Bring on the Persecution! Bring on the Power!

The Bible says we’re to rejoice when people persecute us and tell all kinds of lies about us. So, rather than getting all shook up when the IRS seems to target the most effective ministers, or when a group of politicians tries to impeach a president who isn’t even in office, and when the media hands out lies like Halloween candy, let’s say, “Hey! That guy must be doing something right! If that gal is rejoicing every time she’s plagued and persecuted, her life is one big party!”

Let us not be surprised or dismayed or angered about what we’re told is coming. Jesus told Paul, in a nutshell, “They hated me, they’re gonna hate you.”

It’s not personal. It’s just darkness vs. light and there’s no hiding from it. We may as well stand up and fight.

How to stand? For what to fight?

We stand by humbly bowing to Him, by obeying His . . . command . . . to Love . . .

We stand by rejoicing because we are being continually filled with His Spirit via hanging out with and obeying Him, acting, thinking and talking like Him. Talking like Him, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Thinking like Him, “It’s not about politics in America. It’s about the Good News being preached throughout the earth.” Acting like Him, “I forgive my persecutors.” (Good Newsflash: When we’re continually spirit-filled, we have the power to forgive–we look like the One we say we serve.)

Praying, as He suggested? No, as He commanded. Praying for our enemies, that they may turn from darkness to light.

For what to fight? We fight for the Light, not to be right, not to “win” an argument (there are no winners where there is strife). We fight for the Light. How will they turn to light if there is no light? Will there be light if we refuse to obey? When we disobey, our own hearts convict us and we are sick inside, dark, without light to share, cut off from power.

The light is Love, Who loves the persecuted, and the persecutors. “Where,” they ask, even as they revile and hate us, “is the Love?” “How and why,” the astute among them marvel, “do they serve my master Satan even more effectively than do I?”

We stand by repentance. There is no problem on earth, and no solution on earth, apart from the Church. Let us pray, beginning with, “Father, forgive us, for we know exactly what we DON’T do, haven’t done, refuse to stop doing. Make us strong (humble) enough to admit our weakensses and failures, strong enough to stop looking at the weaknesses and failures of others, strong enough to disregard the opinions of man, and consider only Yours. Create in us clean hearts, O God. Hearts mighty in Love.”

Love is mighty enough to tell the truth, and to withstand the consequences of doing so. Love is of God, and is up to any task or trial. When all else fails, such as supreme courts, parties, legislatures, media, medicine, education and other things of man, we will turn to the One Who cannot fail, and cannot lie. We will cease looking for natural solutions, and seek the supernatural.

When we stop returning hate for hatred, reviling for reviling, and become living testimonies of the power of Love, the enemy will have nothing to work with. We will see victory in Jesus, when we are “in Jesus” and His Spirit in us.

“How much longer,” God must be asking, “are you going to walk in circles in this wilderness?”

We can come right out anytime we decide our way isn’t working, anytime we believe that apart from Him we can do NOTHING, anytime we stop the insanity of disrespecting, disdaining, and disregarding of the Blood-bought freedom of Calvary.

Why not now?

Red Lipstick Smiles

This is the time to put on the Red. Red lipstick may not be your thing (it’s not mine) but I’m wearing my big smile anyway. It’s time to do the exact opposite of what we feel like doing. It’s time to act like winners–to think and talk like winners.

God works through faith and when we do the woe-is-we we give Him nothing.

Let’s pray like what we are–overcomers, and let’s smile all the while.

Yay!

Rom 8:31: What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

Casual Won’t Cut It

I was searching for a good word on YouTube and Richard Roberts’ Santa Claus face caught my eye–aren’t we all looking for a smile and some cheer? He spoke two things I’ve been saying: “The time for casual Christianity is over” was the concluding statement; the admonition was to join him as a “watchman on the wall.”

As Richard Roberts suggested, I read Isaiah 62:6, which says, “I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent.”

I believe God is calling us all to “strengthen the hands that hang down” (Hebrews 12:12) via prayer for each other and against the darkness, and that we are to never hold our peace.

Distractions abound, especially against time in the Word of God, but we don’t have to be distracted from praying. We must simply pray then and there, here and now, coming in and going out.

When my beautiful friend Pam told me how to pray about a personal issue (something in my heart that needed changing and healing) I prayed right then and there as she listened on the phone. Don’t wait for a “good time” to pray. Right now is a good time to pray!

About anything and everything.

And by the way, don’t pray like a heathen trying to appease an angry god: “Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, oh, oh.” Along with sacking casual Christianity, it’s time to sack pathetic and pitiful Christianity. Pray the Word!

What does the Word say? “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). You can’t do this when you’re listening to every other voice. Once again, the days when we could do that, when we could be casual about our Christianity, are over.

We’re it, Folks. God works through faith. I’ve heard it said that faith is God’s currency, and fear is Satan’s. So, let’s get faith via hearing the Word of God. Hearing. Romans 10:17 tells us how: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”

After I heard Richard Roberts reading Isaiah 62 last night, I heard it again this morning as I read it aloud. Faith comes, the Bible tells us. By hearing. If ever in my lifetime I needed faith to come, enduring and steadfast faith, it is now, in “such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).

It’s time to roll up our sleeves, and get to it. Faith, I mean. So repeat after me (remember you need to hear): “No fear here.”

WHAT? ME WORRY? I’M DONE WITH DEFEAT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Watching everyone lose their minds over Covid has been more than perplexing and puzzling.  It’s been revelatory!  I am EXCITED about what God’s up to here.

Now, before anyone thinks I’m saying God did this, I’m not!  But the Bible tells us He turns what Satan intends for evil to the good of those who love Him.  For me, that is so, so true.

I am seeing (so surprising) that it is often those who never set foot in church who have the most light and the least fear of a flu bug.

I’m finding those who didn’t finish high school, and certainly never got a college degree, are the ones who see through the lies and laugh at the fear.  I’m learning from those “least likely to succeed” types, how to succeed.

There is both logic and the ability to listen without pride, to what I have to say, from those among us who are humble.  And it’s humbling.  And freeing.  To such as these I can talk about ideas.

So here’s an idea:  What if everything we’re worried about and carrying on about in the world, is simply the inevitable consequence of a church that has dropped the ball.

What if the fear that was festering in the breasts of the world, exploded when the church showed that all its talk of faith was a farce, as doors closed without a whimper, citing misunderstood scriptures as justification.

Here’s the thing about all this “obedience to civil authority” stuff.  If obedience to authority is making you comfy, question your motives.  If it’s making you very, very uncomfortable, go with it.  God’s ways are often a bit stretching.

Let me elaborate:  When the likes of Paul and Peter admonished their wildfolk followers to behave and obey laws, they (Paul and Peter) were either on their way to, in, or just out of jail.  For, you guessed it, misbehavior and disobeying “authority”.  It went without saying, so they didn’t say it, that they weren’t talking about disobeying God in order to obey man.

This Covid thing is causing us to look to the real Author and Finisher of our Faith, and it’s obviously not someone who preaches, but does not practice, faith.

“You have to be ready to go to jail,” I said to my daughter about it.  “I am, Mom,” she said.  “I refuse to live in fear.”

No fear here.  As for me and my house, we will obey the Lord.  And to help us in that we’ll hang out with people of simple, unpolluted (by Bible college?) faith.  Amen.

P.S.  If our Founding Fathers had mindlessly obeyed man, had done the comfy thing, there would be no America.  If Paul and Peter had obeyed man, there would be no New Testament, and no New Testament church.  Wait?  Is there a New Testament church?  I’ve looked all over my town and the only one I can find speaks only Spanish.

Perhaps I should learn Spanish.  Or just go to “church” with my daughter, which is on the streets, with the poor, tired, addicted.  The humble.

Church.  What is it?  Who is it?  Who’s the Boss of it, of me?  One of the speakers at the Bible college my daughter attended was saying that American Christians need to be more like the Russians, where “they don’t have the problem we have here with submission to authority.”

We became a nation in part because God wanted to deliver people who were sick and tired of tyrannical authority and who came here for FREEDOM (such as my Russian friends), not yet another yoke of bondage.

There is one God, One Savior, one Final Authority.  And it AINT a man in a suit in a pulpit with a degree giving him man’s stamp of approval.  Will the real Christians please stand up?

Yes, I am asking myself if I qualify.  Do I trust and obey?  Him.

P.S. I was never afraid of the flu, but I was distressed by the frenzied and mindless mask and sanitizer worship, by the evidence of a society-wide lack of faith. I struggled with an uneasiness and  uncertainly early on (when we still called it Corona Virus) and when I prayed about it I realized I had made a grave error.  I had judged other Christians for their faithless reactions, for fear.  Well, as you may or may not know, it’s not only what you fear that will come upon you (see Job), but it’s also what you judge.  So, I repented and began to pray for the Church, and indeed the whole world, to be free from fear.  Absolutely free from the awful torment of fear.  Agree wtih me, please.

And another thing!  The reason I am free from fear is because, day in and day out, I read the Word of God, which builds and builds and builds my faith.  “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

 

What I Did on My Corona Vacation

Over the past several months, I have frequently pondered the possibilities for the closet in my foyer (once used as a little office by children now grown and gone).  When a speaker at my church started talking about the marvels of having a Prayer Closet, I began to scratch that itch, one I didn’t even know was there.

Could the foyer closet work?  Maybe, but shouldn’t a Prayer Closet be quiet, rather than in the flow of traffic?  And it was a bit small – would the fetal position actually be conducive to hearing from God?  That, I knew, was what I wanted.  I wanted to pray Holy Spirit-led prayers, to be changed, and a conduit of change.  I wanted to commune with God.

I dared to dreamUninterrupted.  Private.  Whenever I wanted or needed to get alone. A place for all my stuff, my prayer and praise “paraphernalia”.  Mine.  So I could be more His.

And there it was – the room attached to the side of my utility room, functioning as linen closet, gift wrapping station, sewing/ironing spot, storage for kites, puzzles, paint, defunct pillows, lawn chairs, and Christmas decorations, revealed to me its true purpose.  I rolled up my sleeves.

Where to begin?  First came organization of the back shelves, which included large piles for both Goodwill and the trash, along with condensation of Christmas decorations.  Curtains were hung over the shelves, and the much needed deep cleaning began.  A good bit of elbow grease and five tubes of caulk later, it was painting time.  I chose a very pale yellow green for it all, but it was too much.  Toning it down was as easy as painting the ceiling, door and window trim white (with the palest ever peachy/pink tint).

Now for the fun parts.  For several days I found and added treasures to enhance my space.  It was as I hung my window treatment that I realized this room was originally supposed to be a bathroom.  Why else would it have an opaque bathroom-sized window?  I smiled as I wondered and whispered, “God, I think you stopped the bathroom construction because you thought, ‘Someday Bev will need a prayer room.’”

Finally, after about a week’s work, I sat down to engage.  The first day I got a straight-from-Heaven word.  I’d been praying about certain people, with a troubled and weary heart, and I asked God for “a word”.  I randomly opened the Bible to Jeremiah where my eyes went directly to a verse that emphatically answered my heart’s cry.

Day Two I got another powerful word, which developed during the next several hours and into the following day, and it set me free from a thirteen-year relationship struggle.

On the third day I filled my journal, writing as quickly as possible so as not to forget anything, with new and freeing revelations.  Since then I wander into my Prayer Closet early and late, as well as between times.  I enter knowing I have a need of something, and I come out with something to meet the needs of others.  Sometimes meeting the needs of those who love me most is just a matter of getting my joy back, and passing it on with a smile.

Pehaps you’re wondering whatever happened to the closet in the foyer, and what did I do with my linens, ironing board, etc?  The foyer closet is now my sewing station.  The ironing board and iron rest in my bedroom closet.  This is very handy for John and me, as we can step right out of the bathroom, do our ironing, and dress right then and there (I haven’t quite worked out that wrapping station bit, but I will, and quite likely as I’m sitting and dreaming in my lovely new Prayer Closet).  As to the linens, I have a new and improved setup.  It’s two cleared shelves in the utility room (they were in great need of clearing) and I had the most fun and felt ever so elegant and superior throwing out ratty linens, and folding the remaining items with perfect symmetry.

Symmetry.  That’s the word for what a prayer closet can do to your spiritual life.  Plus, it’s just so much fun!

Your Spiritual Authority Can Kiss My Sweet Patooty!

My beloved friend and several of her friends meet weekly and walk the streets of their town praying for the city, the businesses, and the people of the city.  They pray prosperity, freedom, healing – blessing.

I’ve known my friend for 25 years and blessing is all she is, it’s who she is.  So, when the church “leadership” told the group they can no longer do this (don’t want to offend anyone, blah, blah, blah), she was grieved to the bottom of her very dear heart.

She could hardly talk for crying as she told me about it.  “They’re so deceived.  They’ve built a kingdom and they’re losing The Kingdom.”

How often it happens.  A young whippersnapper gets a piece of paper from a Bible College and now he has “spiritual authority.”  What, I wonder, is a more  sure and certain indicator that Satan is at work than when people start trying to control other people?  

I know what.  It’s when people act like sheeple and say, “Oh, OK then.  I know we were led by the Holy Spirit to do this.  I know we’re blessing people.  But since you, Oh Great and Mighty Pastor Person, say we must not pray, we won’t pray,.  After all, spiritual authority and all . . . .”

Not my friend and her buds.  They, unlike their “leaders” will not be destroyed for a lack of knowledge (See Hosea 4:6).  They know what Jesus taught about prayer, and what both the Old and New Testaments teach about prayer.  They will not answer evil orders with the evil of fear and cowardice.

Daniel 3:18 tells of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s response to evil orders:  “But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”

Wolves in sheep’s clothing, folks.  Beware.  “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.  And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.” – II Peter 2:1-2
And remember Joshua 24:15 :  ““And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
So there.
By the way, John Parker will be teaching on the getting of knowledge, the kind that will save us from this kind of deception, next Wednesday, November 6, at 8:00 am on The Homefront Show.  
Join us at 1360 am – http://1360khnc.com/ and please tell a friend Thanks so much.
P.S.  John and I just prayed for this church, that they be free from the root cause of the need to control –  FEAR.  Amen and amen.  So let it be so.

Paul said, “Pray for us.”

“”Pray for us,” Paul asked believers.  “Pray for us,” I saw not once, not twice, but three times in a row this morning in my Bible study.

I open my eyes each morning and give Him thanks (not only if I feel like it) and then as I begin my Bible reading I ask for a word. So, I may not have the exercise habits and the writing habits I wish for, but this one thing I do. I begin my day with Jesus.

I commune with Him and I expect and receive responses. So often it goes like this morning.  He tells me more than once and more than twice so I can’t miss it.

I got the message, or the message’s beginning:  There are some people on the front lines in ministry who need prayer, who need strength for the arms that hang down.

The joy of the Lord is our strength, the Word tells us.  So, I pray for joy for them, and so forth.  A few people come to mind and I press in for them, then go to John and we pray in agreement.

Then comes more revelation and more word, such as the word “refreshment”, which also stood up and waved at me three times.  As John and I discussed this, as well as the negative reactions of two special people to something we said, we see they are the ones who REALLY need our prayers, and whatever else God leads us to say and do for them.  “I think,” I said to John, “they misunderstood us because they see and look at everything through the lenses of hurt and discouragement,  Through woundedness, grief, and oh, such fatigue.

So we pray and beseech God for wisdom, for the right words and the deeds, and He answers us both.  To me He imparts that oft-forgotten truth:  lead with the love example.  To John he says send an e-mail, or a card – one so full of grace and love and appreciation and thanks that our hearts cannot be misunderstood.

“Pray for us.”  Pray with us.  God never intended any of us to walk these paths alone, and one of the enemy’s biggest pressures is the pressure to make us feel we are alone, forgotten, unloved.

Prayer is love.  Prayer in person is love on steroids.  I try to emulate a famous minister lady who says when she sees someone in the grocery store and they ask for prayer she stops right then and there and prays with them.  “Let’s pray!” is much more comforting than, “I’ll pray for you . . . (someday, sometime, maybe, probably not).”

Yesterday, knowing my dad was in a place he detests being, doing a hard and difficult thing, I said to my daughter, “Call your grandpa and tell him we just prayed for him (we had just prayed for him) and that we love him.”

Every time, any  time anyone is on your heart, take it as an unction to pray.

Pray for you, for me, for people in high places and people in low places.  Pray for the Body of Christ.

“Pray for us.”

P.S.  Don’t miss Friday’s Home Front Show – at 2:00 p.m. Mountain Time go to 1360am.co, wait for it to load, then click on “LIVE RADIO” and be blessed!

Lifting Burdens via Intercessory Prayer

 

praying-young-man

I was asked to pray for someone last night and I just couldn’t do it, not with any faith and fervor.  I awoke at 2:00 a.m. burdened for this person, but not in a good way.  It might be more accurate to say I was aggravated with them.

As I prayed about it I realized that intercessory prayer is not to be undertaken before there is personal heart maintenance.  Otherwise, the intercessor simply takes on the burden of the other person, rather than assisting them in giving that burden to Jesus, who can not only take it, but do away with it!

So, practically what does that mean?  It means seeing what the Word says about love, and about every single person.  It means asking God for His take, how He sees it, what He wants done in this person’s life.

Then come the revelations, the prayers of faith that build more faith, and the return to where we start:  apart from Him, I can do (pray) nothing, and with Him all things (prayers) are possible.

He’s the only Way to go.

Just Say “Whoa!”

Our_Father 2_red

Upside down and backwards – that’s how you and I can turn the devil’s schemes, if we will evade the trap of judgment.

What is your burden, what is your lament?  That is also your clue to where you have power.  Take that thing that irks, bothers, grieves you most, and pray!!!

When you catch yourself (as I did recently) feeling utterly defeated and hopeless and just plain aggravated about something, and you hear yourself saying STUPID things such as, “That battle is too far gone, it’s hopeless, that problem is fully entrenched in our society (or in your marriage, family, child, friend) and will never go away,” JUST SAY “WHOA!”

The grief over that problem – in this case I was talking about the ravages and seemingly hopeless problem of drug addiction – is your latest unction to pray.  The Bible sets a very opposite picture of what we’re to be, from what we often are.  We are not called to be defeated, defensive, hopeless whiners and sideliners.

We are to be, and are promised that we are, way more than conquerors (Romans 8:37).  Matthew 10:8 says, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.”

Does that sound like a tall order?  I don’t look at it like that.  I just say, “OK, Lord.  I believe.  Show me how.”  I want to turn the devil’s tricks upside down and backwards.  I want him to wish he’d NEVER messed with me and mine.  I want to turn every lament, every whine and gripe fest into Victory in Jesus.  Amen.

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