Witness Him Now
OK. I want to tell you what happened yesterday at church - October 13th. After the service we had a meal. I went out to see where they needed me to serve, and as I stood there in my spot a woman came up to me and started talking. She shared about her neighbor who had moved in next door four months ago. This lady had loaned her neighbor money several times in that time period, and she found out she was spending it on whiskey. She wanted to know how to deal with her neighbor. Then she said that the day before she went to check on her and this 65 year old woman was stark naked, screaming in her house. She didn't know how to help.
So I started speaking to her about speaking the truth in love and about taking others to Jesus. The truth will win if there is an open door into her heart, but I then said, "You cannot take on the burden of what you are seeing. Face Jesus and open your heart wide. Tell Him you are guilty and sorry for trying to take on the burdens of others." Ya'll, when she said this, she burst out crying, talking about her children and alcohol and she couldn't help.
Because she was distraught, I took her into our pastor's office to counsel with her. I had her face Jesus with her heart wide open, and I asked her if worry was in her heart. She said, "Yes." So I had her confess her sin saying, "Jesus, I am guilty and sorry for allowing worry in my heart. Would you forgive me!" Now every other time confession takes place worry leaves, but this time it didn't. I had her to command it to leave. It didn't leave. I commanded it to leave. It did not leave. So I looked at her and said, "Maybe we have the wrong spirit. Do you have fear in your heart?" I saw her eyes change. I could see fear. I then said, "Face Jesus with your heart wide open and tell Him you are guilty of allowing fear into your heart." At this point she started screaming, howling, spinning. OH MY! This normally does not happen.
I went to the door and asked someone to go get Todd or Rusty. Todd was eating, so I said, "GO GET RUSTY!" So I had her stop and face Jesus and open her heart wide. I said, "I am going to speak truth over you. I need for you to know that Jesus loves you and he loves your children." She started whaling. "He doesn't love me! He doesn't love me! How could He love me!" "STOP! You are believing a lie! Tell God you are guilty of believing a lie that God doesn't love you." All the time I was saying this, Rusty was speaking truth, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life." It took her a long time to say it, but when she did, I could see a change in her countenance. I asked her, "Did love enter?" She shook her head yes, and I could see it in her eyes - love was there to lead the way. Hallelujah, thank you Jesus! Jesus was in the house!
So then Rusty and I turned her face towards Jesus to confess fear. She started screaming. She started spinning. Her eyes rolled back and she was screeching. Rusty and I both at the same time started speaking truth over her, "God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind. God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind! GOD HAS NOT GIVEN YOU A SPIRIT OF FEAR, BUT OF POWER AND LOVE AND A SOUND MIND!" Over and over we said it until truth entered. She confessed her sin of allowing fear into her heart and the spirit left with a scream. WOW! I have never experienced anything like that. Rusty has, but not me, not during counseling.
That 4'11" seventy-one year old lady received freedom yesterday. We then began to speak truth over her life and over her children. She said that she has lived with fear her whole life. She said that when we were praying over her - A SOUND MIND - kept coming. She has struggled with that for years.
So I want to note what I witnessed in this sweet lady yesterday. First, she found deliverance because she wanted so desperately to help her neighbor. I think she saw herself in that 65 year old lady who was naked, screaming in her apartment. Second, the whole time she was howling, out of her mind, she kept saying, "Jesus!" Over and over again, she called on that name. It is written, "Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved!" It is only in the name of Jesus and the power of that name that any of us will make it. From deep within hearts right now, there is a cry. That's all it takes - call on His name. Keep calling on His name. Finally, I believe with all my heart that that woman will find complete freedom and when she does, her ministry will be toward others who are on the brink of losing their mind. Her heart is full of compassion. And I believe with all my heart that her children will be rescued because it is written, "I will fight those who fight you, and I will rescue your children."
So if you have read this post and you or someone you know is in the same situation and you want freedom, too, Rusty Howell and I meet on Monday nights at 6:30 at the High Mesa Youth Room in Brownwood, Texas. We are trying to teach what we know to others. We call this ministry LIVE FREE because whom the Son sets free is free indeed. We just have to learn how to walk in that freedom. When we have a little bit of time, we will revamp my web site to reflect this new step-by-step teaching. We will also co-author a book along with our brother Robin Howell. We want to take people from being a new born baby in Christ to a mature, unmovable, fruit-filled child of God. We do this as we expose lies and replace the lies with the truth. We have to reprogram our hard drive.
So if you are interested in learning how to live free and to take others to this glorious place, we invite you to join us. If you are not in the Brownwood area, message us. We would love to help in any way we can.
Blessings to you, my friends. May you, too, find freedom in Christ Jesus!
I have just a few minutes, but there is a lot on my mind this morning. I woke up thinking about heart-wide-open. Eight years ago God gave me a parable that rocked my world. With this parable, He placed the keys to the Kingdom of God in my hands, and I got to walk in that power for a short season. Then after a few months He said, "You can go through any door that I open, but you cannot open a door yourself." Then He proceeded to close every door. Hearts closed to me. God did it. But in the middle of all of that, God taught me how to keep my heart wide open toward those whose hearts were closed to me. This kind of sounds crazy. I hope you are picking up what I am putting down. Many of you who really know me know what I am saying because your heart closed to me for a time or a season too - it may still be closed, and that's OK.
So I tried to address this issue the other day with people I love the most. I don't know that they understood what I was saying. They kept saying, "So you are right, and we are wrong." No. It is not about right or wrong, it is about open or closed. Then this morning I woke up thinking about open and closed. What causes a person's heart to close to another? Sometime our hearts close towards those who smell different or look different or dress different or are of a different color or a different economic status or a different religion or a different political stance or of a different sexual orientation. Lots of things get in the way of heart-wide-open. Sometimes pain and sorrow will not allow a heart to open wide ever again. Sometimes - maybe all the time - being offended causes the heart to close tightly. Whatever it is, it has to be addressed because there can never be a relationship unless the heart opens wide to receive it. For some of you that sounds scary, but it is not scary if we let God heal all of the broken places and all of the things that are getting in the way of heart-wide-open.
The first person we have to open our heart wide to is God. Without His healing power we will never be able to stand heart-wide-open. It is too much. We are too vulnerable . Jesus said He is always standing at the door knocking, and He said that if anyone opens the door to Him, He will come in and sup with them. He will talk to us and counsel us and heal us and set us free. He will take us to His banqueting table where we will find plenty of good things to eat, and as he begins to mend all of our broken places, our heart will be able to open to others once again. His perfect love will cast out all of our fears, and then we will be able to turn towards others, even those who are different from us or who have abused us and spitefully used us, and we will be able to open our heart wide toward them. We will be able to forgive and let go. Our heart will turn and open, and it is at this point that we will be able to love those who hate us, bless those who curse us, and pray for those who spitefully use us. We will be able to open up to those who are different, those who do not look or act like we do. And even thought God said to mark those who cause divisions and stay away, we can still be on their side - even those who God will not let us hang around.
So heart-wide-open is a choice. We get to choose to close our heart to God and to people, or we get to choose to - I KNOW IT IS SCARY - O P E N our hearts wide to God and to people. Oh my goodness! If we could get hold of this one, it would change everything. It has already changed the ones I love most.
Anyway, I just wanted to say, "I love you guys. I want so desperately for hearts to open wide. I would do anything to see that happen, but I can't do it, only you can. But I will choose to stand here with heart-wide-open no matter what."
Blessings, my friends. May the LORD Himself teach us to live heart-wide-open.
This morning, October 17, 2019, I woke up early thinking about how none of us can change what people think of us or how they treat us. We can't make people love us or even like us. We can't make people be on our side. We can't control what another person chooses to say or do. All we can do is control how we respond to what is given to us.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:12-14, "Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. You can enter God's kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.
So woke up this morning with this scripture in my heart. It is a word for the hour. The narrow way that leads to life is to treat others like we would want them to treat us. We cannot control how others treat us, but we can control how we respond to them. This road is narrow and difficult and very few find it. I already knew this in my heart, but it is what came next that shook me to my core. I am still trembling.
"Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can't produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can't produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions." (15-20)
Oh my goodness, I want to cry. How do we treat our bosses?How do we treat our employees? How do we treat our parents? How do we treat our spouse? If we don't treat others like we would want to be treated, if we continue to turn our backs on people, if we continue to point our finger and speak wicked things, if we continue to mock and judge and condemn we are really a vicious wolf in sheeps clothing, a bad tree that produces bad fruit that will be chopped down and thrown into the fire someday. We have to stop closing our hearts to others. If we continue doing what we are doing, God will close His heart toward us.
"Not everyone who calls out to me, 'LORD! LORD!' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of My Father in heaven will enter. On Judgment day many will say to Me, "LORD! LORD! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name." But I will reply, 'I never knew you. Get away from Me, you who break God's laws." (21-23)
So guys, what started out being a simple word this morning has become something that is shaking me to the core. We have to start treating others with kindness and honor and respect. Jesus said, "When you do this to the least of these, you are doing it to me." How we treat others is actually how we are treating Jesus. So if we are rejecting a person, we are actually rejecting Jesus. If we are slandering, mocking, ridiculing others, we are doing the same to Jesus. When we act like this, Jesus doesn't know us. He only knows how to honor and glorify. He only knows kindness and goodness and faithfulness and self-control. He only knows love and joy and peace. He only knows light and truth. He only knows mercy and grace. In order to know us, we have to become how He is. He is unfailing love.
Blessings my friends. Meditate on this a while. It is huge. May we all see ourselves clearly, and may we all strive to enter the narrow gate by treating others like we want them to treat us.
Last week I made a video attempting to share my LIVE FREE message. At the time I made this, God spoke to me that there is so much more that God's people need to understand. He then placed on my heart to write again. The chapters in my book will be:
1. Live Free: How to get rid of anxieties, fears, insecurities, anger, guilt, condemnation, depression, sorrow, pain, etc. and live life with peace and joy.
2. Moving from judgment to honor: How to get judgment out of our heart and replace it with honor - for all people. WOW!
3. Understanding demon possession and the role of angels and demons in our life. How far can they go? What can they do?
4. Understanding Bible prophecy concerning the church: Each of the prophets had a specific message to the church. It will be eye opening to understand what God is doing and what He is about to do.
5. Praying the kingdom into existence: When our prayers focus on the heart instead of circumstances, the kingdom advances. I will share scriptures that will take us to the heart of our Father and what He is wanting to accomplish in our lives and in the lives of others. The kingdom will explode with power once we begin to pray this way.
Now each one of these subjects could be a complete book in itself, but the LORD wants me to share the entire message He has given me at one time. That is what my blog site has attempted to do - kind of unsuccessfully. If I can find someone to help me organize, I think this would be successful, too. BUT before I start this book something happened last night that I have to address.
Last night at our LIVE FREE meeting a guy came who could not receive. He could not understand or open up to what was being given. He wanted to, but he didn't know how. My brother Rusty took him outside to talk and finally asked him if there had ever been a time in his life that he asked Jesus to come into his heart and save him. He said, "No. I didn't know how." :). Rusty then led him to Jesus. If you have never asked Jesus into your heart, you will not be able to understand the things that I am writing. Only the Spirit can receive this message. "When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit's words to explain spiritual truths. But people who aren't spiritual can't receive these truths from God's Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can't understand what the Spirit means. Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. For, 'Who can know the LORD's thoughts? Who knows enough to teach Him?' But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ." (1 Corinthians 2:13-16)
We cannot understand what the Spirit is saying if we do not have the Spirit of the Living God living inside of us. So if you heart is yearning for something different, if you know that there is more to life than what you have been living, you, too, can receive this free gift that God offers to the whole world - ETERNAL LIFE. This life can only be found in Christ Jesus our LORD, the Son of the Living God. All you have to do is face Jesus and say, "I need you, LORD. I need you to come and save me. I am a sinner, and I am in need of a Savior. I can't save myself. Please come and rescue me. Set me free. Take out my heart of stone and put in a heart of flesh. I open my heart wide to you and ask You to come in and be LORD of my life. Teach me Your ways and show me Your paths. Make me wholly and completely yours for Your kingdom's glory. I ask this in the Mighty Name of Jesus. AMEN
My friends, if you prayed this prayer, will you please PM me? I want to pray for you and to help you in any way I can. LORD, send out Your light and Your truth and let them lead them, let them bring them to Your Holy Hill and to Your Tabernacle. I ask this in Jesus' name. AMEN
Blessings to you,
I am writing this post because someone needs to hear this. This should not have been my message, it should have been hers, but it is not, so I write.
Two weeks ago my little girl called me and asked if she could stay with me for a week. She needed to get away. For several months things had been tough in her world. At one point she turned her back on God and was in utter darkness for nearly a month. During that time enemies entered her heart again - things she thought were under the blood, conquered: anxieties, fears, depression, sorrow, rejection and abandonment. But in the middle of it all, she kept reaching for the hem of Jesus’ garment. The night before she called me, despair entered her and she wanted to take her life. She wanted the pain to end. So when she called, We gladly took her in.
She came to my house on a Tuesday. No one knew where she was, not even her children, only her husband. Her husband came over that night, and they laid on the trampoline and talked. They rested - hearts at peace for the first time in forever. Many things had been said and done on both sides of their marriage that caused pain and heart-ache, but God was beginning to heal. They laughed together. They cried. They talked. t was a miracle that their hearts were open to one another, but they were. The next night they went to church, and my little girl stood up in the middle of the congregation with her husband and asked for prayer. The church rallied around them, and one bold lady stood up with the microphone and said, “We can pray all day long, but you have to make decisions. You have to decide.” Then one man said, “When you are going through trials, go back and visit the altars - the places where God gave you victory before. Remember what He has done for you.”
The next night, a Thursday, my little girl was unsettled. She kept saying, “What did he say about altars?” Then she remembered the last time God spoke to her, it was about two weeks before everything went crazy. He spoke out of 1 Samuel 17 - David and Goliath, so she went back to that word, and as we lay on my bed, she went word by word and God spoke to her heart. What she saw was a giant - the enemy of her soul - fully protected with armor (lies) that shielded him. His weapons were heavy and thick, and he taunted her, “I defy the armies of Israel today. Send me a man (woman) who will fight me.”
Then she began to search her heart to find out who this giant was. It was bigger than adultery. It was that she had never been able to stay within boundaries. She had always had a hard time with clear standards. Goliath shouted, “Choose one man to come down here and fight me! If he kills me, then we will be your slaves. But if I kill him, you will be our slaves! I defy the armies of Israel today! Send me a man who will fight me!” And everyone was terrified and deeply shaken.
My little girl began to tell me of the different armies: the Philistines - depression, anger, sorrow, abandonment, rejection, worthlessness, hatred, shame, guilt - a whole army who will become our slaves if we defeat the giant. But if we don’t defeat the giant, our army - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control, light, truth, mercy, grace, wisdom, understanding - will become their slaves. Then David came out and heard the giant taunt them. The people said, “He comes out each day to defy Israel. The king has offered a huge reward to anyone who kills him.” Then my little girl said, “That’s like God. He offers a huge reward to anyone who kills the giant.”
Then David told Saul, “Don’t worry about this Philistine, I will go and fight him.” “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! The LORD who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!” Then my little girl began to recount all of the times that God had rescued her from the mouths of the lion and the bear. She, too, had known the power of the God of heaven’s armies. She had experienced first hand the God who rescues.
Then Saul tried to give David his armor. It didn’t fit, so he took it off. All he needed was five smooth stones. As she began talking, she said, “These stones are truth.” We can defeat this giant with the truth.” Then Goliath cursed David by the names of his gods saying, “Come over here and I will give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Then David said, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies - the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the LORD will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! And everyone assembled here will know that the LORD rescues His people, but not with sword and spear. This is the LORD’s battle, and He will give you to us!
Then my little girl sat there and talked about all that God was doing and all He had done. That night I felt like God had already defeated the giant and he was laying on the ground waiting for my little girl to cut off his head. All she had to do was take the sword out, but she would not. She did not want to stay within boundaries. She still wanted to do what she wanted to do. That day she asked me to pray Hosea 2 over her. She said, “Pray for the hedge of thorns so that I will not be able to catch my other lovers.” But I would not do it. “Sweet girl, that is a prayer of punishment. What God wants is for you to choose Him. Don’t make Him force you to follow Him.” But she said, “Listen to what it says: ‘But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there.’” I thought to myself, she doesn’t understand that she will be stripped naked and lose everything. I did not pray the prayer. I wanted her to choose God and not man. I wanted her to choose the truth and not a lie. I wanted her to choose life and not death.
The next day we went to a women’s conference. My little girl isolated herself. She allowed her own thoughts to take over. By the time we got back from the conference, she had made up her mind that she wanted to leave her husband and embrace another man. By the time she got home, she had rejected the truth and embraced a lie. Goliath won. His armies now have a right to take over. Her armies were defeated. God did not get glory, the enemy did.
So I haven’t heard from her in over a week. On Thursday of this week I heard from her husband that she decided to move in with the other man, and he was going to take the house. My heart sank. Truly, I did not know if she would live. She had chosen to go her own way. My heart grieved and wept. All I could see was Hebrews 6 in my mind. “For it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened - those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come (This all describes my little girl.) - and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they are nailing Him to the cross once again and holding Him up to public shame.” I could not breathe. She was holding her husband and her Savior up to public shame. But then I faced Jesus and I opened my heart wide. He said, “It is not over until I say it is over.”
The next morning He woke me up and gave me a word for my little girl. It is found in Ezekiel 16. It is her life story - beginning, middle, and end, and even though it is a hard word full of anger and punishment, in the end God’s unfailing love wins. His covenant with her will remain. So now I will pray the prayer that she wanted me to pray last week.
LORD, I am asking that You fence my little girl in with thorn bushes. Block her path with a wall to make her lose her way. When she runs after her lovers, she won’t be able to catch them. She will search for them but not find them. Then she will think, ‘I might as well return to my husband, for I was better off with him than I am now.’ She doesn’t realize it was You who gave her everything she has - the grain, the new wine, the olive oil; You even gave her silver and gold. But she gave all Your gifts to Baal.
So now God, You say, “I will take back the ripened grain and new wine I generously provided each harvest season. I will take away the wool and linen clothing I gave her to cover her nakedness. I will strip her naked in public, while all her lovers look on. No one will be able to rescue her from My hands. I will put an end to her annual festivals, her new moon celebrations, and her Sabbath days - all her appointed festivals. I will destroy her grapevines and fig trees, things she claims her lovers gave her. I will let them grow into tangled thickets, where only wild animals will eat the fruit. I will punish her for all those times when she burned incense to her images of Baal, and went out to look for her lovers but forgot all about Me,” says the LORD.
“But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there. I will return her vineyards to her and transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope. She will give herself to Me there, as she did Long ago when she was young, when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt. When that day comes,” says the LORD, ‘you will call Me ‘my husband’ instead of ‘my master.’…I will make you My wife forever, showing you righteousness and justice, unfailing love and compassion. I will be faithful to you and make you mine, and you will finally know Me as the LORD.
“In that day, I will answer,” says the LORD. “I will answer the sky as it pleads for clouds. And the sky will answer the earth with rain. Then the earth will answer the thirsty cries of the grain the grapevines, and the olive trees. And they in turn will answer, ‘Jezreel’ - ‘God plants!’ At that time I will plant a crop of Israelites and raise them for Myself. I will show love to those I called ‘Not loved.’ And to those I called ‘Not My people,’ I will say, ‘Now you are My people.’ And they will reply, ‘You are our God!’”
So now I know that hard times await my girl. I can’t even imagine, but the LORD will not let me be a part of it. For the last eight years I have held her and nurtured her. I have sheltered her. I have helped provide for her needs, both physical and spiritual, I have held her close to my heart, but now God says, “No more. She is mine. You will only get in the way.” If only she had thrown the stone. I know which stone would have killed the giant. “If you love Me, you will obey me.” That stone would have hit the mark, but she didn’t throw it. She wanted her own way.
But it is never too late. Throw the stone. Set the boundaries. Do what is right no matter the cost. It will happen. Boundaries will be set. It will just be a lot harder now. The consequences will be greater, but there can be peace in the middle of whatever circumstances you find yourself in if you shut the door to sin, if you set immovable boundaries, if you deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Jesus. There is only one way to get to heaven, and it is not our way.
Now I want to say, “I love you, girl. I always will. But I cannot be a part of your life any longer. I refuse to get in God’s way. I will let Him do whatever He has to do, and I will rejoice because I know the end.” If I could give you a word of advice, you know what it would be. No matter what happens: Fix your eyes on Jesus, guard your heart, and give thanks. God is always up to something good. He is mighty to save. Keep your eyes on the promises because God is faithful. His unfailing love endures forever.
All my love,
Everywhere I look I see marriages under attack. Christian marriages. People who love Jesus are making choices that should not be made. But what we don't understand is that how we treat our husbands or our wives is really how we are treating Jesus. Ephesians 5:31-32 says, "A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect (honor) her husband."
Women, we are called to bring honor and glory and respect to our husbands. That is our high calling, our purpose, our privilege. It doesn't say honor them if they deserve it, it says honor them. To honor someone is to give them "high esteem" and "high respect." It means we will never do or say anything that would cause anyone to think less of them. We do this by the way we look at them, treat them, dress, act. We do this by what we say. We do this by not allowing any other man close to us - we are set apart completely for one man only. Our actions and attitudes bring great honor to our husbands, or great dishonor. What we don't realize is that what we are really doing is bringing great honor or great dishonor to Jesus by our actions toward our husbands. Ouch.
Husbands, you are called to love your wives as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it. He gave His everything for a faithless, crazy, off-the-chain bride who was not near worthy of His love, but He did it anyway. When you choose to love your wife - despite her craziness, despite her lack of respect, despite her wayward heart - you represent God's unfailing love on this planet, and God gets much glory. 1 Corinthians 11:7 says, "A man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man."
Did you get that? Men, you are the image and glory of God. It is you we are looking to to see God and to see God's glory. Women, we are the glory of man. It is our privilege and honor to get to bring honor to our husbands. When we do this, he is then in a position to bring honor and glory to God. This is a great mystery. God uses marriages to bring His children into a right relationship with Himself. As we begin to do what God is asking us to do in our marriages - wives, honor your husbands, and husbands love your wives - we can see the plan of the ages unfolding in all its beauty right before our eyes.
Friends, I choose until my dying breath to bring honor to my husband. I choose to never do or say anything that would do otherwise. That good man will be lifted high in my heart and on my lips for all eternity. It is my prayer that many of you will choose to do the same. Because I choose to do this, I know that my Savior will get much praise and honor as well. This was the plan from the beginning of time, two become one. "I in you, you in Me, them in Us." One.
I pray the God of restoration come with power into your home. May God send His kindness that leads to repentance. May forgiveness come. May broken hearts be mended. May light and truth come to guide the way. May honor and respect and unfailing love march in and take over, and may joy and peace and laughter be fill your hearts and your home to overflowing. I ask this in the mighty name of Jesus. AMEN
Blessings, my friends,
The last month or two I have been meditating on some of the hard things that God is asking His bride to do. Hard things are happening in the home with husbands and wives. Hard things are happening at work with employers and employees. Hard things are happening with children and parents. Hard things are happening with relationships everywhere. And yet Jesus says, "This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command." (John 15:12-14)
Do you ever feel like you are having to lay your life down for someone else? Someone who does not appreciate you - in fact, someone who may be abusing you and rejecting you, spitting upon you? Do you ever feel like life is passing you by and you will be stuck in this wretched place for your whole life and never get a chance to truly live? Do you ever ask yourself, why would God ask me to live like this?
God said that we obey this commandment, to love one another - THERE IS NO GREATER JOY THAN TO LAY DOWN YOUR LIFE FOR YOUR FRIENDS. Then He goes on to say, "You are My friends if you do what I command." WOW! When we do hard things, we are actually doing it for Jesus, who is our friend. He said, "If you do what I command, I no longer call you slaves, because a master does't confide in His slaves. Now you are My friends.." (John 15:14-15)
When we choose to obey this commandment, to love one another, even in the hardest situations, we are choosing to lay down our life for our friend, Jesus. We are no longer slaves, but friends. This is a position of great honor and power, and joy. Did you hear that? JOY in the middle of hard relationships. How does that happen? Then Jesus said, "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." (John 15:16-17) When we choose to obey this command and LAY DOWN OUR LIFE for our friend Jesus, God makes sure we bear much fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. When we are in this position of loving one another, we are in the position where our Father can give us whatever we ask for in the name of Jesus. Oh my goodness! LOVE ONE ANOTHER!
"I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in Me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in May name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it." (John 14:12-14). Have you ever wondered why your prayers were not being answered? Maybe it is because we are not in position yet. Maybe God is waiting on us to obey Him so He can answer us. When we choose to love others in hard situations, we are actually choosing to love others like Jesus loved us. Do you think we weren't a hard person to love? We were/are. But Jesus chose to love us anyway and to give His life for us. Now He is asking us to do the same.
John 14:21-24 says, "Those who accept My commandments and obey them are the ones who love Me. And because they love Me, My Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal My self to each of them. Judas (not Judas Iscariot, but the other disciple with that name) said to Him, "LORD, why are you going to reveal yourself only to us and not to the world at large?" Jesus replied, "All who love Me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. Anyone who doesn't love Me will not obey Me. And remember, My words are not My own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me."
If we choose to turn our back on people, we are actually turning our back on Jesus. All who love Jesus will do what He says. When we love people, we are actually loving God. In hard situations we can choose to LAY DOWN OUR LIFE FOR OUR FRIEND JESUS. Trust me. It is so very worth it. "Since I live, you also will live. When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you." LOVE! God is love! Jesus is love! And now God is conforming His bride into His image. LOVE.
Blessings my friends. May the God of LOVE fill you to overflowing so that you, too, will be able to do the hard things. I ask this in the mighty name of Jesus.
I have to write right now. Monday several things happened that rocked my world. I can't get it out of my head.
It started out that I met a couple who came to the LIVE FREE meeting. Both of them knew Jesus well, and both needed freedom. The man had anger inside of him. He had to forgive himself. He found freedom. Then I turned to the girl and asked her if she had anxieties, fears, or insecurities. She said, "Yes." I asked her if she wanted freedom, and she said, "I've already made up my mind."
I didn't know what she meant, and her heart was closed. I told her, just tell me what you are thinking. If you bring it to the light, God can heal it, but if it remains in the darkness it has control. She didn't say anything for a while, then she said, "I have already made up my mind to kill myself." Oh my goodness! I took her to Jesus, and He revealed depression and unworthiness. After she got those out of her heart, as well as the spirit of suicide, I told her, "You have been believing lies, now let me replace the lies with the truth."
You are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of the Most High God. Before the foundation of the world, He called you and said, "You are mine. You are My workmanship (masterpiece) created in Christ Jesus for good works that He has prepared in advance that you should walk in." Now face Jesus and open your heart wide and let God hold you. Let Him tell you how much He loves you and how beautiful you are. Let Him tell you how worthy you are. And she set there and wept. If God had not rescued her that night I am convinced that there would have been a tragedy this week.
Then I left the church and went to see a friend. Her husband had called me earlier and said that he was scared for her, she had been talking crazy. When I got there, she was in a bad place. Earlier that day she had written letters to her children saying goodbye. She said the only thing that kept her from taking her life that day was that those letters were not good enough. This girl loves Jesus with all of her heart, but that day she was going to choose death instead of life. She said she wanted to end the pain. Then she said something that made me mad. She said, "You would have said something good at my funeral, wouldn't you?"
What good thing could I say about you? What could I say that would bring God any glory at all? That you served God for a while, but in the end you chose death instead of life? That God is not big enough to take your pain - because He has done it time after time? That is not true.
Then another friend who was trying to comfort and talk sense into my friend turned to me and said, "This was in my daughter's mind last week." WHAT? Three people in one day were put in my path who wanted to commit suicide. These are God's people. That day I realized two things. First, the spirit of suicide has been loosed upon the earth. Second, we have to run our race to the end or we do not get into heaven. I didn't know that until the girl asked me to say something good at her funeral, and there was nothing good I could say. The truth is that God has made us more than conquerors. His blood has purchased our freedom, but we have to let Him set us free. If we continue in willful sins, we have opened the door for the enemy to come into our life with everything he has. He can take our thoughts and make us crazy; he can take our health; he can take our finances; he can take our family; he can destroy everything we hold dear and then take our life. We have given him permission to do all of that when we willfully choose to be disobedient to God. He has a legal right in the courts of heaven to do it all. .
Guys, we have a very real enemy who wants to kill, steal, and destroy, and he knows his time is short. He is doing everything he can to entice us and deceive us. He is filling our head with lie after lie if we let him. We have to turn our hearts toward God and confess our sins and turn our back on our sins so that they will no longer be the open door to the enemy. We have to let God heal us. He bore our pain and He carried our sorrows. He took our sins and nailed it to the cross. We need to let Him have it all. We have to begin embracing the truth. Death is not our portion, life is. Choose life.
Sound the trumpet in Jerusalem! Raise the alarm on My Holy Mountain! Let everyone tremble in fear because the Day of the LORD is upon us. It is a day of darkness and gloom, a day of thick clouds and deep blackness. Suddenly, like dawn spreading across the mountains, a great and mighty army appears. Nothing like it has been seen before or will ever be seen again. Fire burns in front of them, and flames follow after them. Ahead of them the land lies as beautiful as the Garden of Eden. Behind them is nothing but desolation; not one thing escapes. (Joel 2:1-3)
THIS IS SPIRITUAL, and it is happening right now. There is a mighty army that is sweeping across the land as I type this that wants to destroy families, destroy children, destroy marriages, destroy everything that is near and dear to our heart. This army marches forward, never breaking rank. They never jostle each other; each moves in exactly the right position. They break through defenses without missing a step. They swarm over the city and run along its walls. They enter all the houses, climbing like thieves through the windows. The earth quakes as they advance, and the heavens tremble. The sun and the moon grow dark, and the stars no longer shine. (Joel 2:6-10)
Because there is no light, confusion rules the land. We blindly grope and feel, trying to find our way. Fear and worry are sleeping in our beds. Terror is not far behind. Anger and frustration and bitterness guard our doors. They hold us hostage. Peace is nowhere to be found. Fear grips all the people; every face grows pale with terror.
Can you see it? Can you feel it? It is here. The Day of the vengeance of the LORD and the year of His favor is upon us. "He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the LORD's favor has come, and with it, the Day of God's anger against their enemies." (Isaiah 61:2). This is the Day in which we are living, and God is at the head of this enemy army. "The LORD is at the head of the column. He leads them with a shout. This is His mighty army, and they follow His orders. The Day of the LORD is an awesome, terrible thing. Who can possibly survive?" (Joel 2:11)
That is why the LORD says, "TURN TO ME NOW, WHILE THERE IS TIME! Give Me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don't tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead." Return to the LORD your God, for He is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish. Who knows? Perhaps He will give you a reprieve, sending you a blessing instead of this curse. Perhaps you will be able to offer grain and wine to the LORD your God as before. (Joel 2:12-14)
Friends of mine, God is not playing. The time has come. "Let the nations be called to arms. Let them march to the valley of Jehoshaphat (decision). There I, the LORD, will sit to pronounce judgment on them all. Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, tread the grapes, for the winepress is full. The storage vats are overflowing with the wickedness of these people."
Thousands upon thousands are waiting in the valley of decision. There the Day of the LORD will soon arrive. The sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will no longer shine. The LORD's voice will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth will shake. But the LORD will be a refuge for His people, a strong fortress for the people of Israel. (Joel 3:12-16)
For some of you, this is not happening to you, it is happening to those you love. So what do we do? "Blow the ram's horn in Jerusalem! Announce a time of fasting; call the people together for a solemn meeting. Gather all the people - the elders, the children, and even the babies. Call the bridegroom from his quarters and the bride from her private room. LET THE PRIESTS, WHO MINISTER IN THE LORS'S PRESENCE, stand and weep between the entry room to the Temple and the altar. Let them pray, "Spare your people, LORD! Don't let your special possession become an object of mockery. Don't let them become a joke for unbelieving foreigners who say, 'Has the God of Israel left them?'" Then the LORD will pity His people and jealously guard the honor of His land. (Joel 2:15-18)
The day of decision has come, but it is so dark. People are blind and can't see, deaf and can't hear. God is asking us to stand in the gap - "SPARE YOUR PEOPLE, O LORD! DO NOT GIVE YOUR INHERITANCE AS A REPROACH AMONG THE NATIONS!" I ask this in the Mighty Name of Jesus. AMEN
The last several years I have been seeking to understand in the spiritual realm what I am witnessing in the natural realm. I have been shocked to find that God is using Theater to open my eyes to what has been and what is happening in our world today. Earlier this year, I watched Medea and A Streetcar Named Desire, and God spoke volumes to my heart to give me understanding. Last night, I watched 9 to 5, and I could see history unfolding right in front of my eyes. This production was magnificent. I love the director, my daughter-in-law played one of the lead parts, and a really close friend of mine played one of the other lead parts. They were brilliant They were funny. They were insightful. They were talented. And they were right-on in their portrayal of what happened in our society in the late 70s. I sat mesmerized as I watched the seeds of feminism being planted.
Now I know that many people will be offended by what I am going to say in this blog, but I have to speak what I am seeing. When something is brought to the light, it can be defeated, but when it remains in the dark, the darkness wins. Last night, feminism was brought to the light. Now I want to look at it, because when feminism entered the picture, men were no longer allowed to take the lead. Since the late 70s men have been systematically emasculated. Hollywood portrays men as weak and ignorant, and women have bought into it. This false assumption has entered into the hearts of women everywhere. Women no longer allow men to take the lead in matters of discipline or finance, and if they are challenged, the war is on, and men just don't want to fight this war. It has now become "politically correct" to always let the woman have her way. There is hell to pay if we don't.
In the play 9 to 5 there was a boss who mistreated all of his employees, especially the women. He was power hungry, and he was degrading to women. The women finally got fed up and took control, and the audience applauds, but I am looking at this story with new eyes.
Life is not fair. It never will be. We will come upon all kinds of unfair treatment in our lifetime, and God knows all the details of every trial we ever face. He has a plan for it all, and that plan is to conform us into the image of His Son, but to get there, we have to do things His way. Peter talks about this very issue in 1 Peter 2:13-25. "You who are slaves (employees) must submit to your masters (employers) with all respect. Do what they tell you - not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are cruel. For God is pleased when, conscious of His will, you patiently endure unjust treatment."
Let's stop right here for a minute. Can you see it? God wants us to SUBMIT to our employers with RESPECT, even if they do not deserve it. Even if they are cruel, if we submit to them with respect, we are pleasing God. The problem is that "self" gets in the way. We get offended and hurt, and we think that life is not fair. We get discontent, and then we start grumbling and complaining. We say things about our boss that should never be said, even if it were true, because when we say these things, we are disrespecting the authority that God has placed over us, and God is not pleased. So Peter goes on to say, "Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you. For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you."
If we despise the authority that God has placed over us, and "all authority is from God," we are doing wrong. God is not glorified in us, and He is not pleased. The Bible says that Jesus LEARNED obedience through the things He suffered. I hate to say it, but suffering is part of the process of becoming like Christ, and sometimes God uses bosses to bring us to a place where we are being conformed into the image of His Son. Peter goes on to say, "Christ is your example, and you must follow in His steps."
He never sinned,
nor ever deceived anyone.
He did not retaliate when He was insulted,
nor threaten revenge when He suffered.
He left His case in the hands of God,
who always judges fairly.
He personally carried our sins
in His body on the cross
so that we can be dead to sin
and live for what is right.
By His wounds
you are healed.
Once you were like sheep
who wandered away.
But now you have turned to your Shepherd,
the guardian of your souls.
Jesus never tried to fight back. He didn't try to get even or get revenge. He didn't retaliate. He left His case in the hands of God who always judges fairly. Jesus then says that He paved the way so that we can do the same thing He did. Even though we were once like sheep who wandered away - disrespecting our bosses - disrespecting men in general, we now have turned to our Shepherd Jesus, the guardian of our souls, and He will keep us safe and teach us to honor and respect those who are in authority over us once again.
Then Peter goes on to say in 1 Peter 2, "In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands." God wants us to SUBMIT to and HONOR our husbands just like He wants us to submit to and honor our bosses - even if they are cruel. Now, I know that sometimes a woman has to leave for safety sake. Face Jesus with your heart wide open, and He will tell you what you have to do, but most of the time, God is asking us to do the hard thing - submit and honor people who may not appreciate or deserve it. "This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful, they put their trust in God and accepted the authority of their husbands. For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do."
So when the feminist movement started, women stepped out from under the covering that God had ordained for them, and they became a covering for themselves. Women became the head over man. This is out of order, and God cannot bless it. Now we have a whole generation of women who think that they do not need a man. This generation of women think that if a man will do what she wants him to do, she will keep him around. If not, she will make his life miserable or leave. After all, she is the one who knows best. I have a nephew who is 21 years old, and he does not date. He is not looking for a woman because 95% of all the women he knows do not think they need a man. He is waiting for one who does.
So what did I take away from last night's play? In my lifetime we have messed up so much. The 60s brought in a disdain for authority - "Down with the man!" It also ushered in the hippie movement. Woodstock was another milestone. People threw off all restraint. Drugs. Sex. A disrespect for all authority. The 70s began the emasculation of men. And now, no one can tell us what to do. I am going to sleep with who I want to sleep with - male or female. I am going to do what I want to do, regardless of what anyone in authority says. After all, the police are the bad guys. Parents are the bad guys. Teachers are the bad guys. Christians are the bad guys. Anyone who tries to restrain us are bad guys, ignorant and old-fashioned.
Who would have thought that all of that would enter my heart from just seeing a play. Thank you Jesus for that play. Thank you Jesus the feminist movement is brought to the surface so that we can see it for what it is. Thank you Jesus for eyes to see and ears to hear and a heart to understand so that we can turn in our heart and live. Thank you Jesus that even though we have been like sheep who have wandered away, now we can turn to our Shepherd, the guardian of our souls, and You will be there with open arms to receive us.
So now, LORD, I ask that this message go forth with power to set the captives free and heal the broken hearted, to give sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf, to comfort those who mourn. God, turn our hearts like water toward You once again. Forgive us for undermining authority. We are guilty. Forgive us for not letting our husbands take the lead. We are guilty. Forgive us for thinking we know better than they do. We are guilty. LORD, You said that if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their sins, You will come and heal our land. Come and heal our land, LORD, I ask this in the mighty name of Jesus. AMEN
Blessings, my friends,
The scripture says, "May you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers."