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

Showing posts with label God's Promises. Show all posts
Showing posts with label God's Promises. Show all posts

April 14, 2024

Remember God's Promises In The Midst of World Chaos

As I finish writing this post, Iranian drones are flying over Israel, and the sense of impending war is heavy. Are these the birth pangs Jesus talked about? Is God determining to shake the world to bring about judgment and [hopefully] repentance? At the same time, as the season of Passover approaches, I am detecting a heightened sense of anticipation in my spirit; different than other years. I don't know how to explain it, other than I'm discerning the upcoming Feast Days unlike I have in years past. The picture God is painting for me is still not in total view, but I want to share what seems to be making sense to me at the moment. And I need to begin with how the Feast days tie into our current world events.

If you are familiar with the timeline of God's Holy Feast days then you are aware that the Spring Feasts align with Jesus's Crucifixion and death, His burial, and His Resurrection. To be more specific, He died as the sacrificial lamb [delivering us from the consequences of sin] on the Feast of Passover; was buried on the Feast of Unleavened Bread [born without sin, He is our Bread of Life]; He rose on the Feast of First Fruits [as the first fruit of the harvest of souls]. Then, 50 days later, on Pentecost, [which is when the Jews believe Moses received the written Law], He sent the Holy Spirit to write God's laws on the hearts of Believers.   

Knowing the spiritual and historical significance of these Holy Days, I am drawn back to that critical moment in time when the first Passover occurred, and God chose to step in and deliver His chosen people from their bondage. Israel had suffered in slavery for 400 years in Egypt and God had heard their cries and sent Moses to try and convince Pharaoh to set them free. Because Pharaoh hardened his heart and rebelled against the Most High God, YHWH interceded to set His plan in motion.

Ultimately, He sent the Angel of Death to judge the nation that had enslaved His people, telling Pharaoh, "Israel is My son, my firstborn. So, I said to you, 'Let My son go that He may serve Me; but you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your son; your first born' " (Exodus 4:22-23). This is a prime example of what it can look like when God shows up to defeat Satan's wickedness and evil. He shows Creation (Satan and his fallen angels) just who is in charge. How it must have enraged Satan to see that God had provided a way for death to "pass over" the homes [and sons] of the Israelites!

God instructed His people how He wished them to memorialize this day of their deliverance by sacrificing an "unblemished" lamb to make peace with Him. This was to remind them that although they were His chosen people, they were not without guilt. Pharaoh paid a price with the shedding of his son's blood. The Israelites would have had their sons killed, too, without the substitutionary sacrifice of the lamb... Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22). 

The ancient sacrifice of the first Passover lamb occurred on the 14th day of Nisan and this day has been commemorated ever since. It should be of great significance to all Believers to understand that nearly 1500 years later, Jesus would become the sacrifice for us, that we might make peace with God. Once again, God chose to step into the world because something had to change if His plan to reconcile mankind was to move forward. So, Jesus chose to die for us on a long ago Passover; to shed His blood so that we could be forgiven for our sins and our relationship with our Creator could be purified and made holy.

Mankind has now had over 2000 years since that historic Passover to make their peace with God and receive that much-needed forgiveness by coming to faith in the One who provided the way to reconciliation. But does it look like we want to restore our relationship with Him? Does the world look like it seeks to honor His sacrifice by perpetuating His message of loving the Lord God with all your heart, soul, and mind; and loving your neighbor as much as you love yourself? The violence that threatens to engulf the world surely does not honor the upcoming Holy Days. 

We must not forget that while our God is a God of grace and mercy, He does not accept our sin and disobedience without chastising us. Over and over the Israelites of the Bible did not fulfill their obligations to YHWH for delivering them out of bondage. Not only did they continue to sin, but they rejected Jesus [whom YHWH sent to deliver them once more]; they refused to listen to His messengers, the prophets; and they forgot His word. And let's not forget the horrific harm to children through their idol worship of child sacrifice. I think nothing grieves God more! And the nation of Israel ended up in bondage. 

I dare to say that the world closely resembles that level of sin today. We certainly deserve the judgment of our Holy and Righteous God. And I believe that every day is an act of His mercy and love for us, giving us a chance to repent and ask for forgiveness; to end the impending wars and violence, the murder of innocent babies, and the sexual perversion that threatens to entrap millions of children in sexual slavery. And it gives Believers one more day to share the Good News of deliverance from our bondage to sin and God's glory of a coming Kingdom on earth.

So, as I contemplate these upcoming Spring Feasts, I am reminded that the Fall Feasts are not that far away. And remember, they point to Jesus's return when God sends Him, once again, to reconcile the world and defeat Evil and Wickedness; this time for good. And what I keep hearing in my spirit is God's promise in Hebrews 12:26-28 that He will "shake the earth and the heavens" in judgment in order to give us His Kingdom that cannot be shaken. 

We know that when Jesus died on the Cross, there was a great earthquake; the earth shook and the veil in the temple was torn in two, representing that the separation between man and God was torn asunder and we now have access to restore our relationship with our Father in Heaven. That shaking 2000 years ago is a foreshadowing of increasing shakings to come, unless we turn from our wicked ways and seek His face.

We do not know when the future Return of Christ will occur, but we do know that it will happen during the Fall Feasts. And when Jesus warns in Matthew of false prophets, false Christs, wars and rumors of wars, famine and pestilence, and great earthquakes that will shake the world, it may look like He's coming soon ... perhaps even during the 2024 Fall Feasts? Many are beginning to tremble with fear of God's judgments, but for us Believers, it is a time for rejoicing, because we know of God's promises when Jesus returns -- even in the midst of world chaos. It is a time of hope, not despair.

We know that no matter what evil Satan instigates in the world, we have an eternal life that awaits us. We know that while we are in this world, it is not our true home. We are a citizen of Heaven, and God promises we have a Savior who will take us Home with Him. Not only that, but He has promised us a home in His mansion; one that He is preparing for us even now. Furthermore, we have the promise that we get to exchange this mortal body [that is subject to pain and disease] for a glorious body, just like Christ's!  

Even in the midst of all the chaos, evil, and corruption of God's laws, I think the promise I am most excited about is the intimacy with Christ that I will experience -- to have personal access to Him as He receives me into His adopted family is something that I hang on to as I witness the increasing darkness. That promise transcends anything the kingdom of darkness can bring against us in this season. And who does not look forward to the promise of having authority in the Millennial Kingdom as we rule and reign with our Lord? 

But while we are still here on the earth, there are still promises that sustain us! Jesus will never leave us or abandon us. We have a precious inheritance that awaits us in heaven; an inheritance that will not perish, spoil or fade, as God, Himself guards it for us. The old corrupted order of things will be abolished and a new order will find us engaged in eternal worship and rejoicing in the presence of God. And don't forget the Heavenly celebration that awaits us at the Wedding Banquet! We will be given fine linen robes of white to wear. What a day that will be!

But even in the midst of all this reflection on the promises of God, we must face the reality of the tragic events that must take place at the end of time. Scripture tells us that wars, earthquakes, famine etc. will come to pass -- and we can certainly see the "shaking" that is coming into view. But the final promise will help us endure these troubling times because we know that God will judge the Enemy and the Enemy will be defeated! And then God comes to dwell with us!! And how I anticipate walking and talking with Him just like Adam and Eve did! 

So, as the world takes another step towards chaos and world war, I wonder if this is another critical moment in time when God will intervene for His people. Will He show up to demonstrate to Satan just who is in charge? While we wait for that answer, I will focus on the Spring Feasts in the next week, and I will be mindful of the sacrifice and pain Jesus suffered for us, and what it must have been like to experience the loss of hope in the days following His death. But I will praise Him for giving me the opportunity to come to faith and believe in His promises. And then I will look forward to that future season of the Fall Feasts when Evil is defeated and all the above promises become our new reality... and it may be coming sooner than we think!

2 Corinthians 7:1     Therefore, since we have [great and wonderful] promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, completing holiness [living a consecrated life -- a life set apart for God's purpose] in the fear of God.           


March 25, 2024

AMERICA: Are We The Master Of Our Own Demise?

I know that people want to hear uplifting and encouraging news, and may get tired of my "Watchman on the Wall" forecasts. But I would be remiss if I chose to ignore what God is sharing with me; if I chose to "tickle your ears" so that you turned away from hearing the truth, and only accepted the myths that the "pretenders" serve up as news on the various media outlets, or in the pulpits of the Apostate Church.

A couple of posts ago, I made the statement, "Pray that we as people, and a nation, make the right choices. Now is not the time to be disobedient and ignore God's warnings". Yet that seems to be exactly what we are doing. We have no excuse for continuing to rebel against God and yet hoping that [somehow] our country will be saved and get back on track. In His Word, God has plainly told us what is required to maintain His blessings and favor ...

Do you recall the story of Solomon, son of King David, who inherited his father's throne and God's favor? When Solomon was anointed as king, the only things he asked of the Lord were wisdom and understanding to judge and rule God's people in a righteous manner and to discern between good and evil. Because Solomon did not ask for a long life or wealth, God was pleased with his request, and granted him those very gifts of long life, wealth, and in addition, honor. So, Solomon built a magnificent temple for God -- a remarkable edifice surrounded by spacious courts with magnificent approaches, and lined with carved cedar and burnished gold; and garnished with precious stones. It presented an appropriate symbol for the House of the Lord and a dwelling place for His Presence. 

When Solomon dedicated the Temple, he prayed that it would be God's resting place; where He dwelt on earth in the midst of His people. After Solomon finished his prayer of dedication, fire came down from Heaven and the people understood that God's Presence [and His power and strength] resided with them in the existence of the Ark of the Covenant. Then the Lord appeared to Solomon one night and told him that He, the Lord, would look kindly upon Israel and His people and forgive them when they sinned against Him -- IF they met His criteria. God's promise is one that we often quote, ourselves, in these times of darkness... [If] My people, who are called by My Name, humble themselves, and pray and seek [crave, require as a necessity] My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear [them] from heaven, and forgive their sin and heal their land.  

That has become our national "go to" prayer as we discern the wrong paths that this nation has [and is] going down. Somehow, we think that's all that is required ... ask and you shall receive. But we've forgotten that this promise from God also came with a warning at the same time. It applied to Israel and it applies to us. Here is the stern warning: But if you [people] turn away and abandon My statutes and My commandments which I have set before you, and you go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will uproot Israel from My land which I have given them; and I will cast this house, which I have consecrated for My Name, out of My sight, and will make it a proverb and an object of scorn among all nations.

Part of our American heritage is the tradition that God consecrated this land as He did Israel. And, actually, historians often credit America as being "the new Israel". I don't necessarily believe that, but I do know this... He has greatly blessed this nation, and we were founded on His statutes and grounded in His laws of morality. So, we know that God never changes, and if His promise and warning to Israel were a mandate for their obedience, that holds true for us, too. We have clung to His promise, but ignored His warning, and now, my fellow Americans, I'm not sure we can escape the consequences!

I know that many of you don't want to hear that, and out of fear will hold tightly to God's character of Mercy and Grace. But He is also our Righteous and Just God, and doesn't extend His warnings haphazardly. He gives us the opportunity to repent and change our ways, but instead, this country is going further down the tubes! And if you still can't see that, let me give you some reasons why I want you to pay attention to this warning... both mine and His!

One of our biggest stumbling blocks, and most grievous sins, has been the practice of abortion. It is no different than the sins of those who burned and sacrificed their babies at the altar of Molech. In God's eyes abortion is a blood sacrifice just as wicked and evil. We can fool ourselves and say, "But the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June of 2022! We changed our direction back to God"! That just shows me how shallow our national discernment is. It's a false image that Satan dangles before our eyes to convince us that we've done enough; we are succeeding in turning away from that horrendous sin. 

The truth is that the number of abortions during the 12 months immediately following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was actually higher than the 12 months preceding the decision. In an article entitled, Has America Run Out of Time?, a new report by reproductive health firm Guttmacher Institute, shows that the abortion rate in 2023 was the highest it's been since 2014! But here's an interesting fact... more abortions are being accomplished by the use of a pill rather than the standard medical procedure. So, somehow this is supposed to be more humane, and lessen the sin of terminating one of God's creations? God will not be mocked!

In addition, the number of Gen Z women who identify as LGBTQ+ [almost 30%] continues to grow. And that doesn't take into account the growing number of young people who are changing gender, or those who are increasingly identifying as animals! You read that correctly -- I have actually witnessed a preteen in my local hardware store dressed in a full cat costume; lounging on the floor in a furry full length garment, from head to toe. Only her face was visible. At first, I thought she must be attending some kind of costume party, but the store employees informed me she identifies as a cat now, and her parents support it. 

So let me get this straight ... abortions are on the rise; young women aren't interested in procreating; and our children identify as animals! Can you see Satan's strategy of eliminating the number of human babies that are born? Wouldn't all this seem to strengthen his position of having dominion over the earth? And how many well-meaning Christians are totally unaware of these statistics? Yet, they keep repeating the mantra that there's a world-wide revival coming and we win in the end. I am not doubting that God can bring about a revival in a remnant of His people, and I absolutely know the faithful are victorious in Jesus. But that doesn't mean America survives this gutting of our core identity!

And if none of this is enough to convince you we are in deep trouble, let me point you to Revelation 18. The Subhead of this chapter is Babylon Has Fallen. We are told that an angel comes down from heaven, possessing great authority, and he shouted with a mighty voice, saying, "fallen, fallen [certainly to be destroyed] is Babylon the Great! She has become a dwelling place for demons, a dungeon haunted by every unclear spirit, and a prison for every unclean and loathsome bird. For all the nations have drunk from the wine of the passion of her [sexual] immorality, and the kings and political leaders of the earth have committed immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth and economic power of her sensuous luxury".

Revelation 18 goes on to say, "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not be a partner in her sins and receive her plagues, for her sins [crimes and transgressions/rebellions] have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her wickedness and crimes [for judgment]... for in her heart she boasts, I SIT AS A QUEEN [on a throne] AND I AM NOT A WIDOW,  and will never, ever see mourning or experience grief! For this reason in a single day her plagues [afflictions, calamities] will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire and completely consumed; for strong and powerful is the Lord God who judges her".

I highly recommend that you take the time to read the entirety of Revelation 18 and see if you do not see America in this judgment of God. It tells us that the merchants of the world will "weep and grieve over Babylon" because no one buys their merchandise anymore. [We no longer make our own merchandise, but buy it from others]. And they weep and mourn for "the great city" who was robed in fine linen, gilded with gold, with precious stones and pearls because "in one hour all the vast wealth has been laid waste". [New York has been the center of world commerce, and Wall Street has controlled the economic currency of the world]. But perhaps the most damning judgment is called The Divine Sentence upon Babylon

The Bible tells us that a single powerful angel will pick up a boulder like a great millstone and fling it into the sea, saying, "With such violence will Babylon, the great city, be hurled down [by the sudden, spectacular judgment of God], and will never again be found.... Commerce will no longer flourish, and normal life will cease. Never again will the light of a lamp shine in you -- [there goes our claim of being a shining light upon a hill for the whole world to be drawn to] -- and never again will the voice of the bridegroom and bride be heard in you; for your merchants were the great and prominent men of the earth, because all the nations were deceived and misled by your sorcery [your magic spells and poisonous charm]. And in Babylon was found the blood of the prophets and of saints (God's people) and of all those who have been slaughtered on the earth". This speaks of the persecution coming against Christians, wars, and the abominable practice of abortion.      

Now, you may declare that there's no way to prove or know who this great city, Babylon is, but Scripture indicates that whoever it is describes a human civilization that is arrayed in opposition to God and ready to be judged. America certainly could be in the running. We have been the driving force in commerce since WWII, and we have tempted the nations with our immoral businesses of trafficking, child porn, and drug use. We fight for our rights to kill our own babies, and we have led our nation's children away from God and taught them to hate each other through educational policies that divide us. Furthermore, we have sponsored and profited from wars around the world, and we have raped and stolen natural resources of developing nations. Yet we continue to believe the lies of ungodly leaders and even lie to ourselves, declaring that "We are America! Nothing is going to happen to us"! Sounds like the Queen of Babylon sitting on her throne and boasting that she will never, ever experience mourning or grief, doesn't it?  

So, I ask you ... Are we the master of our own demise? Even if you choose to dismiss the possibility that we deserve [or will receive] the judgments prophesied against Babylon, I just don't see how we can deny that we've done all that is accorded to this wicked entity. Yes, God has given us a way out, but I do not discern that the nation is unified in humbling itself, or praying and seeking His face, turning from our wicked ways. We are actually increasing in them! So, I have to ask, will God save the remnant that does seek Him? Or are we going to be subject to His judgment and wrath that rains on the just and the unjust? I will never give up hope that a miracle can happen in our nation! But I'm also a realist. I will live my life as righteously as I can, and I will praise Him continually in the midst of whatever comes, good or bad. I pray that we are not Babylon, because the warning that comes in Revelation 18:6 is chilling ...

Revelation 18:6    Repay to her even as she has repaid others, and pay back [to her] double [her torment] in accordance with what she has done; in the cup [of sin and suffering] which she mixed, mix a double portion [of perfect justice] for her. 

May 22, 2023

Let Your Spirit Hear: There Is A Way That Leads to Destruction!

There is so much on my mind these days, and so many promptings in my spirit to share, so I've been trying to organize it all in a cohesive manner that will make logical sense to the Christian mind. First of all, let me say that I take the whole counsel of God into consideration, and that includes the entire Bible and its history, teachings, and revelations. But I also highly value my spiritual relationship with God, the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. There are many, many times I hear from them independently of the Word [although I always test what I hear with the truth of the Word]. So, as you can imagine, I often hear differently than my fellow Christians, and it doesn't always coincide with what our 21st Century Christian culture might believe.

Lately, my spirit has been experiencing a heightened sense of forewarning, and I am being drawn to the Bible's prophecies of what leads to destruction among the world's population; especially those who profess faith in the Most High God. This is not meant to be a doomsday post, but rather cautionary advice to pay attention to what has led to destruction among God's people in the past. Remember, He never lowers His standards for righteousness, and what warrants His judgment is still the same. So, let me share just a couple of observations that my spirit is discerning in the here and now...

We have an identity crisis in this nation and it has led to confusion about who we are in Jesus Christ. The author of the confusion is Satan, and it is his job to rob us of our identity so that we never discover who Jesus made us to be or our purpose here on earth. The Greek word for confusion means instability, a disturbance, a state of disorder; and we see that in the huge controversy over transgenderism that is permeating our national conscience. But this confusion is at a deeper level than just how one identifies his or her biological gender. It is a deliberate attempt by our Enemy to change the way you think about yourself, and about the Creator who made you.

If your thinking is corrupted by lies that lead to confusion, you can be in danger of misunderstanding or misinterpreting God's Word, thereby finding yourself outside the will of God and His approval. And if the results of your wrong thinking are unpleasant or devastating, then how long before you no longer believe in His Word [as Truth] and discard it altogether in favor of a sinful and immoral path? It can lead to anger against God and outright rebellion, which can leave you unstable and vulnerable to Satan's agenda, which is to make you a willing participant in his schemes to discredit the authority and power of Jesus Christ in our lives. And what is especially sad to me is that people will lay at the feet of Jesus what Satan has done. Too often Jesus or God is blamed for the free will choices we make because we become confused by the lies of Satan. We must never lose sight of this Biblical truth, Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, is a roaring lion, walking about, seeking whom he may devour. Don't let Confusion lead you on a path to destruction!

My spirit has also become sensitive to the increase in wickedness in our nation. We Christians always hold Sodom and Gomorrah up as the epitome of sexual wickedness and evil. But, haven't we surpassed even their sinful standard? In the Scripture, the men of Sodom begged Abraham's nephew, Lot, to turn his angelic visitors over to them that "we might know them [intimately]". Sadly, we have eclipsed even that unholiness, and now traffic in the sexual perversion against our own children and the children of sojourners in our country [whether legal or illegal]. Sex trafficking and pornography have become a big business in our nation and we are exporting it to the world. God brought severe judgment against Sodom and Gomorrah for far less. Do we really think we deserve less for sanctifying this evil at the altar of Satan in our own midst? How can we call ourselves a Christian nation, if it continues to flourish? Turning a blind eye to it because it is all cloaked in Satan's  darkness doesn't give us an excuse. And singing our worship songs in our sanctuaries every Sunday does not eradicate this abomination from our nation's soul. We must all seek the face of the Lord for what part we can play in setting the captives free. Don't let apathy or indifference lead us on a path to destruction!

And the last spiritual issue that I want to discuss today (there will be more in the coming days) is that of how we each discern the implications of a Rapture event. As I have grown in my faith and understanding of God's heart, my position on the Rapture has grown, as well. And my thoughts on how we should live our lives as we await a Rapture (whenever you think it will occur) can be best defined by a comment from my good friend and disciple of Jesus, Steve Harmon, on his Facebook page. In his latest post, Steve wrote: "If you want to believe in the [Pre-Tribulation] rapture, that's fine. Just don't live it". By that he explained that it can produce a quitting and escape mentality in the Believer that the demonic just salivates over, because it results in Christians who sit around, doing nothing and waiting for Jesus to take them to Heaven. It doesn't produce fruit for the Kingdom and teaches Christians to just wait til the time Jesus comes down to take them away from this evil world. So believe in this particular theory, if that is where you feel led; just don't live it. 

I'm in total agreement with Steve, and with a little different addendum to my position. I believe that the Pre-Trib rapture theology doesn't prepare the Body of Christ for the work that Jesus will need us to do when the persecution of the Tribulation begins and we're still here. He will need us to witness and encourage those who are still lost. Remember, the Father desires that no one perish. So, I think we need to be here to make sure that every last person we can influence has the opportunity to hear the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. Also, 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 tells us, Let no one in any way deceive or entrap you, for that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first [that is, the great rebellion, the abandonment of the faith by professed Christians], and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction [the Antichrist, the one who is destined to be destroyed], who opposes and exalts himself [so proudly and so insolently] above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he [actually enters and] takes his seat in the temple of God, publicly proclaiming that he himself is God.

None of that has happened yet -- although I do not deny that all signs point to the possibility that we are fast approaching these events. But I believe that there will be an important assignment for the remnant of Jesus's true believers, and we will be needed to encourage those who fall away from their faith when they realize that the Man of Lawlessness is here and destroying mankind, and they were not raptured out of here. Just think of the fear and despair and hopelessness that will sweep through the Christian community! There will need to be a faithful remnant to help restore their faith and reveal the Sovereign purpose and power of God in those tumultuous times. We must not let fear and despair leave us surrendered to evil, nor lead us to a path of our own destruction!

In summary, I refuse to be convicted of negativity or not recognizing the hope and possibilities of miracles that are ours in the Lord. I write out of love and the desire to empower my fellow believers to identify the false hope and deception that come with the promises of deliverance from any suffering or times of trouble and sorrow. I believe that we are not subject to God's wrath, which will occur on the Day of the Lord, when Jesus returns to wipe out the evil on the earth. And I also believe that when we will seek Him with all of our heart, we will be given the power to overcome the waves of destruction coming against  us, and we will be hidden in Him and protected. He will know us as His own, and He will be in the midst of the conflagration with us. 

Yes, I believe there is a path that leads to destruction, and the choice belongs to all mankind; to individuals and to nations. While we may find ourselves surrounded by the wickedness, we do not lose sight of the One who has defeated death for our sake. I refuse to take the path that leads to destruction, and I choose the narrow gate that leads to redemption and my eternal home in the House of the Lord. All Glory belongs to the King of the Universe!

#endtimes #rapturetheology #pretribulationrapture #confusionofthedevil #identityinjesus

1 Thessalonians 5:14.    We [earnestly] urge you, believers, admonish those who are out of line [the undisciplined, the unruly, the disorderly], encourage the timid [who lack spiritual courage], help the [spiritually] weak, be very patient with everyone. 

November 7, 2022

Oh, The Depth and Power of Jesus's Faithfulness!

Today, the focus of this post is testifying to the overwhelming passion Jesus has for those who belong to Him. As most of you know, the Lord has called my husband and me to participate with Him in helping to set the captives free. For the last ten years, we have embarked on a journey with Jesus to places and people we would never have foreseen in our lives before Him.

Why us? The only answer my spirit has been able to discern is that He knew the purpose for which He created us, and when the time was right, He called us into service. To be honest, looking from the outside in, no one would have picked us! But He knew ... He knew first of all, that we would say "yes" to His invitation. He knew we would remain patient during the three years He sent the Holy Spirit and the anointed people to equip us and train us up. He knew that we would be strong enough to withstand the doubt, unbelief, and judgment from our religious brothers and sisters. And He knew we would be bold enough to step into the unknown territory of the Enemy to which He would lead us.

Believe me, we did none of this out of our own strength! We had to learn to sit our souls down in order to let our spirits rise up and hear from the Lord. But, oh what rewards there have been as we have matured in this calling! And I write all this to encourage and fortify your faith. It is important you know that we have been introduced to people who have experienced the most horrific childhoods that have led to adulthoods lived in constant torment; people who, according to the world's yardstick [and the Church's], have committed every sin, blasphemy, and offense that would qualify them as irredeemable (unable to be redeemed, restored, or recovered). 

Yet, we invite Jesus to overcome the judgment and condemnation they've received from "the religious" members of the Body of Christ; to counter the lies the Enemy has told them since the doors of sin were opened in their childhood; and to restore them to their original purpose that the devil tried to kill, steal, and destroy. And He shows up!!! We have worked with people who believe the lie that Jesus can never forgive them for the molestation they endured; for those they, in turn,  have molested; for the promiscuous years; for the homosexual urges and experiences; for the bestiality; for the drug use and addictions; for the adultery; for the pornography; for the witchcraft they've engaged in; for their agreement with Satan ... and so much more. 

Yet, every single time, Jesus appears to their spirit and hears their confession of forgiveness for those who have wounded them and hurt them (including themselves). And because they have forgiven, He can forgive them. And then He shows His faithfulness to keep His promises to bind up broken hearts; to comfort all who mourn for their sins and the sins committed against them; to give them new garments of righteousness; and to open the prison doors to those who are in bondage. 

We have been privileged to witness glorious testimonies of what Jesus does in the Spirit for those whom He loves and died for. Countenances literally change -- skin tones go from ashen gray to rosy and glowing. Eyes go from dull and dead to bright and shining. Tears flow as the person understands they have been transformed from Satan's Despised to Jesus's Beloved. They now lay claim to the Authority and Power that Jesus has bequeathed to them. They no longer wait for Jesus to come rescue them, but know He has given them the key to their own freedom... the authority to close the spiritual access points to a sinful nature, and the power of His blood to seal those portals permanently shut. The result is generational iniquity is canceled, and new stories are written in God's Book of Life. Future generations will know the love and favor of the Lord for following His righteous path. And their inheritance in Heaven will be significant. 

As I finish this declaration of Jesus's extraordinary and supernatural faithfulness, I want you to know that it extends to each one of us ... me and you! There is nothing we have every said or done that He cannot forgive and redeem us, IF we are willing to confess our sins, forgive those who have hurt us -- just as He forgives us -- and surrender our lives to His righteous ways. We have been given the keys to His Kingdom, where Freedom flourishes and God's will is the ruling principle [to know what He has put in us and how to use it]. The world and our Enemy is trying to convince us we are guilty, shameful, inadequate and unworthy. But I'm here to tell you that Jesus is just waiting for an invitation to conquer those lies and establish His truth as the ruling principle in your life. I have heard and seen Him demonstrate and confirm every promise stated in the Bible. And they are not just words in the Bible... He is the Living Word and the embodiment of all those promises! He can heal your pain and torment! Believe it!

#jesusheals #thebiblespromises #thefaithfulnessofgod #ourpowerandauthorityinchrist

Deuteronomy 7:9    Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments.

July 12, 2022

Are You Prepared For A Journey In The Wilderness?

Remember the story of the Israelites wandering in the desert/wilderness for 40 years after their Exodus from Egypt? Have you ever studied why they were denied entry into the Promised Land? In short, it was a matter of trust. God comes to Moses who is tending his father-in-law's flock in Midian and announces that He has come to earth "to rescue His people from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey" (Exodus 3:8). 

As they approach the Promised Land, God instructs Moses to send 12 spies to survey the land. After 40 days of exploration, ten of the spies gave a bad report ... "We look like grasshoppers to them"! Only Joshua and Caleb said, "We can do this"! And who did the people believe? The doubters! And because of their doubt and unbelief, God sentenced them to wander for 40 years before allowing them to enter the Promised Land -- one year for every day they explored the Promised Land. It was a time of apostasy (Gold Calf) as well as miracles (manna from Heaven); a time of failure and of ultimate victory. 

So, this is what lack of trust in God and His promises looks like. We would do well to take note. America has always been seen as the land of milk and honey, but what can we expect if we show contempt to [and for] God like the Israelites did? And what is it like if you find yourself in a desert or wilderness not of your own making? Is God still the God of promises? I suspect that we may yet know what that looks like in our lifetime.

But I would like to share a personal testimony that will give you hope of how God provides and protects when we walk by faith and not by sight. This is a story of the period in my life that I refer to as “My Seven Years in the Wilderness”.  But I don’t associate my “wilderness” as it is usually ascribed in the Bible. As I stated above, most will think of the Golden Calf and the failure to follow God’s commandments. Those were definitely deserving of punishment, which is how we usually see that episode of history. But we fail to see that those 40 years were also a time God was calling the Israelites back to Him; to reveal Himself to them and begin to prune them for a greater purpose.


Likewise, my seven years in the wilderness were not a form of God’s punishment for any rebelliousness or disobedience on my part. On the contrary, it was a time of drawing me out of the world and into a place of refining and removing the obstacles to our relationship. It was where I learned to rely on Jesus. Let me explain… The year is 2001. My husband, Mark, has been gifted by God with an amazing artistic talent and he had come to me five years prior, saying that he wanted to leave his corporate job and pursue a professional art career, believing that God was calling him down this path. I knew and believed in his talent and didn’t want him to one day be 70 years old and wish he had trusted his instinct. So we agreed that I would continue working my job, supporting us with my paycheck as he got his career off the ground. We happily sacrificed to embrace this new adventure, and true to His promise, the Lord was faithful to Mark as he worked hard to develop his natural skills and grow in reputation due to his talent. 


At the end of five years, he came to me and said if he was going to advance to the next stage of his career, he needed my help to take over the business end, i.e. building and maintaining a web site, scheduling shows, ordering supplies, handling travel arrangements and applications to art shows, and all the accounting duties. He needed to free up his time to meet the growing demand for his art... (Gulp)! We’d gone from two guaranteed paychecks to one, and now, could I go from my guaranteed paycheck to no paycheck? Could we make it on the sporadic (and definitely unguaranteed) income of an emerging artist? I used to laugh when Mark would say that “artist” was the only occupation that had the word “starving” preceding it. That didn’t seem so funny now.


But how could I say no? I believed more than ever in his talent and that we had made the right decision, but the fear of lack of money that I had inherited from my father was soon my constant companion. I had been raised to never be late paying a bill, and to always make sure you had the money in the bank to take care of all your expenses. My father did not possess trust in the Lord, and while I was saved and knew in my heart that He was leading us on this journey, I had to confront that generational bondage of fear and learn to throw off those chains.


I’m not lying when I say that it was a struggle for me. The cost of living was too high in Austin, where we were living at the time, and we knew we had to move from a home his parents owned. So, I turned in my resignation at my job, and prepared to take the biggest leap of faith at that time in my life. We had friends who arranged for a seven-year lease on 169 acres outside a dusty little town situated 90 miles west of San Antonio. There was a little farmhouse on the property, which was going to need to be renovated to be habitable, and although we were only leasing, we decided to take out a small loan to remodel it and make it comfortable for the next seven years.


So, we spent the next couple of months buying supplies and traveling the two hours back and forth from Austin to Sabinal, tearing out walls, pulling up orange shag carpet, refurbishing hardwood floors, and installing new cabinets. It was bright and early one Tuesday morning in September, when we exited Lowe’s with our cabinets and turned on the radio in the truck to hear that the first plane had crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York. We looked at each other in utter shock, knowing our world was about to change in a drastic way, and Mark said, “Well, it’s a great time to be an artist”. 


But while my mind authomatically went to fear and doubt, I was blessed to be married to a man who dug deep into his faith and soldiered on, believing that God would never abandon us. He deserves so much favor from God for the patience he showed me in those years, because the Enemy knew right where to aim his fiery dart. I was going to have to learn to adjust on many levels. I had a strong work ethic, and was used to working an 8-5 job and putting in long hours when needed to make sure I did my job well. I no longer had that structure and I found myself lost with how to occupy and organize my time and new duties. I actually felt guilty if I wasn’t doing something every hour of the day. I didn’t know how to enjoy the freedom of being self-employed and the rewards of being in control of your own opportunities and destiny. 


On top of that, I was struggling with the change [and real] difference in our income. I had to learn how to budget differently because in the art business, you never know when a sale will come your way. You might be rolling in the dough one month and make zilch the next. I was constantly aware of how much was in the bank and looking at the stack of bills before me. I prayed for God to take the fear from me, and to help me to trust Him. I knew my doubt and unbelief were a sin, and I had to decide to just walk in faith and lean on Jesus to provide. I would do good for a few weeks and then, Bam! An unexpected expense would arise and the devil would have me in his clutches again. It was a couple of years of taking one step forward, and two steps back.


But I was determined to overcome my fears and learn to rely on the Lord for our provision. I worked hard at taking my eyes off the stack of bills and rejoicing in all the small, yet incredibly blessed joys of living a simple life in the country. I began to see how God was removing me from the trappings of the world and was giving us freedom to become all He had designed us to be. Things that would have sent me spiraling downward just a year ago, now didn’t seem so earth-shattering. I was able to look back at how God had delivered us from a similar situation months before, and began believing that He would do it again. I was building a history with Him. And my husband and I were growing in our faith together; seeking a bigger understanding of our relationship with Him, and enjoying a Bible study on the Book of Daniel. Then the devil decided to come calling again.


If you could see my husband with our animals, you would know how much he cares for all of God’s creation. One afternoon, I was in our bedroom, working on a novel I was writing, and I heard one of our dogs barking and then making an unusual crying sound. I alerted Mark and he went outside to check, and a 6-foot rattlesnake had attacked our dogs, mortally wounding his favorite Jag terrier. We ended up losing two dogs that day and the pain I saw my husband experience ripped my soul apart. He had been my strength during my period in this wilderness, and now it was my turn to return the blessing. I knew the Enemy had struck where Mark was most vulnerable, and it would have been so easy to abandon our studies and step away from God for a spell, but I continued to speak into Mark that we would not let the devil deter us from getting closer to God. We would not give in to the devil’s plan to separate us from our growing faith. I prayed that night and clung to the strength that is Jesus; remaining in Him through that night, and was rewarded with Him remaining in us through the following days as we climbed out of our grief and plunged ever deeper into His Word. The devil would not win that battle!


We continued our studies, learning more and seeing our spiritual knowledge expanding. And while finances didn't get easier, we were now more focused on what we had in our changing relationship with God, and not so much on what we were lacking in money or material wealth. We had good, Godly mentors in our life, and it was during this time that my prayer life grew and I started recognizing that I was beginning to hear from the Holy Spirit and was actually finding joy in my wilderness. And I have never forgotten the day that I heard in my spirit, "If you will be faithful to Me, I will be faithful to you". I knew that I had crossed a threshold in my faith. I was content with what we had ... it wasn't much by the world's standards, and there were still times that nothing was left in our bank account at the end of the month, but I was beginning to fear less and trust more! I was determined to remain steadfast and faithful, and I believed in God's promise that He would do the same.

That was 16 years ago. And at the end of that 7-year lease, God had humbled me, taught me obedience and to rely completely on Him. Ultimately, He led us away from 129 acres and a house that belonged to someone else, to our Promised Land: 3 beautiful acres, a home we designed [and took an active part in building], and a studio for Mark. We are still far from a huge bank account, expensive cars, and opulent vacations, but we are prosperous in the ways of the Lord. Here in our Promised Land we have been sanctified and anointed to serve Him in an Inner Healing Ministry and been blessed to have all our financial needs met. We have grown so much in our relationship with the Lord and have come to know other faithful and obedient people. We are finally at a good place in body, soul, and spirit.

But we see the storm clouds on the horizon. The world is teetering on lawlessness and the Lawless One is making himself known. Will the world plunge us back into a wilderness where contempt and loathing for God and each other will bring more testing? I pray that there are enough of us who are praying and repenting that God will spare our rebellious nation. But if not, then I know what it is like to walk in the wilderness and still seek Him; to feel like the darkness is encroaching, but still see the Light; to hear the whispers of defeat from the Enemy, but hearing the voice of my Lord declaring He is with us and victory is ours! No matter what comes, we cannot give in or give up! God will never take us where His grace will not cover us nor His power deliver us! So if "the wilderness" is in your future, remember this: if you abide in Him, the journey will not be permanent! He has a plan for your life. Live for Him in obedience, reliance, and steadfastness, and your journey will bless you hundredfold!

Isaiah 40:3-5   A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”















July 16, 2021

Stranger In A Foreign Land

I wonder how many of you are beginning to feel like me; like I've woken from a long sleep to find myself in a strange place I no longer recognize. I know that, according to the world, I am a citizen of the United States. But I also know that on a higher level, my citizenship is in Heaven. Until recently, I have been satisfied that those two identities could co-exist in harmony. But increasingly, I am coming to understand that compromise is the only way my heavenly citizenship can comply with my national residency -- and my spirit finds that intolerable. 

It's hard to believe but it was less than two years ago that I wrote this for my book, Through A Kingdom Lens: Rediscovering What the Church Lost  --  "I think we can all agree that, as citizens of the United States, we have rights, privileges, and responsibilities. On a civil and public level, we are called upon to respect the rights, beliefs, and opinions of others; even if we think they are extreme, outrageous, or morally wrong. We know that if we are born in the United States, we legally belong to this country and we have the rights and protection of this country."  

Sadly, I'm not so sure I can say that today. Therefore, my citizenship in Heaven has become that much more precious to me. In fact, my identity and value as a citizen of Heaven is more valuable and costly to me than my recognition as an American. In fact, I find it harder and harder to recognize my native land. It's as if I clearly see the foreign and spiritual influences which are eroding the foundation of our moral underpinning. Our cornerstone of freedom and liberty is being chipped away, and I'm not sure we still possess an imperishable faith in God that will withstand the assault on our way of life.

I can't help but think of what it must have been like for the ancient Israelites to be carried into bondage in Babylon. I know it took approximately 50 years for the fullness of the exile to be completed, but I wonder if they recognized the slow slide of their nation into captivity, or did they willingly allow compromise and disobedience to lead them away from God? The rebelliousness in the House of David continued through Solomon and his son, and eventually led to the tribes of Israel carried into captivity in Assyria and Babylon. They abandoned their covenant with God -- who takes His covenants very seriously -- and their apostasy delivered them into His righteous judgment.

It seems to me that we have followed the same path, ignoring the covenant made by God with men He chose to set the spiritual destiny of this nation. One of these men was John Winthrop, a Puritan and leading figure in the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Here are his prophetic words: "Thus stands the cause between God and us. We are entered into covenant with Him for this work. The Lord will be our God and delight to dwell among us, as His own people, and will command a blessing upon us in all our ways, so that we shall see much more of His wisdom, power, goodness and truth … We shall find that the God of Israel is among us, when ten of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies.” But there came a warning with this prophecy. Winthrop also said this: “If we shall deal falsely with our God; if our hearts shall turn away so that we will not obey, but shall be seduced and worship other Gods, and serve them, then our blessings will cease to exist”. 

It is not difficult to discern those "gods" which are so evident in our society: profit, greed, power, material possessions, lust, etc. The rebelliousness has led to altars being built to worship abortion, sex trafficking, false religions, and more. And it's not hard to see that our blessings are in grave danger of being eradicated. In ancient Israel, the entire national structure of the kingdom, which was thought to be ordained by God Himself, came crashing down. It certainly seems as if we are on the precipice of experiencing such destruction ourselves. As the Bible Project website records, "The event [in Israel] fulfilled centuries of prophetic warnings, as hundreds of years of tradition, culture, and history was destroyed in just one year. This was their Day of the Lord, and it left them absolutely devastated."

Our country is far less established; not yet 250 years old. How much quicker can we be destroyed? And I want to be clear ... we serve a God who remains committed to His promises to us, even as we have been unfaithful to our covenant obligations to Him. So, even in the midst of our despair over the current situation in our nation, I believe that IF God ordains that our national structure will crumble and fall, He will empower a remnant of the truly faithful to carry forth His Word. Although He is a righteous God, whose nature calls for punishment and discipline for the disobedient, He is also a God of compassion and restoration. It is not His will to leave this nation barren and unfruitful. That long-ago covenant has deep roots, and I believe new seeds of holiness can sprout from the ashes of whatever is in store for our future. 

Nearly a year ago, I shared a prayer that a Messianic pastor in Israel had written for America. He spoke from his own national history of seeing restoration rise from captivity. He declared that America was birthed out of covenant with the Lord and we have justice and righteousness engraved in our foundation. He declared that the Lord's purposes and dreams [for America] would be fulfilled. Oh, how I pray that his prophetic words will come true! Lord, let me part of the remnant that sees the kingdoms of the world become the Kingdom of God. Make no mistake, I fear it will become worse before it becomes better. But our God never abandons His promises! Let us invite the Most High God to once again establish His statutes, ordinances, and laws in this great nation, and declare that He is our God and we are His people. We stand at a very critical crossroads.... for our nation; for our society and culture; for the world's population; for the Body of Christ. In my flesh, I may feel like a stranger in a foreign land, but my spirit is strong and confident in identifying my true Homeland where my King intercedes for us. Stay committed to your personal covenant with Him, and pray that our time of disobedience is soon over.

Psalm 106:45   And He remembered His covenant for their sake,
And relented [rescinding their sentence] according to the greatness of His lovingkindness [when they cried out to Him],

July 5, 2021

From 2012 to Today... A Study Of Psalm 91:7-8


A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
    and see the punishment of the wicked.
In 2012, I wrote a post on these two verses of Psalm 91, and in revisiting it, I found it is even more relevant these nearly nine years later. The same questions I asked then are ones I would like to present to you today ... Do you take the words of this Scripture literally, or do you think they are figurative, or symbolic? As a Christian, do you have the courage to believe that God means this literally in His promise of protection?  Is it possible that this could mean exactly what it says, and we could miss out on the promise by doubting its veracity? I want to examine what the Holy Spirit prompted me to write nine years ago and see if there is more revelation [in light of where we are on the timeline of the final destiny of mankind].
As I look back on our recent history, the year 2012 seems to have been the harbinger for the slide into moral decay and lawlessness that now runs rampant in our nation. We saw the beginning of more intrusions in our lives with the Obama healthcare policies. The visible corruption within our national security agencies found many Americans beginning to distrust those whose job it is to protect us from enemies, foreign and domestic. Mass shootings seemed to explode across the land: Aurora, CO and the Batman movie massacre; the shootings at a Sikh Temple; the Empire State Building, and the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings all dominated the headlines.  We also saw the first big case of pedophilia hit the news cycle, when Jerry Sandusky, Penn State's former defensive coordinator, was sentenced to 60 years in prison for child sex abuse. We also saw Lance Armstrong fall from grace when he was banned from cycling for life for doping. Hurricane Sandy killed 130 people, and the nation was outraged [and still is] over the failure of those at the highest level of our government to protect and rescue the heroes of Benghazi. It was a rough year. 
So, at the time, I felt it was pertinent to ask the important question ... Do we believe what these two significant verses promise? And as we find ourselves in even more dire straits in 2021, the question is the same, and probably even more relevant. It will be very important in the coming months how you answer that question because I think it is safe to say that not everyone will benefit from these promises. Like all the other promises in Psalm 91, these two are available to all; but only those who believe what God says in His Holy Word, and hold fast to the promises within, will receive the benefits. So we must choose to believe and trust His Word!
Why is Psalm 91:7-8 more significant today? Nine years ago, we might have contemplated that the End Times were approaching. Today, I would surmise that most of us perceive we may even see the return of Christ in our lifetimes; or at least the lifetimes of our children or grandchildren. I want you to think about verse 6 that precedes the two I am pointing out today ... [You will not be afraid] of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor of the destruction (sudden death) that lays waste at noon. We have certainly seen this prophecy fulfilled in the last year! God knew that there would be times when we would be overwhelmed with all the negative reports of life around us and in the world.  That is why He is warning us in this verse that thousands will fall around us; they will not only cave in to the doubts and worries of spiritual warfare coming against us, but could be consumed by the actual real-life events that we are experiencing (wars and rumors of wars from our foreign enemies; betrayal of our leaders; viruses and diseases; human trafficking; invasion at our borders). 
At this point we have to choose whether we will believe and trust; running to that shelter of the Most High, where He promised we would find rest (and safety) in His shadow. That's the first promise! But as I've told you before, this takes action on our part.  He offers the promises of protection, but we must choose to claim them!  Otherwise, we find ourselves, along with the rest of the world, passively accepting the consequences of "the destruction" that is befalling the thousands at our side, and the ten thousands at our right.  What I hope you will see is that Psalm 91 is a complete covenant package of protection.  It covers all the evils known to mankind, and God tells us how to claim His protection over them all! 
So, let's take a look at another promise in Psalm 91 ... You will only [be a spectator as you] look on with your eyes and witness the [divine] repayment of the wicked [as you watch safely from the shelter of the Most High]. Here God is telling us that we will see His judgment! I believe we are already beginning to see it as He exposes the corruption and perversion in the high places of the powerful.  Sooner or later, every sin will be exposed and paid for.  We are seeing that begin to happen today in the case of child sex predators, election fraud, and the unmasking of corrupt "science". Nothing will go unpunished. And I think this verse is telling us that if we seek His protection from the evil that is causing those around us to fall, that protection will include a sort of detachment; we will see it and not let it become part of us.  Our protection keeps us from letting the Enemy's hate become a part of us.  By believing and trusting in God's protection promises, we are putting ourselves in a separate category from the wicked mentioned in the verse, as well as the doubters and unbelievers.
But I must give a cautionary warning about Psalm 91. It does not promise protection from persecution. As Peggy Joyce Ruth, the author of the book, Psalm 91, says:  "There is a difference in the destruction of the enemy [as outlined in this Psalm] and persecution for the sake of the Gospels of Kingdom and Salvation."  In truth, Jesus, himself, told us that if we follow Him, we can expect to be persecuted. Jesus suffered persecution, but He did not face calamity, disaster, disease, or catastrophes. This verse lets us know to expect that spiritual warfare will be a part of our Christian walk, even as we suffer physical and spiritual attacks. The words of this verse are not written just to inspire or comfort us, but to provide protection and deliverance from the attacks of the Enemy.
The rest of Psalm 91 provides more promises: no evil will befall us; no plague come near our dwellings (SO relevant today!); God will command His angels to protect, defend and guard us as we continue in service and obedience to Him; we will tread on our enemies and trample them underfoot; He will be with us in our time of trouble [persecution]; He will rescue us and honor us; He will satisfy us with a long life and we will receive our eternal salvation. BUT, it is very important that you see the condition God has placed on these promises. The wonderful promises of Psalm 91 are dependent upon one’s meeting the conditions stated in the first two verses, as evidenced in the words of verse 9: Because you have made the Lord your refuge and your dwelling place, you can remain secure and rest in His Shadow [whose power no Enemy can withstand].
And I want to share the testimony of a reader who so vividly captured the truth of what it means to choose to believe the promises of this powerful psalm. He wrote to me about a year ago, after stumbling across the 2012 post I wrote, and this is what he said ... "Never was Psalm 91 more relevant to mankind than today. Your explanation of Psalm 91 is what the Holy Spirit has been revealing to me over the last few weeks, as the Corona Virus brings the whole World to its knees. Although at age 78 I am in the at-higher-risk category, I have no fear, because I trust in God's promises in Psalm 91. Until recently (schools have been closed due to the Pandemic) I have been teaching scripture to Primary School boys and girls. Last year the syllabus dealt with God's promises. I taught the kids, as the Bible teaches us, that when God makes a promise, He Keeps it! I was so happy to observe [that] the children accepted this truth so eagerly. Whenever I would use [in class] the phrase 'God makes a Promise', the whole class would rise in unison, punch the air with their little fists and shout out loud, 'He always keeps it'! I pray they will never forget this truth. It is clear to me (like you) that only those who truly believe in the promises of Psalm 91 will receive the protection from God which is promised in this Psalm".
So, I ask the same question in 2021 that I asked in 2012, because I discern the gravity of our situation, and the heart of the Father that we earnestly believe in His promises so that we might not be deprived of them. He longs for us all to have a depth to our faith; a very real confidence and trust in Him. We must not just say the words, but believe them to our core; live them, and embed them in our hearts. I pray that each of you will examine your hearts to know if you truly trust Him. The promises of God are real, but the benefits are not available to everyone. Hold fast to them and don't let go!  

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August 9, 2020

Don't Be Like King Asa!


     Before, I get to the points I want to make in today's blog, I want us to revisit a brief passage in 2 Chronicles 16 about Asa, the fifth king of the Kingdom of Judah. The Bible says that "in the 36th year of his reign, he developed a disease in his feet". It says that although "this disease was severe, yet even in his illness he did not seek the Lord, but [relied only] on the physicians". The demise of Asa is mentioned in a very short verse immediately following his diagnosis: "So Asa slept with his fathers [in death] the 41st year of his reign." What can we learn from this brief history?

     I am increasingly finding myself on the fringe of society; even among my fellow Christians. As we continue to swirl around in this "Covid stew of confusion", I am amazed at how easily led some people are to the spirit of fear. Charisma Magazine ran an article that really spoke to my heart, and I think shows us how some of us could identify with King Asa. The article was reflecting on the various comments on Facebook regarding how best to traverse the contradictory information we receive from the media on how to defeat the pervasive Coronavirus.

     One commenter said, "Show me the verse in Scripture that says God heals everything except Coronavirus". That got me to thinking about what Christians believe when it comes to how best to react during this pandemic. Depending on where you live, local authorities across the country have differing opinions as to what our behavior should be. Responses range from mandating we shut everything down, to more lenient policies of opening up businesses while maintaining common sense precautions. When is it okay to go without a mask? Is it really necessary to wear one while driving by oneself in a car? Even the Doctors and Scientists can't agree on the optimum solutions to Covid!

     Some advocate six more months of shutdown and quarantine, with schools closed and everyone locked away in their homes; while others say we must adopt a "herd immunity" mentality, whereby everyone eventually becomes exposed to the disease and the virus dies out, so to speak, as people get the virus and recover. But even that solution is not universally agreed upon. Do you attain herd immunity through vaccinations which have been rushed into existence, or do you achieve it through natural infection? You can see why there is so much stress and anxiety in the population. But we Christians are not supposed to resemble the general population.

     So, why do so many Believers turn to Science and Doctors for deliverance from this virus, rather than God? Perhaps the answer lies in Matthew 13:58, "And [Jesus] did not do many miracles there, because of their unbelief." As Christians, do we turn to the Doctor for a magic pill or procedure [or vaccination] to cure us before we turn to Jesus, who showed us that the power of God to heal is in us? How many, who call ourselves Believers, are afraid to walk among the general population without a mask? I'm not talking about being foolish and subjecting yourself to the company of someone obviously infected and suffering from Covid, or any other communicable disease, for that matter. I'm talking about being so paranoid that you avoid people all together or refuse to attend church or family outings because you can't "safely distance yourself"? What happened to our faith in believing our God is who He says He is? When did our unbelief begin to shake the very foundations of our faith? And when did the so-called "facts" from the so-called "experts" exceed our confidence in God's power?

     I choose to believe the Word when it says that I abide in Christ and He abides in me. To me, that means that I have a life-giving connection with Him; He lives in me, and I live in Him. So when I leave my home, I picture myself stepping inside the realm that is Christ, where Covid cannot touch me. And while I trust in the medical advice that Zinc, Vitamin D3 and Vitamin C are powerful fighters against the virus, I also see God's Living Water continually flowing through my lungs, washing away anything that might try to attach itself. Plus, I anoint my lungs with holy oil so that the virus is unable to become lodged in my lungs. And, of course, I always keep my spiritual armor on, and my shield of faith in position, along with the Sword of the Spirit at constant readiness. 

     I know there are some, even among the Christian community, who would claim I am hopelessly naive, at the least, or insensitive and careless of others, at worst. But I identify more with the Canaanite woman who approached Jesus to get healing for her daughter, than I do King Asa. That woman was willing to accept the bread crumbs from the Master's table, believing that even the smallest portion of what the Lord offers is enough to receive a miracle for her daughter. And yet, do you know how much that offended Jesus's disciples? It's no different today! I know that my belief in Jesus has offended the unbelief in the Doubters. I know that my confident faith in Jesus is seen as foolish and potentially threatening to those who walk in fear. I know, because I have seen the looks of disgust as I remove my mask immediately after exiting the grocery store; or when I have to pull it down to take a breath of fresh air instead of feeling confined by a piece of cloth that has not been proven to stop the spread of the virus anyway.

     Personally, I have chosen to wage war against this virus in the Spirit, refusing to give in to Satan's spirit of fear, and instead, opting to walk in the promises of Jesus. Throughout the Book of Matthew, Jesus shows us time and again that He healed everyone who came in faith and believed that He could heal them. It was their unbelief that caused them to doubt if healing was possible, and ultimately kept them from seeking Him. 

     I choose to live like the Canaanite woman, employing a supernatural faith that miracles and wonders still exist today. No weapon formed against me can prosper and no plague shall befall me as I live in the secret place of the Most High God and abide under His Shadow! I will trust in His protection and His provision. That doesn't mean that I will ignore safety measures or put anyone else needlessly in harm's way. I will continue to do the smart things that ward off all infectious disease. But I will also not give in to another's fear or worry that comes from their faithless unbelief. Neither will I be deceived by faithless Science or faulty human wisdom. I serve a supernatural God from whom all blessings flow, and I live in His Kingdom system, not the world's. Unlike King Asa, I turn to the Lord first, instead of putting my faith in man. Anything less does not honor the One who has defeated Death.

Psalm 73:28  But as for me, it is good for me to draw near to God;
I have made the Lord God my refuge and placed my trust in Him,
That I may tell of all Your works.