In Our Day….

Time to Bring Forth What You Have Seen

16 August 2012
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God releases prophetic vision to those He chooses so they can lead others to bring the vision into manifestation.   When God gives the vision, it is for the purpose of allowing the recipient to “see” what God sees.  If then, they obey God, God will provide all that is necessary to make the vision a reality according to His timing.

Abraham was an example for us.  In Genesis, God had told Abraham five times that He was making covenant with him and that He would multiply his seed to possess the land.  Like us, Abraham struggled to believe this at times.   He tried to make things happen.  Then in Genesis 22, God invited Abraham into a new level of revelation.

“…God tested Abraham and said to him…”take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering ….”  Gen 22:1-2

Moriah means ‘chosen by God, seen by God.’  God wanted Abraham to ‘see’ that He would provide all that was needed to secure the covenant He made with him.  In the place where Abraham stumbled and tried to figure out how to “have a son” thereby producing Ishmael, God had to prove Abraham.  Would Abraham really believe what God had said and could he trust God to provide?

This time Abraham obeyed perfectly.  He told Isaac, “God will provide the lamb” for the sacrifice.  “Provide” is the same word as SEE, the Hebrew word Ra’ah.  Even though God’s instruction seemed to contradict His promise, Abraham lifted his hand to slay Isaac.  Abraham was no longer relying on his own understanding.  God stopped him (at the last minute) and then drew his attention to the bush where the ram was caught.  Now Abraham could SEE what God provided and he offered his sacrifice.  Abraham called the place, “The Lord Sees.”

Abraham caught God’s vision.  He SAW what God SAW.  His faith had come to a new level and he trusted God rather than looking for an alternative sacrifice, one that he could create.  Abraham had been proved and now God was able to release provision to him.  The whole experience was not about the offering, it was about obedience.

In these last days, in this season of seeing (Ayin),  God is calling to all who will see with Him.  He is releasing a new wave of prophetic revelation (also called The Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation), regarding His end-time plan.  He is looking for partners that will believe Him even when His instructions seem contradictory to His promise.

In Daniel 11:32, God says, “But the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits.”

When you look at the Hebrew words for “know” and “exploits,” you find the true meaning of this verse is,

Those who have ‘seen’ with their God will bring forth what they have seen!

V 33 – Those who have gained this understanding through prophetic revelation will be considered wise and successful in God’s eyes.  God will allow them to teach and instruct many.

God is releasing supernatural wisdom, revelation, and vision for those who will partner with Him to bring forth His Kingdom. He wants us to SEE what He sees, the future of His Kingdom.  We get to partake of the glory that He has prepared, but we also get to share in the sufferings.  Verses 33-34  go on to say that those who have understanding will also be persecuted, taken into captivity and killed.  But God will be their victory.  He will send the Holy Spirit and angels to help them.  They will be few in number but mighty in strength.  Many deceivers will join with them in an attempt to weaken and divide their forces.  Some of them will stumble (as Abraham did), but it will be for the purpose of purifying them and proving them to be true.  This is promised for the appointed time – the last days – our day!

Oh Lord, open our eyes that we may see what You see, that we may gain prophetic vision and build Your Kingdom!

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Pentecost…Power to Birth the Kingdom

27 May 2012
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The Old

Moses received the 10 Commandments on Mount Sinai on Pentecost.  In the Old Testament this feast was called the Feast of Weeks.  We know that beyond the 10 Commandments, God gave Moses the details of His Law for living in the Promised Land.  The people stood at the base of the mountain and witnessed God speaking to Moses through billows of smoke, lightning, thunder and fire.  What they saw terrified them.  Exodus 19:16-22 gives us this account.

It was the giving of the Law that birthed the Hebrew people into the nation of Israel.  Without a Law, the people cannot be free.  God’s Law set their boundaries, it established their culture and assured their freedom, if they would obey it.  A culture without laws is lawless, it breeds fear and violence.  Proverbs tells us “Righteousness exalts a nation” (Pr 14:34) and ”When the righteous rule, the city rejoices “ (Pr 11:10).

The New

Forty days after His Resurrection, Jesus ascended to heaven and told the disciples to wait for the promise from on high.  They weren’t really sure what was going to happen.  Ten days later, they were all gathered in the Upper Room when the Holy Spirit came from Heaven with the noise of a violent rushing wind.  It appeared that the Holy Spirit rested on the believers like tongues of fire.  This was the gift of Holy Spirit given to the church. (Acts 2 and Joel 2)

This was 50 days after Resurrection Day and no coincidence that it happened at the same time that God had given the Law to Moses.  In the Greek speaking culture of Jesus’ Day, it became known as Pentecost.  For Moses and the Hebrews in the Promised Land, the law was given to point them to their need for a Savior, which would come many years later.  To those who believed in Jesus and the church that would grow through the ages, God gave the Holy Spirit to empower us to become like Jesus and lead others to Him.  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever would believe in Him would not perish, but have eternal life.  (John 3:16)

Up until this time, God had dealt primarily with the Hebrew people.  But the giving of the Holy Spirit was for ALL who believed.  The giving of the Holy Spirit birthed a new entity in the earth called the church, Jew and Gentile, or One New Man.

The Law was given while the Hebrews were still in the desert with a promise that God taking them to the Promised Land.  They knew they would not stay in the desert forever and the Laws were given for the time when they would live in the Land.  They practiced the Laws in the desert, but they would be fully manifested in the Promised Land.  In the context of their day, part of celebrating this festival was to offer a wave offering of two loaves of bread made from their wheat harvest at a time when they weren’t yet growing crops.

The Now

The Holy Spirit was given to the Church at the beginning of the Church age with a promise of living eternally in the Kingdom of God.  We know that we will not remain on earth forever, but soon and very soon, Jesus will return to receive His Bride and we will rule and reign with Him in His millennial reign on earth and for all eternity in the New Jerusalem.  Our destiny is the Kingdom, but that is not reserved for some future day.  We are NOW entering the Kingdom age so that we can partner with Jesus to bring the Kingdom to earth as it is in Heaven.  The Holy Spirit was given on that first Pentecost, but throughout Scripture we can see that the promise of the power of Holy Spirit has always exceeded what we have witnessed.  In our day, a new fullness of time moment is occurring and God is releasing to us a new, fresh baptism that will allow us to accomplish God’s end-time purposes.  It’s not a “new” Holy Spirit, like something new we’ve never seen before, but it’s “new” in the sense of fresh, powerful, and relevant for our day.  Can you receive it?  Are you ready to believe for something new?

We, like the disciples of old, are waiting and expecting this outpouring, but we aren’t really sure of what is going to happen or what it is going to look like.  If we read the promises of what’s to come in the last days, we might be tempted to be fearful, but the Holy Spirit in us makes us bold, makes us fearless, so we can partner with Jesus to birth and build His Kingdom. Each of us has a dream in us, placed there by God, that is a piece of His Kingdom.  We birth the dream and then work with Him and His Body to see all the pieces of the puzzle fit together to manifest His Kingdom on earth.  He wants us to KNOW we have all that we need to be victorious through every trial and tribulation we will encounter.  But it’s not just about enduring the tough stuff, it’s about having joy, assurance of His Presence, peace and well-being, confidence in His love and great courage.  We are becoming the Pure, Spotless Bride, full of  the Love of God, fearless in the face of danger, and willing to lay down our lives for each other.  The outpouring of God’s Spirit this Pentecost and in the coming days will far exceed what we can imagine.  Stir up your expectation, receive the fresh baptism and get ready to build with Him! Let Him open your eyes to see what you could not see before, let Him move your heart to pursue what you could not pursue before, let Him fill your mouth so you can say what you couldn’t say before.  Surrender to Him and be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Lord, let your Kingdom Come!

Happy Pentecost!

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Sealed With Fire

24 May 2012
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Ring of Fire 05_20_12

Set me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm…Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord.  SOS 8:6

As I was reading Song of Solomon this morning and came to the verse above, the Lord quickened to me  the picture of the solar eclipse this past weekend…the moon encircled by the sun was called “ring of fire.”   He showed me this is the prophetic picture of the “seal” of marriage to Jesus…the completeness of this season, the Bride (moon) equally yoked to Jesus (Sun)  in voluntary love.  Jesus the Son, perfectly aligned with His Bride.  His fire seals us because we have chosen to submit to Him completely.  

It is symbolic of this Pentecost when Jesus is baptizing His Bride with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Luke 3:16).  “When the day of Pentecost had fully come…and there appeared to them tongues as of fire…and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.”  Acts 2:1-4 

The fullness of time has come for the first wave of the Bride to be unveiled, Jesus is placing His ring of fire on Her finger, and the Holy Spirit is releasing a fresh baptism that will fill our mouths with a new sound.  We will speak what the Father speaks, when we open our mouths He will fill it. 

Jesus declaring the maturity of His Bride to those that have gone through this wilderness season with Him.  It is His declaration that we have completed our season and have gained our identity.  Our cry for the First Commandment to be reality in our hearts has been answered.  We have withstood the temptations, we have thrown away other gods, we have surrendered our rights to Him and given Him our all.  We now carry the fullness of His heart in us and He is releasing new assignments to minister to the rest of the Bride, those that have not yet been awakened as well as the unbelievers, out of the Holy love of God.  It takes God to love God and that fullness is in us.  It takes God in us for us to love the Church and Israel and that fullness is in us.  We have become the nurturers, the spiritual mothers and fathers for the next generation (not by age, but by their maturity in the Kingdom). 

We now possess a confidence and boldness that we have not had before.  We have been tested and tried and found true.  Our hearts have been purified by His grace.  We are truly One with our Beloved and He entrusts us with this ministry knowing that no longer will we pursue our own agendas, but we will listen to the voice of the Bridegroom and minister from the intimacy of our relationship with Him.

Oh, let us celebrate this Pentecost with great expectation and confidence in our Beloved, let us love as we have been loved.  Let the harvest begin!

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God Paid Peter’s Taxes and Mine!

28 January 2012
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In my last post, I told about our $5100 tax bill that is due on January 31.  Given our current financial situation, we had no way to come up with that amount of money.  This was one of those situations where there was no option but to trust God.  God has taught me to truly trust Him over these past few years.  By that I mean putting the issue in His hands, and going about the rest of my business with childlike faith that my Father would take care of the issue.  I was able to experience freedom from worry and anxiety, yet I had no idea what God would do.  

Yesterday, the provision came and our tax bill will be paid in full! This is nothing short of a miracle.  Glory to God, our faithful Father!  He has demonstrated His faithfulness to provide for all our needs, but even greater than that, He is making a statement to whoever will have ears to hear.  I went to bed rejoicing and in awe.  When I woke this morning, I felt the need to look at the story of Jesus instructing Peter to go fishing where he would find the provision for his two-drachma tax.  What He showed me was astounding.  

In this story, Jesus was teaching Peter about his identity.  God used this example in the civil (natural) arena, to make a point in the spirit.  The tax Peter was required to pay was the temple tax.  The temple and its services were products of the Mosaic Law and represented one form of worship and government.  However, the temple really belonged to God and Jesus pointed out that the sons of the king were exempt from paying taxes.  In essence, He is teaching Peter that he is a son of God and since the temple belongs to God, he is not required to pay taxes.  This teaching comes directly after Jesus tells the disciples that he is going to be killed and then raised on the third day.  He is saying the old form of worship is about to pass away and the sons of the God are going to be revealed.  A new form of worship and government was about to be established.  

So as not to hinder the new thing God was about to do, God told Peter “I’ll give you the money to pay those taxes (because I’m your Dad), and then no one will be offended.”  There was no reason to create unnecessary trouble over taxes at this point.  Only the sons needed to know who they were and that they were really seated above the government of that day because they belonged to the King who owns it all. 

God is saying the same thing to me, to you and to all His children today.  God owns it all, He owns the land that our houses sit on and He is restoring His covenant promises with His children and with the land.  He is saying the old system of man’s government and religion is about to end and God’s Kingdom government is going to be established.  His Kingdom is advancing! Jesus is coming soon!   God will provide for the needs of His children because we are the ones He is using to bring His Kingdom to earth, just as He brought the Church into the earth through Peter and the other disciples.  We must begin to see ourselves as those that are truly seated with Him in heavenly places far above all rule and authority and power and dominion.  We are to take dominion in the earth, not be dominated by it.  Yet, as Jesus demonstrated, we submit to God’s rule and authority and therefore, carry out His plans in humility, love, and order.  Today, I will pay my taxes not as a victim of heavy taxation, but as a child of God who has received God’s provision and chooses to humbly pay my taxes so that my Father’s will can be accomplished on earth. 

Shalom!

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What Do Legos and Taxes Have In Common?

12 January 2012
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I had to laugh.  For the past several days, I was fretting over whether or not to spend $125 to send my son to a Lego Class.  I felt that this was something that would really benefit him at this time.  I am always torn between spending money I have on things that aren’t absolutely essential but desired, or holding on to every cent to make sure bills are paid.  I never know where the next funding is going to come from for my bills, so planning and budgeting is basically impossible.  I must live by asking God and making decisions based on what I believe He is saying.  I am always super conservative.  I give and believe but never want to be presumptuous regarding what I need versus what I want. 

So, while I paid half the amount to the Lego class and was wondering where the other $60 was going to come from, a bill for $5100 comes in the mail that’s due by Feb 1, the same time the $60 is due.  Ha!  I looked up to my Heavenly Father and chuckled, “OK, Dad, whatcha gonna do about this?”  Of course, when I saw the big bill, fear started racing through my mind, but I quickly had to put the brakes on it and return to remembering how BIG my God is!  Truth is, for the past 3 years He has arranged for our taxes to be paid.  Truth is, He has been fighting for our house that’s been in foreclosure for the past 2 years and has reassured us of a favorable outcome over and over again.  This situation has sat in court for a long time, but is now moving forward and we have every reason to believe for the BEST!  Has God brought us through all this only to let taxes trip us up this year?  I don’t think so!  For three years my husband has only worked short stints at temporary jobs or side jobs, yet God has provided for us and never have we had a utility shut off or had a monthly payment that didn’t get paid.  At times, it seemed there was no way we would survive, but we have survived by the grace and mercy of our Loving and Gracious Father!   

And now we are in a new season, the season of miracles, the season of abundance, the season of the latter rain!  God has been speaking through His prophets and there is agreement that NOW is the TIME for promises to be seen, NOW is the time that God is releasing inheritance so that the Kingdom of God can advance.  Financial issues have been a major struggle for much of the Body of Christ in the past several years.  Many have lost everything, many have been without jobs, many have lost houses, but this is the TIME of restoration.  God has tested and tried His people and now He is bringing us forth like gold.  He is about to entrust the riches of heaven to those that have been tried and proven.  He is about to meet our little needs that seem so huge to us, so that we can take the riches of Heaven and BUILD His Kingdom.  My house needs lots of repairs after years of no maintenance, but those things are so small to our God.  He is concerned about building His House and it takes lots of money to accomplish these things.  God has demonstrated this through Glory of Zion Ministries’ purchase of the old Boeing facility in Corinth, TX.  This old warehouse and desolate land has been transformed into a Global Kingdom Outpost in just about one year. Global Spheres Center is now a gathering place for the nations, as well as a community center.  The facility houses a large sanctuary for major conferences, an international Prayer Tower, an eating area, offices, a recreation center, business offices and a beautiful Israel prayer garden.  They transformed the building and the land with great beauty. It reflects the glory and majesty of God’s kingdom.   As they put their faith and their hands to work, God supplied the finances to complete this colossal project.  It is truly beautiful and a testimony to what God is about to do through His Body in the earth.  If you don’t know about this project, you can check out their testimony at www.gloryofzion.org   It’s really important to “see” what God has done here!

Writing this little testimony has caused me to remember the goodness of God.  I hope that whatever you are facing today that looks impossible will become small in the light of Glory of God.  Take time today to remember how He has carried you in the past several years.  Look around and see how He has carried others.  Let go of judgments against others and acknowledge God’s goodness to all.  Then let your faith arise!  Get to work building what He has told you to build and trust Him to supply all your needs according to His riches in Glory.  Hold on to every promise, for this is the TIME for promises to come to pass.  This is the time for restoration.  Call forth the new to arise from the ashes and be blessed!

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The Response

5 August 2011
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The Book of Joel is an instruction manual for the end-time church.  Chapter 1 describes the national crisis that Israel was facing in their day, both a natural disaster (drought and famine) and a military crisis (Babylonian invasion).  Chapter 2 outlines the response God requires to release protection and blessing and then describes the breakthrough of His blessing.  Chapter 3 shows how God vindicates His people.

These things happened in Israel, but the principles set forth here are eternal.  God says “when your nation is in crisis, do these things!”  Our nation needs this instruction today.  We have all kinds of natural disasters throughout the country and we have a corrupt government that is leading us to the place of military invasion.  We’re being sold into enemy hands!  Our only response can be to cry out to the One Who is All-Powerful and Mighty to save.  This judgment is released on us not for our harm, but to draw us back to the One Who created us.

“Even now, declares the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”  Rend your hearts and not your garments.  Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and He relents from sending calamity.     Joel 2:12-13

Jesus gave His life to save us, to set us free from the bondage of sin, to heal all of our diseases, to cleanse us from guilt, to give us everlasting life, to secure our future in glory!  God is not double-minded, He did not do this and then change His mind and decide to wipe us out with disaster.  No!  He is jealous for us, His people.  His desire is for each and every person to turn to Him and come under His blessing and protection through the blood of Jesus.  But we must choose to turn.  We must say ‘yes’ to Him.  He can’t do that for us.  But He will help us to make that choice.  By allowing His judgments, He lets us see how utterly helpless we are to fight the sin, the greed, the corruption, the wrong thinking that has beset us and our nation.  Man does not have answers to the problems we face.  Only God, the Creator of all, can turn things around.  If only we will cry out to Him, He will do it.

He tells us that because He first loved us, we can love Him.  Holy Spirit is pouring out a fresh touch of His love in our day so that we can turn to loving Him and thanking Him.  The first commandment, the one that is most important to Him is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your strength, all your soul and all your mind.”

We fast and pray as an act of humility before our God, to show our dependence and our thanksgiving to Him.  We acknowledge our sin and the sins of our nation and we grieve in our hearts because our ways are not His ways!  Our thinking is not His thinking!  He is Love, He is Righteous, He is Truth.  Repentance means we turn from our ways and we walk in His ways.  We set out hearts to follow Him, to be transformed by Him and to become like Him.

Tomorrow, as a portion of the Body of Christ gathers to fast and pray for our nation in Houston, please join in and acknowledge our need for the Lord Jesus Christ.  We need His leadership in this nation, we need His blessing, we need His protection.  He is Almighty, He is able and He is willing.

Are you willing….to Respond?

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July 4th – Celebrating Our Deliverance

4 July 2011
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John Adams might have been a bit off on the date, but his understanding of the Spirit of this day was right on!

It was the date of July 2, 1776 that John Adams thought would be celebrated by future generations of Americans writing to his wife Abigail Adams a second letter on July 3, 1776:

But the Day is past. The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.

I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.

You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. — I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. — Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.

A Day of Deliverance it was, and today, we are crying out again for our deliverance from those that would try to ruin this great nation that God established.  There are those that are bent on our destruction.  These forces are no longer from those ‘across the sea’ but within our walls, in our government, leading our country.  What great tragedy has befallen our nation.   It is time for the patriots of America to arise, as did our forefathers, the pilgrims, the common man, who gave their all, their blood, sweat and toil, to see the heart of God established in this country.  “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” (Gal 5:1)  The battle is about worship!  Whom shall you worship?  Where does your allegiance lie?

Will we rise to the challenge, recognizing the the hour of our visitation?  In His great mercy, God is once again pouring out His Spirit to empower us to victory over the evil that intends to bring us to ruin, to take away our freedom and make us its slaves.  Or will we remain complacent, reveling the lies generated through our media that economic recovery and the freedom of same-sex marriage will make us great once again?  Will we be content to have every last freedom taken, every last dollar taxed, every God-given right quenched?  I think not!

Enjoy the BBQ, the watermelon and the fireworks, but in the midst of the celebration remain sober and vigilant that we are warriors in a great battle against evil.   We were all born with a purpose, we are born blessed, but that does not translate into comfort and ease for all our days.  When the battle cry is sounded, we must lay aside our comfort, grab our (spiritual) weapons, listen diligently to our Commander of the Heavenly Host and then fight will all we have!  The Rays of ravishing Light and Glory are still before us.  Jesus, the greatest Warrior-King, is leading His army to victory.  It is certain, if only we will listen to him.

America, it is time to REMEMBER!  Remember our beginnings and ensure that our End is better than our beginning, that God be the centerpiece of our nation and that our lives are built on His government, His righteous rule, and His freedom through the Blood of Jesus.  Let us cry out with one voice, “In America, as it is in Heaven!”  I charge you today, “Choose you this day whom you will serve…..but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!”  Joshua 24:15

Credits:  Image by Cathy Wood

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A Season of Transition

28 June 2011
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The Bible tells the story of God’s history and future plans for His relationship with mankind.  There are three transitional generations recorded in His story.  The  first transitional generation was the Israelites as they came out of Egypt and were headed toward the Promised Land.  The disciples were the second transitional generation as they established the church age after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension. The third is our very own end-times generation that is called to begin to establish Jesus’ Kingdom on earth and prepare for His arrival.

The Israelites at Mount Sinai

In Moses’ day, the Israelites had been held in bondage in Egypt for over 400 years.  Though they were the people of God, they had become accustomed to the ways of Egypt.  In many ways, they had assimilated to Egyptian traditions and thoughts because of generations and generations being raised in that culture.  They did not abandon their knowledge of God, but most of the people had, at best, a muddled concept of who God was and what He wanted to do among His people.  When God delivered them from Egypt, before He could take them into the Land He desired to give them, He had to put them through His reconditioning program.  He had to transform their thinking, removing Egypt and filling them with Him and His thoughts.  He called them together at Mt. Sinai and gave them the 10 Commandments.  In addition to the 10 Commandments, He gave them details for every aspect of living, social, religious and moral rules for relating to Him and to others.  He gave them instructions for building a tabernacle that was meant to show the people how to come into His Presence and connect with a  Holy God.  He laid out the encampment of each Tribe, grouping them together for specific functions and placing the Tabernacle (Himself) in the center of their lives.  He exhibited great patience with them through all their whining, but He showed them the consequences of their bad choices and wrong thinking.  God judged their behaviors and attitudes not because He was being mean, but only to show the people that their thinking did not line up with His and that they needed to ‘change their minds’ (repent) and align with Him so that He could abundantly bless them.

This all took place in the wilderness, a lonely isolated place where God would have their full attention.  He took away their props, their comforts, their delicacies and let them focus on Him.  This process was intended to last slightly over 1 year.  Unfortunately, their disobedience cost an entire generation their opportunity to move into the next phase of life that God had planned.  Their one year turned into 40 and the next generation had to wait.  The blessings were postponed but not abandoned.  God is faithful.

When the time came to enter the Promised Land, the next generation had been prepared by the great leader, Moses.  He had trained them to fight, both militarily and spiritually.  He demonstrated a life of humility and prayer to this generation.  When it was time to install the next leader, Joshua, he had been fully equipped to listen to God and lead the people.

The Disciples in the Upper Room

The second transitional generation came after Jesus died and was resurrected.  Jesus died to break the chains of sins and bondage and set people free.  What God used Moses to do for the Israelites was a picture foreshadowing what Jesus was going to do when He came.  To live in the freedom that Jesus provided, though, required a great deal of changing the way people thought.  This freedom would only be found ‘by faith,’ not by sacrifices and keeping rituals.  The Hebrews were so conditioned by their religious traditions that they had a very hard time recognizing the ‘new thing’ that God was doing.  Though their own traditions and teachings passed down through the ages foretold of the coming Messiah, most of them couldn’t recognize this very One when He was in their midst.  The miracles He did made them mad rather than making them joyful.  Instead of embracing Him, they wanted to kill Him.  But God had prepared a Helper to come to their aid.  God didn’t expect them to make this transition in their own strength.  He sent the Holy Spirit as a free gift to dwell inside every believer in Jesus.  The Holy Spirit was poured out and poured into them and He enabled them to ‘see’ things they had never seen before.  He brought Light, He brought gifts and miracle-working power that would now be resident inside every believer.  He equipped His people to be able to live for Him and work with Him.

Jesus, the disciples and all the Israelites had celebrated Pentecost as a religious feast ever since the time of Moses.  This was always a celebration of God’s provision.  In Moses’ day, it was celebrated as an agricultural event, a celebration of the early harvest that occurred 50 days after the Passover.  God gave the 10 Commandments and His set of instructions, now called Torah,  on this day from Mt. Sinai.  When the people came into their land and planted their crops, this giving of the law would be celebrated along with celebration for their provision of crops.

The Disciples of Jesus were in the upper room celebrating this feast when God poured out His Spirit and released tongues of fire on them and the 120 that were with them.  Instead of preparing one man, like Joshua, to take over leadership of the people, God had now equipped every believer to carry the Presence of God within and lead the way for His Kingdom to be established.  God was calling all to be His Kingdom of Priests, as was His original plan.  These Spirit-filled believers were called to build the church which would contain both Jews and Gentiles.  This new thing would again cause much disturbance to the norm.  Between Jesus’ death and resurrection and the pouring out of the Spirit, religious customs were being challenged and those who held fast to their traditions eventually found themselves opposing God.  This battle has raged in the church ever since these events in Acts chapter 2 occurred.

The End-Times Generation

We are the third transitional generation, the end-times generation that will prepare for the great and glorious day of Jesus’ return.  We find God again doing a new thing.  Isaiah speaks of the new and greater things God will do in chapter 43:18-19, “Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?”  God is establishing His Kingdom and calling us once again to be ‘the people of God.’  We are moving out of the Church age and into Kingdom.  We are not to be bound by traditions of men or church walls.  We are people filled with the Spirit of God and the authority to drive out the darkness from the land.  Many have been walking through the wilderness.  This purifying process has challenged our worldview. To our own dismay, the Lord has shown us that we have held on to many worldly ways and He has released great grace for us to let go and instead, choose His higher ways.  He has called us into repentance, the process of changing our mind and replacing it with Kingdom perspective.  Just as the Israelites found this a difficult process and were often offended at God’s ways, so too, have we been.  Our lives have been turned upside down and everything has been shaken.  God has done this for our good and for His glory.   But now we have come out of the wilderness and have entered our Promised Land.

It’s time to arise as ‘the People of God.’  Pentecost is always about a change of identity.  It’s about coming into a new order under new leadership.  This is especially important this year because it is 2011.  Eleven is the number of transition.  Twelve is the number representing a new administration – a new government.  Those who have submitted to being in the wilderness and embraced the NEW of God are being transitioned into new assignments under the leadership of the Lord Himself.  As we cooperate with Him, He moves us into new places of responsibility and assignment.  We are in a special kairos moment – where time and destiny meet.  Those who have resisted this transforming process will be sent to make another circuit in the wilderness as the Israelites were.  God loves each one, Jesus died for all and He is the God of many chances, but our choices have consequences and our blessings can be postponed.

We must recognize the hour of our visitation.  The Spirit of the Living God is here among us like never before.  We are the generation the Lord is preparing for the greatest day in History, His return!  We must have our eyes opened to perceive all that God is doing in our day.  It is not enough to go to church.  We must be the church, the people who are sent out to represent Jesus in the world.  God will shake our world until we wake up and align with Him.   We’ve got to stop being so concerned with our comforts and our life.  Jesus says, “He who wants to save his life will lose it, but he who loses his life for My sake will find it.”  We are the People of God.  Our lives are about Him and His Kingdom.  We are blessed in the process of building His Kingdom, not our own.  During this Pentecost season, cry out for the King of Kings to open your eyes and let you ‘see’ His Kingdom. Purpose to hear His voice speaking a fresh new sound – the voice of the Lord thunders!  Find your place in His Holy array!    He is once again positioning Himself in the center of His people so that He can dwell among us.  He wants to release greater dimensions of His power so that signs and wonders will confirm His Word and people will stand in awe of Him.  Find a new way to worship.  Sing a new song to break off old cycles.  Let Him transform you and make you new!

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Give Me This Mountain!

23 June 2011
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Caleb and Joshua were the only two of the 12 spies appointed by Moses to spy out the Promised Land that came back with a faith-filled heart.  All the spies saw the good produce of the land, they saw the rich soil, they tasted of its goodness.  But the land also had some giants in it.  Ten spies focused on the giants.  Two spies focused on God and His promise.

When the spies reported back to the Israelite camp, the report of the ten spies inspired fear and anxiety in the people.  Though Caleb and Joshua were zealous and tried to remind the people what God had said, their hearts were prone to listen to the voice of fear and doubt rather than faith.  Their unbelief  caused them to miss their promise.  They were left to wander in the wilderness and die there.  So sad!

When their generation died off, their children who had been trained for war were allowed to go in and take the land.  Caleb and Joshua were the only ones of that old generation that God allowed to go with them.  Forty-five years later, Caleb is still remembering the promise of the Lord and ready to go after it.  Chapter 14 of Joshua is one of my favorites in the entire Bible.  Caleb says to Joshua, “I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I brought word back to him “as it was in my heart. (v7)”  Caleb saw the Promised Land and he believed God’s promise.  The promise was the “dream” in Caleb’s heart.  Unfortunately, God had to push the pause button on seeing the dream come to pass because Caleb’s contemporaries were afraid to pursue the it.  Caleb, however, never wavered.  Imagine the agony of waiting 40 more years, the unnecessary hardship of life in the desert and the temptation of whining, ‘it’s not fair, God!”  Caleb remained faithful, though.  He kept the dream alive in his heart and when the day finally came, he was as ready as he had been forty-five years previous.

His faith is amazing.  At 85 years old, he boldly declares “I am still as strong today as I was the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so my strength is now, for war and for going out and coming in. NOW, give me this mountain about which the Lord spoke on that day! (v11)”  He cries out, Now, give me my promise!  Caleb knew how to keep God’s dream in the secret place of his heart. He guarded the dream, he meditated on God’s heart and he knew God’s purposes.  Caleb understood that God was allowing him to receive his dream, because ultimately, it was about so much more than that.  God’s purpose was building His Kingdom. Caleb was part of something huge, but he only had to do his part!  He remained faithful to God, which caused the Kingdom to advance.

Then he says, “perhaps the Lord will be with me, and I will drive them out as the Lord has spoken (v12).”  This was not a question of the Lord being with him, it was a statement of expectation.  He was saying, since the Lord is with me, I will drive out the giants.  Caleb knew who he was because he knew who the Lord is.  He knew it was the Lord’s presence that would make him able to drive out the inhabitants of the land.  His focus was not on his own ability but on Almighty God.

We are in a similar situation today.  God has made great promises to us, He’s assured us of victory.  We are the end-times generation, called to see His Kingdom established in the earth as never before.  We are called to prepare to usher in the return of our King Jesus. We have tasted of His glory, we’ve had glimpses of the Promise, but there are still giants in the land.  God is allowing us to be tested to reveal what is in our hearts.  Will we be a people who focus on our own ability or on our mighty God?  Will we continue to doubt even after we have received so great a salvation and seen His glory with our own eyes?  Will we whine and complain about our hardships or will we steward the dream faithfully in our hearts?  This is so serious!  Grumbling and complaining caused a whole generation to lose their inheritance.

Did the Israelites face some hardships in the desert?  Of course they did!  But God always came through for them.  So it is with us.  We are all facing hardships, but God is with us.  He will see us through to the end if we will not give up.  Let us consider our brother, Caleb, and follow his example.  He was there among the next generation to teach them how to live by faith.  He was there to train their hands for war and encourage their hearts.  Remember, they grew up with grumbling parents!  They had to learn to think like Caleb and Joshua.  If only we can keep our eyes upon Jesus and remember the promise of His coming above all else, then we can say with confidence, ‘we can drive out the giants and receive the dream that God has placed in our hearts.’  We can train our children to live wholeheartedly before the Lord so they will be ready to receive their portion.  We will all be blessed when we focus on God’s ultimate purpose, He is advancing His Kingdom!   Jesus is coming soon!

Maranantha!

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Leander Ablaze!

17 June 2011
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Credit: Jason Womack

The Lord awakened me early this morning with these words, “Leander’s Ablaze for the Glory of God!”

As fire kindles the brushwood, as fire causes water to boil, to make Your Name known to Your adversaries, that the nations may tremble at Your Presence!  Isaiah 64:2

Yesterday, around 12:30 pm, a brush fire broke out in the Grand Mesa community of Leander which is just a couple miles behind my house.  Because of extreme drought in Central Texas, the dry and brittle land is ripe for fire.  Though we don’t yet know how the fire began, we saw its effect as it combined with high winds and quickly spread to encompass 60 acres and threaten 800 homes.  Helicopters and firefighters worked diligently for hours with the help of many surrounding areas to contain it.  People were initially evacuated from their homes, but by around 6:30 pm, they were allowed to return.  This morning the fire is contained, but is still burning.

The Lord has been saying to me, “Leander is ripe unto harvest.”  Today, I’m seeing that Leander, and Texas in general, is truly “Ripe Unto Harvest.”  We are like the brushwood….dry, brittle and ready to burst into flames for Jesus!  The fire of God’s glory is being poured out on Leander and Texas, just like the flames of fire appeared on the disciples at Pentecost.  The flames are a visible sign of a spiritual reality.  This is the season of Pentecost, it is God’s appointed time to meet with His people.  He is doing a new thing.  God is pouring out His Spirit on all flesh.  People’s hearts are being softened and they are thirsty to know the True and Living God.

While we pray for this physical fire to be contained, we also pray that the spiritual fire of God’s glory continue to spread like wildfire.  We now cry out for the Lord to rend the heavens and come down.  Open the heavens and send the refreshing rain of Your Spirit, not to quench the fire, but to release greater dimensions of Your Spirit and bring renewal to the dry, broken hearts of the people.  Cause life to spring forth from the ashes of our lives.  Where there has been destruction of families, loss of all kinds, pain and suffering, let the river of Life flow and bring healing.  Wash away the pain and sadness, the guilt and the shame, O Lord Jesus.  Let this land flow with milk and honey once again.  May fruitfulness and abundance come forth from the earth, may our hearts be united to Yours, Lord Jesus, so the Nations may tremble at Your Presence.  May every Laborer hear the call of our Father, take up their post and sound the alarm.  Just as firefighters worked tirelessly, let those that have been prepared as ‘fire starters’ begin to release the fire of God in their communities until we see the fires come together and all of Texas burns for His Glory!    Spread the Good News, The Son of Righteousness has arisen in our midst and He has healing in His wing!  Salvation is a FREE gift, share it with everyone.  Jesus is coming…..soon!

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