God Hears

I sat quietly alone on my loveseat with the gas fireplace roaring beside me. Though the TV was on, it was set to mute as I considered my next move. I glanced at my injured foot which was now in a “boot” resting on the coffee table in front of me. I sighed. No one else was home. I just wanted something cold to drink but knew how difficult it would be to hobble with my crutches into the kitchen and return with a cold satisfying drink.

So, my dilemma, as simply as it was: Should I relax my newly broken foot or did I really need a refreshing drink. To myself, yet out loud, I said in despair, “there is no one here to help me”.

Immediately my mind raced to the story of the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda. It is found in the 5th chapter of the Gospel of John. Apparently the sick, the lame and the blind would sit by a pool of water. It was said to have had healing powers when it was stirred – some translations state that it was stirred by angels.

Some scholars believe the pools were at a pagan shrine or temple honoring the Greek god or demigod Asclepius, the god of medicine or medicinal powers. It was said that the healing snakes stirred the waters. And the scholars contribute the medicinal powers and stirring of the water from bubbles that arose from the mineral springs. Others debunk this theory.  Regardless, a man sat by this pool of water for 38 years with no one to help him get in. He must have come to a place of despair.

It reads like this from the NIV translation:

Sometime later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.  One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” 

“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. John 5:1-9

What I found interesting about this story is that Jesus walked into the midst of a pagan shrine (if that was the case) not caring about the “protocol” of the day. According to scripture he only approached one individual and healed him, on the Sabbath mind you, which was also against Jewish tradition.

He heard the man’s heart even though the man never asked the Lord to help him. We have heard other stories where people called out to the Lord, but not in this circumstance.

God’s mercy and compassion for those in need, for those who cry out from their heart, is amazing.

It made me realize that he hears, even when we don’t speak. He hears even if an individual doesn’t realize who they are calling upon.

I don’t care if you are:

in a prison cell
amid a war-torn country
in a COVID ward
on center stage
looking in the wrong direction for help
rich and famous
poor and alone
amongst friends
amongst enemies
feeling lost
in a church family
in a cubical
homebound
living on the street
a drug addict
hopeless
or seem to have it together…. God hears the heart that cries to him.

Where do you find yourself today? What is your situation?

I am telling you DO NOT GIVE UP. DO NOT LOSE HEART. GOD HEARS!

Isaiah 65:24, “Before they call, I will answer. While they are still speaking, I will hear.” (NIV)

Psalm 139 explains that he knows everything about you and cares. He knew you before you did. And Romans 8 states that NOTHING can separate you from the love of God.

What are you waiting for? What can you lose?

Dear Lord, Hear those who are crying from their hearts, those in despair, those who are in need and even those who do not realize yet that they need you. Amen

By the way: I was able to grab that drink. I just had to guzzle it right there at the refrigerator. And then I hobbled on my crutches back to the loveseat to rest my foot on the coffee table.  And soon my family returned home. I am grateful that I have something to drink, a couch to sit on in a warm house, and for those who are caring for me, as I heal.

I am mostly grateful for God who will never leave or forsake me, who took the time to go out of his way to heal a paralyzed man thousands of years ago when he had no one to help him. God is the same yesterday, today and forever and so I am grateful that he continues to heal today.

Remember: He cares about every detail of your life…and loves you.

God bless.

Destruction of War vs the Glory of God

Quiet cackling was heard in the darkness. Whispering followed, but it was not said in words that could be understood. If any person had been able to hear or perceive the voices uttered in the darkness, a chill may have gone down their spine, even though the words were unclear.

From that darkness Abaddon, the demon of destruction, had been able to breathe into a certain man’s thoughts. The man had often opened his mind to possibilities that intrigued them. And since he was pondering those thoughts more often, they knew eventually their thoughts would become his, as he claimed their sinister plans, as his own.

The demon knew that thoughts of power and dominion filled the man’s mind until he felt he was mad. He was often troubled by these notions and had become weary of trying to keep them at bay, without voicing them aloud. He tried to present somewhat of a smile whenever he was around other dignitaries, yet the voices continued to echo in his mind. He would have to wait…wait for an opportunity to arise so he could continue with his plans.

There were other nations, other leaders, who had had the same thoughts twirling in their minds. This individual, who was consumed with intense, brutal power, hoped that perhaps these other nation would join him to strengthen their forces. And then…then he would deceive even them, and reign supreme.

Lately he noticed that the strength of the once great nation of the “free world” was waning. If this continued, it would not be long before he could show his own power and react to those voices, those thoughts and then he could present his true colors with force. But now, he must wait.

The cackling and screeching grew louder as other minions and spirits around Abaddon joined him in his disturbing strategy. They laughed and gloated, rubbing their hands together, satisfied with what was about to transpire. Not since World War II had they been called to join the ranks of such destruction, but their moment was quickly approaching.

It had been such a delight to stand by past leaders as they encouraged destruction upon many nations. But this would be far superior. Abaddon knew or thought he knew “the time” that awaited him was soon to be his, so he could reign with destructive power. He had tried this before, but it was stopped because of unity of the nations, because of prayer of the saints. But these days were going to be different.

People from the “free world” had grown weak, powerless, and apathetic, as had many nations. Most had stopped caring. Long ago they traded love for lust, caring for power and common sense for control. Their own power-hungry agendas had plagued their hearts and minds. It had become easy to conquer from within. These nations had already been overcome with delusion and fear.

Fear swept the entire world through sickness, plagues, and death. Now fear would rule with war, power, and destruction!

Besides, those who did care were no longer in power amongst the nations. The people of the world had become blinded by their own desires and fear and would be caught off guard. And even if they did decide to unite, it would be too late because no one was listening.

And the saints, if there were many left, were more concerned with their own wellbeing to even notice what was happening. Most no longer listened to the Holy Spirit, took time to pray or even read the Bible. They had become consumed by things, riches, and fame. Those who could be called saints had filled their churches with compromise and judgement. They, too, would be caught off guard.

Abaddon gathered his legion together and announced how he had control of the violent leader. Now he would reign with power and use him until he was destroyed. Not only did he have control of this man, but there were other leaders and countries that had been influenced with the same agenda, and demons had already been assigned to their post, opened to their command. Together they would unite. Together they would destroy the “free world.” Finally, they would be able to spill out their hatred for mankind, in the fashion they had been lusting for.

It had already begun. War was already spilling blood. Destruction was in power.

But…..but…but…

The earth started to shake.

“What is going on?” Abaddon declared in rage. A small imp pulled on his arm, as a frightened child might do to his overbearing parent.

“WHAAAT?” screamed the angry demon.

“We may have a problem,” said the timid imp.

“Go on…” Abaddon seemed annoyed.

“It seems we may have miscalculated the situation,” the imp cowardly wimpered.

“What do you mean….miscalculated?”

“It seems, that there are some praying warriors that walk in authority and power that we may have not anticipated.”

An incredible deep throated growl came up from the belly of Abaddon.

“NOOOOO” he screamed. “NOT AGAIN!”

The demons beside him fell from the torturous anger that was growing in the atmosphere.

The earth shook again, this time with far more power.

The demons looked around with fearful anticipation. They observed a huge wave of water coming towards them. But it wasn’t water like the water that fills the earth. It glimmered with such magnificent and brilliant light that the demons were blinded and confused. The depth of this wave became so heavy that they could not move, and the smell was so sweet that they began to regurgitate.

The water was alive!

The demons screamed one more time as they finally realized: It was God’s Glory!!

Accompanying HIS GLORY was a legion of mighty warring angels, so many that the wave of God’s glory and the angels blended as one.

And His Glory was filling the earth and those warring, praying saints were rejoicing. Their voices reverberated with so much praise that the chambers of hell shook.

The demons screamed as they tried to escape. They were being trampled underfoot by hope, faith, love, and mercy.

The earth shook another time.

And this time the wave of HIS GLORY covered the earth. Anything and everyone in its path were being washed.

Abaddon realized, in anguish, that he had gotten it wrong, AGAIN. His time had not yet come. He growled in defeat as he watched the Glory of God fill the earth. He began screaming in agony as many whom he thought he had in his grip, were affected by that Glory. Others ran in fear, as he and his demons had.

For now, he would have to wait.

***********************************************************************************

I have no doubt that our prayers change the atmosphere and create miracles.

“He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree. ‘Be unrooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.” Luke 17:6 (NIV)

“For the Lord will rebuild Zion and appear in his glory. He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea.” Psalm 102:16 -17 (NIV)

There are so many more scriptures on prayer. What I want to express is this: the enemy THINKS he has control. But it is God who is in control!!! Pray without ceasing. Do not grow weary. Believe in his goodness. He HAS already overcome the world and WILL answer our prayers.

Be of good cheer. Pray and believe and watch. For God is good. Amen

God Bless

When Circumstances Don’t = JOY

JOY unspeakable?

What does that mean? To some of us, and to those who are going through traumatic circumstances it can seem unattainable at times.

How can a person find joy in an age where the world is collapsing around us? How can a person find joy if they are in war torn surroundings (like we are witnessing today), or maybe in a free country but your finances have been depleted, your health is compromised, or your loved ones have perished? Where is the joy in that hour?

Joy is not the same as happiness. Happiness is temporary. It is a fleeting moment of something special. Perhaps it is your wedding day, a new home, a vacation, winning the lottery, or whatever it is that brings your personal happiness.

But what happens when there are real life struggles? What happens when life is not going according to your plans? What happens to happiness when there is a catastrophe or maybe something more subtle like weariness, hopelessness or depression that knock on your door? Where is happiness then?

Many times, accompanying an article about famous people facing a divorce, is a picture of them together, with the caption stating, “in happier times”. That is just it. It was HAPPY times. Things were going ok. But then something began to crumble under their feet and now they are splitting up because they are no longer HAPPY with each other. It was a temporary thing.

But joy is different. It is a strength that cannot be dissolved by circumstances. That is why the Word states in Nehemiah 8:10b: “Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” The people were sadden when they realized how much they had fallen from the Lord and rebelled.  But they were told to no longer mourn for their strength would come from their joy in the Lord.

Joy in the Lord brings strength to your soul in the midst of otherwise circumstantial defeat. It is a substance that cannot be moved. It is a foundation that is permanent.

Remember the parable about the house that was built on the rock vs the house that was built on the sand (Matthew 7:24-27)? The wise man built his house on a rock (a good foundation) and when the storms came his house stood strong. But the foolish person did not listen and built his house on the sand. When the storms came, his house fell.

If the parable applies to having Jesus as our rock and we are building our life on him, when the storms come, we will be able to stand, unlike the person who built their house on the sand. Their foundation had no substance. Notice both houses had to endure a storm. We will all go through storms. But building your hopes and dreams around what this world has to offer or people that may disappoint you, will cause you to fall into complete chaos when a crisis hits.

Just as Jesus is the rock (or foundation) of our salvation, he is also the rock and foundation of our joy. Our strength comes from him. Our joy is complete in him!

John 15 speaks about abiding in Jesus and his love and obeying our Heavenly Father, just as he did. Jesus continues, “I have told you this so that my JOY may be in you and that your JOY may be complete.” (John 15:11 NIV)

Our joy becomes complete only through Jesus. How does his joy become our strength? It comes out of our relationship with our Lord even through trials.

The joy of the Lord becomes our strength once we begin our journey with him, as we abide in him, as we become passionate about him more than anything else, as we completely trust in him whether there is a storm or not. It is part of who he is. And he lives in us!

It comes from our relationship with Christ!

The joy of the Lord is not an emotion that we have to muster up. It is WHO WE ARE. We become full of joy because the Holy Spirit lives in us. Our hearts become his habitation as we spend time with him, in prayer, in worship, in life, regardless of what is happening around us.

In HIS presence there is joy.

Psalm 16:11” You make the path of life known to me. COMPLETE JOY IS IN YOUR PRESENCE. Pleasures are by your side forever.” (GWT)

His joy empowers us. It even empowered Jesus at the cross.

“We must focus on Jesus, the source and goal of our faith. He saw the JOY ahead of him, so he endured the death of the cross and ignored the disgrace it brought him.” Hebrews 12:2a (GWT)

That is why “the things of this world can grow so strangely dim,” as the old hymn states.  He is our strength when we completely trust in him. That trust is not just in who he is, but who he is IN US and who we are IN HIM.

Whether you are walking in good times or fiery trials, as we get to know the creator of the universe, an unexplainable joy bubbles up from within.

In summary:

Jesus IS JOY to those of us who believe. JOY cannot be moved by circumstances because it has become part of who we are when we became sons and daughters of God the Father.  We cannot muster it up. It is a gift, as is salvation. That strength of his joy is found in his presence, regardless of any situation.

I pray that this becomes such a revelation to you. I pray the JOY of THE LORD consumes you in these hours we are facing. I pray that it doesn’t just consume you but that it flows over to those who have either forgotten who lives in them, as believers, or for those who have not yet tasted of the goodness of the Lord.

Be at peace in this hour.

(And I lift those up in Ukraine and other nations that are facing despair during these hours, whether war, weather or oppression. May God grant grace and mercy.)

God Bless.

Red Sea Impossibilities

As I entered the doors of the local hospital emergency room, once again, several different thoughts came to my mind. This hospital, the corridors, the ritual of checking in, the nurses and even the food, had become familiar for many reasons.

It was just a little over a year ago that I had taken my father to the ER, accompanied by my mother. He had battled heart issues for years and this time his implanted defibrillator went off with such strength it rocked him to the core. Since he had tested positive for that irritating pandemic, COVID, he stayed in the hospital. During those days, his defibrillator went off so many times he simply wanted to quit. But he fought hard so he could come home to his family that awaited his return.

After COVID he battled pneumonia and won! Though he did come home for a time he returned to the hospital because he became infected with MRSA (an infection that is caused by a type of staph bacteria). The infection demanded intense antibiotics which caused kidney failure. Eventually, during the cool of the season, with the trees turning multi-colors (his favorite season) he came home to hospice care.

It would only be a few months later that we would stand by his bed as he entered eternity.

Almost a year to the day that I first had taken my dad into the emergency room, I was driving my husband in. He had become ill with a high fever that lasted for a couple of days and didn’t seem to break, even with medication.

It would be a 10 day stay; first warding off sepsis that was trying to invade his body, and then going through several surgeries that would leave him without four of his toes. The first several days were crucial, but eventually I was allowed to take him home. He would have to remain off his foot for at least another month after he got home. I was becoming used to the daily care, thinking about the times I had helped my mother and sister with my father in the not too distant past. I was thanking God for sparing my husband’s life.

I thought this would be the last I would see of the hospital for some time.

But after work, as I pulled into my driveway, I got a phone call. My mother had gotten into a horrible car accident and was at the emergency room. I entered that familiar door and was led back to emergency rooms, again.

Despite that she lay in a neck brace and endured horrific bruises, she forced a smile. I thought. “I am glad she is alive!” Though bruised, a cracked rib and cracked pubic ramus, she was still alive! I was glad to drive her home that evening. She began to heal slowly while my sister and I watched her improve. Then one morning she complained about chest pains and here I was again, at the ER.

After many tests they discovered small blood clots had entered her heart and her lungs from the bruising in her legs. Not only had she survived the accident, but she had survived blood clots.

I sat by the bedside once again, trusting the God that had always been faithful.

The saying, “when it rains it pours” seemed to be appropriate.

PS 139 kept coming to my mind, especially the final verses.

 PS 139; 23-24 NLT
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”

I was being shaken. Often people say that God won’t give you more than you can handle. Well, I don’t always agree with that statement. He often allows more that we can handle on our own. He just gives us more of HIS GRACE. I thought, “What was in my heart? “I want God to lead me along the path of everlasting life. He is faithful to do just that.

These are precarious days. Our country seems to be shaking! The events that are taking place are events that test the core of our beliefs. Events that are affecting our personal lives, events that are affecting the future of America and the world are taking place in these hours.

We must be prepared to hear the voice of God. We must be prepared to obey his leading. We must be prepared to bring in the harvest for salvation.

We don’t know our future. We don’t even know how many days we are going to be on the earth. But it is important that we make most of our time.

As my mother is resting her weary body while it heals and my husband is being restored, I rest in the comfort of the Lord. I know there will be many struggles. I have witnessed them personally and among friends and family. I see them in our nation, and the world, at large.

Heartache, death, disease, violence, and trials don’t seem to stop, it seems. But it is part of this life. Jesus even said that there would be many trials but to be of good cheer for he has overcome the world.

What did Paul say in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9?

“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed”. (NLT)

God’s light always shines brighter in perilous times and impossible situations.

It has throughout history. I am SURE that when Moses reached the Red Sea and knew the Egyptian army was right behind them, he was wondering what God had up his sleeve. But he trusted God who delivered ALL of them, while their enemy perished.

I bet Esther was not expecting to have to plead for her people as Haman had declared that all the Jews should be slaughtered. It seemed impossible to have victory amid that disastrous proclamation. But God heard the cries of her heart and others. Not only did God deliver them, but Haman hung in the place of the one whom he threatened to have killed.

We can continue with Joseph who must have felt hopeless as he sat in a prison for years for a crime he never committed. He may have wondered how he was going to get out of this one. But God heard his cries and not only freed him but made him second in command of the nation.

What about Daniel, who was thrown into the lion’s den, David, who was sought by King Saul who wanted to kill him, or even Noah who was mocked for years and years as he built this huge ship where there was no water, and yet God saved each of them. And what about Peter who was delivered from prison by an angel. We can go on and on.

Even in modern times we have heard testimonies of God’s faithfulness when all seemed lost. There are testimonies yet to be heard from places like Afganistan, China or North Korea where it takes the faith of the God who still works in the impossible. DOES God hear his people?

Sometimes we must walk through things we thought we wouldn’t have to. Sometimes life seems hopeless. BUT GOD STILL hears our cries and delivers, ESPECIALLY when it seems impossible.

What are you going through? What thoughts are invading your mind? What trials are crossing your path that seem impossible and what fears may be knocking at your door.  What about the future of America? Has God heard the cries for this nation? I believe he is waiting for his timing for this nation and for your future. He is waiting for the impossible. When we reach the Red Sea of impossibilities, God WILL be glorified.

I pray that you trust him in the process of your journey. 

God bless!

Hope in suffering.

There was a single word burning in my heart. It was twirling in my soul. I tried to ignore it, but I seemed to keep hearing it. Even if I put my fingers in my ears, I could hear it in my spirit.

The word? SUFFERING

We don’t necessarily want to talk about suffering nor walk through that valley. But it is hard to avoid as it deviously moves throughout the world in one form or another. As the word was twirling in my mind and wouldn’t leave, I realized that the Lord desired to show me a different perspective.

There is suffering without the Lord and then there is suffering with the Lord. And there is a difference.

Think for a moment about training for a triathlon race. You would not be sitting around binge-watching TV while snacking on buttered popcorn.  Instead, you would be working out and eating right so that you can sustain your body. You would be teaching your body, mind and will the art of endurance, perseverance, sacrifice and confidence. Though the training would be grueling, it would produce the strength needed to win, or at least complete the race.

Suffering is like training for that triathlon. It is the catalyst that will create great rewards and great results. It isn’t the natural avenue we would choose to travel, but it is the very avenue that will lead us to our victory. And though we need confidence in ourselves to win a competitive race, we will need to put our confidence in the Lord, during a season of suffering, to become victorious.

In fact, confidence in the Lord will be one of the defining aspects between suffering without the Lord and suffering WITH the Lord.  Our confidence MUST come from resting in God. If we depend on our own strength our arms will get weak and our hearts will grow hopeless.

In Exodus lies the story of the war with the Amalekites. As long as Moses lifted his arms the children of Israel were winning the battle. But he could not keep them up alone. He needed someone to hold up his arms. The battle was won with the help of those who lifted Moses’ arms and with Joshua’s confidence in the Lord, as he and his men fought. (Exodus 17:8-5)

Suffering WITH the Lord is surrendering and trusting and still persevering with faith even when we see only darkness with our natural sight. it is walking with those who are going through hardships and lifting them up, as well as letting others walk with us.

It is ENDURING WITH CONFIDENCE IN CHRIST.

“My brothers and sisters be very happy when you are tested in different ways. You know that such testing of your faith produces ENDURANCE. Endure until your testing is over: Then you will be mature and complete, and you won’t need anything.” James 1:2

Like in that triathlon where the participant exercises to prepare for the race, we must exercise our faith to be able to endure. It is part of growing and becoming mature. As we learn to endure in the face of battle, wisdom increases and our confidence in the Lord becomes our strength.

But there is even more.

It is connecting with our Heavenly Father without any inhibition. It is trusting him so entirely that the world we live in begins to fade in comparison to his glory. It is being able to say, with Harotio Spafford, who authored a hymn after losing his children to the cold ocean waters: “It is Well with my Soul”.

How could he do that? He had built a relationship with the God of creation. He knew that the Lord was greater than his sorrow.  He knew that God’s love for him and his family overshadowed his circumstances. He surrendered his heart and heartache completely to the Lord.

A similar circumstance, though not as grievous, happened to me when I lost my 6-year-old at a campground in Colorado. He was only gone for a few hours. We didn’t know if he got lost in the woods or was taken by a stranger. But what happened to me in those few haunting hours was this: I chose to totally surrender to my Lord. I could do nothing. I could only pray and trust.

It is walking so close to the Lord that in your darkest hours, you know that he is still Lord. It’s as if you can breathe his presence into your lungs. You know that you know he will not let you go. And you relax in his arms and trust in his all-powerful mercy and grace.

Joseph experienced this confidence in the Lord when he went to prison for years for a crime he never committed. Though it may have felt like he was forgotten, he still held on to his faith in his Lord. After he was tested for a little while, he became the 2nd in command over the nation. After his season of suffering the Lord revealed his plan for his life.

Jesus embraced suffering because he trusted his heavenly Father regardless of what he was about to suffer. He had said, “Not my will but yours be done.” His love was and still is so intense for us that despite the hate and torture and grueling death, he went to the cross and into the depths of hell to get the keys of sin and death from satan.  There was a purpose for his suffering and a plan of victory.

Because He was victorious, we can walk in victory despite what we may be enduring.

The followers of Jesus walked in victory despite the suffering they endured because they had put their confidence in Jesus. Today many around the world are persecuted for their faith because the world hates believers as it hated our Savior, Jesus Christ. Even if you are in a free country you will still face opposition of many kinds. And it is a guarantee that you will face personal defeat, heartache and suffering sometime in your life. The word of God states that we should not be surprised by the fiery troubles that come to test our faith. Instead, we are to be happy to be found worthy. (1 Peter 4:12-13)

When I face opposition, I am learning to stop and consider that the Lord is preparing me for something greater. He loves each of us beyond the trials we face. It is those very trials and sufferings that we endure that will be our steppingstones to complete our purpose.

“We must focus on Jesus, the source and goal of our faith. He saw the JOY ahead of him, so he endured death on the cross, and ignored the disgrace it brought him. Then he received the highest position in heaven, the one next to the throne of God. Think about Jesus, who endured opposition from sinners, so that you don’t become tired and give up.” Hebrews 12:2-3

Jesus endured with joy because he saw the joy ahead of him.

The suffering you endure does NOT, will NOT and can NOT compare to the hope of his glory. He promised that he will NEVER leave or forsake you.

Romans 5:3-5
Not only that, but we REJOICE in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (ESV)

So, what is the difference between suffering without the Lord and suffering with him?

With him, there is a purpose and a plan. God is equipping and preparing each of us for our destiny.

With him there is a peace that passes understanding, knowing he has us in his hands.

With him there is a strength built inside each of us as we place our confidence in him.

With him there can be a place of joy despite what we see because we are building a relationship with our Creator.

With him there is a hope for our future.

For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

There is a word burning in my spirit today. It is HOPE. Yes, we will endure suffering. But it will produce so much more in our lives. Be of good cheer. The Lord has overcome this world.

Amen and God bless.

OBEDIENCE

During the Christmas season we may think about gifts, Santa, sleigh bells, cookies, music and joy.

To those that are believers Christmas day is also a day to remember what Christ did for us. So powerful was the day he was born that angels rejoiced, filling the heavens with song.

As powerful as that was, his life of obedience overshadowed it. While on this earth he set people free from sickness and death, replacing those strongholds with hope and joy.  Still more incredible was the death he endured taking on all our sins, all our sickness to the pit of hell with him and leaving them there. It was in his death that he became victorious, rising to new life, so that we might live forever with him.

All of these events melted down to his obedience to his heavenly Father. He often stated that he only did the things his heavenly Father told him to do. At any time he could have called legions of angels from heaven to fight the battle for him. It would have been more epic than any war in history or any Hollywood movie attempting to portray the battle of good vs evil.

Instead, the angels prepared for battle, alert and with swords drawn, keeping their eyes focus on Jesus. They waited and watched as the Son of God laid down his life for each of us. His life was not taken, he gave it. He gave it because of his ultimate love of the Father; his ultimate love for us. He didn’t want to endure that cross.

BUT…he said to his Father in desperate prayer, “Not my will, but yours be done!”

“During his life on earth, Jesus prayed to God, who could save him from death. He prayed and pleaded with loud crying and tears and he was heard because of his devotion to God. Although Jesus was the Son of God he learned to be obedient through his sufferings.” Hebrew 5:7-8 (GWT)

We will not be void of suffering in this world. But in the end, obedience will be the only way to bring real joy.

“He saw the JOY set ahead of him, so he endured the death of the cross and ignored the disgrace it brought him.” Hebrews 12:2 (GWT)

Obedience is a word that is peppered throughout the Word. It is a key that unlocks the joy that Christ desires for each of us. But sometimes it feels like death to obey.

Joseph obeyed and took Mary as his wife, although he did not really understand. Several times he obeyed and moved Mary and Jesus because Jesus’ life was being sought from the day of his birth. His obedience saved our Savior.

It isn’t easy to obey when you feel left out. Everyone wants to belong. It isn’t easy when you look strange or weird because everyone wants to be accepted.

I am sure it wasn’t “easy” for Noah to build an ark when there was no water. People mocked him and surely thought he was crazy. But he and his household were saved.

It wasn’t easy for Joseph to obey and run from a woman who tried to seduce him, losing all that he had because of a lie. Nor was it easy for him to see his brothers after so many years apart and forgive them for selling him into slavery. But because of his obedience he saved a nation from starvation.

It definitely wasn’t easy for Jonah to tell the people of Nineveh to repent. In fact he didn’t obey at first and found himself in the belly of a huge fish or sea creature. But later, because of his obedience, the nation repented of their ways.

Ananias obeyed the Lord and laid his hands on Saul (who became Paul) to receive his sight again. Just days earlier this man was rounding up followers of the Lord to be killed. Through Ananias’ obedience Paul did receive his sight, was baptized, filled with the Holy Spirit and immediately spread the gospel, writing many books of the Bible.

Obedience is a key.

So today, who do you obey? Do you listen to the voices of a people who pressure you or do you obey the Lord? Each person has to give an account whether they choose to obey their Lord. Even in America, the land of the free, we see people who stand alone trying to obey their Lord. Remember the lady who decided not to give out marriage license to people of the same-sex? She was mocked and ridiculed and called names. But she felt she had to obey her Creator instead of the overwhelming crowds. People also have lost their businesses in similar cases. Obedience to their belief over road what society believes as truth.

But that is nothing.

I just read on social media about a pastor and his wife from China who have been thrown into prison for not abiding by the governing laws regarding their beliefs. It isn’t that they did a horrific act of disobedience. It was that they chose to obey God over manmade rules. This is going on in several countries that disregard freedom of religion. Some are beaten, some are killed and yet the faith of Jesus Christ prospers in the face of persecution because of obedience.

Daniel did the same thing and was thrown into the lion’s den. The king was amazed that his God protected him from the lions and worshipped the God who can close the mouths of lions.

You might ask why a God of love would allow people to walk to their deaths. I don’t have all the answers but I do know that he gives grace and mercy to those who ask for it. I also know that he desire that all people are saved from the fires of hell. Only he understands what our act of obedience will do for each of us and for those who witness our walk. Perhaps it will save a soul.

Not everyone will give their lives for our Lord. But each of us will come to a crossroad where we will need to decide if we are going to obey our Lord. Do we mean it when we state that we are believers? Or is our lives filled with mushy compromise? I am asking myself this question, too. I am not saying something that the Lord isn’t already asking me. When the heat goes up (and it will) will we walk away from our Lord?

We celebrate Christmas with a world that really may not understand the power of its meaning. Some celebrate while enjoying freedom. Others may not have freedom, but celebrate the freedom that Christ can bring.

During this holiday season, I pray that you will come to know the God of creation and understand that he loves you. And if you already are a believer, I pray that this next year will be one that will draw you closer to your Lord.

Remember the old hymn, “Trust and Obey”, written in 1887 by John H Sammis. The refrain goes:

“Trust and obey for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”

How true that statement is!

God bless and have a Merry Christmas.

 

 

 

War in prayer

Lately I have been reposting. I guess it is because I have been reading so many great articles that it is hard to not want to share, and in some cases, need to share. This article was taken from the website: hiskingdomprophecy.com

The author resides in Ireland and has had several dreams about America that she believes are God-inspired, as do I. I know we are to test “prophetic words”. I do not take them lightly.  Yet, I believe it is important to at least listen to the word or in this case, read it and then judge for yourself.

I just want to preface it with 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.” (NKJV)

Also Matthew 5:45b – “He makes his sun rise on people whether they are good or evil. He lets rain fall on them whether they are just or unjust.” (GWT)

And finally we should remember to pray for each other, especially as we travel through difficult seasons. Prayer -or as this article states – “waging war” changes things. Pray for those walking through hardship and pray that each person may find hope through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

God Bless.

 

California, God has taken hold of the land and He is shaking all things loose, that which is good will stand, but that which is not of Him will be utterly destroyed!

Watch and pray, for we have entered into a season of sudden and violent shakings in the nations.

These shakings are taking place both physically and spiritually.

This is the time to be stationed high upon the walls of our cities, that we may know how to wage war effectively and know how to be fully prepared for what will surely take place in the days ahead!

As I went to bed last night, I had not been asleep very long when I was woken with an urgency to pray for the American State of California and for the nation of America.

As I began to war in the spirit, I was shown that the State of California is earmarked for two great shakings, both physical and spiritual.

I saw two mighty earthquakes taking place over the land in the days ahead.

Just as we are seeing the fires raging across the land, so there will be a fire of His Glory and revival that will rage across the land.

But as I looked at the fires in the physical, I saw a great shifting or movement taking place deep underground all over that state.

I saw the movement of underground plates running right across the land right up to the coastline.

Then suddenly I saw a great and sudden earthquake taking place in the physical over the land.

But as I looked at the nation being shaken violently, I saw that the landscape of the nation was being totally realigned and transformed.

Then I saw in the spirit yet another great shaking coming upon the land.  But it was a spiritual shaking and I watched as the spiritual landscape of California and the nation was realigned and totally transformed.

RHEMA REPOST:

An Urgent Word for California, America!

Posted on April 26, 2018

An urgent word for California, America!

“California, California repent and return.

For the hour of great calamity and sudden catastrophe shall come upon the land.

For have I not said, he who remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed without hope or remedy?”

In the very early hours of this morning I was caught up in a very powerful vision where I was taken in the spirit over the land of California, America.

Now in the vision I encountered a warring Angel of the LORD.  Now amazingly, I have encountered the same warring angel when I received a word of warning a few months back concerning the nation of Australia, where I saw and was shown a great earthquake coming suddenly upon the land. (See “Pray for the Nation of Australia“.)

In the vision last night, as I stood before the warring angel, I heard these words coming out of the heavens, “California, California repent and return, for the hour of great calamity and sudden catastrophe shall come upon the land.

For have I not said, he who remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed without hope or remedy?”

On hearing those words, suddenly the Angel of the LORD unraveled a golden scroll and set it before me as he had done before.

Written upon the scroll were the words of (Ezekiel 33).  As I looked again at the scroll, the numbers 333, and 111 were highlighted to me.

Then suddenly the warring Angel of LORD left me and I came out of the vision.

Please read Ezekiel 33:1-11.(below) and take special note of the 11th verse of this chapter:

“Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.  Turn!  Turn from your evil ways!”

Just over the last few weeks I have been lead to study the following numbers and the correlating scriptures, I believe prophetically they reflect the season we are now in.

Numbers: 333

See Jeremiah 33:3  “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’”

In this hour, there is a call to deeper intercession as the hidden mysteries and revelation of His Glory is being made available to all who are seeking, knocking and asking.

Ask of the Spirit in this season for a fresh infilling for heaven is indeed releasing fresh, new Revelation and strategy for the current-season and circumstances in the earth.

Numbers: 111

These numbers talk of spiritual awakening.

A few months ago I had a dream where I could hear the sound of trumpets and bells ringing across the face of the earth and I heard these words, “The sound of a divine wake up call is now being released into the nations of the earth!”

Listen friends, prophetically, we have entered into a season of great awakening.

Many are beginning to experience the supernatural favour and extravagant provision of heaven over their lives.

It’s time to take new ground and take hold of the promises of God like never before.

We are crossing over.  We have entered into a time of divine transition and realignment, revival, restoration and reformation in the earth.

The resurrection power of God is bringing forth new life.

The sound of rattling can be heard coming out of the valley of dry bones, all that has been dead are now coming back to life.

I see divine encounters being released in greater measure.

Many are now receiving deeper spiritual clarity, strategy, wisdom and revelation.  Many are being awakened to the sense of greater Kingdom identity and purpose in God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is now advancing upon the earth.

“in that day the lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the surviving remnant of his people…”   Isaiah 11:11.

I Prophesy:  The remnant is rising…!

“After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “our friend lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up,”   John 11:11.

I Prophesy:  The power of resurrection life is now awakening the Body of Christ to greater Kingdom identity and destiny

“Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.  From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent take it by force!”   Matthew 11:11.

I Prophesy:  This is the 11th hour.  The Kingdom of Heaven has been subjected to violence and the violent take it by force.

Watch!  For the 11th hour warriors of heaven are emerging who will take the kingdom by force!

“But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven,”   Deuteronomy 11:11.

I Prophesy:  We are crossing over into the land of manifest promise and prosperity.

Pray for the land of California and to for the nation of Australia.

A great and sudden shaking is coming to the land.

Cry out to The LORD for mercy in midst of great judgement.

“Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, 3 when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, 4 then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head.  5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life.  6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’
7 “So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me.  8 When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.  9 Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.
10 “Therefore you, O son of man, say to the house of Israel: ‘Thus you say, “If our transgressions and our sins lie upon us, and we pine away in them, how can we then live?”’  11 Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’” 
 Ezekiel 33:1-11.

 

Blessings to you all.
~ by Veronika West

Winds of adversity.

Someone once asked me if I followed the first commandment before I followed the second commandment.

“It is the greatest commandment and the only one to live by,” she reminded me. “People sometimes think that the second one is the greatest and skip the first. But the second cannot be completed without the first.”

Then she quoted Mark 12:30:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”

Matthew 22:38 continues to say, “This is the first and the greatest commandment.” (NIV)

That word of wisdom stayed on my mind. I thought about it quit a lot. It boils down to loving the Lord with ALL that I am and in EVERY situation.

Wow, that is intense! It makes sense that it should be the first commandment. How can a person fulfill the second commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” if they cannot understand the first. It is only through HIS love that we can come near to accomplishing loving our neighbor as ourselves.

Several days later I heard the Lord whisper the same words into my heart again, except this time he added, “I CHALLENGE you: love me with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.”

Again, this resonated with my soul, especially in this hour.

Those who went before us surely understood this concept of complete and total abandonment of love for their Lord or they would not have been able to endure the tragedies, heartaches and persecutions that they faced then and some still do.

This leads me to share something that is on my heart. I believe the Lord is warning each of us that “a wind is coming”. It will be wind that is so powerful and mighty that if I (we) do not hold onto this verse I (we) may be blown away by that wind’s power.

You already see the wind in the American government. It is blowing away dross. And it will continue to blow. Innocent people have to hold on with all they are worth. They must hold onto their faith, while others keep them steadfast through prayer support and encouragement. But I strongly believe that if those who are dealing in lies and deceit do not change they will be blown away by the power of that wind.

As I was contemplating these things in my heart I heard the natural wind blow outside. I looked outside my front door and noticed our flag (yes, we have a flag in the front of our house) whipping violently in the wind. It was so powerful that it wrapped itself tightly around the flagpole. Then the wind changed its direction which caused the flag to unwrap, only to wrap around the pole again in the opposite direction.

A thought crossed my mind: “This is what we will have to do, as believers. We will need to cling to the cross, just as the flag is clinging onto the flagpole. We cannot stay rigid or we will break. We must be pliable, so that we can move with the wind and cling to the cross.”

Adversities may come and go but the cross of Christ is solid and strong and will never be moved. Jesus is solid and strong and will never be moved. He is every believer’s foundation. He is our rock. If we want to stand strong in the wind of adversity we must be rooted in him; we must be embedded in the rock of our salvation.

“The Lord is my protector; he is my strong fortress. My God is my protection, and with him I am safe. He protects me like a shield; he defends me and keeps me safe.” Ps 18:2 (GNT)

As these strong winds continue to blow we must realize that our good works will not get us through, nor our monetary values, nor our prestigious place in life, not even our friends and family (although faithful friends are of great worth). What will get us through the wind of conflict or adversity that is blowing into our lives, our communities and even our nation will be our unshakeable faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

God promises that he will shake what needs to be shaken. He is coming for a spotless bride. If gold is refined in fire, wouldn’t we be, as well?

Yet we don’t need to live in fear. In fact we should live in the joy of the Lord. That is where we will find our strength. Even Jesus saw the joy that was set before him. That joy helped him endure the cross. And he endured opposition (which we see right now in our nation.)  Each of us need to look to Jesus as our example, so that we do not grow weary. (Hebrews 12)

Ultimately, we can rest in him because these battles are his. We need to continue to pray and praise him, in spite of the opposition. It is our praises that usher in His glory.

For me, in the midst the powerful wind, it comes down this:

Do I love him with all my heart?
Do I love him with all my soul?
Do I love him with all my mind?
Do I love him with all my strength?

Do YOU?