Monday, March 30, 2015

He Sends His Word and He Heals Us

Happy Monday!

I am so aware of my blessings this morning and so grateful to my kind and loving Heavenly Father today! We never know what's in the heart of someone else and I want to share what's in mine this morning.

I am the most blessed person on the planet. I have every blessing that anyone can have in life - a wonderful relationship with my Saviour, a loving husband and family, wonderful friends, good health and a beautiful home...everything!

But I have been believing a lie from the enemy for several years and it has hurt me and hindered me deeply. I knew in my head that it was a lie. God had shown me this and I'd even 'seen' the demon, but knowing in my head and getting set free in my heart were two different things.

And I had waged war against this lie and I know how to do this. I had worshiped. I had gotten into the Presence of My Father to receive His healing, I had taken the 'sword of the Word' and attacked this thought regularly but it was like a shadow over all my thinking.  Every encounter that I had with people was shaded by this lie.

I don't mean to be cryptic in not telling you what the lie was - I just don't want you to feel sorry for me!  I really mean that. I think anyone who knows me would be surprised by the lie that I was living under.

On Friday, a lovely lady named Marsha Splenderosa, ( did the nicest thing.  She commented on my blog, Gates of Crystal, but also featured our family room on her own blog.  That's nice enough but something about the words she said to me went straight to my heart.

Now, I don't know what all it takes to get a person set free.  I don't know what finally tips the scale so that we can 'hear and receive' the voice of God, but this kind lady's words to me tipped the scale.

Many of you have said kind words to me and I think your words were also part of the healing.  Many of you have blessed me and helped me to do what God was telling me to do,  but when I read Marsha's words, I suddenly began to hear God speaking to me!  I'm not going to tell you what He said.  God is SO gracious and SO kind and He loves us and is proud of us, like a Father.  His LOVE covers a multitude of our sins and He continues to see the good in us and inspire us to be all He has called us to be.

And with a few sentences, He healed me.  I have tears in my eyes as I write that sentence. God has always been so good to me and He is SO faithful but it was freshly amazing to me to hear how He sees me. And I was amazed to realize that 'the lie' was gone.

I am filled with 'fresh expectation.'  I have fresh HOPE for the future and this lie had been destroying my hope.

A few months ago, I learned that a young woman that I knew several years ago had taken her life. On the surface, she had everything; a loving, successful husband, a beautiful little girl, a life full of promise.  What lie was she living under that caused her to lose hope?

If you are losing hope, if you are living under a lie that is contrary to the truth of God's Word, please know that God sees your heart and He is fighting to get His Word to you and save you. Spend time in His presence. Spend time in His Word. Cry out to Him and ask Him to help you.

I did all these things but when I ran out of everything I knew to do, I finally just began to yell, "Help me!" over and over again, every day, every night.

Please let me know if I can pray for you.

love and blessings~

"He sent His Word and healed them and delivered them from all their destruction."  Psalm 107:20

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Power of Unforgiveness

*If you've not read my last post, "The Power of Forgiveness" please read that first.*

Several years ago I was part of a group that was praying for a gentleman who had cancer.  The power of God was very evident as we prayed for him and we were all very hopeful that this dear man would be healed.  The Lord had instructed his wife not to use any of the traditional medicines and she was obeying and feeding him with all organic, healthy food.  His doctor was also a believer in Christ and was monitoring his cancer and obeying the Lord.

So I was heart-broken when after praying for several months I received a call during the middle of the night that this dear man had gone home to be with Jesus. 

After we had celebrated his life and laid him to rest, I went to Lord one day and asked, "Why?"  "Why, God, when we had literally felt Your Presence, obeyed what You told us to do, and believed You so completely? Why, when I know it's always Your will to heal, why did this man not receive healing?"

And I heard one word from the Lord.  "Anger."  

I kept this to myself and just continued to give my heart to the Lord, thinking about what He had said. 

One day, a couple of months after this, the man's widow called me.  And in the course of our conversation, she asked me, "Do you know why he died?"  And I carefully and kindly shared with her what the Lord had told me.

She surprised me by saying, "You know, that's true. He was very angry at his mom. Whenever she would leave, he would tell me that 'his skin crawled' whenever she touched him."

God's Word tells us that we are judged according to the way we judge others. It also tells us that we must forgive.

So, I want to propose to you a thought.  

I believe that this man's unforgiveness was the thing that stopped him from receiving the healing that God is always willing to give.  But I want to take it even further than that.  I believe that this anger and unforgiveness could have been the very 'root' of the cancer.  This anger could have been the sin that gave the cancer legal access to him.

Healing and salvation are synonymous. Did you know that the literal meaning of the name 'Jesus' is "He heals/He saves?"  

Some people are troubled by the story of Job.  But I am always comforted by it.  
Satan comes before God and has to receive permission before attacking Job. God follows His own legal system and there was a sin in Job's life that gave the enemy legal access to him.  We find that in Job 3:25, Job says, "For what I fear has come upon me, and what I dread befalls me."  Even though Job was a righteous man, He feared that he would lose it all.  And through that fear, he opened the door for the enemy.

Sin opens the door for the enemy.  But even more than that, unforgiveness and bitterness can literally make us sick.

I want to propose that if this is the cause for the illness that even as we forgive, we are healed. As we release our judgment on others, we stop the judgment on ourselves. As we walk in love, we open our hearts to receive the healing love of God.

I have been really surprised by some people's reaction to this thought.  Some people would rather choose to believe that it's not always God's will to heal than take some responsibility for their illness.  I have seen people become very offended over this thought.  But then I have to realize that it may be an offense that has caused their illness in the first place.

I want to be sure and say that this is NOT THE ONLY REASON for illness.  I want to be sure that I don't cause anyone to ever look at someone who is really sick and think, "They're really a sinner." Because there are other reasons for illness. One is the food we eat - or the food we don't eat - that greatly weakens our immune system.  

Another is the 'curse of the generations.'  The Word tells us 'that the sins of the father are visited on the next generations.'  

Scientists and doctors call this 'heredity.'  This is another subject, but the Blood of Christ has the power to break this curse. I believe that when we receive salvation, our DNA is changed.  I'll try to write more on this subject another day.

We each need to seek the Holy Spirit for the root of sickness.

We need to understand that anger and judgment and unforgiveness are sins and will destroy us.  God tells us never to let the sun go down on our anger.  Over the years, anger becomes bitterness and bitterness and love cannot co-habitate. 

Forgiveness is a choice we make.  God will do the rest.

love and blessings~

"Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions." Mark 11:25  

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Power of Forgiveness

The book of Ephesians talks about 'our weapons of warfare' but did you ever realize that 'forgiveness' is a powerful weapon of warfare?

In Matthew 18:21, Jesus talks about forgiveness, saying,

"the Kingdom of Heaven may be compared to a King forgiving the debts of His slaves."  

Jesus goes on to tell the story of a king who forgave a man of a very large debt.  The man left the King's presence thankful for this forgiveness but when he encountered a man who owed him a very small debt, had him thrown into prison.

Jesus then explains that when we refuse to forgive others, we ourselves are thrown into prison until all our debts are paid.  Jesus also prays in "The Lord's Prayer" (Matthew 6)

"...forgive us our debts AS we forgive our debtors..." 

When we have unforgiveness towards others, God does not forgive us our sins.  And our sins can destroy us.

We are hurt the deepest by those closest to us.  The deeper the love and intimacy, the more powerful the wound.  And maybe there's someone in your life that hurts you over and over again.  Did you realize that you can set them free, break this pattern in their life, and enable God to change them, by your forgiveness?

The Word tells us that we are to overcome evil with good.  (Romans 12:21)  Anger feeds anger. Unforgiveness feeds unforgiveness.  But love and forgiveness break the pattern, destroy the bondage, and bring the Kingdom of God into the situation.

We've all had to forgive.  And some have had to forgive things that have done great damage in their lives.  God is not without compassion.  Jesus Himself was betrayed and abandoned by those closest to Him.  He experienced the pain of rejection and knows how deeply it can go.

Forgiveness breaks bondage, heals wounds, sets the captive free and brings physical healing.  There is a saying that when you forgive someone, the captive you set free is 'you' but you also set the other person free.

Forgiveness is a decision.  It doesn't mean that the moment we make this decision that our heart will be healed.  But it begins the process.

When my daughter was 3 months old, I worked full time. I came home one day to find her face bruised all around her eyes. Our babysitter explained that she had dropped her face onto her 'baby box.'  (a learning toy that was popular then)  I had no reason to not believe her. I even wrote this injury into her baby book as her 'first.'

About a year later this same babysitter called me, crying. She confessed that Laura's injury had been because she (the babysitter) had hit her repeatedly. I was heart-broken.

I was home by then with Laura but my worst fear was realized. Every mother fears that she will leave her child with someone that will hurt them and I was horrified that the very first person I had chosen had abused my baby.

I not only had to forgive this person - I had to forgive myself.

I grieved for 10 days. I couldn't eat and I made myself sick. I cried and prayed and hugged my daughter and implored God but could find no peace. Finally one day, on my knees in my bedroom, I cried out to God and asked Him if He would please remind me of something horrible I had done so that I might have mercy on this lady and be able to forgive her.

And in that moment God transported me into outer space. I could see that I was in an endless black void. I could see stars all around me that spread into eternity. I experienced how vast and infinite God's universe was. And God spoke to me.

He said,
"I can't remind you because I don't remember."  

And He brought to my mind the scripture, "As far as the East is from the West - so far has He removed our transgressions from us." (Psalms 103:12)

And the anger and hatred in me broke in the face of His immeasurable mercy.

I was overwhelmed as I understood that the God of the Universe CHOSE to completely forget all my sin. As I cried and cried, speaking and declaring my forgiveness and blessing over this lady, God poured out an anointing of Joy and healed my heart.

Wounded people wound people.

Those who have been abused, abuse others.

Praying for those who have hurt you is the quickest way to forgiveness.  As we go to the Father on their behalf, He causes us to understand their weaknesses and have compassion on them.  They have been hurt too. And we may not know how deeply.

And yes, you're doing it for them.  Not just for yourself.  Just like Christ died for your sins, you die to your right 'to be right.'  And in all honestly, none of us is completely 'right.'

I never got a chance to speak to this lady again.  She did not leave me her number or call me again. But I spoke blessings over her life.  I prayed that she was able to forgive herself and be the person God called her to be. It took great courage to call me and confess her sin.  She didn't have to do it. But she did it because the Word commands us to confess our sins.  I know that God will bless her for obeying His Word.

She also had a daughter and both our children are grown now.  My daughter has children.  My daughter is deeply loved by God and I trust that He has healed any wounds that have been done to her.  He is Faithful and True.  He is able to do over and above all that we would think or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20) And as I release these things and the people in my life to Him, He is merciful and loving.

None of us has received what we deserve.  Jesus bore what we each deserve and extends to each of us His forgiveness.  We need to walk in His ways, extending our forgiveness to others.

love and blessings~

"Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions." Mark 11:25

I'm linking up with:
Imparting Grace - Grace at Home

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Blessing of Pain

None of us get through this life without emotional pain.  The death of a parent, the loss or rejection of a loved one, emotional or physical abuse - all these things are very common in this world - and can cause deep emotional wounds.  If we let them.

I don't propose that we have the power to overcome these things by ourselves - but 'in Christ' we can. And I think we can actually benefit.

How we handle pain can 'make us or break us.'  The old saying, "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger," can be true but sometimes what doesn't kill us, might just make us bitter.  And then the enemy has gained a strong-hold in our lives.

I have had a very painful situation in my life from a very young age - my dad.  Without going into detail and losing the focus of this post, this hurt in my life has shaped me and has had the potential to destroy the calling on my life.  My dad died this past November and the last few months have been very hard.  So I want to propose a new thought - what if pain can be a blessing?

 "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

This is a truth that I remind myself of whenever I am tempted to be discouraged.  And meditating on this thought until it becomes a reality to you can change your perspective on everything.

It's the painful things in our lives that shape us the most.  The Word tells us that Jesus learned obedience through suffering (Hebrews 5:8) and it's always fascinated me that Jesus, Who was perfect and without sin, had to suffer to learn obedience.  And I confess that I don't understand that at all. But if Jesus had to suffer then I can accept that suffering can be a righteous thing and that God can use it to change us for His Glory.

So in this season, I have talked a lot to God.  For me, this is different than 'prayer.'  Prayer, to me, is to get into the Presence of God, receive His direction and declare the things that He is saying.

But I talk to God all day long.  I give Him my hurts, tell Him what I'm thinking and ask Him to correct me and help me, confess my weaknesses, tell Him how much I need Him and that He is perfect in all His ways.  I depend on God to get through my day.

And in this season, I've submitted to the pain.

I've asked God to use this pain to shape me into the person He's called me to be.  I won't say for one minute that this has been easy.  I have tears in my eyes even as I write this.  And I can't say that I don't 'fear' how deeply this hurt can go.

But I know I have a Saviour.  He is Faithful and True. I know He sees every hurt that's in my heart and He puts every tear in a bottle (Psalm 56:8).  I know He knows me better than I know myself and even more than that, He knows things that I don't know.  He knows what's coming.  He knows what I need.  He knows how to help me and strengthen me.  I yield myself whole-heartedly to His wisdom and love.

This season is still hard but I can't imagine how hard it would be without Him.  Without Him, I would be lost and I would break.  But with Him, I am trusting that I will come out victorious and filled with joy.  I am trusting that someday I will be able to look at this season in my life and see His presence through it all.

"For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I have been fulling known." 1 Cor 13:12

love and blessings~

"Behold, I have inscribed YOU on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me." Isaiah 49:16

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Trumpet and Small Straws in a Soft Wind

This daily prophecy by Bill and Marsha Burns is always such an encouragement to me!  If you do not already subscribe to their daily emails, I would encourage you to do so!  Today is beautiful.

The Trumpet and Small Straws

I see and know your whole life. I have walked with you in the valley of the shadow of death. And, even though you may not remember, I have encouraged you to keep going, to keep moving, and to come to this place that I have brought you to so that you are dwelling in a place of liberty under the shadow of My wings. And, from this point on, things will be different. You can experience joy and peace in a fresh way. Renew your relationship with Me and walk with Me as I lead you into the fullness of My kingdom, says the Lord.  Be blessed! Be renewed!
You are beginning to deal with all kinds of change in your life--from slight to radical.  Change requires adjustment.  If you refuse to be flexible and are unyielding and rigid, it will be a painful experience.  Do all that is necessary to accommodate the process of adjusting to things that are different than they were.  Let this become a time of spiritual growth as you seek Me in all things, says the Lord.  My love for you never changes.  Hebrews 13:8  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

I am the Righteousness of God through Christ Jesus!

My daughter was still a little girl when she asked me one day, "Mom, what's your favorite Bible verse?"  Instantly my mind swirled with all the beautiful scripture that I knew, the way God had spoken to me in special circumstances with each one and how it would be impossible to pick  a favorite.  It would be like picking a favorite love song or a favorite day in my life. 

Because a Bible verse isn't just a Bible verse - it's a moment with God.

But the next day I told her that I thought I had picked one.

"He made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Corinthians 5:21

The whole story of mankind summed up in one verse.  God made Jesus, who was perfect and Holy and who knew NO sin to BECOME SIN for us so that we might become the RIGHTEOUSNESS of GOD through Him!  Mind-boggling!

God hung on a cross and became sin to pay mankind's debt and because of the life-blood that He shed, I have become 'the righteousness of God!'

I remember the first time I realized what this verse was saying.

I have had a wonderful book for the last 30 years called, "Prayers That Avail Much"  compiled by Germaine Copeland.  I'm on my 5th copy.  My previous 4 copies literally fell apart because I had used them so much.  It's simply the Word of God grouped into topics for you to pray over yourself.  I finally bought the 25 year anniversary copy that's bound in leather like a Bible and holds up much better.

But shortly after having this book I came across a prayer that had 2 Cor 5:21 turned around to first person.  And the first time I tried to say, "I am the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus,"  I couldn't do it.  I sat there dumbfounded.  Could that be right?  Because of the sacrifice of Jesus, I am now the righteousness of God?  It took me a while and some tears, but I finally got it.

A moment with God.

I finally understood that because of my Saviour Jesus, I am a new and perfect creature in the covenant of Christ.  I am clothed in a robe of righteousness. Because of His sacrifice and my acceptance, I am washed clean and made whole.  When God looks at me, He does not see my sin. Instead He sees the sacrifice of Jesus that I've accepted.

And when the enemy looks at me, He's blinded by the light of Jesus.  When I speak out the Word of God it comes with power and blinding light and it destroys the works of the evil.  I am God's mouth-piece on this earth. It's like the song says - "Not because of who I am, but because of what You've done.  Not because of what I've done, but because of Who You are."  (Chris Tomlin)

And now I remind myself of it all the time.  And I tell others..."You're the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus!"  We need to know who we are.  We need to walk in it.  It's the key to everything else.  It's Christ in us, the hope of Glory.

And because I know that that's who God intends me to be, I have hope that I can live up to that.  I have an image before my mind's eye - a goal to attain. The Word says, "As a man thinks, so he is." (Proverbs 23:7) As I keep this pure thought before me, I begin to walk in it.  

And I become the Word of God.  

love and blessings~

"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."  Romans 12:2