to trust him for all you need and all that you are carrying.
““Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”” Matthew 11:28-30
The Father is so gentle with you! His Son is the fullness of “humble in heart” toward you. He is inviting you to come into his arms and receive the rest that you so desperately need. He has healing for your heart, provision for all that you need, restoration for all that has hurt you and caused you to feel that you must carry this heavy burden.
He loves you so very much— he knows you intimately, every part of you— and yes, he still loves you— you take his breath away. He is pouring out the abundance of his love over you even now. Let go of the control (the yoke that has wearied you) and let your pain fall into his lap. He wants to carry you and refresh you in his love.
Receive his love. For he is gentle and humble in heart…
Thank you to all of my readers who have helped to carry our burdens through prayer and financial support. I have no words that are adequateto thank you properly.
We all know that hope and faith is only needed for “what we do not see.” It is what keeps us moving forward, it is what helps us overcome and it is the wind that carries us into tomorrow. As believers, our hope and faith are found first and foremost in Jesus. We hope in His promises and we have faith in His everlasting love that will never fail us. Hope and faith are both with us and before us through our beloved Savior— they give us vision in our “today” and “a vision” (that brings expectations of beauty) for our tomorrow.
Hope and faith are easy to access in times of joy and light. In those times we lay down at night bathed in the pleasures from the day lived and we wake up the next morning in a joyful hope for even greater pleasure in the day that lays before us. Yet, sorrow, grief and unexpected hard times can come and when they do it can feel like you’ve lost yourself in a dark wilderness. You wake up and wonder how to find the pleasures that you had just yesterday and the expectations of pleasures that you dreamed of for your tomorrow’s. This unexpected sorrow can come through many sources— loss, lack, hope deferred, crisis or even just the atmosphere around you. Suddenly, in the midst of hope and faith you can’t find vision and everything become disoriented.
January 1st, 2021 became the beginning of a time of disorientation for me. It began a fierce 24-hour a day battle in prayer for my younger brother’s life that lasted 21 days; then I watched his beautiful body was lowered into a grave. At the same time, many in our nation were grieving, others were losing loved ones and isolation was taking a toll on the younger generation. Being a “feeler”, these things can really touch your soul with deep emotions. I am also a “glass half full” person, therefore my hope and faith were not shaken but my soul suddenly became downcast and disoriented.
The other day I had an appointment with the eye doctor because my natural vision has become very blurry and disorienting (a bit like my emotional and spiritual vision). When the doctor was finding my prescription she commented that I must be having a difficult time with things because one of my eyes is extremely nearsighted and one of my eyes is extremely farsighted (this is unusual). I was quite surprised and assured her that it has made my vision quite challenging. When she found the right lenses for both of my eyes and let me look through them, it was like coming out of the disoriented place and finding clarity.
This natural condition began to speak to me regarding my spiritual condition. In the natural I have always enjoyed perfect vision in both eyes. I could actually see further than most people I knew. This has been true spiritually as well. As a “seer” my vision is one of the things that I enjoy the most. I love to see God, I love to see His perspective and I love the “unseen” realm. Honestly, it is often more clear to me than the natural realm. What joy this has brought to my walk with God! When my physical vision began to change it was hard but I always knew that there were glasses or remedies to clear my sight. Yet, when 2021 began and suddenly my spiritual sight had changed— a deep struggle came with it. I couldn’t see clearly close up or far way. For a seer to lose vision is devastating. I wondered if there was a remedy for this?
Then the Spirit began to talk to me about how I needed new sight for the new age. Just like I am dealing with “aging natural eyes”, I need new lenses for a new time and age. Things have shifted and I need a “stronger spiritual lenses” for these days. His eyes must be the lenses that I look through to have vision and clarity for today and for tomorrow. Hope and faith are the frames but His eyes are the lenses.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight,” 2 Corinthians 5:7
My faith has had to increase and my hope fully found in Christ alone; not governments, earthly freedoms, comforts or even the people around me. When I look into His eyes I see beyond the temporal and begin to grasp the eternal. There, I find the window to the eternal and I am comforted and strengthen. Through His eyes I am able to come to the realization that my brother and all who have “died in faith” see with absolutely clarity now. They no longer are searching, striving or stumbling but they have eyes that have beheld our eternal HOPE. There promise of a future and hope is fully realized!
I have begun to understand that we do not have to wait to begin to have the beautiful Holy Spirit adjust our eyes to behold Him or to see the eternal realm. Our eyes are being adjusted to see beyond the world around us, see beyond the chaos and see beyond the heights we have know in order to grasp the eternal. I am still going in and out of clarity but I am learning to focus on His eyes so that I adjust my vision to see as He sees.
It is easy to see what has changed in the world around us. Darkness has covered the world and we have begun to adjust our eyes to see pretty clearly in the dark…but God is adjusting our eyes to the LIGHT— the Light that is eternal!
Another interesting thing that happened with my natural eyes is that I was having a hard time with light. All light sources were causing what I’d call “light flares” which were once again distorting everything else. During my eye appointment, the doctor put a plastic object over my eyes with tiny pin holes in it. She asked me to find a pin hole and look through it to the letters on the chart across the room. As I did that I suddenly could see what was before me. All of the letters came into focus. It was like a beam of light that gave me a portal of focus. This can happen when eyes have astigmatism which is when the front surface of the eye or the lens, inside the eye, is curved differently in one direction than the other. I believe that God is clearing up an spiritual astigmatism that has caused us to have a divided focus. His eyes are like that pin hole— the narrow way that brings clear and undivided focus.
Hope and faith will be the pathway to find His eyes which will open up the eternal. Heaven will be opened up before us as the cares of this world fade into the background. I believe we also need to refocus our thoughts. Philippians 4:8 says this,
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
The media, even Christian media, often is highlighting the darkness and demonic agendas that are being established as laws throughout the world. Wars and rumors of war fill the air with fear and dread– replacing hope and faith for some. Yet, God has given us instructions on where to focus our thoughts. It is a beginning place that will lead us to His perspective and His eyes…which are windows into the eternal.
Do not fear if you have lost clarity or focus. Ask our precious Holy Spirit to be your spiritual optometrist that will correct your vision and adjust your sight for the days that we are living in and the true hope set before us— which is eternal and unshakable. Jesus has sealed our hope with His blood— giving us a secure faith.
“Because God wanted to show His unchangeable purpose even more clearly to the heirs of the promise, He guaranteed it with an oath, so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us. We have this hope as an anchor for our lives, safe and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain. Jesus has entered there on our behalf as a forerunner, because He has become a high priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 6:17-20
Turn your eyes upon Jesus!
We so appreciate those who stand with this ministry in prayer and financial support. Thank you from the depths of my heart.
Today could have been a real emotional train wreck. “Could have been” are the key words in this sentence. If you follow my writings or my page then you know that 2021 has been nothing short of painful and hard for me. I have wrote about how unfamiliar this place that I am in is to me. It is like a deep gorge that I unexpectedly fell into and now have to walk forward (while disoriented) until I come to the end of it. Then, to add a bit of a “spin” to my already disorienting senses, I received some news today that once again has the potential to change a big part of my life. In the first moments I began to feel sick inside and then I stopped and remembered the lessons from past moments that had the potential to steal my peace. I stopped and asked the Lord to help me and I heard His Spirit say,
“Remain in my love. I have surrounded you in my love today and my love will surround you every day to come.”
I suddenly realized that I was beginning to grieve something that hasn’t even happened yet. I was leaving today and concerning myself with tomorrow. Through all of life’s ebbs and flows there has always been a gift of grace given to me in the moment that I had to walk through a change or transition. When we remain in the moment that we are in, allowing the love that we are continually surrounded in to fill that space, there is peace and grace restored. Yet, when we move into the “yet to come” and the assumptions of what that will look and feel like, we get outside of God’s grace and timetable, forcing us to pull on our own strength and limited understanding.
I have hesitated writing during this season that is personally so difficult for me. The past five previous years have been “mostly” beautiful and writing from that place was a great joy. Writing from a vulnerable place and from this place of grief is hard and it risks misunderstanding by my readers. But, I felt that the Lord asked me to write through the pain and to learn deeper truths from the pain. This is not my first time in the “Valley of Baca” (Trouble) but it is yet another opportunity for me to apply all that I learned on the mountain tops and valleys of past seasons so that I can see Christ established in me all the more. My prayer is that my journey can help others.
If you are in a mountain top season; gather fruit, drink deep of the cool rivers of refreshing and listen to the voice that is clear. If you are in the hill country enjoy the grace of the abiding and steady growth. And if you are in the valley gorge let faith cause you to step forward into the unknown, let the clear voice that you heard on the mountaintop echo into your silence, let the testimonies of old prophesy to your hope– and get still enough to let His love envelope you. In every one of these places and seasons…above all else, REMAIN IN HIS LOVE.
His love is the one sure thing in every place and every season. No matter what lies ahead, His love will be there. No matter what is happening now, His love is with you. No matter what lies behind, His love covers it all. You can move forward as you are held tight in the grip of His everlasting love. His love will never fail you or leave you in want.
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:4-5
Remain in His love and watch what beautiful fruit your life will produce in every season.
Have you ever gotten lost on a walk or on a drive? I remember when I was about 20 years old, my husband and I had just moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana (where he was attending college) and I needed to go grocery shopping after a long day at work. It was dark and I didn’t know my way around the city (this was in the days before cell phones or GPS). I had gone to an area of the city that was unfamiliar to me to shop and when I was done I took a wrong turn (in a wrong direction) and suddenly was I was absolutely lost. I didn’t have any coins for a pay phone and honestly didn’t know who’d I call anyway since my husband was at a night class and I didn’t know anyone in the area.
As I drove, looking for anything even remotely familiar, I began to feel panic— would I ever find my way home. I wasn’t in the city limits anymore and couldn’t even find my way back to a populated area. I had gotten off the “beaten path” and was lost and scared. After over two hours of frantic driving I finally found a familiar landmark and my way back to the college. When I arrived I got out of the car and walked to where my young husband was waiting and when I saw him I just fell in his arms weeping— I had found home— in his arms.
2021 began a bit like this for me personally. It felt like I walked out onto my favorite path but somehow turned a wrong corner and ended up in an unfamiliar wilderness with no path, no way to communicate, no sense of direction and completely alone. Quite honestly, I was disoriented and felt a bit of that old “panic” that I’d experienced when I was lost as a 20 year old in a strange city. I just wanted to find my way home.
I began spiritually and emotionally trying to find something familiar or a sign that would lead me back to the path that I knew— the path home. I would go through each day with varying degrees of numbness, grief, longing, surrender, weeping, etc. Nights were the worst because even the beautiful “God dreams” that accompanied my sleep had become nights of bad dreams. I’d wake up even more disoriented.
Finally, I remembered the words that are told to most young children by their parents, “If you get lost, stay still and I will find you.” So, I stopped trying to find my way home— the way back to the intimacy and the “home” I’d known. I stopped and got very still, waiting for my Father to find me where I was (am).
“Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself, like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk. Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me.” Psalm 131:2
I finally stopped long enough to remember that God has never left me or forsaken me— so I stopped looking for a way out of the wilderness and am now finding him in the wilderness. I am drinking of him and learning to “calm and quiet my soul” in his arms.
It is just like that 20 year old who found home in the arms of her young husband, I am finding home in the arms of God, even in this unfamiliar and strange place. There is not much else in this place but he is everything that I need. The verse that comes directly prior to Psalm 131:2 says this,
“LORD, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I don’t concern myself with matters too great or too awesome for me to grasp.” Psalm 131:1
I think that I had begun to concern myself with matters too great and too awesome for me to grasp. They began to be like a “master” over me. I had to humble myself and become like a child. I had to get still and remember that, “He is God.”
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
The matter of the nations had become to great for me to grasp. The matter of life and death was too awesome for me to fully comprehend and so God brought me into a wilderness place to show me “home.”
“Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor (Valley of Trouble) a door of hope. There she will respond as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt. “In that day,” declares the LORD, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master.’ Hosea 2:14-16
The wilderness does not “feel” good but as I have discovered a few other times in my life— this “Valley of Trouble” is usually a door of hope that restores my soul and ushers me into a place of greater abundance. But, we must embrace it rather than fight against it.
Running frantically when you have lost your way only gets you more lost. This is where we must stop, get still and know that he is God. He is with you in the wilderness and he will feed you, hold you, restore you and deliver you from every area that has become enslaved to false “masters.” This is where you find him as “husband.” This is where you run into his arms and find home. Then, you will hear this,
“Who is that coming up from the wilderness, leaning on her beloved?” Song of Solomon 8:5
I think that all too often we take on things that “are too great for us to grasp” and they enslave us to a weight and burden that becomes a master over us. When we’ve done all we can do, it is time to get still and stand (Ephesians 6:13). Stand in who he is and stand in the arms of the One that created all. The earth is his and all that is within it. He is God— our partnership with him is in the context of “bridal covenant” not “slave and master.” That is where the enemy loses his footing and love wins.
Stop running…stop striving…stop panicking! Home is with you— right where you are. He is always with you so be still and let him hold you until you are fully restored— leaning on your Beloved!
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Hearing God has been easy for me. I love his voice and always enjoy what he has to say, but I wonder if in the familiarity if at times I’d begun to finish his sentences, assume a conclusion due to familiar filters, or even listen without fully gazing into his face to wait for him to finish. We can become so familiar with hearing someone that we are not actually listening. Hearing and listening are two different things.
We see this in marriages often. We can easily become so familiar with our spouse that we begin to half-hear what is being said with our backs turned in busy activities and assume the full meaning. Familiarity is easy and comfortable but it also robs us of depth and intimacy. There can be assumptions and carelessness that comes with familiarity.
I am not speaking into any particular issue or to anyone person particularly but myself and anyone who can relate to this. When I first began hearing the voice of God and feeling his presence, I would tremble when he’d speak. The awe of intimacy would take my breath away and cause me to listen attentively. I would listen, ponder, meditate and tremble at his word. The same is true with my husband. In our first years together when he spoke the entire world stopped and my greatest pleasure was his voice and listening to what he had to say. I loved to look into his eyes and to watch his every move.
As the decades married to my husband have gone by, I often find myself assuming that I know his every move, his looks and what they mean and that the first three words of almost any sentence can lead me to a quick conclusion so I can stop attentively listening. This familiarity can make me careless or even inconsiderate because it lacks honor, intimacy and humility. His look may not have meant what I assumed at all and if I don’t take time to ask and listen then I will “hear what I hear” through familiar assumption. If I finish the second half of his sentence in my mind and stop listening then I risk the wrong conclusion and may interpret something he has said wrongly. This is a risk and reality in any long time relationship. Familiarity can be a thief of intimacy.
From the very first day of 2021 I felt the fear of the Lord come to break me out of familiarity that has at times forgotten the depth of intimacy. It has been a time of being emptied of me to find him in a new way. When I want to find something to fill that emptied place (because this season is unfamiliar and uncomfortable) I feel a deep caution to remain emptied so that the fullness of Christ can have full reign. I don’t think I’m doing it very well but even my lack leads me again to a greater emptying.
God is not trying to hurt me but he is preparing me (and you) for the days ahead because my familiarity and half-hearted hearing will not serve me well in the days to come. I must have a renewed intimacy that empties me of me to make room for the fullness of Him. I must learn to listen to God’s voice, while looking into his face and trembling at his beauty, majesty, power and wisdom.
It feels like a reset or personal reformation that breaks me out of the familiar and takes me to a place of “awe.” This is not anything that I can do in myself but it is requiring me to get still, silent and completely dependent on his grace to awaken me from the fog of familiarity. Surrender has taken on an entirely new meaning. Waiting and listening is required, resting and yielding is necessary.
The only work for me is “willingness and waiting” so that I do not run back to the familiar. At times I want to comfort myself with what I knew before and how I functioned before because it became easy.
We are approaching Purim (February 25th & 26th), which is the celebration of the salvation of the Jewish people as told in the Book of Esther, I have been thinking about how Esther had to leave everything familiar to be prepared to be queen but also to risk her life to save her people. She had to trust Mordecai’s counsel and the steps of the Lord fully. This was not a time to assume or act hastily.
We are in a similar time and we are being prepared— emptied of all that is familiar and prepared to walk as the King’s bride and to risk everything to find favor in his sight. We need to know when to act and when to wait, when to conceal and when to reveal. Carelessness and assumption can be costly if we do not learn the fear of the Lord.
It’s time to leave the familiar and allow the deep places to be forged in our lives. It’s time to be emptied in order to see the fullness of God revealed in his bride.
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Grief is a quiet place that is filled with timeless memories, silent prayers and a stillness that only a few are invited into.
It’s an interesting place where “gifts” don’t seem to matter much and all the activities of normal life that filled my time now seem so unimportant. The veil between the temporal and the eternal becomes very thin in this place.
I don’t know if this is grief or just what God is doing right now but even my normal prayers fall short and all I want is to be totally surrendered. Silent surrender seems to be producing deep intercession— wordless but deep. I want to know Him as He is, I want to see His face and learn the intricate movements of His ways, I want to be like Him. Here in grief I find a deeper hunger for the truth of the words, “Be still and know that I am God.”
Rather than my confidence in Him wavering in this place of loss, it has shifted my confidence from what He will do, to a confidence in “Who He Is.” That is the ultimate victory. Understanding His sovereignty, gazing upon His beauty and pondering His eternal perspective consumes my thoughts and desires.
Some days I feel like a caterpillar going through a personal metamorphosis. It is hidden, quiet, still and yet change is happening in this place. Maybe the whole body of Christ is going through this and the grief of “what was” has become our cocoon? Maybe grief is a gift of grace to birth us into a new identity and new way of living? Maybe our tears are like the perfume that flowed out of the alabaster jar upon His feet.
I have always loved my family so deeply but in this place I only want to look into their faces and drink in the unique beauty God created them in. I want to sit next to my husband in silence and just know that he’s here with me. I want to embrace the people I love a little longer and honor others in a way that actually restores their souls.
I want to fully embrace the words, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” No more striving— no more want because I have everything I need in Him. There is nothing but Him that I can take with me when I leave this world so may He be my whole “want.”
I haven’t forgotten all that we did in 2020 to see our nation saved. It was beautiful and how honored I felt to be a part of it and to stand with nations that stood with us. When I asked my Heavenly Father about it, He just smiled with such a proud smile upon His face as He looked upon His faithful children. He will be exalted in the nations— that is the line that comes right after, “Be still and know that I am God.” We exalted Him and He received it all like a proud Papa. We danced, we repented, we wept and we shouted for joy…and it made Him smile— it wasn’t perfect but it made Him smile. My brother’s life wasn’t perfect but made Him smile— he knew he was perfectly loved. Your life makes Him smile and my “very imperfect” life makes Him smile. Perfect love looks good on us.
For me, 2020 was my year to learn the ways of “Be still and know that I am God” but 2021 has begun as a year to live what I’ve learned. I have become very still…maybe because of grief and maybe because of grace. Who He is has caused me to become still…HE IS GOD.
There is such blessings released upon those who obey! When my children were young my husband and I worked hard to teach them the value and rewards of obedience. When they listened to our voices, obeying what we spoke, their lives were surrounded by saftey, pleasures, wisdom, blessings and peace. Yet, on those occasions that they would exercise their “own stubborn will” they would quickly find their souls and circumstances in turmoil. In childhood we are to learn to live a life that values obedience and wisdom so that in adulthood we can walk in covenant with God.
We can come up with a thousand different reasons that the nations are in turmoil and people are in misery but the root of it all is “broken covenant through disobedience to the voice of God.”
Jeremiah 11 gives us a great example of this,
“Tell them that this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Cursed is the one who does not obey the terms of this covenant— the terms I commanded your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt, out of the iron-smelting furnace.’ I said, ‘Obey me and do everything I command you, and you will be my people, and I will be your God. Then I will fulfill the oath I swore to your ancestors, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey’—the land you possess today.” I answered, “Amen, Lord.”” Jeremiah 11:3-5
God is not a controlling tyrant but rather a loving and wise Father who knows what will bless those He created and what will harm them. He merely desires us to walk in blessings, life, freedom from harm, health and prosperity. He knows the path to take us there and yet many have turned away from His voice of wisdom and the blame Him for the turmoil in their lives.
Again and again throughout scripture the Lord says, “Obey My voice.” But, again and again mankind turns away from His voice to follow other gods and “the stubbornness of his evil heart (Jer. 11:8).”
We must understand that blessings follow obedience and covenant but curses follow broken covenant and disobedience. The Book of Proverbs is a manual to sons of “how to live” that make all of this known to those who desire wisdom. I love to pray for God to give me the wisdom and understanding that all of creation was formed from. If creation was formed out of God’s wisdom and understanding then it is part of the DNA of us and of the universe— therefore, it only makes sense to ask for the wisdom of God that aligns us with all of creation and our Creator.
“By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; by his knowledge the watery depths were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew. My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.” Proverbs 3:19-26
It is so wise to obey! His wisdom is filled with promises and protection for your life. Wisdom is grace for you, safety to you, assurance upon you and peace around you.
God, in His great mercy, gives second chances for men and women to turn from stubborn and rebellious ways (foolish ways) so that they can come back into the grip of covenant and obedience— redeeming the blessings of covenant and breaking the curses of rebellion.
This is probably my greatest prayer for the nations, my loved ones and for my life. “Let us obey Your voice!” May the nations repent for broken covenant, for stubborn rebellion and for disobeying the voice of God. I pray that every man, woman and child would obey the voice of God and watch the blessings of wisdom and covenant restored to their lives and their land.
Cry out for wisdom! Obey His voice and watch salvation come upon every area of your life.
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The Lord showed me people who were lying in bed with their minds filled with anxious thoughts that led them to conclusions of dread and doom for the days ahead. But the Father came to comfort them saying,
“Do not fear, do not worry, and do not dread the days ahead for I will do for you what you cannot do for yourself. You can trust me.”
As the people responded in confident trust, the gripping fear washed away and peace restored them to rest in His promises.
If you are being driven by fear and anxious thoughts then the Lord wants you to hear His words of truth and words of hope. He is not unaware of what you are facing and He will do for you what you cannot do for yourself.
Your sleepless nights that lead your thoughts down dead-end roads and hopeless prospects are being exchanged for the deep sleep of a baby in its mother’s arms and the thoughts that bring your hopes into a vast space with abundance before you.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
You will lie down in peace and wake up in joy because the Lord has taken up your cause! Though you have not been able to find your way though the tangled net that you are caught in, watch now: the Lord will rescue you.
I declare peace over you, peace over your mind and peace over your body. Though you don’t feel adequate or able to find your way out of the place that you find yourself in, know this: He is able to rescue you!
“Such is the confidence and steadfast reliance and absolute trust that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficiently qualified in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency and qualifications come from God.” 2 Corinthians 3:4-5 AMP
Christ qualifies you for success, for breakthrough and for a positive outcome. It is in yielding your life to the place of “absolute reliance and trust through Christ toward God” that your confidence is restored and you are saved.
Have you ever seen a wild deer caught in barbed wire fencing? It will flail in fear only to find itself held tighter in the snare’s grip. When rescuers come to free the deer they must hold it still in order to free it and keep it from greater harm. The Lord is holding you still and cutting away the barbs and snares that you find yourself caught in. Do not fear for He is with you and freeing you from the tangled snare that you are caught in. He will heal your wounds and He will do for you what you cannot do for yourself!
Be calm, be still and watch to see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf.
Will you help us in September through December? We are asking if you will stand with us by sowing a financial gift into our ministry in September, November and December. We have a strong assignment from the Lord for our nation over the next three months and need those who will partner with us to support the financial side of these assignments. We know that the reward is the same for those who “go” and those who “sow.”
Last week I went on a sunny prayer walk with my dear friend. As we walked and prayed we began to declare the heavens to open up over the earth and as we did a cloud appeared over us and the rain began to pour. Of a matter of fact it poured so hard that we became absolutely drenched! The next day I received a message from a friend who lives in Switzerland. She had gone out for a sunny day bike ride and felt to pray for me. When she did it began to rain on her with such force that her message said, “I was drenched!” She had no idea what had happened to me the previous day. This morning when I woke up I heard the Spirit speak to me and say, “Tell My people to get ready to be drenched in My favor!”
The Word of God is such a rich resource of wisdom and ways to live by. God’s teaching leads us upon paths of joy and favor. Throughout scripture we are exhorted to trust the Lord and to keep all of His ways (His decrees and commands). Blessings, favor and even long life follow those who submit their lives to His Word.
In Proverbs 3 we are given many instructions on how to live and all of the blessings that follow us as we do so. The first verses begins with an instruction that has a beautiful promise attached to them,
“My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commands; for they will bring you many days, a full life, and well-being.” Proverbs 3:1-2
According to the dictionary, “well-being” is defined as the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy. I don’t know anyone who does not want comfort, health and happiness!
But there is so much more,
“Never let loyalty and faithfulness leave you. Tie them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. THEN you will find favor and high regard in the sight of God and man.”
Often dogs are known as “loyal.” A great example of this is with our youngest son and his dog, Kiera. He has had his dog since he was a young teenager and she is so loyal and faithful to him. This past year, my son had to move out on his own (into a small apartment) and he was working very long days. Since Kiera is a large dog he would return home and find that she was not doing well cooped up in an apartment alone for so many hours. She wasn’t eating and seemed depressed. Some friends of his fiancée (now bride) offered to let his dog live with them on their acreage until our son has a different living situation.
Though it was a hard decision to make, he knew that this was best for his loyal pup. It has now been about seven months that she has lived with this couple (who spoils her and loves her) and yet, when our son goes to visit her she will run to him with howls of delight and lay on top of his feet the entire time he is there. Why, because she is loyal to him! Though others feed her, love her, walk her and spend all day with her— her loyalty is still with our son. She would rather be with him then anyone else; just sitting at his feet brings her comfort and happiness.
Oh, that we would have such loyalty to God. If only all of His sons and daughters would find such joy and comfort in sitting at His feet and spending time with Him, the church would be a more beautiful place. But the reality is that many treat spending time with Him like a chore or heavy burden but that is because they have yet to discover the beautiful bond of loyalty with Him. And— it is loyalty that produces faithfulness!
Let’s go on with Proverbs 3. The next verses say this,
“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways; and He will guide you on the right paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Just as my son’s dog would follow him anywhere, so should our trust, loyalty and faithfulness cause us to follow Him upon the paths He leads us down— even when we do not understand! When God asked our family to move this past January from our home on the West Coast to the Washington DC region, we had NO understanding of why. Yet, we have discovered that as we trust Him and follow Him down the paths He leads us on that they surely are revealed as “the right path.” They don’t always feel good or right at first but as we remain at His feet we find favor with God and man in the places that He leads us to. Our trust is in HIM not in a place or a particular path.
Proverbs 3 does not end with verse 6 but goes on for 35 verses that give instructions, wisdom and all that we gain as we follow His teachings. They are wealth to our lives. Promises such as, “He blesses the home of the righteous…”
There is a need for God’s people to be walking in the supernatural favor that is offered to us now more than ever before. The favor of God will do more to help us than any college degree, employment resume or gift. When the favor with man is added to the favor of God then we see a partnership with heaven and earth that begins to open up doors that we could have never imagined.
I believe that there is a setting apart of those who trust the Lord with all their heart and who will become loyal and faithful to all of His ways. Lukewarmness is being revealed as unbelief and disloyalty; yet, in the love and mercy of God He is imploring (making an earnest or desperate appeal) to those who are lukewarm to become fully faithful and loyal to all of His ways. He longs to bless them with favor and happiness! He desires to lead them on right paths and to pour out His favor upon them. What a loyal and faithful God we serve!
When we have favor we receive beyond what is normal or even due. I am constantly overwhelmed by the favor with God and man that has been given to me. It is so beyond what is due and yet He rewards my trust and faithfulness. Often I am in awe of the benefits of His favor; knowing that there are many that are more qualified for what He allows me to do. He rewards my trust in Him more than He looks at my qualifications. He knows that I will follow Him and will be loyal to Him.
Favor is the key that will open more doors for you than any gift or qualification that you will ever have. Your talents, your good looks, your degrees (education), your determination and your persuasiveness are lost in the crowd of others a million other similarly qualified people; but the favor of God (and man) will trump them all!
Ephesians 2:8 tells us, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” Grace is favor and God’s favor is the power that changes things for us!
God’s favor is resting upon His sons and daughters in this hour! Trust Him with all your heart and nurture loyalty even when you do not understand! He is looking for those who do not need to be put on a leash to follow Him but who will follow because they’ve “tied loyalty and faithfulness around their neck” and will never leave His side.
Favor is about to drench the faithful!!
Thank you to all of my loyal and faithful friends who have stood with us in prayer and financial support during this year. We pray for you continuously and know that favor is being added to your life and household.