HOLD FAST

Hold-On-To-HopeHere’s an interesting vision I had this week. I saw people talking while looking
at themselves  in a mirror; the strange part was their reflections were also talking,
but saying something completely different.

Here is the understanding.
In one moment, we call forth what we hope for; and, in the very next moment,
by our own words, we nullify what we first spoke and are hoping to receive!

Oh, to truly know the power of our words and the importance of our hope.
Hope matters; it’s the springboard for our faith.  According to Heb 11:1 it is our
faith that actually creates the substance by which what we are hoping for becomes
a visible reality. This is the place of calling what doesn’t exist as though it does;
bringing what is unseen into reality. The power behind this kind of faith is a sure
foundation of trust.

The application of this is nicely put forth in Hebrews 10:23
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He Who promised
is faithful.”

The Hebrew word for “hold fast” means to “cling tightly”. Related meanings are
“to solder, fuse, glue”. The same Hebrew word is also used to describe the intimacy
between a husband and wife! This means our holding fast isn’t just casually
throwing out some empty words, but that we are so into what we’re believing, we
become one with our expectation! The overall context of verse 23 refers to the promise
of eternal life, but this same resolve, of holding fast to what we say, is what we need in
our everyday lives.

It’s interesting that the next verse (24) begins with the word “And”. This implies it is
connected with verse 23, as a continuation of the same thought. “And let us consider one
another in order to stir up love and good works…”  How I wish that were true of everyone
we share our hopes and dreams with! The power of agreement is awesome; we are called
to come alongside of one another to encourage and support our respective hopes, visions,
and dreams. Separate yourself from “dream snatchers” who speak doubt and discouragement
to you!  Difficult circumstances and opposition aren’t to overwhelm or defeat us.
On the contrary, they are opportunities to hold fast in our faith and expect to see God’s
power breakthrough.

The surety of our hope received rests on God. He is the One Who is Faithful!

He is well able to fulfill all His promises. He has never failed, changed His mind, or
forgotten His Words to us.
The solidity of our faith to hold fast is in proportion to the degree we trust Him.
Trust means to believe in the reliability of another; to have confidence in another,
based on past experience.

Our knowledge of God, and certainty of His character,  only comes through an ongoing
relationship with Him and experiencing His love.
Do you trust Him?

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NECESSARY FOOD

FEED ONE

Much of our daily life is lived on “automatic”. Because we do many things the same way, every day, they become familiar, well established routines.
Unfortunately, that which has become familiar often diminishes in value or loses its impact.Such were my thoughts re the “last supper”. 1 Cor 11:23 This wasn’t
the first time Jesus gathered His disciples together for supper and to break bread. It was customary for them to do so.
Yet, as soon as Jesus spoke, it became clear this was a different night.

He began, as always, with giving thanks. “(He) took bread; and when He
had given thanks, He broke it and said, Take, eat;
But, wait….tonight He said something more…. “ this is My body
which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.
In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup
is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in
remembrance of Me.”

Were the disciples bewildered by Jesus words….comparing Himself to
a loaf of bread? Or did they remember that Jesus had referred to Himself
on earlier occasions as being The Bread of Life….the Living Bread that came
down from heaven. John 6:35; 51

Did they “connect the dots” and realize that night what Jesus was revealing
to them. Did they understand the symbolism of eating the bread and drinking
the wine.? This had to be the ultimate prophetic act…a heads up on
what was about to take place. In the past, they often proved themselves
unable to understand what Jesus was teaching them.

They may have remembered when Jesus spoke, He distinguished between the
existing law – ”You say” , and His teachings – ”but, I say” Matt 5:21
Even so, it seems doubtful they understood He was soon to validate this new
covenant by shedding His blood. It appears from the disciples overall response
to Jesus’ betrayal and death, they had not as yet understood His words

Do any of us fully understand the significance of all Jesus said and did that
night? How we live our lives reveals the degree of our understanding.

In obedience to “do this in remembrance of Me”, many people reenact the
last supper (communion) on a regular basis. For some it has become automatic;
a meaningless routine, with little memory of the night Jesus spoke those words.
Repetition without awareness or revelation is of little value!

Jesus often taught by example. When He humbled Himself and washed the
disciples feet, He said, “For I have given you an example, that you should do as
I have done to you.” John 13:15
Would His command to “do this” have deeper personal significance in that
now we are like bread and our lives are to be broken and
given to others? Our life blood is to be poured out for others? Yikes!

It starts to come together when we remember Who Jesus is. He is The Word of God;
the visible representation of the invisible God.
He is the Great Physician, the Healer – God Words are “life to those who find them,
and health to all the flesh.” Prov 4:22

This is necessary food!
‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the
mouth of God.” Deut 8:3 When we eat (read, memorize, meditate
on God’s words), we have something to feed to others. Beyond that, following
Jesus example again, we willingly sacrifice our lives to serve others.

It starts with giving thanks!

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THE SAME YEAR

IMG_0218Early this morning I saw many groups of people
all holding calendars and tearing off Dec 2016 to get to the new year. Some were super excited, looking through their 2017 calendar, enjoying the different photos and looking up holiday dates!

But, other people were perplexed. As they looked through their calendars they discovered the new year was exactly the same as the old year. They were disappointed and complaining that nothing had changed.

Here is the understanding. It didn’t matter what year it was because they had not changed. They remained set in their ways, refusing to go beyond what had become familiar and comfortable.  Such a paradox…they were looking for a fresh new start, but at the same time, fiercely clinging to their old ways and resisting change.

Worse yet, they had not let go of their disappointment and failures.
Resentment, self pity, pride, bitterness, and unforgiveness held them back from entering into the new year.

Jesus addressed this same principle in the parable of the wineskins. New wine must be put into new wine skins; the old covenant (legalistic adherence to the law) doesn’t fit into the new covenant (grace and mercy).  Luke 5:37

The change many are hoping for doesn’t come from a new page on the calendar. As always, genuine change comes from within; It is a matter of the  heart.

I refuse to drag anything from 2016 into 2017 that isn’t of God, or opposes the changes He is inviting me to make this year in my life.

What about you?  What year is your calendar?
 
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DOUBLE VISION

SEE BEYOND

2 Kings 6:11-18 continued

As we step into this new season, it matters where
our focus is! It is a time of great distractions!

Elisha lived in the spirit realm so he was not intimidated,
like his servant, by the army encamped around them.
Don’t allow the natural realm to override what is taking
place in the spirit. If we would take God at His Word and
put our eyes on things above, the spirit realm would
become more real to us.

The Lord wants us to have spiritual 20/20 vision!
The more time we spend in HIs presence, the more we will
see the things He sees. It was from that place of intimacy
with God, that Elisha’s prayers were answered.

When we see what is happening in the spirit realm, we will
be more accurate and confident in how we pray. This will be
a new level of authority and power!

In verse 18 as the Syrian army comes down to attack, Elisha
asks the Lord to strike them with blindness. The Lord did so
“according to the word of Elisha”.
Wow…that the Lord would honor and perform our word!
It is a further revelation of our being found trustworthy. The
word blindness here doesn’t mean they were totally unable to
see. If that were true, they couldn’t follow Elisha anywhere.
The meaning of the word is interesting…” to cause an illusion
or hallucination”. So Elisha led the “unseeing” army right into
Samaria, and then asked the Lord to open their eyes! It must
have been like awakening from a dream when the Syrians saw
they were in Samaria. When the king of Israel asks Elisha if he
should kill them all, Elisha said No! Feed them and send them
home. A great feast was prepared…the army ate, drank, went
home and never came again. Mercy triumphs over judgment!
James 2:13

Remember Elisha received a double portion of the anointing
from Elijah. As we pray for the Lord to give us spiritual 20/20
vision, notice the 20 twice….that speaks of double! We need
to believe Him for the double portion! Double abundance,
double grace, double prosperity, double favor etc

The number 20 also refers to redemption…can you see a
double harvest of souls?
What do you see?

 

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STORM RIDER

faithful-and-true-2Do you see the storm?

The dark clouds and flooding waters?
I see the Storm Rider!

Suddenly, it seemed like I was stepping into a re-run of an earlier
vision of Jesus on a beautiful white horse.  He stopped and asked
“Will you ride with me?” Of course I said “yes”;
but the moment I got the on the horse, it was a new vision!

 

We rode furiously fast…sparks of fire shot out from beneath the
horse’s hoofs!
With one sudden wave of the Lord’s arm, huge, menacing funnel
clouds were instantly swept away.  Gigantic waves began to roll
backward and diminish in size. Suddenly we were thundering across
the ocean floor …the pounding sound as we rode was pushing down
underwater “hills” that caused ocean plates to shift.

The vision ended as quickly as it came and left me wondering. Then
I was given the understanding that a type of tsunami/earthquake had
been diverted. It’s time is yet to come.

What do you see?
If all we see is what is right in front of us ( visible reality) we may
become discouraged or fearful.

Yesterday I shared an exciting word from 2 Kings 6:11-18.
These scriptures tell us that the king of Syria is quite frustrated because
the prophet Elijah continually knows Syria’s strategy and prevents
Israel from being ambushed. Finally, the king sends out his army to
capture Elijah. The army successfully locates him and surrounds the city.

When Elijah’s servant awakens in the morning and looks out, he freaks
out! The city is surrounded with horses and chariots. He runs to warn
Elijah, who tells him not to be fearful…”those who are with us are more
than those who are with them”.

Surely that was a perplexing statement to the servant who only saw
himself and his master. But then, Elijah asks the Lord to open his servant’s
eyes! Instantly the servant saw the mountain was full of horses and chariots
of fire all around!

This is a great picture of the new season we are stepping into.
The Lord is about to open our spiritual eyes and give us supernatural vision
to see eternal realities.

What do you see?

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THE VULTURE ANTIDOTE

imageMedia reports of “extremely shocking, unbelievably terrifying, horrifying,
and (their favorite) grisly events”, has caused waves of unrest in the hearts
and minds of many people. They no longer feel safe. Building on what they
have seen, and/or read, they create imaginary scenarios that continue to
increase their fear and anxiety.

Don’t allow this to happen! This is the fruit of an “undisciplined” mind
running rampart. It is like a city without walls (borders), where every evil
thing is free to come in.
Our thoughts are more powerful than most people realize. They
actually become a physical reality in our brain and body!
We have the amazing God-given ability to choose our thoughts. Whatever
we choose or allow ourselves to think directly affects our brain and body.
“For as he (a man) thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7
Scientific studies have verified that thoughts actually change matter!
This means what we think literally changes the physical structure of our
brain, which in turn, affects our body. Their mind-blowing conclusion is that
75-98% of all illness is from our thoughts….that leaves only 2 -25% is from
our genes and environment!

What in the world have we’ve been thinking??

Suddenly I saw (vision) huge vultures circling overhead and repeatedly
diving down to the ground. They were relentless in whatever they were
going after. The understanding is they represented toxic, destructive
thoughts that oppose the truth of God’s Word. So, once again, we are
reminded the battle is spiritual and over our thoughts.

The vultures were determined to take control of our minds with specific
thoughts that undermined any hope a person had. Depending upon
individual circumstances, thoughts of soon death, destruction, incurable
disease, financial ruin, divorce, loss, etc seemed unstoppable. The longer
these thoughts were allowed to stay, the more convincing they became.

Then something else happened. With loud shrieks, the vultures were
put to flight. There was a flash of light- like lightning, and the birds
gone. And then I saw it…the mighty sword of the Lord! It is only the
truth of His Word that will uproot and displace the lies of the enemy.

So the vulture antidote is what we already know….to keep our thoughts
constantly on the Lord….to capture every random, wrong, and/or
destructive thought and rethink it in agreement with how God sees it.
Isaiah 26:3; 2 Cor 10:3

Be challenged to become more aware of your thoughts. Keep a journal
for an hour. You will be amazed at how many random and unproductive
thoughts run constantly through your mind.
Be on the lookout for thoughts which are not in agreement with what
God says and how He sees you

Watch for Vultures!

 

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YIELD

yield

In the midst of last week’s activity, the Lord spoke an interesting word to me: YIELD!

To better understand why He spoke that particular word, I set out to clarify its meaning. YIELD – to give over; surrender, to make room for somethingor someone; to concede and be willing to agree; to be flexible under stress.

At the same time, I also saw the familiar red road sign that says “YIELD”. The revelation re the significance of this word is related to stubbornness. A stubborn person is quite obstinate and self-willed. Refusal to yield to God, or others can be costly. Take time to weigh the cost or consequence of your “being right”. How right do you want to be? As I was pondering that question, 3 different people requested prayer because they had been in car accidents. Someone had refused to yield and give the other person the right of way. Yikes!

The price of such stubbornness in the natural is apparent :damaged cars, whip lash, broken bones etc. Not so apparent,but just as real, is the impact on relationships, finances, etc.

Alas, how much more the spiritual cost of being right which we may not immediately see. Wisdom is needed as somethings are best resolved with the heart….rather than the mind.

“Now do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the LORD; and enter His sanctuary, which He has sanctified forever, and serve the LORD your God, that the fierceness of His wrath may turn away from you.” 2 Chron 30:8

“But no, my people wouldn’t listen. Israel did not want me around. So I let them follow their blind and stubborn way, living according to their own desires.” Ps 81:11, 12

 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” Prov 16:25

 

 

 

 

 

 

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