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

He calls my name

Isaiah 45:4 (AMP) For the sake of Jacob My servant, and of Israel My chosen, I have also called you by your name; I have given you an honorable name though you have not known Me.

When we named our first born we had two choices picked out for the day of deliver. We went the old fashioned way and did not find out the gender of both of our children until they were born. We had the name ‘Lillian Michelle’ if a girl and ‘Ari Daniel’ if a boy. Lillian was the name of my great aunt that made an impact on me when I was a little girl. She was strong, independent and feisty. Ari was the name of my husband’s best friend. My husband grew up in Belize, Central America, and being the only white kid, friendships meant the world to him.

We have two sons. Ari Daniel and Eli Robert (Robert after my grandfather and my husband’s father). There is deep meaning in their names. Ari in Hebrew means lion. Eli in Hebrew means high, elevated or my God. I named him after the prophets Elijah and Elisha, I wanted him to have double the anointing.

Isaiah was the prophet during the reign of King Hezekiah. King Hezekiah was a good king and did right in the eyes of God (2 Kings 18:3). He was also the king that showed the Babylonians all the treasures of the storehouse (2 Kings 20:13), there was nothing that he did not show them. This was a big no-no, because they were suppose to remain a secret to the surrounding nation.

Isaiah prophesied, 2 Kings 20:16-18, “Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord. ‘Behold, the time is coming when everything that is in your house, and that your fathers have stored up until this day, will be carried to Babylon; nothing will be left,’ says the Lord. ‘And some of your sons (descendants) who will be born to you will be taken away [as captives]; and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’” 

Why is this significant? In Isaiah 45:3, “I will give you the treasures of darkness [the hoarded treasures] and the hidden riches of secret places, so that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you (Cyrus the Great) by your name.” Who is Cyrus the Great? Why did God call Him by name?

Ezra 1:2-4 (AMP) “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says “‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them. And in any locality where survivors may now be living, the people are to provide them with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.’”

King Cyrus was not even born yet when Isaiah prophesied this. King Cyrus, of Persia, was the reason that Nehemiah was able to rebuild the walls and gates of Jerusalem. He made sure that everything that Nebuchadnezzar had taken to Babylon was returned to the temple. He made sure that temple was going to be rebuilt.

This gave me great courage during a time that I do not see enough people to do the work that God has called my husband and I to do. Those people have not even been born yet, and He has called them by name. I am not talking about a physical birth, I am talking about the new birth when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior (John 3:5; 2 Corinthians 5:17). I do not want some other church’s people, I want the ones that He is calling by name now. We are calling them out! We are inviting ALL!!

He has called you by name, even before you were conceived in your mother’s womb. If you do not know Jesus as your Lord and Savior message me at amanda@desiringformore.org. If you do and you want to know how you can share your faith, message me too!

I pray you have an amazing 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!!