Witness Him Now
When the LORD gave me the message four years ago that judgment was coming and then He showed me in the scriptures what was about to happen, I said, "LORD, Your church is not ready. How are we going to make it?" He gave me four scriptures that day. I memorized them, and I tried to give this word to others, but I did not truly understand. It was not until this past year that God revealed to me the significance of those words. I will share with you those scriptures and and how we have to apply these words to our lives. With every point I make, I will come back to these words until this becomes our default response to every situation.
The first scripture God gave me was, "Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you." Matthew 6:33. I thought, "OK, no matter what happens, we have to seek God's kingdom." What I did not understand until recently is that this whole passage, starting in verse 19 has to do with money and provision. So the first thing God wants us to know is what we do with our money.
The first thing He said was, "Do not store up your treasure on earth where moths eat it and rust destroys it, but store up your treasures in Heaven where moth and rust do not destroy it and thieves do not break in to steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. So I believe with all my heart that our savings account and 401K and all the things that we want to put our trust in are not going to be there, and if they are, we need to reevalualte what we do with them. Remember, our money and our heart are tied together, and if we choose to store our treasure, thieves will break in and take it...inflation, the collapse of the dollar, a collapse of the stock market...the list could go on and on. Take your pick. Right now we get to choose where our treasure goes. After the theives break in, we won't be able to do that.
Next it says that if your eye is good, your whole body is full of light. If your eye is bad, your whole body is full of darkness. And if the light you think you have is really darkness, how deep that darkness is! I really never understood this passage until I saw that it was sandwiched between scriptures on money. So what it is really talking about is...what are we looking at? If we are looking at Jesus, our whole body is full of light. We know where we are going and we know what to do, but if we are looking at money, we are full of darkness. We will not know where we are going or what to do. But listen to this, what if the light we think we have is really darkness...how deep that darkness is. What if we think we are looking at Jesus, but what we are really looking at is money. Oh my goodness! I have had to reevaluate everything I am doing. Is my work on the mission's committe really about money? What about all the fundraisers? Garage sales? Bake sales? What about concerts? What about Women's Conferences? What about camps? I am not going there anymore. I will fix my eyes on Jesus. I will give when He says give. That is God's way. God says He will give us bread to eat and seed to sow, but we have to plant that seed, we can't eat it. I think we have been eating a lot of our seed, but not anymore. It is not our money anyway, it is God's. All of it belongs to Him, and one day we are going to have to give an account for what we have done with His money.
Then it says...no one can serve two masters. You are going to hate one and love the other. You cannot serve God and money. We are going to have to choose. Wow! This is going to be hard. We have spent our entire life following after money and things, and now God is saying that we have to choose. We can't have them both. How do we do this? It reminded me of the story of the rich young ruler. He loved God, and he wanted to please Him. When He met Jesus, he said, "Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life? Jesus said, "If you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments: you must not murder, you must not commit adultery, you must not steal, you must not lie, honor your father and mother, love your neighbor as yourself." "I've obeyed all these commandments," the young man replied. "What else must I do?" Jesus told him, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I'll say it again - it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!"
Because we live in America, we all fall into the category of the rich young man. This choice is going to be as hard on us as it was on him. I don't know what God is going to ask us to do in the coming days. In the early church, they sold all of their property and distributed the money to the churches. Will He ask us to do this? Is He asking us to do this now? What will we say? Will we have an excuse for this like we have had an excuse for the other things we have failed to do? This is the pearl of great price, but do we understand the value of the pearl that is in our hands? I can't choose for you and you can't choose for me, but we are each one going to have to choose. Do we go and sell all we have to buy the pearl? Or do we think the money in our hand is worth more? Who will we serve, the Creator of the Universe or money? I don't know how to get out of this point because it is so huge, but I will proceed as if we have chosen to give it all.
Then God said, "Don't worry about your everyday life, whether you have enough food or drink or enough clothes to wear. Life is more than food and your body is more than clothing. Look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly father feeds them. And aren't you far more valuable to Him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why do you worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not clothed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for the wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, He will most certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? So don't worry about these things saying, "What will we eat?" "What will we drink?" "What will we wear?" These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your Heavenly Father already knows all your needs. But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you. So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today.
There is so much in this passage. Don't worry. God knows what we need and He will take care of us. We don't have to worry about these things. God has our back. We pray it, and we expect it..."give us this day or daily bread". In the past I never thought this verse applied to the people in America because we have such abundance, but in the coming days, this verse is going to be very important. God will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. So we can't worry about what will happen tomorrow, we have to be thankful for today.
So how do I sum up this lesson on finances? Fix your eyes on Jesus. If our eyes are on money, we won't make it. Don't withhold any of your resources from God. It's all His anyway. And DON'T WORRY! God will take care of His people. It is written, and God cannot lie.
A couple of months ago I was making a delivery to the panhandle when I went into McDonald's to get breakfast. While I was eating the breakfast, I sat beside the TV. Jodi Arias was giving her testimony. I didn't know anything about her. We don't have cable TV, we just have Netflex and Roku, so our news sources come from the internet. I got the impression that in 2008 she shot her boyfriend twice and stabbed him 17 times. I heard her give a minute, detailed account of what happened just before the murder. She said, "I picked up the gun, my fingers were on the trigger. I remember thinking, 'This will stop him.' Then I don't remember anything." The newscaster then came on and said, "Her testimony was just blown all to pieces, how are we to believe she remembers all the details right up to the time of the murder?" But I knew in my heart that she was telling the truth.
In my past, I have been exposed to three people who had demons manifest. In all three cases, they did not remember what happened when the demon came up. I knew that a demon manifested that brutally murdered this man. While I sat there pondering what I had heard, I asked God to allow me to understand what had happened. He then dropped a scripture into my spirit that said that if you have hate in your heart, you are a murderer, and then I understood. Jodi Arias hated this man. Not only did she hate him, but she "fixed her eyes" on the hatred. She petted that "raccoon". I know that we can all justify this response because she was abused in so many ways, but we are not talking about what the man did, we are talking about how she responded to what he did. She hated him. When she allowed hate to enter her heart, she allowed the spirit of murder to enter. Then the spirit of murder got stronger and stronger as she "fixed her eyes" on how much she hated him.
Now I don't know about you, but I have a hard time understanding demons and demon possession, but I can understand hate entering a person's heart. Then with her thoughts - which were fixed continually on her hatred - she gave permission for the spirit of murder that was in her to take over. Her sin was to hate. The result of her hatred was that a spirit was allowed to manifest and BRUTALLY DO WHAT IT WANTED TO DO. Wow! Then another scripture came to mind. If you look at a woman with lust in your heart, you have already committed adultery. This is the same thing. Once lust or hatred enters the heart, we have a choice, we can "fix our eyes on it" or we can turn our back on it, confess our sin and go on with our life. If we choose to fix our eyes on "lust" or "hate" or "jealousy" or "greed" or "unforgiveness" or "bitterness" or "revenge" or "selfish ambition" or ... you get the point, that spirit becomes stronger and stronger until at some point it takes over and acts out. That is why pornography is so destructive. It "fixes our eyes" on lust. And the more we "fix our eyes" on it, the stronger it becomes until it has an opportunity, and then the spirit manifests and the spirit is allowed to BRUTALLY DO WHAT IT WANTS TO DO. That is why the crimes are becoming more heinous. We no longer control the direction our thoughts are taking.
I know that some of you understand what I am talking about, but the hatred or lust that is inside of you is so big that you don't know how you can ever overcome it. You can't, but God can. All you have to do is call upon His name...Jesus...and say, "Jesus, I need for you to rescue me." Then open your heart wide for Him to come in. Invite Him in. Say, "Search my heart, O God, and know me. Try my anxious thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me and lead me into paths of life everlasting." Then humble yourself and accept your guilt, and confess your sin. If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. As far as the east is from the west are our sins from us. You are clean and holy. However, the enemy knows the way back into your heart. You have to now "fix your eyes on Jesus". Turn your back on the sin, and guard your heart. Don't let him back in, and if he gets back in, quickly confess your sin and turn from it. DO NOT "FIX YOUR EYES" ON THE SIN AGAIN. If you do, it will overtake you and the end will be worse for you than it was before. And then finally, "In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." When there is a spirit of praise and thanksgiving in your heart, and when your "eyes are fixed on Jesus", there is nothing the enemy can do to you.
This is a side note. We are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. He has created us to be victorious. And we will "overcome" the enemies that are inside of us. We have to do it His way, though. We have to humble ourselves and accept our guilt. I know Jodi Arias was abused. I know that she did not have it easy, and she could easily point the finger at her boyfriend to justify her actions. We can't do that. We have to point the finger at ourselves and say, "I am guilty." The battle that is inside of us is ours, no one elses, and our God will rescue us if we let Him. He has come to heal our broken heart, and He has come to set us free.
Last week I was feeling my age. When I looked in the mirror, all I could see was mousy gray, so I turned to my friend Leia, who works at Sally’s Hair Supply, and I said, “Can you get me a hair color that will wash out, maybe some color of red?” She was excited. She does this all the time, so she chose the color she liked. Then she got a developer to go with it. Little did she know that the developer would make this color permanent. Little did I know what color she would find pretty.
The color she chose was burgundy. It started out purple, then turned bright reddish purple, and by Wednesday – after washing my hair two to three times a day to get rid of the color – my hair was bright, reddish pink, and I knew by the way it was fading that some shade of pink would be my final color. I was devastated. I didn’t know what to do, but my husband said, “Go. Get it fixed. It will be alright.” So I went to Pro-Cuts and found Tina. She didn’t recognize me. I said, “Help! Can you fix it?” She earnestly began to pray.
She chose a neutral shade of brown to try to off-set the red. What came out was a dark, reddish (I think I will always have red), brown with rust highlights. I grieved. I know in the whole scheme of things hair is not important, but what I felt was real. Color is important to me. Come into my home and you will find all sorts of colors, but they are all earthy and natural. Look in my closet and you will find all sorts of golden green, brown, muted purple, rust…all earthy and natural. But my hair is like no other color I have ever seen on a human being, and I knew that there was nothing I could do about it, so I grieved. And I went to church.
At church my friends made light of it. It was not important to them, but Kathy Ashe came and asked me what I had done all day. I went outside to tell her. I think only those people who have to go through chemo and lose their hair could fully understand what I was feeling, but while I was out there, the spirit came over me. I turned my face toward heaven, and I said, “LORD, You said that all things work together for good to them who love God and who are called according to His purpose. And You said in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you, so I choose to thank You. And You said that You know the plans you have for me…plans to prosper and not to harm, plans to give me hope and a future. And LORD, You said that the work of righteousness is peace and the effect of righteousness is quiet assurance. I do not have peace and I do not have assurance, so LORD, I know that there is something inside of me that is displeasing to You. I ask that you would forgive me for the pride that is in my heart. Forgive me for the conceit. Forgive me for self-pity. Forgive me for being concerned with what others think. I am so sorry, LORD. Forgive me.”
At this point peace entered my heart. The circumstances didn’t change, but my heart did. Once again peace and joy flooded my veins. But as the days passed, I found that I could not pass a mirror or think about my hair at all without it consuming me. This frustrated me to no end because I normally do not have to think about myself, and now I was consumed with me. I continually had to turn my face toward Jesus and confess my sin. I had to take all my thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ Jesus. I had to consciously “give thanks” in all things. But in the process, I learned a few things.
Four years ago the LORD told me that judgment was coming. Then He opened up the scriptures to me. When He revealed what was about to happen, I cried out, “LORD, we are not prepared. How are we going to make it?” He then gave me four scriptures. I am going to share all of them with you now. I had to use three of them to fight the “Battle of the Hair Color”.
1. First, He gave me Matthew 6:33: But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you. It was not until this past year that I realized that God was talking about money. If you start in verse 19 and read to verse 34, you will find that God is laying out a plan for our finances. We no longer can follow after money. We will not know where we are going if we do. Instead, we have to fix out eyes on the Kingdom of God and what God is doing. If our eye is good (we are looking at God), our whole body will be full of light, but if our eye be bad (we are looking at money and not God), our whole body will be full of darkness. But if the light that is in us (we think we are looking at God) is really darkness (money), how great is that darkness. Now this goes against everything we have ever been taught to believe, but I think in the coming days, we will make a choice…do we serve God or do we serve money. This passage has nothing to do with hair color. The other three do. Read on.
2. Second, God said, “Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith.” Hebrews 12. When we put our eyes on Jesus, we get our eyes off of ourselves. That is so important. Circumstances are about to become extremely tough. Today it is hair color, but today is preparing us for tomorrow. If we can learn these four steps we will be prepared for what lies ahead. To do that, we have to turn our eyes toward heaven. If we are looking at what is happening on this earth, we will not make it. God has a big plan…a plan to prosper and not to harm, a plan to give us hope and a future, but if we have our eyes on the circumstances, we will not see the big picture…God’s redeeming love.
3. Third, God said, “Above all else guard your heart, for out of it flow the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23. There were all sorts of things that attacked my heart this last week. Self-pity was one. We have to guard our hearts in the coming days so that: worry, bitterness, hatred, jealousy, revenge, etc. does not enter. Let our heart be a barometer. If there is worry, anxiety, fear or insecurities that enter our heart, we know that there is something inside of us that is not trusting God. We then have to open our heart wide and invite God in. Let Him search us. He will reveal to us all things that oppose Him. Then we have to accept our guilt (we are guilty of not trusting God) and confess our sin, and then He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Then peace enters. That is what happened to me last Wednesday.
4. Finally, God said, “In everything give thanks for this is the will of Christ Jesus concerning you.” Once we cross over into thanksgiving, we cross over into victory. The enemy of our soul is defeated. Christ is victorious. So I will choose to give thanks.
OK, so hair color is trivial. My son was not a first responder in West, Texas. My grandchildren did not attend Sandy Hook. We were not spectators at the Boston marathon. But the lessons that I applied to my heart with my hair color, could apply to situations that are much more “permanent”. God is good. He is still on His throne. His plans are good plans, and we can trust Him. I will choose in the coming days to “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness”. I will “fix my eyes on Jesus”. I will “guard my heart”. And I will “give thanks”. I pray that you, too, may find the peace that passes all understanding that will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
When the Word of the LORD came to me that said, "Judgment is coming," I cried out, "God, Your church is not ready! How are we going to make it?" He then gave me four scriptures that have to become our "Default Response" to every situation.
The first thing He said was, "Don't look at money. Instead, seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Matthew 6:19-34)
Then He said, "Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith. (Hebrews 12:1-1)
Above all else guard your heart. (Proverbs 4:22-23)
And in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (Thessalonians 5:18)
May the Spirit of God give us wisdom and understanding, and may we be doers of the word and not just hearers only, that we may be found blameless at the coming of our LORD Jesus Christ.
The scripture says, "May you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers."