Witness Him Now
Last night I shared something at church and several people came up to me wanting me to write it down for them. I think what I am about to tell you will altar the course of your prayers and the results of your prayers.
Several months ago a precious Jewish lady who goes to our church handed me a brochure. She said, "Read it. When I started praying this way, things started happening." I did what the brochure said for a period of time, and then I forgot. Bummer! So I just found the brochure on Monday when I was cleaning. The wisdom found in that little pamphlet is found in 2 Corinthians 10.
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not [a]carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
Oh my goodness! My Jewish friend started praying over everyone she loved, "God, take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Tear down every stronghold, cast out every imagination and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God!" And now I am praying this too. Everywhere I go, "GOD! Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ Jesus. Tear down every stronghold, cast out every imagination and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God." WOW!
I think when we start asking God to take thoughts (lies) captive, then the truth will win. People will then be able to make different choices, wise choices. God is so good!
So now I want to pray over you and over me. God, I am asking in the name of Jesus that You would take every one of our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ Jesus. Tear down every stronghold, cast out every imagination and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. And I am asking that in its place that You would send light and truth and mercy and grace. Send your unfailing love. Fill us with Your goodness. I ask this in the mighty name of Jesus. AMEN
Friends of mine, we cannot forget this one. We have to DO IT! This one is a game changer!
Something so strange happened yesterday, and I have to share it. It took my breath away. My husband and I made a delivery to Houston, and I was in a middle school office waiting for someone to tell us where we needed to deliver the set when an INTENSE JOY entered my heart. Oh my goodness. I couldn't breathe.
I was watching the students and parents coming and going. I stood and watched the secretary go about her business, and something magical happened. I could see the goodness of God all around me. I could see each person fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God, each person crowned with glory and honor and given authority over all things. For whatever reason at that exact moment, I could see clearly the goodness of God when He created man.- all men. This feeling choked me all day long. My heart was so full, full to overflowing; it still is.
So last night God woke me up, and all I could think about was JOY. This month we were challenged in our church to seek wisdom and to read one Proverb each day. So yesterday, January 8th - Proverbs 8:30-35 talked about wisdom saying, "I was the architect at His side. I was His constant delight, rejoicing always in His presence. And how happy I was with the world He created; how I REJOICED with the HUMAN FAMILY! And so, my children, listen to Me, for all who follow My ways are JOYFUL. Listen to My instruction and be wise. Don't ignore it. JOYFUL are those who listen to Me, watching for Me daily at My gates, waiting for Me outside My home. For whoever finds Me finds life and receives favor from the LORD."
So I started thinking about my journey into JOY, and I could see clearly how it happened for me. For me it started in 2011 when God gave me the Parable of the Raccoon. With that parable, God allowed me to understand spiritual warfare. He then took me to a place where I was able to recognize my enemies, put a name on them, defeat them, and crush them fine as dust under my feet and sweep them out the door. Hallelujah, thank you Jesus!
One of my strongest enemies was judgment, and God delivered me from judgment in five different stages. All of them were glorious, and when judgment left my heart, my heart stopped judging myself. I could then see myself and others more clearly. WOW! I cannot tell you what a difference this made in my life. My heart was at peace.
Then about two years ago, God started teaching me about honor. The definition of honor is to hold someone in high esteem and high respect. This is something that happens in our heart, then it comes out through our words and our actions. It caused me to think of people - all people - as valuable and important. I started putting people on a pedestal in my heart. It started with "Honor your father and your mother." Then it moved to "Honor and your husband." Then "Honor all who are in authority." Then, "Honor all people for my sake." WOW! Honor. My heart started honoring people. I started looking past what they were doing into who they are - a man created in the image of God and crowned with glory and honor and given authority over all things. I began to see that what God had created was "good" regardless of what choices we make.
Then somewhere along the way - it may have been before honor - God started showing me that there is no "us" and "them." There is just "This is us." It doesn't matter whether we are Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, black or white, Jew or Gentile, Christian or Muslim. There is just - THIS IS US! We are all in this together. Humanity. Proverbs 8:31: Wisdom said, "How happy I was with the world He created; how I rejoiced with the HUMAN FAMILY!'
In may heart, the walls have fallen. Everything that separated me from others is now gone. In its place, I now have peace and JOY! WOW! If we could only bottle this one, the whole world would want it. What is so crazy is that it can be found.
Listen as Wisdom calls out! Hear as understanding raises her voice! On the hilltop along the road, she takes her stand at the crossroads. By the gates at the entrance to the town, on the road leading in, she cries aloud, "I call to you, to all of you! I raise My voice to ALL PEOPLE. You simple people, use good judgment. You foolish people, show some understanding. Listen to Me! For I have important things to tell you. Everything I say is right, FOR I SPEAK THE TRUTH AND DETEST EVERY KIND OF DECEPTION. My advice is wholesome. There is nothing devious or crooked in it. My words are plain to anyone with understanding, clear to those with knowledge.
Choose My instruction rather than silver, and knowledge rather than pure gold. For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with it.
I, Wisdom, live together with good judgment. I know where to discover knowledge and discernment. All who fear the LORD will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance, corruption and perverse speech. Common sense and success belong to Me. Insight and strength are mine." (Proverbs 8:1-14)
I don't know if you are getting any of this or not, but when we find wisdom, not only do we get joy, but we get: common sense, success, insight, and strength. Later in this same chapter, we find that we also get: riches, honor, enduring wealth, and justice, and God will fill our treasuries.
So my friends, I want you to know that the LORD is drawing near to His people right now to give us every good thing that He promised before the foundation of the earth. LOVE and JOY and PEACE are my favorite. JOY takes my breath away. But look at all the other good things He wants to give His people: patience and kindness and goodness and gentleness and faithfulness and self-control - grace and mercy and light and truth - wisdom and understanding and counsel and might and fear of the LORD and knowledge - common sense and success and insight and strength - riches and honor and enduring wealth and justice. His treasuries are overflowing with good things He wants to give to His children. We just have to let Him.
Blessings, my friends. May you, too, experience the joy of the LORD that takes your breath away.
Because we were challenged to read a chapter of Proverbs each day, I have to talk about wisdom. We all NEED wisdom in the coming days. Matthew 11:19 says that "Wisdom is shown to be right by its results." Think on that one for a while. What are the RESULTS of the choices that we have been making. Hum. When we get the right result, we can say, "That was a wise decision." But when the results are not what we wanted, we might say, "That was not wise."
So we need to know what wisdom is and what understanding is. Many times in the Bible I find that the definition of wisdom is "The Fear of the LORD." OK. Eyes on Jesus. Heart wide open. We need to know that God is going to do what He says He is going to do. But most of us don't know what God says, so it is kind of hard to have wisdom. We have to open our Bibles and our hearts for wisdom to enter. If we don't do both of these things, we will not make wise choices. We can't because wisdom is to fear God. But many of us are opening our Bible and our heart to God, and it feels like God is still far away. I want to share with you what understanding means. This rocked my world.
And this is what He (God) says to all humanity: "The fear of the LORD is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding." (Job 28:28) WHAT?!?! We cannot understand what God is saying if we don't depart from evil. Sweet Jesus! No wonder it is not working. But for me, I could not see my sin. When I read 1 John 1:8-10, "If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that His word has no place in our hearts." WHAT?!?! I could not see my sin. But according to this passage, if I said I have no sin, I am calling God a liar and showing that His word has no place in my heart. Oh my goodness! But I could not see!
It was not until God gave me the Parable of the Raccoon that my eyes were opened. With this parable God gave me two scriptures that rocked my world. "The work of righteousness is peace." And, "There is no peace for the wicked." Oh my goodness! Our heart is a barometer that shows us if we are right with God or not. If we have peace, we are good to go, but if we don't, there is something wicked inside of us that God wants to heal. If you will go to my website and follow my teachings, you will find that everything is about what we believe. If we believe the truth, we are righteous and peace enters our heart, but if we are believing a lie, we are wicked and we have no peace.
OK, I am not going to go there. I want to stay focused on WISDOM and UNDERSTANDING. Because my heart was not at rest and peace, I knew there was something wicked inside of me. I turned to God and asked Him what it was, and He showed me: selfish ambition and pride and judgment and caring what people think. Once I saw my sin, I turned to God and said, "I am guilty." He in turn said, "No daughter, you are forgiven." Anxieties left and peace entered. Then SOMETHING AMAZING BEGAN TO HAPPEN! I started to understand what God was saying. The wisdom and understanding that had been hidden for ages and generations was at my fingertips. Oh my goodness! I could see it and taste it and touch it. Light. Truth. Wisdom. Understanding. Counsel. Might. Fear of the LORD. Knowledge. It was all there.
Now, I look all around me. I am blessed. Everything I touch is blessed. "Wisdom is shown to be right by its results." Wisdom has entered my heart and so has understanding, and I can see the fruit of both. God wants to bless His children. He is just waiting for us to come to Him so that He can.
So I want to throw something out at you. Hebrews 12:7 NIV says, "Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as His children. For what children are not disciplined by their Father." "God's discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in His holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening - it is painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way." (Hebrews 12:10-11) Pay attention to what is happening. God wants to give us wisdom and understanding, and wisdom is shown to be right by its results.
If you want wisdom, face Jesus and open your heart wide. "Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry our for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God. For the LORD grants wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding." (Proverbs 2:2-6) God is waiting for us to come to Him and ask. He is poised to give us all the treasures He has stored for us in heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.
PS . Can I just say that I was just scrolling down facebook reading with this post in mind. There is a lot that has been happening lately. Babies that are sick. That is the hardest. I just want you to know that God has a big plan in it all. It is our heart that He is after. He is saying, "Trust Me." Anyone who trusts in God will ever be put to shame. We may or may not get what we want on this earth, but I can tell you the truth every hard circumstance will turn our hearts toward the only One who can save, deliver, and heal. Once we let go of trying to control the situation and begin to praise the One who is in control of all situations, peace will enter and God's hand will be loosed to do whatever He wants to do in our heart. So my prayer today is for those who are watching people they love suffer. I am asking God that You will strengthen them in their inner man by Your Holy Spirit. Root them and ground them in faith and in love. Wrap Your unfailing love around them and hold them close. Pour out on them the oil of joy for mourning and a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Save. Deliver. Heal. Set Free. Let them lay down their burdens. Let them take up Your yoke, for Your burden is easy and Your yoke is light. Help them right now to know how much You love them. Help them to feel the bigness of that love, the strength of that love, the hope of that love. Breathe life, LORD. Breathe health. Breathe hope. I ask this in the mighty name of Jesus. AMEN
This year we were challenged by our church to start the new year out by reading one chapter of Proverbs each day. It is fascinating what God is telling us. Proverbs 1 starts out with WISDOM shouting in the streets but no one would listen.
"I called to you so often, but you wouldn't come. I reached out to you, but you paid no attention. You ignored my advice and rejected the correction I offered. So I will laugh when you are in trouble! I will mock when disaster overtakes you - when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster engulfs you like a cyclone, and anguish and distress overwhelm you."
When they cry for help, I will not answer. Though they anxiously search for me (wisdom), they will not find me. For they hated knowledge and chose not to fear the LORD. They rejected my advice and paid no attention when I corrected them. Therefore, they must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way. (WHAT?!?!). Living our own way produces bitter fruit? Choking on their own schemes. For simpletons turn away from me - to death. Fools are destroyed by their own complacency (I looked up the definition of complacency, and it means: showing smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one's achievements). Smug means excessive pride in oneself or one's achievements.
Can you hear what God is saying? When we reject wisdom and ignore God's advice and God's correction, we will eat the BITTER FRUIT of having lived our own way. We will choke on our own schemes. Death will be the result because we are complacent. WHAT?!?! The pride and uncritical self-satisfaction in our own achievements will take us under. Oh my goodness!
Then it goes on to say, "But all who listen to Me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm."
WISDOM is shouting to us right now, "How long, you simpletons, will you insist on being simpleminded? How long will you mockers relish your mocking? How long will you fools hate knowledge? Come and listen to my counsel. I will share my heart with you and make you wise.
LORD, I am asking for this new year that You would send the spirit of wisdom and the spirit of understanding and the spirit of counsel and the spirit of might and the spirit of the fear-of-the-LORD into our hearts. May we no longer eat the bitter fruit of living our own way. May we no longer choke on our own schemes. May death be far from us. But may we instead have eyes to see and ears to hear and a heart to understand what wisdom is saying. Let us embrace the Words that You speak, the Words that bring life. Let us take to heart Your counsel. Let us turn at Your correction so that we can live. LORD, send out Your light and Your truth. Let them lead us, let them bring us to Your holy hill and to Your tabernacle. I ask this in Jesus' name. AMEN
Happy New Year everyone. Blessings to you,
The scripture says, "May you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers."