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

Showing posts with label The Bible's Promises. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Bible's Promises. Show all posts

November 7, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#jesusheals #thebiblespromises #thefaithfulnessofgod #ourpowerandauthorityinchrist

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

April 20, 2021

Deep Diving Biblical Precepts: Jesus Is The Bread of Life

I want to start a new series called "Deep Diving Biblical Precepts", in which I will be doing an occasional investigation into Biblical doctrines that we all are familiar with, but which we take for granted. In other words, I want to take a deeper look at common teachings that cross denominational lines, and that are theologically accepted as valid principles, but which we may only have a surface understanding. The first of these topics will be the understanding that Jesus is our Bread of Life.

There is a fascinating passage in John 6:22-59 where Jesus is approached by the crowd after feeding about 5,000 men (not counting the women and children that accompanied them) with five barley loaves and two fish. The people were astonished by the miracle they had witnessed, and Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king (John 6:15), so He withdrew to the nearby mountain. The crowd then saw the disciples depart in a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum on the other side. The next day they were mystified by another miracle they struggled to understand -- There had been only one boat at the shore when the disciples departed and Jesus had not been with them, but yet here He was in Capernaum with them [they did not know that He had walked on water the evening before to join them in the boat]. So, they question Jesus... "Rabbi, when did you come here?"

Jesus reprimands them because they were more concerned about mundane things and didn't recognize the miracles that came from the Father, and were only seeking Him because they had all been fed from the few barley loaves. Jesus tries to explain that they are more concerned about doing works for food that perishes than they are about eating the food that endures to give them eternal life. Jesus says the only work they need to do is believe in the One that the Father has sent, referring to Himself. So the crowd challenges Him... what miracle [sign] do you do that we can visibly see, and then we'll believe. And they made it clear that they were seeking a miracle like the manna from Heaven that appeared by the hand of Moses. 

Jesus tells them that it was not Moses that did the work, but God who provided what they needed to survive. He reminded them that their ancestors had eaten the manna in the desert and they died. And here is where I gained a new understanding of the "manna miracle", as we will call it .... In reality the manna was provided by God sending the dew [or more likely rain] from the 1st heaven (our skies and atmosphere) to cause the manna to grow on the ground in the wilderness. We find this scenario in Exodus 16:14-15 where Moses instructs them to gather it because "this is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat". God was the Giver through natural means. But this time Jesus was giving them the true bread from heaven [the 3rd Heaven where God resided and Jesus had come from] that they might never hunger or thirst again. 

I believe this passage has been so misunderstood in our life time! The manna the Israelites received in the wilderness was physical bread. It was like coriander seed and they ground it in their mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it (Numbers 11:7-8). It had a "shelf life"; it molded and could not be counted on to sustain their flesh and bodies after a period of time. But Jesus is true bread; a spiritual bread that is everlasting and sustains their souls and spirits. He is the bread of LIFE! He states in verse 51, "I am the living bread that came down from Heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."

Of course, this confuses them again ... "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink." Then He qualifies exactly what He means in this strange discourse by repeating what He had said earlier, "This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever."

First of all, any serious student of the Bible understands that if something is restated in a passage, then it is an important concept that God wants us to comprehend. When Jesus repeats that He is the bread that came down from heaven, [and He is not like the bread the Israelites ate in the wilderness], He is making a distinction between being fed spiritually and being fed physically. Also, there is the principle that the physical bread can't keep you from dying, while the spiritual bread gives you eternal life. Furthermore, I know that there are some denominations that teach that when we take communion, we are literally eating Jesus's flesh and drinking His literal blood. But this passage is not to be read as a literal translation at all. Instead, His words symbolize His action of sacrificing His flesh and blood for us.

 Again, He is making reference to His flesh as true food in a spiritual sense, and His blood as true drink; again referring to that which feeds us spiritually. In no way, does He suggest that we are to physically eat His actual flesh or blood. That would make us zombies and vampires! Instead the sacrifice of His flesh and blood, which resulted in His death on the Cross, made way for us to restore our relationship with our Heavenly Father -- something all mankind had been starving and thirsting for since Adam's fall in the Garden! That's the essence of verse 35: He is the Bread of Life! Whoever comes to Him will not hunger, and whoever believes in Him shall never thirst -- our eternal life will be a spiritual one, sustained by His power in us.

Did you notice the two different sets of circumstances in that last sentence? You must come to Him and you must believe in Him. It is the only way to satisfy what your soul and spirit hunger and thirst for. Come, eat of the Bread of Life and partake of the Living Water. It is eternal and nothing will ever taste as sweet!

Matthew 5:6    Blessed [joyful, nourished by God’s goodness] are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness [those who actively seek right standing with God], for they will be [completely] satisfied.

February 18, 2018

The Christian Experience: To Give and Receive Encouragement

     Yesterday's blog post dealt with a reality of our Christian experience that can make us feel like we are walking alone. While our journey towards righteousness will inevitably offend someone, and we often find ourselves offended when another Believer doesn't agree with us, the antidote to such discouraging seasons is to find encouragement; in the Word and in the Father's love for us.
     But I also want to focus this message on the importance of giving encouragement and receiving it. This is a message that is heavy on my heart today because my spirit is sensing that we are in a season of growing spiritual attack against the Body of Christ.  Just this morning, my phone exploded with text messages asking for prayer for several strong Believers. And even my own husband was under attack.  All the attacks centered around worry and anxiety over the care and protection of family and loved ones. Christians who are on the front lines of spiritual battle suddenly find themselves with concerns and fears and, yes, even doubts, that they are up to their assignments.
     When this happens, it is up to the rest of us to rise up and lift them up. Encouragement is going to be an important weapon in this season of our Christian walk and in the seasons to come. The Enemy sees our hearts and spirits growing stronger in the knowledge and mysteries of the Lord, and he knows his time is short. So we can expect his attacks to grow stronger, too. But we don't need to suffer them!
     In John 16:33, Jesus says, And everything I’ve taught you is so that the peace which is in Me will be in you and will give you great confidence as you rest in Me. For in this unbelieving world you will experience trouble and sorrows, but you must be courageous,  for I have conquered the world! That should be our greatest encouragement! But there are times we need to come alongside our Brothers and Sisters in Christ and confirm that Word from our Lord. And there are times we need it to be confirmed to us. 
     The Bible speaks to us of the many forms of encouragement: building one another up; stirring one another up to love and good works; meeting together; giving grace to each other; bearing one another's burdens; standing with others and Christ on behalf of another; gently encouraging those who feel themselves inadequate; encouraging others by teaching the Word and admonishing one another in all wisdom; singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs; strengthening each other to endure; helping each other to renew our minds in Christ; teaching and exhorting and equipping each other to do the works of ministry; urging each other to stand on our faith; promoting God's Truth that He will carry our burdens and anxieties because He cares for us; and reminding each other that the favor of God is upon all those He calls His children.
     Encouragement is such an explicit part of our walk with the Lord. In this carnal world, if we lack encouragement we will feel unloved, unimportant, worthless, and abandoned. And if we don't receive encouragement from soaking in the Word, our spirits will be dry, unproductive, and powerless.  Either way, we are vulnerable to the attacks of the Enemy. Encouragement is vital! And God knows we need to not only give it, but receive it, as well.  
     But if you are like me, there are times I just don't feel up to the task. I don't have the right words or my spirit is struggling itself.  That's when I have to set aside my self-interests and ask the Holy Spirit to counsel me exactly how the person needs to be blessed with encouragement. Most of the time I have a sincere and convicted heart of the promises the Lord has given us, but just can't seem to convey them in my own words.  That's when I have to be still and let the Holy Spirit take over. My words don't need to be long or lofty; I just listen to the prompting of the Spirit and He will share the riches of God's grace with me.
     But what about the times that we need encouragement? Is it hard for you to receive it? That's exactly what the Enemy wants -- to convince you that either you have to handle your battle by yourself; or that you are unworthy of asking for help. That is a lie! First of all, our Lord and Savior promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us. But the Enemy will try to convince us that He, too, will let us down, like so many others in our lives. That isolation is one of the most debilitating tactics of the devil. When he can keep you secluded from Jesus and fellow Believers -- especially if it is your spouse or family -- then he is free to whisper his lies as you struggle to keep from drowning in self-condemnation. Stay focused on Jesus and reach out for encouragement!  There is not one of us who has not suffered an attack from the Father of Lies. Even Peter, who was perhaps the most outspoken when it came to declaring Jesus's promises, took his eyes off His Savior as he walked on water, and the result was he began to sink! 
     I want to point us back to John 16:33.  Jesus tells us it is inevitable that we will undergo troubles and sorrows in this world. But it is important that we retain our Identity. We are the Sons and Daughters of Him that conquered this world! In view of our eternal life with Jesus, these short-lived troubles are platforms to come together for our mutual enrichment. Whether we are the one giving encouragement, or the one receiving it, it allows for God's marvelous grace to spread among more and more people, resulting in an even greater increase of praise towards God, and bringing Him even more glory! So, whether we are the Encourager or the Encouraged, let us focus our attention not on what is seen or the lies whispered in our ear, but focus on what is unseen; in the promises of our Lord to be with us through this temporary life. Remember, whatever is seen before your carnal eyes is also temporary. The promises of Jesus are eternal. He has taken away the power this world has to defeat us, and has conquered it for us. Let us be encouraged in the Peace He offers us, and encourage others to rest in His victory! 

1 Thessalonians 5:11      Because [Jesus gave His life for us], encourage the hearts of your fellow believers and support one another, just as you have already been doing.