Witness Him Now
OK, I do not have enough time to do this blog service, but the Healer has come with power, and it is spectacular. Sunday morning God woke me up and spoke to me about healing. I then went to church, and Todd preached about healing. I met with Todd yesterday morning, and God is speaking the same thing to both of us. Then this morning Leia woke up with a blinding migraine headache. God healed her. But more than that, He showed her how.
I cannot wait to post the rest of the story. I just don't have time right now. God is so good!!! Please pray for me that God will give me the time I need to blog and to do my videos. I want to share all of this goodness with you.
Blessings, my friends. May you, too, meet the Healer.
I read a scripture a few days ago that thrills my soul. John 15:16-17 says, "You didn't choose Me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, SO THAT the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using My name. This is My command: Love one another."
God wants us to bear fruit so that He can answer our prayers? Is that so? This makes me want to shout and sing. For the last several years the fruit inside of all of us has been getting larger and more everlasting. The love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control that is inside of us is ruling our lives now. No matter what happens, no matter what anyone says or does, the fruit wins. It is pretty spectacular, but then look at the scripture...
God chose us and appointed us to bear everlasting fruit SO THAT the Father will give us whatever we ask for in Jesus' name. Wow! Wow! Wow! Whatever we ask for! It is time to ask. God is poised to answer. He wants to set captives free. He wants to heal broken hearts. He wants to comfort those who mourn. He wants to show Himself strong amongst His people. He chose us and appointed us to bear everlasting fruit so that we would be in a position to ask and He would be in a position to answer. God is so good! He said that His Temple would be a house of prayer for all nations. That is what we are becoming. Wow! I hope this verse hits your heart like it is hitting mine because there are many battles to be fought, and God has chosen us to partner with Him in the fight.
Zechariah 12 says it this way, "This message is from the LORD, who stretched out the heavens, laid the foundations of the earth, and formed the human spirit. I will make Jerusalem (that's us in spiritual terms) like an intoxicating drink that makes the nearby nations stagger when they send their armies to besiege Jerusalem and Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock. All the nations (principalities and powers and rulers of darkness in high places) will gather against it to try to move it, but they will only hurt themselves.
"On that day," says the LORD, "I will cause every horse to panic and every rider to lose his nerve. I will watch over the people of Judah, but I will blind all the horses of their enemies. And the clans of Judah will say to themselves, "The people of Jerusalem have found strength in the LORD of Heaven's Armies, their God."
On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a flame that sets a woodpile ablaze or like a burning torch among sheaves of grain. They will burn up all the neighboring nations (principalities and powers) right and left, while the people living in Jerusalem remain secure. The LORD will give victory to the rest of Judah first, before Jerusalem, so that the people of Jerusalem and the royal line of David will not have greater honor than the rest of Judah.
ON THAT DAY THE LORD WILL DEFEND THE PEOPLE OF JERUSALEM: THE WEAKEST AMONG THEM WILL BE AS MIGHTY AS KING DAVID! AND THE ROYAL DESCENDANTS WILL BE LIKE GOD, LIKE THE ANGEL OF THE LORD WHO GOES BEFORE THEM! For on that day I will begin to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
THEN I will pour out a spirit of grace and prayer on the family of David and on the people of Jerusalem.
This is the time period we are living in. This is that day. This is what we were appointed to do - bear everlasting fruit so that we can ask God for anything using the name of Jesus, and He will do it. God wants us to be in a position to ask, and then He wants us to ask. He is poised and ready to answer. So let me encourage you. God has called and chosen you for such a time as this. It is time to get our lives right with God so that we can pray.
The greatest gift God gave to mankind is the right to choose. We get to choose to be faithful or to run around on our spouse. We get to choose to tell the truth or to tell lies. We get to choose to be kind or to be offended and bitter. We get to choose to forgive or to hold onto unforgiveness. We get to choose to be straight or to be gay. We get to choose to get married or to move in with our boyfriend. The choice is ours. That is free will, and it is amazing.
However, I happen to believe that there is an absolute set of rules that govern what is right and what is wrong, and there are consequences to every choice we make. Now, is my opinion valid? I don't know. I believe it is with all my heart. That is what moves me. I live by these rules, and I try to teach these rules to others, but when I tell someone that the God of heaven and earth put together a set of rules that will govern everyone, people get offended. They don't want to hear what I have to say. But, these are not my rules, they are His. I just speak the truth as I know it. People do not have to believe what I say, and they do not have to follow what I say. That is free will. But, it is only the truth that will set people free, and I will not withhold the truth from anyone, no matter what they think about me or about the God I serve.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 says, "Don't you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don't fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultry, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people - none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the LORD Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."
There are a set of standards that we who will inherit the Kingdom of God will all adhere to. Those of us who induldge in sexual promiscuity and greed and idolitry and those who lie and cheat will never inherit the Kingdom of God. We cannot fool ourselves. We will reap what we sow. And it is O.K. as long as we know what we are doing. However, the enemy has blinded our eyes and dulled our hearing so that we cannot see or hear the truth. As long as we know the truth, let us choose. Choose this day whom you will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
So we all have a very real enemy who wants to kill us, steal from us, and destroy us. His only weapon is the lie. If he can make us believe the lie, he has us, but if we know the truth, the truth will set us free. We have to overcome the lies that are bombarding us. Revelations 21:5-8 says, "And the One sitting on the trhrone said, "Look, I am making everything new!" And then He said to me, "Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true." And He also said, "It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega - the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be My children."
"But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars - their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death."
Friends, I will love you no matter what you choose. Free will is an amazing gift. We each get to choose life or to choose death. We get to choose blessings or we choose cursings. The choice is ours, and I respect your choice. But we are living in a day and a time where if we even say there are consequences or that there is a standard of right and wrong, this will land us in hot water. I guess I will stay in the boiling pot because I love you guys so much. I will never withhold the truth that could set you free.
Blessings, my friends. May God open your eyes that you may be able to see and your ears that you may be able to hear and your heart that you may understand what He is trying to say.
About a month ago the LORD allowed me to see several scriptures as they fit together. Before this time, these words were fragmented - separate pieces. Once the pieces came together, my eyes were open to the big picture of what God wants from us all. If I had known two months ago what I know now, this would have summarized my book. That is how important it is.
Matthew 7 starting in verse 12 goes like this: "Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets." Everything that is taught in the Bible can be summed up in this phrase. Wow. But listen to what comes next. "You can enter Gods Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it."
Can you see that? The road to life is to do to others what you would want them to do for you. This road is difficult and narrow. Few will ever find it. Then it says, "Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by thieri fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can't produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can't produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions."
So how are we going to know a tree by its fruit? Does this person treat others like he would want to be treated? A good tree CANNOT produce bad fruit. A good tree WILL ALWAYS treat others like he would want to be treated. Wow! Wow! Wow! If we are not treating all people like we would want to be treated, we are still a bad tree. We have rotten places (enemies inside of us) that have to be cut out. If we are still jealous or judgmental or proud or covetous or greedy or unforgiving, etc., we are a bad tree, and we CANNOT bear good fruit. It is not possible. Jealousy will not let us treat others like we would want to be treated. A judgmental spirit will not let us treat others like we would want to be treated. Greed will not let us treat others like we would want to be treated. Oh my! Can you tell what kind of tree you are? Are you happy with what you see? I don't know a lot of people who treat every person they know like they would want to be treated.
Listen to what people are saying about what happened in Florida this week. If you were one of the people sitting in that bar, how would you want people to treat you? If you were the Islamic extremeist who is caught in a religion that promotes hate and death, what would you want someone to do for you?
There is a scripture that has changed my life forever. It is found in James 3:7-12. "People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our LORD and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can't draw fresh water from a salty spring."
All men have been made in the image of God. If we curse them, we are speaking out against God. We are not treating others like we would want to be treated. We are a bad tree that cannot produce good fruit. Only when we begin to open ourselves up to let God heal the hurts inside of us and to set us free from all the lies we have believed, can we come to a place that we will be called good. A good tree CANNOT produce bad fruit. LORD, help us. We are not there yet. Forgive us for the words we have spoken. Forgive us for the judgment in our heart. Forgive us for thinking that we are better or more deserving than others. We are not. We are guilty. Come, LORD Jesus, with power to wash our sins clean. I ask this in Your precious name. AMEN
I have just finished the last item God is asking me to put in my book. I trembled as I wrote it. It is not something anyone talks about, and if they do, not many people take this point-of-view. I think what I have written is unadulterated truth, but I don't know how many people will be able to receive this word. My prayer is that you will have eyes to see and ears to hear and a heart to understand what the Spirit is saying. My prayer is that your marriage is healed.
There has been an extreme attack on marriages the last few years. We are being attacked from all sides. The enemy’s strategy has always been the same - divide and conquer, but the attacks have now escalated. We can’t let the enemy win in this area of our life. We are one, and we have to remain one. A house divided cannot stand. But how do we do it? How do we safeguard our marriage?
First, I want to address - where are our eyes? What are we looking at? Our world is spinning so fast. It is out-of-control, and there is so much to do and not enough time to do it. There is not enough of anything, and the demands on our time and energy and money is so much that we start to disengage. Then somewhere along the line we get distracted. We start to look other places, at other people; we focus on the negative; we look at the things left undone; we retreat, and our focus turns inward. We can’t let this happen. For any marriage to really work, we have to do it God’s way. We have to get our eyes off of ourselves and put them on our spouse. Then we each have to play out our role in the marriage.
I am going to address the male role and the female role. We both have to play our part, and when we do, something magical happens. Marriage works.
Women, I want you to know that our role in a marriage is to be our husband’s help-mate. This marriage is not about us and what we get out of it, it is about our husband. We are to do everything in our power to help him be successful. We are one, but he is the head. Our role is to bring honor and glory to the head. “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the LORD. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.” (Ephesians 5:22-24) “Let the wife see that she respects her husband.” (Ephesians 5:33)
Our role in the marriage is to honor and respect our husband and to submit to him and to trust him to make decisions. When we do, we unlock a door in the heavenly realms for God to work in his life. When we stop trying to control and manipulate him, he then has the freedom to be what God created him to be - the head of this family. We are not the head. We are not his Holy Spirit. We do not control his decisions. We do not dictate what he does or does not do. We are his help-mate, and there is much power in this role when we finally get ourselves out of the way. What we do determines whether our man stands or falls. What we do determines whether he is able to lead, guide, and save our family. It is the man who has to do that, we can’t.
NOTE: To those women who do not have a husband. Christ is your husband. Let Him have that role in your life.
There is a scripture in 1 Corinthians 11:7 that has intrigued me for a long time. “For man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man.” Man is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. Wow! When we honor and respect our husband, when we give to him and willfully serve him, when we sing his praises to others, we bring him glory. Our actions and our words determine whether our husband stands or falls. When we do our part, then God’s hand is loosed on our husband’s life to use him to bring glory to Himself. We do not understand the power behind every word and every gesture we make toward and about our husband.
It’s even the little things we do, the rolling of the eyes, the snide comments, the belittling that can bring him to his knees. The whole world may think he is amazing, but if we don’t say so, he isn’t. He does not receive the honor he deserves. We didn’t give it to him. On the other hand, the whole world may say this man falls, but if we say he stands, he stands. We have that much power, and it is ours alone to wield.
Now, I have a husband who is easy to honor and easy to respect. He is a man of integrity and virtue; however, you may not be married to a man such as this. What do you do? Fix your eyes on him with your heart-wide-open. What do you see? Is there any strength? Is there any virtue? Does he provide for you? Does he protect you? Does he care for you or your children? Can you see the good? Acknowledge it. Praise it. Set your heart’s affections upon it. Once you begin to see the good and to praise it, more good will come. You will watch it unfold before your very eyes if you can give him the praise and honor he deserves. Don’t look at what he doesn’t do. Acknowledge what he does. Acknowledge who he is. Miracles will happen when you do.
However, sometimes we are married to someone who is not so good. What do we do then? There is a story in 1 Samuel 25 about a man who was a scoundrel, a fool who had no sense. He was married to Abigail, a woman of good understanding and beautiful appearance. What did she do when her husband made foolish choices that put her family in jeopardy? She went to King David to try to make things right. She tried to keep him from committing a grievous sin against her husband and her people. It worked. David relented saying, “Blessed is the LORD God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! And blessed is your advice and blessed are you, because you have kept me this day from coming to bloodshed and from avenging myself with my own hand. For indeed, as the LORD God of Israel lives, who has kept me back from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, surely by morning light no males would have been left to Nabal!” (1 Samuel 32:32-34) So we have to do what is right, and leave it in God’s hands. When Abigail got back home, her husband died, and David married her. We don’t know God’s plans, but we have to trust Him.
“Servants (wives) be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.” (1 Peter 2:18-21)
Sometimes we are put into positions where we have to just trust God. We cannot see anything good, but know this, God is doing something good. “All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose, because we are being conformed into His image.” (Romans 8:28) In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18) God knows what He is doing. We just have to do our part so that He can do His. We have to honor, respect, and submit to our husbands.
And then we have to serve him. I cannot write about marriage without touching on the subject of sex. Sex is so important to a man. It is as important as food and water. If we withhold our affections in this area, we are opening the door for the enemy to enter our home and our family.
“It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (1 Corinthians 7:1-5)
When we withhold our bodies from our husbands, it opens the door for the enemy to come in and kill, steal, and destroy. According to scripture we are the only ones who can serve our husbands in this area. Others can cook for him, and others can clean for him, but we are the only ones who can make love to him. This is our privilege, and it is our duty. We cannot withhold our affections. We cannot continue to use sex as a tool to manipulate and control. If we do, it will destroy us and our family.
I once knew a sweet family. They were beautiful. They went to church every week. From the outside looking in, they had it all, but one day the man decided to leave. I went to him, wanting to bring words of encouragement and wisdom. The man confessed that his beautiful wife would only make love to him once or twice a year. This had been going on for more than a decade. He said, “I feel like I am not a man anymore.” He could no longer do it. He left, and the last I heard he had turned from God, turned from his family, and was on drugs. The woman never knew what she had done. She took a good man down.
My brother was in a similar situation. His wife withheld her affections from him. My brother had to travel on business all the time, and the temptation was there. Finally, he just said, “God, take the desire away from me.” So my brother, who is still a fairly young man, gave this part of his life to God. He had to because his wife wouldn’t. Not every man could or would choose the path my brother did, most go someplace else. We can’t let that happen.
My time with my husband has always been good, but now it is even better. I don’t know when it happened, but somewhere along the way I started to bless him. When it was time for us to make love, I began to pray, “LORD, bless him. Let me bless him. Give him good gifts. Teach me how to love him, and to love him well. I ask this in Jesus’ name. AMEN” God has answered that prayer for me as well as for him. You can do this, too.
But for many women, the hurts of the past get in the way of being able to live in the present. Many women need to be healed in this area of their life. If someone has hurt you, put it under the blood. Forgive. Let go. Then turn your eyes and your heart’s affections toward your husband. Look at him and listen to him. Seek to do good for him. Seek to bless him and please him. Ask yourself, “How can I love this good man?” A good place to start is the bedroom.
You have a much harder job than we do. We just have to honor and respect you, but you have to love us. And I am not talking about the world’s kind of love, I am talking about the 1 Corinthians 13 kind of love. “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
So you have to take us like we are: an off-the-chain, controlling, demanding, complaining, manipulating, OCD, hormonal ball-of-fluff, and you have to be patient and kind. You can’t give up on us. You have to endure us through every circumstance. That is not easy. I don’t know one woman who is easy, but God did not call you to do what was easy. He called you to love unconditionally. You have to present us to God without spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. You have to love us and cover us and be patient with us until we are there. That is a tall order.
“For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up His life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s Word. He did this to present her to Himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church.” (Ephesians 5:25-29)
“This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” (Ephesians 5:32-33)
Marriage is the picture of the unity or oneness of Christ and His church. The husband (Christ) is patient and kind, not keeping any record of being wronged. He never gives up, and He never loses faith. He loves us as He loves his own body, and He will present us holy and without fault to His Father someday. And the wife (the Church) is trying with all her might to honor and respect her Husband (Christ). She is trying to submit. She is trying to serve, but most of the time, she falls so short of the mark, but her Husband is patient. She throws a fit, but her husband is kind, and He does not hold this against her. She turns her back on Him, but He reaches for her. He protects her. He leads and guides her. He covers her. They are one. The wife does not try to control or manipulate the Husband. She does not try to usurp His authority. It is not her place. Her place is to honor and respect her husband (Christ). Her place is to submit to his leadership, and she is trying with everything in her to do this.
It is the same in marriage. When we finally understand that our role is to honor and respect and submit to our husband, things will work. We are not to usurp his authority. We are one, but he is the head. It does not work if we take the lead. We were not created for that role, he was. Then he has to step up and be the head. He has to love and protect us. He has to lead our family into righteousness so that we will all be presented blameless and without fault before our Father someday. He can do that, and he will do that, if we will let him.
We are one, just as Christ and His Church are one. We have to make it together. A house divided cannot stand. I have to be to my husband what I was created to be so that he can be for our family what he was created to be. It is a great mystery, two become one flesh. It is beautiful.
BRING ALL THINGS INTO THE LIGHT:
Now, as you were reading this section, I know that one of two things was going on inside of you. Either you were rejecting everything that was said because you felt it did not apply to you or to your family, or you felt conviction.
If your heart was trying to reject this truth, turn your heart toward God, open it wide and pray, “LORD, take out my heart of stone and put in a heart of flesh. Sprinkle me with clean water so that I can be clean. Tear down all my idols and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and pour Your Holy Spirit into me so that I can follow Your decrees and walk in Your judgments. I ask this in Jesus’ name. AMEN” You should be able to receive truth now. If not, continue to face Jesus with your heart-wide-open. Let Him in so He can heal you.
For everyone else, God wants to deal with all those things that are hidden. “This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in Him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin. 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.” (1 John 1:5-10)
I know that many of you have crossed lines. We are living in a time period where it was easy to do. Sometimes it was even expected. But everything you have done, and everything you have considered has to come to the surface so that God can cleanse you and heal you. It has to be done as a couple. Even saying this makes me tremble. I asked my husband, “Do they need a counselor?” He said, “They have a Counselor, they just have to call on His name.” His name is Jesus.
So I am asking you to join hands and open your heart wide to God and to each other. Call on the name of Jesus to come and save, deliver, and heal. Be honest with God, and be honest with each other. Lay all the cards on the table, don’t hold anything back. I know this is scary, but you have to do it. As you do, open your heart wide to forgive. Forgive your spouse. Forgive yourself.
Let everything that is hidden be made known, and the blood of Jesus will cleanse you from all sin. If you claim you have no sin, you are only fooling yourself, but if you confess your sin, He is faithful and just to forgive you your sin and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness.
NOTE: There are some people who are unequally yoked to a spouse who self-destructs. To stay with this person would put you and your family in jeopardy. If this is the case with you, turn your face toward Jesus and open your heart wide. Ask Him what He wants you to do, and then do it. Make sure it is not your own selfish desires that are trying to speak. Make sure it is Jesus.
Then there are people who are enabling their spouses. My brother was one of these. For 32 years he tried to love his wife as Christ loved the church. That was what God was asking him to do. He cared for her and served her. He came in from work, cooked, cleaned, did the laundry, and took care of the yard while she withdrew more and more into her little world.
Then last year the Spirit started saying something different. He said, “Go to her and tell her, ‘I want you to do three things: Get out of bed. Get help. And work on your relationship with your family, friends, and children. If you don’t, I am going to leave.’”
When the LORD started speaking to my brother like this, he wanted to make sure it was God, so he called his children and all the people he trusted. When he asked me what I thought, I said, “Will she change if you stay?” He said, “Absolutely not.” In my mind, he had no choice, he had to leave. She did not have a chance to make it if he didn’t. He was enabling her to self-destruct.
Once he was convinced that it was God speaking, he went to her and delivered the message, but she didn’t believe him. A few weeks later he took the kids with him to deliver the same message, but she still didn’t believe him. A month later, he left. She was so angry with him that she changed the locks on the doors, cleaned out the checking and savings accounts, and filed for divorce. The LORD chose to set my brother free from this marriage, but my brother did it God’s way.
“If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. But if the unbeliever departs, let him apart; a brother or sister is not under bonding in such cases. But God has called us to peace.” (1 Corinthians 7:12-15)
If you are in a situation like this, you are unequally yoked together with a non-believer and they are self-destructing, turn your face toward Jesus with your heart wide-open. Listen to what He says and do it. Trust him. Don’t do anything unless He says do it.
Blessings to you, my friends. May you all know true peace and contentment. May the God of the Universe guide your every move. May we all become one as the Father and the Son are one, and may the same love that is in them be in us.
A little over four years ago the LORD allowed me to be a part of a prayer ministry in our small town. We called this place the Prayer Closet. I spent every weekday morning for nearly six months interceding for our families and pastors and leaders and protectors and nation. Even though I speak to God almost non-stop throughout every day, this was the first time that I had ever intentionally, consistently interceded for people. I will forever be changed because of this. Now, God is calling me to intercede once again. This time it is war.
We are going to set up a War Room at our church. You may want to do the same. In our church we are going to set up notebooks. These notebooks will contain scriptures and the people we are intereceding for. I am going to write down the scriptures that come to my mind, but if you have other scriptures, will you please share them with me. God said that He is ever looking over His word to perform it. I want to give Him every opportunity to do just that. These are the sections:
3. Pastors and Spiritual Leaders
4. Protectors and Defenders
6. Front Line Warriors
8. Church Prayer Requests
Some of our prayers will be lists. For example, I will list everyone in my family that I will intercede for. The other prayer warriors will do the same; however, if we have someone that we want to concentrate on, we will fill out a form that has his/her name, spouse's name, children's names, description of who he/she is, and his/her needs. We will also have a place to put a picture. Then if a scripture comes to mind of what we want to pray over him/her, we will put that also. All pastors, spiritual leaders, protectors, and front line warriors will have their own sheet.
The following are scriptures that come to my mind when I think of praying for the people in these categories:
PRAYER FOR SELF:
LORD, in 2 Chronicles 7:13-16, You said, "At times You might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour our crops, or send plagues among us. But THEN if we, Your people, who are called by Your name will humble ourselves and pray and seek Your face and turn from our wicked ways, You will hear from heaven and forgive our sins and restore our land. Then Your eyes will be open and Your ears attentive to every prayer made in this place. For You have chosen this temple (me) and set it apart to be holy - a place where Your name will be honored forever. You said that You will always watch over me, for I am dear to Your heart.
So LORD, I am asking that You would search my heart and know me. Try my anxious thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me and lead me into paths of life everlasting. God, I open my heart wide to You. Search every part of who I am. If there is anything in me that is displeasing to You, I ask that You would bring it into the light so that I can deal with it. Expose my enemies. Defeat them. Let me crush them under my feet. LORD, it is Your kindness that leads us to repentance. I ask that You send Your kindness. Make me holy. Let every part of me be separated from this world and all that it has to offer so that I may bring honor to Your holy name.
I ask that You will create in me a cIean heart and an upright spirit. Let every thought that I think and every meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight. If it is true that You look favorably on me, let me know Your ways so I may understand You more fully and continue to enjoy Your favor. And remember that this nation is Your very own people. LORD, I pray that from Your glorious, unlimited resources, You will empower me with inner strength through Your Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in my heart as I trust in Him. My roots will grow down into Your love and it will keep me strong. LORD, give me the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep Your love is. May I experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then I will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Father of glory, I ask that You would give to me the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of You. May the eyes of my understanding be enlightened that I may know what is the hope of Your calling, what are the riches of the glory of Your inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of Your power toward us who believe, according to the working of Your mighty power which You worked in Christ when You raised Him from the dead and seated Him at Your right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And You put all things under His feet, and gave Jesus to be head over all things to the church. That's me, LORD, I am a part of His body. Fill me with all Your fullness and teach me how to walk in that fullness. LORD, I want to know You. I want to please You. I want to make You happy. Show me how. I ask this in Jesus' name. AMEN
PRAYER FOR FAMILY:
LORD, You said that You would lavish Your unfailing love for a thousand generations of those who love You and keep Your commandments. God, I thank You that Your promises are "Yes" and "Amen". It is Your desire that none parish, but all come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. I want to thank You LORD for Godly inheritance. You said, "Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever! Thank You, LORD, that You have taught my heart to fear Your holy name. Thank You that my heart wants to obey and honor You completely. That is a work of the Spirit, and I rejoice in it. I rejoice that this great love for You is passed down from generation to generation by Your Holy Spirit and through Your great and precious promises. Now LORD, I am going to recite back Your promises to me for my family. I speak these promises over all of my children and their spouses. I speak these promises over my grandchildren and my great-grandchildren. I speak these promises over a thousand generations because I do love You, and I do keep Your commandments.
LORD, in Isaiah 44, You said for me not to be afraid. You said that You will pour out water to quench my thirst and to irrigate my parched fields. And You said You will pour out Your Spirit obn my descendants and Your blessings on my offspring. You said they will thrive like watered grass, like willows on a riverbank. Some will proudly claim, "I belong to the LORD." Others will say, "I am a descendant of Jacob." Some will write the LORD's name on their hands and will take the name of Israel as their own." Thank You, Jesus!
Then in Isaiah 49, You said, "See, I will give a signal to the godless nations. They will carry my little sons back to me in their arms; they will bring my daughters on their shoulders. "Who can snatch the plunder of war from the hands of a warrior? Who can demand that a tyrant let his captives go? But the LORD says, "The captives of warriors will be released, and the plunder of tyrants will be retrieved. For I will fight those who fight you, and I will save your children. All the world will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel!" Thank You, Jesus!
In Deuteronomy 30:6, You said, "And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. Isaiah 29:22-24 The LORD, who redeemed Abraham, says to the people of Israel, "My people will no longer be ashamed or turn pale with fear. For when they see their many children and all the blessings I have given them, they will stand in awe of the God of Jacob. Then the wayward will gain understanding, and complainers will accept instruction."
Isaiah 54:11-15 "O storm-battered city, troubled and desolate! I will rebuild you with precious jewels and make your foundations from lapis lazuli. I will make your towers of sparkling rubies, your gates of shining gems, and your walls of precious stones. I will teach all your children, and they will enjoy great peace. You will be secure under a government that is just and fair. Your enemies will stay far away, you will live in peace, and terror will not come near. If any nation comes to fight you, it is not because I sent them. Whoever attacks you will go down in defeat."
"And this is My covenant with them," says the LORD. "My Spirit will not leave them, and neither will these words I have given you. They will be on your lips and on the lips of your children and your children's children forever. I, the LORD, have spoken!"
PASTORS AND SPIRITUAL LEADERS:
Listen to me, all you in distant lands! Pay attention, you who are far away! The LORD has called ____________________________________ before his birth; from within the womb He called him by name. He made ___________________________ words of judgment as sharp as a sword. He has hidden _________________________________ in the shadow of His hand. He is like a sharp arrow in God's quiver. He said to ______________________________, "You are My servant, Israel, and you will bring Me glory."
________________________________ replied, "But my work seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose. Yet _______________________________ leaves it all in the LORD's hand; He will trust God for his reward."
And now the LORD speaks - the One who formed ___________________________ in his mother's womb to be his servant, who commissioned him to bring Israel back to Him. The LORD has honored __________________________________ and has given him strength. "I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring My salvation to the ends of the earth." The LORD, the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel, says to the one who is despised and rejected by the nations, to the one who is the servant of rulers; "Kings will stand at attention when you pass by. Princes will also bow low because of the LORD, the faithful one, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you."
"At just the right time, I will respond to you. On the day of salvation I will help you.I will protect you and give you to the people as My covenant with them. Through you I will reestablish the land of Israel and assign it to its own people again. I will say to the prisoners, 'Come out in freedom,' and to those in darkness, ' Come into the light.' They will be My sheep, grazing in green pastures and on hills that were previously bare. They will neither hunger nor thirst. The searing sun will not reach them anymore. For the LORD in His mercy will lead them; He will lead them beside cool waters. And I will maike My mountains into level paths for them. The highways will be raised above the valleys. See, My people will return from far away, from lands to the north and west, and from as far south as Egypt." Isaiah 49
May the Spirit of the LORD rest upon ____________________________, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. He will delight in obeying the LORD. He will not judge by appearance nor make a decision based on hearsay. He will give justice to the poor and make fair decisions for the exploited. The earth will shake at the force of his word, and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked. He will wear righteousness like a belt and truth like an undergarment. Isaiah 11
God I ask that You would give ___________________________ complete knowledge of Your will, and give him spiritual wisdom and spiritual understanding. Then he way he lives will always honor and please the LORD, and his life will produse every kind of good fruit. LORD, I also pray that You will strengthen ___________________________with all Your glorious power so that he will have all the patience and endurance he needs, and may he be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. LORD, may a Spirit of praise and thanksgiving be planted deep inside of _____________________________. May it be a spring that overflows in every circumstance of life. May it bubble over onto others. I ask this in Jesus' name. AMEN Colossians 1:9-11
I don't know when or why it happened, but most Americans feel like we have to be the best at everything. We have to be the prettiest, the strongest, the fastest, the smartest, the thinnest, the best dressed, and we have to have the best phone, the best car, the best house. We have to be on top, better than others. Somehow if we have these things, we then feel better about ourselves, like we are OK. But in reality, these wrong ideas create lots of stress in our lives. We work our lives away trying to get things, but these things have no eternal value...it is all vanity, selfish ambition, pride.
And so we come to today's topic...status. God's ways are so much higher than our ways. He is so unconcerned about outward appearance. All of that is just pride, and God says that He resists the proud, so if we are trying to fit into the world and be "on top", God is resisting everything we do. And we can feel God's opposition when anxieties and stress and fears hit us. God is saying, "What are you doing? Your eyes are on the wrong things. You are following the wrong things. Turn around and life will get easier." But what do we do? We work harder. We worry longer. We stay awake and toss and turn, trying to figure out how we can make it.
What we don't realize is that in God's kingdom, up is down and down is up, life is death and death is life. To be greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven, we have to be on bottom. We have to think of all people as more important than we are, and we must become a servant to all. This is the "highest calling"...to serve others. So when others walk into a room, instead of thinking "Who is top dog now?" we know that this person, too, is more important than we are, and we have the awesome privelege of serving them. This is what Jesus did for us, and now He is calling us to do this for others.
So what do we get in return? Jesus said, "Come to Me all you who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Come and learn of me for I am GENTLE and LOWLY. Take My yoke for My burden is easy and My yoke is light. So when we reach for the "high calling" of seeing others as more important than ourselves and serving others, we get rest and peace. We don't have to worry about what others think of us because it doesn't matter. We just take the mantle of our King, and we become like Him, and our Father in Heaven smiles down at us with deep pleasure and gives grace to our humble heart.
So my prayer for you this day, my friend, is that you, too, will lay your burdens down and take upon yourself the yoke of Jesus. May you learn from Him to be lowly and gentle, and may the God of grace no longer have to resist you, but instead may He pour out on you the richness of His love and mercy and grace, and may you find rest for your soul. I ask this in Jesus' name. AMEN
A few weeks ago on a Wednesday night service, Garrett Hagar was sharing some scriptures that God had given him. Each scripture pierced my soul. I knew each scripture very intimately...by heart. My knees were shaking. My stomach was turning. Finally, I raised my hand high in the air and said, "I have a story that can illustrate what you are saying. Can I tell it?" He gave me a 'half-hearted" OK, so I told the "Parable of the Raccoon".
Later that week, Pepper (my pastor), called me into his office and said that I had offended a lot of people. He asked me if I would apologize. I said, "Yes. I certainly didn't mean to offend. That was not my intention." Then he said that I was wrong, that I was out of order. I said, "Pepper, my heart is not telling me that I did anything wrong, but I will apologize because I am sorry that I offended anyone." The next Wednesday I got up in front of the church and apologized, then I sat down. Then Pepper got up and began to teach on what the church needs to do when a brother or sister gets it wrong.
I sat in my chair, crying, listening to him teach, and I asked God, "What is going on here?" He said, "As much as it is in your power, live at peace with all men." I'm like..."It is in my power, I can live at peace here." Then He said, "If you can't do this here, among people you love and who love you, how can you do it out there." Then He said something that went to my bones. He said, "I give grace to the humble." Wow! I just sat there and meditated on what God had just said to me..."I give grace (My unmerited favor) to the humble."
Later that weekend I realized that that was the first time I had ever humbled myself. Now for the last two years I have been humbling myself and accepting my guilt and confessing my sin. And I humble myself and pray, but this was different. For the first time in my life, I didn't have to be right. I didn't have to be "on top". This was revelation to me.
Then this past Monday, while driving home from El Paso, I was reading in James where it said, "But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don't cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God's kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind." Then God spoke to me and said, "You had selfish ambition in your heart." What? Then He said, "I took most of it out the Wednesday night you humbled yourself and sat down." Oh my goodness. You could have knocked me over with a feather. I had no idea selfish ambition was in there. Then to think that "disorder and evil of every kind" come along with selfish ambition. Oh my. Then I began to meditate on the kindness and patience of our God, who has so carefully - layer by layer - stripped me down to where I could lay even the depths of my heart at His feet. Oh how high and wide and deep and long is the Father's love for His children. What patience He has with all of us. I am in "awe" at His goodness to me. The LORD truly has done great things for us, and we (I) am filled with joy!
When the LORD gave me the message four years ago that judgment was coming and then He showed me in the scriptures what was about to happen, I said, "LORD, Your church is not ready. How are we going to make it?" He gave me four scriptures that day. I memorized them, and I tried to give this word to others, but I did not truly understand. It was not until this past year that God revealed to me the significance of those words. I will share with you those scriptures and and how we have to apply these words to our lives. With every point I make, I will come back to these words until this becomes our default response to every situation.
The first scripture God gave me was, "Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you." Matthew 6:33. I thought, "OK, no matter what happens, we have to seek God's kingdom." What I did not understand until recently is that this whole passage, starting in verse 19 has to do with money and provision. So the first thing God wants us to know is what we do with our money.
The first thing He said was, "Do not store up your treasure on earth where moths eat it and rust destroys it, but store up your treasures in Heaven where moth and rust do not destroy it and thieves do not break in to steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. So I believe with all my heart that our savings account and 401K and all the things that we want to put our trust in are not going to be there, and if they are, we need to reevalualte what we do with them. Remember, our money and our heart are tied together, and if we choose to store our treasure, thieves will break in and take it...inflation, the collapse of the dollar, a collapse of the stock market...the list could go on and on. Take your pick. Right now we get to choose where our treasure goes. After the theives break in, we won't be able to do that.
Next it says that if your eye is good, your whole body is full of light. If your eye is bad, your whole body is full of darkness. And if the light you think you have is really darkness, how deep that darkness is! I really never understood this passage until I saw that it was sandwiched between scriptures on money. So what it is really talking about is...what are we looking at? If we are looking at Jesus, our whole body is full of light. We know where we are going and we know what to do, but if we are looking at money, we are full of darkness. We will not know where we are going or what to do. But listen to this, what if the light we think we have is really darkness...how deep that darkness is. What if we think we are looking at Jesus, but what we are really looking at is money. Oh my goodness! I have had to reevaluate everything I am doing. Is my work on the mission's committe really about money? What about all the fundraisers? Garage sales? Bake sales? What about concerts? What about Women's Conferences? What about camps? I am not going there anymore. I will fix my eyes on Jesus. I will give when He says give. That is God's way. God says He will give us bread to eat and seed to sow, but we have to plant that seed, we can't eat it. I think we have been eating a lot of our seed, but not anymore. It is not our money anyway, it is God's. All of it belongs to Him, and one day we are going to have to give an account for what we have done with His money.
Then it says...no one can serve two masters. You are going to hate one and love the other. You cannot serve God and money. We are going to have to choose. Wow! This is going to be hard. We have spent our entire life following after money and things, and now God is saying that we have to choose. We can't have them both. How do we do this? It reminded me of the story of the rich young ruler. He loved God, and he wanted to please Him. When He met Jesus, he said, "Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life? Jesus said, "If you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments: you must not murder, you must not commit adultery, you must not steal, you must not lie, honor your father and mother, love your neighbor as yourself." "I've obeyed all these commandments," the young man replied. "What else must I do?" Jesus told him, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I'll say it again - it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!"
Because we live in America, we all fall into the category of the rich young man. This choice is going to be as hard on us as it was on him. I don't know what God is going to ask us to do in the coming days. In the early church, they sold all of their property and distributed the money to the churches. Will He ask us to do this? Is He asking us to do this now? What will we say? Will we have an excuse for this like we have had an excuse for the other things we have failed to do? This is the pearl of great price, but do we understand the value of the pearl that is in our hands? I can't choose for you and you can't choose for me, but we are each one going to have to choose. Do we go and sell all we have to buy the pearl? Or do we think the money in our hand is worth more? Who will we serve, the Creator of the Universe or money? I don't know how to get out of this point because it is so huge, but I will proceed as if we have chosen to give it all.
Then God said, "Don't worry about your everyday life, whether you have enough food or drink or enough clothes to wear. Life is more than food and your body is more than clothing. Look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly father feeds them. And aren't you far more valuable to Him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why do you worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not clothed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for the wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will most certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? So don't worry about these things saying, "What will we eat?" "What will we drink?" "What will we wear?" These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your Heavenly Father already knows all your needs. But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you. So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today.
There is so much in this passage. Don't worry. God knows what we need and He will take care of us. We don't have to worry about these things. God has our back. We pray it, and we expect it..."give us this day or daily bread". In the past I never thought this verse applied to the people in America because we have such abundance, but in the coming days, this verse is going to be very important. God will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. So we can't worry about what will happen tomorrow, we have to be thankful for today.
So how do I sum up this lesson on finances? Fix your eyes on Jesus. If our eyes are on money, we won't make it. Don't withhold any of your resources from God. It's all His anyway. And DON'T WORRY! God will take care of His people. It is written, and God cannot lie.
One of the things I love most about my God is that I can take one small step toward Him, and He comes running to me. In Malachi 3 God lays out a small step that we can take to return to Him. He says, "Return to Me, and I will return to you." "You ask, but how?" "You have cheated Me of the tithes and offerings due to Me. You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating Me. Bring ALL of the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in My Temple." "If you do," says the LORD of Heaven's Armies, "I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put Me to the test! Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe," says the LORD of Heaven's Armies. Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight," says the LORD of Heaven's Armies.
In the coming days things are going to get rough in a lot of ways. We are going to feel it a lot in our finances, so God lays out a very concrete plan...tithe. Give 10% of everything that comes into your hands back to Him. Now, let me tell you, God does not need our money. He wants our heart, but somehow our money and our heart are tied together. In the past we have been cheating God. We have not given Him our first, and we have not given Him our best, and because of this, we have been cursed. BUT...if we bring Him our first fruits, THE LORD OF HEAVEN'S ARMIES begins to fight for us. Wow! The curse is broken and the blessings begin.
So where do we give this 10%? It always goes to your local church. Don't give it to a TV evangelist. You give them your offerings. Give the first of your money to the church. If you don't have a church, get one. God says, "Do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together...especially as you see the Day approaching." Find a church that preaches Jesus, repentance, and love. It won't be perfect, but it will be God's place of safety and provision.
Now some of you are saying in your heart, I've tried that tithing stuff before and it doesn't work. Listen to what the Bible says just after this verse in Malachi 3, "You have said terrible things about Me," says the LORD. "But you say, 'What do you mean? What have we said against you?" "You have said, 'What's the use of serving God? What have we gained by obeying His commands or by trying to show the LORD of Heaven's Armies we are sorry for our sins? From now on we will call the arrogant blessed. For those who do evil get rich, and those who dare God to punish them suffer no harm." If we think this promise is about getting rich, we are sadly mistaken, and I think this is how we have interpreted it in the past. There are rich people being fattened up for slaughter right now as we speak. This verse has to do with trusting God to take care of us. That burden no longer falls on our shoulders. He takes care of us.
Anyway, in the coming days we will not make it if we withhold our money from God. We will be tying His hands. He will not be able to do for us what He wants to do for us, but if we give him that little bit...the first part of our money - before we pay bills - before we buy groceries...He will do the rest. The windows of heaven will be opened to us, and we will not be able to receive all His goodness.
The scripture says, "May you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers."