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

Showing posts with label Kingdom Calling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kingdom Calling. Show all posts

January 20, 2024

Kingdom Dynamics: We Serve The Lord Together and Separately

The Holy Spirit has me delving heavily into 1 Corinthians 12, as a means to better understand the Kingdom dynamics of the Body of Christ. We know this as the chapter on the spiritual gifts. And what He's showing me is all the previous confusion [in the Church] that has surrounded this important chapter of our faith. I don't know about you, but throughout my experience in the various churches I have attended, this chapter was usually glossed over -- read, but never explained adequately. I kept searching for a place that answered my questions about these spiritual gifts ... how was it decided who got which gift? Why is there so much controversy and disagreement among denominations as to their use and significance? Why have men tried so hard to put their "spin" on what Scripture says? 

As I have studied this chapter, I discerned the Holy Spirit removing the veil that the Church had placed over my spiritual eyes. I do not pretend that I have it all figured out, or that I have perfect discernment, but I am enjoying the new revelations that come from stripping away "religion" and perceiving God's will in this important passage of His Word.

First of all, let me say that so much of what God wants us to understand is clearly communicated in Paul's letter to the Corinthian church, which scholars estimate to have numbered between 40 and 150 people. I find it interesting, that the very first sentence, Paul tells the Believer is, "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be misinformed". Apparently, these early Believers struggled with the same issues we have confronted. He finishes up that first paragraph by making sure they understand that "no one can say, Jesus is Lord, except in the Holy Spirit". In other words, if we are going to have a relationship with [and know] Jesus as our Lord, then we must have a relationship with the Holy Spirit, too, because it is He who makes the Lord known to us. Furthermore, our relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit, is  dependent on our acceptance and acknowledgment of God, the Father, Creator of Heaven and Earth. And that brings me to the core principle of 1 Corinthians 12 and the basis of Kingdom Dynamics in the Body of Christ. 

Read verses 4-11: Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

Do you see it? Paul makes it clear that there is a variety of spiritual gifts available to the Body of Christ, but they are all administered [or "apportioned" as Scripture says] by the Holy Spirit. Simplifying it even more ... many gifts, but only one Spirit who distributes each gift to a particular person for a particular purpose. The Bible says that it is "as he [the Holy Spirit] wills". But if we rightly understand the relationship between the Father and the Holy Spirit, then we know that it is the Spirit that brings every work that God wills to its ordained completion. In other words the Holy Spirit is involved in bringing God's will [in the lives of individuals] to God's desired fulfillment. 

It is essential that we grasp the truth that each of us was created for a divine purpose in the Kingdom of God on this earth. We are all designed to accomplish individual jobs, so to speak, to secure and advance the Kingdom until Christ returns.  There is much work to be done, and that is why we all may have unique assignments, BUT they are all for a common cause. We serve our God both together [as the Body of Christ], and separately in our spiritual gifts and capacities, taking upon ourselves the mantle assigned to us. So, to put it simply, again, it is just as Paul writes ... we are one body, with many members. And God arranged the members, as He chose. 

Which leads me to another conflict that many of you have probably encountered. How many of you have been given the Church "test" to determine what your spiritual gifts are? And how many of you instinctively felt whatever the committee or your denomination chose for you just wasn't a good fit? That's because it is the Holy Spirit who manifests God's will for your life, not Man! 

So let me extend a word of encouragement to those who find that their Kingdom assignments are outside what their Church family finds acceptable. Do not despair! I also know what it is like to be called by God to walk towards Him on a path that diverges from the path of comfort and contentment. With that comes the excitement of new revelations and seeing God in a new light ... His light.  And it can be a lonely place. All of a sudden, your spirit is awakened to a view of God that is exhilarating as He shows you His glory and character and power in ways that you've never seen or understood before. And He is revealing who He made you to be! In addition, the Bible is opened up wider and your understanding reaches new heights that are almost dizzying. And you want to share it all with your fellow Christians.   

Then you discover that God is not showing them the same things -- or they are unwilling to receive it.  And, at first, you may have doubts that what you are discerning is correct, because your church family doesn't see it, and they have Scripture to back up their warnings.  But when you go to the Father in prayer, the Holy Spirit convicts you that He is, indeed, calling you to a greater and higher understanding. And it's all according to your unique assignment and apportionment of spiritual gifts. And you cannot turn back, because you recognize that it is all in service to God's Kingdom. 

But what do you do when those Brothers and Sisters in Christ admonish you to be careful of being deceived by the new revelations that your spirit KNOWS are from God?  All I can tell you is this ... when you are called by God to a Kingdom assignment, you will learn that being a true Disciple of Christ is an exciting journey, but it can also be a lonely road. But when you willingly and obediently go where the Lord takes you, you probably will no longer look like your fellow Christians or meet with their approval. But neither did Jesus or the Twelve. And that's pretty good company, from where I sit.

And remember, your gifts and your assignment may be unique to you, but it is in conjunction with others who are doing [in obedience] what they have been called to, and together, you all serve the will of God. It takes the family of God honoring and respecting each other's assignments to accomplish His will for the redemption of mankind. We are to be ever alert to the wisdom and counsel of God's Holy Spirit, so that we might complete our responsibilities on earth to the glory of our God Almighty.

And that brings me to a last word of encouragement, and it comes from the Bible: "The LORD will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands". (Psalm 138:8).  In other words, pray that the Lord will finish the good work He has begun in you, because it is for His glory. And know that you will never be alone. He and the Holy Spirit will always be with you, and along with the saints in Heaven, they are interceding for you and praying before the Father on your behalf. Remember, you are part of a holy and consecrated remnant; set aside and called for holy purposes. Rejoice that you stand out as different among the multitudes of the faithful. You are not alone! I share in your identity and count it joy that you have joined God's ranks of faithful servants. Blessed are we who have been entrusted with hearing God's heart for these End Times, and whose Word is a Light for the path we are on.

#spiritualgifts #HolySpiritapportionsgifts #theremnantchurch #giftsoftheHolySpirit #God'slightonus #kingdomassignments #walkinginthespirit #God'swillforyou #familyofGod #separatebuttogetherinthechurch

Ephesians 4:15-16    "But speaking the truth in love [in all things—both our speech and our lives expressing His truth], let us grow up in all things into Him [following His example] who is the Head—Christ. From Him the whole body [the church, in all its various parts], joined and knitted firmly together by what every joint supplies, when each part is working properly, causes the body to grow and mature, building itself up in [unselfish] love."        


September 12, 2023

My Personal Testimony Of Obedience To My Kingdom Assignment

I've been writing about, and speaking/teaching, and attempting to do my best to live the Kingdom lifestyle for quite awhile now. And this, I will tell you for sure: If you are following Jesus's command to "Seek the Kingdom first and righteousness", and you are committed to Kingdom living, then sooner or later, you can expect to hear from the Lord and be given a Kingdom "assignment". That word assignment has lots of connotations ... task, appointment, mission, an anointing. And it can take on grandiose implications, or it can hint at a more modest significance. In other words, our assignments might range from a lifetime as an apostle equipping thousands of saints, to being called to pray one afternoon for a single person. In other words, assignments come in all sizes.

But I will also tell you this ... that in order to receive your assignment, I believe you must renew your mind to understand that the Kingdom of God is exclusive. By that, I mean nothing can come before the Kingdom of God in your life. It must be your priority over everything this world can give you. And that includes your family, the religious Church, and the marketplace. And here's a truth that is hard for many Christians to accept: The Kingdom will cost you something! Salvation is free; it doesn't cost us a thing. The price was paid by Jesus on the Cross. But walking in the Kingdom is costly. You will have to cut the cord to this world to inherit the Kingdom!

In fact, Jesus was pretty clear about that when people [who came to hear Him preach on the Kingdom] proclaimed they were ready to follow Him. In Luke 9:57-62, Jesus doesn't hold back when telling them what it will cost them: As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”  To another He said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”  And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”  Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.”  Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” 

Jesus makes it clear that Kingdom living will cost you the comforts of this life [including everything from a place to sleep, to a home, itself]. He makes it clear that the Kingdom of God must come before your family -- you must be willing to have an exclusive relationship with Jesus and God the Father, which means being willing to cut all ties to other relationships; including all family members, both the living and the dead.  And He shows us that if any part of us longs for that "old life" with its human/family attachments, we are not prepared to serve the Kingdom and will not be given Kingdom assignments. Just as for the men in the Bible, I believe that cost is too high for many Christians. 

 I've learned that Kingdom Living has nothing to do with my personal priorities -- and everything to do with God's Kingdom taking precedence in my life. Once I was able to recognize that the Kingdom of God [and all it encompasses] was to be my primary objective in serving the Lord -- and I was obedient to say, "Yes, Lord"! --  my assignments have become clear.  It began with a dream [or vision] that Mark had from God, telling him to sanctify ourselves and our property to His purpose. And without an iota of doubt, I was ready to obey. Mark was given very specific instructions as to what that sanctification process was to look like, and although we did not yet know to what "purpose" we were being called, the Lord led us to specific people (Dr. Charles Kraft and Barbara Bucklin) who spoke into us and activated our assignment to participate with Jesus and Holy Spirit in an Inner Healing Ministry, and then to teach others as we also preached the Gospel of the Kingdom.

Because I can now see my assignments so clearly, I am careful to guard them. You see, the Enemy would like nothing better than to distract us from our Kingdom mission. And I will tell you that as Mark and I have continued to pursue Kingdom, the spiritual warfare has escalated. The devil does not want us to educate and equip others to seek the Kingdom first! Since receiving our assignment as Kingdom ambassadors and Inner Healing Ministers ten years ago, Mark and I have experienced increased spiritual attacks. And when I decide to hammer home the Kingdom message in successive posts, the Enemy lets me know he notices it. Therefore, it is important that, not only do I keep my spiritual armor on, but that  Mark and I recognize it is inevitable that our Kingdom assignment will come into conflict with the worldview and ideologies that control the political, economic and social systems of this world. 

Therefore, it is important we understand that the purpose of a Kingdom worldview is to focus people's hearts and minds on a system from God's perspective. Therefore, everything of this world will be challenged, and since satan is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4), he's never happy when we point people [especially Christians] away from religion and towards Kingdom. He knows we can actually change the culture, not only of the Church, but of all mankind in general! So I've learned that it is important to be effective in my prayer life; to have powerful intercessors praying for us; and to recognize that spiritual warfare is now at a higher level. And I don't have to tell you that the warfare is raging now like never before.

All that being said, I also know that my Kingdom message must be centered on Jesus; my ministry and assignment must reflect His love and the principles He taught in His ministry. If we seek first His Kingdom, and focus on Jesus being the center of our lives and ministries, then He will lead us to do the things [in our assignments] that will glorify God and bless the lives of those we come in contact with. We will reflect His righteousness in the words we say, in our actions, and how we walk out our Kingdom lifestyle.

I have also learned that my Kingdom assignment not only effects me, but my husband, so I am extremely blessed that we are on the same page. In fact, I am seeing God bringing couples into covenant partnerships as they receive their "team" assignments. And as you come into a mutual alignment with the Father, I have learned that it is important to stay "mission-focused". It can be easy for one or the other of you to get pulled into other obligations to serve the Lord [out of a desire to be obedient] by serving the needs of others. But it is important to be able to discern if every new opportunity aligns with your original assignment. If not, as hard as it may be, there will be times you just need to say "No". Time taken away from your primary assignment can result in a failure to fulfill or carry out God's plans. And that will lead to a dissatisfied spirit and frustration. 

To take it to the next step, I just want to make this comment, as well: After ten years of meeting with countless people and listening to the counsel of Jesus and the Holy Spirit in each session, we have learned that we sometimes have to say "no" to those who come seeking freedom. That may sound un-Christlike, but let me explain. Some people just want a "magic pill"... i.e., "Just make all my pain go away. I don't really want what you're telling me about Jesus and how the devil or some demonic spirit wants to keep me from pursuing my purpose. Just tell me some prayer to say that will make me happy and I'll be on my way". But if they don't want Jesus, then we're not the ministry for them. Or if they just want to be right in the troubles of their marriage, or keep their sins, or live life according to their rules, then we just try to [lovingly] tell them to come back when they've figured out nothing is working and they're truly desperate for their freedom -- because Jesus is the only way! 

I think one of the most important things I have learned is how vital it is to have people in my life who understand and partner with Mark and I in our Kingdom assignment. I believe it is important to be connected to a body of believers that walks in a Biblical model of discipleship. If you are blessed to belong to a Church that actively equips and releases the saints for the work of the Kingdom ministry, then count yourself fortunate, and take advantage of that connection. Sadly, I do not believe many Churches can meet that criteria. Therefore, it has been important for Mark and I to be connected to small Home Church groups who share in this ministry assignment and are willing to run the Kingdom marathon with us.

Finally, one of the most important things I've learned about accepting my Kingdom assignment is the need to find a balance between my work for the Kingdom and a time of rest and restoration. It is important to do things that strengthen me spiritually, such as prayer time, Bible study, community with like-minded Believers. But I also need to have some "me time" to do the things that feed my soul (reading, writing, music). It is essential that Mark and I spend time together apart from our ministry to get revived and just enjoy the simple things Jesus has created. It is equally important that we have down time with friends who understand our hearts as well as make us laugh. We are there to support each other in our Kingdom assignments and adventures. Jesus called His disciples His friends, so even though the Bible doesn't focus on it, I believe there were times they laughed and sang and enjoyed life as they traveled the countryside preaching the Good News of the Kingdom. I think that is one of the things I enjoy the most about how the series The Chosen" portrays Jesus's ministry. We must do the same. Remember, relationship is the key to God's heart! 

In summary, my journey in my Kingdom assignment is far from complete, and the Lord is unfolding new layers and revelation each day. I know that my citizenship in the Kingdom is more important than my citizenship in the world. I know my assignment and I am dedicated to fulfilling it. I know that accepting my Kingdom assignment will paint a target on my back -- and satan, the world system, and even the religious will be aiming for me. But I know who I am in the Kingdom, and I know the purpose of my assignment, and I will not waver. It is a privilege to be called to serve the Kingdom of my Lord, and He will be my strength and my refuge. I will be victorious in my assignment!

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

August 11, 2023

Ekklesia: We Are the Government of The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth

If ever there was a time to understand Jesus's mandate to become His Ekklesia and storm the gates of Hades, it's now. The Enemy has ridden unleashed across our land, destroying, corrupting, and devastating the Christian foundation and fabric of our nation. I have written about understanding the concept of Ekklesia and what it meant to Jesus, and its importance in taking back territory in the spiritual realm. Jesus promised to give His Ekklesia the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, which would grant them the authority to both forbid and declare according to the lawful standards of His Father's Kingdom -- all with the purpose of seeing His Father's will "be done on earth as it is in Heaven".

I want to further expound on this topic by delving into the hermeneutics [interpretations of words] of Matthew 16:17-19, the source of today's post. And I want to make the argument that we must look at it in a First Century context, not a 21st Century one. As I have previously explained, all of our English translations of the Bible quote Jesus as saying, "On this rock I will build my church". Even the Aramaic translation uses the word "church", although it gives a detailed notation that the Greek word for "church" is "ekklesia"; even noting that it means "a legislative assembly".

So, can we agree that Jesus was never casual about the words He used? In fact, Jesus, Himself, tells us in John 12:49, "For I have not spoken on My own authority, but the Father who sent me has Himself given Me a commandment—what to say and what to speak". We know the Father was intentional in having Jesus use the word Ekklesia, and not the word Church. There was a purpose to the Ekklesia and it was "to govern; to legislate; to rule". And the people to whom Jesus spoke would have understood that concept.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 4:4 that we are to live by every word that comes from the mouth of God. Since Jesus only spoke what the Father told Him, we must take seriously His use of the word "Ekklesia". You see, there is power in this word to identify our role and purpose in the earth. Words have specific meanings, and sadly the English language is not as specific as others. As Christians, we cannot afford to be casual with our understanding of Jesus's words. He did not say He would be the bedrock foundation upon which He would build His "church". The word "Church" comes from the Greek word kyriake, or kyriakon, meaning "gathering place, assembly dedicated to the Lord". Jesus was very deliberate in using the word Ekklesia, because He knew what its specific meaning was: ek, meaning "out of", and klesis, meaning "a calling".

 I like what author Dean Briggs says in his book, Ekklesia Rising:The Authority of Christ in Communities of Contending Prayer: "[Jesus] could have told Peter He would build His family, His bride, the Temple, an army or a kingdom.... or He could have used the word synagogue, which they would have clearly understood as the meeting place where they gathered in regards to their religion". But He wasn't talking about religion. He was talking about government! So He used a word [Ekklesia} that they clearly understood in terms of both the Hebrew and Greek significance. 

From the Greek perspective, it was a governmental assembly having authority in determining the affairs of their cities and territories, depending on their citizenship. All qualified persons were summoned together for a purpose and expected to participate. From the Hebrew perspective, Jesus's use of that word Ekklesia would have told the hearers that they were a summoned people, assembling together to receive God's heavenly kingdom government on the earth, and to act upon it. I also love how Ed Silvoso, author of Ekklesia: Rediscovering God's Instrument For Global Transformation, explains Jesus's use of Ekklesia: "[The objective of Jesus's use of this word] was the transformation of people and society, rather than acting as a transfer station for saved souls bound for heaven".

Jesus intends for us to be part of an Ekklesia; agents of His kingdom government to transform earth back to the model of the Garden of Eden, where God's Laws reigned supreme, and man knew nothing of Death. The Jews that Jesus spoke to would have recognized Ekklesia from their history: "the ekklesia in the wilderness", led by Moses, the Law-giver. It was an Ekklesia that first assembled around Mount Sinai to receive the Law of God; and from thenceforth, they formed a covenantal identity with YHWH.

But, now here comes Jesus speaking of an Ekklesia that He will build; one that identifies with Him as the Son of YHWH, and a body that receives their commission to carry His rulership into all the earth as part of a covenantal community. When He spoke of a Kingdom, they understood that term -- throughout their history they had been governed by Israelite kings, and were now subjected to the rulership of the kingdom of Rome. But here is Jesus, talking about a greater kingdom that is taking over the earth, and a governing assembly of His followers that will transform cities, nations, and the world! 

But let's go a step further and look at the next sentence after He declares He will build His Ekklesia. Jesus says that the gates of Hades will not be able to overpower it! Once again, the people would have understood the "legislative" connotation of that word "gates". Courts of justice were held at the city gates in the ancient world. Prophets also stood in the gates and delivered their divine messages. Gates were also symbols of the strength or vulnerability of a city. Whoever controlled the gates of a fortress, city, or stronghold ruled that territory.

Jesus never stopped preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom during His ministry. He continually encouraged the people to change their way of thinking [Repent!] because the Kingdom of God had arrived -- there is a new kingdom come; with a new way of ruling; and He intends on establishing a legislative body of those called [believing in Him] to defeat the gates [ruling power] of the one who has ruled with the power of Death. Furthermore, He is giving us the key of authority to open or close [loose or bind] God's heavenly principles on the earth, thereby offering Jesus as the gate [or doorway] into the Kingdom of God. Jesus perfectly models for us God's design to establish His people in His place under His rule. 

Make no mistake, only Jesus has the authority to allow or disallow someone to enter the Kingdom of God. But we have the authority -- and yes, the responsibility -- to point everyone to Jesus! I believe that the world needs [and in truth, is looking for] an authentic Ekklesia, not a church. Today, we can see that Lawlessness is spreading like wildfire. And we desperately need the government of the Prince of Peace to be established, bringing order out of disorder, and His light into the darkness of this world. And Jesus has called us to be the ruling agents of this transformation. If we are honest with ourselves, what we have established in our Churches has not done what Jesus intended. The earth does not look like heaven. In fact, the "gates" [ruling power] of Satan are fighting back whenever and wherever the Ekklesia makes strides to transform any territory.

And it's an escalating battle as, for instance, we watch the evolution of AI threaten to affect every aspect of our lives. Then there are all the whistleblowers who are exposing the corruption in the highest levels of our constitutional government, as well as the disclosure of the degree of sex trafficking that exploits our children. And who can deny that our banking system and military are under attack, which threatens to erode the underpinning of our national security? The Church has been unable [or unwilling] to stop the disintegration because it was never going to fulfill the purpose of the Ekklesia... to govern; to legislate; to rule.

One thing is for certain .... the Kingdom of God is going to be attacked by the kingdom of Satan. He knows that we are meant to grow in our identity as the Ekklesia, rather than simply being the church. We must continue to spread Jesus's Gospel of the Kingdom, bringing peace, joy, salvation, righteousness, justice, grace and all of God's attributes through our authority as citizens of heaven. But we must also deliberately battle in the spirit to establish ourselves in our gates as the ruling body on earth, and we must not relinquish our authority or role in any arena of society or the nation. As Jesus reminded Peter, we must be setting our minds on the things of God, not on the things of man.  Jesus IS coming to fully establish His Kingdom! Until that glorious day, we must stand firm, ruling and transforming the earth according to the Father's will. The question is, when Jesus returns, will He find you and I acting as a member of a church ... or the tip of the spear, contending for the rulership of Christ in our territory? It is not only time, but essential and crucial, that we take our Ekklesial identity and assignment seriously!

Joel 2:15-16     Blow a trumpet in Zion [warning of impending judgment], dedicate a fast [as a day of restraint and humility], call a solemn ekklesia. Gather the people, sanctify the ekklesia, assemble the elders, gather the children and the nursing infants. Let the bridegroom come out of His room and the bride out of her bridal chamber. [No one is excused from the ekklesia.]   


January 7, 2022

The Kingdom of God Is the Answer To All Things!

As I contemplate all the disorder and chaos that the world has seen throughout time [and in the last two years of our lifetimes], I cannot help but discern how far mankind has fallen from God's original purpose for us. We were designed as images of the Godhead; to be a branch or colony of God's Heavenly Kingdom, maintaining Heaven's order here on earth. It didn't take long for the one who rebelled against God in Heaven to reassert himself here on earth and to infect the nature of man with a disrespect for divine law and moral code. And very quickly, men lost the idea of Kingdom living as they developed societies and cultures that served themselves.

Yet, our Creator never abandoned His desire to reconcile our relationship, nor did He give up on His ultimate goal of establishing His Kingdom colony here on earth. In fact, He was so committed to us and His plan that He sent a part of Himself, His own Son, as a guarantee that those who would believe in Him, and pledge their loyalty, could never be separated from His Kingdom. And no matter what the world sowed, there would be those who would stay dedicated to living, promoting, and executing the Kingdom.

And what exactly does that look like here in the midst of a contentious twenty-first Century? First of all, I think we need to come to an understanding that the "Kingdom of God" is not just a "Church" concept. It was Jesus's absolute goal and the answer to everything in the world! In the Sermon on the Mount, in the Book of Matthew, we see Jesus's treatise on the Kingdom of God. And I do mean "treatise", which is defined as "a written work dealing formally and systematically with a subject"; in this case, Matthew exhibits how God orders His Kingdom government in Heaven and intends for it to be mirrored here on earth.

So, all that's conceptual ... what should it look like in reality? Everything in our lives should come under the control of the Kingdom of God. That includes our personal lives and how we live them; our economy; our education systems; our society and how we treat each other; our international relations with other nations -- everything! It's easy, as modern Western Christians, to consign the Kingdom to the Church, but that limits it. The Kingdom, as Jesus saw it, was absolute; it gathered all of life and earth's concerns under its umbrella, and established a divine order by which it all functions -- just as it does in Heaven. 

As I listened to President Biden's live speech on the anniversary of the January 6th event at the Capitol, I couldn't help but think how much we need that understanding of the Kingdom now! Our society needs a transformation to "Kingdom living" in the way we view each other and our differences in politics, lifestyles, beliefs, and opinions. There is room for dissimilar viewpoints, but Jesus introduced ethics and moral law into His discussion of Kingdom on earth. His message in the Sermon on the Mount was grounded in the transformational Kingdom Thought that there is freedom for all men in the principles and solutions of Kingdom living. 

The principles of the Kingdom of God transform hearts, which transforms the social order of all men on earth. We can discover the fullness of life [and all it offers] when we organize and construct our lives around the Kingdom. During the centuries, we have lost the idea that the Kingdom of God provides the answers to all things. Our lives no longer function with the Kingdom as our goal or our main influence. We have given that authority to other men. But I am happy to say that there is a remnant that is re-discovering what man and the Church lost. We are redefining our lives, as our spirits recognize the fullness of all it represents; that it is more than our present sanctuary and security; more than just a future hope. The Kingdom of God contains the totality of God to meet the totality of man's needs NOW!

If we ever discover and step into the truth that the Kingdom of God is the answer to the chaos in the world, and that we can be transferred from that disorder and chaos into the realm and order of God's Kingdom, then the deception of the world will be clearly seen for what it is... the strategies of those who seek their own power and influence over the masses in order to control the way the world systems operate. And they control it through self-centered love, fomenting division on many levels ... race, gender, age, wealth, education, opportunity, and social class. All that creates disorder, and the foundation of God's Kingdom in everything is order.

When we can be true imitators of Christ [which was the goal of our original design] by becoming Kingdom citizens, we will find purpose and order in our lives -- even through our trials and battles. That's what brings meaning to our lives and the answers we seek in the midst of our journey. We are not promised the fullness of the Kingdom until Christ returns and we are translated into bodies as glorious as His, and we enter into our citizenship in the Heavenly Kingdom. But until then, we can be intentional about Kingdom living here on earth ... 1) understanding where we are now and that nothing in this life is accidental or incidental; we are here for a purpose; 2) believing with a spirit of expectancy that God will honor His promises to those who have faith in His Son; 3) stepping out in faith and obedience to God's moral laws; 4) knowing that our names are written in God's Book of Life, along with our victories and His grace in our times of need, which are a part of this life; 5) being willing to live separately from the world; being intentional about being righteous, even when you're swimming against the current of the world; 6) putting God's opinion before man's; refusing to submit to the fear of man, and what people think of us, instead preferring to please God in all matters; 7) and finally, we can choose to act as a Kingdom citizen in all our circumstances -- at our jobs, in our families, in our marriages, and even in the midst of the evil we see in the world.

The bottom line is this ... we are no different than the Disciples and the followers of Jesus in that first Century. We find ourselves as outcasts in a world that defiles the Divine nature of God. But there's good news, too! We are part of the remnant that God has always chosen to represent Him throughout history. We are coming into the fullness of our identity and our purpose, and we are not afraid to be deliberate about declaring that it is the Person of Jesus Christ -- not the religious institutions of Western Christianity, the traditions of Eastern mysticism, nor the New Age belief systems of humanism and relativism -- it is Jesus who is the manifestation of God on earth. It is the Person of Jesus Christ who unlocks the prison doors of spiritual darkness and leads mankind to freedom from his self-imposed blindness. 

Jesus came, bringing the Kingdom of God with Him, and challenged us to establish it and expand it until He returns. I believe our time to capitalize on that directive is now. Have we reached that point in history when His return is imminent? When the Kingdom of God finally overthrows the kingdom of darkness? No one can know for sure. But the distinction between the two kingdoms is clearly understood by those called as Ambassadors to the King here on earth. We must come together in acknowledging that nothing in the world BUT the the King of kings, in all His demonstration -- is the only answer. Politics, religion, technology, science, and the authority of man will never solve our problems. Only our Lord and Savior, Himself! I pray that this generation will be the one that ushers in His power, His glory, and His Kingdom forever! 

Revelation 11:15    “The Kingship of the world now belongs to our Lord and to His Messiah, and He shall be King for timeless ages!”

November 4, 2021

Ten Years Later: Why The Purpose Has Not Changed!

It's hard for me to believe, but it has been ten years since my spirit heard a prompting from the Lord to begin this blog. Over 2,220,000 people have read 2,303 posts since I began this journey with the Holy Spirit. I know that is small potatoes compared to the "big boys", but for this average American woman, who just wanted to speak to people [like me] who were concerned about the state of our nation, I am still amazed that people might be interested in what I have to say. 

And actually you need to know it hasn't all come from me. From the beginning, the purpose of this blog was to show women [and eventually men would find their way to this site, too] that they weren't alone in their fears and doubts about the direction in which we saw our country headed. So, I wrote about whatever the Holy Spirit prompted me to say -- I researched timely topics, discerned red flags that indicated our foundation was shifting, and heard the importance of taking a good hard look at the condition of our faith.

The one thing I knew for certain was this: no matter what current event, issue, or concern I was writing about, I wanted to always point people back to the Word of God, so each post ended with a verse from the Bible that would cause people to meditate on the message I was trying to convey and find God there. I knew people were searching for answers to the changing undercurrent in our lives, and I knew God was the key to encouraging them, emboldening them, and turning their uncertainties into knowledge and action in their lives. I wanted to make people think outside their "normalcy bias" and see our world from God's perspective, not just our human desires and self-gratification. And as I look back on where the Holy Spirit has taken me, it's not surprising to see a pattern develop throughout these posts that I believe foreshadowed where we find ourselves today.

From the beginning, I wanted people to understand the importance of our history -- the history of our nation, our families, and our faith -- because if this nation was to survive beyond the average age of most empires (250 years), then we must safeguard these important elements of our history, lest they erode and be replaced by another system that changed our national identity. Americans, by definition, are liberty-loving, independent, industrious; living self-determined lives where the poor can become wealthy, there is no limit to what the uneducated are allowed to learn, and men and women have the freedom to go as far in society as their hard work can take them. I remember one of the first times my husband and I were part of an exhibition where artisans from across the country set up their booths to sell their creations. On the last day of the event, when everyone was tearing down booths, and packing up trailers to leave, I was overwhelmed with all the commerce I saw before me, and thought, "This really is the land of opportunity! Anyone can start a business and make of it what he will! No one has to be under the thumb of a tyrannical government limiting our freedom of choice. America is the greatest nation on earth!"

I still believe that. And even in the most uncertain of times, I trusted that the basic freedoms promised in our Constitution would stand -- the freedom to worship as we pleased; the freedom to petition the government; the freedom of expressing our individual views, and the freedom to peacefully gather to protest a discerned injustice. But the Holy Spirit kept prompting me with subjects that needed addressing. I was concerned that the fabric of our identity was coming unraveled. It wasn't hard to see spiritual forces aligning to undermine the unique freedoms that are our American legacy and inheritance. Programs like Agenda 21 and Common Core, and terms like "global initiative" and "transgender" began to creep into our lexicon, and before long it seemed as if the average, everyday American was rocked back on his heels. Over the last ten years, it has appeared [to me] that American citizens were in a state of confusion and unable to function against what seemed like strange and unfamiliar ideologies. Surely, we would regain our balance and everything would return to normal, right?

That's when the Holy Spirit ramped up His promptings. He made it clear to me that America was in danger of forgetting who she was. God was still willing to be faithful to His covenant established at the outset of this nation, but we, the American people, needed to remain faithful to Him and the principles on which we were founded. We needed to decide who we wanted to be, and until we could establish that identity, the spiritual rulers, authorities, and powers of His Enemy would continue to weaken the heart of who we were meant to be. That included us both as a nation, and as individuals. Americans needed to reclaim their faith from the godless entities that had stolen our identity. We needed to shake off the bonds of those who would enslave the nation, demolishing our national sovereignty and destroying the reason we were born for such a time as this. We needed to grow our faith by grasping the understanding of the purpose of our Salvation: to enter and establish the Kingdom of God on earth.

I will admit that there have been times of deep discouragement, but I have never given up hope. These last two years of the pandemic have deeply tried the soul of America. There has been much confusion, deception, and death -- the hallmarks of an Enemy that seeks to steal, kill and destroy. But I see a remnant of my Christian brethren awakening to the greater truths of their faith and transitioning into living a transformed life under the jurisdiction of God's Kingdom. I am seeing my fellow citizens awakening from a long slumber of denial and pulling the dirty veil off their eyes to see the condition of our education system and how it has constructed a long, slow campaign of deceptive curriculum to try to fundamentally change who this nation is meant to be. I am not naive enough to think we are perfect, or that there are changes are still to be made, but I know that the Godly foundation of this nation needs to remain intact. The family needs to remain intact, just as God designed it. And parents are not to be silenced when it comes to how their children are raised. 

There's a breath of fresh air circulating over our nation. The Holy Spirit is blowing across the land. But we must not be deceived. God's Enemy has enjoyed too much success to give up easily. And we must continue to grow in our understanding of the greater spiritual agenda, and take our place in God's plan to redeem our nation and our lives. It is for this purpose that I am still writing, ten years later. And I pray that the Holy Spirit still finds me worthy to receive His promptings, and can use me to encourage everyone who finds their way to this blog. I am humbled and privileged to write for my Lord, and I promise that I will always write with the purpose of glorifying Him to my best abilities.

Psalm 115:1       Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your Name [we] give glory, for the sake of Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness!


October 27, 2021

"Surface Level" Christianity

I'm in the process of developing the outline for a new book I want to write, with the working title of "From 'Surface Level' to 'Deep Roots': What the Body of Christ Needs to Understand About Our Identity in Christ". This subject matter has been stirring up my spirit for awhile now, and I continue to hear the promptings to write another book. I've had ideas in mind since the last one I wrote in the Spring of 2020. But each time I settled on what I thought the focus would be, the Holy Spirit whispered, "Go Deeper". And the events of the last two years certainly call for an awakening in the Body of Christ to understand God's intention for us in these tumultuous times.

I am also struck by the number of times that people of faith have recently mentioned to me their frustration at encountering "surface level" Christians. The age range using that particular phrase has run from a Millennial Christian [in describing the lack of depth in her counterparts in the Church], to a "seasoned" Christian, who bemoaned the absence of substantial understanding of Biblical history or prophecy, to all the age groups in between. Apparently, there is a noticeable lack of commitment to a lifestyle of real faith.

Of course, I'm not painting the entire Body of Christ with this broad brush, but as we continue to be stretched in our faith, due to national and world events, I am unable to ignore what I discern ... that many Christians are struggling with coping with their fears of the future; or making life decisions out of fear; or mistrusting the promises of the Bible. Then there are those who turn a blind eye to the very real threats we face, and struggle to believe that persecution or trials and tribulations are a possibility. Yes, the ultimate victory is ours in Christ and what He accomplished on the Cross, but I think that God wants us to see the "Big Picture" ... the good, the bad, and the ugly that is in this world ... but see it from His perspective; His vantage point from Heaven, and as Creator.

We cannot simply revel in the "Good News" that we are Saved and our victory in Christ is eternal life. Don't mistake me -- that is our ultimate reward and inheritance as a child of God; and it is greatly to be prized and shared! But we have a job to do while we are here, and if at first it is to recognize Jesus as our Savior, how more productive for His Kingdom on earth is our work to advance the knowledge and acceptance of that Kingdom among all peoples, tribes, and nations? At the same time, we cannot remain naive that we have a very real and cunning, calculating Enemy whose sole goal is to stop us from completing our divinely-allocated objective. Just because we can see the finish line of our race, doesn't mean there won't be pitfalls, peril, and dangers to deter us along the way. It is the wise that proceed boldly, but with wisdom.

Therefore, one who hyper-focuses on the safe, comfort zone of Christianity may only reach a surface level of faith; a level that is most likely being greatly challenged in recent months. We can't always "lie down in green pastures". Sometimes we find ourselves walking in "the valley of the shadow of death" [as so many have experienced in the last two years]. It's easy to rejoice in our faith when we're standing on the top of the mountain, and the view is one of only sunshine, and speaks primarily of God's beauty and grace. But what would your reaction be if you suddenly found yourself plunged into darkness and you couldn't see evidence of God anywhere? Is your trust gone? Do you give in to fear and despair? Do you feel powerless? Or do you simply refuse to acknowledge that it exists or that anything bad can happen?

I've often written that the 21st Century Church needs to return to its 1st Century roots. Those new Christians were walking on unstable ground. The Enemy had just lost his biggest weapon to keep mankind separated from God ... Death. And those faithful few were in the cross-hairs of his rage. They found themselves imprisoned; ship-wrecked; beaten; run out of town; and ultimately all were either scourged, crucified, beheaded with a sword, thrown in boiling oil, lanced by idolatrous priests and burned up in an oven, axed to death, thrown down from the Temple tower and then clubbed to death, stoned or beheaded.

If we call Jesus Christ our Savior, we must be prepared not only to enjoy the seasons of goodness, grace, mercy, and prosperity, but to endure the seasons of troubles, chaos, wickedness and evil. Jesus did not promise us that we would run our race without stumbling or coming under attack. He only promised that He would be with us through it all. I know there are many Christians who think what occurred in the 1st Century could never happen now; that we are destined for another "great awakening" in this nation; a national and worldwide revival; that the saints in Christ will escape to Heaven before suffering the devil's revenge; or that the evil on the earth will be defeated before Jesus returns. But that is not what the Bible says! I pray for an awakening ... that the fire of the Holy Spirit is kindled in the Body of Christ to their identity and their purpose in this hour of history! And I pray that their spirits are revived to know the power they have to resist the devil and take back dominion in their bodies, in their lives, in the Church and in the earth!

It all comes down to the Parable of the Sower, but the meaning will escape the "Surface Christians". Is your faith like the seed that is scattered on the top layer of the ground? Is it shallow and veiled in appearance? Or is it allowed to penetrate and inform your heart with the deeper things of God -- the things that have been known since the beginning of the world and down through the ages, but the modern Church ignores because it doesn't fit their paradigm or theology? Precisely because God sent our spirits to inhabit the earth in this particular time of history, I believe it is important that the roots of our faith grow deep and wide. We are going to need to be grounded in the knowledge of our heart and head, and particularly established in our spiritual abilities to connect to the power of God in Heaven. 

Ancient civilizations as far back as the Sumerians [5500 years ago] wrote about the battles they witnessed between good and evil. Yes, God, Himself came to earth to reconnect with His creation and re-establish our relationship. But the forces of evil did not just submit and go away. The same strategies have been played out through the centuries, and while those stories and legends seem implausible for today, we would be wise to consider them -- not because it has an effect on our salvation -- but because the Enemy is still using the same methods and manipulations to deceive mankind. 

The Church will say that everything in the past changed when Jesus brought the gift of Salvation. But the Church rarely acknowledges that He referred to the past when He said, "As it was in the days of Noah...". Furthermore, most Christians have never taken the time to study or understand all that was going on "in the days of Noah", or the vast history of mankind that led up to it. While the modern Church may think it has no significance for them, I [personally] want to see how my God worked in that situation so that I can take what He reveals to me and spend time with Him in His Throne Room. I want to receive a greater revelation to encourage and exhort others to hang on to their faith when the days on earth grow dark. The more I know about God [in my spirit and through His perspective], the better I can represent Him in all things coming on the earth. It's time for the Body of Christ to go from "surface" to "deep" in their understanding of themselves and God. The times demand it!

Next Time: A Deeper Understanding of Our True Identity

Romans 15:4      Whatever was written beforehand is meant to instruct us in how to live. The Scriptures impart to us encouragement and inspiration so that we can live in hope and endure all things.



September 11, 2021

Twenty Years Later ...


 The memories of this day are most likely burned into the souls of everyone over the age of 30. We all remember exactly where we were twenty years ago this morning. Every American most likely has a distinct memory of that tragic day ... the ash-colored faces of panicking people rushing to escape the falling Towers behind them; the grief-stricken families wandering the streets of New York City in the aftermath, holding photos of their loved ones and hoping beyond hope that someone would tell them their son/daughter/father/mother/spouse had been spotted among the injured; the courage of those brave passengers on United Airlines Flight 93, who knew they were most likely sacrificing their lives to save those at the U.S. Capitol; the images of NYC firefighters atop mountains of rubble continuing to do their jobs after 343 of their comrades died trying to rescue those trapped in the buildings. And that's not counting the tens of thousands who have gotten sick or died from recovery efforts at Ground Zero.

The pain and loss of that day extends [as well] over 20 years of war; to all the families of all the wounded and deceased combat members of our military who answered the call to stop decimate the evil that had attacked our country. It is difficult to get a final figure of those who paid the ultimate price, but to each family whose lives were forever changed, the only number that matters is the one who came home to them -- whether in a flag-draped coffin, or a shattered body that took months or years to put back together. And there are many more whose wounds are not visible to the naked eye. 

It is hard for me to fathom what our Father in Heaven thinks as He looks down on the consequences of decisions made over these past 20 years. I am aware that this stretch of two decades in our lives is but a moment on His divine timeline. And I know that there have been similar tragedies, atrocities, and wars throughout history. But my human mind asks, "God, where does it end"? Is the cost we've paid in human life, national treasure, loss of freedoms, and societal/cultural division worth it? "What is your perspective, Father"?

I know the Bible says there is a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace (Ecclesiastes 3:8). I know that God can lead us into wars that are righteous, but I also know that He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore (Isaiah 2:3-4). Oh, how we long for that time!

I don't have the mind of the Father, but I think I perceive the heart of Jesus, who desires that we love our enemies. That's a hard thing to do when Evil comes knocking at your door. And the Apostle Paul tells us to never take our own revenge, but leave room for the wrath of God. I believe that God is a God of Justice, and there will be judgment against all who act out of evil hearts. But how do we reconcile these last 20 years, and where do we go from here?

There have been considerable changes inner nation since that fateful day in 2001. We are not the same country in so many ways. The unity we experienced in the days immediately following 9/11 seems like a fleeting memory. The Enemy has done everything within his power to divide us along economic, social, political and spiritual lines. We have mocked God's authority in covenantal marriage; the assigning of gender to our children; and have desecrated what is holy. And that's saying nothing of the greed and arrogance shown by our government leaders and corporations. The media and many ministries have fallen prey unto tempting deceptions, and the truth is often hard to discern.

But, I also want to mention that there is an entire generation that wasn't born when this evil came to our country. It is important that we never forget all those that died on that day, and in service to this country, so that we teach them this history. Let us take to heart, Deuteronomy 4:9, Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. 

And it is important to share the ideals that our flag stands for, and why it is important to so many when they see it flying high and proud. This latest generation needs to know it is about more than deciding whether to kneel or not at a football game. That flag represents the blood that has been shed throughout our 245 years of existence as a nation. We have been far from perfect and we have lost some of that national pride, and much more of our national identity, in the last 20 years. But I believe our God can return our hearts to Him and the purpose for which this nation exists. 

I could go on and on about all the ways that we, as a nation, and as a people have gone astray. It all comes down to this: We have defied the Living God, while deifying the unholy alliance among ungodly men and institutions. It may look as if we've gone too far to be redeemed, but we must never forget that God is always faithful. He keeps His Covenants, Promises, and Steadfast Love with those who love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations, and repays to their face those who hate Him, by destroying them. Judgment and Vengeance are His!

So, 20 years later, I want you to know that we have much to look forward to. Do not look at the world ... yes, the Taliban is still in power; Israel is still under attack; and the threats against our country may be even greater than they were in 2001. But we are still here, and there is still hope! On this 20th anniversary of the greatest national tragedy in our lifetime, we honor our dead and those who have displayed the American spirit of courage, bravery, and service. We recognize that there is a faithful remnant who will not bow down to worship evil; nor will they flinch at their duty; nor abandon their post. We have been called to a holy calling, and we have been raised up for this time and this season to display the power of the Almighty God of the Universe! We must trust that He has gone out ahead of us to establish our steps, and that we will witness His shaking in the land. We will be given the strength to stand in courage and boldness as we proclaim His strategies and plans that will lead us to victory!

Do not believe the false images or the defeat that the Enemy is feeding our hearts, eyes, and minds. Seek the Lord! His face is not hidden! He honors our grief over September 1, 2001 and all the years in-between. The souls of those who cry out from beneath the heavenly altar [for justice] will soon receive it! And we must not be afraid of what is coming. Remember, our God goes with us and fights for us. When we pray in the Might and Power of the Name of Jesus, we will have the opportunity to see something extraordinary in our nation! So, let's honor those who have paid the price for unrighteousness in the land; stand against those who would destroy what this nation stands for; and then look forward to what the Lord can do when we believe [in faith] and set our eyes upon Him! Get ready to witness His Kingdom, Power and Glory!

Isaiah 28:5-6      In that day the Lord Almighty will be a glorious crown, a beautiful wreath for the remnant of His people. He will be a Spirit of Justice to the one who sits in judgment, a source of strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.

June 12, 2021

Will You Drink From The Cup The Father Has Given You?

I sense in my own spirit, and in the spirits of those who have great discernment, that our time of trial will soon be upon us. Maybe its because I'm re-reading John 17 and 18, and contemplating Jesus's High Priestly Prayer and the charges brought against Him by the Jewish Council and the Roman government. I sense the passion with which He prayed for those His Father had given Him, and I know that He continues those prayers for us in this time. He asks God to keep us in our Father's Name, just as He, Jesus, kept the Disciples who walked with Him.

Jesus knows that we will experience everything the Disciples endured in that day, and worse. The world will hate us, just as they hated Him and His Disciples 2000 years ago, because we are not of this world, just as He was not. He specifically says to His Father, "I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one ... Sanctify them in Your word, which is Truth." And then He goes on to request that the Disciples, and all who would come to believe in Him, "would be one, even as we are one". The Father sent Him on assignment, and here we are, in our lifetimes, at this time in history, and He is sending us out on our assignment!

As I listened in my spirit for the intentions of Jesus's heart in this prayer, I was overcome with a couple of immediate thoughts. Jesus emphasizes just how important it is to Him that we Believers "be one as He and the Father are one". This is not the only time He has expressed this desire. It is at the foundation of His ministry. We must understand that He and God, the Father, share the purpose for why He was sent to the world that they created. He is on assignment from Heaven, to re-establish the spiritual connection between the Creator and the created, and to offer Eternal Life to all who would receive it. And just as the Father sent His Son on assignment, the Son is sending each of us on our assignment. 
I couldn't help but think how difficult it has been for us to "be one". There are over 200 different denominations of Christianity in the U.S. alone, and over 45,000 globally, according to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity. That many denominations has led to different traditions, rituals, and doctrines. That also includes differences in how we view what Christians will experience in these End Times. While most Christians understand that we have been given different responsibilities in the Kingdom, our souls often get cross-ways with each other over our perceptions of what we will experience. We are all familiar with the different eschatology positions -- premillennialism, for example, [in which Jesus returns prior to the 1,000 year reign of peace on the earth]; or the different dispensations of Biblical history, such as the Mosaic Age, versus the Church Age, versus the Millennial Kingdom. I guess it is our spirit of pride that compels man to determine the mind of God, which leads to squabbles over the question of whether Christians will be spared God's judgment of the world at the end of this Age. Are we to experience the Great Tribulation [as witnesses of God's love to an unsaved world] or be raptured out of here [and escape the Mark of the Beast and all that Satan brings against those that belong to Jesus]. Because of all these debated issues among the faithful, Satan has done a good job of keeping us at odds with one another.

But it is the scene in the Garden of Gethsemane, when Judas brings the band of Roman soldiers, along with the religious officers of the Jews, that pierced my heart the most. Out of his love for Jesus, Peter is ready to defend Christ, and drawing his sword, cuts off the ear of the High Priest's guard. Jesus's response is both remarkable and inspiring ... Shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given Me? Jesus is telling us that God has commissioned Him to go to the Cross to atone for the sins of all mankind. It is His assignment and "the cup" is the situation, condition, and circumstances He finds Himself in, and He will be obedient in carrying out His divine assignment.

Like Jesus, we are all here on this planet Earth because, as spirits created since the foundation of the world, we have been sent by Jesus to live in this human body [just as He was sent to live in a human body by God, the Father]. We, too, are here to fulfill our assignment. There are so many questions associated with that statement. Do we fully understand our assignment? Do we comprehend that it is the same assignment as Jesus's? If you don't know what that is, let me refer you to John 18:37. When questioned by Pilate whether He was a King or not, Jesus replied, For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world -- to bear witness to the truth. Here is what I believe is at the heart of Jesus's ministry, and our purpose here on earth ... Jesus came to be a witness about His Father [our God] and to glorify Him by accomplishing His assignment. By witnessing that God had sent Him, and going to the Cross in obedience, He is witnessing to the world that God so loved the world, He sent His Son [to die for us] so that all who believe in the Son will not perish forever, but have everlasting [eternal] life. He is inspiring and encouraging us to do the same -- declare this Truth, pick up our Cross and be willing to die as a martyr to this Truth. 

In short, Jesus came to be a witness of this Eternal Truth, and to send others out to be witnesses and martyrs to this same Truth - through the power of the Holy Spirit in us, who will guide us to all truth, as we need it, to fulfill our assignment. That glorifies His Kingdom and the power of the witnesses of that Kingdom; a Kingdom which is not of this world. The Kingdom to which we belong is not a world system, but a realm of power. We don't just write about it or speak about it. We experience it and live it. This is "the cup" we have been given to drink. It is a serious mission we have been sent to accomplish. At the end of it is victory and celebration because we have glorified our Father in Heaven, by glorifying His Son during our time on this earth. 

But between now and then, we must remain committed to witnessing to the world about the Truth that everyone who lives and believes in Jesus Christ, the Messiah, will never die. The cup we have been given will be bitter to some and difficult to swallow. Pray that we can abide in the power and authority transferred to us by our Savior, and grow into His very image, joyfully drinking from the cups of Sanctification, Redemption, Grace, Power, and Victory in the Lord. Let us be a light in this dark world, pointing everyone we encounter to the way to Eternal Life. And let us willingly drink of the cup handed to us, saying, "Yahweh, You alone are my inheritance. You are my prize, my pleasure, and my portion. You hold my destiny and its timing in Your hands. Thank you for trusting me to drink of the cup You have given me. Holy Spirit, guide me and empower me to finish my assignment, glorifying my Lord, who has sent me. And Lord, Jesus, I praise Your Mighty Name! You are my Rock, my Fortress, and my Deliverer. You will be my Shield in times of trouble, and You are the Power behind my Salvation. You will be my Stronghold. And I will praise Your Name because You are worthy to be praised, and I will be saved from my Enemies". Glorifying You IS my cup!

Psalm 23:5    You become my delicious feast even when my enemies dare to fight. You anoint me with the fragrance of Your Holy Spirit; You give me all I can drink of You until my cup overflows. (The Passion Translation)

May 25, 2021

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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