Posts Tagged faith

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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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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Hear the Hoofbeats!

23 September 2011
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The war horse of Heaven is standing over His people, breathing on our faces, calling us into the season of war.  God has issued the war cry and commissioned His army to recapture what the enemy has stolen from us, from our families, from our cities and our nations. 

Just as the Israelites had to decide when they stood waiting to enter the Promised Land, so must we decide.  God has given us the land, He’s given us the victory, He’s given us our inheritance.  Are we courageous enough to possess it?  This is not the hour to shrink back.  Caleb and Joshua were the only men of courage among their generation.  The rest knew what God had promised, but they SAW the giants and were afraid.  What they saw spoke louder than God’s promise.  We are a people destined to possess our inheritance and take back what has unrighteously been snatched away from us.  We must take the next step. 

This is the season of covenant.  As we reaffirm our covenant with the Lord Jesus Christ, so He confirms His covenant with us.  Don’t be afraid to let go of lesser things to possess the superior pleasure of knowing and obeying Him.  Consecrate yourself unto the Almighty Who loves you.  We must see Him as John saw him on the island of Patmos.  Ask for a revelation of Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom Warrior.  Once You see him as described in Revelation 1-3, you will never fear man, you will not be haughty, but you will be captivated by His beauty and His Glory.  You will walk in His power and His authority.  This is hour we are invited to dwell in His Glory.  Our eyes must see only Him.  The conditions on the earth are growing darker every day, but His light is shining brighter and brighter for those that have eyes to see Him.  Isaiah 60:4-5 says, “Then you will see and be radiant, and your heart will thrill and rejoice; because the abundance of the sea will be turned to you, the wealth of nations will come to you.”  When you see Jesus in this way, then you too, will be radiant and people will be drawn to your brightness.  You will receive the provision you need to complete the assignment God has given. 

We cannot fear the warfare.  Our greatest weapon is our praise, our shouts, our victory cries, our declarations of God’s Word.  We are called to stand on His Word, to be confident in His promise.  This will not be possible unless we have the intimacy of knowing His heart for us.  Otherwise we will doubt His goodness, we will be superstitious.   Words alone are of no effect, but Word and Spirit shake Heaven and earth.   Let your faith be stirred and speak it out! God’s not looking for religious activity, He looking for heartfelt praise, worship and adoration that comes from the heart of a lover.  If you find yourself feeling fearful of confronting your enemies, of shrinking back from conflict, then it’s time to get alone with God.  Repent of your unbelief and ask Him to show you Who He is for you in your circumstance.  Spend the time it takes to get a fresh revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ and then go to the battle line, launch your weapons of praise and take your ground.  Refuse to be intimidated by the smoke screen of the enemy’s lies and fabrications.  You are a child of the Living God, You were made in His image, You are His worshipping warrior.  Legions of angels, the Holy Spirit and Jesus, the Commander of the Army of Hosts, back you up as you go.  You are never alone.  Hear the hoofbeats of Heaven and march in step with your Commander.    The victory is already yours.

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Stones of Remembrance

14 September 2011
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After the Philistines had been oppressing Israel for 40 years, the Israelites were finally ready to listen to Samuel.  Following his instruction, they turned back to the Lord, fasted and prayed.  They realized Samuel’s spiritual authority and asked him  to pray for them as they went into battle against the Philistines.

In response to their obedience, “the Lord thundered with a great thunder against the Philistines.”   As part of their celebration, Samuel took a stone and named it Ebenezer which literally means ‘stone of help.’  This was a line of demarcation for the Israelites.  They were acknowledging their past sins and the faithfulness of God when they turned back to Him.  The Israelites were making a statement that ‘those who trust in the Lord will not be put to shame.’  This deliverance from the Philistines was a supernatural work of God that ended 40 years of oppression.  Throughout this time God had provided judges for Israel.  If the people had  followed their leadership, they would have experienced God’s blessing much sooner.   Now that the people had returned to God, they could enjoy the blessings and protection that He had always wanted to give them.

All Believers have a personal history with God.  There should be stones of remembrance in our lives, points where we acknowledge the faithfulness of God to deliver us from impossible situations.  Remembering God’s faithfulness gives us courage to keep moving forward into the destiny God has prepared for us.  The path toward destiny has hills and valleys.  Sometimes it feels dark and lonely, but truly we are never alone.  Unbelief is our greatest enemy during these times.  We forget what God has done and how He has carried us through the tight places.  Fear tries to grip our hearts.  Our best weapon against unbelief is remembering what God has done.  Remembering feeds our faith and anchors our hearts, so that we can declare, “I will not be moved.”  It is important for us to establish ‘stones of remembrance,’ whether they be literal stones or entries in a journal.  Some people place a basket in a prominent place and write one word on a stone that reminds them of each act of mercy or miracle that God performed for them.  This purposeful act of remembering will propel you into thankfulness and trust. It will cause your heart to swell with joy, joy will bring strength,  and strength will enable you to keep moving forward.  As long as you don’t quit, you will win!

Shalom!

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The “Why” Question Will Never Be Answered on Earth

7 May 2011
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excerpt from “Radical Perceptions” by Graham Cooke
“Why me?” “Why this?” “Why now?” “Why?!” Often this type of question can come out of shock, anger, self pity and bewilderment. We seek meaning, purpose and significance. This particular question “why?” can deliver none of the answers that would be most helpful. It’s the question that will leave us trapped in our own grief and misery. It prevents us from moving on. It creates an inertia in our soul and we remain stuck in a moment in time, unable to extricate our emotions. I have seen those moments of grief become despair, self pity, anger, resentment and bitterness. The heart is overwhelmed and we disappear into ourselves and lose the life we could have enjoyed.

I adored my brother Ian. He died in 1975, at age 26. He was walking to work on an icy canal path one freezing winter morning in the north of England. He slipped on a patch of ice, fell on his head, became unconscious, slid into the water, and drowned. He left a young wife and two small daughters. My heart seemed to freeze in my chest. Our whole family was locked in a grief so despairing we were speechless, adrift in shock. I have never known such awful silence. The “why” question was on all our lips, reducing our capacity to think, squeezing our hearts with its iron grip, numbing us from any other emotion, robbing us of life and purpose.

An answer never came. Some people still ask that same question. They are stuck in the present–past. Life eventually moved on and they moved with it, but a part of their heart is stuck in that moment. “Everything works together for good…” (Romans 8:28). God does not engineer bad circumstances so that He can produce good, like a rabbit out of a hat. Rather, He knows that on days life has a capacity to be awful and terrible. In those moments He works within us, around us and often through us to bring about some form of release and blessing. Goodness is part of His Truth, His Nature, His Persona.

Traveling north for the funeral I felt too numb even to pray. A scripture was doing the rounds in my head, like a toy train on a loop track. “Rejoice always, in everything give thanks, this is the will of God” (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18). When we cannot pray without ceasing, it’s because we have not given thanks enough. I worshipped the whole way home, six hours on two trains and a bus journey to the house of my childhood. I walked into a room frozen with grief, the icicles of despair hanging in the atmosphere, eyes red from crying, family members stumbling around, impotent in their own tragedy. That night I had a dream. Short, simple, and powerful. It was two men walking up a hill. I could see their backs, not their faces. The whole landscape was a riot of color. Flowers of every shade of brightness grew profusely. It was a warm, sunny day; the sky a perfect blue. The two men were laughing, pulling and pushing on one another. Two friends sharing something hilarious. I wanted to run to catch up with them and share in their moment. At the top of the hill one of the men stopped and turned. Jesus looked at me with that slow gentle smile of His that lights up His whole face. I smiled back. The other man turned and it was my brother. Ian grinned at me in that same, mischievous grin that I knew so well. My heart felt like it was coming out of my chest. We looked at each other and… he winked. With that wink of his eye, strength came back into me.

The next morning I told my family the dream. No one spoke afterwards, but the icicles of despair began to thaw. We grieved, and we held onto one another. We laughed too, at memories of him. In some mysterious way life came back to us from the dead. My mother became a Christian as a result of that dream. Family members, still pre-Christian, remember the dream to this day.
The “why” question never gets answered because it’s the wrong question. It’s often an invalid question that makes an invalid of those who pursue it. Mostly it stems from or introduces us to victim thinking.

We are in Christ and no matter what occurs in life, we cannot look for an answer outside of our placement. The two best questions to ask are found in the account of the Day of Pentecost. “What does this mean?” (Acts 2:12) and, “What shall we do?” (2:37). As believers we must always ask questions in line with our identity. More than wanting answers, we must seek Presence. The Comforter is the only One who can help us. In His Presence I get to ask my favorite question of all, “Lord, what is it that you want to be for me now, that you couldn’t be at any other time?”

That question has always been answered.

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Entrusted to God

13 April 2011
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Have you entrusted yourself to God?  Really?

Contrary to popular wisdom, the Bible does not say, “God helps those who help themselves.”  God does say, “ I will be your God and you will be My people” (Lev 26:12) and “Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)    Does that really mean He’ll take care of us on a daily basis?  Then He says, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat, nor about the body, what you will put on. .. do not seek what you should  eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. ..  Your Father knows that you need these things.  But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. (Luke 12:11, 29-31)  What does that really mean?  Can we believe this Word above the nightly news report?

What happens when we lose a job, get cancer or our retirement savings disappear in stock market crash?  We feel sick, victimized, and can become hopeless because things didn’t work out the way we thought it would.  We ask, “Where is God in this? How can God be with me and there still be this great “calamity” in my life?  Why would He allow such evil?”

Maybe it’s our perception that is wrong.  Maybe “good” and “evil” isn’t so subjective.  Doesn’t the Word say that God is Good?  In order to walk in the peace that Jesus promised to give us, we must look beyond our circumstances and look to the One Who is always Good.  Actually, evil can only be described by an “absence of good.”  It has no basis of its own just as darkness can only be defined as the absence of light.  Death is the absence of life.  So then God is good, God is Light, God is Life.  When we live independent of God, defining good and evil on our terms, we are separating ourselves from Him and His goodness, light and life.  This drives us toward evil, darkness and death.  This is no small matter to God.  Our lust for independence is based on self-preservation and self-centeredness.  It actually causes us to keep major areas of our life “hidden” from God.  We feel we can do a better job of managing our own life than leaving it up to the One Who created us.

We have been conditioned to believe that dependency is weakness.  We really don’t want to depend on anyone for anything.  We pride ourselves on our independence and self-sufficiency.  This does not please God.  It may please us, it may make others envious because we seem to have it all together,  but this is not the life that God had in mind for us.  Jesus emptied Himself of His rights and became the ultimate servant.  He lived from a position of relationship to His Father.  He did only what He saw the Father doing.  And then He said to us, “Follow Me.”  Jesus’ first disciples left everything to follow Him.

God is inviting us into a life of knowing Him, trusting Him and resting in Him.  He truly wants us to know that He is inherently GOOD.  In His Word, He commands us, “Abide in Me.”  He doesn’t want us to bear the burden of managing our own lives.  This is a weight we were not made to carry.  He invites us, “Come unto me, all you who are heavy-laden, and I will give you REST.”  He knows us better than we know ourselves.  He knows our end from our beginning, He planned our future.  A good parent will train their child to obey because they know how valuable that will be to them in the future.  This obedience brings trust. So it is with God.  He trains us to obey because He wants us to learn to trust Him in all things, to trust His judgment, to trust that what He allows into our lives He will work for our good.  In the midst of our crisis, God is thinking of our good.  He has a plan to lead you through that thing and bring you out in wholeness.  Our perceptions, fed by the lies the enemy speaks to us, tell us that the crisis is our end.  We see darkness, maybe even destruction and death, but God sees Light and Life.  He sees the way out.  He sees an end that is greater than the beginning.  Can we trust Him?  Can we trust Him in our suffering?  Can we trust Him in our barrenness?  Can we trust Him in our loss?  Is He really good all the time?

He is calling us up into freedom.  He is calling us to give up our rights and receive our sonship in His Royal family.  He has made a covenant with us based on the blood of Jesus, not upon our strengths or merits.  It’s not about us.  It’s all about Him, His grace, His love, His promise to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.  We must learn to let go of all that we perceive to be our security so that He can show us what real security is.  We must learn to let go of our knowledge in exchange for the knowledge of the One Who created everything. We must tear down our walls of self-protection and allow ourselves to be vulnerable so that we can experience the love and healing that He so graciously wants to give us.  Relationship with Him is what will bring us the security we so desire.  It will bring us Wholeness, it will bring Peace.

Shalom!

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The Promise Keeper

12 April 2011
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Now, O Lord God, You are God and Your words are truth, and You have promised this good thing to Your servant.  Now therefore, may it please You to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue forever before You.  2 Sam 7:28-29a

Has God made a promise to you?  Maybe it’s been years since that promise was given to you.  You started strong, praying, believing, confessing His Word to you.  You were full of hope, confidence and excitement.  His promises always bring excitement.  But years have now passed.  Trials, tribulations and sufferings beyond your imagination have occurred.  Your faith has grown dim.  You wonder, was that promise really for me?  You have reviewed the promise and questioned it from every angle.   You rationalize with your mind thinking you must have misunderstood what the Lord had said.   Things look so bad today that you can’t imagine how that promise could ever come to pass.

I say to you today, “The Lord, He is faithful.  He does not change His mind.  His ways are not our ways.  He is the God who is able to bring to life from the dead.”  Let us hold fast, therefore, the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful…  Heb 10:23

There is still a flicker of hope within you.  The Holy Spirit is brooding over your promise.  He blows upon the burning embers inside. Now it is time for that flicker to become a flame.  The Lord is not slack concerning His promises.  He is re-igniting the passion within you, your faith is being rekindled.  The promise does not come through your mind, through figuring it out.  It comes by faith.  Out of the ashes, it arises.  When all is dead around you, suddenly life springs forth.  Do not be afraid to believe.  His promise to you is “YES” and “AMEN.”  Hold on to your faith, continue to pray, continue to speak forth the Word of Truth over your promise.  He is the Promisekeeper!

Now go and encourage someone else …..

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The Risk of Faith

20 March 2011
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Today is a day of celebration when we, along with the Jews, celebrate deliverance from our enemies.  It is the Feast of Purim, a time in which our sorrow is turned to gladness and our mourning into a holiday.  Let’s take a deeper look at how God is speaking to us today through this appointed time to celebrate.

Esther was an orphan raised by her Uncle Mordecai.  As a Jewish girl, she was given  the name Hadassah.  She probably never considered during those dark days of losing her father and mother that she would become Queen of Persia, a foreign, gentile land.  Through her trials, however, the Lord God was shaping and molding her for what she was to become.  When Hadassah was called, along with all the virgins in the land, to go to the palace and prepare to become a queen, she did not resist.  Rather, she submitted herself to this calling and trusted the Lord to lead her.  She honored the instruction of her Uncle Mordecai to keep her Jewish identity hidden and even to take a Persian name, Esther.    It is amazing to think that the assignment the Lord had been preparing her for was to become Queen of gentile nation and wife of a gentile King.  Yet God would use this situation to also make Esther a deliverer of the Jewish nation.

This might upset some of our religious ideas of how God is preparing to use us.  But if you are willing to submit to God, you will find that His favor will propel you beyond your wildest expectations.  Not only did Esther rise to a position of great material blessings, but she was given authority in the land.  The King gave her the authority to write a decree determining the fate of her people!  Mordecai also got a huge promotion.  He went from being a relatively unnoticed scribe to second-in-command in all of Persia.  These two faithful servants of God had to overcome their fear in order to rise to these positions.  Esther and Mordecai first had to be willing to lay down their lives.  Mordecai realized that by refusing to bow to Haman, he could be put to death.  Esther knew that to go before the King unsummoned could result in death.  They were people of conviction that lived out their faith in God and did the “hard” thing in the face of death.  God was with them all the way, but they had to take the risk.

So it was with all the Jews on that day.  God did not take away the decree that the Jews be attacked, for the Word says the decree of the King could not be revoked.  Instead, the King gave Esther the opportunity to supersede the decree with a greater decree.  This greater decree gave the Jews the right “to assemble, to defend their lives, to kill or annihilate their enemy or anyone that might attack them.”   Clearly, they had to fight for their lives.  They could not sit back and have the situation take care of itself.  They had to prepare their strategy and determine how they would fight, with whom they would fight and how they would save their communities.  Were they afraid?  Probably.  But again, they had to move beyond their fear and with great courage, take up their weapons and fight.  God was with them in the battle.  He gives supernatural grace in these hard situations, but we will never realize it unless we are willing to risk it all.

As we look at our own lives and the circumstances surrounding us in this hour of history, we must strengthen our understanding of God’s grace and our resolve to live by faith.  Just as God told Joshua, so He says to us, “Be strong and courageous!  Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)  Then we, too, will be delivered from our enemies.

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The Presence of the Lord, Don’t Advance Without It!

7 March 2011
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Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’  But you have not let me know whom You will send with me.  Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’  Now therefore, I pray, if I have found favor in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You [progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with You, perceiving and recognizing and understanding more strongly and clearly] and that I may find grace in Your sight….And the Lord said, My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.  For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found favor in Your sight, except that You go with us?  So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.  So the Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found favor in My sight, and I know you by name.”  Exodus 33:12-17

Blessed be the Lord God Almighty.  As He has spoken to Moses, so He speaks to you and me.  The Lord has spoken through His prophets and through His Word about this season –

This is the TIME TO SEE.  It is time to BELIEVE THE WORD.  It is time to LIVE BY FAITH.

Are you struggling to believe that you have what you need to advance in this season?  In a time that feels like lack is abounding, the Lord says, “Christ in You is your hope of Glory.  All that you need is within you. ” We might feel like we’re failing, but realize that living by faith means living not by what you see in your circumstances.  Live by what you know to be true in your heart – the Word of God.  If you are to advance, stop waiting for change .  Create the change!  Not you, but Christ in you.  He has sown much seed in you through the past season that is ready to sprout.  You are ready to blossom.  Remain in your abiding place and look only at Him.  Listen only to Him.  When you hear His voice, advance!  His perfect love casts out fear.  You go with Him, His favor abounds to you.  He SEES you!

Declare:  “I believe, Lord, that You are with me, You go with me and You make it possible for me to complete what You give me to do.”

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Happy Birthday, George Washington

21 February 2011
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Written by Senior Fellow Bob Morrison from the Family Research Council. Bob’s research has been featured in some of Dr. Bill Bennett’s most recent books, including the series: America: The Last Best Hope Check out Bill’s The American Patriot’s Almanac for daily stories about our great country.

By Act of Congress, this is still George Washington’s Birthday. Although car dealers and shopping malls have told us over and over again it’s Presidents Day, the law is clear: We are honoring today our first president, the Father of our Country.

George Washington has been described as “the gentlest of Christendom’s captains.” As a military man, he was incredibly brave, facing enemy bullets not once, but many times. But when he put away his sword, he placed a dove of peace–a biblical symbol–atop his beloved Virginia home, Mount Vernon. He was eulogized at his death in 1799 by Gen. Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee, the father of Robert E. Lee. The elder Lee called Washington “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.” Washington was an inspiration to virtually all the presidents who came after him.

Thomas Jefferson, our third President, said of George Washington:

For his was the singular destiny and merit, of leading the armies of his country successfully through an arduous war, for the establishment of its independence; of conducting its councils through the birth of a government, new in its forms and principles, until it had settled down into a quiet and orderly train; and of scrupulously obeying the laws through the whole of his career, civil and military, of which the history of the world furnishes no other example. . . . These are my opinions of General Washington, which I would vouch at the judgment seat of God, having been formed on an acquaintance of thirty years. . . .I felt on his death, with my countrymen, that ‘verily a great man hath fallen this day in Israel.’

Abraham Lincoln sought to model his own conduct on that of George Washington. Leaving Springfield by train for Washington, D.C. 150 years ago this month, President-elect Lincoln bade farewell to his Illinois neighbors with these touching words:

I now leave, not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington. Without the assistance of the Divine Being who ever attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance I cannot fail. Trusting in Him who can go with me, and remain with you, and be everywhere for good, let us confidently hope that all will yet be well. To His care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an affectionate farewell.

So impressed with Washington’s conduct was Lincoln that he made a point of kissing the Bible at this own inauguration–just as Washington had done in 1789. Washington’s reliance on the Bible was fully shared by Lincoln, who called it “the best gift God has ever given to man…But for it we could not know right from wrong.”

Through the centuries, some few Americans have sought to pull themselves up by pulling Washington down. This tendency was most exaggerated in the 1920s, when so-called Progressives thought they could “de-bunk” American history by giving it a Marxist slant. But when a book purporting to show that Washington was a failure was published, President Calvin Coolidge was asked what he thought of it. “Silent Cal” wasted few words on the muckraking book. He looked out the window of the White House toward the Washington Monument and drawled: “He’s still there.”

Ronald Reagan surely admired George Washington. When Ed Meese, Reagan’s loyal lieutenant, was informed several years ago that Americans in an online poll had voted Reagan the greatest of all Americans, Mr. Meese was stunned. “He didn’t think so,” the former Attorney General said, “Ronald Reagan thought George Washington was the greatest American.”

Today, let us thank God for the life of George Washington, the Father of our Country.

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