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.

Forerunners

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
For,
“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.

Achor

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.”

Cain

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

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.

Shaken

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.”

Remember Your First Love

A word from the Lord:

Revelation 2:4 Remember your first love

“My people are asleep. They have allowed the cares of this world to draw them away from their first love, but time is short. The harvest is coming, and I am preparing the threshing floor. Those whose hearts are rooted in me will be saved. And as the wheat is separated from the chaff, so will I separate those who worship me in Spirit and in Truth. Do not mourn for them. They had teachers and prophets, but they made their choice as I knew they would.

Consecrate yourself for my purposes for such a time as this. I am going to get my glory. The time has come and there are still those who must come to the well. Do what I tell you to do. Say what I tell you to say. Lives depend on it.”

Obviously this is a very sobering word. I went to the Bible for deeper understanding of several points God made in this word he spoke to me.

God’s People Are Asleep

In 1Thessalonians 4:4-8, the bible states:

4But you, brothers, are not in the darkness so that this day should overtake you like a thief. 5For you are all sons of the light and sons of the day; we do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6So then, let us not sleep as the others do, but let us remain awake and sober. 7For those who sleep, sleep at night; and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and the helmet of our hope of salvation.”

God is about to wake up his church. He is making his bride ready for his return.

But his word says that not everyone will be ready.

He illustrates this in The Parable of the 10 Virgins.

Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

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

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

“‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’

10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.

11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’

12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’

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

They Have Forgotten Their First Love

In the book of Revelation, chapter 2, God gives a warning to the church of Ephesus. Ephesus is known as “the compromising church” in the last days before the return of the Lord. The Lord tells them:

 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.

Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

The Harvest Is Coming

The threshing floor is a place where God separates the wheat (the harvest) from the chaff (the things of no value to the farmer). God’s word says that he values those who walk in righteousness, whose ways are fully pleasing to him, who bear fruit in every good work, and who increase in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:10). Just as all mankind is given a choice, we are not to mourn for those who have chosen life outside of the salvation of Jesus Christ. God’s word also says not to look back, but to keep our hand to the plow and keep to the harvest (Luke 9:62). Lives depend on our bringing the hope of Jesus into their hopeless situations.

It’s Time To Dedicate Yourself To The Lord’s Purposes

God clearly said that it’s time to make the decision to consecrate yourself for his purpose now. I can’t help but think of Esther who had just become queen when the decree for the slaughter of the jews was made by Haman and the king. Mordecai spoke these words:

13And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. 14For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

God is faithful. He will do that which he says he will do. He will deliver his people whether you’re on board or not.

If you’re reading this and you’ve been asking God for clarity or confirmation for your role in the ingathering of believers, I pray you receive confirmation from his word and that you seek the Lord for your specific role. We are his hands and feet. We are his light in this dark world.

Lead Others To The Well

The truth is our words and our actions in these days either point to the hope of Jesus or they testify against it. My mom used to say, “preach the gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.” Today is the day to wake up from sleep for our salvation is nearer than before. Open your bible and commune with God. He is waiting to speak with you. Make time for him in your daily schedule. How can you do what he wants and say what he needs you to say if you haven’t made time to listen to him? Yield to him, and let him use you!

There are divine appointments ahead on your journey.

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Burn the blueprint

Behold, I am doing a new thing. Isaiah 43:19

I’ve been seeking God diligently for the past two years about how he wants to use me. Honestly, I believe that everything leading up to now has been a process of a systematic “letting go” of what I thought my life would look like. I find myself waking up most mornings, going through my day-to-day activities, but searching for the reason why God purposed me to live in this generation. Do you ever think about that?

It doesn’t take a genius to see the convergence of signs that point to the soon return of Jesus. First for his bride, and then to rule and reign. I can’t help but want to tell everyone, but I also battle imposter syndrome. Some of my limiting thoughts include:

“I’m not a bible scholar. ” (BUT I am a bible READER and strive to be a bible doer)

“People will think I’m a crazy bible-beater.” (but some people’s eyes might be opened!)

“I’ll lose business…friends..” (but what if I win business and make new friends?)

“My past disqualifies me from being someone He’d use.” (lie, btw)

I can quote scripture, and I can tell you the story of how he’s loved me, delivered me, and healed me, but I can’t sketch out an end times timeline for you. I feel a sense of urgency in my spirit that I must do something, but I’ve also made mistakes in the past where I believed God wanted to use me, and I didn’t see what I would call “success” in those circumstances.

So here I am.

HERE I AM.

Wait a minute- that’s my life verse. “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then said I, “Here I am. Send me!”

The truth is, I don’t have all the answers. But I know who does. And all He really asks is, “Who’s available?”

I once had a prophet speak over me, “I’ve (the Lord) been waiting for you to LET GO of what you can’t, of what you shouldn’t be having anymore”, (this was 10 years ago, btw, so the struggle of letting go is real. But so is the perfect timing of God).

The thing he wants us to do is NEW.

A word from the Lord: It’s never been done. You can’t look for a blueprint of what it looks like, because it’s being invented in you. created in you, by me, for my people. It’s not a copycat ministry. You don’t need the blessing or approval of anyone to start. I will anoint it. I’ll put my hand on it because I’ve got healing for the nations coming.

“Behold I am doing a new thing. Do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19

Burn the blueprint. Seek him. Be available. And start where you are with what you have.

Engraved

See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands. Isaiah 49

Isaiah has always been one of my favorite books of the Bible because it speaks of restoration, comfort, deliverance, and hope. This morning in my quiet time I flipped open my Bible to Isaiah 49, which speaks of the restoration of Israel. Take a look below.

But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me, and the Lord has forgotten me.”

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.

Isaiah 49: 14-16

God’s promise of restoration often comes at times where we feel restoration is hopeless. As I read the scriptures, I could relate to being like Zion, saying, “God doesn’t care about me. Where is God? I don’t matter to God.” I can’t even type those thoughts without tears welling up in my eyes because I remember how dark those times were for me. And while those were real feelings, feelings aren’t FACTS. The TRUTH is, God has always been present in my life, just as he has been in yours.

I asked Jesus into my heart at 6 years old. The first conversation I had with God was at 7 years old when I prayed Isaiah 6:8 for the first time. God knew just how much I would need him, and I believe that’s why He revealed himself to me at a very young age. Did bad choices and bad circumstances have consequences in my life? YES. I had to do a lot of reaping of things that weren’t quite so lovely. But I love this love note from God that reminds all of us, no matter what, that He has never left or forsaken us:

v. 16). “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.”

The definition of engrave means to literally scratch or scrape. Seriously!? God loves you so much that he has YOU tattooed on his hands?! I can’t help thinking of Tommy Boy: “That’s gonna leave a mark!”

But what about your walls?

In the Bible, walls symbolize protection, security, a place of shelter. During the time of Nehemiah, the restored walls of Jerusalem became a unifying force for God’s people, a symbol of inheritance and belonging. When the walls of Jerusalem were intact, it served as an indication to God’s people that God’s hand of protection and prosperity was on them. God is saying he’s ensuring you’re protected. I’d even go as far to say, he’s watching for possible breaches, and if you’re in fellowship with Him, He’ll tell you and show you how to correct them.

As believers living in a chaotic world, it’s absolutely necessary to remember that God isn’t like us. He’s God! He doesn’t make empty promises. He doesn’t make plans for us only to cancel at the last minute. He doesn’t say kind things, only to turn his back and speak ill of us. He’s not a surface friend- someone you can’t go into deep conversation with. He doesn’t ghost (except for the holy ghost, ha). His ways are not our ways. He He hasn’t forgotten you. He can’t. You are engraved on Him.

For more on the book of Isaiah (Yes, do it. Isaiah is amazing!), watch this video: Isaiah for the Visual Learner

God in a box

Is your thinking too little? Are your dreams too small? Did you put God in a box?

You cannot contain the creator of the universe, but you can limit his power to do the impossible in your life by limiting your belief in what he’s capable of.

God.does.not.change. PERIOD. Scripture says he’s the same yesterday, today, and forever.

The same God that saved Noah, that delivered young David from the bear and the lion, that provided for widow and Elijah…that God manifested his physical presence in Jesus. Jesus performed thousands of miracles of healing, deliverance, and provision. He’s still doing it today. He’s still doing miracles. I’m not talking about tiny miracles (you know, the kind we explain away as coincidence) either. If you want to see God do miracles in your life, take him out of your box. Seek him. Just ask. He’s a good God and he loves his creation. He loves his kids.

I was praying one morning, literally begging God to do something that I had been asking him to do for a while. I heard him say, “You don’t have to beg me, just ask me.” I am guilty of sometimes forgetting that his love is continually unconditional. It’s unmerited. And he gives it in abundance.

Isn’t it refreshing to know that we don’t have to do anything to deserve it or be worthy of it? I’m still learning that even at 41 years old (after feeling unworthy of love for most of my life) he doesn’t see us through the lens of our mistakes or our deficiencies. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. He’s looking at us through the eyes of a loving father. Let that sink in for a moment.

It doesn’t stop there. He has good things for us. His word says he knows the plans he has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us hope and a future. Plans like that can only come from a good GOD. It’s our responsibility to be open and willing to the plans he has for us; to submit to his will for our lives. At one point in my life, I interpreted that to mean that accepting God’s plans for my life meant that I just had to deal with suffering and lack, but that’s out of alignment with Jeremiah 29:11 (quoted above). I didn’t realize it at the time but I had put God in a box.

I want to encourage you to reflect on your beliefs about God and Jesus today. Do you really believe that he’s still capable of performing miracles? Because miracles aren’t Bible stories. They’re accounts that are meant to build your hope to dare to believe. Do you receive that he wants to do miracles for you because he loves you? He wants to do miracles in you AND through you. You’re meant to be a miracle for someone on his behalf.

When you finally catch this thought and let it take root in your heart, you’re going to see the miracles of the Lord begin to manifest in your life. Take him out of the box you have built for him. Let him be God, and let him use you.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus your own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.