Get your sword!

Nehemiah 4:10 AMP Then [the leaders of] Judah said,“The strength of the burden bearers is failing, and there is much rubble; we ourselves are unable to rebuild the wall.”

In some translations it says that their strength was decaying. Do you know what they did? They prayed. This is how I take a step back and regain my perspective (not really mine, but His). In January I got to share a teaching called “Reset Your Position” with my church. I had heard the term “RESET” a lot when it came to 2021. We were in twenty one days of prayer and fasting as a church. There are different ways to fast. When you fast you are putting out a request for reset. However, if you are not in prayer during the time of fasting, that reset will not last. You will go back to the old way of thinking and doing things.

Just because you pray and fasted for seven, ten or twenty one days does not mean the enemy is not going to try to take away your revelation. You need to reset your position.

Nehemiah 4:17-18 AMP Those who were rebuilding the wall and those who carried burdens loaded themselves so that everyone worked with one hand and held a weapon with the other. Every builder had his sword secured at his side as he built. And the one who sounded the trumpet [to summon the troops] stood at my side. 

In Ephesians chapter six we read about putting on the full armor of God. Part of that armor is a sword. Called the sword of the spirit, which represents the Word of God. A sword is an offensive weapon. You have to know your Word to do battle against the enemy.

Ephesians 6:18 AMP With all prayer and petition pray [with specific requests] at all times [on every occasion and in every season] in the Spirit, and with this in view, stay alert with all perseverance and petition [interceding in prayer] for all God’s people. 

Prayer is also an essential part of a believer’s life. We are all called to intercede (pray). Not all of us have been called to spiritual warfare prayer, but we all have been called to pray. Why?

Remember Jesus knows what it feels like to be us. He got tired too. I think He had a lot of tired moments. What He was about to do was going to take all of His strength. Jesus modeled how we need to reset our position.

Matthew 26:38-39 (AMPC)Then He said to them, My soul is very sad and deeply grieved, so that I am almost dying of sorrow. Stay here and keep awake and keep watch with Me. And going a little farther, He threw Himself upon the ground on His face and prayed saying, My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will [not what I desire], but as You will and desire.

Judas knew where to find Him because this was not the first time He had been there. Actually we see Jesus going off to pray, especially after time of great ministry and miracles. Why? He had to reset His position.

At the gym we see all kinds of people. I get a chuckle at the ones who are working on a machine and doing it all wrong. It is not like the instructions are not written on the machine. It is like Dwight, from “The Office” (a television series), going to the gym and he puts the dip belt (the one you where on your waist to add more than your body weight to do dips); he puts it on his head and gets two dumb bells and extends his arms out. I see people in the gym do this and I am like “bless their heart.” I think God thinks the same way about us when we miss quote scripture or try to blame Him for why we are going through and what we go through.

I need to reset my position not just when I fast though. I need to reset my position when I am out doing what He called me to do. We were not meant to carry this alone. Jesus could not either. He had to reset His position. He had to go back to the Father. He knew the Word. He had the Holy Spirit. He also surrounded Himself with people to help do the work of the ministry. Nehemiah (being a personification of the Holy Spirit) did the same thing.

I encourage you today, that if you have not taken the time to get in the Word, that it is one of the greatest weapons against the enemy for your life. Reset your time in prayer. Remember you need the Holy Spirit and the Body of Christ to carry out all that He desires to do in your life. Be blessed!

Help Needed

Nehemiah 2:17-18 AMP Then I said to them, “You see the bad situation that we are in—how Jerusalem is desolate and lies in ruins and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, and let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, so that we will no longer be a disgrace.”  Then I told them how the hand of my God had been favorable to me and also about the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they thoroughly supported the good work.

Nehemiah is the personification of the Holy Spirit. Nehemiah means Jehovah Comforts. John 14:16 AMP, Jesus tells us, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever.

The Holy Spirit was sent by God to be your helper. Here we see the Holy Spirit as a person, because He is a person. He is not a thing. He has a purpose. He restores, heals and builds life back into our bodies and souls. He will also point you to Christ. In this verse we see the need for our community. We are not called to do the “good work” alone. We need support.

Ephesians 2:10 AMP For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us].

Nehemiah is the one who had the original burden for the rebuild of the walls of Jerusalem. He was the one who let his king know the need of his people. Nehemiah was living as a captive and serving as a cup bearer to a distant kingdom (Nehemiah 2:2-5). He was not even a first generation captive. He was living the good life, but still had a heart for those who were left behind. Nehemiah 2:3 AMP it was reported to him when he inquired, The remnant there in the province who survived the captivity are in great distress and reproach; the wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its [fortified] gates have been burned (destroyed) by fire.”

You may be living the good life. You may be living the blessed life! You may even be one who identifies with the remnant that you feel like your life is in complete ruin. Here are two things I ask someone when they tell me they want to know God more: 1) Do you have a Bible that you can read (understand), and 2) have you received the baptism of the Holy Spirit? I am going to add a third: are you a member of a life giving church? The church is your support, they build you up, and they disciple you (that means yes there are areas of correction…not control).

The Holy Spirit will never tell you to be on your own. That is some other spirit. If you are looking for a perfect church, let me know when you find it this side of Heaven. Church is not meant to be perfect, it is meant to be a place where we can grow in this relationship with Jesus together. Nehemiah (a personification of the Holy Spirit) could not rebuild that wall on his own. You should not do this life alone either. If you do not have one, I encourage you to become a member of a good church. Membership is not just attendance, a member is involved. They allow their pastor to know them. They get out of their comfort zone and attend small groups. They will support their church. Members are not spectators, they are active participants. Get involved!!

If you want to know more about the baptism of the Holy Spirit message me at amanda@desiringformore.org

Who have you been with?

Acts 4:7-8 (AMP) When they had put the men in front of them, they repeatedly asked, “By what sort of power, or in what name [that is, by what kind of authority], did you do this [healing]?” Then Peter, filled with [the power of] the Holy Spirit, said to them…

John and Peter worked side by side in ministry. John was referred to as the beloved and we know Peter to be quick to act and speak. They still ministered together. The early church was about unity. The early church was about pointing everyone to Christ. Think about what the body of Christ would do today if we focused on just that. Instead, if we have a “Peter” we talk about how too harsh or crass they are and draw away from them. Not realizing their heart is pure. We are a people who judge on the outward, but God does not.

As I was praying yesterday before church, I came across chapter 4 of the Book of Acts in one of my devotionals. Peter and John had just healed a man.They have a crowd they are talking to at this point, proclaiming the Name of Jesus, reported that 5,000 men received salvation! There were the Sadducees and the temple guards listening and becoming very annoyed, some translations say indignant. So they have them arrested. Peter and John spend an evening in jail, then are brought before the magistrates and priests. When asked by what sort of power, or in what name did they do this healing, it was Peter who spoke up. It says he was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.

Peter said, “if we are being put on trial today [to interrogate us] for a good deed done to [benefit] a disabled man, as to how this man has been restored to health, let it be known and clearly understood by all of you, and by all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you [demanded be] crucified [by the Romans and], whom God raised from the dead—in this name [that is, by the authority and power of Jesus] this man stands here before you in good health. This Jesus is the stone which was despised and rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief Cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among people by which we must be saved [for God has provided the world no alternative for salvation].” Acts 4:9-12 (AMP)

Acts 4:13 (AMP) Now when the men of the Sanhedrin (Jewish High Court) saw the confidence and boldness of Peter and John, and grasped the fact that they were uneducated and untrained [ordinary] men, they were astounded, and began to recognize that they had been with Jesus.

They recognized that these men had been with Jesus. It reminded me of another story in the Bible about a life change happening after she had been with Jesus: John 4:28-30 (AMP)  Then the woman left her water jar, and went into the city and began telling the people, Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done! Can this be the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed)?” So the people left the city and were coming to Him.

They recognized that these men had been with Jesus.

To finish up this chapter in the book of Acts, verses 14-22 says, And seeing the man who had been healed standing there with them, they had nothing to say in reply. But after ordering them to step out of the Council [chamber], they began to confer among themselves, saying, “What are we to do with these men? For the fact that an extraordinary miracle has taken place through them is public knowledge and clearly evident to all the residents of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But to keep it from spreading further among the people and the nation, let us [sternly] warn them not to speak again to anyone in this name.”  So they sent for them, and commanded them not to speak [as His representatives] or teach at all in the name of Jesus [using Him as their authority]. But Peter and John replied to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you and obey you rather than God, you must judge [for yourselves]; for we, on our part, cannot stop telling [people] about what we have seen and heard.”  When the rulers and Council members had threatened them further, they let them go, finding no way to punish them because [of their fear] of the people, for they were all praising and glorifying and honoring God for what had happened; for the man to whom this sign (attesting miracle) of healing had happened was more than forty years old.

A few take aways for me from these passages were: 1) John and Peter worked together. They had different personalities. They did not point to one another, they pointed to Christ. When you have someone come to you about the flaws of another, point them back to Christ. It hurts my heart when we use divisive words such as “they should not have said that” or “they should not have done that,” especially when you were not witness to it. Inadvertently we are pointing back to ourselves, we should be pointing back to Christ. 2) There was no denying they had been with Jesus. Although we do not have Jesus in His physical form here on earth, He did send the Holy Spirit. We can have a relationship with the Holy Spirit. Can people tell we have been with Him? Sign, wonders, miracles, healings and etc. will follow us when we walk in this relationship.

In 2020, when Covid-19 was causing everything to close, my heart yearned to see the miracles take place. Distractions happened. I lost focus. I let the disappointments of people get in the way. I tried my hardest to focus on His word, but still having hurt in my heart from the disappointments. It is not worth not walking in my calling. He has called us out! Do not fall into the trick of the enemy to get us distracted. Focus back on Christ and get a relationship with the Holy Spirit!

He Understands

Ephesians 4:22-25 (AMP) That, regarding your previous way of life, you put off your old self [completely discard your former nature], which is being corrupted through deceitful desires, and be continually renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh, untarnished mental and spiritual attitude], and put on the new self [the regenerated and renewed nature], created in God’s image, [godlike] in the righteousness and holiness of the truth [living in a way that expresses to God your gratitude for your salvation]. Therefore, rejecting all falsehood [whether lying, defrauding, telling half-truths, spreading rumors, any such as these], speak truth each one with his neighbor, for we are all parts of one another [and we are all parts of the body of Christ].

So many of us put our faith in Christ as our Savior, but fail to allow Him to be our redeemer, our healer, our restorer. Christ has done everything He needs to do to be one with us. God lives in me, He sees me, He hears me, He loves me and He understands me. People may not always understand you, but Jesus will always understand you.

I have recently gone through a great heart ache. People in our church have recently walked away from ours to go to another in our area. As pastors it is hard because it feels like a divorce (or that is what those who have never had a divorce would think it feels like). I had a dream about one of them last night. It was a dream of when he and his brother were younger, with short curly hair. In my dream I wept. I also imagined myself using something to dull the feeling of pain. That is something I have never done in the natural, so why would I dream about that?

Galatians 5:16-17 (AMP) But I say, walk habitually in the [Holy] Spirit [seek Him and be responsive to His guidance], and then you will certainly not carry out the desire of the sinful nature [which responds impulsively without regard for God and His precepts]. For the sinful nature has its desire which is opposed to the Spirit, and the [desire of the] Spirit opposes the sinful nature; for these [two, the sinful nature and the Spirit] are in direct opposition to each other [continually in conflict], so that you [as believers] do not [always] do whatever [good things] you want to do.

I have recently been reading about the time in David’s life when his son Absalom was against him. You can read about their tumultuous relationship in 2 Samuel 13-18. David did not send orders to end Absalom’s life. He asked for them to have mercy on his son, the son that was trying to overthrow him. I often think about how we want God to take revenge for us to those that have done us wrong. My husband made a good point yesterday and I have been asking God to help with my heart change. We have have every right to feel the way we do when someone wrongs us…in the natural. However, when we are born again we have to submit those feelings to the Kingdom and let go of our rights.

David writes during this time in Psalms 26:11 (AMP), “But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity; Redeem me and be merciful and gracious to me.”

Psalms 139:23-24 (AMP) Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart; Test me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.

I cannot allow these hurts to hold me back. I cannot beat myself up for them coming up sometimes either. I have to change my focus. I have to allow the Holy Spirit to heal me from the inside out. Remember, Jesus understands. David did have his moments when he cried out to God to hide his iniquity. Psalms 38:16 (AMP), For I pray, “May they not rejoice over me, who, when my foot slips, would boast against me.” We want to hide in our shame. We want to close the doors to our bedroom and not let the light shine in so we can stay in the bed all day long. Let Christ in!

Let me know how I can pray for you today. Let me know if you have moments like this too, or if you are in a season right now that is hard to get out of. I want to pray with you! You can email me at amanda@desiringformore.org.

Fresh Bread

Leviticus 24:5-8 (NLT) You must bake twelve flat loaves of bread from choice flour, using four quarts of flour for each loaf. Place the bread before the Lord on the pure gold table, and arrange the loaves in two stacks, with six loaves in each stack. Put some pure frankincense near each stack to serve as a representative offering, a special gift presented to the Lord. Every Sabbath day this bread must be laid out before the Lord as a gift from the Israelites; it is an ongoing expression of the eternal covenant.

I like to bake. Most of my meals for my family is prepared using the oven. As of right now, there are about two different baked goods, on the counter, for my family to grab anytime they want something.

A couple of weeks ago, when I took my mom to the beach, I was reading this book, The God Chasers by Tommy Tenney. It was my second time reading it, first time was about twenty years ago. Chapter two in The God Chasers is titled “No Bread in the ‘House of Bread’ crumbs in the carpet and empty shelves. What are crumbs in the carpet?”

This caused me to do a little research. There would be bread in the tabernacle, behind the curtain that the priests were only allowed to go through. On a golden table there would be two stacks of six (twelve in all) of round loaves of bread. It was referred to as Show Bread.

First of all we think that the show bread is there because is symbolized the manna that fell from heaven, and then there are the twelve tribes as to why there are twelve loaves. Show bread in Hebrew is לחם הפנים‎ lechem haPānīm, literally, “Bread of the Faces”. haPānīm is translated “face” and sometimes intimate/inward relationship. haPānīm according to the Hebrew alphabet, the letters equals 180. In their culture numbers are very meaningful. Moses met with God haPānīm el haPānīm, face to face. So 180 plus 180 equals 360 and that is the circumference of a circle.

So why do we not have bread in our modern services today? John 6:35 (AMP), Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

This bread symbolized a personal, face to face, relationship with God. Jesus is not here with us today. The Holy Spirit is though. John 14:16 (AMP), And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever.

What I like is that the bread had to be fresh. If bread is not fresh it gets hard, it gets stale, it gets moldy. Matthew 6:9-11 (AMP), Jesus instructed them, “Pray, then, in this way:‘Our Father, who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. ‘Your kingdom come,Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. ‘Give us this day our daily bread.”

When I think of a kitchen that is used often we have different smells. You can have a burnt smell, from a house that does not know how to cook. A sour smell, from a house that does not take out the trash enough. There is also the house that has a luring aroma, the house that when you enter your stomach starts grumbling. My kids friends say my house smells like the later. They know where to get a good meal. I believe that is the desire of the Father about His house.

Who brings that bread though? We do, as worshipers. It was not the priests that brought the bread, it was the Israelites. I proposed this to my church yesterday (there is a link to the full message below): Do you come to Sunday service with a fresh expectation or are we expecting to be fed off of the same bread crumbs? Do we think it is not necessary to bring fresh bread, a gift in our worship?

I pray this encourages you that God wants to do something fresh and new in you today. I also pray this encourages you that you desire to give Him your best self today as well. Be blessed!

Link to yesterday’s message Fresh Bread: https://youtu.be/ZM_skPaLI00

Should we hide?

Acts 8:1 (AMP) Saul wholeheartedly approved of Stephen’s death. And on that day a great and relentless persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem; and the believers were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except for the apostles.

We read in Acts 6 and 7 about the life (in Christ) and the death of Stephen. Saul is still a young man and is witnessing this. What a moment in the history of the early church. A man (innocent) said to have the face of an angel (Acts 6:15) is stoned to death for telling the group before him that they were stiff necked and stubborn just like their fathers before them for resisting the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51). Saul (later Paul) witnesses all of this and later becomes a persecutor of Christians. We see in the above verse that the believers were scattered.

Where did they scatter to? Did they go in hiding? A relentless persecution had broken out against the church in Jerusalem. If we look to the past, what did they do in the past? Moses ran (Exodus 2:11-15). David ran (1 Samuel 21-24). Elijah ran (1 Kings 19). Should they run and hide?

Acts 8:4 (AMP) Now those [believers] who had been scattered went from place to place preaching the word [the good news of salvation through Christ]. 

Caves were no longer an option for those in Christ. When I was fired nearly three years ago, and told that I was a criminal for the unintentional mistake, my first reaction was to hide. I could have shrunk away from all things ministry. Instead, it propelled me into a deeper relationship with my Father and a deeper understanding of the Holy Spirit. We have to remember, although the angel led Elijah to the cave, it was God constantly calling him out of it.

Why did the persecution come? Why do hardships come? Before the Holy Spirit was released, Jesus gave a great commission, Matthew 28:18-20 (TLB), He told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and earth. Therefore go and make disciples in all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and then teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you; and be sure of this—that I am with you always, even to the end of the world.” We have two choices, we can either hide (and use God as our crutch) or we can follow these instructions and GO!

We have not been hidden for later use. There is a great need for Christ in our world. It is in our comfort that we seek the cave. Depression is a real issue. If this is an issue with you and you cannot come out of the cave because of it, it may be time to seek help. It would not be choosing a plan B (other than God). You are not a failure for seeing a counselor, therapist and/or doctor. That was a dangerous and destructive theology…why is it okay to send doctors to the mission field, but not okay for you to see one?

In the last three years I have preached more in my local church, not to say I have not had to fight rejection. I have not had thoughts that I was not enough for people. However, I have stepped out and mentored anyone who has allowed me to. I am not ashamed of the Word and how it changed me.

Acts 1:8 (AMP)  But you will receive power and ability when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be My witnesses [to tell people about Me] both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth.

This is what they were missing and why they hid. We have the Holy Spirit. This is why we do not hide! He has not hidden us for later use. It is time for the Body of Christ to come out of hiding and proclaim the word (the good news of salvation through Christ)!

Evidence

1 John 5:10 (AMP) The one who believes in the Son of God [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies confidently on Him as Savior] has the testimony within himself [because he can speak authoritatively about Christ from his own personal experience]. The one who does not believe God [in this way] has made Him [out to be] a liar, because he has not believed in the evidence that God has given regarding His Son.

Sometimes evidence will be staring you straight in the face and you do not want to believe it. I think this is like what this statement is saying. To put it in another perspective, go back to 1 Kings 18 and read the account of Elijah on Mt. Carmel to prove to King Ahab who the one true God is. Jezebel introduced polytheism to the Israelites, they started worship both Yahweh and Baal. Baal was the king of all gods, but not king over Yahweh, so Elijah’s challenge was for a great show down on Baal’s turf. Yahweh showed up and showed out! Elijah was so excited that he out ran chariots. When King Ahab told Jezebel about the one true God, she sent a messenger to tell Elijah she was going to end his life. Beyond all evidence being presented to her, she refused to believe. It pretty much sounds like she was made out to be a liar.

Elijah, heart broken because it did not change the hearts of as many as he had hoped, ran away and hid and became depressed. We are tempted to do the same thing when we focus on the response of people. God will tell us time and again to have peace, to be still in His presence, so that we may regain focus. What are we to be focusing on? He is the “I AM.” That means He is our all. Yes, we are called to be with His creation and we are not to isolate ourselves from them, but we do not focus on them.

Philippians 4:8 (AMP) Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].

This is a verse I cling to when my thoughts and my doubts start to stir up inside of my mind. Today I am sending off a group of teenagers (my two sons included) to a youth camp in Florida. They will spend four nights in amazing worship and ministering services. I pray they come back filled with a fresh fire and receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Evidence will be presented of what a life in Jesus can transform their lives like while they are still teens. Pray for them this week. Pray that broken hearts are mended, anxiety is broken off of them and they open their eyes to see who the Son of God is. Pray they come back with hearts on fire to see a revival in their schools!

Have a blessed week!

Inventions of the mind

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (AMP) The weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood]. Our weapons are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (KJV) For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

I was reading Nehemiah chapter six as it was instructed in my Faith to Faith Devotional yesterday and something stood out at me. When a group of people heard that the wall had been rebuilt and there was no way to breach the gate (there were no doors to the gate at the time) they wanted to meet face to face with Nehemiah. Their intentions were not to talk things out, but to harm him. He refused. Four times they requested and he refused. The report back to him was that they heard a revolt was planned and they were planning on making Nehemiah their king. They said that if he did not come out and meet they were going to send a report to the Persian King. I love Nehemiah’s response, because it lined up with the scriptures above.

Nehemiah 6:8 (AMP) I sent a message to him, saying, “Such things as you are saying have not been done; you are inventing them in your own mind.”

I do not know about you, but I have moments like the men outside the walls. We can act super spiritual and say that the Holy Spirit is revealing these things to us (that the spirit gift of discernment is at work.) I am so grateful that I have the husband that I do. This is why it is important that you have people in your life that are grounded in the Word, and for you to be grounded as well. When I start to allow the imaginations to run in my mind, I think a phrase or a look is directed with evil intent, I need to reel it back.

My husband is in a series called “Focus.” This is a year of distractions and we need to be focused on Kingdom purpose. Then he has branched to the subpart called “Assurance.” Assurance being the state of mind free from doubt. Now he has sub-parted off of that to “When the Enemy Attacks.” The first place the enemy will attack is your mind. It is not going to be a one time thing either. That is his point of entry. The whole point in attacking your mind is because he wants you to accept the lies that he tells, the Word in how he twists it. Then his goal is to rile up your emotions to you responding the way that is contrary to the Word (see Galatians 5).

Romans 12:2 (NKJV) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Ephesians 6, verses 10 through 20 tells us to put on the full armor of God. The renewing of the mind and the full armor of God are things we need to do daily. There are days I can honestly say that I do not feel like it either. We want to quote the lines from a famous song, “Jesus, take the wheel.” That is not His job, He is making intercession for us. We have to make the choice. Joshua 24:15a was explained very well in service yesterday. In the NIV it says, “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.” It is not always desirable to renew our minds. It is not always desirable to turn off the shows that cause us to become anxious (the news included). Our spirit man has been saved, but we still have our own fleshly desires we have to put in line (which includes our minds). Today, I choose to cast down those thoughts, those plots I can see forming (only in my head), and choose to think on what God sees (Philippians 4:8).

Happy Monday! Be blessed!!

Give me the giants

Joshua 14: 7-12 (AMP) I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh-barnea to scout the land [of Canaan], and I brought a report back to him as it was in my heart. My brothers (fellow spies) who went up with me made the heart of the people melt with fear; but I followed the Lord my God completely. So Moses swore [an oath to me] on that day, saying, ‘Be assured that the land on which your foot has walked will be an inheritance to you and to your children always, because you have followed the Lord my God completely.’ And now, look, the Lord has let me live, just as He said, these forty-five years since the Lord spoke this word to Moses, when Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, look at me, I am eighty-five years old today. I am still as strong today as I was the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so is my strength now, for war and for going out and coming in. So now, give me this hill country about which the Lord spoke that day, for you heard on that day that the [giant-like] Anakim were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps the Lord will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the Lord said.”

I love this part of Caleb’s story. I have had my spirit crushed before with expectations of people, specifically them not meeting my excitement of the journey ahead. Caleb was tenacious. He persevered even when they did not match his excitement (see Numbers 13). God rewarded Him for that.

There are times that you will be ready to move forward when those that you love are not ready to move at the same pace. Keep moving forward anyways.

I spent the day traveling three hundred and eighty two miles from home (nearly a six hour drive) to be at the Palm Coast Holy Spirit Conference this week. My husband and I planned this trip months ago. We brought our teenage sons along with us. A couple in our church are also attending. My prayer is that no matter what our ages, that we will have the excitement as Caleb did. “Give me this hill country about which the Lord spoke that day!” If not, then my prayer is lined up with Elisha for the servant with him, when the enemy army was surrounding them in 2 Kings 6:17 (AMP), then Elisha prayed and said, “Lord, please, open his eyes that he may see.” And the Lord opened the servants eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire surrounding Elisha.

We will have giants come before us that we will have to overcome. I get excited about the giants, because I know that growth comes from fighting giants. I understand that not everyone is excited about a challenge like I am. I might let you discourage me for a moment, but I am going after that giant eventually. Giant slayers are strong! Giant slayers gain momentum. Giants slayers eventually take that mountain!!!

Wherever you are I pray that you do not give up. I pray that you look up to the promise and tell God that you will do what you need to do to conquer that mountain, even slay a giant if you have to!

Have a blessed week!

See the created and the redeemed

Ephesians 4:16 (TPT) For his “body” has been formed in his image and is closely joined together and constantly connected as one. And every member has been given divine gifts to contribute to the growth of all; and as these gifts operate effectively throughout the whole body, we are built up and made perfect in love.

Without a relationship with the Holy Spirit you will not see the body that you are called to in His image. What do I mean by that? There is not a person in the Bible (except Jesus) that did not have an issue with what they saw in the people God called them to. When we start getting close to people we can fall into the trap of identifying them by the flaws that they have instead of the benefits to your life. We are so quick to cut people out of our life when they disappoint us, anger us, hurt our feelings, etc. Yes, the ones that do not want the best for you separate from, but a member that wants to help and their help might have hurt your feelings.

We are His Created and Redeemed. Isaiah 48:12-13,17 (AMP) “Listen to Me, O Jacob, and Israel, whom I called; I am He, I am the First, I am the Last. “My hand founded and established the earth, And My right hand spread out the heavens; When I call to them, they stand together [in obedience to carry out My decrees]. CREATED This is what the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel says,“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit (benefit), Who leads you in the way that you should go. REDEEMED Start seeing each other as God’s created and redeemed!

1 Corinthians 12:21-26 (TPT)  It would be wrong for the eye to say to the hand, “I don’t need you,” and equally wrong if the head said to the foot, “I don’t need you.”  In fact, the weaker our parts, the more vital and essential they are. The body parts we think are less honorable we treat with greater respect. And the body parts that need to be covered in public we treat with propriety and clothe them. But some of our body parts don’t require as much attention. Instead, God has mingled the body parts together, giving greater honor to the “lesser” members who lacked it. He has done this intentionally so that every member would look after the others with mutual concern, and so that there will be no division in the body.  In that way, whatever happens to one member happens to all. If one suffers, everyone suffers. If one is honored, everyone rejoices.

We are connected. What profit is it not to see the value in others, because you do not think they know what you have been through? Receive the gift anyways. There are those who have knowledge and wisdom in areas. Why not tap into that? Are you afraid they are going to be like Job’s friends and say that everything you are going through is your fault or you deserve it? Well, you might have some people like that, but that does not mean you cut them out of your life. I have been that person and I have been on the receiving end of it as well. That will definitely make me want to go into hiding, but the benefit of the body outweighs the chances of trying to go at it alone.

2 Corinthians 6:11-13 (TPT) My friends at Corinth, our hearts are wide open to you and we speak freely, holding nothing back from you. If there is a block in our relationship, it is not with us, for we carry you in our hearts with great love, yet you still withhold your affections from us. So I speak to you as our children. Make room in your hearts for us as we have done for you. In the Message Translation it says, Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively! Blocking relationships withing the body that you are called to can make you feel small and insignificant. Start living your life in a bigger way!

Get back into the local church and get plugged in! Get into some relationships when they have fellowships and gatherings, make up your mind to not stay away any longer. Start seeing them as the created and the redeemed…a gift to Him and to you. Be blessed!