Yesterday morning, I received a vision that I would like to share with you…
I was standing in the most magnificent plain I had ever seen, which was covered with people.
I looked up to see Jesus on the Throne, looking down from heaven, but from His mouth came a sword, and I followed the sword to see it reach down from heaven and touch the ground where the people were.
As I looked up again, I noticed that there was a shadow covering the land in front of the sword, and brilliant light behind it.
I simply heard the word, ”choose.”
People were crying in front of the sword, but behind it, people seemed to be in peace, some even sleeping regardless of the chaos in front of them
I felt God say, that there are Christian’s still needing to choose which side of the sword they’ll stand.
Choose whether they are going to stand firm in God’s word – which is the sword that will fight for them – or cry in fear because they have let the darkness overcome.
Friends, when we are standing behind the Word of God, it becomes our place of refuge and safety. It is where we find our strength, because it becomes our shield, and that is where our Hope ultimately comes from
”The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” Psalm 28:7
Today, for all of us, it was the best day of our lives, and ironically, we hadn’t even been born yet
The enemy was rejoicing because he thought he had won…
Jesus had just voluntarily gone to the cross. We need to remember that crucifixion is a hideous death, designed for pain and humiliation for the lowest of society.
Yet, we today, can celebrate His death knowing what comes next. For the Disciples, most went into hiding, in fear of what they thought was to come.
Friends, today, on Good Friday, Jesus realised that He had fulfilled all that the Father had asked, and that meant that He had to let go of what was, to celebrate what was to come
It wasn’t the nails, the spear, the thorns, or the flogging that killed Jesus, because Scripture shows us that He bowed His head in submission to God, and then voluntarily gave up His Spirit
At any point, He could have spoken, and the angels would have saved Him, but Jesus chose death
Thank you, Jesus, that you died, so that I may live
Have you ever met someone so confident in their identity in God, that they just oozed His love?
These people didn’t strive for attention, nor did they tear people down in front of peers, but they celebrated others, without fear of comparison, or being in the popularity race.
I find these stories so refreshing in the Bible, and this morning God reminded me that we need to celebrate each other for who God created us to be, not who the world says we are.
Jealously, fear, and being ill-informed all play a part in creating identities in people. These labels should never be apart of their story, but unfortunately putting others down, somehow, makes individuals feel better about themselves.
Inadequacy kills others identities because if it becomes more about making us feel better about ourselves than building others up in love, we have missed the whole point of the Gospel
Therefore, I pray that we now realise that it’s not about shaming each other, but we receive a revelation from God that we’re still a ”work in progress,” but loved beyond measure, by Him.
Friends, this morning I read Scripture where Deborah celebrated Jael. Both women were tough cookies in their own right, yet Deborah raised Jael up to be celebrated!
There was no ”but” – no ”although” – no ”however” – just one amazing woman celebrating another.
Let’s be people who raise others, and not tear one another down. But let’s tear down walls of negativity to discover that after it’s all said and done…we realise that we are all just as amazing as each other…we were looking in the wrong mirror
”Most blessed among women is Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite. May she be blessed above all women who live in tents.” Judges 5:24
What do you think about when you hear the word, ”blessed?”
Honestly, I used to think it meant wealth, belongings, or that things just went people’s way. I say ”people” as I never thought I was blessed because of how my life had gone or looked at the time. Yet, God has shown me otherwise…
In the Old Testament, God’s blessing was in material wealth so that others would know God’s hand was upon them, but also, those individuals were ”fruitful” in that they had many children – think of the covenant made with Abraham, or that Jacob had twelve sons that would become the twelve tribes of Israel
In the New Testament, this looks very different because of the covenant we are now under. Gone is the old in the sense that Jesus is the fulfillment of the law, and any other covenant that preceded Him.
Therefore, the blessings that we receive now are Spiritual ones, and the fruit from it is love, peace, joy etc. (think the fruit of the Spirit). It doesn’t mean that God won’t provide a way for us to receive worldly things, but anyone with money can purchase a car or a house – so there has to be a difference between those who are God’s children, or not.
We need to think of blessings as Spiritual, not physical. Blessings are from Jesus, not the world. They are from the heavenly realm, not from the earth.
”All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.” Ephesians 1:3
Being blessed from God means that it won’t rust or be destroyed by moths (Matthew 6:19-20)
Being blessed means that the blessing won’t grow wings and fly away (Proverbs 23:5)
Blessings from God are eternal
The Scripture below is one of my favs, because Jeremiah reminds us that Jesus Christ is our hope – He is our Saviour, and therefore we put our faith in Him.
But just like trees planted by water, no matter what life throws at us, we will always be fruitful. We will always be blessed because of our faith, hope, and love in God, but also each other
”But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
There are so many of us who still struggle with the basics of Christianity because, in many ways, their church is doing a disservice to God’s people
God in His infinite wisdom chose us to help Him win others for Jesus, and yet, we need to remember that not everyone who says they love Jesus will go to be with Him in Heaven (Matthew 7:21-23)
We have forgotten – or choose not too – help others become more intimate with God. To seek God’s face. To turn to Him – not man – in times of need.
Now, that doesn’t mean that others can’t or shouldn’t help us, because that’s how the body of Christ works, but our first port of call should always be, speaking to the Holy Spirit
Only the Holy Spirit gives us wisdom and understanding from the Father (1 Corinthians 2:12-13)
Yet, we squash Him if He moves within our circumstances – unless we are comfortable with what He’s doing. Or, we are happy with the miracles and healings the Spirit provides – unless it’s a little too much for our understanding.
Friends, how are we supposed to build a faith that can move mountains if every time the Red Sea parts, we back away because it goes beyond our understanding, or comfort, or need?
I seek God’s face because I want to know Him intimately.
He is the God who spoke things into being, and the Holy Spirit was there, helping God, at the time of creation – why would we not want the Spirit of Wisdom and revelation, when He leads us to the very heart of the Father?
In our limited understanding, we are stopping so many of God’s children receiving true freedom because we are scared that we cannot control the environment around us
Let’s remember that it’s not our environment to start with. Let’s not forget that in the last days God is going to pour the Spirit out on ALL people (Acts 2:17) – so my prayer for us today, is to embrace the Holy Spirit for all that He is, and all that He will do for us, if we just let go of control
I pray for more significant signs and miracles. I pray for greater wisdom and truth. I pray for freedom
Because it’s the Holy Spirit that is the “HOW” to what most of us seek
This is probably the question when you’d expect a person’s ”Momma Bear” instincts to kick in, and tear you to shreds
Yet, we can see from Moses’ story (Exodus) and the Scripture below, that his parents let go of what they knew, to save their child
How many of us would naturally know who Jochebed is? Her name means “God’s Glory,” and here, at this moment in time, what occurred earned her a place in the “Hall of Faith” chapter, in Hebrews 11.
Jochebed knew what needed to be done, but faith comes by walking out what we know to be true, and for her, it meant literally letting go of her baby
How many of us would disobey a King’s command, knowing if caught, death would probably be the punishment?
How many of us could send our child down the River Nile?
Moses was seen as a special child, a beautiful child, or an unusual child – in other words, from three months old, his parents knew that God’s hand was upon him. They knew he had a call upon his life, so trusted God’s promises, and walked by faith, not by sight
Sometimes God is going to ask us to trust in something, that in the natural, seems impossible, but we serve a God of possibilities.
Sometimes God is going to ask us to step out of the boat, to show us, that faith comes by doing, and it is the only way for us to grow
Sometimes God is going to ask us to “let go” of the things that are most precious to us because when God is first in our lives, we realise that the enemy can no longer hold us back
Friends, there are some of us who are struggling with the thought of letting go of our “child” – this prophetically, could be a dream, a career, a business, our money, whatever it is, I encourage you to nurture it, build a basket, and let it go down the river – why?
Because when we realise that God created everyone alive to be in an intimate relationship with Him, then we receive the revelation that if God is for us, who can be against us? It might seem crazy what you feel in your heart to be true, but if God is directing your steps, what do we ultimately have to fear?
“It was by faith that Moses’ parents hid him for three months when he was born. They saw that God had given them an unusual child, and they were not afraid to disobey the king’s command.” Hebrews 11:23
There are times when I can see that I have been striving to get to where I know God is calling me too. Yet, those journies are met with unnecessary pain, fear, and ultimately rejection, because my strength has come from my own achievements, and not from God
Then, I can look over other paths and see the Glory of God all over it, as I poetically move with ease, and the grace of the Lord
Yet, both types of journies are ones that I love to reflect upon and grow from
I was rereading Leah’s story (again) this morning – She is a woman that I admire. Man never saw Leah as anything to write home about. Rejected countless times. Her Husband loved another woman. Jealousy filled her bones – yet, at the end of it all, we can see God’s favour and redemption in her life.
Jacob loved Rachel (Leah’s sister) yet, Rachel wasn’t buried with Jacob’s ancestors – Leah was.
God had promised Abraham’s descendants that where he was buried, they would possess the land (Genesis 12:1-3)
Jacob was committed to being buried in the promise land, and therefore wanted his tomb to be in Canaan, but the fact that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were buried in the promise land emphasis the believe in God’s promises to them and their families.
Why do I mention this?
Because we can read in Genesis 49 that the Women of great of faith, we’re also laid to rest together.
Friends, our journeys may look completely different to how we envisioned God’s path for our lives, but as long as we are on the path He chooses for us, then I would rather look back and see God’s hand upon my life, than a journey of wealth, fame and fortune where ultimately, destruction comes
Restoration comes when we meet God face-to-face. Until then, this life isn’t the Promised Land
“Then Jacob instructed them, “Soon I will die and join my ancestors. Bury me with my father and grandfather in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite. This is the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in Canaan, that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a permanent burial site. There Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried. There Isaac and his wife, Rebekah, are buried. And there I buried Leah.” Genesis 49:29-31