The Weapon of Praise


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Driving home after a long day, my radio tuned to a worship music station, praise music saturated every inch of my vehicle’s interior. Despite the frustrations and strife of the day – the negative emotions clinging to my soul fell away, as a welcoming spirit of peace wafted through my mind, lifting up and away all the tensions of the day.  This effortless transference of peace was sent special delivery from the courts of heaven. Peace is a gift bequeathed to us from Jesus, by Jesus Himself, as reward when we focus on Him.

II Chronicles 20:21-25 AMP “When he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers to sing to the Lord and praise Him in their holy (priestly) garments as they went out before the army, saying’Give thanks to the Lord, for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever’!

And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushments against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir who had come against  Judah, and they were (self) slaughtered; For (suspecting betrayal) the men of Ammon and Moab rose against those of Mount Seir utterly destroying them. And when they had made an end of the men of Seir,  they all helped to destroy one another. And when Judah came to the watchtower of the wilderness, they looked at the multitude, and behold they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none had escaped!

When Jehosophat and his people came to take the spoil, they found among them much cattle, goods, garments, and precious things which they look for themselves, much more than they could carry away, so much they were three days in gathering the spoil.

On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Beracah. There they blessed the Lord. So the name of the place is still called the Valley of Beracah (blessing).

Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, Jehosophat leading them, to Jerusalem with joy, for the Lord had made them to rejoice over their enemies.

They came to Jerusalem with harps, lyres, and trumpets to the house of the Lord.

And the fear of God came upon all the kingdoms of those countries when they heard that the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel.”

I believe the Lord has provided a spiritual tactic designed to strategically dismantle dangerous mayhem.  This is an interior piece of the puzzle given just to believers who are forced to confront a unified tsunami of opposing forces that incite strife, division and evil across the globe.  The piece? The Weapon of Praise. A powerful tool that can be enacted outside of the four walls of the church, strategically positioned in external outposts at the forefront of the lines of battle.

In today’s society, the media is weaponized, some departments of our national intelligence community appear to be weaponized, and even certain members of the conservative movement are weaponized – but these are not spiritual weapons of warfare from heavenly places.

In II Chronicles, The Lord provides for us an example of ‘battle’ in spiritual places, instructing us to ‘battle’ with praise to Him then promising to deliver us from our enemies. Seems simple. So why aren’t we using it?

With the clashing of swords in this Hebrew year 5777 , we are witnessing unprecedented levels of lawlessness and civil unrest, and not witnessed since the 1960’s. During the latter part of the Obama administration, the cities of Ferguson, Baltimore and Miami – were hosts to incendiary levels of rage and violence incapacitating city governments, in some instances, destroying the livelihoods of people that they purported to defend. Now the American people are clashing over its very history and heritage.

But what about praise? Jehosphat sent his worshippers praising God while walking ahead of these armies, each wearing priestly garments saying ‘Give thanks to the Lord for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever!’  I have a theory – and as yet untested on a modern day battlefield;  to release praise music in advance of or during demonstrations to disengage these spirits of violence. Like opening a fireman’s hose on a raging fire, the aggressive flames of emotional spirits of anger, hatred, aggression, murder and rage, could go silent.

I ponder why the impact of praise music would be any different within the atmosphere of my own vehicle than on any modern day battlefield. Imagine the impact of Hillsong, Chris Tomlin, Kari Jobe, Christy Nockels songs released prior to a demonstration or during the fray in the heat of the battle – singing the name of Jesus over and over and over again –  above these protests. It is Jesus Christ Himself that has bequeathed us Peace.  Would He not send us His Peace if we proactively sought it? Peace is a spirit.  [ July 2017  The Spirit of Peace ]

ll Timothy 1:7 AMP
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but (He has given us a spirit) of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.

To effectively confront the societal enemies of our time we must come from a secret place of  ‘power, and of love, and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control’. The songs of praise set us into another dimension  – apart from fear, self righteousness, and our human tendency to dissect the what’s and how’s of every situation. Praising God is a declaration that He is trusted as our defender (Jehovah Nissi). Praise positions our minds for right instruction and divine strategy from Him in how to move ahead in these troubling and even dangerous environments.

Could Jehosophat have understood that the instruction from God to send the  ‘Praise Team’ ahead of the armies would result in a strong confusion and in-fighting among the enemy camp? Could Jehosophat foresee that a win of his armies positioned his people for a significant wealth transfer? I doubt it. He simply followed God’s orders and won….. BIG.

We must engage in praise to God while listening for the the Holy Spirit’s direction for ourselves and our nation amidst the clamor and chaos of today.  He is surely speaking.

Tracy L. Gatewood


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Author: Doorways of Grace



The Soul’s Response to Righteousness


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Luke 19:41 – 44 AMP

And as He approached, He saw the city, and He wept [audibly] over it. Exclaiming, Would that you had known personally, even at least in this your day, the things that make for peace (for freedom from all the distresses that are experienced as the result of sin and upon which your peace – your security, safety, prosperity, and happiness – depends)! But now they are hidden from your eyes.
For a time is coming upon you when your enemies will throw up a bank (with pointed stakes) about you and surround you and shut you in on every side.
And they will dash you down to the ground, you [Jerusalem] and your children within you; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, [all] because you did not come progressively to recognize and know and understand [from observation and experience] the time of your visitation [that is, when God was visiting you, the time in which God showed Himself gracious toward you and offered you salvation through Christ.]”

In this passage of scripture, Jesus grieved openly knowing what would be forthcoming for the people of Jerusalem. Despite what the people had personally witnessed, Jesus the Prince of Peace, Who had been presented to them as the living Son of God, would not be received into the hearts of the Jewish people.

What He knew for them: Know Jesus-Know Peace, No Jesus-No Peace

All Christians are commanded by God to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (PS122:6). The passage continues,”May they prosper who love you, May peace be within your walls, prosperity within your palaces”  To be a Christ-follower is to love and pray fervently, frequently for the entire nation of Israel. Although the peace of Jerusalem was not accomplished in Jesus’ earthly life, it has been left for us to cover His people in prayer and other means until His return. I fully believe that America’s first responsibility is to cover and protect Israel.

The following scripture describes the Peace that will come with God’s Reign:
Isaiah 32:15-18
Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is valued as a forest. Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness will abide in the fruitful field. And the effect of righteousness will be peace [internal and external], and the result of righteousness will be quietness and confident trust forever. My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, in safe dwellings, and in quiet resting places.

 We can experience His Peace Prior to His Reign Through the Understanding of  Righteousness. Righteousness means in right-standing with God and in conformity to His will and purposes. We cannot be righteous, or in right standing with God without understanding and accepting the working power of the blood of Jesus. The Blood is Heaven’s Clorox, its only cleansing agent.

It is impossible to work or perform our way into right-standing with God. Churches may teach that by watching our words, making our vessels (our bodies) more holy [yet holiness is important to God], or praying lengthy prayers, or confessing sin can put us in right standing. This is erroneous. True righteousness welcomed by God comes by complete acknowledgement that His Son’s sacrifice fully achieved everything necessary to remove the dividing wall between God and You. This puts the focus (and responsibility) totally on Jesus for this achievement, one that no mortal could ever accomplish. To assume that one could actually be made righteous by a person’s own merits, clearly illustrates a lack of understanding of the magnitude of the Cross. This positioning creates ‘self-righteousness’ There may be nothing more noxious to God.

The Book of Romans could easily be named ‘the Book of Righteousness’, providing more information on this subject than any other chapter in the Bible. Romans 4:3 refers to Abraham, the Father of our Faith –
For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.

Have you ever exhibited ungodly behavior? Yes ____  No ____ Is it comforting to know that your behavior has already been justified by God through the blood of Jesus?  Yes_____ No _____Does this make you want to sin more? No ______  (of course not)

One cannot be justified by works – God imputes His righteousness ASIDE FROM OUR WORKS in exchange for our sin. This is called Grace – undeserved, unmerited favor which is freely given. We are only made righteous BY FAITH in Jesus and His sacrifice. His resurrection served as ratification for a New Covenant.  This is the only way pleasing to God. Does this soothe the soul (mind, will, emotions) bringing a quietness and a confident trust? (Isaiah 32:17).  That peace you may feel is the result of  Jesus’ righteousness and the acknowledgement, by resting in faith, that He (not you) has paid it all on your behalf.

Copyright 2017  All Rights Reserved Doorways of Grace ministries

Tracy Gatewood
Twitter: @TracyLGatewood
Facebook: Tracy Gatewood Writer Teacher

The Spirit of Peace
We Have Not Been Given A Spirit of Fear

The Spirit of Peace


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I once heard Andrew Wommack say in a broadcast that ‘Peace is an emotion’.  I had always thought of peace as a state of being or a lack of emotion or even state of rest, never having considered peace to be like other emotional responses to adverse circumstances such as fear, shame, trauma, etc. As white is the absence of all color, peace, to me, has always been simply the absence of negative emotion. This week, I decided to do a word study on peace because let’s face it – peace is a big deal.  I am glad to say that we, as Believers, can stand confidently, #stableandfixed victoriously rooted in the soil of peace.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

In this verse Jesus is telling us that 1) We now own our peace because it is being given as a gift from Him – the Amplified actually uses the word bequeath which is property given after death  2) We have been given the identical state of peace that Jesus Himself is able to access and 3) It was being given by Him through a different vehicle unlike any other way peace could be delivered and achieved for us on the earth.

So what is Peace and how is it possible to attain peace since we have been given its title deed? Jesus mentioned peace to the disciples multiple times near the end of His life on earth. Peace in the Hebrew (Old Testament) means ‘Shalom’, which is a rich Jewish word with multiple meanings; completeness, wholeness, soundness, prosperity,  quietness, contentedness. Peace in the Greek (New Testament) is similar: tranquility, felicity, safety, fearing nothing from God, content. Spiritual Peace in the Amplified is defined as peace with God, harmony, unity, and living in an undisturbed state.

The very first words that Jesus said to the disciples when He returned to them following His crucifixion were ‘Peace to you!’ [John 20:19] He repeated that phrase again [John 20:21] moments before He breathed the Holy Spirit into them declaring “Receive the Holy Spirit!” Eight days later Jesus returned to be with His disciples and again His first words were ‘Peace to you!” [John 20:26].  Jesus found it important to proclaim, ‘Peace to you’ multiple times in a short span of days.

But why? Jesus had clearly given His disciples ownership of His peace prior to His crucifixion and then returned to them giving it over and over again. If one has been bequeathed a gift and knows it – why would the Gift-giver continue to present the gift multiple times? I believe that by Jesus releasing His peace – it was the same force that occurred when the storm was blowing when He said ‘Peace be Still’ – and then the wind died. In the same way, ‘Peace to you’, released His peace into the disciples, taking authority over any spirit that was not peaceful in that atmosphere. Here is why that can happen – Peace is a Spirit and we have dominion over every spirit on the earth.

Following 17 years of experiencing highly concentrated training sessions in the Holy Spirit’s Life Boot Camp, I have learned a few 18K gold truths, most of them through …. well let’s just say nothing associated with ease:  1) God is the source of everything. Period.  2) Holy Spirit is the best ‘Mind Manager’ ever devised (Physical Manager, too)  3) Jesus is all supply – lack of faith (fear) turns off His supply flow  4) It is only faith in Jesus that pleases God  5) A thorough knowledge of Who Jesus Christ truly is and an acceptance of the infinite, immutable love of God,  (understanding that He is always working on our behalf no matter what ) are the two most stabilizing forces that exist for any individual. 6) The work of Jesus is complete, finished. There were and have been many weeks in the Boot Camp I had to fight hard for what felt like elusive peace.

When Jesus stated in John 14:27, ‘Not as the world gives do I give to you ‘ – this was a sure word that His peace was arriving via [very] Special Delivery. Enter the Holy Spirit. There is no more crucial relationship for an individual than with the Spirit of Jesus. Holy Spirit is THE internal Comforter, Advocate, Counselor, Teacher, Helper assigned by Jesus to manage the Control Panel of our peace. I have previously written about the different roles of the Godhead but in the New Covenant, the Grace Covenant – we are charged to live led by the Spirit.  In today’s post,  I will detail one tangible, practical application to tackle torment and unrighteous thoughts that will provide relief by partnering with the Holy Spirit.  This is tried, tested and truly works.

Hebrews 10:22  Let us all come forward and draw near with true (honest and sincere hearts) in unqualified assurance and absolute conviction engendered by faith, having our hearts sprinkled and purified from a guilty conscience and our bodies cleansed with pure water.  Hebrews 12:23-35   and to the general assembly and assembly of the firstborn who are registered [as citizens] in heaven, and to God, who is Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous (the redeemed in heaven) who have been made perfect [bringing them to their final glory], 24 and to Jesus, the Mediator of a new covenant [uniting God and man], and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks [of mercy], a better and nobler and more gracious message than the blood of Abel [which cried out for vengeance].

Just as blood was sprinkled on the Mercy Seat for the cleansing and forgiveness of sin on the Ark of the Covenant,  the sprinkling of blood on our minds has the same impact on unrighteous thoughts. Blood is the currency of Heaven. Blood is required for the remission of sin by God. The blood of Jesus is efficacious, flowing continually to cleanse from all unrighteousness.  When you call on Holy Spirit to sprinkle the blood of Jesus on your own mind as a cleansing agent from unrighteous thoughts; fear, shame, trauma, abusive memories, anger, anxiety, depression, rage, hatred, unforgiveness – He, as the Spirit of Jesus, will purify your mind from all torment and unrighteousness. The blood delivered by the Administrator of the New Covenant, The Spirit, ushers in the spirit of Peace.

When I pray for another person against depression, anxiety or any emotional turmoil – I direct a person to focus on Jesus and the crown of thorns that paid for our mental freedom. Then I bind up those spirits of fear, torment, despair, anger and anything else the Holy Spirit brings to my attention to release from this prison. [Only a Christian that reveres, understands and respects the holiness of the blood of Jesus should attempt these prayers.]  To Be Continued –

If you move forward to partner with Holy Spirit for your recovery from the attacks of emotional turmoil, I am very interested in your circumstances. Please leave a comment or let me know how I can pray for you.

#StableandFixed  #Jesus  #Emotions  #Healing

Tracy L Gatewood
Twitter @TracyLGatewood
Facebook: Tracy Gatewood Writer Teacher
Amazon Author: Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and Meeting Jesus
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We Are Not Given A Spirit of Fear


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[Author’s Note: I have studied physical and emotional healing for 20 years and the Lord continues to deliver new ah-ha’s!  The effects of extreme negative emotions on the body, in particular fear, are undeniable. This article addresses “inherited” generational physical conditions. This will be new information for many of you. ]

II Timothy 1:7 AMP   For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven, cringing and fawning fear), but [ He has given us a spirit ] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. [ The 2nd letter of Paul to Timothy written while Paul was imprisoned in Rome. ]

In preparation of writing this article, I found these public definitions helpful :

Timidity – a lack of courage or confidence.

Fear – a painful emotion or passion excited by an expectation of evil, or the apprehension of impending danger. Fear expresses less apprehension than dread, and dread less than terror and fright. The force of this passion, beginning with the most moderate degree, may be thus expressed;  fear, dread, terror, fright. Fear is accompanied with a desire to avoid or ward off the expected evil. Fear is an uneasiness of mind, upon which the thought of future evil is likely to befall us. Fear is the passion of our nature which excites us to provide for our security, on the approach of evil. [ Definition from the KJV Bible ]

It is interesting that Fear as defined is more related to apprehension or expectation of evil  rather than the actual occurrence.  The damage of Fear occurs more in the build-up to the unknown and in the unexpected  where it blooms, builds, breeds and then bleeds. It is in this breeding that Fear seeps from the mind into the soul and then into the physical body.  Fear is the Red Carpet on which every single negative emotional spirit confidently strides into the realm of a person’s soul. Fear is the devil’s key that turns, unlocks then swings wide open the door into the soul of a person that buys into its effects.

The conditions that stem from fear, anxiety and stress are numerous.   [ The spiritual root cause of stress is fear; a lack of trust, and unbelief. ]  The following are just a few conditions that are medically proven to have a spiritual root cause based in a spirit of  fear:  angina, hypertension, arrhythmia, mitral valve prolapse, all number of cardiovascular issues, coronary artery disease,  strokes  (also related to anger and rage), IBS, Colitis.  < ref.  A More Excellent Way,  Dr. Henry Wright  >   The roots of fear and condemnation are typically at the base of practically every disease.

Emotional damage from specific external circumstances are detrimental to the human body:  the after effects from  abuse, shame, trauma, rejection, and abandonment are the most damaging to the human mind and soul, requiring immediate healing attention before their effects take root and flow through the body. Typically the damage comes from protracted, or consistent occurrences of  these negative emotions ( fear, abuse, shaming, trauma, rejection and abandonment). Exposure to these extreme occurrences must be dealt with through spiritual means;  spirits must be dealt with by The Spirit.

There are numerous references to evil spirits, foul and unclean spirits in scripture. The following are found in the New Testament –

Matthew 10:1 AMP  And Jesus summoned to Him  His twelve disciples and gave them power and authority over unclean spirits, to drive them out, and to cure all kinds of disease and all kinds of weakness and infirmity.
< Example of an unclean spirit today would be an STD  >

 We have authority and dominion over our own bodies, our emotions and our physical well being.

The Jews thought even Jesus was possessed by a demon ( which was a very bad move on their part ) – and recognized spirits and demons as harbingers of disease and mental illness: John 8:48 AMP  The Jews answered Him, Are we not right when we say You are a Samaritan and that You have a demon (that you are under the power of an evil spirit)?

Referring to actions of the Apostles – Acts 5:16 AMP  And the people gathered also from the towns and hamlets around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those troubled with foul spirits, and they were all cured.

Acts 8:7 AMP  For foul spirits came out of many who were possessed by them, screaming and shouting with a loud voice, and many who were suffering from palsy or were crippled were restored to health.

These same evil, foul and unclean spirits are alive and moving with great intentionality on the earth today. Medical science has now simply given them a sophisticated name. If a person is not delivered from a spirit – that spirit can remain in them throughout life. What happens in the next generation to the child of that parent that comes into the same disease, condition or infirmity ? What we call “inherited”,  typically was simply legal access opened by a spirit of fear or traumatic event, a spirit that should have never gained entrance in the first place.

Scenario:  Your parent goes through a traumatic occurrence; divorce, car accident, extended job loss with no income, etc. There is tremendous fear, trauma and possibly shame and if divorce is involved then rejection. This parent then develops cancer. This parent then develops fibromyalgia or rheumatoid arthritis. This parent then suffers a stroke. Whatever the scenario – from that point forward – in the history of the child, it is assumed that they have an inherited “chip” for the disease that the parent developed due to their bodies response to an extreme emotional circumstance. They are now in fact considered predisposed to a disease, because an emotional spirit gained access causing a disease, infirmity or condition due to an extreme event that was not managed or delivered.

Do you see how important it is when Jesus exhorted us to ‘ Fear Not ‘?  What diseases are in your family line ?   Are you aware of the history leading to the onset of the disease ?

We do not have to live at the mercy of our ancestors emotions or external occurrences that opened doors to disease nor our own emotional wounds that turn into physical conditions.  As Christians we have been gifted with the Great Stabilizer,  the Son of God, Christ Jesus. When we walk in knowledge of Who He is and What He has done – it has an immediate affect on our bodies.

The following are focus points for all who believe –

1) Deep understanding of the authentic, infinite and immutable love of God and that His heart is always turned toward you – the royal law of love: Matthew 22:37-40  2) The Finished Work of Jesus through His sacrifice  3) A thorough knowledge of the New Covenant benefits, those promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in Genesis 4) When walking through seasons of lack, an unbending focus on Jesus who is ALL SUPPLY  5) Recognition of the advocacy and the leading of the Holy Spirit  6) Knowledge that a lack of faith will block the flow of the favor of God and the understanding of the law of faith; Romans 3:27-28

Proverbs 1:32-33
For the backsliding of the simple shall slay them and the
careless ease of the (self-confident) fools shall destroy them

But whoso hearkens to me [ wisdom] shall dwell securely and in
confident trust and shall be quiet, without fear or dread of evil.


Tracy Gatewood
Sacred Ramblings
Sharing Link:  We Are Not Given A Spirit of Fear
Twitter  @TracyLGatewood
Periscope  Tracy Gatewood
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Amazon Author: Doorways of Grace, My UnCommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and Meeting Jesus –

Related: Jesus the Bishop of Our Souls
Related: Healing and the Armor of God

Psalm 91 AMP


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He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High,
shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty.
[ Whose power no foe can withstand.]
I will say of the Lord, His is my Refuge and my Fortress, My God;
on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I (confidently) trust! 
For (then) He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and the
deadly pestilence.
(Then) He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings shall
you trust and find refuge;  His truth and His faithfulness are a shield
and a buckler.

You shall not be afraid of the terror of the night, nor of the arrow (the
evil plots and slanders of the wicked) that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor of the destruction
and sudden death that surprise and lay waste at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand but
none shall come near you, only a spectator shall you be, yourself inaccessible
in the Secret Place of the Most High as you witness the reward of the wicked.

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.
For He will give His angels (especial) charge over you to accompany and defend 
and preserve you in all of your ways [of obedience and service].
They shall bear you up on their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone,
You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent shall
you trample underfoot.

Because he has set His love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on
high, because he knows and understands my name [has a personal knowledge of My mercy, love, and kindness – trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never forsake him, no never].
He shall call upon Me and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble,  I will deliver him, and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation.

Perspective is Everything


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Genesis 45:4-8
“And Joseph said to his brothers, Come near to me, I pray you. And they did so. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But now do not be distressed and disheartened and angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me ahead of you to preserve life.
For these two years the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years more in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. God sent me before you to preserve for you a posterity and to continue a remnant on the earth to save your lives by a great escape and save for you many survivors.
So now it was not you who sent me here but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.”

The Old Testament story of Joseph is a verdant treasury of how to handle adversity. Many know this story well – a young Joseph boasted to his brothers that he saw them in a dream all bowing down to him. This enraged his brothers and they threw Joseph into a well then sold him to slave traders en route to Egypt. Joseph was purchased at a slave market by a man named Potiphar who was a leader in Pharaoh’s court. Joseph performed his job with such excellence for Potiphar that he promoted Joseph to a position of influence.

Genesis 39:4  So Joseph pleased Potiphar and found favor in his sight, and he served him. And his master made him supervisor over his house and he put all that he had in his charge.  Joseph definitely knew how to make lemonade out of lemons.

The story progresses where once again Joseph is betrayed by Potiphar’s own wife who lies to her husband while asking for Joseph to be put to death. Potiphar, recognizing that Joseph was incapable of what he was being accused, sent him to prison instead. The story ends in a miraculous release when Pharaoh himself asks Joseph to interpret a dream which he did successfully. Pharaoh appointed him Governor over all the land of Egypt.

Many years before – God made a covenant with Abraham and stated that his descendants would number the stars in the sky.  He made the same covenant with Abraham’s son, Isaac as well as Isaac’s son, Jacob. Jacob was the father of Joseph.  Joseph was promoted by the hand of God right on time to deliver not only his own family from famine but millions of Egyptians and people from surrounding nations that had no food. Joseph saved the remnant of people that God had promised to his father, grandfather and great grandfather. Joseph knew why he had been spared: Gen. 45:7God sent me before you to preserve for you a posterity and to continue a remnant on the earth, to save your lives by a great escape and save for you many survivors.” Joseph was strong in his own identity, and purpose and knew that God had saved him for this very important work despite a life of difficulty and a level of rejection few have experienced.

As God Himself is wisdom,  He saw the exact recipe of circumstances that would blend Joseph into the man He required, and because He has all foreknowledge knew the exact moment Joseph needed to be drawn from the oven of prison. Our God sees the end from the beginning.

“Wisdom, among other things, is the ability to devise perfect ends and to achieve those ends by the most perfect means. It sees the end from the beginning, so there can be no need to conjecture. Wisdom sees everything in focus, each in proper relation to all, and is thus able to work toward predestined goals with flawless precision. All God’s acts are done in perfect wisdom first for His own glory, and then for the highest good of the greatest number for the longest time. And all His acts are as pure as they are wise, and as good as they are wise and pure. Not only could His acts not be better done, a better way to do them could not be imagined. An infinitely wise God must work in a manner not to be improved upon by finite creatures.Oh Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom thou hast made them all. The earth is full of thy riches!”  A.W. Tozer  Knowledge of the Holy

Joseph spent 13 total years as a slave or imprisoned. He was 30 years old when Pharaoh promoted him to be Governor of Egypt. (Genesis 41:46)

Few, if any, personally know anyone that would embrace the notion that slavery was permissible or acceptable in any society. Slavery is the enslavement of an individual that historically is forced to live and work under mostly inhumane conditions, suffer abusive treatment at the hands of  “owners” – and for all of their days live a life of servitude. The slave trade in Africa began in the 15th century not long after traders from other nations like Portugal, England, Spain and Holland landed. The United States took much lower numbers of slaves than many other participating nations. By the time the united colonies became the United States of America, descendants working for landowners had been enslaved between 3 to 5 generations, with most North American slaves coming from western Africa – now modern day Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia and the Ivory Coast.

Without question, the day that slavery was abolished was a Red Letter day, ending a destructive and evil culture that harmed an entire race for hundreds of years. But can we consider something new into this equation – the possibility of a new possibility regarding slavery and the perpetuation of this evil? If we understand that God sees life and all circumstances from the beginning to the end, and we believe that God is a good, good Father, is it plausible to assume that He allowed Africans to be brought to the United States, despite the TRAGIC circumstances, knowing that He Himself would produce great good from great evil? That in the United States,  Africans could be free to worship, many coming to know God as well as His Son Jesus, saving entire generations of families from eternal destruction. That when delivered to the shores of the United States these Africans and their ancestors could have opportunities and a way of living reaching far beyond what their forefathers in West Africa could ever dream?  Like Joseph, they were destined with a purpose that required them to experience hardship, not to break them, but to refine and to re-purpose.

As monuments of Confederate generals are being dismantled and removed as they serve to some as a reminder of slavery,  this raises questions. Because Egyptians enslaved the Jews for 400 years (Please Note:  the Jews are God’s Chosen People), have the Egyptians destroyed the pyramids and temples that were built as monuments to Phaorahs by the enslaved Jews because it was wrong to use slaves? Have the Italians bulldozed the Colosseum in Rome where Christians were impaled and lit on fire as human torches or fed to lions for sport? Have they destroyed monuments to Roman Emperors?  No and No and No. In fact the Colosseum in Rome is a major tourist attraction with tourism a primary source of revenue, but only ISIS and al Qaeda think its cool to kill Christians.

Despite the obvious evil that slavery is – it is pointless to erase historical references, and unnecessary if people understand and believe that their hardship can achieve or has achieved a higher, more prevailing purpose.  Through history we learn a better way,  with some history left to serve as a reminder that it never bears repeating.  When hardship does not result in God-framed and God-inspired revealed purposes, it will result in a demonstration of revealed destruction and bitterness.  Perspective is Everything.

Tracy L Gatewood

Sacred Ramblings    May 2017
Perspective is Everything: My Response to the Removal of Monuments
Twitter:  @TracyLGatewood
Facebook: @TracyGatewoodWriterTeacher
Author: Doorways of Grace; My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and Meeting Jesus


Grace and the Law of First Mention


The Law of First Mention is commonly looked upon by biblical scholars and teachers as the place that the word seen for the first time sets the standard for the remaining references throughout scripture. As we know, the Bible is penned through men by the Holy Spirit and in the unchanging mind of God – a word remains in context from the first time spoken or mentioned. The word Grace can act as both Noun and Verb. The first mention of Grace is found Genesis 6:8 in the story of Noah and his family. Gen.6:8  “But Noah found grace (favor) in the eyes of the Lord“.  (Verb Grace – a verb you may recall is an ACTION word)

Like Abraham, Noah was found by God to be a just and righteous man. Gen.6:9 Noah walked in intimate relationship with God. The Lord gave to Noah explicitly detailed instruction on how to build an ark that would house Noah’s own family and pairs of every animal species – saving them from a destruction designed to wipe out an entire generation for their wickedness. A holy re-set on all of humanity.

The most used definition for Grace is ‘undeserved, unmerited favor‘. It denotes a gift from God, only obtainable by His enduring mercy. Grace cannot be purchased or performed, it is purely an extension of His loving nature. God’s love for us is far reaching and immutable.

Romans 11:6 But if it is by grace (His unmerited favor and graciousness) it is no longer conditioned on works or anything men have done. Otherwise grace would no longer be grace [ it would be meaningless]”.

Has God revised His context of Grace since it was ushered in by the Last Adam – Jesus ? Christ Jesus is the actual embodiment of Truth and Grace.  If Romans 11:6 is accurate, where grace is not conditioned on works – Noah’s righteousness (right standing) came through His close relationship with God Himself and God’s own knowledge of Noah’s heart. When given the option to choose, God knew that Noah would be the one to move forward on this critical mission. There was little margin for error on the assignment.

The first mention of grace refers to how God saw Noah – Noah found grace (favor) in the eyes of  God.  Jesus, Abraham, Moses and Noah all found favor with God and each were given world changing assignments. All of these men were seen as righteous and  possessing mature character traits.   If grace is ‘undeserved, unmerited’  (one cannot earn it)  would it be fair to say that to just be nominated for the Assignment we must still have our attention focused on Him, possessing mature character and be in very close relationship? Devotion would be an even  better word. Devotion prioritizing Him. This involves no striving or work – it is simply a completely yielded, love relationship with the Father resulting in continual restful responses of service and obedience out of love and respect for who He is and what He has done. Being in position for the Assignment definitely requires faith –

Hebrews 11:7  [ Prompted] by faith, Noah being forewarned  by God concerning events of which as yet there was no visible sign, took heed and diligently and reverently constructed and prepared an ark for the deliverance for his own family. By this [his faith which relied on God]  he passed judgement and sentence on the world’s unbelief and became an heir and possessor of righteousness (that possession of being right into which god puts the person who has faith).

Jesus as we know lived an irrefutably righteous life – much more so than Noah. When Noah “found favor in the eyes of God” he was not seeking it nor was God’s grace lost until it found Noah. The action of God’s grace was always there and still is. Jesus like Noah was favored by God and given an assignment that required complete focus, determination and rigorous discipline to complete. Jesus like Noah remained in very close communication and relationship with God – the Amplified states Noah walked in ‘habitual fellowship’ with God and we know Jesus did as well.  Jesus like Noah was honored by God with a Covenant (promise, pledge). Noah’s covenant covered him and his family’s safety and a very large zoo’s worth of animals.  God’s Covenant with Jesus served to save all of mankind from eternal damnation by exchanging our own sin for His sinless body and blood, retroactive from the beginning of time to the end of time.  Both assignments changing the course of mankind – one on earth the other for all eternity.

Should we consider Jesus as all Truth and Favor ? To have grace is to have favor and to know Jesus intimately is to have both of these. I could write a number of articles just on rounding out the favor in Jesus.  Interestingly,  Jesus never mentioned the word Grace (Charis in Greek) in His teachings however His actions of grace are abundantly evident throughout His teachings and interactions with people. He modeled grace and illustrated grace repeatedly in His spoken parables (prodigal son, woman at the well, the demoniac). Grace (Noun) was the word used liberally by the Apostle Paul to describe Christ Jesus and as Paul traveled he greeted people with Grace (Action) teaching people the meaning of God’s gospel of grace as embodied in His Son Jesus. Jesus was (and is) Grace and Paul had the responsibility to draw out the meaning of Grace.

His Grace is Active.

Acts 20:32
And now I commend you to God [placing you in His protective, loving care] and [I commend you] to the word of His grace [the counsel and promises of His unmerited favor]. His grace is able to build you up and to give you the [rightful] inheritance among all those who are sanctified [that is, among those who are set apart for God’s purpose—all believers].

Tracy Gatewood

Twitter:  @TracyLGatewood
Author: Doorways of Grace, available on Amazon
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Related Post:  The Assignment:

The gift of salvation is a Grace gift – as one is drawn by the Holy Spirit to receive Jesus as Savior – there is no work or striving involved. It is simply a decision – an act of will, a surrender. Have you prayed to receive Jesus ?
Eph 2:8 For it is by grace [ God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgement and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own efforts] but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God.

Eternal Life Gives Eternal Living


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Do you need a bit of Good News today ? If so, I have something for you. If you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, you are already blessed with the experience Christians refer to as Eternal Life. Here is something to consider – you don’t have to wait until you have passed onto Glory to experience this gift, you have a gift card to use and redeem right now – your card was activated by Jesus when you became born again. There is no expiration and no black out dates ! You are now walking in Eternal Living!

John 17:3 AMP Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true [supreme and sovereign] God, and [in the same manner know] Jesus [as the] Christ whom You have sent.

Eternal life is a reference to Eternal salvation. The word Salvation in the Greek is Sozo and is the same word used for Healing. God uses the same spiritual mechanism to save as He does to heal, and that is the acceptance of His Son and everything that Jesus died to give. When experiencing sickness, disease, or infirmity, make a decision to focus on the cross and the body of Christ and the physical aspects of His sacrifice. Thank Jesus for everything that He did on the cross to purchase your healing from ______  illness.  I can tell you from experience that the illness will quickly begin living on borrowed time.

Jesus has paid all sin debt – He was the only one that could. Your authentic acceptance of Jesus as the perfect sacrifice is what saves you from Eternal damnation, scooping you away from the edge of the cliff and placing you back onto firm standing on the rock.

John 3:36 AMP  “He who believes and trusts in the Son and accepts Him [as Savior] has eternal life [that is, already possesses it]; but he who does not believe the Son and chooses to reject Him, [disobeying Him and denying Him as Savior] will not see [eternal] life, but [instead] the wrath of God hangs over him continually.


Tracy Gatewood
Twitter: @TracyLGatewood
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Author: Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and Meeting Jesus – available on Amazon.

A Prayer For Our Nation


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americanflag2015Most Merciful and Loving Father –

We come before you with praise and thanksgiving for the many blessings that you have bestowed on us, on our families on our communities and on our great nation. We thank you for placing us in this time and season of history because we know that your divine timing is perfect and You make no mistakes. Your ways are as pure as they are wise and your ways are as good as they are wise and pure and ALL of your actions are done for Your glory.

Today I petition for your help for our nation the United States of America. This beautiful country which was crafted by your hands through men and women placed in a holy crucible, as they were led by your spirit to form this nation. Lord we ask you for your mercy on us as we again come to a crossroad of opinions and agendas. I ask you to blow the smoke away from the nation and set a right order, your order – within every official – coming in or departing.  Show them the way – the right and honorable way – to lead during these times. I ask that You please move to restore order to our communities and across this Land with speed.

You are the Almighty –  El Elyon –  and as those who believe seek you in the Secret Place, we know that we remain stable and fixed under your protection, while covered underneath the shadow of your power.  We call out the death spirits of LAWLESSNESS and FEAR and command them by the power of Jesus Name and by our authority in the Blood of Jesus that these spirits be bound and silenced across our communities and this nation. We accept our duty as Holy Warriors of the Kingdom to exercise our abilities to defeat demonic forces through spiritual means by taking our authority in prayer to dismantle their assaults. We also call on angelic forces to surround our communities and bring them to order. We ask that in Jesus Name. I decree a bloodline of protection around my city, my state and our nation from these demonic spiritual attacks.

In these uncommon times Lord, we ask for uncommon levels of GRACE – for you to show yourself as Mighty, calming the hearts of the people and showing them that your hand is on this hour for all people, not just the ones that claim you as Lord.  We pray that quivering hearts and minds will turn toward you in this hour and claim your truths afresh rather than defaulting to fear and the fearful tactics of anger, rage and even murder.

We need you Father here in America. We depend on You to navigate our nation through supernatural means to extricate our government away from the precipice of economic destruction due to $20 trillion dollars of debt.  We depend on You for wisdom in how to make determinations on people that have moved into this country by illegal means.  We depend on Your wisdom Lord to shine the light on all of the major social issues that are consuming the minds of the American people and to assist our leaders in making these profoundly impactful decisions. We cannot move ahead successfully without you, Father. We must have your strength, your power and the wisdom that comes through You from above.

Hope defined is a confident expectation of good in every situation. Please restore HOPE and CONFIDENCE in the people of America, reminding each one of the great things that you have done in past times. Remind them that You are God – and Republicans and Democrats are not nor will ever be. That You alone direct the water courses of Kings and Nations and that work in this Nation will glorify You or change can occur with no notice to insure your will is done. We ask for your Spirit to lead our Nation to a balance of HOPE and RESTORED ORDER beginning now, today. Shut the mouths of the slanderers, mockers and gossipers who are filled with hate and who are stoking the flames of fear among the people. Quench the fire of the Religious and Fan the Flame of anointing in people that are in true authentic relationship with Jesus. Draw people to your Word for Truth and Knowledge, away from political pundits and mere men that cannot properly discern these times and seasons.  Give your people 20/ 20 Vision in the Realm of the Spirit to see what you want us to see and to help those that cannot see You in these circumstances and have them help without judgment.

Now to the people listening – I speak to every spirit of Fear and I rebuke you in Jesus Name. Jesus bequeathed peace to everyone that claimed a relationship with Him and I release Peace into your mind. Jesus bore a crown of thorns on His head that drew the blood that Purchased peace in our minds for all of mankind so by the power and authority that I have in the Name of Jesus and By the Blood of Jesus – I bind up Fear and I release Peace, and Calm. I decree that the Tormenter be Silenced in Jesus Name.

God Bless You and  May God Bless America. AMEN.

The City of Heaven


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Cities are important to God. In the NIV, there are 669 references to the word ‘city’. Cities being built, cities being destroyed, cities being attacked, cities falling under God’s wrath, cities being blessed in fact, for those that believe that God’s Son’s sacrifice paid the debt for all sin – God has prepared for them a ‘city in heaven’ ( Hebrews 11:15).

The writer of Hebrews could have used another word to describe this heavenly place;  region, colony, parish (for the Louisiana Christians), state, even Heaven by itself with no other geographical term, leaving what Heaven really is like up to our imagination, but the author of Hebrews uses the word ‘city’. This ‘Holy City’ is described in rich detail in Revelation 21:2-22:19, and in the final chapter of Revelation, refers to the restoration of Eden, the Garden of:

Revelation 22:1-5
 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.

I don’t know about you but this reference to Heaven being a city brings me comfort. Many questions remain but I hope to be greeted by at least some familiar environments in my new ( Holy) City with admittedly a few superficial benefits; free shopping, restaurants serving large and flavorful portions with zero calories, bookstores with aisle after aisle of books, offering NO Harry Potter or any books pertaining to sorcery, vampires, death or blood other than the blood of Jesus. ( I also expect to have no need for any fitness enterprise). The thing I most look forward to is hearing Jesus teach and spending time with Him, maybe even sitting near Him in front row center section during very cool concerts in an outdoor venue in the City of Heaven listening to the  Hallelujah Chorus in surround angelic sound.

The Holy City of Heaven is certainly going to be a big step up – jasper walls, gold streets, and of course, pearly gates. There are frequent references in scripture to City  Gates. I have noticed that there is something consistently good about things that happen inside the walls of these gates – directly opposite of what can happen outside the gates: stonings  (way more deadly than the marijuana kind), crucifixions, visitations from the devil out in the count(r)y, those kinds of things. Scary stuff. Cities are good. Elders and local churches are there, leadership and structure are there, economies, commerce and opportunity for increase are there. Healthcare and medical services are there, too.

In 2011,  my city went through a catastrophic EF-4 tornado that vaporized 12% of all structures leaving a 6 mile long, 1 mile wide swath of destruction. I watched as the local church transformed into mini city halls becoming high level distribution centers leveraging its membership rolls, staff, all systems of communication and finances to save and secure lives and property. It was remarkable to witness the local church at its finest hour. A high concentration of strong churches is a highly desirable component of any city any time but particularly when disaster strikes. {Sacred Ramblings, June 2011: Equip the Bride:}

Not only are cities on God’s radar but geography and placement for His People are extremely important to Him – where a person lives can dictate a high degree of favor if it is God’s chosen place to fulfill their destiny and purpose.  You should engage in times of prayer to hear from His Spirit when considering any move. God surely moved Abraham, Joseph, Joshua and in due time, establishing them securely in cities that utilized their highest potential. Being in the right city with the right people and a strong foundation can make – or break – your destiny. Being in the right city should be a high priority for every one that knows Jesus Christ as their Chief Shepherd. Listen, listen for His voice.

The Apostle Paul, as did other Apostles,  moved strategically from city to city, embracing each to preach the Gospel, igniting flames of the Spirit where ever He taught. He planned his journey from city to city – not from nation to nation. It was by transforming influential cities through relationship and teaching, that fueled the fire of the Gospel message throughout that part of the world which ultimately impacted the nations. God chose Paul, a Roman citizen, to bring the Gentiles to the knowledge of His Son –  through the  portal of cities. As a man or woman of God, you have an eternal hometown, and forwarding address,  a divine destination called the City of Heaven.


Tracy Gatewood
September 2016 Sacred Ramblings

Twitter:  @TracyLGatewood
Facebook: Tracy Gatewood Christian Writer and Teacher
Author: Doorways of Grace, available on Amazon