“I am sending you out …Be as gentle as a dove and wise as a serpent…Be on guard.” Matthew 16

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                   It’s time to change- are you ready? Are you willing to step out for Christ? I want to see “God’s kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven” don’t you? I want to remind you of who you are in Christ, and what He has commissioned you to do. Be Strong and Very Courageous. Decide today who you will follow. What’s that? You’ve been knocked down and discouraged? oh- get over it! The church needs you- dust of, get back up and hear the word of the Lord:

Matthew  16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.  Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues.  On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say,  for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

YOU ARE BEING SENT OUT TO DO THE WORKS JESUS DID. IT’S TIME TO CHANGE- TO BE THE NEW AND DIFFERENT PERSON CHRIST HAS CALLED US OUT TO BE.

Luke 10:19  Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

AND YOU CAN BE CONFIDENT OF THIS; THAT HE WHO BEGAN A GOOD WORK IN YOU WILL CARRY IT ON UNTIL COMPLETION UNTIL THE DAY OF JESUS CHRIST. THE POWER THAT RAISED CHRIST FROM THE DEAD LIVES WITHIN YOU.  YOU CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS YOU.

You have been chosen: Jesus said :“My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Luke 10:22

We’ve been called to do the Works Jesus did. John 10 :12-18 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

The Message translation : The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I’ve been doing. You can count on it. From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I’ll do it. That’s how the Father will be seen for who he is in the Son. I mean it. Whatever you request in this way, I’ll do.

Think about that: The works Jesus did and even greater works in His name because He has gone to the Father. He walked on water, healed the sick, set the captives free, turned water into wine, feed 5000 men with a small basket of food, calmed the stormy sea, healed disease, brought the dead back to life, restored a severed ear, opened blind ears, caused the deaf to hear, caught a fish with a coin in it’s mouth, healed and freed those possessed by a demon/s, healed the mute, healed a withered hand, healed a paralyzed man, healed leprosy. Jesus said you can do these works, and even greater in His name so He can honor the Father.

I want to see a church on fire for God. I want our lives to Glorify Him. I don’t want to live and learn a life of a watered down gospel. I know God’s word is alive and powerful and I want to see His people Glorify His name in our places of worship.

Easter Sunday is around the corner and yet again I dread going to church.  I used to feel bad about thinking that. It seems nothing has changed since I was that 13 yr old rebellious teen. I loved God, knew He could do incredible things and even had scripture engrained in my heart- but church- ugh! was torture to me. I can remember that Sunday as if it were yesterday.  “ I AM NOOOOOOOT going to church!!” I yelled to my father as I sprinted out the door and down the street. He chased me 3 blocks as I sprinted along the sidewalk.

I see God’s work in my life. I see Him answer prayers. I’ve seen Him do mighty miracles and I ‘ve heard His voice. I know how much He loves us and I know without a doubt every single word in the bible is so true- it’s actually alive.  Sometimes I think I’d find the children’s worship much more fun for me. God’s word isn’t boring, but why is church sometimes so difficult to sit through? Maybe it’s my hyperness , I don’t know- but that’s what makes me ME. It may sound like I’m all over the place- but everything fits like a puzzle within my thoughts. The scripture somehow comes together like a puzzle in my mind and it never stops—it goes on and on and on.

I see something missing :
WHERE IS THE FEAR OF GOD IN OUR CHURCHES?
Love for others?

     Has the church gotten too worldly. I questioned even writing this and prayed about it, wondering- should I really put my thoughts here? I prefer to put only God’s word and what the Lord shows me through scripture, but today  is…different. As I talked to the Lord about my thoughts, I sat down at the computer and opened up todays news- Sun Sentinel. Front page- a church is doing a whodunnit, a who shot the pastor  show for Easter. I want to cry.  God’s word, His power, His Majesty, His Holiness, His Mercy is so amazing, so exciting, so opposite of boring to me- how could any worldly idea even match it? Has the true word of God become so boring and lifeless to people that we have to make our churches more worldly to bring them into God’s house.

Where are the works of Jesus in the Church? Are you seeing them in your church? Really…please share to encourage the rest of us. I see sickness, death, depression, complaining, isolation,  texting, disrespect- yes, now we can sip coffee and dip donuts in God’s house.  We can’t for one hour have a little respect. Where is the Fear of God?   Do you know how terrifying it is to be in His presence?  If we saw Him we would surely die!  The Lord is mighty, awesome and so Holy- words on earth cannot even describe it. Once I was before His throne and I was terribly afraid! We are so unworthy, yet He has made us worthy. His Holiness is indescribable, His absolute love for us is beyond our ability to understand.  Have the “worldly” Christians silenced those Christians who want to do the works of Jesus. Where is it? I want to see it. It has been proclaimed for us. Why do I dread going to church?  I love the word of God, I love the Father and I love to sit and study and meditate on scripture all day, yet Sunday morning rolls around and nothing has changed.

And what about HOLINESS. Aren’t we called to be Holy? then why do I cringe with embarrassment when I ride by some of church signs with obvious double meaning- “hey mom,  why does that church say that the pastor is naked?” ok, kids, don’t look, that’s just a ……. ‘uh, mom, why does that sign say come to my church where everyone is naked” don’t read that kids, that’s someone who doesn’t know God. “mom, what does “****** up” mean on that church sign,;uh…. that means they don’t read the bible. It gets worse, maybe it’s just my area, but a lot of the signs are so ungodly and so unholy. Sure, everyone hears the excuse “it calls in the lost” really???? because that is not the way Jesus called in the lost. If there’s one thing. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and acts like a duck, it’s a duck” So with that I can conclude- if it looks unholy, if it sounds unholy, if it acts unholy, well then Its unholy! y ya!

BE STRONG IN THE LORD AND THE POWER OF HIS MIGHT. FEAR GOD AND DO NOT FEAR MAN. REJOICE IN OPPOSITION AND DON’T LET PEOPLE’S SCORN AND COUNTENANCE KNOCK YOU DOWN.

Isaiah 51: 12-17 “I, even I, am he who comforts you.  Who are you that you fear mere mortals,  human beings who are but grass, that you forget the LORD your Maker, who stretches out the heavens and who lays the foundations of the earth, that you live in constant terror every day because of the wrath of the oppressor,  who is bent on destruction?…..  For I am the LORD your God,  who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the LORD Almighty is his name. I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand— I who set the heavens in place, who laid the foundations of the earth, and who say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’”

            That is yea and amen!

  He has hidden us in the shadow of His hand, but for some of you, it is time to stand up. He is calling many- but who will listen? Who is bold enough to stand in oppositions to the world? Who is strong enough to proclaim Jesus lives in a world where Jesus is mocked?

   When I consider the cross and what Jesus did for me- he took the chastisement I deserved, he was mocked and hated and treated harshly…am I ready to take that hatred from the world as well? It’s not easy, but I think that if we want to see real change in the church,  we need to be ready for opposition. We need to have no fear of naysayers. We need to have fear of God in our churches. We need to stop fearing the words of people  and live by the word of God. I guess what I am saying is this-  If we really want to see the works of Jesus, if we really want to see the fear of God in our churches, we must be ready to step out in God’s way with no mind to people’s criticism.  I just shouldn’t care anymore about peoples opinion- May the Fear of God be mighty and strong within us. May the Lord fill us with amazing Faith and begin to step out in order to Glorify the Lord- and the Lord only. 

                    I don’t want to hear another watered down gospel message. I don’t want to hear all the ugly things you did in your past as you use them as a badge of honor, I don’t want to praise God like we are a bunch of corpses, I don’t want to hear all the church gossip, I don’t want to do to a class on your religious man made rules, I don’t want to go to your club and work my way up into the church hierarchy. I’m so sick and tired of it!  I want to see God’s prescence. I want to see a fear of God. I want to see people hungry for the word. I don’t want to hear another fake encouragement session with man made ideas and philosophy from the pulpit. I don’t want to hear a sermon on why the sacred rituals and the religious sacraments make your church better than everyone else. I can see right through you holy rollers proclaiming the Spirit’s prescence while the air is thick with greed and absolutely no love for those around you even though you proclaim it so loudly. I’m just so annoyed, can you tell?  Money, greed, fame, popularity- I don’t hear this in the words of Jeremiah, Isaiah, or Ezekiel.  I can’t imagine Jeremiah sporting around town with a starbucks in his hand and a $200 shirt and $450 boots.  All I can say right now is

Many will call out to him saying  “Lord, Lord!” and in turn the lord will say, get away from me, I never knew you.

 What do you want to see in the Church? How can we call in the Lost, when there is no where to bring them? Let’s start with this :  Fear of the Lord, Holiness, Faith, Knowledge of the Scriptures, Love for God and a love for all people,Compassion, Mercy, Humility,  those with humble and contrite hearts, Fire of the holy spirit ablaze in believers,Boldness for Christ ,Passion for the lost, Works of the Holy Spirit,Works that Jesus did, and even greater – I want to see.- don’t you?

Lord,  give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. Stretch out your hands with healing powers. May miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of Jesus Christ. Lead us along the right pathways and teach us and lead us as we bring in the lost as you have commissioned us to do. In the precious name of your son, Jesus, Amen (Act 4:27)

Luke 10:22 You have been chosen.

The Fire of the Holy Spirit and Spiritual Warfare (Part 1)

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     In the heart of believers is a fire. This fire according to the bible is the fire of the Holy Spirit. This fire ranges in size accordingly. Some have large fires, some small that are easily put out and some have sparks that are forming, but the pressures of this world and the stress of things comes to stomp it out. I also saw that there are some who consider themselves Christian- having grown up in the church and even regular church attenders who had a deep darkness – completely black -in their heart and cut off from the Lord. They have been fooled by religious rituals unto salvation. 
    The darkness I saw in the heart terrified me. It was a deep darkness, like being lost and left alone in the deepest darkness. If we could only see the spiritual world surrounding us- I wonder if we would wake up?
 


     This darkness was ultimately created by the person’s sin, backsliding, turning from God… with gripping strongholds ( Spiritual Strongholds). And he thought he was saved, but didn’t realize the utter torment he was actually in.

   
Jesus said. “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! 17 You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. Rev 3:15-18

Remember the parable of the seed Jesus told us….

“Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds.  As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them.  Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow.  But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died.  Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants.  Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!  Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”

   “Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: 

The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. They hear the message, only to have Satan come at once and take it away. The devil takes it away from their hearts and prevents them from believing and being saved.

The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They believe for a while, then they fall away when they face temptation. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. 

The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. They hear God’s word, but all to quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, the desire for other things, and the riches and pleasures of this life.  The produce no fruit and they never grow to maturity.   

   The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” They heard and accepted God’s word. They represent honest, good hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it and patiently produce a huge harvest.(there is that word cling again! From Isaiah 41:10 see post on Clinging to the Lord- true meaning Isaiah 41:10 -the bible is like a big puzzle we put together- everything ties into another and the study never ends!)

 Then Jesus said to them, “If you can’t understand the meaning of this parable, how will you understand all the other parables? The farmer plants seed by taking God’s word to others

    The Seed is the Word of God- it is the hearing of the Gospel. So the faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17 What do you do with the Word you hear? I remember when I read this years ago, it scared me. I knew that I was one of the one whose heart crowded out the Word of God with things from this world. I wanted life my way and I also wanted to be saved.  In my own mind I thought I was good, but when I read this scripture- I was truly convicted.  As the word says- “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Heb 4:12 
         
 I heard the Word and loved what I heard, but I wanted to go my own way. I didn’t think I knew how to change this. I know it takes a changed heart only the Lord can change. It takes a willing heart. It takes a heart willing to give up the worldly desires and passions the world tries to tempt us with. It’s determination to say no to the things of this world and a new determination and desire to please the Lord. It is sad that I had to hit absolute rock bottom to change. But I rejoice in that time and my trials. It broke me where I needed to be broken and changed my life. In trials we have two choices- we can become bitter and angry or we can give it to the Lord and trust Him.

       Spiritual Stronghold on heart and choking out the Word of God The Dark Empty blackest heart:  This person considered himself to be a practicing Christian, having grown up with rituals and practices for salvation, also attending church each Sunday. Yet demonic strongholds had him captive and although he heard the word, he listened and he tried, nothing changed. He couldn’t see the demon who had his hands wrapped around his neck.  This demonic chokehold around the neck was choking out the word.
           Let me explain further: This person heard the word of God , and I’m assuming this person wanted to change going to church each weekend, but as he heard the words and the words started to go down into his heart, the demonic hands wrapped around the neck gripped it so hard the word could not go into the heart. The heart stood unchanged, the man wrestled to no avail.     

 

The Heart with the Large fire : This was amazing to see, this person was humble at heart and did not know the large flame within. This person had been through years of difficult tests and trials, yet relied on the Lord through each one. As each trial passed, the flame increased more and more, and now at an older age in life, the flame overflowed out of the heart. I could see demonic attacks that would still come to this person- in the spirit world it looked like someone trying to blow out a campfire- maybe it would make a small dent, but the flame would come right back.  In the physical world it would be a person or situation that bothered or annoyed them, not knowing it was actually a fight with the spiritual realms- not flesh and blood as the scripture says:
     For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places Eph 6:22
  
I was given understanding to know that our battles in the day are really spiritual battles. We think they are people or situations, but they are not. 
    To prove further: “we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;4And patience, experience; and experience, hope Romans 5:3-4, you see the trials and tests we overcome strengthen us. 
      In this heart I saw, I knew this person had faith and trust in the Lord and the trials endured through trust in the Lord had helped her now as trials still came. Although trials still came, the person stood unaffected by the storms. It reminds me of one of my favorite verses in Jeremiah 17:7-8 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. This verse tells us that those who trust in the Lord stand strong in their storms. If drought, extreme heat, or great storms topple over, the tree still stands tall and strong with it’s roots deeply secured along the river. It never worries and always keeps on producing fruit.

HEART IN THE FIRE- MADE IN HIS IMAGE

       I was reading the story of Moses and I thought it was really interesting that the Lord spoke to them from the heart of the fire. I wonder – if we are also made in his image spiritually. I saw that within us is a fire in the heart. It makes sense, but it never something I’ve considered or been taught. 

Deuteronomy 4:12  And the LORD spoke to you from the heart of the fire. You heard the sound of his words but didn’t see his form; there was only a voice.
Deuteronomy 4:15 “But be very careful! You did not see the LORD’s form on the day he spoke to you from the heart of the fire at Mount Sinai.
Deuteronomy 5:4At the mountain the LORD spoke to you face to face from the heart of the fire.
Deuteronomy 5:22“The LORD spoke these words to all of you assembled there at the foot of the mountain. He spoke with a loud voice from the heart of the fire, surrounded by clouds and deep darkness. This was all he said at that time, and he wrote his words on two stone tablets and gave them to me.
Deuteronomy 5:24They said, ‘Look, the LORD our God has shown us his glory and greatness, and we have heard his voice from the heart of the fire. Today we have seen that God can speak to us humans, and yet we live.
My child, listen and be wise: Keep your heart on the right course. Proverbs 23:18-20

Weeping and Gnashing of teeth
       There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth on that great and terrible day. I was thinking on this verse about a month or two ago and the Holy Spirit spoke clearly into my heart –  those who will be weeping and gnashing their teeth will be those who think they are saved, those who have been lied to from the pulpit and those who consider themselves Christian.  We cannot make our own rules and we cannot change the Laws and regulations of God to fit our lifestyle. We need to stop pretending and trying to impress people.

         But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.For many are called, but few are chosen. And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  and he shall say “Lord, Lord, open unto us” ; and He shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. Matt 8:12, 22:13, 24:51Matt24:51Luke 13:13

Verses to think on:

As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person. Prov 27:19

Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” John 7:38(this relates more to spiritual stronghold post describing the heart)

Luke 21:34 “Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware,

Hebrews 1:7 Regarding the angels, he says, “He sends his angels like the winds, his servants like flames of fire.”— I think this is really interesting- we are the flames of fire He is describing

2 Timothy 1:6 This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you.  (We can fan these flames within us! That means we can increase the flame in us in order to overcome any spiritual battles that come against us- remember we do not battle against flesh and blood but against…  principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. It is not as we perceive from our wordly view- the people that hurt us or situations at home and work are the workings of your enemy trying to put out the flame within you. In your trials rejoice- raise your hands, give him praise- put on the belt of truth, the shoes of peach and the breastplate of righteousness praise Him- fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you and stand spiritually strong.)

Jeremiah 2:13  “For my people have done two evil things: They have abandoned me— the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!  This verse says a lot in the few words it speaks- can a cracked cistern hold water? Can the heart of those who turn and abandon the Lord hold the living water?    Be careful and above all guard you heart for out of it flow the issues of life.

 How can I enlarge the fire of the Holy Spirit in my heart? By enduring all your trials as you cling to the Lord -Raise your hands and Praise His name-know who your enemy is and know your weapons of warfare. Use scripture to lift you up if you are down. Fan into flames the fire of the Holy Spirit in you.

   There is more I want to share about the heart and the fire within us. I think this post is a bit too long at this point, so I’ll finish up during the week and share more of what the Lord showed me. (and I promise to draw better next time:) )

Peace to All! May God’s grace and Mercy be upon you. The Lord is soo Good! He answered three specific prayers I prayed unto Him this week! Surely the Lord is good and His Mercy endures forever! I am so happy happy that He hears me and answers our prayers. Glory to you O Lord!
Shalom my friends!

Prayer for our loved ones who are lost and struggling: Prayer- our weapon of warfare