A Holy Emancipation

This morning as I was praying, an old hymn rose up on the inside of me. Oddly enough, it’s a song I remember Elvis singing (although not in its entirety) more than I remember singing in church. The lyrics to the song entitled, “Battle Hymn of the Republic” are below:

“Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord. He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored. He has loosed the faithful lightning of his his terrible, swift sword. His truth is marching on.

Chorus: Glory, glory Hallelujah. Glory, glory Hallelujah. Glory, glory Hallelujah. His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watchfires of a hundred circling camps; they have builded him an altar in the evening dews and damps. I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps. His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel: “As ye deal with my contemptors, so with you my grace shall deal; Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel, since God is marching on.

He has sounded forth his trumpet that shall never call retreat: He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgement seat: Oh, be swift my soul to answer Him! Be jubilant my feet! Our God is marching on!

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea, with a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me; As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free, While God is marching on” (Howe, 1862).

John Brown and Julia Ward Howe

A poet, Julia Ward Howe and her husband visited Washington, D.C. in 1861, where they heard troops singing a marching song called “John Brown’s Body” which was rooted in a poem penned by William Patton called “John Brown’s Body,” about a radical abolitionist leader, deemed a rebel, likened to John the Baptist, who was executed for his anti-slavery work. To give you a feel for the type of man John Brown was, here are a couple of quotes:

“Now, if it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, I say, let it be done.” -John Brown, a statement at his sentencing on 11/2/1859.

“[John Brown is] that new saint, than whom none purer or more brave was ever led by love of men into conflict and death,–the new saint awaiting his martyrdom, and who, if he shall suffer, will make the gallows glorious like the cross.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson, from his lecture “Courage,” delivered in Boston on 11/8/1859.

A preacher (go figure) who was near Julia when she heard the lyrics encouraged her to rewrite the lyrics to the famous Union soldier’s song. After that, in what tells like a supernatural download, she found herself awakened early one morning with the wished-for lines arranging themselves in her brain. She comments that she lay quite still until the last verse had completed itself in her thoughts, then hastily arose saying to herself that she should write them down before they were lost. She felt as though something of importance had happened to her. After that, she lay back down and fell asleep. In 2/1862, she sold her poem which the Union army later adopted as their battle cry.

A Holy Emancipation

As I read the lyrics from Battle Hymn of the Republic, Jesus’ words from Luke 4 came upon me. He says,

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

The Good News translation says it this way: “The Sovereign Lord has filled me with his Spirit. He has chosen me and sent me to bring good news to the poor, to heal the broken-hearted, to announce release to captives and freedom to those in prison.”

Slavery still needs to be abolished today. I’m referring to the slavery of sin. Those who are bound in shackles of hopelessness, shame, condemnation. I’m referring to those who sin without knowing what sin is. I’m referring to those who celebrate their sin life as though it was a crown of splendor they use to draw attention to themselves and their “truth.” We are all born into slavery in this world. Psalm 51:5 says, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity (sin), and in sin my mother conceived me.” Romans 8:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Our slavery required a abolitionist who never participated in the slavery of sin. His name is Jesus, and it was through his death and resurrection that those of us who choose him are freed us from the slavery of sin.

So, why are so many self-professing Christians continuing to sin?

They haven’t been taught. They are not well-studied in scripture. We live in an era where cliches like, “Jesus loves the sinner but hates the sin” are touted, deceiving believers into thinking that it’s ok to go on living as the world lives because you are covered by the blood of Jesus. Do you see how tricky the devil is? That’s mostly true, but God’s word says in Romans 2:4, “Do you have contempt for God, who is very kind to you, puts up with you, and deals patiently with you? Don’t you realize that it is God’s kindness that is trying to lead you to him and change the way you think and act?

Repentance means to turn away from sin. Not to continue sinning because his blood covers your sin. Period. You will serve what you worship. Are you serving money? Are you serving your own sexuality? Are you worshipping a political party? Are there any secret idols that you are putting before God?

God’s truth is marching on, as the song says, but we as believers have been playing a game of broken telephone with the word of God. It has become so diluted and taken out of context that christians use it as an accessory to their own personal way of doing life. For christians, the word of God has become the equivalent to a salt shaker on a table at a feast prepared by the hands of the church. We just want a little scripture, a little of God’s flavor on our own taste preferences; on our own lifestyle. We don’t want to be radically transformed and thus transform the world. We like our Jesus in the bottle that we can take out when it’s palatable or preferable for us. Sometimes we want a pinch of Jesus, but we don’t want him to change the way our life tastes.

Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot” (Matthew 5:13-16). When God made a salt covenant with the jews, he called them set apart. Jesus extended this invitation to everyone who would choose him as Savior. Set apart means to be holy, distinct. It means the church is different than the world just as the jews were set apart as God’s chosen from the remaining nations of the world.

Much like salt, God has placed us in this culture, and this time of history to preserve his Truth- his ways, teachings, life, and the Holy Spirit power of God. Salt improves flavors as it seasons. In low concentrations, salt suppresses bitterness and enhances sweetness; in higher concentrations, salt reduces sweetness but enhances the savoryiness of foods.

Are you salty?

The Lord is Coming Quickly

At the trumpet, Jesus will come to collect his faithful bride. Not a harlot bride. You could say He is coming to collect his salt. Are these words convicting you in areas where you have become bland? God’s truth marches on with or without you. God’s time table marches on regardless of the plans you have made for yourself and your family. Are you making his kingdom your top priority or are you continuing to build your kingdom?

Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel, since God is marching on.

He has sounded forth his trumpet that shall never call retreat: He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgement seat: Oh, be swift my soul to answer Him! Be jubilant my feet! Our God is marching on!

The Lord spoke this to me today, and I pray you will take heed because the time is short. He would prefer your YES but He doesn’t need your YES to accomplish His will. He is Almighty God, and He is marching on.

I will set my feet upon the earth and march forth in Spirit and in Truth. I am pouring out my Spirit on all people; your sons and daughters will prophesy. I will release visions of who I Am among the people. I am drawing Mine unto Me. This is my battle cry. The time has come for those I have chosen to come to Me. Then I will pour out my wrath like a drink offering. My Truth will go forth like My sword- like lightning. Faster than you can blink. I am awakening My army to carry Me through the ends of the earth. To break those out of captivity and to free the oppressed. Watch and see what I will do. I hold the flag of victory.


God’s word shows us that he never does anything without first declaring it. Before Jesus came, God prophesied through Isaiah, Jeremiah, and countless other OT prophets. He sent John the Baptist to prepare the way. Before the slaves were emancipated, God sent people like John Brown and Julia Howe, and Abraham Lincoln. Before His return, God will send his servants, as in the days of Elijah, who will declare God’s TRUTH to all people. To stand up against the Jezebels and Ahabs of this day. To confront the Baals and other false gods of this time. To stand in the gap as Nehemiah, with a sword in one hand and a hammer in the other. To say, “Here am I, send Me!”

Shine Like Stars

“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life- in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing” (Philippians 2:14ff).

We are living in a critical space. Literally. It’s easy to stand by like a christian wallflower and watch as the world implodes. It’s easy to stand back and judge as though we are holier than all pagan practices. It’s easy to honker down in our tribes and homes until Jesus comes back, without proclaiming that the Day is drawing near. Culture is shifting, and the church at large is standing idly by, concerned only about their four and no more. Focused on their own family, and their own goals the majority of Christians have forsaken the Great Commission. We as the body of Christ to put first things first. Remember our first love.

It’s time to bring God back into the culture. Bringing God back into our daily living, first and foremost in our homes. Why? Because revival starts in our hearts and at the hearth of our homes. God gave the Israelites specific instructions in the Shema, (Deuteronomy 6:4ff) “Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” The Israelites took these instructions literally (orthodox jews still practice today) created the mezuzah and the tefillin to adhere to the law of Moses. But we as disciples of Jesus today, should be conversing about God in our homes as if he is there- because He is. From sun-up to sundown, the conversations we have with our children should point to the existence of God, the wisdom that comes from daily reading of the bible, and applying the truths of the bible to everyday living. Children teach what they are taught. Children are the key to the future, and that’s why the attack on them is raging today.

The Critical Space of American Culture Today

To be honest, I’d never thought I’d see today in this nation as it is. And I’ll be the first to admit, by my acquiescence, I have personally contributed to where we are as a nation today. As an American Christian, I have been a weak and passive objector. While it does impact a bottom line, silently vowing to withhold money from retailers like Target isn’t the answer and isn’t going to turn the tide. It takes voices. It takes being brave in the face of aggressive opposition. It takes an uprising.

God’s word says in Isaiah 59:19, that when we as disciples fear God more than we fear men, “So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.”

Today I want to challenge you to into a new level of holy fear (reverence) for God, rather than fearing man.

I object to the moral debasement of society and life rooted in a satanic agenda for such a time as this. I object to the indoctrination of our children around transgender ideologies. I object to retailers selling satan as cool and inclusive, and spinning secular humanistic lies to our youth while adults practice the deceptive art of tolerance. I object to other American Christians who are either afraid to use their voice or have become diluted in their biblical worldview, clinging to love covers a multitude of sins. Love does cover a multitude of sins, but genuine love for a person indicates that we speak God’s truth to them out of love. Not in a way that is aggressive or right wing, but in a way that calls out the things that have bound by the enemy to prevent life on all fronts. To utterly destroy God’s creation.

Shining Like Stars

The verse at the beginning of this text iterates that we are to become blameless and pure so that we can shine like stars in the universe while we offer the world the word of life through Jesus Christ. To do this, we are to do EVERYTHING without complaining or arguing. We present the gospel through our speech and our actions. We stand as vessels, carrying the beacon of Hope through this dark world. We do not engage in vain imaginations and idols set up in high places by world systems that are meant to deceive many. We know the weapons of our warfare are mighty to the pulling down of strongholds. We use those weapons daily. We are not cowering christians, wringing our hands as we watch to see what will happen next. We do battle in the spirit and we eagerly wait for holy manifestation in the physical.

We show up. In our homes, our communities, our local governments. We pray. We say that we pray. We share our faith. It’s time to stop being timid for fear of offending someone.

When God created, the first thing He did was speak. He used his voice to call those things that were not into existence. He gave you a voice to create. He gave you a sword as your weapon. He gave you prayer to change atmospheres. Will you rise up? Will you refuse to be silent while the offensive tactics of the enemy are unleashed to mow down all of creation as we know it? Choose this day whom you will serve.

Stars are in the atmosphere above us at all times, but we only notice them when it’s night. When it’s dark. It’s time to rise and shine.

Treasure Hunter

This morning I was thinking back to the time when my mom gave me the bible I use today. The bible was originally hers. I was 18 when she passed it on to me, and she had already made countless notes inside that I would later go on to reference a million times. But that’s not how it first started with me.

I grew up in the church. I was saved and baptized at age 12. I was at church every Wednesday and all day Sunday. I was in Girls in Action and bible drill. I sang in the kid’s choir. All the things. I’d love to be able to tell you that when my mom gave me her bible, I was overcome with joy. But I wasn’t. At 18, I was busy trying to find acceptance from outside of a relationship with the Lord and his church. While I knew I needed to read God’s word daily (because that’s what I had been taught), I didn’t value the word of God in my life. Oddly enough, I remember carrying my bible with me in the car everywhere I went, but I never cracked it open. There was a time that I was pulled over for speeding and while my vehicle was being searched, I saw the bible I use today in my trunk. Now there’s a metaphor- there’s Jess speeding through life in pursuit of the things she wanted. Jesus wasn’t my co-pilot. He wasn’t even in the backseat. I put him in the trunk where he quietly and patiently waited, even pulling me over on the side of a highway just so he could remind that he’s still there, waiting.

I didn’t have much when I moved to Dallas for work. I was alone in a new city, no friends, unfamiliar territory, and so on. A couple of weeks after I relocated my dad filed for divorce, and it left my mother in a tailspin. I felt powerless to do anything to help her. I remember crying a lot. When I’d get home from work, I didn’t have cable, so I’d sit and eat dinner and read the only book I brought with me- my bible. Long lonely nights turned into weeks, but I remember being comforted just holding and reading the words I heard over and over again at church as a child. Some nights I would cry and hug my bible because I just needed a hug. And I would imagine Jesus hugging me back. I didn’t realize it at the time, but God used everything to redirect, not only my life path, but my spiritual life path where we would walk together into the future.

Fast forward to today. I’m a completely different person in a completely different place with a family of my own. This morning, as I picked up my bible to read, the Lord reminded me of the times when I used to hug my bible. At first glance you’d notice that the leather cover is worn and torn and the spine needs help, but when I look at it, I see the evidence of relationship. I see and feel unconditional love breathing on me from it’s pages. I am more respectful of and careful to understand the sharp edges of the weapon He’s entrusted me with. Have you ever seen one of those books that opens up and it’s not really a book, but a place for hiding something valuable? That’s what I think of when I look at my bible. There’s so much treasure inside that goes unnoticed to the untrained eye and undisciplined mind. You didn’t know I was a millionaire, did you?!

This morning I was thanking him for His word. It’s so much more than instruction and wisdom. God is so good, and I love that he creates artists, writers, poets -his people- to create divinely inspired eternal beauty from his heart. His words are so beautiful. Not only does he teach us, but he shows us and trains us how to be divine partakers in his creative genius. I am so thankful for his proverbs; his wisdom; his poetry; his love letters. I’m grateful for the treasures he’s buried deep in his word. Thank you, Lord for calling me to be a treasure hunter and to search for you in the depths of your word. Just when I think I have found you, you call me deeper to reveal even greater secrets of your heart. Jesus, make me skilled in the art of diving to know you more intimately.

As I finished writing, the Lord spoke this to me, and I wrote it down to share:

“There are those who prefer to stay ankle deep while some prefer to watch the waves from a place of security on the beach. But I am found in the depths. In the place where the only safety is Me. I can be found with the deep, hidden things. The deep calls to deep. You know there is more, but will you move away from the shore and come to a place where your feet no longer touch the ground? Will you let go? Will you come away from “safe” and search for Me as a diver searches for treasure? I have silver and gold for you to find in my treasure map. I have riches that will exceed anything you’ve ever known. I am calling you to hunt for My treasure.”

There are deeper things that the Lord wants to teach you, if you will make margin in your schedule to dive deeper into his word. As I wrote this word out, I was reminded of the parable of hidden treasure recorded in Matthew 13:44. It states, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy when out and sold all he had and bought that field.” The man in the parable stumbled upon the treasure buried deep. He immediately recognized its value, and he became immediately willing to give up everything to have it. The same goes for the pearl merchant. When he found the pearl of great price, he went and sold everything he owned to buy that single pearl. I guess the question here is, are we treating God’s word like the priceless treasure it is, or are we throwing it in the trunk of our lives?

Our relationship with the Lord will be as shallow or as deep as we allow it to be. I can say there was a time where I watched others around me have this intimate relationship with the Lord, and I wondered, “Why don’t I feel that way?” I thought I was doing everything I was supposed to be doing. In hindsight, I can tell you, I was on the seashore, not in the ocean. I was watching when I thought I was swimming. Can you relate? I needed swimming lessons. And major trust lessons. There are days where I dive, and days like today where I stay at snorkeling level. God understands our humanity. Let’s just not make a habit of being okay with shallow anything. Shallow faith, shallow bible study. Shallow relationships. Shallow living. God is calling us to swim all the way to the bottom. Allow him to train your breathing and your endurance to search for the deep, hidden treasures he’s got waiting for you there.

Grass Roots

“Grass roots” are the words I heard this morning while in prayer. I quickly jotted it down and returned to prayer, but afterwards, the Lord called my attention back to the words.

Grass roots is the most basic or fundamental level of an activity; the common or ordinary people, especially as contrasted with the leadership or elite of a political party, social organization, etc.

Grass roots grow 6-8 inches below the surface of the ground, and there are variances to the depth of certain types of grasses, i.e., shallow roots, well-rooted depth, etc.

We can have shallow faith that is able to be uprooted or choked out by the various weeds of life. Or we can have the kind of faith that starts a supernatural move of God in the earth for such a time as this. A supernatural grassroots movement. IF we’re willing to be patient with the rooting process.

Robert Longley says, “A grassroots movement is an organized effort undertaken by groups of individuals in a given geographic area to bring about changes in social policy or influence an outcome, often of a political issue. By harnessing spontaneous support at local levels to bring about policy changes at local, regional, national, or international levels, grassroots movements are considered bottom-up, rather than top-down efforts—much in the way grass grows” (thoughtco.com).

If you’ve ever tried to grow anything from seed, you know how tender and vulnerable the initial phase of growth can be. I’d go as far as to say, if you tried growing something from seed without doing your initial research about what you’re attempting to grow, you’d probably make a mess of it. But, if we are careful to nurture and prime the seed, place it in the right soil, the right lighting, etc., groundbreaking movements are assured.

The same can be said of new movements birthed in intercessory prayer (seed research!). Ideas are seed that must be taken to the Father for His revelation, understanding, and strategy. For blueprints. I personally believe there are times where He’ll give an idea in seed form but then He’ll walk your heart through a process of fertilizing and preparation to make you ready for the seed you’re carrying. IF you’ll let him and not attempt to control His plan or His timing. He’ll uproot the ulterior motives that may be hiding in your heart. He’ll prune your flesh so that your environment is ready to hold the new life, the new calling He’s mantled you for. Then, and only then, the little tiny root of the new thing bursts forth to drive itself into the depths of the soil. And now you’ve got a seedling to care for.

The roots have to grow first.

Why? A beautiful stalk with a beautiful bud of a flower is just surface beauty without a deep root supporting it for nutrients, structure, and support. Does beauty hold up against the elements? Imagine the beautiful flower in crazy winds. If it not properly rooted, the wind will destroy the plant. The same goes for you and me here, and I think you get the idea.

God’s word says in 1 Peter 1:24-25
“All flesh is like grass,
And all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
And the flower falls off,
But the word of the Lord endures forever.”
And this is the word which was preached to you.

What you birth in the flesh will be your responsibility to grow and maintain in your flesh. God’s word says here, flesh is like grass that withers. The word of the Lord endures forever. What is born of the Spirit of God is eternal.

The Lord spoke this to me for someone this morning during prayer:

I still forgive you. I forgive you for the times you try to control and call it proacting. I forgive you when you manipulate out of fear. I know you don’t want your apple cart disrupted. But what you attempt to control you will be responsibility to maintain. When you choose to surrender those things to Me, I will give you so much more. An abundant life- abundant in Me. In your relationships. In love. In authenticity.

You can choose to live life in what you call color, but you’re living in blacks, whites, and greys. Or you can come into My kingdom and experience My goodness with all of your senses. Only 1 way is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. The other way is just your way.

There are people in this hour who believe that they are putting down roots in good soil, but it is a work of the flesh that will wither and die. There are those who don’t want their plans (their apple carts) interrupted by God. The Lord is calling them to step out of living life in black and white and step into living a life of color. As I type this I see an old-fashioned black and white tv with a hand that comes to change the dial to color. Kingdom-vision.

There is seed for the move that God wants to do in the earth. Will you be the grass that fades or will you be part of his grass roots His movement?

I Believe

This morning I was praying for someone who is very dear to me. My heart has been burdened for this person for a very long time, and while I have seen small glimpses of the work that God is doing in their life, I have yet to see the answers to prayer fully manifest. The thing about me though, is that I have learned that I can’t go by what I see, and time has taught me not to give up praying and believing. My heart was drawn back to intercessory prayer for this person, and I began praying in the spirit. As I was praying these words began to stream from my pen to paper:

The warfare has been intense, but breakthrough is coming. I am coming to deliver. I am salvation. I am coming to save all who are seeking me. Seek me. Press in. The resistance is proof that the dam is about to break. I will come in like a flood to cleanse. Heal. Restore. to deliver. I am your deliverer, and I will do it.

If you’ve ever prayed for someone for a long time, you can relate to the warfare increasing as you stand in the gap for that person. Sometimes the spirits they entertain will even try to come at you to get you to stop praying. I’ve experienced this before where I’ve wanted to give up praying for the person because situations in my life got harder as I interceded for them. But we can’t do that. I wouldn’t want the person praying for me to give up! And my testimony is proof that I had many secret prayer warriors believing and warring for me when I did not believe or know how to do spiritual warfare for myself.

The situation can look and feel hopeless. But He who promised is faithful. A flood is an overflow of water onto an area that is normally dry ground. The bible even references dry ground and the thirst we feel. Psalm 36 says, “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

You might be feeling dry. Or the person you’re praying for is showing all signs of a dry life without the Water of Life. Whatever the meaning to you regarding this impression from God, I pray the Lord will give you a unique scripture that applies to the situation you are praying about. Scripture, prayer, and hope form a three-pronged anchor that you hold onto while you continue to wait for the manifestation of what you’ve been praying for.

Blessed is She Who Believes

The Lord led me to a verse in Luke (Luke 1:45) that says, “Blessed is she who has believe that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.” Mary (the mother of Jesus) goes on to praise the Lord. Up until this point, she had been given the promise in the form of seed in her womb. It wasn’t until she visited her cousin Elizabeth, and Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, that Elizabeth became filled with the Holy Spirit, and Elizabeth prophesied over Mary, saying, ” Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!”

Believe what the Lord is saying to you about the person you’re praying for. It’s already done, even though you can’t see it yet. And do as Mary did- glorify the Lord. He is coming to deliver the person you’ve been praying for.

The Refiner

noun. a person, device, or substance that removes impurities, sediment, or other unwanted matter from something.

Hold nothing back.

Hold the hands of your life open, as it were, and surrender yourself completely to the One who created you for His glory.

Surrender is hard sometimes. You think you’ve taken your hands off of a thing and given it over to Jesus, but then the next “thing” comes. The test. The processing. Ashes (the death of a thing) for what you thought was beauty, followed by true beauty. The thing you envisioned as the beautiful future or circumstance, (or whatever it may be right now in your case) in your life becomes ashes. It is tried in the fire of refining. In the crucible of Christ.

The decorations, the pomp, the earthly agendas you had are burned away so that the Lord can show you what’s left. What’s real. Eternal. What will last.

Then, like the Potter and the clay, He begins to mold the new you, smoothing away the rough areas. He’s spinning you around on His potter’s wheel. It can feel confusing, exhausting, unnerving. We can feel dizzy; disoriented…But He’s got His hand on you. Remember, you’re HIS vessel.

We are just clay. Clay doesn’t tell the potter how to make the vessel. It simply sits on the wheel, yielding to the Potter’s work. Clay is mixed with the Water of Life to keep it pliable and so that it can be formed into something useful.

Will you let the potter mix His Water of Life into your life? Will you completely trust Him to make you into something beautiful? A vessel of honor. A vessel of His glory for His glory.

Allow the refining. Allow the shaping. Give yourself completely over to the work he wants to do in you. He wants to make you prepared for the good works he’s got for you.

The Lord is a gentleman. He will not impose himself to do a work in you that you are not willing for Him to do. You might lose everything you hold dear. But then again, you might gain everything He holds dear and find your purpose and promises in the process. Life or death. Blessings or curses. The choice is yours.

A Valley of Peace

As I was praying this morning, the Lord spoke this to me for someone specific.

The Lord is removing you from calamity. The Lord is picking you up and reseting you in a new place. A green valley. A place of peace. He is making the Valley of Achor a door of Hope. You can trust His promises. It will be for your best in this season. You are being called out. Led out. Before destruction comes.

Whoever this is for, the Lord is saying He is removing you from a situation or event that is disastrous. The vision I got as he spoke this was of his hands literally picking up a chess piece and moving it laterally from point A to point B. It did not go across the chess board. It did not take possession of any other chess piece. He moved it to a clear space on the board.

A green valley

A green valley suggests prosperity and peace. Prosperity doesn’t always mean money, but it can! There is provision there. Valleys are low areas of land between hills or mountains, typically with a river or stream flowing through it. There will be provision (streams) for you in this new place. And it will not be the type of place you are used to. Here’s how I know.


The Valley of Achor is known as the place of Achan’s sin. Achan was an Israelite who disobeyed God and took & hid some of the plunder from Jericho for his family. His disobedience caused the defeat of the Israelites by the Amorites and the destruction of Achan’s entire family. There are consequences for disobedience just as God has blessings for obedience. Perhaps you are living in the valley of trouble, but God is saying He is making it into a door of hope. I want to reference the verse in Hosea 2 that He showed me here but I encourage you to read the entire book of Hosea because it starts with Israel’s unfaithfulness to God. It describes God’s mercy towards his covenant people in spite of their behaviors:

The Lord says, “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. And there I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.”

A door of Hope

In the word the Lord gave me, I capitalized Hope. Hope is a person, and his name is Jesus. Jesus is the door back to right relationship with God. He is the door to the feeling of hope and the place of peace for you. God is saying today, that in spite of what your past has looked like. In spite of maybe the intense correction you may be facing, you can trust His promises. This word is a promise to you today. And scriptures are 7,487 promises made to humankind. I encourage you to study out the scriptures for all of the promises God speaks directly to you.

It’s for your best

God is saying this move will be for your best in this season. While circumstances may not appear like what you have dreamed, God is on the throne. He sees all, He knows all, including what’s coming. He’s got your best interest in mind with this move, so trust Him.

HE is leading you

You can’t lead yourself to a place you don’t know yet. You’ve got to trust God in spite of what you may be seeing in the natural. He is calling you out from what could be a crowd, a bad situation, an industry, a city. You’ll know where He’s calling you out from. He’s saying He’s leading you. Don’t try to force His hand or his plan. Let the good shepherd lead you, little sheep. He can see what you can’t and He will keep your foot from stumbling. Whether it’s your own personal destruction, the destruction of a business, a disaster in the area you live, whatever. He’s doing this to rescue you from something down the road that you can’t see. Thank Him for that. Trust Him. He loves you that much.

Isaiah 65: 8

I want to leave you with this verse that I believe relates to this word. I pray it will bring you peace reading it. Sudden moves can be unsettling. There is a lot of unknown. Many times there are unanswered questions. But we can trust that, no matter what, God has good plans for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you; to give you hope and a future.

Isaiah 65:8 says,

“Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down in, for My people that have sought Me.” Isaiah goes on to state, that there will be those in Israel who seek the Lord and especially from the tribe of Judah (to which all non-jewish believers are grafted in). The Lord says, “That I may not destroy them all” (Isa. 65:8), for the godly ones will honor the Lord, and the result of the judgment on the apostate ones will be blessing and peace for “My people that have sought Me.”

Two Wells

Dothan is a place mentioned in the bible where Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers. It was also the place where the prophet Elisha was born and where his servant saw horses and chariots of fire when the army of Aram was coming to attack Israel.

Hagar met God at a well outside of Egypt. Isaac’s servant met Isaac’s wife Rebekah at a well, and the tribes of Israel would be born later on.

The Lord highlighted Dothan to me this morning. Dothan means “two wells.” Wells can have prophetic meaning, as the symbolize supply and provision (the well that sprang up in Numbers 21). People of the bible often had encounters with God at wells. Think back to the Samaritan woman tat the well who Jesus had a divine encounter with. Wells also symbolize salvation; Isaiah spoke of joyfully drawing water from the wells of salvation (Isaiah 12:3). Wells represent the holy spirit: God calls himself a spring of living water and Jeremiah speaks of abandoned wells, “They have abandoned me- the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all” (Jeremiah 2:13).

I think of Joseph a lot. He was given great dreams as a child and was doted on heavily by his father (ref. the coat of many colors). Of course, he had these amazing prophetic dreams about promises God made to him, but his circumstances quickly changed. Thank God that he loves us enough to give us glimpses of what we will become for him before he sends us through the time of testing and preparation…This is personal supposition, but I often wonder if God first allowed him to be thrown into a well first (as if that wasn’t hard enough) as a symbol of the various pits he would be thrown into on his way to the palace. Perhaps it was through Joesph’s trials and challenges that God was digging a deeper well inside of Joseph. A well of wisdom. A well of perseverance. A well of believing for what he could see while waiting deep down in the darkness. Feeling alone. Abandoned. Rejected by his brothers. Falsely accused when he was being a good steward. Forgotten by the cupbearer… Being prepared to come up out of the darkness, full of wisdom. Time in the pit can either make you pitiful or powerful, depending on your outlook. It’s a lot of time to think. It’s a lot of time to talk with and listen to God.

In the simplest of terms, Joseph’s preparation was hard. I would love to read his diary to learn from his perspective how he processed the constant trials and isolation. Literally every time he turned around a greater challenge struck his other cheek. Did he doubt the dreams God gave him? Did he blame God? Did he argue with God? The bible doesn’t really say. BUT then one day his time came for promotion. And his heart had been prepared to steward his opportunity with wisdom and humility.

You have 2 wells

The truth is, the Lord showed me that we all have two “wells” before us that we get to choose to drink from:

The well of Life\\the well of death; the well of Egypt//the well of Promise; The well of curses and poverty//the well of blessings and abundance; the tree “well” of the knowledge of good and evil//the tree “well” of life; deceit versus truth; faithfulness versus unfaithfulness. You get the idea.

The Lord spoke this today:

“My people are always given 2 choices. Follow Me into the unknown or go back. Look back. At comfort. At security. At death. Easy places do not make growth happen. The call of My people is to go forward with Me into what they cannot see. I am leading them by the hand. Trust Me to clear the path before you so that you do not stumble. I’ve not new wells for you, My beloved. New ministries. New blessings. New roots. What looks like a little opening above ground is really a deep supply underground. The times of refreshing are coming for those who choose to drink from My well and follow Me. Tell them the choice is theirs,” says the Lord.

I just want to add that, we always have a choice. Every day that you wake up I pray that you would re-submit to God’s will for you. Two choices, two wells sit before you. Remember what happened to Adam and Eve. A little doubt and a little coercion, and a little vision of becoming “like God” led them to making what they thought would be the best choice for them, but it ended in death. If you’re not submitting to God and letting him lead you, you’re eventually headed for a fall and perhaps even destruction. Confess and return. Rededicate. Start again.

The Rock Has Been Cut

This morning the Lord took me to Daniel chapter 2. To lend a little context, this chapter begins with Nebuchadnezzar (king of Babylon) having a disturbing dream Being the king of Babylon that he was, Nebuchadnezzar summoned the resources of Babylon to interpret his dream: the magicians, the enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers. But because he also did not trust these people, he challenged them by threatening them with death to describe the dream before interpreting it. Of course, the workers of darkness confessed, “there is not a man on earth who can do what the king asks […] what the king asks is too difficult. No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among men.” As you might imagine, this infuriated the king who ordered the execution of all of the wise men of Babylon, to whom Daniel and his three friends (Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah) belonged.

A Little Back Story

Daniel and his friends were taken captive along with many other jews when Babylon invaded and overthrew Israel. The king took “the best of the best” of Israel from the royal family and nobility for himself to serve him in the king’s court. The bible describes them as “young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified.” They were to learn the literature and language of Babylon, basically do all things as the babylonians do for a period of 3 years, then enter into the king’s service.

Daniel and his friends were from the tribe of Judah. The babylonian chief official changed their names to suit their new identities, but the bible states that Daniel “resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and new wine.” After some back and forth with the king’s official, Daniel asked to be tested for ten days after a diet of water and vegetables (we know it today as the Daniel fast) followed by a testing of comparison between them and the other men who ate the king’s food. The bible says, in verse 15, “At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.”

And I want to hone in on these verses here: “To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.” Apart from that, the four men entered into the king’s service after Nebuchadnezzar found them 10x better in matters of wisdom and understanding than the court’s magicians and enchanters.

It’s A Set Up

Chapter 2 opens up with this dilemma of dream telling and dream interpretation. Had Daniel not been prepared beforehand, and had he made the choice not to defile himself, we would not be the beneficiaries of the godly wisdom and last days revelation through many prophetic visions and dreams. We would also not have his example of courage and faith in times of crisis.

So, when Daniel learned of the decree that all of the wise men would be executed for failing to reveal and interpret the dream, he went to his friends and urged them to plead for mercy from God. The same night, the mystery of the dream was revealed and an interpretation was given. And Daniel praised God, saying:

“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden thing; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells in him. I thank you and praise you O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you, you have made known to us the dream of the king.”

Interpreting The King’s Dream

Daniel, before Nebuchadnezzar, makes a disclaimer that gives total glory to God. He says, “No wise man, enchanter, magician, or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, BUT there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come. From there, he goes on to paint the vision of Nebuchadnezzar resting, the thoughts he was having and the dream as it unfolded. He describes a large, towering statue made mixed metals from head to toe, and each metal carried a symbolic and prophetic interpretation that we can realize having studied the rest of the bible:

Head: made of gold, represents the empire of Babylon

Chest and Arms: made of silver, represents Medo-Persian empire

Belly and Thighs: made of bronze, represents the Grecian empire

Legs and Feet: made of mixed iron and clay, represents the Roman empire

And here’s where it gets even more interesting. Daniel says, “while you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay (the roman empire) and smashed them. Then the iron, clay, bronze, silver and gold were broken into pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing floor (harvest season) in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. BUT the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth. […] In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, not will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. This is the meaning of the rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces.”

Jesus’ ministry came during the Roman empire. The church itself was born after the resurrection of Jesus, and after he gave the Great Commission. Peter (called Petras, or the rock (Matt. 16:18) symbolizing the church) and the disciples began evangelizing and advancing the kingdom of God. God will set up His kingdom on earth, and eventually the kingdoms of the earth would pass away, without a trace of them ever having existed.

When in Babylon, Don’t Do As The Babylonians Do

Neb was blown away by Daniel’s interpretation and revelation. Daniel and his friends were promoted, and then Nebuchadnezzar goes onto commission a gold statue of himself (90 feet high x 9 feet wide) for the people of Babylon to worship. The bible speaks of a final empire also known as Babylon in the book of Revelation (Rev. 17). This final babylon opposes the rule of God and operates as a counterfeit to the kingdom of God. So, study the word of God, and everything that describes the kingdom of heaven is opposite to the kingdom of Babylon.

The Lord spoke this to me today:

“My rock has been cut. My kingdom is an eternal one, and soon all nations will know that it is by my hand that the kingdoms and systems of this world are overthrown. I shatter. I destroy. I build up. I tear down. I am coming to set up My kingdom on the earth that will never be destroyed, just as I do not share My glory with another. My Daniels, my prophets will prepare the way. They announce what I will do. They are strategically placed by My hand to announce, decree, and declare My will before it comes to pass. I do this so that those who are Mine will prepare themselves to rule and reign. To receive their bridegroom. To make their temples holy unto Me.”

“You will see a distinction between those who are Mine and those who belong to the world. I am revealing My mysteries spoken of long ago, even now.”

I want to leave you with Daniel’s prayer of praise mentioned before: “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden thing; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells in him.”

I pray that you are seeking God for his knowledge concerning the days to come, the posture of your heart and all things eternal. Heaven and the earth you know is passing away, but his word will not pass away.

False Teachers

The book of Acts is known as the acts of the apostles of Jesus after the holy spirit was given to us. The Book of Jude is essentially the acts of the apostates, specifically the apostate teachers who lead apostasy in the church age.

It’s a short book in the New Testament, with just 1 chapter and 25 verses, but the spirit of God packs a punch in it. God, through Jude is saying that we should “Contend for the faith” against false teachers who operate in immorality and obviously, false teaching. They are those who deceive and destroy the spiritually immature and undiscerning believer. And get this, they are alive and deceiving today. I highly encourage you to read this short book and really feast on what the Lord is saying because He is warning His church. He’s warning you. God’s word says His people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge and that some even willfully reject the knowledge of God. For this, God says will will turn their glory into shame (more in Hosea 4 if you care to read.) I want to highlight a few verses in Jude that were impressed upon me to share:

“I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.”

God describes the last days apostasy as one that embraces many paths to God and heaven, which means that “they” have rejected Jesus as the only way, the only truth, and the life. You might have heard this if you’ve heard anyone say, the path to Allah and the path to Jesus end in the same place. I’ve heard that a lot because of certain circles I grew up in….Or that saint/icon worship is acceptable (think Virgin Mary worship) alongside Jesus. Jesus, while I’m sure he honored his mother because the bible commands it, never said, “You should worship my mother too”, yet many Catholics revere Mary more than Christ.

But I submit to you that an apostate looks like anyone who serves anything above Jesus. These are a few philosophies that are being embraced today: universalism; new age philosophies (great blog here that highlights some new age practices in the church); secular humanism; these and more are all influencing believers and non-believer seekers and their personal statement of faith in Jesus, or lack thereof. You’ve heard someone in your life say, “I’m not religious, I’m spiritual.” Assuming they’ve been presented with the gospel of Jesus Christ, in other words they’re saying, “I’ve counted the cost, and I’m gonna stay over here in the universe I’ve build around my ideas that don’t require that I put a greater demand on myself to be all that Jesus’ sacrifice paid for me.” They reject the truth for a lie, and they spend the rest of their lives living/pursuing a lie that ends in destruction.

Apostasy can also look like hyper-grace (just keep on sinning bc you’re covered) and prosperity gospel. While there are divine principles in the word of God around reaping and sowing, tithing and offerings to God, false teachers who promote financial gain over everything else. Jude says, in verse 10, “These men speak abusively against what they do not understand; and what things they do not understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals- they are the very things that destroy them. Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.”


Following Cain’s example, the false teachers despised Jesus’ blood sacrifice and devised their own corrupt worship. Jude’s connection to Cain implies some level of jealousy. Just as Cain was jealous of Abel. *False teachers are jealous of those who obey the Lord, and they hate genuine believers.


Balaam was a heathen prophet who lived during the time of the Israelites’ journey through the wilderness following their escape from Egypt. Balak, King of Moab, offered rewards to Balaam if he would curse the Israelites. Balaam refused to curse them, but he persuaded Balak to corrupt them by getting them to marry the pagan Moabite women (Numbers 22—25). *False teachers value financial gain more highly than God’s will and lead their followers into immorality.

Korah’s Rebellion

Korah and his followers rebelled against Moses’ authority and thereby refused to accept God’s authority since God had appointed Moses as Israel’s leader (Numbers 16). Korah also presumed to take upon himself a priestly role, but God had appointed only Aaron to the position of Israel’s high priest. Consequently, God destroyed those rebels.*False teachers reject the authority of Scripture and of those whom God had appointed to teach it.

Jude goes onto say that false teachers are shepherd who only feed themselves. He calls them, “Clouds without rain; autumn trees without fruit AND uprooted, TWICE DEAD; wild waves; and wondering stars for whom the blackest darkness has been reserved forever” (v. 12-13).

So what are WE called to do?

Verse 17 says, “Remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, ” In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires,” There are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts but do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, build yourself up in the most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

-Be merciful to those who doubt; (kindness and compassion to others who are struggling or being led astray. Speak the truth in love, always.)

-Snatch others from the fire and save them; (witness to others about Jesus. It’s a matter of life and death for those who don’t know Him.)

-To others, show mercy mixed with fear, even hating the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. (Hate sin, but always love the sinner.)

Jude Finishes With This

“To him who is able (has the power) to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence *without fault* and with great joy- to the only God and Savior be glory, majesty, power, and authority through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.”

The Lord and the Lord alone has the power to keep you from falling away. There’s power in a daily relationship with him. There’s power in staying connected to him through the daily reading of his word. There’s power in praying to him daily, and praying in the holy spirit. I pray that you will continue in your gritfull pursuit of being conformed to his image on your journey through this life until your time has come to behold him face to face.

The Gritfull Life

There are times where I question starting this blog, the name of the blog itself, and the continual pursuit of publishing what the Lord is speaking to me. When I chose the name The Gritfull Life, my pastor, Keith Craft had done a series called Gritfull, and it reminded me of something my granny used to say to me frequently. Throughout my childhood until she passed in 2019, I would go to her with my woes and complaints about life. She would always say to me, “Jess, keep persevering.” The truth is, I hated hearing that, but I always knew that that would be the key takeaway after pouring my heart out to her in frustration and oftentimes tears. Granny was an excellent listener. She didn’t say much, and she didn’t have a lot to comment on when I would air my grievances about life, but she would always tell me to continue persevering.

Living a life full of grit is about living a life of perseverance and passion. The Lord had me start writing as a part of my own personal healing. I had to overcome even just putting things in writing because my family always told me never to put anything in writing that I didn’t want the whole world to read. I felt very vulnerable when I first began sharing my feelings and perspectives in the digital space. I am not a preacher. I am not a theologian. I fretted about misquoting and misrepresenting God and His word. But I love Jesus. Despite the years of self-inflicted heartaches and pain, I have seen the evidence of His goodness in my life. He called me to remember. He called me to write what He is saying to me and showing me. Throughout my own personal life journey of living an overcoming life, and in the process of writing, He has started speaking to me about His church. I’ll be honest, I really struggled with this too.

The truth is, the church is in trouble. I’m not saying every individual believer, but the body of Christ as a whole. If you think about the body, and you think of a lame leg, or a short arm, or a voice box that utters curses rather than blessings, or a heart that is corrupt with sins of the flesh, the body is not healed. It is not made whole. It is not functioning optimally or pursuing its high calling. There are droves of spiritually immature christians who probably think that they live in the “grace space”- where Jesus blood covers their continual sin. And while that’s true, Jesus did not die so that you could continue in your life of sin. He died for you to worship Him first. To become His true disciple. To take up your cross, crucify your own desires and follow Him. If you think about his original 12 disciples, all but one pursued Him and paid the ultimate price to advance the gospel. And Judas dwelled with Him for a time, yet made the choice to betray Him. Judas’s testimony speaks to the fact that you can hang out in Jesus circles but continue to serve your flesh, rather than Jesus himself. If given the choice, you might even take the silver over the Savior.

We can all be better disciples. There are aspects of God’s word specific to your deficiencies in your relationship with Jesus, that if you will be vulnerable and allow the holy spirit to bring conviction, can create a pure heart and a right spirit with God. Your life can be transformed, if you apply the principles of God’s word to your life. BUT- it takes GRIT. Passion and perseverance. It takes GRIT to go against the flow. It takes discipline and grit to read your bible every day. It takes grit to say no to people and things that pollute your relationship with God while pursuing your high calling. It takes grit to walk the narrow path. It’s lonely there. But it’s also not lonely. You get to really know and understand the heart of Jesus, to walk with Him and Him alone on the narrow path. As you continue to pursue his path for you, his purpose, his calling, you will find freedom and unsurpassable peace. You will find your calling.

I’m not saying that believers should be physically isolated from the world, but the church has become diluted with worldliness, so much so, that you can hardly tell the two apart. The Lord is saying that He’s calling His bride to become purified. To come out from among them and be separate, and touch no unclean thing. He’s calling his bride to repent of her unholy living, to pursue a relationship and intimacy with God, and to be conformed to His image. I can say with confidence, Jesus does not look like the world. He’s holy. His word says, “Be holy as I am holy.”

I can tell you, you have what it takes. TRUE GRIT. You will either pursue God with passion and perseverance, or you will pursue your own desires with passion and perseverance. I’m just here to speak/write the words He’s speaking to me in obedience to the high call He’s put on my life. With grit.

I pray that you’ll seek God and ask the Holy Spirit to show you areas where you’ve fallen short. Not for condemnation, but for repentance. The hour of Jesus’ return is closer than it ever was, and bible prophecy is aligning before our eyes. This morning the Lord showed me Matthew 3 that begins, “In those days, John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” This is who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah, ” A voice of one calling in the desert,”Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.”

Friend, I say to you today, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” Jesus is not coming back for an adulteress bride. He’s coming back for a bride who has made herself ready for her bridegroom.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,” (Hebrews 12:1, NIV).

While There Is Still Time

“My people are going after their lovers; the things that have captivated their hearts above their relationship with Me. They are in full pursuit of mammon, of power, of the things that moth and rust destroy, but they have forgotten Me altogether. I call them adulteresses as Gomer was. I will make an example of who and what they serve. It is not Me,” says the Lord.

“Until everything that can be shaken will be shaken, they will see where their true devotion lies, and what they value most will be taken away to give them another chance to return to Me before it is too late and the door is shut.”

Tell them, “Return to Me. Stop robbing Me. Rend your hearts in true repentance so that a time of refreshing may come. You thirst, but you don’t know where to find water. Come to my well. Be cleansed, refreshed, and renewed in me. Not yourself, your plans, or your kingdom. The kingdoms of this earth will fall, but my kingdom is eternal.”

Going After Their Lovers

Our God is so loving and faithful to us, even when we’ve gone astray. The word he gave me this morning speaks of a people, who to be honest, he’s saying a lot to right now. By that I mean, I’m noticing a theme in what he wants to say to the readers of this blog, and that is RETURN. It takes perseverance to stay on the narrow path in these last days. Why? You would think that believers could accurately discern the time and season we are in prophetically. I don’t know or understand why more believers aren’t taking this seriously. Perhaps it’s because they aren’t finished doing all of their own personal living, i.e., making that name for themselves, chasing money to the point that it winds up yoking them, pursuing the lust of the eyes and the flesh, etc. I once had an acquaintance tell me that she wasn’t ready for the Lord to come back because she wanted to travel and watch her kids grow up. At a very base level, that’s just worldly thinking, and it points to where her treasures are.

I’m not saying that God doesn’t want you to have goals or enjoy life, but living life in Christ is living life with an open hand- not gripped to your plans, your agenda, or your wants. After all, the cross is a symbol of death, and Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must take up his cross (crucify their own flesh/desires/etc.) and follow me” (Matt.16:24). The word of the Lord today says that people are serving mammon (spirit of riches and wealth), power, and things that God says will decay (moth/rust, Matthew 6:19).

Jeremiah 18:15 says, “For My people have forgotten Me, They burn incense to worthless gods And they have stumbled from their ways, From the ancient paths, To walk in bypaths, Not on a highway..” God is saying some of his people have forgotten him altogether and he likens them to Gomer in the Bible

Who was Gomer?

Gomer was the adulteress wife of the prophet Hosea. The Lord commanded Hosea to take an adulteress wife to symbolize Israel’s unfaithfulness to God. Just as Gomer lost interest in Hosea and ran after other lovers, we too can easily (through distraction, temptation, apathy, etc.) lose appreciation for all that Jesus paid for us, and take for granted our special relationship with God. This can look like pursuing your own dreams and goals without including him, or even operating in witchcraft by rebelling against the word of God. King Saul is an example you can read here. You might ask, “How have I rebelled against the word of God?” Honestly, if you have ever rejected God’s word in any way, added or taken away from his word, twisted the word of God, etc., you are practicing a form of christian witchcraft. What’s interesting in Saul’s situation is that once the anointing of God and the prophet departed from him, he eventually consulted with occultic mediums, attempted to conjure up the dead, and his story and legacy ended in tragedy.

The Lord says, today, He is going to make an example of those who are living like Gomer, unfaithful to Him. He will prove to them where their true love lies.


There are several interpretations of the word shaken. Here are some:

  1. grasp (someone) and move them roughly to and fro, either in anger or to rouse them from sleep.

2. brandish in anger or as a warning; make a threatening gesture with.

3. to upset the composure or confidence of; shock or astonish.

4. cause a change of mood or attitude by shocking or disturbing (someone).

The Lord is saying today that He is going to shake literally everything to prove to these people what they genuinely value, and to give them another chance to repent and realign their worship to God and God alone. The Lord adds, “While there is still time before the door is shut.”

In Luke 13:22 Jesus teaches about entering the kingdom. Someone asked him, “‘Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, ‘Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you came from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’

Rend Your Heart

There’s no doubt this word is sobering. The Lord is saying to you today, “Return to Me.” God’s word says, “Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the LORD your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish (Joel 2:13)

The pursuit for more is vanity. Your appetite for the things you are craving will only increase. Ensure that you are craving the word of God, life in the spirit, and a relationship with Jesus above everything else. His kingdom. Not yours. His path. Not yours.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matthew 5:6). I’m praying God shows you areas of your thinking and life where you need to repent, and that you actually confess and repent. Don’t make this word about someone else. This is about YOUR relationship (or lack thereof) with Jesus. Rededicate yourself to His plan and purpose for your life and start living like His disciples while there is still time.

Push Your Way In

Today, the Lord is speaking this for someone.

“It takes tenacity to push into my presence,” says the Lord. “It takes persistence. You have to be willing to fight past your flesh, the noise around you, and the tasks that call for your immediate attention.”

“Drop your burdens,” says the Lord, “for your schedule has become part of your affliction. In my presence is peace and fullness of joy. Draw life from my well. Draw the energy you need to persevere in this life.”

“Come into my inner court. Come into my presence. Stay and rest with me for a while. Take my yoke upon you because my yoke is easy and my burden is light. You will find everything you need here, and everything else will fall into place. Come and be with me. Come and worship. Be filled to overflowing in my presence.”

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.- Matthew 5:6

At A Distance

Matthew 16:24-25

When it suits their needs they profess Me. But when faith in Me becomes radical, and polarizing, they follow at a distance and even fall away. I say whoever wants to be my disciple must take up their cross and follow Me.

Crucify their flesh, not glorify their flesh. You will know my true disciples by their fruit- the fruit they bear for My kingdom. Everything else is rotten- not suitable for harvest. It will be burned up.

Choose this day who you will serve: your earthly agenda or My eternal one; your goals, or My commands; your lusts or My righteousness. Just as Peter denied me, so my “church” is denying Me, and the day is coming where I will deny ever knowing you.

Repent while there is still time. Put away the deeds of darkness and come back to the light of my Son’s glory. Be made pure again. Do the things you did at first, and do not forsake your first love.

Let’s look at some verses to provide some context to what God is saying here:

Peter’s Allegiance To Jesus

Mark 14:27 says, “You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written, “I will strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered.” Jesus is quoting a prophecy spoken about him in Zechariah while telling his disciples that they will all scatter like sheep when he is captured and taken to be crucified. It was at this moment that Peter exclaimed, “Even if all fall away, I will not.” Jesus said, “I tell you the truth,” “today- yes, tonight– before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.” And the Bible says, “But Peter insisted emphatically, ‘Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you,’ and all the other disciples said the same.”

Peter’s Denial

In Luke 22:4 says, (after Jesus was arrested) “Peter followed at a distance. But when they had kindled fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. ” He was accused by a servant girl about being with Jesus, and he denied it. He was accused by a man, and Peter denied a second time. Yet a third time, he denied knowing Jesus by calling down curses on himself after being accused by another random person. The bible says, “Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord has spoken to him: ‘Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly.”

Crucify Their Flesh, Not Glorify Their Flesh

I’m going to talk about life in the flesh versus life in the spirit for a moment. When the flesh and spirit are spoken of together, they are meant to provide the contrasting nature of the two. Flesh represents what is worldly while the spirit represents the heavenly, and supernatural. God’s order. We humans are made of flesh and come alive in the spirit when Jesus is invited into our hearts. The work of a new believer is a life-long pursuit of crucifying one’s self from worldliness while being made more alive in the spirit.

James 4:1-17 “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. “

Anything that aligns with flesh and worldliness opposes God. Let that settle in your mind and spirit for a moment.

Choose This Day

There are those who might be attending church, who might be professing a christian life, who are speaking the name of Jesus but running their personal agenda. The bible says in James to “be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” You are deceived if you think a teaspoon of Jesus is enough to base your plans and your life on. You cannot operate with a secular world-view and call yourself a Christian- there are NO exceptions. And if your real life (a.k.a., the words you speak, the palatable version of the Jesus you’ve created to justify your worldly living) causes others to question the authenticity of the gospel, you my friend, are not a true disciple. I don’t judge you- the word of God does. The word of the Lord spoken to you today says, “Choose this day who you will serve!” I don’t believe Jesus is poking Peter, but he’s using his example to tell you, no matter what you profess, it’s time to take an honest look at where you stand. Do you really pursue Jesus? Do you follow beside him or at a distance?

The definition of distance: an amount of space between two things or people; to make (someone or something) far off or remote in position or nature.

Disciples aren’t distant. That’s insufficient in God’s eyes. You might even be wearing your Jesus shirt in some crowds and your worldly shirt in other crowds. You can call it two-faced, lukewarm. If you’re giving Jesus the long arm in any way in your life, you’re following him at a distance. Or maybe you’re not really following him at all. If you’re feeling convicted by this, I pray you’ll go to God in repentance today.

Grace isn’t cheap. Stop treating the spilled blood of Jesus for your sin like it’s no big deal. It cost you nothing, but it cost him everything. Calling Him Lord and doing whatever you want doesn’t make you his disciple or his precious ambassador, let alone a mouthpiece for God. Reading a sentence of scripture out of context and calling it quiet time doesn’t suffice. Neither do excuses. You’ve got time for everything you want to do. You’ve got time to make money. You’ve got time to travel, be with your family, and make happy hours. We prioritize what we value MOST, and those are just facts. Thank God for His grace, that He continues to be patient with you… for now. I encourage you to take inventory of your life for imbalances. As disciples, we should be walking the walk before we ever open up our mouths to talk the talk.

Matthew 7:21-23 says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”

This definition of disciple encapsulates the characteristics of a TRUE disciple of Jesus:

Disciple – someone who is following Jesus, being changed by Jesus, and is committed to the mission of Jesus (Matt. 4:19). Disciple making – entering into relationships to help people trust and follow Jesus (Matt. 28:18–20), which includes the whole process from conversion through maturation and multiplication (disciple.org).

Repent & Be Restored While There Is Still Time

2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “and My people, who are called by My Name, humble themselves, and pray and seek (crave, require as a necessity) My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear [them] from heaven, and forgive their sin and heal their land.

Romans 13:11-14 says, “And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.”

And lastly, spoken to one of the 7 churches in Revelation, the Church at Ephesus, “…But I have this against you: You have abandoned your first love. Therefore, keep in mind how far you have fallen. Repent and perform the deeds you did at first. But if you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

Ephesus was between Laodicea (symbolic of lukewarm believers) and Babylon (symbolic of full-on worldliness). So, somewhere between lukewarm and the devil’s city is Ephesus. During John’s exile at Patmos, the Lord speaks about Ephesus. He compliments them on their good works, but rebukes them for leaving their first love (Revelation 2:4). He challenges to them to take immediate action: repent, remember, and begin again (Revelation 2:5).

I pray you heed this sober warning. Because straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it (Matthew 7:14 KJV). I wish I could say that the narrow path is full of Jesus-trekkers, but culture and the world today really show us that it’s probably not that crowded. I’d go as far as to say the narrow path is mostly wide open.

Are you following Him in name only, merely at a distance, or are you truly all in and following Him as His disciple today?

The Loved Sheep

Matthew 18:12-13 The Parable of The Lost Sheep

This morning I was praying for several of my family members. The truth is, no one can really script out what the future will look like. If it was up to me, my grandparents would still be alive, thriving on some magic pill that kept them young and energetic. Holidays would still be the same. Life would be more rose-colored like it was in many ways when they were still alive. But I would likely have missed the gift of growth and progressive maturity that comes with the changing of the guard. Still…bittersweet…

God has given all of us the gift of choice, and we are all setting our own course each day with every thought that becomes a decision and action that we make. Our lives look very different from each other. Perhaps you can relate with respect to your own family.

There are things I personally wish I could control for members of my family. I wish I could take their pain away. I wish I could create opportunities for them. I wish I could make them forgive. But I can’t. Some days involve daily surrender to the things I cannot control. But I have learned to pivot my focus from concern for them to praying and releasing them to God. To making life-giving declarations that I can speak and believe for them. To intercessory prayer…knowing just enough to ask God to intervene mightily. And when I don’t know what to do or say, I just pray in the holy spirit because thank God, He knows what they truly need more than I ever will.

This morning as I was praying for my family and others, the Lord spoke this to me:

“The love you feel for the lost and hurting is a drop in a bucket compared to the love I feel for my children. They think I have forgotten them. They think they are lost. I leave the 99 to find them. But who left who? My dear sheep have wandered from their safe place in Me. They enjoyed time in my pasture consuming in my presence, then they looked up and did not recognize their surroundings. They became distracted. They wandered away from the sound of My voice in search of more.

I am searching for them. I still call out to them. I long to deliver them from the dangers outside of my sheep pen. Ears be open to the voice of your Shepherd! Do not be stubborn sheep. Yield to your shepherd who saves.”

A shepherd had 100 sheep and 1 strayed away. This sheep was in the sheep fold under the voice of its shepherd, but it chose to follow the way of sin rather than to dwell with the shepherd. I’ve said this before, God doesn’t make robots. He gave Adam and Eve a choice, and the choice remains today. It is your daily choice to willfully follow the Lord and dwell with him. Or- you can try it YOUR way, which I can tell you from experience doesn’t work. Nevertheless, Jesus loves you enough to give you free will, hoping that you’ll choose him back.

Numbers don’t matter to Jesus. He will always leave the 99 to come and find the 1 who is lost. And just as he did with the prodigal son and the lost sheep, he rejoices when you’re found again. He’s not concerned about your talents and your treasure as much as he is the condition of your heart. Are your ears open to Him today? Will you allow the holy spirit to convict you if you’ve strayed from His presence? The Lord says, “Don’t be stubborn sheep. Yield to your shepherd who saves.”

Read The Parable of the Lost Sheep here for more.

Rich Garments

Zechariah 3:4 The Gritfull Life

This morning I was praying for a group of women I have the privilege of serving, and the lord spoke to me “robes of white.” I began to cast vision as I was seeing it for them in prayer, as God is doing some incredibly deep work in their hearts right now.

After bible study, I came home to have my quiet time. I always ask God, “What do you want to say to your people today?” and I ask him to use me to deliver the message.

Today, He led me to a passage in Zechariah. Verse 3 says, ” ‘See, I have taken away your sin and put right garments on you.’ Then I said, ‘Put a clean turban on his head.’ So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the Lord stood by.”

As the Lord spoke this to me, I recorded it in my prayer journal to share with you:

“There are those who are still believing the accuser of the brethren, but I the Lord, say today that I have taken away your sin and put rich garments on you.

I remove deception from your midst. The devil would have you believe that your past disqualifies you from sitting at my table, but I call you my heir.

I do not see Mephibosheths… I see my beautiful sons and daughters. Would you look at what you’re wearing? Would you see with your spiritual eyes what I have given you? You are robed in white. Purity. My son’s blood has taken away the stain of sin on you.

Walk as children of the light. Let your words declare my goodness over your life.

I am bringing you into your inheritance. You are royal in my eyes,” says the Lord.

Who is Mephibosheth?

There are actually 2 Mephibosheths in the Bible: 1 was a son of Saul and one of his concubines who was sacrificed to the Gibeonites; the second was Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan, son of Saul. Mephibosheth was the only living son of Jonathan. His history is reviewed in 2 Samuel 4:4 where it states, “(Jonathan son of Saul had a son who was lame in both feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan (their deaths) came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and fled, but as she hurried to leave, he fell and became crippled. The name Mephibosheth means, “exterminator of shame; one who destroys shame; end of shame.”

2 Samuel 9 gives the account of King David who asked his servants if there was anyone still left in the house of Saul to who he could should God’s kindness on behalf of his BFF Jonathan. He even inquired of one of Saul’s former servants who replied, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is crippled in both feet.” (Notice that he did not call him by his name but by his handicap.) Mephibosheth was living in Lo Debar, which means ” no thing; no pasture; or not having,” so, in other words, Mephibosheth was living at the place of nothing when David summoned him to the palace. He was lame in both legs, so who knows if he had to be carried there or if he had crutches, but the destroyer of shame was living in disability in a place of nothingness when the King called. Let that sink in for a moment.

Mephibosheth had a vision problem too…not as the bible describes per se, but when David told Mephibosheth, ” I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table” Mephibosheth replied with the way he saw himself, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?” I love how King David completely ignores Mephibosheth’s statement and summons Ziba, Saul’s servant, telling him, “I have given your master’s grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family. You and your sons and your servants are to farm the land for him and bring in the crops, so that your master’s grandson may be provided for. And Mephibosheth, grandson of your master will always eat at my table.” AND- the bible says, “So Mephibosheth sat at David’s table like one of the king’s sons.”

The Lord Has Put Rich Garments On You

There are some out there who God has called out of Lo Debar into Jerusalam, or the place of peace and covenant. There are those who the Lord has put clean, rich garments of forgiveness and holiness on you, but you’re still allowing what happened to you in your past define who you are today. And the Lord is saying, “just as David did not acknowledge the way Mephibosheth saw himself, I do not look at you the way you see yourself.” “You have been called to sit at my table. I want to show my kindness to you. You’re my son. You’re my daughter.”
“It’s time for you to see yourself the way I see you.”

The Lord is removing the lies, or the deception that the enemy has been saying to you about you. That devil is sneaky, because he will use your voice to talk to you and make you think his lies are your thoughts, when it’s really him trying to rob you of your inheritance. The Lord says he is removing the deception. You are not disqualified. You are approved by God!

A Child of The Light. Royal

A couple of things here: God’s word says that Jesus is the Light of the world and those who follow him will have the light of life on the inside of them. He says, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14). In 1 Thessalonians, Paul calls us sons of the light and sons of the day. It says in chapter 5 verse 8, “But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.”

Psalm 71:15 it says, “I will tell of your goodness; all day long I will speak of your salvation, though it is more than I can understand.I will go in the strength of the Lord God; I will proclaim your goodness, yours alone.”

In 1 Peter 2:9, God calls us “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

The blood of Jesus has given you royal DNA. The Lord would have you see your inheritance. Isaiah 61 says, “Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs.”

You are not a Mephibosheth. You are a son/daughter of the King of Kings. It’s time to step into what God has been keeping for you. He calls you beautiful. He’s saying he’s robed you in white. It’s time to walk as a daughter and a son of the king. It’s time to testify to others about what he’s done in your life.

I’m praying you really catch this and that you see yourself the way your Father sees you. Leave the past in the past. Embrace your inheritance!

Revival Is Coming- Not From Where You Think

Hebrews 12:29 The Gritfull Life

“Revival is coming, but not from where you’d expect. It is coming outside of the church. It is coming through those whose hearts are in full pursuit of Me. Me first. Not their wealth. Not their riches, not through the things that would steal, kill, and destroy. Through those whose hearts have been purified.

Revival comes through the meek and the lowly. The tax collectors. Not through those who see themselves as holier or better than others. Their righteousness is as filthy rags. But these, my chosen, my devoted. My Beloved. My Bride. The glory will manifest through them to reach those the church has turned away, the church has ignored. Great are the sins of those who call themselves righteous. For the son of God came to you humble and lowly and riding on a donkey.

My fire will be released in those who are like my Son. Watch and see what I will do,” says the Lord. “I am turning the hearts of the Father to their children, and the hearts of my children back to Me. It’s time to prepare the way of the Lord.”

After giving me this word in my quiet time, the Lord took me to this passage in 2 Kings 17:34 which states,

To this day they persist in their former practices. They neither worship the Lord not adhere to the decrees and ordinances, the laws and commands that the Lord gave the descendants of Jacob, whom he names Israel. When the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites, he commanded them: “Do not worship any other gods or bow down to them, serve them, or sacrifice to them. But the Lord, who brought you up our of Egypt with mighty power and outstretched arm, is the one you must worship. To him you shall bow down and to him offer sacrifices. You must always be careful to keep the decrees and ordinances, the laws and commands he wrote for you. Do not worship other gods. Do not forget the covenant I have made with you, and do not worship other gods. Rather, worship the Lord your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.

They would not listen, however, but persisted in their former practices. Even while these people were worshipping the Lord, they were serving their idols. To this day, their children and grandchildren continue to do as their forefathers did.”

There are those who profess God with their lips. In other words, they speak their allegiance to the kingdom of God and his righteousness, but they do not worship or serve him. We could call this lip service. Lip service means support for someone or something that is expressed by someone in words but that is not shown in that person’s actions. The scripture that the Lord took me to indicates that God made a covenant with these people. He gave them, as He gives us all instructions for living a holy and blessed life. The instructions, the Bible, leads all disciples in freedom and life in Christ. God is saying today that his a revival is coming forth, but not through the people who “the church” would deem fit to be a conduit of what God wants to do in this hour. In Isaiah 64, God said all of us have become like one who in unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags. And while there are those of us that know that grace is a gift, there are those who uphold the thought that their good-ness, their holiness, they’re checking off their bible check marks but living a life of persisting in idol worship. Lip service instead of life service. Doing things they think no one will ever see. Serving God and mammon. Serving self and calling it serving God. Those people will not be the vessels that God uses to make his glory known in this hour. The word above says they view themselves are righteous in their own eyes.

God is moving in the hearts of the humble. He’s moving in the hearts of those who have yielded to his teaching and discipline. It is through God’s teaching and discipline that we continually become sanctified- set apart. It is through those who are truly his disciples that others, those who he says the church has turned away, will see Jesus. Will come to him. There are a lot of churches that turn away the homeless. They turn their heads on the orphans, the widows, and the oppressed. The divorced. Those with special needs. Church people are imperfect too. They hurt people. They sometimes poorly reflect the image of Christ. And seekers and new believers get hurt as a result and swear off the church for life. It shouldn’t be that way, but it happens. But these humble, who have become like Christ, they are the ones that will be vessels of revival. Just as Jesus came, did miracles, laid down his life and rose from the dead. The wildfire of the gospel broke out AFTER he ascended and his disciples were commissioned. The Lord is starting another wildfire. A wildfire of his revival through his true sons and daughters. Humans hearts are awakening to the hour but the spirits of many men and women have not yet been made alive in Christ. They will either choose the life or choose death, but the Lord is calling everyone to come. He is preparing the way through his faithful.

I pray if this is tugging at you to get right with God, that you do it today without delay. I pray that if you’ve been asking God how he can use you, that you would let him show you how. You have a part to play in what he is doing right now. Wildfires are nearly impossible to extinguish, especially in times of warfare. In Hebrews, it is said that our God is a consuming fire. God’s fire cannot be tamed or contained. Just as everything that is of no eternal value will be consumed in fire, God’s fire of love and repentance will consume those who are ready to receive him.

God’s holy fire in the spirit is coming. He has prepared the hearts, and he is preparing the way. Amen.

A New Thing- You Can’t Beat It

Psalm 19:7-11 The Gritfull Life

Do you look to the word of God as something that keeps you from living the life you desire, or do you look to the word of God for the blueprint to greatness?

I’m asking this question because I’ve known those who have said, “The bible has too many rules,” “I’m under grace, and that’s all I need to know!”, or “I don’t have time in this season to study my bible.” Honestly, those are all heartbreaking statements to me because these people have no idea the treasures they are robbing themselves of by not reading the word of God. For the things of this world. I understand that there are times where life is frantic and over-scheduled, but the ability to change those variables lies within our reach and responsibility. And thanks to technology, you can listen to the word of God being read anytime. I’m thinking YouTube, Abide, YouVersion Bible App, cds if you’re into that, and more. And while I personally believe that holding the word of God in your hands to read has the greatest impact in changing your life, listening to the word of God has its purposes as well. God’s word says in Psalm 19,

“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is a great reward.”

I want to dive into breaking apart this scripture passage for deeper understanding of what God is trying to show us here:

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul

Two word-groups in the Hebrew Old Testament are translated “perfect” or “perfection”: tamam [m’T] and calal [l;l’K]. The former connotes wholeness, soundness, integrity, and often takes on ethical significance; the latter connotes completeness, perfection, and can carry the aesthetic sense of comeliness or beauty.

The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple

Statutes are a law or decree by sovereign God. I love this truth-ism that states, “Show me an area of your life where you are experiencing success, and I will show you where you are following a biblical principle. Conversely, show me an area of your life where you are failing, and I will show you where you are violating a biblical principle. Therefore, those choosing to follow what they call their own personal wisdom are seemingly less than wise, bordering on stupidity. 

Trustworthy means confidence; a reliance or resting of the mind on the integrity, veracity, justice, friendship, or other sound principles of another person. In other words, you can put your confidence in what God is instructing you THROUGH HIS WORD.

I need to stop right here for a minute and say something. Feelings aren’t facts. I have a lot of friends who tell me they “feel God” and while the presence of the holy spirit is a very powerful experience, it is one that we as disciples of Christ should continually walk in. Also, you can feel something, but that doesn’t make it match up in alignment with God’s word. If you’re “feeling” that you need to make a move, feeling that you should align with someone in business, feeling that you should leave your spouse, I recommend you pray and ask God to confirm or refute anything you’re “feeling.” Why? Again, feelings aren’t facts. Eve was tempted by Satan through her emotions and senses. Through her feelings. I’ll prove it, in Genesis 3, “Eve saw that the fruit was good for food (hunger/taste), pleasing to the eye (vision and vision of what she might become in her eyes), desirable for gaining wisdom (thoughts), so she took some (touch) and ate it. Then she persuaded (seduced) Adam to eat it too.” The bible says we are to take every thought captive and make it obedient to the Word of God. So, if you’re not doing that, you’re headed for trouble. Ok, moving on.

The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart

God’s precepts are His instructions and commandments. As we study his word, we learn what is good and acceptable to him and the peace of carrying his yoke brings joy to our hearts. I heard a pastor once say, “Don’t just read your bible, let it read you!” Why? Because as the holy spirit reveals new things about him and you, and you’ll experience layers upon layers of freedom. God says in Proverbs 8 (verse 10-11: Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.”

The instructions and wisdom of God continually make us free, and there is pure joy in that freedom.

The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes

God’s word itself is radiant so that it opens our eyes and hearts to understanding what was formerly the mysterious nature of God. His instructions also illuminate our life and our path and teach us the way to live. The only way you can know the plans God has for you is by going to him in prayer and reading his word. A pastor, a prophet, and an apostle can relay knowledge, teach, and prophesy, but IT’S UP TO YOU TO to pursue a discipleship with God, to understand his word.

And for the audience that says they can’t understand what the bible is trying to say: thankfully there are hundreds of translations of the bible in existence today. I use the NIV, the Amplified, The NKJV (the thee, thou version), The Tree of Life Bible, and the Passion Translation. There’s also the Message and others. I will say that there are some versions that eliminate what I consider powerful vocabulary, but I’m a words person. God will speak to you through His holy spirit, if you will go in faith to the word of God.

The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever

Bibleref.com points out that, ” The meaning of “fear,” here, is the archaic sense of profound respect, humility, and acceptance. This is not a sense of panic, but of deference. This statement points out that reverential fear of the Lord is clean and endures forever. Unlike false religions that are defiled, God’s Word is undefiled and everlasting. A judge may render an inaccurate decision, but God’s judgments are true, David writes, and they are thoroughly righteous.”

This can be hard for those of us who were taught to fear our fathers. I always thought God was mad at me, and that I somehow snuck into the house of God unnoticed, but if it was found out, I’d be told to leave. I didn’t belong there. For many years I was afraid of God, and those fears gave birth to lies that I couldn’t go to him when I messed up. The fear and lies pushed me deeper down into the pit of sin and shame, honestly, because that’s where I thought God wanted me and where I belonged. It wasn’t until several divine appointments over a 10 year time frame, and the deep work that God did inside of my mind and heart, that I was able to break free from those strongholds that caused me to constantly question my salvation, the love of a father, feeling worthy, etc.

Don’t let whatever you believe stand in the way of going to God out of holy respect for who he is, no matter who you think you are. I can assure you, you will be surprised and refreshed at how God really sees you.

The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is a great reward.

The laws and commandments of God are holy. They are priceless. The wisdom you get from the word of God preserves life, warns, teaches abundance, and promises fulfilled. If you were to dive into the historical figures of the bible, I am certain you would resonate with at least 1. The main bible I use is an NIV given to me by my mom when I was 18. Over the past 25 years, God has marked the passages of what I consider to be life messages for me. If I am just flipping open my bible, He will often take me to one of several accounts of historical figures who he has had me study through the years.

But I need to say it didn’t start that way. It started awkward. It started in doubt. It started and then briefly stopped in frustration because I was reading words on tissue paper. Nothing really clicked, and it read flat. It wasn’t until I started praying before, in faith, asking God to please show me what he wanted to say to me that he answered my prayers. You see, I started reading because it was “what I was supposed to do” not out of joy. I had to train myself to develop the habit when I didn’t want to. Like you, I always have a thousand things to get accomplished each day. BUT- when I went to God, knowing that there was more for me in his word, and asking for his favor to understand it, HE WAS and IS FAITHFUL. And He will be faithful to you too. He will make learning about him enjoyable. Just trust me on that.

A prayer for you today

Jesus, I pray that you would woo this reader into your word. I pray that you would speak softly and tenderly to them, using your word to convey exactly what their heart needs to hear so that they know and believe that you are drawing them to deeper intimacy with you. I pray for them to have the faith to believe, in a world that attempts to drown out your whispers with distractions, that they would create a space where nothing would get in the way of meeting with you in your word.

I pray that they would taste and see that your word is good, that it gives life to the bones and to the spirit. I pray for revived hearts, revived lives, and for revival to break out in your body, Lord. We believe for it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Check Your Soil

Luke 8:15 The Gritfull Life

Luke 8:9-15

“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among the thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Jesus goes on to reveal the meaning of 4 Parables of the 4 Soils

The seed is the word of God.

  1. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so they may not believe and be saved.
  2. Those on the rock receive the word with joy, but they have no root. They believe for a while but in the time of testing, they fall away.
  3. The seed among the thorns stands for those who hear but go on their way, choked by life’s worries, riches, and pleasures. They do not mature.
  4. The seed on the good soil are those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and produce a crop because they understand.

Jesus goes on to issue a warning: “consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him.

Applying the word of God to our lives is what causes us to grow. How can you grow in Christ if you don’t know the word of God? The Bible warns against having a form of godliness. There are a lot of people who think they’re good soil, but their fruit or complete lack thereof speaks otherwise.

I hope this parable reminds you as it did me to evaluate the condition of your heart, and your faithfulness to reading and receiving God’s word. I urge you to take an offensive/proactive approach to learning God’s word. Refuse to let it fall away. Refuse to let the cares of life drag you away from what God wants you to know about Him. He wants to make known to you the path of life and fill you with joy in his presence. Let God’s word get down on the inside of you. Meditate on it. Put it up in places so you’ll see it every day as you’re living life. Make God’s word the center of your life. Believe it. Declare it. Remember it.

God’s got crops that need to be raised up and harvested through you, IF you’ll put him and his words first in your life.

You’ve Been Talented

Matthew 25:14-15 The Gritfull Life

The Lord gave me a word this morning for the remnant.

You’ve been talented. What will you do with them? Your gifts, your abilities are from me for you, but they’re also for MY PURPOSES.

I have been preparing you in the secret place. It is what I created you for. To bring others to Me. To tell of my excellent greatness. To free captives.

Tell them I am coming soon. Tell them I will reward everyone according to what they have done in My Name, not their own. I am coming for my harvest and to collect my talents from my faithful few.

The harvest is ripe. Soon I will swing my sickle over the whole earth and take up my most treasured possessions.

Lead them to Me.

You’ve been talented

God is saying that He’s given you talents that are specific to you and for His purposes. Your talent can bring you wealth, a name, an inheritance for your children, but God is saying today that He’s given them to you to multiply for Him. Of course, you will reap the benefits of using the talents He’s invested in you, but the talents are to be used for His glory in this season. Are you using your talents to build his kingdom or build your own?

I have been preparing you in the secret place- IYKTYK

The secret place is the place of intimacy He’s drawn you into with him. If you’re there, you already know what I’m talking about. Being still before the presence of the Lord, with absolutely no agenda other than pure devotion to your king. Training. Kind of like Jedi training. To hear your master’s voice. To then practice the discipline in listening. To be quiet when you want to speak. To practice the art of the linger for what he will say and show you.

The secret place sounds mysterious and exciting, but it’s not about you. It’s about sitting in the throne room of heaven to wait and hear what the Lord wants to say. It is not hurried or rushed. There are no clocks or phones in the secret place. It’s a different kind of FaceTime.

You have been prepared for such a time as this

I know that’s not exactly what he says here, but he does say that this is what you were created for. He’s aligning everything. Much like the book of Esther, where the name of God is never mentioned, it is in the collective text that his fingerprints, He is orchestrating events, people, and places so that you can step into your kingdom role that is for this hour. Why? To save your people. His people. Not literally. Although- maybe…To use your influence, power, and position to bring others to him. Or, as Esther did, to fast, pray and make bold moves so that a nation would be rescued.

Your life is a living testimony to the miraculous and supernatural nature of the only living God. Think about it. Think about what you’ve been through. What He’s brought you through! Will you be bold and share so that others may be set free from the kingdom of darkness. Yes, I know that sounds dramatic, but that’s what the bible says here–>

“For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:9-13).

Jesus is coming soon- What will you have to show for your talents?

I pray that we will all be like the wise and faithful servants, that we will be faithful with multiplying what we’ve been given. One day, all believers will stand at the judgment seat of Christ and receive their rewards for what they did for Jesus while here on earth. The bible says in Matthew 25(verses 14-30 for the full parable) that the servant who hid his talent was afraid of his master. The bible calls him a wicked and lazy servant saying, “So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.” The master commands his talent be taken and given to the one with 10 talents. “For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

The Lord is saying today, that, as disciples, we are responsible. While there are only a faithful few, we are the hands and feet. We are the talents of Jesus. We possess the talents. You’ve got the gifting for whatever He’s calling you to! Honestly, that should make you feel pretty special, I would think!

The harvest is ripe

There are plainly-stated instructions here for the hearers of the word today.

Luke 10:2-12 states: “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. “Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. “Carry no money belt, no bag, no shoes; and greet no one on the way. “Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house.’ “If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. “Stay in that house, eating and drinking what they give you; for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not keep moving from house to house. “Whatever city you enter and they receive you, eat what is set before you; and heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ “But whatever city you enter and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet we wipe off in protest against you; yet be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ “I say to you, it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city.

Revelation 14:14-20

 “Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man, having a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand. And another angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe.” Then He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped.

      And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle. Then another angel, the one who has power over fire, came out from the altar; and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Put in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe.” So the angel swung his sickle to the earth and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God. And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses’ bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles.”

Just as the farmer separates his crops, Jesus will one day reap the harvest he paid for with his blood. While those who have rejected Christ will reap the wrath of God.

Lead them to me

God is commissioning you to lead others to Him. In fact, he calls it The Great Commission. “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded. And surely I am with you always, even to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).

Only One Life, Twill Soon Be Past

I am reminded of this poem my mother showed me awhile back from a missionary named C.T. Studd, and I wanted to share it. C.T. was quoted as saying, “My only joys, therefore, are that when God has given me a work to do, I have not refused it.” I hope this poem inspires and encourages you to be bold in your assignment and maximize your gifts for his glory.

Only One Life, Twill Soon Be Past
by C.T. Studd

Two little lines I heard one day,
Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart,
And from my mind would not depart;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one,
Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet,
And stand before His Judgement seat;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, the still small voice,
Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave,

And to God’s holy will to cleave;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, a few brief years,
Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill.
living for self or in His will;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

When this bright world would tempt me sore,
When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way,
Then help me Lord with joy to say;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Give me Father, a purpose deep,
In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
Faithful and true what e’er the strife,
Pleasing Thee in my daily life;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Oh let my love with fervor burn,
And from the world now let me turn;
Living for Thee, and Thee alone,
Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one,
Now let me say, “Thy will be done”;
And when at last I’ll hear the call,
I know I’ll say “twas worth it all”;

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

__ extra stanza __

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be,
If the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee.

Rebuild The Walls

Nehemiah 1:3 The Gritfull Life

This morning, the Lord took me to Nehemiah Chapter 1. But before I go into that, I need to share a dream I had the night before. Typically, on the nights that God is giving me a prophetic dream, he’ll give it to me right before I wake up.

This particular dream was a bright day. The sky was crisp and blue. The clouds were perfect, white, cotton candy clouds. I was in the dream and I saw white everywhere, and I heard the voice of the Lord say, “Surely I am coming soon.” Then, I watched as the white panned back out to reveal a white robe. As I was following the shape of the robe up and down with my eyes, I noticed the man was barefoot. He was walking up white marble stairs into the clouds. I watched as he went back up into the clouds and disappeared. It was then that I awoke, and there was this overwhelming sense of peace and calm. I thought to myself, “Thank God, it won’t be much longer now.” and then my heart dropped to the thoughts of those who are unaware. They have no knowledge of the signs of the times. They have no knowledge of Jesus. They are lost, hurting, maybe some are hanging on to hope by a thread. And I started to weep.

The Lord took me to Nehemiah, chapter 1: I’m including the passage here:

“The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah: In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa,

Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.

They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”

When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.

Then I said: “LORD, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments,

let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you.

We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.

“Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations,

but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’

10 “They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand.

11 Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.” I was cupbearer to the king.”

Nehemiah went to the king who he served. His sad countenance caused the king to take notice, and Nehemiah bravely asked for permission to be sent back to Jerusalem to rebuild it. He also asked for official letters to deliver to the surrounding areas and to the king’s forest for supplies to rebuild, and military assistance for safe passage. I just want to pause for a moment and say how impressed I was with Nehemiah’s reverence yet boldness to ask for what he needed. The requests indicated that he had given careful thought to what it would take for him to be the one to execute this task. He didn’t sit down and wallow and pray and ask God to “send someone.” He knew that if it was going to be done, if the city he loved, if the promises of God would be restored to the people of Israel, that it would take his buy in and his leadership.

He was serving the king as the cupbearer. In many ways that seems like a very ordinary job, granted, it was cupbearer to the king of Persia, but Nehemiah wasn’t a builder. He was essentially a bodyguard, in that he would test all food and drink before it was given to the king to ensure the king wasn’t being poisoned. He was born in exile. He was not part of the original group of Israelites. He was not part of the group that Daniel, Shadrach, and the others were a part of. While it is obvious that Nehemiah was strong in his faith of God, he was not one who returned with the group of jews who Darius allowed to go back to the promised land. So what does that tell us? That he was content where he was- until. Until he heard that his people were in trouble and that the city’s walls were destroyed.

Significance of the Jerusalem Walls

I found this text from bibletools.org that I wanted to include regarding the significance of walls:

“Sometimes God Himself tears down our walls because of our sins (Isaiah 5:4-5). As Paul puts it, He delivers us to Satan for the destruction of our flesh in the hope we will repent (I Corinthians 5:5). The surest way to restore the wall is through sincere and complete repentance. Playing at the repair job, daubing bits of untempered mortar here and there, will only increase God’s wrath (Ezekiel 13:8-16). Such a wall, lacking God, gives the impression of security but crumbles at the smallest enemy strike. We must be totally committed to restoring.”

So the walls being down equated with God’s hand of judgment that was still over Israel. It was only until Nehemiah came to God in genuine humility and repentance, that God released forgiveness, the plans, and favor to begin and complete the rebuilding of the walls through Nehemiah.

Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem without telling anyone his plans and made a tour of the gates during the night, where he would go unnoticed.

Nehemiah’s nighttime tour of Jerusalem included the following areas:

The Valley Gate toward the Jackal Well: Valleys in the bible are low places. They can be a place of humble service to God, and it’s fitting for Nehemiah, in his humble service to begin at the valley. We have to go through valleys to have mountain tops.

The Dung Gate: Located in the southern part of Jerusalem’s walls, and it was the gate where trash and waste were removed from the city.

The Fountain Gate: Near the pool of Siloam, or the King’s Pool. It is the water from a spring called the Gihon spring or the spring that “bursts forth and gushing”. The Gihon spring was the main source of water for the city of Jerusalem.

There is a lesson in the significance of the gates he visited in the order that he visited them. The pattern is this: enter into service, cleanse or purify yourself from worldliness, and put on Jesus, the holy spirit (living water), the garments of righteousness in Christ. (That’s a word for today’s church right there!)

Faith-filled and Obedient Families Are Critical To Rebuilding

Nehemiah was a planner. Of the remnant that returned, he assigned people, namely families, to work on rebuilding sections of the wall and gates near their homes. Why? Because it cut down on travel time to far parts of the walls and it enabled families to stay in their immediate areas to protect their work, should they be attacked. But what’s the next level interpretation of this? It takes the people of God to repair the breaches and the fallen things in the kingdom of God. Restored walls signify the safety and hand of God over the people, over the church today.

Nehemiah commissioned the priests to rebuild the gates where sacrifices would enter into the temple. It was a work of God, by the people and through the people, so that eventually, the Lamb of God would later enter in.

The Walls of The Church Have Fallen

To be honest, I don’t know when it officially happened. It crept in. We forgot to appreciate the hand and the favor of God over this country. We took our liberties, and our freedom to worship for granted. Many of us became about the thing (church) rather than about the who.

False doctrine with whispers of universalism and secular humanism has crept in while a biblical worldview has diminished. We’ve tolerated things that God calls an abomination in the name of inclusivity. We’ve turned our backs on those in need. We send thoughts and prayers instead of showing up. We’ve stopped with tithes and offerings because our cashflow allocations have priority over advancing the gospel of Jesus Christ. We’re bathing in lukewarm water to get our “word from the Lord” every week, expecting to be “fed.” Come to church and get your weekly dose of milk from the Lord. We drop our kids off for “free daycare” so we can have brunch with friends. While we might be an adult in the eyes of the state but we’re disabled infants in the eyes of God. We don’t see with his vision. We don’t perceive what he’s doing in this hour. We don’t know his voice or his word. It’s the “all about you” gospel instead of the “all about Jesus” gospel.

Our walls have fallen. Since quiet-quitting is a thing, the same applies to believers who quiet-quit their faith and relationship with God. And then covid… now, according to statistics from 2022, church attendance is down 45% nationwide.

So how do we repair?

Let’s take some cues from Nehemiah.

  1. We confess our sins as the body of Christ and repent for the church and our nation. God’s word says in 2 Chronicles 7:13, “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. His word also says in 1 Peter 4:17, “For it is time for judgment to begin in the house of the Lord; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
  2. We remind God (and ourselves) that blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people whom He has chosen as His own inheritance. We ask God for grace and mercy to begin again. And we live a life worthy of our calling.
  3. We DO something about it. We become disciples and we make disciples. We read the word of God, individually, within our family, and collectively as the body of Christ. We talk about it with our children, in our going out and coming in. We fellowship with other disciples. We stand as ambassadors, as intercessors, with a hammer in one hand and a sword in the other, and we REBUILD in every facet of culture today. We represent the kingdom of God in our spheres of influence. We live uncompromised lives- no more lukewarm. No more dead disciple living. Live different. Alive. Brightly lit. Not of this world.

Today I pray that if you’re not at a living church, with other living disciples, or if you’ve strayed from the path that leads to life, that you would return. Ask God to show you your part in rebuilding the fallen walls of our church’s generation. I encourage you to remember the person who led you to Jesus. The person who loved you so much that they invested in telling you about Jesus’ sacrifice for you. What if they didn’t speak up that day? What if they ignored the nudge from God? What if they thought, “She’ll come around when she’s older,”? Where might you be today if it wasn’t for your parents who followed the Lord and made sure you got to church? It’s time we be those people for this generation. SPEAK UP. Don’t ignore the nudge. Live the truth in Spirit and in Truth so that others may find life in Jesus too because surely He is coming soon.

He’s Pursuing You

Psalm 23:6 The Gritfull Life

A word from the Lord:

“I am a jealous God. I am pursuing you through your struggles. The pressure. The circumstances. That’s Me, drawing you to Me. I created the deficits so that you would see that nothing satisfies like the light of my love and acceptance of you. Be not ashamed nor condemned. For I do not condemn you for your sins. I came to save you from them. Will you wash yourself at the cross, underneath the cleansing power of my blood? I will make you holy. I will free you from the demons that have plagued you your whole life. It’s time to be healed. Call out to me, and be saved. turn away from those things that have separated us. Be one with me. Walk with me. Let me show you how to see. Not your circumstances. Not your failures. Not your lack. But My plan for you. The places I call you to go. The Land of Plenty I have for you. Come in faith and just believe! I am a good Father, and I will surely do it!”

I can confidently say that for the majority of my life until now, I didn’t know how to see or how to think. It’s like from the moment I was born the world and the devil began backhanding me across the cheeks with lies.. hitting me so hard that, not only were my thoughts disrupted, but it impacted my vision: how I saw myself and how I saw others, and how I perceived others saw me. This included misthinking how God saw me. Can you imagine a young girl being backhanded and punched in the mind by the enemy? It sounds brutal, but it’s the visual I have as I try to convey my past to you. Why was that devil doing it? Because He saw my potential if surrendered totally to the plans God had for me. For real. We are weapons in the hand of God, people!

I remember being around 5 or 6 years old when my mom first read The Wordless Book to me. I know that sounds funny because there are actually no words in this book, just colors. But the colors spoke a story in a way that left a lasting imprint on my heart. Here’s a brief explanation of how the story goes:

Black: represents sin. Our sin separates us from God.

Red: The blood of Jesus covers our sin. For God so loved us that he gave and sent his son into the world to die for us that we would be saved through him.

Blue: His cleansing blood washes us. We are then baptized as a symbol of dying with Christ and being raised to life in Him.

White: symbolizes how Jesus has made us “as white as snow.” Pure in God’s eyes. And we begin a set apart walk with God, where we are continually cleansed by his blood.

Green: symbolizes growth. We don’t stay babies or new believers. We are called to be a disciple, to be mature, and to disciple others.

Gold: The Kingdom of Heaven. The gift of God is eternal life in heaven with Christ. We will walk on the streets of gold with our Savior.

This simple message of the gospel was appealing to me, because it focused on colors to tell a story. As a child, art was one of my favorite pastimes. I loved to get lost in color- to create pictures and visions of places I’d like to go. Places I’d rather be. It’s so amazing that even as a child, God will speak to you in his special love language. For me, it was imagery, visuals, colors, and dreams. Why am I telling you all of this?

Because God speaks lovingly to us in whispers, in colors, in pictures, in what I call “creation language.” Whatever your love language with him is. Remember when, as a child, you used to dream about what you would become? There was no limit on who you thought you would be. Why? Because imagination is a gift from God. Creativity is a gift from Him. He put things inside of you, special things, that are attached to your identity. But what does Satan do? He comes in like a wrecking ball- into your thoughts, through people, through circumstances- to sow seeds of shame, doubt, victimization, disbelief. To get you to abort the plans God has for you. Give him enough time and he will get you to come into agreement with his plans rather than the awesome plans God has for you.

Today the Lord is saying that it’s Him who has been pursuing you. Things in your life might seem as though they are falling apart, but they’re actually falling together into place. Like pieces of a puzzle that point to his unfailing love for you. There’s nothing you have done that comes as a surprise to him. It’s time to step out of whatever mindset has kept you from coming to God. Receive the forgiveness that flows from the throne of heaven today. Maybe you think you’re not good enough. Maybe you think you’re too far gone in the eyes of God. Maybe you’ve just got the volume up on the devil’s radio and you’re still believing the lies that he’s speaking over you. It’s time to get to the cross. RUN! Don’t waste another day. The Lord is calling out to you in love to come home. Be cleansed with the power of the blood of Jesus and receive healing of your mind and your vision. He wants to show you the plans he’s got for you. You’re not too old. It’s not too late. You will be invigorated by the things God wants to do in and through you. You just have to GO! God is saying to go to Him in faith and “just believe!” It only takes a little faith. A little mustard seed-sized faith to believe that He can and will change your life. He says, “Surely I will!” No more doubt. Just GO!

A New Heaven & A New Earth

Revelation 21: 1-3 The Gritfull LIfe

This morning in my prayer time, I was asking God what he wanted to show me for you today.

Immediately, in prayer, I saw a vision of the world imploding from the inside. Crumbling into rubble. Until dirt and dust filled space. As the dust scattered, the air became brown and a shining light appeared in the middle of the brown. I heard the Lord say, “I will do a new thing. I am creating a new thing. For the old order of things is passed away and new things I declare.” I opened my bible and flipped directly to this passage that states:

“I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. Then he said to me, ‘Write this down for these words are trustworthy and true.’ He said to me, ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty, I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all of this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, and the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolater and all the liars- their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” Revelation 21:1-8

To He Who Overcomes

The old things are passing away. This world in its former way is perishing, but as disciples of Jesus, we have this hope as an anchor for our souls. While the world speaks death and destruction, God is saying, “I AM MAKING ALL THINGS NEW.”

Lord, we wait with awe and anticipation for what you will do in this hour. Our hearts are surrendered fully to your will. To your new thing! Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

You’re A Weapon In His Hands

Psalm 144:1-2 The Gritfull Life

“Dawn is breaking. You will be renewed in strength as the eagle. You will run and not grow weary. You will walk and not faint. I AM going with you.

I will clear the path before you. I’ve got conquests for you. You will pillage from the enemy and take back my beloved. You are a weapon in my hand.

Make your hands strong for battle. The victory is mine,” says the Lord.

As I was praying in the spirit this morning, God spoke this to me. I jotted down the word quickly and went to the bible for an interpretation for this word from Him. Here is what I gathered:

Dawn is breaking.

The Light of the world is about to appear. The light of the world is also making his glory known through his remnant; those whose hearts have been purified through fire to declare the Day of The Lord. Isaiah 58:8 says, “Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.”

Your strength will be renewed as the eagle.

Isaiah 41: 29-31 states, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.” Because dawn is breaking, we are to look up. God is calling us to a new level of hope that results in faith that will reinvigorate us; it will cause us to soar.

Ancient Hebrew culture revered eagles as mighty warriors that also cared fiercely for their young. Eagles carry their eaglets to safety, away from the threat of predators. Eagles are also known for their strength and courage in dangerous, turbulent weather, soaring above storm clouds and to safety. Eagles’ wings was a figure of speech commonly used to attribute these fine characteristics to a person. The Lord references eagles’ wings in Exodus 19:1–6, which is a recollection of how God delivered Israel from the Egyptians. In this passage, the Lord gives Moses a message for His people: “You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession” (verses 4–5).

The prophet Isaiah uses wings like eagles in the same way, attributing the great characteristics of eagles to those who remain faithful to God and look forward to their heavenly reward. The phrase mount up is a translation of the Hebrew word ˈalah, which means “to go up, ascend, to go up over a boundary.” Isaiah is communicating the promise that God will provide renewed strength and courage to overcome obstacles, if Israel would only have patience and trust in the Lord’s sovereign timing.

Upon reading Isaiah’s words, perhaps Israel recalled what God had said to them long ago as they fled Egypt, about how the Lord had delivered them “on eagles’ wings” with His great strength and power. Isaiah tells them that they, too, could have access to such deliverance. If they remained faithful to God, they would soar (gotquestions.org).

I AM is going with you.

Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I AM with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Joshua 1:9 states, “”Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Before the great deliverance of the Israelites from the Egyptians, and at the commissioning of Moses, God told Moses in Exodus 3:14, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.” God is saying to you today, that your assignment is anointed and appointed. The Lord is going with you to your next. He tells us this before He goes on to be more specific to encourage you and strengthen you for the season that’s coming. You will not be alone in your assignment because you have a holy calling. As leadership changed from Moses to Joshua, Moses, summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all of Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their forefathers to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave or forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged” (Deuteronomy 31:7-8). This assignment is about inheritance for God. Its’ for those who Jesus died for on the cross- his inheritance. Did you know that Jesus prayed for you before he went to the cross? The proof is recorded in John 17:20-25. I’m honing in on verse 24 where Jesus says, ” Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you have loved me before the creation of the world.”

The Lord is clearing the path before you

God’s word speaks through the prophet Isaiah to comfort the remnant of Israel. His words say in Isaiah 40:3-5 (ESV): Someone is shouting: “Clear a path in the desert! Make a straight road for the LORD our God. Fill in the valleys; flatten every hill and mountain. Level the rough and rugged ground. Then the glory of the LORD will appear for all to see. The LORD has promised this!” He promises in Exodus 23:30 “little by little, I will drive them out before you until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.”

The Lord has conquests for you

He wants to conquer through you! The definition of conquest is
“the subjugation and assumption of control of a place or people by the use of military force.” To subjugate means to bring under control, as in territories that have been gained. In this case, to be conquered by the kingdom of heaven by Him through YOU. Romans 8:36-37 states, ” ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. He already calls you a conqueror in life, and in the calling he has for you!

You will pillage from the enemy and take back my beloved

Christ’s beloved is his bride, The Church. In this case, God is saying you will pillage from the devil to redeem his church. To pillage means to rob a place. Isaiah 50:11 states, Because you rejoice and are glad, you who pillage my inheritance, because you frolic like a heifer threshing grain and neigh like stallions, your mother will be greatly ashamed; she who gave you birth will be disgraced. She will be the least of nations- a wilderness, a dry land, a desert. Because of the Lord’s anger she will not be inhabited but will be completely desolate.” He is speaking of the kingdom of Babylon that took his beloved captive. The Lord is going to pillage the kingdom of darkness through you to take back his bride.

You are a weapon in my hand

Jeremiah. 51:19-23 says, “He who is the Portion of Jacob is not like these, for He is the Maker of all things, including the tribe of his inheritance- The Lord Almighty is His name. ‘You are my war club, my weapon for battle. With you, I will shatter nations. With you, I destroy kingdoms, with you I shatter horse and rider, with you I shatter chariot and driver, with you I shatter man and woman, with you I shatter old man and youth, with you I shatter young man and maiden, with you I shatter shepherd and flock, with you I shatter farmer and oxen, with you I shatter governors and officials. Before your eyes I will repay Babylon and all who live in Babylonia for all the wrong they have done in Zion,’ declares the Lord.”

These verses speaks of God as the war club, but today he is saying that you are a weapon in his hand.

Make your hands strong for battle

Psalm 144: 1-2 begins with praise to God from David. He says, “Praise be to the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold, and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.”

To train for war, you have to know the weapons of your warfare, for they are MIGHTY to the pulling down of strongholds- the things that hold people in prison! I Corinthians says, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

Put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:18)

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,  and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Victory is Assured

Can I just encourage you to use your voice? Somewhere along the way, christian culture adopted a mindset that thoughts and prayers are enough to change the world for Jesus. And while there is wonder-working power in prayer, God has also called us to testify! What has He done for you? You and your story might just be the miracle he wants to use to dare others to believe and hope in Him.

Hallelujah! Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world. Because of the finished work of the cross, we are fighting with Jesus from the place of victory. Now, it’s time to run into the fray and pull others out of darkness. Get ready to go to the mattresses for God. It’s time to take back for the kingdom of God, in Jesus’ mighty name! Amen.

Like Scarlet

Isaiah 1:18-20 The Gritfull Life

The Lord spoke this to me for his people this morning:

“I am a jealous God. There are people I love that are clinging to their demons like a security blanket. For comfort. For familiarity. I say ENOUGH.

Be rooted and established in me, not your dysfunction. It’s time to put away the deeds of darkness and come back into the light of my Son. What you cling to, you will lose, and you’ll stand in front of me to tell me why.

This is your chance. You must change if you want to live. Your life is not your own. You belong to me but you must let those things go. NOW.”

I always ask God to give me scripture to confirm what he is speaking to me. This morning he led me to Isaiah 1, verses 18-20 which I’ve included here:

“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins be like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

The Significance of Scarlet

In bible times, scarlet or crimson was a red dye was extracted from the coccoid scale of Israeli oaks. I found an article online that reviews the origins of red dye in Israel and have linked it for you here, but I’m also including a quote:

“After four years of new field surveys, we located the four kermes species in Israel and tested the ability to produce dye from each coccoid. We discovered that K. echinatus contains a significant amount of bright red pigment and is a parasite of the local evergreen kermes oak (Q. calliprinos Webb), a dominant component of all Mediterranean mountain areas in Israel and surrounding countries” (Amar, et al., 2005).

In other words, a parasite that grew and hosted on the oaks of Israel produced a red dye. In Isaiah 61 the Lord calls his people “Oaks of Righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” So what is God saying? Something that grows on his oak as a parasite produces a red dye similar to the stain of sin as described in Isaiah 1, shall be made as white as snow.

Let’s look at the definition of parasite: A parasite is an organism that lives in or on an organism of another species (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the other’s expense.

The thing that is eating away at you, the thing that you’ve become familiar with, is causing your slow demise. And the Lord is pointing it out to you today. To lend context, Isaiah 1 speaks of the rebelliousness of God’s people, Israel and Judah. God’s word says in verse 2:

“I reared the children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. The ox knows his master, the donkey knows his owner’s manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand. Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him. Why should he be beaten anymore? Why do you persist in rebellion? Your whole head is injured (your thinking is incorrect), your whole heart is afflicted (your heart is suffering). From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness (you’re no longer in good condition)- only wounds and welts and open sores (untreated, vulnerable and open to infection and death). ” The Lord goes on to tell them, “I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. […] Stop bringing me meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me […] I cannot bear your evil assemblies. […] when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my face from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right!”

So, the stain of the red dye from the coccoid was virtually impossible to remove. So is the stain of sin in our lives, except for the blood of Jesus that washes away the stain of sin. We don’t have to go through life with the stain of sin on us, if we are willing to go to Jesus, repent of our sins, and live a new life in him.

A Call for Sincere Repentance, Faith, and Devotion

So I need to ask the question: Are you willing? While the Lord may be speaking to the unbeliever, this also suggests he is talking to his actual church. Let’s revisit the word he gave:

“I am a jealous God. There are people I love that are clinging to their demons like a security blanket. For comfort. For familiarity. I say ENOUGH.

Be rooted and established in me, not your dysfunction. It’s time to put away the deeds of darkness and come back into the light of my Son. What you cling to, you will lose, and you’ll stand in front of me to tell me why.

This is your chance. You must change if you want to live. Your life is not your own. You belong to me but you must let those things go. NOW.”

You were bought with a price: the precious blood of Jesus. To continue in whatever it is you’re doing is leading to death, not life. The Lord says his repentant ones will be redeemed with justice, but rebels and sinners will both be broken, and those who forsake the Lord will perish (Isaiah2:27-28). Again he points to the sacred oaks (or idols in the life of the Jews), saying, “you will be like an oak with fading leaves, like a garden without water” (verse 30). Basically a dying thing. Now, the thing or things that you’ve placed as idols above God may not be killing you physically, they are separating you from life in Christ. Also, what you worship, you will serve. God tells us in his word that heaven and earth will pass away but his words will never pass away. Are you risking eternity by what you’re worshipping now? If so, it’s time to turn away. God says, NOW. God says you MUST change if you want to LIVE.

I’m praying that you heed this sobering word and do as the Lord instructs today. He loves you. Out of his love for you he is trying to lead you into repentance and back to a life of righteousness. Please don’t delay.

A Step Down

Hebrews 2:5-8 The Gritfull Life

I was traveling last week for a mastermind, and I’ll admit, it’s a challenge for me to leave my family to go out of state. But I also had a lot of time on the plane to read, strategize, and reflect on what God is doing right now.

The disciples were called and then sent. Being at home is a comfort zone for me. But I knew that in order to grow to where I’m going to, I needed to make this trip.

I was reminded that it’s important to take trips and especially to fly. To sit in an aircraft and to watch and wait as you go higher. It lends perspective as you ascend and everything under your feet gets smaller. Not only do you have perspective on altitude but now those things beneath you become insignificant. And then you realize that you’re just as small as those things, you’re just higher. Imagine watching the cars and houses becoming smaller and smaller until you’re so high that the movement of life below ceases from your vantage point. It’s quiet. Peaceful.

But wait. You were just there. You were just down there, feet touching the ground. You woke up this morning and went about your morning routine. You may have frantically driven to the airport. You went through the airport process: checking your bags, checking in for your flight, passing through security….all the fun things you have to do before boarding the plane. Then you realize how small you are. How many more billions like you do the same thing with each sunrise and sunset? And then you realize how personal God has made himself known to you.

We are a grain of sand on a seashore called earth. Our lives are but a breath when compared to the vastness of God and eternity with Christ. What would make him see us so personally, and know us so intimately? What makes him step down from high and enter this world as one of us?

It’s love.

To say, “I’ll never leave you or forsake you”? Never leaving implies that he is right there with us at all times. And he is!

What kind of God could be so big and yet able to be right with us in the midst of our darkest times? The same God that came down from his throne to reach down into the dirt to make man. To sculpt and mold him from the earth. To breathe his holy breath on us so that we would come alive in him.

Some of us have dads that wouldn’t flip us a nickel, but this God. This father. He is real love.

He is real. And he’s not the kind of creator or father that makes us and sets us on the shelf. He is with us in everything- from our first breath to our last, whether we acknowledge him or not. In Psalm 8 David says, “Who is man that you are mindful of him? the son of man that you care for him? He made us a little lower than the angels and he crowns us with glory and honor. You made us ruler over the works of your hands, God you put everything under our feet, all the flocks and herds and beasts of the field. The birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swims the paths of the seas. Oh Lord, how majestic is your name in the all the earth!”

His word says- those who know his name will trust in him for he has never forsaken those who seek him.

Jesus took no advantage of being God. He made himself small like us. He came into the world the way we do: through our mother’s womb. He spoke first as a baby, then as a child. He learned to walk like we did. He held a job as a carpenter, a builder, before he would go on to build the kingdom of God. He suffered like us. He went through trials like us. He experienced a life of humanity, yet as God and man, he did not sin. God came down and made himself a sacrifice for us. All because of love.

Today, I’m praying that you remember the greatness of our God. If you’re getting a little too big for your britches, I pray you’ll remember how small you are. I pray you’ll remember the humanity and divinity of Jesus. He stepped down into the small for you.

No More Unbelief

Mark 9:23-24 The Gritfull Life

A word from the Lord this morning:

My people need to exercise their authority over their flesh. By my holy spirit, be cleansed daily. Believe that I will and want to heal you. Come to be in faith, BELIEVING that I can do all things. And because I can, you have the gift as my heir. Today is the day to stop wallowing in your sickness. Stand up. Exercise your faith that I will heal you. You have work to do, but the devil would divide your mind to keep you ineffective for my kingdom. Get up, take up your mat and walk. March. You’re my soldier. My warrior. And you will do great exploits in my Name.

Before giving me this word, the Lord led me to several passages in the Bible: Mark 9:14 where Jesus heals a demon-possessed boy, Luke 13:10 where Jesus healed a crippled woman, and Luke 14, where he healed a man with dropsy (swelling associated with heart failure). I want to highlight a couple of points.

Jesus Heals The Demon-possessed Boy

I’m paraphrasing here, but the passage begins with teachers of the law arguing with some of the disciples after Jesus is transfigured on the mountain before Peter, James, and John. It was an epic event because Moses and Elijah were there talking with Jesus, and they heard God speak, “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” It was at that point that Jesus instructs them not to discuss what they’ve seen until the Son of Man has risen from the dead. The NIV bible expressly states that, “the disciples kept the matter to themselves, discussing what ‘rising from the dead’ meant. ” Their minds had no understanding of that. But then we segue to where they catch up with the other disciples and a man who brings his son who is “possessed by a spirit that has robbed his speech, stating the spirit throws him to the ground and he foams at the mouth.” The Lord says, “Oh unbelieving generation, how long shall I stay with you? […] bring the boy to me.” The father tells Jesus, “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

I want to stop for a moment and address the father’s mindset: “take pity on us and help us” speaks from a place that says “I am powerless to do anything for my son, and hints I’m not really sure about you either…” He had enough faith (+action in going) to get his son to Jesus, but there was a wall in his mind that stood between what he had been witnessing about his son since he was a child, and possibly the stories he had heard about Jesus healing. Maybe he was blaming himself for his son’s sickness. He knew enough about spiritual warfare and demonic possession to be able to tell Jesus that it was a spirit that was robbing his son of speech and throwing him into seizures. But he felt powerless to do anything.

I love how the Lord calls out the root issue- he says, “If you can?” “Everything is possible for him who believes.” And his words draw out the heart and even the fears of the boy’s father, who the bible says immediately exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

It was then that Jesus rebuked the evil spirit and commanded him to leave the boy. The irritated demon shrieked and had a temper tantrum and left the boy. Then the Lord took the hand of the boy and lifted him up to his feet.

Is Unbelief Blocking Your Healing?

I’ve walked this. I once believed that the promises of God were for everyone but me. I tracked it back to generational sin rooted in shame, pride, and it can lead to a spirit of offense against God and towards men and women who are receiving healing.

Have you ever said this: “God is healing everyone but me.” “I guess this is just my cross to bear.” “I must be doing something wrong because God won’t heal me.”

Operating in a spirit of unbelief is a lot like tying the hands of God behind his back. Your mindset about who God is, how much he really loves you will either limit or advance what he wants to do in and through. The bible talks about unbelief, or lack of faith, in Mark, chapter 6:3-6, where the people of Nazareth (Jesus’ home town) refuse to believe:

Mark 6:3-6. [3] Is not this the Carpenter, the Son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Judah, and Simon? and are not His sisters here with us? And they were offended at Him. [4] But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in His own country, and among His own kin, and in His own house. [5] And He could there do no mighty work, save that He laid His hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.[6] And He marveled because of their unbelief. And He went round about the villages, teaching.

So, in other words, Jesus was able to teach, but he was limited, not by his power, but by what the people in his hometown believed (or in this case didn’t believe) about him. The bible states, “He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of belief (again, their lack of faith.

The account of the demon-possessed boy humbly reminds us that we are not alone in our little-faith thinking, and that we can all be tempted by unbelief. The boy’s father said something that resonated with me. I have prayed many times, “God I want to believe. God I know YOU can. Change my mind about ME so that I can receive your healing and your promises!”

I didn’t know how to change my mind. It was a tape recorder of voices from my past: my mom, my grandfather, my experiences where others spoke mean things to me that made me come into agreement with lies about myself. Now, I’m not saying that any of those people meant to hurt me negatively influence my thinking, but I was in their company when they spoke ill of themselves, and their perception about themselves became my thoughts- “I must be the same because I’m her daughter. I’m his granddaughter. It made me go looking for proof in my life that those things were true: I’m ugly. I’m not wanted. No one likes me. I don’t have any real friends because of who I am. They were all lies, but to a young child, those words were written on the tablets of my heart and mind before I even consciously knew it. You can imagine the paths that those thoughts led me down. Until I had family of choice speak life over me.

I’ll be honest, I had a hard time receiving it. Your thoughts about you can become like a drug that you become addicted to, and you don’t even realize it. The devil is sneaky. It’s generational sin-cycles that have to be broken by the holy spirit. I can hear Jesus, “If you CAN?!” Not only can I do this for you, but I WANT TO do this for you.” I’ve been waiting for you to get here to this moment so that you will let your faith arise and believe I can. I’ve been waiting for you to see what’s possible and dare to dream that it’s possible for you!” That’s faith. Blessed is she who believed the Lord would fulfill his promises to her. That promise starts with believing and accepting his holy healing. It becomes your new identity- who God says you are, not your mom, not your dad, not your ex, etc. It’s through your identity that you discover your calling. I don’t know if this is making sense, but what I’m trying to say is get out of your own way! If you’re battling unbelief- ask God to help you overcome it. He will do it! Faith and the decision to believe when you can’t see what you’re believing for unlocks every next step of your future!

The Lord is saying that it’s time to marry actions with belief, even if it’s only a little belief. Baby belief is better than no belief, right?,- God says it- “For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20-21). Just as Jesus told the lame man at the pool of Bethesda, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” The Bible says, “at once the man was cured.” God is saying to you, “GET UP.” Get your healing, and move into the exploits that God wants to do through you.

I want to leave you with this verse from Daniel 11:32: “but those who know their God will do great exploits.

A New Dwelling

Isaiah 2:27 The Gritfull Life

This morning in my quiet time, the Lord took me to a passage in Deuteronomy. As I took notes, I was asking God to show me the significance of this passage. His message is announcing the end before he tells of what’s to come. I’ll explain in a bit, but here is the takeaway from the passage:

The Lord is instructing us to rejoice for He choosing a new dwelling for His name. His sons and daughters, his servants, his priests, the aliens, the fatherless, and the widows will dwell there. He reminds us to remember that were once slaves in an Egypt of our lives- our past, our bondage. He calls us to remember what life was like before the Promised Land, so that we carefully follow his instructions in this season of Promise. Deuteronomy 16:11 (paraphrased).

This may sound like there is more to the story of what God is saying, and there is. Keep reading.

The Sins of Israel, Judah, and The Church

The Lord took me to Isaiah chapter 1, where He reviews the sins of Israel and Judah. Now let me stop for a second and say I do not believe in replacement theology. God’s love for and covenant with the jewish people is as strong as it ever was. But there are parallels to be drawn from God’s chosen, Israel, Judah, and the church today. He led me to verse 21-verse 31 and on to chapter 2. Here is what it says:

See how the faithful city has become a harlot! She once was full of justice; righteousness used to dwell in her– but now murderers! Your silver has become dross, your choice wine is diluted with water. Your rulers are rebels, companions of thieves; they all love bribes and chase after gifts. They do not defend the cause of the fatherless; the widow’s case does not come before them. Therefore the Lord, the Lord Almighty, the Mighty One of Israel, declares: “Ah, I will get relief from my foes and avenge myself on my enemies. I will turn my hand against you; I will thoroughly purge away your dross and remove all your impurities. I will restore your judges as in days of old, and your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward you will be called the City of Righteousness, the Faithful City.

Zion will be redeemed with justice, her penitent ones with righteousness. But rebels and sinners will both be broken, and those who forsake the Lord will perish. You will be ashamed because of the sacred oaks in which you have delighted; you will be disgraced because of the gardens that you have chosen. You will be like an oak with fading leaves, like a garden without water. The mighty man will become tinder, and his work a spark; both will burn together, with no one to quench the fire.

So what is God saying? Well, that’s what I asked him myself. And here is what he spoke to me:

Once again, I will shake the heavens and the earth. I will shake the Church. Judgment begins in the house of the Lord. Who can stand when my righteousness rolls in to purge the worldliness of the church? Only those whose hearts are fixed on me. My righteous remnant. The few that are left still standing. Even now, I am coming to bring forth a purification of my bride. Many will fall away. Many will tire of the journey and sink in the sand, but my faithful will shine like the morning sun. I am doing a work in all the earth that will astound the hearts of many. I will make my glory known through my righteous so that no man can deny that I am the Lord God. There is no one like me. Watch and be amazed at what I will do. I am going to get my glory.

Hang On To The Holy Spirit

There’s a lot to unpack here, and I pray that God will give me the ability to do so in a way that makes sense to you. It’s no question that the church has compromised. In fact, the Lord writes 7 letters to the churches in the book of Revelation. He calls out the Compromising Churches, the Dead Church, and the Faithful Church in Revelation 2-3. I strongly encourage you to do a deep dive into these chapters because there are aspects of the individual believers’ walks and collective body of believers’ walks that serve as a warning or a temperature check for your own relationship with Jesus, AND the chapters will help you gauge what type of church group you are affiliating yourself with. It’s time for the bride of Christ to wake up and not be ignorant to what true relationship with Jesus compels us to. It’s not dead things. Or compromising things. He’s calling us to be faithful. Now, back to Isaiah.

Isaiah reviews how the church has become a harlot, full of murderers, polluted with the things of the world, rather than submitting and allowing the transforming work of the Jesus through the cross change the world through The Great Commission. Isaiah says that the rulers of the church as rebels, they are bribed, they seek after gifts, they do not defend or care for the orphans and widows, and the Lord says He will turn his hands against them, to purge away the dregs or the scum from them. God calls it the dross, and it’s a method for purifying precious metal. The Lord says that he is raising up new judges and counselors as he did originally, so that the House of God would be called the City of Righteousness, full of the faithful ones who truly worship and serve the Lord in spirit and in truth.

You might be reading or listening to this and maybe you’re thinking, “The church isn’t full of prostitutes! I don’t see murders happening in the church.” But I’m here to tell you, The Lord is describing the church as a harlot. The bible refers to a harlot as someone who has devoted themself to idol worship or heathen deities. What’s an idol?- Anything that you put higher than the living God. Anything you put in greater importance than your personal walk with Jesus. Are churches today worshipping an experience? Are they worshipping a word rather than The Word? Are they worshipping man-made platforms built within the church? Are they speaking the name of Jesus while living an alternative lifestyle in private? What about their own thought leadership over the blueprint God has given us in His word? Are people going to network? Are they going for free childcare, rather than making Jesus real to their children? Are they going only to find a mate?

Ask God to give you his eyes to see the idols that exist in the church today, and possibly in your own life.

Rebellion and The Mystery of Lawlessness At Work In “The Church

God’s word says, that the mystery of lawlessness (2 Thessalonians 2:7), some translations refer to this as the mystery of rebellion. Speaking in context, Paul is speaking about the unrighteous deception and falling away of many who profess to be believers, but their hearts are far from being fixed on Jesus. Isaiah describes their choice wine as diluted… i.e., a watered-down gospel, the feel good gospel, the ear tickling kind. The kind of gospel that serves them, rather than the true gospel that leads us to repentance and transformation. The one that makes everything about you and relegates Jesus a holy man rather than the second person of the godhead. Rather than becoming like gold refined in the fire of the truth of God, conformed to his image, growing closer in a walk with him, they have become full of dross, polluting the precious deposit placed on the inside of them. The bible warns us in 2nd Timothy 1:14 to guard the good deposit entrusted to us. We are to guard the gospel by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, not mingle it with the things of the world.

The Remnant and The Great Falling Away

The word today says that the remnant, who have fully devoted their hearts to Jesus will stand, while all others fall away. He is empowering us, through his holy spirit, to shine like the morning sun. Have you ever been driving in the morning, only to have the morning sun blind you? It’s so bright and glorious!! But if your eyes aren’t accustomed to the brightness, it can be blinding. Not only will it get your full attention, but it shines light on everything. It can inspire a course correction! God is doing a work that will astound, or stun, the hearts of all. So that there will be no denying that God is real, He’s alive, He’s the only God, and he is going to use his remnant to do it. He said we will be amazed.

The holy spirit expresses a time when some will depart from the faith, devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons (1 Timothy 4:1). When the church will have abandoned its first love (Rev. 2:4-5). It talks about a rebellion that takes place in the church, the lawlessness that we discussed earlier. It’s apostasy- or exchanging the truth for lies.

Hebrews 6: 4 says, “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again, and subjecting him to public disgrace. Jesus laid down his life once, for all. The bible talks about those who fall away are given over to a strong delusion. God says in 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12, “that they perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. […] God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”

God’s words says, “I (Jesus) am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the father, except through me” (John 14:6). Your good intentions won’t get you into heaven. Slapping God’s name on your agenda won’t get you into heaven. Deciding that “one day” after you’ve done everything you want to do, you’ll give your heart to Jesus. Living your life the same way you did 5 years ago and calling yourself a christian won’t get you into heaven. Repent. There’s still time. Today is the day of salvation. Please don’t wait to make Jesus the Lord of your life and start living for him. Not you.

A New Dwelling For His Name

So, I almost forgot the passage from Deuteronomy (at the top of this post 🙂 ). God is a building HIS CHURCH through his righteous remnant in contrast to the church described in Isaiah. He says, “I will choose a new dwelling for My Name.” He says that his servants, his priests, the fatherless, the widows, and the alien (those without a home) will dwell there!

He’s asking us to praise him ahead of it. He’s calling us to remember our lives in bondage before we were set free. And why not praise him for living life on the other side of the Jordan now!? Hallelujah! Why? So we will never forget what life in bondage looked like- the oppression, the lack, the death, the poverty. Again, why? So we, as servants of the Lord, can shine like the morning sun, and so we can show others The Way. Lives are depending on his working through us. If this resonates with you, I pray you’ll yield to the work he wants to do in and through you right now so that you can be his vessel.

Be Aware Of This

Matthew 7:5 The Gritfull Life Blog

“Beware of the 2 adulteress sisters: divination and witchcraft. It looks like me, but it’s not me. It weaves its way into my people and takes control of weak-willed women who are not spiritually discerning. It’s vital that you stay close to me. As days approach, the evil will counterfeit the holy in attempts to deceive many. You can only know the way, the truth, and the life through me. Not through who someone professes to be, or no matter how special they think they are. I the Lord test the mind and hearts of men. I reveal, uncover, and expose the truth. Test all spirits, for then you will know who are mine and who are workers of iniquity. I, the Lord, have spoken.”

I’m going to include some scriptures that explain this word as it relates to this word.

The 2 Adulteresses in Ezekiel 23

I had never read this passage before, but before giving me this word, the Lord took me to Ezekiel 23, which in high-level context refers to the the northern and southern kingdom of Israel using a metaphor for 2 adulteress sisters. The bible calls them “daughters of the same mother, engaging in prostitution. The Lord says, “since you have forgotten me and thrust me behind your back, you must bear the consequences of your lewdness and prostitution.” The word also says, “But righteous men will sentence them to the punishment of women who commit adultery and shed blood, because they are are adulteresses and blood is on their hands!” Chapter 24 says, “‘I the Lord have spoken. The time has come for me to act. I will not hold back; I will not have pity, nor will I relent. You will be judged according to your conduct and actions,’ declares the Sovereign Lord.”

Divination and witchcraft operate together, and in the instance of this word, God is calling them adulteress sisters in relation to those in the church who are operating under these spirits but calling them the gifts of the holy spirit, or the gifts of God. Just as Judah and Samaria rebelled against and committed adultery with other nations, idols, and their gods, so have these people, or perhaps even actual women in the church committed adultery against the One True God and are operating in false signs and wonders by demonic powers.

The women in Ezekiel were called prostitutes. To prostitute something means to devote to corrupt or unworthy purposes. Intercourse can mean communication or dealings between individuals or groups. In regards to this word, these people and entities are professing believers who are breaking covenant with God for works of darkness through divination and witchcraft. God warns that it can look like him, but it’s not him. Please be very careful and discerning of what you believe of others and what they profess. His word today states that he is going to reveal, uncover, and expose them. But you are responsible for working out your own salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord.

The Meaning of Divination and Witchcraft in the Bible

Divination:  a foretelling future events, or discovering things secret or obscure, by the aid of superior beings, or by other than human means. A diviner is someone who professes divination; one who pretends to predict events, or to reveal occult things, by the aid of superior beings, or of supernatural means.

Witchcraft: The bible says, “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21).

The word of the Lord says that divination and witchcraft weave (I’m visualizing a slithering as I type this) their way into his people, and he references 2 Timothy 3:5-9: “…having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. They are the kind that worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth. […] But they will not get very far because as in the case of those men, (Jannes and Jambres), their folly will be clear to everyone.” The Lord is saying that weak-willed women who are not holy spirit- discerning become controlled by those who operate in witchcraft and divination. Be on your guard.

Testing the Spirits & Guard Against Deception

The bible talks about testing the spirits in 1 John 4. It has this to say,

“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of falsehood.

I went on a search for witchcraft and divination in the bible: I found 18 verses and this website called Acts7:11.com that explains witchcraft and Satan’s attempt to work it into the church. I encourage you to review it because it dives into specific ways this plays out in the church.

Jesus is The Way, The Truth, and The Life

We live in a day where prophecies abound, and perhaps it’s even more evident because of the advance of digital media and technology. But it’s also because Satan knows his time is short, and as he is the father of lies, he will attempt to counterfeit everything holy that God is doing in the earth right now.

The bible says in Matthew 24:24, ” For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect- if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time.” I am reminded of this passage in Matthew 8:2 where Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in our name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'”

Do You Really Know Jesus, Or Do You Just Know About Him?

Hear me out, and hear the word of the Lord above: THE ONLY WAY YOU WILL KNOW THE FATHER IS THROUGH RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM. I have people who call me wanting a word like I’m 1-800-dial-a-word, and I tell them, I don’t have a word for you, but God has endless words. IN HIS WORD. READ THE BIBLE AND GOD WILL SPEAK TO YOU. Don’t look for a man or woman to be your holy spirit, that’s God’s job. I just can’t say this enough.

Stay close to him. Don’t be deceived. Hold fast to the truth and test everything against the word of God.

Restoration Of All Things

A word from the Lord this morning:

“Do not be moved by the things you see. Chaos abounds, but look for me. I am working in hearts, in rooms, behind the scenes in and through my people for my purposes. The world speaks destruction, but I speak restoration. Restoration of my order. Restoration of hearts, of lives. Restoration of righteousness streaming from the throne of heaven, in and through my people.

When you see the bud sprout you’ll know that the time is near. My kingdom will be restored, and my people shall see my face. They shall speak to me face to face.

Live in my presence. I am not a God that you take off the shelf on Sunday, only to return to your way of living Monday through Saturday. Talk about me with your children, in your going out and your coming in. Make me welcome in your home, in your place of business. Make a seat for me at the table. I will open doors for you that no man can shut. To make me known. To make my glory known. To make my power known.

Carry me as I carry you.”

The Lord uses language that I don’t use, and when he’s giving me these words, for me, it’s like being given treasure. There are certain parts that sparkle even brighter, causing me to go in and search for deeper understanding. I liken it to finding more treasure buried deeper within his word.

When God said, “When you see the bud sprout, you’ll know that the time is near” made me think of a passage in Matthew. It reads like this:

Matthew 24:32. “Now learn the lesson from the fig tree. As soon as the twigs get tender, and it’s leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at your door. I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away.”

Jesus is speaking about remaining watchful for his return. I highly encourage you to read Matthew 24 and 25 to understand the full context of what Jesus was saying to his disciples about his return.

Summer Time is Harvest Time

Jesus saying summer is near is significant to his disciples. During Jesus’ day, summer was a time of preparation and harvest. When Jesus said to watch the fig, he was saying, just as you know that the fig = summertime, when you see these things happen, know that Jesus’ return is near.

But what things? Let’s take a look. His disciples asked him privately in verse 3, “Tell us, they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus responds,

“Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, “I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and betray each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. [..] For as lightning that comes from the east is visible from the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. (v. 27) […] At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

What Looks Like The Death of The World is Restoration of the Kingdom of God

It’s hard to watch events unfold. It’s hard, especially if you have a smidge of nostalgia about the way things used to be. We can be certain in uncertain times. We can have hope. Because God, in his goodness has given us a vision of the future. It’s a future where holy restoration of all things happens. Restoration can be defined as the act of returning something to its former condition. Making something new again. Restoring can also make things better than their current state. Hear these words from Jesus in Revelation: 21:5 “And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also He said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true’ [they are accurate, incorruptible, and trustworthy].

The River of Life In the Kingdom of God

I love this passage in Revelation 22. Flip to the end of your bible and take time, especially now, in light of what you see going on all around you, to be reminded of what life looks like on the other side of restoration.

It says, “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing 12 crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign forever and ever.

Live Differently. Live Ready. Make Him Known.

Restoration is happening. Old paradigms, old ways of doing things are dying. What looks like total anarchy is part of God’s process of restoration. He’s telling us to keep him at the center of our lives. It’s time for believers to become disciples. Knowing about Jesus is not enough. Calling out to him is not enough. He wants to be invited into every area of your life. He wants to be Lord of your life. Lord of your family.

He said “Fix my words in your hearts and minds. […] Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates…” In other words, and not from a place of religious works, but from a place of, “Make me part of your everyday and every way, not just your Sunday.”

Not only does he want to be in 100% fellowship with you at all times, he wants to give you influence to take him into spheres, to people, to nations, places where God is weaving circumstances to draw others to Him.

Remember the great commission in Matthew 28:18: “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am will you always, to the very end of the age.'”

Have You Decided?

I am reminded of this hymn, I Have Decided. I’m feeling this as I type and need to release it. There are those who are confessing salvation in Jesus but their hearts are far from him. The long, loving, and merciful arm of the Lord is reaching out to you today saying “Return to me.” Don’t play with salvation. His love inspires true repentance- that means no going back to your old ways. God’s word says, no one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God (Luke 9:62) In other words, it’s time to be done with half-hearted commitment. It’s time to be done with christian lip-service. Today is the day of salvation. Today is the day of transformation. It’s the day of restoration. He desires to make you new too.

A Burning Match

1 Chronicles 28:19

This morning in my quiet time I was praying for the people of the world, and asking God to stir up revival. True confession- I don’t pray for the whole world in general as much as I do for the people and circumstances God places on my heart to pray for, and I was just thinking that I need to be believing and interceding for the bigger and more amazing that I know God can do.

I consume the news like most people, podcasts, social media, mobile apps. You can read the headlines and skim stories, but lately, it feels as though the darkness of the world is encroaching, even into my neighborhood. Anger, frustration, and hate running rampant, and in my opinion, there’s been a major shift since 2020. It’s like people have lost their filter, or perhaps they’re so stressed out about the uncertainties of life that their emotions have ruptured and are bursting forth in ways I’ve never seen before. It points to a root of fear that people have. If you walk on eggshells long enough in life, you begin to react to everything. You become a product of your environment, rather than being in control of your response to people, situations and the like. I was telling God that I see fear and hopelessness rising like a flood, and asking him to come into the circumstances of the world and be change and hope. He is. He gave me this word today:

“Hatred IS rising. Can you feel the pressure? Like labor pains. The time is coming, but has not come yet. There are more who must come. My people are my burning matches in this dark world. Will they rise up? Will they let their lights shine- my light shine through them? This isn’t talking a christian talk and walking a worldly walk. My disciples live and move and have their being in Me. They speak differently. The think differently. They are the 1 in a room of none. A match burning in the darkest night. The wind will not snuff out their flame. The rain will not put out their light. They burn from within because they are kindled in Me. They don’t claim religion. Their flame doesn’t diminish then burn brighter. Their light is immovable. Unchangeable. Just as I do not change. One match burning bright can start a wildfire in the right circumstances. Trust me with the circumstances and just be my burning match.

Wildfires will break out in cities, countries, and in nations. My spirit will not be put out! Watch it go forth! Watch it spread! NOTHING will come against what I will do through my people by the power of my Spirit.”

Even as disciples of Jesus, it’s easy to fall into the same patterns and traps that the world does. I do this..deadlines, goals, the future, etc. Day-to-day life for the believer can look like the same gerbil wheel the world runs in. We’ve just decorated our wheel with Jesus stickers, and we’re running to worship music. I’ve been making a consistent effort to spend my mornings with my Bible and in prayer for 2 years now and it’s amazing how God has shifted my vision to seeking out God’s heart, his goals, his future, and how he wants to use me to be his change agent where he’s planted me. I have to lay my plans down and refuse to rush from his presence. Do I get it right everyday? NO. But it’s a discipline that I’m building because I know God wants to speak. We’ve got to make room for him. I’m reminded of the song called Authority by Elevation Worship. One word from God can change everything. One instruction. One plan. One assignment.

God’s word is a reminder that our being rooted in relationship with him, and being kindled in his fire daily, is the way we are transformed. It’s the only way we can know God’s plans (see the verse in 1 Chronicles that God showed me above), not only for the world, but his plans for how he wants to use us to accomplish his will. So we are burning bright. So we are ready to be the 1 in the room of none. For such a time as this. So God can transform the world through us.

I want to leave you with this verse from Luke 8:16 (KJV). If you grew up in the church, you probably know the song, This Little Light of Mine.

“No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.”

1/10/23 A Word From The Lord

James 1:17 NIV

This morning the Lord put a song in my heart by Chris Tomlin. It’s a song I used to sing to my son at bedtime during his early elementary years. Mainly because I remember being his age and carrying big feelings, that for various reasons, my parents were unaware of. I would remember being in my bed alone at night thinking about God and wondering if he saw me. Many times feeling fear and loneliness. Fast forward to having a child of my own and wanting to instill in him the understanding of a Father’s Love from our heavenly father. Here are the lyrics and video link if you’d like to play it here:

Oh, I’ve heard a thousand stories of what they think You’re like
But I’ve heard the tender whisper of love in the dead of night
And You tell me that You’re pleased and that I’m never alone

You’re a good, good Father
It’s who You are, it’s who You are, it’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

Oh, and I’ve seen many searching for answers far and wide
But I know we’re all searching for answers only You provide
‘Cause You know just what we need before we say a word

You’re a good, good Father
It’s who You are, it’s who You are, it’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

Because You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways to us
You are perfect in all of Your ways
Oh, You’re perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways to us

Oh, it’s love so undeniable
I, I can hardly speak
Peace so unexplainable
I, I can hardly think
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still into love, love, love

You’re a good, good Father
It’s who You are, it’s who You are, it’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

And You’re a good, good Father
It’s who You are, it’s who You are, it’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

You’re a good, good Father
It’s who You are, it’s who You are, it’s who You are
And I’m loved by You
It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am
(You’re a good, good Father)

You are perfect in all of Your ways (it’s who You are, it’s who You are, it’s who You are)
(And I’m loved by You)
You are perfect in all of Your ways (it’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am)

The Lord spoke a verse to me from James 1, verse 17 (PT). It goes, “Every gift God gives us is good and perfect, streaming down from the Father of Lights, who shines from the heavens with no hidden shadows or darkness, and there is no subject to change.”

He gave me this word for someone:

“Good fathers only give good things, yet the enemy has convinced some that I don’t love them- because of the circumstances in their life. I am the God of Choice. I created you and love you with an everlasting love, but I will not force you to choose me, love me, or worship me. I don’t make robots. I make human beings. Humans that would think on their own, act on their own. Humans who would choose me back. Your circumstances are a result of your choices, not mine. There’s still time to turn the boat around. Some things you will have to walk through, but I am here to journey with you if you will let me into your life. You will see the miracles of a Romans 8:28 life where I will even work this together for your good. Again, I am your good, good father, and I LOVE YOU.”

There’s Still Time To Turn The Boat Around

I asked God, “why did you use that expression?” and he led me to a definition at Wordsense.eu which explains that turning the boat around means “making a major change in behavior or strategy.” There are those of you who need to turn the boat of your life around, and you need the wind of the holy spirit to redirect your sails in a direction that will prosper you and not harm you.

A Little More About James, Chapter 1

The writer of the book of James was the actual brother of Jesus and he wrote this letter after Stephen was martyred for his faith in Jesus. In it, he is encouraging and instructing new believers on gaining wisdom, spiritual maturity, faith, and grit. Relating to the word from the Lord, I want to hone in on verses 13-16 which state,

“When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

How powerful is it that, through a new birth (a spiritual birth) in Jesus who is the Word of God, that we become the first fruits or top ten percent of his creation!? If you’ve given your heart to Jesus, you’re in God’s top 10%, for his use and his glory!

Secondly, God’s word today says that, based on the word given to me, your present circumstances are a result of your choices. I need to say that God has not tempted you into the situation you are currently in. He’s not testing you there either. You might be in a furnace of affliction right now or dealing with some really heavy things. I am reminded of something I heard growing up: The further you move away from God, he will use circumstances and your choices to get your attention. At first it starts as a mist or drizzle, progressing to a steady rain. Then if you continue to move in rebellion and sin, your life becomes like a thunderstorm, a tornado, even a hurricane. Till you feel as though you’re drowning. But in this case, it’s like drowning when there’s a life preserver floating in the water next to you. Is pride preventing you from grabbing your life preserver, a.k.a. Jesus?

But God says, “there’s still time to turn the boat around.” There’s still time to make major changes. The first starts with recognizing that you are not God. The second starts with going to God in repentance, asking for forgiveness, so that you can be restored to a right relationship with him. Then, you’ve got to let go of controlling your boat. Give him the wheel. Seriously. Watch the circumstances slowly change from sinking to swimming to winning the race of life.

I Want To Leave You With Two Verses

Romans 8:28 (NIV) God says, ” And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:31 (NIV) What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all- how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any change against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.

Romans 8 goes on to state that Jesus is at the right hand of God RIGHT NOW interceding for YOU. Nothing- no circumstances, misery, pain, sin, bankruptcy, abortion, drugs, you name it, NOTHING will separate you from the love of Jesus Christ. I pray that you’ll choose your good, good father today, and watch him turn your boat around.

Be Cleansed of Spiritual Leprosy

2 Kings 5:14

2 Kings 5: 5-14

Now Naaman was a commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the Lord had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy.

Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”

Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said. “By all means, go,” the king of Aram replied. “I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So Naaman left, taking with him ten talents[b] of silver, six thousand shekels of gold and ten sets of clothing. The letter that he took to the king of Israel read: “With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you so that you may cure him of his leprosy.”

As soon as the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his robes and said, “Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!”

When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes, he sent him this message: “Why have you torn your robes? Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.” So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, dip yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”

11 But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.

13 Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” 14 So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.

Who was Naaman?

  • a commander of the army of the king of Aram.
  • The bible calls him a great man.
  • He was highly regarded.
  • The passage tells us that the Lord gave victory to Aram through Naaman.
  • He is described as valiant or brave.
  • then comes the BUT. “but he had leprosy.”

What is Leprosy?

Leprosy is a disease that effects the body’s largest organ, the skin. Today, leprosy is known as Hansen’s disease. It’s spread by airborne bacteria via respiratory droplets. Today, people who have contracted leprosy can receive 6 months worth of antibiotic treatments to cure leprosy and minimize longterm disability caused by the disease. In bible times, leprosy was viewed as a curse from God. (You can study how Miriam (Moses’ sister) was struck with leprosy by God for speaking against Moses as the chosen mouthpiece of God and leader of the Israelites.) Those with leprosy had to leave their homes and families and live on the outskirts of town where they wouldn’t pass their disease to others. Lepers also:

  • had to scavenge for food.
  • They were forbidden to have contact with other people.
  • According to the law, lepers had to ring a bell and shout or declare, “Unclean!” if anyone approached them.

The Three Main Symptoms of Leprosy

Leprosy has a pattern of manifestation just like any other disease. It begins with muscle weakness, going on to impacting the peripheral nervous system, and finally disrupting vision even up to blindness (when facial nerves are affected) (cdc.gov).

A King’s Ransom for Complete Healing

As I was reading this passage today, the Lord told me to look at this passage in light of a sickness that is plaguing would-be christians today: spiritual leprosy. In the passage, Naaman, desperate for change in his condition, sent what in today’s time would be:

  • $300,000 in silver
  • approximately $3 million in gold

Add to that a complete wardrobe of 10 sets of clothes. What did Naaman do? He went to a king for something that only God (in this case, through a prophet) could do. What additional learning can we take away from his approach to the king?

Money (and the things of this world) wont buy your healing

It’s useless to go to man to fix what is a spiritual disease in you. You must accept God’s free gift of grace through Jesus Christ, repent, be cleansed of the disease of sin, and baptized so you can be restored.

Are you willing to do what it takes to be healed and cleansed?

Naaman was expecting a grandiose display of healing that he described as “waving his hands over the leprous area whilst calling out to God” on Naaman’s behalf. He scoffed at the idea of having to go the Jordan. The bible evens says that Naaman went out angry upon hearing the instructions from the man of God and delivers what some might label a victim’s rant. Naaman basically says, “aren’t the ways of mine (the rivers) better than the ways of the God of Israel (his river Jordan, where countless miracles have been performed, btw.) It wasn’t until his servants reasoned with him (thank God for god-given alignments) by saying, “if God told you to do something BIG, you would have done it!” In other words, he’s making it easy for you! He instructed you with a small thing– dipping into the Jordan 7 times. Not bathing 7 times. Not 7 swims across the Jordan. Not swimming to the bottom of the Jordan 7 times. Just 7 dips! C’mon Man! (With all due respect, of course.)

The Disease of Spiritual Leprosy

God doesn’t always use grandiose. He’s just asking you to have faith to do the seemingly small thing he’s told you to do. Would you be like Naaman and scoff at God in your desperation? Or do exactly what he tells you to do, exactly as he tells you to do it?

The text, in verse 14 says, “So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan 7 times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.”

It’s interesting that the text uses the words restored and cleansed- in that order. Let’s look at the biblical definition of those words according to Webster’s 1828 dictionary:

Restore: Returned; brought back; retrieved; recovered; cured; renewed; re-established.

Cleansed: Purified; made clean; purged; healed.

God is the God of everything, and especially patterns. Restoration happens when he brings you back to him. THEN, he heals you. He cleans you up. Then he cleans your life up. It’s really that simple. The holy spirit might even be using your spiritual disease, physical disease, and other circumstances to impress upon you the need for sovereign God to be just that- sovereign above your plans, your sickness, your lack, and anything else you might be facing right now.

What the Lord Spoke To Me About Some of His People

God has given you a specific formula, blueprint, or instructions, but He’s not going to do it your way. He’s not doing it according to the way you think it should look or how you think it should be executed. And he said, “Your rebellion against his instructions will only make your leprosy, your problem, spread and continue to inflict pain on your own life.” Spiritual leprosy is rooted in pride, saying that you know better than God how something should be done.

Here’s The Good News

Jesus came to clean you from the sin of spiritual leprosy. In Luke 5:13, “Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’ and immediately the leprosy left him.” Naaman was restored and cleansed. His skin became like that of a young boy. Why did the bible say it that way? Because a little boy’s skin is soft and not weathered like a commander in an army who has seen a lot of battles? Maybe. But I believe that not only was Naaman cleansed, but his faith was made like that of a child. A pure faith. A faith that absolutely unwaveringly believes in what it cannot see. That God is real, he is for you, he is the God of miracles, and he doesn’t just heal, he makes WHOLE.

Don’t scoff. Don’t doubt. Don’t hide in shame, thinking that this is for others but not for you. The restoring and cleansing power of the blood of Jesus is made available to you today. Don’t spend another second at the edge of the Jordan- run in and get your dip on.

The Zeal of God

Isaiah 42:8

“The Lord will march out like a mighty man, like a warrior; he will stir up his zeal; with a shield he will raise the battle cry and will triumph over his enemies. For a long time I have kept silent, I have been quiet and held myself back. But now like a woman in chid birth I cry out, I gasp and pant. I will lay waste the mountains and hills and dry up the vegetation, I turn rivers into islands and dry up the pools.

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do, I will not forsake them. But those who trust in idols who say to the images, ‘ You are our gods,’ will be turned back in utter shame. Hear you deaf; look you bling, and see!” Isaiah 42:6-17

There is a shift in the spiritual realm that is now manifesting in the natural realm we live in. The Lord is waking up his remnant to stir up his zeal within them. As disciples of the kingdom of heaven, it’s time to pick up the weapons of our warfare, to charge into the fray so the message of the Lord can go forth in this world. So that salvation can come to the sinner. So that recovery of sight can return to those who are spiritually blind to Jesus and the things he is doing in this hour.

What is Zeal? Zeal is great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective. Webster’s 1828 dictionary says, zealous means, “Passionate ardor in the pursuit of any thing. In general, zeal is an eagerness of desire to accomplish or obtain some object, and it may be manifested either in favor of any person or thing, or in opposition to it, and in a good or bad cause.”

Back in 1994, Oprah reviewed an experience she had at a mega church where the pastor preached that God is a jealous God. Oprah’s misunderstanding and lack of study as to the deeper meaning of God’s word caused her to assign a secular meaning to the word “jealous” and go on to broadcast and thus influence her audience about God’s definition of zeal and jealousy. (video here)

I remember this being a topic of conversation among my mom and her coworkers at the time. Because of the power (god-given, if I might add) and influence of Oprah Winfrey, many of her viewers subsequently were drawn into into her teachings by Eckhart Tolle and others who promoted a new age movement and secular humanism. In a nut shell, secular humanism in a belief that humanity is capable of morality and self-fulfillment without belief in God.

So let’s go back to the zeal of the Lord. The Lord, in his zeal, pursues you. He is eager for you to come to him. He desires that you would become his. He created you. He wants you to choose him back!

Now the time is come where the Lord is stirring up his zeal in his true followers. This zeal will take Jesus into new rooms, new marketplaces, new spaces, new homes, new media. His people have kept silent. Some out of fear, some out of not knowing what to say. Some have kept silent because their actions don’t match their words. But NOW. Now things are changing. They cannot be quiet. They cry out! The Lord is stirring up his spirit so much so that his people will cry out! They are arising with a new boldness to declare the day of salvation. The good and acceptable day of the Lord. These are the days of Elijah.

God is taking those who couldn’t see. He’s opening their eyes, he’s taking them and guiding them on new paths, not the direction of men. He’s shining light into the dark spaces in hearts, in lives, in families, in businesses. He’s giving everyone another chance. And those who are distracted by their idols- their money, their job, their secret sins, their SELF, will miss him. Don’t miss Him. He’s calling out!

Our King is coming.

Deep Calls To Deep

Psalm 42:11

The Lord showed me Psalm 42 today and gave me a word for someone who has been struggling to find God in this season.

Here is what Psalm 42 says:

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with my God? My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng.

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon- from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.

By the day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me– a prayer to the God of my life.

I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day, “Where is your God?”

Why are you so downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

For the person who is battling depression, loneliness, separation and maybe even isolation, this psalm is for you. You might be living life with a mask- the you that you let the world see, and the secret you who battles the same thoughts and feelings as the psalmist wrote. This psalm was written by one of the sons of Korah who was a temple musician. What this tells me is that, even someone who was appointed by God to lead others in praise can keep struggles buried deep inside of them that perhaps no one will ever know or see. But let’s remember that the struggles are there whether you choose to let others see them or not. God sees them. And He sees YOU.

This person might call themself a christian but their life and possibly even their secret life testifies against them. They’re doing things that they know do not please God in an effort to soothe themselves, but I’m here to tell you that secret sins are not a security blanket for the believer or anyone else for that matter. They wind up causing guilt, self-condemnation, and even shame. The psalmist, even cries out to God, asking, “Where are you?” “Why have you forgotten me??” “Why must I go on feeling this way, suffering?” It sounds as though the psalmist is even dealing with physical pain in his body, and whether it’s actual people taunting him by saying God isn’t real, or the enemy screaming, “Where is your God?” the clamoring is almost too much for his mind and spirit to take.

The psalmist goes on to do what David did- he spoke to himself in TRUTH declaring in spite of what he was feeling, in spite of his physical pain, in spite of the mocking by the devil and others: “Put your hope in GOD, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” He says my soul is downcast, therefore I choose to remember you from the land of the Jordan- from a place where you parted the waters for our people. A place where we stepped into our promised land. A place where you commanded us to set up memorial stones so that we would never forget the great things you did for us in Egypt. In the wilderness of our lives. I choose to remember the good things you’ve done for me and believe that you’re the same God- you’ve still got good things for me!

The deep things, the deep love of God is calling out to the deep things in you. The person He knows you can become- who he created you to be that the devil or maybe even you have tried to bury. He’s calling to the deep hurts in you- some of those hurts have been caused by others while you have also afflicted yourself with many of the wounds you carry. You might be in a place now where you feel forgotten by God, but the psalmist says, “By the day the Lord directs his love, at night (the literal night but also the dark times in our lives) his song is with me- in other words, I pray to him, I cry out to him, I cast my deep hurts, pains, and pleading prayers out to him in prayer. He hears you. He’s listening. He’s waiting for you to drop what you’ve been gripping onto and come to him whole heartedly so he can heal you.

The Lord gave me this word this morning to share:

“Stop drinking from the wrong wells. You’ve tried porn. You’ve tried relationships. You’ve tried filling yourself at the work well. At the wells of owning things you thought would make you happy and satisfied. Are you satisfied?

No- you are still thirsty. Your soul pants for water that it knows not of- and everything else has left you dissatisfied. You can consume and consume, but I tell you it will NEVER be satisfying. Your thirst only gets greater. The holes, the gaps only get wider. How much longer will you resist coming to me to quench your thirst? My water satisfies. My well never runs out. It bubbles up and becomes springs of living water inside of you. You will find rest, peace, joy at my well. I bid you to come!

This water does not sour after you drink it. It does not cause shame, guilt, or bitterness. It’s a water you can swim in, you can float in. My water washes the stains of bitterness, rejection, and condemnation off of you.

Come in and believe. Be immersed. Be changed. Leave the bad things and be revived,” says the Lord.

Sometimes words like these can make us feel uncomfortable because we are seen. There may be aspects of this word that resonate with you more than others. The point being is that God is saying it’s time to come back to him. Be revived. He calls out the things that he can see because he wants you to know he sees everything you think, feel, and do, and he still LOVES YOU.

Speaking from personal experience, acting your way into a feeling is a lot harder than feeling your way into acting. You have to go to God in faith when you don’t feel him. There are things that die on the inside of us that keep us from feeling. As you go to God’s well for cleansing, healing and renewal, your physical and spiritual senses will be revived. Your hunger for the word of God and the presence of God will be renewed, and you WILL yet praise him again. I’m praying for you, and believing for you.


Words for 2023: Reclaim and Possess

In 2020, I began asking the Lord to speak to me personally about his direction for my life. I had really made a mess of things in my own life, and God gave me the gift of time to really begin to seek him for what my future would look like. Over the course of the next 2, now almost three years, this evolved into asking for personal words for the new year to spearhead what he wanted me to grow in and accomplish for him and my family, business, and ministry. My tribe, Elevate Life Church, also does this. We align corporately for a vision and mission for the year, and without going into too much detail, it’s been an integral part of my transformation journey.

About a month ago, I was praying in the spirit during my quiet time and I heard the Lord speak two words to me. I had been asking him to reveal to me what he really wanted me to strive for this year. I heard His voice say, “Reclaim and Possess.” I wrote them down in my prayer journal. Sometimes he will give me a word, or a vision or a dream, and I’ve learned to write it down because sometimes it’s not always for me and it’s helped be develop my spiritual senses to where he’s leading me +/- who he’s leading me to to encourage.

I find that going back to the definition of these words helps lend context to what God is trying to say to you because sometimes we think we know what a word means but there’s deeper revelation, or layers of meaning in the things he’s speaking to us. And it’s easy to take a word and run with it, but I have started asking the question, “What demand does this word (or words) put on me to do all and be all that God is calling me to be in this season?”

So, let me lend some context to the meanings of these words.

The definition of reclaim: to retrieve or recover (something previously lost, given, or paid); obtain the return of. get back, claim back, have returned, recover, take back, regain, retrieve, recoup, recuperate, Opposite:forfeit

The definition of possess: to have and hold as property. own. to have as an attribute, knowledge, or skill. to seize and take control of. take into one’s possession. to enter into and control firmly dominate.

The Lord took me to a passage in Joshua, chapter 1, where the former leader Moses had just died and God told the Israelites it was time to cross over into their promised land. Hear these words:

Get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give them.” “I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates- all the Hittite country- to The Great Seas on the west. No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” God then goes on to tell Joshua, “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let the Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified. Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Then Joshua ordered the officers of the people, “Go throughout the camp and tell them people, ‘Get your supplies ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own.

2022 was my year of Promise, Birth, and Expectation. I was to believe for the Promises of God, Expect the Promises of God and allow the Holy Spirit to birth the promises of God through me. I would also experience a birth of the new things He wants to do in my life. Seeds have been incubating inside of me, new ministries, new businesses, new rooms, and now I have new babies, things that are in infant stages to care for and nurture. Things that I have been carrying must now be cared for. For new things to be born, old things had to die. In many areas, this meant letting go of the past, old mindsets, old blue prints, old relationships. New means never been done before. The world hasn’t seen it yet. It requires god-given imagination, bravery, courage..not to speak my truth, but to speak his truth in my life through actions, words, and works. Bravery to be his mouthpiece, to go where he tells me to go and say what he tells me to say. And I’m so grateful.

Reclaim and possess are words for me but they’re also words for his people. His remnant. What things have you forfeited in your past? Did you give up on your dreams? Did you settle for less than God’s best in one or all areas of your life? I’m having this vision of a white round table in a dark room with a spotlight. It’s covered with wrapped presents. Beautiful bows, shiny paper, gifts stacked high. You don’t have to earn the gifts, but you do have to become who God needs you to be in this world to properly steward them. If you’re praying for gifts, or asking God for greater increase in areas of your life, what are you willing to do, to train to be to be prepared for what He’s got for you?- For what you’ve been asking for. In God’s word he says to Israelites, “Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased and possess the land.” Part of who we must become is achieved little by little. A little growth, a little gain. A little growth, a little more gain. Life and success is not a sprint it’s a full-blown marathon. You’ve got to have discipline to have staying-power, or in this case possessing-power.

To possess all of the promises God has for you, it’s going to take, as God told Joshua, strength and courage. When looking through the world’s eyes, this is not exactly the type of landscape that says, “Now’s a great time to start a business, build your dream home, go back to school, etc.” But if you’re journeying through life with kingdom-shades on (think Neo in Matrix), you’re just going to see things God’s way: “Now is the perfect time. I’ve called YOU to this. I’ve equipped YOU for this. I’ve been preparing you for a grand season. Cast off the weights and run your race with grit. Little by little, I will drive out those before you and clear your path so that you can run unhindered into your Promised Land. I’ll build your faith with each victory, if you’ll just trust me and cross over.

During my searching of God’s meaning of reclaim and possess, I found this word that stamps or seals meaning onto and into everything else the Lord has been showing me about these words. Here’s what it says:

“On the way to your promised land, God is going to ask you to do something. This may be where you are right now. You’ve worked on the first five steps, and now…here you sit… right at the water’s edge. But to cross the Jordan, the Israelites had to make the first move (Joshua 3:8) before the waters parted for them. What move do you need to make? What step of faith will open the waters of the Jordan for you? Stop procrastinating and step out of your comfort zone. Don’t get stuck waiting in camp. Dip your toe in the water, and keep moving forward!” -Kenneth Copeland.

It’s time to reclaim your inheritance, your promises. It’s time to possess all of the gifts that God has wrapped and waiting on your table in heaven. It’s time to advance in becoming who God needs you to be to steward what he wants to do in you, to you, for you, and through you. GOOOOOOOOO!

12/29/22 A Word From The Lord

Isaiah 45:5 Amplified

“I am the Great I am. I will not share my glory with another. I do not give in part. I give wholly, completely. I do not partially restore, I completely restore. I revive to LIFE. I desire to revive those whose hearts have wandered, those whose hears have strayed. Those who have given up..who are fainting, fading, dying without me. Some believe their relationship with me is sufficient but the only partially know me. Some think they know me but they only really know about me.

I long to redeem them but they have to come to the cross- remember the cross and what I did for them! I gave my life completely so they could live completely, lacking nothing. Whole. Sanctified. Set apart to know me and serve me.”

I had a dream two nights ago. I was at a garden nursery and was watching as the nursery owner, a woman, was dragging in various bushes and trees that were covered with monarch butterflies. It was getting cold outside and there was a distinct chill in the air. It was past monarch migration season, and I was amazed that there were still so many monarchs clinging to the trees and bushes. As she moved the plants under a covered patio, I saw the butterflies dropping, falling off of the plants onto the ground. They were dying, motionless. They were huge monarchs, about 5-6 inches in wingspan. Some of the plants were partially green, others mostly brown, and some of the trees were completely dead- just dry branches. As I went to look closer, the butterflies would not remove themselves from the dead trees. I also noticed that many of the butterflies were faded, lackluster, some were grayish-white. There were others that were fake, artificial ornamental butterflies that the nursery owners had put on the trees and bushes to make them more appealing to the real butterflies.

Near the butterfly bushes and trees, the nursery owner kept a glass cage, and it full of sticks, leaves, and mirky water with large branches. Inside the cage were two green boa constrictors. I cringed, feeling disgusted. One had just finished defecating. I sat down on the concrete to watch the one while waiting for the nursery owner to finish moving her plants in. I felt something warm in my lap at first thinking, “it’s nice to be warm because it’s so cold out here.” But then I looked down and noticed that it was the second boa constrictor. I calmly (surprisingly) removed it from my lap and stood up. I wanted to revive the butterflies. I wanted to pick them up and take them home so that those that were left wouldn’t die. But I hesitated to just start taking them because I thought it might be stealing from the nursery owner. I told her that I’d be back to buy all of the plants.

The trees are the churches. Some are living, some dying, others are completely dead. Some churches have artificial christians there whose motives are not authentic- not to serve God and love others into a lasting relationship with Jesus. Some are just there to look pretty, or because church is part of their brand appeal. Butterflies are fading and dying because they are connected to Eccelsia that are not connected to the True Vine, Jesus Christ. There was not a single butterfly that was flying. They stuck to the various plants and trees until they fell off to the ground.

The boa constrictors symbolize the works of the enemy that come to suffocate or choke the life out of The Church. They are sneaky, they appear without warning, when the environment is dark, using their heat sensors to detect living prey to devour. Google says they “lie in wait waiting to strike any unsuspecting small creatures.”

What’s interesting about this dream is that for whatever reason, the monarchs failed to migrate with their own kind, as they do each year when the seasons change. They were clinging to things that were dead or dying. And here’s the devil over on the side lines, waiting for it to become dark enough for him to come out and devour his unsuspecting prey. In other words, the few butterflies that were left, he was prepared to destroy.

This word and this dream bears significance to me personally regarding my role in helping strengthen the remnant, but there’s a warning here for anyone who professes to be a christian, and a love letter from God regarding his desire to revive his people now. He sees that it’s getting colder in this world. He sees his people clinging to dead things that are causing them to slowly die. He wants to revive you. He wants to restore everything. Your colors, your wings, your ability to fly, but not before restoring his relationship with HIM FIRST. Do you know Him, only in part? Or do you only know about Him but somewhere along the way you’ve been deceived into thinking that that’s all it takes? Righteousness is not inherited. You don’t get access to Jesus because it was your parent’s belief system. God is saying that he longs to redeem you today. To buy your life with his son’s precious blood. God is saying to come to the cross, look upon Jesus. He gave his life completely so that you could live COMPLETE. Completely. Restored. All you have to do is say YES to Jesus.

I pray that if this word brings conviction to you, that you would go to God, repent, and ask him to show you to know him better. He’s got incredible gifts waiting for you. He’s got new colors for you. New wings for you. Be revived in Jesus today!

I Choose You!

John 15:14-16

A word from the Lord for you today:

“I am in love with my people. I love them with the deep abiding love of a father. Some don’t understand this kind of love because it wasn’t modeled to them by their earthly fathers. They went on a search to compensate for that lack of love, but they found themselves empty and dissatisfied, feeling orphaned, and rejected.

I call them Mine.

I long to be gracious to them. To show them love and acceptance. Their inheritance is found in me. Their hope is in me. Their restoration is in me. I’m calling my children back. Do not turn away from my hands that are open to you. Do not led pride or shame keep you from me any longer. You are not the things you think you are. You are SO much MORE.

You’re valuable to me. You’re my son, my daughter, and I died so you could be with me forever. I CHOOSE YOU!” says the Lord.

John 15:14-16// You didn’t choose me but I have chosen you to go into the world and bear fruit. And your fruit will last, because whatever you ask of my father for my sake, he will give it to you.

A Holy Blueprint

1 Chronicles 28:19 blue watercolor mark with a hand holding a stylus

“I have in writing from the hand of the Lord upon me, and he gave me understanding in all details of the plan.” 1 Chronicles 28:19

David made plans for the temple under the divine inspiration of God. He carefully planned and strategically gathered every item that would be necessary to construct the temple and articles that would be used in sacrifice and worship of God. God spoke to David, telling him in verse 3 of 1 Chronicles, “you are not to build a house for my Name, because you are a warrior and have shed blood.” David told Solomon, “The Lord has chosen you to build a temple as a sanctuary. Be strong, and do the work” (v10). He encourages Solomon more. In verse 20 it says, “David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished. The divisions of the priests and Levites are ready for all the work on the temple of God, and every willing man skilled in any craft will help you in all the work. The officials and all the people will obey your every command.”

I’m here to tell you today that, whatever you’ve been asking God to show you in regards to your life, the ministry, the business….whatever it is, God is saying to you today, “Be strong and do the work.” He’s got your blueprint written in heaven, and as you go to Him in worship with praise, He will reveal the plans, the next steps, and as David said, “understanding of all the details of the plan.” There are treasures waiting for you in the presence of the Lord. Enter his courts with thanksgiving and praise. Go confidently before the throne of God- He has ordained your work for this season. There’s only so much reading, so much research that you can do. You’re prepared. You’re ready! Go to him in faith knowing He will illuminate the way. He’s already got people assigned to help you build. Have faith, trust, and take the next step! Be strong. Be courageous!

The definition of strong is to have the ability to bear or endure; to be firm, solid, well- fortified, able to sustain attacks; not easily subdued or taken.

The definition of courageous means to be bold, confident and of “good cheer.”

The Lord is with you. Keep seeking Him for the next steps, keep going into His presence to praise Him. Submit your plans to Him because He’s got the BEST prepared for you.

New Wine

Mark 2:22

This morning when I woke up, I found myself singing, “Make me a vessel. Make me an offering. Make me whatever you want me to be. I came here with nothing but all you have given me. Jesus make new wine out of me.” Over and over, those words were coming out of me like a prayer, but with no accompanying vision or dream. As I sat down to start my quiet time, I went searching for the full lyrics to the song “New Wine” by Hillsong, and here they are:

In the crushing, in the pressing, you are making new wine. In the soil I now surrender. You are breaking new ground. So I yield to you and to your careful hand. When I trust you I don’t need to understand. Make me a vessel. Make me an offering. Make me whatever you want me to be. I came here with nothing but all you have given me. Jesus, bring new wine out of me. Jesus bring new wine out of me. Where there is new wine there is power, there is freedom. I lay down my old flames to carry your new fire today. The song is here if you’d like to listen.

I heard the Lord say, ” Before I can give new wine, I make new wineskins.”

The scriptures say in 2 Timothy 2:20-26, “In a large house there are articles (vessels) not only of gold and silver but also of wood and clay; some for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy and prepared to do any good work.”

We are all vessels that carry something. Vessels of different status and purposes, but vessels nonetheless. As scripture points out, some of us are being used to bring honor and glory to God while others are carrying purposes that are ignoble or dishonorable. The Bible states that if a person will cleanse himself from the ignoble things, he will be made holy and ready to good works for the kingdom of God.

The reason I talk about vessels is that a wineskin is a vessel, or a container for wine. The Bible states in Mark 2:21-22 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he doesn’t the wine will burst the skins and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, he pours new wine into new wineskins.”

To provide a little context relating to wineskins, I am sharing this passage from The New Frontier Ministries which states, “The new wineskins were filled with unfermented juice and left to age for a period of time. Gasses formed within the wineskin as the flavor, color, balance, and boutique of the wine grew. Because the wineskin was new, it could expand and hold both the wine and the gasses. However, if someone poured unfermented juice into an old wineskin, the forming gasses caused the skin to burst. As a result, they lost both the new wine and old wineskin.”

As I was reading this passage I wrote this:

“God has new wine that he is preparing to pour into his vessels. But the old wineskin, or the old you, won’t support the new wine. He’s in the process of transforming you into a new wineskin and vessel of honor for His good work.” Then the Holy Spirit spoke, “Some are feeling crushed, pressed, but it is me, refining them. Drawing out the sweet, pure fragrance of my work in them. The fragrance will draw others to them so they will be drawn to me. The crushing is making new wine, new rooms, new ministries where my Spirit will not be suppressed. Allow my work in you to be completed so that those who I have ordained will come.”

His words inspired me to look into aroma, and more specifically the art of perfume making. The word perfume is Latin: “per” meaning through, and “fumum” meaning smoke. Ancient perfumes were made by extracting natural oils from plants through pressing and steaming them. The oils were then burned to scent the air. In Exodus, Moses speaks of perfumed anointing oil that was used to anoint the priests and sacred vessels of the tabernacle. 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 states, “For we are the aroma of Christ for those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one, we are the smell of death and to the other, the fragrance of life. Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity like men sent from God.

I just want to encourage you today. You have a treasure, a new wine that God is preparing for you to carry as His vessel. Allow him to continue His transforming work on and in you so that you are fully equipped to carry His glory into where He is sending you. I am praying that you continue to, as the song “New Wine” states, “yield to Him and to His careful hand. I pray that you continue to trust Him when you don’t understand the process. I want to leave you with this verse from 2 Corinthians 4:7 “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God, not from us.”

Praise Hands

Psalms 145:1-5

The Lord has been weed-eating in His church…Pulling up what was choking out His Spirit. Correcting wrong motives, realigning focus to His purposes..to what really matters- worshipping God in Spirit and Truth. Not worshipping him for what He is able to do, but worshipping Him for who He is: The Alpha, The Omega; The Beginning; The End; El Shaddai (God Almighty), El Elyon (The Lord of Heaven and Earth); Jehovah Tsidkenu (The Lord Our Righteousness), Jehovah Rapha (The God who Heals), Jehovah Nissi (The Lord, our Banner); The Lord; The Most High; The One True God who lives and reigns forever and ever!

Will you praise Him for His holiness? Will you praise Him for His righteousness? Magnify the Lord with me! Let us gaze upon his beauty. His Power! His majesty!

He is exalted! He is high and lifted up, and all nations of the earth will bow before Him! In His presence who can stand? There is no one like you, O Holy God!

You are the God of Promise. The God of Restoration. The God of Rebirth. The God of Healing. The God of Justice. The God of Righteousness. The God of Good Things.

Holy is your name. Great and Mighty is Your Power. Your compassion, your grace, and your mercy are unending. You leave us better than when you find us. You save! You heal! You transform! You renew! You set our feet on solid rock. You cause us to climb on heights!

Who can know your mind or your plans? What you do, your ways are a mystery to man! We give you our worship. We give you our praise! We give you our hallelujahs for a thousand generations!

Peace to your Heart

I was on a call with a friend this morning and she confided in me the fear that she was feeling about life, her work, and the landscape of society in general. We were speaking in context of our business relationship, and when I got off the call, I went into my quiet time and begin to pray for her. During worship, the Lord began to speak this to me and released me to share it today. He says,

” My people are afraid. They have allowed the circumstances and the environment around them cause them to lose focus on the things I am doing in this hour. I AM the GREAT I AM. I am making a way where there seems no way. I am aligning people, places, events for my purposes, says the Lord. Do not allow the enemy to steal your focus on who is in control- IT’S ME! Do not look for me in the fire or in the earthquake, or in the wind. You will find me in the secret place. You will hear my still, small voice. I whisper thoughts of love, hope, a future to you. I tell you of great things to come. You are living in a time where miracles abound. Pray for the eyes to see them. I speak peace to your heart today. Nothing is taking place that I have not ordained, and as I sit on my throne I invite you to sit beside me. You will find me when you seek me with your whole heart. Remove the distractions and come and be with me. Activate your faith to believe I AM and that YOU CAN find me. I am not a far off God. I am as close as your breath. Come!”

I want to add to that, don’t give God pieces of you. God desires ALL of you. He created you for His delight and for His glory! And for those of you who feel as though your life is in pieces, or maybe you feel like you’re missing pieces you need before you can come wholly to God, I say just come! Bring whatever you’ve got and come to Jesus. He specializes in turning pieces into masterpieces. He’s the God of restoration and he will restore you. Just come to him! I was reminded of this song I sang in church as a child. I hope that as you listen to it, it’ll settle your anxious heart and that you’ll sense the deep love Jesus has for you. The link is here: Softly and Tenderly

A Form of Godliness

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God- having a form of godliness, but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.” 2nd Timothy 3: 1-5

You might be thinking, “I’m not any of those horrible things!” And while we are seeing evidence of terrible times in present-day culture, for the church, I believe God wants us to really hone in on the latter part of the text. Having a form of godliness indicates that, in the last days, people would look like Christians. What does a form of godliness look like? Perhaps they go to church…maybe they can quote what are non-scriptural cliches within the spheres of Christianity like, “God never gives you more than you can handle”, or “When God closes a door he opens a window.” They celebrate Easter and Christmas (for some they only attend church at Easter and Christmas), and they might even be able to quote a scripture or two. They probably own a bible, but they don’t read it.

In Matthew 7:15 the Bible talks about knowing prophets by their fruit, and we can also use this scripture to apply to the fruit we either see or don’t see in a believer’s life. Trees are known by the types of fruit they bear. As the holy spirit begins to work in the heart of a new believer, God’s character is made manifest through the transformation and refinement of a believer, from the inside out. A person who lives life at the well of Jesus begins to exhibit the fruit of love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. It’s antithetical to the scripture in 2 Timothy that we just reviewed. Those with a form of godliness make an outward display of the “being a christian” on the surface, but there is no depth, no real relationship with Jesus underneath the surface.

We should examine our own fruit, as well as the fruit of those around us. Are we bearing any? Do our day-to-day life, conversations, and associations prove that we are pursuing Jesus rather than adding a dose of Christianity to our worldly lifestyle? It’s important to understand your sphere and the culture of your environment because it is shaping YOU. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Bad company corrupts good character.” Jim Rohn says it this way: “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” Your friendships and associations influence who you are and who you will eventually become. They determine what you value and prioritize. God’s word also says “Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart”, and “They honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me” (Matt. 5:18). We should be the kind of people who live a lifestyle of honoring God first in all things and choosing to align ourselves with other believers aspire to the same kind of righteous living.

This passage from 2nd Timothy invites a pause to self-reflect on who we really are, and the trajectory of our life based on our focus, decisions, and associations. It takes giving the Holy Spirit permission to convict us by showing us where we’ve been getting it wrong so that we can repent and pursue God the way he desires. AND BEAR FRUIT.

Some of God’s people have compromised. They are not quite in the world, not quite in the kingdom of heaven. They look upon and give commentary on the state of the world yet they fail to look inward and examine their own hearts. They have a form of godliness but they stifle the transforming power of the work of the cross, the power to change the world by becoming a living vessel of the message of Jesus Christ. They have made the holy mundane, slowly exchanging the truth of God for a lie. They have a form of godliness but but they are compromising like Ephesus. Paul warns true believers to have nothing to do with such kinds of people.

Verse 16 in 2nd Timothy 3 says, “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. Chapter 4 states, “In the presence of God of Christ Jesus who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage- with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from truth and turn aside to myths. But you keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.”

Today, I pray that you will ask the Holy Spirit to show you the truths he wishes to teach you about your walk with God, your lifestyle, your relationships, and your fruit. May you become closer and closer to God as you pursue a life of true godliness in Him.

Your Sins Are Forgiven

the gritfull life, Matthew 9:1-2

Matthew 9 recounts the time when Jesus healed the paralyzed man. The scripture says:

“Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over, and came to his own town. Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. when Jesus say their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!” (calling himself God because, according to the Torah, only God can forgive sins). Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” Then he said to the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” And the man got up and went home. When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; any they praised God, who had given such authority to men.”

It stands out to me that Jesus would start by saying, “Take heart, son” to the paralytic. He called him son, which identified him as an heir to the kingdom of God. He told him to “take heart.” In other words, gain courage, and confidence. Begin to feel better and hopeful. He then forgave him of his sins.

I want to hone in on the mindset of the paralytic for a minute. Can you imagine not being able to walk and having to be carried in on a mat by friends in to the presence of Jesus? What caused him to become paralyzed? Was it paralysis from birth, or did some sort of accident happen that caused him to become paralyzed? The Bible describes his condition as physical paralysis, but I wonder if he also battled mental paralysis? We can agree that this sounds like a man who was desperate to believe that Jesus was the son of God. He was desperate for a change in his life, and in his circumstances. He needed a miracle, and was just crazy enough to believe that Jesus could do it! Did he come to Jesus in shame? Was his mind filled with doubt as to whether Jesus would heal him? I ask this because Jesus responds with “take heart.” Again, in other words, “Believe I will. Be brave enough to dare to believe. Be confident in my presence.” He called him SON, and forgave his sins. Was this man thinking that his sins would somehow exempt him from being healed?

I love that Jesus started by forgiving him and calling him son. Jesus doesn’t look at us through the lens of our sins. He sees us through the lens of his love and his blood. Because of his sacrifice, when we choose to ask Jesus into our hearts, we become the sons and daughters of God. Heirs, heiresses. Entitled to the benefits of children of God.

Forgiveness of sins followed by healing is a pattern in the bible. The two are connected. These verses illustrate more:

Psalm 103:3 “He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.”

1 Peter 2:24 “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.”

Maybe you’re not dealing with physical paralysis, like the man in the story. But maybe you’re dealing with a mental paralysis…Maybe the devil has convinced you that you can’t go to God for forgiveness because he’s tricked you into believing that “you’re too far gone,” or “your sins are too great.” I’m here to remind you that God already sees all and knows all about you. There’s nothing about your past or your present that is a surprise to Him.

It is the heart of Jesus to forgive you and heal you of whatever it is you’re dealing with right now. Faith is more than knowing He wants to forgive you and heal you. It’s believing that He desires to, and He will, when you make your way to him like the paralytic man did. My prayer for you is that you will let nothing stop you from calling out to Jesus for healing. He’s so faithful and so willing. He will lovingly start by healing your soul, and then He will begin a work of healing in your heart and mind so that you can receive the all of the benefits attached to being an heir with Christ. Go to him! You are his son. His daughter. He desires to make you whole.

10/30/22 A Word From The Lord

Isaiah 43:10

A Word from the Lord: “You have been waiting to be unleashed, and now is the time. ‘Ready or not, here I come,’ says the Lord. Go where I tell you to go, and say what I tell you to say. Don’t add or take away from it. Even if you feel afraid. I will be there to strengthen you and uphold you with my righteous right hand. I will not let you fail. These things are for my purposes, says the Lord. You are my witness and my servant who I have chosen that you may go out and bear fruit so that others may know and understand that I am He. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.

“Tell them: ‘Social media is not a God. Politicians are not Gods. Stop looking for man to fix what’s broken in this world when my son died to fix it. ‘It is finished,’ says the lord! ‘It is finished!’ You are my vessel to reach those I have predestined to know me. Get off the sidelines and get in the game! It’s time to bear fruit. Whether you think you’re ready or not, I know you are.  RUN!” 

Behold! Your Bridegroom!

Matthew 25:6

Early this morning around 3am I heard these words: “Wake up, your bridegroom is coming!” I laid in my bed, trying to wake up but finding myself so drowsy from sleep that I continued to lay there.

This morning in my quiet time, as I talked with the Lord about the urgency of the hour and the words that I woke to, He spoke this word to me:

“I am purifying my bride for such a time as this. I call out their detestable practices. They say they love me with their lips but their hearts are far from me. I must pull back the veil to show them their errors and sin while there’s still time to repent and return to me. Not everyone will listen, but some hearts will be convicted. That’s me- touching their heart because I love them. I want them to be right with me. Made righteous. Pure. I am not coming for a broken bride. I am not coming for a bride that loves me with half of her heart or even just a fraction. I am coming for a bride who has made herself ready to receive me. I died for my bride. She is my beloved, and I am hers. She knows me intimately and understands what I mean when I say this. This is a call to my bride to purify herself. Come out from among them and be separate and touch no unclean thing. Put away the deeds of darkness. It’s almost daylight. Wake up! Behold! Your bridegroom is coming soon!” says the Lord.

He took me to 2 Kings 17: 34 which states,

“To this day they persist in their former practices. They neither worship the Lord nor adhere to the decrees and ordinances, the laws and commands that the Lord gave the descendants of Jacob, whom he named Israel. When the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites, he commanded them: “Do not worship any other gods or bow down to them, serve them or sacrifice to them. But the Lord who brought you up out of Egypt with mighty power and outstretched arm, is the one you must worship. To him you shall bow down and to him offer sacrifices. You must always be careful to keep the decrees and ordinances, the laws and commands he wrote for you. Do not worship other gods. Rather, worship the Lord your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.” They would not listen however, but persisted in their former practices. Even while these people were worshipping the Lord, they were serving idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their fathers did.

When you asked Jesus into your heart, you made a covenant with him, similar to the covenant of marriage. When you enter into a covenant with God it means you agree to keep certain terms and promises. In this instance, the Israelites, the church, and we as individual believers in covenant with Jesus agreed not to worship any other gods, to serve or place anything at a higher value than we place our relationship with Jesus. We agreed to live life according to the Word of God, not according to the world’s standards, worldly aspirations, etc. And His word says in this passage that when we worship the Lord, He delivers us from the hand of all of our enemies. (He promises so much more than that to us, too!) But the bible states that the people of God wouldn’t listen, and they “persisted” in their other practices. To persist means to firmly or obstinately continue in a course of action despite difficulty or opposition. In other words, they continued to gritfully pursue their own desires, lusts, and serve themselves and other “gods”. A little god (with a lowercase g) is anything in your life that you place of greater value above big God (with a big G). A little god is defined as anything you adore, admire, or anything that has influence over you. Little gods or false gods could be money, intimate relationships, work, gambling, alcohol, sleeping in on Sundays..r-rated or x-rated movies…the list is really endless. And alot of Christians profess Jesus but they continue on with the worship and even sometimes secret worship of all of these little gods. Well, the Bible is clear. When you make Jesus Lord over your life- you are saying, “Jesus, I am making you authority over my life. I am making you the influencer of my life. I am making you the master over my life. Rule over me. How then, do you justify the little gods in your life? His word this morning was clear. We are to purify ourselves, turn from our evil ways and our little gods, know Him more intimately. That means tearing down the idols. His word says, you shall have no other gods before me. And maybe you think you’re living life ok in the eyes of Jesus. I encourage you to pray to him and ask him to reveal the idols you’ve set before him. He is so kind and faithful to show us. He doesn’t condemn you. He wants to make you right so you’re awake and ready for his return. For more, please read the text below when Jesus spoke about the parable of the 10 virgins.

Matthew 25: 1-13. “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take along any extra oil. 4But the wise ones took oil in flasks along with their lamps. 5When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

6At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’

7Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’

9‘No,’ said the wise ones, ‘or there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’

10But while they were on their way to buy it, the bridegroom arrived. Those who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet, and the door was shut.

11Later the other virgins arrived and said, ‘Lord, lord, open the door for us!’

12But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’

13Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

No More Distractions

This morning in my quiet time, the Lord took me to 1 Corinthians 7:21. Before I go into the scripture, I need to say that God has been speaking to me about the remnant of believers. I am called by Him to write to them to encourage and correct them. To help them rekindle their relationship and pursue God on a more intimate level. To hear His voice, receive His instruction, and fulfill their assignments on earth. I’ve been thinking about the name of this blog, The Gritfull Life, asking God if I should change it to something else. But the truth is, it takes a measure of faith and grit to live in this day and age. It takes GRIT to be a part of the remnant. I think of the book A Tale of Two Cities when I say this because it truly is the best of times and the worst of times. The darkest hours before the Lord’s return, but the generation that will welcome His return! Before the foundation of the world, God purposed that we would be alive NOW. I don’t know about you but that realization has caused me to ask God every day, “Lord, what do you want me to do???” “How can I be your agent of change? How can I bring you to others and show them that you are living and active, that your plans prevail, and that, even though the darkness is closing in, you are COMING SOON?” “People need you Lord, whether they know it or not yet!” “I’ll go wherever you want me to go. I’ll say whatever you want me to say, if you’ll be with me and make me brave to do it.”

The Lord replied, “I am putting new things in your hands. You have everything you need already. Go where I tell you to go, and say what I tell you to say.”

It’s why I’m writing this blog. Like he instructed me through his word in Habakkuk, “I will stand my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me. I will write the revelation down and make it plain so that a herald (one who makes public proclamation) may run with it. For the revelation waits for an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it lingers, wait for it; it will certainly come and not delay.” Habakkuk 2: 1-3

Reader, I want you to know that everything up till now has been God preparing me for becoming comfortable putting things in writing, believing God for who He is and what He says about me, what He wants me to do, etc. I literally have journals filled with the path and signs he’s been pointing me to. Like the Mandolorian says, “This is the way.” He had to heal my heart first, and bring me to a place where I could receive and release what He wants for His people. I’ve been tiptoeing into the pool of this ministry that I’ve known He’s called me to my whole life. Now I believe and know that it’s not me, it’s HIM. And the gifts he has given me are for you, for his glory, through Jesus Christ. For such a time as this.

Ok, now to the scripture:

“What I mean brothers, is that time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed by them. For this world in its present form is passing away.” 1 Corinthians 7:21

I asked the Lord, why He would show this to me now? Beyond what I’ve just said to you about being a voice for Him to His remnant, I grew up in church environments where I saw leaders in the church use scripture like this to justify leaving their wives, walking away from ministry, etc. Of course, being a pre-teen at the time, I wasn’t wise in the scriptures, and thus formed a very biased view of how “Christians” interpreted the Bible to give themselves permission to do whatever they wanted, thanks to “grace.” And while that’s a whole other lesson that needs to be unpacked, corrected, and re-aligned to the TRUTH of the Bible, it bears mentioning here because God is not giving us permission as women to exit our marriages. Basically, He’s saying, that we as believers should make the most of our time before Christ’s return. Every person in every generation should have a sense of urgency about telling others about Jesus because life is short. We don’t know the day or the hour of Christ’s return. We should be focused on what really matters. HIM, and making Him known.

The Lord spoke to me to share with you today:

“There are people who are still focused on fixing others rather than themselves. My word says there is no one righteous, no, not one. I want my people to seek me for healing, wholeness, fullness, and peace. But they are searching everywhere else for anything else that could possibly satisfy. ‘Well’, I ask, ‘Are they satisfied?’ Before I ask the question, I already know the answer. I am calling- you who are hungry, come and eat. You who have bread, come and find me and be satisfied. I will give freely.”

Time is running out. It sounds as though you’re still searching elsewhere for satisfaction. I want to encourage you to seek God while he may be found. If you’ve wandered away from reading your bible, going to church, and fellowshipping with other believers, it’s time to return. Build yourself up in the most holy faith, and pray in the holy spirit. Stay awake, he is coming soon.

Come Home To Me

A word for the Lord:

” I am a patient God. I long for everyone to come to me as the Prodigal returned to his father. I am not a father who shames or condemns you. I am here, ready to receive all who would come home to me.

I think about you every day when you’re far away from my presence. As a father longs to keep his heirs close to him, so I long to have you with me everyday.

Return to me.

Come home.

Come back to your father.

I am here with open arms.”

Hidden Treasure

I’m feeling so burdened for those who don’t know the Word of God. I’ve been participating in a bible study with several women from my church and have realized just how little biblical knowledge exists within the group.

The Bible calls the word of God our weapon, our sword (Ephesians 6:10-18) At a time when spiritual warfare and darkness are at an all-time high, it’s frustrating to witness the lack of gumption believers have to read the word of God for themselves. I’ve listened as several have made what are ultimately excuses: “I can’t understand it”; “I don’t like to read, I prefer to listen”; and, “I don’t have time to read it”.

Can’t you just hear the devil’s voice in those comments? His job is to rob us of all of the good things God has for us. If he can convince anyone that it’s pointless to connect with God by opening His word and letting the holy spirit speak to them, he’s already won the battle. (But thank God that God wins the WAR.)

The devil has a plan of destruction for you. A plan for evil. A plan that will harm you. Plans to take your hope and your future. While God’s plans for you are the opposite! But how can you know what God’s plans for you are so you can mature in a relationship with him and walk in the paths he’s ordained for you? How can you know your best friend if you don’t spend any time getting to know Him?


“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).

I can personally attest to this. During the past two years, God changed the circumstances of my life to bring me to a place where I could meet with him daily. Was I faithful every day? No. But each and every time I met him in the same place with my Bible and journal in hand, He was (and continues to be) so faithful. For the first few weeks I met with him, I would pray and be still, and I would hear the words “I love you” whispered to me. Tears would flood my eyes. It was the last thing I was expecting to hear from someone who knew all of my mistakes.

God and Jesus are gentlemen. They don’t force themselves on anyone. No guilt. No condemnation. They are patient to wait for us to go to them. And when you finally decide to, they have so many things to say to you if you will just carve out the time! The Word will come alive to you in a way that you never dreamt possible. I PROMISE!

For the next two years, The Lord would take me on a journey through His Word to heal my heart, correct my thoughts, deliver me from my past, and show me the beautiful future He had planned for us together. I began writing again to save our conversations, the scriptures, and the promises he was giving me.

I just want to encourage any professing Christian to develop the daily habit of reading the Word of God. The Word of God is living. It’s active. It transcends time and your circumstances. God can use a passage of scripture to minister to you in one season and recall it again in a completely different season and it’s just bursting with new meaning.

It’s like having a treasure map. You have to trust that the person who wrote the map did it correctly and it will actually lead you to treasure. You pursue the treasure and when you find it, you’re heart overflows with excitement! You’re rich! In this case, the treasure is the word of God. God is the map maker, and when you find that His Word is so personal to your situation, you know that you are seen and loved by the true God who you can’t see. It’s like putting fertilizer on your faith! You instantly become hungry for more of Him. As you continue to grow in relationship and mature, He will show you more and more. It’s amazing, and awesome, and humbling.

It’s like the parables in Matthew 13:

(vs. 44) “The Kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”

Start your Treasure Hunt

I’m here to tell you right now, you have the time. And I’m here to declare over you, you CAN understand the word of God. God has specific things He wants to say to you about you because He loves you. He wants you to know the real him. He doesn’t want a relationship with you through your pastor or anyone else!

There are literally more than 100 complete English translations of the Bible in existence today. It’s possible to find one that reads at a level of your comprehension.

I’m old school. I personally like to hold a Bible and read it. I keep it in the same place every day with my journal so it’s ready to go for our standing appointment. I like to highlight and mark mine. I write out prayers around scripture. I’ve had the same bible for 24 years and it’s interesting to see the notes, perspective shifts, and prayers through the years. God is so faithful to call us back to him.

I’m not here to call anyone a “bad Christian” but there comes a point in time when you have to make an honest judgment about yourself. Evaluate the amount of time you spend on social media, at social events, working out, etc. I’m sure that if you were honest with yourself and were able to shave off 10 minutes of time from what you determine to be an excessive activity in your life, you’d have more than enough time to allow God to speak to you through his word.

A Prayer For You To Find The Treasure in the Word of God

Lord, I pray for the person reading this message. I pray that this is confirmation and conviction you bring with love to inspire a desire for a new level of intimacy with you for the person praying this prayer. I pray that you would help them cultivate discipline to meet with you daily, without distraction. I pray that you would lead them to the bible translation that would break any barrier to understanding your word, and I pray for the breath of your Holy Spirit to reveal a fresh and deep understanding of YOU. I pray that they would hide your word deep in their heart so that they would not sin against you. I pray that today is the day where they begin to know you better so that they can grow into everything you’ve designed them to be. In the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.

Deep Roots

Proverbs 8:5

When God gives us a new thing, it starts as a seed. If you’ve ever tried to grow a plant from seed you know how slow the process can be. Imagine a seed buried deep in the soil, with the gardener or farmer towering overhead each day, watching and waiting for any new signs of life to emerge…nourishing a plant with sun and water…creating an ideal environment for the seedling to begin to thrive. It can take weeks to see signs of life, even when the season and environment are right.

This morning I was asking God to show me the direction he has for three different initiatives I recently started. My default actions have always been to sprint to and through the things that I believe He’s calling me to, full of faith and excitement, and mixed with a heaping tablespoon (ok, a cup full) of impatience. When I discover that He’s not working on my schedule, I typically have a little mental setback. The truth is, I want what I want when I want it. I know, very childish, but it’s the truth!

The Lord stopped me this morning and reminded me of the seed in the dirt. Something is happening in the dark, even when we can’t see it. The root system is being established to support, nourish, and sustain the plant before the new bud appears on the surface of the soil. When the farmer plants the seed, he doesn’t return to his garden every day to dig the seed up and check to see if it’s growing. He trusts that the seed is going to do what it was designed to do. The same is true in our lives.

I was asking God for wisdom to know his will about the three initiatives. You have no idea how many times I’ve asked for him to stamp his confirmation on these things. How deep are your roots? You might think that it’s growing time, and it is, but He’s got to grow your roots first- so that when the wind blows, out plants don’t break or blow away.

I remembered this from the story of Exodus 13:17ff: “When God let the people out of Egypt, He did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt armed for battle. ” Sometimes the delays are for our protection. Our development. God knows we aren’t ready yet. He needs our roots to be deep and well-established. We need to develop wisdom and mix it with our faith so that we are ready to manage the harvest when it’s due season.

The Bible also says in Proverbs 9:

“Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn out its 7 pillars. She has prepared her meat mixed with wine; she has also set her table. She has sent out her maids and she calls from the highest point in the city. Let all who are simple come in here! She says to those who lack judgment, “Come and eat my food, and drink the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of understanding.”

Bottom line: Don’t doubt what He’s called you to grow just because you can’t see the majestic leaves, blooms, and fruit yet. Pray for God’s supernatural wisdom and divine insight for the things he’s calling you to, and go to His Word for direction. He will illuminate your path while continuing to till the soil of your heart. He’s making YOU ready. Continue the preparation to where He’s guiding you.

A word from the Lord: Wisdom is not found in a recipe box. You can’t flip to answers to become wise. Wisdom comes from depth. The depth of my Word. You will find wisdom with time spent in my Word.

Proverbs 8:5 “You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, gain understanding. Listen for I have worthy things to say. I open my lips to speak what is right. My mouth speaks what is wise. Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.”