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

September 6, 2020

Are You Ready To Become Like Deborah?

I am writing this blog for all women, who like me, do not want to sit on the sidelines while our country and this world goes down the tubes. It doesn't matter whether you are a Republican or a Democrat or Libertarian; whether you are a Christian or not; whether you are political or not. I am writing for all the women whose instincts tell them something is wrong....terribly wrong....and are ready to throw off the shackles of fear and claim their personal power; to overcome the paralysis of panic and dread, and take command of their lives and their circumstances.

I used to be comfortable and contented in my life. My husband and I had built a nice little home on a few acres in the country. Our small business was successful, and I thought everything was going to be smooth sailing from then on out. But you know that old saying, "If you want to make God laugh, just tell him your plans?" Well, God obviously knew a whole lot more than me what was coming down the pike!

It seemed like overnight, all sense of security in my country, my government and my future went up in smoke. My husband and I both knew something was really wrong. This country was headed down the wrong track, and the conductor was taking us there as fast as he could!

We have felt heavenly promptings to re-evaluate everything in our lives....to prepare for economic hard times and radical changes in our society. And [to be honest] it has scared the crap out of me! But instead of giving in to the suffocating fear, I have made a choice to face it. I will not give up that easily in all I believe in!

Everything you just read is what I wrote on December 5, 2011 -- my first blog post. Little did I know that everything I felt and sensed nine years ago would be compounded exponentially until we find ourselves in 2020, at this turning point in our lives. And so, I find myself writing again to encourage women (and men) to overcome the "paralysis of panic and dread"; the loss of "security in our country, our government and our future"; and "the economic hard times and radical changes in our society". 

I will tell you that two things have changed for me in that last paragraph since 2011 .... first, I am no longer scared. The Lord has strengthened and fortified my spirit to face what is coming. And second, I not only will not give up easily, I absolutely will not surrender to evil forces. I can see clearly how my beloved nation has become disobedient, rebellious, and idolatrous. I see how we substituted God's moral laws for "that which has seemed right in our own eyes". That abandonment of God's righteous ways has led to corruption from within and opened doors for oppression from without. I see our spiritual temperature growing colder and if we do not humbly submit ourselves to the authority of God as a nation, we are subject to the same bondage and captivity that His favored nations of Israel and Judah suffered.

But don't get discouraged! God has shown us throughout His history in the Bible that He raises up the most unlikely heroes to carry out His will. One such story is that of the prophetess and judge Deborah. She lived in a time of chaos in Israel after the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin, king of Canaan. Armed bands preyed on Israelite peasants. Travelers and caravans, the lifeblood of her region, were too frightened to take the main roads. Much like today, this was a time that called for strong leadership. Deborah answered the call of the Lord on her life and led an army against Israel's oppressor; and under her leadership, Canaan's army under Sisera was defeated.

I believe that just as in that chaotic time in the Bible, we as women in the 21st Century can hear from the Lord and affect transformation and change in our circumstances. Now is the time for us to step forward in courage to lead our families in obedience and wisdom. I often tell mothers of young children that they must become like Sarah Connor from the movie series The Terminator. If you will recall, Sarah finds herself in the unlikely situation of becoming a hero responsible for saving the world from a diabolical plot to destroy humanity. Like Sarah, women today must develop strength and resiliency in order to prepare our children for a future that could look drastically different than any of us have ever expected. But unlike the movie character Sarah Connor, and like the Biblical character, Deborah, we have the wisdom and knowledge of the Lord to lead us into our victory. 

I want to encourage you to become like Deborah... to support the people of God; to encourage them to know and understand their power and authority in the Kingdom, and then to act on it. Your belief and strong faith in God will earn the trust and respect of people in your sphere of influence and you will be able to motivate them to walk in their purpose. Be direct in your application of God's Word, and do not back down from efforts to modify or revise the power of the Word. Ask the Lord what His agenda is for this time, and then teach others His plan ... not yours, nor theirs, and not ungodly leaders. Be confident and never hesitate to carry out the assignment or responsibility He has given you. And of course, give all praise and glory to God, for any victory we have over this demonic threat against our country is His. 

In this hour of peril in our nation, there is not one person who is not effected. It is time you know what your core values are and what spiritual gifts you possess, and then to put them into action according to the will of God in your life. Jehovah Nissi knew who would be obedient to follow His lead into battle for the nation of Israel. He knew whom He could trust to walk in integrity, honesty, compassion, and dependability. And He knew who would be fearless as they went into that critical battle. 

I believe we face such a crisis today. And I also believe God is calling a multitude of Deborahs to rise and step into those leadership roles. We do not come in a competitive stance against men, but we work with them as Deborah did with Barak, a military commander of Israel. Like Deborah, we can become women who are shining examples of faith in our God when things look bleak. Faith is sorely needed today and service to God can be the last thing on people's minds as they struggle to put food on the table and keep a roof over their family's heads. But Deborah believed the Lord and urged her countrymen to serve the Lord who went before them in victory. 

I choose to steadfastly and persistently trust in the Lord to lead us to that victory, no matter what it might look like. Yet, I am not unaware that this nation deserves God's righteous judgment. And if it is judgment that comes, then Deborahs will be needed all the more. Let us ask the Lord for an anointing of the Deborah spirit in our lives as we go forth declaring His sovereignty over Evil, and the power of Heaven to assist us -- just as from heaven the stars fought; they fought in their courses against Sisera, the commander of the Canaanite army" (Judges 5:20). And when we have fought this battle and won, let our nation have rest, just as the nation of Israel experienced. 

I finished that long-ago blog post with this appeal ... As American women, we have overcome much in our history, and it is not in our DNA to lay down and quit. So no matter what stage you are at in coming to terms with our country's decline, together we can help each other be prepared for what is coming. Together we can become an army of Deborahs and lift our nation above the hopeless and pessimistic forecast that is staring us in the face. Let us join together and walk as women of the Lord who can be trusted to carry out His plans to transform this nation; to battle together to see the rebirth of this nation in His Light and His Glory!

Judges 5:31   So let all Your enemies perish, O Lord; But let those who love Him be like the rising of the sun in its might.

July 19, 2020

The Cost of Discipleship

      If you have followed this blog for any length of time, then you know the story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. If not, then I hope you will find the courage and wisdom of this Pastor to be a beacon of hope and encouragement during this season of our nation's history. Let me share a little bit about him...
      I know we are not to have idols in this world, or lift any man above another.  But there are times when we must look to the example of righteous men, in order to know the path we are to follow. My friends, that time is now.  Our culture and nation are rapidly disintegrating into immoral chaos. Destruction begets more destruction; death begets more death. We see the moral fabric of this nation being stretched in so many directions that we wonder how long before it's ripped to shreds? People are listening to false prophets and teachers who promote lawlessness in the name of justice. How far are the citizens of this nation willing to go to achieve their idea of "social equality"? Do we, as a nation, still revere our individual freedoms, or will we blindly follow the voices of deception? Are we, as Christians, willing to stand for uncompromising Christian principles?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
     Eighty years ago, a pastor in Nazi Germany asked himself those same questions and took his stand. Dietrich Bonhoeffer acted responsibly in his faith during one of the most evil times in history. He was a deeply religious Lutheran pastor and he found himself in a dilemma ... when informed of the evil that was Adolph Hitler, and the plan to exterminate the Jews, he had to make a decision ... how far is "too far" in order to stop that evil?  When confronted with something so offensive to God, is there ever an excuse for Christians to compromise, capitulate, or raise the white flag?
     Bonhoeffer didn't think so, and it cost him his life.  At the beginning of the Nazi regime, many members of the [Protestant] churches did not reject National Socialism on principle.  Suffering from the effects of their loss in WWI, many Germans were drawn to the German National People's Party and their idealization of the past.
     But a small group of pastors, including Bonhoeffer, became unified in what would be called "the Confessing Church" and arose in opposition to government-sponsored efforts to nazify the German Protestant church. They objected to the Nazis on moral and theological principles: they could not reconcile the Nazi state's claim to total control over the person with the ultimate sovereignty that, in Christian orthodoxy, must belong only to God.  It was their stated objective to resist state manipulation of religious affairs. They tried to stay out of the political fray, and hoped to convince the Church to recognize the contradictions of being a Christian and a Nazi.
     But as the evil that was Hitler and his regime grew, pastors could no longer stay on the sidelines.  They had to choose between inaction, which was, in essence, condoning the atrocities towards the Jews; or becoming involved with plots to stop the madness -- even if it meant being part of assassination attempts on the Evil Mastermind, himself.  Many chose the safe route that included tolerance and turning a blind eye. A few did not; with some being sent to concentration camps, where they survived the war -- or in the case of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, whose fate was to be hanged for his opposition to Hitler and his obedience to his faith.
     I can only imagine the spiritual struggle involved in making that kind of decision. As a Christian, willingly killing someone is never something that we want to consider. But as our Second Amendment rights are threatened, and as the soaring gun sales across this nation exhibit, people are sensing that evil is on the rise and there may come a time when they must make a decision to defend their own life by taking the life of another. God forbid! Dietrich Bonhoeffer faced that decision on behalf of his entire nation. 
     Therefore, I have not been surprised at the efforts of the anti-Christ spirit in unbelievers to tear down the memory of martyrs like Bonhoeffer.  They must not let us see or hear the writings of such a man who struggled with how to respond within his religious principles (and God's will) to a rapidly deteriorating national culture -- and who was not only unafraid to live for what he believed in, but was not afraid to die for it.
     I can only imagine the struggle within his spirit as he confronted the likely consequences of his actions. One day he would have to stand before God and explain how, as a Christian, he could be complicit in murdering Hitler.  He finally decided that he would have to rely on God's mercy to understand that he had to stop Evil at any cost, even if it meant he lost his soul. But it wasn't just his own soul he was concerned about.  Writing to his co-conspirators in 1943, he said,  "The ultimate question for a responsible person to ask is not how he is to extricate himself heroically from the affair, but how the coming generation is to live."
     In his masterful book, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, author Eric Metaxas tells us of the challenges Bonhoeffer faced in reconciling his faith, his moral ethics, and the politics of the day, which were quite diabolical in Nazi Germany. How does a committed Christian deal with the prospect of conflict with the Enemy on the battlefield? 
Desmond Doss
     In comparison to Bonhoeffer's story, I'd like to present Desmond Doss, an Army Medic and real-life hero of WWII, who vowed to serve both his country and his God, no matter the cost.  As he told a military tribunal who tried to court martial him for his refusal to carry a weapon, "With the world so set on tearing itself apart, it don't [sic] seem like such a bad thing to me to put a little bit of it back together." Doss determined that he would serve his fellow man by putting him first; willing to endanger, and even sacrifice, his own life in order to save another's.  He would save lives, rather than take them, choosing to live out, Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
     Bonhoeffer, however, was faced with how to stop the demonic actions of Adolph Hitler, the anti-Christ of his times. Like Doss, Dietrich knew the 6th Commandment, Thou shalt not kill.  But he faced the moral dilemma of doing nothing to stop the murder of 6,000,000 Jews.  He finally came to the conclusion that he trusted God to understand his motives in becoming involved in an assassination attempt on Hitler. To Bonhoeffer, it had come down to God's admonition to Hate evil, love good, And establish justice in the gate! Both men exercised their freedom of conscience, and they took their accountability to God not only seriously, but solemnly.
     So, are we all capable of being as heroic as Doss or Bonhoeffer?  We have yet to find ourselves in the midst of a gruesome battlefield, although our streets are rapidly becoming a war zone. One thing is clear -- as Christians, we are all in a battle with our culture, and the increasingly compromising positions of our Churches and governmental officials. And like Doss and Bonhoeffer, we must decide how we are to act, as we find ourselves inside the collective drama.  While we are in this world, we are not of it. So, we cannot, and must not, separate ourselves from the world. But it is going to take courage to be and maintain the image of Christ, while all around us, the darkest impulses of the human will try to overwhelm and defeat us.
     If we are true to our faith, we know where our citizenship lies. We are the sons and daughters of the King and citizens of the Kingdom of God. In fact, we are already there with Jesus, in spirit.  We just have to conform our mind, emotions, will, and these temporary bodies to the heavenly conviction of our spirit, and then let our actions show who we are.  It is not enough to pray... although we should not abandon sending our petitions heavenward.  We must be totally committed to our Biblical morals and completely loyal to God; acting on our faith, not just believing.
     And it will cost us. Discipleship in the Name of Jesus will not be a road easily traveled.  We can look at the lives of all the Apostles and see what it cost them. And in the cases of Doss and Bonhoeffer, we can see how loyalty to their God resulted in very different outcomes -- one's actions led to a hero's medal; the other to execution by hanging. I know that there will be those who say that Bonhoeffer's path was wrong and can never be accepted nor forgiven by God.  But my thoughts turn to King David, and his actions in having Uriah killed so that he could lie with Bathsheba.
     As theologian and Hebrew scholar, Michael Heiser, so eloquently writes in his fantastic book, The Unseen Realm, "King David was guilty of the worst of crimes against humanity in the incident with Bathsheba and Uriah the Hittite.  He was clearly in violation of the law and deserving of death.  Nevertheless, his belief in who Yahweh was among all the gods never wavered.  God was merciful to him, sparing him from death, though his sin had consequences the rest of his life."  The lesson here, is that personal failure, even the worst kind, as exhibited by Bonhoeffer, will not separate you from God's mercy. Although Bonhoeffer was not spared from death [as King David was], he never disavowed his loyalty to God, nor doubted YHWH's loyalty to him.
     In the final minutes of his life, before being led to the gallows, he led a short service for fellow prisoners, praying, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By His great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." Then he asked that a message be delivered to Bishop Bell [a supporter of the German resistance to Nazism) in London; the message reading that "this was the end, but for him also the beginning of life, and that the ultimate victory of their cause – a universal Christian brotherhood rising above all national interest – was certain".
     The prison doctor, who witnessed the execution recorded this impression: "Through the half-open door in one room of the huts I saw Pastor Bonhoeffer, before taking off his prison garb, kneeling on the floor praying fervently to his God. I was most deeply moved by the way this lovable man prayed, so devout and so certain that God heard his prayer. At the place of execution, he again said a short prayer and then climbed the steps to the gallows, brave and composed. His death ensued after a few seconds. In almost fifty years that I worked as a doctor, I have hardly ever seen a man die so entirely submissive to the will of God".
     Again, I look to Bonhoeffer's story for signs of what might be coming to our land. Dietrich Bonhoeffer and a handful of pastors stood alone in the German Church. He came to America in 1939, hoping to escape the fall of his Church, gain strength from the American Church, and return to Germany to rebuild the Church from the ashes of war.  But he soon became disillusioned with the American Church, writing:  "I now wonder whether it is true that America is the country without a reformation? ... There hardly ever seem to be "encounters" [with God] in this great country.  But where there is no encounter, where liberty is the only unifying factor, one naturally knows nothing of the community which is created through encounter."
     While attending an American church in June of 1939, Bonhoeffer wrote of the sermon, "Lively and original, but too much analysis and too little Gospel."  What would he say today??  And again in June of 1939, he wrote about America:  "The separation of church and state does not result in the church continuing to apply itself to its own task; it is no guarantee against secularism.  Nowhere is the church more secularized than where it is separated in principle, as it does here.  This very separation can create an opposition, so that the church engages much more strongly in political and secular things."
     Sad to say, I find many Churches and fellow Christians looking to politics and elections to solve our issues. They look to bring their Christianity into the political arena in order to influence it. Do we really think changing our politicians or passing legislation will accomplish our commission from the Lord? Do we really think the ballot box will provide us with an escape from what the Bible tells us is coming?
     So, how will we, as modern day Christians, exhibit our loyalty and discipleship to our Lord?  We have seen in the examples of Desmond Doss and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the very picture of heroism -- two entirely different men, but both committed to acting out their faith. Neither set out to become a hero, and I wage that neither welcomed the mantle.
     Ultimately, what does Dietrich Bonhoeffer's story have to tell us? Consider what he had to say in his own words ... "Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”  All Christians, whether in leadership roles or not, should take heed of Bonhoeffer's words and pay attention to history. The German Church ignored the growing persecution of Jews across Europe.  They turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to it, and they did it at their own peril.  In the end, the German Church was taken over by Nazi ideology and the blood of millions of Jews was upon their hands. The American Church is flirting with following the same path.  Pastors must throw off the chains of government and speak out about the wave of persecution streaming towards Christianity.
     We must open our eyes and see that the tide of torment in the streets is beginning to turn its attention to our faith. First it was the tearing down of statues that honored the history of our nation's Civil War. Now, I'm beginning to see the defacement of Christian statues and cries to tear dow Jesus. Evil is growing into a tsunami and history has shown us what can happen when such evil is allowed to foment unchecked.
       In the words of Spanish philosopher George Santayana (1863-1952), Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. In the end, we are responsible for our faith and our actions. I pray for hearts that are set on being obedient to the will of God. That's not a simple thing to do in this world. I pray that we all will have the courage of Desmond Doss and Dietrich Bonhoeffer... to be a bright light in the midst of this dark time in our nation's history; to be that unwilling hero to someone in need of the image of Christ in their life. And I know in my spirit that God will honor our actions on His behalf. He's just looking for willing participants.

I have written a series of posts on Dietrich Bonhoeffer from 2012-2016. This post is a compilation, along with added and relevant insight to current events.

Isaiah 50:7-8:  "But the Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame. He who vindicates me is near..."

March 29, 2020

Thoughts To Consider....

     There are a couple of thoughts that have been rattling around in my head for the last week or so, and I'd like to share the first of them today... If we have the ability to be honest with ourselves, how many times have we complained that the distractions of the world keep us from deepening our relationship with God? I know that I have written many times that I see how our jobs, our activities, our social life, the internet, etc. are all ways that rob us of our time to spend with the Father. In fact, I would be willing to say that all these can potentially be used by the Enemy to steal the growth and maturity of our faith life.
     So, what's our excuse now? Many of us across the globe are quarantined or sheltering in place. We have lots of time to spend in worship, or prayer, or reading the Word. It should now be obvious to us if we really have a heart to know our Lord.
     And how often have we quoted Psalm 46:10 ... "Be still and know that I am God?" Well, we're being forced to be still. Are we making the effort to know God? Are we being wise with this newfound time we have? Or are we wasting this opportunity to listen for the voice of God? I see this season in our history as such a great opportunity for the Body of Christ to transform itself; to abandon the ways of the world and enter into the destinies written for us on our scrolls in Heaven -- to truly seek the Mind of Christ.
     It will take wisdom to let go of what the world tells us is important. And that might mean the loss of jobs, aspects of our health and wealth, and yes, even letting go of the internet which has become even more of a robber of our time since the spread of COVID-19. Yes, it will take wisdom -- but not the wisdom the world offers. Rather, God's Wisdom; the Spirit of Wisdom which imparts God's thoughts and His Word in our hearts. If we have ears to hear, we can discern now, more than ever, that it is the time to take advantage of God's Word and His Wisdom. 
     Take a moment and read Proverbs 1:20-33, and see if you don't recognize the current state of our nation and the world:

20 Wisdom cries aloud in the street,
in the markets she raises her voice;
21 at the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
22 “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
and fools hate knowledge?
23 Will you turn away at my reproof?
Behold, I will pour out my spirit to you;
I will make my words known to you.
24 Because I have called and you refused to listen,
have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded,
25 because you have ignored all my counsel
and would have none of my reproof,
26 I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when terror strikes you,
27 when terror strikes you like a storm
and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
when distress and anguish come upon you.
28 Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer;
they will seek me diligently but will not find me.
29 Because they hated knowledge
and did not choose the fear of the Lord,
30 would have none of my counsel
and despised all my reproof,
31 therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way,
and have their fill of their own devices.
32 For the simple are killed by their turning away,
and the complacency of fools destroys them;
33 but whoever listens to me will dwell secure
and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”

     There is so much in this proverb that I see mirrored in our world ... the Spirit of God's Wisdom has tried crying out to us in the marketplace, but we've been too focused on our jobs and accumulating wealth. She cries out in the streets, but we are too interested in being offended and condemning others. The city gates are our seats of government, and we know she hasn't been heard there!
      And God asks how long will we be content with an absence of Godly wisdom and delight in mocking Him and glorifying our own simple wisdom? And He clearly warns ... because He has called to us and no one listened; and we ignored His counsel and did not heed His offer when He stretched out His hand, He will laugh at our calamity -- even when it escalates to a whirlwind and distress and anguish come upon us. Many are feeling that today!
      It's not as if there have not been prior warnings and danger signs. So much of our moral fabric and connection to God has disintegrated in my lifetime alone. And I believe it is because we dis-invited Him from our schools, our halls of justice, our centers of government, our marriages, and our public square. What did we expect? That we could hate His knowledge, reject the fear of the Lord, and refuse His counsel, and there would be no aftereffects?
      He tells us in this powerful proverb that we will "eat the fruit of our way and have our fill of our own devices". Our rebellion and rejection, coupled with our complacency has the potential to destroy us. BUT, remember ... Jesus has redeemed us ... IF we will turn from our ways and listen to God's Spirit of Wisdom.
      There is still time for the people on the earth to repent for the iniquity that we have plowed, which reaped so much injustice. We have stuffed ourselves on the fruit of our lies because we trusted in our own ways. Those are not my words, friends, but were spoken by the prophet Hosea 2700 years ago. Yet, they are just as true today.
      So, please, I pray that mankind will heed the Spirit of Wisdom who is speaking to us today, telling us that we are now in the midst of a season where it is actually possible to hear the voice of God calling to us. Our marketplaces and businesses have been shuttered and our noisy streets are quieted. The gates of our government are in perpetual turmoil, but we can become unified and rise above their scoffing and scorn. We can respond to the sound of our Father in Heaven, calling us to choose His ways. We can come out of our complacency and smug self-pride and believe in the promise that we can once again dwell securely, without fear of further disaster.
      Ecclesiastes tells us that there is a time to break down and a time to build up; a time to get and a time to lose; a time to keep and a time to cast away. We've all got a lot of time on our hands right now. It seems that things are breaking down all around us. But you were born for this time. What will you choose to build up, keep, cast away? This is a time for great reflection on the rest of your life.

Hosea 10:12    Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that He may come and rain righteousness 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 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.


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.


July 24, 2019

Being Sanctified and Spiritually Worthy

     I recently ran across this quote by noted theologian A.W. Tozer: "The popular notion that the first obligation of the church is to spread the gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth is false. Her first obligation is to be spiritually worthy to spread it." I spent a lot of time contemplating those wise words and trying to listen to God about how they applied to me.  I would imagine that each of you reading this have the same thoughts yourself. While I want to share where the Lord took me, I understand that what He is doing in each of our lives may look different, but I believe His ultimate objective is the same -- that we submit to what we are called to, allowing our Father to sanctify us before we "get up and go" to fulfill our purpose.
     So, I find myself asking, "Am I spiritually worthy to carry out my assignment?" Along with that question, comes the awareness that my sanctification -- my being set apart for this purpose/assignment -- is an ongoing process. What it looked like at the beginning, is not what it looks like now; nor do I expect that it will look the same at the end of my life. Sanctification is a personal and continuous experience.
     In fact, I am so blessed that my husband and I received our sanctification as a team. Mark clearly heard from the Lord one night in his sleep, and the exact same message was confirmed, word for word, the next night. He was told that he was to sanctify us and our property unto the Lord, with exactly how to do it with oil [that was prayed over and blessed to be made holy for the Lord's will].  No word as to what exactly we were to be sanctified for, but we just stepped out in obedience and waited; choosing to dive into the Bible until God's plan for us was revealed. 
     Somehow, instinctively, we knew that God was the Source of whatever we were being called to, and to step out without Him or clear direction from Him, would be doing something in our own power. I will tell you that this period of time in which we were being sanctified was among the most rewarding [and exhilarating] of my life. I witnessed our spirits come alive as God worked in us to release the chains of bondage that had held us back from seeking why we are here on this earth. We were fed and nourished by the Lord as we hungered for more knowledge and revelation of His Word. We were being cleansed and purged of wrong thoughts, wrong living, and wrong theology. We were "being made ready". And as our assignment(s) grow and change, God will continue to make us ready.
     That brings me back to A.W. Tozer's statement. Is it really not our purpose -- mine and yours, and the corporate Body of Christ -- to spread/share the gospel "to the uttermost parts of the earth?" After all, doesn't Matthew 24:14 say, And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come? As I read this sentence over and over, I began to change my perspective. Was this meant to be read as a command ... or as a prophecy? Of course, I immediately recalled the clear command of Jesus to the twelve disciples in Acts 1:8, "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 know this is directed at the Disciples, what their assignment is, and how it will come about. The same is not true of Matthew 24:14. We only know that it will be done. Only God knows how He will arrange for this prophecy to be fulfilled.
     So that perspective made me focus more on my obligation to the Father. If we know that we have been called out of the world to serve Him, it is not as important to know where He is going to take us, as it is to allow Him to take the time to sanctify us and make us ready. We don't know when the prophecy of Matthew 24:14 will take place, or when the end will come. While I still believe we are to proclaim the gospel ... for as Paul says in Romans 10:14, And how shall they hear without one who proclaims Him? ... it is important to submit to God so that we are "spiritually worthy" to carry out the work He has planned for us, while still proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom. 
     I think part of that process of being sanctified, made ready, and becoming spiritually worthy, is the process of maturing. If we are not willing to let God take His appointed time to grow us and equip us, then we may step out too early, causing harm to ourselves, others, and ultimately, to God's plan. Submission to God is the first step. We must prepare and be prepared spiritually before we can physically go. I personally am concerned when I see someone step out ahead of God in their calling. My husband is so good at reminding me [in my calling] to always look where Jehovah Nissi is [the Lord is my banner]. He goes before us when He calls us, and if I see that I've marched ahead of Him, I instantly know I am on unstable ground.  Jesus knew He could do nothing on His own, so He was always under the direction of His Father [doing only what He had heard the Father instruct Him, or seeing what the Father showed Him]. 
     We should rejoice in knowing that when the time comes, Matthew 24:14 will be fulfilled, just as God ordains it.  We shouldn't worry about making that our end goal. Instead we should rejoice that He has chosen us, is sanctifying us, and preparing us spiritually for specific good works and assignments, "which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10). We must allow Him to set us apart, to prepare us spiritually, and to mature us in our walk. It is then that we are the most effective for the Lord, and we can produce the most fruit for the Kingdom.

1 Thessalonians 2:12      We exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.


July 14, 2019

The Beauty and Balance of Bold Faith

     In 2008, I received a word that awakened an innate love of writing that had surfaced as a child, and then had lain dormant for over 30 years. A man whom I only met once told me he had a message for me from my Father in Heaven to "be the pen and not the blank piece of paper". Only God could have revealed to him that I was meant to write, since no one -- not even my husband -- was aware that my gift even existed, let alone that it had been inoperative for so long.
     He told me that God wanted me to write because He created me to do it, and that it pleased Him for me to use my gift. That's all it took -- there was no question about it; no hesitancy at all. I was simply going to be obedient. That led to three years of writing every single day for the joy it gave me, and for the pleasure of my Father. The result was a novel that I have yet to publish because the goal wasn't to write a best-seller, but to just develop a discipline of writing ... and to please God, of course.
     Three years later, I heard a word from Him, myself. I was commanded to write a blog -- this very blog -- to calm the fears of women as we faced a radically changing world. I clearly heard in my spirit that women were frightened about the economy, the constant threats of war and terrorism, the transformation of our society and morals, and the structure of the family, just to name a few. But the Lord told me that in all these matters, I needed to point them to Him. In other words, don't shy away from examining world affairs, but give them courage to face an evolving world by looking at it through a lens of faith and the Bible. Thus, began a season of blog posts on looking at subjects like the Hegelian Dialect, Normalcy Bias, World Politics, Isis, and Prepping.
     Then in 2015, God told me to stop looking at the world, and point my audience solely to Him. I wrote about new revelations I was receiving on old, familiar Scripture. And I discussed topics like Occultism and Witchcraft; Power and Authority; and our relationship with the Holy Spirit. And if you've followed the path the Lord has led me on, you now know that He is declaring a new season of writing on the Kingdom of God.
     As you can see, He has been moving in my life and there is a progression towards knowing more of Him and His ways. But I'm not the only one! I have been blessed within the last three days to be among groups of believers just like me; people who are on an individual journey, but one that God has designed to benefit all of us. Our assignments don't resemble each other's. What's more, God is showing me how important it is for those of us who are "watchmen on the wall" to stay alert and aware of not only what He is doing in the world and the spirit realms; but what He is teaching each of us, and what we are encountering and learning; and also what the Enemy is up to in his schemes and strategies to defeat God's agenda.
     And this is encouragement for all of you who read this blog. As we focus in on our individual assignments, we can sometimes lose sight of the bigger picture -- all that I mentioned above. And when God has placed you in a remote location to sow seeds for the Kingdom, as He has me and my husband, one can feel isolated and removed from where [we perceive] all the action is occurring. So, it was good for us to travel to Austin a few days ago to be in the company of a diverse group of Kingdom-Seekers and hear what the Lord's been up to, and to get a glimpse of where He's taking us.
     As you know, Mark and I have been given an assignment of working with Jesus to bring Inner Healing and Divine Deliverance to those who are hurting in this world -- the broken-hearted, the prisoners, the blind, and the oppressed. But He has recently added "teaching the Kingdom" to our job description. Those two tasks are consuming both our ministry and prayer time. So we were able to share these experiences with the group and hear how the Lord is working differently in their lives. And that's where it got interesting and exciting!
     We had a Watchman whose assignment is to research and investigate -- and ultimately destroy -- the rapid advancement of technology and how the Enemy is using it in nefarious ways to infect and infiltrate our bodies. I'm not just talking about listening in on your phone conversations or the vaccine controversy, folks. The knowledge that the Lord is downloading to certain Watchmen makes the plots and storylines of TV Shows like the wildly popular Stranger Things seem like fairy tales. I mean, I'm talking about the fact that the Enemy knows Scripture such as 1 John 5:1, which says, This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.
     So, imagine if you can, that the Lord downloads a message to you that concerns this topic of light and it has huge ramifications for the human species. I'm going to give you a very condensed science lesson and you will see what I'm talking about. According to Wired.com, an online magazine that focuses on how emerging technologies affect culture, the economy, and politics, all objects produce light. That is, we are matter that consists of energy fields and magnetic fields, which result in electromagnetic waves. All of these electromagnetic waves travel at the same speed (the speed of light). However, they have different interactions with matter. And technically, the interaction with light and matter depends on the frequency of light. And here's how and why that is important to us humans ... What happens, say if there is no light that enters your body through your eyes? What if you are in a place with absolutely no source of light? The correct answer is that you will just see black [or darkness] - forever.
     What if the Lord showed you that the Enemy has co-opted mankind to develop various ways to insert Artificial Intelligence into our bodies that will bend light, so that what is attacking our bodies through allergies, seizures, body aches, profound fatigue, autism etc., cannot be found? When the Light Source is diverted, these attacks on our bodies remain in the dark and are many, many times undiscoverable. But what if God gave you the keys that fit into the locks previously unopened by traditional and non-traditional medicine? What if He showed you that the body could actually speak to you [via muscle testing] and show you what, how, and where those attacks were originating from? Would that fit into your faith grid? Can you trust that the God of the Bible could [and would] reveal something so unorthodox and extraordinary? 
     Picture, if you will, this diverse group of obedient followers of Jesus and how we were able to reconcile our dissimilar, non-traditional paths of faith and obedience. After all, my path certainly has nothing in common with revelations regarding the quantum mechanics of the body. Yet, one could conclude that the goal of both ministries is healing of both body and spirit.
     The point that I want to make by sharing these disparate accounts of journeys with God is that, in the end, the entire group had one thing in common ... despite different paths, we all arrived at the same position of faith: no matter what this world conjures up to try to destroy our assignments from God, the blood of Jesus defeats it. We have been given the power and authority from our Lord over all the power of the Enemy, and ultimately he cannot harm us. Those of us who answer God's call to boldly walk where most people dare not tread can expect criticism and rejection. But that was the beauty of this gathering of the faithful. We were all willing to accept our assignments, even if it meant isolation, condemnation, and the possibility of failures. We might not look like the world, or even each other, but we all recognized that we have the Light in us, and when we expose the Enemy's darkness to the Light of Jesus, we can and will be victorious!
     So, I just want to end this post with this word of encouragement to you ... don't worry about how your assignment from God looks to others; and don't compare or try to emulate another's spiritual walk. There is something uniquely and exceptionally beautiful about how God designates each of us for specific purposes, and how those purposes balance each other out to fulfill His ultimate plan. We don't need to try to figure it all out or how it all fits together; we just need to be bold and persistent. That's the picture of Faith that honors and glorifies our Father in Heaven. May it ever be!

If you would like more information on the ministry of Quantum Mechanics and the healing of the body, visit Natalie Morris at Quantum Command

1 Corinthians 7:17    May all believers continue to live the wonderful lives God has called them to live, according to what He assigns for each person, for this is what I teach to believers everywhere.

February 28, 2019

A Look At Anointed Women

     If you are like me, you are deeply inspired by the stories in the Bible of men who have been anointed by the Lord to serve Him. They are charged with God's power to accomplish the Divine assignments He has appointed for their lives. Whose heart is not stirred by the anointing on Moses to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt; or the anointing on Daniel, who taken captive as a teenager, influences some of the greatest kings in all of world history and is entrusted [by God] to receive revelation of the End Times.
     Do you ever imagine what Joshua must have felt when God anointed him to take the Israelites into the Promised Land and defeat the pagan nations before him? And what about the prophet Elijah who is anointed to stand against 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah? These mighty deeds are just a few of the accounts of God anointing men for His service. It's kind of daunting isn't it to think that we could be empowered with the same revelations and gifts of the Holy Spirit to carry out such important assignments for God and His Kingdom?
     Yet that is exactly what I am telling you. It is not only men who walk powerfully in the Spirit, but we women also have a calling and an anointing on our lives. And the Bible gives us examples of women who stand as inspiration for us.  Let's take a look at three women, each with a different calling and Divine purpose in her anointing. Perhaps you will recognize yourself in one of them, and see your possibilities for serving the Lord.
     Anna.  And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.  And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem (Luke 2:36-38).
     The Anna Anointing will be given to women in whom the offices of prophet, intercessor, and evangelist all converge. I'm not saying that these women will necessarily be prophets, but they will have a prophetic spirit. And through their night-and-day fasting and prayer, they will prophecy and testify of Jesus in their evangelistic efforts. Note that in the above Scripture, Anna does not actually give a prophetic word, but her actions are prophetic.
     And note that Anna doesn't fit the image of a likely candidate that God would choose to prophesy about His redemption. She is 84 years old, widowed at a young age, and living in the shadows of the Temple, probably unnoticed by most people. God is looking for those same unlikely candidates today.
     The Holy Spirit is raising up women in our time to pray effectively, fast consistently, and preach prophetically. I don't mean preach as in standing at a pulpit, but I believe the heart of the modern-day Anna will be given the grace (empowerment) to pray the promises of God as they are expressed in the Bible. I believe she will pray as an intercessor, inviting the Lord to reveal His love and empower the Body of Christ to fulfill the Great Commission, along with the signs and wonders that accompany it.
     Women with the Anna Anointing will develop a listening heart that synchronizes with the heart and mind of the Lord. Just as Anna in the Bible, these women will dedicate their lives to worship, persevering in the promises of the Lord. The modern-day Anna, like her Biblical counterpart, will live a life of holy commitment to the purposes of the Lord. The Biblical Anna prayed night and day, never abandoning the hope she had that God would fulfill His promise of a Messiah. The modern-day Anna is praying and watching for the return of the Messiah, who she knows brings both justice and peace. Her prayers will be heard in Heaven and her sacrifice honored as she sees the Kingdom of God coming more in focus.
     Esther.  Go, gather all the Jews that are present in Susa, and observe a fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids also will fast in the same way. Then I will go in to [see] the king [without being summoned], which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish.”  So Mordecai went away and did exactly as Esther had commanded him. 
     The story of Esther in the Bible is a fascinating one. She was born at a time when Israel was in captivity as a consequence to their disobedience to God. When Esther’s parents were killed, her cousin Mordecai adopted her as his daughter. Not only was Esther an ordinary woman living in a foreign land, but she was part of a minority race held in low esteem. But her beauty caught the eye of the Persian king and he took her as his wife. Mordecai advised her to keep secret her Jewish nationality because the King's advisor sought to destroy the Jewish people. But Esther trusts in God for her strength and finds the courage to destroy the conspiracy and save her people.
     The modern woman with the Esther anointing will find that she has been given the grace to influence the current culture for the purposes of the Kingdom of God. Like the Biblical Esther, she will act out of faith, courage and righteous boldness to exercise wisdom to confront injustice and deliver this generation from destruction.
     Although bold in their convictions, women with the Esther anointing will be patient, submitting to the processes and methods of the Lord. She will have a humble, grace-filled and teachable spirit; perhaps even being plucked out of obscurity (as the ancient Esther) to be placed in positions of authority. She will emerge from her comfort zone to speak new languages, learn new cultures, and overcome gender prejudices. She will not be intimidated at where the Lord is taking her, and she will have an anointing to gather people together for the purposes of the Lord; to call people to prayer and fasting to plead for life before the courts of Heaven and Earth. She will be willing to stand before ungodly civil authorities to see that the nation's policies, rules, regulations and laws be changed for the advantage of the Kingdom. Through her humble obedience, God will use the modern-day Esther to rescue individuals, change circumstances, and deliver nations.
     Deborah.  The villagers ceased to be; they ceased in Israel until I, Deborah, arose; until I arose, a mother in Israel (Judges 5:7).
     Deborah was a leader, a judge, and a prophetess in Israel – one to whom God could reveal His secrets. God used her to communicate His will to the people of Israel. When Deborah received instruction from God to go to battle against the Canaanite army, she moved to act on it. She didn’t sit weighing the pros and cons, thinking of all the things that could go wrong, or doubting her ability to do what He said. If God said it needed to be done, that was enough for her. Her faith in Him gave her the power to act. Everything that was necessary to accomplish His will she would receive from Him.
     Just like the Biblical Deborah, women of today with the Deborah anointing will be blessed with the gift of leadership. They will be women who have developed the character and ability to inspire and disciple the next generation to walk in the fullness of their own calling. They will lead others to stand for God's righteousness in the midst of a wicked and perverse culture. 
     Women with the Deborah anointing will have a mother's heart to nurture; through mentoring, discipling and training, they will nurture a generation to maturity in seeking the Lord's will. They will be capable of strategizing with the Lord to see His battle plan come to fruition. They will not be afraid to stir up or excite public discussion with the goal of producing change in the Body of Christ.
     The woman with the Deborah anointing will not be afraid of controversy, and will not hinder the counsel of the Holy Spirit. She will break away from traditions and conventional customs -- not out of rebellion, but in obedience to God to set people free. She will be bold, yet acting and speaking in love. She will be able to balance the roles of wife and leader, and be able to discern the times and seasons of the Lord -- knowing when it is time to bless, when to deliver, and when to go to war. And above all else, the Deborah anointing sees a woman develop a lifestyle of praise and worship, where she receives the strength and help to carry out the Lord's commands.
     So, these are just three women whom God anointed for important and specific assignments. Just as in Biblical times, God is calling the women of today to a purpose greater than themselves. God is awakening women and positioning them with opportunities to influence their families, their communities, their churches, and their nation for His Kingdom. Any of these stories could be yours. Or God might have a unique plan for your life to accomplish His goals. All it takes is a willing heart and spirit to be His vessel. If you let Him, God can use you for His glory! 

If you would like to explore more about these specific women and their anointings from God, I recommend a series of books by Michelle McClain-Walters in which she explores how we can all be inspired to receive the Anna Anointing, the Esther Anointing, and the Deborah Anointing. 

Esther 4:14    "And who knows whether you have not come to the Kingdom for such a time as this?”

February 25, 2019

What Is The Anointing On Your Life?

     That word anointing can be a scary word in a Christian's life. It carries such weight because we know Jesus, our Lord and Savior, as "the Anointed One". Therefore to consider that we might carry an anointing, when it is so strongly associated with Him, can be an intimidating prospect. Yet, I am convinced that to be anointed unto the Lord is available in every Believer's life.
     Historically speaking, anointing the body or head with oil was a common practice among Jews and people in the Middle East, signifying honor and respect. It was the official rite of inauguration into the three principal offices of Jewish leadership: Prophet, Priest and King. The Bible tells us that Saul was anointed as the first King of Israel, and it was a custom passed down to King David and all the Kings of Israel. We read of Samuel's anointing as Prophet, and Aaron's anointing as Priest.  We also see leaders throughout the history of Israel and Judah being anointed to carry out the Lord's plan: Moses, Joshua, Deborah, Gideon, and Daniel, among many others.
     And because God is sovereign in choosing whom He anoints, He used a pagan Persian King Cyrus to enable the Jewish exiles to return home after their Babylonian exile. “Thus says the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus … ‘For the sake of My servant Jacob, and Israel My chosen, I call you by your name, I name you, though you do not know Me” (Isaiah 45:1-4).
     But an anointing by the Lord is no guarantee that one will fulfill their sanctified calling. Saul fell from favor with God, as did many of the Kings of Israel and Judah. And there is the most famous "fall" of all, Lucifer, who guarded the throne of God: "You were in Eden, the garden of God ... You were an anointed guardian cherub, for I had appointed you. You were on the holy mountain of God; you walked among the fiery stones" (Ezekiel 28:13-14).
     But lest you think that God's anointing belongs only to those whose names are recorded in the Bible, let me assure you that that there is an anointing on your life as well. In 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, the Bible makes it clear that God has established us in relationship with Christ and anointed us, [empowering us with the gifts of the Holy Spirit]. He has certified us as belonging to Him with the seal of the Holy Spirit on our hearts, and ordained our assignments in the Kingdom for His glory. 
     So, I have an important question for you ... As a child of God, anointed by Him, with the Holy Spirit abiding in you ... Are you actively asking for the revelation of your anointing? As I understand it, to be anointed by God is to walk out our royal priesthood as declared in 1 Peter 2:9. Yes, I believe that Peter is specifically talking to Israel and the Jews as God's "chosen race; a people of His own possession (Deuteronomy 32:9); a spiritual nation set apart as God's devoted ones", but we are grafted into that "spiritual nation", and therefore the anointing is ours, too. 
     So, again, I ask you ... are you seeking God and your anointing; your calling; your assignment to demonstrate God's love and power to a hurting and corrupted world? I believe the key to receive our anointing is to love God and desire to serve Him more than we love ourselves or our lives. And as Jesus commanded, we must love others as we love ourselves. To be willing to put God first, your neighbor second, and yourself last will open hearts to allow God's anointing to flow through us. And I'm going to say something that may be hard to hear, but I think this is one of the hardest things for modern Christians to do. 
     The culture of our society -- and yes, even the Church -- does not promote dying to self in order to serve God or others. Our "what's in it for me"  or "look at me" attitudes have us focused on our own reputations, and what others think of us, more than what God is wanting to do through us. Too many people -- both Unbelievers and Christians alike -- are seeking validation from people, rather than a Divine anointing for the purpose of glorifying God. Positions and titles often supersede our service.
     One of the most illuminating descriptions of God's anointing comes from God.net: "God’s anointing flows to those who are hungry for a touch from His Holy Spirit. The anointing has less to do with the person that it flows through than it does with the person who receives it, and the One who sent it, God Almighty." 
     So, it is my desire to be touched by the Holy Spirit and to serve my God, regardless of status, personal benefit, reputation, or recognition. I just want to be an obedient servant of the Lord and faithful to the anointing He has placed on my life. And I want to pray that each of you will be blessed with receiving your anointing; that you believe you are worthy and qualified. I invite you to pray this prayer with me:
     Father, I know that I have an anointing on my life and I pray that I will always remember that it is for the benefit of another and for Your glory.  And I ask You to humble my heart should I ever think it's about me! I ask You, Father, to give me favor and influence to be put before people who need to receive what my anointing offers. 
     Let Your anointing on my life be light in the midst of their darkness, and sight to the blind. Let me be patient, waiting for Your timing, yet always being available to share what You have called me to.
     Let me be ever mindful that the anointing by Your Holy Spirit is a gift from You -- I have done nothing to deserve it. And I give You praise and thanksgiving for trusting me with this gift. 
     Father, let Your anointing be the River of Life that flows from Your throne through my heart and floods the world around me, penetrating the hearts of all who will receive it. And let me walk in the joy of my anointing, giving and receiving, as Your will dictates. I acknowledge that the anointing that comes from You is a sacred appointment and I do not take it for granted. Give me the grace and humility to walk out my anointing all the days of my life. In the Mighty Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen. 

1 Peter 2:9     But you are God’s chosen treasure—priests who are kings, a spiritual “nation” set apart as God’s devoted ones. He called you out of darkness to experience His marvelous light, and now He claims you as His very own. He did this so that you would broadcast His glorious wonders throughout the world.