You Are Altogether Beautiful

By Kathi Pelton

As I sat with the Lord this morning— I saw him gazing upon his people and his face was filled with awe and wonder at their beauty. He wasn’t looking at the flaws we see, the shortcomings we are keenly aware of or at the imperfections— all he saw was flawless beauty!

Then I felt his longing for us to understand the beauty that he sees in us— to comprehend the vision that he has when he looks upon us.

“You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.” Song of Solomon 4:7

Our eyes see the flaws but his eyes do not. We are altogether beautiful to him! Often we treat ourselves (and one another) according to the flaws we see rather than the beauty that he sees— he longs for this to change.

“…The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:17

One of my first encounters with God was a year or more before I fully gave my life to him. I was a teenager that was involved with all sorts of things that I should not have been doing— mostly because I just didn’t know another way. I didn’t understand the grace of salvation and that he had paid the price for my sin. A friend, who was a Believer, had given me a Christian album by Keith Green and I had thrown it into my car with no intention of listening to it. But one night when I was about 16 years old, I was driving home alone and I reached down to get music to play, accidentally grabbing the Keith Green album. I put it in and these are the words that I began to hear,

—For when I hear the praises start
I want to rain upon you
Blessings that will fill your heart
I see no stain upon you
Because you are my child and you know me
To Me you’re only holy
Nothing that you’ve done remains
Only what you do for Me—

When the words, ”I see no stain upon you…” hit my ears, it was as if God came into my little car and spoke those words straight to my heart. I did not even know him yet— but he was prophesying over me— he was showing me how he saw me and what he could do for me. He wasn’t looking at all of my stains— he was hearing my heart cry to be pure, to be holy, to be seen without stain. I began to weep and though I did not change my ways right away— I began to have encounters with God’s love and how he saw me from that day onward— until I was convinced that my shame and flaws could be covered and washed by his blood.

This is why we need to return to first love! First love has eyes that look beyond the flaws and see only beauty. Just as I came to understand that his love and blood were enough to cover my nakedness (my shame, my flaws, my sin) in those first years of knowing him…will I now believe that he sees me differently? Will you believe that his compassion has changed, the depth of his love has changed or his covering has been removed? Do you think he now sees the stains?

May it never be that we look upon our lives with eyes of shame— or on another with eyes of shame that uncover them and expose them. Do we think for even a moment that because we’ve walked with the Lord for many years that he’s grown weary of us and now sees us “for who we really are”? NO! His blood still covers us completely and we are seen without flaws— without blemishes because of his righteousness. His love has not decreased at all.

His compassion and his adoration of us is as strong as in those first days. His Spirit still helps us to grow and to be transformed, but he sees us as he made us— even now.

I will never forget being that 16 year old who longed to be accepted by Jesus but didn’t think that I could be. I will never forget the moment that he came into my car to say, “I see no stain upon you.” And now, forty years later, he is still saying those words— to me and to you. “I see no stain upon you.”

You are altogether lovely! You are beautiful and flawless before his eyes. Wash out your lenses that have been tainted with accusations and shame— behold what he is beholding when he sees you— flawless beauty!

You are adored.

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Come Boldly- You Are Wanted!

By Kathi Pelton

Every morning (without fail), while I am spending my quiet time with the Lord, my cat jumps up onto my lap and with utter fearlessness— finds the most comfortable position possible. He doesn’t care if it’s on top of my Bible, over my arms and isn’t at all concerned if it’s inconvenient to me. He comes boldly and confidently and takes his place.

As he did this today, I heard the Lord say, ”I wish my people were this bold when they approached me.”

Most of us would never be as presumptuous as a cat with God! Yet, maybe we are too careful— too aware of our humanity, our falterings and our “maturity” to come boldly.

When my children were young, they never thought twice about running up to their daddy (or to me) and jumping into our laps. They didn’t stop to consider what we were doing or holding— they just playfully and joyfully pounced upon us— much like our cat.

Maybe God would like us to become more childlike in our approach with him? Shouldn’t the hesitations of our humanity be put aside for the confidence of sonship? After all, Jesus said, “Hinder not the little children to come.” I imagine that when Jesus walked the earth that the little children would run and jump upon his lap (without hesitation). I also imagine that their parents would quickly correct them saying, “Do not bother the Master!” Yet— Jesus was not bothered at all by their desire to be with him.

Do we correct ourselves about how we approach him? Do we say, “Don’t bother God with childlike affection?” Maybe the humanity that gets in our way is far less our “falterings” or regard for his holiness— but rather our learned “boundaries regarding intimacy.” I would imagine that God doesn’t have or need boundaries regarding the affections of his people or how they approach him. Yes he is Holy but he is our Father.

He is not worried about the dirt on your hands or the pace of your approach— HE JUST WANTS TO YOU COME! And come boldly as sons and daughters who know that they are wanted, desired and longed for. Do you know that his face lights up at your approach? His arms extend to you when he sees you coming? A smile spreads across his face when you look toward him?

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews‬ ‭4:16‬ ‭

Whether we are in need of help or merely just want to be near him— let us go with confidence, knowing that we are received with joy. Oh, to know that we are wanted by God and to experience being “wanted” is the greatest gift the heart will ever know.

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Be Still— A Prophetic Dream

By Kathi Pelton

I recently had a very interesting dream. In the dream I was walking out of a conference type center in a thick wilderness setting. I was alone and began walking across the parking lot when a mother grizzly bear and her cub ran across this parking lot about fifty feet in front of me. As I watched her and her cub run toward the woods I noticed that a couple that I know from British Columbia, Canada was also leaving the building to enter the parking lot. They came out just as the bear and her cub passed by. Then I heard them yell to me (I was quite a distance away from them), “Kathi, don’t move! Be still and don’t move!” Immediately I saw in my peripheral view a huge male grizzly bear approaching me quickly. I knew it was the father bear to the cub that had run by. I froze in place and saw my friends hide behind some trees. Somehow I was keenly aware that they were on their knees praying for me.

Rather than run in fear or even tremble in fear, an absolute and resolute stillness came upon me. In my mind, the words, “Be still, be still, be still” repeated over and over— and though the bear was now standing only inches from me— I was able to be still and was without fear.

Then I heard the Spirit speak to me, “Kathi, be still and know that I am God.” Just as I heard those words, this massive grizzly put his wet nose to my cheek and let out a large snort that dampened my face (I could actually feel his wet nose and his hot, damp breath upon my face in the dream— as if it were actually happening to me). Yet— I did not move or flinch or even feel fear— only a supernatural stillness. At that point the bear began to walk away and I woke up.

This dream may have many meanings (especially with the Ukraine/Russia war beginning during the time that I had it), but I also believe that it spoke to a supernatural stillness that we can remain in amid great threat of harm or even death. My whole being entered into a posture of trust that overcame all fear. I also took notice of how my friends praying for me was instrumental in the peace and stillness that I was able to maintain. We were partnered together like one in this moment

There is a posture of trust in God that does not flinch or move when threatened. The enemy will not understand it or launch an attack while in this posture. Prayer and a posture of stillness was key in this dream to assure my safety.

God wants you to know that your prayers matter and make a difference to those who are facing great threats and dangerous giants. He also wants you to know that if you are the one who is being threatened— be still and know that He is God! Say to your soul, “Be still, be still, be still.” Watch how His peace will overshadow and protect you.

He is your refuge and your deliverer!

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Valleys Be Raised Up— Mountains Be Brought Low

By Kathi Pelton

During our worship service this past Sunday there was a moment when the Spirit of prophesy came upon the worship and the upon the people— God was declaring, “Mountains will be brought low and valleys will be raised up.”

As this was happening, I began to see what looked like a way being made— a way where there had been no way previously. Where mountains had blocked the way forward or valleys had been too low to go forward, suddenly the mountains were removed (or brought low) and the valleys were raised up. Then I saw this open up the way for “face to face” connection with the Lord.

It was as if the mountain had veiled the face of the Lord from being seen and the low valley had veiled the face of the one who wanted to see him through shame, unworthiness or unbelief. But, there was a roar that cleared the way, a prepared way for people to see Jesus, face to face— with no veil and no shadow.

As they saw him they were suddenly face to face with him. It reminded me of a Hawaiian greeting called the Honi. The Honi is the traditional Hawaiian greeting, meaning “to kiss.” This greeting is coming face to face while touching forehead to forehead, nose to nose and exchanging breath. This is the exact way that I saw the Lord and his bride— forehead to forehead, nose to nose and exchanging breath. A Heavenly kiss. I sensed that this face to face posture would not cease or end.

I also knew, in this moment of worship, that there was something happening over all the earth. It was not only a veil being removed— but mountains being removed, valleys being raised, giants being defeated and fortified walls coming down. It was a “preparation for the way of the Lord” to encounter nations. I could see a global revival that brought the revelation of the love and glory of the Lord to all the earth. It was released as this face to face “kiss” and breath was exchanged— like the breath that brought life to the dry bones.

As we know, not all will respond even when his glory is revealed, but MANY will! It will release both the terror of the Lord and the splendor of the Lord simultaneously. It will be a terror for those who turn away but a glorious splendor for those who are transformed by His glorious face.

“And we all, who with unveiled faces beholding the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory (from glory to glory), which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

Those who behold his glory will be transformed into his image! They will live in the splendor of the Lord and great joy will be heard from the people of God. Jesus will be seen in the faces of his people— they will shine like the face of Moses when he came down from Mount Sinai. If all the people had gone up, they all would have beheld his glory— not only Moses— but because they were in a low valley they did not have confidence to go before the Lord. That is about to change and we will go together and as one, we will greet the Son in face to face intimacy and exchange breath!

Declare with me, “The mountains will be brought down and the valleys will be raised up— veils are being removed, giants are being defeated and fortified walls are falling down! We draw near into a face to face, breath to breath posture with the Lion of Judah.”

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IT IS FULL CIRCLE TIME!

By Kathi Pelton

I have been hearing the words in my spirit, “FULL CIRCLE.” My husband and I received a prophetic word a number of months back that we were coming into a “full circle” time. This was confirmation because I had the Lord speak that to me while I was traveling through Missouri last summer.

I have felt that for many we are in a time of circling from captivity to release, from delay to fulfillment and from robbery to recovery. I feel this over both individuals and nations.

As I was carrying these words, a prophetic friend shared that he felt that we are arriving into a “Gilgal” time. Gilgal is where the children of Israel stepped their feet when they crossed over the Jordan River into their long awaited Promised Land. Gilgal is translated as, “Full Circle!” This is where God’s people went from the captivity of Egypt into the “promise that was long awaited.”

The past few days I have had a picture in my spirit of the Jews as their circled the walls of Jericho. Seven times they circled the fortified city until they touched the full circle moment that caused the walls to come tumbling down. As it plays like a video in my mind, the moment of fullness is met with a mighty roar (shout) by both God’s people and the Lion of Judah.

It is interesting to note that last month a new song was released that many in the body of Christ are compelled to play on repeat. It is by Elevation Worship and the song is called, “Lion”. It is about the roar of God and his people and there is a powerful anointing upon it to prepare the way of the Lord. It opens ways and releases captives.

I see in my spirit many full circles happening where fortified walls will once again fall. There will be places that were designed in God’s original intent to be lands of promised inheritance— these places will come to that moment of a spiritual crescendo in time where God’s people will shout (roar) and be joined by the Lion of Judah. The walls will fall and God’s people will take the city! I see this over families and even over people groups.

A couple of years ago I was taken into an encounter that I feel is a NOW word for us. Here is the encounter that I had:

I was a small white lamb standing on a hillside looking down upon the walled city of Jericho. The voice of the Lord came to me and said, “Go down to the city and release your sound.” I said to the Lord, “I’m just a lamb and my sound is so very small.” But the voice of the Lord came once again and said, “Go down to the city and release your sound.” I began walking timidly toward the city and as I walked I noticed a large shadow overtop of me that I thought was a moving canopy. In my peripheral view I could see what appeared to be large poles moving with me as well. My first thought was that the Lord was covering me with His canopy of protection as I was moving toward this fortified city. When I was finally close to the city I heard Him say, “Now, release your sound.” I opened my mouth fully expecting the tiny bleet of a lamb to come forth but what came forth was the loudest lion’s roar I had ever heard. The sound caused the walls of this fortified city to crumble and the enemy scattered in every direction in absolute fear. Then, the scene changes and I found myself on a battlefield before an enormous enemy army. Standing front and center before me was the great giant, Goliath. Again I heard the words, “Go and stand before this giant and release your sound.” As I began to move forward the taunts and mockery from this giant were growing louder and louder. Yet, once again I noticed the shadow over me and what appeared to be poles beside me as I walked forward. As I stood in front of the giant I heard the voice of the Lord say, “Look up.” I looked up and what I thought was a canopy of protection covering me was actually the under-belly of the largest lion I had ever seen. Then I looked and what I had thought were the poles where actually his four massive legs. I knew that the Lion of Judah had been walking with me (over me) the entire time. With this new revelation; faith and confidence filled me— for the Lion was much larger than the giant that stood before me. Then he once again said, “Release your sound.” I opened my mouth to release my sound and what came forth was the roar of the Lion of Judah. The giant that stood before fell to his death. Then I heard the Lord speak the words, “I am with you— always!”

We are in a full circle time where victories will be realized and inheritances will be obtained. There is a roar that accompanies this moment of full circle— so at the appointed time— RELEASE YOUR ROAR.

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It Is Time to Be Filled With the Glory of the Lord

By Kathi Pelton

Tomorrow is the first day of Nissan on the Hebrew calendar. Nissan is also the first month, therefore, April 2nd is the first day of the first month—which is what we would call a “New Year.” Although, Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year- first day of the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar) is in September, the first day of the first month is tomorrow. That would make today what we’d consider a type of New Year’s Eve. As I awoke this morning and considered how this is the last day of the Hebrew year, I felt a deep desire to present myself before the Lord and ask him to dwell in every part of me—leaving no place empty, lacking or held back from his reign.

I have the honor of walking closely with several highly respected Messianic Jews and I am privileged to learn from them and apply to my life so much of what they share—and in turn, share it with you as well. Earlier this week one of them was sharing about the Biblical significance of the first day of Nissan. He asked the question, “Do you know what happened on the first day of Nissan in the Bible?” He then went on to share out of Exodus 40 about what happened,

“Then the Lord said to Moses: “Set up the tabernacle (dwelling place), the tent of meeting, on the first day of the first month.” Exodus 40:1-2

Then the Lord instructs Moses regarding how to set it up—according to the pattern (blueprint) of Heaven. And Moses obeyed and set up the tabernacle on the first day of the first month—the beginning of the new year. When the work was done that day, this is what happened next,

“Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” Exodus 40:34-35

On the first day of the first month—the glory of the Lord FILLED the tabernacle.

For months now, I have had a great anticipation in my heart that God is preparing his people—who now are his living tabernacles (who carry the indwelling of his Spirit)—to be filled with his glory like we have never known before. The past couple of years, has been for many, a refining and a sweeping out of the areas of our lives that have been cluttered or contained things that would no longer be useful for the days ahead. Yes, even removing things that we would have consider good or valuable in past seasons.

This deep work that the Lord has been doing reminds me of a story that a friend recently shared about the final process of refining gold. The final step is to remove the particles of silver out of the gold. Although silver is considered valuable and desirable, it still causes impurity if you want pure gold. That is where God’s remnant is at in this hour—even things that we considered valuable in past seasons are being refined and removed from our lives if they do not align with heaven’s pattern for our lives and his timetable.

The two phrases that I hear when considering the outpouring that is are an “outpouring of the glory of the Lord that fills the earth” and a “worldwide revolution of the agape love of God.” It begins in the house of the Lord—the living tabernacles who have the Spirit of Yahweh dwelling in them.

As we prepare our hearts for the first day of the first year, we can invite the Spirit of the Lord to come and set up our lives according to his original intent and pattern that he had when he created Adam and Eve. We can ask him to remove “every particle of silver” so that we can be found as pure gold. We are his dwelling place, and we cry out, “Come, dwell in us and fill us, even as you filled the tabernacle that you instructed Moses to set up.” We want to be a resting place for him, a tent of meeting, a lampstand and a basin of water where cleansing waters are poured out. We want to be filled with the glory of the Lord.

This is not only what we want, but it what the Lord desires. Our desires and his desires have met and kissed! This mutual desire is aligned with the prayer of Jesus in John 17,

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” John 17:20-23

We will be filled with his glory! He has given it to us so that we will understand the depth, height, length and width of his agape love and so that the world will encounter the love that we have received. Every place within us that has not received or been filled with his love is being prepared to receive the fullness of his glory. ‘

“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14

Amen!

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THE REMOVING OF THE VEIL OF SHAME— A BRIDAL VEIL WILL BE PLACED UPON YOUR HEAD

BY KATHI PELTON

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:17-18

Under the old covenant, mankind was governed by law. The law led to condemnation and often separation and shame; for who could keep it? Through the life and death of Jesus, a new covenant was established—for he fulfilled the old one by paying the debt of sin with his very life. The new covenant is one where grace has been given freely as a doorway into intimate relationship with him, where we come into face-to-face communion with God. The veil of separation was torn, along with the veil of shame that darkened the countenance of mankind. The rule of sin that once presided over the lives of men and women is broken when this gift of grace is received and Jesus, our Messiah, is invited to dwell within us. What joy and freedom— and yes, liberty—for the person who is freed from the guilt and shame that darkens their face and separated them from their Creator. His Spirit now lives within them.

Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary says this about the liberty (freedom) spoken of in 2 Corinthians 3:17-18,

“…freedom from the yoke of the ceremonial law, and from the servitude of corruption; liberty of access to God, and freedom of speech in prayer. The heart is set at liberty, and enlarged, to run the ways of God’s commandments.”

Recently, during a time of worship, I saw a vision of many believers who were walking with half of their faces veiled by a dark shadow or shroud. When I saw this vision, I immediately heard the verses from 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 in my spirit. Then I saw that the enemy had been whispering lies of guilt, condemnation, and shame into the ears of believers that was causing a dark veil to come over their faces—darkening their countenance and separating them from the glorious face of the One who gave them liberty and paid the price for all their transgressions—never to be put upon them again.

The evil one loves to bring separation between God and his bride. We see that throughout the world in earthly marriages that so frequently allow corruption to enter their union, bringing separation and even divorce. Satan hates covenant, unity, and oneness; this is what we were created for. When we see his glory (his face) we are transformed. Each glance and every fixed gaze take us from glory to glory and we are made like him. Therefore, the enemy wants to block our gaze through shame and guilt so that we will hide our face in separation.

God is here now to remove the veil of darkness that has brought a shadow of separation. I see him blowing away the darkness so that you can once again, look upon his glorious face. If this is where we are to receive this “ever-increasing transformation” then it is the place that we must run to when lies, accusations or darkness comes. We will not be transformed behind a veil of shame but rather we are transformed when the veil is removed, and we behold his glory. The only veil that you are to receive is the bridal veil that Jesus lifts to draw you into covenant with him– it is pure and white.

Matthew Henry’s commentary goes on to say about these verses,

“This light and liberty are transforming; we are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, from one degree of glorious grace unto another, till grace here be consummated in glory forever.”

“Consummated” is to be made complete or perfect—in the oneness of bridal intimacy. There are no veils worn when the bride and groom are together. He has come to remove the veil and reveal his glory to you—without shame—fully redeemed.

“Even so, come.”

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Leaping Fences

Leaping Fences
Kathi Pelton

I heard the words, “My sons and daughters are leaping fences!” When I heard these words I saw wild horses running together and as they ran they were leaping over fences that had previously slowed them down or kept them corralled. They were running like the wind— unhindered!

I immediately knew that the restrains that had slowed them or contained them (in a small area) were the places that they had previously been bound by offenses, unforgiviness, judgements, pride, etc. But these sons and daughters had allowed the Spirit of the Lord to come and remove these restraints from their lives. It was like having bits, bridles, saddles and reins removed. Suddenly the weight of these restraints being removed caused them to leap the fences and they ran together in oneness and strength. Every fence that they came upon was scaled without effort or hesitation.

I believe that this time of preparation, repentance, purification and healing is causing weights, burdens and restraints to come off of his children and we are beginning to run as one and leap walls (fences) that would have hindered us in past seasons.

There is a remnant arising that will run and not grow weary, walk and not faint— they will soar high on wings like eagles— or run together like wild horses. They are letting go of the controls that have restrained them and putting their FULL trust in the Lord. Surrender all so that you can run and soar!

“But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

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Vision of His Robe and the Harvester

By Kathi Pelton

On March 20, 2022 I had a beautiful vision while spending my time with the Lord that I would like to share with you.

I suddenly saw, coming down from the heavens, the train of his robe that we read of in Isaiah 6:1. His church was covered in his robe— like the glory of the Lord that covers the earth. His remnant suddenly became one with his robe.

I looked and saw the train of his robe (his glory resting upon his people), moving across a golden harvest field— it was as if the entire earth had become a grain field that was ready to be harvested.

Then, in this vision, the train of his robe became a combine harvester. A combine is a tractor type machine that is used for harvesting grain. It is a multifaceted machine designed to efficiently harvest grain by combining four separate harvesting operations—reaping, threshing, gathering, and winnowing—into a single process.

This machine (which began as the train of his robe) was going through all the earth to reap, thresh, gather and winnow. It was a swift moving and effective in bringing forth a pure seed.

(End of vision)

The winnowing process, which removes the chaff from the grain and removes insects (pests) from the grain has been occurring within his bride here on earth. I am continually amazed to say that no matter who I talk to within his remnant bride throughout the earth, they are reporting that the Lord is separating them from the chaff and removing from them any “pests” that have come to ruin the pure seed of his love— such as offense, judgements, accusations, divisive ways, holding a record of wrongs, impure motives, etc. This winnowing or purifying process that has been taking place within his remnant has been accompanied by a sound that leaves them crying out, “Holy, holy, holy.” His name is being exalted in high praise as the bride willingly submits herself to the winnowing process.

I believe that this purification must happen prior to this vision occurring. I also recognize that the there is a sound being released even now that unifies us with the heavenly seraphim. This will release the glory of the Lord to come down like the train of his robe filling his temple (people) to harvest the earth. We will be one with Jesus as he prayed for in John 17:20-23— “Then the world will know that the Father sent Me…”

Isaiah 6:1-3 says,

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.””

My dear and trusted friend said these words, “We are in the midst of seeing the glory of the Lord and the terror of the Lord simultaneously.”

It will be a glory that we have never seen before for those who yield to Christ (those who have ears to hear) and it will be a terror for those who turn away to serve evil and will not hear his counsel or receive his truth.

We are even now, between Purim and Passover, coming to a point of touching a realm of glory that will be seen throughout the earth. Many are fasting during this time— to die to self and receive Christ in the fullness of his glory— where we crown him, “Lord of all!” in our lives and in the Church.

Together, we all cry, “Holy!”

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Comfort My People

By Kathi Pelton

As I spent time with the Lord this morning I heard these words, “Comfort my people.” I then asked, “How am I to comfort them?” He answered, “With my promise.” Then I heard the words from Psalm 23 that say,

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalms‬ ‭23:4‬ ‭

What does it mean when he says that his rod and staff comfort me? As we know, Psalm 23 is written from the perspective of a “Shepherd” (The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…). For a shepherd, the rod and staff are used for a number of different purposes. Here are a few:

• To defend the sheep against an approaching predator.

• To count the herd— assuring that not one has gone missing.

• To guide and redirect if one begins to wander away or move toward a path that can harm it.

• To catch a sheep without startling it (like an extended arm that does not violate its “flight zone” so that it does not lose balance).

The Lord’s promise is to always have his rod in hand and near us as we walk though the rough terrain of life on earth. We can take comfort that he is with us to defend and protect us from every predator that is approaching to bring us harm. Often, sheep will have their heads down but the shepherd is always on the lookout for what is happening all around. We can be comforted by knowing that his watchful eyes are upon us always— with his rod ready to defend us.

The Lord is also always aware of the one who has wandered away— he will leave the ninety-nine (in a place of safety) to go find the one.

He is aware of where are feet are about to step and the obstacles upon the path before us. Whenever my steps are redirected or I experience delay or a closed door— I do not automatically assume that the enemy is blocking me, I first ask my Good Shepherd if he is redirecting my path because I was about to walk upon ground that would could harm me. I have found that more often than not, I am being protected by God, not opposed by the enemy— but always ask for wisdom and understanding.

Lastly, God is a gentle shepherd. He understands that we “spook” easily. In his wisdom and love, he uses his rod as an extended arm to gently move us because if we bolt or go into “flight mode”, it can cause us to lose our balance and fall or run away. He does not grab us but rather reaches for us.

It is also interesting that Aaron’s rod was used for miracles that helped deliver God’s people from captivity and oppression. God’s rod does the same for his people today.

The staff also had similar uses, although it can denote a tool that helps the weary in their walk. It is something to “lean upon” and it can be used to hang a lantern upon when darkness comes. The Lord is our staff that gives us strength and takes the heavy burden from us. He is the constant presence for us to lean and depend upon and he is our light in the darkness. This reality comforts us.

If you need comfort today in your journey— his rod and staff are present to “comfort you.” Trust in him to be the rod and staff that you need to help you, guide/direct you, balance you, protect you and deliver you. Trust him to shepherd your children and your loved ones. His arm is extended and his watchful eyes are always upon the sheep of his fold.

Be comforted.

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