As believers across the world pray for the citizens of nations like Afghanistan, Cuba, Lebanon and other nations where tyranny rules, I felt to remind you to pray not only for the righteous but also for the wicked. Truly, the wicked are in a place of eternal risk. If the wicked will turn, then the righteous and the innocent in the land are set free as well.
Today let us pray for “the wicked” out of Isaiah 55:6-7,
“Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously.” God, today we come together in prayer and supplication on behalf of those who are doing wrong, especially leaders of nations and their followers who have been deceived. We plead on their behalf that they will “change their ways and banish the VERY THOUGHT of doing wrong.” We intercede on their behalf that they will turn to the Lord so that you can have mercy on them and be gracious to them. We cry out to them, “Turn to God while he can be found by you— he will save and forgive you! He will heal you and heal your land!”
Please share this so that we can mark today as a day that the body of Christ globally agreed in prayer for the turning of the wicked from evil to good, from tyranny to their Savior, who sets men free!
I used to think that my family was unique in the fact that God had called us to constantly live in the place that I call, “the unfamiliar.” Gos has called our family in different seasons to many different regions, states and nations so it is rare for us to be familiar with a place. We have learned to find our sense of stability in God and family since scenery and homes are constantly changing.
Yet, as I look around, I realize that the entire world has become quite unfamiliar to most of the world. People who have lived in the same city and home for decades are experiencing a sense of unfamiliarity even in the most familiar places. The world has changed and there is no going back to what was once normal or familiar.
So, how do we live in this place and not become disoriented, disillusioned or lost? Though my life has prepared me to live in the midst of constant changes, even I have had to press through the emotional chaos of an entire world shifting. I believe that we can learn a lot from the story of Lot’s wife in this hour.
Lot’s wife made her home in Sodom. This place had been her home and it was where her treasures were. Memories of friends and family were there and everything familiar to her was there. Although Sodom had become a place of pride, a place where men and women lived out unnatural desires, a place that withheld help from the poor (and turned away from God), nevertheless, it was where Lot’s wife had put her treasures.
Sodom may sound familiar to many places in the world today? When fire from heaven came down and was destroying Sodom, Lot’s wife looked back at the place she had called home and longed for her treasures and her life there. When she did this, she became a pillar of salt that forever would be found looking back.
We can all admit that the past two years have given us moments of looking back and longing for “what once was.” Lot’s wife couldn’t see the justice of God destroying what had defiled men and taken them far from him— she just saw the place that her treasures were at being destroyed as she ran into the unfamiliar.
I do not know if Lot’s wife was engaged in the sin of that city or if she merely had become so familiar with it that she could live among it without experiencing God’s sorrow over it (forgetting the high eternal price that would be paid by her friends and neighbors). Whatever the case, when she looked back, she was never able to move forward or look forward again.
I have learned in all of my personal transitions and changes that I can carry “in my heart” the precious and pure memories of days gone by. I don’t have to look back at what I’m leaving behind because what is good and precious is carried with me. This posture helps me to move forward without a constant sense of loss or regrets. The longings of yesterday do not become an idol or a god that I give homage to.
I am a very sentimental person and my family is very sentimental as well. If we had our way, we would have remained in the city where our family has lived for generations. We would have picked one house and made a lifetime of memories there and we would dwell on streets that told our story and had our names. But for us, it would have been a strumbling block— our sentimental hearts could have easily made it an idol. This is not to say that God does not call many to plant themselves in one city for many generations, it is merely to say that he chose another way for us. But no matter where or what God has called you to— in these times the unfamiliar has overshadowed even the most familiar. This is a time to move forward— not to look back at even what was good in a way that may have any root of idolatry. It may be subtle but our hearts need to be longing for what is ahead and becoming familiar with the eternal so that we do not get caught tied to the temporal.
We are to be like the wise virgins looking forward— awaiting the arrival of our bridegroom. It is difficult to reconcile our familiar existence and life here on earth as something temporal. We often view heaven as an unknown or unfamiliar place. This is why it is so vital in this hour to become acquainted and familiar with God and his eternal Kingdom. The lack of familiarity with his dwelling place will always cause us to be drawn to look back and long for the temporal.
It also can cause us to filter out what is grievous to God therefore, we become overwhelmed with sorrow when God destroys what is harming the people he created. Over the past few years we have watched devastating fires ravage some of the most beautiful land in our nation, we have watched entire cities flood, hurricanes and natural disasters take what was home from many people— and some have looked back and become like pillars of salt in their grief and sorrow.
What I am sharing is a call to ask the Spirit of God to separate your heart ties from things that would cause you to despair or faint in the midst of an ever-changing world and environment. We can love and appreciate the beauty of memories, places and people without making them gods or idols. My life has been a long process of dealing with sentimental idols that attached themselves to my heart. They held me back from longing for the city whose maker is the Lord and for my Bridegroom to be my greatest longing—which keeps my eyes ahead— not behind.
To summarize— let the unfamiliar draw you into becoming familiar with that which is eternal!
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21
May our treasures and our hearts be found in heaven! This will keep our eyes looking forward— not back.
As most of my readers know, our family is in the ten-day countdown for yet another cross country move and transition— bridging east and west. The process was going so smoothly for the first few weeks and it appeared as though we’d just sail on smooth waters to the other side of our nation. Then…without warning, the wind picked up, the waves picked up and the storm hit. Unusual circumstances and situations began to come one after another like hail, wind and thunder. We recognized the warfare against what we are doing and because we have gone through these “trials” many times before— we knew that peace is our rudder and confident assurance in God’s victory is our hope. We we breathe in and rest in him. If you are facing storms— this word is for you.
We already know that in this life we will face tribulations and trials that feel like storms raging against our souls; but there is a truth that we can lay hold of that calms every storm and turns our tribulations into triumphs. This truth is found in Colossians 1:20,
“…and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.” Colossians 1:20
Peace has been provided for everything you’ll ever face; every trial, every circumstance, and every storm. The blood that was shed on the cross provides peace and reconciliation in all things. Though you cannot control the world around you, there is a peace that has been provided through Christ and His shed blood that becomes the rudder stabilizing you and guiding you through rough waters. It is accessible for all who know Him and call upon His name.
The enemy seeks to stir up strife and create storms so that you might “drift away” from the truth that brought you into salvation and the peace that has been provided for you through the blood of the Lamb. We must hold fast to His truth that provides peace and victory to all who have allowed the blood of Jesus to reconcile them to God.
“But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News…” Colossians 1:23
You can have assurance of the victory of Christ in everything you will ever face. You can be at peace even now, because He is your confident assurance (faith) of things unseen and your hope that all things will work together for your good.
One of the verses that I pray almost everyday is found in Philippians 4:7,
“Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
This verse has become like a rudder for my soul. It is His peace that guards my soul (my heart and my mind). Where there is peace, warfare ceases! Though you may be in a storm or even in a battle, peace provides a confident assurance of the victory that belongs to the Lord because of the blood that was shed for you. Peace allows you to refocus your gaze and fix your eyes on things that are “worthy of praise.”
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8
Focusing on the storm around you will merely cause you to sink, but as you fix your eyes on the excellent and praiseworthy things (especially, upon Jesus) then you will begin to walk on the waves with peace and assurance.
“And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” Ephesians 1:22-23
Your storm is under His feet, and as you enter into peace and oneness with Christ, then it is under your feet as well. He is the head over all and everything is subject to His rule; even the winds and waves.
Ask for His peace to guard you and fix your eyes on Him and upon all that is praiseworthy. As you align with peace and truth you allow Christ to be the head over all the storms that you are facing. The storm in your soul will cease and the circumstantial storms that surround you will become subject to His authority and rule. The Lord takes great pleasure in us as we posture our lives in alignment with truth and oneness with Him. His pleasure releases great victories!
“When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them.” Proverbs 16:7
Fix your eyes upon Jesus!
We are still raising funds for the first phase of setting up our East and West ministry and home bases. Our most recent “storms” were financially costly. We know God will provide for and cover for every need. If you would like to sow into our “peace in the storms” countdown to help make up for what was drained, go to: https://www.inscribeministries.com/
You can also mail a US check or USD money order to our ministry at:
Inscribe Ministries 12400 Regiment Lane Fredericksburg, Virginia 22407
AFTER JULY 7th SEND TO:
Inscribe Ministries 149 NE Ocean Loop Hillsboro, Oregon 97124
~ Thank you all for your prayers, love and continued support. We pray unprecedented favor and return upon each of you! ~
I heard and wrote this word quite a while ago and yet the Lord has brought it back to the forefront and said, “This is a ‘now’ word from my Spirit.” Receive it!
I have been experiencing what I can only describe as a “whirlwind of God.” I was taken into the place of this whirlwind, prophetically, and I saw it rest upon those who have stood in His faithfulness in the midst of adversity. I saw it come upon those who have given out of their own need. And I saw it come upon the faithful remnant that has honored the Lord with shouts of, “Great is Your faithfulness!” in the midst of the storms.
This whirlwind of Heaven will displace the enemy and his demonic assignments sent against you and it will bring you what I heard called “crazy favor” that will make a way for you where there appears no way!
A road will suddenly appear in your wilderness, a stream in your desert and a refreshing cool breeze upon your parched soul. I see sudden and sovereign breakthroughs coming that leave His faithful ones wondering if they are dreaming or if it is real.
There will be shouts that say, “Look what God has done for us!” heard across the land! Contagious joy will fuel this whirlwind and the joyful laughter that comes upon those who have been touched by this will create “spin off” whirlwinds that land upon those who have wavered in their faith, and they will suddenly rise up once again out of their ashes, and beauty will burst forth from their lives.
This whirlwind of heavenly activity will activate faith in many and will cause resurrection power to be released in the atmosphere. The suddenly of God is in this “swirl” and a great movement will come forth from those it touches.
Thank You, God, for the heavenly atmosphere that is invading earthly circumstances and human vessels!
THANK YOU TO ALL WHO HAVE SOWN INTO OUR EAST & WEST COAST ASSIGNMENT!!
We are laying hands and declaring “crazy favor” and abundant blessings over each one of your names and households!
We have almost reached the “West Coast” goal that is needed! If you would like to sow a financial gift into this national assignment of bridging East and West, you can donate on our website at: https://www.inscribeministries.com/
You can send a US check or USD money order to:
Inscribe Ministries 12400 Regiment Lane Fredericksburg, VA 22407 (use this address only until July 10,2021)
AFTER JULY 10th USE THIS ADDRESS:
Inscribe Ministries 149 NE Ocean Loop Hillsboro, OR 97124
Recently I received a prophetic word from a precious sister from Russia that spoke of my husband and I being like a bridge that would span or connect East and West in our nation. Along with the word she sent a time lapse video of an incredibly long bridge that has been under construction in Croatia. As I watched the time lapse of its construction, the majority of time and energy was spend on the pillars that would uphold this bridge. The time that it took to actually connect the pillars with the bridge was much shorter.
After watching this video, the Holy Spirit began to speak to be about how, for many decades, he has been preparing those who will stand like pillars to bridge nations. I saw the intricate details that began first with going deep below the surface to secure them in the depths of the foundation of Christ. That process alone took many years— testing, refining and aligning. Then the process of building them into “pillars” has been another lengthy time that required these men and women to stand before him as yielded vessels who would allow the work of his Spirit to build their endurance, their character and their posture before him.
When these natural pillars were completed, they had the appearance of men or women with their legs deep in the water and their arms outstretched to either side— reaching out for the pillar to their left and their right.
I immediately thought of the verses from John 17: 20-23 that says,
““I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.” John 17:20-23
There has been an continuous process and preparation in these men and women to be still and to allow the things that create division or independence from God (and one another) to be removed, repented of and delivered from so that these prepared pillars can come into oneness with God and then be joined as “one with one another” so that a bridge is created for those who will come to Christ and cross over. Even our precious Jewish family. When we are one…then the world will know!
The process of being prepared has been decades of refinement and detailed preparation. You may be one of these pillars and you’ve wondered why you’ve had to stand in such a constant state of preparation for what appeared to have little connection to anything. You’ve often stood alone, being strengthened by the Lord. But your preparation for connection is nearing! Your arms are outstretched in a posture of prayer and longing to be connected.
Do not lose heart now! The pieces that bridge and connect lands and people to God and one another will come into place very soon. There is a spiritual “bridge over troubled waters” being made ready and soon many will cross over!
Your standing still and standing in faith that the preparation has been for a purpose will soon be made known. End time pillars needed to be reinforced to withstand the weight of all who will cross over while being unmovable in the troubled seas that their feet stand in. The bridge that you will help hold up will allow those coming to Christ to be held above the waves while providing them a safe passage. A global family will emerge that creates sonship in all who passover into salvation.
Keep standing! It may be all you know to do at this point but very soon your posture will have purpose!
Thank you to all who have sown into our transition to bridge East and West as we set up a home base on the West Coast and a base in the East Coast (Washington DC Region). We are almost at our goal for the first phase on in the west!
Next year marks 40 years since the first time my husband and I gave our first “yes” to the Lord and left the home that we loved and all our family to say yes to him. That first “yes” was a bumpy road— partly due to our youthfulness (and the crazy homesickness that I experienced) and partly due to “what was promised was not delivered.” We gave up our beautiful life in Northern California and moved 2241 miles to a place we’d never been…because we wanted our lives to matter and we wanted to follow Jesus! From the very first day we arrived it was hard and the next two years only got harder before we left. I remember when we finally decided to go home (after the leader fell into sin), I felt so much sadness— I felt foolish— I felt like I’d somehow failed— and regrets overshadowed why we had gone in the first place. We had left everything and everyone to follow Jesus! The Lord quickly spoke to me and said, “Daughter, never regret your yes.” I understood that though I had no way of measuring the success that looked like failure to anyone looking on…the Father measured every yes given to his Son as an act of worship and there are no regrets to be carried in that offering.
Now, forty years later and thirty-one homes later…we are still giving our “yes.” We are not so naive now to think that we measure success by what man sees but rather by what God receives. Throughout all the years of saying “yes” we have had “pinch yourself” moments that were so beyond what we could have asked or imagined and we have had moments of pain so deep that we wondered if we’d survive. But no matter if it was “awe” or if it was “weeping”…he was and is worthy of it all.
So don’t judge the pure “yes” that caused you to cross a country or an ocean or leave the ones you love. Don’t judge by the man-made measure of success and don’t judge yourself “yes” harshly— what is offered to him is eternal and the fruit of that yes will reap a bountiful harvest. If you know someone who sacrificed much to give their yes— do not judge or glory in what might look to your eyes as failure. God sees it differently!
Please know that this word is not coming forth because of our upcoming move from the DC region back to the West Coast because we have great confidence in what God has begun in our focused time in DC and our continuing journey with what was planted…this word comes out of witnessing a lot of people give their “yes” during the past couple of years that other might view as “failure”, but know this— it is counted to them as a great reward because Jesus is smiling at their offering of praise! Their yes is still making him smile.
If you are young (or old— or in between) and your excited “yes” did not turn out how you hoped and dreamed please do not take on regret! I fully believe that the very first “yes” that my husband and I gave— which ended in what looked like absolute failure and a waste of time and money— was a seed planted in our lives of becoming a disciple of Jesus. It was worship to him because of our hearts, not because of our accolades. Honestly, though it was painful, God used it as part of our journey and the training of our hearts.
I woke up this morning hearing in my spirit the tears of those who felt great excitement about a venture they said yes to that now has no measurable success. First, your mere “yes” was a victory from the start! Every sacrifice and offering of “leaving all to follow Christ” is a victory. Every mile, every moment, every tear, every homesick and heartsick feeling, every sleepless night…it is all counted as worship.
Don’t you remember the reaction of those who looked on as Mary poured out the expensive bottle of perfume over the feet of Jesus, along with her tears? They mocked her and said that it was a senseless waste. But over 2000 years later it is still seen as one of the greatest acts of worship. Your yes is like that alabaster jar of perfume, broken and poured out over his feet in worship. There is to be no regrets and there is surely no way to measure the worship that is poured out in these moments. These are eternally remembered!
Keep saying YES! Keep pouring out your life and do not let regret take away the offering that you gave. Don’t judge your “act of worship” and don’t listen to the mockers who look on judging the offering wrongly. He was glorified!
I hear the words, “Well done.” over many of you right now. I see Jesus crowned and exalted by the yes that you offered. I see angels being sent to water the seed that may look as if it died and yet we know that He is a God of resurrection power. I wish that I could give you my life experience of what looks like many successes and many failures…because you’d understand that it all produced endurance, character and even the brokenness released perfume that anointed his feet.
“No regrets for your yes, Beloved!”
The Lord has been glorified! You will see fruit one day if you will allow it to be perfume over his feet rather than regretting the cost that was paid. He is so ravished by you and overwhelmed by your offering. Well done!!
Thank you to all who have sown into our cross country move to set up a home base on the West Coast and a base in the DC region. You are amazing!
Our first goal of reaching $10,000.00 has only $3000left to go! That has all happened in just two weeks! Once we get the Oregon home base established, we will begin focusing on the Virginia (DC region) base. We will travel back and forth between Oregon and DC throughout each year.
We wanted to send you an update and praise report on our sudden and unexpected transition.
As most of you read in my previous update— we were praying about God’s direction for our next move. On June 1st we found out that we were going to have to move from our current home in the Washington DC region and both my husband and I immediately had a sense that the Lord was in it and that it was more than a move to a different house nearby.
As we sought the Lord and sought prayer and counsel from trusted friends, we all felt as though the Lord has given us two instructions:
1. Set up our “home base” back in the Portland, Oregon area (they need quite the spiritual support there).
2. Establish a new base in the DC region (we also need an incredible amount of spiritual reinforcements here).
One of the words we received is that God is setting us up as “bookends” in the nation that will help hold up east and west. Another word that came from almost everyone who prayed with us was, “Where is home?” The spiritual answer is that home is wherever Jesus has sent us (where he is) but the clear question was, “Where do we feel like home is?” We had to say, “It is in Oregon.”
Therefore, we are now making preparations for a double assignment— set up our home base in Oregon and set up a place to stay during our months in the DC region each year. We have created lifelong relationships and connections in both places.
I will not bore you with the hundreds of details that are involved in this huge transition but I will say that prayer is appreciated to see all the pieces fall into place at the right time. We have only about thirty days to see the first phase come together.
The first stage of this transition is getting to Oregon. This alone quickly became a minimum cost of $10k! We know that God provides for what he asks so we started the process with our confidence in him. Within 48 hours we had a miraculous $6k come in toward this portion of the move! We are overwhelmed by the kindness of God and generosity of his people. He is so good and faithful as we give our “yes” to him.
We quickly discovered that Covid not only effects everyday life but it has greatly effected costs of moving trucks, housing and everything in between. We are in need of another $5,000 in the next 30 days. It sounds like a tall order but as we saw during the first 48 hours— nothing is too tall for our God!
We need your prayers for strength, grace, protection, continued wisdom and open doors. We also need financial help to meet the need for the first stage of setting up the West Coast home base.
Many of you have been and are even now facing what appears to be “giants” that taunt you and mock you with the words of sure defeat. You feel small in the shadow of the giants that stand before you, much like young David must have looked as he stood before the giant Goliath and his vast army, who were positioned in battle array. David stood with no armor, no physical strength, no army backing him and no weapon that is useful in battle. He stood in the “fear of the Lord” with merely the small weapon that he was familiar with– a child’s toy at best to Goliath. Yet, he was not standing only in the shadow of Goliath– he was standing under the shadow of the Almighty which assured his victory. He had faced lions and bears therefore he knew what he needed and what he did not.
The circumstances before you may mock you with their size and their strength but as you stand before them, postured in the fear of the Lord, covered by the shadow of the Almighty and holding whatever “weapon” you are familiar with (it may just be a prayer or a scripture or just your mustard seed of faith as your stone)– you are assured victory. By His strength and His power and in His name you are about to slay a giant! This will cast great fear upon your enemies who will run like dogs with their tails between their legs. It will also impart the fear of the Lord into those who have been fighting alongside you, as they witness your victory. They will say, “It was not by might, nor by strength but by the Spirit of the Lord that they defeated the giant that would cause most to run away in fear.”
Just as David was chosen, just as Esther was chosen and just as Mary was chosen– so you have been chosen. He chooses the weak things of the world to confound the wise so get ready because the wise are about to be confounded by what the Lord does through you and through the battles that you are facing. He is raising up those who are strong in the fear of the Lord even when they may be known for being weak or merely “common.” They may not be from Ivy League schools but they are about to receive wisdom from the Ancient of Days that will cause men to wonder where you receive your wisdom and knowledge. They may not be pro-athletes or Olympians, but people will wonder where they trained to move in such strength and skill. And, they may not have a doctorate in theology but theologians will wonder how the Word is being lived out with such great mystery and accuracy in them.
God is about to promote his David’s and his Esther’s into royal positions where they will lead and step into positions that they seemingly are not qualified for. Some of you will even lead nations and people from oppression into possession. The common man or woman, who walks in the fear of the Lord and the confidence of his Word, will no longer be seen as common but they will be found in positions of authority and power. They will plunder the enemies camp and take back the inheritance of people groups and nations…and of their family line. There is about to be a changing of the guards in many positions of authority in businesses, spheres of influence, governments and even in the body of Christ. It is the posture of surrender and dependence on the Lord that will promote those who seem unqualified to hold these positions.
Strengthen yourself in the Lord! Go out and face your enemy clothed in his heavenly armor. Walk in the confidence of his name and his Spirit. You are not on the defense but you are on the offense because the Lord has stationed his vast angelic army in battle array all around you. You may be small in the natural but you are a giant in the spirit. The enemy that has opposed you is about to run in fear because the Spirit of the Lord is upon you.
If fear has caused you to cower and hide, GET UP! Clothe yourself in the fear of the Lord and go out and face your enemy in the confidence of the Lord. You may have nothing in yourself but you have more than enough when you are “in Him!” You are not going backwards, you are not defeated, you are not alone and you are not ill-equipped– YOU HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED IF YOUR CONFIDENCE IS IN THE LORD AND NOT IN YOURSELF OR YOUR SKILLS!
Victory is yours in Christ Jesus!
Testimony of Encouragement:
Our family and ministry is suddenly facing a massive need that will require us to setup a home/ministry base on the West Coast as well as here in the Washington DC region. This was unexpected and demands immediate action. Just the move to set up a home base on the West Coast is a 10k expense. Then there is the additional costs of setting up another base here in the DC region. It began with the sudden and unexpected loss of our current home and office (the owner is in the military living out of the country and has been reassigned back to DC and legally those in the military can break a lease if they are reassigned).
Last Tuesday we were suddenly and unexpectedly facedwith this shift. The Lord then said that we were to set up a west base and east base like “bookends in the nation.” On Tuesday we had an immediate need for $10k and within 48 hours over $6k had come in miraculously! Do not be afraid of the vast need that is before you! God is able!
If you would like to help cover the additional $4k needed (by July 15th), you can be a part of our miracle that will become a sign to many of how the hand of the Lord moves.
Did you know that in many instances in the Bible the word, “hope” can be translated to mean joyful expectation? To lose hope is to lose faith because as Hebrews 11:1 says,
Now faith is the assurance of what we hope for and the certainty of what we do not see.
It is not only good but it is essential to our souls to have joyful expectation for our life here and now. God has given each of us dreams, desires and hopes that bring us great joy as we expect their fulfillment. Someone that is very close to me has been facing a decade of infertility and I stand in continuous joyful expectation that she and her husband will conceive a child. Together we dream about this little promise, we have talked about it, bought items to prepare for it, she and her husband have picked out names—plans have been made in joyful expectation. This does not mean that there are not many tears, frustrations, disappointments and even the desire to stop hoping. But the hope continues, and this hope produces joyful expectation even amid deep heartache for them. I, too, faced years of infertility so I know the rollercoaster of joyful expectation only to be met by painful disappointments. The day that I held our adopted eleven-month-old daughter in my arms for the first time, I experienced a complete release from all the sorrows that came from the years of “hope deferred.” Then less than a year later I held my infant son who I gave birth to.
We are not guaranteed that every hope that we have will be fulfilled on this side of heaven but we do have a guarantee that the hope in our eternal promise will be fulfilled. Whether or not we see every fulfillment of hopes and dreams come to pass it is still essential to live in the place of joyful expectation. It is life to our souls and health to our hearts. The dreams that children have of becoming an astronaut or fireman nurture imagination and joyful expectation. Though they may never actually ride in a rocket ship this joyful childhood dream is necessary for their growth and for nurturing their hope in the unseen. We were created to dream big in joyful expectation. If we could retain this childlike posture, it would truly break off the posturing of settling for something less than God’s best for us.
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21
Often, we stop believing in the “more than we can ask or imagine.” Yet, children are proof that we are to dream of things that are bigger than what we have been able to imagine. I have rarely met a young child with small dreams—they have not been subject to all the things that we learn that cause us to limit our dreams by carnal knowledge.
Common sense can be a great enemy of dreams, but the wisdom of God causes us to enter a joyful expectation of seeing “Him who is able” to do more than we can ask or imagine. I truly believe that the quenching of joyful expectation through common sense or man’s wisdom is more dangerous to the human soul than most any other thing.
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:9-11
Shouldn’t we dream of flying rockets or bringing healing to the sick? Shouldn’t we renew the areas of joyful expectation that have been diluted by the wisdom of men? Yes!
When my husband and I began the journey to adopt our oldest daughter, we were young and so full of joyful expectation that we said yes to a journey that was presented to us as “impossible in the eyes of men.” The chances of us adopting this baby girl was truly impossible in the natural realm—judges told us that we did not have a prayer, social workers told us that there was no way for us to become her parents, even Christians looked at us as if we were a desperate young couple that was immature and foolish in our faith and hope. Yet, I had heard my Father’s voice that said, “Trust me and go forth in faith.” Numerous times along the path we hit walls that confirmed the natural impossibility that we were facing, but the Father continued to say, “Only believe.” Nine months later, by unheard of miracles and out of the faith of joyful expectation, we held her in our arms and took her home as our daughter.
I often wonder if God asked me today (thirty years later) the same thing, if I would be as quick to give my yes? Have I “matured” to the point that I’ve lost the joyful expectation that would venture on such an impossible journey with the hope of God fulfilling what he spoke to my heart? Have I matured in the ways of the world or in human understanding or what we call “common sense?” May it never be so!
It is time for us to return to the God “who is able to do above and beyond all that we can ask or imagine” and enter the childlike joyful expectation that we had when we first began walking with him.
“And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she[a] considered him faithful who had made the promise.” Hebrews 11:11
“Father, today I ask you to restore the childlike faith and joyful expectation to me. I declare that every place in my heart and soul that has become diluted by common sense or the wisdom of men would now receive a full restoration of hope and joy. I proclaim today that you are the God who is able to do more than I can ask or imagine! I will not settle for less than the miraculous. I will no longer limit my dreams because those limitations have diluted my joy and expectation of doing the greater things.
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“Tell My people to remain focused on what I have said. The enemy has sent distractions to engage them in battles that will steal time, peace and energy from them.”
I saw these earthly distractions like doorways that lead to battlegrounds that rob peace, thankfulness, time, energy and create delays in personal breakthrough. Stay on track! It is vital to remain focused on what the Lord has shown you and where he has assigned you. Be sure to ask Him to order your steps.
Though these distractions may come and seemingly demand your attention, move with caution! Do not allow what stirs your soul to a place of reaction to gain control over you but ask for God’s peace to guard your mind and emotions. The enemy desires to engage many of you in battles that the Lord has not assigned to you or are not real battles— but rather traps to lure you and snare you.
You need the wisdom and peace of God to lead you when distractions come. Remember that giving yourself over to worry, stress, guilt or engaging in the distractions sent against you will steal peace and joy from you.
Walk according to the Spirit and stay focused on what the Spirit of the Lord has spoken to you. Let peace lead you!
“And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.” Colossians 3:15
Peace and thanksgiving is your weapon of sure victory against these assignments. Ask for angelic assistance and protection and ask the Lord to hem you into his path and purposes for your life and for this season.
Once again, I will remind you of the wisdom that the Lord gave me a number of years ago that stirred me to write my first book (30 Days to Breakthrough: Peace). He said,
“Warfare cannot exist where peace reigns.”
The peace of God will lead you into wisdom, joy, healing, his counsel and his love. When peace is stolen warfare becomes forefront in your life. Mental warfare is often where it begins so let his peace guard your mind! The absence of peace is the presence of warfare but the presence of peace is the absence of warfare.
This is a key for abundant life— especially in the days we are living in. These distractions are assignments to steal your peace so that you will engage in a battle that wears you down. Whatever the distraction or battle is, the Spirit of God will guide you in dealing with the details in a posture of peace without engaging in the assignment or baiting you into a battle that merely creates worry and stress.
God still brings “peace on Earth” but his peace is found in Heavenly places and in him alone. He gives peace and rest to his beloved ones as they remain under the shadow of his wing.
Here is your key counsel against distractions and warfare,
“Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:5-7
I pray for his peace to guard my heart and mind every day. Pray, trust and thank him because this will usher you into peace while worry and engaging or reacting to distractions will lead you into warfare.
Peace be with you!
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