Are You Down for the Count?

Without a doubt we can all agree that from the moment we became followers of Jesus Christ we entered a “fight.” According to Eph. 6:11-12, our opponent is not a democrat or a republican but rather an invisible, relentless evil called the devil whose only desire is to knock us out. Because we don’t know how to duck and weave his punches we stay wide open for his repeated “sucker punches.” This deceptive opponent’s goal is to shock us and put us “down for the count” so we’re unable to stand and fight the good fight. I’m sure you all can relate to the experience of receiving an unexpected blow to your life causing you to lose conscious awareness of who you are in Christ and who you are called to be. It’s in this moment our referee (the Holy Spirit) steps in and begins the “10 Count.” This period of time is a season of grace that we’re given to make a choice. Will we stand back up and join the fight or do we stay flat on the canvas and give up. One thing is for certain without God’s renewed strategy and strength we will remain knocked out and down for the count.

Let’s take a close look at God’s strategy to renew our strength and get us back on our feet to fight again. In Eph. 6:13, we have a detailed description of what we should have on, “His Armor.” We also see the offensive position we must assume found in vs. 18, “pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers. , with all prayer and supplication.” Our offensive weapon and position is PRAYER. It is critical for our ability to stand fast and fight a good fight. Remember, as the Holy Spirit assumes His role as our legal referee, we are given a period of time to respond to His grace, to wake up, to stand up and take our rightful place again. To win this fight, we must during this critical time, allow God’s truth to bring us back, with His smelling salts of honesty as we deal with disobedience and self-strength. Without the smelling-salts of honesty we set ourselves up for the devils “Haymaker’s”, (A legal right to knock us out with an offensive blow.) But if we chose to position ourselves, “praying in the Spirit, and staying alert,” we enter His promised place of strength, called God’s REST. Heb. 4:10, “For he who has entered His rest has himself ceased from his works as God did from His.” As we enter this promised place of rest we come into an agreement with God’s strategy and strength. God provided this place as He created the 7th day Sabbath Rest, an appointed time each week. As I considered the importance of positioning myself in God’s strength and the “ten count” season of grace, I remembered what season we are celebrating on His calendar. This is the appointed season by God for His people to celebrate the fall feasts. Beginning in September on a Sabbath and continuing into October we celebrate Rosh Hashanah ( the Jewish new year), Yom Kippur (the day of judgement), and the Feast of Tabernacles (feast of ingathering). As Christians these appointed times are our “dress rehearsals” for first, the Rapture of the Church, second, the judgement seat of Christ for His Church, and finally Christ’s return with His Church to establish His kingdom on earth. During this season there is a critical 10 day period that begins at Rosh Hashanah end ends at Yom Kippur that is called, ” the Days of Awe”. During this 10 day period we, “wake up” to areas of sin in our lives that have caused us to be stuck, not fulfilling our potentials and God’s call in our lives. This time is truly God’s goodness leading us to repentance (Romans 2:4). Repentance is what allows us to stand to fight, “the good fight,” (I Timothy 6:12) “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” This scripture is painting a picture of you, who might have been knocked down for the 10 count, but not knocked out!!! Hearing the 10 count from our referee, the Holy Spirit you take hold of the ropes of the ring (eternal life), raise up and stand declaring, “I’m back, ring the bell, sound the shofar,” to the sold out crowd of spectators (the many witnesses). It’s time to take our position in God’s armor and place of promised rest, bringing our first fruits offering (Deut. 16:16) during this amazing season on His calendar, in all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful. These “dress rehearsals” will soon become the “opening act” of The Second Coming of the Son of God. ” Maranatha” come soon Lord Jesus!

Question: Are you fighting the good fight or fighting with yourself, in your self strength are you laying flat on the canvas?

Key Thought: Our ability to continue the spiritual fight we’re in and remain standing, being strong in the Lord and in the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10) we need two “P’s”. PUT On The Full Armor of God, without it your naked and exposed. POSITION ourselves in the place of God’s promised rest. Praying always in the Holy Spirit, staying alert at all times.

Are You Playing a “Game of Pride”?

When you hear the word PRIDE, does it strike you as a positive or negative word? There are certainly many positive types of pride but there are just as many negative types that destroy relationships, businesses, marriages and countries. After watching the Presidential, Vice-Presidential and Governor debates last week, I found myself disgusted with the constant interruptions, the sarcastic words spoken and the bold-faced lies told, all to get us to believe every point as they tried to steal (I mean seal) our votes. And after the debates, the CNN and Fox News commentaries trying to “One-Up” each other with their own bias and personal prejudice’s. It was with a saddened heart that Jeanne and I went into our morning devotions turning to Jeremiah, the weeping prophet. It was here we found ourselves in a position we pray all of America will find itself in: A Humbled position on Bended Knee’s. Repenting for the Game of Pride we got caught in as we judged the people on TV without even noticing the pride that was ruling in our own hearts. It was here I saw, the “Game of Pride”, the devil is playing on all of us! Matt. 7:1-5, Judge not and you won’t be judged. We’re hypocrites and need to take the log out of our own eye before we can clearly take the speck out of anyone else’s eye.

God talked to Jeremiah in 8:6 and said, “I’m listening to their conversations and don’t hear a word of truth. Is anyone sorry for doing wrong? Does anyone say, “what a terrible thing I have done? NO! All are running down the path of sin (their own agenda’s) as swiftly as a horse gallops to battle.” God concludes in vs. 12 and states. “Are they ashamed of these disgusting actions? Not at all, they don’t even know how to Blush!” And it’s here I want to deal with the true reason America seems stuck in it’s own story and why the church isn’t even blushing with disgust. It’s found in one word, PRIDE and the GAME we PLAY with it. Pride is the ring-leader of the Catholic Seven Deadly Sin’s (Pride, Greed, Lust, Envy, Gluttony, Wrath and Sloth). The reason for it’s kingship is what’s found in the center of all our pride, “I”. Do you want to get rid of pride in your life and deal with your “Big I.” It’s done by moving in the opposite spirit of ME, MY, I…found in Humility. If my people….will humble themselves and than pray. The “IF” shows us it’s always a choice that we must make to win this game. But first we must realize, prideful people don’t pray, we talk, often too much way more than we listen. It’s this arrogance that pushes people away and the reason prideful people only have a small number of true friends. Instead of treating people as equals, pride displays obnoxious superiority that’s only desire is to make everyone around them feel small. Winning the Game of Pride takes Moving in the Opposite Spirit. It’s a powerful spiritual weapon that YWAM has used for years. The YWAM founder, Loren Cunningham used this term “moving in the opposite spirit” in his book, “THE CALL TO SERVE”. Where he challenged those at all the DTS Bases to impact all the cultures YWAM teams went to in the opposite spirit. They were to serve and not be served where ever they went…the opposite spirit.

Moving in the opposite spirit will take courage and strength, and is impossible without the help of the Holy Spirit. It isn’t easy to be kind to someone who loves to hurt you. It’s hard to stay full of grace when you continually find yourself in a toxic environment or relationship. Are you presently in a situation where pressure is coming against you? Robbing you of your joy and peace? Maybe it’s a situation, a relationship, at your work, your ministry, in your family or with your finances…remember 1 John 4:4, still stands on our behalf, “You are an overcomer for Greater is He that’s in you than he that’s in the world”. As you listen to the Holy Spirit, He will reveal the lies of the enemy that you have agreed with in your situations. You then have a choice: to disagree with the lies and break the enemies legal authority or remain stuck in your story. Breaking the enemies hold will take repentance. As you repent declare Psalm 19:14 over your life, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord my strength and my Redeemer.” It is important to note that meditation is an agreement in your heart that results from the words of your mouth.

Question: Have you ever moved in the opposite spirit over lies the enemy has told you?

Key Thought: In this crazy world we’re living in the Joy and Peace we desire will only be found in our ability to humble ourselves and pray as we seek His face. Learning the Art of Moving in the Opposite Spirit is a must as we do spiritual warfare over the principality of pride. When we learn how to deal with the “Big I” we’ll learn how to live a victorious life.

Do You Really Know What Battle Your In?

It seems God is trying His best to wake up His church with the revelation that a battle is raging and we’re standing in the middle of a war that’s whirling around us. During this Jewish New Year that began Sept. 18th, I was reminded of what King Hezekiah must have felt as the Assyrian King Sennacherib swept down from the north conquering Syria and Israel devastating land and cities. Attacking all the fortified cities of Judah, advancing to the front of the gates of Jerusalem (Isa. 36:1-2). It was here King Hezekiah realized, if Jerusalem fell, all of Judah would fall also. King Hezekiah and all of Judah faced desperate times just like America and it’s citizens are facing today. So what did happen to Judah and Jerusalem and what will happen to America? Let’s find out!

In Isa.36:3-7, we see Rabshaken, the Kings field commander, have the freedom to ride right into Jerusalem and talk with King Hezekiah’s three leaders at the cities crucial water supply. Seeming to have complete command of the situation, he first attacks their confidence. Telling them,”what confidence is this in which you trust? I say you speak of having plans and power for war, but they are mere words.” He knew they couldn’t trust in Egypt to help in their plight because you could never trust Egypt plus the Assyrians had already defeated Egypt. He also knew King Hezekiah had destroyed all the pagan altars and high places of worship in Judah. Knowing this, Rabshakeh challenges the Hebrew people and their God, saying, “Where are you going to worship and cry out to God now?” I’ve got an idea he add’s, “How about striking a bargain with my master. Look at what he’ll give you,” vs. 8-9. Not only does the enemy of our soul come after our confidence but also our convictions as he seeks to compromise all that we hold as true. Notice Rabshakeh responds, if you make a pledge to my master, THEN, I’ll give you! The devil gladly offers you the world instead of a battle, he want’s you to sell out and simply give up. Many picture the devil, “itching for a fight,” when the truth is, he would rather have you just give up. Satan used this same strategy against Jesus as he tempted Him in the wilderness after Christ finished His 40 day fast. Offering Him all the kingdoms of the world if He would fall down and worship him (Luke 4:5-8). It didn’t work on Jesus and I pray it isn’t going to work on America. But know this, the devil always saves his best line for the end as he challenges our personal faith in God (vs. 10). Trying to convince us to disobey what God has told us and obey his lie. We forfeit all that God wants to accomplish in us and through us when we sell out to the lie of the enemy. God allow’s things to happen (Covid-19) so His prophetic plan’s can be fulfilled. The lie was, “God won’t help you.” The truth is, we can’t do anything about it, but our King of Kings can and will in His perfect time.

Notice, Isa. 36:11-12, Hezekiah’s men wanted Rabshakeh to only speak in the Aramic language and not in Hebrew. They were afraid the Hebrew people would not only hear but fall into fear, believing all that the field commander was saying and rise up against the leadership of Jerusalem making them surrender. When your in the heat of the battle often times you don’t know whose on your team and whose on the enemies team. It’s here the Rabshakeh stands up and calls out with a loud voice in Hebrew, “Hear the words of the great Assyrian King: Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you; Nor let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord, saying the Lord will surely deliver you, this city will not be given over into the hands of the King of Assyria”. Let’s look at what the enemy of our souls tries to do with us and in us, using these lies: 1. Intends to make God’s people doubt their leaders. 2. Intends to build fear and unbelief in God’s people. 3. Intends to make surrender and giving up an attractive option. 4. When the Assyrians conquered a people they forced them to resettle in a place far away from their home country breaking their spirits and family legacies. It was here ethnic cleansing happened. 5. But ultimately it was intended to destroy peoples trust in their God. We see this when the Rabshakeh say’s, “the gods of other nations haven’t protected them, just like your god isn’t going to protect you”.

Let’s all remember, it’s one thing to speak against Israel, America, it’s flag, it’s people, it’s leaders, it’s institutions but it’s an all together different thing to mock the Lord God of Israel and America…telling Him, He’s just like any other god. Folks, that’s when God’s judgement falls on that nation and it’s people. I believe, America is in this situation, judgement is falling on America. The devil has crossed a line in the sand and all God’s cards are getting ready to be played. And you ask, what should our response be? Look at how the 3 leaders of Jerusalem responded, having listened to King Hezekiah to not say a word, they said nothing back to the field commander, but in sack cloth and ashes came back to King Hezekiah vs. 21-22. America needs to pray like never before realizing this is a spiritual battle that’s only won in the heaven’s. God is waiting for a 2 Chron. 7:14 people, that would humble themselves and pray, seek His face and turn from any wickedness there might be in their lives. That’s when God is going to hear from heaven, forgive America and it’s people’s sin and heal this amazing land of ours. Remember, 2 Cor. 4:8-9, It’s true, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed”. We’re in a battle but in Christ we’ve already won. Do I Hear An Amen.

Question: Do you see a spiritual battle being waged in America today? Is that battle waging around you? Are you ready to fight like a Godly warrior?

Key Thought: What King Hezekiah faced a few thousand years ago is happening again in 2020. Satan is the King Sennacherib and Covid-19 is Rabshakeh, the field commander with the same desire: to destroy a country that loves and serves God. It’s goal is to get you to give up and quit as you surrender to his will. But let’s be like King Hezekiah and humble ourselves and pray, seek His face and turn from our wicked ways. Knowing that the King of Kings will hear from heaven, forgive our sin’s and heal our land. It’s time America becomes a 2 Chron. 7:14 people!

“It’s Hard To Breathe”

The dawning of Labor Day 2020 brought 30-40 mph winds with gusts to 50 mph in our area of Washington State. Some have said the strongest winds ever recorded in our state. Those high winds continued until about 7:00pm that evening, igniting several fires and quickly spreading over 200,000 thousand acres in Eastern Washington. These areas were predominately rural with many farms and ranches. Sadly with these fires came massive destruction of land and buildings, and days of thick lingering smoke. Smoke remains long after fires are under control. It remains high in the atmosphere for weeks moving under the control of the winds. As it settled in an area, visibility was limited and breathing became difficult. We are currently being advised to shelter in place by officials to prevent lung damage from smoke particles. I have personally found myself feeling that it was hard for me to even get enough good air to breathe. Yet it’s true, 2020 has been a difficult year for yet another reason. As we have dealt with the Covid-19 pandemic causing respiratory failure, and we are now dealing with our “racial pandemic” which began with the “knee on the throat” of George Floyd causing him to be unable to breathe. I think it is strange, that with all of these crisis, the common thread has been, there is not ENOUGH air for me to BREATHE!!!

As we negotiate these times of crisis, which seem to be escalating, does God have a message for all of us? I think the first thing He is saying to each of us is, that He truly IS more than enough as we cry out, “Restore us, O God; Cause your face to shine, and we shall be saved! ( Psalm 80:3.”) As we humble ourselves, giving Him our fear and panic instead of trying to handle things in our own strength. So, I’m asking, what does it look like to give our, “not enough” to God and let him provide, “more than enough.” We can see this demonstrated in the Word of God many times. The very first time we see this is in Genesis 1 with the creation story. He created the earth and the heaven’s in 5 days, and saw that “it was good.” Then on the 6th day He made man in His own image and saw that “it was very good.” On the 7th day He rested, He spent 6 days speaking into creation, “breathing out His word” then on the 7th day He rested, He “breathed in.” He added this 7th day for US. His sabbath rest, the 4th commandment is for us to regularly welcome and observe His Rest. Six days was not enough, He knew we needed more on a regular basis, as we position ourselves in His provision and allow His plan to be released in our lives. His plan provides more than enough, more than we could ever hope for or imagine. We see this played out again in Mathew 15:32-39 as He feeds the four thousand. Then His disciples said to Him, “Where could we get ENOUGH bread in the wilderness to FILL such a great multitude?” (vs. 33), Jesus asks them, “How many loaves do you have?” The disciples knew they didn’t have enough to feed the people, but Jesus knew what they had. So why did He ask them to tell Him how many they had? Perhaps the first step to receiving more then enough it to humbly show Him our lack, be honest and lift it up before Him, so that He can take it and bless it, and transform our lack into something He can, “FILL.” He replaces our “not enough” with the capacity to be filled to overflowing, there were 7 large baskets of food left.

Question: Fill in the blank: “I don’t have enough_________,” and need a miracle.

Key Thought: We all are able to fill in the blank above, probably with several answers, so the issue will always remain when we try to fill our “not enough” by “holding our breath” instead of resting in His provision by taking a humble position, being honest before Him, and letting Him take whatever is not enough and bless it and multiply it to fill you to overflowing as you “breathe in.”

Sept 11th “A Shining City Upon A Hill”

We recently received a message with a link to President Ronald Reagan’s farewell speech on Jan. 11th, 1989 at the RNC. At the conclusion of his speech he referred to America as the “Shining City on a Hill”. He had used this statement many times during his presidency as an illustration of America’s position as a nation that shows the world what a great nation America is. He concluded his farewell speech saying, “I’ve thought a bit of the shining city on a hill, and realized this phrase came from John Winthrop, the first governor of America, in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. His vision spoke of a new commonwealth coming into the world for the will and purpose of God Almighty. A unique civilization to which all the nation’s of the world would loo. Using Matt. 5:14, John Winthrop, challenged us to be a living light to the world, A city not hidden. He continued saying, “Thus stands the cause between God and us. We have entered into a covenant relationship with Him for this work.” It’s true, America’s founder’s had made a covenant with God that was based on the same covenant Israel had with God. This covenant described in Deut. 28, states both the blessings (if we follow) and the curses (when we fail to follow) that will fall on our nation. The Bible shows us how Israel continues to be blessed above all nations as they follow the leadership of God’s word. But as their hearts turned away from God and His commandments and started worshipping other God’s, He withdrew His present help from them. How does that relate to America? We can clearly see how America became that shining city on a hill but like Israel we too have turned away from God seeking other God’s of pleasure, sensuality, lust and self-gratification. Has God withdrawn His help from our nation?

Today, as we remember the tragedy of 9/11, it is important to note that long before it became a day of calamity, it was first the day of America’s foundation. Let me explain! Our country was born on Sept. 11, 1609 when Henry Hudson sailed up the now Hudson River to discover Manhattan Island becoming the true birthday of our nation and New York City. The first thing Henry Hudson did with the help of the Dutch is build a trading center in the exact place the Twin Towers would someday stand. It was also in Sept. 1630, John Winthrop would dedicate the phrase, “A Shining City on a Hill” in what would later be called Boston (the exact place the terrorists would fly out of to destroy the Twin Towers). As you are beginning to see, September is a spiritually significant month. On Sept. 11th, 1941 President Theodore Roosevelt would not only declare the entrance of America into WW2 but also break ground for the building of the Pentagon, which was also attacked on Sept. 11th. Let me ask you, could 9/11 not only be the Day of Building Up but also the Day of Breaking Down? The Day we departed from the foundational truths of God’s commandments? Are we still One Nation Under God? If we are, what must we do as a people and a nation at this critical moment to come back into God’s blessings? 2 Chron. 7:14 is what’s needed! Notice, “If (it’s a decision we make) My people would humble themselves and pray, seek My face and turn from their wicked ways. Then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land.” I believe it’s time for the remnant of God to step up and make a difference in the land we live in. Do I hear an AMEN?

Question: Does America deserve what it’s going through? Has Sept. 11th lost it’s impact and true meaning to the American people? Have we as a nation and individuals responded wrongly to what occurred on 9/11 and to todays crisis throughout our nation?

Key Thought: God’s people need to come back to Him in a new way (repentance) and take a good look at 2 Chron. 7:14. When we humble ourselves, pray, seek His face and turn from our wicked ways God promises to Hear our Prayers, Forgive our Sins and best of all Heal our Land. Today is, “A day of trumpet and alarm against the fortified cities and high towers”. (Zephaniah 1:16). I encourage you to agree in daily prayer using the one year bible format and to participate in “40 days for life campaign” beginning Sept. 23-Nov. 1st.

Have You Checked Your Oil Lately?

In Matt. 25:1-13, we see Jesus sharing about His second coming using a parable of 10 virgins that go out to meet the bridegroom at a wedding. To really understand these 13 verses, we first need to look at Matt. 24:36-42, where Christ tells us that no one knows the day or hour, not even the angels of heaven, but only His Father. He goes on and states we’re living in the days of Noah where people are eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, totally self-absorbed and unaware of the times and seasons surrounding them. Matt. 24:44-51, tells us we need to be ready to make a choice, will we be faithful or unfaithful as we wait for His return? It’s with these words that He leads into a parable about the Kingdom of Heaven likened to 10 virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 5 of them were wise and 5 were foolish. Let’s try to understand this chapter in relationship to the time’s we’re living in as it relates to Christ’s second coming. Truly, we don’t know the day or hour but we should be aware of the times and seasons we’re living in just like the Sons of Issachar, who had the understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do (1 Chron. 12:32).

First, I believe the 10 virgins represent the church in America today. A church that has true believers (those whose hearts are truly desiring all of Jesus) and false believers (those that present an image that look’s like they have hearts that are following Christ) both are filling our pews and pulpits. Paul is correct when he speaks to Timothy in 1 Tim. 4:1, “Now the spirit expressly say’s that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons”. Like Paul, we need to realize that certain dangers will mark the latter times. The danger of apostasy (those that depart). The danger of deception (deceiving spirits) and the danger of false teaching (doctrines of demons) that are found in the unbelief that the Bible is God’s inspired word, the virgin birth of Christ, the atoning death of Christ on the cross and the redemptive work of His resurrection from the dead and yet they still call themselves Christians. The church is filling up with those seeking “experiences’ like the Athenians in Acts 17:21, seeking after some new thing instead of a relationship with the living Christ.

These 10 virgins denote the beauty and purity of those that are maids of honor that have the responsibility to WAIT ON HIM when he appears but in the meantime to faithfully WAIT FOR Him if He should delay. Psa. 27:14, “Wait on the Lord, Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart: Wait, I say, on the Lord”. As true believers we are to be like the 5 wise virgins and hold up the name of Jesus as we wait for His appearing…not only believing in but longing for His return. So what was the difference between the 10 virgins? The difference was the preparation and character they displayed, 5 were wise and 5 were foolish. They all seemed to have the same profession (they talked the talk) but not the same heart of preparation (they didn’t walk the walk). They all had lamps that had oil in them, but 5 brought along extra oil. Both had enough to light up the present, 5 foolish for show and 5 wise for go, (the revelation to bring more just in case!). Phil. 2:14-15, exposes the great problem in our church today. Today many want the presence of Holy Spirit (oil) without preparing and paying the price. Notice, they all slept as they waited for the bridegroom. It’s tough to stay faithful and watchful at the same time when a promise tarries. Those Unmet Expectations can cause weariness in well doing if you have to wait a long time for them (Gal. 6:9, Hab. 2:3). Even though they all slumbered the 5 wise virgins kept their lamps burning but the foolish lamps went out. Our carelessness builds on itself and has unintentional consequences. Remember, He’s coming when we least expect it…the bridegroom came at mid-night.

He came with a cry from heaven where everyone could hear and see Him. All 10 virgins arose and trimmed their lamps, the foolish lamps had gone out (Job 21:17). Job tells us destruction will always come upon those whose lamps go out. They had enough oil for their immediate need but not enough that lasted long-term. There will come a time when those that laughed and snubbed your lamps will beg for some of that extra oil to light theirs. But remember, that oil isn’t yours to give away, it’s always been Gods to give. They will want some of what you have but the door is closing. All they needed to do was ask Him for it. Once they could’ve asked and it would’ve been given. Sought and it would’ve been found. Knocked and it would’ve opened. There is a time coming when the door will be closed and those that once had some oil in their lamp but willfully let it run out as they ran after the world and what they thought it offered. They will find themselves just like Esau who sold his birthright for bread and a bowl of stew (Gen. 25:30-34) and coming to receive his blessing found it had been given to Jacob (Gen. 27), a closed door. So it will be with those that “have a form of Godliness but deny the power their in”. Those that believe in the Bible but not the Lord of the Bible. Those that have lived a compromised and partial commitment to the principles of the Word of God. They will hear on that day, “Truly, I say to you, I do not know you” and the door will be shut on both the unbelievers and those that didn’t take the Kingdom of God seriously.

Is God Wrestling with America?

In Gen. 32:22-25, we see Jacob, alone on the east side of the Jordan River waiting to make restitution with his brother Esau. Jacob had stole his brothers birthright years before and was now being dealt with by God to make it right. But first God had to get Jacob’s attention by getting him alone. Being alone, God could deal directly with him. It was here a wrestling match occurs between the MAN (Jesus) and Jacob. Notice Jacob didn’t wrestle with the MAN, the MAN wrestled with Jacob. The reason is, Jacob didn’t think he needed anything from God, but God surely wanted something from Jacob. God wanted all of Jacob’s proud prejudice of self-reliance and fleshly scheming that he had lived with his entire life. It say’s, they wrestled till the break of day. I can only imagine what this scene looked like…was it a barroom fight or an intense WWF wrestling match? And how did Jacob even manage to keep up his struggle with God throughout the entire night? That’s easy, just look at our self-serving determination, our prejudice to have our own way as we resist God’s truth. The scripture say’s, “He saw that He did not prevail against him.” Jacob, I’m sure thought he was evenly matched against the MAN. But the match was only even in appearance. Jesus let’s us have our way until we exhaust ourselves in our bias of self-effort and that’s when HE touches the core of our life stopping us short of destruction. A man or woman in rebellion with God might seem to be getting their way, but God, at any time can turn the tide and bring us to our knees.

I believe this is what’s happening in America today. God is wrestling with us during this pandemic to reveal our personal bias and prejudice toward other’s. We all need to ask ourselves does prejudice have a foothold in our lives. If so, Do we want to allow this personal prejudice to be revealed? This is truly, “the wrestling match,” that’s in our hearts and the heart of this Nation. You might be saying, I’m not bias and I’m sure not prejudice. Really? Prejudice literally means, “a preconceived judgement or opinion formed without sufficient knowledge with an attitude of ill-will directed against an individual or group.” I don’t care whether your a democrat or republican, a liberal or conservative, black or white we all have a bias and a prejudice. It’s true we all move with prejudice in our relationships with other’s.

Have you noticed how “repeat” incidents of fatal injury involving our legal authority “the police” are occurring in direct relationship to prejudice? Remember, the definition of prejudice is a misinformed judgment. In other words, it’s an illegal response on our part. We break God’s law when we respond with prejudice and allow evil to be the authority in our relationship, directing bad behavior towards each other. God want’s us to take an honest look at prejudice in our lives and break the stronghold that is found in our attitudes and behavior. He want’s us to stop wrestling with HIM and let HIM create a limp as a remembrance of what and how we use to believe and behave. He want’s us to learn the art of loving like He has loved us.

Question: Are you willing to allow God to wrestle with you and show you your prejudice?

Key Thought: If we respond in repentance we will hold the key of David (Isa. 22:22) to open the door for reconciliation in our nation and shut the door of prejudice. It’s time we allow God’s touch on our lives to cause a limp of remembrance of the illegal hold the evil enemy has had on our lives and nation.

In a Cave of Denial

Our last blog was about how a Jezebel spirit is taking America over with a crisis called Covid-19. We said, we believe that God has a Comeback for this Crisis and is going to use the pandemic to reveal divine plans and purposes for His church and His people. The problem is this Jezebel Spirit is a demonic principality that has one desire and that’s to control everything and everyone in it’s path. How many times has a road-block been put up in your path when you were about to move out in obedience and answer a Call of God in your life? Ask yourself, have you recently fallen short of completing what you know is God’s will in your life? If your answer is, “Yes, I’m living there now” it’s probably a Jezebel spirit that has a legal right to mess with your head. Let’s take a look at the prophet Elijah’s life and how this demonic principality (Jezebel Spirit) worked him over.

Elijah was a man that finally said, ENOUGH, I’m tried of the evil transformation in Israel because of the wickedness of a Jezebel and Ahab tandem. 1st, he calls a drought throughout Samaria (1 Kings 17:1)…as God takes care of all his needs. 2nd, he responds to God and tells Ahab to get all Jezebel’s 450 Baal prophets and 400 Asherah prostitutes (1 Kings 18:19) and bring them to Mt. Carmel where he challenges Israel (God’s people) to stop limping between two different opinions…choose this day Baal or Yahweh. Elijah sets the battlefield and once again God shows up as Elijah call’s down fire from heaven and burns the bull he was suppose to sacrifice. As the people witness the power of God they fall on their faces shouting, “The Lord, He is God” and respond’s to Elijah’s command to catch and kill all 850 prophet’s and prostitutes. NOTICE: There comes a time in every man’s life when he either runs and hides in denial or stands and fight’s the evil that want’s to take him down. The question today is WHAT MAN ARE YOU? Elijah instead of standing strong, bolts and runs until he drops under a Juniper tree wanting to die.(1 Kings 19:1-3, 9) and because of fear end’s up in a cave. How does a man that say’s ENOUGH under one moment of spirit filled faith now say’s ENOUGH (I’ve had it, I’m done, let me die). Let me explain. The Jezebel Spirit is a powerful controlling principality. It’s after the very heart’s of men (Pro. 4:23) and that’s why we have to guard it. It’s first line of defense is DECEPTION making you think your weaker than you truly are. She uses your past mistakes (even those of past generations) that haven’t been totally dealt with. Just ask BLM calling out White Privilege and wanting reparation for wrongs done 100 years ago. She’ll use your failures that have cost you families, fortunes and carriers. She use’s shame with words, “You’ll never change, it will forever be apart of your life and generational seed.” She’ll use your addictions wanting to control your emotional pain using pleasure to satisfy your desires. BUT it never ends up well, because betrayal and death are her goals.

So how do we come out of our caves? 1st, realize it costs you to stand! The reason we end up in the cave and drop in despair with words like, I’ve had enough is sometimes we don’t know what else to do. All of us have deposits of fear and doubt in our lives as we live in denial. Just like Adam and Eve, we find ourselves naked and afraid to be seen by our Gracious God and we end up in our cave hiding. 2nd, realize we have unmet expectations…what we thought would happen and what really happened (1 kings 19:9-10). The “I have been” are distributors for disappointment. Elijah had to learn how to respond rightly to disappointments and life’s discouragement’s. So much of our fight isn’t things on the outside of us it’s those hidden shadows that live on the inside of us. I guess the question is, what are we doing in caves. I believe we all have them and they’re waiting for our despair and disappointment, but God is asking us a question. What are you doing here? In our denial and despair, we only see the storms, the earthquakes and the fire that want to steal, kill and destroy what we believe and have fought for. The cave is a dark place there’s no light for revelation. BUT when we come to the mouth of the cave we get to hear a whisper of assurance for a God that loves us. Maybe God’s not calling you out of a cave but the cave out of you. It’s time we stop defining ourselves by what’s going on around us. But what’s going on in us.

A Jezebel Spirit HAS Taken America: Part 1

When the Covid-19 shut down began, back in March 2020 I felt God stirring something in my spirit. I felt God say the CRISIS we’re facing is coming with a COMEBACK! I felt God was going to use this pandemic to reveal His divine plans and purposes He had for His church and His people. This blog is to get us to see Gods perspective and actively participate with heaven and turn this curse into a blessing. I believe a Great Awakening is about ready to happen…but first let me try to explain what’s happening.

Today in America, a Jezebel Spirit is moving across our land. It’s a demonic stronghold that’s desire is to completely control and destroy our ” One Nation Under God”. It’s using deception as it intimidates, manipulates, exploit’s us with a desire for complete domination. It’s the spirit behind the Covid-19 outbreak as it shut down the American economy, our churches, our celebrations of weddings and memorial services. It has locked us up in our homes, afraid of going to the store, as it held us prisoners to the rules and regulations that were suppose to make us feel safer as it robs us of our identity and freedom. America is in a CRSIS and needing a COMEBACK. I noticed the Chinese word for CRSIS is formed by the converging of two characters: Danger and Opportunity. Defined as a dangerously critical moment that has a favorable opportunity. Does this sound like a COMEBACK to you. One author said a CRSIS is “an opportunity riding on a dangerous wind.” This is a powerful word for God’s people totally found in James 1 “Count it all Joy when you meet various kinds of trails, the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. The man who remains steadfast and withstands the test will receive the crown of life.” The difficult and trying problems we’re facing are opportunities in disguise. By now we should know the trials found in our struggles and sufferings provide the opportunities for our greatest growth.

This Jezebel spirit has provided many growth opportunities by the uninvited and unanticipated obstacles it has placed in our paths, if we choose to embrace them. But there are those that choose to live in this demon spirit and demonstrate it’s hatred for God and His people as they tear down and destroy our police forces, cities and lives. The anger it displays reveals our TRUMP card. She wants America to pick up an offense for this hatred and destruction so it has a legal right to accuse you before the Father (Rev. 12:10). People who have been violated and feel used are perfect candidates for this evil spirit. Jezebel uses our past mistakes (even those of past generations) that haven’t been dealt with. Ask BLM calling out White Privilege and wanting pay back for wrongs done 100 years ago. She’ll use failures in our lives that have cost us our families, our fortunes and our careers. She’ll use shame that keeps pushing your head down with the words “You’ll never change, that’s your lot in this life.” She’ll use your addictions making you think, it’s the only way out of the pain your feeling. This spirit seems to always be 10 feet ahead of you, you need to realize, your not in a fight with flesh and blood (a person), your in a fight with a principality and power that comes from an evil domain (Eph. 6:12). If we think our battle is flesh and blood we’ve already lost this battle. So how can we fight the Jezebel Spirit? Stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon.

Question: Ask yourself have you allowed compromise in your life that you never thought would happen? Has this deception caused road block’s that have been put up in your life every time you desired to move out in obedience and fulfill God’s call on and in your life? Have you always seemed to come up short of completing what you know God asked you to do for Him? Maybe Just Maybe there is a Jezebel involved.

Key Thought: As we learn how to handle all the CRISIS’S that come our way the COMEBACK’S will get easier and easier. We need to realize there is a demonic movement against God and His people in America today. Let’s stop looking at people, (the flesh and blood of Eph. 6:12) and turn our attention to fight the real opponent in this war, the principalities and powers connected to a Jezebel spirit.

What Did You Just Say?

This morning Jeanne and I heard a direct word from the Holy Spirit about watching the words that come from our mouths. It was so impactive we thought the Body of Christ needed to hear what God said. The first thing He said was, “If your words do not line up with My word’s, they may very well be full of poison and have a purpose that is not apart of Me or My plan’s.” He said, our word’s many times when left to themselves reflect our own prejudice and past pain no matter how correct or right they seem to be. God continued and said your words are powerful and showed us Pro. 18:20, “A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth. From the produce of his lips he shall be filled.” In this proverb He said, “we satisfy our appetites with our words. Our belly demands to be filled with an appetite that’s often triggered by our needs and strong desires.” He then said, “what is your stomach, your belly filled with?” After a honest hard look, I had to repent and ask God for forgiveness because my stomach wasn’t filled with good fruit or produce. We all most look at the fruit of our mouths and ask is it good or bad and the produce of our lips and ask is it producing what we truly desire. Remembering whatever a person dishes out, whether beneficial or harmful, he himself will feed on it.

Pro. 18:21, tells us “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat it’s fruit.” Looking at the first part of that Proverb we see the negative or positive power our words have when they are influenced by the produce of our lips and the fruit of our mouths. People may do a great deal of good or a great deal of hurt both to others and to themselves according to the use they makes of their tongue. It’s been said an evil tongue slays three, the slanderer, the slandered, and the listener. Solomon might have varied his words sometimes using “mouth”, sometimes “lips” and sometimes the “tongue”, but what comes home is how interrelated they are and how they work in unison to produce something good or bad, healing or hurtful, fulfilling or frustrating, satisfying or disappointing. James 1:26 gives us a true word when it say’s, “If anyone thinks he is religious without controlling his tongue his religion is useless and he deceives himself.” James 3:6, “And the tongue is a fire.” 3:8-9-10, “but no one can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we bless our Lord and Father and with it we curse people who are made in God’s likeness. Blessing and cursing come out of the same mouth. My brothers and sisters these things should not be so.”

So how do we win this battle over the tongue and the words we have the power to speak? First we need to ask ourselves do I want to be led by my appetites or by my affections? Appetites that Phil. 3:18-19 talk about, “Many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach (belly), and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.” OR Affections found in Gal. 6:1-10, where it Encourages us to restore with gentleness all those that have been caught in a sin. To bear and carry one another’s burdens. Always take a humble place so we’re not deceived. Remember we all reap what we sow, let’s always sow to please the spirit and not our flesh. That we’ll never weary of doing good knowing that if we don’t give up we’ll reap a harvest. And lastly show our affection as we do good to all people especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Many have heard messages about our tongue and how out of control it can become but what have we done with those teachings? This morning, I found that it was only through asking forgiveness from God and other’s for a stomach full of past pain created by my own agendas that I was given freedom from the stronghold the devil had over my tongue.

Question: Are you finding yourself unable to find freedom from a tongue that is speaking empty and hurtful words over people, places and things? Stuck in a stronghold where pain and chaos seem to have a free reign in your life?

Key Thought: It’s critical that we allow the Holy Spirit to align our word’s with God’s heart as we ask ourselves what is the motivator in my life. Am I motivated by my appetites full of pain and self? Or am I freed to show people the affection and love that lives inside me?