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

Showing posts with label God's Call On Your Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label God's Call On Your Life. Show all posts

December 14, 2023

Are The Saints Being Equipped?

This is a question that has long plagued me. And what does it mean to "be equipped"? When the Lord first spoke to my husband in a vision in the middle of the night, telling Him God wanted to sanctify us unto Himself for service to Him and His Kingdom, we didn't really know what that looked like. And I will be honest with you, He was silent for awhile after we accepted that momentous calling. So we spent the next few years doing a deep dive in our Bibles, and were amazed at what we didn't know about being called by the Lord and all that the Holy Spirit was beginning to open up and reveal to us.

The first thing that became apparent to us was that the modern Church isn't consistent in its understanding of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  Every denomination has its own doctrine, and from what I can tell, too few of them teach that we Christians should be seeking an experience with Him. But I will tell you that if Mark and I had stopped at just trying to understand the literal knowledge of the Bible, we would have missed out on so much of the spiritual knowledge that we needed to understand in order to step into our divine assignment. 

Ask any roomful of Christians about desiring the gifts of the Holy Spirit, or if we should be walking in the power of the Spirit [as Jesus did], and you will get opinions formed by those who have been wounded by the Church because they didn't appear to have a particular gift, and therefore don't desire to seek more of Him; to those who, while unknowledgable about the subject, are curious to know more; to those who flat out reject it; to those who have received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and are walking in His empowerment, healing the sick and setting the captives free from bondage.  

But I will also tell you that Jesus desires us ALL to have everything the Holy Spirit makes available. Sadly, I think Believers in this century have been deceived into believing that the knowledge and the power and the gifts of the Holy are only for a chosen few. But if Jesus wants us all to experience the Holy Spirit in His fullness, then it begs the question, Can anybody do what Jesus did, who definitely possessed the completeness of the Spirit? 

First of all, it is important that Christians realize Jesus was 30 years old before the Holy Spirit rested upon Him and He had the power to begin His ministry.  The Bible tells us that As Jesus grew, so did His wisdom and maturity. We must realize that the manifestation of the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives comes through our own process of gaining wisdom and maturing in our faith; of walking with God and experiencing an increase in His grace, and an increase in the comprehension of the Father’s plan for our life -- and all of that comes from the work of the Holy Spirit in us. We must recognize His presence in us! 

But I think most Christians are scared of the power of the Holy Spirit, primarily because they are unfamiliar with it. The Bible tells us there is a purpose for a five-fold ministry in the Body of Christ. By God's grace, some have been called to be apostles [an ambassador of the Gospel of the Kingdom]; some prophets [a proclaimer of a divine message]; some evangelists [a preacher of the Gospel of the Kingdom]; some pastors [providing tender care and vigilant oversight]; and some teachers [an instructor concerning the things of God and the duties of man]. But Ephesians 4:12 specifically says that these callings are to equip [nurture and prepare] all the holy believers to do their own works of ministry... which is at the heart of this post today. [NOTE: it is to be understood that the Gospel of the Kingdom includes, but is not limited to, the Gospel of Salvation. In fact, the Good News about Salvation is the first essential step in perceiving and entering into the Kingdom of God]. 

And here is the root of that concept of "equipping the saints": God's grace is the power of the Holy Spirit in us to do those things we have been called to... those things we could not do under our own power. And lest you misunderstand, we are all called to do the things that Jesus taught and commanded (defeating the works of the devil) and to walk in the manifestation [the enabling power] of the Holy Spirit to serve God in whatever gifts, achievement, or abilities He has designed for us to carry out. But we must be careful to discern that it is Jesus/God who calls us. It is not ourselves who decide what our calling is to be. Nor is it some committee of elders in a Church. And if a "prophet" reveals it, we must discern if he is a self-proclaimed prophet or appointed by Jesus through a personal revelation. I fear too many of the five-fold ministry have not heard directly from Jesus about their assignment, but rather, have been appointed by men. But this perception is for another post on another day. I want to get back to my original question ... Is the Church equipping the Saints for ministry? Are they nurturing them and preparing them to seek and receive the revelation from the Holy Spirit?

 So, now I ask you this ... how many of us can say that we have experienced any of this nurturing within the Body of Christ?  Jesus is our model, and everything He did was the product of the Holy Spirit working in Him to carry out His commission [ministry] from the Father. AND it is the function of those called by God's grace to equip us to receive that same Holy Spirit power to do our "own works of ministry." But how many of us received that equipping ... that nurturing and preparing ... that instruction and modeling of how to become more like Jesus? This question is pertinent because the Bible says it plainly and clearly ... in Hebrews 10:23-25, we are told to hold tightly to the promise given us [that the Holy Spirit would come to empower us and guide us]; and we should give considerate and deliberate thought to encouraging each other to love and do the good deeds Jesus modeled, not forsaking the gathering together to encourage each other to do these things as we wait for His return. The "gathering together" has been characterized as meeting in a Church building. But that is not the primary focus of this passage; it is the encouragement of each other to walk in the power [and assignment] that God sends us through the Holy Spirit who indwells us.

But here's the thing ... since I would venture to say that a large majority of us were never encouraged or equipped to walk in our own giftings and callings, we are uncomfortable with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit and it is easy for the Enemy to convince us that this concept is not from God.  When the power of the Holy Spirit to work in our lives through the gifts and counsel He gives us is never taught; or it is explained away; or it is not used; or it is buried under disappointing attempts that appeared to fail -- then it is easy to believe the lie that this empowerment is not for Today.  And then we end up with powerless Christians who miss out on encounters with God and fulfilling the purpose for which they were called.

So, again, I ask the question, Are the gifts and the experience of the power of the Holy Spirit only for a chosen few? The answer is No! It says in 1 Corinthians 12:6-7, "The same God distributes different kinds of powers [gifts] that accomplish different results through each believer's gift and ministry as He energizes and activates them. Each believer is given continuous revelation by the Holy Spirit to benefit not just himself but all". In light of this Biblical truth, I believe it is up to each believer to seek the Holy Spirit and receive that revelation. It also leads to the truth that it is God who does the calling, but it is the Holy Spirit who begins to reveal the knowledge we will need and provides the power to carry out our assignment.

This intimate experience with Jesus and the Father through the Holy Spirit is the only way to impact this world for the Kingdom of God.  Without experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit in one's life, it is my humble opinion that you can't truly know God and know His will for His Kingdom. You can read and study Scripture and recite all the verses from memory, but as my wise husband expressed, "It's like saying you know how to swim, when all you've done is read every book in the Library on swimming, but never actually experienced getting in the water and swimming".  And I liken it to reading every post on Facebook by a friend, and reading every text message she sends me, but if I'm never in her presence and experience her, can I say I really know her?  How can we be ambassadors for a Kingdom when we don't know the King and what He desires?

Finally, Can everybody do what Jesus did? The simple answer is Yes. But can we guarantee success every time? No. But what I can tell you from my own experience in walking in His power, is that the more you do it, the more confidence you get in your identity and the ability of the Holy Spirit to work through you.  In other words, people who pray more for healing, will see more healings happen. John Wimber, one of the founders of the "Power Evangelism" movement in the U.S. prayed for healing for 1,000 people before he saw anyone healed. And I have heard so many similar testimonies from those who walk in Jesus' signs, wonders, and miracles who say the same thing: Christians must make a commitment to press into what CAN happen and SHOULD be happening.

But it is also the responsibility of the Church leadership to seek and hear from the Holy Spirit on how to equip, nurture, and encourage the Body of Christ to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal their particular calling/ministry in the Kingdom of God and earth, and how to discern that they are hearing correctly. That is "equipping"! 

My final analysis of experiencing the Holy Spirit in the Christian life so that we might become equipped to serve God,  is that God brings each of us to a place of maturity that requires our perseverance through the discouragement. The Enemy likes nothing more than to send obstacles to walking in the power of the Holy Spirit [that is in us]. The Body of Christ must begin to overcome the lack of equipping and our long season of apathy and indifference [and yes, fear] towards embracing the power of Heaven within us. The Holy Spirit of God is the key to an effective Christian life of service. Without His ministry to our spirits, our Christian life will be powerless and fruitless for the Kingdom. And this life is all about serving the Kingdom on earth!

#equippingthesaints #seekingyourdivineappointment #whatisGodscallingonyourlife #jobofthefivefoldministry #poweroftheHolySpirit #answeringGodscall #jobofthechurch #belikeJesus #lackofchurchtraining

1 John 2:27    But the wonderful anointing you have received from God is so much greater than their deception and now lives in you. There’s no need for anyone to keep teaching you [the false doctrines of men]. His anointing teaches you all that you need to know, for it will lead you into truth, not a counterfeit. So just as the anointing has taught you, remain in Him.   

October 12, 2022

The Call Of A Disciple


If you profess to believe in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, how do you describe yourself to others? Do you identify as a Christian? And what does that name mean within your relationship with the Godhead? For awhile now, I have referred to myself as an obedient follower of Christ; with the confession that being "obedient" can sometimes be a struggle in my flesh. But is that the term Jesus uses to describe those who will ultimately believe and follow Him? It seems to me that, in the Bible, it is the term Disciple that best describes those who will champion His cause. [And a side note of interest, the word Christian is what the enemies of the new faith in Jesus called His followers].

I find it interesting that Jesus defines what makes a Disciple only a handful of times, and He is very specific as to what it entails. But there's no mistaking that if you choose to use that term yourself, you better understand the cost. And here is something that the Lord has recently revealed as I continue on my journey to get closer to Him ... I don't get to voluntarily decide that I am going to be a Disciple. He calls me. It is He that makes the decision, just as He did in the Bible when He approached Peter, John, Andrew, Matthew and each of His Disciples. He calls us individually according to His will, AND it is His choice, not ours. It is only if we are willing to pay the cost, that we can truly be counted as His Disciple. And that cost is steep; more expensive and costly than the majority of Christians can even contemplate. That is why not many qualify to be called His true Disciples. 

That might be an offensive statement to those who identify as Christians. But have you ever sat down and seriously read the description that Jesus gives of what it takes to be His Disciple? He lays it out pretty clearly in Luke 14:26-33: "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, He cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple... So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be My disciple." Who among us could easily say, "Yes, Lord, I'm willing to do that! I will despise and separate myself from all those I love, and who love me, and live a life totally dedicated to You! And I declare that I will sacrifice all I have and all I am, including my life, to follow You! I am willing to break ties with everyone and everything in my life to focus solely on serving You!"? Those are difficult promises to make! Yet, He demands exactly that if you are going to call yourself His Disciple. But how many of us loosely apply that term to ourselves?

I think Jesus was referring to most self-described Disciples in the middle of that passage [in verses 28-32] when He says ... "For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace." If we're honest, there aren't many of us who would answer Jesus's call to be His Disciple without hesitation, not taking the time to first measure what it's going to cost us. We would have to make sure we had all we needed to pull it off, because we sure wouldn't want to be embarrassed if we said, yes, and then realized we hadn't measured all it would cost and what we would need. And like the king in Jesus's example, we wouldn't want to agree to be His Disciple and then realize that the forces coming against us are going to be greater in power than we have the ability to defend ourselves; we only want to commit if we are assured of winning our battle. And like the rich young ruler in Mark 10, we might decide to wait until the lifestyle of a Disciple is more convenient for us.

You see, the call of Jesus to be His Disciple is costly, indeed. And I don't think there are many who understand that it is, first and foremost, a life lived in separation and isolation from the world and all that we hold dear in it ... our families; our status in society [and yes, in the Church]; our jobs and careers; our very lives. And here is an astounding realization that is new to my understanding of true Discipleship ... IF it is Jesus's will to call us, and IF we accept His will, it is because He determined that it would be so! There was no way that Peter, John, Andrew, Bartholomew, James [son of Zebedee], Jude, Matthew, James [son of Alpheus], Philip, Simon the Zealot, Thomas, or even Judas were going to be able to say No! Jesus had now come into the midst of their lives, and their relationships with their immediate world had been infringed upon; He now stood in opposition to all they clung to. And once we accept His call, all those relationships are forever and profoundly changed.

Our relationships are no longer the result of our direct contact with our loved ones or people in the world. Christ stands between us and them, and what we perceived before Him was just an illusion. Everything and everyone is now a redefined reality through Him. He separates us from the world and we must come to Him as an individual and alone, allowing Him to reconstitute and restore those relationships through His preeminence in our lives. And the good news is that while Jesus separates us from the world and it's natural relationships, He also establishes new fellowship between us and others. He makes a way for us to connect through Him; a way that began in solitude and separation, but now unites in shared love and purpose to glorify the One who called us. 

I wish I could truly imagine all the thoughts and emotions those first Disciples experienced as they answered Jesus's call. We know for certain that Peter was married, because Jesus healed his mother-in-law. And according to Clement, Bishop of Rome in the late 1st Century, "Peter and Philip begat children, and Philip gave his daughters in marriage". So the first Disciples sacrificed families and gave up their material things to live a life of solitude as they followed Christ to the Cross, and then took His message to the world. And lest we forget, Jesus made it clear that to be His Disciple meant that the persecution He suffered would come to them as well. Nothing has changed in this 21st Century. We don't get to escape the cost!  

Everything that has made our lives easier and more prosperous doesn't eliminate the price we will pay to be His Disciple. Are we willing to make the ultimate sacrifice? If we are called to be Disciples, it is a very real possibility. The persecution He endured came to every one of His faithful Twelve, accept for John. It will be a part of our walk with Him. too. But we can celebrate that He also told them that by their love for each other and the fruit they bore, they would be proven to be His Disciples. Oh, what a glorious calling! And I believe that it is Jesus's will that each one of us be His true Disciple! 

Be separate from the world, but united in Him! Cast off all the world has to offer and cling to what we have in our relationship with our Master! The road He has called us to is fraught with extraordinary change, and that frightens some people. But we are assured that everything we have surrendered will be returned to us a hundredfold! There is no greater honor than to be called as a true Disciple of Jesus... are you ready to answer Him without hesitation? The world needs you!

#discipleofjesus #discipleship #jesusdisciple #calledtobeadisciple

Luke 14:26-27   If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.


July 5, 2022

Obedience, Faith and Discipleship: The Road To Jesus


I have really been endeavoring to seek the wisdom and counsel of the Holy Spirit in how to walk closer with Jesus. I don't say that out of a desire to be more "religious" or to meet any kind of standard that the organized Church might put on me; but out of a heart that discerns what shape the world is in, and a longing to more fully follow Him in this season. To that end, I have been studying a particular passage in the Bible, as well as diving into a deeply powerful book, called The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Dietrich was the martyred Lutheran pastor who defied Hitler and the Third Reich while attempting to expose the mass murder of Jews in his homeland. He was hanged as a spy mere days before the Allies arrived in Germany to liberate the concentration camps, and although he did not live to see that evil empire defeated, what he wrote about following Jesus is especially poignant and instructive for today.

In light of all this history, here's where my head and my heart are ... What does it mean to be a true disciple of Jesus? How do we get there? What is the cost? First of all, we must all understand that what Jesus taught about discipleship over 2000 years ago still holds true today. We are not any more enlightened, or sophisticated in our faith than the first disciples who answered His call to follow Him. If anything, we are more involved in the world and our selfish ambitions. 

So, what is the significance of Obedience when considering Discipleship? Mark 2:14 gives us a clue ... As Jesus was passing by, He saw Levi (Matthew) the son of Alphaeus sitting in the tax collector’s booth, and He said to him, “Follow Me.” And he got up and followed Him. Notice that it was Jesus who initiated the call to Matthew. And the call was responded to immediately with obedience. There is no evidence that Matthew had any prior knowledge or relationship with Jesus, the Christ. And I want you to understand that Matthew didn't respond out of faith, because as of yet, he had none. 

It is as simple as this: Jesus called and Matthew responded out of obedience. There were no promises of wealth or status if Matthew followed Him. In fact, by being obedient, Matthew left his life of relative security for a life the world would categorize as absolute insecurity. Yet, in reality, there is no life more secure and safe than one spent in fellowship with God's Anointed One! We leave a life that is bound in rules, parameters and legalism for a life that has infinite possibilities when we bind ourselves to Jesus. Nothing else in this world matters but following Him! Matthew's story is a testimony of a man whom Jesus summoned, and the response was one of obedience; forsaking all else to follow Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 

Keep this in mind as we take a good look at Luke 9:57-62 and hearken unto the words of the Messiah... As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus told him, “Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.” He said to another, “Follow Me [accepting Me as Master and Teacher].” But he said, “Lord, allow me first to go and bury my father.” But He said to him, “Allow the [spiritually] dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and spread the news about the kingdom of God.” Another also said, “I will follow You, Lord [as Your disciple]; but first let me say goodbye to those at my home.” But Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back [to the things left behind] is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Notice that Jesus is addressing three different people here, all who profess to want to follow Him. How do our 21st Century responses compare to the 1st Century responses to the call of Jesus? First of all, the first man offers to follow Jesus without waiting to be called. But Jesus gives the man a warning -- He shows the would-be disciple that life following Him will not be easy nor comfortable. Even foxes and birds have places they call home, but His life is one of never knowing where He will sleep that night. In fact, Jesus knows He's on the way to the cross and suffering is His fate. Today, how many times do we see our fellow Christians declare that they are ready to be a follower of Christ, yet there is no evidence they've been called by Jesus nor that they have considered the cost or consequences of following Him in this fallen world? They know nothing of the suffering or what life with Him will require. Jesus's lesson to this would-be disciple is that no man can voluntarily call himself to such a destiny. To be genuine, the call must come from Jesus and the response must come from obedience alone; from a change of heart that instinctively knows the life to which they are being called.

Next we see Jesus actually initiating the call to the second candidate for discipleship who asks to be allowed to go and bury his father first before he answers Jesus's call on his life. This man is conscious of the Jewish laws that burial of the dead must be the same day. Yet there is no information that the man's father has even died yet. Perhaps he is like his 21st Century Christian counterparts whose hearts like the idea of following Jesus, but want to set their affairs in order before making that commitment. Jesus responds with a command to follow Him and to let the spiritually dead bury their own. Because this man is not ready to submit to the call on his life, there is a barrier erected against authentic obedience. If this man's father has truly died ... does he follow the Jewish law regarding burial, or does he answer the call of Jesus? There are times the call of Jesus will look as if it goes against every standard "the Church" has mandated for men. But the true disciple will know that nothing on earth can keep him from accepting that call because it is irresistable.

The third would-be disciple is somewhat like the first; he thinks he can set his own terms when it comes to following Jesus. He earnestly desires to follow Jesus but is beset by the rules of the world, which he feels must be met before he can be allowed to accept the offer. His response seems to indicate that he thinks he must satisfy the order in which his calling will be rendered legitimate. How many times do we Christians today submit to man's understanding about what our calling is to look like? Do we assign a list of objectives to meet before we can call ourselves a follower or disciple? Do we ascribe more value to the title than to our obedience? If we cannot simply surrender to Jesus's call on our life, then we may find ourselves in conflict with both Jesus's desire for us and our own sincere desire to be a disciple. If our response to the call on our life is, "Yes, Jesus, but first ....", then we are not going to act out of pure obedience. That response proves that one is not willing to pay the cost of genuine discipleship. 

As you can see, to follow Jesus in obedience means leaving the old behind for a new life that Jesus is calling you to; this is where faith becomes possible. If we refuse Jesus's invitation and stay in our safe and secure situation, then we never learn to believe out of faith. It is a scary place to be, but the rewards are so great! When we are able to respond out of obedience, then we have the opportunity to learn to trust in Jesus as we enter into true dependence [on] and in relationship with Him. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes so well, "Had Levi (Matthew) stayed at his customs booth, Jesus might have been his present help in trouble, but He would not have been the Lord of Levi's whole life. In other words, Levi would never have learned to believe. And Peter had to leave the ship and risk his life on the sea, in order to learn both his own weakness and the almighty power of his Lord". Both men left an old reality for a new, unknown one, and all for the sake of obeying the Voice that called them.

We must also discern that it is the obedience to the call on our lives that ultimately makes true faith possible, they are interdependent. Again, Bonhoeffer explains it much better than I can: "Faith is only real when there is obedience, never without it, and faith only becomes faith in the act of obedience". This is what I know ... we must take that definitive step [out of faith] into obedience, and as faith grows, we become "teachable" and the Lord's passion for mankind becomes ours. That includes both Christ's suffering and his rejection. His heart is for those He desperately loves and it is His willingness to suffer at the hands of men and to die despised and rejected by men which are at the center of His going to the Cross. Jesus makes it clear that to be a disciple of His, we must be willing to become like Him, in both the good and the bad of His incarnate existence. 

But have you thought about the fact that Jesus gives us a choice ... IF any man would come after Me....". We have the choice to become like Jesus; we have the choice whether we will follow Him in obedience and faith and deny ourselves in order to become His "disciples" by abiding in Him. But it comes at a cost; one that Jesus was willing to pay and if we are to become His disciples, then we must be willing to follow Him in all His ways. And that word "to abide" means to endure, persist, survive, conform to, to remain [in], and to suffer. So as we grow in obedience and faith and become teachable by the Spirit of the Lord, we grow into discipleship -- moving from being a pupil to being an imitator of Christ. True Discipleship is fearless; being willing to go where you cannot comprehend the road you will be asked to take; yet you are willing to go only where Jesus leads you. You are willing to pay the price of the irresistible call on your life to follow Your Master. My final word is this: True Discipleship is not for the fragile, the fearful, or the doubter. It is not an easy road ... but, oh, my friends, the rewards will be extraordinary when you meet Jesus face-to-face! Do you have what it takes, and are you willing to pay the cost to be called "Disciple" of the Living Christ?

John 15:8    My Father is glorified and honored by this, when you bear much fruit, and prove yourselves to be My [true] disciples.




June 14, 2022

God Has A Call On Your Life! Let Him Equip, Train and Enable You!

Once again, I have been finding myself in quiet times of reflection, recalling my life lived largely unprepared and unrehearsed. I can see all the paths God led me down -- even when I was unaware He was lighting the way. I can tell you that if left to myself, I would not have ended up as blessed as I've been. And so I am thankful that I was willing to let my spirit be shepherded. There were critical points along the way at which a crucial decision had to be made that would have far-reaching consequences. I am grateful that I didn't stumble too many times in making those decisions... and when I did stumble, that I humbly received the correction from God that put me back on His path.

And here is something that I believe with all my heart: God's purpose for each of us here on earth is written next to our names in the Book of Life. But that doesn't mean we always adhere to God's will for us, and I'll be honest, I can be stubborn and rebellious. So, I'm here to testify of the goodness of God in my life; to use both His rod and His staff to guide me. 

There have been many pivotal crossroads in my history, and the history of my marriage. but I think the one that has yielded the most benefit to us [and fruit for God], was when we took the leap of faith to trust a vision my husband had in which God told him that He was going to sanctify us and our property for service to Him. You need to understand that this was highly unusual for my husband, Mark. He is not one who has lots of dreams or visions. But when he began to earnestly study God's Word and seeking His Truth, God showed up. He revealed the steps He wanted Mark to take to consecrate and purify us and the land, so that we would be approved to serve His particular purpose in our lives. In return, He would lead us to that purpose as He trained us and equipped us to carry out our assignment. In reality, God was calling us into covenant with Him. From that day, it's been about believing in Him and His promise. 

I want to make it perfectly clear that the path we are on has been unconventional, to say the least, and there are Christians who will find it hard to agree with our testimony. You see, the Lord led us away from the "religion" of the Church building to show us His heart for the world and our place in it. Maybe you identify with us, and know that leaving the building does not mean you've left God. In fact, you've been shown how to impact the world for Him in ways that show the un-churched that He is real and worth getting to know ... really know! 

And maybe you remember those years in which you felt a prompting from the Holy Spirit to store a little extra food, or you spent the time to learn how to defend yourself in the case of a national crisis. Maybe you, too, were looked upon as "conspiracy nuts" or suffered those smirks and rolled eyes. You were told that your concerns were unnecessary because "nothing can happen; we're the United States of America and the greatest country on earth". Or, maybe like us, your Christian friends kept trying to convince you that the faithful didn't have to worry -- Jesus has already won the victory, and where was our trust in Him that He would never leave us nor abandon us? But let me ask you this ... are those same friends (both believers and non-believers) now coming to you and asking, "How do I ____?", or "Where can I get ____?" or "Do you think Jesus is coming back soon?" 

It's not that we were [or are] prophets or anyone special. It was just part of the journey that God was taking us on. In fact, my introspective husband recently told me that he has realized that God has been training us up for this very time. Our Father knows the beginning from the end, and knew that we would one day face the very real possibility of a collapsing economy, with a shrinking dollar, food shortages, loss of jobs, a pandemic, etc. etc. He knew the people who would be trainable and willing to consider preparing by learning to plant a garden, store a little extra food, learn how to can, and learn how to live without. And He knew who He could trust to minister to the souls and inner wounds of people who will be victims of the lies of the Enemy; people who are going to be hurting from oppression, depression, and torment as they see what is coming upon the earth. God needs His people to lead in all these areas; physically, emotionally and spiritually.

It is time for each of us to become who God made us to be in this time. We must lift all people up! Not just those who are members of our church denomination, but each and every person who needs the saving grace of Jesus Christ. And I'm not talking about grace as "unmerited favor". I'm suggesting we offer them Biblical grace -- the power of Jesus Christ in them to help them do what they can't do on their own. We are all going to need that power in the coming months and years. Yes, our hope is that we will offer Jesus's invitation to accept Salvation [and that it will be received]. But I have also heard the religious principle that it is the Church's responsibility to care for their own first, and then for others as they are able. But, that has never seemed to me to represent Jesus's heart. 

From everything I've read in the four Gospels, Jesus commanded His followers to help all in need. That is made clear in Matthew 25 when Jesus commends those who fed the hungry and gave drink to the thirsty; welcomed the stranger and clothed the naked; visited those in prison and met the needs of "the least of His brothers". I see no qualifier that any of these people had to be part of His inner circle or even have known Him. He simply tells us what He expects from us ... But love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; for your reward will be great (rich, abundant), and you will be sons of the Most High; because He Himself is kind and gracious and good to the ungrateful and the wicked (Luke 6:35).

With this admonition in mind, it is now time to put into practice all that God has equipped us with, trained us for, and enabled us to do. We must encourage all people, because what we see happening applies to all of us, both believer and non-believer alike. The Christian community is looking for God to rescue them because He's already won the victory, right? And those who don't know Jesus are going to come to the realization that what they've achieved in their comfortable lives is not giving them the security they thought it would provide. Both groups are going to need encouragement to rely on Him; only Him. They are going to need to hear from those of us who have experience and a history of being trained up by God for this very time in our history. 

We must be honest about the earthly difficulties we face, and share our wealth of practical knowledge and skills. If like me and my husband, your journey has been unconventional, you are uniquely positioned to lead in this unfamiliar and unprecedented time. But most importantly, we must approach our neighbors on this planet as servants of the Kingdom of God. We must share the fruit of God's training in our lives; how we've learned to endure, persevere, and trust in Jesus; and how our relationship with Jesus has taken on a depth that we never would have encountered if we had not decided to be "trainable" and open to submitting our will to His. There is so much fruit to be had! And it's found in a freedom from societal norms, a deeper understanding of our purpose on earth, a supernatural connection to the Holy Spirit and being aligned with our own spirit [which is seated in Heaven with Jesus] -- it has all led to an indescribable covenant with our Creator and a life that is full beyond anything the world would measure it by.

So, if my journey mirrors yours, then join me in being prepared to share it with all those who will need to know they can make it through whatever is coming our way. And if you are among my fellow human beings who are just not willing to stare reality in the face, let me give you hope ... you have been created to thrive in this season of your life. You are made in the image of God, and if you don't know Him, then I urge you to ask Him to come into your life. He's waiting to respond to your request. Your life will never be the same again, and I promise you that He is exactly what you are going to need as we face an uncertain future. Let my story become yours. I have overcome the fear and the worries that the world tried to convince me were mine, and I walk in the strength and power and security of belonging to the Lord -- no matter what comes! And it is my hopeful prayer that each of you can know the magnitude of His presence in your life. Let His fruit abound in you! Bless you and God Bless America!

Matthew 5:46-48  For if you love [only] those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that? And if you greet only your brothers [wishing them God’s blessing and peace], what more [than others] are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles [who do not know the Lord] do that? You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect.

March 29, 2022

Celebrating Both Our Unity AND Our Differences

If we, as the Body of Christ, are bound together by His love for us all, then we abide in perfect harmony; both together and individually. At least, that's how it should be, and certainly what God desires. And wrapped up in that harmony is the idea of unity. Yet I also know that God gives different callings, assignments and desires of the heart to those who are willing to co-partner and co-create with Him. That's an awful lot of opportunities for the devil to try to disrupt and corrupt our work in the world as followers of Jesus.

Throw in the fiery darts of religion, pride, and fear of man, and our mission as ambassadors of Heaven can go awry. I celebrate that "the Church" is beginning to come out of old paradigms that defined "the work" of the faithful as identical and as serving only each other. I also don't think God is primarily interested in getting church members more involved in what churches are doing inside the church buildings, but rather to encourage church members to get more involved in what God wants done out in the world. And He wants a lot done! And it all looks different! So, I also celebrate that He has made us all dissimilar and called us to different assignments and work for the purpose of transforming lives and the world.

It is my heart's desire that we could be unified in acknowledging and honoring the different work that we do. The worst thing to cause disharmony and disunity is to think that someone isn't executing their assignment the way we think they should! Or that they aren't doing enough, or performing their work often enough -- whatever words of conflict that define what the devil is whispering.

I don't pay too much attention to the "rules" or templates that men have declared as "about to happen", "are imminent, or "absolutely essential" to doing God's work. Instead, I try to always keep Jesus as my model, because He only did what He heard or saw the Father doing. So, I keep my spirit on alert, discerning when a prominent follower of Christ has heard from the Holy Spirit and is carrying out his or her instructions by informing the rest of us what the Lord desires done. And to me, this is the highest form of worship; to understand that we have been given particular gifts in order to undertake a particular calling; in order to fulfill a particular assignment that God needs accomplished; and in order to see His will done in the earth. That's how I want to glorify my Father in Heaven. 

It is our job to concentrate on what the Father and Jesus are revealing to us about our assignment, while encouraging others who are receiving their own assignments. We are not going to all look alike, nor should we. We must be diligent to not "eat our own"! There is much to be done here on earth to transform and restore this place to its original design and purpose! And I know that is sometimes difficult to do... our humanness gets in the way, and we judge and compare ourselves to each other; or we analyze how we would complete that assignment differently. But we need to remember the chastisement Peter received in John 21:21-22 ... So when Peter saw him [the man that Jesus loved], he asked Jesus, “Lord, and what about this man [what is in his future]?”  Jesus said to him, “If I want him to stay alive until I come [again], what is that to you? You follow Me!”  

Of course, this was in reference to the way that the disciples would be persecuted and executed for following Jesus, but the same principle holds true for ministry, no matter how it affects our calling. We are to follow Him! To stay focused on the One who calls us, and on fulfilling our assignment; using the gifts and the wisdom, skills, intelligence, and knowledge we are provided by our Creator to complete our task.

 I recently read a motto for a Kingdom entrepreneurial company [that seeks to help Kingdom disciples use the skills they've been given by God to succeed in the business world]. This motto works just as well in the scenario of staying focused on following Jesus in co-creating and partnering with God's purpose for our lives and assignments: "In the natural, your credentials may not be too impressive, but when God adds His super to your natural, you will be able to co-create with the Creator of the universe. God makes the wheat, man makes the cakes. God makes the trees, man makes the chairs". 

So, if we each have our own unique and individual skills, talents, gifts and assignments, then, as Jesus said, "What is it to you?", how someone else makes his assignment happen? Or even what his assignment is! We cannot possibly expect to accomplish all the things God has designed or planned! I just want to do my task well and please the Father. And someone else may be given the same [or similar] assignment, but the Holy Spirit can give them different knowledge and skills to effect a different outcome that the Father wants to expand upon. That is not for me to question or to ask, "What about that person? What do You have planned for them?"

So, as we see the Enemy attempting to sow disunity and disharmony among God's workers in the world, let us be cognizant of his strategies. Let us not be like the religious Pharisees, who demanded that Jesus follow their strict and numerous regulations and governing principles of how to follow YHWH. Rather, let us be like Jesus, who sought reconciliation between man and God; not religion. Let us love and encourage as He did. Let us celebrate the particular gifts and skills that each of the disciples brought to the table of managing the earth as the Father desired. Let us celebrate our individuality, even as we join together to respect and encourage our mutual purpose of edifying the world of the Gospels of Salvation and the Kingdom. Let us celebrate the various ways we innovate and disrupt the status quo of the world! We are different but we are unified in our purpose... to see thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven! Amen!

Romans 12:4-5    For just as in one [physical] body we have many parts, and these parts do not all have the same function or special use, so we, who are many, are [nevertheless just] one body in Christ, and individually [we are] parts one of another [mutually dependent on each other].

October 31, 2021

How Great Is Our God!


Recently, I saw a meme featuring a lunchroom with tables marked, Moses and Aaron, Noah, Abraham, David, Mary and Joseph, Elijah and Elisha, Paul and Timothy, The Disciples, Peter, and finally, Adam and Eve. The title of the meme asked the question, "If you have 30 minutes for lunch, who are you going to choose to sit with?" Think about it. That's a pretty intriguing question. And so were the answers. To be honest, it's hard to pick just one, but if I'm forced to just choose, I think I'd like to spend 30 minutes with Adam and Eve and find out what it was like when they had dominion on the earth and were in intimate relationship with God. What was it like to be a spirit being, walking with Him and having access to His Presence? What did the Father impart to them about His purpose for their lives; what was His original plan for mankind? And because they knew the rules of the Garden -- that on the very day that they disobeyed God and chose to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they would die (Genesis 2:17) -- what about Satan's deceptive invitation convinced them it was worth the cost?  

Obviously, 30 minutes isn't enough time to get all those answers. But that simple little meme has me meditating on greater questions and truths. To begin, I know that the Bible is all about God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit. But everything I want to know about my relationship with them is not spelled out within the 1545 pages of this Holy Book. As I mature into the fullness of the understanding of my faith, I am relying on Holy Spirit to reveal more and more about the significance of the Word for my life... and yours. I can only describe what I have discerned as both magnificent and deeply concerning.

It is magnificent because I have seen the extravagant love that both the Father and Jesus have for us, and am so thankful that the Holy Spirit is the conduit for re-establishing our kinship and connections with the Godhead. It is deeply concerning because while I believe I gain a greater understanding [every day] of just how big God is (in all His manifestations), I know that I only discern in part. But my spirit is recognizing [and worried] that far too many of my Christian brethren are unenlightened as to their true identity and are at risk in these tumultuous times to falling prey to the spirits of fear, deception, doubt and unbelief. I daresay we all are aware that Evil is on the rise. It cannot be denied. 

Yet I see faithful, God-loving Christians unable to face any concept of what the Bible tells us we should expect to see in these days. There seems to be a desire to "soften" or "ease" the message of the Bible to include only those verses that speak of revival, restoration, and our final victory. Make no mistake ... that message is true and glorious and worthy of repeating! But it is a disservice to our faith to turn a blind eye to what the Bible clearly says we will have to endure! And what does this diluting of the Word say about our ability to be effective and impactful in the world? How are we to encourage others in times of struggle, if we only want to concentrate on the joyful verses? And if we are willing to look at the portions of Scripture that are scary, it doesn't mean we are denying the goodness of God! Do Christians even understand who they are and their status in today's world?

I know I keep pounding home my message of Identity, but I think it is one of the most important aspects of our faith. Do you know that our God is so big that even while having foreknowledge [from the beginning of the world] that His creation would be tempted to go astray, He wrote in His Book of Life what His purpose was for each one of us? We each have a page [or a scroll, if you will] that details all He planned for us to accomplish in this short time on earth in this host body. But in His humility, God didn't force us to obey Him. He gave us free will to choose who we would follow, and that gift of freedom leads either to glorifying God or rebelling against Him.

But the foremost aspect of God's Nature is His love for us, and He demonstrates that by showing us that even though He knew we would lose our authority over the earth, and that these dark days would happen, He planned on sending Jesus to provide a way for us to reconcile with Him and restore our identity [made in His image] and our dominion [authority in the earth]. Yet, why don't Christians wake up to the truth of this amazing identity? Why do we still "play it safe" and make decisions based on fear? Why do we not step out in the knowledge that our power and authority to act in this world is greater than Satan's or any of his demonic partners? Why do we allow the Father of Lies to whisper that we are too small or too insignificant; that our position on the earth is inadequate to stand against his schemes to keep us in bondage to plagues, poverty, tyrants, or sin of any kind?

We must not cower from our responsibility to walk in that identity. If we know who we are and are unafraid to speak in bold truth, there is nothing the Enemy can bring against us that will defeat us. We must know that the love of God has transferred not only His power to us, but His authority to take rulership over all circumstances in our lives, in our culture, in the laws of this nation, and in our faith. We must not "soft sell" this power or the Truth that stands behind it. We must be bold in our declarations, even if we find ourselves on the fringes of "accepted" doctrine or Christian theology. God did not design and create us to be "comfortable" in our faith. We have a formidable Enemy and if we are to fulfill the reason for which we were created, we need to become willing to take risks to fulfill our destiny in the Kingdom of God on earth -- even unto death. We must not be afraid! For fear will inevitably lead to doubt and a desire for self-protection.

I was greatly disheartened to read an article on the Charisma News website titled, "How Halloween is a Catalytic Day for Reformation, Revival and Destiny." It exhorted readers to become free from a religious spirit that foments fear regarding this holiday, and rejoice in the rich history of all that has happened on this date in years past -- Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the Wittenberg Church door on October 31, 1517; and the Welsh Revival was begun on October 31, 1904 that resulted in 80,000 people choosing Christ as their Savior! I wholeheartedly applaud these accomplishments for the Christian faith, but my spirit was disappointed that the article didn't tell the whole truth. The fact that Halloween is the height of the Satanic Holy Days, and more children go missing during this week of demonic blood rituals than any other time of the year was never mentioned -- merely that Halloween has its roots in an obscure ancient Celtic pagan festival called Samhain. To obscure the depth of evil that is Halloween in today's world is to give Satan and his legions of followers full reign to carry out their heinous rituals. 

I will tell you, Satan loves it when Christians are unwilling to tell the full truth about the evil that happens, and they are satisfied to ignore the wicked ways of Satanists, while declaring that Halloween is "pregnant with potential" to become a powerful day of reformation and revival. Meanwhile, Christians wait in the hopes that revival will take place, and Satanists continue unopposed in their diabolical practices. Yes, we Christians have the potential to partner with God to redeem the world. And I praise our Great God every time I see His presence in the life of one who has chosen to receive His love and is willing to obey Him at all costs. Every victory is precious and God rejoices! But I pray that the Body of Christ will rise to their full potential and fulfill what is written on their page in God's Book of Life. In today's world, we don't have the luxury of playing it safe, or being comfortable in our faith. Satan is trying to use his old playbook of Death to scare us into submission and laying down our calling and inheritance. If we truly desire to mature into the fullness of Christ, we must be ready and willing to walk in His shoes and pay the ultimate price. Our Great God deserves nothing less.

Psalm 27:1     Yahweh is my revelation-light and the source of my salvation. I fear no one! I’ll never turn back and run for you, Yahweh, surround and protect me.


May 25, 2021

Why We Need To Understand The Difference Between Our Giftings and Callings!


I am increasingly encouraged to see the Body of Christ interested in discovering the purpose of their lives. Instead of being content to simply walk in their identity as "Christians", many believers [who make up the Body] are seeking to fulfill God's will in their lives. If discovered properly, we are able to discern our calling in life, and by utilizing our gifts from the Holy Spirit, we are able to accomplish that which God has ordained in our lives. Should be easy to understand, right? But I am discerning that many Christians don't have the correct perspective when trying to walk this out.

You see, our human nature [or the Church] often decides for us what our "calling" is to be. It might be the exciting and fruitful ministry of another that we would love to emulate; or a particular area of ministry that has always fascinated us, so we announce that God has shown us our calling. But that's not how it works. If we are truly redeemed [we know that we are bought and paid for by the blood of Christ, and we have surrendered and submitted our lives to His authority] then it is not our mind that determines our calling, but the mind of God which is received by the Holy Spirit in us. You see, Scripture tells us that we are God's workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us]. That is Ephesians 2:10 in the Amplified version.

Do you see how important it is that we understand the "spiritual mechanics" of how we come to receive our calling? It is God's mind -- not ours -- that has determined our "good works"; they were not only created for us by God, but they have been prepared for us before we were ever born. They are waiting for us to step into them, and we have been called to them --we have not called them to us! 

In today's world of internet technology, it is easy for our minds to think we identify with the image we see on a computer or phone screen, and for our soul [which is our mind, our free will to make decisions on our own, and our emotions] to determine that we have been shown what our calling is supposed to be. But that's not how it works! We know that, when we receive Christ's salvation, God's purpose is to conform us and grow us into the image of His Son. The Holy Spirit, as our guide and counselor, knows the purpose of the Father for our lives, and begins to work in us to help us come to the conscious awareness of what the Father has prepared for us as our calling. 

But just as we must decide to use our free will to accept Christ as our Savior, we must decide to answer "yes" to our calling. We must mature in our faith to be able to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit from our own voice. Our soul must yield to our spirit's connection to the Holy Spirit, and then we can truly realize what God has planned for us from the beginning of time. That is our part in the process, and when we are convicted in our spirit that we are correctly hearing the mind of God in our calling and purpose, then it brings so much glory to our Father! Remember, we are created to glorify Him to all His creation. It is 2 Peter 1:10 that tells us, Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. [I will come back to the qualities one must have to support our calling in a moment].

It is important, at this point, to understand that our calling is for the purpose of our work in the Kingdom of God. Salvation is a given at this point. John 3:1-5 makes it clear that we cannot enter the Kingdom [and therefore do work for the Kingdom] until you are "born again", which is Salvation. So, our calling is the beginning of our journey and purpose in the Kingdom of God here on earth. Once we've discerned [with our spirit] what God has called us to, the Holy Spirit will grow us in our calling and we will move from glory to glory as we serve God in His Kingdom. But, there is another important factor that we must consider: the gifts of the Holy Spirit to help us carry out our calling. 

Scripture makes it clear that God decided before we were born what He was going to call us to do in His Kingdom. We don't get to decide what our calling is; we only get to decide if we are going to say, "Yes, God". And God wants us to succeed at our calling and accomplish the works for the Kingdom because our obedience and our diligence in that calling glorifies Him. That's where the "qualities" mentioned in 2 Peter 1:10 come into play. The qualities that we must have to fulfill our calling are virtue [or moral righteousness], combined with Godly knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection and love. That's a pretty tall order for us as humans! If I had to rely on myself to have these qualities to fulfill my calling, it would be impossible. But we can't do it on our own, and God has given us His Holy Spirit to help us accomplish the work for God's Kingdom that has been ordained for us.

In fact, the Holy Spirit brings a variety of gifts to empower us to do what God has called us into. These gifts of the Holy Spirit are distributed by Him as we develop and grow into our calling, and as they are needed (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). The gifts are: 1) the power to speak a message of wisdom; 2) the power to express a word of knowledge and understanding; 3) the power of faith; 4) the power to heal; 5) the power to work miracles; 6) the power to prophecy; 7) the power to discern [or distinguish] different spirits; 8) the power to speak in different tongues [unknown languages]; and 9) the power to interpret those tongues. And I would like to emphasize, that according to the Bible, All these things [the gifts, the achievements, the abilities, the empowering] are brought about by one and the same [Holy] Spirit, distributing to each one individually just as He chooses. The power belongs to the Holy Spirit, not us.

Here is what the Body of Christ needs to understand ... Our calling is our ministry. But our ministry is not determined by the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The gifts support our calling and the Holy Spirit will apportion them as we need them so that we are capable [and competent] to remain steadfast in our calling. And here is where I see the failing of the modern Church. We, as Christians, don't really understand what "calling" means, nor do we understand what the gifts are or how they are to assist in our calling. Our churches often determine what an individual's calling is by having members take a "test", and the results will show leadership that your "calling" might be youth minister, Sunday School teacher, music, baptism team, pastoral ministry, or any number of "functions" that serve the church. But God has planned for greater works that benefit His Kingdom! Our calling should relate to His purpose for His Kingdom, not fit into an organized structure developed by man. 

The same kind of confusion accompanies our understanding of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We don't get to choose which gift we have. The Holy Spirit will provide the gift that is appropriate to advance our work for the Kingdom. We cannot and should not deny receiving any of the gifts at any time that the Holy Spirit determines we need them. And the gift is not our ministry. For instance, the gift to empower healing will be given at the moment you need it to further the purpose of God in a person's life. We should not then declare that we have a "healing ministry". We have the ability to utilize all the gifts in our calling, as determined by the Holy Spirit. We don't want to limit ourselves in our work for the Kingdom.

I have often spoken that the Lord brought a ministry of Inner Healing to my husband and myself, but I should more correctly say that our calling is to introduce the Kingdom of God in a person's life by bringing freedom in Christ and working with our Lord to deliver them out of their bondage so they can  find their own purpose and calling for the Kingdom. And we do explain that larger meaning when we explain our calling. And in the process of our calling, we have at various times, been empowered to express wisdom and knowledge and understanding; we have encouraged faith; we have laid hands, which imparted physical healing; we have seen miracles through our obedience; we have prophesied over a person's life; we have been able to discern different spirits of anger, lust, unworthiness, etc; we have spoken in tongues when prompted by the Holy Spirit. As of yet, we haven't been given the ability to interpret another tongue. But my point is that our calling is to bring people into the Kingdom of God, and we rely on the Holy Spirit to give us whatever gift we need [in the moment] to accomplish God's purpose for an individual's life.

As I mature in my calling, my hope is that I bring the Light of the Kingdom, which is Jesus, into people's lives so that they will say, "Yes, Lord" to the calling God has purposed for them. In our journey with the Lord, we are to grow more each day into His image. I want to encourage people to discover their calling, and manifest the gifts of the Spirit, as needed, so that the work of the Kingdom is done here on earth. Let us understand the will of God in each of our lives, and glorify His Name in all we do!

2 Peter 1:3     His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence ...


January 10, 2021

Hearing From The Lord

For the last few days, I have been observing the varied reactions of my fellow Americans in the aftermath of this circus called "post-election". Some have gleefully gloated, while others are wringing their hands in fits of anxiety and frustration. I have chosen to rest in the Lord and wait upon Him to reveal His purpose [and mine] in the whole saga. It's not that I don't take it seriously, or am unconcerned about the future -- believe me, I am fully aware of where we're at! It's just that I know we are in the midst of a spiritual war, and I am waiting and watching to see what my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is going to reveal to me about my part in it.

If I listened to the voices in the world, it would be easy to get depressed, angry, worried, or any of the other emotions that run that gamut. But that would be acting out of my soul. And believe me, through all the years of my faith, I have learned that I do so much better when I act out of my spirit. So, while I wait for my spirit to hear from the Lord, I will remember that He is the same One who spoke to Moses and through the prophets of old. And I will remember that He is the same God as yesterday, today, and who will be the same tomorrow. So, the one thing I will trust in is that He is present and active in the history we are making today.

And speaking of history ... I am hearing pundits across America reciting Thomas Paine's quote from his pamphlet Common Sense, in which he wrote, "These are the times that try men's souls...". That is certainly true today! But I approach it from a different angle than this famous [and controversial] American patriot. Paine openly advocated for American independence and would later promote the French Revolution. While he argued that God existed, He was a Deist, a theological position that rejected revelation [from God], felt that the Bible was largely myth, and that miracles were impossible. Fundamentally, he believed that God was a remote Being, having no interest in participating in the lives of men. My beliefs are truly opposite from that opinion! Furthermore, in his two-volume treatise on Religion, called The Age of Reason, Paine criticized organized religion and Christian theology [in particular], in favor of man's ability to reason and to apply scientific inquiry. 

Hmmm, sounds familiar, doesn't it? It is still a battle between men who put their faith in the Most High God, trusting Him to work His plan and purpose in every situation [even this one] and in every life ... and men who put their faith in men. Each one of us must decide where our faith will lie. It truly is a time that will try your soul [your mind, your free will to make decisions, and your emotions]. But it is also a time to determine what your spirit is hearing from the One who created you. What is He telling you that your purpose is during this tumultuous time? I can only speak for myself, and if you have followed me for any length of time, then you know that I believe we all have the capability to use all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, because He possesses them all, and He will distribute the ones you need [at the time you need them] as instructed by the Lord.

The purpose for some of you may be to be evangelicals, bringing people to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. For others, your purpose might be to be apostolic; to be leaders in organizing and administrating the Body of Christ. It was made clear to me several years ago that I was to preach, teach, and write for the Lord. This blog has been part of that assignment. But I also knew there might come a time when I would hear that this blog had served its purpose. I honestly don't know if that time has come. That is part of what I am waiting to hear. I do know that I am to concentrate on the completion of my second book in the series Through A Kingdom Lens. I am discerning that the time is short to reach those who still don't know Jesus Christ, and my ability to reach the millions who find their identity through social media and the nightly news is going to become more difficult in the near future. 

So, I will continue to write here to encourage the Body of Christ and support the Ekklesia on earth, but my concentration for the immediate future needs to be on finishing this second book, and reaching the lost and unfulfilled. And I know that as soon as that book is finished, I am to begin the third and final book in the Through a Kingdom Lens series, which is encouraging the Ekklesia to become a part of this spiritual war. That's as far as the Lord has taken me. Why the Lord had me write the second book first, I do not know... but I never question His timeline or schedule. Perhaps Through A Kingdom Lens: Rediscovering What The Church Has Lost was preparing us for this exact moment in time and our history. So, I choose to "lean not on my own understanding, but acknowledge Him in all my ways, and I know He will make my path straight".

So, for now, keep checking back on this blog ... I have not been told to move on just yet, so it just may mean more days between posts. And I know He will prompt me when there is something I am to share with you. And I want you to know that I am extremely grateful for the small contingent of loyal readers, and you will all be in my prayers. We have a spiritual connection that cannot be broken in this world. For now, this is just an adjustment that I will be making to the frequency of my posts. And I promise to keep you updated with the progress of the books, as well as the revelations I receive from the Lord. And I certainly welcome your comments and what you are hearing from the Lord, as well. Thank you, and God bless each of you and your families.

Romans 15:5-6    Now may the God who gives endurance and who supplies encouragement grant that you be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify and praise and honor the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.




September 18, 2020

A Word From The Lord: Be Strong and Confident and Courageous!


Those words were actually spoken to Joshua by the Lord before he was commanded to cross the Jordan River and take possession of the land given to the Israelites .... Be strong and confident and courageous! Joshua receives the promise that God will not fail or abandon him. And remember, Joshua had spied out the land, so he knew what was waiting for him. And I believe there is a lesson for all of us who know the magnitude of what is facing us as a nation and as individuals. As Americans in the 21st Century, we see the potential for chaos, lawlessness, and anarchy that lies before us; and we have never been here before. As Christians, we discern the spiritual battles and judgment that are looming over us; and again, we have never been here before. Our physical and spiritual lives have been pretty undemanding and painless until now ... and the rapid changes have left us stunned.

And I want to primarily speak to my fellow Believers today, although what I have to say applies to secular friends, too. I know that many of you struggle with the idea of "prepping" or "training" for a future event that would require us to store up supplies or to defend ourselves. We modern Christians have adopted a belief system that tells us that we are to rely on the Lord for all our needs. While this precept is true in many aspects, it does not represent the fullness of our relationship with God. Yes, God does promise us protection and deliverance, but it may not always look like how we want it to. 

Joshua was a wise military leader for the nation of Israel; wise enough to know that the battle was the Lord's and it was his job to trust the battle plan he was given, using the provisions he had been given, the training he had received, and the men who would follow his orders. He didn't always know how the Lord planned on defeating His enemies; only that he would be obedient in using all the resources at his disposal. We must act in the same faith and wisdom! 

If you are awake at all as a Christian, then you intuitively know that a significant battle with the kingdom of darkness is at our doorstep. And I am discerning that many Christians are struggling with their own concepts of how they want that battle to play out. They desperately want to rely on the old paradigms and traditions of the Church that tell us that 1) we will either be raptured out of here before the battle begins, or 2) as long as we live a righteous life, Christians won't suffer anything consequential -- God will protect us and provide all we need. But God and Jesus have never promised that! In fact, in Isaiah 43:1-3, God tells us that even when the battle is His, He will sometimes lead us through fire or the waters. There is no promise that those closest to Him will escape trials or testing! 

For those who want to dismiss the Old Testament and cling to the New Testament covenant and promise of the Cross, I would remind you that the purpose of Jesus's death and resurrection was to offer us Eternal Life through faith in Him. It delivered us from Eternal Death, but did not promise us we would not suffer from the ensuing battles between the Kingdom of God and Satan's evil kingdom. REMEMBER: Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:45 that God "makes His sun rise on those who are evil and on those who are good, and makes the rain fall on the righteous [those who are morally upright] and the unrighteous [the unrepentant, those who oppose Him]." There are no promises that we will escape Satan's wickedness or God's judgment upon the nations, even if we are a righteous individual. As an individual citizen of a nation that has sinned mightily against God, I understand that I may be subjected to the righteous judgment upon this nation. I rest in the knowledge and the promise that when that judgment comes, I know He will separate the good from the evil, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

So, I want to make the point that the battle is in both the physical and the spiritual. Yes, we are to pray continually and fervently as the Ekklesia; acting as the representatives of God's heavenly form of government, bringing it to the earth. We must put on our spiritual armor and go to war in the second heaven against spiritual forces of wickedness. There we will battle [in our spirits] against the army of Satan who seeks to infiltrate this physical realm with his demons and powers of darkness to keep us from regaining our Genesis 1:26 dominion over the earth. And besides these supernatural, spiritual agents of the devil, we also must battle with physical opponents. We are seeing that in our halls of Congress and on the streets of our cities!

Again, God does not say that we will not suffer in this physical battle. Just as He tells Joshua to inform his commanders to "prepare your provisions", we need to discern that it is our responsibility to increase any needed food and medical supplies for a potential crisis. And just as Joshua receives instructions from the Lord that his men "shall go across [the river] before their brothers (the other tribes) armed for battle, all your brave warriors, and they shall help them [conquer and take possession of the land]", so must we be prepared to battle in the physical. 

But we must not become obsessed or unbalanced in either the physical or the spiritual. We must pray for wisdom and be willing to evaluate and re-evaluate every situation in which we find ourselves.  We must  use our spiritual gifts and talents, and our physical provisions and training to determine the circumstances and forces we are facing. Then praying in the spirit, we must seek God's battle plan; we must be prepared to act according to His will, whether He intervenes or sends us to the front lines. 

We must come to the understanding that God loves to work through His people; He wants us intimately involved in both the physical and spiritual aspects of this world. That's what Moses and Joshua walked in. It is what the Disciples and the Early Church walked in. That, too, is how we are to walk out our faith. So, I have some serious questions for you in this hour of our history, both as Americans and Christians: Are you waiting for God to orchestrate a miracle that will insulate or shield you from any scary scenario in the future? Or are you willing to be an ordinary instrument of the Lord to do extraordinary things for His Kingdom? Are you focused [in distress] on the problems we face, or are you focused on the Lord of the battle?

I remind you that as Joshua prepared to do battle for the Lord, the Bible says that the inhabitants of the land were terror stricken (Joshua 2); their hearts melted in despair and fear. We must fight against this mindset because it only leads to doubt and unbelief. We must believe that God's will is for us to be protected and succeed in our battles, and that His Grace [which is His power in us to do what we cannot do on our own] always accompanies us to help us carry out our calling and purpose, no matter the circumstances.  

So whether our future holds defeat or victory over the physical and spiritual forces aligning against us, we must be prepared and trained for war; with our provisions in place and our armor on. We must rest in the knowledge of how precious we are to the Lord; the tremendous price He paid for us is our inheritance. When the waters and the fires of testing come, we will not be overwhelmed. We will endure and persevere. The Lord will not fail us or abandon us. And above all else, we must be encouraged by the knowledge that as we pass through these trials, we come ever closer to seeing God's plan fulfilled. And I can think of nothing more valuable in this life than knowing I played my part and accomplished my assignment. Let us overcome old paradigms of how this is going to play out, and let us walk in strength and confidence and courage!

Psalm 66:10-12    But you, God, have tested us—you’ve refined us like silver, trapped us in a net, laid burdens on our backs, let other people run right over our heads—we’ve been through fire and water. But you brought us out to freedom!