Witness Him Now
IT IS TIME TO PRAY! These are five prayers that God says He will always answer.
Two or three weeks ago God started talking to me, asking me to pray. Before this time, I did not know what to pray. I did not want to get in the way of what God is doing, so I just prayed for me. Then God started to speak, and He told me that there are prayers that He will ALWAYS answer for ALL people. These are simple prayers that He is waiting to hear. These are POWERFUL PRAYERS THAT MOVE THE HAND OF GOD!
The first prayer is, “HELP ME!” God is waiting for us to ask Him to help us. Say what? Yes! Read Psalm 18. See what God will do when He hears our voice! He rips open heaven and comes with flashes and lightening and thunder and dark clouds to rescue us. It is so amazing! But Isaiah 30:18 says, “So the LORD must wait for you to come to Him so He can show you His love and compassion.” So no matter what is happening, face Jesus and call out, “Help me!” He will always come running. He wants to help His people.
The second prayer is, “FORGIVE ME!” Everything in God’s kingdom is about forgiveness. We have to ask for forgiveness. We have to humble ourselves and say, “I am guilty. PLEASE FORGIVE ME!” The problem is that our whole lives we have been covering up our sin. No more. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Our slate is wiped clean. Once our slate is clean, then go to God and get out of your heart all of those spirits that don’t belong there: worry, fear, lust, pride, greed, depression, sorrow, guilty, shame, worthlessness, self-condemnation, jealousy, offense, anger, bitterness, hatred, rage, self sufficiency, control, depending on human strength - whatever. Let it go. Lay it down. Confess it as a sin. Turn your back on it, and never look at it again. Crush it fine as dust and sweep it out the door.
The third prayer is, “THANK YOU!” Oh my goodness! If we only knew what happens when we start to thank God. No matter what happens, we thank God. According to Psalm 81, God then takes the burden from our shoulder and frees our hands from their heavy tasks. Wow! Then Philippians 4:7-8 says that when we thank Him, God will send peace to guard us and protect us. Peace will guard our heart and our mind in Christ Jesus. Wow! The burden goes away, our hands are free from their heavy tasks, and peace guards and protects us. This prayer is not an option. It is mandatory according to Psalm 81 - a law written in the heavens when He attacks our enemies to set us free. IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
The fourth prayer is, “FORGIVE THEM.” I know that you have been hurt. We all have - some more than others, but God is asking us all to forgive them all. Forgiveness is everything. If we find this hard to do, then say, “HELP ME!” Then say, “FORGIVE ME for holding on to unforgiveness and bitterness and anger and hatred.” Then once these spirits are out of our heart, ask God to not hold their sins against them. Ask Him to set them free and to heal their broken heart. Ask for mercy and grace and light and truth and unfailing love to come to them. Ask for God’s kindness that will lead them to repentance. Mean it. This is a game changer. This is the last thing Jesus said before He died on the cross, “Father, forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing.” And we don’t either. Neither does the one who hurt us so badly. We have to ask God to forgive them, too.
Then the final prayer that God told me that He will answer all the time is, “GOD, SEND YOUR HOLY SPIRT.” Luke 11:11-13 says, “You fathers - if your children ask for a fish, do you give then a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.” Oh my goodness! All the “good gifts” that God has for us, His children, are found in the Holy Spirit - love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness and gentleness and faithfulness and self-control. (Galatians 5) All of these are ours for the asking! WOW! WOW! WOW! So I have been asking!!!!
I start with - God, send light and truth and mercy and grace. We have to have LIGHT and TRUTH. The light dispels the darkness and the truth sets us free. Both of these spirits are Jesus. ALL of these spirits are Jesus! MERCY! We all need mercy! GRACE! We need Your favor, God - Your unmerited favor. And God, send Your UNFAILING LOVE - that faithful, unfailing, merciful love. And God, send Your KINDNESS that leads us to repentance. Turn our hearts like water toward You. We NEED You LORD! Light and truth. Mercy and grace. Unfailing Love. Kindness. LORD, come! Is your heart trembling? Mine is!
Then in this day and hour, we need wisdom. James 1:5-8 says, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask Him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people would not expect to receive ANYTHING from the LORD. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.” We can’t have our eyes on God and His kingdom, not on what is going on in the world. What is happening in the world is CRAZY! Don’t look at it. Look at Jesus and ask for His good gifts. One of those good gifts is wisdom, and the full counsel of God’s wisdom can be found in Isaiah 11. LORD, send the spirit of wisdom, the spirit of understanding, the spirit of counsel, the spirit of might, the spirit of the fear of the LORD, and knowledge. Let us not go by what we see or hear, but with righteousness let us make judgments. Let us give justice to the poor and make fair decisions for the exploited. Let us wear righteousness as a belt and truth as an undergarment. Let nothing hurt or destroy on all of my holy mountain. If we want to know what godly wisdom is, we then look at James 3:17 - “But the wisdom from above is first of all PURE. It is also PEACE LOVING, GENTLE at all times, and WILLING TO YIELD TO OTHERS. It is full of MERCY and the fruit of good deeds. It shows NO FAVORITISM and is always SINCERE. And those who are PEACEMAKERS will plant seeds of PEACE and reap a harvest of RIGHTEOUSNESS. WISDOM! Ask for it!
Then we also need STRENGTH and COURAGE, BOLDNESS in the hour in which we are living. PATIENCE and ENDURANCE. UNFAILING LOVE. We need so much, and God is saying, “How much more will I give the HOLY SPIRIT to those who ask.” So I am asking. All the time - I am asking. For me, I am asking
HOW DO WE PRAY FOR OTHERS? WHO DO WE PRAY FOR?
In order to be affective in the Kingdom, we have to know who to pray for and how to pray. I am going to start with who. 1 Timothy 2:1-4 says, “I urge you, first of all, to PRAY FOR ALL PEOPLE. Ask God to help them, intercede on their behalf, and GIVE THANKS FOR THEM. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.”
Our God wants EVERYBODY to be saved. That is what He wants, so I am going to line up with His will. I, too, want everyone to be saved - the good, the bad, and the ugly. So whoever is in front of me, I pray for. I begin by thanking God for them. All people. We are all in this together, and I am going to fight for people from now on, not against them. I am thanking God right now for our current President. I do not agree with his policies. I don’t think things are being done in a just and fair manner, but I believe that my God and Savior wants Joe Biden to be saved and to understand the truth, so I pray and intercede and seek to help our President.
I start by asking God to open his heart wide so that He can enter it. The only way that anything can happen in the spirit realm is if two doors are open - the door to heaven and the door to our heart. Right now we are living in a time period where God is drawing near to people. There is a wide open door into the heavens for us to come to Him. Now the only door that needs to open is the door into our heart. According to Revelation 3:20, God is standing at the door knocking. “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you HEAR MY VOICE and OPEN THE DOOR, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. THOSE WHO ARE VICTORIOUS will sit with me on My throne, just as I was victorious and sat with My Father on His throne. Everyone with ears to hear just listen to the Spirit and understand what He is saying to the churches.”
So my prayer is that Joe Biden (or whoever I am praying for) will open his heart wide to let God in. May he have eyes to see and ears to hear and a heart to understand what the Spirit is saying. LORD, make this man victorious.
Then in order for Joe Biden, or any other person to be victorious, I begin to ask God to send His Holy Spirit. LORD, send light and truth. Send mercy and grace. Send Your unfailing love. Send Your kindness that leads to repentance. Send wisdom and understanding and counsel and might and fear-of-the LORD and knowledge to him. Send courage and strength. LORD, only You can turn the hearts of kings back to You again. I am asking that You do this kind thing for our President. I am asking this in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen
So when I pray for others, I pray this way:
God waiting with arms wide open and heart wide open to hear our prayers. This is His hour, and He wants to move, but He will not do it until we ask. So friends of mine, it is time to pray - to take back what has been lost or stolen. This is the hour that we were created for.
Blessings to you! May the Spirit of the Living God place an intense hunger and thirst for righteousness deep in all of our hearts so that He can fill us with His goodness and His glory.
I have to write this. I don’t know if people will understand or not, but it feels like God is doing something big, something I never expected and never saw coming. A few weeks before we left on our adventure, I saw Shan Newton at Jerry’s Burgers. He told me of a friend of his who always prays, “God, where do You want me to go, and what do You want me to say?” This resonated in my spirit. From that moment on, I set my heart to try to pray this prayer. It is not what I do, but what I say. Where do I go, and what do I say? This is HUGE to me right now because everything God is doing in my life has to do with words.
Then when we started this RV journey over a month ago, my friend Annabeth Martin started telling me that our trip was prophetic. Dolores, Colorado. Dolores River. Dolores means pain and sorrow. I anointed the river and prayed. Annabeth says that what we are doing is taking back what has been lost or stolen. Redeeming the land. I just looked up the meaning of redeem. It means to compensate for the faults or bad aspects of something; to do something that compensates for poor past performance or behavior; to atone or make amends for error or evil; to gain or regain possession of something in exchange for payment; to fulfill or carry out a pledge or promise. Jesus did this for us. Now it feels like He wants me to pray over the land so that He can redeem it, too. I don’t know if this is right, but I know that what I am praying is from the heart of God, so I prayed, and I anointed. Then after we left the Badlands, Annabeth said, “Call that which is bad, good.” That opportunity was gone. I just don’t think like this, but I started to pay attention.
On the way to Lee’s Ferry, we went through a little town called Bitter Springs. I stopped, took off my shoes and prayed and anointed the ground. I called forth the bitter to become sweet. I cried, “HOLY!” Then we hiked Cathedral Wash. We hiked the upper and the lower part of the wash. On the way out of town, I made my husband stop. Again I took off my shoes, anointed the ground with oil, and cried, “HOLY!” Cathedral. Wash. God, wash your church by the water of Your Word. It is not what man does. It is what You do. Forgive us for worshiping the work of our own hands. Forgive us for defiling Your temple. Cleanse us, LORD. Make holy that which is unholy. Spirit come. Idols fall. Sprinkle us with clean water so that we can be clean. Pour Your Spirit into us. Make us a well-watered garden and a fortified city for Your glory. I am asking this in the Mighty Name of Jesus!
Then we entered Utah. We camped at Mount Carmel. Mount Carmel. I knew this was in the Bible, so I googled it. This is the “highest” place of Baal worship. It is the place where Elijah had his showdown with the 450 prophets of Baal to show which god should be served. (1 Kings 18) Read this story. It is fascinating. Elijah stood up in front of all of Israel and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him! But if Baal is god, then follow him.” But the people were silent. They didn’t know. They sat back and watched as all of the prophets of Baal shouted and danced and cried and cut themselves to call on their god to bring fire. After all of their attempts failed, Elijah rebuilt the altar, poured water over the sacrifice and prayed, “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, prove today that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant. Prove that I have done all this at Your command. O LORD, answer me! ANSWER ME SO THESE PEOPLE WILL KNOW THAT YOU, O LORD, ARE GOD AND THAT YOU HAVE BROUGHT THEM BACK TO YOURSELF.” Immediately the fire of the LORD flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. And when all the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out, “The LORD - He is God!” We are at a point in history where everyone is watching. God, what are you going to do? My heart is shaking because I think we are all going to see fire fall! So I anointed the ground and I prayed.
I also found out from google that Mount Carmel is also well known for its lush beauty and variety of plants. The city of Carmel, near Hebron, was given to the tribe of Judah as part of their inheritance (Joshua 15:55). At the time I prayed, I did not know about this place being the inheritance of Judah (that’s the tribe that Jesus is from - our inheritance) or that it was lush. I have to go back to Mount Carmel, take off my shoes, and pray again. Take back that which was lost or stolen. Redeem.
Then there is Zion! Zion is near and dear to my heart because I know that this is the Holy Mountain of God. “On the HOLY MOUNTAIN stands the city founded by the LORD. He loves the city of Jerusalem more than any other city in Israel. O city of God, what glorious things are said of you! I will count Egypt and Babylon among those who know Me - also Philistia and Tyre, and even distant Ethiopia. They have all become citizens of Jerusalem! The people will play flutes and sing, ‘The source of My life springs from Jerusalem!’” (Psalm 87). “Who may climb the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in His holy place? Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies. They will receive the LORD’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their Savior. Such people may seek You and worship in Your presence O God of Jacob.” (Psalm 24:3-6). Then the LORD talks about us as being the city of God (Jerusalem) and the mountain of God (Zion) - His holy Temple in Isaiah 60:13-14. “The glory of Lebanon will be yours - the forests of cypress, fir, and pine - to beautify My sanctuary. My Temple (that’s us) will be glorious! The descendants of your tormentors will come and bow before you. Those who despised you will kiss your feet. They will call you the City of the LORD, and Zion of the Holy One of Israel.” He goes on to say, “I will make you beautiful forever, a joy to all generations (vs 15); I will make peace your leader and righteousness your ruler. Violence will disappear from your land (heart); the desolation and destruction of war will end. Salvation will surround you like city walls, and praise will be on the lips of all who enter there. No longer will you need the sun to shine by day, nor the moon to give its light by night, for the LORD your God will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun will never set; your moon will not go down. For the LORD will be your everlasting light. Your days of mourning will come to an end. All your people will be righteous. They will possess their land forever, for I will plant them there with My own hands in order to bring Myself glory. The smallest family will become a thousand people, and the tiniest group will become a mighty nation. At the right time, I, the LORD, will make it happen.” (Isaiah 60:17-22)
“Wake up, wake up, O Zion! Clothe yourself with strength. Put on your beautiful clothes, O holy city of Jerusalem, for unclean and godless people will enter your gates no longer. Rise from the dust, O Jerusalem. Sit in the place of honor. Remove the chains of slavery (sin) from your neck, O captive daughter of Zion. For this is what the LORD says, “When I sold you into exile, I received no payment. Now I can redeem you without having to pay for you.” This is what the Sovereign LORD says, “Long ago My people chose to live in Egypt. Now they are oppressed by Assyria. What is this?” asks the LORD. “Why are My people enslaved again? Those who rule them shout in exultation. My name is blasphemed all day long. But I will reveal My name to My people, and they will come to know its power. Then at last they will recognize that I am the One who speaks to them.” (Isaiah 52:1-4)
So you can tell that Zion - HOLY MOUNTAIN - is important to me. So we enter Zion National Park, and there is a tunnel that runs through a mountain that is 1.1 miles long. The tunnel is called Zion/Mt Carmel tunnel. Oh my goodness! This tunnel runs through the heart of all that we know and believe and desire. The heart of both mountains. So every time we travel through the mountain, I pray and I anoint. LORD, redeem the land. Buy back that which has been lost or stolen. Let the earth produce again. Let the mountains tremble. Let the rain come. Let the earth receive. Let plants appear. Let springtime come. Plant! Water! Till! Harvest! Dry bones, hear the Word of the LORD. Breath O four winds on these slain that they may live. Graves, open wide. LORD, rend the heavens and pour out righteousness. Earth, open wide and receive. Let righteousness and salvation spring up together. Send light, LORD. Send truth. Send unfailing love. I say to those who are in darkness, “Come into the light.” And I say to those who are in bondage, “Come out in freedom.” Light and love. Mercy and grace. LORD, redeem that which has been stolen or lost. Heal that which is sick. Mend that which has been broken. Comfort those who mourn. Send life. Send hope. Breathe. Wash. Make whole. Make holy. Forgive. Set free. Open up you gates, you everlasting doors and let the King of Glory in - the LORD mighty in battle, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies - the Sovereign LORD. Breathe O four winds. Breathe. In Jesus’ name.
If we only knew what God wants to do for us, we would come running hard toward His open arms. Hebrews gives us a glimpse of what He wants for us. “You have not come to a physical mountain, to a place of flaming fire, darkness, gloom, and whirlwind, as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai. For they heard an awesome trumpet blast and a voice so terrible that they begged God to stop speaking. They staggered back under God’s command: ‘If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death. Moses himself was so frightened at the sight that he said, ‘I am terrified and trembling.’” (Hebrews 12:18-21). This is the mountain that we come to when we try to follow the law, when we try to get to heaven on our own works. It is scary, and it doesn’t work. But listen to what happens when we come to Jesus and let Him have our hopes and our dreams, our past and our future, our successes and our failures, our worries and our fears, our DESIRES! Look what happens when we let Him forgive us.
“No, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless thousands of angels in joyful gathering. You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, Himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect. You have come to JESUS, the One who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Able.” (Hebrews 12:22-24). FORGIVENESS! We are forgiven, so we forgive. We are loved, so we love. We are honored, so we honor. If we could only see. God, give us all eyes to see and ears to hear and hearts to understand what the Spirit is saying. A glorious, joyful assembly of the redeemed. ZION!
Whew! This is a lot, isn’t it. I am still trying to process. Then when we get to Zion, my husband and I both want to hike THE NARROWS. It is a pretty difficult hike. There are stumbling blocks everywhere. Large boulders. Rocks of all sizes that have to be crossed. Water. There are places where it is hard to see what is under the water. It is hard walking upstream against the current. It made me think of Matthew 7 where it said, “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. You can enter God’s 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 (to treat others like you would want to be treated) is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” The narrow way is love - treating others like you want to be treated. So I took off my shoes, anointed the river, and I cried, “HOLY!” LORD, teach us how to love one another - really love. Teach us to see others like You see them, fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of the Most High God. Teach us to stop judging and criticizing one another. Let mockery be far from us. Please forgive us where we have failed in these areas. Now teach us to honor one another. Teach us to lift each other up in our hearts with respect. All people. Place a guard our hearts and our mouths. Do not let fresh water and salty water come from the same fountain. Give us patience and kindness. Let us not keep any record of being wronged. Let forgiveness come quickly. Teach us how to love those who hate us, bless those who curse us, and pray for those who spitefully use us. Let us never repay evil for evil, but instead, let us repay good. LORD, teach us to be thankful for all people. Teach us to intercede for all people. Teach us to help all people. Help us to cover each other’s nakedness instead of exposing. LOVE. LORD, train us to be like You. It does not come easy. Help us. In Jesus’ name.
So it took us 8 hours to hike 6 miles yesterday, and we are both so sore. But today as the LORD was teaching me, I realized that what I am doing is speaking life over the land, redeeming the curse. So we hiked all the way up to what is called the Subway. The canyon splits. We took the canyon on the right, but this morning I found out that the canyon that was to the left is called Wall Street. It is another two miles upstream, and my heart wants to go. I don’t know if my body is able, but the spirit is willing. I want to anoint that which has been lost or stolen. What we do with money. Corruption. Greed. Pride. Power. I want God to redeem that which was lost or stolen. To compensate for past performance or behavior. I want to take off my shoes and cry, “HOLY!”
So is all of this going to make a difference? I don’t know. All I know is that God is now moving me to pray. He has not done that in a while. I know that my heart is reaching out to touch God’s heart. It is exciting to think that God is not only redeeming man, but redeeming the land, too. Both have been under a curse for so long, and now it feels like God is breaking the curse. Hallelujah, thank you Jesus.
So for my praying friends, will you join me in my prayers, and will you, too, start paying attention. Will you begin to call those things that are not as though they are. Will you begin to speak life and health and hope over people and over the earth. I really do believe that every place our feet touch is ground God has given us. Let’s take back what the enemy has stolen.
Blessings to you.
I want to write something right now that not everyone is going to get. Sometimes God's ways are hard to understand. I know that many of my Facebook friends love Jesus and are seeking to trust Him, but I also know that many are going through extremely hard circumstances right now. My dear friend, Karen Fisher, posted yesterday that her son has been in and out of ER for the last nine days. After getting worse and worse, the doctors gave him a Bam Infusion, and now his eyesight is worsening. Hard circumstances. I have been praying for this precious family since that post, but I also need to share. It is my prayer that God will give us all eyes to see and ears to hear and a heart to understand what the Spirit is saying in this hour.
Hebrews 12:7 tells us to endure every hardship as discipline, for God disciplines those He loves. Discipline and punishment are two different things, although they often feel the same. It is how we respond to the hardships of life that matter. With everything that is happening, God is teaching us to trust Him. James 1:2-4 says, "Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
OK. That is easier said than done, right. These circumstances are real. So how do we DO what God is asking us to do? Philippians 4:6 says, "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for what He has done. And the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus." So if worry is in your heart, get it out. Face Jesus with your heart wide open and confess, "I am guilty of worrying, LORD. Please forgive me." When you do that, the spirt - and it is a spirit - will leave. While your heart is open to God, continue to ask Him to search your heart and see if there is anything else in there that needs to leave - anger, frustration, fear, doubt, sorrow, depression, regret, self-condemnation, etc. Once worry is out of your heart, tell God what you need and then begin to thank Him. Spend lots of time thanking Him. Rejoice! Again I say, rejoice!
When we get to the place where we are praising God, there is nothing that can touch us. Peace guards us and protects us, and we are now in a position where God can move mountains on our behalf. Psalm 81 says, "Sing praises to God, our strength. Sing to the God of Jacob. Sing! Beat the tambourine. Play the sweet lyre and the harp. Blow the ram's horn at new moon, and again at full moon to call a festival! FOR THIS IS REQUIRED BY THE DECREES OF ISRAEL; IT IS A REGULATION OF THE GOD OF JACOB. HE MADE IT A LAW FOR ISRAEL WHEN HE ATTACKED EGYPT TO SET US FREE." Wow! Then it goes on to say, "I heard an unknown voice say, ' Now I will take the load from your shoulders; I will free your hands from their heavy tasks. you cried to Me in trouble, and I saved you; I answered out of the thundercloud and TESTED YOUR FAITH when there was no water at Meribah."
Praise God! In EVERYTHING give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus. And don't you dare give the devil any glory by saying that he did it. No. The LORD disciplines (trains in righteousness - to believe and trust Him) those He loves. The LORD is on His throne (our heart), and He is doing something beautiful. Let Him. We cannot save ourselves. It is not possible. Read Jeremiah 17. Read it! God is doing a new thing! He is training us to trust Him.
So Karen and Victoria and Logan, I am praying for you all. Fix your eyes on Jesus, guard your heart, and give thanks. God is always up to something good. Rejoice. Again I say, "Rejoice." God is going to take care of you all.
It is a day of darkness and gloom, a day of thick clouds and deep blackness - a warning for God's people.
A few weeks ago I was reading in Joel 2 when I came across this passage: "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.
When I read this passage, understanding entered my heart. I had just read 1 John 2:7-11 which said, "Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment for you; rather it is an old one you have had from the very beginning. This old commandment - to love one another - is the same message you heard before. Yet it is also new. Jesus lived the truth of this commandment, and you also are living it. For the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining. If anyone claims, 'I am living in the light,' but hates his brother, that person is still living in darkness. Anyone who loves his brother is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble. But anyone who hates his brother is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness."
To love means we are living in light. To hate means we are living in darkness. In the NLT Bible that I read from, it says to love or hate a fellow believer, but I don't think that is what Jesus meant. Jesus loves all people - the good, the bad, and the ugly. ALL PEOPLE. So when Joel 2 talks about a day of darkness and gloom, a day of thick clouds and deep blackness, I know that he is talking about a time period when people do not love one another. That is the time period we are living in. We have been pitted against one another. Democrat against Republican. Republican against Democrat. Black against white. White against black. Rich against poor. Poor against rich. Straight against gay. Gay against straight. Conservative against liberal. Liberal against conservative. DARKNESS. Deep blackness covers the earth.
Then Joel goes on to say, "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." This is a spiritual army that is coming to destroy. Never in all of history has there been so much hate, and never will there be 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 2:3). The words that we are speaking against each other are setting worlds on fire. "If we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself." (James 3:2-6)
I remember the day I turned my back on all that was happening in the world. I couldn't do it anymore. It was November 9, 2020, the week after the election. See my live video on that day. I listened to all the things people were saying, and I knew that we were all burning our house down. Both sides of the isle. We were speaking things that should never be said. The spark. And the wind blows. Harder and harder, the wind blows. Who can put out this fire? No one.
So Joel goes on to say, "Fear grips all the people; every face grows pale with terror. The attackers march like warriors and scale city walls like soldiers. (These are spirits.) Straight forward they march, 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 moon grow dark, and the stars no longer shine. (Joel 2:6-10). DARKNESS. Hate. Fear. Terror. They climb like thieves into our heart without missing a step. The sun doesn't shine, and the moon grows dark. But listen to who is doing it.
"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). Our God is the God of Heaven's Armies - all of them - the good and the bad. Satan is not the one in control. God is. "I am the LORD, and there is no other. I create light and make the darkness. I send good times and bad times. I, the LORD, am the One who does these things. (Isaiah 45:7)
About eight or nine years ago I got hold of this verse in Joel, and it was the first time that I had ever heard that God was at the head of the enemy army. Say what?!? He is. It is God who does all things. That is why He can say, "If you obey Me, I will bless you, but if you don't, I will send curses on you." (See Numbers 26 and Deuteronomy 28-30). Once the LORD revealed this truth to my heart, everything changed. My heart began to rest in the fact that God is in COMPLETE control, and He knows what He is doing. So He created light (love) and darkness (hate), and He lets us choose which one we want. When we choose love, God teaches us how to give and serve. We start to see others as more important than ourselves, and we start to treat others like we would want to be treated. When we choose hate, our selfish nature takes over, and we take or horde or protect or whatever we want to call it. We lash out. We hold on to.
So now God is saying that this is a day of darkness and gloom, a day of thick clouds and deep blackness. There is no light. There is no love. The whole world is in darkness, deep blackness. There never has been a time like this, and there never will be again. So the enemy army comes. "Straight forward they march, 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 (hearts), climbing like thieves through the windows. The earth quakes as they advance, and the heavens tremble. The sun and moon grow dark, and the stars no longer shine. 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 2:7-11)
We have to be aware of the time period we are living in because with everything that is happening, with everything that is done to us, the LORD is asking us to love, to live in the light. He 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 blessings 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)
We serve a merciful God, One who is slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. But let me tell you, His patience is about at its every end. He says, "This is the city to be punished, for she is wicked through and through. She spouts evil like a fountain. Her streets echo with the sounds of violence and destruction. I always see her sickness and sores. Listen to this warning, Jerusalem (that's us), or I will turn from you in disgust. Listen, or I will turn you into a heap of ruins, a land where no one lives." (Jeremiah 6:6-8). "To whom can I give warning? Who will listen when I speak? Their ears are closed, and they cannot hear. They scorn the Word of the LORD. They don't want to listen at all. So now I am filled with the LORD's fury. Yes, I am tired of holding it in! I will pour out My fury on children playing in the streets and on gatherings of young men, on husbands and wives and on those who are old and gray. Their homes will be turned over to their enemies, as will their fields and their wives. For I will raise My powerful fist against the people of this land," says the LORD. "From the least to the greatest, their lives are ruled by greed. From prophets to priests, they are all frauds. They offer superficial treatments for My people's mortal wound. They give assurances of peace when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of their disgusting actions? Not at all - they don't even know how to blush! Therefore, they will lie among the slaughtered. They will be brought down when I punish them," says the LORD. (Jeremiah 6:1-15)
God is not playing. He tells Jeremiah, "Pray no more for these people, Jeremiah. Do not weep or pray for them, and don't beg Me to help them, for I will not listen to you." (Jeremiah 7:16). God is talking about His people. Don't pray for them anymore. He is tired of always giving us one more chance. But He is giving us. ONE. MORE. CHANCE. "This is what the LORD says: "Stop at the crossroads and look around. ASK FOR THE OLD, GODLY WAY, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls. But you reply, 'No, that's not the road we want!' I posted watchmen over you who said, 'Listen for the sound of the alarm.' But you replied, 'No! We won't pay attention!' Therefore, listen to this, all you nations. Take note of My people's situation. Listen all the earth! I will bring disaster on My people. It is the fruit of their own schemes, because they refuse to listen to Me. They have rejected My word.'" (Jeremiah 6:16-19)
So what does this crossroad look like? Isaiah 58:6-12 says, "This is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the LORD will protect you from behind. Then when you call, the LORD will answer. 'Yes, I are here,' He will quickly reply."
"Remove the heavy yoke of oppression. Stop pointing your finger and speaking evil things (this is huge). Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. THEN YOUR LIGHT WILL SHINE OUT FROM THE DARKNESS, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes."
Oh my goodness! WOW! The crossroad looks like a decision to treat others like you would want to be treated!!! The LORD's plan is awesome. Out of darkness and into light. "This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel , says: 'Only in returning to Me and resting in Me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it. You said, 'No, we will get our help from Egypt. They will give us swift horses for riding into battle.' But the only swiftness you are going to see is the swiftness of your enemies chasing you! One of them will chase a thousand of you. Five of them will make all of you flee. You will be left like a lonely flagpole on a hill or a tattered banner on a distant mountaintop."
SO THE LORD MUST WAIT FOR YOU TO COME TO HIM so He can show you His love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for His help. "O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem (that's us), you will weep no more. He will be gracious if you ask for help. He will surely respond to the sound of your cries. Though the LORD gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, He will still be with you to teach you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes. Your own ears will hear Him. Right behind you a voice will say, "This is the way you should go," whether to the right or to the left. Then you will destroy all your silver idols and your precious gold images. You will throw them out like filthy rags, saying to them,"Good riddance!"
THEN the LORD will bless you with rain at planting time. There will be wonderful harvests and plenty of pastureland for your livestock. The oxen and the donkeys that till the ground will eat good grain, its chaff blown away by the wind. In that day, when your enemies (principalities and powers) are slaughtered and the towers (pride) fall, there will be streams of water flowing down every mountain and hill. THE MOON WILL BE AS BRIGHT AS THE SUN, AND THE SUN WILL BE SEVEN TIMES BRIGHTER - LIKE THE LIGHT OF SEVEN DAYS IN ONE! (Love, love, and more love!) So it will be when the LORD begins to heal His people and cure the wounds He gave them.
Look! The LORD is coming from far away, burning with anger, surrounded by thick, rising smoke. His lips are filled with fury; His words consume like fire. His hot breath pours out like a flood up to the neck of His enemies (principalities and powers). He will sift out the proud nations for destruction. He will bridle them and lead them away to ruin.
But the people of God will sing a song of joy, like the songs at the holy festivals. You will be filled with joy as when a flutist leads a group of pilgrims to Jerusalem, the mountain of the LORD - to the Rock of Israel. (Isaiah 30:15-29)
So I am saying to the people of God, "Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light (love) shine for all to see. For the glory of the LORD rises to shine on you. Darkness (hate) as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the LORD rises and appears over you. All nations will come to your light; mighty kings will come to see your radiance.
Blessings, my friends. May we live in the light as He is in the light, so that we can have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ can cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Today is the day that the LORD has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!!!
We are living in different times. We all know it. We feel it. We see it. This is a new season. And even though things look and feel uncertain, for me everything is getting solid. My eyes are on my Father and what He is doing. He is telling us what is going to happen before it happens, and He is warning us. "Who will hear these lessons from the past and see the ruin that awaits you in the future? Who allowed Israel to be robbed and hurt? It was the LORD, against whom we sinned, for the people would not walk in His path, nor would they obey His law. Therefore, He poured out His fury on them and destroyed them in battle. They were enveloped in flames, but they still refused to understand. They were consumed by fire, but they did not learn their lesson." (Isaiah 42:23-25)
So we have to understand that it is God who is doing it all. Everythihg. Good and bad. GOD. But things are not random. God does everything He does for a reason. "Listen, you who are deaf! Look and see, you blind! Who is as blind as My own people, My servant? Who is as deaf as My messenger? Who is as blind as My chosen people, the servant of the LORD? (Isaiah 42:18-19). That's us! Blind and deaf, but why?
"You see and recognize what is right but refuse to act on it. You hear with your ears, but don't really listen." (vs 20). Do we do that? We do! Sweet Jesus, help us all! "Because He is righteous, the LORD has exalted His glorious law. But His own people have been robbed and plundered, enslaved, imprisoned, and trapped. They are fair game for anyone and have no one to protect them, no one to take them back home." (vs. 21-22)
Do any of you feel like you have been robbed, plundered, enslaved, imprisoned, and trapped? It is because we "see and hear what is right but refuse to act on it." Because we do this, we are fair game for anyone to plunder us. Sweet Jesus! Because of our disobedience, we open the door for the enemy to do whatever he wants to do to kill, steal, and destroy us, and we have no protection. But LISTEN! "Who will hear these lessons from the past and see the ruin that awaits you in the future?" (vs23). We have to stop going our own way and doing our own thing. If we don't, we will be enveloped in flames and consumed by fire as God pours out His fury on us.. (vs 25)
But friends of mine, we are in a new season. "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.'" (Isaiah 43:1-3a). God doesn't promise that we won't have troubles, but He does promise that He will walk through those troubles with us and we will not be harmed. WOW!
Then He said, "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." (vs 3b). Oh my goodness! We are chosen and honored and loved. God gave up other people to ransom us. This is more than I can take in. God loves us! He honored us! We are precious to Him!
Then He said, "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." (vs 5-7). God is gathering us all together now. Everyone who claims Him as God are being drawn to Him at this moment. God created us for His glory, and we will glorify Him. How will we glorify Him?
"Bring out the people who have eyes but are blind, who have ears but are deaf." (vs 8). That's us, the ones who "see and recognize what is right but refuse to act on it." (Isaiah 42:20). 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." (Isaiah 43:9-10)
WOW! This is so cool. Even though we are blind and deaf, God is gathering us together for this purpose - to be His witnesses! We get to know Him! We get to believe in Him! And we get to understand that He alone is God. Oh my goodness! We will see and hear and understand everything He is doing in this hour because we will know Him. Not everyone will see or hear or understand, but we will. Our eyes will be open, and we will WITNESS the powerful greatness of our God. First, He tells us what He is going to do, and then He does it. We get to witness the whole thing! We get a front row seat to watch prophesy unfold right in front of our eyes.
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 the 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 43:10-13)
Oh my goodness! This is "Good News!" Solid. Immoveable. In these uncertain times, we have a front row seat to watch all that God is doing, and even though times might get tough - and they will, God will be with us when we walk through the fire, and we will not be burned. He will hold us in His righteous right hand and keep us safe. No one will be able to snatch us out of God's hand, and no one will be able to undo what God has done.
Blessings, my friends. May this message hit your heart like it hit mine. There is joy vibrating in every cell in my body.
I know that things have been hard for many people the last week or two. We had the weather on top of everything else that is happening. But can I tell you that there is something new going on? In the middle of all the hardships, God's people are singing a new song. And as our hearts reach out to give God praise - in the middle of hardship, God's hand is released to do for us what He has always wanted to do - crush our enemies. Our enemies are not people. We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and rulers of darkness in high places. Anxiety. Fear. Depression. Anger. Resentment. Frustration. Abandonment. Rejection. Worthlessness. Failure. Guilt. Shame. Hopelessness. And the list goes on. God wants to crush them all. LISTEN:
Sing a new song to the LORD! Sing His praises from the ends of the earth! Sing, all you who sail the seas, all you who live in distant coastlands. Join in the chorus, you desert towns; let the villages of Kedar rejoice! Let the people of Sela sing for joy; shout praises fro the mountaintops! 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 down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way. (He is doing that with us now.). I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them. yews, I will indeed do these things; I will not forsake them. But those who trust in idols (anything else), who say, 'You are our gods,' will be turned away in shame. (Isaiah 42:10-17)
We have no idea what happens in the heavenly realms when we CHOOSE to bring a sacrifice of praise in the middle of hardship. Oh my goodness! If we only knew! Friends of mine, praise Him! It is a command. "In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." Praise and thanksgiving are a part of God's big, good plan for His people. When we are praising our LORD and our God, there is nothing that the enemy can do to harm us. God is on His throne, the throne of our heart. It is from this place that all of the issues of life flow. LIFE!
Blessings, my friends. No matter what happens, fix your eyes on Jesus, guard your heart, and give thanks. God is ALWAYS up to something good.
I am going to write this morning so that I can share my husband's wisdom. Every morning we read one chapter out of the prophets at breakfast time. This has been eye opening for my husband. This morning we read Isaiah 30.
"What sorrow awaits My rebellious children," says the LORD. "You make plans that are contrary to mine. You make alliances not directed by My Spirit, thus piling up your sins. For without consulting Me, you have gone down to Egypt for help. You have put your trust in Pharoah's protection. You have tried to hide in His shade." (Isaiah 30:1-2)
Listen to what God is saying. We are making plans that are contrary to God's, and we are going to other places to find protection. This will not end well - read what God says, but this is not what I want to talk about. Starting in verse 18, God switches directions.
So the LORD must wait for you to come to Him so He can show you His love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for His help. O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. He will be gracious if you ask for help. He will surely respond to the sound of your cries. Though the LORD gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, He will still be with you to teach you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes. Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, "This is the way you should go," whether to the right or to the left. Then you will destroy all your silver idols and your precious gold images. You will throw them out like filthy rags, saying to them, 'Good riddance!"
Can you see this? God gave us adversity for food and suffering for drink. Say what?!? But He is with us in the middle of the suffering and adversity to teach us. We hear His voice, "Go this way. No. Don't go there!" He does this until all of our idols fall. But then listen to what He does.
Then the LORD will bless you with rain at planting time. There will be wonderful harvests and plenty of pastureland for your livestock. The oxen and donkeys that till the ground will eat good grain, its chaff blown away by the wind. In that day, when your enemies are slaughtered (principalities and powers) and the towers fall (pride), there will be streams of water flowing down every mountain and hill. The moon will bet as bright as the sun, and the sun will be given times brighter - like the light of seven days in one! So it will be when the LORD begins to heal His people and cure the wounds HE GAVE THEM.
Can you see it? Ask. The LORD is waiting for us to ask so that He can heal us and bless us. Wonderful harvests become ours. LIGHT. Bright light. Good grain. Rain. Freedom!!!! But then listen to what it says:
"Look! The LORD is coming from far away, burning with anger, surrounded by thick, rising smoke. His lips are filled with fury; His words consume like fire. His hot breath pours out like a flood up to the neck of His enemies. He will sift out the proud nations for destruction. He will bridle them and lead them away to ruin. (Isaiah 30:27-28)
So on the heals of blessings, we see fury. Say what?!? But at the same time this fury is happening - I think it is against the principalities and powers - we see the results.
But the people of God will sing a song of joy, like the songs at the holy festivals. You will be filled with joy, as when a flutist leads a group of pilgrims to Jerusalem, the mountain of the LORD - to the rock of Israel. And the LORD will make His majestic voice heard. He will display the strength of His mighty arm. It will descend with devouring flames, with cloudbursts, thunderstorms, and huge hailstones. At the LORD's command, the Assyrians (terror, fear - principalities and powers) will be shattered. He will strike them down with His royal scepter. And as the LORD strikes them with His rod of punishment, His people will celebrate with tambourines and harps. Lifting His mighty arm, He will fight the Assyrians. Topheth - the place of burning - has long been ready for the Assyrian king; the pyre is piled high with wood. The breath of the LORD, like fire from a volcano, will set it ablaze. (Isaiah 30:29-33)
If, in the middle of all of the adversity and suffering we are going through, we ask the LORD to help us, He comes! He comes with power to set us free from our strong enemies. Then the people celebrate! We sing songs of joy while the LORD pours out His fury on our enemies. In that wonderful day when the LORD gives His people rest from sorrow and fear, from slavery and chains, you will taunt the king of Babylon (Satan). You will say: "The mighty man has been destroyed. Yes, your insolence is ended. For the LORD has crushed your wicked power and broken your evil rule. You struck the people with endless blows of rage and held the nations in your angry grip with unrelenting tyranny. But finally the earth is at rest (that's us!). Now it can sing again! Even the trees of the forest - the cypress trees and the cedars of Lebanon - sing out this joyous song: 'Since you have been cut down, no one will come now to cut us down.' (Isaiah 14:3-8)
Wow! Hell was a place prepared for the enemies of our God (principalities and powers), not people. The LORD's fury is being poured out on them, not us. We are being caught in the crossfire. If we allow - ASK - God to help us and let Him set us free, He will. Then there will be a joyous celebration. God's enemies have struck the people with endless blows of rage and held us captive in their angry grip with unrelenting tyranny. But finally the earth is at rest. Hallelujah, thank you Jesus!
So I kind of got off track. What I wanted to say is what my husband said this morning after reading Isaiah 30. He said, "You can see God's hand on the far right and on the far left. He is judge. He is full of fury and rage. BUT He is also love and mercy and redemption." WOW! Who could have ever thought of a plan like this? God is doing it all, and He is letting it all play play out. Will we continue to go to Egypt for help, thus piling up our sins, or will we turn to God so that He can set us free. "Though the LORD gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, He will still be with you to teach you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes. Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, 'This is the way you should go,' whether to the right or to the left. Then you will destroy all your silver idols and your precious gold images. You will throw them out like filthy rags, saying to them, 'Good riddance!'" (Isaiah 3020-22). This will happen if you ASK. "So the LORD must wait for you to come to Him so He can show yo His love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for His help." (Isaiah 30:18)
This is that wonderful day when the LORD is giving His people rest from sorrow and fear, from slavery and chains! My prayer is that you will let Him do this for you, too.
"Tell the whole world, and keep nothing back. Raise a signal flag to tell everyone that Babylon (America) will fall! Her images and idols will be shattered. Her gods Bel and Marduk will be utterly disgraced. For a nation will attack her from the north and bring such destruction that no one will lie there again. Everything will be gone; both people and animals will flee." (Jeremiah 50:1-3)
Can I tell you that I do not want to say what I am about to say. No one wants to hear it. No one wants to hear that this country that we love, is about to fall. No one wants to hear that we are about to be attacked. "For I am raising up an army of great nations from the north. They will join forces to attack Babylon (America), and she will be captured. The enemies' arrows will go straight to the mark; they will not miss! Babylonia (America) will be looted until the attackers are glutted with loot. I, the LORD, have spoken!" (Jeremiah 50:9-10)
Who are these armies? China? Russia? I don't know. North. Over and over again God says the attack will come from the north. I don't know who, but I know why. "Listen, Babyon, for I have set a trap for you. You are caught, for you have fought against the LORD. The LORD has opened His armory and brought out weapons to vent His fury. The terror that falls upon the Babylonians (Americans) will be the work of the
Sovereign LORD of Heaven's Armies. Yes, come against her from distant lands. Break open her granaries. Crush her walls and houses into heaps of rubble. Destroy her completely, and leave nothing! Destroy even her young bulls - it will be terrible for them, too! Slaughter them all! For Babylon's (America's) day of reckoning has come." (Jeremiah 50:24-27)
This country has fought against the LORD. We have thumbed our noses at God again and again, and we said, "We won't, and You can't make me." So the LORD of Heaven's Armies says, "See, I am your enemy, you arrogant people." "Your day of reckoning has arrived - the day when I will punish you. O land of arrogance, you will stumble and fall, and no one will raise you up. For I will light a fire in the cities of Babylon that will burn up everything around them." (Jeremiah 50:31-32)
All of this is already happening. Chicago has become a war zone. Seattle. Portland. Cities on fire. Terror is also already here. This terror that has fallen on us is the work of the Sovereign LORD of Heaven's Armies - it is written. The sword has already struck our land. "The sword of destruction will strike the Babylonians," says the LORD. "It will strike the people of Babylon (America) - her officials and wise men, too. The sword will strike her wise counselors, and they will become fools. The sword will strike her mightiest warriors, and panic will seize them. The sword will strike her horses and chariots and her allies from other lands, and they will all become like women. The sword will strike her treasures, and they all will be plundered. A drought will strike her water supply, causing it to dry up. And why? Because the whole land is filled with idols, and the people are madly in love with them." (Jeremiah 50:35-38)
Our land is filled with idols, and the people are madly in love with them. Truth. Wise counselors have become fools; treasures are plundered, all because we are madly in love with idols. So the LORD says, "I will come like a lion from the thickets of the Jordan, leaping on the sheep in the pasture. I will chase Babylon from its land and I will appoint the leader of My choice. For who is like Me, and who can challenge Me? What ruler can oppose My will? (Jeremiah 50:44-45)
Who is like God? Who can challenge Him? What ruler can oppose His will? And yet we thumb our noses at Him. We mock Him. We turn our back on Him for years without end, and we chase after our beloved idols - panting after them. And I am talking to the church. Do we think He doesn't notice? Do we think He doesn't care?
I know that some of you are trembling right now. I know I am. You know what I am writing is the truth. But for you who are trembling, I have another message. "In those coming days," says the LORD, "the people of Israel will return home together with the people of Judah. They will come weeping and seeking the LORD their God. They will ask the way to Jerusalem and will start back home again. They will bind themselves to the LORD with an eternal covenant that will never be forgotten. My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray and turned them loose in the mountains. They have lost their way and can't remember how to get back to the sheepfold. All who found them devoured them. Their enemies said, 'We did nothing wrong in attacking them, for they sinned against the LORD, their true place of rest, and the hope of their ancestors." (Jeremiah 50:4-7)
I know that we have not done things right. I know that we have at times lost our way, and we have paid the consequences, but God is on our side. This is what the LORD of Heaven's Armies says: "The people of Israel and Judah have been wronged. Their captors (principalities and powers) hold them and refuse to let them go. But the One who redeems them is strong. His name is the LORD of Heaven's Armies. He will defend them and give them rest again in Israel. But for the people of Babylon there will be no rest!" (Jeremiah 50:33-34). "In those days," says the LORD, "no sin will be found in Israel or in Judah, for I will forgive the remnant I preserve." (Jeremiah 50:20)
So what do we do? This coming destruction is upon us. No one is going to change God's plan. It is here, but I say, "Come home. Return to the lover of your soul. Find refuge in His strong arms. Let Him forgive you. Let Him hide you. Let Him defend you. Let Him protect you." There is a place of rest and safety that was prepared for us before the foundation of the world, and the LORD wants to take us there. Let Him. But we also have to do one more thing.
The LORD says, "Flee from Babylon! Save yourselves! Don't get trapped in her punishment! It is the LORD's time for vengeance; He will repay her in full. Babylon (America) has been a gold cup in the LORD's hands, a cup that made the whole earth drunk. The nations drank Babylon's wine, and it drove them all mad. But suddenly Babylon, too, has fallen. Weep for her. Give her medicine. Perhaps she can yet be healed. We would have helped her if we could, but nothing can save her now. LET HER GO; ABANDON HER. Return now to your own land. For her punishment reaches to the heavens; it is so great it cannot be measured." (Jeremiah 51:6-9)
If we continue to fight for our country, we will get trapped in her punishment. Strong is the One who judges her. Let it play out. "In those coming days," says the LORD, "the people of Israel will return home together with the people of Judah. They will come weeping and seeking the LORD their God. They will ask the way to Jerusalem and will start back home again. They will bind themselves to the LORD with an eternal covenant that will never be forgotten." (Jeremiah 50:4-5)
Can you see the migration? From one kingdom to another. We leave this world and all it has to offer, and we journey home. The LORD goes before us to prepare the way, and He is our rear guard. He is a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night to guide us and to keep us safe on this pilgram's journey. We just follow Him, and under His wings, we find refuge.
"Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust Him. For He will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with His feathers. He will shelter you with His wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished."
"If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For He will order His angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won't even hurt your foot on a stone. You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet! The LORD says, "I will rescue those who love Me. I will protect those who trust in My name. When they call on Me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and gibe them My salvation." (Psalm 91)
This is good news! In the middle of the storm, He is our place of safety. Run and hide.
The scripture says, "May you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers."