Sunday, May 31, 2015

Esther 6-10: It Shall Be Granted, It Shall Be Done!

The book of Esther presents an encouraging example of how God pours His grace (power) through willing vessels.   You and I have been called to stand against the spiritual enemies which come against us.

Whether those enemies manifest as sickness or strained relationships or employment difficulties, it is important to remember the true source of attack.  It is not the person standing in front of you, it is the spiritual realm attempting to thwart your calling and destroy your life.

Purim is the Jewish holiday that celebrates God's victory over the enemies coming against His people.  It serves as a reminder to us that we too must stand against the enemy, reveal his tactics, rescue those who have fallen to deception.  The evil one is the enemy, not people!  Keep this in mind the next time someone talks behind your back or bullies you to your face.

Seasons of difficulty may arise, but a season has a beginning and an end.  It won't last.  Spring follows winter, but the change of season is not abrupt.  Gradually, the days become warmer.  Little by little brown grass greens, and suddenly, spring has sprung.  The winter has passed.  New life is visible all around us. 

But even in the midst of difficulty, our father offers us peace.  He will open our eyes to see the end of winter.  We can perceive the new life of spring.  We can identify His blessings even in the middle of the battle.  God's grace makes it possible!

The celebration of Purim reminds us that God always from enemies.

 Sorrow is transformed into gladness by our awesome God.
Mourning is remodeled, and a holiday is declared!

Just as Esther stood before King Ahasuerus, our heavenly King is calling us to stand before Him. I can hear His voice speaking through the ancient Babylonian king's word's.
Esther 9:12c
Amplified Bible (AMP)
"Now what is your petition? It shall be granted to you. Or what is your request further? It shall be done."
Take courage, receive His grace, stand before the King!  Make your petition and it shall be granted; it shall be done!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Esther 1-5: The Hadassah Connection

At times the Lord speaks clearly in a still small voice.  At other times, He communicates using symbolism to stir curiosity.  Today, He is speaking symbolically.

I have been studying the Bible chronologically, and  today's reading begins with the book of Esther.  In Hebrew, Esther means Hadassah, which means "myrtle" when translated into English.

What are the odds that I would be reading a book whose name means "myrtle" while I am vacationing in Myrtle Beach? I do not believe in coincidence.  I believe God is speaking, but sometimes discovering what He saying takes a little research.

Proverbs 25:2
Amplified Bible (AMP)

It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the glory of kings is to search out a thing.

The scientific name for the myrtle plant is Myrtus communis or Greek Myrtle.  It is an evergreen, an upright shrub grown for its fragrant foliage and ability to withstand clipping. A perfect plant for a topiary or hedge. From midsummer to early fall, it produces solitary, white flowers which are followed by purplish-black berries. It may grow to 10 feet tall, but there are many dwarf varieties available. Grow in moist, well-drained soil that is moderately fertile. Full sun is best (

According to Judaic symbolism, the myrtle has smell but no taste, meaning a person who performs good deeds without the learning of the Torrah.  Myrtle corresponds to the eyes, enlightenment (Judaism 101:Sukkot).

I feel like God is reminding me that I am to continue being taught by His Spirit so that I smell and taste good to the Lord.  It's a continual maturation process from one level of glory to the next.

As Hadassah was obedient to Mordecai, I am to continue in obedience to the leading of His Spirit, which enlightens my understanding and causes me to see people and situations the way He does.

Esther 2:10
Amplified Bible

Esther had not made known her nationality or her kindred, for Mordecai had charged her not to do so.

No matter the season, the myrtle an evergreen plant retains its fragrant leaves reminding me that whatever situation arises, my fragrance (response) is to be sweet and lovey.  The Lord has given me the ability to withstand clipping. He prunes and trims areas in me that do not bear fruit allowing my roots to strengthen and deepen. 

Deeper and stronger roots increase the health of a plant enabling it to withstand times of drought.  More abundant fruit also result.  So it is with me.  Difficult times, dry seasons in my life have increased the quality of my roots in the Lord.  My, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control ripen and become a blessing for those around me to taste. 

Finally, just as God was aware of Haman's plot to annihilate His people in Persia, He is aware of any plot the evil one sets against me.  He has my back.  He is my guard.  He knows where I sleep and the specific location of my vacation.  :)

Although, I believe today's insight was for me, you can be assured that God is aware of your location and circumstances.  He will protect and lead you too if you let Him. 

Blessings to you my friends!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Zechariah 10-14: He Hears the Silent Scream

Zechariah 10:11
Amplified Bible (AMP)

11 And [the Lord] will pass through the sea of distress and affliction [at the head of His people, as He did at the Red Sea]; and He will smite down the waves of the sea, and all the depths of the [river] Nile shall be dried up and put to shame; and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down and the scepter or rod [of the taskmasters of Egypt] shall pass away.

I love the imagery of this verse.  When the Lord leads, He smites down the waves of distress and affliction. 
Imagine being trapped in a tumultuous storm encompassing body, soul and spirit.  The sea's waves overwhelm and water displaces the oxygen in the lungs.  Gasping for air, yet only taking in more water, the process of drowning occurs.  

Drowning is a silent event. A drowning person no longer has the ability to scream, raise her head or arms out of the water, or struggle violently (Zafares, 1998).
Often a person experiencing emotional turmoil screams silently as well. 

Jesus hears the silent screams of a drowning heart.  He passes through "the sea of distress and affliction" and "will smite down the waves of the sea."
Hold fast to the One Who will save you!  In the midst of the violent waves, He is with you passing before you "through the sea of distress and affliction."  He makes a way where there is none.  He makes the mountain a plain and straightens the crooked path.  He will never leave you and certainly never forsake you.  He is faithful...always!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Zachariah 9: His Eyes are Upon Us

Zechariah 9:8
Amplified Bible

Then I will encamp about My house as a guard or a garrison so that none shall march back and forth, and no oppressor or demanding collector shall again overrun them, for now My eyes are upon them.
Thinking back over the challenges faced in my life, I remember, I see that God was always there.  At times my soul was so distressed and stirred that I was ignorant to His Presence, but now I understand that He was ALWAYS there. 
It was through those challenges that my weaknesses were revealed.  Friends, it is valuable to be familiar with our own weaknesses, because then we realize that our only hope and protection come from the Lord.  We must understand that knowing our weaknesses doesn't equal a skewed self-esteem, but it does cause us to understand our desperate need for a savior.
We have a choice.  What will we cling to as our savior? 
There is no doubt that these are blessings, but do they have the power to save us?
Let me submit to you that God, as expressed through Jesus, is the ONLY ONE capable of saving us from the oppressor.  I'm not offering anyone false hope, bad things do happen in this world, but those bad things do not have the power to oppress and "march back and forth" over our souls if we cling to the True Savior, Jesus Christ! 
God has promised to encamp around us like a guard or a garrison!  His eyes are upon us!!!
Just yesterday, I read an article quoting the actress Natalie Portman's thoughts about the Oscar she received, "I was reading the story of Abraham to my child and talking about, like, not worshipping false idols. And this is literally like gold men. This is literally worshipping gold idols -- if you worship it. That’s why it’s not displayed on the wall. It’s a false idol."
Those are bold words.  TRUTH!!!
Any time we trust in something or some person other than God for our protection, we in effect committing idolatry. 
Those are bold words.  TRUTH!!!
Lord, I ask that by Your Spirit You reveal our weaknesses and through them show Yourself strong.  You have promised to be our guard.  You ARE the Savior of our souls.  We know that no matter what happens, You are there providing peace and calm in the midst of any earthly storm.  No more will the enemy of our souls march back and forth over our thoughts/emotions for You are always Faithful and True.  We love You and submit ourselves to You always, in the Great Name of Jesus, AMEN!!!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Zechariah 7-8: Here is Your Part: Tell the Truth. Be Fair. Live at Peace with Everyone.

Zechariah 8:19

Thus says the Lord of hosts: The fast of the fourth month and the fast of the fifth, the fast of the seventh and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah times of joy and gladness and cheerful, appointed seasons; therefore [in order that this may happen to you, as the condition of fulfilling the promise] love truth and peace.

God doesn't want us to go through life with a sour, "woe is me," attitude.  The verse above instructs that while fasting, attitudes should be filled with joy and gladness and cheerfulness.  Zechariah goes on to say that loving truth and peace is the prerequisite condition to fulfilling the promise.

Looking back a few verses, I see God has promised that He is "sowing peace and prosperity."  I normally haven't been quoting from Bible translations other than the Amplified, but the Living Bible says it so well. 

Remember, I have paralleled the rebuilding of the temple with the rebuilding of the true temple inside each of us.  Imagine our personal temple, where the Spirit of the Lord dwells, as being rebuilt after being ravaged by the consequences of sin as you are reading the verses below.

Zechariah 8:9-19
Living Bible (TLB)

The Lord Almighty says, “Get on with the job and finish it! You have been listening long enough! For since you began laying the foundation of the Temple, the prophets have been telling you about the blessings that await you when it’s finished. 
 10 Before the work began there were no jobs, no wages, no security; if you left the city, there was no assurance you would ever return, for crime was rampant.
11 “But it is all so different now!” says the Lord Almighty. 
 12 “For I am sowing peace and prosperity among you. Your crops will prosper; the grapevines will be weighted down with fruit; the ground will be fertile, with plenty of rain; all these blessings will be given to the people left in the land. 
 13 ‘May you be as poor as Judah,’ the heathen used to say to those they cursed! But no longer! For now Judah is a word of blessing, not a curse. ‘May you be as prosperous and happy as Judah is,’ they’ll say. So don’t be afraid or discouraged! Get on with rebuilding the Temple! 14-15 If you do, I will certainly bless you. And don’t think that I might change my mind. I did what I said I would when your fathers angered me and I promised to punish them, and I won’t change this decision of mine to bless you. 16 Here is your part: Tell the truth. Be fair. Live at peace with everyone. 
 17 Don’t plot harm to others; don’t swear that something is true when it isn’t! How I hate all that sort of thing!” says the Lord.
18 Here is another message that came to me from the Lord Almighty:
19 “The traditional fasts and times of mourning you have kept in July, August, October, and January are ended. They will be changed to joyous festivals if you love truth and peace!

Reading this, I find my heart being stirred with excitement!  My part, your part, is to tell the truth, be fair, and live at peace with everyone.

In the past, I allowed my heart to be injured because of lies and half-truths spoken about me.  Now, I realize, that fear is powerful relationship killer, and it was fear that influenced those speaking.  It was fear that caused me to be hurt.  Fear, was the enemy!

I cannot control whether others choose to do their part in telling the truth, being fair, and living at peace with everyone.  BUT, I can choose to do my part empowered by God's grace. 

The Lord is so absolutely good to me.  While riding on my bike on April 29th, a snake crossed my path.  He was moving so fast; he was scared to death of me.  Later, that afternoon, I read Chuck Pierce's prophetic word,

“Your feet will walk in a different direction this year. For even though you felt shaking ground last season, now you will walk on ground that being solidified. There will be many on your path that will flee from the anointing that is now rising up in you, from your feet. I will shod your feet with peace, in a new way. Then the enemies that have tried to get on your highway will move out of the way. For many enemies have stepped onto the highway that you’re walking, but because you stood in the shaking, now the wind of My Spirit will clear your path ahead (Isaiah 35).”

The enemy, symbolized by the snake was fleeing from me.  Spiritual enemies may attempt to influence people, but God's wind is clearing my path.  By the way that day was lovely with a breeze blowing!!!

To tie all of this together, I am grabbing hold of this symbolic message from the Lord.  No more will fear cause an injury to my heart.  I have been living in such great peace and blessing and joy.  My promised future is unfolding before me.  I am praying for those who are controlled by fear and have been prayerfully blessing them.  My heart is choosing to continue telling the truth, being fair and living at peace with everyone.

I will reap God's promises.  I am reaping God's promises and, I pray that you will reap them too!!!

With much love in Jesus, Beautiful Grace!!!