Monday, December 31, 2012

Declaring God's Promises Over Your Family, Community and City

31 Days of Devotion  - Declaring God’s Promises
Releasing an Open Heaven for Breakthrough
 January 2013

You are cordially invited to partner with the servants of the Most High God, in fellowship with the Honorable Lord Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit, during the month of January 2013, declaring the promises of God over your family, members in your community and city as we believe for an open heaven, breakthrough and revival.

There is a time for everything under heaven. I can feel the shift taking place. I believe we have reached a time appointed by the Lord to rend the heavens and displace darkness.

We will never have revival if the heavens are shut up. We need an open heaven! Francis Frangipane, in a recent article called The War Over Reality writes, "The war against principalities involves displacement: Christ filling the spiritual territories once held by satan." He continues ... " Ephesians 3:10 reveals God's glorious plan, that "through the Church" God has purposed to make known His manifold wisdom to the principalities and powers "in the heavenly places." You see, as the Body of Christ on earth agrees with its Head in Heaven, the Spirit of Christ Himself displaces the powers of darkness in the heavenly places. In other words, when the Church on earth is aggressive in its agreement with the will and Word of God, then the presence of God increases in the spiritual realm, proportionally displacing the influence of Hell on earth. Shortly thereafter, manifesting in the world of men, we see revivals, healings and miracles. But when the Church is passive, indifferent or carnal, the powers of Hell increase their rule over the affairs of men: marriages break up, crime increases, and wantonness becomes unbridled. We must see that our prayers, attitudes, and agreement with God are an integral part of establishing the reality of the Kingdom of God on earth!" (End quote).

God is very specific that repentance and turning from our old ways can move His heart and His Spirit to bring a fresh wind of the Lord. Prophets identified with the sins of the people where they were stationed. They were not just a voice to the people but they were intercessors as well, and as such, God expected them to identify with the sins of the people in the land where they lived. Each prayer and declaration involves this form of identificational repentance. Prayers of renouncement are incorporated so as to remove long standing iniquity and strongholds, where others have never asked for forgiveness, perhaps for generations. The devotions start with the basics and quickly move into deeper issues, bringing cleansing, healing, and making room for families to be healed and restored. Every prayer is written with the express desire to reach multitudes, shift the airways and tear down strongholds. I do hope you will join us, for I have great expectancy of what the Lord will do in each of our cities and communities through the voice of His servants! Here is the first of the 31 devotions!

Jan. 1. Father, I declare that I am made in the image and likeness of my Heavenly Father. (Genesis 1:26). I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Ps. 139:14). My sins are forgiven.  (1 John 1:9; 1 John 2:12). My salvation has occurred at the cross, before I even asked to     be saved! For by grace I have been saved through faith, (Eph. 2:8) and it is God’s gift to me. I believe in my heart that Jesus is Lord, crucified for my sins, resurrected by the Holy Spirit, and He is seated at the right hand of the Father. I am accepted in the beloved,     Jesus Christ. (Eph. 1:6). I am adopted as God’s own dear child. (Eph. 1:6) I have a Father that loves me! I declare the words of Your truth over myself, my family members  (____,     ____, ) my friends, co-workers, and those in my community.

Thank you, Jesus, for our salvation! I declare you are the Son of God, who died and rose again - for me! The stain of my sin and shame has been taken away by the shed blood  of Jesus Christ. I repent for any thoughts that do not line up with God’s word, for Your word is truth. Not my feelings! I accept by faith what God has said. I am His child, and  therefore greatly loved!

I declare that myself, my family members, (_____, _____,), friends, and those in my sphere of influence - where I live, work and where ever I go - shall know understand these truths. As I declare these scriptures over myself, I also declare them over my family, friends, neighbors and co-workers, and the people in the city of __________ where I live. I declare freedom to those that are captive to any strongholds built around a false belief system. I declare that they will no longer conform their self image  to what the enemy or the world would say about them, but they will change to reflect what God has said about them, for it is written, 'You shall know the truth and the truth will make you free,' in Jesus name.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

31 Days of Devotions, Prayer and Declarations to Release an Open Heaven

I believe the Lord has a word for the body of Christ, and this is it: “You’ve circled this mountain long enough.” The whole scripture is actually found in Deut. 2:3 with an added verse that says, “Now turn North, and command the people.” However you may wish to interpret the verse, I see it as, “You’ve been going around the same mountain long enough. Now get up from where you’ve been and get moving.”

It is awfully hard to rouse ourselves from where we’ve been sitting, especially when nothing has been happening for a long time. Ever feel that way? I am thankful that I have a great husband that lit a fire under me the other day. He told me to start putting God’s promises around the house, and asked me to post one for each day. So I got out my Bible and started digging. Then it got really fun, and I decided to take it a little step further and make a quick devotional and declaration for each day. And then, lo and behold, God jumped in and told me to start writing with the objective to open the heavens. Yay, God!! So..when He makes that kind of suggestion, I am all in. I am so excited for what He will do as we make these prayers and declarations during the month of January!

They start out from square one, getting back to basics dealing with salvation, identity and dominion issues, then quickly move forward into heavier issues. We don’t want to go to war with any open doors to the enemy, so He is making sure that we take care of some of those issues, too. These are for each one of us, but we will be making declarations over our family members, friends, neighbors, and people in our communities and cities. Because even though we may know who we are in Christ, a lot of other people don’t. And we want to reach multitudes!

What I’m asking for is for you to share these daily devotional articles on your FB pages, send them to those who you know will pray with an earnest heart,  pray them with your family, friends, and share them with anyone and everyone that is dry, weary, needing a drink of spiritual water and is just needing breakthrough in their own life, in their family, maybe a new door of opportunity, etc. I feel that the Lord is up to something and He will bless anyone that takes their prayers serious. Each devotion and declaration can easily be done in about 5 minutes or less. Anyone can take 5 minutes to pray! I hope you decide to join in, and I wish all of you a very blessed and prosperous New Year! We begin January 1st, 2013, so please visit this page for 31 Days of Devotions, Prayers and Declarations to Release an Open Heaven and Breakthrough!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Prayer to Break the Power of Word Curses

 Start the New Year off right. Give yourself and your family a fresh start. Break the power of negative words that can hurt your spirit, damage your faith and leave you wounded. Unhealed wounds are an access way for the enemy!

Father, Your word says in Isaiah 54:17 that “No weapon formed against me shall prosper, and every tongue which rises up against me in judgment shall be condemned,” and that this is my inheritance in the Lord. Right now I condemn every negative word that has been spoken over myself, my family and my future in Jesus name.I lift up (____, ____, ___) and I repent for, and I condemn every negative word I have spoken over myself, my family, and our future. I repent for vows made silently or spoken and I ask that You release me and all those affected by those things to be released from any ungodly vows. I repent for speaking any words that are contrary to Your will, O God, and I break the power of them now in the name and authority of Jesus Christ. I also break the power of negative words of others spoken out of their own fear, anger, crticisms, offense, malice, ill will, envy, jealousy, unforgiveness and bitterness. I break the power of false prophetic words. I break the power of prognosticators, physicians, parents, ministers, teachers, peers, and authority figures in our lives that had power to negatively influence us, create fear or harm our self image, self esteem or belief system. I call our belief system back into alignment with God and His Word. I break the power of  negative words, including those that have evil spirits associated with them through the use of conjuring, spells, incantations, potions, and all forms of magic and witchcraft; words and spirit associations that have been assigned to us in order to perpetuate a curse must now be broken and all curses made void. I command in the name of Jesus Christ that all evil spirits associated with these curses to leave me, my family, and all that pertains to our lives, and be sent back to hell immediately. I command all open doors to the enemy that originated with these harmful words to be closed now and the blood of Jesus applied to those doorways. I forbid the enemy from crossing through the blood. I declare that those negative words will no longer ring in my ears, nor in those that have heard or repeated negative, condemning words. I declare that words that have been used as a weapon will no longer ring in the ears of my loved ones and hinder their faith or their future. From this day forward, I declare their ears shall be deaf to condemning words laced with a spirit of death. All shame, insecurity, inferiority, fear, failure, unworthiness, rejection, loathing, rebellion, lawlessness, idolatry and perversity that originated from these ungodly words and their effects is now broken off of myself and all my family members. I declare only faith, peace, joy, love, and confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ shall prosper in their heart, mind and spirit in Jesus name. Let the love of Your Holy Spirit, of Your mercy and acceptance be shed abroad in our hearts. Let there be revelation, truth and understanding be released into our hearts and minds. Let the counsel of Your Holy Spirit unravel every lie and bring us back to the truth that sets us free. Father God, I thank You and Holy Spirit for releasing blessing into my life and that of my loved ones and enabling us to walk with our heads held high. Thank You for breaking every ungodly yoke of bondage and oppression that came as a result of condemning words. In Jesus name, I thank you for a fresh start for me and my family. Amen.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Overcoming a Spirit of Fear

Perfect Love Casts Out All Fear - 1 John 4:18

I would like to share an experience I had with the Lord, dealing with the subject of fear. So many people struggle with fear issues, but fear can show up in less obvious mannerisms so that sometimes people don’t recognize it for what it is. Getting the victory over fear is often just a revelation away!

I faced a very scary dental procedure recently and shortly after entering the surgeon’s office I was hit with a huge wave of anxiety. I wanted so badly to go call my husband and tell him to come back to get me! I told the doctor I was feeling very nervous and felt like I could pass out. He told me he was going to give me a moment to relax and he left the room. The moment he did, I began to pray for the Prince of Peace to come help me manage my emotions. The anxiety didn’t go away but the doctor came back a few minutes later and asked me if I still wanted to go ahead with the procedure. I hesitated, then said yes because the pain was quite severe, but what happened next was incredible and completely unexpected.

The moment the doctor started, the Lord showed up and started talking to me. He told me that He was right there with me, holding me. He reminded me of when I had my children, and when I miscarried, when I had faced other situations that brought fear, and how my husband was there the whole time holding my hand, sitting by my side comforting me. At that moment, the Lord stepped in and was my husband through the whole uncomfortable situation. He held me and kept reminding me to just focus on His voice. It was comforting, and I knew that with Him so close I was ok. Fear didn't have to rule my emotions. He began to explain that He knew I had prayed very hard for healing and that I did not want to go through the dental procedure, but He also explained that if He had just healed me, I would only have received my healing. I wouldn’t have the benefit of the personal experience with Him that He was giving me at that very moment. He told me how He longs to show up and visit His children, but there are times when He does wait in order to give them more than what they’ve asked for. You see, God loves us so very much. How often we just want an answer to prayer, when He wants to give us an experience with Him to remember! Before I go on, let me interject something here on the subject of fear.

 [Note: Generally speaking, fear involves torment in the mind. That which is not of faith is sin, so, we must learn to look at unbelief as sin because the Word says so. Because faith and unbelief and polar opposites with one another, the struggle causes double mindedness, which results in a war in our minds. It's not always just waivering between two opinions but double mindedness causes divided loyalties, and you cannot effectively serve two masters. We are a slave to whichever master we obey, and all spiritual warfare is about deception in order to exercise dominion.  In order to get the victory, we need to resolve the root of the issue that is causing the struggle in our mind and heart. Torment can come from unforgiveness issues but it can also come from several other root causes as well. We hardly like to think about it, but sometimes a spirit of affliction is upon us to help drive out the lusts of the flesh. (Study Deut. 2,3 or The Matthew Henry Commentary on the Book of Deuteronomy has some very good insights on this.) Remember, Jesus had to defeat the enemy in the wilderness, overcoming the lusts of the flesh, before He was launched into effective ministry. The error we sometimes make is thinking that we have already gone through all our wilderness seasons and not recognize when God has brought us into another one in order to continue the work of sanctification. If we are about to enter into a new season or take new ground, a new wilderness season is often a precursor to crossing over into a new spiritual territory. Torment also comes from bearing false judgments against others. Carrying judgments against others allows an open door for the enemy to reproduce judgment in our own lives. These are some common areas to examine when needing freedom from the spirit of fear.]

The Lord began to talk to me about fear. He kept reminding me to just let the doctor do what he was there to do, but to focus my thoughts on the fact that Jesus was there holding me, comforting me, at that very moment. He explained how a spirit of fear cannot stay in the presence of the Lord! The more I listened to the Lord, the anxiety became less and less, until finally I was at peace - in spite of the circumstances. I just wanted to get through the procedure, but God chose that moment to have a conversation about fear. He explained that fear comes in many forms. Some of it is obvious, like what I felt sitting in the dentist chair.  Other things come well disguised so that we don't immediately attribute it to a spirit of fear. He told me there were some things He wanted me to be able to recognize about the spirit of fear, because it would keep my heart free. I also know there are many people that need this understanding, too. The Lord explained how a spirit of fear causes people to feel inferior and when they do, one of the by-products of fear is a critical, fault-finding spirit. He explained that when people feel inferior they also feel shame, and shame makes them feel insecure. Those feelings cause them to want to reflect those feelings away from themselves and project them onto others because the very nature of any unloving spirit is to reproduce itself in others. Fear turns into offense, offense becomes anger, and whatever a person dwells on can easily become a door for the enemy to manipulate a person’s thoughts and actions. Fear always comes with accusation and that spirit of accusation will accuse us to God, and speak accusations against God in our minds. Fear is at the root of many works of evil. It is the very opposite of Love.

Friends, we have all seen what can happen when people’s minds are not in alignment with love and truth. We’ve seen hate crimes. We’ve seen innocent people slain at the hands of those that can only be described as demonically energized to carry out evil. We  see an unstable world that has put their hope and confidence in the philosophies of man and other religions, yet they have no real peace. They have fear. Fear that the world will end, fear that they won’t have enough to take care of their families; fear that says they are unloved or unwanted, or inferior in some way. Fear has a loud voice and we must learn to silence it by the word of truth. We live in a world of chaos because of so many people that have put their confidence in the wrong things. Of all the religions in the world, of all the false gods and religious creeds, there is only ONE GOD that keeps the world running by His very word. The stars remain in the sky, hung in perfect balance, because the Lord spoke it so. The oceans do not overflow their boundaries, because the Lord set the limits. The blueprints of nature, the animal kingdom and a human embryo are knit into the DNA of each cell in a living organism, creating life as God designed it. No other God has done this. The proof of God is even in nature. No one even has to preach the gospel if our heart is open to truth. No philosophy of man releases complete peace, order and clarity of mind as the truth that is found through God’s own Holy Spirit. No one else is called the Spirit of Truth, and no one else has the capacity to make one free simply by knowing the truth. It is not wisdom to put our confidence in anything that is based on the thoughts and philosophies of another person, because that can be as unstable as water and as changeable as the wind. Man re-writes philosophies as he goes and false gods demand penance and sacrifice from their followers - but only One God sacrificed for all mankind, and that is Jesus Christ. Only One God lived a pure and sinless life and could offer a holy sacrifice on behalf of the sins of all the world that was acceptable in a sinless heaven. Only One God speaks truth. All the others simply try to counterfeit it by smooth sounding words. All the other philosophies and religions of the world try to achieve a place of enlightenment, self made righteousness and peace -  but without the Prince of Peace. False religions and the philosophies of man try to obtain what can only come through the God who created us and created this world. They are only counterfeits to the Divine. Accept no inferior gods that will reproduce that feeling of inferiority and insecurity into your own life! That is why we hear the commandment, "I am the Lord God who brought you out of Egypt...Thou shall have no other gods before Me," (see Exodus 20:3). Put your confidence in the One that loved you enough to lay down His life for you and pay the penalty for your sins. Let your conscience be cleansed and your heart renewed by the truth that is found in Jesus Christ. All you have to do is ask Him to receive you as a child of God and confess your belief in the Lord Jesus Christ as God’s only begotten Son. (Rom. 10:9). He was crucified for you, and He lives to receive you unto Himself. Let His perfect peace order your thoughts and the rest of your life will follow suit. This is God’s perfect plan.

As I listened, the Lord went on to explain that it is this very nature of the spirit of Fear that causes people to read God’s word incorrectly. They see things through a lens of darkness rather than light. They read His word and apply judgment rather that mercy, criticism rather than love - and in this they err exceedingly. They take their own personal judgments, offenses, disappointments and experiences and then misrepresent God's character because a religious spirit twisted something in their understanding. It might not be in every area of the Word, but enough that it will wound those that hear rather than heal. People can misinterpret His intent, His personality and His character because a wrong filter is on everything they see, and this is a blind spot they cannot see in themselves. They see a God that is hard to please and difficult to relate to. They find it hard to trust Him. They try to force faith to operate out of man’s will and strength rather than rest in His perfect love, which releases peace and allow faith to flow from a heart of love and gratitude. The Lord went on to explain that a filter of inferiority, shame or insecurity allows offense to grow in the heart of an individual, and this is how religious spirits operate. They cause spiritual blindness, then reproduce pain and offense in others.God wants us to recognize fear at work so that we can take the sword of His word to destroy this work of evil. Friends, God is about to cut off the house of Jezebel and Ahab, and He will use anyone that knows their God (and HIS heart of love) to do it. Boldness is great, and we need boldness to preach and overcome our fears, but humility and love are the only effective weapons against witchcraft. Speak of what God has done for you, how He loves you so unconditionally and picked you up out of your personal ash heap and saved you. God will use the prophetic word, too, but if the prophetic word is not spoken in love and humility divination can easily defile those that hear. God does not want more children of Jezebel and religious witchcraft that propagate fear in the body of Christ; He wants children that understand and will correctly re-present His love, mercy and graciousness towards mankind. It is LOVE that draws people into the kingdom, not fear. It is the kindness of God that leads men to repentance. We have to get the message right if we are to draw people to God through love!

The Lord also told me that the enemy’s tactics will always include some form of fear because he is full of fear. Fear and deception are his biggest weapons. Fear is there to get us to react out of emotion rather than confidence towards the Lord. Deception is there to recreate a new self image, if at all possible. We are NOT inferior; we are NOT to be insecure. We are to have every confidence in our identity in Christ and as a child of God. Please, let me speak a word to you today. Let me remind you of who you are in Christ. Everything about you is SUPERIOR to the enemy in every way. This is why Satan hates God’s children, seeks to destroy truth, and reinvent people’s self image. You are made in the image and likeness of your Creator. (Gen. 1:26). Your sins are forgiven. (1 John 1:9; 1 John 2:12) Your shame has been taken away by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. You have no reason to fear! Those hurtful words from others - whether it is from parents, spouses, teachers, peers or others - have no power to hurt you if you realize that those that said hurtful remarks were operating out of a spirit of their own inferiority, shame and insecurity. They allowed their heart to become critical because someone was critical of them. Then never got the victory over it and you became the target of their pain and offense. It was never about you! Your past, no matter how painful it may have been, has no authority, power or ability to influence your future. Your future does not rest in the hands of your enemies; your future is secure in God’s hands. No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. ( Is. 54:17) Understand what this means. NO WEAPON will succeed against you, unless you give it power over your life. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Ps. 139:14). God has put His name over you. (Ps. 106:8) His favor is for life. (Ps. 5:12) Nothing you do can stop Him from loving you. (Rom. 8:38,39) He is your biggest fan. He is your strong tower. (Ps. 61:3) He has put His authority in you, and given you dominion over every manner of evil. (Luke 10:18) As a child of God you have received a commission from the Lord to heal the sick, cast out demons and speak in a new spiritual language given by Holy Spirit. (Mark 16:18) You are to re-present the kingdom of heaven right here, right now, everywhere you are. He has told you to “FEAR NOT!” many times in His word. He understands the enemy’s tactics to try to intimidate you in order to keep you from inheriting your promise land, but He has said, “Fear not!” In other words, don’t pay attention to it! Get in the presence of the Lord. Fear is FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL. Confront it, whatever it is. You are not rejected, condemned or abandoned. Eph. 1:6) You are not forgotten. (Is. 49:14-16). You are accepted, given a pardon of ‘not guilty,’ and you are adopted as God’s dear child. You are a join heir with Jesus Christ. Everything that He has, you do too! Angels are waiting to be put on assignment to assist you, protect you and keep you in all of God’s ways so that you can be successful in life. Let your confidence be renewed today. This is what it means to understand the scripture in 1 John 4:18. When we have a revelation of who we are in Christ and how greatly we are loved, fear has to leave. It cannot remain when we are in the presence of the Lord. It’s not God’s love towards us that needs perfecting; it’s our understanding. It’s our love perfected towards Him. Fear involves torment, but when we get in the presence of the Lord and rest in that love, nothing can touch us. Fear has no power. It has lost it’s voice.

Friend, it’s time to rise up and take a stand against anything that would try to strip you of your coat of favor. Rise up and confront that spirit of fear and intimidation. Tell it exactly who you are, and just rest in God’s perfect peace. His perfect love will cast out your fears!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Tearing Down Strongholds

When the enemy of  your soul entices you to do something you know is wrong, how you choose to respond determines whether or not you will get the victory. Strongholds are built in our minds where the enemy has spun lie after lie so that he is able to keep people in bondage.

My hope for each person is that shame and fear of being judged do not keep them in bondage. So many people stay locked up in chains to their secret sins because they are too ashamed to admit to another person their need for help. People already feel disappointed in themselves because they often "know better," but have gotten themselves stuck and in bondage with the enemy. They fear the responses of others and don't want to be a disappointment to the people they love, admire or respect. Sure, we all know better. But sometimes we all need God's abundant grace and someone to demonstrate a non-judgmental attitude so that we can get free. Please let me urge you today to bring your problems to Jesus. He is there to give you the help you need!

No one needs to tell you what your secret sin is. Each person knows if there is something in their life that they have tried to get the victory over. Are you one that still struggles with some area of weakness in your life? Whether it is the gossip that cannot help but disclose the latest news she’s heard, or the person that loves to whisper about others just to get a reaction or stir up trouble; whether it is the addict that finds themselves turning to counterfeit means to alter their mood or escape reality; or the person addicted to sex, pornography or unclean fantasy thoughts; perhaps it is the person that simply cannot get the victory over anger, lying, fault finding, or  some other negative behavior, all of these things have the addictive ability to create strongholds in a person's mind. A stronghold is created when our thoughts and areas of our belief system do not line up with the truth of God's word. The enemy appeals to our reason and emotion so that he can get us to live in the flesh. It may not be in every area of a person's life; but even if it's just a one or two areas of compromise he still has an open door. Remember, the art of all spiritual warfare is based on the ability to deceive. The enemy's lies make a person's thinking crooked, or twisted. He perverts truth in an attempt to appeal to our reason, intellect and emotion. All warfare is simply the enemy's attempt to influence a person to agree with him instead of a spirit of faith. This is how he is able to steal the promises of God and get them to actually agree to enthrone him in their heart and life! The only hope the enemy has is to convince people to listen to their emotions rather than hold fast to what God has said. He can only deceive us if he is able to create a false illusion, wrong mindset or belief system. Shake it off! That is why the scripture in James 3:16 & 17 warns that earthly wisdom is 'demonic and sensual;' it appeals to a person's flesh and emotions rather than elevating them to a place in the Spirit where they operate out of divine wisdom, faith, and obedience to God's word. These "strongholds" may seem relatively inconsequencial, especially if the person that is captivated by these sort of lying spirits, negative thoughts and behaviors thinks they are not harming anyone else; but that is usually not the reality, even if the person doesn't want to acknowledge the truth. I want you to know that anyone can get the victory over these things - IF THEY CHOOSE TO BE HEALED.

That is always the question each person must face. Do we really want to be healed of the thing that keeps us in bondage? All sin has the element of pleasure or it wouldn’t be able to entice a person to keep doing it. And as much as one chooses to give away their dominion to the enemy, God will let them do it. He has given all authority to His disciples. If a person chooses to give it away, eventually sin will increase in a person's life until masters besides God will have dominion in certain areas of their life. But know this: the enemy does not want just you. He wants your family. He wants your children’s future, and your grandchildren. He wants your church, those in your workplace and far beyond even them. A stronghold is a place where the enemy has built a fortress. Imagine it like a castle, if you will. You can't see it, but it's there, and the enemy is flying his flag letting the spirit realm know it's his domain. Every area where we refuse to let Jesus reign is a place the enemy will occupy. He plots his takeover and delights in the thought of displacing Jesus in the life of the believer. Every stronghold is constructed out of lies that go unchallenged and behavior that is allowed to go unchecked. Every stronghold that the enemy occupies is a place where the enemy stands to mock God and reproach you. He gloats, he scoffs at your ability to over throw him and remove him off of his high place. Every place where he is allowed to do this continues to grow and expand as he brings in more and more enemy troops to occupy your promise land. He has laid a claim to it as though it’s his own but in fact he is an encroacher that must be evicted. Isn't it time to dismantle his stronghold?

You cannot ‘think’ it down. You cannot mentally determine to conquer a spiritual force with spiritual authority by your own will. Flesh cannot fight spirit and win. It’s also ridiculous to think that one can defeat the enemy without the right weapons. There is only one way to defeat the enemy and that is the way Jesus did it; by speaking out the word of God with authority. Review the temptations of Jesus in the Gospels. Jesus spoke God's Word to combat and overcome Satan and his temptations, and you can too! Friend, what is your area of temptation? You must find the right scriptures to fight with, those that address the nature of the temptation. Then,…

Declare what GOD has said, and stop listening to a liar, thief and murderer. Satan will do everything he can to kill off your good future and keep you from inheriting your destiny! Satan is the Father of all lies. He is the seducer, the adulterous spirit that wants to entice you into a way that is hard to come back from. His words are smoother than oil but in the end it will be as bitter as wormwood. If he is enticing you to commit adultery (spiritual or otherwise), or elevate an idol in your life, Tell him, “Satan, your words and suggestions are those of the immoral woman. They are only intended to lead me down a wrong path and it is written, “Do not go near the door of her house.” (Prov. 5:4,8)  He is the violent one that attempts to lead you in a way that is not good. He is the perverse spirit that twists truth and attempts to appeal to your reason so that he can bring about evil. When he tries to lead you astray, respond with, “No, enemy,  “a man’s heart may plan his steps but it is the Lord that will direct my steps. (Prov. 16:9) You say, "Jesus, direct my steps away from this temptation now,” for it is written, “The highway of the upright is to depart from evil and he who keeps his way preserves his soul.” (Prov. 16:17) “Help me to be one who heeds the word wisely  and find good. I am putting my trust in You."

When the enemy accuses you of giving in to the very thing he tempted you to do, run to God and confess your sin. Don’t let condemnation overwhelm you. He is faithful and just to forgive your sins and cleanse you of all unrighteousness when you come to Him! (1 John 1:9) Declare, “God is my strong tower and a shelter to me. I will abide in his tabernacle forever. I will trust in the shadow of His wings.” (Ps. 61:3). “God is my defense, my God of mercy.” His mercies are new every day. His grace is sufficient for me. I will overcome this area of weakness in my life, in Jesus name.”  God’s grace is big enough to cover your failures and help you back up!

Don’t let the enemy lie to you and tell you that you cannot tear down his stronghold, or that it must take a long, arduous process to do it. Whether it is dismantled brick by brick or God decides to blow it up all at once, recognize it is yet another one of the enemy’s lies. Respond with, “No, Satan. You are evicted this day! Your stronghold will collapse THIS day, for it is written, ‘Nothing shall be impossible with God.’ (Luke 1:37).”  Remember Jericho! The walls fell down flat in one day! The truth is, when we feel weak, frustrated at our own inability to change or conquer what seemingly has us in bondage, that is the time when God has led you to confront the enemy’s stronghold so that it can be torn down. The truth is, “A wise man scales the city of the mighty and brings down the trusted stronghold.” (Prov. 21:22). Who is trusting in their stronghold? The enemy! The truth is, “Our righteous God overthrows the house of the wicked,” (Prov. 21:22). Through God we shall do valiantly, for it is He that shall tread down our enemies! (Prov. 108:13). Do you know what's going to happen? You are going to say, "I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightening!" Declare today, "He is coming down from his high place where he has exalted himself and gloated." Believe it! The truth is, "If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be pulled up by the roots and cast into the sea,' and it would obey you." (Luke 17:5,6) Friend, do you have faith even as little as a mustard seed? Of course you do, because Jesus planted it there! So you can name the problem you want plucked up and cast into the sea. Sometimes the problem looks like a giant because it just has such a grip on the person doing it. You can even start with commanding that evil desire for whatever it is to be plucked up and thrown into the sea. If it's a desire that you know God did not give you, or that person you're praying for, then yes, it's evil and needs to go. Take alcohol or drugs, for example. God didn't plant that in your generational line; Satan did. Declare the desire for (alcohol, drugs, gossip, lying, etc.), whatever that thing is, command that evil rooted problem to be plucked up and cast out of the person and thrown into the sea - and it must obey you!! Even if it doesn't happen overnight, keep declaring the problem must be plucked up and cast into the sea. You might not see it happen, and you might not even know when it actually occurs, but trust Jesus to be faithful to watch over His word. It will happen! Then also command a good tree or a holy desire to be planted in it's place. When ever you uproot evil, you must also plant something pure and godly in it's place.

Stop feeling helpless. God has given you a transfer of HIS AUTHORITY so that you and others you pray for can live victoriously! Satan is a scoffer and a God-mocker. It is written, “Cast out the scoffer and contention will leave. Strife and reproach will cease,” (Prov. 22:10). Declare today, “Scoffer, be gone in Jesus name!” When the enemy lies and smirks and suggests you are too weak to overcome him, boldly declare, "when I am weak, then Jesus is strong, and greater is He that is within me than he that is in the world!" (1 John 4:4) No enemy, you shall go and go NOW, for it is written, “In my name they shall cast out demons, (Prov. 16:18). Whatever I ask, God will do! (John 14:13). As for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15). God has said that when the enemy comes in like a flood, He will raise a standard against him. (Is. 59:19) The word 'standard' actually means a banner, or a flag. It is a symbol of the army rising up to fight the enemy. My friend, when Jesus raises His standard, all of heaven's resources will come to your aid! It's time to take down the enemy's flag out of his stronghold window and replace it with a banner representing the Lord Jesus Christ. Capture the stronghold and reclaim it! Rename the stronghold to mean a place of victory! Pray: Father God, I renounce all idols and all false masters. I re-commit myself to You this day. Please forgive my sin! “So now, my enemy, you liar, thief and encroacher, I bind all the power of the strongman and your house is pulled down. I reclaim all that God has given to me. Satan, be bound in Jesus name! According to what Jesus has already done to overcome you and strip you of all authority, and in accordance with the dominion and authority that He has transferred to me, His blood bought child: “be rendered powerless, paralyzed, silent and impotent, in Jesus name!” I submit to My God, the Lord Jesus Christ and to the authority of Holy Spirit. I resist you and you must flee, Satan. Take everything you have put on me and go now in Jesus name. I command your stronghold to be dismantled now. I raise the standard of the Lord in every place where Satan was once in control. The banner over me is that of Jehovah Tdiskenu, my righteousness. The banner over me is Jehovah Nissi, my banner of victory and He has gone before me in battle. I win!! The banner over me is Jehovah Ra'ah, the Lord is my shepherd and He leads me in paths of righteousness. The banner over me is Jehovah Elohim, and He is the Lord God. The banner over me is El Elyon, the most high God. Jesus is Lord over my life and you shall not be exalted into a place of rulership. Give up dominion now, in Jesus name! The banner over me is El Olam, the everlasting God that will never leave me or forsake me. The banner over me is Jehovah Rapha, the Lord who heals me, and I declare that by His stripes, I am healed, according to Isaiah 53:5.” 

I declare this stronghold to be renamed ABIDING GRACE, VICTORY and PRAISE.

“Lord Jesus, I ask that the glory of the Lord would be my rear guard and protect my blind spots. Let the rear guard of Your army of heavenly hosts blow up every bridge the enemy tries to come across. Come and fill me once again with the power and presence of Your Holy Spirit in every area where the enemy once had power over me. Forgive me for giving over my dominion and letting Satan control certain areas of my life. Thank you for helping me tear down his stronghold, and every time he tries to re-built it with his lies, help me to recognize the lie right away and take authority over it. Help me to cast down all his vain imaginations and suggestions and put them under Your feet. Renew my mind with pure desires and let the power of God flow unhindered in my life. In Jesus name, amen.”

Friday, November 9, 2012

Power in the Blood of Jesus

We all have many things that trouble us, from concern for health issues, heart and soul issues, relational issues, financial or job issues, and so much more. It can be easy to let our thoughts be taken over by worry, but worry never produces faith. We must turn our thoughts back to faith and regain that anchor in our soul. What anchors your faith? Have you stopped to think about it lately? The BLOOD OF JESUS is our anchor because it represents the fulfillment of every promise that has been made available to us. No matter what our need, the blood of Jesus secured it for us.

Every night for a week or more I have been unable to sleep. I find myself awake and going into the living room to pray. Last night, as I sat down, I began to worship and sing "Oh, the Blood of washes white as snow."  I hadn't thought about that song for a long time, but it led me to research a few things regarding the blood of Jesus. Take a look at all the scriptures concerning the blood of Jesus in your Bible. If we truly understood the POWER that resides in the blood of Christ we wouldn't take it for granted. It is because of Jesus shedding His blood for us that we are accepted in the Beloved, (Eph. 1:6). It is because of His blood that our hope is secure and will not be cut off,.( Prov. 23:18). It is the blood that still speaks on our behalf. God has made a covenant with us that He has not broken. Jesus said in Mark 11:24 that His blood is of the New Covenant, which He shed for many. He reminded us to have communion with Him often and do it in remembrance of the sacrifice He gave on our behalf. He tells us to remember the blood that was shed for us because it has power. In the act of taking communion with the Lord, the two disciples on the road to Emmaus who were so discouraged, broke bread with the Lord and had their eyes opened to the fact that HIS BLOOD CONTAINED RESURRECTION POWER. They didn't serve a dead god! The living God was right in front of them! Do you have confidence in God to uphold His end of the covenant? He is holy and cannot lie!

But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the Blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin. 1 John 1:7

IF we walk in the light - that is, the truth, - not resistant to God's ways. This allows for fellowship and purity to be released in greater measure into our lives. If we choose to hide from the conviction of our sin, we choose compromise and spiritual darkness creates blind spots and deception in our life. We begin to live a lie, denying the very identity we have in Christ. If we listen to Satan then we become subject to his leadership, tyranny and deception until he becomes our master. The reason why so many Christians fail to enter into the fullness of what God has made available for them is simply compromise. The enemy whispers his lies in our ears and we listen to fear rather than faith. We believe the father of lies rather than our heavenly Father who loves us and wants the best for us. And so, when we fail to trust God with our entire heart, surrendering our entire life, we adopt areas of compromise depending on what we believe about Him. And an open door of compromise is all the enemy needs to come in and flood our life with troubles, mischief, unbelief and much more. It is sad that we fail to trust the Lord to know what's best for us. We fail to surrender our hearts and lives to Him. We hold back, and want to retain the ability to make our own choices, rather than choosing to live a life led by the power of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps you say, "But I do pray over matters. I ask for God's guidance." This is good. But what about the matter of your pleasures, your attitudes, your conversations or your heart? Is He Lord and Master over these as well? Or does the lust for certain appetites present a compromise in your life? Does fear cause you to doubt whether God really will have a better plan than what you can figure out on your own? Are the enemy's lies accusing God of being unfair, or that it's ok to justify certain things that you know God would want you to surrender in order to live a more pure life? We all struggle, and we often don't appreciate the conviction when these questions are presented. We resist Him being the Full and Final Authority. Yet these are the areas we must surrender for the power of God to flow unhindered. Let the blood of Jesus come in and cleanse these areas of your life today. Ask the Holy Spirit to let the power of Jesus' blood purify your desires, your motives, your prayers and enable you to surrender every last bit of selfishness. In this we will all do well. Let me assure you, God will move mountains and do incredible things for those that surrender their right to play God of their own life. "For the eyes of the Lord go throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him." 2 Chron. 16:9


Jesus Christ conquered Satan on his own ground, and after Satan had taken his best effort to destroy the Son of God, after Jesus was crucified, He went into Satan's domain to strip him of all authority and power. He took the keys of Death and Hades away from him, forever putting the enemy of our souls to an open shame - in front of all his co-partners in the works of evil and destruction.

  • “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:28)
  • “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” (Ephesians 1:7)
  • “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been made near by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:13)
  • “For the life of the flesh is in the blood … for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.” (Leviticus 17:11) 

  • There is POWER for DELIVERANCE:

    He obtained eternal redemption because of the shed blood, because He offered Himself without spot to God - and is able to cleanse our conscience from dead works. He does this so that we can serve the living God. Jesus Christ is the Mediator of the New Covenant, by which we are saved by His grace and our faith in the Son of God. (read Heb. 9:12-14)

  • … that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Hebrews 2:14)
  • “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13)
  • “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” (Colossians 2:15)
  • “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8)
  • “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” (Revelation 12:11)

  • There is POWER and AUTHORITY:

    • Jesus' blood makes it possible for us to enjoy communion with the Father and bring the needs of others to Him through our prayers and intercession. It gives us the ability to release blessing into the lives of others.

    • “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10:19)

    • “Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” (Luke 9:1)

    There is POWER for PROTECTION. It was the shed blood of Jesus that won the victory on cross and defeated all the power of the enemy. What was true then is still true today. I suggest to you that you pray for the blood of Jesus to cover, guard, protect, save, redeem and restore every aspect of your life, family, home, vehicle, job or business, finances, health, etc. Only God knows what is in the future. Only He can save, deliver and protect you from harm. Cut the enemy's plans off before they can be carried out. Declare the power of Jesus' blood over every aspect of your life and watch it change!

    • Declare the power of Jesus' blood to heal broken relationships, for the ministry of reconciliation is the ministry of Jesus Christ.
    • Declare the power of Jesus' blood over offense, unforgiveness and bitterness of past events.
    • Declare the power of Jesus' blood to cleanse your heart and mind from toxic thoughts and emotions.
    • Declare the power of Jesus' blood over strongholds and areas of unbelief. Declare every stronghold to collapse and surrender to truth.
    • Declare the power of Jesus' blood to remove unclean or impure desires. Ask God to let the power of the blood remove the wrong desires that tempt you (or those you are praying for) into sin.
    • Declare the blood of Jesus cleanses your conscience from dead works and gives you power to live a life that honors God.
    • Declare the blood of Jesus over the lusts of the flesh and the soulish ambitions.
    • Declare the blood of Jesus over pride, rebellion, and resistance to submission to God.
    • Declare the blood of Jesus over areas of struggle, such as unloving spirits, rejection, emotional brokenness or wounding, accusation, judgment or harsh attitudes.
    • Declare the blood of Jesus over wrong covenants to sever; declare the blood of Jesus over godly covenants to guard and protect.
    • Declare the blood of Jesus over your home and family members.
    • Declare the blood of Jesus over your income, job and finances, that the devourer would be rebuked.
    • Declare the blood of Jesus destroys the yoke of oppression, depression, hopelessness and grief.
    • Declare the blood of Jesus heals all your sickness and disease.
    • Declare the blood of Jesus seals shut the doors of your past, for forgiveness of generational sins of parents and grandparents.
    • Declare the blood of Jesus over the doors to your future, guarding and protecting your place of destiny. Declare that nothing will keep you out of them at the appointed time.
    • Declare the blood of Jesus over your body, mind, soul and spirit. Declare it over your loved ones.
    • Declare the blood of Jesus over that property that won't sell or to keep your property from going into foreclosure. Declare poverty to surrender and bow to the power of Jesus' blood over your finances.
    • Declare the blood of Jesus has intervened in your situation and the power of God has brought your victory. Faith pleases God and moves His hand.
     God has made provision for every need you have and I guarantee you there is a specific promise for you in His word. You just need to ask Him what it is and begin to declare the blood of Jesus has made it possible.

    When the enemy tries to flood your life with trouble, there is a promise for you in Isaiah 59:19. The Spirit of the Lord will raise up a standard against him. What is that standard? The power of the blood of Jesus! There is nothing more powerful than what Jesus did by shedding His innocent blood on our behalf. Satan cannot penetrate the blood. Jesus died to redeem us from the power of every curse that we might receive the promise of His Spirit through faith. (Read Gal. 3:13,14) The only thing Satan can do is to lie, deceive and entice us to live in compromise because it provides the open door he needs to gain access to your life. Friends, what is your need? It has already been provided for through the shed power of Jesus' blood. THERE IS POWER IN THE BLOOD! Revelation 12:11 declares our victory lies in the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. The power of Jesus' blood is because He was completely innocent of all sin and wrongdoing. His sacrifice was Holy. It was completely selfless and pure, and because of this, the POWER OF GOD lives on in the fact that Jesus gave His life so that we could enter into His rest and enter into His promises. Everything in the kingdom of God is entered into THROUGH FAITH in what Jesus did for us. It is the same FAITH that BELIEVES there is power in His blood to provide everything we need. We overcome by HIS BLOOD, and by the WORDS which we speak. Declare His promise and you can stand on the fact that the power of Jesus' blood has made this promise real and available to you -TODAY! This is real faith. It is the substance (something you can STAND ON, it bears up under weight) of what really exists in the realm of the unseen. (meditate on Heb. 11:1)

    There is a process to make prayers more effective and powerful. 1) A prayer to commit your life to Jesus as Lord, Master and Savior, asking for forgiveness of sins. 2) Renounce any areas of compromise and resistance to His will, to live in purity and righteousness. Renounce any spirits that may be operating in your life, such as: unforgiveness, jealousy, anger, slander, lust, rebellion, lack of submission, resistance to authority or dishonoring parents or authority figures, fear, lying spirits, etc. For a more comprehensive list, you can go to the articles under the month of March and look up the Breakthrough Prayer to Break Generational Curses. 3) a prayer and declaration covering every aspect of your life under the blood of Jesus, see above suggestions.

    Saturday, November 3, 2012

    Your Hope Will Not Be Cut Off!

    Friend, your hope will not be cut off! This is actually a “part two” to my previous article, “The God of Hope Will Restore You!” I began by introducing a scripture out of Genesis chapter 4. Adam and Eve had suffered the loss of their son, Abel, who was killed out of jealousy by his brother. It was a devastating blow to their family and the future generational line of the coming Messiah. God had to do something to insure their hope would not be cut off! Whenever death, loss and devastation try to claim a person’s hope, God has another plan. Whenever grief and disappointment want to overwhelm a person’s emotions, God has another plan. Whenever jealousy and anger rise up to kill off a person’s hope for the future, we can rest assured that God has another plan. In verse 25, the scripture reads, And Adam knew his wife again and she bore a son and named him Seth, (saying) “For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed.”

    We delved into this subject briefly in the previous article. The subject of this article is more focused on the scandalous side of God, and how He will seemingly break all the rules just to restore a person’s hope and future. He did it in the case of Tamar. She was an unlikely candidate for a breakthrough. What is amazing about this next story is that God was willing to disregard something considered taboo in order to give this tenacious woman hope for her future. The story of Tamar is found in Genesis 38. Something that is taboo is considered absolutely prohibited or forbidden by social or customary beliefs, tradition or law. It is something considered absolutely improper or unacceptable, and breaking a taboo will definitely cause strong personal reactions. This is what Tamar did, and God honored her for it, so let's take a look at why.

    This is an aspect of God’s character people may not stop to think about and many probably don't like. They would say it doesn't fit with their ideal that God has to "play fair." But God's standard of "fair and just" is not based on human standards or opinions. It is based on His ability to see every aspect of the situation, taking everyone's heart, motive and actions into consideration.  He takes into consideration everything the enemy has done. God is not concerned about offending people. Jesus offended people all the time. We all need to be prepared for the chance that God will do something to deliberately offend us at some point in time. As I said, God can be pretty scandalous at times. Why He approves some situations and not others is up to His judgment alone, but He is committed to restoring hope! When offense occurs, a person will probably not be prepared for it, but how you handle any offense is key to your own right standing in your relationship with God and others. Jesus equated slander and evil speaking to a spirit of murder, (Matthew 5:21). This is a spirit of Cain. God is quite aware of those that speak with the purpose to slander someone else's reputation or intentionally try to destroy their hope and future. He knows what motivates people. Murder begins in the heart, and we must each guard our heart and our mouth so that we don't speak the wrong things. Friends, let me tell you something. If you give your heart and mouth over to this sort of behavior you will not come into your promises. You can never expect God to open the door to what He has for you if it comes at the expense of destroying someone else's character. You cannot expect to come into your promise land by the act of violence. (Read Ps. 44:3,4). God brings a person in by His grace and His favor. If a person tries to take it by force, it shall be their undoing. God will take from one person's inheritance and give it to someone else more worthy. He took the talents of one and gave them to someone else that would use them wisely. Esau was another one that despised what he had been given and didn't really want it until he lost it. What did he do then? He went on a rampage trying to hunt down his brother so he could kill him. Esau was offended, but not enough to repent and really mean it. As a result, he lost his inheritance forever and was bitter about it. That bitterness caused him to pursue his brother with a vengeance.  When a person acts in a premeditated way to give themselves over to deliberately conspiring to hurt someone else, they will have to deal with God on that issue. But consider the fact that even though Jacob tried to take Esau's inheritance perhaps in a wrong manner, God allowed it. The Bible says that GOD CHOSE JACOB and hated Esau. The word 'hate' simply means 'not to choose.' Esau didn't choose to value his inheritance, so God gave it to someone that would. Scandalous, huh? :-)

    Offense can cause people to mistakenly ascribe a situation to the working of the enemy, rather than recognizing that God is at work on a different level. Don't get all wrapped up in something because you think what is transpiring can't possibly be God’s plan. God will mess with your theology and value system! You don't always have to agree with God but you do have to keep yourself from touching what He's doing. Often how God works goes against what a person thinks they understand about God or His word.  That is the time when you really need to guard your heart against being offended, because offense will always turn into rebellion if not surrendered to God. Offense is often pride that feels self knows better than God. Jesus challenged not only his disciples way of thinking, but the religious and those with hard, judgmental attitudes as well. They could not understand this God-man that was unsafe, uncontrollable and unpredictable, but it was also the reason why  they missed the time of their visitation! I will say it again, “God will break a taboo in order to personally see to it that the person HE HAS CHOSEN to carry out a particular task is able to fulfill it. He will disregard protocol, opinions and preferences of others so that those HE HAS CHOSEN to bear His name are able to do what they were commissioned to do. God will do just about anything to restore a person’s hope for the future. God will always see to it that a seed of hope is there to carry on the promise.” And when the enemy tries to kill that seed of hope, God can be even more inclined to seemingly break the rules that man thinks God should follow. Expect Him to turn things upside down. Expect Him to work outside of your understanding! He creates situations that will show His glory, both in the vessels He has created for honor, and those He has created for dishonor. His favor will shine on one while another receives His rebuke. It often offends those that don't understand why He is doing things a certain way. He won't fit in the box of anyone's expectations.

    Let us get back to the story of Tamar. Tamar married the son of Judah, whose name was Er. #1 son was wicked and the Bible says God killed him. The custom of the day was that the next son in line would marry the widow of his brother in order to make sure that a genealogical line always had an heir of inheritance. Judah’s second son, Onan, was to fulfill his brother’s duty of marrying Tamar and providing children as the inheritance for his deceased brother. But son #2 was wicked also and refused to honor what was expected of him, so therefore God killed him as well. The third son, Shelah, was much too young to marry but Judah deceptively convinced his daughter-in-law to be patient, and when he got of age, he promised that the youngest son would marry Tamar and give her children for her inheritance. Tamar put all her hope in this promise, yet Judah had no intention of fulfilling his part of the deal. Perhaps he became too afraid of losing another son. Both his previous sons had died, and no doubt he blamed Tamar rather than the wickedness of his own sons. But, eventually, Tamar came to realize the lack of integrity to fulfill the vow and became desperate. By this time, she had grown significantly older and her chances of marrying and having children were slipping by. Tamar was spurred on by the injustice of her situation and decided to do something about it. This where it gets really interesting.

    God is a God of justice, and it was the injustice that was put upon innocent Tamar that caused Him to look on her situation aside from all the legalities of the law. Tamar did the unthinkable: she took off her robes of a grieving widow and posed as a prostitute.  In disguise, she invited her father-in-law, Judah, into bed with her. It was a deliberate act to take what she felt she was entitled to, and she took it from the one person that had stood in her way to block her from receiving her inheritance. Remember, it was not only customary but it was her right to expect the Levirate law to be fulfilled so that the family line would be maintained . Tamar was desperate and was driven by a sense of injustice. Judah had made a promise but was insincere towards fulfilling it.  As a result of her bold act of faith, Tamar conceived  twins. There was no way she was going to be able to hide what she had done. When it was reported to her father-in-law that she was pregnant through an immoral act, Judah commanded that she be brought out to be stoned for her sin. Judah seized the opportunity rid himself of Tamar. Tamar, however, presented the staff and the signet that identified Judah as the father of her unborn children. Judah, when confronted with his sin, was convicted in his heart and declared, “She has been more righteous than I, because I did not give her Shelah my son.” What had been a private injustice was now known publicly. Because God saw it all, He decided to bless her actions that were birthed out of pain and injustice. Never let it be said that God does not see or understand what happens behind closed doors. He knew what Judah had promised, not just once, but twice, and He knew Judah never intended to make good on his promise. God knew the injustice. He understood what motivated both Judah and Tamar. Although it doesn’t sit well with our concept of “righteousness” or even our understanding of God’s word, GOD CHOSE TAMAR and put a blessing on her life. I am sure that if we had lived in her day, many people would say she was not worthy of the blessing she received. Many, including Judah, were probably offended at the thought of Tamar and her actions. She lured her father-in-law into bed under the guise of being a prostitute just to get impregnated. Many might say that she should have received the death sentence for her impropriety and unabashed, shameless way that she conducted herself. It would have been customary to have her stoned. However, this is not what what going through God’s mind or heart as her story was being played out! God always, always looks at the motivation of people's actions. Man may judge by outward appearances but God looks at the heart. He sees what is done in secret and what is conspired in order to deceive. He knows why people do the things they do. God disregarded what was taboo in the minds of others and gave her not just one child, but two: a double portion. Twins were considered a special blessing from the Lord. As she was giving birth, a midwife tied a scarlet thread around the hand of the child that was about to be born first, because his hand had already come out of the birth canal. (Zerah) had the scarlet thread around his hand in order to mark him as the firstborn. Then the unthinkable - and if I might add, what should have been physically impossible - occurred. Take note: Some people are called to displace others in the right of inheritance, but only GOD knows why. It is HIS right to choose. The other twin (Perez) suddenly moved into place, displacing his brother, and was born first. If you know anything about the tight constriction of the birth process and having a child move into the birth canal ready to be born, it would seem as though nothing would move that particular child out of place. Yet, by the appointment of God, and the perfect time and placement of God, this child came forth first and became the one to inherit the promise. He became the child named Perez, or breakthrough.  Tamar was a Canaanite that became a heroine in the Bible and in the lineage of the Messiah, despite where she came from and the nature of her actions. She gave birth to a son named Perez, which means breakthrough, and Perez was in the lineage of David. GOD CHOSE TAMAR AND HE CHOSE PEREZ. What hope it gives to all of us! No matter where you've come from or what you've done, God can put a special blessing on your life, too. Did you know He has also chosen YOU?

    There are other instances of course, in which God intervened in the lives of ordinary people simply to demonstrate who was chosen and who was not. Take King David, for example. David was chosen while Saul was not. There was a grave case for injustice there, too. Saul may have been first to take the kingship, but he used his power and authority unwisely. He used all his influence and all his resources to pursue and attempt to kill a man that was more righteous than himself - all because of jealousy. Let it be said that Saul was willing to sacrifice those on his side for the sake of selfish gain. He cared not for their souls but used them in a personal war of vengeance. Saul was afraid of losing his kingdom and began to act out of fear and offense. Had he truly repented, perhaps his story would have turned out different, but Saul was too proud to repent. He could only pursue the person he saw as a competitor and try to have him killed. (This is the spirit of Cain, rising up again!). Because of the injustice, David prevailed and inherited everything that belonged to Saul. Haman, too, and Esther, prevailed against injustice and destruction aimed at the Jews and inherited the house of their enemy. This is God’s position against treachery and injustice. He moves the mountains of impossibilities to make room for hope to be birthed again. What we recover is always more than is what is lost.

    There are more examples. In the life of an adulterous woman caught in the act and publicly shamed, Jesus became the exonerator and liberator. When all the accusers were demanding justice and wanting this woman stoned for her crimes, Jesus stood as a mediator and as a shield. He saw the injustice and He intervened. Did it come against the norm of the day? Yes. Did Jesus care if He offended people? Not one bit. A person others saw as offensive and expendable received the blessing of protection and forgiveness whether others thought she deserved it or not.

    Perhaps the most memorable of stigmas is the one that God allowed Mary, the mother of Jesus, to carry. Out of the blue, an angel showed up to announce God’s intention and His promise to a quite unsuspecting young woman. May I add that this young woman was innocent of any and all apparent transgression and yet still a virgin. She was considered innocent not only in the eyes of God, but in the public eye as well - but, once favor was bestowed upon her it didn’t seem to count for much in the eyes of the public. Once it was spoken out loud, once the evidence of God’s choosing and favor was upon her, Mary’s life was never the same. She was chosen for a great privilege and had God’s favor, yes, but to the world that was watching her life, all they could do was judge her and find her guilty of immorality. They did not know she had a visitation with an angel or that God had CHOSEN Mary. They wouldn't and couldn't believe it anyway because it was too much for them to wrap their head around. Mary became an outcast, yet she was chosen by God to bear His promise. She, too, was almost stoned for a sin of adultery. Mary was promised to marry a young man named Joseph, but even Joseph was offended enough that he wanted to rid himself of her. He thought she had been unfaithful. He didn't want to bear the shame of identifying with Mary nor the offense he felt towards her. Joseph wanted to divorce her privately until God gave him a dream and reassured him that Mary was in fact innocent of transgression. God had to speak to Joseph to help him understand that everything that was happening was really the plan of God, then Joseph got on board with God's plan. Joseph had been hand picked to protect and preserve not just Mary, but the promised Messiah. What an honor! But it also brought great trouble. God had to resolve Joseph's offense and troubled mind. God didn’t lift the stigma of false judgment and accusation; He simply removed them from public view for a season while the promise came to birth.

    We ask for much, but sometimes I wonder if we truly realize what it will cost. What is the stigma we must bear for God's promise coming to pass in our life? The spirit of Cain and the spirit of death cooperate together to try to kill, steal and destroy our hope for the future. Hell will always be unleashed to destroy the prophetic promise before it can come to birth, but even in those cases we have a hope that will not be cut off. God has a plan to bring it all to completion."For I know the thoughts I think about you," says the Lord, "thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." (Jer. 29:11).

    This is the God we serve; a God that isn’t safe, predictable and not able to be controlled. This is the God that loves us so incomprehensibly and so dearly that He is willing to break what is considered taboo just to bless us and give us hope for our future. He doesn’t care who it offends as long as we continue to have hope, knowing that He will never leave us or forsake us. He sets things right. And when the enemy comes to kill the plan or promise of God, He has a seed waiting that will spring forth and bear fruit to birth HIS promise at the appointed time. It is already appointed and set in place. Dear one, your hope will not be cut off. God sees. He understands, and He has a plan with all of this in mind. This is the God that loves you.

    Monday, October 29, 2012

    The God of All Hope Will Restore You!

    This article is dedicated to everyone that finds God doesn't fit in their box of expectations...for everyone that needs the God of hope to do a new thing for you! Did you know that God loves you so much He doesn't even care who He offends as long as it gives hope to the hopeless and remakes a brand new future for His beloved children?

    There are times when everything goes wrong and the enemy sets a plan in motion to kill off the very thing that has our heart's desire. People are left with nothing but ashes of yesterday's promises. God wants you to know that out of the ashes of loss, and out of the pain of your yesterdays, He has a plan to bring new hope. There are more people than we can count that feel this sort of pain every day. I'd like to draw your attention to one couple in the Bible that knew this heartache, too. Their names were Adam and Eve. They lost one son to death at the hands of his brother, and the one that murdered was cast out of the land as a vagabond with a curse all the rest of his days. It caused tremendous heartache to Adam and Eve. Then, after a time of grieving, a seed of hope was planted for their future.

    Genesis 4:25 “And Adam knew his wife again and she bore him a son and named him Seth, “For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed.” 

    With the death of Adam’s first son, Abel, and the expulsion of Cain  being cast out of the land with a curse (read Gen. 4), Adam and Eve faced a loss of hope for their future. They had no son to carry on their line for the birth of the promise of the Messiah. Although they may not have been aware of the Messiah coming from their lineage, and although it was many, many years in the future, God had to have a plan in place to insure that the promise in HIS heart and of His purpose would eventually come to pass. It wasn’t just their hope that had been cut off, but hope for the future of mankind.

    I want you to know that when the enemy has set in motion a plan to kill off your inheritance, God always has a seed of hope waiting. God was compelled to bring forth a new son - the hope of a new promise. The name Seth is related to a Hebrew verb meaning, “to place” or “to set” for Seth was appointed to take the place of the murdered son. Even when the enemy has done all he can to kill and destroy what you thought contained all the hope for your future, God always has a plan to restore hope!

    Another story worth consideration is found in Joshua 3. It is the story of Rahab the harlot. The Israelite army approached Rahab's city  of Jericho. Can you imagine what it looked like to her, watching the army marching toward the city, knowing full well that the army would bring death and destruction right to her family, friends and neighbors, and into her very home? All of Jericho had heard of the Israelites and the God that fought for them. Now they were on the way to destroy the city and everyone in it. The people's hearts were faint with terror and they had no courage to fight. Even Rahab made the confession that she knew the Lord had given them the land. Her land. Fear had taken over. Have you ever faced a situation where fear and impending doom was stronger that faith? This is what Rahab felt. She knew her hope was about to be cut off, and that of her family as well. Then, to make matters worse, God brought the enemy right to her very doorstep! Two spies came to the house of Rahab because they knew that local news would be readily available in the house of a prostitute. This is where gossip abound and secrets were traded. It was a very strategic move on the part of the spies. When the king heard about their whereabouts, he sent a search party to go find them. But look at how the hand of God worked in this situation: the spies were trapped, and Rahab needed a miracle to save her household. Other people in the city of Jericho may have been calling on the name of their gods, but Rahab knew her only hope was in the God that fought for the Israelites. She had to re-evaluate her loyalties and make an important decision, but it became a life-changing decision. It was the moment of crisis that caused Rahab to reach out to the God of the Israelites and take a step of faith. She offered kindness to the spies, and they in turn offered her the hope of salvation. In that moment of desperation, a miracle was being formed. They came up with a plan. She would hide the spies from the approaching soldiers and helped them escape. They would agree to spare her family from the coming destruction and she was to hang a scarlet cord in her window as a sign of their secret agreement.

    Now, Rahab lied and actually gave up her entire city to the destruction. Many from Jericho, if they had known what she had done, would probably have said she acted dishonorably and her actions where those of a traitor. I'm sure plenty of them would have felt very offended, not having an opportunity to make the same deal as Rahab did with the spies! Yet, God chose to honor her act of faith. She was an unlikely recipient of God’s grace and goodness, but GOD CHOSE her because she had already been chosen to be in the genealogy of the coming Messiah. She didn’t know it, but God had chosen her to be the recipient of an incredible miracle. Her hope was not to be cut off. God intervened just at the right moment to give her hope for the future!

    Dear friend, know that God has a plan to re-write your future any time it's needed. If the script of your life needs an over haul, He is already in the process of writing it. Don't be discouraged no matter how things may look at this present time. God has a seed of hope just waiting for you! The key here is to ask Him to give you understanding so that you know how to pray. If you are persistent, He will lead you into revelation by His Holy Spirit and show you exactly what you need to know. Pray in faith upon what you know He has shown you and it will certainly come to pass. You never have to fear!

    More tomorrow in part two, "Your Hope Will Not Be Cut Off!"

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

    Is God Shaking You?

    There are times when God shows up to give us a revelation of Himself that has so eluded us, it truly takes our breath away. Humbling. It shatters all our misconceptions. It straightens out the crooked places in our thinking and changes our perspective. This is what truth does; it makes us free. The enemy, however, will do everything he can to keep us away from that truth for one reason and one reason only. He never wants our heart to fully belong to Jesus.

    I have always been amazed that my husband and I arrive at an understanding of God from  complete polar opposites. He was raised in a loving home with no preconceived ideas to block his understanding of God as a loving Father. He sees every situation, no matter how difficult or challenging, from the perspective that His Father loves him and only has his best interests at heart. As a matter of fact, my husband has only ever seemed to view life’s experiences through the eyes of someone that considers himself blessed, thankful, and understanding of His position as God’s son; loved and valued in every way.

    It has been the challenge of my heart many times. It has not been so easy for me to share my husband’s viewpoint. I was raised in a home where my natural father was physically there for a season, but for all realistic purposes he was absent and unaccounted for. My father was mentally ill and his instability affected everyone in the home. The whole “father” relationship between God and myself has been a difficult one to cultivate. I understand other aspects of God quite well, such as Savior, Teacher, Deliverer, Warrior, or Redeemer, but the Father/child relationship has been much slower to develop. I remember a time when I hugged the man who later became my husband, and how the love of the Father flowed through him. At that particular time, it wasn’t romantic love or passionate, or even the love of a good friend. God did something in that moment that transcended all of that. For the first time in my life, I felt the pure, protective love of my heavenly Father. It brought tears to my eyes. When a person has only ever had counterfeit forms of love in their life and then has a real encounter with Divine love, they will never want to let it go. This is what the Lord Jesus seeks from us; a life changing encounter that will win the loyalty of our heart.

    I had many years of generational iniquity to overcome from my life. Years and years of inherited iniquitous sin patterns and demonic attachments needed to be broken. Familiar spirits and familial spirits (that passed down from one generation to another)  knew my weaknesses better than I did, and how to suggest lies that sounded so natural to believe that I accepted them as truth. Lies that suggested God couldn’t be fully trusted, or reminders of bitter memories that kept my heart in my own keeping instead of entrusting it fully to Jesus. All these things worked against building a solid foundation of trust between the Lord and I. Bitterness prevented me from receiving the revelation of God’s genuine love and character.  It has taken many years of prayer and God working in and through me. One day God spoke: “The root of bitterness has prevented you from seeing me as I really am.” “You have persecuted me, and believed me to be someone that I am not.”  That revelation floored me. It got my attention, but it also began to set me free from years and years of many lies.

    What about you? What lies has the enemy suggested to you? Remember, he is called the father of lies for a reason. Jesus is Faithful and True. God will never leave you or forsake you, according to Hebrews 13:5. Even if it may feel like it at the moment. You may be going through a dark night of your soul, where nothing makes sense and everything seems to be in darkness. God has sent you on a treasure hunt without you understanding it. He wants you to dig deep to discover truth: truth about yourself and truth about Him. When you discover the truth that has bound your heart, it will set you free and your heart will belong to Jesus in a much deeper way.

    I know that many Christians reading this right now probably consider their hearts loyal to God. Peter thought he was faithful and loyal to Jesus, too, until he was tested. Pride can be a deception of our own heart, because we really never know the depth of loyalty we have until we’re tested in certain areas. We each have things that if they were taken away, or perhaps incited fear of persecution, fear of loss, or if we went through something like Job did, perhaps, that would challenge the loyalty of our heart. We never know exactly what that is unless the Lord allows the enemy to strike us in that place. I hope you never have to experience that kind of pain. But sometimes we do. At other times, the enemy has had so many years of whispering his lies in our ears that it might not be as difficult as one would think, to unsettle the heart and divide a person’s loyalties. All he has to do is find the right lie that begins to shake the foundation of where a person has placed their trust.

    “The Lord is exalted, for He dwells on high; He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness. Wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of your times and the strength of salvation. The fear of the Lord is His treasure.” - Is. 33:5,6

    If a person has put their faith in being accepted or approved of others, it will be shaken. If a person puts their faith in their employer or their finances, eventually it will be shaken. If a person’ faith is in their own abilities, God will weaken them. If a person’s faith is in certain things that have become idols, God will allow them to fail. If a person’s faith is in government, God will shake it. If a person’s faith is in their good works, or in their own name, God will shake it. If a person’s faith is in their church, or faith has been misplaced in their leaders, God will shake it. If a person puts their faith in some aspect of God that they have misunderstood, He will shake it. He takes people through experiences to teach them truth. How often people think they can avoid the truth, but God will take them on the journey whether or not they want to go!  If a person’s faith is in anything except Jesus Christ, then what has been built upon is a foundation of sand that can be washed away in the next big storm. He will burn up everything that reeks of pride. He will tear apart anything that is built upon the wrong foundation, for a weak foundation will always be subject to instability and failure. Never think that just because something has been built a certain way, that it cannot be torn down. God is always in the construction and renovation process! Part of building is tearing down, clearing away the debris and then laying a new foundation. When the foundation is flawed, there can be no other course of action. Things can and do change, and we must learn to accept - not fight - the Lord's plan.

    Let me give you a simple illustration. We all know what concrete is. It’s used to lay a foundation, for one thing. When mixed properly and with the right minerals and hardening elements, concrete sets up quickly and easily. But, did you know that adding a little bit too much water, for example, or even a simple thing such as sugar, can alter the concrete mixture so that it doesn’t set properly? In a similar manner, this is the way truth and error can never provide stability or cohesiveness. Faith and doubt are polar opposites from one another. They only ever produce double-mindedness. Anything that produces fear, suspicion, anger or faulty judgment can never  produce a stable foundation. And so, there often comes a time when God will let it all get torn up one side and down the other. He will take a jack-hammer to tear up every last bit of faulty foundation. Remember friends, a mess often precedes a miracle! A wise Master Builder will never build with faulty bricks, and He won’t lay a foundation on anything except the true revelation of Jesus Christ.

    Are you currently experiencing something that is being torn up in your life? A job? Marriage? Reputation, or something else? The devil may have his hands in the mess in your life to tear things up, but God uses him only as long as he’s needed.

    Without a solid foundation of trust, there can be no true covenant between any two people. The strength of any relationship is dependent upon the weakest place where the two are joined together. If trust isn’t solid and strong, that relationship lacks strength. It’s like a table with a shaky leg. It will never be able to endure much stress or weight before it gives out. This is why the enemy works so hard to undermine the integrity of relationships. This applies whether it is between us and others, or between us and God.   Real trust can only be developed where it is built upon truth. Real trust is built upon grace, forgiveness, love, acceptance and humility. Real trust is built when people can own their own mistakes and acknowledge their own weaknesses. Sometimes we need the scales removed from our own eyes, like Saul did. His pride got in his way and blinded him to who Jesus really is, and it was that pride that made him persecute not just the Lord he professed to serve, but other Christians as well. He knew the law but didn’t know the Lord. Friends, if we don’t truly know the kindness and graciousness of God’s heart, we will miss the truth every time.

    It is so important to recognize when Satan has secretly introduced lies that undermine a person’s ability to put their entire trust in the Lord. You may not like something you’re going through right now, but trust that the Lord is digging up the things that prevent Him from building something of eternal value in your life. If you have a hard heart, He may have to take a sledge hammer to some things in your life just to knock a few walls down. Ultimately, the thing He is after is your heart. He doesn’t want your finances, your health, or your home. He doesn’t want your retirement, your job or many of the other things you might fear -  but, He will ask you to surrender them if they stand as a barrier between you really understanding His heart and His ways. The Lord is after your heart. He is looking for loyalty above all else, for a loyal heart has earned God’s trust. Jesus has already proven He can be trusted when He laid down His life for us; we, however, must earn the Lord’s trust. Job professed early on in his trials, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” Yet after a period of prolonged trials and unjust criticism from trusted friends, Job began to accuse God of being unfair. His heart was being tested in the fires of adversity. When things were going well for Job, he didn't know what resided in the depths of his heart. God knew Job was a friend and a faithful servant, and because He knew Job's heart, God allowed him to be tested severely. He knew Job would come out of the trials as pure gold. He had a plan for Job's restoration, but at the time, Job was in so much pain he couldn't see it. Friends, never lose sight of WHY God does the things He does. He wants us to sell all our old junk to gain the treasure of His Kingdom. He wants us to surrender our fears and insecurities in order to gain stability and trust in our King. He wants us to relinquish the faith we have built up in our own good works, approval from others or power or position. The people that love you one day may just as easily hate you and be willing to curse you the next. You can't put your faith in that. The pressures of life and the trials of adversity are there to bring the lies we believe up to the surface so that they can be removed. That’s all. When the lies are removed, the vessel becomes more pure. When the vessel is pure, it is a stronger container for God's glory. If He poured in His glory into a weak and unstable vessel, it would break apart at the pressure of being filled. In order to hold the weight of God's glory, He tears us down, He weakens us, He pulls things up, He puts us in the fire, and He molds and shapes us to His liking. THEN, when we are ready, when we can stand to be filled, HE POURS IN THE GLORY. He pours in a freshness and a new anointing. He pours in joy and new wine of His Spirit. He pours in Divine Love. He pours in Grace. He pours in Mercy. He pours in, over and over until all the emptiness and dryness has been filled. We are often like those dry, empty jars just waiting to be filled. When does the water turn to wine? When we decide to trust Him. It's when we surrender all and put ourselves in the Master's hand.