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

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

January 14, 2024

Updated: Mother's Teach Your Children!

This is an updated version of one of the very first posts I wrote when I began this blog in 2012. At the time, I thought the world was in a heap of trouble, but it didn't come close to comparing what we're facing today. So, it is worthwhile to revisit this address to mothers [and fathers] to teach your children to know their history; to know who they came from, and the stories of how their ancestors overcame their struggles. It's the same reminder that God gave Moses to share with the Israelites -- to remember all He had done for them through the history of time. We need to do that for these present generations. Their survival depends on it!

As a Baby Boomer, I was raised to remember the standards of courage and moral values set by my ancestors. I was taught the skills that my grandmother considered were important in the care of her family (knitting, canning, baking bread, gardening). I was also taught to acknowledge gifts with a hand-written thank you note, and to say “thank you”, “yes, sir”, and “excuse me”, when it was appropriate – the kinds of things that contribute to a civilized society.

My most prized possession is my Family Bible, dating back to 1814. In it are recorded the births, marriages, and deaths of a long line of people that leads to me. It is not only a reminder that the world is not all about me, but it helps me to remember who I am and where I came from. I wanted to know their stories and experiences; to learn from the hard work and perseverance that brought them through some of the most difficult times and adversities this country had ever seen.

I cherished the handed-down history of my family from the Civil War, when they buried the family silverware to keep it from being stolen by General Sherman’s advancing army. I listened to my grandmother’s story of taking in washing and mending during the Depression in order to feed her five young children, after she suddenly became a widow at 28. And I sat at my father’s knee as he recounted getting his parents’ permission to sign up, at 17, to go to war, after Pearl Harbor.

I wanted to think that I could be as brave and determined as they were in the face of those adverse circumstances. Their memories and stories were passed down to me by my mom and dad, and aunts and uncles, with pride in our family heritage of sacrifice and endurance. I loved that personal history, but also was introduced to the history of the founding of our country, which was spoken of with the same pride and loyalty. As a child, I was enamored with the tales of the brave men and women who fought for our freedom and independence, and often wished I could have lived during that time to experience that struggle [from what must have seemed like sure defeat at the hands of a despot] that led to a Divine victory whereby men would rule themselves. 

But it wasn't all about Independence and the heroes who secured that for us. I was also taught the sorrow and deep pain of the Civil War and how that division was still affecting our country. I was taught that it was incumbent upon each of us to defend and protect what millions of men had died to preserve. And I remember a similar division spreading its wings during the Vietnam War. Did we learn any lessons through those conflicts?

And now, I find myself in my seventh decade thinking, “I have a feeling, that very soon, I’m going to have the opportunity to not only prove myself worthy of all my family's legacies, but to share in the confusion and suffering of my country becoming divided”.  Believe me, I am not claiming that our country is perfect! Not by a long shot! There has always been an underlying element of men [and women] whose loyalties have been attached to nefarious and wicked schemes to benefit themselves and the Luciferian rulers of this world. But our God has always been present, working through Godly men and women to help us stay the course and serve Him, according to His will. Sadly, that knowledge and faithfulness is disappearing.

I’m not so concerned about how I will handle the trouble that’s coming. I KNOW who I am, and not only who I came from, but where I’m going. But I do worry about the generations that are following us. Do they know? Because I’m not sure the legacy and birthright of the individuals who built this nation have been taught or inherited by those who are being primed to take over the running of this country. Not only do they spurn the skills of their grandparents and ancestors as useless and archaic, but they’ve not been taught to think for themselves, and they rely only on social media for their news and information. They have no idea of the truth and spirit of this nation.

Without a fight, Tik Tok has hypnotized the minds of our younger generations with brainless entertainment, while mixing in a few propaganda messages why young Americans should hate our evil country. Very few have the knowledge or the truth to refute the indoctrination, nor are they willing to make the effort to learn. As long as the laughing babies and cute animal videos continue to stream nonstop, they are content to be lulled into passivity and ignorance. 

Witness the miscomprehension of the atrocities in Israel that occurred on October 7th of this year.  Thousands march in the streets and on campuses without any real understanding of the history that underscores what they see displayed on their phones and TV screens. But why should they? They’ve been convinced that history is unimportant; that it is irrelevant to their immediate lives, and that it can be altered if it doesn’t fit the narrative of those who have decided that social ideologies are due for a change. 

But remembering our history is so important to retaining our identity and our every existence. I want to extend a challenge to you … If you asked your children or grandchildren to tell you what they've learned from you or their grandparents, could they tell you?  Have we handed over the responsibility of forming our children's identity to some School Board that knows better than we do?  And most importantly, do our children know that the rewards of this life come from working hard, helping others, overcoming adversity, and giving all the glory to our God? 

It is precisely because we've been such a prosperous nation post-World War II, that the American mindset became all about giving our children everything it was possible to give them. We made it all about them, as we left the memories of our family histories behind. The Enemy convinced us that we didn't want them to suffer lack, or discouragement, or difficulties, and we lost sight of the tremendous value of sharing [and experiencing] those very aspects of life. And that also includes failing! We forgot to teach our kids the lessons of how to learn from our failures -- because every child received a “participation ribbon”. 

That's why God spends so much time in His Word reminding us to remember! It is through our shared and deliberately remembered history that we are able to see our role in our present conflicts. When we forget our history, we forget that we possess, within our DNA, the memories of how to overcome the obstacles, oppression, and struggles that come our way. When we lose those memories, we don't really know who we are or who we came from, or what our present role is to be. And more importantly, we lose whose we are.  

God admonished Moses to remind the Israelites to remember all He had done for them; the miracles of their survival through horrendous persecution. Have we taught our children and grandchildren of all the ways God has seen us through our own trials and tribulations, or shared the stories of their grandparents or great-grandparents? Or have we chosen to shelter them from anything that makes them feel uncomfortable or that might be too difficult for them to handle? If so, then finding their way through our uncertain future is going to be difficult for them. 

But it's not too late! It's time to become deliberate and attentive to remembering! Teach your young children the stories in the Bible of God's people overcoming their obstacles, and then relate it to your own family history. And we must begin to amend the lack of "remembering" that we didn't teach our young Millennial adults. It's time they begin to understand that what they've "learned" from technology and social media and their “woke” professors does not compare to the power of God's work in their family histories.  

Each of us has a story to tell --- and that story helps define our morals, our value systems, and our successes in life. By the Grace of God, I owe whatever strength of mind and character I have to the examples that were passed down to me.  What are we passing down to the next generation? PLEASE take the time to tell your children and grandchildren about overcoming difficulties; and teach them how to think for themselves. They have inherited a rich history of resiliency and fortitude. That is the American legacy. Teach them to embrace it. They are going to need it! 

#mothersteachyourchildren #thevalueofmemories #rememberingfamilyhistory #whatlegacyareweleavingourchildren? #theimportanceofteachinghistory #doyouknowwhereyoucamefrom? #whodoyoubelongto? #doyouknowyouridentity?

Isaiah 46:9-11     Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other ... Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ ... I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.

November 29, 2020

A Nation Divided: Are We Like The Kingdom of Israel? -- Part 1

A Nation Divided ... that is how the media pundits describe us these days. And I will agree that there are some major differences in ideologies, political positions, and societal standards among our citizenry. Neither is this the first time that our nation has come to this crossroads. It's been 160 years since the United States faced a split like this one, and it cost us dearly. I pray we can take a step back before we find ourselves at the edge of that cliff again. And we are not the first nation in the history of the world to find its internal conflict resulting in a fractured people.

And this got me to thinking how God regards nations. I am no theologian, but I am a seeker after God's heart on a myriad of topics, and this is one of them. I won't bore you with my line of reasoning, but I will tell you where my thoughts have culminated. Interestingly, they align with the beginning of the Bible and again, at the end. So let's take a look at the beginning ... The Word makes it clear in Deuteronomy, Chapter 32, that God gave the nations their inheritance, and separated them, setting the boundaries of the peoples (verse 8). This chapter also makes it clear that God established Israel as a nation and chose them as His portion among the nations (verses 6-9). All this happened after Nimrod encouraged the people to rebel against God and they attempted to overthrow Heaven. So God separated them, giving them different languages, and assigning them to different governing gods. 

And before you think I am theologically incorrect, I would refer you to Psalm 82, where God is standing in the Divine Assembly, and judging among the gods. In this powerful psalm, God is dressing down the lesser gods (whom He created and assigned to the nations) for not treating the peoples of the nations righteously or justly. The misunderstanding of this Psalm, combined with the mistranslation in Deuteronomy 32:8 that God set the boundaries "according to the sons of Israel", has led to centuries of confusion about God as the Most High God among the universe's multitude of lesser gods. You see, "sons of Israel" was originally written as sons of God in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and angels of God in the Septuagint. Our modern translations, which render the verse as sons of Israel, were written beginning in 1611 (and later), while the Dead Sea Scrolls were written in 150 B.C. and the Septuagint between 330 and 350 A.D., giving their translations precedence; at least to my way of thinking. So, I believe that this clearly shows us that nations were not only created by God, but how they came to be governed by the heavenly authorities established over them, and why all this is important to God. [NOTE: I could write an entire series of blogs on this concept, but for this discussion, I simply wanted to establish how God regards the nations].

So, let's take a look now at what is revealed about nations at the end of the Bible. In Revelation 21, the Apostle John is given a vision of the New Heaven and Earth, and the New Jerusalem, where the glory of God has illumined it; and the Lamb, Jesus Christ, is its lamp and light. The Bible says in verse 24, "The nations [the redeemed people from the earth] will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring into it their glory". And in Revelation 22:1-2, John is shown a river of the Water of Life, beside which is growing the renewed Tree of Life, whose leaves "were for the healing of the nations". This makes it obvious [to me] that God desires nations to be filled with redeemed servants of God, and that He has established a new Tree of Life by which nations will be healed and restored. 

So, what are we to take away from these disclosures in the Word of God? Should we pray for our nation to receive healing and restoration? Or are we doomed to follow the path of the ancient kingdom of Israel, who became a divided nation and ultimately went into physical and spiritual captivity? Can we learn from the mistakes that led to the northern nation of Israel and the southern nation of Judah; and can we see any similarities between their history and how ours is playing out? Let's consider a few things and then decide how we should pray for reconciliation in our land...

If you know your Bible history, then you are aware that the ancient kingdom of Israel became divided shortly after the death of King Solomon. It would be easy for us to surmise that his son, Rehoboam, failed at preserving the kingdom that his grandfather, David, had established, and that his father, Solomon, had expanded. But a closer look shows that Solomon actually set the eventual division of Israel into motion. An excellent publication by Liberty University faculty member, Wayne Brindle, educated me on all the issues that led to the dissolution of the kingdom of Israel. And I will endeavor to present a condensed argument that our own nation is in serious jeopardy of making the same mistakes. [You can download the presentation in its entirety by clicking here].  

The immediate image of the Kingdom of Israel under Solomon's reign is that it was idyllic - a time of peace and prosperity. He built a Temple to God that was beyond compare. It is described in the Bible as having walls that were lined with cedar, on which were carved figures of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, which were overlaid with gold (1 Kings 6:29-30). Chains of gold further marked it off from the Holy of Holies. The floor of the Temple was of fir overlaid with gold. You get the picture, right? 

His accomplishments were known around the world, and he was sought after for his wealth of wisdom. Even the Queen of Sheba traveled for a state visit with King Solomon. He forged alliances with powerful nations and spent lots of money on fortifying the cities of his growing empire. And that required a standing army, with thousands of horses and horsemen -- all of which required enormous amounts of food and provisions. He developed comprehensive programs and built not only the glorious Temple of gold, but his own palace and other magnificent structures that befitted his status. All this at the expense of the twelve tribes of Israel, who made up the citizenry. So, how did he finance all these expenditures? The primary source was taxation, of course! 

But it seems that Solomon played favorites; the taxation was not spread evenly among the different tribes. In fact, if you read 1 Kings, Chapter 4, you will get an idea of how much it would cost to support Solomon's lifestyle. You will also discover that every tribe but Judah is called upon to foot the bill. Solomon was a member of that tribe and apparently he was not a proponent of economic equality. And his partiality towards the region of Judah found him taxing the northern regions of the kingdom more in order to build defenses for the southern part of the kingdom, where Judah existed. For all his wisdom and resourcefulness, [upon his death in 931 B.C.], he left his son, Rehoboam, with a diminished treasury and a "ripe for revolt" constituency in the northern part of the kingdom. Sound familiar? In the next post we will take a look at how this plays out for the troubled kingdom, and how the effects of Solomon's apostasy against the Lord results in judgment. Are we due for a similar fate?

Proverbs 29:2    When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan.


September 28, 2020

Warfare In The Spiritual Realms - Part 2

In the previous post I presented my theological position on spiritual warfare in "the heavenly places", and today I wish to take a more in-depth look at what our responsibilities are as followers of Christ and members of the Ekklesia. 

So, I will begin by stating that I operate in this life by a Biblical worldview; in other words, the truth of who the Bible says I am, and whom I serve, is the foundation of how I live and what I say and do. That includes my understanding of the topic today. In the light of spiritual warfare, I also want to re-establish that the Bible speaks of the First Heaven as the realm where we exist; the earth, sky, atmosphere, etc. The Third Heaven is the place where God and Jesus dwell and where they sit on their thrones. It is their domain/Kingdom and the seat of their government. Since there is a First and Third Heaven, we must assume that there is a Second Heaven. Although not specifically mentioned in Scripture, there are many indirect references to it as the place where Satan and his demons exist and exert their influence over cities, nations, the Church, and anything or anyone who restricts the kingdom of darkness. One such reference is Ephesians 2:1-2, which says, And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince (Satan) of the power of the air (the realm of Second Heaven), the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—

Since Scripture makes it clear that Satan has been expelled from Heaven for his disobedience and mutiny against God, it is apparent that Paul is talking about his influence in the Second Heaven when the apostle says in Ephesians 6:12, For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places. Paul is making it clear that we aren't battling with flesh and blood human beings on the earth, but rather with "spiritual forces of wickedness" in "heavenly" places. Those "places" include both the First Heaven and Second Heaven. Since we find no Scripture that says Satan lives on the earth, how are we to understand how Satan can afflict us in both of these "heavenly places? We must move beyond our Western mindset [which is based on Greek (rational) thinking], and begin to comprehend the mindset of the Bible. 

We begin by grasping that there are hierarchies of demons that follow Satan. It will help if you can understand that demons are "disembodied spirits of the deceased Nephilim", who were the offspring of Fallen Angels mating with human women [noted in Genesis 6:1-4]. Since these ungodly offspring are derived from immortal heavenly beings, they cannot be destroyed completely. Neither can they return to Heaven, as is the case with our spirits. Therefore, these spirits are cursed with remaining on earth to wreak havoc in the lives of humans, causing torment and oppression. These are the "ground level" demons on earth that operate in anger, bitterness, guilt, shame, hatred, rejection, etc. -- and keep the sons and daughters of God from living in freedom.

But as Ephesians 6:12 shows us, there are higher levels of demons; namely, rulers, powers, world forces, and spiritual forces. Included in these designations are fallen angelic powers such as the "Prince of Persia" and the "Prince of Greece". They fought against the angel who was responding to the prayers of the prophet Daniel in Daniel 10:20. The archangel Michael, who is the "Prince of Israel", fought alongside this angel [sent to Daniel] so that this heavenly being could let Daniel know that his prayers had been heard, and that he came bearing a vision of what the future held for God's chosen people. This passage describes the battles that rage in the Second Heaven between the angelic forces of Heaven and those who owe their allegiance to Satan. Just like with Daniel, many times the earthbound demons receive instruction from higher-level, "cosmic" demons and work with them to attack and obstruct our assignments to take back the dominion of the earth that God originally gave us in Genesis 1:26-31.

That is a very short and abbreviated explanation that attempts to explain the spiritual layout of the Heavens, who occupies them, and the opposing forces loyal to God and Satan. So how are we to operate in this dynamic? What are our duties and responsibilities, and how far do they extend? What exactly has our Lord commissioned us to do, and what power and authority have we been given to wage spiritual war?

Sadly, "the Church" in 21st Century America has very knowledge, and let's face it ... tolerance ... for this discussion. Once the Lord revealed [to me] these higher truths of the spiritual dimensions and the activities that go on there to obstruct the Body of Christ from knowing their true identity, I have only met opposition from within the religious structure of the Church. And that only serves to allow Satan and his followers to continue their war against the Kingdom of God on earth. It is important that we take off our "religious glasses" and see the Kingdom and our position in God's army come into focus. That first requires that we know the power and authority that Jesus has given us.

If you are familiar with Luke 10:19, then you know that Jesus says, Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. It is important -- no, I believe vitally important -- that we understand that Jesus is referring to power and authority we have in the world; in the realm of the First Heaven. The reason I believe this is because He repeatedly instructs His Disciples and us [as subsequent followers], to "cast out demons" as part of exercising our power and authority in the commission He has given us. Note this exhortation from our Lord in Matthew 10:1, And when He had called unto Him His twelve disciples, He gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. When Jesus walked the earth as a human, He cast demons out of afflicted human beings on the earth, and healed human disease and sickness, and instructed His followers to do the same. These are the demons that are earthbound and "ground level", NOT the higher level rank and file demons that exist in the Second Heaven.

Furthermore, what is known as "The Great Commission" in Matthew and Mark, supports this argument. In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus says, All authority (all power of absolute rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you;. This assignment is obviously to be carried out on the earth, NOT in the Second Heaven. They are to make disciples of nations, baptizing people, and teaching people on earth to do what He commanded them, which was to cast out demons and heal the sick and raise the dead; all earthly activities. 

Mark 16:17-18 also supports this thesis: And these signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Again, these are all evidence of the power and authority the followers of Jesus have been given to minister on the earth. NOTE: Do your own research on what Jesus meant when He talked about picking up serpents and drinking poison. His listeners would have understood these idioms that He used.

This understanding of our power and authority in the First Heaven [to defeat the schemes of Satan] must necessarily lead us to ask the question, "Do we have power and authority to wage war in the Second Heaven"? Remember, this is where the demons of high administrative rank and great authority reside; and they are in full obedience to Satan who resides in this realm. This is my understanding, and as always, I advise you to do your own research and seek the counsel of the Lord and Holy Spirit. But I have discerned through study and experience that the way we battle in this realm is through mighty and fervent prayer. Satan has assigned high level demons (principalities, powers, rulers, etc.) to conduct warfare against cities, governments, nations, organizations, and yes, even individuals who stand in his way of dominating the earth. James 5:16 clearly emphasizes this principle: Therefore, confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power]. Jesus also proclaims this truth in Mark 9:29 : And He said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.” I believe Jesus distinguishes the higher ranking of that demon by calling the attention of His Disciples to the fact that "this kind" requires more than just casting out because it is a higher level demon.

Unless we are specifically commanded by the Lord, we do not engage in Second Heaven warfare. That is the domain where God's mighty angelic army battles the high-ranking demonic army of Satan. We were given dominion (authority and power) "over the earth" in our Genesis 1:26 mandate, not the Second Heaven. And that is all the more reason that we endeavor to comply with "everything Jesus commands us to do" in Matthew 28 -- cast out demons, heal the sick, cleanse the lepers (the spiritually and physically unclean); raise the dead, and spread the Good News of the Kingdom... that God's heavenly government has once again been re-established on the earth where there are to be no demonic torment, no sickness nor disease, and no death -- if we step into our identity and power and authority!  As the followers of Christ, we are called to "do the things that He has done, and even greater" (John 14:12). That involves keen discernment and proper training and instruction. The Disciples spent three years at the foot of the Master to learn their assignments. Don't you think we should spend considerable time learning from those who are successful in this sphere and whose obedience is pleasing to God? 

We, the Body of Christ, must rise up in our commission; battle in the First Heaven; doing what Jesus did; and fervently praying into the Second Heaven war so that God can put our cries into action on His behalf. He has invested SO much into us, His creation, and He desires that we work with Him to bring about the final defeat of Satan and his hordes. Do not be afraid! Increase your knowledge and training! Be wise and courageous! Stay in your lane! Fulfill what is written in your pages in the Book of Life! And most importantly, remember that the victory has already been won, and WE WILL PREVAIL!

Romans 8:31     What then shall we say to all these things? If God is for us, who can be [successful] against us?   



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.

October 26, 2019

What Does It Mean To "Have Your Mind Renewed"?

This is an excerpt of my book-in-progress on the Kingdom of God. Since I will be out of pocket for a few days at a retreat doing Inner Healing Ministry, I thought I would share just a portion of what the Lord has revealed to Mark and I about how the Kingdom is meant to infiltrate our lives and our Christian walk. Enjoy!

     As professed Christians, and having reached the state of Salvation, it is important to understand that we now have the opportunity to enter into the Kingdom of God, where we can have dual citizenship. Our flesh and soul reside in the physical world, but our spirit has the rights and privileges of a citizen of Heaven, seated [as we are] with Christ in the heavenly realms.
     Building on that truth, I now want to introduce you to a concept that I discovered during a class on the human spirit, taught by Dan Duval, Executive Director of Bride Ministries, and Pastor of Fire Place Church. Just as we recognize a Triune God – God, the Father; Jesus, the Son of God; and Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God – we are created as a triune man. We are created with a body, soul, and spirit.
     NOTE: This may be a new concept for you because I am aware that some denominational doctrines teach that the soul and spirit are the same thing. Hebrews 4:12 makes it clear that they are separate parts of us: For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit…
      We know that our body is made up of flesh; it is our physical body. Our soul is our mind, our [free] will, and our emotions. Our spirit is the part of us that is made in the image of God and is actually trans-dimensional. The Apostle Paul makes this very clear in Ephesians 2:1-3 when he says while we were dead in our sins [as citizens of the earth] we were influenced by “the dark ruler of the earthly realm [Satan] who fills the atmosphere with his authority”. But now, as saved Believers, we no longer belong to Satan, but have been “rescued completely from the tyrannical rule of darkness and been translated into the kingdom realm of God’s beloved Son. That word “translated” means we have been moved [in the spirit] from earth to heaven, and citizenship in Heaven has now been conveyed to us. In fact, that’s where the dual citizenship comes in; we have free access to Heaven while still here on earth.
      So, as citizens of Heaven, we are to no longer act or think as we did as citizens of this world. We are to become transformed, and the most powerful tool we have to make that transformation is our mind. That is the essence of Romans 12:2. But since we still live here on the earth, it should be obvious that there is a tremendous battle for our minds. In order to begin to act like a citizen of the new and different realm of Heaven, we must begin to think differently. We must begin to think like God and Jesus think, and develop the mind of Christ.
      But here is where our mind [as part of our soul] and our human spirit often come into conflict. Along with our body, our soul is the part of us that begins to exist at conception – our brain is formed and with it our mind; out of which comes our ability to think, and feel (our emotions), and to make decisions (our free will). Our spirit is the part of us that has pre-existed with God since the foundations of the world. And Jeremiah 1:5 tells us Jesus knew us before He formed us in the womb [as a spirit being, made in His image]. It is important that we understand that the soul and spirit are different and serve different functions. And because our mind is part of our soul and is intertwined with our physical body, it presents itself as the consciousness with which we engage the world. This is important to understand because our soul is designed to be submitted to our spirit; thinking and hearing and seeing ‘in the spirit’ so that, just like Jesus [who never did anything on His own, but only what He heard or saw from the Father], our mind can be in sync with our spirit and we can grow into the image of Christ. But until we have a conversion experience, our mind and soul may never be aware of our spirit, and never see or hear or interact with our spirit. 
     As Dan Duval teaches, we must remember that when we are saved, our spirit is one with the Holy Spirit (we are stamped with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit). So, we can now understand that much of what the Holy Spirit is doing is happening in and through our spirit. The stronger our spirit is, the more powerfully the Holy Spirit is able to work in and through us. But our carnal mind [in the soul which is in the flesh] must submit to our spirit, which is now seated in the heavenly realm. IF our soul overwhelms our spirit and refuses to submit, then [although Saved] we will not be effective [or bear fruit] for the Kingdom because our mind will be focused on things of this world. 
     Being carnally minded, you can imagine that Satan is going to be only too happy to try to get you to revisit old memories and habits from your days in his dark kingdom. But we must become deliberate in our understanding of how God’s kingdom operates. We must consciously and consistently be in submission to God’s plan to restore the earth to His original design … man ruling earth according to the government of God’s Kingdom in Heaven.
      That means we must mature in our faith in order to renew our minds and let go of this carnal world and experience the spiritual realm. Paul explained this dilemma in Romans 8:5-9, For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit... You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. If you are truly Saved and Redeemed by the Blood of Jesus, then you now represent a different world: His Father’s Kingdom in Heaven, and you must be intentional about renewing your mind – changing the way you think and subsequently, act – all from God’s Heavenly perspective.
      That is why Jesus asked us to pray, Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed [holy] be thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. As Bill Johnson writes, in his excellent book, When Heaven Invades Earth, “When we pray for His kingdom to come, we are asking Him to impose the rules, order, and benefits of His world over this one until this world looks like His … [God’s] world collides with [Satan’s] world of darkness and God’s world always wins. Our battle is always going to be a battle of dominion – a conflict of kingdoms”.
      And there will not only be a battle between the two kingdoms for dominion over our minds, but there will be a battle for dominion over the territories of marriage, the sanctity of life, sexual identity, our children, etc. Because our minds are powerful tools in the hands of God, we have to be able to discern if what enters our minds is coming from this world, hell, or from heaven. And if we know it is from heaven, then we must agree with it and act upon it. That will lead to a transformed life and kingdom living! Your mind must be sanctified unto the Lord and surrendered to the Holy Spirit.
      When we begin to think like God and act like Jesus and hear/see with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can collaborate with Them and bring heaven and earth into agreement through our thoughts and actions. All of Heaven’s resources are available to us through our spirit, which in proper alignment with our soul, prompts our minds to think and act righteously. Our human spirit will get a download from God [through the Holy Spirit] and then impart the divine thought or concept to our soul [which includes our mind]. The soul has to come together with the spirit in order to be implanted with the seeds of revelation, breakthrough, and those things that have been written upon our scroll in heaven. If our mind has been renewed to think from heaven’s perspective, rather than this world’s, then we will be able to receive the heavenly concept, plan according to God’s ruling principles, act on what has been revealed, and produce fruit for the Kingdom. Our mind/soul and the spirit must work together to give birth to the designs of God in the earth

 Romans 12:2     Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.


July 8, 2019

Our Two-Sided Commission: Family and Kingdom

     I have not been shy about expressing my frustration over not being able to rightly convey the Gospel of the Kingdom to my fellow Christians. And here's the thing ... once the Holy Spirit opens your spiritual eyes to "see" it, and you know how to "enter" it, you wonder how you missed it all those years during your walk with the Lord. And you wonder why others can't see it as easily as you do! But I believe that the Enemy throws every tactic of confusion and misconception into the arena of our communication, and we Believers end up misunderstanding each other.
     I recently listened to an excellent YouTube video by Dutch Sheets, the Executive Director of Christ for the Nations. The title of the video was The Power of Ecclesia, and it captured every emotion and frustration and disappointment Mark and I have encountered in trying to communicate with other Believers about the importance of understanding the Gospel of the Kingdom, and why it is important that we DO it. But the video showed me so much more. It caused me to humble myself before the Lord and realize that the problem is not just that people won't accept it, or try to understand it, or walk in it -- but that our message has been misinterpreted by the Church. Everything we have said about the Kingdom has been true to Scripture, but how we delivered the message was wrongly perceived by them, and we played a part in that delivery. Let me see if I can lay it out a little plainer....
     Jesus has given us a two-sided commission. The Body of Christ is to act as both an OIKOS, or House of God [think Family] and as an EKKLESIA [think judge and justice]. These two sides of our Commission are to act and work together to accomplish the Father's will "on earth as it is in Heaven". The problem is, the Body of Christ has been grossly out of balance, weighing heavily toward the Family side. We have largely represented Jesus as the Good Shepherd, the Groom, and our High Priest (this is the Family side of the scales}. And we have ignored His identity as King, Master, and Commander-in-Chief (the Kingdom side of the scales). Consider these few points in the equation (there are many more):

     • In the Family, we are part of Jesus's flock. In the Kingdom, we are Jesus's army
     • In the Family, we are sheep, and in the Kingdom, we are soldiers.
     • In the Family, our mission is to grow the family of God [Believers] until He comes. In the Kingdom, our mission is to grow and extend the Kingdom and its culture until He comes.
      • In the Family, we pray and petition. In the Kingdom, we war, decree, bind and loose.
      • In the Family, Jesus is our Friend. In the Kingdom, Jesus is our Commander-in-Chief.
      • In the Family, Jesus is Protector and Provider. In the Kingdom, He is our Victor and Sender.
      • In the Family, we need the anointing of the Holy Spirit. In the Kingdom, we need the keys of the Kingdom.
      • In the Family, we need the gifts of the Holy Spirit. In the Kingdom, we need the weapons of our warfare.
      • In the Family, we worship. In the Kingdom, we govern.
      • In the Family, we are healers. In the Kingdom, we are Destroyers; tearing down strongholds
      • In the Family, Jesus is the Son of Man. In the Kingdom, He is the Son of God.
      • In the Family, we need intimacy with God. In the Kingdom, we need knowledge of God and His ways.
      • In the Family, we need love and compassion. In the Kingdom, we need power and authority.
      • Family is the completion of the Genesis Mandate: to reproduce the family of God. Kingdom is the completion of God's restoration of His Kingdom on earth.

     By now, you should be getting the idea. It isn't either/or, and it's not one versus the other. It's not denying one in favor of the other. We are to reflect both Family and Kingdom. And to be honest, sometimes we lump it all under one category called Religion/Church. And for the most part, the Body of Christ has gotten real good at being the sheep, growing congregations, praying, seeing Jesus as our Friend, asking Him for protection and provision, seeking the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and worshiping Him. We've accomplished that assignment. But we haven't accepted our roles as soldiers in His army; or expanding His Kingdom; or warring/binding/loosing; seeing Him as our Commander-in-Chief, our Victor, or our Sender; asking for the keys of the Kingdom or the weapons of our warfare. And we most certainly have not learned how to govern upon the earth. 
     But here is the important point I want you to get. In our zeal to explain the importance of the Gospel of the Kingdom, and the need to expand it and extend it not only among the Church, but among the nations, we are not saying or asking that the Family side of our Commission is wrong or that it is to be abandoned. But that is how some of the people in the Church interpret the message! No! We do not abandon the Grace or Mercy or Worship or Salvation messages. Those are all important and the correct message about our Lord. What we are saying is that this is not the complete picture of who we are to be as Followers of Christ. Along with Grace, we need to be walking in Truth ... along with Mercy, we need Justice, and when necessary, Judgment ... along with Worship, we are to Govern ... and by receiving Salvation, we are to Rule and Reign. It is a two-sided commission.
     I want my fellow Believers to understand that when we promote Kingdom, we are not denying any of the components of Family. But if all we concentrate on is Family and a household, called the Church, then someone else will write the laws we live by. And we're seeing that in today's society! We can worship and praise Jesus all we want, but someone else will write the laws that govern us and the lack of Kingdom will be reflected in our culture.
     We have to know when it's time to love one another and worship and teach and equip -- and we have to know when it's time to govern and go to war. We hear lots of talk about the Seven Mountains of Influence: Religion, Family, Education, Government, Media, Arts & Entertainment, and Business. We cannot influence those mountains from the Family side of our commission. That doesn't make the Family side wrong or bad! We just need to recognize that we have to do Family AND Kingdom in order to achieve real transformation in all peoples, nations, and tongues. It's not enough to act like His sheep; we must also act like His soldiers.
     The bottom line is this: I have prayed to the Lord about why it's so difficult to be of "one mind" like the Church in the Book of Acts. I clearly heard that He cannot build His Ekklesia until we are of one mind about His Kingdom.  And He reveals His Kingdom in His Word, so the Book of Matthew is where to start in understanding Kingdom as Jesus taught it. I pray and war in the spirit that the Body will grasp their full identity as both Family and Kingdom Citizens. So I plead with you to diligently study Matthew and try to discern the difference between [and acceptance of both] the Biblical concepts of Family and Kingdom, and then ask yourselves if you are out of balance; where do you stand on your understanding of the Family of God and the Kingdom of God? We must come to a mutual understanding that both Family and Kingdom are essential to bringing Heaven's Kingdom to earth. Until then, the Body of Christ will be divided in their commission, in understanding His whole counsel, and in knowing their complete identity. Let's be all we are supposed to be!

2 Chronicles 30:12   Also the hand of God was on Judah to give them one heart to do that which the king and the officials had commanded by the word of the Lord.


May 22, 2019

The Relevancy of the Old Testament & Why It's Important

     I am so grateful to God for showing me the relevancy of the Old Testament. The dictionary defines "relevancy" as "legally pertinent". And since our God is legally-minded and a God of laws, it is important to understand that He gave us His laws to be seen as rules of the Kingdom of God and His way of Life -- both in Heaven and on Earth. More and more I am seeing this Truth validated by what He shows me in the New Testament. And I feel sorry for those who are still following denominational doctrines that say the first 39 Books of the Bible do not apply to us; that God abolished the Law at the Cross; that we are under a new covenant of Grace that cancels the old. Not true! The Old Testament speaks volumes of our Lord and Savior, and how He will manifest the Kingdom of God is recorded in the history of its pages.
      In fact, there is so much in just the first few books of Genesis that I'd like to share some precious nuggets of knowledge that jump out at me. These three Chapters are integral to understanding the entirety of the Bible and the reason we exist.
     As I've shown you in the past, Genesis 1:26-27 reveals God's act of making us in His image and placing us here on this earth to administrate His kingdom colony. We are spirit begat by Spirit. Our purpose in this life has nothing to do with what we accomplish according to the world's standards, but everything to do with how well we govern His kingdom on earth. In Genesis 2, God created man [the word ish in Hebrew] from the earth -- the name "Adam" means "ground" or "earth" in Hebrew. Then God took a rib from Adam and formed a partner for him; and Adam called her Woman [ishshah in Hebrew].  Our ancestral parents started out in complete union with our Creator, and now, thousands of years later, we are desperately yearning to return to that state of Paradise.
     But then in Genesis 3, we see that Lucifer, who was formerly a "Shining One" and "a Light-Bearer" in the Kingdom of Heaven, became the Father of Pride and devised his own plan to win back a place of prominence in God's creation. He was able to seduce Adam and his wife by introducing a spirit of pride that provoked them to rebel against God. Their defiance of God's command to not eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil resulted in mankind being given a death sentence and separation from the One with whom they had walked and talked. They turned their dominion of the earth [their power, control, and government] over to the devil. God confronts the couple and pronounces His punishment on Adam and the woman for their grievous rebellion. And Death became a part of the human existence.
     But I want you to notice something. Even as God pronounces judgment on both the serpent and the couple, He offers the victims hope. Genesis 3:15 reads, And I will put enmity (open hostility) between you and the woman, And between your seed (offspring) and her Seed; He shall [fatally] bruise your head, and you shall [only] bruise His heel. Can you see that this is the first announcement of the Good News of a coming Kingdom of God on earth? This is the first prophecy about the Messiah (Christ), who through His death on the Cross and His resurrection would ultimately defeat Satan, the power behind the serpent, with a death blow! Hallelujah! 
     And for those who deem the Old Testament irrelevant, Isaiah 9:6 validates this prophecy: For to us a Child is born; to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. I submit to you that it is Jesus's reinstatement of God's kingdom government on Earth that is now defeating the government of Satan's kingdom of darkness!
     Then there is this nugget: take a look at the progression of verses 14-20 in Genesis 3. God first addresses the Serpent with his punishment [at the same time giving hope to the woman/man and their offspring]. Then He pronounces the woman's punishment and the relationship between her and her husband. Then He tells Adam the consequences of his sin; namely, that the earth is cursed because of his rebellion and there will be an end to his life. And here's what I want you to see.... Until verse 20, the female is only referred to as "woman" or "wife". It is only after judgment has been pronounced that the woman receives her name ... Eve. Since Adam was given the authority to name all the creation on earth, he named his wife Eve, which means life-giver. He did so following the promise of Genesis 3:15, which displays his faith in God's Word. Every child born afterward would be a testament to God's promise of life to the dying human race. At some point in the history of mankind, one of Eve's offspring would crush the head of the serpent and deceiver of man!
     But there is more revelation and relevance in Genesis 3:21. The Bible says, The Lord God made tunics of [animal] skins for Adam and his wife and clothed them. We have all seen the pictures of Adam and Eve with their fig leaf aprons. But that is not what the Word says. They were covered with animal hides, necessitating that animals be sacrificed for their skins, and that requires that blood be shed. This sacrifice of an animal to cover the sin of Adam and Eve can be seen in the establishment of Israel's sacrificial system for the atonement of their sins. God intentionally set up that system to point man towards the essential elements of His plan for redemption -- Death is the result of our sin; and it can only be covered by a sacrifice and the shedding of blood. But that system of God's government was temporary, a dress rehearsal, so to speak, that pointed the way to Jesus, the Sacrificial Lamb of God, who, by His shed blood, paid the price that covers our sin.

     The first three Chapters of the first Book of the Bible set the stage for the rest of God's Word. They show us that man's rebellion against God and His Kingdom on earth results in separation from His Presence. They show us that the only way to reconciliation with our Creator is through the sprinkling of blood. They point the way to Jesus Christ, the Messiah, whose blood restores fellowship with our Father in Heaven. And when we look upon Jesus and His purpose in the New Testament, we must see more than the forgiveness of our sins [our salvation]. We must see that He comes to declare that the Presence of God [and His Kingdom] has once again been manifested on the Earth. 
     Adam and Eve were cast out of that Kingdom and barred from the Tree of Life. But Jesus came to reinstate and restore the Kingdom of God on Earth, and authorize us to once again be in charge over it, establishing His Father's government and way of Life. Those are our marching orders! And one day we will have access to the Tree of Life [again] in the New Jerusalem of the Millennial Kingdom. That is revealed in the last Book of the Bible. So from Genesis to Revelation, God reveals His plan: to establish His creation, mankind, to administrate His Kingdom on Earth. Along the way, man rebels and plan B goes into action: He sends a part of Himself to redeem mankind and reestablish His Kingdom. 
     In order to see the full scope of God's vision, we must give credence to both the Old and New Testaments. To ignore the biggest portion of the Bible is to have a distorted perspective. The message of the Bible is not all about us and our salvation. The message of the Bible is the purpose and intent of God's will in creating man. IT'S ABOUT HIM! Let us thank Him for His love, and patience, and grace and mercy towards us. But above all else, let us honor and glorify His purpose for us.

Revelation 22:1-2     Eden Restored: Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, flowing with water clear as crystal, continuously pouring out from the throne of God and of the Lamb. The river was flowing in the middle of the street of the city [New Jerusalem], and on either side of the river was the Tree of Life, with its twelve kinds of ripe fruit according to each month of the year. The leaves of the Tree of Life are for the healing of the nations. 

February 22, 2019

God Is Moving In The Hearts of Men and Women In The Kingdom!

     Even as I am writing this, the Holy Spirit is informing me of the Father's will in the matter of obedience to the calling upon the lives of men and women in the Body of Christ. And I want to be careful to present this revelation in His truth; not mine, nor the world's perception.
     For awhile now, I have been fortunate to be in the company of mighty women of God; women who have answered the call of God to seek Him more deeply and to walk unconventional paths as they share the Kingdom message. We women have not hesitated to step out boldly and confidently to declare Kingdom living to an oftentimes skeptical Christian audience.
     As I review my own path, I see that the Lord inspired and called me to know more of Him before He did my husband. That is not saying that I was more important to the will of God, or that I was called to have more influence in presenting the Gospel of the Kingdom. But rather, I think that perhaps women are more sensitive to hearing from God. Why? Scientifically speaking, the 2008 Pew U.S. Religious Landscape Survey found that two-thirds of all women surveyed pray daily, while less than half of all men surveyed prayed as often.  One of the reasons women pray more could be that they are more comfortable with using their imaginations to perceive God. After all, the Bible tells us in Romans 12:2 that by testing and renewing our minds, we can discern the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.  And men, on the other hand, tend to be more concrete thinkers and God has to reach them in different ways.
     My husband's path to seek the voice of God may have been slower than mine, but in no way, has his path resulted in less impact for the Kingdom. As I began to walk out the leading of the Lord and teach in our Home Church, Mark was comfortable in supporting me and encouraging that position. When we both learned of the authority and power our Lord gave us to continue His work in defeating the works of the devil, he was just as interested in attending conferences to learn more about it. He arranged for me to attend a training session with a noted Deliverance Minister, while he cheered from the sidelines, so to speak. We agreed on the importance of teaching and training and ministering, and he supported my involvement with opportunities to seek more. I appeared to be leading the charge. But all that is changing...
     And I will tell you that this is a pattern I see happening in many other couples whom I see the Lord calling and using -- the wife answers the knock at the door first, with the husband seemingly in the background in a supportive role. I can think, right off the bat, of six other wives whom I consider mighty women of God, whose histories with the Lord (and their husbands) resembles mine. They each stepped out in obedience to the call of God, and boldly followed where He led.  The six corresponding husbands began in various stages of knowledge and relationship with the Lord, but I see all of them now turning to walk in the path and purpose God has on their lives. And I am going to say something that might be construed as controversial among liberal theologians, but .... I believe the Lord is showing me that each of these men will surpass the leadership position of their wives and step into their anointing from God.
     I see it happening in my own life. Mark is now becoming the focal point upon which our ministry and teaching is based. He leads the discussions more often; he is beginning to do more teaching; and he takes the lead in determining our ministry path. I see it happening in the other couples' lives, too. Husbands are stepping into uncharted waters, trusting the Lord to train them up and point the way. They are joining us in retreats, leading worship, partnering in ministries, and daring to walk the distinctive and personal path God has designed specifically for them. It's as if they have cut the bonds that tie them to this earthly system of religion and identity. They are hearing from God and no longer fear men or the traditions that have defined a limited role in establishing the Kingdom of God on earth. They now have the freedom to do as the Bible commands ... act like men; be strong and courageous; to keep the charge of the Lord on their lives... to step into their anointing with integrity, dignity, and boldness.
     But here is the strong word I am getting from the Lord: we wives must be willing to step aside, if need be, to let them step into that new identity. The Holy Spirit is showing me that the transformation in our lives [and the roles we have played in presenting the Gospel message] served a dual purpose. Our hearts and spirits were charged with obeying the Lord to present the concept of Kingdom living. But we were also charged with plowing the field for the harvest of our husband's anointing and purpose. This in no way diminishes our own harvest for the Kingdom, but I am seeing that perhaps God is initiating a new season in our lives. It will be a season where the Lord will accomplish much in our husbands' walks of faith, and their testimonies will be at the forefront.
     I truly believe this is the meaning of Scripture that tells us wives to "submit" to our husbands. It is not a command to be "submissive", or meekly obedient and passive. But, rather, it is a command to share in a mission with our husbands -- that our roles as wives is a sub-mission to the mission of representing Christ. I also believe that the world in which we live is so confining to men. There is such pressure to perform, and to succeed; yet our culture denounces men who are seen as too powerful and oppressive. The Enemy has done a good job of reducing the role of men in society, while building a sound barrier between our men and the voice of God.
     So, maybe ... just maybe ... God has to use us to reach them. When we are obedient to the call of God on our lives, and we will not be deterred, then it is applying pressure to the Enemy's agenda to keep the men in our lives behind that sound barrier.  Our obedience causes a shift in what our husband's hear ... there is a change as we outrun all the pressure and sound waves in front of the devil's agenda, and it is heard in our husband's heart as an explosion, or sonic boom. It may take years, but eventually, that barrier is broken and they can hear the Lord calling them, loud and clear!
     Now, I have a question for each of you women reading this blog. Are you praying for your husbands to hear the voice of God and to receive their calling and purpose for the Kingdom? If you are currently the "leader" in your family dynamic, are you willing to let the Lord bring your husband into His purpose, even if it means you take a back seat in the world [and in the Body of Christ]? Do you have a spirit of Pride that supersedes the will of God? To you men -- are you confident enough in your manhood to take a look at what your wife is sowing? Are you open to hearing from God, or do you think you're doing your part by supporting the family while she hears from God? And, finally, are you courageous enough to answer that knock at the door and let Jesus in, no matter the cost?
     We all were designed, by God, with His purpose in mind. I do not believe that He thinks leadership is the sole domain of men. Women were important in the ministry of Christ on earth, and women held important leadership positions in the Early Church. But the devil has been playing havoc with the roles of men and women in our society for decades now. It is time we stopped looking in the Culture Mirror and saw ourselves in the Kingdom Mirror. Quit listening to what and who the world tells you you should be, and begin to break down the devil's sound barriers. Then open the door to Jesus. Walk in the path and the role He sets before you. Don't judge either [your path or your role] by the world's standards. Be equally yoked and watch how the God of the Universe uses you both!

1 John 2:27     But the wonderful anointing you have received from God now lives in you. There’s no need for anyone to keep teaching you. His anointing teaches you all that you need to know, for it will lead you into truth, not a counterfeit. So just as the anointing has taught you, remain in Him.