A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

October 17, 2019

"Simplify In Order To Multiply"

     This is the prophetic word that teacher and minister Lana Vawser received from the Lord recently. I think all of us who are aligned with the Lord's heart are sensing that He is accelerating His plan for the redemption and reconciliation of the world. We are seeing a new game plan that relies on the cooperation of obedient followers of Christ to walk in their Power and Authority to defeat the Kingdom of darkness and establish the righteous government of Heaven on the earth. The old strategy of simply saving souls, while ignoring the spiritual enemy that comes prowling like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour, has not slowed the steady advancement of Satan's kingdom. Just look at our culture if you doubt me.
     With the knowledge of new and dynamic strategies, I have seen many changes coming upon the Body of Christ -- all in search of the most effective messages and methods to see "God's will done on earth, as it is in Heaven". And because we are still in this world, I have seen competition and rivalry for the ear and the dollar of those who would "do the things Jesus did, and even greater".
     Don't get me wrong! I am greatly encouraged that the Body is awakening to the seriousness of the hour and is willing to step into new realms of authority in Christ. We must take back territory from the devil that our negligence and lack of knowledge has surrendered to him. My spirit takes heart as I see Christians recognizing their power to heal the sick, cast out demons, commune in the heavenly realms with Christ, appear in the Courts of Heaven, and understanding that the Gospel of the Kingdom was Jesus's primary message.
     But in this new "Christian dynamic", I am also seeing that, in our exuberance to "throw off the old and embrace the new", we can sometimes get out ahead of the Lord in our efforts to establish our ministry, or walk in our giftings, or whatever else we think we hear the Lord calling us to. I'm not saying that any of that is wrong or not from God, but I am cautioning us all to make sure that we're not getting caught up in a whirlwind of activity, trying to be "king of the mountain" in this new movement of God.
     Yes, I know the Holy Spirit is activating gifts in this season, but we need to remember that He is the One who empowers these gifts, not us. We are not in charge of our gifts, as if once given, we can employ them at our will. In fact, Jesus never talks about the gifts of the Spirit; only saying that the Father will send the Holy Spirit [in His Name] to teach us all we need to know to continue His work. I just keep hearing in my spirit that it's simpler than we make it, and it's not all about us. Has the Enemy somehow convinced us that seeking after the gifts of wisdom, or knowledge, or healing, or miracles; or seeking the offices of apostle, prophet, or teacher is the height of our identity in Christ? That the more we do and seek after, it means the greater we are esteemed in the Kingdom of God?
     I will tell you that Mark and I have taken serious stock of the call upon our lives and how we are walking out our obedience. When we first began this Inner Healing Ministry, the Lord gave us a simple process to work with Him and Holy Spirit in helping people get free from the demonic bondage in their lives. And it is only natural to want to increase in knowledge and make every effort to seek new revelation from the Father. It is exciting and empowering to discover that we have access to the throne room of Heaven, and the Heavenly Courts; and that we can understand the tactics of the Enemy to program, develop realms of captivity, manipulate DNA, and establish iniquity in our bloodlines -- and much more! To be honest, it can be overwhelming to think that we have to know and be proficient in all manner of spiritual warfare to defeat these strategies.
     But I thank the Lord that He has shown Mark and I that it is He who does the work; He just needs us to be obedient and willing to show up. He doesn't require intense, complicated methods in order to prove His Lordship over darkness. He reminds us to trust in His authority as the Centurion did; to have childlike faith as we enter each Inner Healing session, knowing that our obedient service to the Kingdom of God is based on our dependence on Him, not our own selfish ambition.
     Therefore, I felt such conviction when I read Lana Vaswer's article on simplifying. My spirit was in agreement with her as she wrote, "this new era of acceleration does not mean you do more; it means HE will do more and bring things together in a momentum we have never seen". And we are seeing that in our own experiences. We have simplified our approach to our healing sessions, relying on Him to multiply the results. And with that strategy, we have found that more people are receiving freedom than ever before! And because the focus is on Jesus, and not us, the people coming for ministry are able to grasp that they, too, can serve the Kingdom of God and take back the devil's territory in the lives of others. 
     Doesn't that correspond to the last thing Jesus told His Disciples before He ascended into Heaven" .. "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth". We are called to make Disciples and witness to them of the power of the Holy Spirit in the Kingdom of God on earth. And we are seeing an acceleration of Jesus's simple model in this new season. But it doesn't have to mean that we seek after recognition for gifts or after ministry titles. 
     So, I will let Lana Vawser's wisdom be the last word: "Do not be tempted in this new era of significant acceleration to BUILD in order to grow your platform. Do not be tempted in this new era to move with the “status quo” because that is what is “expected” or “how you grow your ministry” and “gain influence”. All of those “man made ways” are being thrown into the fire and on the threshing floor ... These new strategies He is releasing may look in some ways like “less” but it’s actually the place of your greatest multiplication because you are building in obedience to HIM and His voice ... Strategies God is releasing right now contain ‘Going back to basics’, ‘Returning to foundations and grass roots’, “back to the beginning”, ‘removing the clutter’, things you may have always known but you have moved away from, He is bringing you back to them ‘full circle’. These SIMPLE STRATEGIES will be CLEAR and NOT COMPLICATED and they will be the strategies for LONGEVITY and FRUITFULNESS". 
     I'll finish by saying this is exactly what Mark and I have heard in our spirit and the strategy we are following. We aren't looking to be "the latest and greatest" in Deliverance Ministry, but only want to be known by our fruit. And we are trusting Jesus to bring His restoration to all the lives we touch. Amen!

Proverbs 19:21    "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand".   

October 14, 2019

The Gift Of Freedom Revisited

I recently stumbled across this post I wrote nearly five years ago and was astounded to discern that the truth of it is still as relevant today. I am still just as inspired as I was then, and I am still as committed to shouting this news from the rooftops! So, whether this is the first time you have read this, or like me, you are revisiting it, I hope it speaks loud and clear to your spirit. Enjoy and then join me!

     How do I write about what I experienced over the weekend?  How do I impart the words of knowledge and freedom that I received, with both gratification and glory to God for His revelation, and without offending His Church and the Body of Christ?  That's a very difficult tightrope to walk.
     But, I guess the message I am getting from the Holy Spirit is this:  "Just tell the truth."  So here goes... You know that God seems to be leading me and my husband on a path towards accepting our position on the battlefield of Spiritual Warfare.  So, this past weekend, we had the privilege to attend a 2-day conference taught by Dr. Charles Kraft, a professor at Fuller Theological Seminary for 40 years.  The title of the conference was "Defeating Dark Angels", but the central topic of the meeting was based less on the sensational-sounding aspects of that title, and more on the Scripture-affirming concept of inner healing to help deliver defeated Christians as they battle their demons.
     There is no way in a single post that I can elucidate all the insight and understanding that my spirit was given during the intense instruction.  So I will try to give you the points that opened my eyes, my mind, and my heart to the truth of who I am meant to be as a follower of Jesus.
     Let me start by saying that Dr. Kraft is unlike what the secular world -- and for the most part, the Church -- views as a "Deliverance Minister."  He is a soft-spoken, gentle man, who never raises his voice.  He does not employ any of the histrionics of the so-called "healers" or "exorcists" that characterize the modern perception of evangelists who cast out demons -- there is no melodrama, theatrics, or artificial showmanship; no Benny Hinn, here.  There is no writhing on the floor, no yelling, and no dramatic vomiting. As he reiterated many times throughout the conference, "If the healing is not loving, it's not from Jesus."
     To begin with, he makes it very clear that there are two levels of demons we encounter in our spiritual warfare.  The "ground level" troops are the fallen angels that we call demons or evil spirits; those who envy us our bodies, and who look for someone to inhabit.  The "cosmic level" demons are those we encounter in Ephesians 6:12-- the principalities, powers and rulers that command the ground troops. They have different personalities, are destructive to the peace that Jesus has promised His followers, and they differ in power and wickedness.  All that sounds like we're waging a losing battle, doesn't it?  Sadly, many Christians are living their lives in defeat, rather than through the victory that is ours in Christ.
     Interestingly, Dr. Kraft wrote that although most Christians recognize that much of the New Testament was written by the Apostle Paul to the new Christian Churches, they fail to acknowledge that 80% of Paul's Epistles tell us of Jesus's Power, and about 20% talk about the Love of Jesus.  The average Christian knows about Love, Faith, and Redemption, but they are weak on Spiritual Warfare and the Power and Authority of Jesus that He transferred to us.
     As a missionary in Nigeria, Dr. Kraft asked the people he had come to serve in Jesus's Name, "What is your biggest problem?"  Their answer?  "Evil spirits."  I think it should be clear that we are all made in the image of God (as spirit beings), so why would we be any different?  Oh, yeah... the prosperity, the level of comfort, and our ability to hide from our demons through the means of entertainment, technology, addictions, and a myriad of other distractions.  So, in the end, we continue to ignore the attacks and continue in our bondage, while focusing on loving Jesus.  We base our Christian Worldview on the 20% of Paul's writings that talk about Love, and turn a blind eye to the 80% that tell us He has given us Power in His Name to be free of all the oppression, pain, and spiritual domination.
     The first step towards this freedom is to make two major changes in this worldview towards accepting our role in Spiritual Warfare:  1) Believe there are demons, and 2) Be able to effectively use our conferred Power and Authority (in His Name) to deal with these dark angels (demons) and to "set the captives free".  It was an eye-opener to me, when Dr. Kraft pointed out that there are three things that are most important to Christians:  Salvation, Freedom, and Habits.  We've got the first one down; we understand the origin and process of Salvation pretty well.  And we've gotten real good at the last one; our habits are entrenched in our Sunday attendance and all the ceremonies and traditions of our denominations.  As Dr. Kraft expressed so well, "Our churches are full of people wonderfully saved, but they're not free."
     We seem to have lost sight of the fact that Jesus obviously took Satan and his demons seriously.  And, even more importantly, He expects us to take demons seriously and to use His power to get rid of them.  That is very evident in the Scripture that instructs us on His Great Commission:  Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority (all power of absolute rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually—regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20).
     I have pointed out this Scripture in the past, but now I have an even greater understanding of it.  Jesus passed on to His disciples all of His power.  He set aside His God Power, and never once used it on earth.  He only acted as a human being, using the power of the Holy Spirit.  He intends for us to do the same!  We modern-day disciples of Christ are no different than the famous Disciples of the Gospels.  We are to see ourselves as Jesus sees us.  He tells them to go and make disciples of all the nations (and disciples is who we are); to baptize; and to "teach them to observe (or do) everything that I have commanded you."   Down through the centuries, each succeeding generation of disciples concentrated on evangelizing and baptizing, but failed to teach how to defeat demons using the power of the Holy Spirit.
     But the one thing I want you to get from this abbreviated summary of the conference is this:  There is no deliverance from our demons without inner healing first.  As a visual person, it helped me a lot to picture Dr. Kraft's illustration on what that looks like... "Where you have garbage, you have rats.  If you just get rid of the rats, and don't get rid of the garbage, the rats will come back.  But if you get rid of the garbage first, [the cycle] of the rats gets weakened, and it is usually easy to kick them out.  The rats, if they are there, are always the secondary problem, not the primary one."
     So his model of "Deliverance" is to accomplish the inner healing of the Christian first, then see if there are any demons present.  In other words, the "garbage" could be a number of things resulting in unresolved pain and hurt in one's life.  It could be broken relationships, areas of unconfessed sin, involvement in the occult, or sexual or physical abuse in your past --- anything else that gives the Enemy a "legal right" to influence you, either from the outside or the inside.
      When we deal with the "garbage" and get healed from that -- through getting in touch with how Jesus sees us; this Jesus whom we know as our loving Savior who created us, chose and planned us from before God made the world -- then the demons lose their hold on us, and we can often kick them out of our lives without a fight.
     But now comes the part that is difficult for me.  How do I express my frustration with the Church for their inability to see this dynamic?  How do I make my fellow Christians and members of the Body of Christ understand that if Jesus instructed us to be taught on how to use His Power and Authority through the Holy Spirit to defeat Satan and his demons -- yet we don't recognize that authority, or refuse to consider it -- then I humbly see that as irresponsible on our part, as His disciples.  This Power and Authority is available to all who follow Jesus, and is meant to be a means to offer Freedom to those held captive by Satan.  I will agree that certain people of faith seem to have a "knack" or "gifting", if you will, to "take the ball and run" with the power and authority.  But as Dr. Kraft so wisely counseled us, "Obedience precedes gifting."  If we will only be obedient to Jesus's command of John 14:12, (We will do the works He did, and do even greater things), I believe we will find that our ability to engage in His Power and Authority, through the Holy Spirit, will come in greater measure.
     We should not be afraid of our Commission, and we should not shirk our responsibility to follow our Savior's commands.  As 2 Timothy 1:7 says, "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control]."  THAT, my fellow Christians is living in true Freedom!  And THAT is why Jesus performed the will of His Father on the Cross... to give us the ability to use the same Authority from our Father, and the Power of the Holy Spirit to not only live a free life ourselves, but to help set other captive Christians free.
     You see, "Deliverance" doesn't have to be a violent, theatrical show of God's Power and Authority.  It can be just like Jesus showed us ... loving; practiced by any Christian; and it leads to healing, not just deliverance.
     But ultimately, the choice to practice His Power and Authority is still ours.  I agree with Dr. Kraft... God will not violate our Free Will.  He will not force the use of His authority upon us, nor will He change our free will.  But He can change the circumstances that result from our free will when, in the Name of Jesus, we take authority over demon spirits and break their power in Jesus's Name and through the Holy Spirit.
     The final thought I want to leave you with is this ... Deliverance is not a science; it is a journey of faith.  Jesus has given us tools to empower ourselves in our spiritual warfare, and they do just that... empower us; but they don't fix us.  We are in a spiritual war, and no war is won in a single battle.  Throughout our journey through life, we will engage in many battles, and growing into a mature faith is our goal.  But God has a goal, too.  He always wraps His Power in His Love, with the goal of setting people free.  My prayer is that His people will learn to use that Power and Authority to heal themselves and others from the attacks of the Enemy, and to free those whom Satan has in captivity from "the sins that entangle us."  It's time for all Christians to begin that journey of healing towards true Freedom.

     I wouldn't change a word about this five-year-old post. Every word still stands on its own. But the Lord has added new revelation in context of the Kingdom of God. Inner Healing is an important component of the Kingdom culture on earth. Without freedom, a Christian is subject to the lies of the Ruler of this dark world and unable to walk in his or her full power and authority as an ambassador of the Kingdom of Heaven. We have been appointed to take back territory [physically, geographically, and spiritually] for our King, and if we are shackled by wounds or pain, then lives remain in enemy hands. So, I am grateful to be able to re-share my initial enthusiasm for the ministry of Inner Healing, and to declare that my passion has not waned. God bless Dr. Kraft for the countless lives he has influenced while working with Jesus to "set the captives free". May we all answer the call on our lives to "Go!"

Psalm 32:8    "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you [who are willing to learn] with My eye upon you." 

October 11, 2019

"Give Me Back My Stuff!"

     A little over a week ago, I wrote a post entitled, Have You Given Jesus What He Died For? I'd like to expound on that more, if I may. I talked about how when Jesus went to the Cross, He paid every legal requirement for us to be reconciled back to the Father. The devil has no claim on us ... unless we listen to his lies. And that's what I want to expand upon. I will also tell you that I give full credit to Graham Cooke, a Christian speaker/author for the title and the inspiration behind this post.
     Mark introduced me to a podcast by Graham in which he shared a dream [or vision] he had of a conversation with Christ. It went something like this ...

CHRIST: Give Me back My stuff!
GRAHAM: What, Lord? I don't understand.
CHRIST: I said, Give Me back My stuff!
GRAHAM: But what stuff, Lord?
CHRIST: Graham, give Me back My STUFF!
GRAHAM: I heard you, Lord, but I still don't understand what you're talking about.
GRAHAM: Please, Lord, tell me what stuff! What do I need to give back?
CHRIST: It belongs to Me. I paid for it and it's Mine! It belongs to Me, and not to you!

     This conversation goes on for quite awhile, with the Lord revealing that every time Graham [or we] give in to Worry, or Fear, or Anger, or any other anti-Christ spirit, we are resurrecting what He took to the Cross and defeated, along with Death. Christ explained that it wasn't just Sin that He took to the Cross, but all the negative ways that we see or think or believe or speak.
     Jesus told Graham, "[When I went to the Cross] I went for the joy set before Me because I knew I was robbing you of experiencing all those negative things, and I was giving you a life totally different and free of all that stuff. You see, it doesn't belong to you anymore! I died for it! And every time you hang on to any of it, you can't become the person I died for you to become. There is a disconnect between you and Heaven. You can't receive what I want to give you. And I have things to give you, and we have things to do!"
     Does that resonate with anybody else besides me? It's so simple, yet we fall for Satan's lies about why we should hang on to our stuff. But Jesus doesn't want us to deal with all that negativity because He's already dealt with it! Furthermore, He doesn't want to continue to deal with all that sin because it was dealt with once for all at the Cross. Right now, right here today, He only wants to deal with our righteousness. He only wants to establish righteousness and holiness with us, because the sin has been paid for.
     This is such a basic truth of both the Gospel of Salvation and the Gospel of the Kingdom. The reason we are citizens of Heaven here on earth is because we are learning how to walk [and move] in the opposite spirit of the world. We are not subject to the "small s" spirits of this world (Worry, Anger, Fear, etc) -- we are subjects to the "capital S" Spirit of Heaven! Instead of shame, Jesus wants us to know we can have a double portion of Self-worth. Instead of humiliation, we will experience a shout of joy.
     We've got to learn how to quit defaulting to the "old man", and learn how to live in our new and true identity. That old behavior was defeated by Jesus's blood, and we can now possess accelerated grace, goodness, and power as sons and daughters of the King, and Heavenly citizens. It's time we take note of all that we've stolen back from our Lord. It's time to give it all back to Him. Give Him back the worry, and receive His gift of confidence. Give Him back the spirit of Anger, and receive the gift of peace and patience. Give Him back all the loneliness, and receive the Spirit of adoption as a beloved son or daughter. Whatever it is that robs you of all the good gifts He wants to give you ... give Him back His stuff. 
     I keep harping on this theme because it is the overriding issue that we see time and again when Jesus meets His beloved at the table. People take back from Jesus what His death has paid for, and it robs them from becoming all that they can be; and it robs Jesus of the joy of His sacrifice for us. Let us forever rid ourselves of the old nature, which belongs to Jesus, because He paid dearly for it. And let us put on our new garments of salvation and our robes of righteousness. Those belong to us!

1 Peter 2:24    "He personally carried our sins in His body on the cross [willingly offering Himself on it, as on an altar of sacrifice], so that we might die to sin [becoming immune from the penalty and power of sin] and live for righteousness; for by His wounds you [who believe] have been healed."

October 8, 2019

The Five Stepping Stones of the Kingdom

     This post is a teaching that my husband has developed on the Kingdom of God. It has progressed over time and through the revelation he has received from the Lord about the process we Christians need to go through to achieve our fullness in Him and the Kingdom. He calls it the "Five Stones" because he likens it to the five stones that David picked up as he prepared for his battle with Goliath. Like those stones, these five principles of the Kingdom will defeat the kingdom of Satan in your life. While David only needed one stone to slay the Nephilim giant, all five of Mark's stones build on each other and are the foundation of our Kingdom experience. Let's take a look at them...
     The first stone is Salvation. There is absolutely nothing you can do to earn it. It is a free gift for all those who put their faith in Jesus Christ as the resurrected Son of God. It is an essential and necessary element of your Kingdom citizenship. Jesus says in John 3:1-5 that you cannot "see the Kingdom" until you are Saved. In other words, you cannot perceive it, understand it, recognize it, appreciate it, or fathom it unless you are "Born Again", or Saved.
     The Lord also says you cannot "enter the Kingdom" unless you receive Salvation. Again, you cannot engage in the Kingdom, participate in it, submit to it, or set foot in it without being "born of water and the Spirit". That my friends, is what it means to get Saved. So Salvation is the first crucial step of our Kingdom experience.
     The second stone is Getting Free. Once you have received the free gift of Salvation, it is incumbent upon you to get free of the bondages and torment from the Enemy. The devil knows that Christ has defeated his most powerful weapon [Death] and that Salvation [which brings Eternal Life] is the first step towards our freedom. He knows if we Christians ever break free of his deceptions and lies, we will be unstoppable in knowing our power and authority to defeat his kingdom of darkness on the earth.
     If he can get us to stop at Salvation and not seek Freedom in Christ, then he can influence our spiritual walk and impede our advancement in the Kingdom. If he can keep us limited to Salvation alone then we will never seek more of the Kingdom, leaving his [Satan's] kingdom in full force. And that leads me to Mark's third stone ...
     This stone is Understanding the Kingdom of God as a concept. This means we need to understand that, unlike Salvation, our citizenship in the Kingdom of God on earth is not a free gift. We actually have to do something to receive it. We have to seek it! That means we have to understand what it is -- the re-establishment of God's government on the earth, "as it is in heaven" -- and we have to earnestly covet it and strive after it; yearn to possess it; struggle or fight vigorously for it. It is worth that much!
     We have to recognize that we do not belong to this world; that our citizenship is in Heaven and we have to dive deep into the Word to see what it says about who we are and what our responsibilities are. To be effective citizens and ambassadors of Heaven, we must understand the Principles and the Keys to the Kingdom. We cannot hope to achieve the fullness of the stature of Christ without understanding the concept of the Kingdom of God and all it encompasses. And that takes us to the next stone.
     This is the stone of Kingdom execution. Once we understand the Kingdom concept and one of its most important components -- that Jesus came to restore our power and authority that were given to Adam and Eve in the Garden, but which was usurped by Satan -- then it is time to walk in our identity.
     Jesus spent three years training 12 men to be our role models. They were simple men whom He chose so that we would not think we had to meet the world's standards in order to serve in His Kingdom. His instructions are clear and straightforward for those who are willing to carry them out: GO; make disciples and baptize in His Name; heal the sick; cast out demons; cleanse the lepers [those who are physically and spiritually unclean]; raise the dead; spread the Gospel of the Kingdom; and "do the things that He has done, only greater". That includes loving the Father and others, sowing righteousness and justice, and bearing fruit for the Kingdom; which leads us to the last stone in Mark's model of our Kingdom experience.
    This fifth and final stone depends on how you progress and advance through the first four. It is the stone of Inheritance. We have found that this is largely an unknown benefit of our Kingdom citizenship, and Christians are hard-pressed to grasp the fullness of it. Oh, we know we inherit eternal life, but often that's all we're able to perceive. The thought that we might receive rewards for our work here on earth often violates denominational doctrine that warns against seeking to earn your salvation.
     But that is a wrong interpretation! We are not talking about Salvation here, and it is quite true that you cannot work to earn that. We are talking about rewards and inheritance in the Kingdom of God for our service to our King. In Revelation 19, we are introduced to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, in which we read that the Lamb's Bride "has made herself ready". And here is a truth we need to see, understand, and receive: " She [the Bride] has been permitted to dress in fine linen, dazzling white and clean—for the fine linen signifies the righteous acts of the saints".
     Then there is Colossians 3:23-24, which says, "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ." When we stand before the Lord, we will answer for what we did for His Kingdom after we received Salvation; how we spent our time on earth as citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. We will receive the reward of crowns, which we will lay at His feet, recognizing our unworthiness in light of His sacrifice. 
     As you can see, our understanding of the Kingdom of God will greatly impact how we live our lives as Believers. We can rightly rejoice in our Salvation, but it is how we progress beyond that point that will determine if we enter into the Kingdom and reach our full potential as Kingdom citizens on the earth. Should we never recognize the Kingdom, we will still receive eternal life in Heaven, but we may never be free of the torment of Satan's kingdom on earth, and we will most certainly limit our rewards in Heaven.  
     I'm happy to see an awakening among the Body of Christ to the reality of the Kingdom, but I am praying that "Kingdom" will become more than the latest Christian buzzword, and a reality and pursuit of all Believers. The sooner we seek, find, and enter the Kingdom, the sooner we can expect to see our Lord coming on the clouds with great power and glory!

Daniel 2:44    "And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever,"

October 5, 2019

Things To Consider If You Think You're Being Called To A Ministry

     I recently read a very insightful article on Charisma Magazine by Kathy DeGraw, who is a Deliverance Minister. And since she identifies her ministry as "igniting and activating people, releasing prophetic destinies, and delivering people from the bondage of the Enemy", I felt a spiritual kinship and was intrigued by the title of her column: Why The Holy Spirit Doesn't Want You To Force Your Ministry Opportunities.
     Like Kathy, I've been having an ongoing conversation with the Lord about what I see in people who have discerned God's plan to advance His Kingdom. I am thrilled to see more and more people awakening to Jesus's command to Seek the Kingdom first and righteousness. I see God moving among His people, and my spirit sees the acceleration of His agenda to defeat Satan's kingdom.
     The number of people finding their way to Jesus's Healing table in our home has grown exponentially over the last few years. And it has not been because we have advertised or promoted ourselves. It's all because we have been obedient to Jesus's call and then trusted Him to speak to the hearts of those seeking spiritual freedom, ordering their steps to us.
     I am expressing all this because there was a statement Ms. DeGraw made in her article that struck a chord with me. She said, "We can force ministry doors to open and can make things happen in order for us to enhance our ministry, but are God's blessings upon it? Do we want God to bless our ministry or honor our ministry?  God will honor the things we do to share His word and grow our ministry. However, when God orchestrates our advancement or the event or action in which He has called us to do, He will bless that which He has called."
     Wow! That really got me to thinking. I am seeing many people answer God's call and they are passionate about what He is calling them to. And that's good! They begin having dreams and clearly hear instructions how to grow a ministry for the Lord. They are ready to take the ball and run with it. But, I am also discerning that many times they are engaging their soul more than their spirit. Remember, our soul consists of our mind, our will, and our emotions. Many times we can become so impassioned with the possibilities of what we can accomplish for God's kingdom, that we get out ahead of God's plan and schedule; devising our own program which is fueled by our own zeal and enthusiasm.
     In truth, not every dream, or thought that comes into our minds is always from God. Sometimes they are our own thoughts, prompted by our desire to serve the Kingdom; and they can seem like God is speaking directly to our spirits, when in reality it is our soul generating the dreams and thoughts. That's where the difference between God honoring or blessing our ministry. And we have to ask ourselves an honest question ... is the condition of our heart to grow our ministry OR to advance the Kingdom? Granted, you can advance the Kingdom if your ministry is growing, and God will certainly honor those efforts; He will recognize, appreciate, and value your ministry. People will also recognize the validity of your ministry.
     But I think we have to ask ourselves a very important question -- are we more driven to develop and grow our ministry; or are we more focused on representing God's Kingdom and taking back territory from the Enemy? Is the focus of our ministry centered on us and our reputation, or is it about declaring "thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven"? If it is the latter, then the ministry God has called us to will be blessed; there will be bountiful fruit that is borne from it.
     I'm going to be honest here. The Lord has blessed the ministry that Mark and I have been called to. It is so encouraging [as well as gratifying] to see people that have been set free through our obedience to Christ, then answer His call on their life, and begin to work with Jesus to help set others free! I find it uncomfortable when someone makes an appointment and tells us that they have been hearing about us. No! I want them to be hearing about what Jesus is doing through us! It's always been about Jesus for us; about being obedient to His teachings and commands, fulfilling the same assignments as the Twelve Disciples were given. I want it to be said of us as it was said of them ... And they went out and preached [the Gospel of the Kingdom] everywhere, while the Lord was working with them and confirming the word by the signs that followed. And what did Jesus say would be the signs of those who believed in Him and were baptized in salvation? In My name they will cast out demons, they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink anything deadly, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will get well. That is some fruit that cannot be ignored!
     We are not interested in chasing after giftings of the Holy Spirit, knowing that we will be given any [or all] of the gifts as we need them [to advance the Kingdom] because the Holy Spirit will counsel us and train us, having all the gifts Himself to give as necessary. We do not desire titles or positions; only to be known as obedient followers of Christ and Kingdom ambassadors. Our validity comes from who Christ says we are, not any man.
     It all comes back to a final question that Ms. DeGraw asked in her article ... Are we doing ministry for ourselves so we can release our anointing and preach, pray and prophesy, or are we genuinely in love with God, desiring to release the Spirit of God within us? One draws attention from others to us; the other focuses on the intentions of our heart towards the Father. One is an honor; the other a blessing which can result in changed lives for the Kingdom, which is synonymous with fruit. Just some things to consider if you are being called to ministry....

2 Timothy 2:15    Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved, a workman who has no reason to be ashamed, accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth.


October 2, 2019

Have You Given Christ What He Died For?

     I ask that question because I am always astounded at the power of forgiveness whenever Mark and I meet with someone for Inner Healing. It's the first thing we do when they come to the table that Jesus has set for them in our home. And the same thing always happens ... they tell us that they have already forgiven everyone in their life. But we explain to them that we've been given a way for them to express forgiveness that takes unforgiveness off the table as a weapon for the Enemy.
     It works like this -- it is important that we speak our forgiveness out loud because when we do it silently in our mind [with Jesus or the Father], it is done in secret and remains hidden from the very spirits that are tormenting us with our unforgiveness. We need to realize that forgiveness is an act that we must do. God or Jesus cannot do it for us. So, when we speak out loud WHO we're forgiving, and WHY, and then HOW IT MADE US FEEL, before releasing them to the Father in the Name of Jesus, we are working in spiritual mechanics to establish a record in the spiritual realm that can be attested to in the Courts of Heaven.
     You see, the devil is a liar and he comes only to kill, steal and destroy. He knows that our Father in Heaven is a legalist; He has established "laws" for us to live by [according to His righteous government in Heaven] and Jesus, when He went to the Cross, paid every legal requirement for us to be reconciled back to the Father. The devil knows what Jesus meant when He said, in Matthew 6:14-15, "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Forgiveness of others is a legal requirement of Heaven if we are to expect forgiveness for ourselves. That's why Mark and I take it very seriously when we come to Jesus's table to assist Him in setting free those who are in bondage to the devil.

     So, when we're told, "Oh, I've already forgiven everyone", we gently encourage them to just do it one more time, using the method we described above. And it happens every time -- they realize that the forgiveness they thought they had extended to those who have hurt them didn't complete the process. Very often tears are shed as the fullness of the wound that led to the unforgiveness is exposed, perhaps for the first time. And when they are able to reveal all the ways that they were hurt and how it made them feel, and then see themselves releasing that person to Jesus to tend to, they are finally free of all the residual pain that surrounded the unforgiveness they were still carrying.
     And then we explain that this is a spiritual exercise that will most likely need to be repeated in the future. We explain that for the last 20 or 30 or 40 years, the devil has reminded them of that hurt and pain whenever he was able to bring that person to their mind. But now they know how to defeat that plan to steal and destroy their peace and joy. And they shouldn't be surprised the Enemy tries the same tactics again; it's worked so many times in the past. Plus they need to remember what the Lord tells Peter in Matthew 18:20-22 ... Peter asks Him, “How many times do I have to forgive my fellow believer who keeps offending me? Seven times?” Jesus answered, "Not seven times, Peter, but seventy times seven!!" That offense can keep happening even if the person is not present by the Enemy simply whispering their name or reminding you of what they did.
     I love how the writer of Hebrews, in Chapter Nine, ties all this together; how it helps us to understand that if we are unable to forgive, we are essentially denying Christ one of the most important consequences of going to the Cross. The writer carefully explains that under the Old Covenant, the shedding of blood was necessary to purify everything -- the people, the tent, even the vessels used for worship. He says, "Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins."  Can you see why Jesus's blood had to be shed on the Cross for us to be forgiven?

     He goes on to explain that the blood sacrifices instituted by Moses were a copy of the sacrifice in Heaven, which was a better model. The writer says, "For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.  Nor was it to offer Himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then He would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself."
     So, can you see that when we think we've forgiven someone, but the Enemy is still able to stir up old feelings of pain at just the thought of that person, we are in essence, asking Christ to be crucified again in order for us to be forgiven of our unforgiveness? Christ wants to take that pain and unforgiveness away once for all, and deny the devil one of his most potent weapons for keeping us in bondage. And I can personally attest to the fact that Jesus has often asked me to give Him what He died for. It's a sober reminder that my unforgiveness is not for me to harbor or accommodate. He paid a great price -- He shed His precious blood, as required, so that I could receive forgiveness for my own sins. How can I even think of hanging on to unforgiveness against another? Take it from me, and all those who have received the peace of Christ at our table, when you are able to release that pain of unforgiveness to Jesus, a weight is lifted and you experience freedom from the chains that have bound you. We praise You, Lord Jesus! You give us life, and give it abundantly!

Ephesians 1:7    "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace."   

September 29, 2019

The Feast of Trumpets & The Kingdom of God

     The Feast of Trumpets begins this evening at sundown and continues until Tuesday, October 1st at sundown. As happens every year, I receive more revelation of the significance of the Lord's Feasts for the Body of Christ. Biblically, not much is mentioned about this Fall Feast. Levitcus 23:24-25 and Numbers 29:1 are the primary references.
     Historically, it was a blowing of trumpets as a reminder of the coming National Day of Cleansing. The Israelites performed daily animal sacrifices in which the animal's blood was brought into the Holy Place for sprinkling against the veil and upon the horns of the altar of incense. This served to symbolically transfer into the sanctuary the sins which had been paid for (by the death of the animal). There the sins remained [for a whole year] until the Day of Atonement, when the sanctuary was cleansed of the accumulated sins of the people.
      The blood of the sacrificial animals served as a substitute for the Sinner who offended God.  But this blood offered for repenting sinners defiled the sanctuary, because it was used to symbolically carry their sins into the sanctuary where they were kept until the Day of Atonement.  God’s Sanctuary needed to be CLEANSED on the Day of Atonement.  Imagine the smell of all that accumulated blood upon the altar for a full year!
      The Feast of Trumpets was a blowing of the shofar to remind the people that it was 10 days until the Day of Atonement. These 10 days make up the Jewish High Holy Days. The Jews believe that God writes every person’s words, deeds, and thoughts on their personal pages in His Book of Life, which He opens and examines on the Day of Atonement. If good deeds outnumbered sinful ones for the year, that person’s name will be inscribed in the book for another year. Here, you can see the temporary pardoning of sins.
      So between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement (known as the Ten Days of Repentance) people can repent of their sins and do good deeds to increase their chances of being inscribed in the Book of Life. The Feast of Trumpets is a call to examine your life because it will be judged. But here’s the interesting part from the Jewish perspective: the people never lost their conviction that their sins would be pardoned. They believed that the sacrifice of the blood would be a pardon for their sins.
     Now, let's look at the significance for us Kingdom citizens... 1 Thessalonians 4:16  says, For the Lord Himself will appear with the declaration of victory, the shout of an archangel, and the trumpet blast of God. He will descend from the heavenly realm and command those who are dead in Christ to rise first. So, some Feast of Trumpets [in the future] could be the day that the Lord comes back on the clouds!! 
     In Matthew 24:3, the Disciples ask Jesus, "What will be the sign of Your coming, and the end of the age"? 1 Thessalonians tells us He will come declaring victory, and archangels will be shouting and the shofars will be blown. But remember, there is a condition that must be met before He returns and it is revealed in Matthew 24:14 -- And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
     But the end of what? The end of the age and, subsequently, the end of Satan's kingdom on earth? Satan's rule will certainly end when Christ's Second Coming occurs. But I want you to also remember that Jesus said in John 12:31 that [with His first appearance], "Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world [Satan] be cast out." 
     So, how does this all tie into a Kingdom perspective on the Feast of Trumpets? Consider this:
The Feast of Trumpets and the ten days until the Day of Atonement could be the Bema Seat of Judgment as seen in 2 Corinthians 5:6-10: So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. For we live by believing and not by seeing. Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. 10 For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.
     But I want to make it very clear, the Bema Seat Judgment DOES NOT DETERMINE SALVATION! We cannot do anything to receive our Salvation. It is a gift based on our faith in Jesus as our Redeemer. These are Christians who have been "Born Again" and entered into the Kingdom of God on earth as His ambassadors (John 3:1-5). They will stand before the Lord at His return to hear what is written in His Book of Life; everything we have done in this life for the Kingdom of God as a redeemed child… it will be just like the Jews on their ancient Day of Atonement at the Temple.  We will hear every word said, every deed done, and Jesus will see what we have built for Him upon the foundation of our Salvation, which He paid for.
      The significance for us as Christians and Kingdom citizens -- people who are saved by grace through our faith in Jesus as our Savior, and entered into our purpose of taking back dominion of the earth for the Kingdom of God – is that we are to contemplate how we have served Him and have lived our lives as Christians. It is a time of remembering and of repentance; both in the sense of atonement for any sins we have committed, and a time for renewing our minds to all that Jesus has done -- delivering us into eternal life and re-establishing His Father's Kingdom on earth, along with our dominion (power and authority). BUT, just like the ancient Israelites, we live with the certainty that our sins are forgiven and we are pardoned… that the blood of Jesus covers our sin and we stand blameless. In addition, we look forward to the day that our King will reign on the earth and crush our Enemy under His feet.
     So, as we experience the Feast of Trumpets in 2019, let us be mindful of the coming day when our Lord returns. How glorious will that day be! Let us understand that we will stand before the Lord as He examines our lives. Have we built upon the Rock with gold, silver and precious stones—those things that last for eternity—or with wood, hay, and stubble which will be burned up? This is not a time of condemnation, but rather, a time of rewards. It's where we will receive crowns based on how faithfully we have served Him and the Kingdom of God. It will be a time of great rejoicing as we stand in the presence of our Creator and King. Let us spend these next 48 hours in solemn remembrance, humble gratitude, and expectant hope. Happy Rosh Hashanah!

Revelation 11:15    Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.”



September 25, 2019

When "The Church" Does Nothing, Someone Else Will Write Our Laws

     I wish I could take credit for the title of this blog post today, but this is actually a statement made by Dutch Sheets, a pastor and Executive Director of Christ for the Nations. And, oh, how prophetic is this statement becoming. It has never been made more clear than in the proceedings surrounding the AISD (Austin Independent School District) Board of Directors and their proposed curriculum for middle school students.
     Texas Values is a website whose purpose is to preserve and advance a culture of family values in the state of Texas through Biblical, Judeo-Christian principles by ensuring that Texas is a state in which religious liberty flourishes, families prosper, and every human life is valued. But when they exposed Austin ISD’s plans to adopt a radical new pro-abortion and pro-LGBT sex-education curriculum for grades 3rd-8th, it was time to take a stand.
     Texas Values reports that the curriculum, called "Get Real", was created by Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider and encourages students to engage in "role-play" scenarios that would then be graded by a teacher. One situation includes two girls who act out as lesbians having oral sex; another situation encourages students to pretend to be drunk. Here are some other proposed scenarios:
     Students engaged in this curriculum are discouraged from using words like "mom and dad" or "male and female". The curriculum promotes the use of "Gender Inclusive Language", saying "It is important to avoid terms which refer only to "male" or "female" identities as this can limit their understanding of gender into binaries and can exclude children who may not identify within these identities. For example, when discussing family members or adults they may have in their lives, try not to only use terms like "mom" or "dad". Try integrating terms like "parents" or "guardians" to include children whose parents might not fit into "traditional" concepts of family structures. Additionally, when discussing topics such as unsafe touch, try not to use gendered examples. Instead of saying something like, "If a man tries to touch you", use the gender neutral term "person", or even "someone you may know".  Can you believe this?!?!
     The proposed curriculum also suggests that students be given a sexual orientation vocabulary test on words like "pansexual", "bisexual", "asexual", and "homophobia". Texas Values also highlights some of their other concerns regarding this disturbing curriculum:
•  It teaches children how to enter into romantic relationships with adults
•  Promotes homosexuality and "gender fluidity" as early as elementary school
•  Teaches children that not having a crush in life means that their sexual orientation is questioning and indoctrinates them to choose a “sexual orientation” before they develop romantic attraction.
     I have to say that as alarming as this proposed curriculum is, it is equally disturbing that we have even come this far in perverting our culture. I can remember back in the 1990's listening to Dr. Laura Schlessinger warning on her radio program that the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) was trying to infiltrate our public libraries with their pedophile and pederasty agenda and activism. And as morally offensive as that organization is, I am also deeply distressed over the lack of safeguarding and protection offered by "The Church".
     Don't get me wrong, I am deeply proud of efforts by the Austin group calling themselves "Concerned Parents", along with Texas Values, and my Kingdom-of-God-minded friends at Luke 4:18 Ministries in Austin who showed up to protest these curriculum changes at the AISD hearing a couple of days ago. I praise the Lord for your faithfulness in representing the Kingdom of Heaven on earth! May He continue to strengthen your resolve as you battle against this "Beast System".
     But I have to ask ... how did it ever get this far? Where has The Church been? And why isn't the Church standing toe-to-toe with these concerned parents? Oh, yeah .... there's that nasty 501(c)3 designation, isn't there? They can't get involved with anything that is aligned with State Government, such as school curriculum, due to the supposed separation of church and state.
     So, can you see how serving two gods has allowed moral depravity to enter into our culture; and now our schools? But you see, Jesus never called for "The Church". He said He would build His "Ekklesia", which is supposed to be the righteous governing body of believers on the earth to promote and protect God's style of government -- His Heavenly government. But instead, The Church protects its own interests while our children are exposed to ever-expanding un-Godlike ideas and practices. How do you think our Father in Heaven feels about what our/His children are being introduced to? We will be held accountable!
     So, I just want to finish by expressing this simple prayer: Father, I pray that You will strengthen Your remnant who have answered the call to rise up to their responsibilities as Kingdom citizens and stand for the innocence of these precious children. We see the agenda of the Enemy and we oppose it in the spirit and in the Board Room. We bind the spirit of Baphomet who yearns to ensnare children in his depravity and wickedness. We decree and declare that Austin and the state of Texas will be the forerunners in defeating this evil curriculum across our nation, and that the heavenly host will join Your remnant in this important battle. Furthermore, we plead the blood of Jesus upon the Board meeting next month. And in the power and authority given to all believers by our Lord and Savior, we bind the lies, propaganda, and money sourcing behind this curriculum, and loose the power of the Holy Spirit to reveal Your Truth and Your strategy to defeat this evil scheme. Thank you, in advance, Father, that You go before us in this battle in the state of Texas. We are trusting You in this important matter. Amen!

Mark 9:42     But if anyone abuses one of these little ones who believe in Me, it would be better for him to have a heavy boulder tied around his neck and be hurled into the deepest sea than to face the punishment he deserves!   

September 22, 2019

A Timely Prophecy About Deliverance Ministry: Setting Ourselves Apart

     As I have shared in the past, God, the Father, placed Mark and I in a remote part of Texas, off the beaten path; in a place few people have even heard of. He spoke to Mark in a dream to sanctify ourselves and our property for Him [with very specific instructions]. And then we waited. Not really sure about what or how we were going to be called to serve the Lord, we spent that hiatus diving deep into the Word, which prepared us for greater revelations of just how big our God is and what He is capable of doing in the lives of those willing to be obedient to His calling. It opened up His supernatural nature to us; something we had never been introduced to in the Church denominations we had been a part of.
     Then His next step was to take us out of those Church buildings [who found it difficult to accept what had been revealed to us]. We didn't stop loving those who loved the Lord, but He wanted to do something different with us and we were obedient to listen to His voice. In His timing, we were led to the right people who could equip and train us to fulfill His purpose in our lives; to do Inner Healing and Deliverance; setting the captives free under the guidance and counsel of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. That has been our calling for the last five years. And it has been our desire to help equip and strengthen the Body of Christ in this ministry to help others receive their Freedom in Christ.
     It has been an exhilarating ride; as well as, at times, frustrating and disappointing -- I imagine the same emotions our Lord experienced as He did what He heard His Father tell Him to do. It has been exhilarating to see the Body of Christ be freed from the bondage of Satan's lies and to have an encounter with the risen Christ -- to see them embrace their freedom and their true identity in Him, and want to help someone else get their own freedom. It has been exhilarating to see Christians recognize that this is what the Kingdom of God on earth looks like, and that this is how we walk as Kingdom citizens.    
     But now I'm going to be honest and express the other side of the coin, as well. It is not that I feel I am qualified to judge; it's just that there have been moments when my spirit has been troubled by what I have observed. Because, you see, it has also been frustrating to present this glorious promise and potential for the Body to serve, and then to see it shot down by a religious spirit that denies its Scriptural veracity. Equally disturbing is to see someone get set free and embrace the opportunity to continue to "do the things that Christ did" [cast out demons, heal the sick, cleanse the lepers/spiritually sick, raise the dead, and spread the Gospel of the Kingdom], only to become more focused on boasting about their own experiences than being humbled to be used by God to advance His Kingdom. Then there have been those who are always seeking more --- not that the Lord doesn't want to grow and mature us, but I often see people shepherding their own lives, rather than becoming sheep who listen for their Shepherd's voice.
     Don't get me wrong ... it has never deterred Mark and I from continuing to listen to the Lord and Holy Spirit and do what They command. We have not taken our eyes off Them, nor become distracted by the paths of others. Steady and true [to our calling] as been our motto. If the Lord wants to take us to the next level, we trust Him to take us there. As we see this generation seeking after more -- more titles, more offices, more supernatural experiences, more giftings, more callings -- I'm not always sure it is happening under the covering of Christ. There seems to be a lot of self-promotion via the soul, rather than appointments by the grace of God through the Holy Spirit.
     It has been difficult to discern and watch, and rather than think it is our job to judge, we simply continue on our path, and choose to observe and celebrate the fruit of our fellow ministers. And until now, we have hesitated to even comment on this phenomenon. So, it was with great interest that I read an article by Jennifer LeClaire, a prophetic voice in our generation, and founder of Awakening House of Prayer. I am not declaring that she holds the patent on Truth. It's just that her article expressed exactly what my spirit was discerning. I'd like to share some of what she heard from the Lord (emphasis in bold is my own]:

     "I am raising up even now, in your midst, a new generation and a new breed of deliverance ministers. And they will be bold like lions. They will not shrink back nor will they be intimidated by the tactics of the enemy. For I am putting new mantles on my deliverance ministers who are willing to take the tough cases; who are willing to go where others will not venture... And they will cooperate one with another; they will become companies of deliverance ministers who will run together. They will share intelligence, and they will cooperate with one another for My glory. For there will not be a strong competition in the realm of deliverance as we see even now in the realm of the apostolic and in the realm of the prophetic, because these ministers have set themselves apart and they understand the need for clean hands and a pure heart.
     So, they will celebrate with one another and celebrate each other and they will relish over the victories over the kingdom of darkness together. And they will network together, not in the sense of building their own kingdom, but in order to share the stories of glory from My Spirit in the realm of deliverance... But also, know and recognize, that many will come and try to take this new mantle—this new time and season of deliverance ministers rising up—as a fad and a trend. And they will try to hook their wagon to the greater wagon and try to use the momentum of the tide and the flow that I am bringing to the body of Christ.
     But, they will not carry the authority because their heart is compromised. They will not carry the authority that the pure ones do because they are not in it for the right reasons, and they will end up like the sons of Sceva because I don’t know these ones—not the way that I need to know them—because they kept part of their heart back from Me. And watch as the false deliverers arise, needing deliverance themselves. And you will see and know that I will sweep through the body of Christ and I will do a new thing in deliverance ministry in this hour."

     I will tell you that I know exactly what she is talking about and it is what my spirit has been celebrating at the same time it has been mourning the ways the Enemy is trying to corrupt this new season. I say, "Yes", to the promise that there is a new generation and a new breed of bold ministers that aren't afraid to walk in their calling; those who are readying themselves to be a part of the remnant of God whom He will use to defeat the Enemy's long-held tactics.
     About a year ago, I heard Dan Duval, Executive Director of Bride Ministries, prophecy that we would see God's judgment on those in high positions who have joined with Evil to participate with sex trafficking and child porn. He stated that there were arrests coming and people would be going to jail. We have seen that in the headlines in recent months, and I believe it is only the tip of the iceberg. But he also warned that when this beast system comes crashing down, there will be tens and hundreds of thousands of victims that will be released upon our society, all desperately needing Inner Healing and Deliverance. We must be prepared for this! But who will be able to persevere and stand under the weight of such numbers?
     The false deliverers -- those who do it for all the wrong reasons -- will fall away, and I find great hope and strength in knowing that Christ "will sweep through the Body of Christ and do A NEW THING IN DELIVERANCE MINISTRY IN THIS HOUR!" We praise, You, Lord Jesus, for Your constant faithfulness and trustworthiness; for Your dedication to seeing the Kingdom of God, and the will of the Father, done on earth as it is in Heaven. You will provide all the strength, power, authority, wisdom, and knowledge that we will need. And thank you for giving us hope in this hour!

Nahum 1:7    The Lord is good, A strength and stronghold in the day of trouble; He knows [He recognizes, cares for, and understands fully] those who take refuge and trust in Him.


September 19, 2019

The Pain Called Suicide

     It is heartbreaking to read of the deaths by suicide of such young pastors like Jarrid Wilson and Andrew Stoecklein. Suicide is such a complex issue and it is hard for the Christian community to understand how such vibrant men of God could take their own lives.
     Both suffered from depression and anxiety, and it is too easy to label these spiritual roots as "mental illness" and "a disease". I want to be sure you understand that I do not speak as a medical or psychological expert. I have no degree that gives me secular authority to speak on the subject. I can only share my experience as a follower of Christ who continues my Lord's commission to heal the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom for the captives, and release the prisoners from their darkness.
     Yes, I believe that suicide is an attack upon the mind of people, both believers and non-believers. But through the ministry that we've been called to, my husband and I know that the mind is a battlefield and the Father of Lies can cause so much pain with his false whispers. And, yes, we've been instructed to keep our helmet of salvation tight upon our heads to protect our minds, but the Bible tells us that the Enemy is cunning; he is a murderer from the beginning, and that he comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. I lay suicide at the feet of the one who prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
     I will tell you that Mark and I have encountered suicide in our ministry and it nearly devastated us. In respect for this individual and his family, I will not mention his name or details, but I will tell you this... just like Jarrid Wilson and Andrew Stoecklein, this young man deeply loved the Lord. And as I sat with him during a session a couple of months before his death, I was overwhelmed with the spiritual sense of how much Jesus loved him! He was one of the most loving and beautiful human beings I've ever met, and I was only in his physical presence once. But he was believing a lie from the pit of hell.  His pain came from the fear that Jesus would be unable to forgive him, and that spirit of fear led to spirits of anxiety and stress, and perhaps even self-hatred. But I knew Jesus loved him! We tortured ourselves with thoughts that if we could only have been better at helping him to believe that Christ's love was for him, too, maybe he would still be here.
    But we quickly understood that the Enemy was lying to us, as well, and if he could get us to stop trying to set the captives free from his lies, then maybe we would stop our ministry. No way, Satan! If anything, we would pursue freedom for others even harder, in honor of our young friend. Because, I believe the Holy Spirit showed me that Jesus was right there with him, as the Enemy roared in his mind, and our Lord told him it was time for the torment to stop and it was okay to come home. I am not saying that Jesus agreed to his suicide. But I believe that Jesus was there with him when he capitulated to the Enemy's continued torment. And yes, I am one who does not believe that suicide leads to hell. Depression is a physical manifestation of spiritual attacks caused by fear, self-hatred and guilt. 
     One of the things that helped Mark and I to heal from the pain of suicide was the information we gleaned from Dr. Henry Wright's book, A More Excellent Way; Be In Health. Dr. Wright is the Senior Pastor of Hope of the Generations Church in Thomaston, Georgia. Dr. Wright has dedicated his life to God and helping others find the spiritual roots to disease so they can live in wholeness. He holds a doctorate of Christian Therapeutic Counseling from Chesapeake Bible College in Ridgely, Maryland. This is what he writes about Depression:

     "You need to know what the medical community is not telling you ... Your homeostasis (equilibrium in the body with respect to various functions and chemical composition of fluids and tissues) is controlled by the release of various hormones. You are very chemical in your creation. You are very nuclear, you are very sexual, you are very spiritual, but you are also very chemical. You have a number of organs and glands, particularly in the endocrine system, which secrete a particular chemical. It goes like this: a squirt here, a squirt there, here a squirt, there a squirt, squirt, squirt, everywhere a squirt, squirt.
     And your Enemy knows he can control the rate of your squirts by your thoughts and by your soul and by your spirit. Your Enemy knows things like bitterness and guilt and fear, if allowed to remain within your consciousness, can be used to control you. When your spiritual dynamics are compromised by the Enemy in a manner in which he can control your body and your chemistry, then he can put depression or any other psychological or biological malfunction on you when he feels like it.
    He can do this because depression, by definition, is no more and no less than a chemical imbalance in the body induced externally or internally. Your Enemy knows that if he can get you "unspiritual" and he can manipulate you in areas of lack of sanctification, then he can control your very thought process.
     And when Satan can control your thought process, he can also control your chemistry. When you have serotonin deficiencies, you do not feel good about yourself because there is a deficiency of the chemical God created in you to make you feel good chemically. For every thought you have, conscious or unconscious, there is a nerve transmission, a secretion of a hormone or neurotransmitter somewhere in your body to react to it.
     When you start listening to fear, you start listening to self-hatred, you start listening to guilt, you start listening to rejection, and then your body secretes chemicals in response to those spiritual attacks that are counterproductive to your peace. Your Enemy knows this very well. But you do not have to be a victim nor do you have to be ignorant nor do you have to die of a disease and go to heaven to find out why you died."

     This is just a portion of Dr. Wright's book and I would recommend that if you desire to know more about the spiritual roots of many physical illnesses, then this book is for you. Of course, I do not claim to know the personal issues that both of these well-loved young pastors faced. But I believe that Dr. Wright's discernment on the spiritual roots that lead to suicide have a lot of credibility. And I know that Jarrid Wilson's wife is absolutely correct when she says she knows her husband is in HIS Presence! Jesus's death on the Cross pays for all of our sins... all of our sins. So, my heart goes out to anyone who has suffered the pain of losing a loved one to suicide. We don't always get all the answers to what drives someone to that decision, but we can know that our Lord, full of compassion and mercy, cancels all our sins as He reconciles us to God, the Father. This is the beauty of Mercy triumphing over Judgment. 

Romans 8:38-39      So now I live with the confidence that there is nothing in the universe with the power to separate us from God’s love. I’m convinced that his love will triumph over death, life’s troubles,  fallen angels, or dark rulers in the heavens. There is nothing in our present or future circumstances that can weaken his love. There is no power above us or beneath us—no power that could ever be found in the universe that can distance us from God’s passionate love, which is lavished upon us through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One!