Jeremiah 29

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“The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

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Matthew 26:39-41  Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane praying before being taken captive …

39…he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

40Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

The Lord has been speaking  this thought to me this morning, “You are going into dark places, but the light shines from within.” Remember the song, “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine!” It’s easier to put our light under a basket with a bunch of other little flames hoping the light shines through the cracks and will draw people, but that’s not how Jesus modeled it for us. He was the light of the world. He left the perfect place of heaven and went into the place where darkness lurked around, where his people were lost and confused by  his enemy. He left…

I’ve been soaking, a bit reluctantly, in Jeremiah in this season. I admit that when I kept hearing “Jeremiah” when I woke up in the morning I wasn’t excited. “Jeremiah!” I told the Lord, “He had it hard. They strung him up in the courtyard and laughed at him when he spoke for you. Thanks for reminding me about him…. Yup! I’ll surely keep him in mind and be alert if you want me to say something difficult. Yet, I didn’t want to go into the book and soak on hard stuff.  But, then God got specific and started giving me specific chapters each day and they seemed to parallel what I was seeing around me.

Today I heard Jeremiah 29. For context, in Chapter 28, Jeremiah has rebuked a prophet named Hannaniah, who was not speaking for God. He had been saying,  don’t worry.. you won’t have to go into captivity as Jeremiah says, “In two years God will bring all the sacred objects back from Babylon to Jerusalem.”

“NO!” says Jeremiah. He rebukes Hannaniah. Paraphrasing, he said that Hannaniah had taken off a wooden yoke off the people and replaced it with an even harder one, iron yoke. Because they didn’t submit and humble themselves to a word the Lord spoke about going into captivity under Babylon, they were going to have to go anyway, kicking and screaming!

Sometimes we just want to stay put, don’t we! God called the king of Babylon “my servant”. The people of Israel wanted to stay separate. They believed nothing could touch them, because God was with them, but he was no longer going to be for them in their rebellion if they stayed in that place! Like the Israelites in the dessert after Egypt, they didn’t want to move. Even the captivity of Egypt would be better than the unknown of the wilderness, they whined. But God was in the wilderness leading them to a new place.

Jesus showed us how he handled his hard moment like this. In Matthew 26, it is Thursday evening and Jesus is in the garden praying. He sees the dark place he must go into and cries out in agony to his Father. “If possible, take this cup from me..” yet he submits. Not my will, but yours be done. His act of faith that God, his Father, our Father, knows what he is doing, paid off. One act of submission changed the fate of the world and brought hope to those who could never see beyond the scales on their eyes. He submitted and the deed was done in three days. Three agonizing days, yet three days. I’m glad he persevered, aren’t you?

We all have times we have to act in faith. We don’t need faith to do the same old thing we’ve been doing. The Jews had a challenge before them from God. They were told to do something that didn’t seem logical. God sent a young man named Jeremiah to announce the seemingly ridiculous thing they much do.

“Submit to God!”

At that time, every “prophet” the king surrounded himself with had been deceived. They spoke comforting words that made it seem comfortable and right to stay. Jeremiah came with a “now” word from the Lord. This is a paraphrase, so read the book of Jeremiah to hear this amazing story of perseverance by Jeremiah. He persisted in telling them of a hope of freedom they would receive if they submitted to God.

Listen up! God has a plan and it’s not what you think it is. You must humble yourselves and go where you don’t want to go! Even under a foreign king, GOD IS STILL GOD. He wants you to be humble and go and put you in a place where people will see what happens when my people are surrounded by darkness. God would be with them if they went into Babylon, but all they could see was what they knew and they didn’t want to go. Jeremiah casts a vision in Chapter 29. GO!!! Go to that place and thrive.

Jeremiah 29:4-8 “4This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5“Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. 7Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

Push your flesh to follow the Spirit! Go and do the new thing that God has for you. It may look very different than what seems sensible and historically has worked. God is challenging us to believe him, to set our old ways aside and follow His ways. If we want the answers to the prayers we have prayed, they come his way, not ours. Remember the old saying, “You can’t keep doing things the same way and expect different results.” This was the case in Jeremiah’s day, in Jesus’s time, and in ours. We like the thought of following him, and can deceive ourselves to thinking that we are following him because what we are doing looks good or sounds good. Sometimes there is only one voice speaking something different in a crowd of those who are ok with the same-old-same-old.

Where is he calling you? What is he really leading us to do? How many excuses will keep us in the wilderness when the offer of God is on the table, ready to be received. Come…

Psalm 34

8 Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

Go, thrive in the place he sends you. Do it God’s way, even if it means blind faith. Jesus said, “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because those who come to him must believe that he IS and that He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

There’s a step you need to take. What is it?

Perhaps you will start here… in bold worship..

A word for the weary and unsettled..

A word for the weary and for the unsettled…

Psalm 24

“The Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? and who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.

He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation, such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob.”

When the storms of life blow we get squeezed and what is inside of us comes out. some is good, but every orange has a few seeds that no one wants to eat. No one leaves those in the juice and serves it! Right!

When trials hit us, we learn the degree that we trust the Lord and the degree to which we lean on our own strength. When we lean on our own strength, we get weary and drained. We operate outside of the well of refreshment as we have to step outside of His presence to function apart from him. Things go wrong there. When we do the things God has assigned us to, stop when he says stop and go when he says go, we live in peace.

I have been thinking about what is important, have you? What has God made me to do that brings him joy, that expresses who I am? And, when I have stepped outside of that, how have I dirtied my hands and heart?

God intends for us to be fruitful vines. Every fruitful vine has a healthy and CONSTANT connection to the roots, which must be firmly planted in the soil of God’s word and presence. Apart from that, we can do nothing. Apart from that we can do no truly good and fruitful thing.

It is time to let go of what is not pure in our hearts and true to our calling. We cannot operate in reaction to others expectations, but must instead operate out of the overflow of what God is bubbling up inside of us, out of the new heart he has given us.

Let’s stop for a minutes to ask God for what only he can give!

I pray for us all for a pure heart to love.
I pray for insight to know what God has uniquely purposed for us in this day.
I pray for courage to make changes. Changes that will keep our families together, loving God, and enjoying each other.
I pray for wisdom to know when distraction has entered the room and fear is motivating actions that God has not initiated.
I pray for a constant state of connection to the heart of God and thoughts that come from the mind of Christ, so that no good thing slips through our fingers that God would like for us to receive. Thank you Jesus for making the way to receive these good things!

There have been so many things I have not noticed and not prioritized, especially in my family and those closest to me. I have run to what seemed to be the burning fire in front of me or the neediest need. Whether it is the screaming child who demands a reaction, or one who’s marriage seems to be falling apart before my eyes, I had to realize that we can lead people to a savior who is able, but we cannot force them to submit to his heart for them.

They have to take the hand of Jesus. And, so do we.

Let go of what you are carrying so you can ascend the mountain to be in his rest. Maybe that one you care about will come with you, but maybe not. You must go anyway. God has to first lead US to the mountain of his presence before we can lead anyone else there.

Have you ever thought things were really important to do, but later felt weary after doing them? Perhaps it was because those were not God’s plans for you, but rather striving out of a feeling of obligation.

Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.””

These are plans God offers, but we are not entitled to them without seeking him. This verse was written to those who were exiled from their homeland because of idolatry and disobedience. Out of context it seems like a guarantee or promise, but it is to recast vision to those who are in a mess! So, how do we receive it? The same way the Israelites would….When will God bring these good plans?

“12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 14 I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”

There is hope on the other side of your situation. It may not be found in the acceptance of people. Not all will have the heart of God at all times, but God is faithful. When we turn to him and let him show us where our hands and heart have not been clean, or where we have slipped of the path, even for a moment in weariness, he will hear. He is anxious to rescue, but also for us to realize that our ways must come into alignment with HIS ways. Then, we will live like a fountain overflowing and joy will be our portion. In our own strength, weariness and disconnection happen.

Lord, I choose to seek you with my whole heart. Thank you for your mercy and your love. Bring order and your unfailing love to us all so that we can truly operate out of the overflow of your heart in us. In Jesus’s name, Amen.

Releasing Old Pain and Dying to the Flesh

Hello friends in Christ,What a crazy time we are in right now! We have a new president and he is jumping right in to shake the foundations of all that we have known for the past eight years. The spiritual shaking of our country is beginning as well, and it’s beginning in the church, with those who call themselves by His name – Christians. Have you been feeling intensity, anxiety, or manifesting physical symptoms of old ailments? If you have been feeling worse than ever lately, or heavy and weighed down, you may want to read this as healing may be found in a process of repentance and soul searching.

God is healing, but he wants to show you why YOU have bound yourself as a prisoner. Our ailments are not just the Lord allowing sickness, as some believe. They can be attacks on our body by the enemy, but sometimes they are attacks that we have invited by how we have reacted to situations in our life experience.  For months we have been praying in intercession, “Uncover everything that lurks in the darkness, bring it into the light! Purify us Lord so we can carry your glory and represent you well.”

Now, that is what is happening. That said, we have been having some physical ailments pop up or get worse in our bodies. Annoying things are getting more annoying… As I’ve prayed for the Holy Spirit to come, memories are coming to light with the pain as he touches it. Old issues that seemed buried have come to light – just as we have prayed.

God is taking the scabs off old wounds and looking deep inside to let us see what bitter roots, judgements, sins of attitude or lies live deep inside of us. For some, it is buried emotion, restoration of understanding and then repentance that has to come out for you to be filled with more. There is a metamorphosis process taking place and there is a choice to participate with it or not.

When Paul said he had a thorn that the Lord would not remove, lest he become prideful. We don’t know if the Lord removed it later. All we know was, at the time of that writing, there was some thorn, or messenger of satan, that was allowed to remain so that he would not be prideful. We don’t know at what stage of development Paul was in in his growth process, but he had a weakness, we know that. Jesus, however, never shows any example of partial healing or resistance to heal, so what’s up with that? We are asking to be made into the likeness of JESUS, not of PAUL. Right? Jesus was holy in all his ways. A man perfectly submitted to the Father.

Church, it’s time to look deep and to submit to the process of true healing. Submit to the process. USE that physical symptom to show you where you are trapped, so you can be free and go forward with the release process of change.

Here’s what it looked like for me… A few weeks ago, a fibroid, which is a usually benign mass in my uterus started expanding and hurting. It has never hurt before and has caused me early menopause. I’ve just turned 50 years old. I’ll skip some of the other interesting details about this timing, but this mass has been healed miraculously twice before, instantly. The first time, I lost four pounds after an encounter with the Holy Spirit. So, why is it back and why now? Instead of worrying about getting it healed right away or running to the doctor to tell him it was getting worse, I sought the Lord. I went into my prayer closet and asked the Holy Spirit to go to that spot. I felt it swell. This pulled me deeper into focus and I asked, what is stuffed down there? So many things came to mind that I had to deal with including trust issues, not walking in my identity and frustration from wrongs that had not been righted. Sometimes our flesh is harboring a mess! I have been asking the Lord to continually lead me.

Not long before this started, the Lord has spoken through a Cindy Trim video. She said, ” “A lot of you women are plagued with fibroids. Fibroids are an attack on your feminine ego?”  That got my attention. I wasn’t sure what it meant, but I became attentive to the clue. Where have I been attacked in my femininity or view of myself and what could limiting my productivity. A woman’s uterus is a place of productivity, of creativity! Mine was filed with an unproductive, useless mass. I can’t say this didn’t mimic my self-image, because it did. I’ve been waiting to do more, knowing there was more I was called to do, but felt like I was too small to accomplish it. I couldn’t even imagine it!

We all have STUFF we have ignored and burying it can lead to physical issues. Look up the spiritual root of disease and you may find help as to the soul issues that manifest in physical symptoms. Fear manifests in various physical symptoms. Medical science supports these things. Submit to God. Fully surrender to the heart cleaning process. Let him bring up the stuff you have not wanted to look at. You may need a partner or your spouse to pray over you as you let it go, but the Lord has been gracious as I followed his every whisper of direction. In the process of letting go, revelation started to pour into me and I started to see what I could not before – details of the plans he had for me. Wow! It’s amazing what God can do with a person fully surrendered, and I wasn’t even there yet.

There is a lot more to this than what I can share, but returning to the original thought, Jesus is coming back for a pure and spotless bride. Many of us have buried heart issues that are stealing our joy, limiting room for Holy Spirit to dwell in us and making us incapable of carrying His glory in fuller measure. It’s time to submit to the process! Submit to the process! Submit to the process! That means that you can take a short rest to recover from the last revelation, but you have to get back on the train when he gives you another lead to follow. The time is short and it has to be completed now.

Matthew 21:43-44 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.” Falling on it is our choice. Letting is fall ON us will be harder to escape. Which do you chose?  Remember, Mary said “Yes” to the God and it changed the world. In fact THREE Mary’s said yes to Jesus and they were the first to see him after the resurrection.

I prayed again and again, “I’m falling on the rock, break me to pieces and heal me. Break me to pieces and put me back together in your image.” Why? Because I felt the literal weight of the crushing that would come for those who didn’t submit to the is process.

God is refining his Bride in this hour. He needs truth bearers full of discernment because there is more deception than we realize all around us, even in the church. As the prophetic movement grows, there will be the true and the false. (Read Jude 3)

Revelation 3:14-20 “These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

What does lukewarm mean? It means some hot, some cold. Some Jesus – some world. That is unclean. Jesus took away the need for sacrifice; he gives us physical healing and righteousness through his blood, but he didn’t take away the need to repent. Our attitudes need to come to the cross and our lives nailed there.  Our God is fearsome and loving, but what we forget is that He is holy -Holy –Holy. He is to be feared for his power and loved for his Fatherly heart, but we cannot continue to neglect his words and call it grace. GRACE is the power to overcome. Anything less is corrupted grace and is powerless to transform. The Lord is coming for a spotless bride who is ready and WAITING for him. That means dressed in righteousness, ready and waiting.

 

Are you ready for your transformation? Just ask. “Lord, I give you permission to uncover every unholy way that is in me so that I can carry your glory and move into my destiny. I don’t want to miss what you are doing and I don’t want to miss salvation. I choose to surrender. I surrender to you Jesus. Take my life and give me yours in return. I trust you. Amen.” 

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”

There is No God. He’s Not Real – Convince me.

Bill said, “I’m just not going to believe that God is real. There’s just no way.” That struck a cord in me and a bit of zeal rose up in me. I know God rises to challenges like that as faith rises up in us. I told him God was definately real and even if He didn’t believe in God, God believed in Him

This is a true story.  I’m moving some of my old testimonies to my new blog. These are the stories the rocked my world and left me trembling at the raw truth that Jesus, the man, the Son of God, is REALLY ALIVE!

I am still amazed at how God chooses to use people to show his power. Everything you read here happened by faith in Jesus, faith that His Word is true, that these signs follow those who believe. He always defends the Gospel. Continue reading “There is No God. He’s Not Real – Convince me.”

Don’t Quit! Don’t Give Up! God Wants to Heal You

I serve a God who CAN, who IS, who KNOWS ME, who sees you, who lifts up the broken and calls things that are not as though they are, who recreates, creates, mends and heals. People are astounded by the things He does because it is super natural – over what we expect! Joy comes when we see how real he is.

I pray that you see him to day, that you ask and believe that he has the answer for you life. He has already won the victory over every power of darkness and has given believers his authority. Do you know how powerful what you have is? Look at Jesus! We’re told we will do greater things than even he did.

So, in your situation, in the place you feel defeated, clear your heart, you mind and your preconceived notions, and ask God today, “Lord, what is the truth about this?” Believe what he says. Let that change your outlook so you come into agreement with heaven instead of partnering with the plans of hell. (sounds dramatic -but we do it)…The enemy is the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy. Yes, there could be reasons you are sick, or that bad things happened. That doesn’t mean they are God’s plan for your life. There was no sickness before the fall and Jesus is the end of the curse for those who believe.

Don’t give up on God’s promises! Seek Him and examine what you believe. We can believe in God, yet not believe in some of his promises because our experience hasn’t aligned with it. This gives the enemy room to manipulate our lives. Those words in red letters are said by the one who is the “visible image of the invisible God.” His actions show what God’s will was. Jesus didn’t turn people away when they came to him for healing, but sometimes they had to continue to believe, even when they didn’t fully get it, like in the story of the 10 lepers. Nine received healing, but ONE received wholeness, because of his returning to give thanks, then he got more blessing for acknowledging what had already happened.

He gives us free will and gave your ancestors free will. Many choices have been made around us and by us that haven’t lined up with God’s will. Just like Adam and Eve empowered Satan with one choice, is there one choice you or someone has made that has denied God’s truth as Jesus presented it? Repent of those choices, break every vow of agreement you’ve made with the enemy. Maybe you’ve believed or declared that you’ll “always” have something, or that you’ll “never” receive something. Do you believe the report of man, medicine or of God? How many people have said, “It’s going to be along painful road ahead.” That is a declaration of your faith! Did you know that! With our mouth we speak blessings and curses. Life and death are in the power of the tongue, so ask God, what words have I said that have empowered my situation. What do I expect in this situation? That is the measure of your faith. Then, if you’ve seen doubt in your answer, repent – CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK! – Receive His forgiveness and believe in his redemption. He hung sickness and disease on the cross with sin. (Isaiah 53:4, Mark 8:17) If you believe he canceled your sin, then he cancelled your sickness as well in the same act. It was pretty simple in the Bible. They heard Jesus was coming, knew he healed people and lined up to get touched by him. That is still happening today, through many of his servants. Find one who believes and get in their line. That is all the faith he required.

 

Sometimes we don’t get it, we don’t understand why healing didn’t happen today. Persevere! Seek to have greater faith. Don’t let pride get in your way. Pride says “I believed and it didn’t happen, so it must not be God’s will.” I humbly ask you to consider, “Did you have the confidence and faith of Jesus when you asked? Did your faith look like his? Was your heart in complete forgiveness as his was on the cross?” There are times when I have had faith to declare. “Watch this!” knowing fully that God was going to do just what I was going to ask. There are times when I have prayed with little faith, yet still believed God heals. Faith and it’s presence is an amazing mystery. It’s a treasure we seek. Jesus lived with an active gift of faith and says we are to grow into his fullness. He looked at God’s nature and character and revealed it in his actions. He knew what the Father would do. That is faith. There are times I’ve felt like that, but in painful moments, hard moments, I haven’t always had that faith and I doubt you’ve always had it either. We don’t always have the answers, but God expects us to grow in faith and not give up. Don’t change the theology of the Bible or add to it. He is the same, yesterday, today and forever.

If you have prayed and not been healed, find someone who believes you will be and ask them to pray for you.  I can believe Jesus heals people but not believe he will heal ME. That is not uncommon. If I don’t have faith for something, I find someone who does or who can instill it in me! I follow the advice in Romans 12:2 “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” I pray, “Lord, where does my mind need to be renewed?

One other question I ask, “Is there unforgiveness in my heart toward someone around this situation? Is there bitterness rotting my bones? Show me and align my thinking with yours. Make me perfect in love.” Jesus forgave all with great generosity when he said, “Forgive them, they don’t know what they do.” Regardless of our sin background, which God erases when we turn from it, he expects his followers to have hearts of forgiveness. Matthew 18 says that if we don’t forgive AS we have been forgiven, with that measure of love and generosity, we will be turned over to the tormenters. Unforgiveness is COSTLY.  Outside of that, coming to Jesus in repentance brings wholeness, body, mind and spirit. We get what we believe for. “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and ALL these things will be added to you as well.” God made you to be amazing! To reach the world with your gifts and talents, to be a blessing. You can still be a blessing when you feel sick, or have physical conditions, but if you want to be healed, seek the healer and stand of the high price he paid with his body on the cross. It was enough. It was love embodied in a  man. It was your sin nailed in his hands and weighing on his heart. It was the price to bring you back to the Garden of Eden, to the image of God. When we feel his love, it is truly hard not to let go of the bitterness that binds us. I pray you feel that love today, that it washes over your very being and lifts up your soul.

Every promise of God is YES and Amen – done – in Jesus. Who will you believe today? God promises abundant life in John 10:10. What doesn’t look like that in your life. Stand on God’s promises and set your standards to the standards of Jesus’ ministry. If it worked for Jesus, it should work for you. We are to RE-present him and be clothed in him.