Witness Him Now
I read a scripture a few days ago that thrills my soul. John 15:16-17 says, "You didn't choose Me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, SO THAT the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using My name. This is My command: Love one another."
God wants us to bear fruit so that He can answer our prayers? Is that so? This makes me want to shout and sing. For the last several years the fruit inside of all of us has been getting larger and more everlasting. The love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control that is inside of us is ruling our lives now. No matter what happens, no matter what anyone says or does, the fruit wins. It is pretty spectacular, but then look at the scripture...
God chose us and appointed us to bear everlasting fruit SO THAT the Father will give us whatever we ask for in Jesus' name. Wow! Wow! Wow! Whatever we ask for! It is time to ask. God is poised to answer. He wants to set captives free. He wants to heal broken hearts. He wants to comfort those who mourn. He wants to show Himself strong amongst His people. He chose us and appointed us to bear everlasting fruit so that we would be in a position to ask and He would be in a position to answer. God is so good! He said that His Temple would be a house of prayer for all nations. That is what we are becoming. Wow! I hope this verse hits your heart like it is hitting mine because there are many battles to be fought, and God has chosen us to partner with Him in the fight.
Zechariah 12 says it this way, "This message is from the LORD, who stretched out the heavens, laid the foundations of the earth, and formed the human spirit. I will make Jerusalem (that's us in spiritual terms) like an intoxicating drink that makes the nearby nations stagger when they send their armies to besiege Jerusalem and Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock. All the nations (principalities and powers and rulers of darkness in high places) will gather against it to try to move it, but they will only hurt themselves.
"On that day," says the LORD, "I will cause every horse to panic and every rider to lose his nerve. I will watch over the people of Judah, but I will blind all the horses of their enemies. And the clans of Judah will say to themselves, "The people of Jerusalem have found strength in the LORD of Heaven's Armies, their God."
On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a flame that sets a woodpile ablaze or like a burning torch among sheaves of grain. They will burn up all the neighboring nations (principalities and powers) right and left, while the people living in Jerusalem remain secure. The LORD will give victory to the rest of Judah first, before Jerusalem, so that the people of Jerusalem and the royal line of David will not have greater honor than the rest of Judah.
ON THAT DAY THE LORD WILL DEFEND THE PEOPLE OF JERUSALEM: THE WEAKEST AMONG THEM WILL BE AS MIGHTY AS KING DAVID! AND THE ROYAL DESCENDANTS WILL BE LIKE GOD, LIKE THE ANGEL OF THE LORD WHO GOES BEFORE THEM! For on that day I will begin to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
THEN I will pour out a spirit of grace and prayer on the family of David and on the people of Jerusalem.
This is the time period we are living in. This is that day. This is what we were appointed to do - bear everlasting fruit so that we can ask God for anything using the name of Jesus, and He will do it. God wants us to be in a position to ask, and then He wants us to ask. He is poised and ready to answer. So let me encourage you. God has called and chosen you for such a time as this. It is time to get our lives right with God so that we can pray.
I just got back from working a "Walk to Emmaus". During that walk, I saw things happen that I have never seen before...not in that number. I saw a whole group of people...EVERYONE we prayed for...get delivered and healed. Now I don't know about you, but I have prayed a whole lot of prayers in the past years that God did not answer instantly. I saw it in the Word, but I could not access it. Is anyone picking up what I am putting down? Then two years ago God gave me the "Parable of the Raccoon". When I told the story of the raccoon, everyone who wanted it got delivered. For the first time I saw the word preached with power. Then this weekend a whole table of women came into the prayer room, a kind of impromptu thing. While passing through, they voiced that they wanted to be prayed for. Everyone who sat down in that chair received deliverance and healing. Wow! I didn't tell the raccoon story, but it happened anyway. God, what just happened?
Then I began to look back at what words were spoken. I wrapped my arms around the first lady and said, "Heart, open wide. Let the light of Jesus and the love of God permeate every broken place, every hidden chamber, every place that was rejected and trampled, abused and discarded. Go into every insecure place and heal this heart completely. You said that You have come to heal the broken-hearted and to set at liberty those who are bound, to open prison doors and set the captives free, so LORD of Heaven's Armies come with power. I ask this in Jesus' name. AMEN" OK, so as I thought back on what happened, I realized with both the "Parable of the Raccoon" and the prayer spoken over these women, the common factor is "Open up you gates, you everlasting doors and let the King of Glory come in. And who is the King of Glory? The LORD mighty in battle, He is the King of Glory!"
Wow! We spend our lifetime trying to shut the gates and guard our hearts so that we will not be hurt again, and God is saying, "I stand at the door and knock, and everyone who opens to Me I will come in and sup with him and he with me." Heart wide open! Wow! With the "Parable of the Raccoon", I always ask, "Do you have raccoons?" They say, "Yes." I then ask, "Do you want to get rid of those raccoons?" They say (most of the time), "Yes." I then pray over their heart, "Search their heart, O LORD, and know them. Try their anxious thoughts. See if there be any wicked way in them and lead them in paths of life everlasting." Then whatever God brings to their mind, I lead them to accept their guilt and confess their sin. God then forgives them and erases the consequences of that sin, and peace comes. This time I just prayed, "Heart, open wide to the light and the love of God!" I think in both cases the person stood in agreement with me that their heart's door could open. Once opened, the Prince of Peace can enter to save, deliver, and heal. Wow!!!!! The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy!
Blessings, my friend. May you, too, find the peace that passes all understanding, and may you prosper and be in health...even as your soul prospers.
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.
The Parable of the Raccoon (see video below!) made all the difference in the world to me. God unlocked "Spiritual Warfare" to my understanding. He made me understand that every battle we will ever fight is inside of us. Every "enemy" we have is already inside of our heart. These "enemies" (control, lust, pride, greed, jealousy, bitterness, envy, hatred, feelings of worthlessnes, revenge, unforgiveness...etc.) entered our heart when we believed the LIE. The coolest thing is that every LIE comes with a "raccoon" (anxieties, fears, insecurities). So our heart will tell us if we are right with God or not.
Now, if we are believing and trusting in the TRUTH, we have peace. Our God is brilliant! According to Isaiah 32:17-20, "The work of righteousness is peace, the affect of righteousness is quiet assurance. My people will dwell in secure dwellings and in quiet resting places though hail come down on the forrest and the city is brought low in humiliation." No matter what happens, God will give us peace in the midst of the storm if we TRUST HIM!
So, our heart is a barometer. It tells us if we are right with God or not. If we have peace, we are holy. If we don't have peace, we need to ask God into our heart to let Him tell us what lie we have been believing. Once the lie is exposed, we have to "humble ourselves and accept OUR guilt". I know that we can always point the finger and say, "Yes, but you don't know what this person did to me." It doesn't matter what others do to us, it matters how we respond to what others have done. If we respond in righteousness (to believe and trust God), we have peace. If we respond in disobedience, we have "raccoons" (anxieties, fears, insecurities). Once we accept our guilt, then we have to confess our sin. "God, I am sorry. I have sinned against You. I have___________ (fill in the blank). Please forgive me.
Once we confess our sin, God forgives us our sin and cleanses us from all unrighteousness. As far as the east is from the west is our sin from us, and we are "holy" once again and peace enters. Read Psalm 32 in the New Living Translation if possible. You will be shocked. This is the place of safety and rest you have been looking for. This is the "secret place" of the Most High that it talks about in Psalm 91. This is our warfare. Seek peace and find it. "He will keep thee in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee."
My friends, God is about to take us places we have never been before, and the coolest thing is that once we get there, we can invite others to join us. This is our inheritance. This is our power. This is our God. Blessings, my friends. Now 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 also will do it.
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".
I know that I am not off on what is about to happen - I see it everywhere. I see it when I open my Bible, it shouts at me from every page. I see it when I look at the news, I watch Glenn Beck and we keep up with Drudgereport and TheBlaze. I cannot believe what is happening right before our eyes, and nobody cares. Nobody is taking notice. It is crazy. What I don't know for sure is the time period. But let me tell you, in the spirit, it feels like the wind has picked up and the first pelts of rain are hitting windows. It feels like the windows should already be boarded up and we should be hunkering down to weather the storm.
I want to first tell you the purpose of this storm. It always helps when we know why something happens. The purpose of God's covenant is to bring life and peace, but this requires reverence from us. We will greatly revere God and stand in awe of His name. Then we will pass on to the people the truth of the instructions that we receive from Him. We will not lie or cheat, we will walk with Him, living good and righteous lives, and we will turn many from lives of sin. (Malachi 2:5-6) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and we really don't fear God much right now, but we will. The LORD says, "Look! I am sending My messenger, and He will prepare the way before Me. Then the LORD you are seeking will suddenly come to His Temple (us). The messenger of the covenant, whom you look for so eagerly, is surely coming," says the LORD of Heaven's Armies. But who will be able to endure it when He comes? Who will be able to stand and face Him when He appears? For he will be like a blazing fire that refines metal, or like a strong soap that bleaches clothes. He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross. He will purify the Levites, refining them like gold and silver, so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the LORD. Then once more the LORD will accept the offerings brought to Him by the people of Judah and Jerusalem, as He did in the past. (Malachi 3:1-4)
So the storm that is coming upon the whole earth (Isaiah 24) is coming to test us and to purify us. Malachi 3:5-6 says, "At that time I will put you on trial. I am eager to witness against all sorcerers and adulterers and liars. I will speak against those who cheat employees of their wages, who oppress widows and orphans, or who deprive the foreighers living among you of justice, for these people do not fear Me," says the LORD of Heaven's Armies. "I am the LORD, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed. Ever since the days of your ancestors, you have scorned My decrees and failed to obey them. Now return to Me, and I will return to you," says the LORD of Heaven's Armies.
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."