Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Isaiah 49-53: Made Whole

Isaiah 53:5

Amplified Bible (AMP)
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.

A pencil drawing of Jesus hangs on my kitchen wall and underneath it the words of Isaiah 53:5 stand out.  It is God's promise to us...

  • He was wounded for our transgressions
  • He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities
  • He bore chastisement so we could have peace and well-being in our souls
  • His wounds pave the way for our healing and wholeness

Never had these words been so real to me as when I was extremely ill after having developed a post-surgical infection.  High fever, no appetite, extreme weakness overtook my body, but more concerning to me was the assault on my soul.  I had had peace consistently through the turmoil of a breast cancer diagnosis and subsequent bilateral mastectomy, but this infection was different.  Not only was it negatively impacting my body, but it was tempting my soul to give in to defeat.  
I remember garnering enough strength to walk to the kitchen.  Sitting down and near tears, I caught sight of...

"But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole."

Suddenly, peace filled my soul and a new resolve rose up.  The infection remained, but my all was well with my soul!
Soul assaults will come in various ways, but what remains eternal is God's promise.  What Jesus endured paves the way for us to be made whole in body, in soul and in spirit!

How awesome is that?

Thank You, Lord, for giving Yourself up for us.  We receive what You have obtained for us in our bodies for healing, in our souls for peace and in our spirits for a cleansing of transgressions.  Empower us to stand on Your promises no matter what circumstances present themselves.  In the great and awesome name of Jesus, AMEN!!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

2 Kings 18:9-19:37; Psalm 46, 80, 135: Winds of Change

Psalm 135:7

Amplified Bible (AMP)
Who causes the vapors to arise from the ends of the earth, Who makes lightnings for the rain, Who brings the wind out of His storehouses;
Who smote the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and beast;
Who sent signs and wonders into the midst of you, O Egypt, upon Pharaoh and all his servants;
10 Who smote nations many and great and slew mighty kings—
11 Sihon king of the Amorites, Og king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan.
Emphasis mine.

Several weeks ago, I heard the Lord say, "The winds are changing."  I had been involved in an emotionally charged situation which waxed and waned for about 13 years.  I reacted emotionally to what I perceived to be the actions of others.  I honestly believe each of us was correct in our perceptions, HOWEVER, I also believe that satan magnified the situation in the thoughts of each concerned. 
When I heard the Lord's word, I just knew that it meant the situation would finally be resolved and true unity would arise...
I assumed that God would finally allow the others to see how satan had played all of us, BUT it didn't happen that way.  The "winds of change" blew me out of the detrimental emotional environment.  
Please don't assume that this environment was bad, no, on the contrary, these people truly love the Lord, but for me, it was detrimental to my soul, my family, my call, my destiny.
This is a cathartic post for me, but I believe each of us go through similar trials.  
The crux of what I want to impress on your heart is that I did not run away from the battle.  I prayed and waited, prayed and waited, prayed and waited until God's wind blew me out of the situation.
We need to wait for God to direct us, not take it upon ourselves to run away when things get tough.  God is the One Who is in charge, period.
His wind was the guide and sometimes a storm guides us too.
We sometimes equate a storm to spiritual warfare or punishment or an event that blows us off the set course, BUT let me submit to you, that sometimes God sends a storm to get us back on course, His course for our lives.  We cannot assume that difficult circumstances (storms) are always for our destruction.  Maybe its God's creative way to get us back on course.

Thanks, Lord, for guiding us through and by the storm, Your wind, Your voice, etc. Help us always to "see" Your hand of love in every circumstance. We love You and submit our lives to You, however, You choose to work it out however You desire. In Jesus Wonderful Name, AMEN!!!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Isaiah 44-48: Let Worship Arise, Flee From the Chaldeans!

Isaiah 48:20

Amplified Bible (AMP)
20 Go forth out of Babylon, flee from the Chaldeans  with a voice of singing declare, tell this, cause it to go forth even to the end of the earth; say, The Lord has redeemed His servant Jacob!

Israel had been taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar, who was a Chaldean.  During the siege upon God's people, Chaldean forces attacked and burned God's temple and carried the instruments of worship back to Babylon.  In that day, the instruments of worship were the items used by the priests to offer sacrifices to the Lord, such as the brazen (bronze) lavers, golden candelsticks, pots, bowls and tongs, etc.
Many years ago, I heard the Lord say, "The Chaldeans are coming!"  At that time, I didn't understand what He meant.  After doing some Bible research, I felt like God was speaking of a spiritual assault, not a physical one.  The spirit of the Chaldean was indeed coming against His people, just as in antiquity the physical Chaldeans came against Israel.  
God was warning that the Chaldean spirit would carry away the instruments of worship today...our heart of worship.  

How could our heart of worship be carried away?

  • when the cares of this world overwhelm
  • when our comfort takes precedence over ministry to others
  • when hurt hearts refuse healing 
  • when our eyes turn away from God toward any other thing or person

How can we reclaim our heart of worship?

According to verse 20, we can escape the captivity of the Chaldeans by...

...coming out from Babylon.  

Babylon is representative of a stronghold.  The only stronghold in our life should be the stronghold of His Spirit upon our being.  Any other stronghold must be identified and eliminated.  According to wiki.answers.com, 

The Greek word for stronghold, taken literally, means a fortress. It is used in the Bible also as a metaphor to represent things that are based only on human confidence or pride, as opposed to those that rely on God's input and guidance.Strongholds are walls or fortresses around beliefs and emotions to protect us from further pain. An important part of healing and transforming the deep wounds, requires divinely pulling down the strongholds.
I believe that is a lifelong process!  We must constantly be on guard against the formation of a stronghold.  Only the Holy Spirit can identify and eliminate strongholds in our life.

...fleeing from the Chaldeans.

Moment by moment we must choose God.  When the Chaldean assaults our heart of worship, we must submit ourselves to God, resist the devil, and he WILL flee!

...singing songs of deliverance over ourselves and others.  

Last night, the Lord told me He was singing songs of deliverance over me, constantly!  I have only heard the Lord singing a few times, but those times will be remembered for all eternity!  I didn't hear Him singing last night, but He promised He was singing. 

Psalm 32:7
Amplified Bible (AMP) 
You are a hiding place for me; You, Lord, preserve me from trouble, You surround me with songs and shouts of deliverance.  Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
I cooperate with the Lord as I sing those songs over myself and others.  It is in this way our heart remains pure in the face of continued assault.  There is no better way to insulate our heart from offense, but to sing over those who have hurt us.  

...remembering that the Lord has redeemed us.

According to bible.org, 

Redemption means to free someone from bondage. It often involves the paying of a ransom, a price that makes redemption possible. The Israelites were redeemed from Egypt. We were redeemed from the power of sin and the curse of the Law (Gal. 3:13) through Jesus (Rom. 3:24; Col. 1:14). We were bought with a price (1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23).
Although we may sometimes fall to sin, truly it has no power over us.  We have been set free from sin's grip by the power of the Risen One, Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords!!!

Holy Spirit, we respond to your call to "Go forth out of Babylon, flee from the Chaldeans  with a voice of singing declare, tell this, cause it to go forth even to the end of the earth; say, The Lord has redeemed His servant Jacob!"  We trust that You will identify any stronghold in our life that is not You!  By Your power, we turn our back on anything which attempts to usurp the worship that is due only to You!  In the name of Jesus, AMEN!!!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Isaiah 40-43: I Will Harden You to Difficulties

Isaiah 41:10 
Amplified Bible (AMP) 

"Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice."

The longer I live on this earth, the more I realize that the spirit of fear controls or attempts to control the masses...through the news, a diagnosis, in relationships.  I started writing this post weeks ago, but didn't know how to proceed.  During my bike workout today, the Lord gave me a download!  :) 

Fear is a spirit.  

2 Timothy 1:7

"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice,of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control."

I have witnessed Holy-Spirit filled Christians succumb to the spirit of fear.  Fear holds us back from our destinies.  Fear causes internal turmoil, which affects our body negatively.  Fear clouds our discernment, causing us to perceive others and situations incorrectly.  Oftentimes, this discernment play directly into the hands of the evil one, spreading disunity through suspicion and mistrust.  

I have fallen to fear's tactics!

Just this past Sunday, my emotions were stirred previous to the sermon and during worship.  Thinking about how others think about me.  That's fear.  I admit it and cast it down in the name of Jesus!  If others react towards me because of fear's whispers, my response should be prayer, not, get upset.  You see, the Lord is hardening me to difficulties.  He helps me in my time of trouble! Time and time again, He has proven Himself to me.  He holds me up with His victorious right hand!!!  He has commanded me, "Sit down, while I stand up for you."  

I'm thankful this emotional attack did not last long.  I submitted myself (I actually got down on the floor) to the Lord during worship, and the evil one fled.  satan can not stand it when we resist him and submit ourselves to God, because when we do, grace is released into our situation.  Grace is God's power.  And satan got nothing on God!!!!

James  4:7

New King James Version 

"Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you."

What's awesome is that Sunday's sermon was all about resisting the spirit of fear!!!  I just love the Lord, how He speaks, makes me feel His love!!!

God will always bring righteousness and justice to situations.  It occurs in His time.  It manifests in His way.  AND during the process, He hardens us to difficulties, causing our faith muscles to enlarge!  I'm all about toned muscles physically and spiritually!!!

In case, you have forgotten.  I love you all, and I declare we will not remain muzzled by fear.  I declare we will love each other in ways that honor the Lord.  We will not have our discernment skewed by fear's influence.  All for the love of Jesus and in His name.  AMEN!!!