Diligent Bible study – NOW!

Image result for Free picture Of Car console. Size: 166 x 106. Source: pixnio.comRedeeming the time. “Oh, Father! This is Yours!  Help me get these ideas in order. This is the fourth revision. . . “ I looked at the marked-up pages spread across the desk, on top of an open Amplified and New International Bible and, once again, began at the first page. Thirty minutes later, the printer hummed, I stacked the fresh pages in the center of the desk, put crackers and a bit of chocolate into two baggies and headed out the door for pickup. In the car, I recited “Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8 . . . .”  At stoplights, I glanced at the index card I kept tucked in the console, my memory work this week while in the car. As I waited in the line of cars at the elementary school, I prayed. I prayed for salvation for the children and for Divine protection from Satan’s vicious attacks.

Are you feeling the same sense of urgency to be about our Father’s business? As godlessness increases day by day, desire to do my part in the battle intensifies. I hear reports of revival fires already springing up and I eagerly await the great outpouring of the Holy Ghost that prophets have said is coming soon. I want to be doing my part now, and I want to be ready for what is coming.

For months, prophets have urged us to draw closer to God—now. We need ears that hear Him clearly when He starts judging the evil and evil-doers now seeking to destroy all that is godly. Deep, diligent Bible study is essential to develop hearing ears, so I began writing about that. As usual, the topic expanded as I searched the Word for guidance, so this is the first of several writings.  Why, you may ask, is diligent Bible study so essential right now?

We must study the Bible diligently now because:

Image result for free picture of voice of god[1] God says to. That alone is far more than enough.

[2] We need God’s peace to withstand the evil attacking our nation and our world. With lyin’ Biden, who stole the election, leaving hundreds, possibly thousands, of American citizens and allies behind in Afghanistan to be tortured and murdered by radical extremists; giving $85 billion worth of military equipment to terrorists; launching an all-government push to keep allowing millions of babies to be murdered; threatening to require everyone in the nation to wear face diapers and get an injection whether they want it or not while letting thousands of illegals—untested for covid—cross our southern border; with radical leftists seeking to pass legislation that would allow children as young as five to choose gender-changing surgery; with a homosexual choir singing “We are coming for your children”; with teachers embracing critical race theory. . . and I will stop there.

Can you truly say, and know in your heart, that—even in all these things–we are more than conquerors? (Romans 8:37) You can IF you have the peace that comes from knowing God is still in control, nothing has taken Him by surprise, He will preserve His children no matter what, and He WILL make all this “work together and fit into a plan for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.” (Romans 8:28, AMPC).

<<Truths like that must be heart knowledge, hidden inside my
inmost being, so that Satan cannot steal, kill, or
destroy those truths and so that the world cannot twist or pervert them and
so that my own flesh cannot tarnish them. >>

[3] We must be ready. God has already begun the greatest world-wide revival of all time. He needs believers prepared to share Bible truths and His wisdom with fledgling converts and returning prodigals. To do that, we must have genuine faith, faith that comes from understanding what God says. And that understanding comes from the Word (Romans 10:17). We must be “. . . made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.” (2 Timothy 2:21, NIV).  We must be ready to explain why we believe and hope in God (I Peter 3:15), to explain how God wants us to live day by day, and to explain how to engage in spiritual battle. That requires diligent, persistent Bible study.

<<Living by and skillfully sharing Bible truths is not
an option in our present world.>>

I strongly urge you to read the book “Vessels of Fire and Glory” by Mario Murillo. You will understand what God is doing in our world and why we must get ready—now—to be used by God. We must have hearing ears, and we must let God make us holy, devoted to and prepared for His service. How? One essential step is letting Him wash us with water through the Word (Ephesians 5:26).

Image result for free picture of bathing a toddlerAre you being washed thoroughly? Daily?  Letting God clean us up through the Word requires diligent effort. Does a three-year-old child get clean by sprinting through a garden hose once? No, that little child needs to sit in a tub of water—for several minutes–while the loving parent washes arms and legs as well as inside ears, between tiny toes and under chubby necks encrusted with dust and sweat. Little children need a serious bath. God’s little children need serious Bible study!

<<Life-cleansing Bible study requires diligence>>.

One method of diligent Bible study. If you already diligently study the Word – press on! You may not need this writing. But if not, know that diligent Bible study will help you: (1) draw forth meanings missed during casual reading or study, (2) see specific things God wants you to do, and (3) hide the Word in your inmost being.

Listed below are the first five guidelines for one way of diligent Bible study. I pray it helps your Bible study be maximally fruitful. Anything less than diligent, systematic Bible study–as I learned the hard way—deprives us of God’s best.

The first five guidelines are:

A. Do read the Bible through each year.
B.  But do not just read – STUDY.
C. And do not just study—study FOR YOURSELF.
D. And do not just study for yourself—study IN YOUR AREAS OF NEED.
E. Let Holy Spirit teach you—DIRECTLY!

Let’s look at the first two guidelines.

Image result for free picture of bible[Guideline A]  Do read the Bible through–repeatedly. I once heard a Bible teacher unintentionally downplay the importance of reading the Bible through repeatedly. The teacher was stressing that we must not merely read but study the Bible. I wholeheartedly agree!  I also believe, in addition, that it is essential to read the entire Bible through repeatedly, throughout your life. Each word of the Bible is put there by God–on purpose. You can find many different Bible-in-a-year plans, which I recommend if you are now reading through the entire Bible for the first time. Such plans include passages from the Old and New Testaments and, usually, the Psalms.  If you have never at least once read through the entire Bible, all I can say is GET BUSY!

I recall, as a new convert, referencing the beautiful nature passages in Job I had read for the first time and being stunned to hear that the person I was speaking with, who had known Jesus for decades, had never even read Job. Fortunately, God instilled a burning desire to study the whole Bible even back then so that particular believer’s disobedience did not lead me along a similar path of neglecting the whole of God’s Word. Yes, some books are hard to understand but God will teach you if you just try (as we will talk about later).

Image result for free picture of calendarGetting the basics. One reason we need to keep going through the entire Bible is so that we hear the basic doctrines of our faith, at least briefly, once a year. Martin Luther required his pastors to “preach every biblical doctrine within a year.” (Vessels of Fire and Glory, p. 80). I know from experience it is too easy to stay in our favorite books or passages and, in so doing, greatly harm ourselves and grieve God. And unfortunately, I also know from experience that not every pastor follows Martin Luther’s requirement. Unless you plan for it, you will likely NOT hear or read the entire Bible in your lifetime, not even once.  How dare we neglect what so many have given their lives for, most of all, Jesus Himself!

After you have read the Bible through a few times, as the Lord leads, you could keep going with the same or a similar plan. You could also make your own plan to, for example, read some chapters from the Old and some from the New Testament each day as well as Psalms and Proverbs. You can quickly see, however, that you need a definite, written, systematic plan to keep you on track. Write your plan down and keep it updated.

Read attentively. Besides reading the entire Bible, it is essential to read attentively, not merely dashing through the daily chapters.  Develop the habit of pausing to reflect, while you read and after you finish that day’s reading. Reading lessons for children include reading comprehension exercises, where students must reflect upon what they read and answer questions about it. I need the same to help me focus.

<<Stop and talk with God about what
He means in those verses you are reading.>>

Image result for free picture of clock grandfatherIt is certainly preferable to read through the entire Bible every year. Doing that as well as deep studying will take an investment of time, of course, and perhaps much more than you now set aside. I ask you: which is more important, hearing God or being entertained two or three hours each evening? If you have obligations like childcare or work that truly do take most hours of your day, ask and God will make time for your Bible reading and study. Perhaps you can do your Bible “reading” by listening during chores or driving time and do Bible study in the time God helps you carve out. You are asking for something in complete accordance with His will; He WILL answer, as He says in I John 5:14-15.

SPECIAL NOTE HERE: If you are a new believer, I recommend the Bible reading plan Dr. Timothy LaHaye presents in his book “How to Study the Bible for Yourself.”  Dr. LaHaye’s plan points the young Christian to which  of the 1190 chapters in the Bible are especially important for new believers. The entire plan is given in Chapter Five.  I recommend getting your own copy of this book, because it is filled with excellent advice.  Pastor LaHaye passed away in 2016, at the age of 90, and I personally owe him a great debt for writing just this book alone. It pointed my newly-converted heart in the right direction regarding Bible study.  Below is his recommended Bible reading plan for the first year of a new Christian’s life.

FIRST YEAR 
> First John seven times
> John twice
> Mark twice
> Galatians through Philemon
> Luke
> Acts
> Romans
> The New Testament twice

Dr. LaHaye gives a plan for the second and third year as well. I say: GET THE BOOK! It also includes excellent chapters about how to study the Bible.

Image result for free picture of person studying[Guideline B] Do not just read – STUDY! Make time for Bible study daily, if at all possible. We get out of anything according to what we put into it. We find more of God—His strength, His power, His love, His wisdom, and His presence– in His Word—IF we give our utmost effort. God tells us in 2 Timothy 2:15:

Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.“ (AMPC).

This well-known verse tells me that I have reason to be ashamed if I do not do my very best to analyze, divide and handle the Word properly and skillfully – and I cannot do that if I only read.

<<Actual studying—as opposed to mere reading–involves
a level of effort beyond mere reading.>>

Beginning learners just read sentences and learn facts put in careful order by someone else. Successful high school students study. They concentrate and devote much time and effort to understanding sentences and paragraphs in their chemistry book. Why? They know they must conduct successful experiments in the lab to pass the course.

Even many superficial read-throughs will not earn a passing grade when the test requires application, wherein that student must understand why and how, when and where, etc.  Applying knowledge, or facts, requires study. It requires interacting with that knowledge, and how to use it, not just hearing or reading about it.

<<We often fail tests in our walk with Christ if
we do not go beyond merely reading the Word
.>>

ANOTHER SPECIAL NOTE HERE: If you have never specifically done so, I recommend studying the chapters listed below (on page 86 of Dr. LaHaye’s book.)  These chapters are essential for Christians to master.

  • Ephesians 5
  • Galatians 5
  • John 14-17
  • Romans 6, 8, and 12
  • I Timothy 2
  • Ephesians 4, 6
  • And I would add Acts 1, 2 and 10

After these chapters listed above, if you have not identified more chapters to prioritize, Dr. LaHaye offers a second list as follows:

  • John 1, 3-5
  • Matthew 5-7, 13, 24-25
  • Matthew 26-28
  • John 11-12, 18-21
  • Acts 23
    I Corinthians 6, 15
  • 2 Corinthians 4-6
  • Proverbs 3
  • Psalms 1, 27, 37

Have you digested First John? And if you have never done so, regardless of how long you have known Jesus, I strongly urge you to first read the little book of First John straight  through seven times. And then thoroughly study it. One key purpose of the book is to reassure those who have eternal life that they are indeed saved from hell. It will also show you if you have not truly made Jesus your personal Lord and Savior.

It is a meaty book, it will enhance your discernment, and it will give you talking points of pure gold.

Next time. Next time we will explore how to study the Bible for yourself, in your areas of need, with Holy Spirit directly teaching you.

See the source imageBe blessed, fellow pilgrim, as we press on, with the lamp of God’s Word illuminating  our path and the light of His Word illuminating the path ahead. (Psalm 119:105)

Fresh focus for www.wordsofhopeandhealing.com

FRESH FOCUS. There is a renewed focus for www.wordsofhopeandhealing.com, which is  to give you hope and help in your daily life so that you can,
>>   live a holy life before God,
>>  press on to spiritual maturity,
>>  and take your position in the great awakening God has already begun.

Image result for Free Picture Of Focus. Size: 156 x 100. Source: www.pixelstalk.netDEAR FRIEND, this website is changing. When I began blogging in 2016, I aimed to share hope and healing for emotional and spiritual hurts through stories showing what happens to an ordinary person who uses God’s Word like the medicine it actually is. (Proverbs 4:20-22).  However, as I dug deeper into the Word, I fell deeper in love with God and more convinced of the power of His Word to change lives.

Sensing God’s loving direction, the inspirational, short-story type writing focused more on the Word and on spiritual maturity, not only on emotional healing. All the while, as I asked God to grow me up, as I joined in on intercessory prayer calls, God urged me to learn more about current events from His perspective and more about modern-day prophets and spiritual warfare.

That is how I found fresh fire, fresh focus, and my personal assignment in the Kingdom.

Trying to cope with this world can so damage and infect your soul that coping becomes your main focus. I aim to focus you on God, His Word and Holy Ghost power. In so doing, I pray I can help you fulfill the one purpose of your life as a believer.

Image result for free Picture of Vessel of Honor. Size: 158 x 110. Source: www.slideserve.comYOUR ASSIGNMENT AND MINE. We both have an ASSIGNMENT in God’s Kingdom, not a purpose, rather an assignment.  What? You say you already know your purpose? Listen to Mario Murillo in his must-read book “Vessels of Fire and Glory”.  Mario says that:

“Jesus is the one with a purpose and we have an assignment within that purpose.”

“What is Christ’s purpose on earth? First John 3:8 says, “He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”

Your assignment in the army of God is your individual expression and extension of Christ’s destruction of the works of the devil. You are a destroyer of the works of the devil. God will give you a way to do it that is all your own.

Until that gets through to you—until you admit and agree to those terms—God will remain silent about your assignment.” (p. 116-117)

That is what I experienced, and let me tell you: once you find your assignment, look out! God will pour out on you more than you can ask or imagine or even dream about. What you have now of God in your life will be as a trickle compared to a mighty river. Zealously, passionately give God all you have, and watch what He does.

Don’t dare entertain doubts about qualifications or lack of time, health or other resource. Someone said, “God does not call the equipped. He equips the called.” Beloved, God has called each of us into the harvest. He WILL equip you.

I aim to help you grow even more than you have, to help you learn how to apply the Word and Holy Ghost power more effectively, and to help you fulfill your assignment in our world today.

HOPE AND HELP FOR YOU. I offer you hope and help—concrete, practical help—-as you grow in maturity and consistency. Living a consistently victorious daily life, growing up in God, and finding your assignment is hard work. We all need all the support we can get! There are no shortcuts but I aim to shine the light of God’s truth on the path before you. Though not perfect, God has—through His Word and Holy Ghost power–trained me to keep fairly consistent victory.

WHY LISTEN TO ME? If your spirit does not bear witness with what I say, then do not listen. But if you are stirred and desire to know more—more about consistent, victorious living, more about applying God’s Word, more about the Spirit-filled life and understanding God’s activity in our current world—here is what I offer.

HELP IN WALKING AND WARRING. I am offering to help you keep growing, to walk in the fullness of the Spirit and to start engaging in the battle. Regarding things of the Spirit and the spiritual battle waging today, as a Spirit-filled believer for 40 years, I explain, from a foundational level, what might seem strange, even unbiblical to you if you have not been around Pentecostal believers. You may have doubts and fears about talking in tongues, laying on of hands, words of knowledge, prophecy and other facets of Pentecost. Let me assure you: they are all Biblical. You may have seen God’s gifts misused and even some counterfeits, but His gifts are in operation today in millions of hearts across His beloved earth.

Image result for Free Picture of Holy Spirit. Size: 206 x 110. Source: standrewsgreencastle.orgDO NOT BELIEVE LIES ABOUT GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT! One key point–Do not believe the enemy’s lie that such things are not biblical. C.S. Lewis said one of Satan’s most effective lies is that he does not exist. Satan uses the same tactic to keep people from using the unlimited devil-smashing power source of the Holy Spirit for fruitful witnessing and living a holy life.

Though not an expert, I understand one thing thoroughly enough to explain basic facts and teach Biblical guidelines–how to apply the Word and Holy Ghost power to mature the sincere believer into consistency.

I can also help you start learning what God is doing in our world and point you to people with decades of experience and knowledge about that, people with whose work I am acquainted.

HOW DID GOD GET ME ON THIS PATH? Desperation led me to apply God’s Word like the medicine it is to break the bondage of depression and fear so severe that they were life-controlling. Continuing in the Word and the power of a Spirit-filled life trained me to maintain victory and to be about my Father’s business, rather than my own featherweight purposes.

In all the writings, I show how all that looks in clear, easy to follow steps, saturated with practical application of God’s Word and fully leaning on Holy Ghost power.

Image result for Free Picture of framed in House. Size: 153 x 110. Source: www.flickr.comWE ALL NEED A FOUNDATION FOR NEW THINGS. Having a framework of basic understanding about anything helps you progress faster. This is especially critical if what I have been saying is new or just plain strange-sounding to you.

Learning and retaining and applying what you learn works best when you have a framework to which you can attach new ideas. If you hear teaching and do not understand the basic terms and principles of that topic, you will have nothing to help you retain and apply that knowledge. Try building a house by nailing horizontal wooden beams to vertical beams made of cardboard. I can provide a solid foundation of vertical beams for you to build upon.

I can provide that framework because I have been there, skeptical and uneducated in these matters but wanting desperately to please God. I am mindful of what might need explaining. Also, because I am an ordinary person, I am assured that what worked for me will work for you. I strive to communicate clearly, step by step, what God did as I followed Him. I know how helpful simple summaries of complex topics can be as well as previews, definitions, diagrams, flow charts and memory tips

Image result for Free Picture of Child jumping into father's arms. Size: 112 x 106. Source: forwardfertility.comHEALING AND GROWING. I am offering to help you grow, which includes having the Word and God’s spirit occupy their rightful place in your heart and your conduct. We do not know what that feels like until we start doing it. If you now struggle with emotional problems, all this might sound too strong for you right now. Be assured: it is not! The way to healing is to jump into God’s arms and let Him heal while He grows you up in ALL areas, not just where your heart now hurts. He did that for me, and I want to share those stories with you.

Just as God had a bigger assignment for me, so He has for you, no matter the struggle that may now hinder you. He has an assignment for you in this world-wide revival now happening. Yes, you!

ARE YOU ENGAGED IN THE WORLD? Believers today must participate in the world-wide revival now going on because that is what God is doing in the world today. You can participate by targeted prayer, getting informed and telling others, and in many other ways. If you listen to mainstream media, if you do not hear news from godly sources, and if you do not follow God’s modern-day prophets, you might not perceive the fierceness of the battle taking place all around us in the unseen, spiritual realm. You also might not know that world-wide revival has begun. This is what many are calling the Third Great Awakening.

Image result for free picture of jesus and the worldTHE THIRD GREAT AWAKENING. It has already begun—the greatest spiritual awakening earth has seen. The prophets are saying this awakening will be even greater than the one that started the Jesus movement of the 1960s, when Holy Spirit simply overwhelmed people outside churches and hippies walked into churches, wanting to know more about God and what had happened to them.

These last few years, while God has worked mightily behind the scenes to clean up and to expose the evil and filth in our nation and the world, He has already begun this greatest move of God, starting with thousands saved and miraculous healings in tent revivals in California, one of the most left-leaning, anti-God states. These revivals are spreading as God sends His Holy Ghost power. Pastors are smashing denominational walls as they gather together to equip and encourage each other to take their part in this awakening.

The darkness and evil of our present world has made people desperate for light and all that is good. The fields are ripe. God has already begun His harvest. World-wide revival is upon us.

WILL YOU PARTICIPATE?  If you do choose not to participate in this next great move of God, you will be not just be on the sidelines. Jesus says in Matthew 12:30 “He who is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with Me scatters.” Trying to stay neutral and uninvolved in the battle now going on means you are against God.

If you decide to join the battle (and I pray you do!) you do not have two years to conquer addiction or depression or other life-controlling problems, to press on to maturity, to learn to walk in the fullness of the Spirit, and to find your place in God’s mighty army. God is doing great and fearsome and wonderful things NOW. God needs ALL His warriors engaged in the fight NOW. That is why the focus of this website is more than ever on helping you grow and mature.

I aim to point out snares in your path so you can drink deeply of Living Water and feast on the Bread of Life as God grows you up and helps you walk further along that narrow path.  Notice I said as “God grows you up”, not me. I am even now nudging you toward Him as hard as I can. Righteousness with God and skill in applying His Word and His Holy Ghost power is necessary to overcome this world and destroy the works of the devil.

God is exposing evil and has already begun the Great Awakening. We must fulfill our assignments! Sharing what I learn is one way I am gratefully fulfilling my assignment. I am excited beyond words to share this new and deeper hope, this new and deeper healing and fulfilling of God’s purpose, the reason He sent Jesus for us—to destroy the works of the devil. (I John 3:8)

Image result for free picture of pressing on to the goalLet us follow Paul as he followed Christ (I Corinthians 11:1) and press on to maturity. Let us make Philippians 3:12-16 our aim. Let us say, with Paul:

12 Not that I have already obtained it [this goal of being Christlike] or have already been made perfect, but I actively press on so that I may take hold of that [perfection] for which Christ Jesus took hold of me and made me His own.

13]Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have made it my own yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,

14 I press on toward the goal to win the [heavenly] prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

15 All of us who are mature [pursuing spiritual perfection] should have this attitude. And if in any respect you have a different attitude, that too God will make clear to you.

16 Only let us stay true to what we have already attained.

Image result for free picture of praying hands and bibleIf you think I am too “far out”. If talking in tongues, prophecy, the laying on of hands for miraculous healing, and other elements of the Spirit-filled life offend you, you might reject my words, for now. I pray, though, that when you get desperate for the power of a Spirit-filled life, you will be back.

Whether you use this website now or not, I pray God stirs you up mightily and gives you no rest until your heart burns—and remains–white-hot with holy zeal!

Grace to you!
Freda

When the enemy has wearied us

Image result for free picture of a winding pathJust keep going. Dear friend, I want to encourage you to just keep going forward with God, just keep waiting in active faith and expectation, no matter what your current circumstance. Yes, life is hard at any time but especially in these turbulent days when evil is being called good and good is being called evil (Isaiah 5:20-21), these times when Satan is seeking to steal, kill, and destroy us in many ways, including just plain “wearying us out.” (Daniel 7:25). He is vicious in the world, and he is vicious in our individual lives. Although you may face giant-size problems, like David, you can run to the battle, confident in your God, and see the giants in your life fall.

A word of caution about this blog post.  Today, a fellow believer requested prayer because—having been ill all week—she was feeling weak, tired, fragile, anxious and teary. I have so often felt the same way. As I prayed, I felt led to write down some Scriptures for her and also to write what I believed God might want to say to her.  What I wrote follows. I pray it comforts and strengthens you as you continue to “Fight the good fight of faith” (2 Timothy 4:7-8)

Image result for Free Picture Of Checklist. Size: 139 x 204. Source: pixabay.comPlease hear me: I wrote this for someone whom I know is pursuing God with all her heart and obeying everything God shows her to do. If that is you, then I believe God might say the words below to you.

However, if that does not describe your relationship with Almighty God, I know He would still be loving and tender and compassionate with you, because that is part of His unchanging nature (as He clearly tells us in Psalm 103 and countless other Bible passages.)  But if you are not seeking Him with your whole heart and obeying Him in everything you know to do, I know He would also have words of loving correction (Hebrews 12) because He loves you. “A father disciplines the son in whom he delights.” (Proverbs 3:11-12).

So, I urge you to carefully and prayerfully examine yourself, as Paul admonishes us to do in 2 Corinthians 13:5 before you read the words below and take them as applying to you.

Examine and test and evaluate your own selves to see whether you are holding to your faith and showing the proper fruits of it. Test and prove yourselves [not Christ]. Do you not yourselves realize and know [thoroughly by an ever-increasing experience] that Jesus Christ is in you–unless you are [counterfeits] disapproved on trial and rejected? (2 Corinthians 13:5, AMPC)

He will guide your steps. If you are sincere and approach Him with reverence and awe and a heart sincerely seeking Him–as is our only reasonable way to approach God–He will guide your steps (Proverbs 3, especially verses 1-8.) If you need correction, He will supply it. Regardless! Call on Him and He WILL answer, as Psalm 145 tells us.

The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.
19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry for help and save them.
20 The Lord watches over all who love Him, But He will destroy all the wicked. (Psalm 145:18, NASB)

What I believe God might say when the enemy has sought to “weary us out”. So dear friend and fellow pilgrim, the following is what I believe God might be saying to those who pursue Him whole-heartedly and have become weary.

See the source image“Come, come to Me, My little child. Feel My strong arms of love around you. Let Me comfort your heart and calm your worried soul.

Do not think MY child, that because you are suffering that I am displeased with you or that I have abandoned you in any way. I will never, no never, no never forsake-not for a moment—those who fear and revere and obey Me as you do.

Yes, My precious little one, My sweet child, you are in a mighty trial but know—keep in your conscious mind—that I AM in it with you and when it is done, you will shine forth as gold, stronger, and better equipped for the battle and able to stay closer to Me than ever.

Tell Me, little one, is this—this greater closeness, this greater equipping—is this not that for which you have beseeched Me? I give good gifts to those who seek Me out of a pure heart and true devotion.

This present circumstance that has brought you so low in heart is for your good. Though you cannot see this fact with the eye of flesh, believe that I AM with you and that I AM even now delivering you, for I deliver the righteous from all their troubles, though their troubles in his world be many.

Image result for free picture of the heartI AM with you. Behold, My darling child, listen to Me and be strengthened in your inner man—that secret place where we dwell together—behold

  • as I was with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
  • as I was with Joseph in all his trials and with Moses at the Red Sea and all through the wilderness,
  • as I was with David, Daniel, the three Hebrew boys, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah and all my faithful prophet,
  • as I was with My only begotten Son and the Twelve,
  • as I was with Peter, James, John and Paul as they established My church – even so, My child, I AM and I WILL BE with you.
  • I AM and I WILL BE your Healer, Provider, Protector, Comforter, Savior, Deliverer, and your best friend.

These present trials. These present trials have not touched the spirit within you. Though you cannot see it, simply in standing fast and waiting with hope, you are moving forward. I AM with you and I delight in your trust. I rejoice over you with singing.

This will not harm you. It will turn out for your good. Wait, I say, wait on ME! Expect, look and long for Me for I AM delivering you.

I AM delivering you. I AM helping you, training you, in loving discipline, “as a father disciplines the son he loves.” I am training you SO THAT you can better perceive your weaknesses and, because of that, learn to lean more on Me and not your own strength, or that of any other.

Image result for free picture of pruningYou have done well My child, and I am training you so that you can learn—even better–the habit of exercising, of using, your faith. I AM pruning away branches that bear no fruit and the branches that do bear fruit, I am pruning in order that you may be even more fruitful. (John 15:1-17) I call you friend, My child, because you do what I command. I “chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. “

Your own heart determines what you feel. Yet, even though you are safe in My arms and carried close to My very heart, it is your own heart that determines what you feel. “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Though it cost everything you have, learn—in the midst of trial–to fix your mind on me and my truth and wait with confident expectation, because:

  • I AM your deliverer, I AM your Healer, I AM delivering you NOW, I AM healing you NOW.
  • I have seen your faith and I AM rewarding your faith because you have believed that I exist and that I reward those who diligently seek Me. (Hebrews 11:6)
  • As the man who believed yet asked for help to believe, so you have prayed and I AM answering.

The way IS narrow. Your way, My beloved child, is indeed narrow but in this narrow path–precisely because the narrowness forces you to look to ME—I am giving you greater ability to make progress upon the dangerous heights of testing and trouble (Psalm 18:33).  I AM, even now, giving you hinds feet, in order that, having ascended your mountain, your feet may be beautiful as you and I descend the other side, bringing good tidings to others. (Isaiah 52:7)

Image result for free picture of eagle soaring over mountainsI am training you how to renew Your strength in me as the eagle’s strength is renewed, in order that you may be able to mount up with wings like the eagle and soar on high, and with your eyes as an eagle, detect your food from afar (Job 39:27-30). You will soar on high, and from those heights, be enabled to search for and find food for your soul—fresh, living food, food that has the blood of life, the breath of life in it.

As eaglets in the nest feed for a time upon the flesh its parents bring, and are nourished by it–though that flesh be unclean, lacking as it does the living blood of life– so you have been nourished. But even as the eagle stirs up its nest and leads its young to soar, so I am stirring you up. Why? Because I love you, and I have called you to feed on that Living Water that bubbles up from within and that precious Bread of Life I have given for you. (John 6)

Image result for Free Picture of Two Doves. Size: 127 x 100. Source: clipart-library.comCome to Me! So come, come, My precious child! Come to Me. I AM your delight! I AM your reward!  I AM all you need!

 “My beloved speaks and says to me. Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing [of birds] has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.

The fig tree puts forth and ripens her green figs, and the vines are in blossom and give forth their fragrance.

Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.” (Song of Solomon 2:10-13, AMPC)

Verses for meditation. Below are just a couple of verses for when you feel weak, fatigued, fragile, and teary. Emphasis has been added using all capitals or underlines.

Strength for weakness

Isaiah 41:10   10 Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I WILL strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I WILL help you; yes, I WILL hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.

Isaiah 40:31  But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.

Refreshing for fatigue

Matthew 11:28-29   28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I WILL cause you to rest. [I WILL ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]

Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you WILL find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.

Compassion as a father for our fragility

All of Psalm 103, especially 8-14

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy and loving-kindness.

He will not always chide or be contending, neither will He keep His anger forever or hold a grudge.

10 He has not dealt with us after our sins nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great are His mercy and loving-kindness toward those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him.

12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

13 As a father loves and pities his children, so the Lord loves and pities those who fear Him [with reverence, worship, and awe].

14 For He knows our frame, He [EARNSTLY] remembers and IMPRINTS [ON HIS HEART] that we are dust.

He sees and feels each tear

 All of Psalm 56, especially verse 8 – You number and record my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle—are they not in Your book?

Hope and expectation

He will give hope and expectation as we recall His mercies in the past and choose to hope in and wait for Him, even though we feel like verse 17.  Lamentations 3:17-26

My prayer for you is that –

“The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26 NASB 1995)”

 

Waiting, hoping, and expecting – Part 2 of 2

Please note: The “What is God Telling You to Do?” post is available as a printable document on the “Books and More” tab. Please share  it with your friends.  Friends tell each other the truth, even when it hurts – Proverbs 27:6.

Image result for free picture of child waitingPart  One: Last week we began exploring Psalm 27:14 which tells us to “Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage, and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait and hope for and expect the Lord.” (AMPC) We saw how the phrase “Wait for and hope for and expect” appears six times in Psalm 25 through 33, and we are to “let our inner selves wait earnestly for the Lord.” This week, we will continue by looking at how God earnestly waits for us.

God waits earnestly to be good to us.

And therefore the Lord [EARNESTLY] waits [EXPECTING, LOOKING, AND LONGING] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [EARNESTLY] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]! (Isaiah 30:18, AMPC)

God IS just and fair, but He will treat us more than merely fairly. He will be merciful to us and show us lovingkindness if we reciprocate His earnestness by waiting, expecting, looking and longing for “His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship!”

This verse alone contains several sermons! It comes in the middle of Isaiah 30, after God’s people had spent all their resources trying to obtain help from Egypt (the world) rather than from God. God told Israel:

“In returning to Me and resting in Me you shall be saved; in quietness and in (trusting) confidence shall be your strength” (v. 15)

Image result for Free Picture of Resting in God. Size: 204 x 204. Source: quotesgram.comGod told them they would be terrorized when the enemy attacked them and that because of that, He is waiting EARNESTLY His children to return to putting Him first and depending on Him. And why is that? Because “the Lord is a God of justice” (v. 18) and we are blessed if we EARNESTLY wait for Him.” Clearly, “waiting for and hoping for and expecting the Lord” earnestly brings great rewards. Many other verses and passages teach this same cause and effect principle. And what are the benefits?

Waiting, hoping, and expecting, confidently and earnestly bring renewed strength and protection from despair. Renewed strength.  Dear friend, I urge you to ponder deeply Isaiah 40. In this magnificent chapter God comforts His people by explaining His infinite power and sovereignty. After teaching us about His infinite nature, God ends the chapter with a promise to change and renew the strength and power of those who wait for Him, who expect, look and long for and hope in Him (verse 31). Carefully consider each phrase of the well-known verse 31.

31 But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.

Who are these who never grow weary? Those whoImage result for free picture of tired runner wait for and hope for and expect the Lord, with confident and earnest hearts. If we ever needed to take these verses seriously, it is surely today!

No more despair or discouragement. Another benefit of waiting for and hoping for and expecting the Lord, confidently and earnestly, is that it encourages us and prevents despair and discouragement. Lamentations 3 shows us that if we bring to our mind God’s mercies and loving kindnesses to us and His tender, never-failing compassions, we will have hope and can wait expectantly for Him. When he was in desperate circumstances, Jeremiah remembered God’s goodness and it strengthened him.

Lamentations is the prophet Jeremiah’s lament over Jerusalem, the city he tried so hard to save. In Lamentations 3, Jeremiah reviews all his troubles and then asks God to earnestly remember his afflictions. (There is that word earnest again.) Jeremiah says that thinking about his afflictions bows down his soul BUT as he remembers God’s mercies and loving kindnesses, he is moved to hope in God and wait expectantly for God. Jeremiah reminds himself that “The Lord is good to those who hopefully and expectantly wait for Him” and he says that “It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation—the safety and ease—of the Lord.” (v. 26)

This powerful passage shows me that God understands how discouraged we sometimes become by things that happen but that—in the midst of it all—we are not destroyed because God IS, WAS AND WILL ALWAYS remain merciful, filled with loving-kindness toward us, tenderly compassionate, stable and faithful as we “hopefully and expectantly wait for Him, and as we “seek Him-inquiring of and for Him and requiring Him.”

Verse 25 assures us that God responds with this goodness whenever we have a real need and we rely on His Word.

25 The Lord is good to those who wait hopefully and expectantly for Him, to those who seek Him [inquire of and for Him and require Him by right of necessity and on the authority of God’s word].

Image result for free picture of bird under waterfallProtection and deliverance from the evil seeking to overtake the world today is a true need! And His Word never, ever, no never fails! I have set my heart to wait for and hope for and expect the Lord, earnestly and with confidence. I am convinced that, as I do my part by praying, declaring His Word, and doing whatever else God shows me, He will deliver me and keep me safely in His peace, right in the middle of whatever happens.

An artist once won a prize from a king for his drawing of peace. Other artists drew calm lakes and other pastoral scenes. The painting the king selected was that of a bird, because, as he said, true peace is being able to remain in the midst of hard things and stay calm in your heart.

Conclusion.  When God says something more than once, especially when His statements about something come close together, I pay careful attention. He urges us to “wait for and hope for and expect” Him several times in Psalm 25 through 34, as we have just seen. Notice that He uses the “wait for and hope for and expect” verbatim in Psalm 27:14 and in Psalm 31:24.

Psalm 27:14 “Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.”

Psalm 31:24 Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for and hope for and expect the Lord!

In doing that, in waiting and hoping for and expecting the Lord, I am saying “God is my refuge. Words carry power and when I declare God is my refuge, God IS my refuge.

Image result for FREE Picture of Spiritual Armor. Size: 179 x 102. Source: sunrisechapel.churchNotice also the word “let” in “Let your heart take courage.” That shows us it is an action we must take, like putting on our spiritual armor (Ephesian 6:10-18). “Let” means to allow or permit. That says to me that my heart—my inmost being, that place inside me where God Himself dwells—my heart knows the truth about God and if I allow that truth and His spirit within me to operate, I will take courage and I will be strong-hearted and able to endure. So, yes, I will “wait for and hope for and expect the Lord” confidently and expectantly!

Hope for today. In the middle of our world where it seems evil is overtaking everything good and godly, we can remind ourselves that the One who made and sustains everything that exists loves us fiercely, and that He Himself is fighting for us.

With that knowledge, we can wait for and hope for and expect the Lord and take refuge under His outstretched wings. We know that as a mother hen lifts herself up so that she may shelter her little chicks, so the Lord is even now lifting Himself up, eagerly waiting for us to rely–not on the world as His rebellious children did in Isaiah 30—but rather on Him, to save us.

. . . the Lord [EARNESTLY] waits [EXPECTING, LOOKING, AND LONGING] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [EARNESTLY] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]! (Isaiah 30:18, AMPC) 

Our loving, all-powerful God is ready, eager, to pour out His goodness upon us. He watches over us 24/7/365. “Indeed, He who watches over Israel never slumbers nor sleeps.” (Psalm 121:4, NIV) We never need to fear because the Creator and Sustainer of all that was and is and is to come adores us and watches over us. Let us declare Psalm 27:14:

I will wait for and hope for and expect the Lord; I will be brave and of good courage and I will let my heart be stout and enduring. Yes, I will wait for and hope for and expect the Lord!

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Waiting, hoping, and expecting – Part 1 of 2

Image result for free picture of coffee shopWaiting confidently. The sharp scent of coffee mingled with the aroma of fresh bread, pastries, soups and sandwiches. Soft voices hummed, and easy listening music floated above the clink of spoons and forks on stoneware mugs and bowls. I stared through the big window at Thursday morning traffic on William Cannon. “Thank You, Father. You know how I love studying in coffee houses. Thank You for Your presence here and for helping me see more in Psalm 27:14. . . “

I looked up and smiled at my friend as she slid into the booth. “I was just digging into Psalm 27. Do you know it says . . . “  Knowing me well, she indulged my excitement with this  latest discovery in the Word then she explained the unexpected long line that had made her ten minutes late.

“No problem!” I said. “I might not have seen this if you had not been delayed.”

And it truly was no problem because I know my friend, I know she does what she says she will and I could wait, confidently, until she arrived, just like I wait for a doctor’s appointment or in line for groceries.  Waiting is, of course, often a challenge. And no wonder! Waiting is an integral part of being patient.

Wait for and hope for and expect. . . confidently. Psalm 27:14 urges us to “Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage, and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait and hope for and expect the Lord.” (AMPC)

Image result for free picture of waitingThe message of Psalm 27. Considering all of Psalm 27 teaches why we can and must wait confidently for the Lord. Read the entire 14 verses for yourself. Notice that David first declares he is not afraid because he is trusting in God and would remain confident, no matter what, because he had obeyed God’s command to seek His presence as his vital need. David declares God would keep Him safe in His presence, he asked for continued teaching in God’s ways, and reflects that his life would have been awful if he had not believed in God’s goodness upon this earth. Then in verse 14 David urges his listeners to Wait for and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage. Let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait and hope for and expect the Lord.” Notice that David seems to pause, consider, and then say to himself “Yes” and then he repeats the phrase “wait for and hope for and expect the Lord” with which he began the verse.

Why to “wait for and hope for and expect” the Lord. Six verses between Psalm 25 and 33 address this idea of trusting in the Lord, of waiting for and hoping for and expecting the Lord, this notion of being confident in the Lord, either in those same words or words very similar.

  • Psalm 25:2             O my God, I trust, lean on, rely on, and am confident in You. Let me not be put to shame or [my hope in You] be disappointed; let not my enemies triumph over me.
  • Psalm 27:14  Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.
  • Psalm 28:7              The Lord is my Strength and my [impenetrable] Shield; my heart trusts in, relies on, and confidently leans on Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song will I praise Him.
  • Psalm 31:24  Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for and hope for and expect the Lord!
  • Psalm 32:10  Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but he who trusts in, relies on, and confidently leans on the Lord shall be compassed about with mercy and with loving-kindness.
  • Psalm 33:21 For in Him does our heart rejoice, because we have trusted (relied on and been confident) in His holy name.

Psalm 34:22 shows the benefits of this waiting for and hoping for and expecting God: God redeems our life and we will not be condemned or held guilty.  “The Lord redeems the lives of His servants, and none of those who take refuge and trust in Him shall be condemned or held guilty.”

Image result for free picture of shelter from rainTrusting in God means taking refuge in Him, which is saying “God is my refuge” (Psalm 46:1-3, 91:2) or “God is my portion.” (Lamentations 3:24, Psalm 73:26)” Waiting for God, with confidence, or trusting God—waiting for and hoping for and expecting God–is a choice we make. It is like we choose to walk under a shelter, to have refuge from rain or noontime heat. We choose to take refuge in Him, knowing He will protect us just as a roof under which we take refuge protects us from pelting rain or blistering heat. I am not truly trusting God as my refuge until I say and act like it, not until, for example, I give tithes, alms and offerings even when it seems the paycheck will not last the month.

This waiting for and hoping for and expecting God also includes being earnest.

How to let our inner selves wait earnestly for God.

Psalm 33:20 “Our inner selves wait EARNESTLY the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For in Him does our heart rejoice BECAUSE we have trusted (relied on and been confident) in His holy name.”

Image result for free picture of child waiting for christmasIf we wait for and hope for and expect the Lord, if we trust in Him confidently, we will, like a child on Christmas morning, have an earnest expectancy. The night before Christmas a child exemplifies each aspect of earnestness. He has a longing desire, is warmly engaged, eager, zealous, animated, intent, fixed, and sincere (from Webster’s 1828 online dictionary.) As that child is—effortlessly– zealous in his waiting on Christmas, so we can be— effortlessly–zealous in our waiting for God.

Does a child waiting for Christmas say flippantly, “I am waiting for Christmas.” NO! His eyes will sparkle at just the mention of it, he will strive hard to be nice and not naughty, and he will be sure to set out cookies and milk. The certainty of reward makes the waiting exciting but also more bearable.

The same applies as we wait eagerly and earnestly for God. We will know—to the bottom of our being, our “inner selves”—that God is helping and shielding us, and we will be joyful BECAUSE we have trusted (relied on and been confident) in His character, or His nature, His name. We will be as happy as a child anticipating Christmas because we know He will be good to us.

Verse 22 of this chapter says that God’s mercy and lovingkindness will be “upon us in proportion to our waiting and hoping for” Him. That is a loving nudge, telling me to wait and hope for Him earnestly, whole-heartedly, every day, just like a child before Christmas or a bridegroom before his wedding.

And did you know that God says He also waits earnestly? We will look into that next week in Part Two.

 

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What is God telling you to do?

Image result for free Picture of Heaven. Size: 179 x 98. Source: getwallpapers.comThis title sounds arrogant, I know, but I pray you keep reading. Although not a “famous” Bible teacher or speaker, I have followed Jesus whole-heartedly for 41 years. I do know when Holy Spirit moves on my heart, and He did just that about writing this message.

What is this message about? For more than two years I have listened to what God is saying through modern-day prophets. If you do not believe in modern-day prophets, please keep reading. This pamphlet summarizes some of what God is currently saying through His prophets and some essential facts about our present world that God has revealed. However, you likely have not heard these things if you have been listening to mainstream media.

Please, even if you do not keep reading, work hard on drawing closer to God and hearing Him better – NOW.

Table of Contents

  1. Why listen to prophets?
  2. What are prophets saying right now?
  3. What mainstream media is not telling you and why.
  4. Who to listen to for the truth and how to catch up fast.
  5. What you need to be doing for God – NOW!
  6. Do you think prophets, miracles, speaking in tongues, etc. are not for today?
  7. Be encouraged!

Image result for free clip art of listening ear[1]       Why listen to prophets? Below are two simple reasons to listen to God’s modern-day prophets.

[A] God warns of coming judgement so people may change their behavior and avoid judgement. Amos 3:7 in the Amplified Bible says “Surely the Lord God does nothing [a]Without revealing His secret plan [of the judgment to come] To His servants the prophets.” The footnote for that verse explains: “God has always warned of coming judgment in order that people may choose to change their behavior and avoid it. (emphasis added). He warned Noah of the coming flood (Gen 6:13ff); Abraham and Lot of the future destruction of Sodom (Gen 18:17; 19:14); Joseph of the seven-year famine (Gen 41:30); Moses of the ten plagues on Egypt (Ex 7:1ff); and Jonah of the destruction of Nineveh (Jon 1:2; 3:4). . . Various prophets were told in advance about the captivities of the chosen people, and they came to pass because the warnings were disregarded. . . Jonah announced the destruction of Nineveh, but judgment was postponed following repentance. . . “

God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He is still merciful, kind, loving, and gracious. He still warns of coming judgement so we can change and avoid that judgement.

[B] Believing in God’s prophets brings success. 2 Chronicles 2:20 says:

20 Early the next morning the army of Judah went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. On the way Jehoshaphat stopped and said, “Listen to me, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm. Believe in his prophets, and you will succeed.” (NLT) (Emphasis added)

Image result for Free Clip Art Have Faith in god. Size: 150 x 110. Source: quotesgram.com2 Chronicles 2:20 in the NIV says “Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.” 2 Chronicles 2 tells about a time when God’s people had good reason to be discouraged: they faced a vast army. God told them not to be afraid because the battle was His, and the next day He told, Jehoshaphat to encourage the people by telling them to have faith in God and to believe His prophets. Then Jehoshaphat ordered singers to go before the Israelites and praise God. And that was when God caused the enemy to destroy each other. The Israelites were victorious, and all they did was praise and sing to the Lord.

Even so today, without hope for a good future we get discouraged and stop pressing hard after God. Today, just as in Bible times, having faith in God and believing His prophets encourages us and gives us the strength to keep following God rather than standing still or retreating in fear and discouragement.

Image result for Free clip Art a Time For season. Size: 127 x 110. Source: clipartstation.comAn essential point about God’s ways, His timing, and so-called false prophets. You may have heard some prophets labelled “false” because they predicted President Donald J. Trump would serve two terms and SO FAR that has not happened.  Beloved, consider this: some things that prophets in the Bible foretold STILL have not happened. That does not mean prophets in the Bible were false prophets. Rather, it just shows that God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). As 2 Peter 3:8 reminds us, “. . . do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” (NIV) Also, remember that God—not us—has set “a time for everything.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, NIV).

[2]       What are God’s prophets saying right now? This is just a short list.

  • NOW is the time to focus on your personal relationship with God.
  • Our real President, President Donald J. Trump, will be reseated and will serve two terms. He is God’s instrument for this time in history.
  • The greatest awakening and revival there has ever been is starting. Holy Spirit will be poured out on people with such power that they will fall to their knees and cry out for God right where they are—–in parks, schools, businesses, and without sermons or messages.
  • Churches that have not welcomed the presence of God will not be part of this awakening.
  • Many spiritual leaders in high positions will be revealed as enemies of God and will be removed from their positions and ministries. This has already begun.
  • Evil will be exposed and judged world-wide, greater than you can imagine. God has allowed evil to increase—for a time—so that it would become even more obvious and more people would open their eyes and see their need for Him.
  • Image result for free picture of falling off fenceNo more fence-sitting. Jesus clearly said in Luke 11:23: “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. (NIV).  The Message translation says “This is war, and there is no neutral ground. If you’re not on my side, you’re the enemy; if you’re not helping, you’re making things worse.” If you support those who approve murdering babies, like Biden, you are opposing God. And if you fail to support those who are trying to stop abortion, you are the enemy, according to Luke 11:23. What else does your failure to “gather with” God allow? All manner of evil that the left and globalists approve of and promote, like homosexuality, pedophelia, human sex trafficking, drugs, violence and the list goes on.
  • Do you think they are not involved in these things? Would they tell you if they were, or would they hide it and call what is evil good and what is good evil (Isaiah 5:20)? Who do you think motivates them to say that we are being hateful if we do not accept homosexuality? Satan himself. Who and what helps them conceal their sins? Satan, our silence and our failure to act for God. What happened to those who failed to stop Hitler from taking Jews to concentration camps? Think about it.
  • Joshua 24:15 says you must choose whether you will serve God or the enemy. For too many years God’s church has overlooked and accepted sin and tried to remain neutral. There is no neutral ground. You are either with Him or against Him.

Image result for Free Picture of stacks of Money and Gold. Size: 190 x 204. Source: dreamstime.com[3]       What mainstream media is not telling you. A handful of incredibly wealthy people are working to shrink the population of the world so they can have it all for themselves. This is the deep state Marxist group that controls nations and political leaders, that is using the coronavirus for their evil purposes, and that tried to steal the 2020 election—which is NOT over yet! They gave “free” vaccines to African countries and those vaccines made the recipients sterile. These same ones have held back cures for the coronavirus while millions died.

  • Yes, covid is real and people have died from it, but why did nobody die of the regular flu since covid began? Why were cures held back? Why were churches considered non-essential during the lock-down when venues with far more contact were left alone?
  • Image result for Free picture of COVID Masks. Size: 77 x 100. Source: www.indulgexpress.comWhy did they say covid was spread by contact and then change their minds and say only masks worked? This covid and mask farce is a trial run, to see how much government control people will tolerate. The ultimate goal is socialist communism which always destroys nations. Consider the millions who died under Stalin and Hitler and other communist regimes.
  • These wealthy globalists control mainstream media, they seek to destroy all who oppose them, and they de-platform and cancel those who speak out. Is that not communism?
  • They seek to destroy America through the hatred and lies of BLM, Antifa, critical race theory, the LGBT agenda and more. Do you know the truth about these?
  • Why did they do nothing to stop the violence in the summer of 2020 and then give federal money in 2021 to mayors who had defunded their own police? Why did mainstream media fail to condemn the violence of 2020 but spread the lie that President Donald John Trump and his supporters instigated the takeover of the Capitol? Why did mainstream media not report that Capitol police were sent home before the “riot” began? Why did they not show video of Capitol police removing barricades, opening doors, and ushering people into the Capitol?
  • Image result for Free Picture of Jail. Size: 164 x 102. Source: getwallpapers.comThousands of illegal aliens, drug and human traffickers and other criminals are being allowed into our country since President Trump’s immigration policies were changed and the wall he had nearly completed along our southern border was not finished. Mainstream media fails to report this.
  • These are but a few of the many things the left and the media are actively covering up while manufacturing lies about anyone who dares oppose the evil going on in the world. Recently, Biden accused Facebook of killing people because Facebook did not censor comments about covid that the White House considers “misinformation.” The White House is urging social media platforms to censor those with opposing views.
  • The two people sitting in the White House and many other leaders are puppets of the deep state and will soon be removed from office and President Donald J. Trump will be restored to the seat for which he was elected in 2020.

I have learned all this and much more by listening to God’s prophets. They have been telling truth about things like the fraudulent election and covid long before mainstream media, which only in recent weeks has begun reporting a tiny bit of truth.

Image result for Free picture Of phone and laptop. Size: 161 x 107. Source: pxhere.com[4] Who to listen to for the truth and how to catch up fast: First, stop listening to all mainstream media. Get your news from sources like these listed below.

JUST FOLLOWING THESE THREE SOURCES WILL HELP YOU CATCH UP FAST. I recommend following them regularly, and following those on the list below whenever you can.

  • Intercessors for America – An on-line community of believers interceding for our nation. If you sign up, you will receive brief summaries of current events and the chance to agree with others in prayer.
  • Elijah list – elijahlist.com Daily strengthening, encouragement, and comfort through prophetic words, messages, and prophecies.
  • Elijah streams – elijahstreams.com – Sixty-minute program with in-depth interviews with prophets, with prophetic words and teachings.
  • Praying citizen – prayingcitizen.com –current events, from a godly perspective, why they matter and how to pray.
  • Other conservative news sources like Epoch Times.
  • Listening to a radio station that plays worship music will do much to lift your spirits Try air1.com.

 Prophets to listen to: You will find most of these prophets on the platforms listed above but they also have their own websites and/or churches. You can follow them on You Tube, Facebook, etc. as well.

  • Dutch Sheets – www.dutchsheets.org
  • Hank Kunneman -www.lohchurch.org
  • Kent Christmas -www.kentchristmas.org and www.regenerationnashville.org
  • Mario Murillo – www.mariomurillo.org
  • Johnny Enlow – restore7.com and often on Elijah Streams
  • Lance Wallnau – lancewallnau.com
  • Tim Sheets – timsheets.org
  • Amanda Grace – often on Elijah Streams

[5]       What to do for God NOW.

[1]        Image result for free picture of praying personFirst, focus on growing closer to Him and hearing Him better as your number one priority

[2]        Stop listening to mainstream media and start listening to media who present the news from God’s perspective, the sources listed in Section 5 “Who to follow and how to catch up fast”.

[3]        Pray specifically for what you learn as you start listening to the prophets and media that give God’s perspective.

[4]        Join in on a prayer call.  Intercessors for America is a good place to start.

[5]        Get involved. Ask God what to do and He will show you. You can start by sharing with others what you learn once you start listening to godly media and the prophets. God may be calling you to run for political office or support a godly candidate who is. I am writing this pamphlet in response to Holy Spirit’s prompting. This is one thing God has shown me to do.

[6]     Image result for Free picture Of Phone. Size: 127 x 88. Source: www.theverge.com   Call your senators and representatives and state your support for godly issues and your opposition against evil. When they make good decisions or statements, call and thank them. They do pay attention to their constituents. We have the power to vote them in again or vote them out.

[6]       Image result for free picture of small church modernIf you think prophets, miracles, speaking in tongues, etc. are not for today. . . Space does not permit a Biblical exposition showing that the whole gospel is for today, so please just listen to what I have personally experienced. Although I did not know Jesus until age 29, I grew up in a Southern Baptist church and knew nothing of the gifts of the Spirit and Pentecostal ways except that the “weird” church in town did “weird” things like raising their hands in worship and falling on the floor. A few months after salvation, I began speaking and praying in tongues and have not stopped for 41 years. It strengthens my spirit, assures me I am praying according to God’s will when I do not know what to pray, and brings peace.

As for other aspects of Pentecost, I have been healed, have been “slain in the spirit” (when you simply fall on the floor because the presence of God is so overwhelming), had someone fall on the floor when I was praying for her, have heard countless messages of encouragement through words of prophecy given during church services, and have given encouraging words myself, and have consistently felt the near tangible presence of God during Pentecostal worship and praise.

I could go on but I will just say please give God a chance and see a Pentecostal service. The Lord of Hosts church pastored by Hank Kunneman; Regeneration Nashville, pastored by Kent Christmas; and Oasis Church in Middletown, Ohio, pastored by Tim Sheets, are superb places to start. You have so much to gain and nothing to lose!

[7]       Be encouraged! God IS doing mighty things! But unless you have been listening to God’s prophets you likely have become discouraged and possibly even thought things were out of God’s control. Beloved, our God reigns. Period. Nothing has EVER taken Him by surprise, He makes no mistakes, and He cannot lie. God has already started radically changing this world, and you must get ready NOW if you want to be part of this greatest awakening ever.

See the source image

Woo hoo and go God! Go Body of Christ! We have the victory! “This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith” (I John 5:4, NIV)  HOOAH!

 

 

Note: This message will soon be available as a pamphlet on the Books and More page of this website so you can print it and share it. Or, if you are mad, you can have the satisfaction of ripping it up. Regardless, thank you for listening and please:  focus on drawing closer to God – now! Grace to you and may God speed!

Freda Farmer
www.wordsofhopeandhealing.com

 

Am I consistently joyful in my walk? Part Two of Two

Image result for free picture of walking with jesusLast week as we considered how to consistently “maintain a joyful Christian walk”, an investigation sparked by Andrew Murray’s jewel “The Ministry of Intercessory Prayer”, we covered points one through 9 in the outline below. This week we will finish with points 10 through 15.  I pray these words help you draw closer to the One who loves us so, so, so very much.

  1. Practicing His presence.
  2. “As you do not know the path of the wind. . . “(Ecclesiastes 11:5)
  3. The message of the hummingbird.
  4. Drawing nearer to God includes pulling away from the world and self.
  5. Steps to wholeness of healing, which is this joy of depending only on Him.
  6. STEP ONE:
  7. “But I am already living a holy life”, my flesh says.
  8. More pruning produces more fruit.
  9. Too straight and too hard?
  10. Are You my vital necessity, Lord?
  11. Am I (still not yet) a slave to righteousness which leads to holiness?
  12. STEP TWO
  13. STEP THREE
  14. ONE LAST “STEP”
  15. I know You will guide me, Lord.

Image result for Free Picture of Bread and Water. Size: 158 x 105. Source: thecatholicspirit.com[9]       Are You my vital necessity, Lord? Jeremiah 2­9 is a letter God wrote through Jeremiah to the captives exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem because of their wickedness and unrepentant idol worship. In the first nine verses, God told the captive Israelites to settle down and work for the good of the place they lived (Babylon) because “its welfare will determine your welfare.” (V. 7b, NLT). God told them they would stay in Babylon 70 years, which was until their punishment was completed. (Notice how God is taking care of them, even while they are being punished, by telling them how to have a better life.)  In verse 10, God promises that after 70 years He would return them to Jerusalem and “do for you all the good things I have promised.” (v. 10b).

And then comes the well-known verse, Jeremiah 29:11:

11 For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. (NIV)

Let’s look closely at verses 12 through 14.

12 Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you.

13 Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. (emphasis added)

14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will release you from captivity and gather you from all the nations and all the places to which I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I caused you to be carried away captive.”

Image result for free clip art of the plans i have for youGod reassures His rebellious people that He has good plans for them, and that their final outcome will be one where they love Him whole-heartedly and find Him as well as enjoy freedom again. I think God gave them this encouragement because He knew it would take some of them the whole 70 years to seek Him whole-heartedly. Verses 12-14 concern the “then” time or “in those days,” meaning when the captives are returned to Jerusalem. God says “in those days” His people will pray and He will hear, and when they seek Him as their VITAL necessity and seek Him with ALL their heart, they will find Him and He will bring them back to Jerusalem.

Perhaps the lesson for me, regarding spiritual growth, is that when my life includes putting other things before God—which is idol worship—I will get my consequences, as the Israelite captives did. And I will live with my consequences until God’s righteous judgement on my sin of putting things above Him is completed. And then, after I have learned my lesson through the harsh, but righteous circumstances of my sin, I will then be free FINALLY to seek God, inquire for God, and require God [as a vital necessity] and search for Him with my WHOLE heart. And then—when I truly have no other gods before Him—then is when I will find God and He will return me to my own Jerusalem, my own fortified city where God dwells and truly reigns, my own life where I have the light of peace in my heart.

I believe this process of sin-captivity-judgement-restoration applies to any scale of time, from our ‘little” failures that take us away from God part of the day to on-going, unrecognized and/or unconfessed sin that steals our closeness and our peace for many months or years.

Image result for free picture of slave to righteousness[10]     Am I (still not yet) a slave to righteousness which leads to holiness? (Romans 6:19-23) God makes it clear that “when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? (Romans 6:16, NIV). So as long as we serve and obey our own flesh or the enemy, we are enslaved by our flesh or the enemy. The consequences of our voluntary enslavement is that the enemy takes us “captive to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:16, NIV), and we are unable to “maintain a joyful Christian walk in God’s way”, which is a symptom of the diseased condition of our heart. I have to ask myself, “Is my heart still not totally submitted to obedience to God?”  Am I carried away to Babylon sometimes, made captive and my will controlled by the cruel enemy, because I still sometimes “offer myself’ to sin?

Perhaps we weak humans simply do not truly learn what seeking God whole-heartedly and with our whole heart is, i.e., as if our life depends on it, until we are in desperate circumstances.

First by force, then by choice? This is why I say God blessed me with depression–it forced me to keep my mind on Him and His Word constantly. My case is not as extreme but it reminds me of the book “Shadowlands.”  When his new wife had cancer, C. S. Lewis was so driven to constant prayer that he said prayer was all he could do and that he had to pray to survive.

Image result for Baby Leaning On JesusPerhaps, after circumstances force us to lean constantly on God, the next quality of character to be developed is to choose this constant leaning, even when we feel we can manage “without thinking about God while we visit with family, spend an afternoon at a museum, etc.  I ask myself, “Freda, is that not self-confidence and self-sufficiency?” This voluntary constant leaning Andrew Murray speaks of costs “self-will, self-pleasure and self-confidence.”  I do have to give up all of self if I am to give all my heart to God.

Although I have lately been spending more time in prayer and Bible study and meditating more consistently during waking hours, trying to grow closer, I sense that asking God to “heal me” in this way is a definite, concrete step, much like the very first time you tithe and must trust that God will meet your needs that month though it looks impossible if you give Him ten percent.

I am certain God will help me in this. As He promises in Romans 6, if I offer myself continually to Him to obey Him, I will be a “slave to righteousness”, which means I will be under the control of righteousness.

16 Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will, you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God

17 But thank God, though you were once slaves of sin, you have become obedient with all your heart to the standard of teaching in which you were instructed and to which you were committed.

18 And having been set free from sin, you have become the servants of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in thought, purpose, and action). (Romans 6:16-18, AMPC)

Image result for Free Picture of Sitting with Jesus. Size: 86 x 107. Source: www.pinterest.com.mx[11]     STEP TWO: The second step is to “look to Him as your only help.” (p. 84) We must say, like the lame man at Bethesda “I have no one to put me into the pool” (John 5:7). We must know that there is no help for us here on earth. We must confess our weakness and “know there is no hope for you unless Christ in His mercy heals you.” I think that is something else I must say to the Lord and keep on saying. I do understand that every good thing comes from Him, as James 1 says, and that even our desire to please Him, comes from Him working in us as Philippians 2:13 tells us.

[12]     STEP THREE: The third step is to respond in faith. As the lame man at Bethesda believed Jesus and obeyed and walked, so too must we believe that there is “truth and power in Christ’s word.” (p. 85) “If we fix our gaze on Christ. . . we will have courage to obey.” (p. 85) Yes, I must believe that even I, with all my weaknesses, I can walk in the way God intended. I can exercise my faith which is “. . . being sure of what we hope for and sure of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1, NIV) and I can, like Abraham, believe “. . . in the God who brings the dead back to life and Who creates new things out of nothing.” (Romans 4:17, NLT)

Image result for free picture of rain on fields[13]     ONE LAST “STEP”. Andrew Murray then wisely warns about forming false expectations, to not, for example, expect “to be all at once be proficient in prayer or any part of the Christian life.” He concludes the chapter by saying that, like learning anything, we must start at the beginning, but we must start. I will heed this warning because, as a perfectionist in some areas, I can expect too much of myself and get discouraged. I will take the attitude of James 5:7 and be patient as God works in my heart. I can wait “. . . for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.” (NIV)

[14]     I know You will guide me, Lord.  Thank You, Lord, for the grace I feel to yield and not struggle with the idea of this greater pruning of self. But I do need Your clear guidance, Lord. I will meditate on and pray Psalm 25 with greater intensity, and I will declare it.

You know, Lord, in this matter of living my whole life for You, in the past I have been too zealous in some ways, like staying up too late reading the Word, sitting at the desk too long when I need to go exercise, or depriving myself of so many pleasures that I became resentful and frustrated with the lifestyle I created for myself in trying to put You first.

I know I need adequate rest and exercise and time with family and friends. And I have learned it is essential to invest at least a bit of time regularly in keeping my home and surroundings tidy. But, Father, what about “leisure time”? Lord, I do not want to spend too much time on that but neither do I want to become unbalanced and eventually frustrate myself and cause discouragement.

Image result for free picture of praying handsI paused, but only a moment before a clear thought came. “I can spend time praying in the Spirit for direction about this.” I have learned recently (although I think I knew it in years earlier and ‘forgot’ it) that when I faithfully set aside time each day to pray in tongues about something specific, He answers clearly.

“Yes! Lord! I know You will answer!”

And, another thought came then, one I was not so excited about.

“Lord, is the healthier diet You recently led me to part of all of this? I have fallen away from it lately. Is this part of the things that seem “too hard and too straight”? Well, I will include prayer and prayer in tongues about that, too. As Paul said in I Corinthians 14:15, “I will pray in the spirit, and I will also pray in words I understand. I will sing in the spirit, and I will also sing in words I understand.” (NIV)

“Father, You know this will be a new and exciting adventure. Thank You for leading me to that book through my friend. Something has not seemed quite right between us for a while, and I think it is what I have heard some Bible teachers and preachers say, that You sometimes pull away so that we will press on further and follow You into new places.

Dearest Father, with the psalmist in Psalm 27:4, I say:

One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek, inquire for, and [insistently] require: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, to behold and gaze upon the beauty [the sweet attractiveness and the delightful loveliness] of the Lord and to meditate, consider, and inquire in His temple.

Yes, Lord! Keep me close while I grow!

 Note: For more about “Standing Strong Like the Hummingbird,”see the May 9, 2020, blog post. May our loving Father grant both of us grace to stand strong and to move forward with Him in our personal growth. Amen and so be it, Lord Jesus!

Image result for Walking with Jesus Quotes

Am I consistently joyful in my walk? Part One of Two

Image result for Free Picture of Walking with Jesus. Size: 124 x 100. Source: www.fanpop.comThis week we will cover Parts One through Nine of the points listed  below  as we consider how to consistently “maintain a joyful Christian walk”, an investigation sparked by Andrew Murray’s jewel of a book “The Ministry of Intercessory Prayer.” Let us commit this study to God and ask for His wisdom. Let us ask with faith, knowing He will give it, for we know He is good and only good and that He delights in giving good things to His children (James 1:5-8, Luke 11:11-13). I pray that pondering Andrew Murray’s teaching convicts, comforts, and spurs you on to greater commitment to our loving Father, as it did me. May your deepening commitment enable you to feel His loving embrace ever more clearly in your daily walk. Here are the headings of this two-part series.

  1. Practicing His presence.
  2. “As you do not know the path of the wind. . . “(Ecclesiastes 11:5)
  3. The message of the hummingbird.
  4. Drawing nearer to God includes pulling away from the world and self.
  5. Steps to wholeness of healing, which is this joy of depending only on Him.
  6. STEP ONE
  7. “But I am already living a holy life”, my flesh says.
  8. More pruning produces more fruit.
  9. Too straight and too hard?
  10. Are You my vital necessity, Lord?
  11. Am I (still not yet) a slave to righteousness which leads to holiness?
  12. STEP TWO
  13. STEP THREE
  14. ONE LAST “STEP”
  15. I know You will guide me, Lord.

Image result for free picture of tree branches in wind 

[1]       Practicing His presence.   “Father, I love this new habit You led me to, this just sitting with You a while before starting morning devotions. Thank You for guiding me.” I sipped the chamomile fast, so it would help with breathing, and gently moved the rocker, peering into soft morning light, grateful three-story units to the east blocked the direct morning sun. The window framed soft green, intertwined crape myrtle branches in shadow, like a private, secluded forest.

[2]       “As you do not know the path of the wind. . . “(Ecclesiastes 11:5)  The morning Texas wind shoved larger branches to the right, pinning them there, while slender stems at the ends traced quavering circles in the air. As abruptly as it had begun, the wind stopped. Branches snapped back and stood straight, stretching leafy arms toward their Creator.

“Yes, Lord, I remember when I learned that verse, “As you do not know the path of the wind or how the body is formed in the wind, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.” (Ecclesiastes 11:5, NIV). It was more than thirty years ago, when Sharon was in elementary school and I was a new believer. I was walking from the bus stop to the office on a cold, gusty February morning, holding an index card as I walked, memorizing the Word. I remember the wind blasted my coat open at that very moment, reminding me that You were with me. That one touch of Your love warmed me the whole day. Hmm.  So sweet, so sweet. . . Thank You, dear Father. Memories of Your Word speaking to me are truly are “sweeter than honey”, as You say in Psalm 119.

Lord, I could not then and I cannot now know which way the wind will turn, and I do not understand Your work or Your ways, but I do love Psalm 25, how the whole psalm is a plea for You to teach the psalmist Your ways and show him how to live. I especially like that short verse, verse 25, “Show me Your ways, Lord; teach me Your paths.” (AMPC).  I am glad it is taking so long to memorize. That’s making me think deeply about each phrase.

Image result for free picture of hummingbird[3] The message of the hummingbird.  “Oooh!” I breathed as I saw a hummingbird hover beside the fuschia flowers of the crape myrtle ten yards from my second-floor window.

“I have never seen one this high up. Thank You Lord!” Before the hummingbird darted away, another treasured memory drifted into thought.

“I remember how, when depression was at its worst, You gave the person praying with me visions of hummingbirds and a rhema word that I must feed on the nectar of Your Word as a hummingbird feeds on flower nectar. That so much confirmed how You had led me to meditate constantly, day and night, on Your Word. And that constant meditation healed the depression and fear and has kept me free.

“Yes,” I thought, “that is part of drawing closer, when God lets events force us to return our mind to Him as often as hummingbirds return for nectar. That pulling away from anything else but dependence on Him must be an essential part of drawing nearer.”

[4] Drawing nearer to God includes pulling away from the world and self.  I have been pondering a chapter in Andrew Murray’s sterling book “The Ministry of Intercessory Prayer.”  He says “Your inability to maintain a joyful Christian walk in God’s way is a sign of disease.” (p. 84). That sentence grabbed my attention. By grace alone, I maintain joy and victory more consistently now than before, but not always.

I have learned to fight my way back to emotional balance and joy, rather than just avoiding depression.  But Andrew Murray’s book explains my “remaining disease of self” is the cause of emotional imbalance and negative emotions that still happen sometimes. Andrew Murray talks about this disease of the self that is so hard to be free from. The chapter “Will You Be Made Whole?” outlines God’s way for healing us of self so we can walk as He intends, with consistent joy and “heavenly power beyond anything we could dare to imagine or hope for.” (p. 81).

Image result for free picture of doctor and patientMurray notes that a doctor heals by making the patient independent of the doctor. Our Great Physician’s aim is to heal by bringing “. . . us into such dependence upon himself that we will not be able to live a moment without Him.” (p. 82). We live frail Christian lives because we do not appropriate Divine truth for our own selves.

“As long as we expect Christ to continually do something for us in single acts of grace, trusting Him from time to time to give us only that which will last a little while, we cannot be restored to perfect health. But when we grasp the fact that we need Him moment by moment in our lives in utter dependence upon His strength and provision, then the life of Christ becomes the health of our soul.” (p. 82)

[5]       Steps to wholeness of healing, which is this joy of depending only on Him. Murray outlines three steps to being made whole: telling God we want to be made whole, looking to Him as our only help, and responding in faith.

[6]       STEP ONE: To achieve this condition where “the life of Christ becomes the health of our soul”, Murray explains, Christ first asks us, as He did the man at Bethesda (John 5:2-9), “Do you want to get well?” And we must tell Him we want to be made well.  Some will not admit we are sick and others will not believe Christ can make us fully whole.

“At the root of it all [this not admitting our sickness and our unbelief] is the fear of self-denial and the sacrifice that will be required. People are not willing to entirely give up self-will, self-confidence, and self-pleasing (emphasis added). The walk in Christ that makes us like Christ is too straight and too hard (emphasis added). They do not want to be made whole. . . . If you are willing to be made whole, you must confess clearly, “Lord, at any price, I will!” (p. 84)

Image result for free picture of pruning grape vine[7]       But I am already living a holy life”, my flesh says. Each round of trials-wobbling-rebalancing these many months has shaken off more self-confidence, more of the flesh, and more of the world. My walk has become more narrow regarding what I do, read and listen to. I also am better now at forgiving and forgetting because they now feel like the poison they are (whereas for years before they stayed buried, unaware, deep in my heart). This narrowing of our daily life is part of the pruning Jesus describes in John 15:2. “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. (NIV)” Andrew Murray explains that of all fruit-bearing vines, the grapevine most needs pruning. Pruning cuts away not only dead branches but good, fruit-bearing branches because those branches use sap, and more sap must be channeled into producing fruit, rather than merely sustaining branches.

[8]       More pruning produces more fruit. And now? Now I think God is calling me to sacrifice some good things in favor of better things, lovingly pruning good wood so that more of my life’s energy will, like sap, will go into producing fruit for the kingdom. I believe that includes more prayer and Bible study and more time invested in others rather than self-indulgences, self-pleasures or self-will.

Image result for free picture of narrow mountain path[9]       Too straight and too hard? I am thinking deeply about Andrew Murray’s observation that entirely giving up  our “walk after the course of this world” can seem “too straight and too hard  because it includes giving up “self-will, self-confidence, and self-pleasing.” Suppose, for example, we forego R-rated movies because God shows us those are no longer acceptable. Suppose our path then narrows to only movies with no violence or obscenities. Would our path to greater closeness seem “too straight and too hard” if it means many evenings of foregoing all “entertainment” so as to make more time for Bible study and prayer or acts of service or a higher quality of family evenings?

More than four years ago, when God first showed me it was necessary to keep my mind on the Word all day, I recall thinking “I can’t live like Joyce Meyer and other Bible teachers say they do. I can’t think about the Word ALL day.” At that point, I do not think I wanted to either, although I thought I loved God with all my heart back then. Perhaps I did to the fullest extent I could, BUT He was not yet my “vital necessity,” not until desperation forced me to meditate constantly, just like I had heard.

Is God showing me that He is still not truly my vital necessity, that I still depend on and/or love my own self and worldly things more than Him? Part Two explores this question.

Think you are walking well–Part Two (or. . . Been through the wringer lately?)

Image result for free picture of wringer washing machineThose wringer washing machines. With some memories, you know precisely where you were and how old you were. With other memories, time wears away precise location and time, while intensifying details   At some point in my latter preschool days, I saw either my Mother or an aunt using a wringer washer. She fed a towel into the wringer and, curiously, it emerged from the tiny gap between the two wringer arms not only flat but stiff, so stiff that it stood up like crumpled cardboard when it fell into the catch bucket on the floor. Going through that wringer surely changed that towel!

Developmental discipline? These last few weeks, life felt like going through a wringer washing machine over and over. I got another degree from UTD, the University of Trials and Discipline! I have written about trials, and I know the basic facts:

  • Trials are good for us, and
  • we have them because of the world, our flesh, the devil, and God’s loving discipline, which can be instructive or corrective.

The wringer experience taught me much about another aspect of God’s loving discipline, developmental discipline. By that I mean when God prunes us so that we may be even more fruitful (John 15:2-6).

I thought I was handling life, by God’s grace, fairly well through the many cycles of trials God and I had walked through since He healed depression and fear. But God used the hardships of the last few weeks to wring out more of self-confidence and to provoke me into growth, like an eagle removes the feathers from the nest to urge the eaglets to move to the edge and learn to fly. What happened? God caused me to become aggressive in spiritual matters.

Image result for free picture of defensive boxerAggressive in spiritual matters?  By that, I mean to confront and battle against the works of the devil rather than having a defensive attitude. Meditating on God’s Word healed deep-rooted depression and fear, but in that season of healing and maturing I was usually in a defensive posture.

Yes, we are to seek God as our refuge and hide in the shadow of His wings (Psalm 91). However, after God’s season of heart healing, He is calling me to learn to operate consciously, deliberately as the spiritual warrior He made us all to be.  From our abiding place under the sheltering Shadow of His wings, we must learn to fight aggressively, to advance and occupy the territory God has promised us as our individual destiny, our own promised land!

Fighting aggressively? By fighting aggressively, I mean:

  • to pray and trust God for discernment when I am being attacked (as opposed to when I just need to gird up my loins for things of daily life, like regular exercise, eating and sleeping healthfully, working to regain my good attitude, etc.)
  • to confidently declare, out loud, my God-given authority over Satan,
  • to bind the works of darkness and loose the things of His kingdom,
  • to wield my sword of the Spirit, to fight back by speaking Bible truths that apply to the need of the moment,
  • then to go on with the next thing to be done that day, actively praising God, actively meditating on His Word, and keeping my mind fixed on God and good things (Philippians 4:8),
  • and when not under attack, which is most of the time, to use the same spiritual weapons to take back stolen territory and to take new territory.

Image result for free picture of headacheThis most recent wringing out experience. While going through this latest wringer experience, I struggled and seemed to sink deeper each day into the mire of negative thoughts and feelings. The day that I, by God’s grace, stood up and fought, I felt nearly as bad as when deeply depressed more than two years earlier. It felt like something pressing down on my mind and on my head physically, from the outside. The burden of oppression had become that heavy. I could not think clearly enough to repeat my verses. Negative thoughts and feelings flooded in and stayed, no matter what I tried. I believe the attack had affected my brain chemistry at that point.

I knew, from much experience with depression, that our own negative thoughts and feelings can cause that feeling of heaviness and utter discouragement, but I also knew that sometimes that feeling comes from an attack of Satan.

Two days earlier and each day since, I had prayed, “Lord, I think this current struggle with negative thoughts and feelings and discouragement and all that old mess involves a chemical imbalance in my brain. I cannot seem to think clearly and I cannot remember to keep thinking on the Word. This is a legitimate real need I cannot fix for myself and I am asking for healing on the authority of the Word and by right of necessity as You say in Lamentations 3:25. I have tried for three days, Lord, and I cannot keep my mind on the Word. I truly need You, Lord. Please help me!”

Image result for free picture of worn out gym bagI awoke that Saturday with heavier than ever depressing thoughts, having slept very late again as I had been doing due to increasing fatigue. Skipping gym several days had caused much stiffness so, after my best, although weak, effort with devotions, I packed my gym bag and walked to the car, carrying my frayed bunch of papers on which I had typed and hand-written my personalized arsenal of Scriptures.

I kept trying to use the Word and to say it out loud. On the way to the car, I repeated out loud, to myself, Lamentations 3:19-23.

(19) O Lord] remember [earnestly] my affliction and my misery, my wandering and my outcast state, the wormwood and the gall. (20) My soul has them continually in remembrance and is bowed down within me. (21)  But this I recall and therefore have I hope and expectation:

 (22) It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness.”

Then I said out loud as I drove, praying the Word back to God. Lord it has truly been hard lately and I do ask You to earnestly think about this. I have been thinking about how hard things are and my soul has been cast down. But this I recall and therefore I have hope and expectation. “It is because of the Lord’s mercy that we are not consumed.  Great and abundant is Your faithfulness.” Then I began repeating those two phrases over and over. “It is because of the Lord’s mercy that we are not consumed.  Great and abundant is Your faithfulness. . . ”

As I kept driving and speaking those two verses out loud, I began thinking about God’s faithfulness. Into my mind popped a verse I had memorized early in this latest discipline process, several days earlier when I could still think a bit clearly.

Image result for free picture of grazing sheep“Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed. (Psalm 37:3, AMPC)

Now, as I drove down Interstate 90, I said, out loud, “Lord, Your faithfulness is truly abundant. You are taking care of all my needs so well, just like always. I am being fed and You say truly I shall be fed. I trust that verse, Lord, even though I do not feel like it right now. I am sorry, Lord. ‘I believe. Help my unbelief!  (Mark 9:24, NIV)’. And forgive my weaknesses.”

Persisting in speaking the Word and meditating. I walked into the gym carrying my stack of verses in my free hand, checked in, then went to the weight room and put my verses on the edge of the weight rack, resuming my recitation of Lamentations 3:19-26 with verses 24-26. As I stretched, I had to keep looking at the paper, which was frustrating. I had thoroughly memorized the passage weeks ago.

Image result for free picture of bible(24) The Lord is my portion or share, says my living being (my inner self); therefore, will I hope in Him and wait expectantly for Him.

(25) The Lord is good to those who wait hopefully and expectantly for Him, to those who seek Him [inquire of and for Him and require Him by right of necessity and on the authority of God’s word].

(26) It is good that one should hope in and wait quietly for the salvation (the safety and ease) of the Lord.

I repeated those three verses over and over as I lifted weights for 30 minutes, carrying the stack of papers with me from the free weights to the weight benches to the Precor machines.

A desperate plea. As I finished the last of the weights, I put Psalm 9:10 on top of the stack of weights and read.

And they who know Your name [who have experience and acquaintance with Your mercy] will lean on and confidently put their trust in You, for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek (inquire of and for) You [on the authority of God’s Word and the right of their necessity]. (AMPC)

Silently, as I walked upstairs to the stationary bicycles, I said “Yes, Lord, I do seek You, and in fact I really require You. Oh, Father! Let me not be presumptuous, but respectfully, I say You have to help because I truly cannot fix this by myself. I know You will help with this because I cannot go on without You healing this, and I cannot do it myself.”

Divine serendipity. Upstairs, as I pedaled, I skimmed through a book I studied during the depression season—“Healing from Trauma: A Survivor’s Guide to Understanding Your Symptoms and Reclaiming Your Life” by Jasmin Lee Cori, MS, LPC). She explained that after trauma, certain circumstances can trigger thoughts and feelings that accompanied the original trauma. When that happens, the person may experience the same thoughts and feelings all over again. When triggered like that into “trauma thinking”, you often feel helpless and hopeless because that is how trauma feels—helpless and hopeless.

I paused my feet a moment and stared straight ahead as truth well up from within. “I had indeed lost hope the last several days, perhaps even before that.” I was shocked.

Image result for free clip art of no“No!” I thought immediately and indignantly and loudly. “That is NOT true at all! I do have hope because I know what God has done before, for me and others and everything recorded in the Bible and more! I know God works. Absolutely no situation is too hard for Him. I do have hope! I do trust Him! I do have faith in Him, great faith! The lying, thieving enemy must have blinded my mind and my heart for a while. I do have hope and lots of it!

All the while, as I finished cycling, and then as I walked out to my car, palpable relief started. The feeling of something heavy on top of my head began to lessen.

“That is why I felt so bad! Isn’t it, Lord? I had lost hope again, just as I lost hope when I was so deeply depressed. Sometime these last few days, I stopped believing I would ever feel right and balanced and normal again. No wonder life had become such a dread and drudgery each day. No wonder I felt so bad and the fatigue was like walking through molasses. Thank You for Your grace in not letting it get any worse.”

As I drove home, I talked to God non-stop, “Oh Father! Forgive me! I did not realize I had been doubting You! You have always, always, always met my needs, all my life so faithfully, just like You provided for the Israelites over and over and over again, in spite of their sin and weaknesses.  You have done the same for me. You have poured out so many blessings. You have picked me up so many times after failures and problems and hurts and everything else we’ve been through together.

I admit it still feels impossible for You to once again fix my mind and my feelings because this time it is so messed up. I cannot get the wonderful things You taught me to do before to work this time, but I do trust You! I do have hope in You! I do have confidence in You! You are indeed good and merciful and kind and loving and faithful. . . “

Image result for free piture of god gives liigghtGod gives light to fight (Isaiah 30:26). Back at home, I tossed my gym bag in the corner and flopped into the rocker, staring blankly out the window. Then I found myself saying, as I had said a few times in the previous two or so days, only this time with strength: “Satan, I am submitting myself to God, and the Word says if I do that and resist you, that God will restore me after I have suffered a little while (I Peter 5:6-11). Well, I am resisting you and doing my part of this verse so you have to flee! In the name of Jesus, I plead the Blood of the Lamb over my mind and my life. I take authority over you and command you to leave!”

I got up, opened the door, yelled “Leave!” and slammed the door. Then I sat down in the rocker and began telling God every good thing I knew about Him and thanking Him for everything I could think of, over and over, and I prayed in the tongues when my mind snagged and I could not think. Each time I prayed in tongues a few moments, another of God’s innumerable good qualities came to mind.

After a long time, I noticed I felt better. I just sat quietly, silently this time, just telling God thank You and loving Him – and letting Him love me.

Image result for free picture of hard workIT WAS HARD TO PERSIST!  Dear friend, I want you to know that in those moments—as I drove to the gym and kept trying to repeat the Word, and especially right before the fog started to lift after I was home again, it took so much effort to speak the Word out loud and to try and believe.  I honestly did not think I could do it. It must have been simply, purely God’s loving grace that enabled me to keep speaking and to think clearly enough to perceive God speaking to my spirit, telling me what to say and do.

For days before that, I had often flopped on the couch, trying to pray, trying to repeat the Word—I had really tried—but my resources had become depleted and I don’t think I made a sincere, all-out effort.

However, that Saturday, I remember deciding when I left for the gym: “I am going to struggle, I am going to fight to believe, one minute at a time, just like when the depression was so bad. I am going to choose to believe, God will help me, He promises . . . ”

The importance of memorizing, meditating, and speaking the Word. This certainly reinforces that I must continue memorizing the Word! It also reminds me it is essential to repeat the Word over and over and over, constantly, hundreds of times, to get the Word memorized and to let it root down deep into your spirit, into the bedrock of your inmost being. When the Word has filtered down into your spirit and subconscious mind, to the root level of what you truly believe, from there God will work. (Romans 12:2, Proverbs 4:23, Luke 6:45)

Constant repetition, often over a period of days, is necessary to hide the Word in your heart (Proverbs 119:11). It is also necessary to constantly repeat the Word, for minutes, hours or even days when you are under attack, even though it feels nothing is happening. This constant repetition is one way of obeying God’s command to meditate on His Word from the time we wake up to when we fall asleep (Deuteronomy 6:7) and to think about His Word “day and night” (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2).

Joyce Meyer tells the story of a man who was having a terrible time with his thoughts, though he kept repeating the Word. Just when he considered giving up, God let the man see that every time he spoke the Word, a sword came out of his mouth. And so, he persisted speaking the Word, with renewed faith, until breakthrough came.

Image result for free picture of ripe pomegranate treeThe good fruit of all that struggle. About four hours ago, I left for the gym, desperately praying and quoting the Word. Nothing changed externally, not one thing, but now? Now, I feel life is on track again. Inside, I am totally different. Furthermore, I am outlining this blog post even though writing was impossible all last week.

To sum up:  Through permitting life to back me into a corner and wring out more of that toxic self-confidence, God has trained me to be more aggressive spiritually,

  • To take new ground and regain lost ground,
  • To fight back when under attack rather than being passive and retreating,
  • To intensify my work in memorizing Scripture in my areas of need and the needs of others,
  • To speak the Word out loud more often than before and,
  • To pray in tongues more often than before.

I will write more about these things as I study more–and no doubt, spin around on the potter’s wheel some more! (Jeremiah 18)

It has been a week and a half since that wonderfully awful Saturday, when I outlined this blog post. The days have been busy but productive in many ways. I finished this and other pieces of writing, the peace God gave that day has only deepened, and He is solidifying the lessons I learned. I am grateful!

Others are being wrung out, too—for their good! Two friends had similar experiences about the same time, and perhaps you have, too. In the middle of the world’s craziness in this summer of 2021, God is teaching His children about spiritual warfare. I think God is awakening many in the Body of Christ to explosive spiritual growth, which is part of the great awakening He has begun in our nation and our world.

Image result for free picture of niagra falls We will see outpourings of His Spirit such as has never been seen before, as God causes “justice to roll on like a river, and righteousness as a never-failing stream.” (Amos 5:24)

Are you in step with what God is doing and getting ready to do in America and our world? I encourage you to listen to three short podcasts by Dutch Sheets. They are another confirmation about God urging us toward more spiritual power.  Go to www.givehim15.com and see the three podcasts entitled “Releasing the Roar (June 15, 2021) and “Lions, to Your Feet” (June 16, 2021) and “Turn It Up” (June 17, 2021).

See the source imageFight for your families and loved ones! Dear friend, I think God is telling us what He told the Israelites through Nehemiah when the former slaves were rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. How we live as believers powerfully affects our family and everyone with whom we come in contact. The more light we shine into the world, the more we help those around us, so:

“Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!” (Nehemiah 4:14b, NLT)

And, as the AMPC phrases it:

Do not be afraid of the enemy; [earnestly] remember the Lord and imprint Him [on your minds], great and terrible, and [take from Him courage to] fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes. (AMPC) (emphasis added)

Is there any motivation greater? We may, if sore pressed, give up when we are the only ones endangered, but when our loved ones are threatened, as they are now by things we see happening, let us be like “a bear robbed of her cubs” (Proverbs 17:12, NIV).

Let love motivate you!Many waters cannot quench love; waters cannot sweep it away.” (Song of Solomon 8:7, NIV).  We have the love of God shed abroad in our hearts, (Romans 5:5), and we have God Himself living in us and working in us (John 14:23, I Corinthians 3:16, Philippians 2:13).  We have all we need to fight, for ourselves, for all our loved ones, and the world! Beloved, let us stand up and fight! Let us press on to maturity ((Hebrews 6:1-3) so that God may shine more of His light through us into the darkness of this world.

If Jesus lives in us, then, beloved, by and in and through Jesus, we also ARE the light of the world (John 8:12). We have within us, because of God in us, the truth and power and the Word of God that overcomes all darkness (John 1:5).  So, I say, with Dutch and Tim Sheets:

  • let us release the roar,
    • let us stand to our feet, and
      • let us turn up the power of God in us!

See the source image

Those old wringer washing machines

Image result for free picture of wringer washing machineDear friend–a quick note to say I will have a post next week.  I have been working on one for many days now, and I believe it will bless you.

The last few weeks have felt like going through one of those old wringer washing machines, over and over. I imagine you can relate to that because we know Satan is very busy right now BUT WE KNOW GOD IS IN CONTROL AND IS WORKING ALL THINGS OUT FOR OUR GOOD!  Hang in there! Hold on to your hope! Keep proclaiming and believing the Word and watch out for special signs of His love for you. He never, no never, no never fails us in any way! (Hebrews 13:5, AMPC)

So, until next week – Woo hoo and GO GOD!