Thursday, November 20, 2014

Consider the Great Love of the Lord

Greetings in the Lord!


Today's word comes from Psalms 107; it is a wonderful praise psalm that is full of gems of wisdom as well. 


"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.  Let the redeemed of the Lord say this--those He redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south."  Psalm 107:1-3


There is nowhere that you can go, no depth that you can fall, no darkness that you can be hidden in and no calamity too great that the Lord couldn't save you---He most certainly can!  Praise him for that.  I like this psalm because it lists several different types of situations that people experience in life in which they are in over their heads and need the delivering power of the Lord to rescue them.  Sometimes their distress was caused by their own rebelliousness and foolish choices, "So He subjected them to bitter labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help.  Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress."  Ps. 107:12-13


Sometimes we just find ourselves in the perils of life as it happens, natural disasters, sickness or injury, or other negative, uncontrollable circumstances and we cry out to the Lord to help us--he hears and responds in His love for us.  "He sent forth His word and healed them; He rescued them from the grave.  Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men." Ps. 107:20-21


It's interesting to read that even the land responds to the discipline of the Lord, letting the people reap what their deeds have sown.  "He turned rivers into a desert, flowing springs into thirsty ground, and fruitful land into a salt waste, because of the wickedness of those who lived there." 
The reverse is true as well: "He turned the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into flowing springs; there He brought the hungry to live, and they founded a city where they could settle.  They sowed fields and planted vineyards that yielded a fruitful harvest; He blessed them, and their numbers greatly increased, and He did not let their herds diminish."


We are living in the reality and wisdom of this psalm in many ways---even entire nations are reaping the fruit of the deeds they've sown.  But there is good news, good seed = good fruit, and repentance IS good seed, and it will bear good fruit for us.  No one is lost with God, no matter the situation they find themselves in.  Turn to Him, call on the name of the Lord for He is mighty to save. 
"But He lifted the needy out of their affliction and increased their families like flocks.  The upright see and rejoice, but all the wicked shut their mouths.  Whoever is wise, let him heed these things and consider the great love of the Lord." 


~Be blessed and be a blessing. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Whose House for Thanksgiving?

Greetings in the Lord!

I wanted to share two dreams that I've had this week and the corresponding Scripture from the book of Jeremiah 6-7.

In the first dream I was sitting high upon a sand dune looking down at the beauty of the ocean before me.  It was a wonderful day and there were lots of people playing and swimming in the water.  Then I noticed off in the horizon that dark storm clouds were gathering off the southwest coast of our nation. They clumped together very quickly and did not form a usual, fluffy storm cloud, but rather, had the appearance of a clustered, dark swarm in the sky, moving in abrupt stages, but with calculated precision as if it was looking for something in particular--opportunity?  

Next, the waves that had been playfully crashing along the beach drew way back, as if the sea was running away from the shoreline, going back into the deep.  I recognized nature's ominous sign---a tsunami is gathering!  I stood right up and yelled to the people down below, "Get out of the water!  Quickly, get out of the water and come to safety!  A tsunami is coming!  A storm is coming!  Get out!  Get out!"  But no one cared to listen because as I was yelling, the ocean turned from its deep blue to an almost crystal green color, like shallow tropical waters, which enamored the people and enticed them to grab black inner tubes and float on the water to curiously investigate instead of running for higher ground.  I got so frustrated, "Those idiots!  I did my job--they're on their own!" and I started climbing up the dune to even higher ground to find shelter.

When I reached the crest of the dune and started to walk through the trees and tall grass, I had an inclination to look over my shoulder.  Seeing the sights, I immediately hid behind a tree: the swarm in the sky stopped to hover over the people and twisting funnel clouds zoomed in, going back and forth through the masses of people out on the water, causing all sorts of mayhem, while large waves swept over them.  I watched in horror, but kept hiding behind the tree as it seemed the dark hovering cloud was scanning the hills looking for more people.  Then I woke up.

The next dream was much shorter.  I was in a very large public shower house, kind of like the ones we had at Christian camp when I was young.  The shower areas were pretty dirty, so I took a moment to clean out the one I was going to use.  Behind me on the wall was an old painting of Mother Mary--it was in the old Medieval, iconic style.  While I was behind the curtain cleaning the shower, someone came and started to scrape off the painting, as the image provoked deep hostility and rage in the person.  This hate and rage was definitely directed at the Christian faith, so I remained hidden behind the curtain until they left the building.  That was the end of the dream.

The Scripture verses in Jeremiah 6-7 that I was led to read talk about an invading army of destroyers that come because of the sins of the people: they have turned their backs on God's ways and engage in idolatry, corruption, adultery and the like.  The people refuse to listen to those who issue warnings to repent, in fact, many of the prophets of the land now declare, 'Peace, peace,' when there is no peace.  They sugarcoat the Lord's words to appease and do not confront the people with their sins.  Therefore, the Lord allows enemies to come and sweep over the land.

"Look, an army is coming from the land of the north; a great nation is being stirred up from the ends of the earth.  They are armed with bow and spear; they are cruel and show no mercy.  They sound like the roaring sea as they ride on their horses; they come like men in battle formation to attack you, O Daughter of Zion."  Jeremiah 6:22-23.

The prophet advises the people to fast and pray, "put on sackcloth and roll in ashes; mourn with bitter wailing as for an only son, for suddenly the destroyer will come upon us."
"When you tell them all this, they will not listen to you; when you call to them, they will not answer.  Therefore say to them, 'This is the nation that has not obeyed the Lord its God or responded to correction.  Truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips...take up a lament on the barren heights, for the Lord has rejected and abandoned this generation that is under His wrath."  Jeremiah 7:27-29.

A sobering word, for sure, but it is a timely word.  As people of God we can do as the prophet suggests--pray and remember all the good things the Lord has done for us over this Thanksgiving season.  I feel a call to fast and pray, but that may be too much for many who are used to Thanksgiving being all about eating good food.  I just keep remembering Ecclesiastes 7:2-6:
"It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart.  Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart.  The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.  It is better to heed a wise man's rebuke than to listen to the song of fools.  Like the crackling of thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of fools.  This too is meaningless."

~Be blessed and be a blessing.      

Monday, November 10, 2014

Dwelling in the Shelter of the Most High

Greetings in the Lord!

Today's word will certainly not appeal to those who demand sweet and cheery prophetic words, as if "encouragement" is the test of a true prophetic word.  Actually, 1 John 4:2-3 is a good place to begin for New Testament-only people, as John sets criteria there:
"This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.  This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world."

Funny, too, the latest buzzword warning from pastors about false prophetic words is about "causing fear," but I don't see that in John's criteria either.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us this:
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 
That's probably why the Lord speaks to me directly out of Scripture.  It's important that the Church does not run and hide their heads in the sand every time a sobering word comes along--we have no need to fear, "because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." (1 John 4:4).  Amen.


So, moving onto today's word; it comes from the book of Isaiah, chapters 3-5.  Chapters 3 & 4 are the same ones given to me at the time of Hurricane Katrina, in summary: the Lord was going to let a disaster hit the land so that food and water, order and leadership, peace and finery were all taken away to humble His people and return their hearts back to Him.  The wicked in the land would give ugly snarls and shake their fists at God and demand that their leadership take care of them, but the righteous would be just fine and "enjoy the fruit of their deeds."  Amen.  But why did God allow such a disaster in the first place?
"The Lord takes His place in court; He rises to judge the people.  The Lord enters into judgment against the elders and leaders of His people: 'It is you who have ruined My vineyard; the plunder from the poor is in your houses.  What do you mean by crushing My people and grinding the faces of the poor?' declares the Lord Almighty. (Isaiah 3:14-15)
We can know that Katrina was in fact a cleansing for sin and corruption; God had a better plan in store for that part of the US than how many were living at that time.  But we read today that disaster is once again at our gates, and as people of God, we can turn to Him in prayer and supplication and know that we will be OK, and intercede for our neighbors who are not living for God.  Amen.


"Now I will tell you what I will do to My vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed.  I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled.  I will make it a wasteland, neither pruned nor cultivated, and briers and thorns will grow there.  I will command the clouds not to rain on it."  (Isaiah 5:5-6)  But why, you ask?  For the hearts of many of the people in the land have turned away from God and they live as they see fit.  Corrupt leaders, greedy people, idolatry, drugs, sexual perversion, you name it; we are not only indulging in these things, but calling "evil good and good evil."  "Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight...who acquit the guilty for a bribe, but deny justice to the innocent."


So here's what the Lord will do:
"He lifts up a banner for the distant nations, He whistles for those at the ends of the earth.  Here they come, swiftly and speedily!  Not one of them grows tired or stumbles, not one of them slumbers or sleeps; not a belt is loosened at the waist, not a sandal thong is broken. Their arrows are sharp, all their bows are strung; their horses' hoofs seem like flint, their chariot wheels like a whirlwind.  Their roar is like that of the lion, they roar like young lions; they growl as they seize their prey and carry it off with no one to rescue.  In that day they will roar over it like the roaring of the sea.  And if one looks at the land, he will see darkness and distress; even the light will be darkened by the clouds."
 
People of God get ready, fall on your knees in prayer and take refuge in the shadow of the Lord's wings; He will fill you with His peace and wisdom for the hour at hand.  Be sober-minded, not fearful, for greater is the One in us than he who is in the world.  Amen.


~Be blessed and be a blessing.           

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Instruments of Righteousness

Greetings in the Lord!


Today's word is quite amazing when you consider that I was praying for the persecuted Christians all around the world.  I was asking the Lord, "Lord, we read that when the early Church was being heavily persecuted, that it had the reverse effect of growing the Church's numbers--why are we not seeing that now in Syria and Iraq and other places?"  But the Lord responded with this in my heart:


"You will see that.  Soon, at the sight of the violent, needless killing of my innocents, conversions will break out among the enemies' camp, so much so, that they will begin to shield the atrocities from their own ranks, fearful that many will leave the fight at the sight of the injustices.  And the 'mystery of persecution' will bear its perfect fruit in those places."


The Lord also led me to read from Romans 6:8-14.


"Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.  For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.  The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 
In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.  Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.  For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace."


In all honesty, it wasn't the passage I was expecting to read from the Lord; I was thinking more along the lines of: "unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed.  But if it dies, it produces many seeds.  The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life." John 12:24-25.  Those verses explain the 'mystery of persecution' much better to me.  But then I discerned, the passage in Romans 6 is a word mainly for the persecutors!  When they participate in the death of a child of God, even being a witness to their confession of faith unto death, there is a powerful release of the Holy Spirit to them--they begin to understand on a deep spiritual level that their wrongdoing only leads to death, while the ones they killed will live forever in the graceful arms of their Savior. 


We usually understand Romans 6 as message about the resurrection power of Jesus in us to overcome sin, and yes, it's true.  But I discern this other event going on here as well:  the resurrection power of Jesus that enables us to overcome a life of sin also testifies to sinners of their current 'dead' state in sin.  It is a supernatural testimony, both to Christian believers and their oppressors alike--there is eternal life in Christ alone! 
The rest of today's word is a petition to not "offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life...as instruments of righteousness."  Amen


~Be blessed and be a blessing.











Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Skirts Torn Off

Greetings in the Lord!

Well, on the last post I shared the vision I had about God intervening on our behaves on the spread of Ebola in our country, and lo and behold, it seems that we are making progress on stopping the spread of the virus.  The nurses and journalist are recovering well, and the family members that were exposed to the virus did not contract it--so a big hallelujah to our God!  The Lord really is good to us.


Around the same time that I shared the Ebola word and word for Britain First, I also had another dream about Western girls going over to Syria to become jihadi brides.  I'm not sure why the Lord keeps showing me the people being recruited to go over there, but He has been for the past five months or so.  Anyway, this time I would like to share the dream because the Lord gave a specific word about how He sees the situation and what He has purposed for these recruits.

First, I saw several white Western young ladies sitting together in abayas.  They had just recently arrived to the "women's camp" and were a bit shell-shocked, wondering what was going to happen to them.  On the other side of the room, but still part of the "women's camp" were a lot of African Muslim women, some were wives of jihadists already and were supposed to teach/indoctrinate the new Western female recruits.  I could see that the group was pretty divided, with the African Muslim women unsure about the "white girls."  So they showed them how to pray on the green prayer rugs they had and otherwise did not mingle too much.


Then a short, white-haired, dark-skinned man came in and met the new girls.  He was trying to decide who they would be good with without making it too obvious that they were basically going to be someone's sex slave.  Some younger jihadists also came into the room to check the girls out, again, not trying to make it seem so obvious what was up.  The Western girls got up and naively shook the older man's hand and introduced themselves cordially, which by the way he shied back from them, he wasn't used to the forwardness of Western women.  His face said it all, "My God, these girls are different--I hope they are not a problem."  The young Western girls sat back down and checked out the bearded guys who came to see them, finding some of them cute.  The longer they sat there, I saw men come in and usher some of the ladies away and the "women's camp" got smaller in number.  Soon it was obvious to the Western girls that they had made a big mistake.  Where were these women going?  Who was going to "get" them?  Would they be treated OK?

After the dream, the Lord gave me this word from Jeremiah 13, which answers the folly of these girls with a sobering word: 
"These wicked people, who refuse to listen to My words, who follow the stubbornness of their hearts and go after other gods to serve and worship them, will be like this belt (Jeremiah's ruined belt)--completely useless!  For as a belt is bound around a man's waist, so I bound the whole house of Israel..to Me," declares the Lord, "to be My people for My renown and praise and honor.  But they have not listened."

"Hear and pay attention, do not be arrogant, for the Lord has spoken.  Give glory to the Lord your God before He brings the darkness, before your feet stumble on the darkening hills.  You hope for light, but He will turn it to thick darkness and change it to deep gloom.  But if you do not listen, I will weep in secret because of your pride; my eyes will weep bitterly...because the Lord's flock will be taken captive."

"What will you say when the Lord sets over you those you cultivated as your special allies?  Will not pain grip you like that of a woman in labor?  And if you ask yourself, 'Why had this happened to me?'--it is because of your many sins that your skirts have been torn off and your body mistreated...because you have forgotten Me and trusted in false gods.  I will pull up your skirts over your face that your shame may be seen--your adulteries and lustful neighing's, your shameless prostitution!" Jeremiah 13:10-11, 15-17, 21-22, 26-27.

"Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots?  Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil."  Jeremiah 13:23

So, while I feel bad for the parents and friends who are finding out their children and loved ones are sneaking away to join an evil cause, I mostly hear what the Lord is saying in this prophetic word--that what awaits them over in Syria is not at all what they dreamt it would be.  Their pride and spiritual rebelliousness have gotten them in over their heads and only the Lord can bring them back in one piece. The last part of the dream was cryptic---I saw motionless people sinking deeper and deeper in black waters, down to certain death, but then they realized, "I don't have to die here!" and began to fight to swim back up to the top.  Amen!  I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, that every person who is paralyzed with delusion and pride and is being sucked down into those dark waters will suddenly return to the Life and Light that is only found in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  Amen.

~Be blessed and be a blessing. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Filling-in the Tunnels

Greetings in the Lord!

Quite often when we see things happening in the natural, we forget that many times there are catalysts or influencing factors in the spirit realm first, then it manifested in the natural.  Knowing that is quite helpful, actually, as when I see something in the spirit realm I can pray accordingly to either help thwart or bring to fruition what I see happening in the spirit.  For example, there have been many times when I have entered a school or public building and felt a negative spirit there, maybe even death, and prayed against it so it could not manifest in the natural.  Praise God that He allows us to pray to Him for all things!

That brings me to my dream I had this morning.  I saw an extensive "railway" system being built underground.  There were many local tracks being laid with a long distance track already in use.  The workers were dressed in all black cloaks, so I knew they were trying to build these lines covertly, to transport something for no good purposes.  I kept hearing in my spirit, "in-roads", like these were trying to distribute something unknowingly.

When I awoke I discerned that this dream was referencing the Ebola outbreak currently happening in our country.  The long track went overseas, but the local tracks were trying to distribute this infection all around cities.  So I prayed in Jesus' name that the tracks be completely dismantled and all the tunnels be filled in entirely.  As I prayed that I saw a huge shovel blade come down from heaven and slice through the ground!  It began crushing and filling with dirt the tunnels that had been made and uprooting the tracks that had been laid--praise God!  What is the practical course of action along with praying?  That our government would review their detection and quarantine procedures, especially in airports and hospitals, for starters, to completely seal off people who have been around Ebola in any way.  Next, if any of the kids develop Ebola, their school should be evacuated for three weeks.  Prayer, plus practical action can stop in-roads to new cases of exposure.  

So, join me in praying this prayer:
In the name of Jesus we completely dismantle, fill in and close off every tunnel and "in-road" of the Ebola virus, including the international line currently in use and call forth a complete stoppage of the spread of this virus, in Jesus' name.  We ask that God's protection would cover every transportation line, whether by train, bus, airplane or whatever, and that this virus would have no where to go to and could not come near to infect another person in Jesus' name.  We ask for strategies to contain and eradicate the virus that is currently causing infection and that every "in-road" would be cut off entirely, and the virus would shrivel up and die in Jesus' name.  We place a bloodline of Jesus Christ around every airport, school, hospital, business, and our entire country so that the Ebola virus/curse could not trespass.  We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, amen. 
  
~Be blessed and be a blessing.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Bind Up the Testimony

Greetings in the Lord!

Today's word comes from Isaiah 8.  In a nutshell, it talks about the Lord using the great and terrible Assyrian army to overtake Aram and the confederacies of Syria, and Ephraim (the northern kingdom of Israel at that time.)  In fact, the sweep will be so fast that the prophet Isaiah is to name his son, "Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz," which means 'quick to the plunder, swift to the spoil.'  In verses 6-7 the Lord gives us a reason why this happens so quickly:

"Because this people has rejected the gently flowing waters of Shiloah and rejoices of Rezin and the son of Remaliah, therefore the Lord is about to bring against them the mighty flood waters of the River--the king of Assyria with all his pomp."  What does this passage mean?  Basically, it was saying that within the northern part of Israel and surrounding areas there were many people that were siding with their enemies, even endorsing the cruel and vicious campaign of the River (people of Euphrates) against the land.  Even though they benefit from living in these countries and have the opportunity to trust in the quiet waters of God, they choose to be enamored with the loud boasting and violence of their enemies.  Their hearts are against their own leadership and love to run it down because they are more impressed with the perceived "strength" of their enemies...even though the Lord promises to level Assyria in the way they are doing now.  To spoil means you will be spoiled.  But for now, betrayers have chosen to desert their own country in their hearts, and for this sin the Lord will allow Assyria to come and take them captive.  We know that is the same situation in many countries today, where a portion of populations are siding with the enemies of their State, but to their own peril.  "Assyria" exists as a cleansing agent, like a brush fire to clear the land of wicked thorns.  Ultimately, to partner with them is to succumb to their violence and reap the sword they cherish.  "Assyria" burns brightly now as dry sticks keep being added to the brush fire, but as with all brush fires, if no more dry sticks are added, it will burn out.  It will completely consume itself leaving nothing but a charred mess.      

In verses 9 through the rest of the chapter, the Lord tells us that those who chose to trust in the Lord will be comforted and their hearts will remain at peace.  They are not to listen and give into the fear rhetoric that their enemies are using to weaken them and draw more supporters; instead, they are to fear the Lord and revere His words of wisdom.  They will prosper when the waters rise, while the doubters and betrayers will be swept away.  Either the Lord will be the cornerstone of a person's life, or He will be "a stone that causes men to stumble."  It is an important time to not only believe in the Lord's words, but to "bind up the testimony and seal up the law" in our hearts.  Treasure His words and do not be moved with false and intimidating reports.  The Lord will use His people as signs and symbols of His strength and enduring Sovereignty in the midst of terrible trials.

The last verses, 18-22, are an admonishment to all people not to seek the counsel of spiritualists or mediums to inquire of the future--God is our refuge and strength.  He alone knows our future and tells us that to consult with demons is a sure way to become even more despaired, lost, and confused.  You will have no peace with the misleading "future" you are told by deceivers.  Trust in God and when the waters rise, you will be comforted with His presence and not swept away.

~Be blessed and be a blessing.