Saturday, November 9, 2019

Tribes, and the 2020 Assignment


Everyone has a tribe. We're all born into a tribe--a family. Families are what God designed for babies to be born into. Ideally, when a baby grows and learns the ways of life, he has a family of those who care about him to nurture, teach, and guide him throughout his life. He will grow into an independent adult and find his place in the community, eventually expanding his tribe to include some people outside of his family. Individuals are placed in families, families in communities, and communities in regions and nations.

In Mark 2 we read the story of the paralyzed man whose four friends tried to get him to Jesus so he could be healed. They couldn't get through the crowd so they took him up on the roof, tore up the roof, and put the man down through the roof next to Jesus. Jesus was impressed with their faith. The man was forgiven of his sins and healed. He was free to find and fulfill his destiny.

This story shows the importance of being connected to a tribe who will help you get closer to Jesus so you can be healed of whatever is standing in the way of you fulfilling your destiny. His friends were not part of the crowd which was blocking the path to Jesus--where his destiny awaited him. No, they helped him get through whatever obstacles were in the way so he could fulfill his purpose in life. These are true friends.

Each family, group, or tribe will develop its own personality. Each of us have individual gifts and personality traits, but the groups we are a part of also have their own traits, or ethos. Merriam Webster defines ethos as "the distinguishing character, sentiment, moral nature, or guiding beliefs of a person, group, or institution." Together we have a certain character.

Of course, there are challenges in relationships. There always are. We are constantly sanding the rough edges off of each other. In 1 John we read that when we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. As each of us individually walk in the light of the Lord, we will be able to walk in fellowship, not only with the Lord, but with each other.

A corporation is usually made up of at least three people, yet it has its own purpose. Its own character. Its own bank account. Its its own entity. Jesus said where two or three gather in His name He is in the midst (Matthew 18:20). His presence is the ethos that manifests as we gather. The Holy Spirit can also be the ethos that manifests as we gather. And the purpose He gives us as a group contributes to this ethos. Just like a good bowl of chili is made up of individual ingredients which blend together and make a unique taste, so does a tribe of people develop a taste of their own through the individual people that make it up.

How is the Lord manifesting Himself in your group? How is He revealing Himself? As a teacher? A Healer? A prophet? A leader? Its not always about the good feeling 'goosebumps' where His presence is very thick and obvious and makes you want to melt into a peaceful blob. Sometimes there is work to do, and He wants us to roll up our sleeves and get going. Read. Pray. Study. Seek Him. Intercede. Fast. Do something. Your group is unique and He will reveal Himself to you, and lead you, according to your ethos--the corporate purpose and call of your group. Find the purpose of your tribe(s) and it will help you find your purpose in life.

The Lord showed me an assignment for 2020. Its to counter the toxic words--lies--which have been spoken over America, especially the last few years. Lies are overcome by truth. The Word of God and Spirit of God are truth. I am speaking the Word of God--the entire Bible--over America from November 1, 2019 until the end of October 2020. Join me!

In Isaiah 55 we read that the Word of God which goes out of His mouth will not return to Him without having accomplished what it was sent to do. Those who believe in Jesus are His body in the earth. His Words spoken out of our mouth are powerful, when we breathe them/speak them from a heart filled with the Holy Spirit. Like a seed that gets planted and produces a harvest, the Word of God does something when spoken. It does what God intends for them to do. Jesus told His disciples that they were clean through the word He'd spoken to them. The spoken Word of God cleanses people. (John 15:3). Join me in speaking His Word--the Bible--over the nation in the twelve months leading up to the 2020 presidential election.




Friday, October 25, 2019

Times & Seasons


Our lives are made up of seasons that come and go. Some things stay the same while other things change periodically. God has designed mankind to live and work through these seasons. He has appointed these seasons, yet He gives us time so we can make decisions and learn from our choices.
11 He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end. Ecclesiastes 3:11.
God makes everything appropriate in its time. There is a season for everything. He appoints the seasons of our lives, yet He gives us the ability to choose what we will do with our time within those seasons. God has given everyone a free will. The ability to choose.
24 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; 26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; Acts 17:24-27.
Not only does He determine seasons, but the boundaries of mankind--of the nations. Naturally, the season you are in is affected by location as well as time. Winter in Florida is much different then winter in northern Michigan. This affects how you live to a certain degree, yet you still have a choice of what to do with your time during that winter season. When we are in the right place at the right time, we will be in the right season of our life. Within those seasons, we make decision that will affect tomorrow--upcoming seasons--and even future generations.

Seasons are designed for growth. For the most part, we determine the speed and level of our growth.  There are certain things appointed for us to learn and experience during a season which will cause us to grow to a point where we can flourish in the next season. Yet, we can affect the growth we will experience in a season by our choices. God prepares us for upcoming seasons. He doesn't push us into things before we are ready. We may not always think we are ready, but He knows when we are. He gives us time to grow, time to learn, and time to see the consequence of our decisions. 

God, by His grace, keeps us in a season long enough to give us time to grow, which prepares us for the next season so it won’t destroy us. If we're not getting it, He is patient. However, there may be times we are launched into the next season, ready or not. This too is a learning experience. We must use our time wisely so we are prepared for what's ahead. Make the most of your time (Ephesians 5:16). If you feel stuck in a season when you sense you should be moving to the next, look at what you're doing with your choices--time, money, space, relationships etc.

It may be tempting to try and hurry through a season when its not time. Some seasons are more difficult than others. Trying to rush through a season could be destructive for ourselves or others. It may open a door for the enemy. On the other hand, God may shorten the days of a season. At the end of this age He will shorten the days of that season to save His people. 
20 Unless the Lord had shortened those days, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He shortened the days. Mark 13:20.
Job had entered a season. He was a righteous man who went through a season where he lost everything--children, wealth etc. That was followed by a season where he lost his health. He went through very difficult times. Job remained upright, but he didn't have a proper perspective on his situation which God corrected when He spoke to him. Job repented and everything was restored to him.

Both of Job's difficult seasons began with accusations from the enemy. God doesn’t take accusations lightly, even from the accuser himself-Satan. God answers the accusations with evidence. In this case, the evidence was that Job maintained his righteousness during trying times. As you maintain your faithfulness to the Lord during difficult times, you are providing evidence God can use to silence the accuser.

What is your season right now? Each season has a purpose. Are you in a spring season of new growth and energy? Or a summer season of maintaining during dry, hot times? Are you in a fall season of harvest? Or is it a winter season of rest and regrouping? Whatever the season, maintain your faithfulness to the Lord. 

When going through a season consider the following.
  • Your physical location. Are you in the place you are supposed to be?
  • Your family. What is going on in their life that affects you?
  • Your relationships with friends, co-workers, and acquaintances. Are there changes to be made? Are you with the right people? Are the people you hang with part of your tribe--ones who help you get closer to the Lord instead of keeping you away? (Luke 5:17-26).
  • Your source of provision. How are you provided for? Where does your money come from? Is this in alignment with the Lord's will for you during this season?
  • Circumstances and coincidences in your life. Look for what the Lord is saying through these things. 
  • What are the characteristics of this season? Refreshing, plentiful, mountaintop, dry, hot, laborious, etc. 
  • What has been going on that you haven’t been able to change? Ask the Lord what you need to do with your time, choices, money, in this season, so the proper changes and positioning can occur.
  • Make an intentional pursuit of the Lord. Be a student, a disciple of the Word and the Lord. Don't wait for a special leading or goosebumps.
  • Remain faithful to Him at all costs. The trying of your faith/faithfulness is more precious than gold. (James 1:3).
  • Ask for His perspective of your season. You are seated with Him in heavenly places. Take a look at your life from His point of view. (Ephesians 2:6).
  • Love and seek the truth even if it costs. That is the protection against deception. (Proverbs 23:23, 2 Thessalonians 2:10-11).
Four point to remember during a difficult season:

1. Honor Him. Praise Him. Fear Him, not people or circumstances. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Knowing He is the all-powerful God puts everything in proper perspective. (Psalm 22:23-26Proverbs 9:10)

2. Know Him. Know He is good. He is love. If you see Him as mean, unforgiving, and unreasonable, you won’t do with your time what you need to. Time is a gift. There are certain gifts that everyone has been given. Time is one of those. Don't bury your time-talent. (Psalm 34Matthew 25:14-30). Don't waste your gift of time. Know that He will help you fulfill your call.

3. Trust Him. Job said his hope/trust in God would remain even if He killed him. (Job 13:15). He knew that the Lord knows best. He will not fail us. It's much easier to trust Him if you know Him, and know He is good.

4. Wait for Him. Remain faithful during the tough times. Be patient throughout the season you are in. Through faith and patience we inherit the promises. (Psalm 27:11-14; Isaiah 40:31; Hebrews 6:12). 

Father God, help us to recognize the season we are in right now. Help us to clearly see the proper choices we need to make regarding what to do with our time, our money, our relationships and everything else necessary for us to be ready for the next season. 

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Discerning the Priestly and the Prophetic




Jesus is our Great High Priest who intercedes for us in Heaven. He was tempted in every way, just like we are, so He can "sympathize with our weaknesses." He knows what its like to experience the things we do while living here on Earth, yet He never sinned. Instead, He offered Himself up as the sacrifice for our sins so all who believe in Him may have eternal life--forgiven, cleansed, and empowered by the Holy Spirit to live right (Hebrews 4:15, Hebrews 7:24-27, Acts 1:8). As a priest, He relates to us and prays to the Father on our behalf.

As a prophet, Jesus spoke what He heard His Father speak. He taught the people, explaining the Scripture. He spoke for the Father. He was the Word of God made flesh. (John 12:49-50, Matthew 9:35, John 1;14, Matthew 13:57). As a prophet, He proclaimed the Word of the Father--Truth--without compromise, which give life to all who take heed.

Jesus was the true light, who enlightens others. He called His disciples the light of the world. (John 1:9, Matthew 5:14). There are times we feel, like He did and still does, the need of those around us and we can pray and intercede for them. There are also times we can hear and feel the heart of God, seeing the world around us from His perspective, and we speak in alignment with that. His words of truth give light and life.

Father God, help us, and all Your people in the Waterford area, discern the difference between the priestly and the prophetic. Help us know when we are to approach You as intercessors on behalf of others, and when we are to speak Your words uncompromisingly. We want Your truth. We always want to speak the truth, yet we want to ask for mercy whenever possible. Show us how to be true light to the world around us--our families, friends, workplace, churches, and communities.




Sunday, September 1, 2019

Lord, Plant Seeds of Truth



Lord, we pray for a genuine, tangible, manifestation of Your presence here in Waterford Township. Touch the businesses, the elderly, the schools. Let there be revival in the schools. That the hearts of the students, from pre-school through college, seek truth. The Truth. That they have discernment to know the difference between Truth and opinion. That they recognize lies as being lies and don't follow them. Purge them of indoctrination that is untruthful. That those seeds do not take root and produce. Plant seeds in our young people Lord. Seeds of truth and love. Bring people across their path to plant and nurture these seeds.

We pray for protection for all of the students in Waterford. Spirit, soul, and body. Spiritually, mentally, emotionally, intellectually, socially, physically, sexually, financially, and in every way. Keep them safe. Turn their attention to You. Draw them to You. Pour out Your Spirit on the young people. Let them find You.

We also pray for the parks. That they be places where people will find You through nature. That they see Your beauty, love, and magnificence. Your intricate designs and plans, and know You are real. We pray for the roads and railroads. The paths and trails throughout the township. We pray for the government and the churches. Let even the churches be amazed at the work You do here. We pray sincerely. Be a part of it all, Lord. Govern it all. Your will be done, Your kingdom come to Waterford!

Saturday, August 17, 2019

The Wheat and the Tares



In the parable of the Tares and the Wheat, Jesus explained that He sows good wheat seed into the world while the enemy sows tares. He says that the good seed are the sons of the kingdom, and the tares are the sons of the evil one. It's commonly accepted that these tares of the Bible are darnel seed or Lolium temulentum. These tares look a lot like wheat but the difference is clear once the ear appears.

In the parable, when the slaves of the landowner ask if they should take out the tares from among the wheat once they were discovered, He says no, because they might uproot the wheat if they do. He says to let them both grow together until the harvest (the end of the age) and then each one will be dealt with properly--the tares into the furnace to be burned and the righteous will shine in the kingdom of their Father. (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43).

It's all about the seed. It's not about appearances. A seed will produce the fruit of whatever kind of seed it is. If you are an apple seed you don't become an orange tree just by being planted in the middle of them or trying to act like one. Even though the tares are planted among the wheat, and may even look like them for a time, the evidence of what kind of seed it is will be clear once the fruit starts to appear.

There is an enemy of the Lord who has infiltrated the earth producing "evil sons." Knowingly or unknowingly, they will try and uproot what God is doing--the kingdom He is building. People may be truly sincere, not realizing what kind of seed they are, but the fruit of their lives will identify that. Jesus said you will know them by their fruit (Matthew 7:20).

Thank God that in the realm of the spirit, a seed can be changed from evil to good. Jesus said the good seed are the sons of the kingdom. A person becomes a son of the kingdom by believing in Jesus. And the sons of God will follow the Spirit of God (John 1:12, Romans 8:14-17). The seed can be converted, but only through faith in Jesus Christ--the One who died for our sins, paying the debt our sin caused which we could never pay. If you believe in Him, you are a son (or daughter) of the kingdom, but be aware of the enemy that is out there trying to choke out or uproot what your heavenly Father wants to do in your life, your family, your church, and your community.

Father God, I pray for sons of the kingdom to be planted throughout Waterford and the surrounding region--throughout Michigan. I pray they are planted in place--the places You've called them to be, and that they are protected from the plans of the enemy to choke out or uproot what You are doing in their lives. I pray for these sons to have discernment, and to be watchful, so they properly tend to the field You've called them to. For them to watch and pray to prevent evil seeds from being planted. For them to recognize good from evil, and for them to preach Your Word so hearts can be changed and converted to good seed. Send Your heavenly host--Your angelic, ministering spirits to give aid and assistance to these sons of the kingdom, so Your kingdom comes, Your will is done throughout Waterford and Michigan.




Saturday, July 20, 2019

Evidence of Truth, Evidence of God



Truth is spiritual. It consists of realities and laws. These laws are things that apply consistently. If truth were not consistent, it wouldn't be truth. However, truths are consistent because there is power that exists to carry them out. This power guides them and manages them. This power oversees them. Because of this, truth requires an intelligent, thinking, personality, with a will, who will consistently define, manage, and guide it. This intelligent being is the One by whom truth is defined. He is truth.

Truth cannot exist apart from this Personality who has the power to define it. We call Him God. He expresses His truths in thoughts and words. An untruthful being can say things, but has no power to make them a reality. He can only deceive and try and get people to act on his words as if they were true, but this deception leads only to confusion and death because truth will always prevail.

When God speaks, along with His words comes the power to back up what He says. Jesus proved the truth and power of God by becoming the Word of God made flesh, and living out on earth the reality of God's truths. He proved them to be true. He became the evidence of their truth. This evidence is proof of God's reality, and His power over all things. (Hebrews 1:1-3, Isaiah 55:11).

Take that one step further to see that God has given people the ability to speak words out of a free heart. That's why the fall of man was so devastating. A heart that is not aligned with truth will cause confusion when it speaks. But this ability to speak words from a free heart is also why redeemed man is so powerful. Men, or women, who are believers in Jesus Christ are His witnesses. A witness testifies of truth. A believer's words and life are evidence of the truth of God. This evidence will speak eternally to disprove the accusations of the enemy--who accuses God of not being true, and accuses the saints as well.

Its wonderful that we, as believers, are His witnesses, but it takes faith to see truth, to see reality, to see God's thoughts. That's why its impossible to please Him without faith. By faith we see God for who He really is. We see that He is good. He is life. He is love. He is truth. Those who come to Him must believe that He is--that He exists--AND that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. He is a rewarder. He doesn't take pleasure in punishment. He is good. (Hebrews 11:6).

So because of who He is, God's presence contains power. He entire being emits energy--power--that causes His thoughts and desires to become a reality. When He looks, thinks, and speaks, the power is magnified. We find the truth of who God the Father is when we look at Jesus. Jesus is the Word of God made flesh. He reveals who God is--His thoughts and desires. His life, truth, love, and power.

The woman with the issue of blood felt power go into her when she touched Jesus' clothes. She saw Him for who He is--the Healer--and that healing energy flowed from Him to her. Her perception of who He is brought her exactly that. When our perception of God matches the truth of who He is, then the same power is released towards us. This is faith. Additionally, this woman received healing, but when Jesus turned to look at her and she allowed Him to examine what she had done, she was told her faith had healed her and to go in peace. She received something above and beyond healing when she allowed Jesus to see her and judge her actions. (Mark 5:25-34).

The power of who God is is even more pronounced when He looks at something. When we cry out for Him to look at us, we are saying we want His gaze, His power, His truth, to see us, make a decision, and act on our behalf. We are trusting that His decision will be good. We see Him, by faith, as One who is good and whose power will bring life to us, not death. We are humbly saying we trust He will be merciful towards us, not giving us what we deserve, but releasing His favor towards us which Jesus provided for us. The blind man cried out for Jesus to have mercy on him and he was healed. He wasn't content to let Jesus walk by without looking at him, without healing him. Even David, when he knew judgement would be brought on him, chose God's judgement over mans, knowing that God would be merciful quicker than man would. (Luke 18:35-43, 1 Chronicles 21:13).

This is why Jesus said He will say to those who use the power of God but hide from Him, not allowing Him to look at them, 'Depart from Me, I never knew you." We need His gaze. We need Him to look at us, to see us, to see what we're doing and thinking, and judge our thoughts and the intents of our hearts. We also need to judge ourselves by what He has spoken, by His Word. The pure in heart will see God, and these are the ones who have allowed God to look at them first. (Matthew 7:21-23, 1 Corinthians 11:31, Matthew 5:8).

It's amazing that God chose to share His Spirit with us. He fills those who believe in Him with His Spirit of truth and power. His living Word comes to live inside of those who believe in Him. Those who call out to Him and submit to Him as Lord of their life. To these ones He entrusts the power of His Word, His thoughts, His truth. We access this by faith. (John 14:15-17, John 14:23, Romans 8, Acts 1:8).

God, who is the Author of both truth and love, has the power to do good towards all. Yet He chose to share this power with those who believe in Him. This testing of our faith is precious to Him, and more valuable to us than any amount of wealth or power the world could give us.

Father God, I pray that the people of Waterford come to know You as the author of truth and the author of love, and life, and all that is good. Even those who already know You, that they come to know You better and see You for who You really are. We want Your truth! Look at us! Let us feel the power of Your gaze. Your cleansing, forgiving, and healing power. We believe in You. We are witnesses of Your truth! I pray this reality spreads throughout this community and beyond.


Saturday, May 11, 2019

Look Up



It's time to lift up our heads and look to the Lord. Look for His redemption. Look for His help. His victory. His glory. His holiness. Look for His return. Lift up your eyes, look vertically, not horizontally, and behold Him. Honor Him. Worship Him.

"But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near" Luke 21:28.

"But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head." Psalm 3:3.

"And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, and I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes I will sing praises to the Lord." Psalm 27:6

"I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth." Psalm 121:1-2.

"Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in!" Psalm 24:7

"Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure." 1 John 3:2-3.