“Moreover, ( let us be full of joy now ) let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.
And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character produces salvation. ” Romans 5:3-4 AMP
An invisible speck has created a global hysteria that has impacted every breathing thing, bringing misery, destruction even death to many. The fallout has sown division between friends, families, governments, economy’s, universities; in fact every system of societal culture as defined by the seven mountains of influence: Religion, Family, Media, Arts and Entertainment, Business, Government, Education, have all been impacted. This “re-set” is rewiring many organizations, businesses, families, people and relationships while testing capacity.
Capacity defined is the maximum amount that something can contain. Consider a glass of water that is filled to capacity; straining against the top lip of the glass while appearing to overflow yet doesn’t. A high-capacity person confidently and successfully manages the tension between competing priorities, juggling a high number of urgent situations through an ability to expand and perform under extreme pressure. This person uses laser discernment coupled with innate wisdom to prioritize then execute solutions. I believe that God is developing the highest capacity in His remnant to illuminate the way to success for His people and His Kingdom. This swatch of Christ following set-aparts are trained to navigate rapids with no raft, compelled to identify then move securely onto the “big rocks” as these rocks arise in the river to provide safety. Prophetic Priest and King cartographers will be necessary to map the way through the deep caverns of the reset whose issues will be no match for metes and bounds focused in faith on Jesus, the knowledge of the love of God and prayer.
“And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character. And character produces salvation.” This section of Romans 5 could be interpreted to be eternal salvation, living with Christ in heavenly places for all eternity although one cannot earn their way to eternal salvation. Do Good – Get Good is not a formula for salvation. If we could be good enough, we would not need a Savior in the first place. When one authentically accepts that Jesus is the Son of God and paid a debt of sin that no one could pay they are rewarded with a grace gift from God called eternal salvation.
Salvation in the Greek holds a treasury of meanings. Biblical salvation is defined as material and temporal deliverance from danger and apprehension; preservation, pardon, restoration, healing, wholeness and soundness. Personally, I love this definition of salvation. Apprehension (or dread) is a subset of fear and involves the mind. Healing and soundness also relate to the health of the mind (the soul) and the physical body. Restoration could be physical, mental or even financial. Endurance, fortitude and grit works out the dross in overheated silver, allowing it to rise to the top and be seen for what dross is; impurities. Fear, anger, temptation to quit, debt accumulation, rage, resentment, jealousy, covetousness, are a good working list. As the building out of character purifies the soul when developing capacity, it allows negative emotions to burn off in an upper atmosphere that no longer has time or desire for nurturing negativity. When God is developing capacity, He is also building out the soul (mind / will / emotions).
Successful high-capacity living demands a whole and healed soul.
” Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [ that your body] may keep well, even as [ I know] your soul keeps well and prospers.” 3 John 1:2 AMP
The condition of the mind / will/ emotions has undeniable impact on the health of the physical body. The two are inextricably connected and this is scientifically proven. One cannot move at a pace required for a high-capacity lifestyle without a healthy body. Once character is firmly established, this provides for a quieted soul, which aids or even insures sound physical health and well-being.
The process of moving through a stretching that allows for ‘the greater’ requires super gluing your soul to faith. At its very core – this is the purpose for the capacity bootcamp. Being successful at Special Forces missions requires unwavering, steadfast levels of sustained faith. Not just flashes of hope; confident expectations of good, but a true leaning of one’s entire personality on God in all situations. This is faith.
By way of personal illustration, I have worked on a multi million dollar commercial transaction since 2018. Due to Covid, the entire deal went offline for all of 2020, then in early 2021 made a miraculous return to the stage, front and center. After a grueling 7 months of city meetings, planning, back and forth – the deal collapsed in mid November and with it my well-earned six figure commission. Three years of work, down the drain and financial devastation all around. After a few weeks of turmoil and despair, during my morning quiet time I had a “Come to Jesus” with God over this transaction that had failed by no fault of my own. This was a calamity by any measure financially and professionally.
Every morning I pray Psalm 91 (https://sacredramblings.com/2017/05/29/psalm-91-amp) in its entirety aloud. The Psalm clearly states that “because you have made the Lord your refuge, and the Most High your dwelling place, There shall NO evil befall you, nor any plague or calamity come near your tent” AND “Because he has set his love upon ME, therefore I will deliver him, I will set him on high, because he knows and understands my Name” AND lastly, “He shall call upon Me and I will answer him, I will be with him in times of trouble, I will deliver him and honor him, with long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.” I reminded the Father of all of these things then stated that I was not going to accept calamity – that His Word stated that I would not have calamity come near me and that His Word could not return void. I said much more but you get the picture. Respectful but authentic, frustrated, desperate.
Within one hour, my phone rang with a broker resurrecting a high dollar transaction that I had considered long gone – good money and enough to throw out a significant lifeline. I smiled and hung up the phone, thanking God for His goodness, mercy and dedication to fulfilling His Word. Although there is much work ahead, the call stirred my faith and showed me once again that God hears every word. “My God will supply ALL of my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus“. Philipians 4:19 This is my sure confession.
“For I am the Lord, I do not change; that is why you, O sons of Jacob are not consumed” Malachi 3:6
The Remnant and The Reset
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Hear a reading: https://anchor.fm/sacred-ramblings/episodes/The-Remnant-and-The-Reset-e1c68ko
“The King said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, are you able to make known to me the dreams which I have seen and the interpretation of it? Daniel answered the King, The [ mysterious] secret which the King has demanded neither the wise men, enchanters, magicians nor astrologers can show the king;
But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what it is that shall be in the latter days (at the end of days). The dream and the visions in your head upon your are bed are these: ……. ”
Daniel 2:27 – 28 AMP
In the 6th Century BC during the Babylonian reign of King Nebuchadnezzar, lived a youth born into Jewish nobility whose name was Daniel. The King had asked the head eunuch to bring to his court youths from Israel that were “without blemish, well-favored in appearance, and skillful in wisdom, discernment and understanding, apt in learning, knowledge, competent to stand and serve in the king’s palace – and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans” Daniel 1:3-4 It was the King’s intention to train these children up in the way of his own culture and for them to serve in his kingdom court. Daniel was in this group of Jewish youths that had been taken from all that they knew – loved ones, temple, rabbis, friends – and brought to a nation with a completely different set of rules, laws, gods and cultural way of life. It is in this context that we must study just how remarkable Daniel truly was-
Upon their arrival, the king set out out to change the palates of the young Jewish boys by serving them his “dainties” or rich foods and wine. Daniel wisely requested of the king’s eunuchs that he and his friends might not defile themselves (Dan. 1:8), but that instead might be allowed to consume a diet of vegetables and water. The eunuch consented but placed a restriction of 10 days on the request. After the 10 days, the young men were noticeably looking better and “had taken on more flesh” ( had gained weight). God rewarded their obedience to his laws by “giving them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all kinds of visions and dreams.”
“And in all matters of wisdom and understanding concerning which the king asked them, he found them ten times better than all the learned magicians and enchanters who were in his whole realm.” Daniel 1:20 AMP
One night King Neb (who was given to violent rants and raging ) had an unsettling dream. He called in all of his wise men; the enchanters, sorcerers, diviners to come to the palace to interpret his dream. If they were unsuccessful in the interpretation – then all of them would be killed and their homes would be covered in camel-poo; a “dunghill”.
Daniel, after speaking to the king’s guard to gain understanding, then went to the king to ask to be allowed to be given more time to hear from God. “Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night, and Daniel blessed the God of Heaven“. Daniel 2:19 Daniel then gave God all praise and worshipped Him for answering the request of the king in the interpretation of his dream. He gave an accurate interpretation to the king, thus saving his friends and the wise men from certain destruction. The dream occurred in the 2nd year of King Nebuchadnezzar’s reign when Daniel would still be considered a youth having only been in Babylon one full year.
Throughout the life of Daniel, there were a number of well known biblical accounts of hardship, persecution, and near-death experiences. God would continuously move to save Daniel, his friends; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and at least in the beginning, other wise men in the inner court of the king. Well into his 80’s, Daniel remained true and his convictions steadfast to his God. There probably was not a Jewish temple in Babylon. Daniel & Friends worshipped God and not the idols of that day. How did Daniel maintain this spirit of excellence in the matters of the spiritual without consistent formalized training and the support of teachers and rabbi’s in his surroundings ? The only answers that I can derive from reading the book of Daniel is his strong, intimate relationship with God through a discipline of prayer and remaining in close fellowship with friends and fellow Jewish believers.
From quite an early young age, Daniel must have been introduced to the stories of his forefathers; Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and the great history of the people of Israel. Even as a youth, Daniel’s knowledge of God’s laws and commands were on display as he was decisive in matters of diet, maintaining a consistent discipline of daily prayer, honoring those in authority and possessing overall a spirit of wisdom and discernment in many matters. His childhood exposure to prayer would unveil living proof that the Great God of Israel would hear and respond if he released his needs and desires to heaven. Although the scriptures chose not to pull back the curtain on Daniel’s earliest upbringing, we can be confident that he was brought up in a culture that deeply esteemed and revered the One True God of Israel.
It is important to note that the Holy Spirit did not dwell within Daniel. He (Holy Spirit) was not released until after the resurrection of Jesus, hundreds of years later. (see Acts 2:1) In fact, Holy Spirit did not dwell within Abraham, Sarah, Esther, Ruth, King David, Joseph, Isaiah nor any other Jewish Old Testament Hero. The scriptures state that God was with Abraham, David, and Joseph but His Spirit did not reside within them. Old Testament heroes did not have the advantage of the Spirit’s power and might to help them accomplish the will of God as the redeemed do today.
Hundreds of years later, the beloved Spirit’s power flowed effortlessly through Jesus and his disciples in frequent displays of healing that were demonstrated across entire regions, displaying God’s heart and the depth of His concern for the oppressed. This is the same Spirit-power that raised Jesus from the dead, Who would heal the sick and the infirmed, and deliver the mentally ill and the addicted. Healing, which is typically associated with Jesus, is documented in the Old Testament, occurring in specific, infrequent circumstances and by God’s direction. The first mention of prayer occurred when Abraham was directed to pray for Abimelech and the wombs of the women in his household were healed. Genesis 20:17 ( https://sacredramblings.com/2015/12/05/prayer-and-the-law-of-first-mention ) It is interesting that God never directed Daniel to pray to heal Nebuchadnezzar in the 7 years he turned the king into a yard animal. Daniel 4:25-25
Now more than perhaps ever, it is the disciplined, excellent spirit displayed by Daniel that is required to impact our broken and failing world. It is time to stand and to wisely lead in our marketplace, in our families, and in our communities and our governments as servants of hope and agents of God. We must not only be know-ers of His word but unconfused, confident doers. Daniel was uniquely gifted by God to be His prophet for that season. It is doubtful that Daniel asked God for foretelling of futures or the ability to interpret dreams – that is why it was a gift – but it was the obedient, strategic utilization of these gifts that carried Daniel to greatness. It is the knowledge and use of your own gifts that will carry you to yours.
Recently, I heard a pastor’s excellent teaching on angels. Most, if not all, of this information I had never heard previously. On my long drive home, there was ample time to ponder all aspects of life. My mind turned to the sermon and then the Lord brought this thought: If Lucifer, an Archangel, could convince one third of all the HOLY angels to follow his direction, how much easier could we mere mortals be convinced to veer off road and into this same predicament?
We know angels are beings created by God. They were ALL with Him in heavenly realms. God created all the angels even before the world was formed – there is no record of them being created in Genesis during the 6 days of creation. If they had been created in those 6 days, they would be under the authority of Adam and man but God created the angels to serve Him and to bring His purposes and desires to pass.
Hebrews1:14 – “Are not the angels all (ministering) spirits, sent out in the service of God for those in the assistance of those who were to inherit salvation?”
God does not need angels any more than He needs us but we were created for relationship and purpose for Him and by Him.
What could have made them find Lucifer so appealing that they allowed themselves to be recruited into assignments that were not of their Creator? Perhaps they even communed with God daily but clearly there were questions about His authority or some level of discontent or uncertainty. Why else would they have left in the first place? The angels fell with Lucifer (now satan) before the beginning of humanity- Jesus stated that He saw satan fall like lightning (Luke 10:18). This was before He returned to earth as a Man. https://www.gotquestions.org/Satan-fall.html See also: Ezekiel 28:13-19
Angels are spirit beings. Although others may disagree, I would assert that they must also have a soul because they have a will and mind or could not have made the decision to align with Lucifer. I do not purport to possess an all encompassing knowledge of angels, but I am exploring them to gain a deeper understanding of how they think (or if they think at all or only obey and respond to God’s commands.). We will be needing them in much greater measure in the coming days and I don’t know about you but I could use a few.
But again….why would they go with Lucifer in the first place? Was there a power that blinded them? Were there promises made if they left ? Did he cut a deal? “Ha- ha come with me and we will be the great disruptors on the earth, torment the children of God and derail the plan of the Creator of the Universe! He really isnt the Almighty, He really is not the All Sufficient One. We will run the world! ” Hmmm – I do not associate angels with poor judgement but this well….. judge for yourself. What could have been their motivation to leave, of all places……. HEAVEN? Streets of Gold, Pearlie Gates, no lack, constant sunlight and Heaven lit by Jesus Himself, happiness, total health -(I guess they were never sick) joy, dancing, God’s economy where everything is FREE, every day living among all the amazing people mentioned in the bible 24/7 and no worries. SO WHY I ASK – would they make an intentional decision to derail their God given assignment ? To be eternal holy servants of God……… was this really such a bad life ?
Interestingly, so are we made by God, the Almighty, Creator of the Universe. Although we do not see God, we can. If we believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He paid a sin debt for which we could never pay – the Spirit of God will live within and inhabit us. Eternal life in Heaven will not be ours until we pass from this earth but we can experience eternal living right now because we have the power of God living inside of us. Angels do not have the Holy Spirit living inside of them. They depend on us to learn about God and to see more of God. They listen to us as we pray and respond to our prayers because they are responding to the Word of God
I believe (and this is just musing ….. ) that angels may need us just as much as we need them. They need us to pray the Word of God and move out in the faith of God doing His will for His glory and the building up of His Kingdom on the earth. We need them to make a way in the wilderness, to part those Red Seas – to bring people into our paths that help us get to where we need to be so that we can do what we need to do! How tragic to have angels ‘on ready’ yet on the unemployment rolls waiting for an instruction to assist and then never receive.
If angels can get off track, then certainly so can we. How do we remain focused and on track and out of confusion, hopelessness, fear and despondent thinking ? Enacting the following will make you #stableandfixed in the upcoming days:
1) Read the bible daily and invest in at least one devotional. Have a consecrated, set apart time each day to renew your mind.
2) Make daily declarations and speak them aloud [I am always the head, and never the tail, I am always above and I am never beneath!)
3) Pray, pray and pray some more. And then pray again.
4) Pray aloud God’s word (The Lord is my Shepherd (to feed, guide and shield me), I shall not lack! )
5) Don’t be a lone ranger, be in community with like minded believers thru a small group bible study (cell or community group)
6) Commit to a church where the Pastor preaches in an expository style – verse by verse of the bible – preferably with minimal behavior modification teaching. The Spirit of Jesus will transform your behavior from the inside out when you remain focused on Him.
7) Commit to a church where the Pastor concludes the message with an invitation to receive Christ and frequently teaches Jesus.
8) Steer clear of fear. Whatever you have to do to keep your mind stabilized (no nightly news, not talking to certain friends) then do it
9) Understand that you are righteous (in right standing ) in the sight of God, not because of anything that you have done or can do – but purely because of what He has done for you. Because of this you owe your life to Jesus – find purposeful ways to serve Him.
10) Gain deeper understanding of what His sacrifice means to and for you.
Angels are God’s watchers and helpers, sent to us to serve His purposes. Attract them through speaking His word and only speaking positive confessions about your circumstances – what His Word says about you not about what you might be seeing in the natural. We are all, in our own unique way, in the same company of angels – on assignment, to fulfill God’s will and purposes on the earth.
The Company of Angels
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Article: The Company of Angels
Sharing Link: https://sacredramblings.com/2021/10/25/the-company-of-angels/
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Psalm 91 #stableandfixed https://sacredramblings.com/2017/05/29/psalm-91-amp/
” So faith comes by hearing (what is told) and what is heard comes by the preaching (of the message that came from the lips) of Christ the Messiah Himself.” Romans 10:17 AMP
“But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?”. Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” Romans 10:17 NKJV
Recently (like very ……… this morning in fact) I heard a respected evangelist state that the ONLY way someone can have faith is through hearing the Word of God. This means that a person cannot have faith for anything unless they can attach a person (Jesus), or a scripture verse to their circumstance. I found this comment to be very interesting.
Faith is a very powerful force for without it, we cannot please God, in fact it is impossible. (Hebrews 11:6 ) Because we are living in such challenging, even urgent times, most all of us need to have an All Access Pass to Faith.
Well what is faith ? I use this definition from the Amplified: The leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, Wisdom and goodness. The assurance, confirmation and title deed that are possessed when we trust Him.
So what do the unchurched have in their emotional arsenal since they cannot possess true faith ? They have HOPE. Hope is a confident expectation of good in every situation. Hope is a great thing to possess. Actually I believe that Hope is probably second only to faith however hope is based in emotion which is tied to the Soul. (Mind, Will, and the Emotions) Although very useful, being hopeful can still be like being ‘positive’ . No One paid a price for your Hope but a BIG price was paid for your Faith. Faith is tied to the Spirit. Hope Helps but Faith Wins.
Faith is actually anchored into someone real – JESUS. One can actually bolt themselves onto the knowledge that they are God’s Beloved and He is working behind the scenes to bring all circumstances to good for those that love Him and that are called according to His purposes. (Romans 8:28 ) (News Flash: We are all called according to His purposes if we have accepted His Son as Savior).
The understanding that the only way to obtain true faith is through hearing the Word of God should expose renewed urgency to the cause of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As if it were not already urgent enough, for people to actually mentally survive natural disasters, losing homes, deaths of loved ones to Covid or other maladies, and economic misfortunes – the only way to survive these extreme challenges is to rest in an unwavering faith, secured by the most powerful substance available and that is the Blood of Jesus.
To gain understanding of the payment made with the Blood of Jesus is to realize the level of sacrifice directed by God the Father to the only One that could make the exchange for our sin to save me and you. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary, a virgin. (Luke 1:26-38) This allowed for a bypass of the blood line of Adam, which was a bloodline of sin. Jesus’ bloodline was required for Him to be without any sin – He had to be perfect. This was the only way that He could qualify to be the once and forever sacrifice to God on behalf of you and for me.
Jesus accepted this assignment while in Heaven from the beginning of time. He was not murdered, He laid down His life. He was/ is omniscient (all knowing) and knew exactly what would happen to Him. This is just one of the many, many reasons that we worship and exalt the name of Jesus. He is Lord and Savior of all and He earned the office of Christ – the Anointed One. This is why He was called Christ Jesus after the Resurrection, when He officially ascended into the office.
1 In many separate revelations [[a]each of which set forth a portion of the Truth] and in different ways God spoke of old to [our] forefathers in and by the prophets,
2 [But] in [b]the last of these days He has spoken to us in [the person of a] Son, Whom He appointed Heir and lawful Owner of all things, also by and through Whom He created the worlds and the reaches of space and the ages of time [He made, produced, built, operated, and arranged them in order].
3 He is the sole expression of the glory of God [the Light-being, the [c]out-raying or radiance of the divine], and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God’s] nature, upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power. When He had by offering Himself accomplished our cleansing of sins and riddance of guilt, He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high,
4 [Taking a place and rank by which] He Himself became as much superior to angels as the glorious Name (title) which He has inherited is different from and more excellent than theirs.” Hebrews 1:1-4
Faith is a gift reserved for those in relationship with the Almighty. Let us remain acutely aware that the sharing of our faith in Jesus is the only conduit by which the people that do not know Him, may access the sustained promises of the Divine.
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Sharing Link: The Urgency of Faith – https://wp.me/p1zoxs-2Vy
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Facebook: Tracy Gatewood Sacred Ramblings
Author: Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and Meeting Jesus
” And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, approached Him and said to Him, Teacher, we desire You to do for us whatever we ask of You. And He replied to them, What do you desire Me to do for you? And they said to Him, Grant that we may sit , one on Your right hand, and one on Your left hand, in Your glory, (Majesty and Splendor). But Jesus said to them, You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism (of affliction) with which I am baptized? And they replied to Him, We are able. And Jesus told them, The cup that I drink you will drink, and you will be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized. But to sit at My right hand or at my My left hand is not Mine to give, but (it will be given to those) for whom it is ordained and prepared.” Mark 10:35-40 AMP
In the Greek there are two primary meanings of the word compete, or competition. One means strive or to out-do, the other relates to taking part (as an individual or team) in a competition. The first has a total focus on self – the other implies a desire for excellence to be the best, a leader, in a particular category. The latter could be a team with a business or athletic team, unified with a specific purpose. No stand-outs or rockstars, but a crew of souls rowing in the same direction to a rhythm that only they can hear.
In the above passage, the two disciples, James and John attempted to get the inside track on acquiring the most important real estate anywhere – the seats to the left and to the right of Christ Jesus. After all, isnt it always about location, location, location? What better location of power and authority could there be other than being seated in Heaven right next to Jesus Himself. Jesus informed James and John that these location decisions were not His to make but those of the Father. The Father is always the One that decides then orchestrates promotion, both then and now.
At times, I feel like I live in what must be the most competitive place on the earth. Where ‘for-no-reason’ competition abounds, including on the low end of the scale stomping the gas peddle when the light turns green to be first or racing below the yellow turning to red street light to be the last car through an intersection. These actions are irritating but the competition that I see among people is far more unsettling and a life disrupter of the highest order. A zero sum game with a goal that goes nowhere is to desire to be someone other than yourself. This seems to occur mostly in people (hate to say it but mostly women) that believe they have fallen short of a desired outcome for their life, or people going through a season of failure. There are a number of reasons why no one should succumb to the spirit of competition (envy).
It is the Holy Spirit that fashions and then enables specific gifts, skills and talents bestowed on each individual –
” All these (gifts, achievements, abilities) are inspired and brought to pass by one and the same (Holy) Spirit, Who apportions to each person individually (exactly) as He chooses. ” 1 Corinthians 12:11
Notice that the gifts, achievements and skills that one possesses are …. as He chooses. The Spirit of God Himself has designed each person with precision and in a way that He has desired them to be equipped and outfitted for life.
“And there are distinctive varieties of service and ministration, but it is the same Lord [ Who is served]. And there are distinctive varieties of operation (of working to accomplish things), but it is the same God Who inspires and energizes them all in all. But to each one is given the manifestation of the [ Holy] Spirit the (evidence, the spiritual illumination of the Spirit) for good and profit. ” 1 Corinthians 12:6-7
If the Spirit of God, the exact source and force of power that hovered over the earth to form it ‘In the Beginning, has fashioned each person with very specific skills and gifts that are placed there to benefit them for both good and profit, why would people not focus on perfecting their own gifts ?
For it is the Holy Spirit Who knows the specifics of God’s plan and purposes (Romans 8:27-28). He also is the One that determines your assignment (Acts 13:2-4). Spending times of intimacy in prayer, reading God’s Word and listening are the best ways to get to know His plans and what He wants for your life, through what He has given you. What is magnificent, is that the God that created the Universe even has a specific plan and purpose for each life. Remarkable!
Yet there is one more crucial element to understand about your plan, purposes and giftings. It is Jesus.
Because of the completed work based on Jesus’ sacrifice, every person that embraces Him as their Savior can look “unto Him” with expectation of finishing well and being a success in the eyes of God. Your victories are based on the knowledge of what Jesus did for you, over and above your own natural abilities and certainly over the natural abilities of others. The natural is important – these are how God has equipped you – however they are less than the supernatural transformation and breakthrough that will come when focused on Jesus.
God can and will place you into position to utilize your greatest gifts, skills and talents and can suddenly, even supernaturally open doors on your behalf.
These open doors are ‘doorways of grace‘ that cannot be forced but swing from their hinge in the perfect time and pre-ordained season to utilize your gifts for higher purposes. (At times ,this means in other geographic areas for the purposes of “special forces”.) Your personal experiences are also very beneficial in the decisions of plans and life purposes. Many people have lived through serious difficulties and the successful navigation of these unique experiences can be used to minister to many that are currently walking that road.
There is danger in the distraction of remaining mentally focused on a perceived competitor – always looking to the left and the right, overly concerned about the abilities of another. Striving to always be in competition is very counter productive and is guaranteed to steer a person off course – away from God’s desired direction. This will sound too simplistic but focus on Jesus and let everything in the periphery fade to black. Keep Jesus in the forefront and concentrate on what He has given you to do – this is the way to win your race. When people feel that they are not where they should be or experience failure, the spirit of competition can creep in and steal or derail God’s best, veering the unsuspecting off course. Envy, listed as one of the 7 deadly sins, is the root cause of the spirit of unhealthy competition. It is critical to remain vigilant against this spirit.
There is no reason to envy the abilities of others when the Father has something just as wonderful for you. The purpose of these skills, gifts and abilities that are knitted into the fabric of each person by the Holy Spirit is for the use for service of others. If you are properly engaged in serving others, there simply is not enough time to look at anything else. Serve well friends, serve well.
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The Distraction that Destroys A Destiny
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Author: Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and Meeting Jesus
Available on Amazon and through Parson’s Porch
Related Article: The Assignment
John 14:17 AMP
“ The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to its heart), because it does not see Him or know and recognize Him. But you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you constantly and will be in you.”
In the Church today, there seems to be some confusion surrounding the role of the third person of the Trinity. Holy Spirit is not the Holy Beater, nor is He the Holy Chastiser – He is the Spirit of Jesus, Who raised Christ Jesus from the dead and Whom was released at Pentecost 50 days following the resurrection. In Acts, The Apostle Peter explains the how behind The Who:
Acts 2:38 – 39 AMP
“And Peter answered them, Repent (change your views and purpose to accept the will of God in your inner selves instead of rejecting it) and be baptized, every one of you, in the Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of and release from your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise (of the Holy Spirit) is to and for you and your children, and to and for all that are far away, (even) to and for as many as the Lord our God invites and bids to come to Himself.”
The word ‘repent’ in Greek is described as Metanoia: to change course or direction. It does not suggest condemnation nor guilt which many modern churches teach. Jesus paid for guilt on the cross – Isaiah 53:5 ” ….. for He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities”. The Spirit of Jesus is a GIFT that is freely imparted through the acceptance of Christ. The Holy Spirit points us to answers held within Jesus. Jesus did not come to earth to condemn or judge, but only to save the lost. The reason people go to hell is not because of personal sin – Jesus has forgiven each of us. (1 John 2:1-2) People are condemned to hell because they do not accept Jesus as their payment for a sin debt they can never pay nor do they accept Him as their Lord and Savior.
John 15:26 AMP
“But when the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) comes, Whom I send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth Who comes (proceeds) from the Father, He (Himself) will testify regarding Me.”
There is a True North, or a “true Truth” that has been established on the earth by God the Father. This “True North” is available to all that hear the voice of the Shepherd and that will read God’s Word. The absolute truth of God’s laws and principles slice through clutter and confusion, clarifying difficult topics with application to all things past, present and future. God, in His mercy, also dispatches The Gift of His Spirit with periodic customized messages direct to our own spirit that bring clarity and truth to challenging circumstances, shining a light on the way forward. There is a reason that Jesus said that we should be glad that He was going away because something better was coming. The Cavalry has now truly come but you must get to know Him, spend time with Him and cultivate His presence.
So what is Truth ? Recently I had a discussion with someone that presented a narrative on circumstances of which I had observed at close range. What was true in his mind was 180 degrees from how I viewed the exact set of circumstances. He had crafted his own truth-narrative to cover for failures that he would not own. (We are all capable of espousing creative narratives to protect our egos and reputations.) To him, the facts he stated were unequivocally true – to me they were a ridiculous lie. It was pointless to challenge his story as it would only end in an argument and nothing I said would change his mind. I decided to pray that the Spirit of Truth would take care of the matter.
Another word for Truth is also “reality” – the Holy Spirit can be considered the Spirit of Reality, God’s kingdom reality – which is the only truth that matters. There is also a term called ‘universal truth’ which means what it says that a particular truth would be universally accepted by most people or a category of people (We’ll use Christians). For example: It is universally understood and accepted by all Christians that Jesus was conceived in the womb of Mary by the Holy Spirit, therefore bypassing the Adamic line of sin. Although we cannot ask Mary how this happened and discern for ourselves through first person testimony, we believe the Word of God and accept the account as being true. In the above illustration regarding the opposing narratives, there is no universal truth to which to refer and it comes down to character and perception. Fortunately, with the Spirit of Truth, we can always depend on the excellence of God’s character and His nature and trust that He is only delivering to us His “true Truth”.
John 16:13 AMP
But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole truth, the full Truth). For he will not speak His own message (on His own authority); but He will tell whatever He hears (from the Father; He will give the message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears (from the Father) and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come (this will happen in the future). He will honor and glorify Me, because He will take care of (receive, draw upon) what is Mine and will reveal (disclose, transmit) it to you.
Pray for a strengthening of your personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to make Himself known and shown to you. Honor the Spirit and acknowledge Him when He confirms or discloses (transmits Spirit to spirit) information from God to you. He is doing it for your betterment and to glorify the work of Jesus. He truly is a Gift from the Father and paid for with the Blood of the Son.
For further study: The Spirit of Truth | Reformed Bible Studies & Devotionals at Ligonier.org
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Many Christians believe that the sole purpose of deploying the gospel message to an unbelieving world is to simply offer eternal life. Could there be more to what we accept as why Jesus returned to earth from Heaven? Most definitely yes. He returned to not only glorify His Father but to bring all people life and life to the full. (John 10:10 ) Eternal living begins at the point of acceptance of Jesus, not just at a person’s point of death. This is the game changing reality in which we live. The eternal life that Jesus came to give is to be walked out while here on the earth. What Jesus paid for holds significant benefit for the living and nothing for which He paid with His own body and blood should go un-utilized.
When we exercise the privilege to engage in prayer – we do so to attract the Kingdom of heaven on behalf of all on earth. We join hands with the Spirit that hovered over and formed the earth to partner with Him on behalf of the living to heal the sick, deliver the addicted, rescue the poor, rebuke and dismantle damaging negative emotions, and even pray to change the course of nations, directing these nations into their destinies and the divine will of God.
“Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed by thy Name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven …….. ”
When I embarked on this journey to write Prayer University it was to reveal the primary attributes of Jesus as: Our Peace, Our High Priest, Our Righteousness, Our Savior, Our Healer and more – so that when we participate in the discipline of prayer, words could flow emboldened through the empowerment of the knowledge and understanding of Him. Communion, fellowship and intimacy in times of prayer with the Father release the dunamis power of what Jesus died to give through the delivery system of His Holy Spirit. Intimacy and knowledge of the holy can only be developed through a consistent time of prayer. In its simplest form, prayer is fellowship and communion with God. There are no shortcuts to intimacy with Him or anyone.
One of the many benefits or attributes through Christ’s sacrifice that we possess while here is that God awarded us dominion over everything. In the garden, Adam lost dominion and authority for all but Jesus came to redeem them back from Satan’s hand. Jesus as The Redeemer, by His blood, exchanged our sin for His righteousness, redeeming everything lost and saving those that claim Him from eternal damnation. His sacrifice flung wide a gateway of access to health and healing, deliverance, provision, wholeness, peace and restoration. In fact, the word “salvation” in the Greek actually means: Material and temporal deliverance from danger and apprehension; preservation, pardon, restoration, healing, wholeness, and soundness. The acceptance of Jesus as Savior immediately unlocks access to kingdom life in the full. As Andrew Wommack states, “Its a present tense possession. ”
Dominion and Authority
“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. “
“And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
“Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.”
It is challenging, perhaps impossible, to fully grasp the magnitude of all Jesus died to give. It would become one’s life work to comprehend and actually walk out what He has given. Few people take the time to explore and to plumb the depths of the mysterious treasury held within the sacrifice and resurrection of Christ or the gifts He offers from the permanent offices of the Divine. Make it your joyful duty to explore all that He has done. Accept the dominion and authority for which you have been rightly given. Use it to draw Heaven to earth, and to allow for the will and power of God in Christ Jesus to flow fully through you and for others.
On Earth as it is In Heaven
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Hebrews 2:17-18 “So it is evident that it was essential that He be made like His brethren in every respect, in order that He might become a merciful (sympathetic) and faithful High Priest in the things related to God, to make atonement and propitiation for the people’s sins.
For because He Himself (in his humanity) has suffered in being tempted (tested and tried), He is bale to run to the cry of (assist, relieve) those who are being tempted and tested and tried (and who therefore are being exposed to suffering.)”
When Jesus was resurrected from the dead and ascended into heaven, the Father bestowed on Him a number of offices. One of these is the designation of High Priest. It is to Him as High Priest that we direct our confession of faith. For it is this High Priest Who suffered through merciless torture, repeated rejection, scornful remarks, and a killing process to which no human should ever be subjected – but through His obedience, He is able to understand and sympathize with our all of our weaknesses, and infirmities. He was tempted in every way yet sinned not. He was appointed High Priest by God; “You are my Son, today I have begotten You. As He says, you are a Priest (appointed) forever after the order (with the rank) of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 5:5-6 AMP
Because Jesus knows and understands our sufferings, He was no stranger in asking the Father for His needs. We, too, can confidently come to His throne of grace (of God’s unmerited favor) during our time of prayer to receive mercy and grace to assist in our own time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
Christ Jesus fully understands the need for prayer. In fact, it is much more advantageous to us that the One to Whom we petition is the One through which we can also draw close. Hebrews 4:15 ” For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and with a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning.“
God has sworn an oath that Jesus would be a Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek Hebrews 7:21. Jesus became the Surety and Guarantee of a stronger and more advanced covenant. Because of this He is able to completely and for all time, eternally save those who come to God through Him. This is another reason why it is very important to lift up our unsaved family and friends. Jesus always lives to intercede and make petition for those that come to Him and can save them eternally and if they do not come to Him, He is not bound to intercede for them. Hebrews 7:25
As High Priest, His blood acts as a supernatural purifying agent that removes guilt and condemnation from remorseful acts that could lead to the death of your purpose in serving God. Hebrews 9:14 This is stated a second time in Hebrews for emphasis:
“ Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, His body, since we have a great priest over the House of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:19-25
He offered Himself as sacrifice once and for all times and then seated at the right hand of the Father, through His one sacrifice He has perfected forever those who will be made holy. (Hebrews 10:14)
No Law has ever perfected anything – there is no grace mixed into Law, as laws are hard and unyielding. An indication that we are operating “under the law” is that we become self righteous and introspective, looking inward. Because Jesus tore the veil to God, we are now under grace. The Holy Spirit points us to Jesus – we are to look unto Jesus in times of difficulty, focusing on His radiance, goodness, beauty and merciful acts on your behalf. From death to life – from grace to grace.
“Now we have this (hope) as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul (it cannot slip and it cannot break under whoever steps out upon it – – a hope) that reaches farther and enters into (the very certainty of the Presence) within the veil. Where Jesus entered in for us (in advance) a Forerunner having become a High Priest forever after the order (the rank) of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 6:19-20
Jesus has gone on ahead of us into the Holy of Holies, as the Forerunner. We cannot see Him but He is there, and we are anchored in Him. Today we have a perfected conscience because our Sacrifice (Jesus) was Himself made perfect. What He is and What He has before God today – we have. We like Jesus are flawless diamonds before the throne of God, not because of anything that we do but purely because of His sacrifice.
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As we continue our study of Jesus, the Master Teacher of Prayer we will look at Jesus as our Healer (Jehovah Rapha) and how He was intentional with His earthly ministry to fulfill the Law of First Mention for the word Pray. In the 4 Gospels, 28 of 37 miracles that Jesus performed pertained to healing, deliverance, or raising from the dead. This affirms the emphasis and importance that Jesus placed on freeing people from the bondages of disease, infirmities and conditions impacting the body and the mind (mental illness and the story of the demoniac).
In the book of Genesis, immediately following the account of the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorroh, the scripture details the story of Abraham’s journey toward the South country, where he briefly settled in the land of Gerar. There he and Sarah met the King of Gerar; Abimelech. Abraham told Abimelech that Sarah his wife was in fact his sister so as not be killed by the king. Abimelech took Sarah to be his concubine but was awakened in a dream by God who revealed to him that Sarah was actually Abraham’s wife. (Genesis 20:6) The next morning, Abimelech called his servants together to tell them and they were immediately filled with fear. He then held a firm discussion with Abraham about putting his life at risk. And Abraham responded through prayer –
“So Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his female slaves, and they bore children, For the Lord had closed fast the wombs of all in Abimelech’s household because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife“
The account of Abraham praying for Abimelech is the first use or mention of the word ‘pray’ or ‘prayed’ in scripture. Abraham’s prayer resulted in a heal-a-thon within the King’s household and interestingly also a grace for conception for Sarah as she became pregnant with Isaac.
When the Law of First Mention (https://www.gotquestions.org/law-of-first-mention.html ) is utilized it points to prayer as a means of healing or deliverance. The Law of First Mention should probably be referred to as a principle rather than a law. This principle dictates that the first use of a word in scripture contains its purest meaning or form. The Hebrew word for healing is Sozo. This is a word rich with additional meanings: save, preserve, protect, deliver, be well, be made whole. Therefore the purest form of the act of prayer or to pray is to heal, save, protect, preserve, or restore. Clearly God was saving, healing, preserving, and protecting all of Abimelech’s household through Abraham’s prayer. To pray is to engage the Creator of the Universe into our circumstances through praise, worship and petitions. When we pray, we actively engage God, Jesus and Holy Spirit to execute their will on the earth. Here is an insightful article on the meaning of prayer: https://www.ministrysamples.org/excerpts/THE-MEANING-OF-PRAYER.HTML
As personal testimony to the healing powers and authority given to us, I have been healed by Jesus through prayer on 3 notable occasions; twice through my own prayer and once through the prayer of an astute intercessor. I have also experienced healing by Jesus through my own prayer in a number of lesser “heals” when illness tried to creep in but instead received a well-deserved rebuke. Sickness has no legal right to me. I am a Child of God and purchased by the blood of Jesus and hopefully so are you – (If in this current Covid climate, some well-meaning person gives you a hearty “Be safe!” respond with “Fear not – for God is with you / or ” I fear not, for God is with me.” This will get their attention. )
The kind Intercessor that received knowledge of a condition in my neck discs for which I had struggled for years, had no prior information of this condition. She simply yielded to God as He revealed to her the nature of my nagging structural issue. That evening, following the prayer, I felt no change in my discomfort level however I awoke the next day to a pain -free neck with a renewed range of motion. To this day, and 14 years later, I am pain free.
My other two conditions healed by Jesus through my prayer involved the straightening of an misaligned hip that was developing arthritis and the permanent expulsion of a virus causing tinnitus, vertigo and severe headaches, making me sick enough that I had difficulty working. The latter deliverance occurred in 2009 in dramatic fashion after I prayed a Derek Prince prayer for the release of a curse. Immediately I began to feel adjustments being made to my inner ear supernaturally – cracking and popping sounds all included in the healing show. The Divine Surgeon left as quickly as He came and from that day forward my head and ear have been healed. [ Derek Prince: Prayer for Release: https://youtu.be/Wdy2oAQ0aOI ]
The Gospels tell us about Jesus launching out day after day to heal, teach, deliver and save. All of the depicted miracle and deliverance methods illustrate healing through prayer or simply a firm directive to a spirit to come out. Healing also occurred when Jesus acknowledged an individuals display of extreme faith. There was rarely discussion – nothing about genetic dispositions, what parents died from, etc – it was always the same, a prayer, or a word and a healing result (and once alittle added mud with spit – ).
Our Jesus is a Healing Machine.
The practice of healing for those that pray and intercede for others must become more normalized throughout our culture. In many cases, we carry the solution to the physical and mental issues that plague millions of people. Christ Jesus our Commander and Chief Intercessor has paid the ultimate sacrifice to provide a pathway for our own healing and the healing of others. The lashes that He took on His body laid claim to His promise of divine health. By His stripes We ARE healed and we must pray like it –
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I would like to add to this post my daily regime against Covid –
Pray aloud Psalm 91
Pray aloud the Armor of God
Receive the Holy Communion 3-4 times per week.