Rebuilding the Ruins . . . 1/20/16

 

For quite a while, I’ve understood the value of using God’s word as a platform when praying.  For example, I would say, “Father, Your word says that You want me to 'prosper in all things and be in health, just as my soul prospers,’ so I’m asking You to do those things for me—to bring prosperity to my soul first, then cause me to prosper in all other areas.”  Or I would use certain scripture as a sword, slashing away at the enemy as I declared its absolute truth.  Today, the Spirit is urging me to use His word in prayer more frequently and forcefully, using the increased measure of faith He’s given me.

 

When the Spirit imparts a new perspective, it comes with a God-sized ripple effect.  On a recent morning, I began reading Isaiah, chapter 61, when these words jumped out to me with expanded meaning and powerful new application: 

 

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me . . . to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound . . . – Isaiah 61:1 AMPC.

 

What excellent words to use when praying for an unsaved friend or for a Christian who is needlessly bound by enemy lies! These people are “spiritual captives” whose vision is obscured.  When used with relevance, God’s word is the prevailing tool that unlocks prison doors and removes dark veils.

 

We all know that God wants His will to be done “on Earth as it is in Heaven” (Luke 11:2).  When we find His will revealed in His word, then we can use it with complete confidence.  We should remind the Lord of what He’s said, but not because He’s forgotten it. Repeating God’s word to Him is an expression of our faith in His unchanging character.  We go to Him with strong expectation that He will do what He has said.

 

I think you'll agree that Isaiah 61, from beginning to end, is a wonderful chapter to inspire prayer, especially if you read it with that in mind.  Let's take a look at verse 2:

 

. . . to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of His favor] and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn . . . – Isaiah 61:2 AMPC.

 

We can certainly proclaim 2016 and the coinciding Year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25:10) as the year of the Lord’s favor—if we have faith in the goodness of God.  As Christians, we are covered in Jesus’ blood—the most perfect mantle of favor in existence.  Now it’s time for this favor to be acknowledged and received—to be proclaimed with confidence.

 

Verse 3 presents truth that applies to each of us personally:

 

To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion—to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit—that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified – Isaiah 61:3 AMPC.

 

Oh, yes!  We can verbally claim what is ours, saying, “Lord, today I am filled with Your joy.  Because of You, I’m very beautiful.  I wear a sparkling garment of praise.  I am an ‘oak of righteousness,’ planted by You, that You may be glorified.”

 

God has planted a forest of mighty oaks.  Our roots reach deep into His righteousness.  We’re nurtured by the warm light of His presence.  And when we thirst, we’re given the rain of His blessing.  Our beauty is a wondrous thing to see, and our strength in Christ is glorious.  We have been planted with great purpose for this time and for this season.  The assignment in verse 4 is hard to miss:  

 

And they shall rebuild the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former desolations and renew the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations – Isaiah 61:4 AMPC.

 

We can always begin our prayer by saying, “Dear Lord, I am here to rebuild the ancient ruins."  Remembering that God wants us to build and restore through prayer will bring a potent new focus to our interaction with Him.

 

Dear Lord, we thank You for Your word.  It truly is a “lamp to our feet and a light to our path” (Psalm 119:105).  Please lead us to the particular light we need each day—and to the light that others need.  Give us new revelation of the power of Your word.  Impart to us the strength and wisdom needed to wield this mighty Sword of Your Spirit.  Thank You for honoring us with such great purpose.  Thank You for Your love.

 

 

In the Advanced Class . . . 3/12/16

 

I will not keep silent because of Zion, and I will not keep still because of Jerusalem, until her righteousness shines like a bright light and her salvation, like a flaming torch – Isaiah 62:1-2 HCSB.

 

The Word of God reveals His heart.  Please listen again: I will not keep silent…I will not keep still…until she shines.  Clearly, God is passionate about sanctifying His bride.  He wants to make us bright and beautiful—the envy of all who watch. 

 

Now let’s take a look at your current situation:  Are you going through trying times?  Are people not treating you with the respect you think you’ve earned?  Maybe you didn’t get the promotion that you were promised.  Perhaps your neighbor’s dog barks too much, his yard is cluttered with junk, and the man won't listen to reason.  Possibly, you took a hit in the stock market, and to make things worse, your brother is upset because you won’t buy a share in his commercial venture.  Maybe just yesterday, your grandfather’s heirloom pocket-watch finally stopped ticking, and today the repairman has misplaced it.  

 

What should you do when your boat is consistently being rocked?  Well, here is my advice:  Turn to God, and learn everything you can. Pay close attention as He reveals Himself to you.  Allow Him to build your faith during these trials.  “Sit still” while He injects more patience, love and understanding into your heart.  Squeeze all the good you can out of today’s challenges because they are training for the more serious battles to come.

 

“Oh, no!” you say.  “I don’t want my battles to intensify.  I’ve been fighting for things to be better, not worse!”

 

Let me welcome you to Spiritual Warfare 102—a compulsory course for the bride of Christ.  In this advanced class, the learning curve is steep.  The stakes are high.  There will be no more written tests to assess your knowledge.  Every test in SW102 is one of application.  You’re required to prove the value and power of what you believe.  Near the onset of this class, you will find a moment of clarity.  Your eyes will be wide open, and you’ll be thanking God profusely for ALL of your previous hardships—for every grueling task and every hard-won insight.  You’ll praise Him for preparing you well for “such a time as this.”  And why will you be so grateful?  Because nothing in this class is hypothetical.  Real futures are hanging in the balance.  Precious lives must be rescued from behind enemy lines. 

 

Be strong!  We must prove ourselves strong for our people and for the cities of our God.  May the Lord’s will be done – 2 Samuel 10:12 HCSB.

 

God has chosen to work through His church—through the intercession of His bride.  It’s not that we’re earning His love by our labor in prayer, and we’re certainly not buying our way to Heaven.  But we are on a fast-track for spiritual growth and promotion.  We’ve been selected for transformation.  The love of God is lifting us to a high place—by means of difficulty, challenge and pain—by means of real-life crises.  While here on Earth, we are often like Navy Seals or Green Beret.  We use the Sword of the Spirit* to open the prison doors of those who are bound, so they too can be lifted high by God (Isaiah 61:1).

 

...looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God - Hebrews 12:2.

 

Let us gladly submit to all that God requires of us.  His methods are far above the ways of the world.  His love will lead us victoriously in every rescue mission, and His glory will surround us.  Let our hearts sing, “Here am I! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8).

 

Dear Lord, we thank You for the careful groundwork You've laid within us.  We're now prepared for the honor of raiding the enemy’s camp.  We move forward with humility, completely dependent on You.  We  arm ourselves with Your Word.  We trust in your goodness.  We feed on Your faithfulness.  And we warm ourselves in Your fiery love.  

 

*The Word of God is the inspiration and framework of our prayer

 

 

 

 

 

The Safest Place to Be . . . 4/1/16

 

All Christians have to go through tests and trials.  These difficult times are a part of our training for the work that eternity holds. Tribulation is not optional.  We can't claim exemption for any reason.  

 

Testing is a vehicle that transports our spiritual theology to the place of glorious reality.  

 

Amidst the challenge of a test, we're given a chance to show the world who God really is—to show the lost what He will do when we trust in Him.  Times of tribulation are true contests between good and evil, with much riding on the outcome. Fear will come from all directions to undermine our faith, but the light of God's Word gives power and peace in abundance.

 

Do not be afraid; only believe – Mark 5:36.

 

As we mature, the tests we encounter will increase in difficulty, so don’t be surprised when the enemy “comes out swinging.”  Some days may seem darker than the darkest night.  Seas may rise up with towering waves that threaten to overwhelm us.  But God is Love, and a test has only come our way because He will carry us through it.  The enemy plans for us to fail, but God sets us up for victory.  Satan may be saying “Check!”  But if we submit to God in faith, He will always say “Check Mate!”

 

Any serious trial will directly target our faith:  Do we really believe what God has said? Is He faithful to keep His words?  We may know a lot about God, but do we actually know Him?  We certainly can’t trust someone we don’t have experience with.  A test will bring these things to light and open a door to connect with God personally.  And if we’re already connected, the test will stretch our faith to reach new heights.

 

Intimacy with God is the lifeboat in any storm.  Amidst the raging wind and crashing waves, He will speak loving, encouraging truth.  He might remind us of a personal vision He’s given for a time in the future.  (If we have a promise for tomorrow, then total disaster is not imminent.)  If  anyone doesn't have a view of their future provided by God, now is the time to ask.

 

Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.  For the vision is yet for an appointed time… – Habakkuk 2:2-3.

 

Knowing the faithfulness of God will carry us through any tempest.  Knowing the voice of our Shepherd will guide us to peace and rest.  Relevant "new" scripture, when it’s delivered by the Lord, will make our hearts sing:

 

For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it?  His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back? – Isaiah 14:27.

 

God is the Alpha and the Omega.  From beginning to end, He is the One whose purpose prevails. Sitting by His side is always the safest place to be (Ephesians 2:6).

 

Dear Lord and Master, Adonai, we thank You for Your extreme love.  You go to great lengths, pulling out all the stops to save the lost and perishing.  Sometimes we find that tribulations are designed for more than our own training.  Situations that discipline and enlighten us may also be saving another from the flames of hell.  Your sovereignty is astounding, and Your love is beyond measure.  Thank You for always being near.

 

 

 

 

 

Through the Fire . . . 4/13/16

 

Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy – 1 Peter 4:12-13.

 

When the enemy gets riled up against you, there is a reason.  Christians who are abiding in the light and love of God are a threat to the realm of darkness.  Therefore, obedience to the Lord will at times stir up a demonic hornets’ nest of repercussion.  But if God puts us "out on a limb" in the midst of angry hornets, He will be right there beside us.  Most of us are not called to die as martyrs, so the limb will probably not break.  (We'll have to stay and deal with the hornets.)  All of us are called to be tested, and many of us are called to be greatly tested.  But we need not fear this aspect of Christian life because tests of our faith are always a blessing.  If we turn to God for help, we're drawn deeper into His heart where we find much reason to rejoice.  

 

Great faith is the product of great fights.  Great testimonies are the outcome of great tests.  Great triumphs can only

come out of great trials. - Smith Wigglesworth

 

Are you going through a fiery trial?   Then, above all, know that you are not alone.  The Lord is closer than ever before.  His heart beats with intense love as He guides you through the flames, step by careful step.  Sometimes the Father will carry you, gently insisting that you “Be still and know that I am God.”  When hearing those words, you can expect that God is doing something very big and very good.

 

Testing and trials come for numerous reasons, and God will get the glory on many fronts if we surrender to His sanctifying hand.  I was reading through Ephesians the other day when the Spirit showed me an outcome of our testing that I was previously unaware of—something interesting and remarkably grand:

 

. . . that through the church the complicated, many-sided wisdom of God in all its infinite variety and innumerable aspects might now be made known to the angelic rulers and authorities (principalities and powers) in the heavenly sphere – Ephesians 3:10 AMPC.

 

It seems that Heaven's holy angels are learning about God by observing us—by seeing the salvation of Jesus blossom and flourish in our lives.  We know that angels fiercely stand guard over us and intervene with supernatural power on many occasions, but we forget that they also watch and learn (1 Peter 1:12).  The thought of this warms my heart and encourages me more than ever to be “strong and of good courage” (Joshua 1:9).  If God is using Christians to teach His mighty angels and to glorify Himself before them, then who are we to complain?  

 

But most importantly, the frail members of fallen humanity are watching as we submit to God and let His power, grace and love manifest fully before their eyes.  We only have to yield to the Lord’s great choreography, saying “Yes” at every turn.  By His amazing grace, we will march and even dance through the fire.

 

Dear Lord, we thank You for giving us work that has eternal significance.  We thank You for the excitement and hope You inspire during these last days.  We depend completely on Your faithfulness, mercy and grace as we move toward the ever-increasing fullness of Your glory.  Please keep our eyes and ears wide open so we don't miss any of Your direction.

 

 

 

With God All Things Are Possible . . . 5/12/16

 

We all face problems every day, beginning with our first wakeful minutes when we combat evil with our prayer.  In recent years, typical problems have a higher level of seriousness, keeping us ever more busy in warfare.  The truth is, many of God’s people have been “promoted” from dealing with mere annoyances to facing sheer impossibilities.

 

As we get older, the challenges we face may be more daunting.  We’ve lost the youthful illusion that we can do whatever we set our mind to.  Over time, God has taught us the truth about our human capabilities.  And to be sure we get the message, the boundless energy of our twenties and thirties is taken away.  On the flip side of this coin is the young new Christian who is full of enthusiasm but lacks experience with God and thus may be intimidated by the same intense challenges.   Whether we're young or old, I think extreme difficulties are primarily used by the Lord to show us our need and turn our eyes directly to Him. When He has our full attention, He then reveals His intense desire to be strong on our behalf.  He wants to do the impossible!

 

But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” – Matthew 19:26.

 

This beautiful Word of God imparts hope and life and power!  With God, all things are possible!  Jesus reveals this about the Father so we will know it and expect to see it!  God's words are enough to keep us praising Him for days on end.  Each truth is sufficient to spark a revival, bringing light to the darkest night and peace to raging storms.  The Word enables us to rise up as priests and kings, allowing God to work miracles in us, through us, and all around us.

 

He who brings an offering of praise and thanksgiving honors and glorifies Me; and he who orders his way aright [who prepares the way that I may show him], to him I will demonstrate the salvation of God – Psalm 50:23 AMPC.

 

God surely wants to demonstrate His salvation in great and mighty ways!  

 

God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn – Psalm 46:5.

 

Even when God seems distant, we can trust His Living Word and know that He’s right by our side.  The Spirit of God helps us believe what we do not see.  He enables us to fully expect the Lord’s amazing salvation in all areas.  And when moments of doubt arrive, the Spirit reminds and empowers us to “only believe” (Mark 5:36 and Luke 8:50).

 

Over the years, we learn firsthand how truly faithful God is because He proves Himself again and again.  When He says He will help us “just at the break of dawn,” then we can count on Him arriving at sunrise with outstanding provision for the impossibilities at hand.  “At the break of dawn” literally means “tomorrow morning when the sun comes up.”  But it can also be metaphoric, meaning that when our figurative “new day” arrives (our long-awaited breakthrough), then God will equip us with every needed resource.  Tomorrow, next week and five years from now, God will be there with abundant provision and power.

 

Responding to our prayer, God will slay the giants of our land with one hand, and He will restore the damage they've done with the other.  When we intercede, He will breathe life into the impossible:  Dry bones will strengthen and walk.  Wounded hearts will beat with courage and power.  Failing relationships will become beautiful streams in the deserts of this world.

 

Dearest Lord, we know You are El Shaddai who generously provides for us.  You are Jehovah Sabaoth who ferociously protects each one of us.  You are Jehovah Gibbor who prevails against our enemies.  You are all of this and so much more.  Thank You for revealing Yourself through Your Word, Your Spirit and Your actions.  Thank You for surrounding us with Your love.

 

 

The One Who Casts Out Fear . . . 6/7/16

 

The Spirit, the Word and personal experience have taught me that God is always good and always faithful.  I've received many bright and unique promises for this life on Earth.  My cup will never be half empty.  Much to the contrary, it will always overflow.  I will not be preaching “end-times gloom and doom” to those in my sphere of influence.

 

I know that God is present, so I expect His power and His blessings to be with Him.  I look for signs and wonders—for a broad array of miracles.  The world can anticipate darkness and poverty, but I will look for the brilliant face of God and His generous outstretched hands.

 

I will always thank the Lord; I will never stop praising him.  I will praise him for what he has done; may all who are oppressed listen and be glad!  Proclaim with me the Lord's greatness; let us praise his name together! – Psalm 34:1-3 GNT.

 

The presence of darkness does not negate the presence and power of God (Job 42:2).  The Word is still alive and active—still sharper than a two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12).  The Word from God’s mouth will never return to Him in defeat, but will always accomplish His pleasure and His purpose (Isaiah 55:11).  Always!  God is still sovereign.  He is still the Most High over all the Earth (Psalm 97:9).

 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... In Him was life, and the life was the light of men – John 1:1,4.

 

Since God offers us His "life and light," then why do some Christians live in fear and darkness?  I think it’s because they spend more time listening to enemy lies than reading the Word of GodSome fearful-ones do read the Word—but always wearing their doom-colored glasses.  Sadly, these glasses magnify Satan and not the Lord.  This negative focus ignores the truth of God’s mercy, His grace—and His GLORY.  These Christians don't see the fullness of God and therefore don’t trust that He will help them.  They’re blinded to His promises that are in effect for all who believe.  These dear people are barely acquainted with Perfect Love—the One who casts out fear (1 John 4:18).

 

I don’t say these things to condemn any part of the body of Christ.  I was fearful myself for a season, but I didn’t like living that way, so I asked the Lord for help.  Today, He fills my heart with hope.  I dare to expect great victory.  

 

Instead of being critical, I'm writing to sincerely encourage those who are afraid.  If the dogs of doom nip at your heels each day, I exhort you to read the Word more often. Read it with a mind that's open to God's loving, merciful, generous, faithful heart.  I urge you to spend time praising the Lord so you can enter His glorious courts—at least once a  day.  If you’re terribly afraid, then do these things while trembling.  God will gladly receive you and lift you high above the thing you fear.

 

I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me; he freed me from all my fears.  The oppressed look to him and are glad; they will never be disappointed.  The helpless call to him, and he answers; he saves them from all their troubles.  His angel guards those who honor the Lord and rescues them from danger – Psalm 34:4-7 GNT.

 

Thank You, Lord, for Your precious Truth.  Please forgive us for neglecting Your Word or for reading it selectively.  Please fill us with a renewed passion to know Your heart and thereby never be afraid again.

Our God of Abundance . . . 9/7/16

 

Between the ages of eight and sixteen years old, I lived in Fort Myers, Florida.  This was back in the days when life in the Sunshine State was slower and quite a bit sweeter.  Now I live in central Georgia, and my yearly vacation is spent on Sanibel Island, right off the coast of Fort Myers.  I’m drawn to the amazing natural beauty of the area.  Sanibel is connected to the mainland by a modern causeway, but when I was a child, we could only reach it by ferry. 

 

Ibis, Egrets, and Herons are an elegant but common sight on the shores of Sanibel.  They’re joined by multitudes of Seagulls, Terns, Skimmers, Willets, Plovers, and so many more, including the humans who walk among them.  If you know where to look, the large Roseate Spoonbills are easy to find.  Eagles, Osprey, and Pelicans patrol every shore and skillfully capture fish by zooming down from above.  For eyes that crave botanical adventure, a variety of palms and lush subtropical flora are pure delight.  Exotic plants and blooms are conventional fare on this island.  The sound of frogs invades the night, and lizards seem to be everywhere.  Tiny sea turtles hatch from these protected shores.  Even with all of this to offer, Sanibel’s main draw is the vast array of beautiful shells that are heaped onto the beach with each incoming tide.  The island is positioned and shaped in such a way that it captures a lion’s share of this natural bounty.

Do my words sound like a promotion of Sanibel Island?  I suppose they do, but my purpose is to present an aspect of God, so I will continue—with much enthusiasm.

 

The timeshare week that I own on Sanibel is always at the end of August, in prime hurricane season.  “Week 35” is usually bright, with only some typical afternoon thunder storms.  I have, however, encountered the fury of hurricanes from the safe perspective of a gulf-front condominium.  I’ve also walked on hurricane-battered shores, amidst the salty wind and spray. To experience this power firsthand is awe-inspiring.  In 2002, Hurricane Gustav sped by, keeping a respectful distance while putting on a blustery show.  Just three years later in 2005, deadly Katrina thundered by, raging at category five.  

 

I’ve just returned from my 2016 vacation on Sanibel Island, and I am calling it “Hurricane Hermine week.”  For three days, the gulf water was bright and calm, but as Hermine rounded the tip of Florida and slowly gathered strength, things began to change.  Sanibel shores are not known for their surf, but when larger waves appear, they bring the bonus of extra shells.  On my last day of vacation, I said to the Lord, “I’m going down to the beach to look for shells.  Please talk with me while I’m there.” 

 

As soon as I opened the door, I heard the sound of crashing waves.  Following a boardwalk through the natural area, I could see storm-tossed water ahead, but I was mostly impressed with the intense sound.  Then God announced to me, “I Am ROARING!” He wanted me to know that the “voice of the surf” was His own:

 

The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders; the Lord is over many waters.  The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty – Psalm 29:3-4.

 

God revealed that the time for change has come—that He is moving—that He is roaring with purpose and imminent manifest power.  I thanked Him for the encouragement, but He wasn’t finished speaking.  A few minutes later, as I began to get enthused about the increased amount and variety of shells, I heard Him say, “As you can see, I Am a God of abundance.  My heart is one of abundance.  I long to pour treasure upon My people.  Those who are prepared and expecting My blessing will receive great riches in all areas of lifein addition to financial provision.”  God explained that storms are often His vehicle of provision.  And for those who have leaned on Him wholeheartedly during these storms, His provision will soon be on shore.

 

Dearest El Shaddai, our all-sufficient God, You are the one who supplies what we need—not just barely, but according to Your riches in glory.  Thank You for sharing Your strong desire to lavish us with treasure.  Thank You for the storms that position us perfectly to receive Your wealth. 

Lord, You are my Life! . . . 9/23/16

I said to the Lord, “You are my Life.”

 

And the Lord replied, “Yes, I AM!”

 

I said to the Lord,

 

       “You are the Wise and Wonderful Voice I hear. 

         You are the Light on every rocky path. 

         You are the Truth, always standing steadfast. 

         You are the Faithful Rock I lean on.

         You are my Shelter in every storm.

         You are the Holy One who lifts me high.

         You are the Goodness and Kindness I crave.

         You are the Friend who helps me walk on water.

         You are the Favor always surrounding me.

         You are my Wealthy Kinsman Redeemer.

         You are the Answer to everything I will ever need.

         You are the Grace and Love I cannot live without.” 

 

And the Lord replied,  “Yes, I AM!  Always and forever!”

INSPIRATION   2016

by Susan Rose

Miracles Required . . . 12/23/16

 

Miracles are absolutely essential for those of us in serious need.  They have become a requirement!  Because we know God, we will not settle for anything less.   We will not put up with poverty or chronic illness.  We won’t accept the division of a family or the crippling of a destiny.  With Christ in us, we dare to refuse mediocrity.  Instead, we hold out for God's glory.

 

  • If we're in need of a miracle, then we must have God.  The two cannot be separated.

 

  • Our Lord is completely sovereign.  He choreographs our need in alignment with His loving purpose. 

 

  • Miracles breed in the “petri dish” of need, where a minor problem grows into a major difficulty.  When touched by faith, this escalating need reaches out for God’s healing, restoring, creative power. 

 

  • We are greatly blessed to be in need of supernatural help because then we have a legitimate reason to petition God and experience His favor at an elevated level. 

 

  • Having enough faith to truly believe for a miracle is miraculous in itself.  It is a mighty work of God within us.

 

While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, “Your daughter is dead.  Why trouble the Teacher any further?” - Mark 5:35.

 

As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.”  .....Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.”  Immediately the girl arose and walked – Mark 5:36, 41-42.

  

If God has been singing “songs of deliverance” over your circumstances by entering your thoughts, your dreams, and your prayers, then please take heart.  Your time to "arise and shine" has come.  Whether the Lord has been reassuring you for weeks, a decade, or longer—if He has said that He will make a change, then it will happen—if you will believe.  Don’t let the enemy draw you into fear and doubt that will short-circuit your faith.  Let your trust in the overwhelming goodness of God be a beacon to those who watch.  

 

Contending for miracles and receiving them will place you in God’s “end-times hall of fame.”  Your testimony to the world will be a sparkling jewel in the Lord’s portfolio.  Try to imagine a day in Heaven, thousands of years from now—catching the sound of Jesus' voice as He reminisces to a group of angels and saints: “I remember, back in 2017, when I was able to deliver 100,000 people from extreme poverty because Anna (substitute your name) had faith to receive the large provision I promised her.  She waited a very long time to receive, and her faith increased with the passing years.  Anna did not give up because she knew Me well, and she believed I was faithful to keep My word.”  Whatever God has promised for your life, please rest assured that it comes with strong purpose attached.  

 

Think of all the non-believers who are severely depressed—taking strong medication simply to get through the day.  They’re sad and downcast because they can’t bear the thought of life continuing the way it is for them.  But as Christians, when we face an “unbearable” circumstance that is beyond our ability to rectify, then we can and must turn to God for help.  We must turn to His word and His character.  He is the One who delights to perform miracles for those who wait in faith.

 

In the name of Jesus and by His blood, we claim every miracle that is part of our inheritance.  We decree that miracles will come forth for our finances, our relationships, our health, and our ministries.  In God’s timing, and for His glory and His purpose, miracles will invade the Kingdom more than ever before.

God Raises up Kings . . . 11/19/16

And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding – Daniel 2:21.

 

During my morning time with God this week, He spoke to me about President-Elect Donald Trump.  He reminded me of how this man had been completely “disqualified” by the mainstream media and by most others who oppose conservative values.  God went on to say that Mr. Trump is His chosen vessel—in spite of his flaws and partly because of His flaws.  In Donald Trump, God wants the world to see an imperfect man, raised up by divine grace and empowered for divine purpose. 

 

I believe the main purpose of God’s message to me was that Donald Trump’s victory is a prototype of 

what He wants to do with the rest of us. 

 

To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever – Revelation 1:5-6.

 

Yes, we are all "kings and priests."  It's time to depart from mindsets of mediocrity.  No more fatalistic "que sera sera."  The future is ours to shape and to reign over wisely.   We must walk each day in the reality of who God says we are.  

 

The Lord has given each of us a unique background filled with unique experiences.  We’ve been given unique insights, talents, desires, and destinies.  On our personal paths through life, walking toward humility and dependence on God, He has allowed us to trip or fall in one way or another.  Marriages have failed.  Cigarettes, alcohol, and other drugs have been consumed.  Out of our mouths have come terrible words.  We’ve been selfish and unkind.  Our flaws are not so unlike the recently spotlighted flaws of Donald Trump.  Many of us are quite a bit worse.  And just as Mr. Trump, we are absolutely disqualified for the glory of God’s kingdom—apart from grace, that is.

 

While God is extremely pleased to use Donald Trump, warts and all, He is also delighted to use each one of us. 

 

…for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country.  I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it – Isaiah 46:9-11 ESV.

 

God will have His way.  He has spoken, and He will bring His will to pass.  He has a bright and shining purpose for each of His beloved ones.  The world will be surprised again and again to see us stepping forward as kings and priests—bathed in the light of God’s purpose.  Yes, the world will be greatly enlightened and uplifted in the days to come.

 

We thank You, Lord, for our new President-Elect, Donald Trump, and for the beautiful “first family.”  Please send angels to guard them and lift them high above any harm.  Please fill and surround Mr. Trump with exceptional wisdom.  We thank You also for the brilliance of our personal destinies.  You give us hope for great significance in these last days.  You have embedded strong purpose in our spiritual DNA.  Our hearts flutter at the thought of being used, as we abide in You.