Posted in Hiding His Word

Continue Ye in My Love

Jesus said He loves us as the Father loves Him. Nothing can change that love or take it away.

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ‭‭~ Romans‬ ‭8:38-39‬ ‭‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Then He said that we are to love one another with that very same love. Think about that. We are to love each other and everyone in the same way the Father loves the Son. That’s intense.

We thought it was enough to love our neighbor as ourselves.

“And, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” ~ Matthew 19:19b

But Jesus raised the bar on how we love. He said we are to love our neighbor in the same way the Father loves Him, the Son.

“As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” ‭‭~ John‬ ‭15:9-12‬ ‬‬‬‬‬‬

How it that even possible? How can we love like that? Only by coming into His Presence in the secret place and receiving His power to love. PRAY. ASK. Ask for love to be the foundation of your life. Not just the foundation of your prayer life, although prayer always begins there….but your whole life. Ask the Holy Ghost to fill you with the love of Jesus Christ. “I want to know the length, breadth, depth, and height of Your love.” (Ephesians 3:18)

“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” ~ Ephesians‬ ‭3:14, 16-19‬ ‬‬

What does a life of the love of Jesus Christ look like. Paul tells us:

“I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:” ~ Romans‬ ‭9:1-3‬‬‬

Read that again. Paul says here that he would live in a life of eternal hell so that others would not. That is the love of Jesus! Only God can anoint you to truly love like this.

This kind of love looks like the Cross!

—-

Thoughts – I have gone into the secret place of the Most High and asked Him to anoint me and fill me with love for others. I have gone not once but many times. Then I am so surprised when hardships and trials comes my way or when some I thought would be lifetime friends seem to easily walk away. And the Lord said to me this morning in the prayer room – Open your eyes, your ears, and your heart. I have answered your prayer. Now continue ye in My LOVE!!!

Posted in Hiding His Word

Quicken, Change, and Communion

A glimpse into my Bible study and prayer time tonight.

Verses and specific phrases in them that struck my heart…and definitions because God speaks to me through verses and phrases but also very often through single words.

But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. ~ Romans 8:11

The Phrase – Quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit

The Word – Quicken: to revive; to restore life to

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. ~ 2 Corinthians 3:18

The Phrase – Changed into the same image

The Word – Changed: to transform or convert; to transfer from one to another

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. ~ 2 Corinthians 13:14

The Phrase – Communion of the Holy Ghost

The Word – Communion: interchange or sharing of thoughts or emotions

Thank you, Father for Your Word and for prayer that has quickened and changed me tonight and thank You Holy Ghost that You were and are there all along throughout this entire day to offer and provide me with sweet communion. Draw me closer than I’ve ever been, and carry me through – into the place You have prepared for me on this day. In Jesus Name. Amen!

Posted in prayer

Prayer for the New Year

Father, in the name of Jesus, I come before Your throne to lift up Your sons and daughter. Lord, by the authority You give through the blood of Your Son, and as commanded in Your Word, I come that yokes of darkness would be broken and to speak blessings and life over each one as we begin this new year.

In the name of Jesus, I break the power of the devil and speak release from all bondage. Where there are limitations, restrictions, afflictions of your body or mind, let those be broken and destroyed by the power of the Holy Ghost. I declare and decree that every weight, heaviness, depression be lifted and that every word spoken against you be destroyed. I command all that was taken by the enemy be restored seven times. I pray that you will turn away from worthless things.

In the name of Jesus, I release the FIRE of GOD to set you ablaze that you will burn with passion for Him. I pray that your heart will desire Jesus continuously, that you will never cease to seek Him, and that as you do, He will reveal Himself mightily. I pray that His Word will come alive in your heart and that zeal for His house will consume you. I pray that you will yield to the work of the Holy Ghost to bring forth every purpose and desire of the Father for your life. I pray that you will glorify Him and boldly share His Gospel throughout every corner of your world.

The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. ~ Number 6:24-26

In the precious and holy name of Jesus, I pray. Amen! Amen!

Posted in Dreams and Visions

In a Dream…

It is Thanksgiving and today I am thankful for God’s Word and His Word given to me through Pastors and Prophets and through God-given dreams.

In a dream, a woman came to my door trying to steal my mail. I didn’t answer so she started racing around my house testing every window and door trying to find a way to break in. She wanted to take “an invitation” she thought I wasn’t meant to have.

The Lord said the enemy is trying to intercept the opportunities that are releasing your breakthrough and promise. He is methodical and doing anything he can to distract so he can enter through a route that seems “good” but once inside he will destroy you by convincing you to destroy yourself. He will convince you to slam My doors shut and at the moment you do, just like Adam and Eve, he will have ROBBED you of your promise.

Do not be deceived. Do not entertain the enemy. I tell you to be at peace with all men but that doesn’t mean to walk alongside and align yourself with them. That doesn’t mean to let them speak into your life. The “peace” you are working toward is more because you have a fear that someone doesn’t like you. They don’t but not only them, many won’t like you in this walk. Get used to it. Cast away the need to be liked and the fear that is attached to that thinking just as I have taught you to do says the Holy Ghost to me today.

NO MORE to being robbed. Repayment begins NOW!

But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.” ~ Proverbs 6:31

Posted in Journal

Change

You know, I have been guilty of saying the prayer, “Change me, Lord!” and then when God started making changes in and around me I have been guilty of stomping my feet and crying, “I didn’t mean change THAT!!!” None of us seem to like change, but we want there to be change – only we want the change without changes.

The word “change” has about thirty varied definitions. Those that struck me as I read them are – the passing from one place, state, form, or phase to another; to become transformed or converted; to remove and replace the covering or coverings.

Help me Lord to accept the changes that You have allowed and appointed for me and Your will for me. Help me to even celebrate Your answers to my “Change me, Lord” whether the answer is my heart’s desire or a change that creates great pressure temporarily. I ask it all in Jesus Name. Amen!!! Amen!!!

Change is coming! Change is here!

Selah (pause and calmly think on that)

Posted in Journal

My Inheritance – “You Give Them Something To Eat”

He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom He loved. Selah.” ~ Psalm 47:4

The Lord has been so gracious to allow me to be in His presence in places where He has chosen to show up through His signs, wonders and miracles. I know I am blessed and that He has used these times and situations to increase my faith. I have seen miracles of healing, miracles of food multiplied. I have experienced and seen deliverance from depression and anxiety and addiction. I long for the day that those that are God’s own children will not be as those from Jesus’ hometown, expecting so little and so receiving and seeing little of God’s power in their lives and communities.

After a wonderful Sunday where God moved through our church so mightily, I have been pondering His call on my life and how to apply His Word. I know now in part what God can do through prayer and I am confident in the Word and that He can do infinitely more….but there are times when I wonder how it will all come to pass in my own life since the roadblocks and closed doors and the “waiting” seems endless. Will I go to my grave reminding myself of what I have seen but wondering if I ever will again…and if not, why? Will these roadblocks turn out to actually be the steps to what has been prepared? Though I am a person that is pretty focused most days and committed still I wonder a lot.

I was thinking along these lines Monday morning and I felt my Father pose a question to me. He told me upfront that it was hypothetical but to take it seriously nonetheless. The question was this…Excluding praise and worship, reading my Bible and prayer and excluding all other human opinion, if I could do only ONE ministry for Him all the days of my earthly life, what would I do and why?

It was early so I had the time at 4:30am to ponder, but it wasn’t necessary. I immediately knew my answer. If I could only do one thing of service — I would feed the hungry. I know you may think I am talking feeding the hungry spiritually and that is there but I am actually mostly talking in the physical. I would feed the hungry real solid food and pray that God, in His mercy, would give me also opportunity and ways to feed them spiritually as He saw their need, and mine.

Why?

Because long before He told me to preach or pray, He told me “you give them something to eat” from Matthew 14:16, Mark 6:19, and Luke 9:13. When God spoke this to me, it was one of the first times I ever heard God speak directly to me through His written Word. It stuck with me. On looking over those years, I have found that from my obedience to “you give them something to eat” has come most of the miracles, signs and wonders that I have been allowed to see and from obedience to that command, I have been given opportunity to share the Word and pray with people and I have been able to see people saved. Real true lasting fruit. From obedience to that command, I have met people that live in their cars and in the woods and I have met former CEOs driving BMWs but arriving as hungry as the poorest of the poor. I have also met hungry ministers. I have been allowed to minister to those that have given their lives for the Gospel but found themselves being fed through my hand but in that moment of divine appointment (and I believe that is what it was), I found them there feeding me in such beautiful ways. Truly I tell you, from obedience to that command “you give them something to eat” I, myself, was fed and sustained by God and felt the presence and LOVE of GOD HIMSELF through them toward me. It was never just me allowing the love of God through me. He gave me love through them. I thought it was something I would be allowed to do forever…but then the season changed.

I find myself now in a season where this kind of ministry seems to have almost dried up for me and while I try to press on and I preach here and there, pray and try to remain faithful in what I am given for the now- there are days I still grieve for that season that was. Not because I miss a ministry or a place that once was so much…but because I miss the people and what they brought into my life. I miss the faith that desperation brings into a people. I miss the mutual need. God transformed my heart of prejudice and gave me love and understanding. He took my lonely heart and He gave me compassion and ears to hear theirs. In return so many of the people also accepted me and loved me. Once a month, as they were allowed to come for food, I was friend or mama or prayer partner. They were daily in my prayers and that kind of prayer always creates bonds. I look for them even still when I drive the streets of Gastonia and I am so hopeful when I don’t see them out there on a cold day. I made it a point to know their names, their children’s names, and their situations. I made it a point to know their hearts. I miss their hearts. I miss their hugs. I miss their stories. I miss how they bonded to others and how they helped their neighbors. They were rich in ways I think few know. They taught me more about ministry than I ever knew they were.

A verse that struck me this morning in these early hours with the Lord is this: Psalm 47:4, “He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom He loved. Selah.” I have always loved that promise. I have always asked the Lord for the nations but my inheritance is His choice. When someone leaves you an inheritance it is their choice as to what they leave each person. The poor and the poor in spirit are my inheritance…this I know.

I admit Monday morning I couldn’t grasp how God wants me to take care of this inheritance He has left me. But then….

Monday I had the opportunity to go to the food bank for Thanksgiving turkeys. Yesterday I had the opportunity to work in the food pantry straightening and stocking shelves. Today, Lord willing, I have the opportunity to help give Thanksgiving boxes to those that come to our pantry. Lord, send us the hungry, that we might be your hands and feet and give them something to eat.

Selah! [pause, and calmly think of that]

Posted in Journal

The Botched-Up Job

botched up job

Two years ago, I was in Tanzania – on the mission field.  My Facebook Memories section is full today of those stories.

I haven’t been anywhere since TZ because that trip took a great toll on me physically, emotionally, and spiritually. On the mission, we worked late at night in the red light district with young girls bound by the sex trade. A few were receptive; many more were cold. Some were downright angry! My very first encounter was an older lady that approached me and seemed to bless me out. She yelled some things as she pointed her finger in my face. I don’t know what she said because my interpreter didn’t tell me, but it was not good. We were often in dark places and alleys where you couldn’t see one step ahead to get your footing. We were also in busier areas of the city with more light but where the pimps, bus drivers, and local motorcyclists would try to intimidate you by driving as close to you as they could to you without hitting you and screaming at you as they did so. During the daytime we did prayer walks through those same streets which were now quiet and well lit by the hot sun. There we saw the evidence of the darkness all over the place. 

I need to say it finally – when I was out on the streets at night I felt fear. I didn’t want to and never expected to but I felt a kind of fear like I have not known in a very long time. It was a crippling fear and it was terrifying at times. Sometimes I couldn’t think of any words to say and often I didn’t know what to do with myself. My entire being felt like I went into survival/escape mode. Here I was a grown woman…thirteen years free from that kind of fear…experiencing it once again. I remember feeling so ashamed and disappointed in myself. I remember thinking if I couldn’t do this, why was I even there? Standing there frozen in fear, I couldn’t think of one good reason. The director of the mission said later I had been sent there to pray, but surely I could have prayed from safer places. Nevertheless, pray, I did. It was all I was capable of.

It has been two years, and since returning to the USA from TZ, my world has changed in many ways. I been obedient to new assignments and done many good things. I have mostly moved forward. But I had not moved past those five nights on the streets of Tanzania. I have sat too often thinking, wondering, and questioning every call the Lord has placed on my life in relation to them. I have tried to transform my call (to missions, prayer, and teaching the Word) to something more safe and domestic so as not to include those days as the will of God. I have tried to make the fear, and it’s consequences someone else’s fault. I have turned down invitations for missions thinking at least now I knew what my true calling wasn’t. But then I have watched as many have gone out here or there, and I have tried my best not to care. But the mission field is buried deep within my heart, right where God planted it. 

Today, two years later here I sit and I admit I totally botched-up the job. I failed the team, supporters and I failed the girls. Their stories were heartbreaking, and they deserved more. But more so, I failed God. I should have walked in boldness and faith through those streets like the rest of the team. I should have let Him carry me through the fear. I should have and then I could have come home excited for what the Lord did and been on fire to tell of it. Because the LORD truly did great things despite my weaknesses and failures. Instead, I avoided most conversations about it. What would I say? After all, wasn’t my testimony that God delivered me from extreme fear?

Perhaps not telling the real story with the real emotions of my real mission experience was my biggest failure. So many go on missions and come back ready to take on the world. I have and I love that about missions. But I wonder if others (like me) ever left on a mission feeling confident and came back only to battle the enemy and themselves for a season because of what they have seen, heard, and felt that they weren’t able to overcome on the field? Anyone else ever feel like you botched-up the job God sent you to do?

Today I saw the quote above and I listened again to the story below of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot. These two great missionaries paid a high price (in life and death) to stay faithful to their call on the mission field. If anyone had reasons for great fear, Elisabeth Elliot did. She inspires me.

I came away from her testimony today and some sermons my pastor has preached lately and I repented of the doors I had to have opened that allowed such fear in. I asked the Lord for forgiveness and deliverance from all fear. I asked Him to destroy it at the root and fill that empty cranny with Himself, His joy, His life, His peace, His boldness…and if it is His will and He can trust me and use me once more, I ask for another chance somewhere, someday.