Will Haman Swing From His Own Gallows?

Perhaps you remember this story:

A young lady, who walks in the fear of the Lord, is chosen to be queen, only to discover that a leader in the king’s court has decided that he will have her people annihilated. Of course, he does not know they are hers. Still, with the king’s proclamation, he puts out an order to have all her people destroyed. The young lady is devastated and prays and fasts, along with many others, before petitioning the king for the lives of her people, risking her own life. The king is moved by her petition because he loves her. The tables are turned…the accuser, who is driven by hatred and jealousy, becomes the one who is put to death. She petitions a second time so that her people will be able to fight for their lives. Many of the very people attacking her people, fall to their own deaths.

Her petitions to her Lord first and then to her king, saved her life and those she loved.

This, of course, is a very short synopsis of Queen Esther’s story.

There are many interesting facts about this story.

The Lord appointed Esther.

It was definitely the Lord who raised Esther up to be queen. It wasn’t that she sought the position of queen, nor that she necessarily wanted to speak out to save her people, for fear of her own life. The Lord could have used another source to save his people as her cousin, Mordecai, stated,

“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews WILL arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14 (NIV)

She did have a choice, but God had put her in the perfect position.

Mordecai was already in a good position with the king.

I thought it was interesting that Mordecai had already saved the king’s life while Esther was in the king’s palace. He heard about a plot against the king’s life and warned Esther who told the king and gave credit to Mordecai. This was already established before there was a plot against the Jews for annihilation. God had used what was meant for evil to bring good.

God was preparing the king’s heart.

It is noteworthy to realize that while Haman was plotting to have Mordecai killed because he would not bow before him, the king was reading through his book of records and discovered that Mordecai was not rewarded for saving his life. How did he miss that before? He wasn’t sure what to do to reward him so asked Haman, who thought the king was talking about honoring him, instead.

Although it was death that Haman had so craved for Mordecai, the king had Haman honor Mordecai. Can you imagine the anger that rose up in Haman’s heart? How on earth could this Jew be honored with the king’s robe and paraded around the city? He was so driven by jealousy and anger. It must have been extremely humiliating and aggravating to him. But he knew that soon Mordecai would see his death because of the proclamation he had snared the king into proclaiming.

Crazy enough the Lord had other plans. He moved on Esther and she fasted, as did her servants, as did all the Jews in the land. They fasted and prayed and called out to their maker. Instead of her people being killed, those who intended evil on them all died. Haman hung from the very gallows he had intended for Mordecai. Some versions of the Bible stated that they weren’t gallows, as we know them, but poles that impaled the victim.

As I have watched the display of anger that has infested the attempts to impeach the President of the United States, the Lord reminded me of the story of Esther. There has been plots to destroy our president in any way possible. Jealousy that he is president is driving some individuals mad and have for almost 3 years. How could he be paraded as the President of the United States? Wasn’t that role intended for someone else? Surely, they must think, “We will plot another way to destroy him.”

I have been praying that the Lord would continue to use him, as he has been open in restoring God’s plan for America. I know that many believers are not on the same page and yet, others are. They have been earnestly praying for him, for America, for the Holy Spirit to sweep across the nation, once again. One of the most important issues to me is the president’s willingness to protect the unborn.

He also stands up to those who have always had their way, to the media who mock him and to country leaders that used to laugh at America. He isn’t doing this to pad his wallet and is not willing to bow to the same politics as many have in the past.

Back to the story. Haman had gone home and told his wife how indignant he felt because this Jew would not bow to him. She was the one that encouraged him to build gallows for him and have him killed. It satisfied Haman. He was puffed up with pride and filled with this one desire:

“Destroy this man! And destroy any person like him!”

Mordecai asked Esther to petition the king. She was afraid but spent 3 days fasting before her Lord, as did her people. They wept before God and asked for favor. And then, with boldness, she petitioned the king, who could have had her put to death.

I see our President as Mordecai. He will not bow before those that are throwing around their weight. He will not bow before the pressures of politics. He wants the best for the American people whether they voted for him or not. His life as the president is on the line.

Like Mordecai, he needs people to pray. If we are like Esther we will fast and petition the KING, our Lord, on his behalf and on the behalf of the American people.

We need to come boldly before the King of Kings and plead for mercy for our President who is always under attack, mercy for people that stand with him and mercy for America, as a whole.

Even as I write this, I feel like Esther pleading before my Lord for mercy. I am speaking boldly about a subject that isn’t popular, a subject that has gotten many people ridiculed, rejected and some even beaten, all because they choose to stand behind a president they believe in.

Are you an Esther? Will you pray? Will you pray that God’s will, will be done? Will you pray for truth? Will you pray for justice? I’m not talking about just complaining or arguing about the obvious, but PRAY, with bended knee before your Lord.

The last couple days I kept hearing in my spirit: “Haman will swing on his own gallows.” This is not about a people group. It is about the anit-christ spirit rising up and attacking with vengeance.

He has already anointed you to pray.

The president is already in a good position, set by the Lord.

The King’s heart is ready to hear your petition.

Like Esther, please petition your KING!

FREEDOM!!!!

Magistrate: The prisoner wishes to say a word.
William Wallace: Freeeedommm!!  – Braveheart, 1995

Though the film, “Braveheart” was considered a “historical fantasy” it was a great descriptive story about a few brave souls who sacrificed everything– even their lives–to be free.

Of course this isn’t the only account of sacrifice for freedom throughout the history of the world. There are many nations and/or people groups that have been oppressed. And many individuals who valued freedom enough to sacrifice all they had for it.

The point is: freedom is NOT free. Someone, somewhere, sometime sacrificed so that the word “freedom” could become more than a dream. Instead it would be a reality for those that came after them. I think that many in America or perhaps even abroad do not understand those sacrifices.

Even I take so much for granted. I can work and live where I desire, save money or spend it freely, marry who I want or stay single. My kids can play outside without fear and are able to get an education so they can expand their knowledge. I can worship in any way I want and even have the freedom to express the way I believe openly.

FREEDOM is a gift that I hope my descendants can enjoy, as I have.

Of course you know where I am going from here. The greatest sacrifice for freedom came the day that Jesus gave up his life for each of us. He sacrificed for people who were torturing him. He sacrificed for those who had already died and for those who were not even born. Why was this such a great sacrifice? It was because he was sinless. It was because he was and is the son of God. He wasn’t doing it for himself. He was obeying what his heavenly Father was saying.

The fact is that he could have just rained down fire on those who refused to listen. But he knew that the spilled blood of his pure sinless life was the only avenue that would wash away the sins of each of us and reunite us with the Father. We can now enjoy the same relationship that Adam and Eve had enjoyed before they opened the door to sin. And one day, after this life is over, we will walk with him on the streets of gold.

Jesus didn’t just sacrifice his life enduring great physical pain that was unimaginable. He sacrificed with mental and emotional anguish, having been abandoned by his heavenly Father and dear friends. We may never understand all that he endured that fateful moment. We won’t be able to understand what it felt like to have the sins of the world put on our shoulders nor the pain of all the physical ailments slashing through our bodies when we were already enduring our own agonizing pain.

He didn’t stop there. He entered into the belly of hell for us and stole the keys of sin and death from satan, himself. He broke every rule of a quiet and meek individual and became the warrior no one suspected. And then if that wasn’t enough, he came victoriously back from the dead to encourage those he left behind and even those who had not yet believed.

Because of that– we can be free!

We are free from the death that could have spun us into an eternity of hell damnation and fire. We are free from religion that binds us up with so many dos and don’ts. We are free to trust in a Savior that brings joy and with no condemnation. We are free from the chains of sin that try to keep us in bondage. We are free to love others and forgive when we couldn’t have before. We are free to pray and come boldly, with grace, into the throne room of our heavenly Father. We are free to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit and believe in healing and hope when the world tells us otherwise.

There are so many freedoms found in Christ.

But we must be careful to not confuse our new freedom with a license to get lazy and sin. Sometimes freedom gets mucked up with the idea that we are not accountable for our actions.  Freedom does not equal no boundaries. Think. Use common sense and wisdom in each situation.

“Someone may say, “I’m allowed to do anything,” but not everything is helpful. I’m allowed to do anything, but not everything encourages growth.”
I Corinthians 10:23 (GWT)

In other words, just because you may not experience conviction about a situation, ask yourself if it brings encouragement and growth in you or those around you. If not, is it the best choice? You and I may be the only version of Christ others may see. (I am preaching to myself here.) These are the times when we use the wisdom of the Lord in each circumstance and remember that we each need to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12)

But let’s go a step further.

Though some choices may not be a big deal, other situations may seem a bit confusing in the hour that we live. Life tends to be more gray, than black and white, these days.  Because something is legal does not necessarily mean it is right or moral. Let’s not forget what Jesus did on that cross that dark day when he sacrificed his life. He set us free from the bondage of sin and deception.

Be careful. Do not turn around and head back down the path you came from, returning to what you left behind.

“Live like free people, and do not use your freedom as an excuse for doing evil. Instead, be God’s servants.” I Peter 2:16 (ISV)

Think of what Peter was saying. He mentioned in later verses that people can get free from the world of filth only to go back to it again. He stated that it would be better to have not known the freedom found in Christ than to have known it and return to an old lifestyle outside of God’s best. He ends by quoting a proverb from the old testament.
(2 Peter: 20-22)

“As a dog a goes back to its vomit so a fool repeats his stupidity.” Proverbs 26:11 (GWT)

Freedom is a wonderful thing. I am so grateful for it.

I pray for those that live in countries where freedom feels like a lost treasure. I pray that they can still find freedom within those boundaries as Paul often did while he wrote his letters from the confines of his prison cell.  I hope that they can feel the powerful presence of the Lord in the midst of any darkness.

For those that live in a free country, as I do, I pray that the freedom of the Lord will remain alive in our hearts and not grow dim by compromise. Instead I pray that we each use our freedom to spread the gospel of hope.

“I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.” Psalm 119:45 (NIV)

Enjoy your freedom in Christ. Amen and God Bless.

 

 

Pray for America

There is a shift in the atmosphere. It has been moving for quite some time but the shift is getting louder and the images are becoming more clear. Do you hear it? Do you see it?

There are forces moving beyond our natural visibility that may not be recognized. But if we look closer to the situations of the hour we will see the heads of deceit and anger and unrest. This is not the unrest of a people group or of a nation, this is an unrest of demonic influences. These forces are fearful of the days ahead as they know their time is short. So their fury is unleashed into the hearts of people who will listen, causing the havoc that we are witnessing during this hour of time.

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorizes of the unseen world, against mighty powers in the dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”  Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)

Though I will never choose to make my blog political, politics obviously plays a huge part in our world. We may not be of this world but crazy enough we live in it. Besides, God has used people in the political scene or who carry authority in this earth, for his purpose. So it is worthy of discussion.

Politics has always been in play. Look at Moses. The Lord told him to bring the children of Israel to a place where they could worship outside of the city. He petitioned (familiar word) pharaoh many times. Pharaoh unwittingly played a huge part of that move. Because he fought against the voice of the Lord plagues covered the land and brought the eventual destruction of the Egyptian military, setting the children of Israel free.

Even during the days of Jesus Rome was a city of power filled with political unrest. Some people believe that the disciples first assumed that Jesus would be part of a movement that would overthrow the strong political power of the day.  It made sense as Jesus was a descendent of King David and many times was called the son of David. A couple of the disciples longed to sit on his left and right side in his kingdom. But he informed them that his kingdom was not of this world.

During the Roman Empire religious leaders argued amongst themselves regarding doctrine and beliefs similar to what the church does today. But they united as they used their given power of that time to motivate the crowds to loudly petition the death of Jesus. There was chaos in the streets.

Pontius Pilate gave the Jews a choice which prisoner they would like released during the Passover. He assumed the people would prefer to release the kind teacher who did many miracles. It surprised him that instead they wanted Barabbas who was known for being part of an uprising. Perhaps he was part of the Zealots, a group of people who were bent on overthrowing the Roman Empire–which had become a government of oppression.

This may have caught the first Christians off guard. They had seen the miracles Jesus had performed and believed that he was their answer. Hadn’t Jesus come to deliver them from this political turmoil and oppression as Moses had delivered the children of Israel?  Wasn’t he the one who would help them attain freedom from the mayhem that was swirling around them?

Today when we look at the streets of our towns in America we are appalled by the violence and the hatred. Where is all this anger coming from? Why has there been such a loud shift in the last couple years in our land regarding life, regarding unity, regading respect for our land and our freedom?

Instigators who wanted Jesus killed whispered pandemonium and lies into the ears of those in the crowd to stir up anger and dissatisfaction. The same people who had honored him only a week prior now chanted words of death to Jesus. Today our quiet cities have been stirred by the same sinister voices. There seems to be an underhanded plan to tear down America from the inside out. Those silent initiators may be thinking that they have incited the crowd, but the forces behind their motivation have a much more evil intent, as satan’s only intent is to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10)

I live in a community where races of all colors and creeds work together, shop together, go to the parks together, attend school together and even worship together. All is fine. So I don’t believe that this hatred is all-encompassing.  I think that it has been purposely inspired by those determined to destroy our nation through discord, anger and dissatisfaction.  And the media is playing into the hands of this upheaval, as predicted.

Unfortunately there is already anger and discourse in the hearts of men and woman today. So it doesn’t take much encouragement or coercing for these individuals or groups to attack and scream and lash out and to even kill one another. They may not even be aware of why they are angry or that they are being used as pawns for a greater cause.

I think of Judas Iscariot, known for betraying Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.  He apparently wasn’t aware that what he was doing would bring such destruction to Jesus nor to himself. He just knew he would be paid greatly for his services, but he ended up paying a greater price. What is the price people are willing to pay who are demonstrating with such rage?

You may feel some exasperation brewing in your souls. You may be frustrated that this attitude of rage and disrespect is playing out in our streets and getting so much attention, knowing it isn’t the voice of the majority. Be careful that you do not fall prey to the anger and become as guilty as those who are creating so much strife.

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 (NIV)

Where are we, as believers, suppose to stand in this line of fire? Fortunately we can still express our views without retaliation, I hope. We can protest (though I am beginning to believe that is asking for a playground of violence).  If you feel called you can join those in the political areana or speak out regarding your opinion. And of course, we can always ignore it and put our heads in the sand and “pretend” all is well.

But above all we should PRAY!

Pray together with others; pray without stopping. Pray for truth. Pray for peace. Pray for wisdom. Just pray because apparently prayer moves heaven!!! Go figure.

Remember the story of Peter who was miraculously set free from prison? People had gathered together to pray for him after they had learned that James had been killed. An angel came to his rescue, releasing him from prison. The prayer group was so astonished that he had escaped; that their prayers had actually been answered.

Like I have stated many times in other posts: God is NOT caught off guard. He will use the very circumstances of the day to bring about his truth, his glory and his redemption. It may not be broadcasted on TV or forwarded on social media. But behind the scenes of craziness—- people are still getting set free and saved.

When Jesus died on that cross, circumstances did not look very bright either. What were the first believers suppose to think? The one who promised to deliver them was now dead. But behind the scenes a great story was being played out. The enemy thought he had won the battle. But his plot had initiated the greatest story ever told. Jesus defeated death. He actually went into the belly of hell and took the keys of sin and death from satan. And then he rose back to life and is still offering eternal life for all who want it!

The condition of our country may appear grim. Darkness may seem to have won, but we don’t know what is transpiring behind the scenes. Hallelujah God does.  I have no clue what America may look like in a couple of years. We may see much darker days in this land. Laws may get passed that flabbergast us and go beyond all reason or common sense. Landmarks may come down that defined the history of our country. And our freedom to post our opinions may be monitored or scrutinized.

Should we run? Should we hide? Should we live in fear? I read a book that inspires hope to those in despair. It offers forgiveness to the broken, inspiration to the downtrodden, and eternal life to ANYONE who desires it.

It is the Word of God and it is alive.

“God’s word is living and active. It is sharper than any two-edged sword and cuts as deep as the place where soul and spirit meet, the place where joints and marrow meet. God’s word judges a person’s thoughts and intentions.” Hebrews 4:12

There is a shift in the atmosphere. It is a shift of God’s hand moving and preparing our hearts. There is a shift of God wooing us to come to him in the midst of chaos. Do you hear it? Do you see it?

Listen: The voice of the Lord is calling his own.

He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!” Revelation 20:22 (TLT)

 

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Rise Up Sleeping Warrior

I don’t know if you like to drink tea. My preferred drink is coffee…black coffee. But there are occasions that I really enjoy a cup of tea. Again that is black tea and it must be HOT,  unless is a very hot day. In that case I like ice tea; REALLY cold ice tea. If at any time my hot tea starts to cool down, or my ice tea begins to get warm, I will throw it down the sink. Lukewarm tea is just gross.

This caused me to think of the verse found in Revelation 3:15-16 ” I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish that you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold or hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth!” (NKJV)

I suddenly seemed to understand what the Lord was trying to explain. This was a warning to the Laodicean Church. According to the material that I have read about the city of Laodicea, the waters there were constantly lukewarm. The icy waters that flowed towards the city from the mountains became lukewarm by the time they arrived and the hot water from the hot springs that were brought into the city also become lukewarm before they arrived. So this message made a lot of sense to them because they had become lukewarm like their water system.

But what does it mean to us today and why would the Lord want a people either cold or hot? The “hot” terminology usually means that the individual is on fire for the Lord. What he says and the way he lives vibrantly screams, “Jesus is Lord”!  More times than not it appears that this is the individual that is radically saved from a dark lifestyle and suddenly comes into the light and wants the world to understand his transformation. That may not always be the case. There are several people that were raised up in the Christian home that believe likewise.

But then there are the cold individuals. The consensus with these individuals is that they do not believe in the salvation message at all. In fact some of them may actually be atheist. Or perhaps they firmly believe in another religion all together. The funny thing about that is that the “hot” crowd probably believed in the “cold” lifestyle at one time in their lives.

I think about Paul who wrote so much of the new testament. He was from the “cold” crowd. He was so angry with what people who called themselves Christians believed that he was having them arrested and killed. He even watched as the first Christian martyr, Stephen, was stoned to death. But he had such a radical transformation that he went from cold to hot in a short time. There wasn’t any time for the stagnant lukewarm lifestyle to invade his life.

So who are the lukewarm people? I would say they are the ones that are ho-hum people. They really don’t have anything strong to say about anything. They may even be believers, or confessed to be at one time. They may go to church quite regularly but it really doesn’t mean much to them.  They have come to the place of believing the sayings: “each to their own” or “live and let live”.  Compromise and goodness is their theme. That is an easy place to fall into, especially if you were raised in the church. Jesus has become too familiar and unimportant.

It is similar to getting an inoculation or vaccine. A small portion of the actual disease is shot into your body.  Your body is able to build up your immune system against the disease so if the real disease would try to attack your body you would have already built up antibodies and the disease couldn’t destroy your system. So it is with some people . They have heard “Jesus saves” for so long that they have become immune to it and don’t even recognize the real move of the Lord.

That immunity has snuck right into the church. It seems more important to be accepted by the world than being a light that shines in the darkness.  Because we no longer pour over scripture we question the black and white truths we have heard and begin to walk in that all too familiar gray area. We begin to compromise.

Our time may be spent on good things but we have forgotten our need for a Savior. We have fallen out of love with the one that delivered us from sin and death. Instead of spending any time with him we fill our time with entertainment or even “good” causes and cares of this life. Soon we believe we are fine and all is well. We have become lukewarm.

Believe me when I say that I am speaking to myself. I don’t write this blog thinking I know so much or that I have my act together. As I write it I realize I am speaking to myself. And these words I write actually begin to convict me. I realize that I have compromised in so many ways. Like I said, it is easy to do. Somehow we are lulled to sleep and don’t even remember drifting away from truth.

But God is good. He always leads us back to his truth IF we will listen. Chapter 3: 19-22 in the book of Revelation continues with the Lord saying,

“I correct and discipline everyone that I LOVE.

Take this seriously, and change the way you think and act.

Look, I’m standing at the door and knocking.

If anyone listens to my voice and opens the door, I’ll come in and we’ll eat together. I will allow EVERYONE who wins the victory to sit with me on my throne, as I have won the victory and have sat down with my Father on his throne.

Let the person who has ears listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. (GWT)

So I challenge you, as I challenge myself, to listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. It is time to wake up. It is time to ask the Lord if there is any area of compromise in your life. Why? Because the Lord Jesus LOVES you and wants you to be victorious.

Let your light be a hot burning flame of salvation to those around you.

It is time to take your position in Christ.

Rise up sleeping warrior.

God bless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do Not Fight the Wind; Face It!

The WIND seems out of control
As I stand looking out to the sea.
Suddenly it stirs familiar strongholds
That were hidden deep inside of me.

The WIND picks up speed.
I’m frightened by its power!
Yet those strongholds are quickly scattered.
Giving me hope in my darkest hour.

The WIND continues to rage on
Splashing salt into my eyes
As heartaches are washed away
Along with old fears and past lies.

The WIND roars with great furry
As I walk into its immense might.
I feel darkness blowing away
And hope replacing the stormy night.

The WIND keeps on howling
But I face it with hope in my heart.
Wisdom whispers truth in my soul
Releasing new vision and a new start.

Where does this wind come from?
And where does it go?
I do not question it,
Nor do I know.

It seems like a violent storm
As it brews with such rage.
Yet it is breaking down the walls
That had held me inside a cage.

Does heartache come from God?
Is pain from him too?
Does he allow darkness at times
So we can begin brand new?

If the winds of life seem too violent,
If the storm wants to hold on
Don’t despair; but trust GOD!
He will give you a new hope and new song.

In spite of the disappointment,
In spite of the raging wind
Trust him to carry you to the other side.
There your new life can begin.

“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going, so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

Freedom

Those words of defeat- they slithered into my soul.
I felt them cut deep and try to take control.

“I know you so well,” the lying voice tried to boast.
“You cannot get up, you’re defeated; you’re toast.

You forget I know your fear, your faults, your past
This hope you speak of will die; it won’t last.

I hung my head low as I listened again.
It all sounded so empty, so hopeless, so grim.

“Maybe he’s right,” I began to agree.
“Why do I try? What’s wrong with me?”

As I began to sink deeper into that dark abyss,
I heard a small voice I couldn’t resist.

At first the voice seemed faint, I didn’t hear it real clear.
I shut out the other that spoke with a sneer.

“There is hope.” I heard the kind voice say to me.
“My sheep hear my voice that will set your heart free.”

Quit listening to lies, forget your mistakes of the past.
I am the author of hope and life that will last.

I healed all your wounds and know of your lack.
I’ve thrown out your sin. Don’t invite shame or fear back.”

I realized the truth and proclaimed,  “You are right.
I don’t belong to darkness. Devil get out of  my sight!”

That soft voice got louder vibrating my soul.
The defeated voice screamed as it lost all control.

I lifted my head, I lifted my voice,
I lifted my hands as I began to rejoice.

I’m a child of God. I’m a child of the King.
My heart seemed to dance. My lips began to sing.

I’m bought by the blood. My chains have been broken.
I’m bought with a price. The Lord God had spoken.

The words that I heard weren’t said just for me.
They were said for us all.

You too can be FREE!