Daily Portions: A Win-Win

October 1st, 2011

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

Prophetic anything includes where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re headed. This time of year we measure our progress and plan what it will take to complete goals set in January. Assessing how far we’ve come provides a trajectory—like a rocket aiming for a determined flight path or orbit; merge that trajectory with the new beginnings theme of the Jewish New Year and Feast of Tabernacles and we naturally look expectantly ahead to both the fruits of our labor and a spiritual reward for faithfulness to vision and assignment. We just looked at the Lord’s Sabbath, a divine platform for rest that makes order and grace possible in our lives; so now, with a Sabbath rest established, present testing becomes training for the long haul, replacing everything ho-hum and wake-me-when-something-important-happens to increase the voice of the Lord thru us in the place where we are, right now.

I just heard Darrell Scott, father of Columbine victim Rachael Scott, share the message God has given him for high school students around the world in places where he is invited to speak. His message is not meant to be religious but is, in fact, anointed by God to awaken basic goodness in young people. He said life experiences, even deeply painful ones like the death of his daughter, pull strength from our inner core, positioning us for the future. Darrell Scott believes “painful experiences open a place in our heart that could not be opened otherwise” and for him, his loss has caused him to become a see-thru-er and not a look-at-er. Instead of looking “at” the situation he chooses to look beyond the moment and says his family now is experiencing God’s ultimate purpose of reaching Rachael’s generation, beyond what Rachael began, to complete her vision of taking God’s love to students everywhere. It was young Rachael’s vision precisely.  

A few days after that interview, I read Joel Rosenberg’s blog report* on the UN speech by Iranian President Ahmadinejad. The speech boldly predicted the imminent arrival of a messiah; not Jesus Christ, he referred to a different messiah. It was not the leader’s first time claim of a soon to occur apocalyptic event, and by comparison I pondered a Judeo-Christian version of the future, presented in the same venue and the likelihood of it being tolerated. The UN speech and Darrell Scott interview, back to back, pointed symbolically to the culture collision we face—the American father of a young, Christian martyr taking God’s unconditional love to a generation, and the audacious announcement of world take-over by means of convert or die. It is the face of our today but according to Darrell Scott, these tough experiences prepare and position us to be light. After all, God did speak light ‘out of’ darkness and we are the light He was speaking! With revelation of the light we are we will not be on the sidelines. The pace is fast. Emotions collide. To step up, we’ve got to know the mission and message because like Rachael, we have one!

In Jeremiah 29:11 one meaning of peace, shalom, is complete or completeness. I cannot greet you with shalom without declaring completion of everything concerning you—everything! The LORD thinks this way. In the story of David’s flight from King Saul, Abigail, wife of Nabal, went out to meet David, making herself vulnerable in order to warn him, prophesying divine protection for the future king: “Yet a man has arisen to pursue you and seek your life, but the life of my lord (David) shall be bound in the bundle of the living with the Lord your God, and the lives of your enemies He shall sling out as from the pocket of a sling.” Despite deadly elements—normal challenges in David’s day when Saul pursued to kill him and wealthy Nabal withheld food necessary for David survival—the Lord’s plan prevailed. 1Samuel 29:28-33

You and I have David’s favored position: Daily portions from the Lord, covenant favor and divine planning to complete the vision on time—a win-win! When the path strains, don’t look at; instead, see thru! See the slow down as training time for your future plus equipping with wisdom to help others. Mentally rehearse where you have been and where you are then press to keep going, adjusting your trajectory as often as necessary. In Jeremiah, thoughts the Lord thinks toward you are peace and not of evil. . . The Lord thinks this way. His plan is completion (shalom) and not evil; not bad, malignant, injury, wrong or unethical. He thinks this way; He sees the completion and GIVES it to you, to give you a future and a hope.

That’s the plan!

*Link to UN speech: Read

A Sabbath

September 1st, 2011

I want to recommend a delightful book written by Senator Joe Lieberman: “The Gift of Rest: Rediscovering the Beauty of the Sabbath.” I think you’ll love the reading and special insight from this man of commitment and conviction who also happens to be an orthodox Jew.

Writing for a Daily Devotion segment in February, I focused on the “Sabbath” as the one day in every week sanctified by the Lord to be set apart and holy unto Him—a Sabbath rest. In fact, the seventh day is ordained for rest;

Rest protects the human body from disease, heals the heart of heaviness, and relieves the brain of tensions and driving routine. This set-apart distinction signals to my entire being (spirit, soul and body) a sense of recovery and rekindled hope.

That’s not all. “Sabbath” is for gathering of the family; a protection of family affections and refocusing them. The Lord is the center on this day when security of family gathered around us with focus on values and relationship and faith—things of true worth, we think about and experience His love for us, and ours for Him. It is a day of worship.

In Israel and Jewish communities around the world, the Friday afternoon approach of day’s end and expectation of the sun’s setting brings what I love to call the spirit of Shabbat. Shabbat of course refers to the Jewish Sabbath which begins at sunset; throughout the day on Friday flower vendors are stocked, aromas of freshly baked bread fill the air and the brisk pace of preparation is everywhere.

By mid-afternoon the pace slows; shops close, customers in the market areas gradually disappear, and as the sun goes down streets become unusually quiet. The setting sun marks an end of one day and the beginning of another—a new Shabbat and the start of a fresh experience of God’s Spirit in many special ways.  

As a Christian obviously I am not a Jew; but as a Christian I see God’s provision in instituting a day apart, a day for concentrating on the Lord, a Sabbath Day. Some Christians do not agree and honestly feel the idea is legalistic carry-over from a pre-Christian time; however, it’s interesting to remember the word Sabbath appears in the Bible more than one hundred times and half of those are found in the New Testament.

Jesus clearly refutes judging any man according to his keeping Sabbath in a legalistic or ritualistic way but supports the reality and spirit of the matter as an issue of the heart: Six days men pursue a way that seems right to them; but on the Sabbath Day hearts recalibrate and pursue One whose way proves perfect in every circumstance. And that changes everything!

Amen.

 

 

 

Your Decision Is Your Judgment

July 1st, 2011

Judgment Gr. krisis (kree-sis): compare “crisis.” Carries the idea of a separating, the process of distinguishing and selecting, making a decision. (Ref. Strong’s #2920)

Disciplined decisions
Did you know that decisions are judgments. Those we make now are not only opportunistic but determine the course ahead. For most of us, the current status is the very thing we prayed for though it may look and feel like a demon moved in! Be encouraged. Stay single-minded. Continue to connect ideals of the Word with practical life.

It’s the same for A Clear Trumpet. The changes are enormous. Fortunately, in the midst of drastic change, we have a window where we are seeing values tested to determine if compromise is an option. For the ministry, this is evident in the “discipleship model” offered to those we teach.

The ministry of discipleship must be patterned after Jesus’ earthly ministry and His mentor/teacher relationship with the disciples—the twelve plus many more—did not blend religious tendencies with Holy Spirit leading into all truth. One way to see that a little more clearly is which is to remember that blending usually means “water-down” which means to get a different result than the one you really, truly want. Disciples are distinctive because they have learned discipline. They listen. And they do not like to pay twice for the same ground so are willing to pay once on the front end and do it God’s way.   

Listen.
To the lost we say “you must be born again” and to those already in the Kingdom congregation, we admonish “renew your mind.” In the pressure pot, our Kingdom-choice matters and our words matter. Kingdom means one—not a mixture of two; words determine Satan’s plan or covenant outcome—one, not two blended together so you cannot tell where one begins, and the other ends.

Born again with a renewed mind. What lies “between your ears” determines what the tongue speaks and what the tongue speaks determines prophetic direction for your next step. Your tongue is the rudder. That makes you the prophet.

I do realize people struggle to apply this principle—they know it, believe it, and do well at it some of the time; but then there are all those other times when, you know, you just have to be real – meaning practical instead of goofy/spiritual; wise instead of foolish/spiritual; bottom-line thinker instead of air-headed/spiritual, and, well, basically, just do what you have to do1)

We should also admit that the principle is spiritual—the Lord invested everything so we could have it! Modeled after Jesus’ ministry and that of his disciples under Holy Spirit leadership, we believe biblical discipleship produces disciplined actions and that the disciple hears the Spirit expressly and specifically. Therefore, concerning spiritual behavior and decisions, emotional prodding is both unnecessary and also inconsistent with the Bible pattern. Our part is to think with a Kingdom mindset and refuse anything else.

Discipleship 101: In every instance, large and small, ask God as Daniel did, expecting He will look “with favor,” even and especially, on anything that on the surface looks desolate. Divine favor changes desolation, for the better!

“Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary.” Daniel 9:17

Judgment
Completing “judgment” reference above, our definition continues…: “The NT uses the word primarily in a forensic** sense, especially of the divine judgment. Time is heading for the event when all sin will be confronted, dealt with, and judged accordingly. Because of the atoning work of Christ, believers will stand uncondemned.” (Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p.1412)

Ask God then decide. Discipline your life to be both prophet and judge.

Amen.

FIRSTFRUITS – available now on Amazon.com
Well, here it is on Amazon. The download feature is not in place yet but should be soon. There are two other features you can help us with.

–“Writing a review” helps others choose our book and
— A click on the “I’d like to read this book on Kindle” adds your request to those who want to read
   Firstfruits using electronic readers such as Kindle.

GO TO: Amazon.com and search the title, or author, or use this direct link: amazon.com/FIRSTFRUITS

In Him,

Shirley
sweaver@acleartrumpet.org
www.acleartrumpet.org

**forensic – deciding questions arising from crime and litigation, relating to debate and formal argument

Contribution options:

Online acleartrumpet.org, On right side menu choose “online giving.” Then follow prompts to enter credit/debit card information. An email receipt will arrive in your inbox immediately.
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Postal Shirley Weaver Ministries / A Clear Trumpet, Inc | P.O. Box 295 | Mt. Pleasant, SC 29465

Your Part is to Take Authority!

June 23rd, 2011

Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him rose early and encamped beside the well of Harod, so that the camp of the Midianites was on the north side of them by the hill of Moreh in the valley. And the LORD said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’ Now therefore, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and afraid, let him turn and depart at once from Mount Gilead.’” And twenty-two thousand of the people returned, and ten thousand remained. Judges 7:1-3

As was the case with Gideon, spiritual battles measure us and the pressures of battle are God’s catalysts for change. Especially in family and professional matters but also in every aspect of our lives there are times when pressure is useful to push an otherwise timid warrior into a braver stance and those reluctant to take spiritual authority right on through the eye of the needle! Hallelujah!

Certainly some of the more dramatic battles recently have served us well, drawing the proverbial line where we do the doing; we choose the Lord’s way, or something else with consequences so obvious we need to remind ourselves much of what we are experiencing is a direct answer to earlier petition and prophetic prayers in which we’ve pressed for the Lord to show us in undeniable ways whether we need to change course entirely. (Smile)

In the pressure pot it helps to realize two things: You really can live one day at a time with sufficient faith to take the day if you have enough light (revelation) to do so. When at the end of the day the full measure that has been revealed is walked out, you have the right outcome and peace of heart to know your best effort has been achieved. On the other hand—and this would apply to anything in life—at the end of the day if your revelation has been compromised, efforts thus far will have accomplished little and tomorrow’s starting point will be yesterday’s point of compromise, the place on the path where the revealed plan was interrupted.

The Spirit of God leads us to “live by faith,” establishing faith basics before the giants arrive. You may think current circumstances are the giants but the current circumstances are serving you by creating a test that will determine if confidence in our own ability and mental strength to figure it out is greater, or if we believe this time is divinely graced to expose weak places of faith, and encourage where there is strength of faith.

Instead of struggle we relax remembering that struggle is always the sure mark of our earlier, less mature time. To struggle is to enter a contest you may think you are winning: By my own hand and strength I have obtained! It just looks like that way! Only when there is a lack of light (revelation) do we fight the circumstances, determined to take control; for lack of light, we wind up in submission to the pressures, allowing them to drain our creative strength.

If being hands on in the struggle makes you feel better you can go that route; but a better idea is to stop running as before and stop shooting at everything that moves! Instead, relax so you can see what the Lord sees; start with the outcome or goal you envision and move toward that end—the end is better than the beginning!

Last point: Money is a driver! Decide whether money is driving you. Identify the specifics and verbally address those, taking authority over everything mammon-related since that is not a battle you can win because the Lord is not in that battle. When a Believer cannot trust that the Lord is in control, money becomes a substitute (and willing) power; and when money is given the preeminence it further pressures our decisions, many of which take us full circle to the place where we began being driven. Psalm 127 Ecclesiastes 1:3, 9, 14

Fear opposes faith and in many ways the face of fear is mammon. Fear ignites flesh the same way faith ignites spirit and it is never difficult to discern the spirit involved. Anytime pressures build money is not far removed. Find the money’s “fearful and afraid” root and you will see more clearly what must be done to address oppressive fruits of pressure.

Bible faith operates when we say what God has said; humanism always speaks something different. As those who tithe, you have the blessing(s) of the tither; and because you also give in other ways, there is access to increase beyond systems motivated and controlled by mammon. In fact, you are supernaturally delivered from mammon’s demands—you are in the mammon world, but not of it! John 17:15-17

The world is shaking—absolutely, but God’s Kingdom is not shaking. Actually His government is on the rise—increasing! In the purging process (much like Gideon’s band) we realize a line has been drawn that reveals where our faith is really, and just how strong that faith (trust) toward God is—really.

Our part: to take spiritual authority over circumstances and decree exactly what God has said.
His part: Lead on, O King Eternal!

Amen!

In Him,

sweaver@acleartrumpet.org
www.acleartrumpet.org

Contribution options:

Online acleartrumpet.org, On right side menu choose “online giving.” Then follow prompts to enter credit/debit card information. An email receipt will arrive in your inbox immediately.
Bank Contact local bank branch representative to set up Online Banking. List the ministry as an item you want to pay, using postal address below and telephone 843-437-2828. (Specify the date you want that amount to be deducted from your account, not the day you want it to arrive at the ministry.)
Postal Shirley Weaver Ministries / A Clear Trumpet, Inc | P.O. Box 295 | Mt. Pleasant, SC 29465

Footman & Horses

February 22nd, 2010

“ If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you,
Then how can you contend with horses?
And if in the land of peace,
In which you trusted, they wearied you,
Then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan?”
– Jeremiah 12:5, NKJV

To better understand this verse, substitute “men” for footmen, and “beast” for horses. The imagery is important. Consider a race on foot. Evaluate your possibilities. Now, change the field from men to horses and assess the possibility.

In complaint, Jeremiah sought the Lord as to why He continued to allow wicked men to prosper… why He continued to allow “beasts” to win the race? Jeremiah makes his case citing the disregard for God’s law by the wicked and yet God had not judged them. Jeremiah pleads the case and asks God for justice: remove wicked men from the race!

The Lord’s replied a failure to run with men successfully means we’ll be outclassed by the greater battle. Spiritual forces are beastly in comparison to men. Their beastly power is the real power behind all wickedness and all wicked men, their influence the explanation for why men act like them (beastly), neglecting God and ignorant concerning Him.

The Lord’s reply warns Jeremiah, who in turn is to warn Judah to concentrate on spiritual preparation – first. That warning applies today, specifically to the critical need for discerning prayer and action against all that is anti-Christ. We begin where we are, spiritually pressing through the spiritual opposition for today.

First spiritually, and then in natural ways, we are to sharpen our skills for breakthrough against the opposition of today, in preparation for a greater battle and broader field tomorrow. Here’s the plan:

You shall not be terrified of them; for the LORD your God, the great and awesome God, is among you. And the LORD your God will drive out… before you little by little; you will be unable to destroy them at once, lest the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. But the LORD your God will deliver them over to you, and will inflict defeat upon them until they are destroyed (Dt 7:21-23, NKJV).”

Having prepared and strengthened our lives spiritually, we are entering into restoration; we are hopeful and expectant, looking for, and anticipating the restoration of all things:

Jesus said, “To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected? But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him (Mk 9:12-13, NIV).”

Christians believe the Elijah ‘already come’ is John the Baptist who came ‘in the spirit and power of Elijah.’ Many agree the spirit of Elijah remains even now among us; that as God’s end-time people we are carriers of that same spirit and power, likened unto the voice and force of Elijah and John–calling for the restoration of all things.

In John’s ministry we hear the voice of restoration, which evil men sought to destroy in order to do “as they wished”; Jesus came and again man did “as he wished” but this time the sinless Son of Man restored to God a people whose lives prophesy!

Concerning the error resulting from those determined to do “as they wish” we do pray realizing all genuine restoration proceeds from a correct view of the God-design. Every true restoration begins with truth and is built with integrity–not with half-truths, convenient for man’s flesh to act out.

Concerning such error we also pray for restoration of the fear of the Lord, knowing that if the error of half-truth and doing “as they wish” remains, an even greater explosion of evil is assured at some point in the future.

But concerning this “restoration of all things,” we focus on the possibilities originally delivered to Adam and we determine to run well–ahead of the footmen and horses. From this perspective we declare God’s original intent rather than rehearsing man’s idiotic choices during his stint on the world stage, pretending to be God. Having a renewed mind, we do not rehearse error for error is not its focus; instead, the renewed mind is attracted upward–to ‘things above’ (Mt 6:27; Col 3:2).

Amen.

Jeremiah 12:5
Deuteronomy 7:21-23
Mark 9:12-13
Matthew 6:17
Colossians 3:2

The Counsel of God’s Will

February 20th, 2010

The Prophetic and Apostolic Influence
The prophets are God’s blessing to us to say, “These are the things that are coming so that you will not be blind-sided.” Things come upon us before we even realize it sometimes and because we’ve been given governmental authority as the church to represent the Lord He has areas of authority that are uniquely designed to guard and govern. There is an apostolic presence that keeps things in order and says to things that are not of the Lord, “You can not come here!”

There are places where God plants His authority. It does seem that a specific assignment that is not of God has come to affect every true authority of God; for instance, the authority of God in the home, the authority and the headship that God gives to men, the authority of the church, the authority of the civil government. Sometimes it seems there is a season where the attack to usurp that authority is especially strong. We’re in one of those times. Not only globally, but in the White House, in the churches in our land, in our home – it is a strong force and we understand that in seasons like this there is a peaking where either the enemy backs off or God’s people do. We must not back off. We must insist upon the government of God, we must insist upon His rule, and we must insist upon it being done His way.

The prophets are God’s gift to us whether they are male or female and there are even children with prophetic gifting. I believe there comes – and you know it when you hear it – the voice of authority saying, “Watch this, watch this. This is coming, watch this. Prepare your heart for this. Pray now. Pray more now.” There is a force that meets a strong apostolic or prophetic voice to stop it; to intimidate it or to quiet it in whatever way.  It is critical that the basis of all apostolic and prophetic authority is demonstrated in the home, in the Christian home. We all know that “attack” has come against the voice of the parents and of the grandparents. So just broaden that and you will have an understanding of what is coming against the government of God on every level.

The Jezebelic Influence
The Jezebellic influence right now has come with a vengeance. Many times the pure thing that God has sent and has raised up is made to look weak and impotent, and even wrong. The prince of the power of the air turns it around, right in front of us and whereas we would not have been duped before, suddenly we begin to believe it. For example: years ago at the beginning of this millennium, the church of the Lord Jesus Christ began to “pray in” strong Christian voices into our national government in Washington. One by one, they have been marked for destruction – not to just to debate them, but to destroy them. In many levels of national government that is happening. We are praying with all of our heart, not as partisans and not along party lines even, but because this is a place we have to stand. We have to stand.

The Jezebel spirit was at work when prayer was taken out of the schools forty years ago. This was the generation that came out of World War II. They had already paid with portions of their lives for liberty; it may have never occurred to them that somebody was going to up-end it for something so ridiculous. But it slipped in – it slipped in for many people who, if they had known or if they had realized, they would have done something, but they didn’t. And so forty years after the fact, here we are trying to reverse all that madness; and that’s just one expression of it. That is a Jezebel force and just when you think you have it on the run, it comes with more.  You may identify with this: some days you just don’t want to read the Word, or you might say you don’t have time to read it, or you might pray but then you might not – that is another demonstration of that force.

The Counsel of God’s Will
Ephesians 1:10-11: 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ,  both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. 11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,

Verse 11 reads, “the counsel of My will.” What is the counsel of God’s will?” He taught me what the counsel of His will is for right now; that we were all being gathered together as one in Christ. There is an inheritance there and He is bringing all things together and making them co-ordinate with the counsel of His will. The Lord showed me the religious structures that are not a part of that counsel. I see the counsel of God’s will as something sovereign, and I see religious structures erected as something that is not, whether that be a religious structure of the heart or something as strong as a pagan structure. But it also can be something from another wineskin or another time that the counsel of the will of God is not speaking through. I saw how the Lord was moving those structures out of the way. It was not that they were eliminated altogether, it was a movement. He didn’t dynamite it; He moved it, so that you can move forward and continue down the highway.

Verse 11 – “that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together ” – that means a group of people that come from different areas of the body. If you have a prophetic meeting you usually have a mixed crowd. Because the Lord moves here and there and He’s talking to people and when they come together there’s a powerhouse that you might not see in the specific gatherings of individual churches.

Take Authority in Your Area
This Jezebellic force that we’ve learned to know at different levels is especially determined right now to break your authority. And you must not compromise, or give in, or let up or let down. The religious structure that is operating in us, through us, around us, is not necessarily going to go with what God is doing. The very thing that you do not expect to be holding it in place is holding it in place, because the church is not being the church therefore the world is winning. And the reason the church is not being the church is because it can not be the church of God’s Spirit as a wrong religious structure. The Lord has said, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit.”

If you have one foot in the structure and one foot out of the structure, don’t go to (spiritual) war. And don’t go to war with anyone who does, because you won’t win. If you take the example of Iraq, there is an uncertainty there. Our men are fighting for the liberty of an entire region and sometimes they don’t even know who the enemy is. If you don’t know who is who, how will you fight? How will you fight with confidence and why – why – would you lay down your life? Why would you say, “I will obey my orders, no matter what, because everybody else around me is doing the same – we’re all in this together,” when you know in your heart everybody is not doing that?  You may give your life today for someone else who is not even on your side. It’s very confusing, but it’s meant to break down the resolve.

In whom also we have obtained an inheritance ” – now that is past tense, we already have it, but the reason we don’t have it is because of this duplicity. Because there is duplicity in this nation things like fornication, pornography, and abuse are rampant – in Christian homes and in the church. The Lord is calling out a group of people to fight the enemy with a vengeance to turn this back, because wherever those things prevail you can be sure there is deception, widespread deception. The god of this world has blinded us; but we can take those blinders off – with the prophetic word and prophetic intercession and with apostolic authority we can take the inheritance that belongs to us. Please, consider what’s at stake; our children and our grandchildren and our land is at stake.

This Jezebellic force is not shy and it’s not taking prisoners. What we have to do right now is to step up to the plate, fully armed and persuaded – not a headstrong, or arrogant, but as God’s people, just knowing what to do and what must be done. The prophet Jesus lives inside of every one of us and we are well able. The counsel is what God is tells us to do today and it’s not always what it was yesterday, or 10 years ago, or when we were growing up. It has to be a fresh word of the Lord, the God of the prophets. That IS the mind of the spirit; it’s the same thing as the counsel of His will. It’s what God is saying about it. If you can hear God He will tell you the phrase that will unlock that darkness and death and set the captive free. And how do I know that? Jesus did it every time. Every time he opened His mouth, he had the counsel of God’s will and He had the mind of the Spirit and when He spoke it opened the door. It broke the chains. Set the captive free. Bound up the brokenhearted. What was the thing absent in His life? No religious structure. No mixture. It was a pure conduit of the will of God. And He said, “As I am, so are you.”

Let’s Pray
Father, We release our faith and say to the mountainous obstacles arrayed against God’s people, YOUR people in this area, this region, this country. We say to those mountainous obstacles, “In Jesus’ name, be silent, be broken of all power and entry, and be dispelled into the sea, right now in Jesus’ name.” We call forth the head of every home, call forth the head of every congregation, and call forth the head of every civil government to announce the counsel of the will of God and the mind of the Spirit. We ask you for a breaking open of every treasure that is inside of us, that the prophetic word comes to us and says to us “do this” and we do it and “do that” and we do it and “go there” and we go. Oh, God, in Jesus’ name, we release our faith concerning the overthrow of darkness and the entrance of light into this area and we say that nothing shall be impossible to us. We put on the full armor of the Lord Jesus Christ and we declare, “This is His land!” Hallelujah! We bind Jezebel, we bind the anti-Christ force, and we release the power of the spirit of God. We ask you Father to dispatch ministering and warring angels and to bring forth the decree decreed. That no weapon formed against us can prosper and every word lifted against us falls at our feet powerless. This is the inheritance of the servants of the Lord. Hallelujah! Amen!

Whatever He Says To You, Do It

December 22nd, 2009
Consider the present-day company that compares to those at Cana of Galilee the day Jesus’ miracle ministry was first witnessed. In the consideration, we realize there are modern counterparts for the key players in John chapter two.Mary, for example was a catalyst; she (probably) set the stage when she spoke first to Jesus and then to servants of the house where a wedding celebration was underway. Ultimately you could say Jesus followed Mary’s lead directly, and the servants more indirectly, as she referred them to Jesus, saying “Whatever He says to you, do it.” Apparently Mary had sufficient authority in her demeanor, in the tone of her voice or in some way; otherwise, servants in that culture would not have responded to a woman’s authority.

The servants too had a part in moving the story along. Had they refused Mary’s directive, would the miracle of water turned to wine have taken place? On both points the comparison for today holds: Authority is discernable, producing visible fruit—authority speaks.

Rules, doctrines and cultures do not dictate godly authority; God alone establishes authority through whom He chooses. Our God chooses to manifest His love through those available for the mission. He stirs their hearts for divine purpose (Philippians 2:13) and speaks direction clearly to them; the Lord does not complicate or mystify His leading to make obedience difficult. Our response then is critical—no matter who the messenger—as long as we discern His Spirit and bear witness to His Truth. Bottom line, as one of the Lord’s company descended from those in Cana that day, whatever He says to you, do it!

Amen.

Jesus turned water into wine – John 2
Philippians 2:13

What I see…

April 1st, 2009

Apparently, as Christians, we fall into two groups of those who are proactive in matters pertaining to the culture, business and government.

Those in one group heavily invest in a purely spiritual approach. They are disciplined biblically, know how to discern God’s will, and are familiar with His power. They do not, however, possess current facts to articulate well beyond their inner circle. For them, prophetic possibility is the extent of the picture they experience; and, at least verbally, the possibility always exists. Hope is present, of course, and hope is powerful; but a decision to push further than they’ve been before, and a strategy for doing so have not yet impacted their routine.

The other group has at the center of their routine a ticker-tape reading of current events as new information unfolds. They serve in the marketplace and impact their community by their very lives—they are hard working, consistent and dependable. This group, however, lacks genuine biblical discipline and so relies upon matters of the intellect, or training. Theirs is not a worldview shaped by this morning’s saturation in God’s Word, though they probably have read a few verses recently, listened to a short audio teaching, and are doing the best they can on the spiritual fuel gained thereby. Spiritual power is not familiar to them—principle, yes; power, no.

Both groups have strengths, yet the weakness for all of us—the widening breach in our first line of defense—is the ‘disconnect’ between the two. The evening news alone cannot educate the first group and a weekly sermon cannot feed the other. The situation as it has been does not necessarily hold for the future and the opportunity now is for each group to utilize both sets of strengths – both practically and spiritually – and for both to interject something beyond, and in addition to, what is routine, adding aspects of involvement that are less familiar. Basically, we need to cross-pollinate.

I have been refreshing my understanding of America’s national history. Most of us know the early days in pioneering America required hard work of everyone—even small children. Most people then understood the value of investing heavily for a future; they hoped to secure a nation whose focus differed from European models thay had known. Freedom was the key and Christian integrity was the worldview believed necessary to maintain that freedom.

Those colonial men and women were gutsy, smart, full of vision, and intellectually mature despite an overall rural, agrarian emphasis. They paid a considerable price to gain the information needed to advance a cause, or take a stand for something they believed. Despite the pioneering aspect that dominated every part of life, they rose above boredom and drudgery, choosing instead to lead via character, offering examples for their neighbors in ways we still esteem today.

These forerunners of ours sacrificed according to the objective envisioned, putting their lives at risk when necessary to gain its fulfillment. As their modern counterparts, we are at a crossroads of that fulfillment, facing the consequence of times we did not perceive a cause as suffciently valuable to risk very much in its pursuit, naive about what it would take to protect and preserve the values at stake. The DNA is still there, but we should honestly admit we have not pursued “in, and by faith”— in spurts of zeal, maybe, but absent the faith we’d apply to other life threats like a cancer, an overt threat to one of our children, or an attack from another nation.

A part of what we are experiencing is generational; some of it is simply a difference of mindset. The separation has weakened our approach and we are relinquishing our spiritual future to those who are not eligible to handle it; we are choosing to yield to a prevailing world spirit that is against everything we value most. We yield each time we refuse to sharpen our effectiveness, refuse to step into areas where we know we need to learn more but for convenience sake, and for the sake of not risking our personal comfort zone, we leave those things to someone else, assuming they will do those things, learn those new skills, and make the sacrifice.

A friend likened our condition to the American children’s classic, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The story tells of a boy and his grandpa whose family history includes a poverty mentality and willingness to be content with little. Despite that history, the two together find the golden key necessary to gain entrance and then together share the difficulties of penetrating the chocolate factory. Ultimately, they break through the factory’s glass ceiling, escaping into clarity for a future now possible—into something they could not possibly have known before, and would have never known had they not left the pack and moved into the lead.

The story is an analogy for our time—that with determination to find the needed key, available to anyone willing to do whatever it takes to find it, we gain access to paths that must be traveled, reach the objective we claim to envision, and ultimately break through into a future surpassing anything in our history. The opportunity now is to see the key, the Kingdom; and having seen, to pray ‘thy Kingdom come, Lord; thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven – the Kingdom, the power, the glory.

Amen.

Seed to Sow

January 1st, 2009

Throughout Bible history seedtime and harvest remained the center of Kingdom operation. Jesus likened our lives to that of a farmer in the parable of the sower (Mk 4:13), saying that to understand the parable of the sower is to understand all parables.

The sowing of seed is as a farmer would sow–in faith, expecting a harvest. Seed is the beginning and harvest is the expected result. Harvest is a multiplication of what was sown and therefore represents the largest return of all the four kinds of giving (tithe, firstfruits, alms and seed). All four are offerings and are a faith response to God’s Word, but each has a specific heart motivation and a specific result.

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-11, NIV

The farmer sows in season but also continues to invest in his seed – prayerfully watching, cultivating, watering. Once the plant breaks through the ground a host of problems can threaten the expected harvest – disease, insects, heat or cold.

Small farmers may plant one seed in one field, receiving proportionate results; larger farmers have developed many fields for many crops, receiving proportionate results. Harvest size is determined by the amount of seed sown.

It’s the same for God’s people
• In the season of sowing – the season is each time we sow an offering as seed
• What, where and how much to sow – meaning, we obey Holy Spirit in each area
• Diligence until harvest time – prayerful confidence in God’s promise of harvest
• Continual sowing – generous sowing in every opportunity or way
• Expecting a harvest – co-laboring with God whose response to our seed is harvest!

Not to be confused is the passage in Luke 12:22-29 concerning the “birds of the air and the lilies of the field who neither sow nor reap, toil nor spin concerning clothes or food . . .” The sin of worry is the subject of this passage, so this is not an admonition to ignore or neglect God’s principle of sowing and reaping as the means to obtaining a harvest.

Harvest is the increase. By faith we move from having enough for ourselves to financing the building of the Kingdom of God here on earth. According to the passage, the Gentiles SEEK “things”; the response – “O ye of little faith!” God’s people should understand the principle of sowing for a harvest, and respond accordingly, sowing good seed into good, productive, fruitful ground.

Let’s pray:
Father, I pray that I will increase in my store of seed and enlarge in my harvest of righteousness, that I will be rich in every way so that I can be generous in every occasion. I determine to continually offer thanksgiving to God for His precious gift of seedtime and harvest.  In Jesus’ Name – Amen.

Required of Heaven

April 27th, 2008

Treasure is stored in our hearts; we are containers of what we believe about the Lord, about ourselves and about others. To the extent what we carry is also God’s heart for a matter, we bear the weight associated with His divine plan. This weight we refer to as “burden”—again, stored in the heart—and in matters of the Kingdom of God, there is no higher calling, no greater task, than to carry the burden entrusted to us by the LORD.

In this all are called. Jesus Christ “holds all things together by the Word of His power”, yet we are given responsibility to vocalize and ‘live out’ that Word, applying it as His earth representatives; otherwise, Heaven’s end finds no earth-connection and the divine plan, though complete in everyway, is plundered by the enemy of God, Satan.

God has appointed His watchers. As earthen vessels who contain God’s treasure, like Moses, we maintain Heaven’s rod of authority, extended over the valley where the fight takes place. We insist upon the will of God while absorbing contempt from the very ones at risk—an added though predicable weight, modeled for us by our Lord. Accusation and contempt are Satan’s ploy to persuade us to give up and leave everyone, even the one whose heart accuses, to enemy devices. Accusation is offense, designed to make us quit.

Here’s the argument: According to the book of Proverbs, our lives must be based on Truth as God has already spoken it; otherwise, wrong beliefs rule as surely as right ones do, and thought patterns inconsistent with the Word of God are recognizable to the powers of darkness—they come swiftly to visit accordingly. The one who is spiritually dull has no idea the fruit of his own actions, looking instead for someone to blame. In such cases, truth is watered down and the spiritually lazy remain ignorant of God’s Word, except to read occasionally, as though recreationally, for passages of solace and ease of conscience.

Here’s the measure: King Saul was insolent, petulant, given to self grandeur, and ungrateful; he despised the innocence of one sent by God, pouting and glaring in mental retaliation; he was self-deceived and thereby bound all in his house. Like Saul, to have no idea day-to-day of humility’s way, and in a moment call on heaven’s best without a hint as to what the Lord requires, desires or limits, is to risk curse rather than blessing, evidenced in a striving mindset, producing inescapable poverty.

Bottom line, the Lord is limited in what He can speak to a man who will not renew His mind to the Word of God, though the man considers himself fit by his own standards, presuming upon God while ridiculing the very ones “burdened” and charged with protecting against destruction. In the natural sense, you can never out-give a “taker”.

If I do not believe according to the written Word I will not gain a supernatural solution, only natural ones. If I believe according to my own word, routine and priority, my solution is skewed and each day adds weight—adds burden.

Thankfully, the Lord is not willing that any should be lost; He sends the burden-bearer who will not relent, but continues announcing truth: God is not blessing flesh apart from the dominion of the spirit; He is not blessing whim or brilliant plans that refuse counsel. There are many voices, including the voices of all these, each perfectly ‘tuned’ to flesh lusts—they are mammon gods and belly gods that speak as reverently as the true voice.

Without God’s Word daily—strongly planted in the heart—all voices sound the same and the outcome is predictable: Since the treasure is wrong, the fruit is wrong and will not survive the presence of the Lord. At issue is not the one charged with carrying the burden; at issue is the eternal weight of the one being carried. The requirement of heaven speaks, and the presence of the Lord comes. When He comes, He settles the issue. His is the last word—always.

Amen.

Ps 119:9-16
Ps 119:9
Ps 119:10
Is 10:26-27
Nu 11:17
Heb1:1-4
2 Cor 4:7
Luke 18:1
Da 4:17
Pro 1:20-23