For days now, all I can say are these words, “We are being taken back to the blood of Jesus and the finished work of the cross!”
That sums up the “prophetic word for this hour” that we are in! Jesus Christ and Him crucified for the sins of the world.
Repentance is falling upon the church and it is setting us free! Why? Because it is immediately met by the blood that cleanses us and the broken body that heals us. This is the message that we must carry into the days ahead. We will see that there is POWER IN THE BLOOD—wonder working power.
We have come up with so many formulated prayers; curse breaking prayers, blood line prayers, healing prayers, deliverance prayers and “repeat after me” prayers but I believe we are going to see much of those types of prayers fall away because when the power is about to come on and it will flow from the message of the blood of Jesus and the finished work of the cross only. Manifest power will flow like never before! This simple and true message can be carried and spoken by all His people.
As we are shut in, we are like the disciples in the upper room after Jesus ascended. We are waiting for “power from on high to fill us.” The Spirit of God lives in us already but I had a vision the other day of Jesus knocking on the door of our hearts and when we opened the door our hearts were so crowded with other “spiritual things” that there was no room for Him to come in and dine with us. Then a spiritual spring cleaning occurred and it removed all that was crowding our hearts till it looked like a clean and empty room. Then Jesus set up a table in the middle of this room and put the communion elements (the bread and wine) on the table. He declared, “It is finished.” Then He sat down at the table and invited us to come and partake of His body and His blood. As we did “power from on high returned and the glory filled His temple once again.
Then I heard this verse,
I am the LORD; that is My name! I will not yield My glory to another or My praise to idols. Isaiah 42:8
The clutter (yes, even spiritual clutter) in our hearts has demanded attention, affection, and precious time. Often we have become more fascinated by our spiritual discoveries more than the Lamb that was slain. But as we are coming up to the time of Passover, Good Friday and Easter I believe we will see the true gospel set us free from the captivity of things that have vied for our time and attention more than Jesus alone! In Him are all things and all things belong to Him. His glory comes and fills the temple as we return to the Love that came into a fallen world to live a spotless life and then take upon Himself the sin of all mankind. With every lash, every thorn, every scorn and every nail; the power of sin and death were broken. The with the words, “It is finished!” He made a way for mankind to have everlasting and abundant life. All power to save, heal, deliver and set free is in the death and resurrection of our precious Jesus.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
Our upper room waiting is happening now as the Spirit goes through our hearts and cleanses us of the clutter (even spiritual things) that have become idols. Power will come as the body and blood of Jesus are restored as the source of all.
As I was surveying the current state of the world around us, I was struck by the reality of the vast amount of distractions that have pulled on our “affections” prior to this Covid-19 quarantine.
From the activities of going to a restaurant for a meal– to seeing a movie– to shopping for one more thing– to attending a sports event(or watching one on TV)– we are constantly having our time filled with things that entertain and comfort us. Even Christian conferences, concerts and events have become a form of entertainment that has consumed the affections of many believers.
But suddenly they have all been removed. As I was pondering the issue of how all of these things that pull on our affections and how they have suddenly been removed I had a quick vision of idols falling. I don’t think that most people set out to or intentionally make any of these things idols but anything that exults itself above Christ or is vying for our attention and affections above God becomes an idol.
God, in His mercy, is aligning!
Prophetic voices have been prophesying “alignment” for a long time. We’ve been taking about the plumb line of God coming to align His people. It’s been happening on a small scale but not like we’d hoped or like we could see in the spirit. Now, suddenly it’s happening. We now can see the pull that these other things have had upon our affections— yes, even conferences and ministry events.
Are they bad? NO! Of course not. They are wonderful gifts but they were never meant to replace the personal, face to face time with our God. But if they become the focus of our affections that have replaced personal time with God and time in His Word then alignment is needed.
I remember when my husband and I had young children we felt to turn off cable and get rid of our TV because it had become a distraction to true face to face family time. The first week of its absence was like “going through withdrawals!” It had become the background noise in our home and it called for our attention to be turned toward it all the time. After that first week we adjusted and began spending greater quality time with God and with one another. Alignment took place in our family. We removed the thing that was becoming an idol because it was demanding our affections. Our souls wanted to be appeased which left our spirits malnourished.
As we go through this time let’s begin to take personal inventory of those things that have been removed that pull for our affections even more than God. We can repent and ask for alignment so that when these things are once again available we will live in alignment and balance. Let’s not have this crisis be a “mere moment” of sobriety from things that have become idols or distractions that have gained our affections above the Lord.
Ask the Holy Spirit to realign your priorities and the affections of your heart and soul. This truly is a moment in time that we are “coming back to our senses!”
I also want to encourage you to get face to face with your family members; those who are closed in with you! Let God rekindle the love between you and your spouse and let this be a time of restoration between parents and children. Share your hearts, carve out time that you walk together, play together, talk together and even heal together.
Let’s see our affections redeemed and those things that have become idols fall. Soon we will be able to eat out, see a movie, enjoy a sports event or attend a Christian gathering but let’s never again allow these thing to have a higher place then Jesus! May His throne in our private lives have the highest place!
Often the Lord will speak to me through short “one liners” that just echo through my spirit until my soul stops to listen closer and press in for more. I’ve had a few of these “one liners” doing just that since the quarantine began.
They are short sentences such as these:
• I am extracting the precious from the worthless.
• I am separating the wheat from the chaff.
• I am shutting you in so that I can break you out.
• The distractions have been too loud for my people to hear me knocking on the doors of their hearts.
• Rend your hearts, not your garments.
There are more but these particular words have been blowing around in my mind like a constant gentle breeze that invites me to breathe them in until they revive me once again.
The restless hearts that demand constant activity (even the good activities) often cause us to live like a young couple with toddlers to care for. We go from morning to night working hard for something right and something good (raising children) but never take the time to stop and rediscover the intimacy and love that caused us to stand before God together to say, “I do.”
No one faults young parents for the non-stop activity that comes with the privilege of raising children. And yet, if they don’t make time to stop, get away and rekindle intimacy and love with one another then in the end they will harm the very ones that they set out to form into beautiful people (their offspring). The love between “dad and mom” are the foundation of that family. Without intimate connection bitterness, judgements and divisions seep in.
We do the same thing with God. We say “I do” and give our yes to Him out of the deep love that saved our lives and captured our hearts. Then we begin to build His house (Kingdom) together, raise up children in His family, go and make new children, teach those children, etc. But somewhere along the way the Bride has forgotten that the foundation of the Church is love. Her “yes” and “I do” was formed in the grip of first love. We must return to that foundation.
“For God so loved the world that He sent His only Son…”
In 2020 we are embarking on the greatest harvest of souls that has ever been seen. When Billy Graham passed away the mantel that he carried to harvest souls by the masses in stadium settings was passed to the Church. Now, this year there are more stadium events planned then ever before. And in the midst of the busiest planning season ever— everything goes silent and is in a forced STOP. Covid-19 steps in and become a vehicle to restore our crown (corona).
Yes— the enemy has his hand in this because he fears this harvest of souls more than any other thing. But, God is in this too! A couple months ago I was taken into a vision where I saw a baby named “Harvest” placed in a bassinet but then I was taken up higher to see that this bassinet was actually a oval stadium. The massive size of this baby filled the stadium. There was more to the vision regarding identity and healing for this baby but I knew that this “harvest baby” was going to be placed in the stadiums.
The leaders and people of God were planning but not ready! The foundation of family (intimacy and love between the father and mother) had been talked about more than ever but not acted upon; first love was replaced with non-stop activity, the purifying our hearts and hands had not happened and allowing Him to extract the precious from the worthless (the wheat from the chaff) needed to take place before being entrusted with this baby. We were preparing the bassinet to receive the harvest more than our hearts to receive the fruitfulness! Both are needed but only one is truly essential! Our hearts!
The phrase, “Rend your hearts, not your garments.” means this: In the Old Testament days, when the Israelites sinned, to show how sorry they were, they would cut up their clothes (rend means to tear) to show God how sorry they were for their actions. The scripture in Joel 2:13 that says,
“Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.”
What this verse is really saying is that they should cut sin from their hearts instead of cutting their garment in ritual ways that men can see. Go, lock yourself in with God and rend your hearts before Him.
In the church today we have all the right words but have lost the “gift of repentance .” Too often we use words (through teaching, prophesying and worship lyrics) to “rend our garments” yet it is the rending of our hearts that God is after. There is too much hidden sin; places that the worthless is defiling the precious and the chaff is covering the wheat. As Joel 2:13 says,
“…for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.”
In His compassionate grace and out of the abundance of His love He desires to remove the things within our hearts that separate us from Him. As we rend our hearts He will relent in sending calamity! He will respond to the repentance and halt calamity. He has loved us enough to stop us from allowing our gifts to be like garments that cover our sin. He loves us too much to see us riddled (pierced) with guilt. The church has been running hard to avoid that which lurks beneath the surface and must stop and ask for our hearts to be purified. HE LOVES US TOO MUCH TO LEAVE US HOW WE ARE!
We could not bring the “worthless” to the stadiums because it would not only have harmed the baby but ruined the foundation needed for revival. The stadiums merely represent the place that a mass harvest will take place. But our hearts must be made ready first. We must “repent for the Kingdom of God is near.”
If you’re still reading this (many will have stopped at the first mention of repentance) then remember, “repentance is not a bad word!” It is freedom! It is life! It is restoration and it is the breakthrough that we have prayed for and longed for.
Repentance is a gift; therefore we must ask for it. We don’t even know how to repent on our own; we need His Spirit to do this work within our hearts. We know how to feel guilty or feel regret but the true “Godly sorrow that leads us to change (repentance)” has been lost in all the busyness and activity. Words have replaced action and events have replace the secret place.
So now, in the gracious, compassionate and abounding love of God (who longs to relent from bringing calamity!); we have been stopped! A forced pause has come to allow us to ask Him to rend our hearts and extract the precious from the worthless, the wheat from the chaff as we find ourselves upon this threshing floor in time.
“Holy Spirit, here we are. We need the gift of repentance. True repentance that rends our hearts to cut away sin; to remove the worthless. Spirit of God, extract the precious from the worthless in our lives and remove the chaff as we lay before you on this threshing floor of quarantine. Discipline us because you love us and make us ready in the day of your visitation. Thank you for this forced pause (this Selah). Restore to us the joy of our salvation and renew a right spirit in us. As you stand at the door of our hearts and knock— we stop to let you come in. Come and dine with us and feed us the spiritual food that we need.”
Do not waste this time. Go before Him in humility and pray. Pray for yourself, for your family and for the nations. Now is the time!
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Thank you for standing with us as we stand with you!
Many of us have this verse highlighted in our Bibles, hung on the walls in our homes and written in our journals— but do we live it?
It is interesting to me that God began speaking to me right before the outbreak of this virus (or at least it coming upon the shores of our nation) that He was going to rightly align “beliefs and actions.” He began to show me areas of my life where I believe one of His truths (even have a strong conviction in that belief) but my actions have not aligned with it. Therefore, in that area I live in conflict with my own beliefs and in contradiction to my own convictions. God began to help me “take inventory” of the areas where these contradictions exist.
I understand that Psalm 46:10 is more of a “stillness from worry/anxiety (striving)” and an invitation into trust but how much of our busyness and restlessness comes from avoiding stopping? If we stop it causes us to look and see what is behind the veil of all our activity. When we can do nothing (physically or naturally) to resolve a situation we must come face to face with the truth of this verse and enter into the invitation to be still and watch Him move.
For the past year I’ve been hearing so many talking about the theme of a “Sabbath Rest” for God’s people. God has been speaking it to me as well. In the Jewish culture the Sabbath is set aside from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday evening. It is a time to focus attention on God and to abstain from work.
Is God using this quarantine and closures of airlines, public places and even group gatherings as an invitation into a Sabbath rest? Though Sabbath is only a day this call to a “Sabbath rest” may take a bit longer. But we can press in to it and see what the enemy has meant for evil become a spiritual reset into fully apprehending a stillness in our souls where we “cease striving and know that He is God”; even when the entire world is in crisis.
We may be in a spiritual Friday evening sunset where we take the time to allow God to align our beliefs and our action. It may be a time to allow God to wash our “garments” and it may be a time to return to first love.
In our 36 years of marriage, my husband and I find it very crucial to occasionally just stop everything and take a day or two away together. It is usually to the ocean where we can sit together and watch the sunset and rise with just the two of us. It is in those times that we rest, reset and stop long enough to recognize the areas that activity and busyness have been veiling. We get to go behind the veil of our ministry and parenting and working to see “us.” We see how we are actually doing as a couple and were our love is— and it gives us an opportunity to rekindle first love.
Though I do not know how long this “shut in” will last, I do want to take this opportunity to “be still.” By nature I am restless and my mind is constantly active with ideas and spiritual things; but I must learn to have a Sabbath rest. God took one and yet rarely do His people (especially since Sundays are often one of our busiest days!). Even on our days off we make plans of how to fill it with activities for getting things done that have been unattended to our or having fun as a family. Though these things are important— where is our actual Sabbath rest where we focus on God and abstain from work?
Yes, need to be praying during this time and we need to be His hands and feet to a hurting and fearful world during these hours, but we need to understand the times and seasons and this may be a call to a Sabbath rest.
Let’s discern well and respond well. What if our greatest form of intercession is the postures of, “Cease striving know that He is God?”
It may shift the atmosphere! The enemy seeks to wear out the saints of God and yet God calls us into rest. As we refocus and reset our affection upon Him we let the battle belong to Him.
I submit to you this word; this invitation to be still. Turn your gaze toward God and stop your works. Take a Sabbath rest. It may be dark but that is because the Sabbath begins at sundown. The dawn will awaken and we will spend a day resting in Him.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
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“Now the gates of Jericho were tightly shut because the people were afraid of the Israelites. No one was allowed to go out or in.” Joshua 6:1
No one was allowed to go in or out. Does that sound familiar? There was fear in Jericho because of what God had done through the Israelites as they crossed over!
Many prophetic voices prophesied that the beginning of 2020 was a spiritual crossover into the “Promised Land.” For my family it surely was as we crossed our nation from the West Coast to move to the East (the Washington DC region).
Whether or not there was a physical move for you; still, in the spirit, there was a great crossover into a new era and time.
After some time and purification in the new land (circumcision), the Israelites were ready to begin to take back the land! What God has done for them was already known throughout the land and it struck fear into the heart of those who would resist them. I believe that the crossover (spiritually and physically) has struck fear into the enemy’s camp and he has ordered the gates of his fortified places to be locked; for there is great fear in his camp. He knows that God is with His people and they are coming to take the city!
This day, we are in a time that fear has caused men and women to go in and shut their doors. Public places are closed (Disney parks, all of the Smithsonian Museums in DC, sports arenas, etc.); no one is going in or out! A virus of fear has gone global— but today a nation has been called to prayer. Is this our Jericho moment? Our seventh day miracle?
As I went to read the Word this morning my Bible flipped open to Joshua 6 and my eyes fell upon the first verse,
“Now the gates of Jericho were tightly shut because the people were afraid of the Israelites. No one was allowed to go out or in.”
As I read the words I heard, “Blow the trumpets and let My people shout because I am giving you the land!” I don’t know if the “walls” are the virus or the “stronghold of possession” that the enemy has had on land that belongs to God’s remnant; but in any case, something that has held land and has occupied that land is about to fall.
I believe that this very day that has been set aside for prayer in America (in the midst of a 40-day global fast) is a day for some fortified walls to fall! Though this day has been set aside as a day of prayer for the United States of America, I believe that it’s a trumpet call that all nations are invited into.
We are in the 15th day of the Jesus Fast (15 of 40) and it is the 15th day of March. Coincidence? I doubt it! We are marching around the walls of Jericho and they are about to fall! The number 15 represents deliverance and rest. Another interesting fact about the number 15 is that in 2 Kings 20, when Hezekiah became “deathly ill”, he prayed and God added 15 years to his life. What if God is adding 15 years of grace to our nations? What if He is extending time to see harvest and revival take place?
I am not prophesying, I am merely pondering and praying. I am looking around and surveying the spiritual and natural surroundings. I am painting a picture of what my spiritual eyes are seeing unfold.
Today, the 15th of March, which is a National Day of Prayer, may just be a day of fortified walls falling, a day of deliverance, a day of healing, a day of grace extended and days added!
I hear the Lord inviting the nations into this National Day of Prayer. The United States is often a trumpet and a prophetic voice to the nations and that may be the case once again. President Trump has released a trumpet call for prayer to bring healing and deliverance from this deadly illness called Coronavirus.
Hezekiah’s prayer went like this,
“Remember, O Lord, how I have always been faithful to you and have served you single-mindedly, always doing what pleases you.” Then he broke down and wept bitterly. 2 Kings 20:3
This was God’s response,
“Go back to Hezekiah, the leader of my people. Tell him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your ancestor David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you, and three days from now you will get out of bed and go to the Temple of the Lord. I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my own honor and for the sake of my servant David.’” 2 Kings 20:5-6
God, defend our nation and the nations of the world for your honor and for the sake of your servants!
We will possess the land! We will recover! We will see God honored! We will be delivered and receive His rest. Today we will pray, we will worship, we will march and shout! We will see walls fall!
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The late John Paul Jackson prophesied about two pandemics that would come; the first would mainly produce fear but the second one would be very serious. I am sobered by the fact that God gave us words that we see coming to pass in our current days through voices that “left us too soon” like John Paul Jackson, Kim Clement and Jill Austin. “Give us ears to hear, Lord!”
As I’ve watched fear empty the shelves of grocery stores and even online warehouses I began to think about Joseph and how God gave him the interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream (Genesis 41) where there would be seven years of abundance and seven years of famine. Because Joseph was given the interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream he was given Pharaoh’s signet ring and put in charge of Egypt during this fourteen year period. Joseph took from the abundance of the seven years and stored grain “beyond what they could measure” that would provide in the days of famine that were coming. During the famine the nations went to Egypt to receive from Joseph’s storehouses the provision that would sustain their lives.
Yesterday I kept hearing in my spirit three words, “Fill Joseph’s Storehouse!”
What if what we are experiencing today with the COV-19 is merely the dress rehearsal for a much more serious pandemic? If it is a dress rehearsal then we, as the church, were not prepared! Where is the wisdom of Joseph that fills the storehouses with grain for the days of famine?
Will the Church arise and take the signet ring of the Lord to take charge and become storehouses that are “filled beyond measure!”
Yes, we want to fill the vats of heaven with prayer first and foremost; we are doing that. Yes, we want to prepare by turning the hearts of sons back to fathers and daughters back to their mothers! We are longing for that! Yes, we want to return to the fear of the Lord that releases wisdom; we are humbling ourselves to receive that wisdom. But, maybe we have forgotten to steward the practical provisions that will be greatly sought after in days of “famine” (or in another global pandemic).
What if the church had storehouses of abundant supplies that were “beyond measure” for the days to come? The nations of the world would come to where the storehouses are in the days of great need.
I am first an intercessors and worshipper; but I want that intercession to release wisdom that has foresight for the days to come. I love the prayer of Solomon in 1 Kings 3,
“…And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”
We need to be given an “understanding mind” to govern this great people! Both Solomon and Joseph were given “understanding minds” to know how to lead and govern; both spiritually and practically. Again, first and foremost, we need to see our nations (our hearts) turned back to God. Solomon’s prayer in 1 Kings 8:22-61 while dedicating the temple confirms that (read and pray those verses for your nation) but often we forget that we need an understanding mind to know how to prepare practically (to steward the abundance we’ve been given). Will we be the much needed storehouse when famine comes?
Let’s begin to ask the Lord to give us wisdom (an understanding mind) of how we, the Church, can become Joseph’s storehouse that is filled with grain for the days that are coming. I looked around my house this week and realized, “I am not prepared! Have I eaten my seed that was for the days of famine?” It’s a real question. This isn’t shame or condemnation but rather a sobriety of the current state of things.
Will God in His great mercy give us time to prepare? Will He give us seven years of plenty so that we will steward abundance for the sake of times of famine? Will we eat the “above and beyond” or store it for the days ahead? God, have mercy upon your people and sober us in this time to humble ourselves and ask for wisdom and an understanding mind.
If we will do this we will see the very ones who “threw us in the pit because of our dreams” come to us in times of great need and hold their hands out to receive from us (spiritually and practically). They will be like Joseph’s brothers and be restored to us; they will show honor the ones that they had previously mocked and threw into a pit.
We are to be the answer to a world in need; spiritually and practically. It’s not “either or” but “both and…”
I do not know if what we are experiencing is a dress rehearsal but if it is we have been found wanting and must let this be a wake up call to both dedicate the temple AND to fill the storehouses!
Give us understanding minds God!
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There is so much fear right now and for the first time in my lifetime— it’s global! But rather than focusing on whether the fear and reactions to those fears are warranted or not, let’s respond to the reality that much of the world has become very afraid. There are those who feel alone and there are those who have real health issues or children (loved ones) that are vulnerable to illnesses– they feel afraid! There are people out there who have experienced traumas that have left them more susceptible to gripping fear and those who have never been shown true love. It really doesn’t matter what our opinions are regarding the source of the fear– what matters is our response as those who are to carry the love of Jesus to the world.
Right now a lot of people who are in fear are watching social media but will they merely see the body of Christ making light or even “mocking” their fear. Again, it doesn’t matter what your opinion is but what does matter is that the fear that many are experiencing is real and is paralyzing. So let’s be light, be hope, be compassion— be Jesus to them!
“For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
I’d like to draw your attention to the second half of this verse, “…but a spirit of power, love and of a sound mind.” I believe it’s time to arise during this time that so many have come under a spirit of fear and release the power of love and use the “sound mind” given to us to minister peace and hope in a world that is gripped with fear.
I saw a post today where someone was offering to go to the store or bring food or visit those who feel that they cannot leave their home (do to fear or who are elderly or fighting flu symptoms, etc.). What a great response!
What if part of the great harvest begins with His people loving a world that has been infected; not only by a virus but by a true spirit of fear? What if we respectfully offer to sit with them (even with a mask on if that is what helps them). What if we offer to run an errand or bring a meal or pray for them?
Or; even if all you can do is post words of love, peace, hope and encouragement on social media or through a personal email— let’s do that!
We can be Jesus in this and release a pandemic of love. Maybe if the churches have to close their doors then instead of being behind the doors of the church this Sunday we begin to visit the places that fear has been visiting? Why should fear get to have the last word when love can be offered like a cup of cool water on a scorching day?
We can joke about toilet paper shortages but let’s not mock those that are truly afraid. This is an opportunity to show love; what does love look like?
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
It does not dishonor. We need to walk and present a love that honors. Be sure that both in person and on social media that we are not dishonoring of those who are fearful. I read a post from a lady who lives nearby to our city saying that she wore a mask and gloves to the grocery store yesterday and people were mocking her, making comments about over-reacting and shaking their heads at her. Well, what people didn’t know is that she has a seriously ill child at home who’s immune system is highly compromised and she has to be extraordinarily careful to not bring home any virus! Wouldn’t it have been wonderful if someone had walked up to her and offered to pray for her or help carry her groceries? If just one person had stopped to offer love they would have seen seen the tears behind her mask.
We have an incredible opportunity to love right now. Let’s stop completely focusing on what the enemy is doing and ask Jesus what He would do. Of course we need to pray and take spiritual authority over sickness and fear but we also need to be the love of God to those in need at this time. Let’s band together as churches, as caring human beings, as communities, as Christians and ask Him what we can do and then go do it!
Fear may be an open door for love to come in! Go—>
When you stand in the direct sun on a clear day it will cast your shadow onto the ground with vivid and vast definition. Why? Because you are blocking the sun that is shining directly upon you. Yet, on a cloudy or stormy day, you rarely see your own shadow as there is no sun for you to block.
Sometimes in a “stormy season” of life I find that I actually see the shadow of His wing covering me more than on the clear days that are absent of storms. When I am in full dependency because circumstances are beyond my control I become so aware that I am being kept and covered by my Heavenly Father’s love and protection. Yet, occasionally on clear days (days absent of great need) I will find myself beginning to walk in “my own shadow” and begin to venture outside the shadow of abiding in Him.
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalms 91:1
There is something that is within human nature (or sin nature) that is prone to wander, to go our own way, to be independent, to give into the desires of the flesh. Yes, even within Christians! Though we learn through experience and spiritual maturity not to give into these temptations; still they call to us and there are still times that we give in.
For me, those times come most often when my life is “carefree” and the sun is shining— when all my skies are clear. I think that it’s just that when we don’t “feel” the urgent need for dependency or divine intervention we can begin to dwell in our own shadow. I don’t actually believe that I can ever truly leave the shadow of His wing, because I am His daughter, but my focus can leave the place of abiding and I can begin to focus on my own shadow (which is just “me”).
I remember a season in my life many years ago that was months of “clear skies!” Spiritual and circumstantial summer had come. Our family was thriving, relationships were thriving, finances were thriving, our ministry was thriving, business was thriving, and even my physical being was thriving. What a glorious beginning to that summer season it was! I woke up rejoicing and went to bed rejoicing. But as that season moved from days to months I began to unconsciously abide in and “glory in” the freedom from storms more than in the rest of the Almighty. I found myself beginning to follow my own shadow rather than abiding in His. It all looked spiritual and good but I had begun to venture out of abiding in His shadow and into enjoying the shade of my own shadow because the sun was shining so brightly in my life. Toward the end of that season (which was to be a gift from God) I found myself feeling disoriented, disconnected from God, careless in my decisions and utterly aware of the faults within the lines of my shadow. My security and rest had shifted from Him to striving to seize the days of “more than enough” (as I knew that like every season, this one would be limited in its duration).
That time in my life was a wonderful lesson on how to remember to remain (abide) and rest in His shelter rather than find my security in the “lack of storms.” I think that there is such an emphasis on circumstantial “breakthrough” in the lives of believers that we forget that He is our breakthrough! He is our dwelling place, our hope, our warmth, our light, our portion, our refuge, our abiding place and our rest. This must be established in every season.
People often focus on achieving breakthrough from adverse circumstances, but we don’t prepare to live in it when it arrives. The poverty spirit can live in prosperity as much as it can in scarcity, but it manifests as greed and independence. We know how to live in need but do we know how to live in abundance? Wealth and riches can be a far greater burden than poverty because a greater responsibility and accountability is required. I believe that God wants to entrust His people with abundance but we must be prepared to remain in Him (fully dependent, sober, humble, at rest and prayerful) or our breakthrough can become our breaking. It’s so easy to find comfort in the fullness of our flesh and soul but our spirits will always long to be satisfied with Christ alone. We must remain living out of our spirits and to train our flesh and soul to find fulfillment in God.
Let us be a people who can live abundantly in every circumstance because we live in the never-changing fullness of our Savior. We live in the constant breakthrough of His love, His grace, and His victory. We live in the shadow of His wing which gives us rest.
He is breaking us out of the mindsets of “feast or famine,” because it is there that we splurge or starve rather than abide and thrive in the constant abundance of a never changing God whose promises are true and kept in every season and every circumstance.
One last thought; when the sun is in front of me, my shadow is behind me but when the sun is behind me my shadow goes before me. Let us keep the Son in front of us and not behind us!
In every season, sunshine or storm, let us say,
“I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”” Psalms 91:2
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Last night during our “Movement Night” at our church here in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Aaron Custalow shared such a powerful message. Toward the end of his message there was a moment when Aaron shares an encounter he had years ago where he had been striving to please God and running so hard for His Kingdom but it derived from a place where he was trying to “earn God’s approval” or to “return something to Jesus so because of the price He paid on the cross.” The things he was doing (preaching, praying, fasting) weren’t wrong but it came from a place of striving. God wanted his heart and for him to run with Him; not merely “for Him”. At the end of the encounter Aaron is taken to heaven and placed on the Father’s lap. He turns and sees Jesus sitting at the Father’s right side and He looks at him and says, “Aaron, I’m not mad about the cross!” (Mic drop!)
Those words penetrated the atmosphere throughout the room. How many sons and daughters in the family of God are striving but not in the grace and rest of Jesus but in a driveness to somehow earn what has been freely given? The works are good, the running hard is good but the motivation of the heart is not aligned with sonship and the absolutely free gift that Jesus gave us on the cross (we were the “joy set before Him”). When Aaron repeated the words that Jesus spoke to him, “I’m not mad about the cross” I could feel it penetrating hearts that had been striving with a sense of “I’m not doing enough!” My heart was more free to “strive to enter into His rest.” It felt like a moment of deliverance from striving.
Yes, we should give our all for the sake of His name and so that He receives His full inheritance! Yes, we should give our “yes” to all that He asks! But we do it to run with Him in joy, freedom and in rest. The price He paid did not come with a disclaimer or some small print that we forgot to read that said, “You still owe Me something.” It was and is free and HE’S NOT MAD ABOUT WHAT HE PAID! HE’S NOT MAD ABOUT THR CROSS!
These words felt like a trip wire for many returning to first love. Somewhere along the way the running after Him turned into our job or our work but we lost joy and passion. First love causes us to run but we don’t tire and we don’t leave His side. We just want to be with Him! He becomes our motivation and we do more than ever before but we don’t weary because we run from the place of “there is no where I’d rather be and no one I’d rather be with!”
When my husband and I were dating I hardly slept; I just wanted to be where he was! I’d work an eight hour day and then go to be with him and often at 3 a.m. we’d still be talking, holding hands and not wanting to leave each other’s side. When I slept I’d awake with my first thought being, “When can I see him, hold him and be in the presence of his love again today?” That is what first love looks like.
I could feel the atmosphere changing last night and I knew that it is just a taste of what is coming. A return to first love is coming to those who have walked with Him for many years and many new believers will come in as they fall in love with the One that the Church has fallen back in love with.
There is an atmosphere around a couple newly in love! It is alive, it is full of hopes, dreams, joy and it is single focused. When first love comes back upon His bride (His Church) in the way that I am seeing, it will a corporate atmosphere change. People will be drawn like a moth to the flame. We will run and not grow weary!
I find myself groaning in prayer often these days for a handful of things; two of them are for my heart of come into the fullness of first love once again and the second is that the motives of my heart are pure (purely devoted to Him). I believe that first love will cure the heart motives issue in many! We will do what we do because we just can’t get enough of Him and our thoughts are always on what brings joy to His heart.
Be encouraged! It’s as if the ceiling is cracking open and soon we will be under an open heaven of His manifest love. And remember; “He’s not mad about the cross!”
This morning I kept seeing a specific assignment that has been sent against many of God’s people that was keeping them from effectiveness and fruitfulness. It was an assignment to create “idle lives.” It was coming through depression, anxiety, cynicism, illness (infirmity/injury), hopelessness, rebellion and even mental illness (or mental fog).
These were specific assignments to cause lives that were created for an effectual work that would destroy the works of darkness and establish His Kingdom of light to be diminished and become idle.
An idle machine is one that is unused. It may have everything it needs to be effective and of great use but it is not in use and therefore it is idle.
If that is you then begin to break all agreements with an idle life! Begin to prophesy over the areas that have been targeted by the enemy to render you idle. Prophecy the purposes of God over your body, your soul and your spirit. Prophecy the restart of your life and calling!
Declare diligence, perseverance energy, action, exuberance, liveliness, robustness, sprightliness, vibrancy, vigor, vitality and resurrection over your life! These are key antonyms for idleness and spirit filled words that bring life to that which has fallen asleep.
Lethargy is closely related to idleness. The spirit of lethargy is one that has been sent against God’s people time and time again. But I believe that with every assignment sent by the enemy, he looks for an “agreement” through avenues such as self-loathing, unbelief, disappointments, hope deferred, depression, etc. There is often a “wearing down of the Saints” that creates a landing strip for lethargy.
After a serious car accident in 2016 I had to fight the temptation to agree with a “new norm” of continual pain that would result in idleness (and quite frankly good reason to become idle). After a time of recovery my new norm had to be “daily overcoming” rather than being overcome by pain everyday. God is very compassionate toward the attacks that have come upon many of you but there is an overcoming that comes by rejecting an agreement with whatever “life sentence” the enemy is trying to place upon you. Agree with the fact that you overcome through the blood of the Lamb and the word of His testimony.
Some agreements could have come through a weakness that you personally have dealt with that has sought to become your identity or to disqualify you from being effective for His use and His Kingdom. But the Bible makes it clear that it is in our weakness that Christ makes His power known! Reject that which apparently has disqualified you! Agree with “Christ in you!” He is the resurrection and life! There is constant movement (while experiencing spiritual rest), continual forward motion and a fruitfulness in every season as we allow “Christ in us” to be the source!
Take the time to break every agreement with idleness. Your agreements may come from legitimate struggles but God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than you can ask or imagine. Agree with Christ in you— to live and move!
“For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’” Acts 17:28
It is time to live and move and have our being— this means “I exist!” Choose life, stir your movement and declare over your life, “I exist! I am a carrier of His glory!” The enemy want you to disappear from the scene and to become unseen, unused and non-existent! YOU EXIST! It’s time to be seen, to be effective and allow the world to see Christ in you— the hope of glory!