Witness Him Now
Sound the trumpet in Jerusalem! Raise the alarm on My Holy Mountain! Let everyone tremble in fear because the Day of the LORD is upon us. It is a day of darkness and gloom, a day of thick clouds and deep blackness. Suddenly, like dawn spreading across the mountains, a great and mighty army appears. Nothing like it has been seen before or will ever be seen again. Fire burns in front of them, and flames follow after them. Ahead of them the land lies as beautiful as the Garden of Eden. Behind them is nothing but desolation; not one thing escapes. (Joel 2:1-3)
THIS IS SPIRITUAL, and it is happening right now. There is a mighty army that is sweeping across the land as I type this that wants to destroy families, destroy children, destroy marriages, destroy everything that is near and dear to our heart. This army marches forward, never breaking rank. They never jostle each other; each moves in exactly the right position. They break through defenses without missing a step. They swarm over the city and run along its walls. They enter all the houses, climbing like thieves through the windows. The earth quakes as they advance, and the heavens tremble. The sun and the moon grow dark, and the stars no longer shine. (Joel 2:6-10)
Because there is no light, confusion rules the land. We blindly grope and feel, trying to find our way. Fear and worry are sleeping in our beds. Terror is not far behind. Anger and frustration and bitterness guard our doors. They hold us hostage. Peace is nowhere to be found. Fear grips all the people; every face grows pale with terror.
Can you see it? Can you feel it? It is here. The Day of the vengeance of the LORD and the year of His favor is upon us. "He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the LORD's favor has come, and with it, the Day of God's anger against their enemies." (Isaiah 61:2). This is the Day in which we are living, and God is at the head of this enemy army. "The LORD is at the head of the column. He leads them with a shout. This is His mighty army, and they follow His orders. The Day of the LORD is an awesome, terrible thing. Who can possibly survive?" (Joel 2:11)
That is why the LORD says, "TURN TO ME NOW, WHILE THERE IS TIME! Give Me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don't tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead." Return to the LORD your God, for He is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish. Who knows? Perhaps He will give you a reprieve, sending you a blessing instead of this curse. Perhaps you will be able to offer grain and wine to the LORD your God as before. (Joel 2:12-14)
Friends of mine, God is not playing. The time has come. "Let the nations be called to arms. Let them march to the valley of Jehoshaphat (decision). There I, the LORD, will sit to pronounce judgment on them all. Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, tread the grapes, for the winepress is full. The storage vats are overflowing with the wickedness of these people."
Thousands upon thousands are waiting in the valley of decision. There the Day of the LORD will soon arrive. The sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will no longer shine. The LORD's voice will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth will shake. But the LORD will be a refuge for His people, a strong fortress for the people of Israel. (Joel 3:12-16)
For some of you, this is not happening to you, it is happening to those you love. So what do we do? "Blow the ram's horn in Jerusalem! Announce a time of fasting; call the people together for a solemn meeting. Gather all the people - the elders, the children, and even the babies. Call the bridegroom from his quarters and the bride from her private room. LET THE PRIESTS, WHO MINISTER IN THE LORS'S PRESENCE, stand and weep between the entry room to the Temple and the altar. Let them pray, "Spare your people, LORD! Don't let your special possession become an object of mockery. Don't let them become a joke for unbelieving foreigners who say, 'Has the God of Israel left them?'" Then the LORD will pity His people and jealously guard the honor of His land. (Joel 2:15-18)
The day of decision has come, but it is so dark. People are blind and can't see, deaf and can't hear. God is asking us to stand in the gap - "SPARE YOUR PEOPLE, O LORD! DO NOT GIVE YOUR INHERITANCE AS A REPROACH AMONG THE NATIONS!" I ask this in the Mighty Name of Jesus. AMEN
The last several years I have been seeking to understand in the spiritual realm what I am witnessing in the natural realm. I have been shocked to find that God is using Theater to open my eyes to what has been and what is happening in our world today. Earlier this year, I watched Medea and A Streetcar Named Desire, and God spoke volumes to my heart to give me understanding. Last night, I watched 9 to 5, and I could see history unfolding right in front of my eyes. This production was magnificent. I love the director, my daughter-in-law played one of the lead parts, and a really close friend of mine played one of the other lead parts. They were brilliant They were funny. They were insightful. They were talented. And they were right-on in their portrayal of what happened in our society in the late 70s. I sat mesmerized as I watched the seeds of feminism being planted.
Now I know that many people will be offended by what I am going to say in this blog, but I have to speak what I am seeing. When something is brought to the light, it can be defeated, but when it remains in the dark, the darkness wins. Last night, feminism was brought to the light. Now I want to look at it, because when feminism entered the picture, men were no longer allowed to take the lead. Since the late 70s men have been systematically emasculated. Hollywood portrays men as weak and ignorant, and women have bought into it. This false assumption has entered into the hearts of women everywhere. Women no longer allow men to take the lead in matters of discipline or finance, and if they are challenged, the war is on, and men just don't want to fight this war. It has now become "politically correct" to always let the woman have her way. There is hell to pay if we don't.
In the play 9 to 5 there was a boss who mistreated all of his employees, especially the women. He was power hungry, and he was degrading to women. The women finally got fed up and took control, and the audience applauds, but I am looking at this story with new eyes.
Life is not fair. It never will be. We will come upon all kinds of unfair treatment in our lifetime, and God knows all the details of every trial we ever face. He has a plan for it all, and that plan is to conform us into the image of His Son, but to get there, we have to do things His way. Peter talks about this very issue in 1 Peter 2:13-25. "You who are slaves (employees) must submit to your masters (employers) with all respect. Do what they tell you - not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are cruel. For God is pleased when, conscious of His will, you patiently endure unjust treatment."
Let's stop right here for a minute. Can you see it? God wants us to SUBMIT to our employers with RESPECT, even if they do not deserve it. Even if they are cruel, if we submit to them with respect, we are pleasing God. The problem is that "self" gets in the way. We get offended and hurt, and we think that life is not fair. We get discontent, and then we start grumbling and complaining. We say things about our boss that should never be said, even if it were true, because when we say these things, we are disrespecting the authority that God has placed over us, and God is not pleased. So Peter goes on to say, "Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you. For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you."
If we despise the authority that God has placed over us, and "all authority is from God," we are doing wrong. God is not glorified in us, and He is not pleased. The Bible says that Jesus LEARNED obedience through the things He suffered. I hate to say it, but suffering is part of the process of becoming like Christ, and sometimes God uses bosses to bring us to a place where we are being conformed into the image of His Son. Peter goes on to say, "Christ is your example, and you must follow in His steps."
He never sinned,
nor ever deceived anyone.
He did not retaliate when He was insulted,
nor threaten revenge when He suffered.
He left His case in the hands of God,
who always judges fairly.
He personally carried our sins
in His body on the cross
so that we can be dead to sin
and live for what is right.
By His wounds
you are healed.
Once you were like sheep
who wandered away.
But now you have turned to your Shepherd,
the guardian of your souls.
Jesus never tried to fight back. He didn't try to get even or get revenge. He didn't retaliate. He left His case in the hands of God who always judges fairly. Jesus then says that He paved the way so that we can do the same thing He did. Even though we were once like sheep who wandered away - disrespecting our bosses - disrespecting men in general, we now have turned to our Shepherd Jesus, the guardian of our souls, and He will keep us safe and teach us to honor and respect those who are in authority over us once again.
Then Peter goes on to say in 1 Peter 2, "In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands." God wants us to SUBMIT to and HONOR our husbands just like He wants us to submit to and honor our bosses - even if they are cruel. Now, I know that sometimes a woman has to leave for safety sake. Face Jesus with your heart wide open, and He will tell you what you have to do, but most of the time, God is asking us to do the hard thing - submit and honor people who may not appreciate or deserve it. "This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful, they put their trust in God and accepted the authority of their husbands. For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do."
So when the feminist movement started, women stepped out from under the covering that God had ordained for them, and they became a covering for themselves. Women became the head over man. This is out of order, and God cannot bless it. Now we have a whole generation of women who think that they do not need a man. This generation of women think that if a man will do what she wants him to do, she will keep him around. If not, she will make his life miserable or leave. After all, she is the one who knows best. I have a nephew who is 21 years old, and he does not date. He is not looking for a woman because 95% of all the women he knows do not think they need a man. He is waiting for one who does.
So what did I take away from last night's play? In my lifetime we have messed up so much. The 60s brought in a disdain for authority - "Down with the man!" It also ushered in the hippie movement. Woodstock was another milestone. People threw off all restraint. Drugs. Sex. A disrespect for all authority. The 70s began the emasculation of men. And now, no one can tell us what to do. I am going to sleep with who I want to sleep with - male or female. I am going to do what I want to do, regardless of what anyone in authority says. After all, the police are the bad guys. Parents are the bad guys. Teachers are the bad guys. Christians are the bad guys. Anyone who tries to restrain us are bad guys, ignorant and old-fashioned.
Who would have thought that all of that would enter my heart from just seeing a play. Thank you Jesus for that play. Thank you Jesus the feminist movement is brought to the surface so that we can see it for what it is. Thank you Jesus for eyes to see and ears to hear and a heart to understand so that we can turn in our heart and live. Thank you Jesus that even though we have been like sheep who have wandered away, now we can turn to our Shepherd, the guardian of our souls, and You will be there with open arms to receive us.
So now, LORD, I ask that this message go forth with power to set the captives free and heal the broken hearted, to give sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf, to comfort those who mourn. God, turn our hearts like water toward You once again. Forgive us for undermining authority. We are guilty. Forgive us for not letting our husbands take the lead. We are guilty. Forgive us for thinking we know better than they do. We are guilty. LORD, You said that if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their sins, You will come and heal our land. Come and heal our land, LORD, I ask this in the mighty name of Jesus. AMEN
Blessings, my friends,
Today I want to talk about honor. There is something inside all of us that wants to be valued and honored. We were created for it. Hebrews says, "What is man that You are mindful of him. You have made him a little lower than the angels and crowned him with glory and honor and given him authority over all things." From the moment of conception we were created for glory and honor and authority, but I don't see that happening in our world right now.
Jesus said that if I testify of my self, my testimony is not valid. We cannot give honor to ourselves. It doesn't work that way. It is not valid. Then He said, "There is another that testifies of Me, and his testimony is valid." Jesus was talking about John the Baptist, who gave honor and glory to Him wherever He went. So others can give us honor and glory, and their testimony is valid. BUT Jesus went on to say that He had no need of any human testimony. What?!? It does not matter if man gives us honor and glory or not. Man may or may not be able to see who we are, and it does not matter if they don't see. Jesus then went on to say, "But I have a greater witness than John - My teachings and My miracles. The Father gave Me these works to accomplish, and they prove that He sent Me. And the Father who sent Me has testified about Me Himself." (John 5).
When we follow Jesus, the Father, Himself, gives testimony that we are His. Our teachings and our miracles testify that God is with us. He gave us works to do, and He goes before us to prepare the way. He sends His Word that is Spirit and Life, and miracles happen. God is glorified, and so is His son or daughter. It is a sweet gig, BUT I still want to talk about honor.
God said, "I will not give My honor to another." We have to give Him honor for what He does, and He does it all. Every good thing comes from the Father of lights with which there is no shadow of turning. So we have to acknowledge God in all we do. It is His work. We just get to help. So what about the honor that belongs to us? We cannot testify about ourselves. That doesn't work. It is not valid. BUT then I started thinking about all the times that God COMMANDS us to honor people. Honor your father and your mother. Wives, honor your husbands. Honor those who are in authority. Honor all people for the LORD's sake. WHAT?!?
When we set our heart to honor people, we are really honoring God. People were created to be honored and glorified, and we get to do it. I know in my lifetime honor has nearly completely disappeared, but I want to help restore honor. That's why I wrote that tribute to my brother yesterday. Both of my brothers are worthy of great honor and glory - so is my husband - so are my children and my grandchildren and all of my daughters-in-law. The LORD has been kind and gracious to our family. But yesterday was my brother Rusty Howell's birthday and it was also Chris Winn's birthday, so I started thinking about Chris. Chris also is a man deserving of great honor and glory. From the time we were kids till now, everything that I have ever seen him do or heard people say about him has put this man above reproach. He works hard. He loves his family. He is self sacrificing. (Now I am on the outside looking in, but everything I am saying here I believe with all my heart.)
Can I challenge you to look around? Will you ask God to give you new eyes to see and new ears to heart and a new heart to understand how amazing the people you know are? I want to really see people. I want to see past the mistakes or the addictions or the mess ups. I want to see into the heart of a person who is made in the image of God and created for great honor and glory. I want to be the one to bring honor and glory to people. I have fallen so short in this area. God, please forgive me. Now I want to walk in this great work. I am hoping that others will join me.
Blessings my friends. May honor and glory fill your heart, too, and may it spill out onto others! I ask this in Jesus' name. AMEN
This last week God gave me a word out of Ezekiel 7 that the end is here. I hate to share that word because there is another word that is planted deep in my heart. This is what I wrote on Facebook on May 26, 2019. That was three weeks ago. This word is still valid. We are seeing God move heaven and earth on behalf of His children. I stand amazed.
A little over a week ago a friend of mine asked me, "What is about to happen? What is God going to do in the next couple of years?" That question took me off guard. Ten years ago, God gave me a message that judgment is coming. I had to speak that message loudly. Ten years ago I didn't fully understand what that meant. Right now, I feel like judgment is here. Our enemies (principalities and powers) are being judged. The LORD is fighting for His people. I want to share from scripture what I am seeing in real life. We are living in glorious times, and I am a witness! This is a time of freedom; it is a time of redemption; it is a time of release. Our God reigns!
Let the whole world glorify the LORD; let it sing His praise. The LORD will march forth like a mighty hero; He will come out like a warrior, full of fury. He will shout His battle cry and crush all His enemies (principalities and powers).
He will say, "I have long been silent; yes, I have restrained Myself. BUT NOW, like a woman in labor, I will cry and groan and pant. I will level the mountains and hills and blight all their greenery. I will turn the rivers into dry land and will dry up all the pools. I will lead blind Israel (that's us) down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way. I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them. Yes, I will indeed do these things; I will not forsake them. But those who trust in idols, who say, 'You are our gods,' will be turned away in shame." (Isaiah 42:12-17)
"Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will gather you and your children from east and west. I will say to the north and south, "Bring My sons and daughters back to Israel from the distant corners of the earth. Bring all who claim Me as their God, for I have made them for My glory. It was I who created them."
Bring out the people who have eyes but are blind, who have ears but are deaf. Gather the nations together! Assemble the peoples of the world! Which of their idols has ever foretold such things? Which can predict what will happen tomorrow? Where are the witnesses of such predictions? Who can verify that they spoke the truth?
BUT YOU ARE MY WITNESSES, O ISRAEL!" says the LORD. "You are My servant. YOU HAVE BEEN CHOSEN TO KNOW ME, BELIEVE IN ME, AND UNDERSTAND THAT I ALONE AM GOD. THERE IS NO OTHER GOD - THERE NEVER HAS BEEN, AND THERE NEVER WILL BE. I, yes I, am the LORD and there is no other Savior. First I predicted your rescue, then I saved you and proclaimed it to the world. No foreign god has ever done this. You are witnesses that I am the only God," says the LORD. "From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can snatch anyone out of My hand. No one can undo what I have done." (Isaiah 43:5-13)
But now, O Jacob, listen to the LORD who created you. O Israel, the One who formed you says, "Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are Mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom; I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place. Others were given in exchange for you. I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to Me. You are honored, and I love you." (Isaiah 43:1-4)
We are honored and loved. We are precious in His sight. God is fighting for His people. We are precious to Him. No one can snatch us from His hands. AND NOW - our enemies (principalities and powers) are being crushed under our feet - never to be resurrected! I AM A WITNESS THAT THIS IS HAPPENING! I have been called and chosen to believe and understand and know that God alone is God. There is no other God - there never has been, and there never will be.
This is what is happening now and what will continue to happen until Jesus comes to take us home. God is preparing His bride, then He will come and get us.
I have to write right now. I will probably ramble. Please bear with me because I don't want there to be any confusion about what I am saying. Ten years ago when God started speaking to me, I only understood from an earthly point of view. Now I see differently.
Man is not God's enemy. God loves man. He made us in His image. He breathed His life into our lungs. He set eternity in the hearts of us all, and then He set us in a place where there was a war going on that we could not see. Hebrews 2 says:
"What is man that You are mindful of him,
or the Son of Man that you take care of him?
You have made him a little lower than the angels;
You have crowned him with glory and honor,
and set him over the works of Your hands.
You have given him authority over all things"
Now when it says "all things," it means nothing is left out. But we have not yet seen all things put under their authority. What we do see is Jesus, who for a little while was given a position "a little lower than the angels," and because He suffered death for us all, He is now "crowned with glory and honor." (Part NKJV and part NLT)
So there are two realms at work here, the spirit realm that we cannot see (angels and demons) and the earthly realm that is all too real to us. The earthly realm (man) is made a little lower than the angels, but when God made man, He crowned us with glory and honor. WOW! All men (and women) are crowned with glory and honor and given authority over all things. This glory and honor and authority is given to us by God. Can you see it? God makes people in His own image. We somehow look like Him. Then He crowns us with glory and honor. Then He gives us authority over ALL things. This is a sweet gig! Just because we are born and wear flesh as our suit, we are so special to God.
But in the other realm, God has very real enemies. Those fallen angels hate Him, and they hate everyone who looks like Him - that's us. They hate the glory and honor that God has given to us, so they try to steal it. Can you see it? Who is honored right now? People who deserve great honor are not given it. People in authority are not given honor. Husbands are not honored. Parents are not honored. Everyone is mocked and put down. That is the enemy's plan; he wants to strip us of our honor and our glory and our authority, but Jesus came to make sure he could not do that.
Now, I hope this is making sense because every battle we are fighting now is against an enemy that we cannot see. God's enemies are our enemies. Man is not our enemy. That is not who we need to fight. Ephesians 6:12 says, "We are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." If you want to know how to fight this unseen enemy, go to my blog www.witnesshimnow.com. Go to the BOOK link. You can buy my book on Amazon, or I have put most of it online. You can read it there.
When I realized that when God was talking about enemies in the Bible, He was actually talking about the principalities and powers in the unseen realm (demons), I began to read the Bible differently. I started reading it from a spiritual point of view, not an earthly one. Oh my goodness! Everything began to make sense. I could see God's plan for the ages being played out in front of my eyes. So a lot of the posts that I am making will not make complete sense to you if you are just looking at the natural. This is a word for what is happening in the spiritual realm, but it is a WARNING for those of us in the natural realm because if we are not careful, we will be caught in the crossfires of this war that is going on in the heavens and we will die. If we die in our sins, we will die forever. God does not want that, so with everything that is in Him, He is crying out, "Turn and live!"
So I want to explain to you what the LORD told me ten years ago. He said, "Judgment is coming." What I didn't realize is that God meant His enemies are about to be judged. They are about to be kicked out of heaven (that's our heart) and put under His feet. He said, "Judgment will begin at the house of God." That's us. That is why I know that God has been doing great things for you these last few years. The LORD is coming near to His people to fight our enemies for us - those spirits that have done their best to destroy us. The enemy knows His time is short. He can see all of this happen even though we can't, and he is furious. That is why all of the anxieties and fears and insecurities and anger and rage is getting so intense.
So I am going to go back to the WARNINGS that God has been giving us for the last ten years. Now what I am saying here is just the word that the LORD has given me. I can only speak what I have heard, but I will try to explain what we have to do.
1: God gave me four warnings ten years ago. All of them came from Ezekiel. The first warning came from Ezekiel 14:1-11. "My people have set up idols in their hearts. They have embraced things that will make them fall into sin. Why should I listen to their requests? Tell them, "This is what the Sovereign LORD says: The people of Israel have set up idols in their hearts and fallen into sin, and then they go to a prophet asking for a message. So I, the LORD, will give them the kind of answer their great idolatry deserves. I will do this to capture the minds and hearts of all My people who have turned from me to worship their detestable idols." "Therefore, tell the people of Israel, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Repent and turn away from your idols, and stop all your detestable sins.'"
Is there an idol in our heart - something that we want more than we want God? If there is, we have to get it out. Face Jesus and open your heart wide. Tell Him you are guilty and sorry for wanting something else more than you want Him. Then turn your back on your idol. Do whatever you have to do to get rid of it. Sell things. Give it away. Whatever you have to do.
2. Ezekiel 14:12-14 Then this message came to me from the LORD: "Son of man, suppose the people of a country were to continue to (persistent unfaithfulness) sin against Me, and I lifted My fist to crush them, cutting off their food supply and sending a famine to destroy both people and animals. Even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were there, their righteousness would save no one but themselves, says the Sovereign LORD."
If we keep on sinning, God is going to send famine and war and disease to crush us. Even if righteous people are in our midst, it will not help. We cannot persistently keep sinning.
3. Ezekiel 18. I wrote about this yesterday. The soul who sins is going to die. We have to stop sinning. The only way to do that is to come to God and say, "I am a sinner, and I need a Savior. Please rescue me." Then we have to let Jesus into all areas of our heart so that He can come and heal our heart and set us free.
4. Then the last message that God gave me ten years ago came from Ezekiel 21. "Son of man, turn and face Jerusalem and prophesy against Israel and her sanctuaries. Tell her, "This is what the LORD says: I am your enemy, O Israel, and I am about to unsheathed My sword to destroy your people - the righteous and the wicked alike. Yes, I will cut off both the righteous and the wicked! I will draw My sword against everyone in the land from south to north. Everyone in the world will know that I am the LORD. My sword is in My hand, and it will not return to its sheath until its work is finished.'
Son of man, groan before the people! Groan before them with bitter anguish and a broken heart. When they ask why you are groaning tell them, 'I groan because of the terrifying news I have heard. When it comes true, the boldest heart will melt with fear; all strength will disappear. Every spirit will faint; strong knees will become as weak as water. And the Sovereign LORD says,: It is coming! It is on its way!'"
I don't know what to say about this word, but it is true. The word of God is a sharp two-edged sword that cuts between the soul and the spirit, the joints and the marrow and the thoughts and intents of the heart. I think this will happen inside of us before it happens in the natural. Only the LORD can keep us safe when this happens. Sometime or another whole groups of people will be killed - a third of the earth here and a third of the earth there (Revelation). Ten years ago this message was that this is about to happen. This week the message was "The end is here!" (Ezekiel 7). The enemy knows his time is short. I don't know what that means, but I know we have to stay close to God right now. We have to live in the secret place of the Most High, under the shadow of the Almighty. (Psalm 91). It is possible to live there.
So in conclusion I want you to know the battle we are in is spiritual. We cannot fight this one in the natural. We are not God's enemies, and our enemies are not people. God is calling us to love Him and to love people. This love will protect us. It is our heart that the enemy is after. He can't have it. God will keep us safe if we will let him. Ten years ago when God gave me that word, I asked Him, "How are we going to make it?" He said, "Fix your eyes on Jesus. Guard your heart, and give thanks. I am always up to something good."
From the very beginning God had plans, good plans for us all, plans to prosper and not to harm, plans to give us hope and a future. In the coming days we will see and understand that. All things will work together for good to those who love God and are the called according to His purpose because we are being conformed into the image of His dear Son.
I love you, my friends. Blessings to you. May the God of peace, Himself, sanctify you. May your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of the LORD Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
Ten years ago the LORD started speaking to me. The first word He gave me was out of Ezekiel chapters 14, 18, and 21. He said, "Judgment is coming." That word still stands, but now I see it all through the eyes of grace and mercy. I see it through eyes of freedom and forgiveness. Then this week, God gave me another word. It is found in Ezekiel 7 - the end is here. That word is making me tremble, even as I type this. I need for people to know that every decision we make from this time forward will be huge. Every choice we make will lead to life or death, and I want you all to know that deception is knocking at our door. Then tonight I continued to read in Ezekiel, and God took me to Ezekiel 18 again. This is part of the original word God gave me ten years ago, "The soul who sins is going to die." I am shaking. I have to share with you the word that God just gave me. IT IS A WARNING!
"Do you think that I like to see wicked people die?" says the Sovereign LORD. "Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live. However, if righteous people turn from their righteous behavior and start doing sinful things and act like other sinners, should they be allowed to live? No. of course not! All their righteous acts will be forgotten, and they will die for their sins."
Yet you say, "The LORD isn't doing what's right!" Listen to Me, O people of Israel. Am I the One not doing what's right, or is it you? When righteous people turn from their righteous behavior and start doing sinful things, they will die for it. Yes, they will die because of their sinful deeds. And if wicked people turn from their wickedness, obey the law, and do what is just and right, they will save their lives. They will live because they thought it over and decided to turn from their sins. Such people will not die. And yet the people of Israel keep saying "The LORD isn't doing what's right!" O people of Israel, it is you who are not doing what's right, not I."
"Therefore, I will judge each of you, O people of Israel, according to your actions, says the Sovereign LORD. Repent, and turn from your sins. Don't let them destroy you! Put all your rebellion behind you, and find yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O people of Israel? I don't want you to die, says the Sovereign LORD. Turn back and live!" (Ezekiel 18:23-32)
Now is not the time to be playing with sin! Turn and live! In Jesus' name. Turn and live.
I want to be very careful about the words that I am speaking here because I do not want the enemy to get a foothold into our heart. The enemy of our soul is always looking to lie to us and deceive us. He wants us to believe that we have done too much and that our sins are bigger than the grace of God, but they are not. I DON'T CARE WHAT WE HAVE DONE, God is waiting with open arms to forgive us and to set us free. I have been watching this freedom happen for the past seven years, and the past 3-4 years have been spectacular. I know you know what I am talking about. The LORD is coming near to His people. He is fighting our battles. God has been freeing us from things that have held us in bondage our entire lives. I don't care where you live, how much money you do or don't have, what color of skin you have, what language you speak - the LORD has been pouring out His mercy and His grace onto His people all over the world for quite some time now. But this past week I have watched something new happen, and it concerns me. I have watched people begin to turn their back on God. I am watching people begin to choose their own path, despite the grace that has been and is being poured out on them. I am watching some of God's people embracing lies instead of the truth.
Last Sunday we had an elderly man from our church deliver the message. He use to be a pastor, and God is still using him mightily for His kingdom's work. He preached a message titled "It is finished." He took his passage from the time just before Jesus died. Then He began to explain all the things that were finished on the cross. Some of the things he said stuck in my head. He said we no longer need animal sacrifices. We no longer need a priest to go into the temple. We no longer need a temple because we are the temple. He went on and on about all the things that were no longer needed. Then he started talking about the "end times," and how all of the animals and the ark and all of the stuff is in place to build the temple and begin sacrifices again. He said this would be an abomination to God, and I agree. But then he took us to 2 Thessalonians the second chapter where it talks about what will happen before the second coming of Christ. "Let no man deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God."
This scripture rocked my world that day because I understand that we are the "temple" of God, and our heart is the throne. According to this scripture, there will be a great falling away. People will turn away from following God. Then the Anti-Christ will be revealed. Now I know that there will be a very real person that will be called the Anti-Christ, but right now there is a very real spirit that is entering people that is against Christ. It is the spirit of the Anti-Christ, and it wants to sit on the throne of our heart. This is so scary! The deception is very real. The spirits are seductive. Then 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 says, "He (Satan) will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them. So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth."
When we are deceived, we do not know that we are believing a lie. But let me tell you right now, "This lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the one who is holding it back steps out of the way." (2 Thessalonians 2:7) . Our heart is deep water. We have no idea what is in it, but God does, and He is using the hard things that are happening in our life to reveal what is in our heart. Things are not easy right now. God is pressing buttons that is bringing all things to the surface - then we have a choice. Do we trust and obey God, holding firmly to His promises? Or do we go our own way, following our own paths? We get to choose. That is the time in which we are living.
In January of 2009, God started talking to me. The message that year was that judgment is coming. If you want to hear that message, go to my book and read the first chapter. It is on this blog. Then in 2011, God gave me another message. It was a message of freedom. That message started with what I call "The Parable of the Raccoon." If you want to hear that message, go to the HOME page and click on the link THE BIG PICTURE. With this message, God gave me the keys to the Kingdom of God, and I started walking in the power of the risen Savior. Then three days ago, another message came to me. I woke up, and my Bible was open to Ezekiel 7. It hit my heart like an arrow, especially after what I have been observing, and it made me realize how close we are to the end of days. Every choice we make right now is HUGE. We have to remain close to God because the times we are living in are perilous.
Then this message came to me from the LORD: "Son of man, this is what the Sovereign LORD says to Israel (that is us):
"The end is here!
Wherever you look -
east, west, north, or south -
your land is finished.
No hope remains,
for I will unleash My anger against you.
I will call you to account
for all your detestable sins.
I will turn My eyes away and show no pity.
I will repay you for all your detestable sins.
Then you will know that I am the LORD.
"This is what the Sovereign LORD says:
Disaster after disaster
is coming your way!
The end has come.
It has finally arrived.
Your final doom is waiting!
O people of Israel, the day of your destruction is dawning.
The time has come; the day of trouble is near.
Shouts of anguish will be heard on the mountains,
not shouts of joy.
Soon I will pour out My fury on you
and unleash My anger against you.
I will call you to account
for all your detestable sins.
I will turn My eyes away and show no pity.
I will repay you for all your detestable sins.
Then you will know that it is I, the LORD,
who is striking the blow.
"The day of judgment is here;
your destruction awaits!
The people's wickedness and pride
have blossomed to full flower.
Their violence has grown into a rod
that will beat them for their wickedness.
None of these proud and wicked people will survive.
All their wealth and prestige will be swept away.
Yes, the time has come;
the day is here!
Buyers should not rejoice over bargains,
nor sellers grieve over losses,
for all of them will fall
under My terrible anger.
Even if the merchants survive,
they will never return to their business.
FOR WHAT GOD HAS SAID APPLIES TO EVERYONE -
it will not be changed!
Not one person whose life is twisted by sin
will ever recover.
The trumpet calls Israel's army to mobilize,
but no one listens,
for My fury is against them all.
There is war outside the city
and disease and famine within . (This is all spiritual. We are the city.)
Those outside the city walls
will be killed by the enemy swords.
Those inside the city
will die of famine and disease.
The survivors who escape to the mountains
will moan like doves, weeping for their sins.
Their hands will hang limp,
their knees will be weak as water.
They will dress themselves in burlap;
horror and shame will cover them.
They will shave their heads
in sorrow and remorse.
"They will throw their money in the streets,
tossing it out like worthless trash.
Their silver and gold won't save them
on that day of the LORD's anger.
It will neither satisfy nor feed them,
for their greed can only trip them up.
They were proud of their beautiful jewelry
and used it to make detestable idols and vile images.
Therefore, I will make all their wealth
disgusting to them.
I will give it as plunder to foreigners,
to the most wicked of nations,
and they will defile it.
I will turn my eyes from them
as these robbers invade and defile My treasured land.
"Prepare chains for My people,
for the land is bloodied by terrible crimes.
Jerusalem is filled with violence.
I will bring the most ruthless of nations
to occupy their homes.
I will break down their proud fortresses
and defile their sanctuaries.
Terror and trembling will overcome My people.
They will look for peace but not find it.
Calamity will follow calamity;
rumor will follow rumor.
They will look in vain
for a vision from the prophets.
They will receive no teaching from the priests
and no counsel from the leaders.
The king and the prince will stand helpless,
weeping in despair,
and the people's hands
will tremble with fear.
I will bring on them
the evil they have done to others,
and they will receive the punishment
they so richly deserve.
Then they will know that I am the LORD." (Ezekiel 7)
I don't know about you, but this makes me tremble! When I read this the other day, I had certain people in my mind, and I knew that this word was for them, but it is also for the whole world. No one will escape this judgment;. God is not playing. But then in the margin of my Bible by this passage, I had written Isaiah 1:16-20.
"Wash yourselves and be clean!
Get your sins out of My sight.
Give up your evil ways.
Learn to do good.
Help the oppressed.
Defend the cause of orphans.
Fight for the rights of widows.
"Come now, let's settle this,"
says the LORD.
"Though your sins are like scarlet,
I will make them as white as snow.
Though they are red like crimson,
I will make them as white as wool.
If you will only obey Me,
you will have plenty to eat.
But if you turn away and refuse to listen,
you will be devoured by the sword of your enemies.
I, the LORD, have spoken!
There is a way of escape. Come to Jesus without excuse and say, "I am guilty, and I am sorry. Please forgive me." And He does. But first of all, we have to recognize that we are sinners and we need a Savior. Most people think that they are OK, They are not OK. We need Jesus! We cannot make it without Him, and if we think we can go on going our stubborn, pride-filled way, we will be in for a rude awakening because God says, "The end is here! Wherever you look - east, west, north, or south - your land is finished."
"O Israel, My faithless people,
come home to Me again,
for I am merciful.
I will not be angry with you forever.
Only acknowledge your guilt.
Admit that you rebelled against the LORD your God
and committed adultery against Him
by worshiping idols under every green tree.
Confess that you refused to listen to My voice.
I, the LORD, have spoken!" (Jeremiah 3:12-13)
Friends, this is a new word. We are still in the season of blessing, but if we don't enter into this season of blessing and walk in it, we will be entering a new season - it is the season of judgment and terror from which there will be no escape; The LORD has spoken.
May God send His kindness to you right now. May light and truth guide the way. May mercy and grace embrace you. May God's unfailing love sustain you in the days to come. May your eyes be continually fixed upon Jesus. May your heart be open wide to Him, and may your lips be filled with thanksgiving and praise. God is up to something good right now. He is sending truth to His people to warn them of things to come. May you, my friend, embrace the Truth, and may the Truth set you free.
Our God is good, and He reigns!
Blessings, my friends,
On the way to the dump ground yesterday, I kept hearing the same thing over and over in my mind: "It is never about circumstances, it is always about fruit." Over and over. "It is never about circumstances, it is always about fruit." So I sat and meditated on what God was saying to me. I came to the conclusion that everything that happens to us is irrelevant. What?!? I think it is true. God is Sovereign. He knows every detail of our life from the beginning to the end. Before the world was formed, He knew us, and He called us by name, and He said, "You are mine." Before we were ever born, He saw every detail of our life played out, and He delighted in it. But you say, "You don't know the details of my life. You don't know what I have done, and you don't know what I have done to others." And you are right. I don't. But God does, and He loves you desperately. He knows the plans He has for you, plans to prosper and not to harm. Did you hear that? Plans to prosper and not to harm. His plans are good plans, plans to give us hope and a future. So that brings me back to "It is never about circumstances, it is always about fruit!"
According to God's word, the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. If we look at our lives, we can see if we are bearing fruit. Is there love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and gentleness and faithfulness and self-control in us? If we see even a few of these attributes inside of us, we can say that we do bear fruit. Sometimes the fruit is small and withered, but it is still there, so I want to go to scripture to find out what God is going to do for those of us who are bearing fruit.
John 15 says: "I am the true grapevine, and My Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of Mine that doesn't produce fruit, and He prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more fruit." OK. If we have accepted Jesus into our heart as our LORD and Savior, we are in the vine - Jesus is that vine. So God, the Gardener, is watching over His grapevine. He wants one thing - FRUIT - lots of big, luscious fruit. He will go to great lengths to make sure that we bear fruit, but how does He do that? He goes on to say, "You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you." When we HEAR God's Word and apply it to our lives, the Word prunes and purifies us. That's cool, isn't it! When we become obedient to do what God is asking us to do, we BEGIN to bear fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. "Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in Me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in Me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in Me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned."
Those who refuse to HEAR and OBEY God's Word do not produce fruit. According to God's Word, they can't. We can only bear fruit if we are IN the vine. If we love Him, we OBEY Him, and it is in our obedience that we find: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. So those who refuse to obey God are cut off and thrown in a pile to be burned. They will not make it into the Kingdom of Heaven, but look at what happens when we remain in the vine. "But if you remain in Me and My words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are My true disciples. This brings great glory to My Father."
Oh my goodness! When we remain in Jesus, and His Words remain in us, we produce LOTS OF FRUIT! Our lives are filled with love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and gentleness and faithfulness and self-control. When we REACT like this, God gets great glory! Wow! Fruit is what God is after because He gets glory, AND He gets to answer our prayers! God gets to show off through us! Now this is a cool gig. We get PEACE and JOY and LOVE, and God gets GLORY! No wonder He is so concerned about fruit. This is a win, win situation here. So, I don't know about you, but I want to bear MUCH fruit.
"I have loved you even as the Father has loved Me. Remain in My love. When you obey My commandments, you remain in My love, just as I obey My Father's commandments and remain in His love. I have told you these things so that you will be FILLED WITH MY JOY. Yes, your joy will overflow! Wow! Filled with the joy that Jesus had - overflowing joy! I don't know about you, but doesn't this seem like what we all want? It is God's promise to us when we bear fruit, and all we have to do to bear fruit is to do what God asks us to do.
"This is My commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you." The greatest commandment, the commandment that will bring us to a place where we bear much fruit and bring God much glory is when we love one another. That means love everybody. Circumstances do not matter. If we are to love like Jesus loved, we too will say, "Father forgive them for they don't know what they are doing." It does not matter what they have done. When we respond to anything that comes against us with: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control, we are responding in love, and that brings God much glory. But many times our emotions (spirits) get in the way of us bearing fruit. Bitterness, anger, resentment, being offended, self-pity, self-condemnation, rejection, abandonment, hate, lust, pride, selfish ambition, bitter envy, fear, worry, wanting to control, or a whole host of other spirits that attack. Their sole purpose is to kill, to steal, and to destroy us. When they are in our heart, they move us. They make us do things we don't want to do. The only way to get them out is to come heart-wide-open to a holy God and say, "I am guilty, God. Will You forgive me?" And he does. These spirits leave and peace enters. FRUIT, large fruit begins to form, and our heart responds with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control, even in the hardest situations. We get JOY, and God gets GLORY!
"There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are My friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn't confide in His slaves. Now you are My friends, since I have told you everything that the Father told Me." Did you hear that? We will lay down our lives for our friends. We will die to self. We will die to our agenda. We will consider others as more important than ourselves. We will grant them grace and mercy, and we will get grace and mercy in return - maybe not from them, but God sees and hears and responds to those who love Him, and He confides in us. We are His friends.
Jesus goes on to say, "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 each other." God chose us and appointed us to go and produce everlasting fruit! WHY? He wants to give us whatever we ask for. He wants to be able to answer our prayers. He loves us so much, and He loves the world so much, too. He wants to move mountains, but He has to wait for us to ask. LOVE produces large fruit, and when we produce fruit, God can trust us to ask for the same things that He wants to give. We then become partners. Prayer moves the hand of God, so God is getting us ready to pray. He is about to show Himself strong, and we will be His witnesses. We will see our God fight once again for His people.
"A good tree can't produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can't produce good fruit. A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thorn bushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart." (Luke 6:43-45) . We can know what is in a person's heart by what they say. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit. Did you see that? Begin to look at fruit. Start in your on life and then look at others. If you see fruit, you know that God is doing something. A lot of times, that person's life is hard. That is because God is pruning. We are in the pruning season. It doesn't feel good, but it is glorious. The season we are in now will set us up to bear large fruit, fruit so big that it takes two people to carry it. THEN, God is going to pour out a spirit of grace and prayer, and we will see God move in ways we cannot imagine. But for right now just remember, it is never about the circumstances, it is always about the fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. These are the attributes of our loving God, and He wants His children to look just like He looks, so fix your eyes on Jesus, guard your heart, and give thanks. God is always up to something good.
Blessings, my friends. May the God of peace, Himself, sanctify you wholly, and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of the LORD Jesus Christ. For He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it!
Some of you may not know me, and therefore, not know what I do, but every spring I have the honor and privilege of getting to judge One Act Plays. There are so many brilliant directors in Texas. I am in awe every time the lights come on and a play begins. A couple of weeks ago one of the plays I saw was Medea, a Greek play written by Euripides in 431 B.C. It is not one of my favorite plays, and as I read it in preparation for my judging, I thought, "OK. I get to watch a woman kill her children to get back at her husband." It was not a "feel good" type of play, not one that I would choose. The story goes like this: Medea loves Jason. She loves him so much that she committed murder and left her family and her home to go be with him. Thinking that it would benefit him (and possibly his family) Jason then turns and marries the King's daughter. Medea is filled with rage and kills the new wife and her father along with her two children to get back at Jason. Nice!
So, I was unprepared for what happened to me when the play began. The stage was set in modern times. In the set, we saw the uber rich pitted against extreme poverty. As the play opened, we saw a little boy watching TV, giggling. This delightful little boy and his baby brother were a part of the action throughout the entire play. We saw the love and watch-care that Medea as well as Jason had for their children. At the start of the play, we see Medea throwing up in a stained toilet in a run-down apartment when she got the news that Jason was getting married. Then backlit behind the opaque doors, the Greek chorus is introduced. They enter the scene, and what happened next intrigued me. This chorus of Greek women became spirits that moved Medea to do things she might not have done otherwise. WOW! I know this one! For the last seven years, God has been teaching me spiritual warfare. This is real, and I watched it being played out on stage for us all to see. Something would be said, and a Greek woman would come and turn Medea in another direction. We saw Medea change right before our eyes. Then at the ending of the play, all of the women circled Medea and came down around her. Medea disappeared for several seconds, and when we saw her again, she was covered with blood, holding her dead baby and her lifeless son in her arms. Crying and screaming, she picked up her two lifeless children and walked out the door as Jason watched in agony and torment. I can't get this play out of my mind, so I have to blog.
I want to talk about this play from a spiritual point-of-view. What Medea did was unthinkable. No mother would ever kill the children she loves to get back at her husband. That makes no kind of sense. If Medea were in her right mind, she would not have made that choice either, but spirits entered her heart that moved her to do things that should never be done. I want us to have understanding about what happened.
Jason made choices that rocked Medea's world, choices Medea had no control over. Life throws circumstances our way that can knock the wind out of our sails. Medea could not change the fact that Jason was leaving her and marrying another woman. Her heart was broken, and in this broken state, a flood of spirits came rushing in to torment her. If I were going to name what entered her heart when she found out about the marriage, I would say: sorrow, abandonment, rejection, despair, jealousy, bitterness, rage, hatred, revenge. There were probably more, but I don't have their names. These are all spirits, and they are all powerful. In her broken state, Medea embraced each one of these spirits with the same passion that she gave to Jason. She gave herself over to these spirits until they consumed her.
I want to stop here and insert a story. A few years ago while I was making a delivery to the Panhandle, I stopped into McDonald's to eat breakfast. I sat by a TV, and I watched a news report where Jodi Arias was giving her testimony at her murder trial. I knew nothing of this case because we don't have cable, but in 2008, this woman shot her boyfriend several times and then repeatedly stabbed him. Gruesome. Brutal. On the witness stand that day she gave a detailed account of what happened right up until the time she pulled the trigger. Then she said she could not remember what happened. When she said that she could not remember what happened, I knew she was telling the truth. In my lifetime I have seen two people where demons manifested, and I know of a third one. Each of these people could not remember what happened when the demon took over. I knew that a demon had taken over Jodi Arias. That is why the crime was so brutal. But I still didn't understand.
That day, sitting in McDonald's, I asked God, "Would you let me understand what happened to her?" God then dropped a scripture in my heart, "If you have hatred in your heart, you are a murderer, and there is no eternal life in you." Wow! She hated him. Not only did she hate him, but she embraced the hatred, and because she allowed the hatred to become big inside of her, when the occasion arose, the spirit took over. She gave that spirit permission to use her by allowing it to stay in her heart. That spirt became bigger and more powerful the more she embraced it.
Then God said, "If you have looked at a woman with lust in your heart, you have committed adultery with her already." Wow! Then I knew that as we choose to embrace this spirit, the spirit of lust, it becomes bigger and more twisted. That is what is happening in our country. Everywhere we turn we are being bombarded with half naked ladies who are trying to sell something. We can't turn on any TV show without seeing people hop from bed to bed, and we see everything that they do in those beds. At that point, the spirits enter. We then have a choice. We can either turn our back on them and go the other way, or we can turn toward them and embrace them. In our country, we are not withholding anything from ourselves. We are doing exactly what our flesh wants to do without restraint and without remorse. We are embracing the spirits that want to destroy us instead of fighting them. And when things get tough, just like Jodi Arias, the spirits have already been given permission to take over. Now back to Medea.
Medea was consumed with jealousy and rage. She was boiling with hatred and revenge. These spirits took over and murdered her children. I don't think that Medea knew what she did. When she woke up, she saw her lifeless children in her arms. What spirits came rushing in then? Regret? Torment? Shame? Guilt? Remorse? Self-Condemnation? Self-Loathing? Hopelessness? Despair? Madness? Suicide? The enemy came in like a flood to kill, steal and destroy. What now?
There is a way of escape, and His name is Jesus. It doesn't matter what we have done, Jesus is there with arms-wide-open calling our name. Medea could have found redemption. All she had to do was cry out to God. Everyone who calls upon the name of the LORD will be saved. If from somewhere deep within that tormented soul a cry came forth, "Help me! I need You! Jesus, rescue me. I can't do this anymore." If that happens, God will tear open heaven to come down and save us. He is waiting to hear our cry. Psalm 18 gives us a glimpse of what happens in the spirit realm when we cry out to Him
"The ropes of death entangled me; floods of destruction swept over me. The grave wrapped its ropes around me; death laid a trap in mu path. BUT IN MY DISTRESS I CRIED OUT TO THE LORD, yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from His sanctuary; my cry to Him reached His ears. Then the earth quaked and trembled. The foundations of the mountains shook; then quaked because of His anger. Smoke poured from His nostrils; fierce flames leaped from His mouth. Glowing coals blazed forth from Him. He opened the heavens and came down; dark storm clouds were beneath His feet. Mounted on a mighty angelic being, He flew, soaring on the wings of the wind. He shrouded Himself in darkness, veiling His approach with dark rain clouds. Thick clouds shielded the brightness around Him and rained down hail and burning coals. The LORD thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded amid the hail and burning coals. He shot His arrows and scattered His enemies; great bolts of lightning flashed, and they were confused. Then at Your command, O LORD, at the blast of Your breath, the bottom of the sea could be seen, and the foundations of the earth were laid bare."
"He reached down from heaven and rescued me; He drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me. They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress, but the LORD supported me. He lead me to a place of safety." Psalm 18:4-19
Our enemies are not people. Jason was not Medea's enemy, the spirits that attack us are. When a spirit enters our heart, it moves us. We want to do what is right, but anger won't let us; jealousy won't let us; unforgiveness won't let us. The only way to get a spirit out of our heart is to come to God without excuse, without pointing the finger at someone else, and say, "I am guilty of being angry. I am guilty of allowing hatred in my heart. I am guilty of being jealous. I am guilty of wanting revenge. I am guilty of letting sorrow consume me. I am guilty of trying to control and manipulate others. I am guilty of feeling rejected and abandoned. I am guilty of condemning myself. I am guilty of allowing unforgiveness into my heart. Will you forgive me?" And He does. As far as the east is from the west, He casts our sins from us. Then according to God's word, we choose to love those who hate us, bless those who curse us, and pray for those who spitefully use us. So I am going to pray for Jason for Medea, and I am going to ask her to agree with me.
LORD, will You open up the windows of heaven over Jason, and will You pour out righteousness. Will You open up his heart so that He can receive that righteousness, and may righteousness and salvations spring up together in his heart. Please forgive him for what he has done to Medea and to her children. Don't hold it against him. Send light and truth and mercy and grace. Send Your unfailing love to him. Let the arms of Your love hold him close. Give him wisdom and understanding, and LORD heal his heart and set him free. I ask this in Jesus' name. AMEN
Then we get to choose to embrace other spirits: love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and gentleness and self-control. 'We can ask for these spirts - along with wisdom and understanding - and our generous God will give them to us freely.
God has made a way of escape - even when we do the unthinkable. He is good like that. But to those who reject this grace that is offered to the whole world, torment and sorrow will be their inheritance. It is our choice. No one can take that choice away.
I am trembling inside right now. On Monday, February 11, 2019, my 60th birthday, I sat down with my Bible in my hand to relax after my brothers left to go home. My Bible opened to Psalm 78. I was intrigued. That Psalm started out saying, "O My people, listen to My instructions. Open your ears to what I am saying, for I will speak to you in a parable. I will teach you HIDDEN LESSONS from our past - stories we have heard and known, stories our ancestors handed down to us. We will not hide these TRUTHS from our children, we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the LORD, about His power and His mighty wonders." (vs. 1-4)
In my mind I am thinking, this is going to be good. There are HIDDEN LESSONS in this Psalm - truths that we need to pass on to the next generation, but what I read caused me to tremble. According to Psalm 78, God is listening to everything we say, and I am hearing people all around me say the same things the Israelites said. They spoke against God Himself, saying, "God can't give us food in the wilderness. Yes, He can strike a rock so water gushes out, but He can't give His people bread and meat." (vs. 19-20) . Guys, do we do this? Do we doubt that God can provide for our needs? Pay the rent? Put food on our table? Save our children? Heal our bodies? Do we trust God with the everyday details of our lives? What are we saying? We have to listen to what is coming out of our mouth because listen to how God reacted to what the Israelites were saying, "God can't give us bread and meat."
When the LORD heard them, he was furious. The fire of His wrath burned against Jacob. Yes, His anger rose against Israel, for THEY DID NOT BELIEVE GOD OR TRUST HIM TO CARE FOR THEM. (vs. 21-22) . Are we believing God. Do we trust Him to care for us? Do we trust Him to be our provider? Our protector? Our deliverer? What are we saying, because out of the abundance of our heart the mouth speaks. Whatever is in our heart WILL come out of our mouth, and by our words we will be justified and by our words, we will be condemned. So God rained down meat as thick as dust, and the people ate their fill. God gave them the food they craved, but while the meat was still in their mouths, the anger of God rose against them and He (God) killed their strongest men. (vs. 23-31) . Oh my goodness! "But in spite of this, the people kept sinning. Despite His wonders, they refused to trust Him, so He ended their lives in failure, their years in terror." (vs. 32-33) .
Did you know that to not trust God is our sin? To think that He can't do what He says He can do is our wickedness? When we fail to trust God, look at what happens. We end our lives in failure and terror. Can you see that happening? What is going on in your heart? Is it at rest and peace, or is there something else in there? When will we begin to trust? "When God began killing them, they finally sought Him. They repented and took God seriously." (vs.34) . Are you trembling? I am. Is God going to have to start killing us before we trust Him?
This has all been rolling around in my heart all week. God is listening to what we are saying. Malachi 3:13-14 "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 that 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." Are we doing that? Are we calling the arrogant blessed? Are we saying, "What's the use?" God is listening to what we say. He knows our heart, and He is not happy.
BUT those who feared the LORD spoke with each other, and the LORD listened to what they said. In His presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared Him and always thought about the honor of His name. "They will be My people," says the LORD of Heaven's Armies. "On the day when I act in judgment, they will be My own special treasure. I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child. Then you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not." (Malachi 3:16-18)
God is about to act in judgment. I believe with all my heart that we are about to see people die. Listen to what people are saying. You will know what is coming. I don't know about you, but this makes me tremble. God is God. He is going to do what He says He is going to do. He is merciful and kind, but unless we turn toward Him, we will not live.
The scripture says, "May you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers."