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
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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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Facebook: Tracy Gatewood Sacred Ramblings
Author: Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and Meeting Jesus
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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For the past few months I have had this unsettled feeling in my spirit that comes as part and parcel when I embark on the process of transition. I am feeling that it is time for a change, a move, a desire to go to something else.
One day this week as I was waking up in bed, and just as the sun was beginning to rise up and claim the morning, I began to ponder these unsettled feelings. As my mind began to track back through this decade and then rewind through previous decades, I noticed something interesting, well at least interesting to me. Since growing into adulthood, with every single change in a decade, I have moved to another city, and typically to another state. I have undergone many of my life’s most profound seasons of change while journeying through the ‘9’ and into the ‘0’ . 1) From an Alabama high school senior to Virginia-bound college freshman, 2) a career upgrade requiring a move from Alabama to Atlanta, 3) freshly single and broken in Atlanta to single yet still alive returning back to Alabama, 4) then 10 years later single and broken again (not marriage related!) and still in Alabama with a return to my hometown, and now this new decade (still single ha!) but strong, self employed and now stabilized in a foundation built upon Christ Jesus.
This week, I was reading a book on the life of King David. One of the chapters went to great lengths to show the process that David went through before God opened the door for him to become King. Even (and especially after) David became Israel’s second King, he continued to experience trial after trial. He was trained through so many trials that when he encountered his most serious they did not consume. We all know that David was by no means perfect but undeniably a great leader possessing a connection to God as His Beloved, that was and may still be unmatched. Only God knows this but throughout the process, David strengthened himself in the Lord and no other. This is a great lesson for all of us.
As I move through life, I see there are no shortcuts; neither in business nor in ministry nor apparently as David’s life illustrates, in kingdom management. Its all process, process, process. My life compared to King David, although not without some steep almost vertical degrees of difficulty, has been by comparison, simple. David got an early start as a giant killer and in doing so got an early leg up to be groomed for a great destiny. Despite being raised in the church, I was a late bloomer to Jesus and to the understanding of true faith. How I wish I had not lost those precious years circling in the weeds of life, unaware that there was a divine GPS to guide me along a righteous path but again I say – it’s a process, and don’t let anyone convince you differently. There is no microwave growth in Christianity – its water, son-light and roots growing deeper and deeper and deeper into the verdant soil of the Divine.
I have noticed that doors, particularly meaningful spiritual doors, swing open on just one or two hinges. These doors cannot be pushed, kicked or broken down – these doors swing wide with no known pressure. Again reflecting on David, he was thought the least of Jesse’s sons and was not even presented to Samuel. David was out in the field, diligently doing his job, minding the sheep and BOOM – a life changing encounter came out of nowhere, an encounter undeniably from the hand of God.
And the word of the Lord came to Nathan (the prophet) saying –
11 Samuel 7:8-9 So now say this to my servant David, “Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be prince over My people. And I was with you where you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a great name like that of the great men of the earth.”
Some of the most important opportunities that have come my way, those of which I can take no credit, have emerged from out of the blue. These “doorways of grace” glided open easily with no striving, occurring only in their proper time and season. There was no planning, foresight or known cause for God’s invisible, provident breath to blow these doors of opportunity open wide. But there is something of importance to note: When these doors swing open we must be ready to move as they are on a hinge that snaps back and will slam like that old wood frame screen door on your grandmothers house. Whap! I can still hear that door slamming closed on a few opportunities that I did not walk through due to fear, self doubt and over thinking but because of the goodly nature of God – I, like you, can rest in His second chances.
Not typically associated with “fun”, the process of being in the process is certainly punctuated with times of enjoyment but rarely would anyone describe the work involved as “fun”. “Fun” relates to entertainment – if being constantly entertained is what it took to become great then one would not have to journey through “a process” to arrive. Entertainment is typically reserved for endeavors that engage the soul on a surface level but never engage with the spirit – as it takes The Spirit to successfully navigate The Process. Are you still with me ?
As I write this on the first day of the year and even a new decade, I remain expectant of what and where the process will take both you and me. As we look backward to 2010 and consider where we have come – remain encouraged. I am not where I wish to be but definitely have made significant progress in the 10 years spent (some would consider) in this wilderness, a place where I never desired to grow content or become familiar. When I look in the mirror I am reminded that although “my youth is being renewed as the eagles” those eagles are definitely older eagles – I’m no eaglet! But God has given me a greater peace for the process. Perhaps this is to become my desire for 2020 that I wish for you and for me: Peace.
Happy New Year!
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Related article: My Journey with Jesus Part Two http://wp.me/p1zoxs-gR
Tracy Gatewood is the author of Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and Meeting Jesus (2015)
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At the age of 51, my life started completely over in every conceivable way; new city, career seeker, little to no financial resources, no church home and no relationships. My 20 year marketing career had taken a vertical death spiral following a coup attempt by a disgruntled assistant who trashed me behind my back almost from the point of hiring. (FYI: The quiet ones, and the flatterers are always the most dangerous. ). After being terminated from a very public position, my career spun into a nose dive and stayed there from the ages of 48 – 50. The Lord started closing every door, I believe, to “encourage” me to follow His leading of returning me to a place that I very much did not want to go. At the age of 50, I relented, returning to my home town confused, desperate, angry (very) hopeless, broke and near the point of nervous collapse.
A few years before this traumatic season, I had earned my real estate license but held it in inactive status considering to use it “one day”. Establishing a commercial real estate career can become an expensive proposition. That “one day” came when a family friend called 10 months after I had returned home, still unemployed, nor knowing where to turn. This family friend, graciously and innocently threw a lifeline to a drowning person that was going under for the third time. ” Tracy, this is Carl, don’t you have your real estate license?” “Yes” I said neglecting to mention that it was inactive and that I had never transacted one piece of property ever. “Well, my #@%** restaurant tenant moved out in the middle of the night”, he explained “and I need someone to market my building and find me a new tenant as soon as possible.” I agreed to meet with him then quickly placed a call to inquire of what was needed to activate my license. Gunning it over to a local broker’s office the same day, I explained to the owner that I was in need of a desk, a phone and a place to hang my license asap. He gave me a private office, a laptop computer and paid for my first year of dues, nothing for which I had asked but glad to receive. I was so poor five hundred dollars was more than I had to spare.
Nine months later, Carl and his new premier tenant, executed my first lease transaction for his 5000 SF corner landmark downtown property. A divine grace door had opened for me through Carl providing a clear path for provision because God had placed me on Carl’s mind and connected all the other necessary dots. The process of securing the tenant was not simple, and entailed hard work. The money did not fall from the sky but the opportunity presented itself, the door swung wide, and I was offered a choice to walk through its frame.
Later in that same year, the Holy Spirit gave me a hot tip regarding a 5 AC corner parcel with an obsolete shopping center, strategically located 3 blocks from an SEC University stadium. Eighteen months later that property was under contract and closed for $5.1 million, at that time, the highest price paid per acre for any parcel in the city. That was my first sale. The broker that gave me the initial opportunity made $40,000 on that one deal for doing no more than investing in me.
It would be glorious to be able to say that every year has been just like these – and that year over year my production increased to such enormous heights that I would never have a financial concern for the rest of my life. Seven years later after walking through the door of real estate – I have had highs and lows. My rags story is transforming into financial stability and prosperity while allowing me to give to non profit causes at higher and higher levels which brings me great joy. But the greatest highlight of this journey is what I am gaining in knowledge of the rich treasuries of the grace of God and of Jesus. I am witnessing through my own personal experience the meaning of His salvation.
Salvation means “material and temporal deliverance from danger and apprehension, preservation, pardon, restoration, healing, wholeness and soundness“. Coming out of trouble is part of the package guaranteed to us by being in God’s Kingdom and belonging to Him. He has delivered me from ‘material and temporal danger’ and accomplished everything else on this list. I can tell you with certainty it was Him and not me doing the delivering. If you have never had a need to be brought out of trouble, I feel sorry for you because it means you have never experienced the full power of His delivering hand of salvation. The great news is that we can all look at Him with expectancy for something good to come our way, even despite our mistakes. And I have made my share.
For a number of wasted years, I lived in a confused emotional stew, swirling in extreme levels of condemnation, fear, anger and unforgiveness that kept me bound and broken. I was so messed up and discouraged that I was working very little – if at all. This was a mistake. We are all to be working. God needs us to move out in a direction, and as we set out, He swings in as The Rudder, turning us in His direction but first we have to get in the water and set sail. We have to move.
No doubt, I missed a number of life preservers tossed out in my direction by having no confidence in the basic truth of TRUST. I continued to look inward finding more confidence in myself instead of outward or better still upward, without expecting that God was going to work all of this to my good. Looking inward in prolonged introspection is self righteousness – a sinful action that dispossesses God from His rightful place in life and is based in pure pride. God loves our full dependence upon Him, where we are fully yielded and waiting expectantly for His best. This is the position of Abba and Heavenly Daddy – a Father God with arms wide open to heal and love us unconditionally.
It was only when I learned to focus on Jesus and His finished work and to stop allowing my thoughts to turn inward is when I began to claw my way out of the fog. When my outward confessions began to align with the truth of God’s word – I am the righteousness of God by my faith in Christ Jesus and in His blood and seated in heavenly places with Christ at the Father’s right hand – did the fear and condemnation begin to break apart and dissipate and my mind become clear from the fog. I began to acknowledge and embrace that my provision would definitely come because I Am In JESUS and that every good thing flows from and by the hand of God.
When I lean in and focus on Jesus – He brings clients to me in supernatural ways, He opens doors of favor (which is another word for grace) It is difficult to articulate but activity just begins to happen. At times there is nothing that I am doing, no striving, but an effortless flow that is coming straight from the throne of God.
It has been seven years since I walked through the career door of real estate brokerage. The Hebrew number of completion and perfection is seven. My craft, like me, is still being perfected but after completing my first seven years working for other brokerages, last week, I decided to set sail and work for my own. If you had asked me 10 years ago or even 7 if I believed restoration was possible I would have said probably not or possibly even given a resounding ‘no’! But yes it is – it most certainly is – through the merciful heart of a loving Father that loves to deliver His salvation.
My personal story may not mean anything to anyone but me but it is my hope that in reading or sharing it will encourage someone that needs to understand this same power of which He so freely gives.
“May He [God] grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the (Holy) Spirit [Himself ] – indwelling your innermost being and personality ….. that you may be filled (through all your being) unto all the fullness of God [that is] may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become wholly filled and flooded with God Himself.
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Twitter: Tracy L Gatewood
Facebook: Tracy Gatewood Sacred Ramblings
Author: Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and
“All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil [ by anxious thoughts and forebodings ], but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of circumstances ] ” Proverbs 15:15 AMP
” A happy heart is good medicine, and a cheerful mind works by healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones”. Proverbs 17:22 AMP
” Attitude is a little thing that can make a big difference“. Winston Churchill
Many of us will agree there is a direct, undeniable connection between the mind and the body. It is how to calm and tame the soul (mind, will, emotions) – bringing it to cheerful joy and peace despite circumstances – is what eludes so many.
In 2009, I made a personal decision to return to my hometown after being away since 1979. I put my home on the market and began a job search, hoping to find something quickly as I had been a marketing freelancer which did not translate well in this new much smaller, college town environment. In the summer of 2009, I went on a spiritual retreat designed to free me of fears and habits that had accumulated over time. This was my hometown and a place in which I held unhappy memories and conflicts with family members were ongoing and troubling. In the natural, this did not seem like the right move however, I believed that God had a plan and a purpose for my return.
Following this 4 day retreat, I was attacked by something that I can only describe as a “spirit” as it was supernatural in its make up. Nothing I did would cause it to release. A trained Intercessor, I prayed, and then yes, begged God to remove this spirit that was causing me to stay awake at night – I only received at most 4 hours of sleep, and my heart raced uncontrollably as if I was literally having a heart attack. I felt like I was having what a nervous breakdown must feel like – but understood there was something very different about what was happening and I was correct.
During that 6 week period – I experienced a consistent feeling of terror, the highest degree of fear – that would never disconnect, day or night. It was not brought on by emotion, or circumstances but was supernatural in nature and demonic, a “thing” that tried to take my life and almost did. Suddenly, six weeks after the attack began, it released. I was standing in my living room praying and I felt it lift away – with no warning, just as quickly as it had come upon me. I had been praying for 6 weeks and believe there was nothing unique at that time as to what I said or prayed. Following that attack, I lived in an unfocused fog and detached confusion but months later thankfully that too lifted. This attack taught me survival training regarding prayer and how to hold peace in difficult circumstances. [A near death experience does have a way of gaining your attention. ] Your most important friend in time of great fear and distress is Holy Spirit. He is the Administrator and Coordinator of the Peace that was bequeathed to us from Christ Jesus.
Begin by embracing the Truth that God loves you and that He is for you, no matter what your circumstances. Even if you made a mistake you can always ask Him to turn your mistakes around for your good. He is there with you and sees everything. You must lean into Him and build your relationship with Holy Spirit so that you can hear His direction. He is speaking – you must learn how to hear Him and then do what He says. This is the fastest way out of your circumstances. Pray for Him to impart to you His discernment and skillful and Godly wisdom.
FEAR magnetizes all other unrighteous thoughts, drawing them towards an individual. FEAR is the Red Carpet that provides the jetway for jealousy, murderous rage, anger, covetousness, bitterness, shame, rejection and more – Get your mind under control and press out ALL fear. There are a several ways to tame the Fear dragon, and not one is difficult but each requires enough discipline to become a habit and better still – a default setting – whenever you are hard hit by a Fear Wall.
A) Read God’s Word. It acts as a water hose, rinsing off the dirt and grime that builds up from conversations, watching terror or violence laden TV, or just from being in the workplace. The Word of God is SPIRIT and is living and active. There is actual power in speaking aloud God’s Word – power that moves in the supernatural realm to accomplish our goals, and helps us take dominion over circumstances. There is a wealth of wisdom just in The Proverbs alone. There are 31 chapters of Proverbs, and one for each day. Commit to reading this powerful book.
The word “health” in Hebrew means ‘medicine’ and God’s Word is medicine that brings health to the soul. There is a difference between divine health and divine healing. John G Lake stated, ” Divine healing is the removal by the power of God of the disease that has come upon a body. But divine health is to live day by day, hour by hour in touch with God so that the life of God flows into the body just as the life of God flows into the mind or flows into the spirit.”
B) Call on the power of the Holy Spirit and invoke the Cross in Prayer. This is key. Fear is a spirit – as are the associated spirits of dread, terror, worry and anxiety. Before His death, Jesus bequeathed to all Peace as a gift from Him: “Peace I leave with you; My (own) peace I now give and bequeath to you“. John 14:27 AMP So if Jesus actually gave us His own peace – shouldn’t we have the ability to access it when needed ? Well…. yes we should. Ask the Holy Spirit to cover and protect your mind with the Blood of Jesus and the Helmet of Salvation – a helmet of hope. Pray and acknowledge the verses describing the sacrifice of Jesus: Isaiah 53:5 and place emphasis on the Crown of Thorns that caused the blood of Jesus to flow. This allows for the healing in our minds. I have personally experienced the effect of this many times. Imagine an etch a sketch pad with scribble across it and as you lift up that film, the scribble disappears. This is how thoroughly clean the Holy Spirit can remove unrighteous thinking in your mind when you partner with Him, the Paraclete.
C) Intensely focus your mind on Jesus who is ALL supply. There is no lack in Jesus unless you restrict His supply through your own lack of faith (your fear). Not only is He the bright radiant Son that lights up all of Heaven, He is the Mediator of the Eternal Covenant, our High Priest, the Chief Shepherd, and the Chief Intercessor. His sacrifice created an Eternal Covenant that ties back to the Covenant that God made with Abraham (father of a multitude) because Abram (high exalted father) believed in, trusted in, relied on and remained steadfast to the Lord Who counted it to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6) Every citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven owns a title deed to the Covenant that God made with Abraham and with Jesus.
You, child of God, walk with favor, even if your present circumstances do not appear that way but you must hold fast to the hope that the Cavalry is coming because Calvary came!
Hope is a confident expectation of good, in every situation, praising God for His goodness.
Frequent drops of hope raining onto a person’s soul creates a consistent flow of faith. Remain in hope. Hope is much different than wishful thinking which is only based on man and not on God. Immerse yourself in hope-filled teachings avoiding teachers of behavior modification that do not understand that Jesus’ power is transformational through faith in Him.
C) Speak Words of Life during difficult circumstances. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue”. Proverbs 18:21 The rest of the verse states “and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof”. Watch your words. Your words set the course for your life and you will have what you say. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34) If you guard your heart – and do not allow fear and emotion to penetrate, this is the surest way that words of hope and life pouring from your mouth.
Remain in innocence – understand that the Lord is your Defender and Avenger. Do not respond in kind to people that are harmful or hateful. The Lord will take care of them in due time. And lastly, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and understanding and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6 Embracing this truth of trusting God will put your heart at rest then follow with prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you to the next step of your journey.
Tracy L Gatewood
All Rights Reserved 2019
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Author: Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and Meeting Jesus – this book is available on Amazon
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From the beginning of opening business social media accounts, as a marketplace professional, I have been intentional about incorporating pastors and para church ministry leaders into my communities as “followers”. The Why is very simple. We need each other. The Marketplace needs and benefits from the influence and insights of mature spiritual leadership, ministry leaders depend on the skills and resources delivered from an innovative Marketplace to move their visions forward.
In the spring of 2011, I witnessed this relational need during a time of total devastation. In the transition back to my hometown of Tuscaloosa, AL, I watched, stunned, as meteorologists began frantically broadcasting during a “perfect storm” of atmospheric collisions resulting in an EF-4 tornadic holocaust that cut a 6 mile long swath of devastation killing 56 and taking out 12% of the physical buildings in the city. Immediately, church and lay and marketplace leaders moved into overdrive to save lives and rescue thousands of citizens. It took 3 years for the city to recover. Observing this concert of ministry and marketplace blending forces to create unified chords of hope, healing and restoration was a breathtaking, life altering event. (May 2011: Sacred Ramblings, Equip the Bride: https://wp.me/p1zoxs-k )
I witnessed the church and para church ministries immediately respond to citywide trauma by creating individual “city halls” each with their own leadership structure, and systems of communication and distribution channels to serve the recovery efforts with speed and efficiency for each “embassy”. Its Ambassadors; spiritual and marketplace leaders worked in different capacities; the spiritual leadership moved quickly to provide an efficient platform of infrastructure from which to work providing staff, physical space, communication and distribution channels while marketplace (and then government) moved with speed and agility, providing vital resources of people, time and money through this stabilized infrastructure to create, innovate, and restore order as quickly as possible.
If you are a business person and feel that a church or para church ministry leader may not be a fit for your Linkedin account, I respectfully submit – this is misguided. Incorporating these leaders into your “sphere” is not just for the purposes of disaster prep. You need them and they need you. People in ministry have accepted the highest call. It’s far easier to become a University professor, a real estate practitioner, an attorney or a business owner, than walking out the vigorous testing journey required for accepting and walking out a ministry career call.
Most spiritual leaders are highly educated, but more importantly – they hear from God and have the ability to move and operate from a spirit driven perspective. This form of operating system is crucial for survival now and will be more so in the days ahead. If you had someone on your board that could accurately provide advice that could avert a really bad decision saving thousands would it not be worth it, even if it did not appear they possessed the technical experience to make those decisions? You can have this.
Job 32:8 “But there is (a vital force) a spirit [ of intelligence ] in man, and the breadth of the Almighty gives men understanding. ”
Proverbs 2:8 “He hides away sound and godly Wisdom and stores it up for the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with Him): He is a shield to those who walk uprightly and in integrity, That He may guard the paths of justice, yes, He preserves the way of His saints.”
Proverbs 24:5-6 “A wise man is strong and is better than a strong man and a man of knowledge increases and strengthens his power. For by wise counsel you can wage war, and in an abundance of counselors there is victory and safety.”
But this relationship model goes both ways. In 2013-2015, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. T.L. Lowery multiple times as well as attend his 70 years of Service Celebration at the T.L. Lowery Foundation in Cleveland. A stream of internationally known pastors stepped to the podium to praise and thank him for his many achievements. Dr. Lowery was a prolific healing evangelist in the 50’s and 60’s, using a “canvas cathedral” housing 10,000 people in every city that he reached during a 17 year period. ( Impartation video: https://youtu.be/FsIXkxT578I )
T.L. Lowery, Ph.D, held one earned doctorate, and was awarded two more. He pastored two churches, one in his home town of Cleveland TN, the other in Washington DC. (The latter, the National Church of God, is currently led by his son, Stephen). Dr. Lowery built a Christian school, started a bible college and seminary, built homes for the elderly and established the T.L. Lowery Foundation. He authored 87 books, edited 3 magazines, wrote multitudes of teaching articles and traveled to over 100 nations.
A prolific Apostolic and prophetic teacher, he brought multitudes to Christ through his life’s work which was more than enough but not for him. In addition to pastoring, teaching and writing; T.L. Lowery was a leader in civic organizations, serving faithfully in his community and nationally – an Ambassador to Project One for the United Nations, and in local leadership roles for the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, the United Way and Rotary. Yes, the great T.L. Lowery was also a Rotarian! He died at the age of 87 on February 21, 2016. Interestingly, this date was one year to the day Rev. Billy Graham died as well as Doug Coe, founder of the National Prayer Breakfast. Three American evangelical leaders died within a 12 month period on the same date.
Marketplace professionals with access to ministry leadership should ask themselves how they can incorporate these leaders into the business realm. Ministry leaders – how can you incorporate yourself into the business arena as well as become proactive in your efforts to build relationships within and outside of your current sphere of influence? How can you establish yourself as a community leader outside of your “embassy”? The strength of the fabric in our community’s is dependent on the number of threads effectively sewn between ministry and marketplace leadership.
Dr. T.L. Lowery and Tracy Gatewood following a fiery preaching session in 2013. On that day, the devil didn’t have a prayer anywhere in Mississippi!
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Related Article: Equip the Bride: https://wp.me/p1zoxs-k
This article appeared on Marketplace & Ministry (WordPress)
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Author: Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and Meeting Jesus (Amazon 2015 )
James 4:14 AMP “Yet you do not know (the least thing) about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are (really) but a wisp of vapor (puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears (into thin air). ”
What if we were chosen by God to live at an appointed time, supplied with designer DNA given everything necessary to fulfill a very specific purpose on the earth and even formed “pre-packaged” with essential nutrients of spiritual gifts and talents needed for others? Consider that you were truly born for one reason: just to be given the opportunity to participate in an ongoing Olympics as a Spiritual Athlete. Your Olympic performance – more commonly known as LIFE – allows for God your maker to watch you develop, train and execute this spiritual athleticism on the Earth.
Even further – that the sole reason you were even knitted and then birthed into the world was to allow for the opportunity to have an eternal relationship with God because quite obviously without ever being born – you could never live – eternally. God Himself desired that you be with Him in Heaven.
Hello Mr. Mist and Ms. Vapor: You are given the brief chance to display your gifts and talents to and for God to the best of your ability for one primary purpose – to insure the name of His Son’s renown and to advance God’s kingdom. #thatisall
Well (you might say) I am 43 years old and did not know this – my training has not yet begun, I do not even know where to start! Why is God so cruel as to set me up for such a high stakes game I was unaware I was even playing ? Mr. Mist, this is why you are reading this post. Lace up your Converse and start those wind sprints. (Pray for wisdom and understanding of your purpose asking God to give you an abundance of clues that reveal your purpose.) Change your diet and consecrate your life. ( Purchase a bible version that you understand. Feed on the word daily. Spend time daily with God. ) Identify mature mentors that are where you would like to be spiritually. (Find a strong bible based church with a pastor that teaches Jesus and the full gospel. Volunteer for Christ centered initiatives that truly impact people) For then, you will be on the practice field in no time! Hallelujah! #GoFightWin
II Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all appear and be revealed as we are before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each one may receive (His pay) according to what he has done in the body, whether good or evil [considering what his purpose and motive have been, and what he has achieved, been busy with, and given himself and his attention to accomplishing.]”
So God not only allows you the opportunity to live in Heaven with Him // FOREVER // because (please remember) He wants you there – while on earth He gives you the chance (and ability) to run this race earning medals and trophies along the way to be exchanged for eternal rewards handed to you by Christ Himself. It is unclear if these “rewards” are physical or simply greater responsibilities in Heaven. Certainly the ‘Greatest Reward’ will be living in Heaven itself.
So back to James 4:14 “what is the nature of your life” aside from being “just a vapor”? What does this word “nature” mean? Nature is personality, make up, character, temperament, identity. The nature of God is one of the most difficult things to explain, but we do know He is: holy, love, just, divine, sovereign, righteous – the following is an in depth article on the nature of God:
How does your nature affect your ability to become a Spiritual Athlete? Are there hindering roadblocks in your life? Potholes, water hazards, high prevailing winds? Your nature can be changed through your committed relationship with Christ and a sincere desire to run His race, unshackled, and not your own. Then You Will Be Free.
Tracy L Gatewood
Sacred Ramblings 2018 All Rights Reserved
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Author: Doorways of Grace (2015)
Book Cover: Doorways of Grace Photo Cred: Allison P. Adams
I Pray for You this Year –
that you gain deep understanding of the fullness of the magnificent power still held in the Blood of Christ Jesus – this blood that serves as the ratification for a New Covenant between God and Jesus on behalf of all humanity. The Agreement that is a guarantee of a new and better way, and one built from a platform of God’s love and grace.
that the Blood of Jesus serves as the only true means of release from sin and guilt and the remission of the due and merited punishment for sin. That Christ’s Blood’s efficacious flow covers the sins of the Righteous and is the eternal substitute and propitiation to God. The Blood extends its grace over and above every personal sacrifice, performance based act, striving, or adherence to Law. There is no action or personal sacrifice that exalts itself above the blood of Jesus or can redeem any sin. The Blood of Christ continually cleanses even from the beginning of our lives until the end of life. This once and for all sacrifice and the grace that has been shown to us should be respected and acknowledged by the turning away from sin. Blood is the eternal currency of Heaven.
that you can now be numbered among the undevourable. As a Christian, fully redeemed and bought back from eternal damnation, everything can now be covered in the fortress of the blood of Jesus. Whatever is covered with the blood of His Son – God calls it protected and redeemed however this “coverage” must be an intentional spoken action. The devil’s biggest threat is the blood of Christ – whose continuous flow constantly reminds that he has been defeated. When he walks about seeking whom he can destroy, he must pass you by when covered with the blood of Jesus. The Blood coupled with the unwavering knowledge that you are God’s Beloved is the greatest place of safety available to mankind.
that life is in the Blood and the Spirit and the Blood are one and inseparable. That the outpouring of the blood of Christ was to make way for the outpouring of the Spirit – our internal teacher, comforter, healer, wisdom guide, and giver of spiritual gifts. Holy Spirit is the one that administrates and coordinates all of the gifts of the Covenant on behalf of the Son and the Father.
that the taking of the Lord’s Supper is indispensable to life. Jesus said that “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you …. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in Me and I abide in Him”. (John 6:53.56)
The confession and casting off, then the cleansing away of sin in the blood are the indispensable and all-sufficient preparation for a life in everlasting covenant with God (Andrew Murray). There is no deeper or more powerful inward action that permeates the body like the taking of the Lord’s Supper which carries the very DNA of Christ.
that His sacrifice through the shedding of His blood covers the scope of every human need: Healing (Rapha, Exodus 15:26), Provision (Jireh,Genesis 22:14), God’s presence, Victory over darkness (Nissi, Exodus 17:15), Peace (Shalom, Judges 6:24), Pastor/shepherd (Ra-ah, Psalm 23:1) Redeemer of righteousness (Tsidkenu, Jeremiah 23:6) Sanctifier (M’ Kaddesh, Leviticus 20:8). You now stand from victory and not from defeat – the battle has already been won for you. Honor Him by embracing and walking out your benefits.What we have been given is a miracle.
Hebrews 9:14-15 AMP How much more surely shall the blood of Christ, Who by virtue of [His] eternal Spirit [His own pre-existent divine personality] has offered Himself as an unblemished sacrifice to God, purify our consciences from dead works and lifeless observances to serve the [ever] living God? 15 Christ the Messiah is therefore the Negotiator and Mediator of an [entirely] new agreement (testament, covenant) so that those who are called and offered it may receive the fulfillment of the promised everlasting inheritance – since a death has taken place which rescues and delivers and redeems them from the transgressions committed under the (old) first agreement.
Tracy L. Gatewood
2018 2019 2020 All Rights Reserved Sacred Ramblings
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Author: Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and Meeting Jesus Available on Amazon, and Parsons Porch and Page & Palette in Fairhope, AL
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Time to Dream interview on SoundCloud: Tracy L Gatewood