“These are the nations which the Lord left, that He might test Israel” Judges 3 Are you being tested?

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“these are the nations which the Lord left, that He might test Israel” Judges 3

When I read this  verse in Judges, I thought NO! That’s horrible, no more testing! They need a break, but wait….  He did this to teach warfare to generations of Israelites who had no experience in battle. In  the wilderness, the tests and trials they experienced were to refine them, to humble them, to know what was in their heart, to see if they loved the Lord with all their heart and whether they would keep His commandments. Deuteronomy 8:2  Deuteronomy 13:3Judges 2:22

The people of Israel finally reached their promised land after wandering for 40 years but God did not destroy all their enemies.  The Lord left Israel’s enemies so that they might be tested. I couldn’t believe it when I read it, why!? They experienced plagues, death, sword, leprosy, sickness, they even saw those who rebelled be swallowed up by the ground. Finally – they reached the promise land, the promise given to Abraham but their testing and proving still was not completed. You’d think, phew! Finally! They made it, but they were still not at their final destination, they needed more testing in order teach the next generation.

 Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.  Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.1 Peter 4:12-13

HE RIDES ACROSS THE HEAVENS TO HELP YOU

Even in all Israel’s trials, God always wanted them to know how much He loved them. This same truth is for you today, He wants you to know that He loves you and He has always loved you. His thoughts for you outnumber the sands on  the shore, He loves you with an everlasting love. Isaiah 40:30 tells us that those who wait on the Lord (that means to reach out to Him/trust) will renew their strength, mount with eagle wings, run and not be weary, walk and not be faint. He is your source of strength. Reach out to Him. “ Indeed He loves His people, His holy ones are in His hands” Dt 33:3 and also “He will never leave you nor forsake you” Dt 31:8. Jesus said “and lo, I am with your always, even until the end of this age”

 Who rides the heavens to help you,And in His excellency on the clouds Dt 33

  To Him who rides on the heaven of heavens, which were of old!Indeed, He sends out His voice, a mighty voice.ps 68:33

Even though the people of Israel endured many trials and still had much more ahead, they knew the Lord was with them. We know the Lord doesn’t change, He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He still rides the heavens to help you.  Every time the people cried out to the Lord, He came to help them.  They cried out to the Lord 50X

We, like the Israelites in the wilderness, look forward to our heavenly country 

Hebrews 11:10, 13-16 :  Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God……. All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth.14 Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. 15 If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. 16 But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

As I read the verse above, I wonder if the walk of the Israelites through the wilderness to the promised land represents our walk on this earth as we journey to our promised land. Just as Israel reached their promised land, so we have received our promise but our enemies are still here – just as they were with Israel. Jesus defeated death, He made a way for us but we still have much work do to. We are told we wage an invisible war, we are soldiers of the cross not to be entangled with the things of this world.  We embrace these promises as we walk as strangers and pilgrims on this earth.We, like the Israelites, are headed to the promise, our heavenly country. We, like them, will die in faith seeing this promise afar off. We don’t see the heavens, we don’t see eternity just as Israel didn’t see the promise, but they knew it was ahead- it was in their heart. We know that there is a heavenly country ahead that we journey to also. Maybe the walk of the Israelites is symbolic of our walk today.  Yet, we are also told that as we walk here, we are citizens with the saints and members of the household of God because of Christ Jesus.  Even on this journey, the Lord is with us just as He was with Israel as they walked. (Eph 2:19)

Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,  having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.1 Peter 1:11-12

In Ecclesiastics 3, King Solomon wrote that everything has it’s time

 To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:

 A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
 A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
 A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
 A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
 A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
 A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
 A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.

 

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How do we handle life during seasons of testing?

  1. Cry out to Him
  2. Patiently Endure
  3. Reach out to Him and He will help you Isaiah
  4. Don’t give up
  5. Put on the Armor of God- we don’t fight flesh and blood, but the unseen
  6. Rejoice and Count it all Joy (it develops great endurance)

Sometimes life can feel overwhelming and then there are other times when God brings peace and lets you rest for a while. It’s good to know that in whatever circumstance you are in, God is always there for you. Have you cried out to Him? Are you too overwhelmed to pray? Ask someone for prayer to help you though this time.  Romans 5:3-5 tells us to rejoice in our trials, because it is during these times that we change. James 1:12-15 promises God’s blessing on those who patiently endure testing and temptation.

 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:3-4

 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. James 1:12-15

The testing of our faith produces patience and this testing refines us as silver is refined or gold is tested.

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  •  Revelation 2:10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
  • Revelation 3:10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
  • 1 Peter 1:7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
  • James 1:3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
  • Psalm 11:4 The Lord is in His holy temple, The Lord’s throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men.
  • Psalm 11:5 The Lord tests the righteous, But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates.
  • Psalm 17:3 You have tested my heart; You have visited me in the night; You have tried me and have found nothing; I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.
  • Psalm 66:10 For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined.
  • Zechariah 13:9I will bring the one–third through the fire, Will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is My people’; And each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”
  • 1 Corinthians 13:7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
  •   In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind.  We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love.  We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. 10 Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything. 2 cor 6
  • James 5:11 We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy

 

 The great men and women in the bible had to go through testing and trials. Consider Joseph, Job, Abraham, Joshua, Moses, David, Jeremiah, the prophets, Jesus, Paul, Esther, Gideon, Elijah and many more. Every great man and woman of God endured trials.

Unshakable Jeremiah 17:7-8

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Sometimes life throws a grenade my way….a bomb, ninja chucks– could be anything!  No matter what may come my way, I know that in whatever state I am in, I can always hope in the Lord.  And what is hope? Hope is knowing that I will be victorious NO Matter how many grenades are thrown my way.

 We can have peace and hope in our storms

 What are your thinking– doubt? Fear? Unbelief?  Philippians 4:8 tells us to FIX OUR THOUGHTS. God’s peace, which is beyond our understanding, protects our hearts and minds. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. It’s like a fortress of protection around you:  “ Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.

This protection is like an iron fortress around your heart and mind.

Consider this verse in Jeremiah1:18-19:  Today, I  am the One who has made you a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls against the whole land- against the kings of Judah, it’s officials, it’s priests, and the population. They will fight against you but never prevail over you, since I am with you to rescue you.

     I never considered this as a verse concerning my heart, but as I was talking to the Lord I understood.  I can see all the troubles that may or may not come my way- and I feel unshakable- I feel like an iron fortress has been set around my heart and mind. Maybe this verse has more than one meaning? Maybe we need to remember and know that the Lord is here to rescue each one of us – we can trust in Him, His Word and His promises. The Lord protects us through our faith and trust in Him- our faith is built up with each fiery trial we go through, that is why James tells us :   Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:3-4

What are you thinking? 

 We are told to fix our thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise  Then the God of peace will be with you. Phil 4:8-9

I am like a tree planted along a riverbank

Don’t be discouraged if you feel shaken, but remember that you can stand unshakable because the Lord is the source of your strength and the source of your righteous. Through Him, we can stand unshakable like the tree in Jeremiah 17:7-8 and Psalms 1:2-3

 “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
    and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
 They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
    with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
    or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
    and they never stop producing fruit

Oh, the joys of those who do not
    follow the advice of the wicked,
    or stand around with sinners,
    or join in with mockers.
 But they delight in the law of the Lord,
    meditating on it day and night.
 They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
    bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
    and they prosper in all they do 

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 I dissected Jeremiah 17:7-8 and searched out the meaning of each word; this is what I found:

      Blessed are you mighty and strong man of valor because you have put your trust and hope in the Lord. You have found your confidence and security in the Most High God.  You shall be like a tree transplanted along the refreshing waters of the river that sendeth out its roots by the river.  Because you have put all your trust in the Lord and not put your trust in your own strength or wealth, you stand unshakable, for the Lord is with you.

           When heat or drought comes, you shall not be concerned or worried because you are always bearing fruit and your leaves will always be green. Attacks and storms may come your way, but not a branch shall be moved. You will prosper and flourish through all your storms, in drought, in valleys and through all the troubles that try to come against you. Even in times of drought or destitution, though the rain not fall for a period of time, you shall be unshakable, you will not be anxious or worried. You will prosper in perfect peace without fear. You trust fully in the Lord. You will not be sorrowful when troubles arise for you know that the Lord protects you. He is your rock and your fortress. Though these times come and go, you will never stop yielding fruit, you will accomplish all the Lord has planned for your life. You will always be provided for and your life will produce much fruit.

     You count it all joy when troubles come and you know that we are destined for such troubles. You can rejoice in your problems and trials for we know they help us and strengthen us. We can remind ourselves as David did “ I see that the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me.” 

 Shout it out: I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.  I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.  For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

   Jeremiah 17:7-8 Reminds me that no matter what is happening  or coming my way, I will not be knocked down. I can feel the arrows of doubt and disbelief trying to penetrate my heart to shake me up, but I sense a strong fortress, like iron, protecting me.  With each trial I go through, the Lord changes me and strengthens me.  I love Romans 5:3-4 (NLT) We can rejoice when we run into problems and trials because we know they develop endurance within us, this endurance develops strength of character, this strength of character strengthens our confident hope of salvation, and this hope of salvation does not lead to disappointment because we know God loves us because He has given us His Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.

   It is easy to get shaken up when we hear bad news or doom ahead- finances, the what if’s….It’s truly amazing to know that the Lord has protected me during this time. I know He has a strong fortress around me as I trust in Him. He has put a strong fortress of protection around my heart and mind and that is how He has made me unshakable.  A few years a go I cried out to the Lord during a tough time, I felt like I couldn’t take it anymore and I cried out to the Lord. He heard me and as I prayed, He sent me a verse:  

 “I, yes I, am the one who comforts you.
    So why are you afraid of mere humans,
    who wither like the grass and disappear? Isaiah 51:12
 
 The Lord showed me that I wasn’t trusting in Him. I was trusting in the words I heard around me and allowed myself to fear. 
So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” Heb 13:6
   
 

 

Hear the Word of the Lord:

I wait quietly before God,  for my victory comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation,   my fortress where I will never be shaken. So many enemies against one man— all of them trying to kill me.To them I’m just a broken-down wall or a tottering fence. They plan to topple me from my high position.  They delight in telling lies about me.They praise me to my face   but curse me in their hearts. Let all that I am wait quietly before God,  for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.My victory and honor come from God alone.   He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. O my people, trust in him at all times.  Pour out your heart to him,  for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:1-8

Psalm 16:8 I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me
2 Corinthians 8:2-5 (talking about the church in Macedonia) “They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will.  They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem. They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.”
Hebrews 11:6 “it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him”
1 Peter 1:7 You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls
 1 Peter 4:12  Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.
Joshua 10:25 “Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged,”  “Be strong and courageous, for the Lord is going to do this to all of your enemies
1 Corinthians 16:13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong
Isaiah 57:15 The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this: “I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.
Psalm 27:14 Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
Psalm 31:24 So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!
Galatians 5:22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Matthew 17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you
 Isaiah 28:16 Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem, a firm and tested stone. It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes need never be shaken
Psalm 31:24 So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!
Psalm 23:4Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?
Lamentations 3:25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;
Micah 7:7 But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.
Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
John 14:1 Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper
; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord. Isaiah 54:17

 Isaiah 28:16 Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem, a firm and tested stone. It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes need never be shaken
 
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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