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Pentecost – It’s in the Waiting!

For ten long days, the disciples sat in the Upper Room waiting on a promise from the LORD.  “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.”  They did not know what it would look like, how it would sound or even when it would come, only that it would!  So, they waited, they trusted, they prayed, united in a promise from their beloved Saviour.  Waiting.  Not something I do well.  Waiting and trusting that the Holy Spirit would come.

Acts 2:1 says; “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”  Pentecost was a day of great celebration for the Jewish nation – a day when the firstfruits of the wheat harvest were offered up to God, it was the Feast of Shavuot.  The holy city of Jerusalem was jam-packed to the brim with God’s chosen people.   In the middle of all the hustle and bustle, a group prayed, a group waited – trusting in Jesus for the gift of the Holy Spirit.

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What happened next was absolutely revolutionary, changing the world as they knew it forever.  It was incredible, unprecedented and something totally brand new;  “and suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty, rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.  Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.”  This was a gift given to them straight from The Great I Am himself!  I have so many questions about that day.  How loud was the wind?  What did it feel like to have tongues of fire settling upon you?  Were they all afraid?  Did they remain standing in the presence of the Holy Spirit or did they drop to their knees in worship?  Was it totally weird to speak in a language you had never known before?

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Acts goes on to tell us; “those who gladly received his word were baptized, and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.”  Three thousand souls!  That’s a lot of people!

Did I say earlier that this was unprecedented?  Well, mostly unprecedented!  God was indeed doing something new and totally miraculous!  But, way back in the book of Exodus, we see the shadow of something else quite revolutionary.

Another Pentecost day.  The Jewish nation had fled from Egypt and after forty days they reached the base of Mount Sanai.  The Great I Am descended upon the mountain in fire and smoke and the whole mountain quaked greatly!  There was a blast of a trumpet that grew louder and louder and the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain.  Moses spent many days upon the mountain with the LORD, coming down about 10 days later – on the day of Pentecost!

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How terrifying and absolutely thrilling it must have been, thunderings, lightning flashes, trumpets, and smoke!  During the time Moses was on the mountain God gave His covenant to him, written by the very finger of God on tablets of stone!  But here, way back in the time of the exodus, the people of God did not wait for the promise of God.  Their impatience caused them to sin and when Moses came down the mountain with the Covenant of God in his hands the Israelites had already turned to idolatry!

Exodus 32:28 tells us; “so the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses.  And about three thousand men of the people fell that day.”  Three thousand men fell that day!

How fascinating the parallels! At Pentecost in the time of Exodus, God gave His law to the newly free Israelites.  His commandments, engraved in stone, a gift to His chosen ones.  Amidst thunder, trumpets, smoke and lightning, the covenant of God was given to God’s people.  Ironically, three thousand people died that day.  At Pentecost in the time of Acts, the people of God waited for the promise of God.  Amidst fire and the sound of a rushing wind, the Holy Spirit was given to the newly free people of God.  So great was the infilling of the Holy Spirit that about three thousand souls were added to them that day!  The day our Father gave His new covenant to His chosen people!

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St. Augustine said this, “Here is a great and wondrous mystery, brethren: if you observe closely, on the day of Pentecost the Jews received the law written by the finger of God and on the same day of Pentecost the Spirit came.”  The Holy Spirit is the sign of the New Covenant given to us from the heart of God.

You see, it is all in the waiting, back in the time of the exodus, back in the Upper Room, and it is still in the waiting even now.  Waiting for the promise!  Waiting to receive power from on high!  Waiting!  Will we wait on God during these days leading to Pentecost or will be consumed by all the many distractions.  All the idols that beckon to us, Netflix, TV, new projects, more work, another Zoom call?  Join us in the virtual Upper Room as we wait on the Lord, as we cry out for healing across the nations, as we believe for an unprecedented harvest?  Then when Pentecost comes, we can mount up with the wings of eagles, run and not grow weary, walk and not faint.  What a wonder it is to realise that God had everything planned from the very beginning of time!  So many tiny details went into Almighty God’s strategy, this plan to be in a beautiful covenant with the people God chose and the people God loves!  A covenant to see you set free, restored, and empowered!  What an incredible God we serve, a God with intricate plans for your life!

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Our Father!

Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” The words of the King of Kings rang out in agony from Golgotha, the Place of the Skull. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me?” This was the cup that caused our Lord such torment. This was the cup that caused our beautiful Saviour to sweat drops of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane. The cup of God’s holy wrath!

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Jesus didn’t fear the bite of a whip, or of being forsaken by his friends, or the brutal jeers and beating from the Roman soldiers. It was not the pain of the five-inch nails or the thought of a spear thrust into His side, oh, He knew what was coming! He knew the prophecies that would be fulfilled!! It was the reality that He would be separated from the Triune God that caused Him such extreme anguish!

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As the sun went black from the sixth to the ninth hour and all of creation was hidden in the darkness, God the Father turned His face away from His only Son. “Why God?! Why have you left me?!” Throughout scripture, this was the only time Jesus didn’t call the Great I am, my Father!

Our Saviour was, at that moment, abandoned so that you could be accepted, rejected so that you could be adopted, forsaken so that you could be brought near. Fatherless so that you might call Him Father!! Because Jesus endured that agonizing, lonely time where He no longer had the right to call God, His Father, because He had born the full weight of our Sin upon Himself, we now have the ability to come boldly into the presence of Almighty God and call Him, Father!!

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Angel Gossip.

If you’re reading this then this is all about you (even though it’s about me too!).
Did you know that there is a whisper going on in heaven, a rustling among the angels? The word is out on the golden streets and rumours are being circulated from angel to angel. There is a definite buzz in the heavens today and the news is spreading like wildfire! Where did the word begin I wonder? Who is it that all the angels are whispering about??

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Oh my! They’re talking about me! They say the King of kings told them, Jesus! They say they saw Him rejoicing, He was dancing with joy, He couldn’t stop talking about ME!! What did He say I ask?“Jesus said that you are beautiful, totally perfect for Him, that you are lovely. Oh, and He said that when you sing to Him, His heart starts to beat faster with an overwhelming love for you. He told us that He cannot stop thinking about you, day and night, night and day YOU are on His mind!” I couldn’t believe it, Jesus said that…… about me?! Are you sure it was me that He was talking about? After all, this is Jesus we’re talking about! The Beautiful Saviour, the Glorious Lord!

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“That’s not all He said,” the angels whispered, “Listen to this! Jesus told us that you are the one He wants to be with forever, you are His bride and He is your bridegroom. He says He has so much He wants to tell you, things He has never told anyone else, deep secrets, the secrets of His heart and He won’t tell anyone else, only you because He loves you. He told us that He has so much for you, so much for you to do together, places to go to, exciting plans. He told us that He has blessings for you, gifts! Surprises around every corner! Flowers, sunny days, rainbows, colours, perfume, everything He can think of just to enchant you! He tells us He loves it when you laugh and clap your hands with delight when He blesses you. Then He told us that He simply loves to watch you, He is enthralled by you, He said you have the most beautiful smile, contagious laugh, you are just lovely. It’s funny,” the angels said, “He just can’t stop telling us about you…… I think He must be in love!”

As a bridegroom rejoices over His bride, so will your God rejoice over you. Isaiah 62:5

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His Easy Yoke.

In Matthew 11:29 Jesus commands us to; “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” I must confess; I have read this so many times over the years, and always had questions as to why I would want to take one heavy yoke off and put another on. Don’t you think it would make so much more sense for the Lord to say; “Take off your yoke and you will find rest, take off that burden and run and be free?”

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To understand Jesus’ intentions, we must look back at that yoke placed on the neck of the working oxen. A collar linked two working oxen together and that was then hitched to a plow. When a young ox was broken in, he would be tethered to a bigger, experienced ox. During this time of training the new ox would learn how to walk in step with the older ox, how to work as a team, and here’s the kicker, this brand new, young ox carried no burden at all! His ‘training yoke’ was fashioned in such a way that the big, experienced ox would carry the whole load, the young ox was there to simply learn!

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When we are yoked to Christ, He carries the burden! We are there to simply learn from the Master, to go in the direction He takes, to walk in step with the Savior. “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me.” It is a place where we ‘cast our burdens upon Him,’ take His training yoke and learn from Him. What a beautiful picture of Jesus’ desire for intimacy with us, our wonderful Savior wants to walk so closely with us until we are at the point where we can sense if He will turn left or right, walk up into the mountain or down into the valley! A time of learning the mysteries and secrets of His ways!

Today if your yoke is heavy, feels hard or is a burden, cast your cares upon Him, take His easy yoke and surrender to the leading of your precious Redeemer. Allow Jesus to carry your burdens while you learn to walk in step with Him!

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The Seamless Garment

Bible scholars have identified over 100 prophecies that were fulfilled that dark Friday when Jesus hung on Calvary. Imagine that. One hundred prophecies fulfilled at the cross! One of the lesser-known but still astounding prophecies is about a seamless garment.

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John 19:23-24 says this about the seamless garment: “Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments and made four parts, to each soldier a part, and also the tunic. Now the tunic was without seam, woven from the top in one piece. They said therefore among themselves, ‘Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be,’ that the scripture might be fulfilled which says: ‘They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.’”
What was so incredibly important about this seamless garment?  In Exodus 28, we first discover an ornate, seamless robe made especially for the High Priest—the one who would enter the Holy of Holies, on behalf of the children of Israel, and bring offerings to the Great I Am for the sins of His chosen ones. The priest was also taught that he must never tear his clothes, for if he did, he would invalidate his ministry as High Priest. Jesus wore that garment—that precious, seamless robe of the High Priest!

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Have you ever noticed that when Jesus stood on trial before Caiaphas, the High Priest, Caiaphas ripped his garments once he had finished questioning Jesus?!  “Then the high priest tore his clothing to show his horror and said, “Blasphemy! Why do we need other witnesses? You have all heard his blasphemy.” (Matthew 26:65)  In rage and self-righteousness, he tore his robe and disqualified himself from the priesthood! Why? Caiaphas had been replaced! Replaced by a High Priest who would go to the cross as an offering for the sins of the world!
I love how the Father does all things well, right down to the tiniest detail. Christ’s seamless robe was never torn; the soldiers cast lots for this precious garment, and it remained intact for all time! It is the seamless robe of Jesus, our High Priest, who sits at the right hand of God, forever making intercession for us!

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“I Loved You First.”

1 John 4:19. Says; “We love because He first loved us.” Beautiful words. Words that breath refreshing and life into any weary soul. “He loved you first.” In this sweet and simple verse, we hear the Father declaring His love for us, right from the beginning of time. A shout through the ages from creation to kings, from wars to prophets, down to the birth of His Son. “I loved you first.”

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Our wonderful Heavenly Father is the initiator and we are the responder. “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.” John 15:16. He chose us, we didn’t choose Him. So often we tell the story of how we chose God, when the reality is, He chose you! He chose you, way back when you were formed in your mother’s womb and your days were written in His book! God is the initiator, we are the responder.

We don’t give, in order to move God to give us more! We give because He has already given, a thousand blessings, an abundance of miracles, the assurance of salvation. He gave first. Our response is to give back out of gratefulness and thankfulness for His generous love. We don’t praise Him to experience His presence. We praise our Savior as a response to His majesty, as a response to His greatness, His mercy and His grace. Creation responding to the Creator! God is the initiator, we are the responder.

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Our motivation to give, to love, and to praise, must be a response to the Great I am loving us first. He gives in abundance, He never leaves us or forsakes us! You cannot read your bible long enough, pray enough, or do enough good works to make Him love you more. He loved you first, with a perfect love, a love that knows no bounds, to which there is no end. Should we not fling our arms to heaven and declare our love for Him when we know the depths of His love. Our response should be written into every detail of our lives, in our giving, in our doing, in our praising and in our living. “We love because He first loved us.”

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What about the meek?

Have you ever had one of those frustrating days where everything just seems to go wrong and you come home irritated and annoyed? I’m sure you haven’t, but I know that I have! My mind goes a million miles an hour trying out different scenarios, what could I have said and done differently and even thoughts of exactly what I would like to say but don’t dare!!

This happened to me very recently and I came home and sat on the couch with a dark, gloomy cloud hovering just above my head! I cried out to the Lord in my frustration and said, “I need perspective, Father, a Word from You as to how to proceed!” Within seconds the Lord dropped a scripture in my heart from Matthew 5:5 – “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Blessed are the meek? The meek? “I need another scripture Lord!” I cried. But no. This was the one highlighted by the Holy Spirit. So I picked up my commentaries and concordance and took a closer look.

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The very first thing I discovered was the Greek meaning for the word meek – someone who has a mild disposition or a gentle spirit. It is the opposite of self-assertiveness or self-interest. In my chaotic journey to not operate out of my flesh, gentleness was certainly something I desired. Then I happened upon David Guzik’s words on the subject; “In the vocabulary of the ancient Greek language, the ‘meek’ person was not passive or easily pushed around. The main idea behind the word ‘meek’ was strength under control, like a strong stallion that was trained to do the job instead of running wild.” Strength under control – now that is something to aspire to!

Perhaps the clincher for me was Matthew 21:5; “Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, lowly, and sitting on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Jesus, our Messiah, humbled himself and meekly rode a donkey into Jerusalem. That same Greek word for meek is used here for lowly. Strength under control! The King of Kings was certainly that! Perhaps I could be that.

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Mark 11:2 tells us that this colt had never been ridden before. This colt had not been broken in or taught to be obedient to its owner’s commands. But this beast behaved like one broken in, one who recognized the hands of its Master. This untrained donkey knew that the One seated on its back was The Creator, that the meekness of our Saviour was strength under control.

Clarke said it best; “This entry into Jerusalem has been termed the triumph of Christ. It was indeed the triumph of humility over pride and worldly grandeur, of poverty over affluence, and of meekness and gentleness over rage and malice.”

And so, meekness and gentleness should be sought after – not looked down upon as something we would consider weak. Self-assertiveness should be bought under control, along with our pride and desire to be right. So we must cast off all the sins of self-sufficiency, self-worth and self-glorification and in humility and meekness pick up our cross and follow the Saviour.

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This entry was posted on April 6, 2020. 2 Comments

The Sweetness of the Wilderness

When asked if I am a Mary or a Martha, I must confess that a lot of the time I am a Martha with deep desires to become a Mary! I like to be productive and feel as though I am accomplishing something. I enjoy being involved, in the thick of things! Now here we are with Covid-19, in isolation, and time feels as though it has turned to molasses! For many of us, it feels as though we have been launched into a lonely place, a desert, or a wilderness. Social distancing is really hard! Whether we like it or not our schedules are cleared, and we have time to sit at Jesus’ feet! This all reminds me of an ‘accident’ that became a ‘God moment’ several years ago…

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I was leaving the home of a friend when my ankle flipped over, and I tumbled down the stairs fracturing my kneecap. For six weeks I couldn’t do anything. I found myself in this wilderness place with all this time on my hands! I felt cut off from the heart of things, I didn’t see many people, and didn’t go to church. Sound familiar? Initially, I was miserable, but after a few days, I determined that the enemy was not going to use this time to crush me, to depress me or cause me anxiety. I would use this season to draw closer to the Lord, to sit at His feet, and really hear from Him.

The Lord took me to the book of Hosea, and right there, in that desolate place, something incredible happened. My beautiful Saviour revealed that He had such a desire for me that He was drawing me away, pulling me into the wilderness to be alone with Him. Sometimes we get so busy doing ‘stuff’ that we forget, the Lord’s desire is for us to come away with Him. In Hosea 2:14 the Lord says, “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, Will bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfort to her.” This is exactly what the Lord desires to do, so much so that He will allure you, entice and draw you away with Him. He wants to be alone with you, in a secluded place, just the two of you.

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The Lord drew me away and began to speak comfort to me. Do you know what comfort means? So often we think of comfort as perhaps a consoling pat on the back, a couple of encouraging words, in my case a “don’t worry you’ll get through this” or a “this too shall pass” – but that isn’t it at all! The Hebrew word for comfort comes from ‘labab’ which means to speak to your inner man, your soul, mind, will, and heart. To be enheartened and become intelligent. Jesus wants to speak right into your heart, to give you understanding and revelation! But there is more – ‘labab’ also means to ravish the heart, encourage, make the heart beat faster!! My Lord, my King, my Redeemer desired to ravish my heart, to enchant, enrapture and delight me. To so overwhelm me with His love for me that my heart would beat faster! He took me away, into the wilderness, to a secret place where no-one could find me, and spoke into my innermost being. He took my breath away! I have to say I was spellbound, tears poured down my cheeks as I finally understood.

Jesus desires that the wilderness would be a place of sweetness, a place where your love for Him would be strengthened. Jesus wants to give you so much, but you have to stop for a moment to receive it. Hosea 2:15 says; “I will give her her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.” It is in the wilderness that we receive our inheritance, our vineyards. As the Lord pours out His endless river of grace over us, we receive our birthright from Him, a life that will be fruitful and not barren, fertile and not sterile. In the place where we should receive judgment, instead, we are given hope.

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It was in that same Valley of Achor, that Achan sinned against God and was disobedient. All Israel stoned Achan and burnt him with fire, they raised over him a great heap of stones and this place was called the Valley of Achor or trouble -Joshua 7. There are so many times in my life that I have been disobedient, or even slow to be obedient. I have a habit of trying to argue my way out of what the Lord has asked me to do for Him! I have sinned against God and know my heart is deceitfully wicked.

Now here I am in the wilderness, in the Valley of Trouble where I don’t deserve any more than Achan himself! But God desired to give me the Valley of Achor as a Door of Hope, He chose this time to pour out His great mercy and grace upon me. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

It was after this purging in the Valley of Achor that the Israelites went on from victory to victory, taking all of the Promised Land, even to the point where the Lord stilled the sun in the sky so that God’s chosen people could win the battle! He stilled the sun in the sky for them and He would do it for you! Achor was a Door of Hope for the Israelites and the Great I Am intends to Open that Door of Hope for you.

This Door of Hope is the springboard upon which we shall walk into our Promised Land, but we have to do this by walking through the Valley of Achor first. By embracing our wilderness, leaving behind the sin which so easily entangles, releasing to the Lord everything which would hold us back, we can then confidently walk through that door right into the hope of our calling.

What a glorious day it will be when you walk through that Door of Hope, a day when you shall finally be set free to be everything God wants you to be. As the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, as Almighty God delivered them from the hands of their enslavers, they rejoiced and sang. The Israelites were finally set free and not only were they free, but their enemy was drowned in the sea, never to enslave them again. You see, hearing the truth shall set you free, “and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” – John 8:32. Right there in the wilderness, Jesus will whisper truth in your ear, the truth of His love for you, He will release you, empower you and set you free!

“And it shall be, in that day,” says the Lord, “that you will call me “My Husband,” and no longer call me “My Master,” (Hosea 2:16). What a promise! To be able to see the Lord as husband! I realized that the scripture says, ‘in that day”, and I asked myself, “In what day?” In the day that Jesus lures you into the wilderness and speaks to you in a passionate way, that is the day. When you are in the wilderness place with your Lord there will be such a change in you that you will no longer see him as your Master but as your bridegroom! You may go into that place with the mindset of a slave, but you WILL leave it with an enormous change in your way of thinking, seeing the Lord as your husband! And it shall be, it shall be, this is not a conditional promise – it is something the Lord says will happen. You shall leave the wilderness knowing, without a shadow of a doubt, that Jesus is your bridegroom!

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Jesus is the kind of bridegroom that will treat you with the greatest tenderness, the utmost respect, with gentle loving-kindness, with immense compassion. Jesus is the supreme defender and protector, a shield about you, a refuge that you can run into. A husband who believes in you, knowing that you can achieve anything you set your mind to. He listens, even hangs on to your every word. Simply put, He adores you!

During my time in the wilderness, as I listened to my Saviour whispering in my ear, everything else seemed to fade away. All that I considered important no longer seemed to be important anymore. All my cares, anxieties and fears were put to flight. Today, if you are in the wilderness, allow your Saviour to wrap His arms around you and whisper tender words of love in your ear; “You are safe, you are loved, and you are my bride!”

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Prayer and Planning

Nehemiah’s reaction was extreme.  Suddenly there was no strength left in his legs, he felt weak and overcome and sat down in shock.  Shocked that the city and people that God loved were in such a dire position.  He really felt the heart of the Father for His chosen ones and wept over the condition of a people he had not met.  Supernaturally God had given Nehemiah a heart and a burden for His children in Jerusalem.

So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.”  Nehemiah 1:4key-3087900_1920

This verse tells us that Nehemiah wept, fasted, and prayed for many days, seeking the heart and will of God in this situation.  I don’t know about you, but so often, in an extreme circumstance, I move straight into reaction mode!  Often, I don’t even think my next move through before jumping into action!  Not Nehemiah.  His very first reaction was to go to God in prayer.  There, in that place of prayer, the LORD began to do a great work in Nehemiah’s heart, He gave him strategy, wisdom, and strength for the season ahead.  He took this great leader that He had fashioned and formed through the tough times in Persia and prepared him for this incredible and difficult mission up ahead.  A mission of rebuilding not only the walls of Jerusalem but the lives of God’s chosen ones.

Alan Redpath said this; “There is no winning without warfare, there is no opportunity without opposition, there is no victory without vigilance.  For whenever the people of God say, ‘Let me arise and build,’ Satan says, ‘Let me arise and oppose.’”  For every great task, there will be great opposition.  We must take time to pray and allow our Father to prepare us for the mission that follows.  We need to take a leaf from the book of Nehemiah and allow the Lord to make us battle-ready.  We need to be prayed up, prepared and positioned!book-2341083_1920

For 4 months Nehemiah sought the LORD, he listened to the LORD and waited on the LORD.  But Nehemiah was also a very capable leader, he also spent 4 months planning, working out a Spirit-led plan, for the day the LORD flung wide the Door of Opportunity.

wall-2831911_1920In Nehemiah 2:4-8 we read the story of Nehemiah’s conversation with the King.  Nehemiah knew how long he would be gone, that he would need letters of protection as he passed through dangerous places.  Nehemiah made requests for building materials, he knew just what he needed, he had a plan.  Nehemiah didn’t rush headlong into the opportunity but took the time to plot a course of action, knowing that “the good hand of his God was upon him.”

We know that our God is a planning God, “The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations.”  Our Savior had a plan, from the very beginning of time, for your salvation.  A plan so delicate and intricate, you can see it woven into every book of the bible.  A plan for your restoration, a plan to bring you to Himself.  Our Abba Father is a planner and He would have you be one too.

butterfly-2049567_1920Proverbs 21:5 says, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.”  We aren’t any more spiritual when we ‘leap out in faith’ and don’t plan. Nehemiah showed immense faith in his planning, in his belief that God would supply what seemed like an overwhelming number of requests.  When God showed Nehemiah the desperate situation of His chosen ones, Nehemiah didn’t simply pray and leave it at that. No, Nehemiah was moved, he prayed, and he planned, he was ready to change history for the glory of the King!

Nehemiah fasted and prayed for four months – 120 days!  When God felt that Nehemiah was prepared and ready to rebuild the walls it took only an incredible 52 days to complete the task!  Nehemiah prayed for twice the amount of time and God used Nehemiah in a miraculous way!  Our motto needs to become, “Pray first, act later!” Even when we think we have no time to pray, God is showing you, by using the example of Nehemiah, that if you stop, pray first, plan second, then the Great I AM will help you accomplish your mission in record time!

Do you take the time to pray and plan when the Father shows you a need and opportunity, or do you jump straight into the fray with no forward-thinking at all?  Let’s learn from Nehemiah and be more like our loving Father who had a plan for you from the very beginning of the world.

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This entry was posted on January 19, 2020. 1 Comment

Fear!

I’m afraid of a lot of things, spiders and bugs being at the very top of the list!  I’m afraid that if I don’t study my bible enough, our Abba Father won’t love me and I won’t be pleasing to Him.  I’m afraid that my beautiful daughter will be attacked walking home alone, in the dark.  I’m afraid my son won’t find his way back to the Father and be lost forever.  I’m afraid my husband won’t return from a trip to Africa and my Dad will no longer remember me because of dementia. I could go on writing this list, but I won’t. Dwelling on the list of things you are afraid of is not healthy!fearless

When you are afraid, fear begins to paralyze you.  Anxiety incapacitates you.  Distress immobilizes you.  We cannot walk forward if we are letting fear take root in our souls.  1John 4:18 says this; “There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

This scripture made me do a double take, changed my thinking; it really did penetrate my soul and spirit, my joints and marrow, so sharp was this word from the Lord.  “Fear has to do with punishment!”  Fear whispers in your ear the very worst possible scenario.  It shouts its bitterness and poison into your spirit until your mind plays over and over again its sulfurous synopsis.  Fear tells you that your Father won’t love you – it tells you of an angry God, waiting to pour out the fire of judgement upon your head.  Fear tells you that you cannot trust the Lord in all things, with those you love the most!  Fear tells you that you cannot believe in His promises, His goodness, and His kindness.  You cannot trust in His perfect love!

Several years ago the Lord spoke to me about letting fear overwhelm me.  He showed me His incredible love, His glorious grace, and tender mercies.  In 2014, I had a wonderful opportunity to travel to Israel and while I was there, the Lord told me to be baptized in the Sea of Galilee, the very place that Peter walked on water.  “Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.  But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him, “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”  Fear took hold of Peter’s heart when he saw the ferocity of the wind, when he saw what he was up against.  He was afraid of what would happen, afraid of a disastrous outcome and so he began to sink.stormy seas

How often, when we stop having faith and trusting the Lord, focusing on the problem and not our Jesus, do we begin to sink?  Deeper and deeper into the muck and the mire of our own anxious thoughts.  Jesus is right there, hand outstretched, ready to pull you back into the boat again.  I love how this scripture says, ‘immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him!’  Immediately! Instantly! Urgently and unhesitatingly!sea of galilee

If we take our eyes off the storm and fully trust the Lord there will be no fear of punishment.  If we concentrate on His goodness, we will not be afraid of the outcome but know He will always work all things together for good.  If we rely on His perfect love, we will know that we can leave our loved ones in His hands.  No matter what we are walking through, we need never be afraid as He is walking beside us, showing us the way, ready to catch us if we begin to sink.  “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7.

He will give you strength, He will give you hope and encouragement, He will give you the ability to move beyond your paralysis and walk forward.  He will bring you to a place where there is no fear of punishment, no fear of the outcome, just faith and trust in His perfect love, in His plan for your life!

Now what am I going to do about those beastly bugs that I’m still afraid of!pink flower fear

This entry was posted on January 11, 2019. 1 Comment