Witness Him Now
A little over four years ago the LORD allowed me to be a part of a prayer ministry in our small town. We called this place the Prayer Closet. I spent every weekday morning for nearly six months interceding for our families and pastors and leaders and protectors and nation. Even though I speak to God almost non-stop throughout every day, this was the first time that I had ever intentionally, consistently interceded for people. I will forever be changed because of this. Now, God is calling me to intercede once again. This time it is war.
We are going to set up a War Room at our church. You may want to do the same. In our church we are going to set up notebooks. These notebooks will contain scriptures and the people we are intereceding for. I am going to write down the scriptures that come to my mind, but if you have other scriptures, will you please share them with me. God said that He is ever looking over His word to perform it. I want to give Him every opportunity to do just that. These are the sections:
3. Pastors and Spiritual Leaders
4. Protectors and Defenders
6. Front Line Warriors
8. Church Prayer Requests
Some of our prayers will be lists. For example, I will list everyone in my family that I will intercede for. The other prayer warriors will do the same; however, if we have someone that we want to concentrate on, we will fill out a form that has his/her name, spouse's name, children's names, description of who he/she is, and his/her needs. We will also have a place to put a picture. Then if a scripture comes to mind of what we want to pray over him/her, we will put that also. All pastors, spiritual leaders, protectors, and front line warriors will have their own sheet.
The following are scriptures that come to my mind when I think of praying for the people in these categories:
PRAYER FOR SELF:
LORD, in 2 Chronicles 7:13-16, You said, "At times You might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour our crops, or send plagues among us. But THEN if we, Your people, who are called by Your name will humble ourselves and pray and seek Your face and turn from our wicked ways, You will hear from heaven and forgive our sins and restore our land. Then Your eyes will be open and Your ears attentive to every prayer made in this place. For You have chosen this temple (me) and set it apart to be holy - a place where Your name will be honored forever. You said that You will always watch over me, for I am dear to Your heart.
So LORD, I am asking that You would search my heart and know me. Try my anxious thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me and lead me into paths of life everlasting. God, I open my heart wide to You. Search every part of who I am. If there is anything in me that is displeasing to You, I ask that You would bring it into the light so that I can deal with it. Expose my enemies. Defeat them. Let me crush them under my feet. LORD, it is Your kindness that leads us to repentance. I ask that You send Your kindness. Make me holy. Let every part of me be separated from this world and all that it has to offer so that I may bring honor to Your holy name.
I ask that You will create in me a cIean heart and an upright spirit. Let every thought that I think and every meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight. If it is true that You look favorably on me, let me know Your ways so I may understand You more fully and continue to enjoy Your favor. And remember that this nation is Your very own people. LORD, I pray that from Your glorious, unlimited resources, You will empower me with inner strength through Your Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in my heart as I trust in Him. My roots will grow down into Your love and it will keep me strong. LORD, give me the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep Your love is. May I experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then I will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Father of glory, I ask that You would give to me the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of You. May the eyes of my understanding be enlightened that I may know what is the hope of Your calling, what are the riches of the glory of Your inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of Your power toward us who believe, according to the working of Your mighty power which You worked in Christ when You raised Him from the dead and seated Him at Your right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And You put all things under His feet, and gave Jesus to be head over all things to the church. That's me, LORD, I am a part of His body. Fill me with all Your fullness and teach me how to walk in that fullness. LORD, I want to know You. I want to please You. I want to make You happy. Show me how. I ask this in Jesus' name. AMEN
PRAYER FOR FAMILY:
LORD, You said that You would lavish Your unfailing love for a thousand generations of those who love You and keep Your commandments. God, I thank You that Your promises are "Yes" and "Amen". It is Your desire that none parish, but all come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. I want to thank You LORD for Godly inheritance. You said, "Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever! Thank You, LORD, that You have taught my heart to fear Your holy name. Thank You that my heart wants to obey and honor You completely. That is a work of the Spirit, and I rejoice in it. I rejoice that this great love for You is passed down from generation to generation by Your Holy Spirit and through Your great and precious promises. Now LORD, I am going to recite back Your promises to me for my family. I speak these promises over all of my children and their spouses. I speak these promises over my grandchildren and my great-grandchildren. I speak these promises over a thousand generations because I do love You, and I do keep Your commandments.
LORD, in Isaiah 44, You said for me not to be afraid. You said that You will pour out water to quench my thirst and to irrigate my parched fields. And You said You will pour out Your Spirit obn my descendants and Your blessings on my offspring. You said they will thrive like watered grass, like willows on a riverbank. Some will proudly claim, "I belong to the LORD." Others will say, "I am a descendant of Jacob." Some will write the LORD's name on their hands and will take the name of Israel as their own." Thank You, Jesus!
Then in Isaiah 49, You said, "See, I will give a signal to the godless nations. They will carry my little sons back to me in their arms; they will bring my daughters on their shoulders. "Who can snatch the plunder of war from the hands of a warrior? Who can demand that a tyrant let his captives go? But the LORD says, "The captives of warriors will be released, and the plunder of tyrants will be retrieved. For I will fight those who fight you, and I will save your children. All the world will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel!" Thank You, Jesus!
In Deuteronomy 30:6, You said, "And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. Isaiah 29:22-24 The LORD, who redeemed Abraham, says to the people of Israel, "My people will no longer be ashamed or turn pale with fear. For when they see their many children and all the blessings I have given them, they will stand in awe of the God of Jacob. Then the wayward will gain understanding, and complainers will accept instruction."
Isaiah 54:11-15 "O storm-battered city, troubled and desolate! I will rebuild you with precious jewels and make your foundations from lapis lazuli. I will make your towers of sparkling rubies, your gates of shining gems, and your walls of precious stones. I will teach all your children, and they will enjoy great peace. You will be secure under a government that is just and fair. Your enemies will stay far away, you will live in peace, and terror will not come near. If any nation comes to fight you, it is not because I sent them. Whoever attacks you will go down in defeat."
"And this is My covenant with them," says the LORD. "My Spirit will not leave them, and neither will these words I have given you. They will be on your lips and on the lips of your children and your children's children forever. I, the LORD, have spoken!"
PASTORS AND SPIRITUAL LEADERS:
Listen to me, all you in distant lands! Pay attention, you who are far away! The LORD has called ____________________________________ before his birth; from within the womb He called him by name. He made ___________________________ words of judgment as sharp as a sword. He has hidden _________________________________ in the shadow of His hand. He is like a sharp arrow in God's quiver. He said to ______________________________, "You are My servant, Israel, and you will bring Me glory."
________________________________ replied, "But my work seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose. Yet _______________________________ leaves it all in the LORD's hand; He will trust God for his reward."
And now the LORD speaks - the One who formed ___________________________ in his mother's womb to be his servant, who commissioned him to bring Israel back to Him. The LORD has honored __________________________________ and has given him strength. "I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring My salvation to the ends of the earth." The LORD, the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel, says to the one who is despised and rejected by the nations, to the one who is the servant of rulers; "Kings will stand at attention when you pass by. Princes will also bow low because of the LORD, the faithful one, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you."
"At just the right time, I will respond to you. On the day of salvation I will help you.I will protect you and give you to the people as My covenant with them. Through you I will reestablish the land of Israel and assign it to its own people again. I will say to the prisoners, 'Come out in freedom,' and to those in darkness, ' Come into the light.' They will be My sheep, grazing in green pastures and on hills that were previously bare. They will neither hunger nor thirst. The searing sun will not reach them anymore. For the LORD in His mercy will lead them; He will lead them beside cool waters. And I will maike My mountains into level paths for them. The highways will be raised above the valleys. See, My people will return from far away, from lands to the north and west, and from as far south as Egypt." Isaiah 49
May the Spirit of the LORD rest upon ____________________________, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. He will delight in obeying the LORD. He will not judge by appearance nor make a decision based on hearsay. He will give justice to the poor and make fair decisions for the exploited. The earth will shake at the force of his word, and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked. He will wear righteousness like a belt and truth like an undergarment. Isaiah 11
God I ask that You would give ___________________________ complete knowledge of Your will, and give him spiritual wisdom and spiritual understanding. Then he way he lives will always honor and please the LORD, and his life will produse every kind of good fruit. LORD, I also pray that You will strengthen ___________________________with all Your glorious power so that he will have all the patience and endurance he needs, and may he be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. LORD, may a Spirit of praise and thanksgiving be planted deep inside of _____________________________. May it be a spring that overflows in every circumstance of life. May it bubble over onto others. I ask this in Jesus' name. AMEN Colossians 1:9-11
A few weeks ago on a Wednesday night service, Garrett Hagar was sharing some scriptures that God had given him. Each scripture pierced my soul. I knew each scripture very intimately...by heart. My knees were shaking. My stomach was turning. Finally, I raised my hand high in the air and said, "I have a story that can illustrate what you are saying. Can I tell it?" He gave me a 'half-hearted" OK, so I told the "Parable of the Raccoon".
Later that week, Pepper (my pastor), called me into his office and said that I had offended a lot of people. He asked me if I would apologize. I said, "Yes. I certainly didn't mean to offend. That was not my intention." Then he said that I was wrong, that I was out of order. I said, "Pepper, my heart is not telling me that I did anything wrong, but I will apologize because I am sorry that I offended anyone." The next Wednesday I got up in front of the church and apologized, then I sat down. Then Pepper got up and began to teach on what the church needs to do when a brother or sister gets it wrong.
I sat in my chair, crying, listening to him teach, and I asked God, "What is going on here?" He said, "As much as it is in your power, live at peace with all men." I'm like..."It is in my power, I can live at peace here." Then He said, "If you can't do this here, among people you love and who love you, how can you do it out there." Then He said something that went to my bones. He said, "I give grace to the humble." Wow! I just sat there and meditated on what God had just said to me..."I give grace (My unmerited favor) to the humble."
Later that weekend I realized that that was the first time I had ever humbled myself. Now for the last two years I have been humbling myself and accepting my guilt and confessing my sin. And I humble myself and pray, but this was different. For the first time in my life, I didn't have to be right. I didn't have to be "on top". This was revelation to me.
Then this past Monday, while driving home from El Paso, I was reading in James where it said, "But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don't cover up the truth with boasting and lying. For jealousy and selfishness are not God's kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind." Then God spoke to me and said, "You had selfish ambition in your heart." What? Then He said, "I took most of it out the Wednesday night you humbled yourself and sat down." Oh my goodness. You could have knocked me over with a feather. I had no idea selfish ambition was in there. Then to think that "disorder and evil of every kind" come along with selfish ambition. Oh my. Then I began to meditate on the kindness and patience of our God, who has so carefully - layer by layer - stripped me down to where I could lay even the depths of my heart at His feet. Oh how high and wide and deep and long is the Father's love for His children. What patience He has with all of us. I am in "awe" at His goodness to me. The LORD truly has done great things for us, and we (I) am filled with joy!
I don't know about you, but I see healing scriptures so clearly in the Bible, but I rarely see God stretch out His hand to heal. I see in Isaiah 53 what Jesus paid for with His stripes and on the cross: our transgressions, our iniquities, our peace and our health. He already paid the price. We should have free access to all that He paid for, yet what I am seeing is that people I know and love continue to suffer day after day while God presumably remains silent. Then the last few weeks, the LORD has begun to download things into my spirit that I never understood before. I think what He is giving me is pure, unadulterated truth. I want to share with you what He has given to me.
First of all, God is the one who does all things, so if sickness comes, it is God who does it. This made all the difference in the world to me to know that everything that happens is from God. He is just using Satan to accomplish His purposes. So what are His purposes? Most of the time in scripture I see that the purpose of sickness is to bring us to a place of repentance. (see Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28) So the first thing I would presume is that God is trying to get my attention. So what I would do is ask God in to search my heart. I would let Him into every corner. Whatever He brings to the surface, I would "humble myself and accept my guilt and confess my sin". I would bring whatever God reveals into the light. If it remains in the darkness, the darkness has control, but if it is brought into the light, God can heal us. James says, "Confess your sins one to another that you may be healed." The Bible also says, "May you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers." So it is God's purpose to bring us to a place where we put our sins under the blood and turn away from them. Then He can cause our soul to proper and bring us health. Most everything I see in scripture points to this.
However, there are two other scriptures that make me think that sickness is not always connected to sin. There was a blind man, and the disciples asked Jesus, "Who sinned, this man or his parent?" Jesus said, "Neither. This sickness is for the glory of God." So there was not sin involved in this, only God's glory. Then there is the story of Job. If you are like me, I have stayed away from this story for a long time. It is hard for me to understand a man who is righteous in every way, who "fears God" and "shuns evil" who went through all that this man went through, but it happened. Then I got to thinking that the there was no way for the enemy to attack this man. He feared God, and he shunned evil. There was a hedge around him that was so "high" and "wide" that the enemy just went around him. He didn't even look his way until God said, "Have you considered Job, my servant." OK, so here we go...God did it. He opened the door for the enemy to enter Job's life. Why? What was His purpose? At the end of the book, after God challenges Job, Job said, "I had only heard of You before, but now I know You."
I believe that in the coming days we are going to "get to know" God in ways that we never dreamed possible. So what does that mean. It means that we "fix our eyes on Jesus", "we guard our heart" so that no enemy comes in, and "in everything we give thanks for this is the will of Christ Jesus concerning you". Once we cross over to praise and thanksgiving as our "default" response, we will be victorious in all we do and God's holy name will be "hallowed" among the nations. Praise and thanksgiving opens the door for God's mighty arm to descend with power on our enemies to defeat them. (Psalm 150 and Isaiah 30:29-33) The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy!
I started writing about the eye of the storm a few weeks ago. I thought I would get back to it sooner than I did. Sorry. I know most of you are waiting in anticipation. :) No, really. The reason I write at all is because I want you to be ok in the coming days. Devastating things are about to happen. For some people it already has. Look at Sandy Hook, Boston, West, Oklahoma, and then last night we got an email from a lady who is selling her son's motorcycle. He and his fiance were killed two months ago by a drunk driver while on the way to his little brother's birthday party. When things like this happen, our heart will be attacked from all directions, and we have to know how to find peace in the midst of the storm.
God's covenant with us is to give us life and peace. (Malachi 2:5) This only comes when we reverance Him, but we have so much garbage in our lives that we barely even take note of the God of the Universe, so He is about to turn our hearts back to Himself. Everything that happens to us in the coming days is meant to train us in righteousness (to believe God). That means that God has to expose the lies we have believed our entire lives. Once exposed, we can choose: life or death, blessings or curses. The choice is ours, so the trials of the coming days are coming to expose the lies and then one of two things will happen.
Either the trials will purify our hearts. We will learn to trust God in ways we could never dream possible, and we will know him in ways we could never imagine. He is going to do this by taking away everything we have ever trusted in (Micah 5:10-15) so that we will never again worship the work of our own hands. Think about that one. Romans 1 says that we traded the truth for a lie and worshiped the creation more than the Creator. So God is about to turn our hearts back to the truth and to the Creator. We will no longer value things over God. This will come as a refining fire to purge us so that we will once again offer to the LORD an offering in righteousness. (Malachi 3:2-3) This doesn't sound like fun, does it? I don't think it is going to be, but if we will allow every circumstance to train us in righteousness (to believe God), we will make it. If we allow bitterness, anger, hate, revenge, covetousness, greed, jealousy, etc. (you get the idea) to enter our hearts and control us, we will not make it in this life or in the life to come. We have to purge our land (heart) of all enemies.
Or the trials are coming to bring judgment on people who refuse to turn and live. The same thing is going to happen to the just and to the unjust, but it is written, a wise man builds his house upon the rock, and when the floods come, his house will stand because he trusts Jesus, and he is a "doer of the word" and not just a "hearer only". Those who are wise find refuge in their Savior. Those who are foolish run the other way, and it is written: "Because the rest of you have forsaken the LORD and have forgotten His Temple, and because you have prepared feasts to honor the god of Fate and have offered mixed wine to the god of Destiny, now I will 'destine' you for the sword. All of you will bow down before the executioner. For when I called, you did not answer. When I spoke, you did not listen. You deliberately sinned - before My very eyes - and chose to do what you know I despise." Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD says, "My servants will eat, but you will starve. My servants will drink, but you will be thirsty. My servants will rejoice, but you will be sad and ashamed. My servants will sing for joy, but you will cry in sorrow and despair.. Your name will be a curse word among My people, for the Sovereign LORD will destroy you and will call His true servants by another name." (Isaiah 65:11-15) Terror, famine, disease, and destruction (Ezekiel 14 and 21) will come upon those who turn their hearts from the living God in the coming days, but the suffering that will happen in this lifetime does not come close to the suffering that will happen throughout all eternity. That is why God is going to do everything in His power to turn our hearts back to Him. HE DOES NOT WANT ANY TO PERISH!!!!! He knows what will happen to those who do not turn from their sins, and He does not want that, so like any GOOD Father, He is going to do everything in His power to try to save us.
I don't know about you, but when I read things like this, I'm like...I want to be prepared, but how do we prepare? First, open your heart wide to God. Ask Him to come in with the light of His great love to search out every dark, hidden, broken, shame-filled, bitter corner. Ask Him to reveal what is inside of you. Then as He reveals it, accept your guilt (don't point the finger at someone else) and tell Him you are sorry. Say this outloud and say it to a friend. Do not let the things inside your heart remain hidden. Once it is in the light, it has no more power. Once you confess your sins, God is faithful and just to forgive you your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Forgive others and forgive yourself. Say outloud, "LORD, forgive me for not forgiving myself. I am sorry." Then the peace of God which passes all understanding should enter your heart. If it doesn't, ask God to come in again and to expose the lies you have been believing. Confess it as a sin. Remember that condemnation is an enemy, too. If you have confessed your sin, and you have turned from it, you are clean. If condemnation comes in, confess it as a sin. Say, "God, please forgive me for condemning myself." Peace should enter. Seek peace and find it. This is the "eye of the storm". We have to stay here. We won't make it if we don't.
So whatever happens..."Fix your eyes on Jesus"..."Guard your heart"...and "In everything give thanks." If we do this, we will make it. We have to have our eyes on Jesus, though. If we are looking at anything else, we will not be able to maintain peace. Now I am going to give you one of my favorite scriptures. It is in Phillippians. "Don't worry about anything. Pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for what He has done, and the peace of God that passes all understanding will GUARD YOUR HEART AND YOUR MIND in Christ Jesus.
Blessings, my friends. May you enter and find rest in the "eye of the storm".
Last week I was painting the outside of a house on the other side of the lake, and I was praying while I painted, when the LORD asked, "Why are you always trying to move Me? Did it ever occur to you that I am trying to move you?" Then a gust of wind came at that moment...I was three levels up on scaffolding at the time. :) I had just read that God rides the wind. Then the LORD said, "Pay attention."
For any of you that know me well, you know that I don't pay attention. I am always in my "own little world". But I began to meditate on what God said, and I began to pray, "LORD, teach me to pay attention and to understand what it is that You want me to do." Now you already know that the LORD had already revealed to me that He is at the "head of the column of the enemy army" (Joel 2). That changed my life. I then began to think about everything that happened, "LORD, what is Your purpose with this?" So my prayers changed. I no longer went straight to, "LORD, heal this person or set them free," instead I would start my prayers with, "LORD, open his heart to Your Spirit. LORD, if there is anything in his life that opposes You, I ask that You would reveal this to him. And LORD, send a spirit of conviction and a spirit of repentence into his heart that he may turn and live." So I was already heading in this direction, but now I began to meditate on every little thing that happens.
Last year I listened to a teaching series by John Bevere. In it he said that God pulled him over one day (he was driving down a highway at the time) and said, "Did I not tell you to pray without ceasing?" John said, "Yes." God then asked, "Is this a one way conversation or two?" John said, "Two." Then God said, "If I want you to pray without ceasing, does it not tell you that I want to communicate with you all the time?" Now meditate on that one for a while. Then my mind went to the book THE HARBINGER. It was fascinating the lengths God went to to get His message across. He is into minute details. That book blew me away. Then my mind went to Psalm 139 where it says that if you could number the thoughts that God thinks about each one of us everyday, it would be more than the sand by the seashore. Wow! He thinks about me that much? If that is true, then it goes to reason that He has plans for us, plans to prosper and not to harm, plans to give us hope and a future, and He is continually trying to move us toward those plans. We just don't realize that each obstacle, each person who opposes us, each "no", each closed door, each broken plan, each....the list goes on forever. Our God loves us and He is trying to move us toward Himself all the time. Wow! All we have to do is pay attention, fix our eyes on Him (get our eyes off of the problem), guard our heart (make sure our thoughts line up with His), and in everything give thanks.
So who is moving who? I don't think I want to try to move the "hand of God" any longer. I want to join Him in what He is doing. I want to submit my will to His. I want to rejoice in every minute detail of my life because I know that my God is orchestrating something wonderful...even if it doesn't feel that way at the time.
Blessings to you, my friends. May you, too, choose to be moved by the mighty hand of our God, and may you find joy in the process.
The LORD came to me and said, "Don't pray like the pagans who think for their much babbling they will get what they want. I know what you need before you even ask, but pray this way...Our Father who art in Heaven HALLOWED BE THY NAME." Something washed over me at that point. Hallowed be thy Name. God, You are holy. May Your name be hallowed. Holy. You are holy. What does that mean? What do I know of holy? I don't. I don't know what that means, but God, more than anything, I want Your Name to be called holy. At that point the Spirit of God descended upon me and rested there for two days...just because my heart was crying out for His name to be hallowed.
Then this week in the time just before I woke up...you know, when I wasn't asleep, but I wasn't awake, the LORD came to me again. He took me to the times in history when He was not close to His people. Eli's sons took prostitutes at the Temple door, and nothing happened. They were later judged, but nothing happened right then. But then at another point in history, two other priests just took profane fire (irreverance) to the altar, and they were struck dead. Then in early church history, Ananias and Saphira lied to the Holy Spirit when they said that they brought all the money from the sale of their land to the LORD. God struck them dead right then and there. Then God revealed to me that we are entering a time when the LORD is coming near to His people. This is serious. Our God is a consuming fire, and He doesn't play around. He is a holy God, and He expects His children to all be holy.
Oh my goodness! We are living in a time of consequences, and we don't know anything of holy. We don't know anything of the Fear of the LORD, a fear that will show reverance to a God who does what He says He is going to do. We don't know because we have never been disciplined before, but my friends, the time is now. LORD, help us to be fast learners.
A few months ago the LORD revealed to my heart that He is at the head of the enemy army. Everything that happens comes from Him...good and bad. "My children do not despise the discipline of the LORD, for whom the LORD loves, He disciplines." "Take every hardship as discipline from God." "All things work together for good to them who love God and are called according to His purpose for we are being conformed into His image." Once the LORD revealed to my heart that everything that happens comes from Him, and it is good, my heart began to relax. I can trust the heart of my Father. Now that doesn't mean that the innocent will not suffer because it is written, "If the innocent suffer, how much more will you," but it means that the LORD is faithful to see His people through the storm, and in the process, we will begin to look and act like Him. So that takes me to Leviticus 26...consequences.
"If you follow My decrees and are careful to obey My commands, I will send you the seasonal rains. The land will then yield its crops, and the trees of the field will produce their fruit. Your threshing season will overlap with the grape harvest, and your grape harvest will overlap with the season of planting grain. You will eat your fill and live securely in your own land. I will give you peace in the land (heart), and you will be able to sleep with no cause for fear. I will rid the land (heart) of wild animals and keep your enemies out of your land (heart). In fact, you will chase down your enemies and slaughter them with your swords (the Word of God). Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand! All your enemies will fall beneath your sword. I will look favorably upon you, making you fertile and multiplying your people. And I will fulfill My covenant with you. You will have such a surplus of crops that you will need to clear out the old grain to make room for the new harvest! I will live among you, and I will not despise you. I will walk among you; I will be your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt so you would no longer be their slaves. I broke the yoke of slavery from your neck so you can walk with your heads held high." Pretty good stuff, huh. If you obey Me, I will bless all you do and all you have, and I will multiply the work of your hands. Then look at Deuteronomy 28. Wow! OK, now we will get to the consequences of disobedience.
However, if you do not listen to Me or obey all these commands, and if you break My covenant by rejecting My decrees, treating My regulations with contempt, and refusing to obey My commands, I will punish you. I will bring sudden terrors upon you - wasting diseases and burning fevers that will cause your eyes to fail and your life to ebb away. you will plant your crops in vain because your enemies will eat them. I will turn against you, and you will be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you will rule over you, and you will run even when no one is chasing you! And if you still don't listen, I will send seven times worse. And if you still won't listen, I will send seven times worse. And if you still won't listen, I will send seven times worse until you are eating your children. It is written.
I believe with all my heart that if we do not turn our hearts back to God, we will begin to experience these consequences in our lives...some of us may already be there. Let me tell you what happened this week. I have a friend whom I love very much. I have watched God pour out blessing after blessing after blessing onto her life and the life of her children the last couple of years. Now her walk with God has not always been a straight, narrow path, but she is a fast learner, she is honest, and she has a repentent heart, so she is forever moving forward. Then this week her car broke down one day, and it cost her over $300. The next day she ended up at the doctor with a severe infection, and it cost her over $400. I looked at her, and I said, "Girl, allow the LORD to search your heart because I think you are disobedient in some area of your life." She said, "But I have peace in my heart." "You are being attacked in your finances and your health, something is going on." Come to find out, she had let something in her heart that she had been struggling with for a while. She did not turn the enemy back at the door, she opened her heart wide for the enemy to come in. Now she has to deal with that.
She now has a choice. Believe God, confess her sin, turn her eyes and her heart back to Him and be blessed, or follow after a lie. If she continues to follow the lie, God will continue to send consequences (seven times worse) because He does not want her to die. Isn't our God good! He loves us so, and He knows how weak we are, and He knows how easily we follow the lies, be He is not going to allow us to be deceived any longer. We are His children.
So, I know that you have lots of questions in your heart right now. What about this sickness or that financial trial or what about this family member. I just have to say: God is good. His plans are good. Open your heart wide to His Spirit to search your heart. Trust Him. Rejoice...again I say rejoice. In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. We are going to get to know our God in ways we never believed possible in the coming days. Rejoice in that. If we have never known Him as healer, we will meet the Healer. If we have never known Him as provider, we will meet the Provider. If we have never known the comforter, we will meet Him, too. Rejoice! Fix your eyes on Jesus. Guard your heart (turn your eyes toward God and believe what He says). Allow God into your heart to search you and to try all of your anxious thoughts. Let Him reveal the sin (lies we have believed) that is in there. Once sin is revealed, confess it and tell God you are sorry. He will put that sin under the blood and remember it no longer. Don't let guilt or condemnation come in...they are enemies, too. If God says you are clean, you are clean. Confess guilt and condemnation as sins. Let God into every chamber of your heart until peace enters. Then lastly, but most important...Give thanks. The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy!
SEEK PEACE AND FIND IT
May the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely;
and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless
at the coming of our LORD Jesus Christ.
He who calls you is faithful, who will also do it.
2 Thessalonians 5:23-24
The scripture says, "May you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers."