Aphids

In a vision I was looking at a patch of green grass when I noticed some little white specks on a few blades of grass. As I studied the specks I realized they were aphids. Aphids come in various colors and are parasites, sucking the juices from living plants. They are fairly easy to get rid of by spraying the effected plants with soapy water, but left undisturbed they can reproduce rapidly and kill their hosts.

This brought to mind a situation I had been praying for. An individual had been attacked by a witch and had defended themselves by cursing the witch. Some time had passed and the individual was experiencing a variety of incidents intended to cause them to lose their joy and bring about anxiety. The “aphids” multiplied rapidly and the believer was losing strength and energy as the life was being sucked out of them.

This brought to my mind that we reap what we sow (Eph.6:7) (https://www.intouch.org/read/life-principle-6-the-principle-of-sowing-and-reaping) but it takes awhile for the seed to germinate and put out leaves, then flower, then bring on fruit which takes time to mature. “Aphids” that are left to reproduce quickly gain in numbers even though they are tiny, and can bring down a once-vigorous plant. By that time the curse can have been forgotten but the seed will still bring forth a crop multiplied by 30, 60 times or more.

Take the little foxes that spoil the vine (Song of Solomon 2:15) (http://biblehub.com/songs/2-15.htm). Small distractions can take our focus off Jesus’ face for only a flash, but as we allow those tiny diversions to multiply they can lead us away from the love of our lives: Jesus. We can have as much of Jesus’ presence as we want – He gives His precious Spirit without measure – but we are often hungry and thirsty for Him without realizing how the little foxes, the tiny “aphids”, have sapped our vitality. Jesus hasn’t moved away from us; rather, unawares we have moved away from Him.

Reading too much secular material, especially novels, can dampen one’s appetite for reading the Word. Too much time on social media can saturate one’s mind and time. Any other activities that take time away from the priority of our Lord and Master can be considered “little foxes” or “aphids” that suck the vitality out of our most precious relationship, Jesus. As we drift, we lose sensitivity to Him and have little awareness of His grief.  He will not interfere with our choices, but He yearns for us to make Him our foremost relationship in all things.

Patched Screen Door

In the early morning I saw an old fashioned screen door with a neatly sewn patch covering a hole in the wire screen. A screen door can represent a filter but the patch could symbolize a couple of situations. The individual could be concerned about accepting what he enjoyed about a situation and wishing to refuse what he did not like about that same situation. Or the hole could symbolize the individual’s yearning to receive all that was about to break through the filter. Eventually the patch would fail to hold back the yearned-for, looked-for-with-anticipation, impending blessings.

Sometimes God’s rich resources absolutely destroy our boxes (assumptions, logic, etc.). Understand this: God cannot be put in a box. That very thought is foolish, for He is the Creator of all and far exceeds our restraints. He is the Lion of Judah. That is, He doesn’t wear a collar. He is not tame; He is not predictable. His ways are far above our ways and our thinking. And He is love. He can be depended on but not controlled.

Anticipate God’s presence with expectation of blessing. He is creative and comes with richness and unimagined ways of doing and being. He satisfies every longing deeply and He knows what you long for, yet unexpressed. Yes, He is risky, and sometimes He requires all that you have to give and that little bit extra that only the precious Holy Spirit can strengthen you to come up with. Dare to trust Him. He Who gave His life for you can be trusted to watch over you with intense jealousy.

Stones of Fire

I saw an altar on fire. The flames towered so high the sacrifice could not be seen. The altar was made of stones and earth but they burned like tinder, snapping and crackling.

Elijah’s Prayer in I Kings 18:37-38 “Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that You, O LORD, are God, and that You have turned their hearts back again.” 38Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The LORD, He is God; the LORD, He is God.”…

In contemporary terms this altar is the heart of individuals who have sold themselves completely to a Savior Who gave His life for them. Their passion for Him flames so high that even the stones and rammed earth are burning intensely. What the pagan worshippers need to see is this intensity. Words are completely inadequate. Nor is this passion about words or works. It is the life lived in abandonment that speaks eloquently to those watching.

Revelation 3:15-17 (NIV) “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”

This church/These believers nauseate Jesus. They make Him sick! So He “spits” them out of His mouth. The Greek word is emeo* means “to vomit.” Another word, ptuo, means “to spit” that John could have used if that is what he meant. A lukewarm church/believer makes Jesus vomit. He rejects this kind of Christianity. C. S. Lewis said, “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and, if true, of infinite importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important.” [C. S. Lewis,” Christian History (65.19.1)]

*Strong’s Concordance                                                                                                                                                 Transliteration: emeó  1692 eméō – properly, vomit (MM); (figuratively) repulsed, showing utter rejection (desiring total separation); “to reject with extreme disgust”.

Without Measure

Recently as I was worshiping the King of kings in my Secret Place, a cloud floated toward me. It wasn’t a white, glowing cloud so I wondered what it was. When it was directly over my head it poured out the Spirit of Jesus and drenched me. The off-color represented water.  Just as the water-turned-to-wine at the wedding of Cana was the best toward the end of the celebration, so the Lord intends to pour out His Holy Spirit on us toward the end of this age. Without measure. I enjoy the liberally outpoured Spirit every time I come into my Beloved’s presence.

John 3:34 AMP  For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God [proclaiming the Father’s own message]; for God gives the [gift of the] Spirit without measure [generously and boundlessly]! 

Then, a few days later I saw a large wooden barrel tipped to pour out its contents. This time I saw a slide show beginning with faces and symbols representing evil. Then houses followed. Many houses of all kinds, including huts. I interpreted these to represent peoples and nations under the influence of evil. Jesus’ heart is yearning for the lost to discover Him and come for forgiveness and all that salvation embodies: peace, joy; emotional healing; freedom from enslavement to addictions, severe abuse and trauma, generational curses, etc.

Within the last month to six weeks I have seen with my own eyes the Lord’s generosity in healing and integrating multiple personalities (DID) and immune system issues caused from early trauma that in the past have taken some time to work through. God’s work is tender and beautiful and complete as we submit to His sweet Spirit within us. He is an awesome God! He wants a holy Bride and He is pouring out Himself to ready peoples and nations for a wedding like none we have ever seen or imagined!

John 3:16 (NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Psalm 60:4
You have given a banner to those who fear You, That it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah.

Psalm 107:2-3  Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story – those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south.

Isaiah 43:5-7…Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, And gather you from the west. “I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring My sons from afar And My daughters from the ends of the earth, Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.…

 

Origin Of Easter

The origin of Easter is actually based on an ancient pagan celebration. Christians recognize this day as commemorating Jesus’ resurrection, but like so many other “Christian” holidays, Easter has become commercialized and mixed with non-Christian traditions like the Easter Bunny, Easter parades and hunting for Easter eggs.

The superimposing of a Christian holiday upon a pagan holiday is called syncretism. This was a  strategy of the Roman Catholic Church to draw new converts away from heathenism into Christian practice. That resulted in muddying the purity of the Gospel. So today we have fertility rites being practiced by Christ-followers who may or may not understand how defiling of the resurrection it is.

Actually, Easter is not a remembrance of the resurrection. The resurrection is remembered by the celebration of the Passover as a feast of the Lord found in Exodus 12 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/search=Exodus+12&version=NIV). The feasts of the Lord are based on the lunar calendar so they vary from year to year.

Origin of Easter – Its Pagan Roots
The origin of Easter dates back to ancient times, not long after the global flood in Genesis 6-9 of the Bible. Nimrod, a grandson of Noah, had turned from following his grandfather’s God and had become a tyrannical ruler known for a lifestyle that promoted unspeakable evil and perversion. Later he would become known as Baal, and those who followed the religion his wife Semiramis created in his name would be called Baal worshippers. They became associated with idolatry, demon worship, human sacrifice and other evil practices.

According to the Bible, it was in the city of Babel that the people created a tower in order to defy God. Up until that time, all the people on the earth spoke one language. The building of the tower led God, as recorded in Genesis 11:7 to confuse their tongues to keep them from being further unified in their false beliefs. As the people moved into other lands, they took their pagan practices with them.

Contemporary traditions such as the Easter Bunny and the Easter egg can be traced back to the fertility rites established by Nimrod’s wife. To read more details about this, please click on the following link: https://www.allaboutjesuschrist.org/origin-of-easter.htm

 

 

If the Foundations Are Destroyed

Psalm 11 New King James Version (NKJV)

1 In the Lord I put my trust; How can you say to my soul, “Flee as a bird to your mountain”? 2 For look! The wicked bend their bow, They make ready their arrow on the string, That they may shoot secretly at the upright in heart. 3 If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do? 4 The Lord is in His holy temple, The Lord’s throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men. 5 The Lord tests the righteous, But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates. 6 Upon the wicked He will rain coals; Fire and brimstone and a burning wind Shall be the portion of their cup. 7 For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright.

Recently, in a vision the Holy Spirit showed me infinity. We stood on a shelf overlooking a vast void of grays and browns as far as I could see. Our universe was a pin point in the emptiness. I pressed against the Holy Spirit in fear. If I should fall I would never come to a landing but would fall forever.

Again, a second time, the Holy Spirit came to show me the vast void and I pressed against Him again. This time He turned me around to step back onto terra firma, and I glanced down to see that the ground was wrinkled. I bent over to get a better look, and to my horror the foundation of earth was cracked and crumbling.

I knew I was being shown this condition of the earth for a reason, so I asked the precious Holy One what He wanted me to know. “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalms 11:3). What steps can we take to make sure that we and our children are not infected? That foundation is in jeopardy. Forces are at work to undermine it, causing it to crack and crumble under the load of a civilization weighed down with guilt. It is as the Apostle Paul prophesied:

In the last days perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

Yet these characteristics of modern humanity are merely the outward manifestations of a deep, seething rebellion breaking forth against the Creator. Paul also described this in vivid terms,

… their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened… They exchanged the truth of God for a lie… Since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind…They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice… (Romans 1:21-29)

Like David, we can choose to say, “In the Lord I take refuge” (v. 1)

The answer is not to run away or be in denial.  David said, “How can you say to my soul, ‘Flee as a bird to your mountain’” (v. 1) God is available. “The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven” (v. 4). Nothing is beyond His control, and He is ready to hear our concerns and requests when we come to Him.

If we don’t deal with our sins, they will hinder our prayers. Only after our lives have been cleansed will He be able to hear us and use us in whatever ways He chooses.

People who don’t know Jesus become frightened when the foundations around them crumble and circumstances become difficult. They look for ways to protect themselves, but we can encourage them to look to the Lord.  He will show Himself strong to those who are willing to trust Him (v. 7).

The difficult times we face are larger than our own issues; all the nations of the earth are in trouble. The solution is not found in political leadership, but in pleading with God. According to history, revivals began with just a few people who humbly sought the Lord. If we sincerely and humbly turn away from sin and turn to God, a handful of scattered individuals can become a body joined together to cry out to the Lord for our nations.

 

 

An Appointed Time

Habakkuk 2:3 AMPC For the vision is yet for an appointed time and it hastens to the end [fulfillment]; it will not deceive or disappoint. Though it tarry, wait [earnestly] for it, because it will surely come; it will not be behindhand on its appointed day.

This promise was given to me in 1981. From time to time I revisited it and wondered if the Lord had forgotten His promise. As you may have read in my early posts, my siblings and I grew up in an extremely abusive home. Some siblings will turn against each other but we did not. As adults we grew apart but I prayed earnestly for us to come back together after our parents died. God gave me the above promise during a family crisis in 1981 and I held onto it desperately. Now we are all older and various health issues are becoming noticeable.

Recently an older brother was put in a nursing home. Our prayers focused on him intently because he was the brunt of physical and emotional violence as a child that shaped his life, his marriage and his children. Although he is a Jesus-follower, he has carried bitterness that made staying in touch difficult. Still, we saw the good deep down inside of him and understood the deep wounding, and increased our prayers. When I went to visit him, he was open to listening to some of my gentle comments about how God had healed me. Even after forgiving our parents and others, I still had unhealed wounds and discovered that Jesus would take my griefs and sorrows and give me a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.

A younger brother has managed to forgive and cancel our parents’ debts and has also experienced extensive emotional healing. The two men live several states away from each other, but recently the younger made it a point to visit the elder brother. After a casual conversation the younger brother offered to pray the Aaronic Blessing over the elder brother with words of explanation.

The Lord bless you and keep you: The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you: The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26 RSV)

When the prayer was ended both the elder brother and his wife were weeping. Then to the younger brother’s surprise, the elder brother blessed his younger brother! Oh, what a surprise and utterly thrilling! It was an unexpected and very sacred moment. Though the younger brother has blessed his siblings in lieu of an absent father, nobody has blessed him. That his elder brother would bless the younger one took on huge meaning. Later I shared with the younger brother the above verse promised to me so long ago. There is still spiritual work to be done in our family but our faith is high that our Lord and Master will complete His work in us and we will become one in Jesus.

Are You Afraid of Intimacy?

Intimacy means to be known by someone. They know your strengths and weaknesses, your hopes and dreams, your fears. God created the need and desire for intimacy within human hearts. Not only in marriage but in friendships. Relationships are the very essence of who we are as believers. Godly relationships provide stability and a sense of value and belonging. On the other hand, intimacy gone wrong can cause disappointment and intense pain when someone betrays us. Rejection and abandonment are traumas that children experience early in life and may withdraw from any offer of love from that point onward.

Intimacy reveals our weaknesses and neediness and we don’t like others to see that part of us. There is also the unspoken belief that we don’t deserve the love others extend to us. When we take the risk of exposing ourselves, we can end up tattered by deep wounding and rejection. Yet, we desire, we yearn for the closeness of love and acceptance.

People who avoid intimacy fear being controlled and manipulated if they share themselves. So they attempt to stay in control of their relationships. They enjoy rescuing and being looked up to by the needy and helpless. Those who have been abused as infants and young children identify “love” with the abuse they’ve suffered and they want no part of it as an adult.

When I first started fellowshipping with charismatics the men stood outside the place of worship to greet me with a hug. I guess they thought if they hugged me enough I would learn to like it. I did not. Distrust was a thread that ran through my being and I finally drifted away. I had walls instead of healthy boundaries. Even shaking hands a little too long was disturbing to me.

Being a Christian did not change this behavior but it did increase my longing for even one trustworthy friend who could celebrate my small joys and commiserate my griefs with me. When I started on the journey to emotional healing of Dissociative identity disorder (DID) I discovered that Jesus was that trustworthy friend I could pour out my heart to. He listened with such love as I could never have imagined. Slowly, as I felt secure in His compassion and mercy, I began to feel more willing to risk sharing myself with others. Resisting the urge to run from their love was a challenge but the deeper I went into Jesus (allowing Him to go deeper into me) the more stable I was.

I was elated to discover that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He never changes. I asked Him if I could come to Him often for a hug, a kiss, or a lingering conversation and He reminded me of Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Since that time I have come to His throne often, sometimes several times a day just to worship Him and to be loved by Him, my Beloved. There are still times that I feel so undeserving, but if I step back from Him I immediately feel the cool breeze of distance and seek reconciliation.

Psalm 27:13 TMBA I would have fainted unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

Even here and now in my 79th year I have been granted the privilege of not only seeing the Lord’s goodness but reveling in it. He is good beyond measure. He is amazing and beautiful, and fragrant. He has carried all my sins and griefs and sorrows. He has healed me of immune problems, broken generational curses and given me a healthy body with a lively step. He is worthy of all my love and trust.

God’s Hidden Ones

Isaiah 49:2 (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition)  He has made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand has He hid me and made me a polished arrow; in His quiver has He kept me close and concealed me.

Hebrews 4:12 (AMPC) For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.

I’ve been watching various videos of some individuals known for their abilities in healing, deliverance, miracles, signs and wonders. I’ve also observed the attendees and their various questions, comments and  testimonies. One comment that sticks with me is that “I had to dumb it down for the common  people.” That disappointed me so much in the speaker and colored my perception of everything that followed. Attendees wanted to be noticed and acknowledged; testimonies needed to be more amazing than the other guy’s. How is this different from the traditional churches these individuals left?

Jesus didn’t seem to be the center of conversation. Relationship with Him didn’t seem to factor in except as it involved the power individuals wanted, and my heart sank. Fortunately, the names of leaders who deeply value relationship with Jesus were mentioned occasionally, so I knew those in the videos knew that Jesus would be first or He would not bless their striving for the miraculous. The miraculous should flow from relationship, should it not?

In contrast I attended a meeting where the person ministering knew Jesus and reached out in patience and gentleness to a small congregation who understood little of the supernatural. After patiently repeating concepts several times, he opened the meeting to those needing healing. Among the conditions he called out were multiple personalities in one individual who got a miraculous healing. Others received healing of diabetes, thyroid problems, arthritis, etc. My faith was so enriched and affirmed. I was one of those healed of arthritis.

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What about Jesus’ followers who are quiet and pursue Him passionately for who He is? That brought me to Isaiah 49 and verse 2 spoke to my heart. There are those who know the Lord and Master for who He is – Lord and Master. They bow down and offer themselves as bondservants, love slaves. And they know they are hidden until the Master releases them. They know the power in their Master’s words. They have submitted to the sanding of rough edges, and then being dropped into His  quiver to await the right time for being released. Meantime, they have learned the power of His Word and have learned from precious experiences that their Master is trustworthy. So they are pursuing intimacy with Jesus while waiting expectantly for God’s timing for their release into His divine purposes.

Habakkuk 2:3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie. Though it tarry, wait for it, because it will surely come; it will not tarry.

Hebrews 10:37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

God has not forgotten either you or His promises. He is absolutely trustworthy and you can count on Him. The time for your release is drawing near and He will reveal Himself through you, the humble, soft-spoken (no need to shout God’s words), and deeply committed ones.

Fierce Defender

Isaiah 49:24-26 Amplified Bible (personalized)

24 “Can the spoils of war be taken from the mighty man, Or the captive (my brother) of a tyrant (Satan) be rescued?”

25 Indeed, this is what the Lord says, “Even the captive of the mighty man (Satan) will be taken away, And the tyrant’s spoils of war (my brother) will be rescued; For I will contend with (my brother’s) opponent, And I will save My child (my brother).

26 “I will make those who oppress (my brother) consume their own flesh [in mutually destructive wars] And they will become drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine; And all mankind will know [with a knowledge grounded in personal experience] that I, the Lord, am (my brother’s) Savior, and (his)  Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”

 I have been pleading for the healing and restoration of a man who is fighting for his mind. He has been consigned to a nursing home as having dementia with other serious physical disabilities. His siblings are believers in Jesus and healing but they don’t know how to approach God’s throne boldly in faith. I suggested the above Scripture as a prayer to be prayed back to the One Who wrote this passage and is also The Healer.

Sometimes the most effective prayers are the Bible verses you feel drawn to as prayers in another person’s behalf. God’s promises to His little children for their protection are breathtaking. I have personally experienced my heavenly Father’s defense against opponents far bigger than me, even when I didn’t deserve it. The triune God is intensely jealous of His children’s love and runs to their defense when He hears their weak call for help. He is honored by those standing nearby, watching to see what God will do, when He thunders a warning and reaches out to lift the tormented one to safety.

Our God is an awesome God, worthy to be trusted as little children trust their parents. Thank you, Lord God, for Your gentle loving care when we are weak and helpless. Your tenderness and mercy are overwhelming. You leave me wordless!