This month's teaching : Repentance

When Thirst Leads

1 Kings 17:4 And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.The word of the Lord came to Elijah and said, go to the brook of Cherith. I will feed you and give you water there.

Elijah heard a fresh word from God because his life was in danger since he prayed and prophesied against the Baal gods of Ahab and Jezebel. God led Elijah away from his familiar place in the Gilead Mountains. I have been in this very place of the home dwellings of Elijah. It had been a very beautiful place and is still to this day.

Elijah must have been overjoyed to know that God will give him water and food in his new secret hiding place. Then the brook dried up! God was offering Elijah not only an extended period of rest from his labors, but a precious opportunity to deepen his closeness to Himself. Now God brought Elijah to a dry place with nobody to lead.

He was a prophet and a preacher with nobody to preach to anymore. Elijah was led into the depths of speechlessness.It becomes a crisis to continue to seek God with great courage when we are led to a place where our future becomes blurred and uncertain. In this valley of impossibilities we find ourselves without a clear goal or purpose. It is a temptation nearly unbearable to be able to abide for considerable periods of time in God’s presence in these places of testing.

Here we find few companions except those who put fears and terrors into us. Amid all the distractions, this place offers many obstacles that can easily turn our heads into directions where God does not lead us. To stay balanced in such a state is extreme and very difficult.

God slowed Elijah’s life to halt. From the lavish court of King Ahab to a dried up brook is quite a contrast. To go from a spiritual pinnacle of being the very mouthpiece of Almighty God to a hiding place in a crevice of the earth can be completely demoralizing— if it’s not understood. Especially so, after God led him here and promised water at Cherith and then it dried up!Many have come to similar places because of sin or disobedience. The stark difference here is that Elijah was led here because of his obedience. It was a place of transcendence in the eyes of God yet seemingly going in the entire opposite direction in the eyes of man.

Here we find the man who “stands before God” standing before everything except that which seemed to be God.

In Job’s story, it is in this same place where Job’s friends came to visit and gave much advice to shine light on the circumstances at hand. It is in this place that God’s men have nothing to say and men of misunderstanding have everything to say.

I also saw the wadi in Jordan where Elijah visited. There is nothing here at all to this very day.

It was thirst that led Elijah to the next place where God wanted him. Thirst of the very thing he prophesied. Thirst of the very thing he believed.

There seems to be a spiritual law that when earthly doors are barred to us, the gates of heaven will swing open. Let’s notice the condition of Israel at this very time. The prophets of Baal were still in full array.

How many times have you experienced this thirst not knowing what it was at the time? It is often God leading you into His purposes. This place of thirst is often proven to be Almighty God.

It is this righteousness in God that the spiritual man thirsts after. Thirst is the path where the hand of Almighty God can hold our hand and lead us to where He wants us to go.

Elijah was led to defeat the Baal prophets on Mt. Carmel. He completely prevailed and silenced the voices and the noises with barrels of water over his own altar before God in a 3-1/2 year drought. It happened on top of a mountain where there was no water to be found! It is only this kind of thirst that finds the water and power to prevail on mountain tops. Hallelujah!!!

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Isaiah 51:1 Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. 

My Psalm in His Courts

David was anointed at three different points of his life. David carried within himself the power of God in a special and very unusual way. This anointed man’s presence brought the enemy out of hiding from invisible obscurity.

This is what the true anointing of the Holy Spirit does. The Holy Spirit reproves the sin that lives in a person. The enemy then becomes reckless not having understanding what has happened.

When you are around an anointed man, you will notice the enemy is constantly trying to extinguish him. David went into hiding many days of his life because of the trouble and anguish of his soul. It was in this hiding place where his enemy became the most discernible. This place of loneliness kept him guessing who and where the enemy really is.

After he spent some time in these places of refuge and hiding, God opened his eyes to a reality. A reality only seen in this place of anguish and hiding.

He was able to see those who never pursued his life as the enemy pursues. He saw those who were upright and walked in the courts of God’s presence. These were friends in God’s kingdom and gifted in verbal silence. They were like the gigantic cedars of Lebanon and trees of righteousness.

He heard the songs of his chief musician Shoshannim and it moved him to see among him as God sees. David’s heart burst from the seams and here he penned Psalm 45.

My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer, to portray the revelation before me.

The bilge that was set before me, I saw with my natural eyes. God opened the wonderful work of his splendor as I gazed with my heart among the pure. This is the bride for the Lamb I’m preparing, Take note lest you become dismayed.

Gracious Father of all kindness and fountain of pure flowing love. How have you inspired the tenderness of the saints? They have blossomed with fragrance of sweetness and exceeding precious comforts in my time of trouble?

They have arrived at the gates of my dwelling with salutation before I was present. Heavenly garments and fragrance so tender, they bear from the Father above. From the palaces of ivory where they assemble with their king, they brought the scents of myrrh, and healing of aloes.
Pleasant are those that you have surrounded me with. They are towers of love and armaments infinitely greater than the enemy that lies in constant wait. Fair and mighty men stand with faces like lions. They surrounded the gates of the house of His treasure.

Men of tenure strength hold fast the court of splendid boundaries with oneness of heart they follow their Lord. Kings’ daughters were among thy honorable women: upon thy hand did stand the queen arrayed with majestic honor in gold in its finest.
They sang with tunes of angels and sounded the hymns of the redeemed. With excellent strings and cymbals they praised you with skilled hands lifting your name. The sounds of peace and joy overflowed as the courts of the redeemed proclaimed.

Hearken, O daughter, and sons of Zion, consider, and incline thine ear; forget all that trouble thee and consider the court of thy refuge. This house is built with such splendor and fashion, like heaven above so as heaven below.  Hearts filled with gladness, it released strength to the saints.
Garments of praise were soaring like eagles and winds of the Spirit were everywhere. I wondered as the redeemed were standing, lifting their palms to the sky. I saw here a forest of trees decked in Christ’s righteousness, Holy and pure. I found men that have never misspoken nor flinched with God’s wonderful grace, caring and lifting each other in love.

In times of trouble and anguish we tend to hear the unconstructive criticisms of unholy opinions. This often taints the reality of those who have not bowed the knee to the enemy.

May God open our eyes in a time like this, to see as God sees from above?  Let us rejoice with them that rejoice and weep with them that weep!

Hearing God in Difficulty

Genesis 3:8 And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.

When does God speak? It is often in the time of unanticipated difficulty and spiritual calamity when things are very strident that we become earnest to hear at once.

Almighty God knows clearly what lies ahead of us and often warns us before it happens. This truth has been a fact of God’s faithfulness to me for years and probably to you as well—if we can learn to hear it.

My personal experience is that it is often during such a time of trouble that we find God’s silence present. Many Christians tend to accept things that come to their imaginations as being God speaking to them when it is not Him.

During seasons of deep difficult valleys in life our emotions become acutely affected. This can easily influence our thinking with the situations at hand and often leaves impressions that seduce our mind into wrong perceptions that are often concluded as being a word from God.

The tendency here is that the carnal mind concludes it as fact. The imagination of the unrestrained mind now becomes a convincing fact of things that are from God when in actuality, are far from Him.

God does not speak to my imaginations. He speaks to my heart. My experiential understanding is that it is seemingly because our “imaginations are aggressively inflamed” with desire for quick understanding or solutions and this places me in territories of great danger of being led incorrectly.

After Elijah killed the 450 Baal prophets and 400 grove prophets, the voice of Jezebel became alive. This voice rose up immediately after the powerful extinction of the voices of Baal. Elijah now flees for his life. He runs for exile 360 miles through the environmental extremities of the southern deserts of Israel into Saudi Arabia.

Elijah ran to the cave where Moses spends much of his time in exile at the mountain of God, even Horeb. Elijah was desperately thirsting to hear the voice of God. He was in dire need to hear direction, approval and comfort. Elijah knew that God was at Horeb when He spoke to Israel out of fire.

Elijah also knew that God was in Horeb when the water came from the rock and quenched the thirst of millions in the dusty hot and terrible desert. It was here at the mountain of God where He told Israel that they have been here long enough; they need to leave because there is the conquering of enemy territory ahead of them.

Deuteronomy 1:6 The Lord our God spake unto us in Horeb, saying, Ye have dwelt long enough in this mount: V.7 Turn you, and take your journey.

We cannot always lay our heads in the fresh waters of God’s grace and do nothing. There is a time to pursue His purposes even when it rains on us and when the battles rage.

Elijah’s desire to hear from God is evident. The desire for him to run the extreme distance in fear and agony to hear what he could hear also opened up the opportunity for everything to speak. Even the elements around him became inflamed with thunder, lightning and earthquakes. Even the wind broke the huge rocks. After all, this was where Moses stood to hear the voice of God.

Now the situation looked even more severe. Even God seemed to be in a frantic mode of wrath. Somehow in the entire dramatic earth shattering phenomenon that happened around Elijah that day, the Lord was not in any of it.
There were many things that day that caused Elijah’s emotions to hit exaggerated highs that were almost unbearable. There was only one thing that caused him to fold his mantle around his face. It was a still small voice! “What does thou here” is what the Lord said.

Elijah, go and pour oil upon the heads of common people that I have called to be kings. 7,000 have not bowed their knees to the falsehoods of Baal.Adam and Eve,in shame of their sin, were hiding among the trees. It was in the cool of the day, in the morning hours when things were quiet and refreshed, that God spoke.

God said, Adam, where art thou? Elijah, why are you here?

Jesus said, (Luke 24:38Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?

John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

Jesus speaks to His own in a place of peace and in a peaceful way at a peaceful time. Jesus is the Prince of peace.

When He spoke to the tumultuous water in Galilee it became a place of peace because His disciples were there.

May we always remember that the shepherd leads and draws his sheep by the voice of peace? This is not the way he speaks to the enemy.

The surroundings of Jesus are framed in peace. Jesus does speak to you.Can you hear Him? Perhaps you need to go to a place of serenity where the Great Shepherd is welcome.

Leave the place of trouble. Step out of that ship you consider safe so you can hear Him and be led by Him correctly.

Protecting the Testimony of God

Let’s take a minute and go back to the instance where faith was first founded within us. Can you remember several clearly defined moments where faith allowed God to change your life?

I consider these places of influence as spiritual waypoints. These waypoints need to be kept protected and revered and spoken about by the word of our mouth. There is astounding overcoming power by the word of our testimony. It is where God placed His hand upon us and we were never same again.

God commanded Israel to carry the ark of the covenant everywhere they set their feet for a remembrance to them and their generations of the deliverance from Egypt by the mighty hand of God. This was intended to seal any questions concerning impossibilities they would encounter in their future.

God wanted Israel to assuredly know what He did once—He could certainly do it again. This ark of testimony had a power that brought surrender to everything around it. It even brought blessings to fall upon territories it rested upon. The ark held God’s authentication in time of question.

Within the ark there were three distinct items of memory necessary to carry them through the most difficult future.

The three monuments of miracles were as follows:

1. Ten inscribed laws of protection. God’s covenant law to the first children of Abraham, the father of all them that believe.
2. Manna. The sustenance of God’s natural provision in places of total impossibility.
3. Aaron’s rod that budded. Showing forth the one who God anointed and causes to bloom in the day of question.

The importance of carrying the ark of the testimony was not an option. It was all they needed according to God to sustain them all those years. But let’s see at once what happened! David speaks about this in Psalm 78. Please read the whole chapter.

Psalm 78:39 For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again. V.40 How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert! V.41 Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. V.42 They remembered not his hand, nor the day when he delivered them from the enemy. V.56 Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God, and kept not his testimonies: V.60 So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men; V.61 And delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemy’s hand. do not understand why God delivered His strength into captivity, and His glory into the enemy’s hand.

I do need to understand the lesson in not robbing God’s strength by neglecting HIS testimony and forgetting the importance of remembering HIS strength and not forgetting how HE delivered me, even if it may have been years ago. The testimonies of God’s sovereign intervention concerning our life belongs to Him.

Let us protect His testimony, beginning now. Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

The testimony of God’s intervention in our life in the beginning and all the waypoints are enormously powerful! The devils, the enemies, the unbelieving, the backslidden, the discouraged, the believer, the saint, the holy and unholy need to hear it over and over again! Speak it in prayer and in the closet and in the streets and cry it from the housetop!

Declare its glory and its cleansing and saving power. Do not neglect the power of God’s testimony with you! You might say you are not where you should be at this time in your spiritual life. Let me speak this truth into your soul. Wake up to the ultimate importance of crying out God’s testimony.

Go alone with God at once and deliver this glorious experience to the throne of God. Let’s never neglect to speak forth what God has done. The testimony is His forever and it carries eternal power and strength and extreme courage in the darkest hour. If God did it once He will do it again. Carry this in your heart and watch the dross of discouragement flee like dust in the rain. Hall-elu-Jah!

When the ark and its testimony were stolen from Shiloh in 1094 BC, Shiloh went extinct and the glory of God went right with it. I have been to Shiloh several times and it is still dormant.

Where did the ark of testimony go? V.61 And delivered his strength into captivity, and His glory into the enemy’s hand.

When we walk away from God’s testimony in our life it goes into the hand of the enemy and there he throws it into our face with mockery and it bends us deeply into discouragement so that it becomes unbearable. Now the cherished moments of our past gaze upon us with hopelessness beyond despair! Take back the ark from the enemy at once.

The testimony belongs to God and His redeemed child. This experience will bring you back where you left off.

The Power of Foundation

Isaiah 46:9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me V.10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

The Holy Spirit has developed and established a treasure within my character that I find to be the basis of all that exists around me. The treasure is the power of wisdom within a defined foundation. I have experienced intense devastation when this has been denigrated by doubt and unbelief by adversaries.

I hold dearly in my spiritual, yet practical processes of life, that a person cannot achieve a strong and enduring character or anything with value without a prepared and established foundation where God can rest His blessing upon.

We notice in Isaiah 46:9 that God has framed the world from the end result to the beginning plan. God determined the end and then framed the beginning. God has set and declared His final work and then He filled in the space with His plan.

Almighty God has a plan in place that is completely reverse from human understanding. It is planning from the end. Oh, how marvelous are thy ways oh God!

This truth applies in all phases of life. Only after we conclude the final objective, can we begin the framework and strength of the foundation.

The size and strength of the foundation in a building is always relative to the weight and size and purpose of the structure.

Many Christians operate as it were auto pilot on an airplane. Whatever happens in life is all like the law of gravity.

Nothing goes right. Sloppily we trample through life never understanding the excellent principles that bring us to places of rest, strength, courage and spiritual resilience.

Seldom is splendor found in a foundation. Seldom are we in awe of a foundation.

It is toward the structure where all the value and admiration are directed. I have never found anyone to live inside a foundation nor have ever found a structure without a foundation.

Luke 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?

What is so powerful about a true foundation? It is a place of structural rest. It is a place where plans have a place to prosper. It is a place where tests and trials surrender. Within it’s perimeter, battles stay contained.

It is a place that is not on someone else’s territory. Upon this established place others do not trespass. It is a place of containment. It is a place of authority that gives you confidence. The marvelous power of this foundation is, it has been established by a Builder greater than I.

Jesus is this foundation and all the promises within this foundation are mine to see fulfilled.

2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. V.21 Now He which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;

This anointing is the common union between Him and us for His purpose and His glory. It is to be noticed by those who walk under the constraints of the enemy, and including the enemy himself.

We now clearly understand that we have been placed upon a purchased foundation, solid as eternity.

The provision has been complete and final in Jesus. Almighty God’s plan is to fulfill and prevail by faith and strength with the overcoming power we have been placed upon.

John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Our foundation is the most powerful and enduring act that man ever needs to glorify the heavenly Father. The exceedingly firm foundation we have is the very one that God has set in place when He declared the end from the beginning.

We are in Him and completely in His plan, my Christian friend. You are anchored in a place of victory and miraculous overcoming power and you need no further provision. Only faith to fight. Remember faith fights and it fights the most powerful fight known to man.

Fight the good fight. You will always win when your fight is good! 

When We Love God

1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. V.10 But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.The mindset of being in love with someone is so powerful that offenses have little chance to depreciate from the value it maintains. This value becomes inseparable and as a result it endures through every obstacle it encounters. It is the strongest of man’s passions allowed by Almighty God to consummate. There is no virtue stronger than love or more enduring than love. Love literally endures all things!

When we exercise love, we open channels of inspiration, motivation and encouragement between parties that we are in union with. This interaction has immense power. It overlooks the slightest misunderstanding. It supercedes the greatest disappointments. And love even prevails over blatant disapproval from those it is in union with. The benefits of love are all by-products and not requirements. This is, at least in part, why love is the strongest virtue known to mankind. It wins in every case and it will never fail. This love is the tool of God, and it is God—for God is love! The interaction and connection between those in the bond of love opens a common truth of respect, admiration and honor that exchanges even secrets in its highest forms.

This is what happens when we are in love with Almighty God. As we endear this gracious union of excellence and strength with Almighty God through the accepted provision of Jesus the Christ, then there opens an amalgamation of a divine trust between us.

But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit.

Here we see the relationship of loving God as He loves us. This love has no precondition of acceptance. Why do some have a deeper revelation of God’s truth? Why do some offer words and impressions of loving God yet have little revelation of the deeper things of God? Perhaps many love in word and not in deed. Once God opens to us things that eyes don’t see and ears don’t hear, then we must conclude that we have found a relational love that God trusts. This is truly a by-product of loving God. When God sees the reverence and the fear of God that we carry in a truth relationship with Him, then He will open the hidden manna to us so few know about.

How do I love God? It is an unconditional respect and passion to revere and genuinely worship. This form of love worships and has total trust and dependence on Almighty God, even against all odds. This worship of dependence is a delight that gives no audience to human impossibility. It delights in the things that Almighty God delights in. It is engaging, and balanced with a flow of grace. There are no pre-qualifications of esteem to enter into such an extensive relationship with Almighty God for the saint. The words that describe this so well are found in James 2:5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which He hath promised to them that love Him?

It is in this inseparable faith relationship that Almighty God calls His love to prosper. This love relationship is a faith relationship. These passionate loving believers find the realistic power of God’s truth and hold the inseparable promise from Almighty God alone, to be the heirs of His kingdom! Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the Lord thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations;

May we hear and acknowledge that we are well within the ‘thousand generation’. Hallelujah!

How Can I Be Better?

How can I become a better person with interpersonal relationships? Questions to ask myself: Can I be a better person? Does my influence make things better or worse? John 21:22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me.

I want to address those who live a God-fearing and honorable life on a daily basis. I have made some very well-thought out decisions in my Christian life, yet another one’s opinion saw it as a misjudgment and a mistake. Who was correct? This type of incident has been experienced by every child of God. How can I become a better person in cases like this? I take no issues with those who have different views and have the fear of God even if it seems like a decision of mistake. Many things and incidents are simply not for me to pay any attention to. It is not to be of any interest to my curiosity.

If I cannot be assured in bringing a total solution to the problem, I should never give it attention. The more personalities involved, the more exaggerated and complicated a small problem becomes. This is what a tongue can do. It kindles a small matter into a world of iniquity. Is it ever meant that we all have the same personality or opinion? It can never be possible knowing that God created us differently. Some of our make-up comes from prior or present iniquities or difficult circumstances of the past that shaped our lives. Most people get themselves in trouble and cause even more when they allow matters to become their own when the matters actually belong to someone else. These matters are often things that we cannot make better.

I then have to realize, I need not get involved nor will I allow myself to become influenced by it. Gossip-prone people thrive in these cliques, never having a solution that brings resolve. But they promote, propel, and exaggerate!

Question: Am I gossip-prone? How can I avoid the mistake of getting involved when a friend shares things I need not know? Change the subject quickly? Let us consider what Jesus said. Jesus encountered this after He made a statement about one of His disciples betraying him at the last supper. John 21:20 Peter turned around and saw behind them the disciple Jesus loved—the one who had leaned over to Jesus during supper and asked, “Lord, who will betray you?” V.21 Peter asked Jesus, “Yes what about him, Lord?” V. 22 Jesus replied, what is that to you, Peter? Follow thou me.” (NLT) This was a rebuke from Jesus to Peter to not get involved in business outside his place and function even while his fellow disciples were eating the last supper at the same table. Jesus basically told Peter, this thing with your fellow disciple is none of your business. Stay out of it. What is that to me?

Millions of personalities are living at this moment and millions of opinions are active and engaged. Most careful and God-fearing people make mistakes because of our humanity. I have at times stood at the crossroads of decision trying to help solve a difficulty that seemed impossible to solve between two personalities. Issues can easily happen because of the differences in personalities—even in God-fearing people. We perceive that Peter was curious about the business Jesus and John—the disciple who Jesus loved!—were discussing Judas. There was a giant problem brewing among the close knit community of disciples. It was beginning to surface. It involved the death of Jesus. It was glaring and attractive to stimulate curiosity and promote involvement with all that heard. Jesus simply put a sudden stop to Peter’s unnecessary curiosity even though Jesus was the one who unveiled the issue. Jesus replied, “What is that to you, Peter? Follow thou me.” Why did Jesus say follow me? Was Peter running ahead of Jesus?

When we get involved in things that are not ours to involve in, are we running ahead of Jesus? Follow me, stay behind me. Do not get in front of me. When we gossip and get involved in matters that don’t belong to us, we are certainly not following Jesus. Let us remember today the rebuke of Jesus, “What is that to me? Follow thou Jesus!” 2 Peter 1:5 …Add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; V.6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; V.7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. V.8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. V.9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 

Eunuchs in the Palace

Within a spiritual father there is a longing from God for his children to be purposeful and useful to capacities greater than even the father walked in himself. This is imputed from God’s wisdom so that the spiritual heritage can continue its path to greater effectiveness.

This was part of David’s perfect heart toward God. Almighty God has also exemplified this with His only begotten Son Jesus, the Savior of the world.

There was a man called Asaph who was anointed to be the temple singer so that God would always be praised and not neglected. We have record that Asaph’s array of singers faithfully carried the responsibility for more than 400 years through his descendants. Almighty God scripted the verse by the hand of David in Psalm 100:4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.

Asaph was assigned these spiritual palace worship duties, often not realized as important. Asaph not only sang with voice and instrument at the gates, he attended to a useful purpose in providing timber beams for the palace entrances. As a result, Asaph was also the keeper of the king’s forest which had nothing to do with singing, or did it?

The responsibility of Asaph was about maintaining the gates with timbers, structure, singing and praise. This is a wonderful picture. Nehemiah 2:8  And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.

When the presence of God occupies at the gate, it is difficult for the enemy to pass in and equally hard for a thief to steal and pass through. The singers are always the first to be attacked by Satan or man. We notice this with Jehoshaphat as the singers were the first infantry. This shows us why there is so much sensual praise or no praise at all. If there is true praise it is hunted down. Today we seek to do the least we can in providing what God has called us to do.

Let us ask ourselves some questions. Am I a helper in preserving the king’s forest so that the gates maintain their holy accesses and and to help secure the quality of what goes in and out? Do I carry questionable things in through the gates to destroy the things that God has established by His divine presence? Do I scoff at those who still have inspiration to fulfill His purposes and vision? Is it easier for me to criticize and destroy? Does my attitude neuter God’s servants because of my own issues? Has the church become eunuchs (neutered and carnal) so that God’s presence becomes unfamiliar? Have I caused God’s presence to be unwelcomed among the faithful? Have I become more comfortable with the sinner than the saint? Am I critical if someone does their job with spiritual passion? Do I threaten useful servants with the eye of jealousy? Do I seek to bring harmful influence by giving birth to more eunuchs in the house of God?

May we look at the product we have produced, literally and spiritually? May I welcome a wakeup call that I gain a better understanding of my offspring. Isaiah 39:7  And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon. Has my critical mindset caused my offspring to become eunuchs? Let us not be embarrassed who we produced but what we produced. God, set a watch of repentance upon my heart! Matthew 19:12  For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

Oh, Chorazin!

Oh, Chorazin!

Almost 4,000 years after the fall of Adam and Eve and still no appearance of the prophesied Savior. But then it happened. In a little town south of Jerusalem.

Jesus, anointed by Almighty God, chooses Capernaum, Bethsaida and Chorazin specifically to introduce His heavenly kingdom to mankind. These were the cities where God’s declaration of kingdom miracles were exemplified as something never seen before.

It was a huge revival of eternal life to the thousands who came with every ailment and problem that can be imagined. Wagon loads filled with the sick came from far away to join in the meetings on the hillsides, hoping to be delivered and made whole. They were hoping to walk, see, and hear. For some, it was the first time to be healthy.

Some brought devils with them hoping to get rid of them. They were all healed and touched by a King! God’s only begotten son Jesus was this King and He was the introduction of a new covenant between God and man. This covenant is in full existence to this very hour and the results remain unchanged. Hallelujah! Can you see them leaping and jumping as they go back to their families and communities to show and tell the news?

I can see the crammed horse drawn wagons coming from afar with clouds of dust rising behind them galloping toward the Savior. These wagons came filled with the infirmed and now they are leaving empty because their passengers were touched by Jesus. These three cities witnessed the greatest move of God that ever was.

And all of a sudden at the end of three years Jesus says this:

Matthew 11:20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: V.21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. V.22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. V.23 And thou, Capernaum (the city where Jesus and His disciples lived), which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. V.24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.

Something went horribly wrong in these cities of revival. They saw the light, they knew the light, but something went terribly wrong. Did they become discouraged? Was it persecution? Were there divisions among them? Did they find faults among the saints? Probably all of the above.

Jesus said they had a repentance problem. Can people sit in the presence of the work of Jesus and harden their hearts? Yes, it happens all the time. The moving of God’s power became the norm.

The disciples were working with Jesus and even helped give out bread to the thousands and the next moment Jesus asked them,”are your hearts still hardened”? He then reveals the condition of a hardened heart.

Mark 8:17 And when Jesus knew it, He saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? Perceive ye not yet, neither understand? Have ye your heart yet hardened? V.18 Having eyes, see ye not? And having ears, hear ye not? And do ye not remember?

Here is the sequence of internal events of a hardened heart. Why reason ye: They stopped perceiving. They lost understanding. Their hearts were still hard. They had eyes but stopped seeing. Their ears stopped hearing Their memory was removed from what they saw, heard and at one time understood.

Jesus was explaining the repentance problem.

How can someone be next to Jesus and see all the works of God in miraculous fashion and lose it so quickly? When man follows after offenses he loses repentance. When man gets used to the work of God he loses repentance.

It all starts down the path of destruction when man fails to love the voice of conviction from the presence of the Holy Spirit. Oh, Chorazin! Why are all your walls torn down? Even today, I ask, why does no one desire to live there anymore? All that is there are piles of extremely hard basalt rock. It’s the picture of a heart that turns away from the presence of the Holy Spirit even in the midst of His sovereign working. Even Jesus left the place and the Holy Spirit had no more desire to live there any more. Jesus cursed the place where He did the greatest miracles.

Today, I echo, Oh, Chorazin. Oh, Chorazin!

What is Pain?

What is pain?

Romans 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. v.22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

In these latter days, the enemy has poured upon the earth the concept of pain that thrives on personal rights and freedom without cost. This concept has been adopted by the church and has taken the focus away from God’s spiritual intention for the believer. Almighty God’s intention is for the believer to be delivered from shame and corrupt bondages into the glorious liberty in Christ, and the process is not to be misunderstood. In this earthly life there are plenty of struggles and tribulations.

There are 5 things we must be aware of:

1. We must not be surprised by the struggles and difficulties.
2. The word tribulation means pressure.
3. We must comprehend that the threat to all life is death.
4. To the believer, Paul calls it the fight of faith.
5. Much tribulation/pressure is a kingdom doorway and it will not separate me from Christ. (Romans 5:3.)

Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must go through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

The confirmation of discipleship is found in hard displeasures and difficulties that we face, that are intended to be overcome by faith.

There are very few options in relating to the forces about us. It must be understood plainly, that the forces include my flesh, Satan the enemy, and the world. And the force to withstand is found in the power of Jesus. It is indeed a battlefield!

I know undoubtedly, that man by himself, has no power as great as Jesus or Satan. This makes me extremely vulnerable.

If I want to overcome death or pain I must yield myself completely to life. Jesus is the life. If I yield myself to defeat and discouragement I embrace death.

Defining the reality of this in a few words looks like this. Man’s appointment is death and judgment. Satan is death. Jesus is resurrection from death. The One who wins is the One we rest our faith in.

Discouragement comes from unanticipated situations. We, as vessels of clay, often encounter things that are difficult. How else could it be living in a difficult world.

I have found that discouragement often comes from conflict from external sources wanting a meeting with personal conflict within.

If I hang on to my own conflict or have hidden unresolved issues within, I should never attempt to confront conflict without. This is where patience becomes a tool of value.

Correct the problems within and let redemption through Christ release, forgive and restore you. Now your heart is clear (internal) and you are better prepared for the issues you have encountered around you (external).

Let us not be weary in well doing. Sometimes these things will take weeks or even months until we can rest with resolve. As long as you don’t give up, God won’t either.

So many do not understand the cross and end up becoming enemies to it. The conclusion of the cross is not pain, it is death, which is the final resolve that only supernatural resurrection can burst forth.

One of the biggest things plaguing God’s children is the personal suffering of self. This is not meant to be. Self has only one right, crucified daily on the cross of Jesus. The complete resolve to pain, hurt and self has to surrender with no further argument.

Can we say, I am crucified with Christ today by giving up all that is within me never to pick it up again? Tomorrow, I do the same until Jesus returns. If not, we must conclude that we are resisting the cross and considering it an enemy to our soul.

There is no pain in death, and neither is there pain in resurrection. The pain is in the process before death, while we hold on to that which is intended to die. When I hold onto my own rights, God can never make me right in His sight. I don’t know of another answer to what is called pain in our latter day. I hope this sheds some light on what I am seeing about the subject of pain in our modern day. May He see His glory in our lives!

John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.