Wilderness or Pasture? It’s all in your perspective.

Perspective is so important in life, and it’s easy to stay focused on ourselves to the degree that we are consumed with feelings and attitudes that are not from God. As I was in a place of deep intercession this morning. I began to cry, “There are no unwanted children! There are NO unwanted children in this world. Everyone of them is wanted.” Oh, how the lies settle into our soul when we don’t see the bigger picture God has planned for our lives. His timeline seems long sometimes, as we wait, but he is developing us in the place we are at.

To those who feel rejected, God says, “I see your heart. You are not misunderstood. You just don’t understand how MUCH you are wanted. You have listened to a voice of deception and not seen the whole picture. Don’t focus so much on your own heart and look at the heart of the ones who you think have given up on you, or hurt you. Do you fully understand why? Do you understand what sacrifice looks like yet?

The wilderness is not a bad place! It’s a restful place, a pasture, where David sang to the Lord and overcame the lions and bears he alone faced. God gave him a promise while he was still there, even anointed him, yet he had to grow up in faith and stature to be able to carry the title of king. He had to learn, be trained in warfare and prove himself or he would have not have been the king who overcame as he did, who did not let the world or its ways affect him. Note, David didn’t get a personal trainer to do it. He didn’t even get a mentor! A shepherd is left in the quiet and focuses on his sheep.

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If you feel isolated, or alone, remember Samuel. Remember how his mother gave him up for a greater purpose to be alone with God in the temple at a young age.

Understand the sacrifice Hannah had to make when she cried for a child and then promised to raise him for God. She wept. She wept! But she said, “Yes”, knowing her relationship would be limited but that she had to prepare him to live dependent on God and his voice alone. How great the temptation to feel alone in that place. But Jesus said, “I will never leave you.” Can we be content with him alone? Is he enough? 

There are different groups of people who may be reading this.

There are Hannah’s

Remember the story above.

There are humble kings

Remember David. God was developing him in the pasture. His calling was not recognized by anyone but the prophet. David’s father didn’t even include him in the lineup when Samuel came to select one of his son’s as king. He was still “out tending sheep”. The prophet knew who he was looking for but, note, he didn’t take him along with him and raise him up. That was not in his power. No, all he did was call him out. Then, David was content to man the sheep or to serve until his time came, when the people recognized him as King 15 years later!

David always honored Saul, even when he knew he had been anointed future king. Could he walk as king yet. No. He just went back to his sheep and cared for them well. He walked in fear of the Lord, wanting to be ready when the time came for him to lead a great people, God’s people! With reverence and humility and never exalted himself or pushed his way to the top. He waited for his time and seemed to understand the need to grow until the time came to take on more responsibility. 

There are prophets going through death to self

Remember Joseph. What did we hear from him at first. “I… I…. I’’’ I had this revelation. I had that revelation. It was more than his brothers could take, and he was rejected by them. Sold into slavery. Mopped floors in the palace, was misunderstood and thrown in a dungeon. Yet God allowed it. He had great revelations from his youth, but he needed to learn something. Psalm 105:19 says, “Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character” (NLT).

When the time comes to be recognized, you will not exalt yourself, so rest and take care of what is in your garden right now. Just walk in what you have and shepherd well what is right in your pasture. Don’t envy what is not yet yours, or lust for what you do not yet have. You are gaining wisdom, patience, self-control and learning to love. Relish the opportunities to be humble. Be content and serve well with what you have. In time, as you are faithful with little, God will entrust you with much. Remember that a prophet needs to be SURE of the voice he/she is hearing, so if you have a call to speak on God’s behalf, RELISH all the opportunities for pruning and correction that come your way. Stretch and practice your gifts, but don’t be eager for responsibilities you are not ready to walk in. Surely Joseph thought his time had come when he got that wise dream interpretation, but he had to wait two more years. God was preparing him for a certain time. A CERTAIN TIME. Striving in the dungeon would have done no good. How humble he had to be before he went before the Pharoah to interpret that dream. It was a hard dream. It determined the fate of nations. 

What can you do while you wait? Enjoy the fellowship of the Lord. Learn what is His voice and what is not. Do what God instructed Jeremiah to do in Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you unsearchable things you could not know.”

Savor the revelation God gives you. Hide it in your heart until he makes it come to pass. Test those words. Speak out only what he gives you permission to say. Cherish the rest and let it give you joy. Live in humility as David did. Learn from him. Jesus himself was called a “son of David”. What an honor.

Great things are prepared!

Come to the table!

I see a big banquet table covered in a white table cloth. There is nothing yet on it, but I feel a sense of expectancy as I see all the clean space waiting to be filled with good things. It’s time to expect that God will do great things right in front of us. He is willing and able! Just come sit at the table and wait for him.

This morning I am sitting on my couch re-reading “The Hungry Always Get Fed” by Heidi and Roland Baker. There is a page of photos. In each, there is a photo of Heidi with “one”, one person. There is one of Heidi with a girl named Kakala, a deaf mute all her life, now speaking and hearing. I can’t help but put my hand on the picture and thank God for what happened in that “one”. What a difference a Jesus moment made to that one person! That one life will change other lives.

I was sort of swooning in the moment of what God could do as I put my hand on her picture, and looked for a place to set my coffee cup down. My Bible was nearby so I put my cup on it.  Then I stopped, “No”, and I moved the cup to the coaster.  I picked the Bible up, stared at it, and a fresh perspective came to me. “This isn’t the end. It’’s only the beginning.”

Somehow, for some reason, we can get the idea in the church that it’s all about knowing the Bible, that knowing it perfectly is the “end” of our faith and finishing, but no, it is only the beginning. The Bible is just the launch pad to greater things. It is the beginning of a movement that founded the world. It launches us to love the one who needs a miracle, who needs to meet love. Without it, we woudn’t understand what it looked like in the beginning, but with it, we see a willing God full of power, love, mercy and joy, willing to help his children out of any mess they make if they come to him. He is our refuge, our ever-present help in times of trouble, the miracle-working God who breaks chains and changes the world by instilling hope, sometimes one face at a time.

Through these encounters, we multiply, by loving the one who needs love in the middle of a crowd of people, just – that – one, that desperate one. 

Our encounter with the God of new beginnings and Jesus, his Son, changes everything. He makes us NEW. He is not patching up our old man, our old self. He makes us new. We are re-born as a new creation, not reincarnated until we get it right. No, our God, our loving Jesus, saves us from what our old man, our old nature, and puts HIS nature in us. He give us HIS capacity to love beyond all human ability. It is uncontained, uncontrolled, wild and free – and perfect.

John 8:12 “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Old Things Pass Away…

I woke up in the middle of the night on January 29, 2018 hearing a quick list of thoughts being downloaded with urgency. It was like God was connecting all the dots, reminding me of the many things he’s taught me recently that I need to remember and perhaps share. I grabbed my phone and typed it all in as fast as it came. I’ve not altered the form or prettied it up. It began with….

  • If it feels as if the foundation of your life or all you are, the ground beneath you is shaking or breaking, that’s because you are standing on things you were not meant to stand on.
  • God is calling us all to his heart in different ways, separating us from all that would make us anxious
  • Many will be healed at this revelation because your load of life will be transferred or lifted off of you.
  • You will no longer struggle to forgive.
  • Peoples opinions will not be so important anymore.
  • Pressure will leave.
  • Manipulation will cease as will feelings of obligation.
  • God loves you just for who you are. He enjoys you.
  • You cannot hide from God, you must hide in God.
  • Happiness is freedom.
  • God is separating us from dependence on anything but Himself. We will love and serve one another out of peace and identity of our role in Christ.
  • We will feel an ultimatum in our lives in many areas.
  • “I just have to do it now!” Time is short. Conviction is knowing.
  • The obstacle in our life is our lifestyle, our belief system our way of clinging to things we won’t let go of… stubbornness… hanging on to things we thought would comfort us won’t feel good anymore… food, fixes, entertainment, money. All will fail to comfort.
  • There is an inner tension that feels like anxiety for some of us. It is you not letting go of something.
  • It may seem like things from your past are chasing you down or reappearing, even in dreams. Satan wants to remind you of your past, God wants you to find your future.
  • He remembers your sin no more. God laughed when I asked him to remind me of what I repented of –  he can’t.
  • God is replacing our fears with faith by bringing us home.
  • We can’t handle everyone else’s problems and it doesn’t feel like we need to anymore. Witchcraft and manipulation are not to be tolerated. If you feel people pulling on you, just declare, “I cut off all ties of witchcraft on my life.” Witchcraft is the attempt to get us into things we were not meant to be in via someone else’s will.
  • God’s reformation, his re-formation of you. You are free. No more tolerance of other people’s problems in the name of Love. Love doesn’t set down its identity for evil.
  • Separate camps can’t intermingle. Don’t get entangled in enemy affairs.
  • It is time to go forward in your unique calling. Others have to each face their own choices. You can love and give wisdom, but not own their issues or submit to those issues.
  • We can submit to authority and honor. Honor is key to advancement. Honor is love and dying to self.
  • Self says I don’t have time. Honor makes time.
  • I offer you what I have from the overflow, I don’t give what is beyond that. I don’t give from what I need to stand on, taking chunks out of my own foundation and making myself weaker. Jesus went to a quiet place to rest.

Step into Grace Today

In the last 24 hours there has been such an increase of activity in the spirit. The  challenges some had yesterday attempted to discourage, but today there is a great grace for going forward, for moving out of the old and into the new. Grace, to me, feels like an opening to something new became wider so more could cross into good things. Run through it!

Go forward with Christ. Go to your prayer room or find a place to be hidden with him. Just step into His presence. He is waiting and ready. Don’t wait for someone to lead you. GO. Hide with him and he will meet you.

Then, submit –  Open the doors of your soul and let Him in. Invite him reach in, to uncover every stronghold that holds you back. Listen and follow his lead in every way. Let him capture your mind, emotions and your physical senses. Respond to even the slightest impulse of his Spirit and you will be touched.

AskShow me any stronghold – Now Lord.

Follow His lead in obedience. If you hear a name or see a face ask what you need to forgive them for and just do it. Don’t question. Then let him touch you and heal you.

Say “YES” to an invasion of your soul – God himself will search you and know you.

Stand Firm and See Victory

December 31, 2016

A new year is upon us!  It’s time for self-examination – a Re-VIEW.
Recognize what have you not yet attained in your faith.

Ask for what you want to have.
When you ask, are you hungry? Show God that you mean it when you say you want what he has for you! Stand on his promises. Don’t lay down and wait until someday comes. Receive by claiming and start acting. Action is a step of faith.

To illustrate, I see a bar scene. Continue reading “Stand Firm and See Victory”

Shake the Fence!

2 Corinthians 4:18 “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

In a vision on March 11, there were people standing on the top of this dog-eared fence, trying to balance. It was not easy to stand there anymore, but they tried with all their might. Some felt unworthy to get off the fence because of faults they thought kept them back but I saw the Lord write “FORGIVEN” on the fence, so there was really no obstacle to advancement. God was asking these people to go forward in trust with Him. The called one was trying to balance, as if standing on a line of progress, seemingly “stuck” there afraid to move on. The person was facing forward and on the front side of the fence was a sea, churning and unsteady. The sea was pushing on the fence, back and forth and it was obvious that the fence wouldn’t hold out against the pressure forever.

Behind the fence was hard, flat, barren ground. Falling backwards was not at all appealing, but going forward seemed scary and impossible. “How do I go forward on that water? How many steps will I take before I sink?” The water continued to push on the fence. As I watched, I cried out to God, “SHAKE THE FENCE! SHAKE THE FENCE!” knowing they would need a push of courage from the God himself.

I looked a person standing on the wobbly surface. I saw Jesus on the water very close with his hand out. I hear Him say to the one struggling, “Come forward. I give you permission. Come out!” Jesus stretched out his hand of the fence dweller. The called one made the choice to take a step out onto the water. He took the first step! It was the effort required to move forward. We must ask God, “Is there a step I need to take?” If so, take it! Step out into the aisle. It may be one step of obedience that holds you back, one step forward that sets you free.

Like the toddler who quickly learns to balance with the hand of a parent, the called ones will begin to walk confidently with Jesus on the water, learning to anticipate when the waves will rise and fall and stepping with Jesus along the way.

Romans 8:3-4 “For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

Soon Jesus and this brave soul were walking together, hand in hand, upon the water. They kept pace together as one would who was walking hand in hand with another. However, not long after, a sort of spunky confidence rose up in the new water-walker and the brave soul, this child of God, let go of Jesus’s hand, skipping along ahead, skillfully and joyfully jumping from one rising white-tipped wave cap to another, as if dancing or playing hop scotch. I saw a sparkle of light reflecting off the water near the skipping water walker. Soon, many sparkles appeared on the water and I now realized that the light was being refracted by this child of God like a flawless, multi-faceted diamond that had come out of the safe. The child of God was hopping from wave to wave, from glory to glory, operating in new freedom, unfettered by fear or doubt, radiating light all around, unaware of many of the places the light had touched others because this confident one has eyes only for the Lord.

1 John 5:14-15 “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”

“My people need to let go of judgement of one another and walk in honor.” There is no time for anymore backbiting or “holy gossip” which is grumbling poorly disguised. Honor one another. Honor the gifts that are in others and you will find honor reflected back at you. God is calling us to unity, to join hands in the effort, but there will relearning and grace necessary to become the unified Bride of Christ Jesus is inviting to the table. New gifts are being spread on the table and the body will have to learn to use them with grace and love.

Have you been waiting for permission to come out of the safe, out of the closet?

This week I heard the words, “Cut the tether!” A tether is a rope that holds something in place. I thought of the game tether ball, where a ball hangs from a rope on a pole. Kids hit the ball and it swings back and forth. Sometimes it winds around the pole, then unwinds as another child hits it in the other direction. Some have felt stuck to a tether, a place, and have been tossed into many directions, yet not freed to move on. I saw a person with a tether cord coming out of their back and a big scissors was cutting it, loosing the person from it’s former anchor. Wherever you have felt “tethered” the Lord is working on your behalf. He is cutting your cord and will hold your hand as you learn to walk in your new positions. He is leading you onto your sea. Fear not! He has not forgotten you. Truly he is faithful!

Romans 8:28-30 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”

Freedom from Addictive Behaviors

I’m going to give you a key to freedom today. I was so bothered last night by another story of addiction that I needed to be reminded of how God set me free of addictive things. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our sin – literally. We get bound up by it and it restricts how we function and it keeps our eyes of the cure for the problem.

Here’s the KEY.  Colossians 3:1-3

“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.…”

Set your mind. Here is a simple and sort of crazy example —Have you ever made jello? When you first mix it is is completely liquid, but that is not what is intended to be. It needs to “set”. It needs to be refrigerated to firm up, becoming what it was made to be in appearance.  Even when it is liquid, it is still jello. Even when you are still struggling, God calls you redeemed, but you need to believe that and change your appearance. How do we want jello to be?  …. Cold and solid, right? So we put it in the refrigerator and it becomes what it is made to be, solid, yet flexible. That is how we are to be. Solid in who we are, but flexible enough to bend ONLY to what the voice of God is saying. We, like jello, should still retain our shape when poked!  When the jello is solid, it is ready to serve. When we are solid, we are ready for the meat that God has for us and we can be weaned off the milk

When we first come to Christ, the enemy is going to try to keep us sloppy and liquid. Sometimes we stay a mess because we follow Satan’s voice as he tries to put shame and condemnation back on us. He points out our sin and what a sloppy mess we were and are. The more we look at what is visible, what we have been, or the sin we think we’re stuck in, the more we are tempted to believe that we can never change. What has to change?  We have to stay in the place that makes us firm, in the presence of God and in the Word.  John 15 says:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

Like jello, if we don’t stay in the place that keeps us firm, we will become unfruitful. No one wants a bowl of liquid jello for dessert. When we stay focused on who we have become, according to God’s word, then we become firm and sin cannot master us anymore. This is why Romans 8 is the “new man” message.

You are a new person in Christ! We serve a God who “calls things that are not as though they were.” Before we have solid Jello in a bowl, the box says what it is, doesn’t it? It says “Jello” on the box, but we’re not going to serve the powder to people. When we read “jello” on the box, we don’t imagine serving powder, we imagine what we will make out of it. That’s what God does with YOU and ME! He looks at you and sees what you will become, not who you were, nor who you look like in the present. God says “This is who you are. Righteous in Christ. Now, start seeing it that way.” This is faith. We will be what we believe we are.

How does this directly relate to addictions?

Addictions are the enemy’s way to get our attention – our worship. Jesus said we cannot serve two masters… “No one can serve two masters, because either he will hate one and love the other, or be loyal to one and despise the other.”  (Matthew 6:24)  Isn’t this the struggle we go through in our minds when we have a sin we just can’t seem to get past?!! Yes!

We will either be effective, or ineffective in our walk with God. We choose that by what we look at. We will become like what we LOOK at and like what we believe.  We can focus on our present condition, or on the finished product of what we will become, and that is like Christ. The enemy will want to stop you from believing you are like Christ in any way! When you believe that you can do what Jesus did, you become a nightmare in his territory.

Whatever addiction we are struggling with, we need to stop looking at it.  Fix your gaze on Christ. Fix – be immovable. Make it a solid stare and don’t look away. Has anyone ever looked you in the eyes in such a way that you feel like they are peering into your soul?

Let Christ look into your eyes like that. Let him stare at you. Close your eyes and imagine his face before you, peering deeply into who you are. Let him know you. He wants to know you and you have to invite him to look in deeply.  This is how your soul becomes tied to Christ, in a relationship, much like you would look into the eyes of a lover, reaching into their soul, sharing who you are with each gaze. It is a revelation experience that becomes deeper and deeper as you do life together.

This is a fact; If you have given your life to Christ, you are a new creation. That is what God calls you. Remember when God spoke over the waters in Genesis one and dry land formed? He’s speaking over us every day. Receive what he is saying and you will find you look more like it every day.

The more you “abide”, keep you mind on, the fact that Christ now lives IN you, the more like Him you will become. Start celebrating who you are in the new creation and let that become your manifested reality. That is the kingdom coming into your life as the Lord’s prayer states. “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” In heaven’s mind, you are not an addict. He didn’t remake you to stay in struggle. You are a new creation. You’ve been set free! Just keep looking at him. What you put in your mind is what you will become. Examine what you feed your mind.

Here’s how the New Testament is laid out.

  1. You meet Jesus in the Gospel. Here you learn what God is really like, because Jesus said that He looks just like him.You find out what we were created to look like. Jesus is the first born of many brothers. You are made to live like Jesus did, miracles and all. Amazing, isn’t it! Some of us get it quickly into our heads who we are, and some of us have thicker skulls that need drilling through, but we’re going to get it eventually if we pursue it.
  2. Next, we go through the book of Acts. Jesus has left and here, in Acts, He sends his Spirit to the church to empower him to do what He did in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. He empowers them to be righteous. This is why Peter was double minded but then became a pillar of the church. God made him a rock of faith through the power of the Holy Spirit.
  3. After you receive the power of the Spirit and become born again, THEN and only THEN can you ever understand the letters that follow. Then, you will reread the Gospels as one of the disciples in your identity.

Follow teachers who teach about the New Man identity. Youtube is full of them. Pete Cabrera, Dan Mohler, Curry Blake and  Bill Johnson are all good teachers on living a Kingdom lifestyle. “Set your mind on things above” and you will find that the adventure of total surrender will make the addiction fade away. It won’t master you because it won’t be able to make you feel like Jesus does. By eating every word He has spoken and letting it sink deep into our soul, we find ourselves transformed. Without looking, it will disappear, like night fades into morning and you will smile at the new day awakening you.