No Jezebel

Not long ago, the only member of the five-fold ministry and the lone individual allowed to lead the church was the pastor, and even the pastor, it was believed, must be male. A woman’s leadership in the Church was rare with the possible exception of the pastor’s wife or daughter or family member, the pastor’s male oversight considered proper and necessary restraint for the female’s natural inclination for foolishness.

Another misconception—a superstition, really—derived from the biblical story of Queen Jezebel, a woman who, from her position as queen, manipulated others who were in authority and controlled everyone, including her husband with an iron hand. This Jezebel, it was believed, is reincarnated in most women, especially women leaders. Such error meant the church in general, and male leaders in particular, labeled women “a Jezebel” if they dared to venture into governmental roles, spiritual or otherwise.

Unfortunately, the same leaders looked the other way when men in leadership behaved like the power-obsessed character Jezebel, destructively dominating and controlling everything and everyone. Male misbehavior received a pass, their power and leadership positions protected from scrutiny.

Obviously—and you don’t have to be a deep-thinker to discern it—resistance to authority was never a woman-only issue, therefore gender-specific traditions that sideline women cannot inoculate the Church from Jezebel’s influence. In pivotal and historic times of the Holy Spirit’s moving, male leaders have resisted the Holy Spirit in worship, prayer, and matters of spiritual authority, so excluding women from five-fold ministry and leadership is not the path to preserving a pure model… nor is it a Bible model.

God-given authority misused by any individual has power to dominate inappropriately; however, every individual, male or female, can instead choose true humility and a right balance for skillful, decisive leadership by the man or woman God chooses.

The mindset is changing. Thank God.

Amen.

Galatians 3:27-29 | Ephesians 1:22-23 | 1 Corinthians 12:7 | Verses@Once

Covenant Of Deliverance

“Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”  (Jeremiah 31:33-34; Hebrews 8-9-10)

The covenant between God and Abram meant protection for Abram and Sarah and their family line, including every future generation. In fact, the covenant assured provision for God’s man and his descendants in every way, in every detail of life.

From ancient times and still today, the Jewish people have a covenant that again and again proves to be the undoing of their enemies; again and again, God’s loving-kindness for Israel has redeemed missteps that drew them away from His covering. The anchor of God’s love for His people holds them safely under His watch care.

God’s ancient blessing of covenant protection points us to His lordship. His love allowed Israel’s unfaithfulness to surface—a saga born of going their own way. Still, God’s love for them did not decrease but remained.

God’s love for Israel is made clear in His creation of a people and land of great, great blessing. His blessing has prospered them, which is how we know His deliverance is a powerful part of the Jewish covenant and our Christian inheritance.

Amen—thank God!

Jeremiah 31:33-34 | Hebrews 8:9-10 | Hebrews 9:11-15 | Verses@Once

The Barzillai Company

“And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” (Deuteronomy 8:18)

Barzillai, a Jew, possessed exemplary vision for the use of personal wealth. He is the wealthy man inside the Lord’s camp who makes sure David and his men have a full supply at all times—receiving in return a blessing for himself and his descendants.

Barzillai means “iron-hearted,” and is the name of three Israelites; of the three, Barzillai the Gileadite is our subject. This man saw to it that David’s army was supplied. The scriptures do not indicate that David asked for help, only that Barzillai supplied. 

Read that way, that without being asked, Barzillai supplied David from the resources of his own personal wealth, his ministry consistent with the biblical purpose for wealth’s creation—namely, to bankroll (underwrite the expense of) God’s plan.

Today, a modern Barzillai-company exists, probably unaware concerning their true investment potential. Markets come and go, but God’s Kingdom has an eternal continuum; Barzillai is the Kingdom’s “in-house” model. Wealth includes power for Godly change.

Amen.

2 Samuel 17:27 | 2 Samuel 19:31-39 | 1 Kings 2:7 Proverbs 10:22 | Deuteronomy 8:18-20 | Verses@Once

Confident

“Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?” (Isaiah 53:1)                                                                            

“But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: “Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?” ” (John 12:37-38)                                                             

Keep this in mind. Oppression is the result of tumult from the dark side. It’s one side of the big picture—the inferior side. The other side is the Lord’s, and He has a prophet of His in every house. His Word is demonstrated in the lives of those who are His people—those on the side of righteousness.

Oppression seeks to build a case, accusing the Lord has not performed His Word. Yet those who take their stand on the Lord’s side continue to trust in His Word. Having done everything necessary to stand thus far, they boldly continue to stand, no matter what!

Ultimately, oppression is silenced by the voice of the Lord and His Divine rule. The voice of the Lord is forever—never ending, never less, announcing even more loudly today promises believed yesterday, the day before, and the day before that.

We believe. We remain confident.  

Amen. 

Romans 5:17-21 | Isaiah 53:1 | John 12:37-38 | Romans 10:16 | Verses@Once

Clear Mind, Clear Path

We can begin anew now, strengthened with resurrection life by the One who isthe resurrection, and the life. We have a new song and a clear path—strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow. Great is His faithfulness!

Distinctive, set apart, changed, raised up, and cleared for take-off—we are His people, called by His name; that in the Name, and by the power of the Name, knees bow both in heaven and in earth, confessing the resurrected one is Lord, to the glory of God the Father!

Now if any man will do the will of God, he will know what His will is, discerning His will through the same spirit that works inside each one of us when we are determined to do His will. Whatever He says to you, do it!—with all of your heart, soul, and strength. And do not consider other options. The double-minded person who changes their mind back and forth and back and forth is unable to receive from God.

Let this mind be in you, which was also in the humbled and exalted Christ Jesus, the crucified and resurrected One. Begin every morning this way,

Amen.

John 11:25 | Lamentations 3:22-23 | John 7:17 | James 1:5-8 | Philippians 2:5 | Verses@Once

Ask For Wisdom

We need wisdom. First, we need spiritual wisdom, communicated directly from the Holy Spirit. We also need human wisdom, gleaned from those around us, respected for their exemplary lives.

For leaders especially, at every level, in any and every setting, the greatest need is for divine wisdom to know how to lead since often decisions are made at the expense of Godly wisdom, sacrificed in the race to “get there.”

Discipline your thoughts and lifestyle. Keep the Lord at the center. Ask Him first. When He is central to our best efforts and strategically involved in all we put our hand to, many are drawn to the result—a divine flow. His wisdom, pure and without mixture.

Luke 21:15—

For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.” —New King James Version 

“For I will give you the right words and such wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to reply or refute you!” —New Living Translation

Amen.

Luke 21:15, NKJV | Luke 21:15, NLT | Proverbs 8:1-7 | Proverbs 30:5 |  Psalm 119:9 | Psalm 19:8 | 1 John 3:2-3 | Verses@Once

Strong Church

“I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”  (1 Timothy 3:15)

People choose how to invest their lives and for a disciple of the Lord, the focus is first of all Kingdom-centered, our lives a demonstration of outward excellence because inwardly, there is order. We are passionate in prayer and our conversations carry Godly wisdom weighted with truth.

Disciples of Jesus Christ live what they believe and are faithful to do according to the Word of the Lord. Disciples are disciplined, do not procrastinate or make excuses, and know to keep their word—their integrity makes all the difference.

The church is strong when disciples are strong. The church goes forth into all the world as individual disciples form a congregational lifestyle that demonstrates truth, making the Church both graceful and powerful . . . the pillar and stay, the prop and support of the Truth (Amplified Bible) . . .  the foundation of the truth (King James Version) . . . the bastion of truth (The Message Bible) . . . the pillar and support of the truth (New American Standard).

Go into all the world and make disciples!

Amen.

1 Timothy 3:14-16, MSG | James 1:22 | 1 Timothy 4:1-16 | 2 Samuel 22:26, NLT | Psalm 18:25, NLT | Verses@Once

The Strong Hand Of The Lord

“And the LORD said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up… But I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not even by a mighty hand. So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My wonders which I will do in its midst; and after that he will let you go. And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be, when you go, that you shall not go empty-handed. But every woman shall ask of her neighbor, namely, of her who dwells near her house, articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing; and you shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.”” (Exodus 3:7-8, 19-22)

The Lord extends His hand, and anything can happen! Any Bible reference to the hand of the Lord points to a release of His power, with two results: 

  • God’s people are blessed, and
  • Enemies are destroyed—not just contained, but eradicated.

Concerning anything that has been taken or withheld from you, the time is now for the hand of the Lord to come, to completely eradicate the spiritual source responsible. For your part, declare the hand of the Lord takes back and restores—multiplied!
 
Prayerfully gather your sons and daughters and grandchildren and symbolically, laying your right hand on each one, prayerfully declare, “Father, release the power of your hand against the enemy. Deliver! Restore!”
 
Amen.
 
Exodus 3:7-8, 19-22

Boundaries

Ocean depths and mountain heights, the Lord determines boundaries for everything. His limits are boundaries of divine purpose.

When God’s people gather the big picture emerges. Knowing each part, we esteem every part. Each carries His fragrance and His hand upon our lives.

Today we cannot go everywhere but we will go somewhere. Supernatural power accompanies us, lining the path to aim us: “This is the way—come this way.”

Divine presence is the boundary as paths open. Sensitivity to His leading tells me when the opening is mine. Count the cost before building. Define boundaries and write the vision so the vision is clear for others to follow.

If you can see the vision, you can write the vision. Once written, you believe and develop faith for it until by faith, you do it.

Write the new vision. Define, and make plain the boundaries.   

Amen.

Proverbs 8:29 | 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 | Isaiah 30:21 | 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 | Luke 14:28 | Verses@Once

Spirit Power

Personal hardship shouldn’t isolate us, as though we’re the only ones experiencing heartache or difficulty. Our dilemma exists at the same time as many around the world experiencing similar challenges. We don’t know them, but in the power of the Spirit, we can reach out and include them in our circle of prayer… covering them, praying for them, asking God to deliver them, and believing with them for every trial to become answered prayer.
 
Because of the Holy Spirit’s power, we connect and know exactly how to pray. Rather than a myopic focus on our own needs, we look into the Spirit and introduce ourselves to many standing in the need of prayer. We have a responsibility to them because our calling is from our Lord, who watches over them. In prayer, we know by the Spirit there are many praying with us. There are more with than against us.
 
None are isolated—we are not alone. The stunning power of Almighty God is with us.
 
Amen.
 
2 Chronicles 32:7-8 | Romans 8:17-19 | Psalm 84:7, KJV | Romans 1:17 | 2 Corinthians 4:18 | Verses@Once

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