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The mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace ~Romans 8:6~

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The Blessing of being a “left-over”

Isaiah 11:16-12:6 “And there will be a highway from Assyria for the remnant of His people who will be left, just as there was for Israel in the day that they came up out of the land of Egypt. Then you will say on that day, I will give thanks to You, O Lord; for although You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me. Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and song. And He has become my salvation. Therefore you will joyously draw water from the springs of salvation. And in that day you will say Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name. Make known His deeds among the peoples; Make them remember that His name is exalted. Praise the Lord in song, for He has done excellent things; Let this be known throughout the earth. Cry aloud and shout for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”

You know we enjoy cooking and eating at our house. As a matter of fact, Grace House is known for the amazing pies that my husband David bakes from scratch in what seems to me, a diabetic who doesn’t eat sweets, to be baked way too often. But I will say on those pies I do taste on occasion, they seem to always be better, more tasty, the day after baking, just as most food does, when it sits longer for the flavors to have time to marry and be enhanced over time rather than being thrown together just before eating. Left-overs are more enjoyable to the pallet and really when you think about it, it appears that being a left-over with God is more enjoyable too.

Over the last couple of years the Lord has been spotlighting the word “remnant” to me in scripture passages as well as many other non-Biblical places I see or hear that word. Something, or rather Someone – The Holy Spirit within me, quickens me to take note, pay attention, and of course, He being my Teacher of all things, has to me to dig deeper into this Word He is giving me.

In my morning’s Bible meditation today, once again the Word remnant jumped out at me from Isaiah 11:16.  I saw the most beautiful promise for God’s remnant, those of us who will remain by the Grace of God, who will overcome as Revelations 12:11 tells us, because of the blood of the Lamb, the word of our testimony, and we do not love our life even when faced with death; those of us who will remain even when others around us fall away, give up on God or are destroyed by their lack of vision, lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes or pride of life. My God says that for His remnant, He will prepare a highway, a clear road to travel, a way of escape that we only need to step out in faith and take, from Assyria, which represents bondage, slavery, captivity and sure death, to freedom, salvation, abundant life in Christ, our promised land, just as He did for His people when He parted the Red Sea and led them to their promised land. And we don’t have to take 40 years to make an 11 day journey with the Lord like they did if we stay focused on Him, but of course with us being human as they were, we get to sight-seeing taking our focus off Him, or complaining as they did, that things we knew in captivity were better than the unknown of walking daily with Him so like them, we often make some bumps & ruts in our God-given Highway, slipping and tripping into muddy pot holes or ditches sometimes, so we have to circle the mountain a few times ourselves until we get back right with Him again.

Revelations 12:11 “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.”

That’s a problem for most Christians today and why they are not overcoming the enemy of our souls and the situations and circumstances, trials and tribulations, afflictions we face in this fallen earth; its because we just want to claim the first two parts of that verse and question God why we aren’t able to overcome. He tells us in the last part that we have to stop loving “our” life and start dying to self. We were never meant to look like or act like the world ya’ll. We are to be a set apart people for a set apart purpose – Kingdom people with Kingdom purpose, God’s peculiar treasure. Stop trying to fit in and start standing out as one who stands up for Jesus and lives according to His Word regardless of what the rest of the folks around you are doing. Then you will overcome anything you face. There is power in the Name of Jesus so if you bear His Name, then you need to shine in it from your forehead as the first thing people see in you as one who moves forward, not hidden behind your backside while you lay up and rest on your laurels. Each day is a new day to seek and serve the Lord. We must Keep walking!

That Word “Remnant” is interesting to me. What I found in the Old Testament Hebrew expresses meaning from several words: Yeter, “that which is left over”; she’ar, “that which remains”; she’rit, “residue”; pelitah, “one who escapes”; sarid, “a survivor”; and, sherut, “one loosed from bonds”. In the New Testament remnant comes from the Greek words: kataleimma, leimma, and loipos where several activities of everyday life are associated with these words conveying the meaning that these “remnant or left-over” objects or people are being separated from a larger group by selection, assignment, consumption (such as eating food), or by destruction. Whatever is “left over” is the residue, or in the case of people, those who remain after an epidemic, famine, drought, or war.

As a survivor of child molestation, teen pregnancy & abortion, addiction, grief, death of a child, divorce, sin sickness & living in destruction of all kinds, some by my own doing and some at the hands of other’s sin, but by the Grace of God today I am forgiven and have forgiven others; washed by the blood of Jesus and adorned in His love, His righteousness, I am one who has escaped and you can too. I have escaped from bondage to freedom; escaped death, hell and the grave because I have absolute faith that Jesus took back the keys to those things for me when He died on the cross and resurrected from the grave. I am a member of God’s remnant. I was loosed from my bonds and have escaped in the way of the Lord where no tribulation can ever destroy my spirit, His Spirit within me, I am counted blessed in that great number. Hallejulah!  Are you? You can be my dear friend, no matter where you have been, no matter where you are right this moment, you can give your heart and life to Jesus as I have, and be set free. Just confess your need to Him now and ask for His forgiveness, and turn from it to walk in the Highway that He has prepared already for you, the way that you should go from here. Let Him use your mess as your message, your test did not destroy you, it is your testimony. Walk in God’s grace from here, forgiven and free.

That thought of epidemic, famine, drought and war made me think of Revelations again and the multitude from the Tribulation, and again look at God’s beautiful promise for those who remain faithful to Him in the end.

Revelations 7:9-17 “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb. And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen. Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from? I said to him, My lord, you know. And he said to me, These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason, they are before the throne of God; and they serve Him day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them. They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”

Isaiah 12:3 “Therefore you will joyously draw water from the springs of salvation.”

John 7:37-39 “Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water. But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”

Revelations 7:17 “for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”

Holy Spirit of God, You flow from within me rivers of living water. You give me deep abiding abundant life, grace that is sufficient to face and walk through all things, peace in place of fear, strength in place of my weaknesses, joy in place of sorrow, eternal life which springs forth from within my soul. You spread Your tabernacle over me and cause me to dwell in Your Presence. I will praise and serve you day and night in this vessel, Your temple until You shed me of it for my Heavenly clothing. I joyously draw water from You Holy Spirit, the springs of my salvation. Jesus, I thank You my Lord and Savior for dying for me that I can live for You. It is an honor and privilege to be Your child. You wipe away all my tears and fill my heart with joy. Bless You my God. May You be blessed this day and every day through the works of Your Hands, the hearts of Your remnant, Your children, Abba, those who know you, and those who are still to come to know you. Holy Spirit fall on the lost and hurting soul who is reading this now, prick their heart and let all the deception, the shame, the guilt, the blame, the bitterness and the pain flow out of it so that You may fill it with faith in Jesus, with Your Spirit God and they, like me can know you and live to love You and others in the love that only You in us can bring. It’s all about You. It all comes from You. You are my love and my life. I am so thankful that in Your Kingdom those who are last here will be first and those who are first will be last. I am so grateful to be one of your multitude of left-overs in Jesus Name. Amen

God loves you and I love you. Keep Walking!

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Part 3: There is No Defeat in Christ Jesus. The Victory is in the Unseen!

This is the third and final part of the unseen things that bring us Victory as a Child of God, the angel armies that our Father has standing on ready to defend you and me. I hope it brings you better understanding and comfort as you walk out this journey called life to face your trials and afflictions in boldness and faith. It’s a long blog because I just typed in the Spirit as He led, so chew on it as you can or print to use as a reference as needed later.

Did you know that as a child of God you have all of Heaven supporting you, fighting for you, and protecting you in the battles and dangers you face. You are not alone! You just have to have that emunah faith we discussed in Part 1 of this lesson and the Holy Spirit of God that we discussed in Part 2 in order seal your faith, look with your eyes, listen with your ears to trust God when you can’t trace Him, in order to believe Him when you can’t see Him, knowing that He is Who He says He is and He can and will do what He says He can and will do for you child. Ask Him to open your Spiritual eyes to see into all Truth in the battle you are facing. Ask Him to give you wisdom and discernment to know who is for you and who is against you, and to know how to fight to ensure you win the battles of life this side of Heaven. He has a host of angels ready, willing and able to defeat any enemy that comes against you.

I love the following scripture on Elisha and his servant. It shows us how critical our perception is, that is our view of ourselves and our situations and those who are coming against us. Our perception is critical in how secure we feel we are in life’s battles, whether we stand in faith, believing God is for us and with us to fight to win, or if our perception is tainted, distorted by doubt, fear, shame & guilt, we will cower and run feeling like we are abandoned in this situation to fight all alone with no hope of victory so we throw in the towel, concede to our enemies, our sin, ourselves, and give up in defeat. Hey, Jesus didn’t throw in the towel and give up on me so I’m not throwing in the towel to give up on Him! I’m fighting with Him with my eyes fixed on Him, knowing He is by me with Heaven’s army at the ready and He is all-powerful in me to win! Amen!!!

2 Kings 6:8-17 8Now the king of Aram was at war with Israel. After conferring with his officers, he said, “I will set up my camp in such and such a place.” 9The man of God sent word to the king of Israel: “Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there.” 10So the king of Israel checked on the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he was on his guard in such places. 11This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, “Tell me! Which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?” 12“None of us, my LORD the king,” said one of his officers, “but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.” 13“Go, find out where he is,” the king ordered, “so I can send men and capture him.” The report came back: “He is in Dothan.” 14Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city. 15When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my LORD! What shall we do?” the servant asked. 16“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, LORD, so that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”


The Arameans had plotted to capture Elisha the Prophet – the man of God, to stop him from telling the Israelites, God’s chosen people, how to avoid disaster, destruction and death to overcome their enemy and win.

I’d dare say the enemy sets up traps for you & me too every day, But God! Just like with Elisha, God has a host of angels ministering (serving) on our behalf too. If you could just see into the Spirit realm you would see like Elisha and his servant did and understand that there are more fighting with you and for you than there are fighting against you.

God wants us to look at Him, focus on Him, and not focus on the enemy or our circumstances. Meditate on the truth of God’s words, not the enemies lies and all the fearful thoughts that devil sends to you. Celebrate your victory even when you don’t see it yet with your natural eyes. Don’t even consider the possibility of defeat. There is no defeat in Christ.

The Bible goes on to tell us how the battle came out for Elisha in 2 Kings 6:18-23. Elisha didn’t have to pick up the worlds weapons. He didn’t have to run or hide. He didn’t even have to resort to the same tactics that his enemy was using. Elisha just had to stand firm in his faith in God, pray, believing that God would perform the miracles Elisha was asking of Him, and then step out in faith, believing and receiving as God did just as Elisha asked Him to.

2Kings 6:18-23 “As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the LORD, “Strike this army with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked. Elisha told them, “This is not the road and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will lead you to the man you are looking for.” And he led them to Samaria. After they entered the city, Elisha said, “LORD, open the eyes of these men so they can see.” Then the LORD opened their eyes and they looked, and there they were, inside Samaria. When the king of Israel saw them, he asked Elisha, “Shall I kill them, my father? Shall I kill them?” “Do not kill them,” he answered. “Would you kill those you have captured with your own sword or bow? Set food and water before them so that they may eat and drink and then go back to their master.” So he prepared a great feast for them, and after they had finished eating and drinking, he sent them away, and they returned to their master. So the bands from Aram stopped raiding Israel’s territory.

If you are in Christ, don’t run from life’s battles, run TO the battle line with the name of Jesus on you and in you. Be assured the devil will flee when you use your weapons of warfare.

Ephesians 6:10-18 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, Having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.”

Our part in the battles of this life is to

  1. Pray – Praise, Repent, Ask, Yield
  2. Exercise your God given authority as a child of God – speak those things that aren’t (yet) as if they are! And you MUST speak out loud because the devil and his demons cannot read your thoughts, however they can gain much tactical information on how to destroy you through your body language and actions. So be sober minded and on alert and speak as one with all authority as a child of God, speak the power of life out loud over yourself, your loved ones and your situations.

3.Obey God – Repent where and when necessary to keep the clean stream flowing to see and hear more clearly to Holy Spirit in you so you don’t block the flow with sin. Listen and move as the Holy Spirit leads you step by step.


And remember, God sends His angels to fight for us and protect us.


Romans 8:31-39 “What then shall we say to these things? If god is for us who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yet, rather who was raised who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or peril or sword? Just as it is written for your sake we are being put to death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered. But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:28 “And we know God uses all things to good to those who love Him and those who have been called according to His purpose.”

Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight”

Hebrews 1:14 “Are they (ANGELS) not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?” 

We who know Christ as Lord and Savior of our heart and life are the “heirs of salvation” according to

Romans 8:16-17 “The (Holy) Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together”.

As John 6:44 & 65; and Rev 21:7 tell us, Christians are those called by God to one day “inherit all things”. Contrary to many popular beliefs, people never turn into angels when they go to heaven, so the bell ringing of the old movie “It’s a wonderful life” was just a Hollywood fable. Humans and humans created to live in relationship with God as His children, adopted sons and daughters. Angels are spirit beings created by God with greater knowledge and power than human beings (II Peter 2:11) created for the purpose of assisting those called and begotten by God (humans).  Angels have been given power by God to do what they are called to do but they are not like God who is the only one who is All-Present, All-Knowing and All-Powerful. Humans are the only ones that God says are created in His Image. Angels were created as servants to God.

Here me on this, we are not to worship angels. We are led by the Holy Spirit, the 3rd person of the Trinity Godhead, as He appoints over us His angels to direct our path and fight for us.

Rev. 19:10 “And I (John) fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

The Greek term translated “to minister”, in Hebrews 1:14 is leitourgeo, meaning “to worship, obey, relieve”. God will never leave you nor forsake you but you can quench the Holy Spirit causing you not to hear Him or operate or walk in Him and causing Him to withdraw His protective angels.

Exodus 23:20-22 “Behold, I send an angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. Beware of Him and obey His voice; do not provoke Him, for He will not pardon your transgressions; for My name is in Him. But if you indeed obey His voice and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.”

Apostle Pauls’ says  in 1 Corinthians 6:3 ”Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?”

These verses show that angels serve God’s people now and will also serve and answer to His children in the future.

In Job and in some other scriptures, angels are referred to as sons of God but they were not begotten of God as Christ was, they were called sons because they were created by God.

Romans 8:29 “says that Christ is “the firstborn among many brethren” – that again is us humans who are grafted in to God’s family by knowing Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

It is not biblical to say that we have only 1 Guardian angel per person, and again, your dearly departed loved one is not your guardian angel. They are up there praising and living in their eternal blessed glory with Abba God and Jesus. God’s word tells us He has a host of angels working on our behalf so let’s be glad in the fact that our loved ones don’t have to come back to do that work ok. There work on this earth is done.

Psalms 91:11 “for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.”

When Jesus was being tempted in the wilderness by satan the Bible says that satan said to Jesus:

Matthew 4:6 “and said to Him, if you are the son of God throw yourself down; for it is written, He will command His angels concerning you and on their hands they will bear you up so that you will not strike your foot against a stone”

Psalms 91:11 “For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.”

No one knows for sure how many angels were actually created. The bible tells us that when Lucifer, later renamed satan, was thrown out of Heaven because of his prideful rebellion, he took 1/3 of the angels with him and they became demons.

King David demonstrated the number of angels that are loyal to God by saying in

Psalms 68:17 “The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place”

This shows that we have a vast spirit army on our side who wins! Whenever angels carry out their responsibilities, they are acting strictly on behalf of the Father and Christ and according to their express will and intent.

Revelations 5:11 says “ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands”

There is an infinite or innumerable multitude of angels in God’s Kingdom, some in Heaven and some serving Him here among us on earth.

Matthew 26:53 “Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?” (72,000)

Michael and Gabriel are the only two angels mentioned by name in the entire Bible. Angels have appointed assignments and their functions are different, just as our needs for them are different.

Psalm 34:7 “The angel of the Lord encamps round about them that fear Him and delivers them.”

Gabriel has been sent at times as mentioned in the bible to give understanding to humans of God’s plan such as to Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist (Luke 1:8) and Mary the Mother of Jesus) (Luke 1:30).

Michael was created as a warring spirit angel. Many times the Bible tells us Michael was involved in fighting the enemies of God and enemies of God’s people. Satan cannot stand against Michael and his angels. They are always victorious.

Daniel 12:1 “At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation. Even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book.”

“Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” Jude 1:9

Rev. 12:7-8 “and war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer”

In the book of Daniel, Michael came to Gabriel’s aid when he was unable to fight his way through the demonic principalities of the air (Daniel 10:13)

Many biblical accounts of angels physically manifesting themselves to God’s people show that they appeared as men, not women and not children. Again, the TV show “Touched by an Angel” was fiction.

Genesis 18 – three “men” visited Abraham . One of them was the “Angel of the Lord” and the other two were angels appearing as men. “angel of the Lord is the pre-incarnate Jesus” stayed behind with Abraham while the two angels went ahead to the city of Sodom. (again the account continues in Genesis 19:1 and are referred to as men in verse 5 where the perverted citizens of Sodom accosted Lot, demanding that he turn his guests over to them.

In the New Testament, angels appear as men in Matthew 28:5 and Mark 16:5 to Mary Magdalene and Mary, Zebedee’s wife; Luke 24:4 where they waited at Christ’s tomb as men and John 20:11-13 described the men as angels. Many New Testament accounts reference angels being present during the apostolic era where there was so much opposition to the Church and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Matt 1:20; 2:19; 28:2-7; Luke 1:11-20; 26-38; Acts 5:19-20; 10:3-6; 12;7-9; Matt 18:10 and Galatians 1:8.

Here’s why this is very important to us today to understand as we can all see that evil is very present as the Word tells us and we need to understand that we are not fighting the battle alone. This is a Kingdom battle with spiritual warriors on both sides and we humans in the middle. There is no neutral ground.

One of my favorite scriptures that always reminds me of my Mamaw Franklin, my Mother’s Mother who lived in Tennessee is Hebrews 13:2. My mother said that when she was a little girl following the depression, my Mamaw would leave plates of food out on the back steps of their home for the Hobo’s who would walk up from the train tracks and eat it. Momma said that she was embarrassed about the Hobo’s always coming to their back door so when she said this to Mamaw that she wished she didn’t feed them, Mamaw quoted this scripture to her and said we never know when we are entertaining angels unaware. Mama didn’t complain to Mamaw anymore. My grandmother was not an educated woman by the worlds standards but a very wise and discerning soul, a faithful Woman of God very spiritually intuned with many gifts that were used to serve God by serving others.

Hebrews 13:2 “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares”

As this scripture also tells us, when involving themselves in human affairs, angels seldom, if ever make it known that they are angels. Sometimes we find out after the fact, but usually never while they are here serving our needs or as in the case of my Mamaw, and Abraham in Genesis 18:1-8, Rahab and others in serving them while they are out serving God, as God has given us that opportunity.

Paul’s instructs us here that we are to always respond to those who ask for or need our hospitality as if they were God’s own spiritual messengers. Our treatment of these “strangers” may have a direct bearing on the extent to which we receive angelic protection and intervention.

When the saints of the Lord come together to pray, praise, and worship, the Lord’s Angels will enter into the midst of them.

Luke 15:10 “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents”

God’s Word clearly tells us to Fear Not and it also tells us that we have Heaven’s army fighting for us as well as “we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us”

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind”

–          Satan uses fear to cause us to take our focus off God.

–          Fear is a trap satan uses to keep us from yielding our lives to God and experiencing God’s peace & love

–          Satan may win a few battles on this earth but the victory is God’s in the end and ours too,

–          Fear is the emotional pain in the soul of unbelief.

–          When we feel fear, it is God’s warning light to us that we need to respond with faith.

–          Fear & faith cannot exist simultaneously in our soul.

1 John 4:18 perfect love cast out fear, because fear involves punishment and the one who fears is not perfected in love” “There is no fear in love;

If God abides in us and we abide in Him, we will know Him and communicate with Him and trust Him.

Prov. 23:;7 tells us “what a man thinks that he is”

Isaiah 41:10 “Do not fear, for I am with you, Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”

Phil 4:4-9 tells us be anxious for nothing and it tells us how to have peace by dwelling on the things of God.

Romans 8:6 “The mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace”

Luke 12:25-26 “And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span? If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters?”

Psalm 103:20 “Praise the Lord, you angels, you mighty ones who carry out His plans, listening for each of His commands.”

Just as the secret service is always on the job, behind the scenes, watching and protecting earthly Kings, Prime Minister’s and President’s kids, we are children of the King of Kings, Jehovah God, are safety protected by his secret service angels too. These guardians not only specialize in observing and protecting, they also do their job without being noticed, sent to serve those who will receive salvation as Hebrews 1:14 tells us. Remember that wreck that should have taken you out but you walked away without a scratch while you were still out there living like the devil, well God knew before the world began that you were one who would receive salvation, just as you have now right, and here you were preserved until such as time as this.

Jesus tells us in Luke 16:22 that even when our time on earth is done and it’s time for our earthly death, for those of us who will be going to Heaven, God sends His angels to accompany us on our way home there too. That’s so comforting to me as a mother whose son has gone on to his eternal heavenly home, knowing that even though I was not there with Jordi when he died, Holy Spirit was, as were the ministering angels He called to come accompany his son home to glory.

I will leave you with these true stories from my own personal life where on three specific occasions I know God’s angels were sent to watch over and protect me. There are many many more where I had to have been entertaining angels unaware or I would sure not be here today.

The first was at Grace House where I was given clear vision to see out my kitchen window one more of a demonic in the form of a disfigured man that was cowered down, limping away from the front of our home as if he had been turned back forcibly by something as he tried to enter our home to destroy. He was looking back over his shoulder, looking straight into my eyes and then peering to my left at something as I stood watching this scene happening before my eyes.  He had this look on his face of defeat and I had the understanding that he had been unable to accomplish his mission to gain access to our home. Then God showed me what was standing to my left that this demonic was cowering away from. He had been overpowered by the huge angel that was standing by the porch post on the corner of the house with sword drawn. The look was like when a dog has been scolded or overpowered and it cowers away with head down and tail tucked between its legs. Holy Spirit spoke to me in that moment and said, ”fear not, there are angels stationed on the four corners of your home, the enemy cannot cross the blood line, nor enter in. This ground is holy and consecrated unto God; you and all within are protected by God.” I was at perfect peace and have been all the days we have been here ministering and living at Grace House.

The second was in the Millard Jail where I went to pick up a young women one night to bring her into Jacob’s Well Recovery Center. I had interviewed her for the program during the day and was supposed to take her with me at the conclusion of the interview but suddenly a $7,000 bond hold appeared on her computer records when they were trying to process her out. The jailer told me she would have to get that taken care of first before she could be released. I went on back to Jacob’s Well where my husband and I were Directors and house parents at the time and about 6pm we began a house meeting with staff and the residents. My phone rang and it was the jail calling to say that the bond had been cleared up and could I come back right then to get the girl while she was already packed and being processed out ready to go. I jumped in my car and went back to the jail which was just about 5 minutes away. When I walked in I noticed this lady sitting at a table, actually I noticed the cute antique looking boots she was wearing first because I admit I have a slight boot obsession ok, well maybe not so slight but that’s for another blog lol. Anyway, as I was walking towards the lady and past her to the intercom to tell the guard I was there to pick up the girl, this lady gets this very strange look of almost shock on her face and looks a little pale and shaky to me. She was looking behind me and staring at me, almost through me, like she is following something as I moved forward. Well it was night and I was in a jail so at first I thought someone may be coming up behind me but I just kept going on my mission and pressed the intercom button, alerted the guard who I was and who I was there to pick up. When I did the lady seem to snap back to herself and she began to cry really hard, like uncontrollably in what looked like a release of something, relief and gratitude, thanking me and thanking God. She ask me did she hear me correctly, that I was there to get . . . where she named her daughter. She kept thanking me saying she was the mother of the girl I was there to pick up and how she had been praying not knowing how to handle this jail and bond situation. She said that she was called that morning and told by her daughter that she could go to recovery after I had interviewed her, but then called back and told she couldn’t get out to go to recovery because a bond had appeared on her record so until the bond was taken care of she would have to stay in jail and may miss the opportunity to go to recovery all together if we filled the bed. So she begged her mother to come up there that day to get it cleared up. She said that this was the first they had heard of a bond so she had called a bondsman, who suddenly appeared from another door as she was talking to me, and she introduced him to me as she was still crying and thanking me. The bondsman told me when they got there to bond her out they were told that the bond issue had been resolved and she was free to go to recovery but they were waiting to make sure that happened before they left. As you will see this mix up was all ordained for me and the lady to see one another that very night or for her to see something greater than me. The mom kept telling me I was an answer to her prayers so I knew she was a praying woman and believer in the power of God. I took the girl that night back to the recovery center with me where all went well.

About 2-3 days later I got a text from the mother saying that she hoped I didn’t think she was crazy but she had to tell me what she saw the night I entered the jail. She said although she didn’t know me, she knew immediately I was someone very special with a high calling and anointing on my life doing the work of God because when I walked through the front door she could see angels all around me with swords on their sides walking with me every step I took, guarding me as I walked. She said it was incredible and she couldn’t stop staring because she couldn’t believe her eyes. She said she knew I had to have seen her staring at me but she wasn’t going to say anything since she knew I would think she was crazy. She said that over the next couple of days she kept feeling like she needed to tell me because she believed that the Lord wanted me to know what she saw, that He has angel armies guarding me, protecting me as I go forth fulfilling God’s special call on my life. She said that it was the most amazing thing she had ever seen and that she had seen things in the spiritual before. David and I were together working with some of the girls when the text came in. We read it and we all cried. How blessed am I and all of us to be covered under the shadow of the Almighty.

The third time I was at Trinity Outreach Ministries, at the end of Morning Worship during alter call where I was consumed in deep prayer, praying in the Spirit interceding for others who were at the alter being prayed over and Pastor prayed over me at the last too. At the conclusion, I said goodbyes to people and made my way out of the crowded church to my car. Just as I was driving away a very anointed Minister of God came running out to flag me down excitedly saying she tried to find me because she had to tell me the most amazingly beautiful thing that she saw while I was praying at the alter. She said that “a huge beautiful white feathered wing appeared coming down from Heaven and wrapped itself around me, covering me completely, hiding me under the shelter of God’s righteous right arm.” She said that it was the most beautiful thing to see and God spoke to her and showed her how deeply loved I am by Him. This precious lady is a powerfully anointed Woman of God and a dear sister and friend. If she said it I believe it. This vision God gave her of His covering on me blessed me so much and gave me such peace. Friends God loves you in this way too. Seek to live in One with Him and He will reveal these sweet mercies to you all.

 Psalms 36:7 “How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.”

Remember know that you know Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord; Worship God, not Angels; pray for Baptism of Holy Spirit; pray in the Spirit; walk in the Spirit; study and apply to your life the full counsel of the Word of God; live in faith and live faithful to God.

God loves you and I love you. Keep Walking!

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Part 2: There is no Defeat in Christ Jesus. The Victory is in the Unseen!

Hang on, don’t give up, Holy Spirit Help is Here!!!

1 Peter 5:6-10 “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.”

When all hell is breaking loose against you, remember that you are not alone. As a child of God, you never have to face anything alone. You have the Holy Spirit in you so you have all the power necessary to face any enemy that comes against you and to win any battle you face.

In the scripture above, 1 Peter 5:6-10 we are told some pretty incredible truths to explain to us what’s really going on here. 1) we are in a battle for our lives against the devil our enemy who is trying to destroy us and we can’t fight him on our own human power so we need to humble ourselves before God, submitting to God who is mighty and trust Him to fight our battles in His strength and might; 2) we need to stop being afraid or anxious, and trust God to be God in us, Holy Spirit who is God, and who is therefore all-knowing, all-powerful, and ever-present to win our battles unlike the devil who is none of those things; 3) stop believing the enemy lie that God doesn’t care about you and trust that He cares for us, all of us, and wants only our good. As a matter of fact He cares so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to suffer and die in our place to save us so do you really think He doesn’t care enough about you to fight for you now?; 4) stay focused and alert, listening and watching for God’s direction and to know who the real enemy is in our battles. We get hung up on people but it’s not the people, it’s the one fueling the people, they are just being used to battle us, so stay focused and alert to see who your real enemy is, watch for who or what the enemy is using to try to devour you, then resist him; 5) stand firm in our faith, don’t think we are the only ones going through this stuff, all Christians suffer these same attacks and none of us are immune from affliction. It’s just a test, we will survive the test and have a better testimony come out of it. The devil thinks these attacks will destroy us, he is testing us to see if he can,  but it won’t destroy us if we don’t allow it to.  I call afflictions “kingdom resume building”, it’s just a test to show us how we are doing, what our areas of strength are and what our areas of weakness are so we can know what we need to improve on right, so hey life is always a procession of tests for us. And when we know something we can do something about it so I welcome tests today to help stir things up in me to get them out of me, otherwise I’d deceive myself into thinking I’m just fine to stay at this level of growth. I might even become self-righteous instead of God’s righteousness or I would get complacent and stop seeking the Lord and our relationship altogether which would destroy me. I love Him and He loves me. I want more of Him in our relationship, not the same or less.

But look here at the last part of verse 10 on what He says He will do for us if we do those things: He will “perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” HE Will! Not, you, but HIM! Amen!

So how does He do that you may ask, through the Dynamite Power of His Holy Spirit In us. Get ready, my computer may crash at this point but this is where the devil always gets really mad at me when I start telling folks the truth about the limitless power they have as a child of God already right there at their disposal in them but most are not tapping into Him because they don’t know Him or how to.

First, understand that Holy Spirit is a person, not an “it”. He is the 3rd person of the Godhead, The Trinity, Father, Son, Holy Spirit.

Holy Spirit is sensitive – we are not to grieve Him, quench Him, resist Him, insult Him, lie to Him or blaspheme Him. Deliberately Blaspheming against the Holy Spirit is the one and only unforgivable sin.

Matthew 12:31-32 “Whoever blasphemes the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come”

Now here’s something I was never told growing up in a traditional denomination, but it is crucial in the life of every believer – Baptism of Holy Spirit is a gift from Father God that belongs to every believer. Baptism of Holy Spirit gives you a supernatural language ability because it is Him speaking through you. I have been blessed to have 2 of these gifts so far.

Three language gifts that Holy Spirit gave in the Bible and still gives believers today are 1) as Oracles of God – the gifts of Prophesy, whereby the Holy Spirit gives you revelation knowledge and discernment to hear and see things and He speaks through you to others and to their situations. God gives me a revelation and word for strangers all the time as well as friends and family. It is a gift that He tells us to covet more than any other, but to keep this gift flowing it requires that we devote our lives in consecration to Him; 2) Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues whereby Holy Spirit speaks for edification to the Church, the body of believers, through a person He has gifted in a language unknown to humans, except for the person there that He has gifted to interpret that message or also as at Pentecost, He is still giving some in the mission field today the gift of foreign tongues as I have personally heard the testimony of a young man who was a missionary to a jungle tribe that was suddenly given the gift of speaking their language when He, a North Carolina native, had never spoken or interpreted it before, but suddenly He could fluently. 3) the gift of prayer language, which is what I have. This is where in prayer, Holy Spirit takes over for you to intercede in prayer in what He knows is needed, more than we humans could ever think or ask for ourselves or others. He is in perfect tune with the will of the Father. This is a beautiful sound that comes from deep within the believer, originating in the belly area and flowing from the tongue and vocal cords. As the Apostle Paul called it, it is the language of Angels, saying that He, Paul, had this gift of tongues more so than any in his day, and he used it often in his prayer time, but he warned not to make a show of it, it is a gift to be used for God’s glory and not to entertain others or in any prideful way.  I received the gift just as the Bible says, through the Baptism of Holy Spirit, where a precious man of God laid hands on me and He asked God to stir the gifts inside me, while I believed God and asked God to do the same. I first felt a quivering under my skin, like chills but I wasn’t cold, faint at first then getting stronger, and it was a contracting of my upper diaphragm area, then an uttering began like a bubbling and lalala sound of my tongue that I was not trying to do but it just started coming, but then as I relaxed it began to flow into this beautiful prayer language which now has become a very special gift that I use as part of my prayer life. I have no clue what Holy Spirit prays nor do I need to, but I love the fact that He does, knowing, trusting, it is only good for all He is praying in accordance with the will of the Father. This is not only a beautiful prayer language but it is also a powerful weapon, a battling prayer language. Let me tell you that when I begin to pray for my lost loved ones and Holy Spirit takes over I know He is battling the enemy for my loved one. When I begin praying for my son and future daughter-in-law in Pittsburg, PA that I don’t know what dangers they may be facing but Holy Spirit begin to war for them in prayer, I know He knows where the enemy is about to attack whether in the spiritual or the natural and Holy Spirit is calling down angel armies to protect my children from those attacks or stop an automobile or work injury or even cast down a stronghold they may be dealing with. He, Father and Jesus are discussing things that I brought to them in my petition for that person I am praying for.

At first I was afraid to let go because I didn’t want anything that was not of God or was just an emotional display as we were taught tongues were in my denomination and that it was just a onetime miracle at Pentecost so the disciples could share the gospel with those specific foreigners there that day. God showed me that believing man made doctrines that come down to them from conventions of humans had kept me stuck in my religious doctrine box and quenching the Holy Spirit inside me, missing the fullness of relationship with Holy Spirit all my life, just as it did in my worship. Since I threw out everything I ever knew about religion and God and allowed Holy Spirit to teach me Himself from the Word of God and prayer my whole life has changed and my relationship with my Lord and Savior has surely changed.  I have grown in the Spirit and learned not to limit God by any man made religious beliefs but to study His Word for myself and spend time with Him in prayer listening to Him speak to my heart on all matters. Ya’ll everything in the Bible is still relevant for us today. Do not limit God in your own mind. He is limitless. You have been power endowed from on high, the Holy Spirit of God inside you. Don’t quench Him. You are playing right into the enemy’s hand if you do. We cannot fight battles on our own or we will be limited to our own human strength. We must fight in the Spirit with all the unlimited power of God Himself flowing through us.

Acts 19:1-6 “While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed …. They answered No, … When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.”

Acts 4:33 “With great power the apostles (testified) to the resurrection of the Lord

The word translated as “power” in our English language Bible is the Greek word “dynamis” or Dunamas from which we get our word Dynamite. That’s how powerful Holy Spirit power is. In Acts 1:8 Jesus told His disciples that before they would be able to evangelize the world, they must receive the dynamis of Holy Spirit.

The reason He told them to wait before they went out evangelizing is that He wanted to do a work in them, like He did me, before He could work fully through them. He said stay in Jerusalem until you receive power from on High. The Holy Spirit possesses a dynamite-like power that works within the believe to blast out anything that is unlike Christ. Unlike what the world thinks of the purpose of power, Holy Spirit power isn’t a power to exalt one person above another, it is actually a power that lowers a person in humility before God to break us so that He can remake us just like he did me. I had to learn to let go and allow Holy Spirit to take over using me as His tool, not me doing anything but Him doing it through me. He is the One who has a word for the broken, the hurting and the lost, not me. He speaks through me to bring that word to others but I had to learn to let go to operate in the Spirit, just as the disciples did, and I have to stay humbled and repentant so that there is a clean stream flowing between me and God to be able to hear Him speak those words and direct me in what to say and do and when to act and when to sit still. Then when we get self out of the way, yield to His will, the more powerfully He is able pour Himself into us and out through us to others and transform our lives into the powerful conduits or channels through which God’s power moves.

We are to be witnesses to the love of God throughout the world, in all of our thoughts, words and deed in order to testify that Jesus came to save sinners. He came in love and we are to go in love.

Acts 5:12-16 “The Apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people … Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed”

To receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit you must:

  1. Be born again (John 3:3; Acts 2:38)
  2. You must believe this precious gift – this promise – is for you (Acts 2:39; Acts 2:17-18)
  3. You must desire the gift of the Spirit (John 7:37-39)
  4. You must ask for it (Luke 11:13)
  5. For gift of tongues & prophesy – you must open your mouth and do the speaking – do not quench the spirit but allow Him to flow through your tongue and vocal cords – Acts 2:4 & Isaiah 28-11-12 “And they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

You will sense the Spirit giving you utterance, but you must take the step of faith and speak forth what the Spirit gives you. It may sound strange and not make any sense at all to you but remember it is a supernatural language that Paul called the tongues of angels – Begin to worship God in your own language and then allow Holy Spirit to take over and speak and pray for you the things that He knows better.

Here are some of the other Roles that Holy Spirit fulfills in our lives here on earth:

Ephesians 1:13-14 tells us that the Holy Spirit indwells us as believers to seal us as belonging to God. Holy Spirit is the person of God who lives with us in our time on earth and teaches us to truly know and follow God. Jesus saves us and then it is the Holy Spirit who indwells us sealing our Oneness with Christ and Father God so that He is inside us as we continue on this earth until our work here is done and we go home to heaven to spend eternity with them face to face there.

Holy Spirit provides conviction of sin to all people so that we see our need for repentance and a Savior other than ourselves, who are incapable of saving anyone.

John 16:8 “And when He (Holy Spirit) comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment”

Holy Spirit is our Helper and Comforter. As a mother who has lost a child I can certainly attest to this.

John 14:16-17 “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of Truth, who the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him.”

The Greek word Parakletos is translated as “Helper” or “Comforter” referring to one who is called alongside another, providing the idea of a guide or encourager during times of need. (Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20) This Comforter role talks place as God’s Spirit indwells the believer from the point of salvation but we must recognize Him as such, calling out to Him asking for Comfort in our distress, otherwise we look to the world who can not bring us lasting comfort as only He can.

Holy Spirit is a guide to the believer into Truth. He gives us understanding and discernment on matters of Truth verses enemy lies, and in revelation knowledge of God’s Word as Truth that it is. Once I began to ask Holy Spirit to teach me God’s Word, He blew my mind with how my understanding opened up and I had what I call “ah ha” revelations of the scriptures which are God’s Word.

John 16: 13 “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth”

This is very important because God’s Word is what equips us for every good work in this life.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

We have already discussed tongues but Holy Spirit also gives us other special gifts to be used for the equipping of the body of believers in what we need to do here on earth. 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12:3-8, and 1 Peter 4:10-11 reveal the names of many gifts God’s Spirit provides to believers. 1 Corinthians 12:7 tells us that each believer has at least one of these gifts, and Ephesians 2:10 tells us that each person is specifically gifted for the acts of service God has prepared for him or her. These gifts are given to allow us, the church, to work together to meet needs, make disciples, and glorify God.

John 14:12 “Truly, truly, I say to you he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”

So as we close Part 2 with this scripture, be reminded that you have been given power from on high, God power in you through the Holy Spirit. That if you ask anything in Jesus Name, that is His Character, because remember His Name is Emmanuel – meaning God with us, so what you ask should be to ask in accordance with the will of God, and then He will give it to you. That is powerful. Don’t you want only what He wants and knows best for you and your loved ones? And we are to Love God and Love others, loving God so much that we desire with our heart – our mind, will and emotions to follow His commandments out of our love for Him.

So stay tuned, in our next and final part 3 to this lesson we will look at who else God has fighting for us here on earth, battling beside us and all around us, in addition to Holy Spirit who Praise God is dwelling inside us.

God loves you and I love you. Keep Walking!

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Part 1: There is no defeat in Christ Jesus. The Victory is in the Unseen!

We all fight battles in this life and some people are victorious and some are not. But every child of God has been blessed with the ability to win life’s battles and you ARE victorious even if you don’t see it or know it yet.

I’m here to share with you the secret that satan does not want you to know. How to win the war and live abundantly in the Victorious life you have been given in Christ. All it takes is faith.

The Bible is filled with promises that God has made for His people. But do we, His people, believe Him? Or better yet, do we believe that His promises are for us, in our lives, in our situations, with our past mess ups and falls? See many times we believe God can, and we believe He will, we just believe it for other people rather than believing it for our own lives.

Faith in God is the key that unlocks the windows of Heaven.

Hebrews 11:6 “and without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”

So do you believe? Often times we will put our faith in man, in ourselves, in Oprah and Phil and Dr. Oz, but we don’t trust God enough to go to Him in prayer or go to His Word in the Bible and search out the Truth of what we need to be healed, saved, delivered, or made whole. Those human fixes are only going to do human things with human limitations. I don’t know about you but I don’t want any other imperfect human who can’t even fix themselves trying to fix me. I want the One who created me to fix me, to lead, guide and direct my steps, to repair me where I’m broken, and to fill my longings to make my life & me fully whole.

Jesus said “…with people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” Matthew 19:26

You may be thinking “yeah that’s all fine and good for you Lisa because your life looks pretty good right now, but you don’t have a clue what I’m going through over here in mine. I’m a Christian, I’m a good person and I believe in God, but I don’t see God fulfilling any of these promises in my life that you are talking about and quite frankly I don’t have that joy and peace you say you have. As a matter of fact I already have so much stress on me that I don’t think I can take anything else.” That’s what I used to think too but my thinking was all jacked up, believing only what I could see in the natural and not what was really going on in the whole kingdom picture of things.

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”

The Apostle Paul was a man who everyone would have to admit was probably beaten and tortured more than any other disciple of Christ. He was shipwrecked three times and spent most of his ministry in horrible prisons with broken bones chained not only to walls but sometimes to the prison guards themselves. But listen to what Paul, a former mass murderer of Christians, a man who came to know Jesus Christ as His Lord and Savior and was transformed forever to serve Him with His whole being said:

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” – that Him Paul is talking about who gave Paul the strength he needed to survive, endure and even thrive was Jesus Christ. That same Jesus Christ died to give you the strength you need too.

2 Corinthians 12:7-11

 “…Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

 So what kind of faith do you have? Do you have the kind of faith where you believe in God or do you have the kind of faith that you BELIEVE God, the kind that sustains you through all things you could ever face in your life?

As Christians we should know what faith is right? After all, our whole salvation is based on having faith in Jesus being the Son of God who came and died on a cross for sinners right. Well lets dig a little into that word Faith and see what God shows us it means in our personal relationship with Him.

The Latin word “Fides” where we get our English word “Faith” means to trust, believe, depend upon. That sounds about right. We trust, believe and depend upon God, or do we?

There is another word for Faith in the Greek language in which the New Testament was written, the word “Pistis” which means persuasion or to be persuaded. Yes when I heard the gospel I was persuaded that it was true, so I must have faith, I think I do.

But look at the Hebrew word “Emunah”, now that is the kind of faith we all need, the kind that counted men and women of the Old Testament as righteous, those who lived before Jesus Christ, the Son of God came and died to save the world from our sin. This emunah is the faith in which those Hero’s of Faith who are listed in Hebrews 11 possessed, the kind of faith that I had to have when my whole world was knocked out from under me when I lost my beloved 22 year old son to an overdose death.

Emunah is unshakable faith in God; a belief, conviction and inner-core knowing that defies all reason and understanding. I can tell you that because of my emunah in God, in the fact that He is all good, all knowing, all-loving, all-light and in Him is no darkness at all, that when my world caved in and the earth shook all around me, I felt the painful blows just as Paul did, but I stood on emunah and was not destroyed. I knew that my God would see me through the pain and heal me and bring me out into the land of the living.

According to Rabbi Tzvi Freeman,” When a person has a profound emunah faith, he feels this truth to be part and parcel of his very own essence and being. Emunah is not based on reason,” (that is, it isn’t just something you know or think with your human mind emunah is deeper than human reasoning. Emunah comes from the heart- that is the mind, will and emotions. “Emunah is believing in a truth (in God) so deeply that it is similar to one who has seen something first hand.” Emunah can be further enhanced by wisdom, understanding and knowledge,” so we should pray, asking Holy Spirit to give us greater wisdom, understanding and knowledge, “but (as Rabbi Freeman explains,) “emunah is not based on human reasoning. It is through God’s acting and speaking to us in ways that nurture and inspire us in our times of need that we see evidence of Him and His trustworthiness.”

In other words, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes. The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.” Psalm 119:71-72

It has been through hardship and pain in my life and seeing evidence of God and His trustworthiness during those afflictions that I have come to truly know Jesus Christ as not only my personal Savior and Master, but also my friend; I have come to know God the Father as my Abba (Daddy), and I have come to know Holy Spirit as my Comforter, with me drawing closer to each one of them in more intimacy and they in turn drawing more close to me through each affliction strengthening my faith with each affliction. Don’t get me wrong I still felt the pain of each affliction, but I survived and thrived seeing my Abba’s hand of mercy covering me like a shield and a blanket of love.

Like the Apostle Paul I’ve had great affliction and heartache this side of salvation, but I also had great affliction and heartache before I surrendered my all to Christ and I can tell you with Him is much better than suffering without Him.

Within a 5 year period beginning in 2008, my Daddy, my son, and my older sister all died; my marriage ended, my home that my Daddy and sons helped build with their own hands was sold as were most of my personal belongings. My then ex-husband died and my only surviving son took a job that moved him 22 hours away from me where he still lives today and I only get to see him about once or twice a year at most. But God! Here I stand, blessed more than I could ever imagine or deserve, living a life of peace and joy.

Today I am very happily married to a godly man that is just precious, one that I minister alongside of to the women in recovery transition that the Lord has brought in to live with us that we disciple and mentor. These ladies are spiritual daughters filling our hearts and our home with love; a home my husband built many years ago with his own hands, a home dedicated to God, Grace House, where we love and serve these precious ladies. I have more joy and more peace than I have ever known and after leaving my full-time job in 2012, I now serve the Lord full time in my destiny purpose ministering, not lacking in any need.

I’m no more immune to affliction than anyone, but like Paul I’ve also learned through the affliction to be content with whatever I have, wherever I am and with whomever God has brought into my life for however long the season is that they are there. As long as I have my Savior, I have all I need. He fulfills my every need and places desires in my heart that he fulfills also. I have an intimate relationship with Holy Spirit within me, the One Who comforts me and brings me great love, peace, and joy and all of the fruit of the Spirit as stated in Galatians 5:23.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Sincere faith is powerful; it is the means by which we can operate in the power of the Holy Spirit in us, giving us the power and authority to overcome all things, all obstacles, all strongholds, and all enemies. Without sincere faith, we can do nothing to overcome, and we can actually hinder Holy Spirit from moving and working on our behalf and working through us.

Faith and hope are assurance from your heart and mind that God is, God can, God will and God does!

2 Corinthians 2:14 “But thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.”

Do not put your faith in man or what you see with the physical eye. Put your faith in God and look with your God goggles on looking with your spiritual eyes, and believe God that He is faithful and He is able.

Philippians 1:6 “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

God loves you and I love you. Keep Walking!

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Morning Chat with Julia Fortenberry on The Word of God

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Faith in the Silence

Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

As Christians, when we hear the word faith, we think certainly we understand its meaning, after all, our whole basis of Christianity and salvation depends upon our having faith in Jesus Christ. We accept as Truth what we have heard or read from the Bible about God, and about Jesus; about His life, His death, His burial and resurrection and His eternal reign. These are all things that we have not seen with our natural eyes yet believe to be true in our heart.  But how many of us so often lose faith in Who God is, the unrivaled power He has and His unfailing love for us in those “dry” times. When we don’t see or hear Him in our situations and circumstances, when things seem to be going totally wrong in our lives, when we don’t see Him acting on our behalf, when everything seems to be falling apart and we don’t hear Him assuring us that it is all going to be ok. What about when we feel like we are getting the silent treatment and we don’t have a clue why? If we still believe in Him and His goodness then we naturally assume someone has to be at fault for the silence right so we may be asking ourselves what we could have done to cause it. Where is our faith in the silence? Do you think you were too much work for Him or He just got bored with you and left like people will often do? Oh contraire my friend. That is NOT the nature at all of our Faithful Father God. Even when we, His children, are unfaithful, He is still faithful to us because of the nature of Who He is. “God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all”. (1John 1:5)

2 Timothy 2:13 “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.”

Just as we value our Faithful Father and want Him to have faith in us, God also values our faith in Him. He values our faith in Him even more than our understanding of Him because let’s face it our understanding of Him is pea sized compared to His unfathomable greatness. He values our faith in Him more than our understanding of what He expects from us or that we ever master those expectations. Besides, God is all-knowing and He tells us that He knew us before He formed us so He doesn’t expect us to do anything more than He already knows we are going to do every moment of our lives. We are all imperfect humans so we will never be perfect this side of Heaven. He knows that and that is why He sent His Son, Jesus to pay the penalty for our sins, those intentional ones and the slips, trips and falls.

Our faith is the leading factor that not only moves God to act on our behalf, but also that very thing which most often moves Him to manifest His presence in our lives so that we can feel or sense His presence, hear when He is speaking to us, and see His hand move in the events of our life and the lives of those around us.

Recently I was speaking with a young woman who said that she had been in what she described as a “funk” lately. She explained that she had not been able to sense God’s Presence in her worship and prayer time like she has in the past. She said that He seems distant and she couldn’t understand why that was or what He expected from her in this “dry” season of her life. This is a woman who is very purposeful in her focus on the Lord. She is very gifted and anointed, a college student who also works a full time job and is involved in a college ministry as well as active in her church. She lives her life set apart for God, not participating in the worldly things that many around her do; a praying woman who has a deep desire to follow the Lord, convinced that God is leading her into the foreign mission field. She believes that following college, her calling is to serve as a Teacher in a far off land among a specific people who are actually very different from her in their life circumstances. Her heart of compassion is drawn to serve in a place where forgotten people live in refugee camps, totally off the beaten path of civilization and under harsh even dangerous conditions that will be totally out of her background experience. She hasn’t gotten much support and encouragement from many closest to her because quite naturally those who love her have grave concerns for her safety, yet she still knows in her heart that this is what her God has called her to. And so she continues to pray and prepares for that life on mission.

As she and I were discussing this “funk” or “dryness” she is experiencing, I explained that we all go through times where God allows us to feel isolated, as if He has gone away from us; times where we feel alone and do not sense His presence even when we pray and praise. There are times where we will call out to Him, yet we are unable to hear Him speak to us for periods of time, and yes, sometimes these periods can feel like an eternity.  But that is where our faith comes in and sustains us, preventing our bones from drying and our hearts from cracking. It is in those times that we find out who we really are and where we stand in our walk with Christ. Do we actually believe Him, not just believe in Him? Are we grounded in faith or are we double minded, wishy washy, blowing with the change of winds or our change of circumstances? It’s easy to follow and trust God when everything is going good and we are high on the mountaintops basking in His Spirit, feeling the high of His Holiness. But it is another thing entirely to have faith in Him when the earth has shaken in your life, the mountain is crumbling all around you, and He seems to be nowhere in sight. Or if you have been experiencing His Presence and intimacy but suddenly it stops and you don’t know why.

I used to get concerned too when it happened, but over the years I’ve learned that God allows those dry or silent periods in our relationship to happen for our good, in order to grow our faith. It is a time of testing to see, or more so, to allow us to see how we will respond in His presumed absence. In those times when there is no outward evidence of Him, will we still believe in Who He is and in His Promises to us, or will we throw our hands up in defeat and fear and walk away? Will we still trust Him when we can’t trace Him or will we join the ranks of doubters and mockers saying “well I tried that Jesus life but I knew He wouldn’t come through for me”.

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

In those times when it seems that God is so far away, what are you going to do? Are you going to believe with your natural eyes and ears or are you going to believe with your Spiritual heart? If you have faith in God, then you must believe Him in who He is and in what He says in His Word, that “He will never leave you nor forsake you.”

The first advice I always give when someone is concerned that God has moved away from them is to tell them to check themselves. Do a self-exam. Is there any unconfessed sin in your heart that may be acting as a barrier preventing you from sensing God in your life? If you do a self-examination and ask Holy Spirit to show you what it is if you don’t already know and then repent of it. To repent means to confess it, ask forgiveness and stop doing it if it is a sin you are committing. If it is a sin of omission, something God has been telling you to do and you are not doing it, then same thing; confess it, ask forgiveness and start doing what He told you to do. If the silence was due to sin, then a repentant heart will open a clean stream of communication flowing again between you and God.

However if you know that there is no sin blocking the relationship, as was the case with the young woman I was discussing with, then next it could be a matter of God just trying to grow your faith. This would be a very good preparation for someone who will in fact be in some very isolated places, among a lot of darkness, where she won’t always see God around her in the situations and places she will be. She will have to rely on her faith to see her through in times of trouble and focus even more on God, seeking Him even harder, talking to Him even when she doesn’t hear Him talk back, looking and listening for Him in the silence.

In those times when you can’t trace God, go back to the basics of where you first sensed His Presence. What were you doing then when you started in your relationship with Him? Do it even more. He is trying to grow us all in faith and character in order to take us to new deeper levels of intimacy with Him in our Spiritual walk.  That requires more praying, studying His Word, reminding yourself of Who He is and what He promises His children, and what He has already done in your life in the past. Put out those stones of remembrance so that you do not forget Who your God really is and where He has brought you from or where He walked with you in hard times in the past.  He has never let you down and He will not start now. He is the God you can trust so put all your faith in Him. Set your face like flint and choose who you will serve this day. Determine  in your heart and say out loud with your mouth, “God even if you don’t show Yourself, I know you are here because Your word says you will never leave me nor forsake me”, “Even if all fails, I will trust You”. Then, get yourself in a position of ready because Faith calls down Heaven and God will break the silence when you stand firm in your belief in Him. When He does, then you be standing ready for something bigger that’s coming with Him. We are called to be faithful people even when we don’t feel like God is listening. God always honors faithful obedience so you get ready to receive Him like never before. Get ready for release of His Presence, a release of power, a release of anointing, a release of Holy Spirit fire in a release of more intimacy with God.  When you are going through a period of spiritual silence and you remain faithful in that silence, once God breaks the silence, you get ready for a break-through in your spiritual growth. During the silence make yourself ready because when the silence ends, blessings and stronger anointing will flow in and through your life. And the good news is that as you grow in your faith and in your relationship with God, those dry or silent times become fewer and father between because our Good Good Father wants to communicate with us. He wants to be up close and personal. But He will always put our needs ahead of our comfort, so if it’s growth we need, that’s priority.

King David was a man who knew a lot about experiencing the blessing of God’s Presence. That same David also knew first-hand the very painful experience of enduring periods of God’s silence, sometimes because of his sin and sometimes because God was trying to teach him life lessons. Yet through it all He kept His eyes on God. Even in all his sin, God still called David a man after God’s own heart because David had a repentant heart. He was a man who loved and trusted God, praising Him through the silence.

Psalm 30:1-12 “I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up, And have not let my enemies rejoice over me. O Lord my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me. O Lord, You have brought up my soul from Sheol; You have kept me alive, that I would not go down to the pit.

Sing praise to the Lord, you His godly ones, And give thanks to His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.

Now as for me, I said in my prosperity, “I will never be moved.” O Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain to stand strong; You hid Your face, I was dismayed. To You, O Lord, I called, And to the Lord I made supplication: “What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your faithfulness?

“Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me; O Lord, be my helper.” You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.”

Growth can be painful but if we have faith in God, He will never disappoint. Believe when you cannot see. Trust when you cannot trace. Have faith. God will not fail you.

God loves you and I love you. Keep Walking!