Saturday, October 31, 2009
King Ahab told Queen Jezebel what had happened to her prophets of Baal and Elijah ran for his life and went into hiding. In 1 Kings 18 and 19 the story is told. Should Elijah have run? Most have been hard on this man. I do not believe he should have run but in that context, he had just gotten back from the 3 1/2 years of drought where God told him to hide by a brook. The ravens fed him and he drank from the brook. I think he should have stayed and confronted Jezebel, but I have never gone through even 1/100 of 1% what this man went through. Elijah was, after all, a human being like us, although greatly used of God.
What blessed me while reading this story over and over again is that although Elijah was discouraged, tired, and in hiding, God sent an angel to guard him while he slept. The angel cooked a meal for Elijah and awoke him and told him to eat. Elijah ate and went back to sleep. Once again, the angel cooked another meal for Elijah and awakened him again telling him to eat. Saying the journey ahead would be difficult and he needed the energy.
How does this apply to me? I often feel that I missed my calling in life; if I don't think so the enemy reminds me! At times I've been " on the run..." from the purposes of God. Even in these circumstances, we like Elijah, tired, discouraged and afraid, God sends angels and His Spirit to feed, guard and comfort us with spiritual food to continue our journey just a little while longer.
The tender mercies of God are beyond comprehension. They are renewed every day. He cares for us even when we are on the run and in hiding when the journey gets difficult or discouraging. Like the angel that was following Elijah, He patiently watches over our every move and is standing by to give strength for the journey ahead and encouragement for the disappointments that await us.
God asks Elijah twice, "What are you doing here?" He sent an earthquake, a fire and a mighty wind but spoke in a still, calm voice; "why are you here?" Not a voice of condemnation, not a loud roar, but gently asking the tired prophet what was going on...
God, in His gentle mercies desires one thing of us, that we be conformed into the image of His Son. We do not have great ministries, thousands of followers, television or radio shows. But we do have one thing in common with all followers of Christ, the old hymn describes our mission ~
" To be like Jesus, To be like Jesus,
all I ask, to be like Him,
All through life's journey
From earth to glory,
All I ask, to be like Him. "
Remember Jesus prayer toward the end of His ministry while here on earth in a body just like ours, He prayed that we be one with Him, as He is in the Father, may we be in Him. This is our ultimate mission. This is His desire. It should be ours also.
I take great comfort in the fact that even though I am sure, in fact I know, that I have strayed many times while here on earth, God sent a heavenly messenger many times to watch over me while I was discouraged and sleeping, and the food and what sustained me was the faithfulness, gentleness and meekness of the One who knows our weaknesses and intercedes on our behalf.
Rest in these comforts. Eat and live by His promises. He is Faithful and True and He will see that we finish the race in victory in Him.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Many things are happening in the world today that are cause for concern. Yet there is also great hope for victory. In general bad things will get worse, and good things will get better (Isaiah 60:2). Let's look at seven Bible verses with the word "all" or "every" to get a picture of seven mega-trends that will affect our world in these end times.
I. Ungodly World Government
Revelation 13:7 – It was given to [the Beast] to make war on the saints and to overcome them, and governing authority was given over every tribe and people and tongue and nation.
There will be an international confederation that will be evil and violent. It will control the government of every nation, and will encourage persecution of true believers.
II. Glorious International Church
Revelation 7:9 – I saw a great multitude which no man could count, from all the nations, tribes, peoples and tongues – standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes and with palm branches in their hands.
At the same time there will be an ever increasing community of true believers in all the nations of the world. They will walk in spiritual purity and moral integrity, each people group expressing their faith in their own culture and language, worshiping in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Their expectant faith will welcome the Messiah back into the world.
III. Evil World Religion
Revelation 13:8 – And all the inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the Lamb's book of life will worship [the Beast].
The evil world government will also have a religious aspect to it. It will demand worship of its violent religion. The true saints around the world will not comply to this coercion, but those who have no faith, understanding or courage will succumb.
The demand to worship in this evil religion will be like the statue made by Nebuchadnezzar, and the refusal to worship it will be like the stance of the three Jewish stewards who were miraculously saved from the fiery furnace (Daniel 3).
IV. Outpouring of the Holy Spirit
Acts 2:17 – I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and daughters will prophesy; your young men will see visions and your old men will dream dreams.
At the same time that the ungodly will be worshiping the evil beast, there will be a great revival among the godly. The fire of the Holy Spirit will be poured out in an end times' "Pentecost" that will reach every part of the world. True churches and congregations in every nation will experience the same kind of revival that the first century Messianic believers experienced in Acts 2 (Joel 2-3). It will be accompanied by prophecies, healings, and miracles.
V. Revival in Israel
Romans 11:26 – And all Israel shall be saved.
The expression "all flesh" of Acts 2:17 is connected to the "all Israel" of Romans 11:26. As there will be a spiritual revival in all the world, so will there be in Israel as well. The first century revival was in Israel alone; the last century revival will be in Israel and the nations.
Today there is a vibrant Messianic remnant in Israel. This remnant will grow until a "critical mass" is reached. Then the world wide end times Pentecost will be set ablaze. The influence goes in both directions. The spiritual outpouring in the nations causes the revival in Israel, and the outpouring in Israel causes the revival in the nations.
VI. Increase in Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism
Zechariah 14:2 – And I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle.
The evil government confederation will not only commit violent crimes, persecute the saints and demand false religious worship, it will also focus lies and anti-Semitic propaganda against Israel. The increase of Anti-Zionist propaganda will be like the attempts of Haman in the book of Esther to kill the Jewish people.
Ultimately it will facilitate a united attack of all the nations against Jerusalem – the religious and political capital of Israel. This apocalyptic war will be the culminating act of evil in the world and the final act of rebellion against God and His Messiah (Psalm 2). At that time Yeshua (Jesus) will return to fight against those nations which attacked Jerusalem.
That war is the context by which Yeshua will judge the nations. His war against them is part of the judgment. As Prime Minister Netanyahu said at the United Nations, every nation will have to decide whether to stand with Israel or with the terrorists.
VII. Jewish Roots of Christianity
Zechariah 14:16 – And it shall come to pass that all who remain of all the nations that came against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the king.
While all the nations will attack Israel, not all the people within those nations will be in agreement. Quite the contrary! In every nation there will be a spiritual remnant who will remain loyal to God, live in holiness, and also be aligned with Israel.
Before the Second Coming, the international Church and the Messianic remnant of Israel will be "grafted in" together (Romans 11). This "grafting in" is part of the faith and covenant that will invite Yeshua to return and rule over the world from Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:1-4, Micah 4:1-5, Revelation 11:15, Matthew 6:10).
[Note: At their recent international convention, Aglow President Jane Hansen Hoyt passed out stickers in the form of yellow "Stars of David", similar to the patches demanded of the Jews to be worn in the Holocaust. In this powerful gesture, Jane said true Christians will stand against anti-Semitism and the anti-Christ even unto the death. Earlier at the same conference, Victor Khalil (Egyptian Arab, former Muslim) and I embraced one another on the platform as an expression of the reconciliation and covenantal love that is found in Yeshua alone.]
October 27, 2009By Tom ChiversUK TelegraphImage: Asteroid exploded over Indonesia with force of three Hiroshimas. The asteroid was around 20 meters across and hit the Earth's atmosphere at 45,000mph (Getty)On 8 October, the rock crashed into the atmosphere above South Sulawesi, Indonesia. The blast was heard by monitoring stations 10,000 miles away, according to a report by scientists at the University of Western Ontario.Scientists are concerned that it was not spotted by any telescopes, and that had it been larger it could have caused a disaster.The asteroid, estimated to have been around 10 metres (30ft) across, hit the atmosphere at an estimated 45,000mph. The sudden deceleration caused it to heat up rapidly and explode with the force of 50,000 tons of TNT.Luckily, due to the height of the explosion – estimated at between 15 and 20 km (nine to 12 miles) above sea level – no damage was caused on the ground.However, if the object had been slightly larger – 20 to 30 metres (60 to 90ft) across – it could easily have caused extensive damage and loss of life, say researchers.Very few objects smaller than 100 meters (300ft) across have been spotted and catalogued by astronomers.
Video footage after the collision shows a trail typical of an asteroid collision. (MetroTV)Tim Spahr, director of the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, warned that it was inevitable that minor asteroids would go unnoticed. He said: "If you want to find the smallest objects you have to build more, larger telescopes."A survey that finds all of the 20-metre objects will cost probably multiple billions of dollars."The fireball was spotted by locals in Indonesia, and a YouTube video taken that day "appears to show a large dust cloud consistent with a bright, daylight fireball", according to the Ontario researchers.An asteroid or comet fragment around 60 meters across is believed to have been behind the Tunguska Event, a powerful explosion that took place over Russia in 1908. The blast has been estimated at equivalent to 10-15 million tons of TNT – enough to destroy a large city.The White House is to develop a policy on the space object impact threat by October next
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Know therefore that the LORD thy God, He is God,
the faithful God, which keepteth covenant and mercy with them that love Him
and keep His commandments to a thousand generations;
And repayeth them that hate Him to their face,
to destroy them:
He will not be slack to him that hateth Him,
He will repay him to his face. ( Deuteronomy 7:9,10)
Benjamin Disraeli, Britain's Prime Minister at the turn of the 20th century used to say to his detractors who heckled him when he spoke in the British Parliament " My people were kings in Jerusalem while you were still scratching around in the fields for mushrooms..."
This spirit needs to be revived in the world today; it is not what is called politically correct, most see a statement as this as intolerant of other beliefs, but regardless of the feelings of "the street" in Western nations and the Islamic world, the truth must be told without equivocation.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared in the United Nations General Assembly, speaking to all of the member state representatives that Jerusalem is not a settlement! It is the City of David, Solomon, the great Prophets and Sages of the Bible. Four thousand years ago the Hebrew Patriarch Abraham travelled to Mount Moriah and the city of Salem to worship his God. Salem, the city of peace and righteousness.
The day before Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech the Iranian (Persian) demagogue Ahmadinejad again lambasted the "Zionist entity", denied the Holocaust, and reinforced his belief that Israel would eventually be defeated and pass for the scene.
In reply, the next day Netanyahu asked some pointed questions of the nations Representatives, saying ~ " Have you no shame?!" He held up the original blue prints for the Auschwitz-Brikenau death camps, signed by Hitler's deputy Heinrich Himmler. He also held up for all to see the original protocol of the Wannsee Conference where Nazi officials decided to implement the final solution in their effort to murder Europe's 11 million Jews.
On that day, as Israel's Prime Minister stood at the podium at the UN, like an ancient Hebrew Prophet declaring the truth and showing the "scroll" of planned destruction, like the scroll the prophets used to show Israel's rebellious kings, the wheat was being separated from the chaff. When Ahmadinejad rose to speak the previous day, several nations boycotted while a few walked out of the meeting in protest; but most nations of the world stayed, applauded and praised the speech of hatred, deception and violence.
The Jews have more claim to Jerusalem than the French have to Paris, the Germans have to Berlin, the British have to London or the Americans have to Washington, D.C. The ancient Kings of Israel were dwelling in Jerusalem their capital city, so ordained by God Himself, before any of these nations even existed as nations.
Where are we today? How do we fit into this massive struggle as Believers? We have to realize that we are very involved if we worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We are not passive or innocent bystanders. In Israel, God's Name, word, promises and faithfulness are being put to the test.
We know what God has declared regarding Israel in the last of days. What we say, what we proclaim, what we write and speak is being recorded in the heavens. We must not come down on the wrong side of this issue. We live in fearful days and the dye is being cast. Malachi 3:16-17 says ~
" Then they that feared the LORD spoke often one to another;
and the LORD hearkened, and heard it,
and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the LORD,
and that thought upon His Name."
" And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of Hosts,
in that day when I make up my jewels;
and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him."
For Believers in Christ, Israel has been an example for us; an example of God's faithfulness, the regathering after 2000 years of exile, the establishment of the nation of Israel again, the rebirth of the Hebrew language and the survival of Jews among the nations that continually sought their destruction. A demonic obsession that originates from the very pit of hell.
1 Corinthians 10:11 says, " Now all these things happened unto them as examples, and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come..."
This is the conclusion of the matter. It is not politically correct. It is not tolerant. But it is truth, none the less. As in the days of old as recorded in Scripture, the day approaches when the spirit of Phinehas, son of Eleazar son of Aaron the priest, will arise and thrust through with a spear all who oppose God (Numbers 25). And the same Spirit that demanded that Moses avenge the Israelites on the Midianites who fought Israel while they were on their travels through the Wilderness. These tribes murdered the weak, the straggler, the ill and the young who could not keep up with the travels. God told Moses to slay every male, every child and every woman in judgment. Such thoughts! Such destruction! But, such sin on the part of the enemies of God!
Jesus is coming back not as the meek, gentle saviour of mankind. He is coming back with a sword and an army to defeat all that has risen in rebellion to the Father. It is not going to be a day of toleration, understanding or deception. It will be the day of vengeance of our Great God.
We need to prepare ourselves accordingly in the spirit. This is a sovereign work of God; He sends His angels to separate the wheat from the tares (weeds) the enemy has sown in the fields of the earth. Our duty is to proclaim the truth and interceded for those who have any desire to know the truth and be saved.
The separating has already begun. The recent speech by Prime Minister Netanyahu at the United Nations is part of the process in the natural sense. The nations that applauded and praised the Persian will be judged severely, the nations who boycotted or walked out may have bought themselves a little bit of time.
Serious and exciting days! The zeal of the LORD of Hosts will accomplish all that has been spoken and recorded in His word. Do not be deceived or lulled back to sleep, days of decision are upon each and every one of us. Come down on the right side of these issues!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
If we walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfill the desires of the flesh; and the flesh does have strong desire. The Apostle Paul advanced to such a stage that he was able to say that he no longer lived, but the Spirit lived in (through) him. As Believers we are now separated from the world in a spiritual sense, although still in a fleshly body; we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones (Ephesians 5:30).
We have put to death the deeds of the flesh. We are the circumcision which worship God in spirit as we rejoice in Christ Jesus, having no confidence in the flesh (Philippians 3:3). Jesus had to die in the flesh; it was and always be unacceptable to God. It has no place in His presence. Hebrews 5 says that Jesus, who in the days of His flesh (past tense) when He had offered up prayers and supplications with crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and He was heard because He feared. And being made perfect He became the Author of salvation.
I believe the death spoken of here is eternal death; separation from God. Christ knew why He came; He willingly came realizing that He was the Lamb slain before the foundation stone of the world was put in place. The death He feared most was an eternal separation from the Father.
This is the death we are to fear greatly. Our flesh will die; as Job said, " He has clothed us with skin and flesh, and fenced us in with bone and muscle. " The worms will eat our flesh and we return to dust from whence we came. But the eternal part of us, the "real us" will continue into eternity either as children of the King, the Bride of Christ, or to everlasting torment.
Our spirit is contained within our body-as it were, the eternal part of us is temporarily being held captive in flesh, bone and muscle. The spirit is released upon death. As Job said, though the worms eat or body, yet in our flesh we shall see God; a new being, a new creation, likened unto Christ's glorious body. Philippians 3:21 says that God will change our vile body of flesh that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body. He does have a body!
What about now, today? What are we to do? Romans 8:11 says that although we are trapped in this body of flesh, we are quickened with the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead; it dwells by the Spirit in us. We are raised up together (present tense, not future) in heavenly places with Christ-even when we were dead in sins, the Holy Ghost quickened us together with Christ by the grace of God. He chose us, we did not chose Him; we were dead in sin and He called us to Him. (Ephesians 2:5)
He has quickened us in our uncircumcised flesh when we were dead in sins and has forgiven us our trespasses. ( Colossians 2:13) As the Father raised up the dead and quickens them-so Christ quickens whom He will (quicken also means vitalizes).
Does this sound impossible? Romans 4:17 says that God calls things into being that do not exist, as though they do exist. He speaks something out of nothingness.
The flesh and sin was so reprehensible to God that when sin offerings were first established in the days of Moses and the first tabernacle in the Wilderness, the sin offering was to be put in a earthen vessel to be offered by fire to the LORD. Something had to die, without the shedding of blood there was and still is no remission of sin. Even the earthen vessel in which the offering went had to be destroyed (Lev. 6:28).
The same with us; we are but earthen vessels. Our bodies have been defiled by sin. The inner man, the spiritual will live forever but the flesh, the earthen vessel must die.
As Believers, washed clean by the blood of the Lamb of God, we are new creatures in Him. We are dead to the flesh and its desires. Often times, like the Apostle Paul we battle daily for the ascendancy of our spiritual man over the fleshly; the flesh dies daily. Sometime the things we do not wish to do, we do, and the things we desire to do by the Spirit of God in us, we do not do. But we have power and authority over the enemy of our souls through the Holy Ghost working in us as we yield; this is our part.
It is interesting in retrospect, how Satan led Eve to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, not to the tree of life. If Eve and Adam would have eaten of the tree of life, they would have lived forever. But Satan does not desire that anything created in the image of God live forever; so he led them to the tree of knowledge; knowing full well that in disobedience mankind would be doomed and that he as a higher, more intelligent being would be able to corrupt and deceive mankind in his quest for dominance over what God had created.
The enemy is a destroyer, a liar, a ravenous lion seeking whom he may devour. He wishes our demise; our spiritual demise. We are not to fall to his trickery. The flesh is strong and this is what he uses to try to defeat us. We, as the Apostle Paul must put the flesh on the altar daily. The offerings to the LORD in the days of the temple were made every morning, and every evening. It is a picture, although the days of the Temple are past for right now, to offering a sin offering and a praise offering twice a day also.
We can have an understanding of the mystery of godliness; that God was manifest in the flesh (as He is in measure in us, as we yield) He was justified in the Spirit (as are all Believers by the Spirit indwelling our spirit) and seen by angels (as are we, they are ministering spirits), and by our daily living and witness preached unto the Gentiles (unbelievers) He is believed on in the world and one day soon, we like Christ, will be received up into glory! (1 Timothy 3:16)
The tree of life that was in the Garden of Eden reappears in heaven in the book of the Revelation. We will eat of the eternal fruit in our glorified bodies for all of eternity! Even so come LORD Jesus! He will appear to those who anxiously await for Him.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Are we going to call our Maker to the bar of justice to examine His word against falsehood or accusation? Will we set upon Him and judge Him by the law of our conceits and beliefs, against His ways? Are we wiser, and better and more righteous than He?
Must the God of heaven come to us to learn wisdom? Must infinite wisdom learn of, or from folly? Is infinite Holiness going to be corrected by a selfish sinner that cannot keep himself clean for even an hour?
Must the Almighty stand at the judgment bar of a worm? O! Horrid arrogance of senseless dust! It is like every mole, or clod, or dunghill accuse the sun of darkness, and undertake to illuminate the world? Where were we when the Almighty made the laws, did He not call upon us for His counsel? Surely He made them before you were born, without desiring your advice! And we come into the world seeking to reverse His law?!
If we could have done a greater work we should have stepped out of our nothingness and contradicted Christ when He was on earth, or Moses before Him, or have saved Adam and his sinful progeny from the threatened death so that there would not be a need for a Christ!
What if God withdraw His patience and sustainance, and let us drop into hell while we are quarrelling with His word? Will we then believe that there is no hell? There are many who live in out right rebellion against the path God has given for righteousness, salvation and eternal life. Though people try to put this out of their mind, they cannot put it out of the Bible. The Holy Ghost sealed the gospel; the apostles were the secretaries of the Spirit who wrote it; the preachers of the gospel proclaim it and persuade men to obey it; and the Holy Ghost makes the word effectual by opening the hearts of men to hear and either accept or deny it.
Most people love their present state, their carnal self and pleasing the flesh rather than seeking to please the LORD. We naturally love our present state, and are loathe to be brought out of it. Most people we meet love the earth greater than loving heaven, fleshly prosperity more than God. They just want to do enough to escape hell fire that a desire to love, please and honor God. These are wicked and unconverted people.
They may attend church, even teach Sunday school or a youth group and pray or testify in services; but if they love the present world more than heaven they are unconverted as far as God is concerned. The principle business in their life is to prosper in the world to attain their fleshly ends. Though they may read and hear and do much for religion and hate disgraceful sins, yet they never make it their principal business in life to please God.
While here on earth Christ said of such that harlots and publicans (tax collectors) would get to heaven before the religious people would. Whores and publican would accept true repentance because it was easier to make these gross sinners perceive their sin and misery and the necessity of a change, than to convince the more refined religious ones who thought they were converted already;when they were not.
A converted person is one who makes it the principal care and business of life to please God. The blessings of this life are but accommodations toward another life; they are totally subordinate to God. They love a holy life and hate sin of any kind. The drift and bent of their life is toward God. They are wholly taken up with redemption and believing that the LORD Jesus Christ is their only Saviour; HE is the life of their soul and they live by Him; being dead to self and alive to Him.
A true convert knows that the only hope and refuge they have is in Christ; He is their daily bread. They cannot pray without Him, rejoice without Him, nor think or speak or live without Him. These are heavenly minded, not earthly. As a child I have heard said of some that they are too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good, I would counter that most are to earthly minded to be of any heavenly good.
True conversion is those who were once addicted to self and lived for self are now devoted totally to God and live for God. Before they would please God so far as might stand with pleasure to their fleshly, as long as it was not too uncomfortable, but not do anything that was of any displeasure or discomfort. True conversion means a great change has taken place. Now God is all in all. God has declared that He is all in all; If we do not believe the God of truth, we are totally inexcusable.
To quote Richard Baxter ~
" Can one make so light of heaven and hell? Our corpse will shortly lie in the dust, and angels or devils will presently seize upon our souls, and every man and woman of you will shortly be among other company, and in another case than now we are;
You will dwell in those houses but a little longer, you will work in your shops but a little longer; you will sit in these seats, and dwell on this earth but a little longer;
you will see with those eyes, and hear with those ears, and speak with those tongues, but a little longer;
til the resurrection day; and can you make yourself forget this? O what a place will you be shortly in of joy or torment! O what a sight will you shortly see in heaven or hell! O what thoughts will shortly fill your hearts with unspeakable delight or horror!
What work will you be employed in;
to praise the LORD with saints and angels,
or to cry out in fire unquenchable with devils!
And should all this be forgotten?
All this will be endless, and sealed up by an unchangeable decree;
ETERNITY, ETERNITY will be the measure of your joys or sorrows.
Can you forget this? "
" When you have gone up and down a little longer, and slept and awakened a few times more,
you will be dead and gone, and find all that is true what I now tell you.
And yet can you now forget it?
You shall then remember that you heard this sermon, and that this day, from this place, you were reminded of these things;
and perceive them matters a thousand times greater than either you or I could have conceived; and yet, now, shall you so much as forget them? "
* There is no democracy in God's Kingdom. We are either saved or lost, redeemed or perishing. God has appointed His way of teaching us; by Scripture and ministers. The word of God delivered in Scripture and sealed by miracles and the holy workings of the Holy Ghost will never deceive us. Believe this or believe nothing! Believe and obey this or we are undone.
Are we truly converted?
How many pulpits in America preached this way yesterday, Sunday, October 26, 2009?
Saturday, October 24, 2009
In Jeremiah 45 God hears what the Scribe Baruch thinks in his heart. God is very displeased with his thoughts. Baruch is a godly man who ministered to the prophet Jeremiah as his author of God's words for society of his day. After reading his heart, God tells Baruch the sum of the matter:
" That which I have built will I break down,
That which I have planted I will pluck up, even the whole land.
In the middle of this you still expect great things for yourself?
Seek them not!
I will bring evil upon all flesh but your life will I give unto you
for a prey in all places wherever you go."
Baruch was thinking in his heart ..." Woe is me now! The LORD has added to my sorrow - I faint in my sighing and I find no rest." He was a young man sent by God to read Jeremiah's scroll before the king and his court. His readings were rejected as out of hand and he went into hiding to save his head. He was a youth setting out into the world-affected by the things of God through Jeremiah His prophet. But when it came to suffering he desired to be excused.
When he found that his message was rejected, not accepted, he cried out, " I am undone, I shall fall into the pursuers hands and be imprisoned and put to death or banished. The LORD has added unto my sorrow."
In other words, I cannot bear it! I faint from my sorrow and my sighing; I can find no rest or compose myself. Matthew Henry said " Some of the best saints of God (Elijah, for example) when they see storms arising, have been in frights and are apt to make the worst of things. God takes note of this, as He did with the thoughts of Baruch. He is displeased with these thoughts. Baruch should have rejoiced (as did the Apostle Paul and the first martyr Stephen, for example) that he was counted worthy to suffer in such a good cause and with such good company as Jeremiah.
* Think on this, counted worthy to suffer? He did not say counted worthy to prosper; not in this season of plucking and tearing down!
I think that I, indeed, as Baruch, have and am ( God have grace and mercy on me in this regard) vexed and greatly troubled and blame my lot on God; as if God is dealing harshly with me.
God was offended with Baruch, He is with me, surely also as He was with Moses who spoke unadvidedly with his lips. This one incident kept Moses from entering into the Promise Land! One incident! Woe is me...
It is the nature of our culture that all we have to do is ask forgiveness and God will forgive, He has to. DOES HE? Did He just forgive Moses? Am I going to tell God what He has to do? Dangerous thoughts-God forgive me of thinking such.
We find ourselves in the closing moments of the age of grace. The door is closing by the soverign hand of God; it will very soon be slammed shut to never be opened again. If He closes a door, who will force it open? He said He will shake everything that can be shaken, both in heaven (the spiritual) and on earth (the natural). That which He has planted He will pluck up - that which He has built He will tear down; even this whole land.
Do I, like Baruch, still hope to be rich and honourable and to make myself a figure now, of all times? Do I expect to be made high while all others are being brought low? Do I expect to be full while everyone else is empty? Today everything is uncertain and in decay - it is from His hand. He has said that if there is peace in a city, it is of Him. We cannot ignore that He also says that if there is calamity in a city, this also is from Him.
Where is our encouragement in this process? Look to what God told Baruch, even though He was displeased with his thoughts -
His life would be preserved as thousands go into captivity and are being destroyed on every side. To quote Matthew Henry again, " The preservation of and continuance of life are very great mercies...this prolongs our opportunity to glorify God in this world and to get ready for a better world, and especially when the arrows of death fly thickly about us, life is a signal favor we should be very thankful for, and while we have life we must not complain, though we may be disappointed of the great things we expected."
Did not Christ say that life is more than meat ( stuff, possessions)?
Today, we have precious promises Baruch did not have knowledge of. As great darkness envelopes this trouble planet and society, we know God promised that a great glory would descend upon His people that know Him. Not His people that know of Him, but that KNOW HIM.
In the middle of things being plucked up and torn down, the power of God, by the ministry of the Holy Ghost operating in us is a strong, vibrant Witness to the lost and dying God sends our way. This is the one last act of grace by God to the lost.
We must press on, hold fast and continue to establish our hearts and minds on things above as things fall apart down here. God is in heaven; we are seated with Him in heavenly places. If we would just know and remember this.
I continually repent of wanting more "stuff" down here while my spiritual man suffers from famine of the lack of the things of God. God, give me a heart to want only more of You!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
" I will extol Thee, O LORD;
for Thou hast lifted me up,
and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.
O LORD my God, I cried unto Thee,
and Thou hast healed me.
O LORD Thou hast brought up my soul from the grave:
Thou hast kept me alive,
that I should not go down to the pit.
Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of His,
and give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness.
For His anger endureth but for a moment;
in His favour is life:
weeping may endure for a night,
but joy cometh in the morning.
And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.
LORD, by Thy favour Thou hast made my mountain to stand strong;
Thou didst hide Thy face, and I was troubled.
I cried to Thee, O LORD;
and unto the LORD I made supplication.
What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit?
Shall the dust praise Thee?
Shall the dust declare Thy truth?
Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me:
LORD, be Thou my helper.
Thou hast turned my mourning into dancing:
Thou hast put off my sackcloth,
and girded me with gladness:
To the end that I may glory and sing praise unto Thee,
and not be silent.
O LORD my God,
I will give thanks unto Thee forever. "
A little background, as we used to say at my previous employer, as to why this particular Psalm and Song of David blesses me ~
Over 10 years ago when I was gainfully employed making 90k dollars a year and the road I was on, and the road ahead as far as my eye could see looked like gold, I was secure on my mountain; a mountain I thought and was convinced that I had made for myself. But after a car accident, an injury, health issues in my new family and a revolving door of troubled children of friends and neighbors, the mountain began to shake, shutter and collapse.
Like David, bless this man's soul (he was not afraid to voice his troubles and deliverance's), like David said, " in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved. God began to hide His face and I became very troubled. I cried out also to the LORD, " Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me; LORD, be my helper! "
I believe that in my foolishness, my thoughts of self sufficiency that His anger began to burn; but from an eternal perspective, it was but for a moment. I have truly had a weeping spirit and it has endured for many a night, but joy does come in the morning; the morning is time spent in His Presence where there is no darkness for those who realize their need for Him.
He has mercy for those who call out to Him. Do not depend on going to a "brother or a sister" in the LORD; do not depend on going to a "church or a fellowship", GO TO HIM! He is the great provider. He and only He can bring your soul up from the grave and keep you alive that you should not go down to the pit.
Pray as David prayed ~
* I cry unto Thee, heal me!
* By your favor make my mountain strong!
* What profit is there in my blood if I go down to the pit?
* Why do you hide Your face from my trouble?
* I am troubled!
* Will the dust praise you?
* How can I declare Your truth if my foes are victorious over me?
Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me! And He will!
But remember, WHY SHOULD HE?
" To the end that my glory may sing praise to Thee, and not be silent!
O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto Thee forever! "
In my night seasons, and their have been many, some of my own doing and some I believe straight from God, I have found that first their is disbelief, then fear, then anger, then I try to dig and claw my own way out of the darkness, but when God boxes you in and hides for a season, there is no where else to go but to Him.
Believe me, He knows how to pull your teeth, if necessary, without using a numbing agent! It is all dependant upon the hardness of our head and our heart. As we begin to see what He is doing a realization comes that it has all been necessary. In our great deliverance, in our victory over our enemies, we must praise Him for the great deliverance that only He can bring.
If we try to do it on our own, there is only more dark at the end of the tunnel. But if we yield, humble ourselves and run to Him in times of distress, their is joy and gladness as we realize that He cares for His children and we have gained great wisdom in the processes He has used; all for our benefit.
ALL THINGS work together for the good of those who love God!
He is a loving Father, a gentle Spirit, a Saviour who cared enough for our soul to come and die on our behalf. And in that death there followed a glorious Resurrection and glorious eternal body. These are the promises, this is the prospective, this must be our outlook in our travels on this troubled planet. He is ours, we are His, He has everything under control!
Sunday, October 18, 2009
In this context, consider - What was in Rome? It was the center of power for hundreds of years. The super power of the day. The mighty Roman Empire was expanding into most of the known world and it was demanded of the citizens of the world that they pay homage to whatever Caesar happened to be in power. History teaches us that thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of Believers suffered great hardship; but the church grew by leaps and bounds.
To the natural mind it seems strong persecution would cause something to wither and die; but in spiritual reality the kingdom of God grows as it is watered with the blood of martyr's. Is this God's way of doing things? Is this one of His ways to advance His Kingdom on earth? Are we entering a repeat of one of these times? If so, are there lessons and truths for us to learn from Paul's writing to Believers in Rome?
Most Christians in Western nations, the United States in particular, are fearful of persecution, turmoil, and trouble. They rant and rail against the government, its policies, the course it has chosen and such things. I am not saying this is not to be done, but can it become our obsession? How much energy, money and effort is spent doing this when the energy, money and effort could be used expanding the true truth of the gospel? In the writings of the Apostle Paul I do not read where he lambasted the Roman government, on any occasion. It is a given that governments of this world are in opposition to the Kingdom of God.
What does Paul say to Roman Believers living in the middle of total idolatry, Caesar worship, lust and violence?
" Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing;
that you may abound (not just survive, but abound!) in hope,
through the power of the Holy Ghost. " (Romans 15:13)
What a witness this must have been! In the middle of being fed to the lions and being not a spectator in cruel sport by being the meat fed to the beasts, to still be not only filled with joy and peace but to abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost!
Consider what Paul was saying; let it sink deep, it is with me ~
1. God is a God of hope
2. He will fill us with joy and peace, if we just believe and apply this to our situation
3. We cannot do this in ourselves, it is done through the power of the Holy Ghost; in total disregard of our circumstance.
Another example that I have been thinking of is the man Nehemiah and the situation he found himself in. He did not get himself into this predicament, he was put there by the sovereignty of the Almighty. Here he is, surrounded by walls that had been destroyed years ago, gates to a once great city, Jerusalem, that were burned and charred by fire, an enemy army full of scoffers and mockers laughing them to scorn, and he was with a bunch of former slaves and exiles of the Children of Israel.
One thing that Nehemiah said that hit me like a brick is in chapter 8, verse 10-...the joy of the LORD is your strength...! King David, through all of his tests, trials, victories and defeats of weakness still cries, " Delight yourself in the LORD...(Psalm 37:4). I have fallen very short in this aspect, no, not an aspect, but a commandment to be happy, joyful in the LORD, no matter my circumstance.
A personal example of what I am speaking of - I will use the liberty the Apostle Paul had in not hiding his situation. I, unlike, Paul have not been in prison chained to a soldier (yet!), I have not been ship wrecked, stoned and left for dead or suffered the loss of all things (yet!), but I, like Paul glory (boast) in what I feel God has spoken to my heart in some difficult circumstances. Here is my little example, do with it what you will, laugh, shake your head in sadness for me, or identify and understand what I am trying to say ~
Several weeks ago, the child we have with us presently had to make an emergency visit to the hospital; she was there for 4 days getting some issues straightened out. I have been fighting a cold in that process and my wife was baby sitting another small child to earn extra money. In the meantime, I got an electric bill for over 400 dollars! In the middle of these issues, I finally got to speak with an actual human being with the electric company asking about the large bill and they said the bill was now a little under 300 dollars. I protested that I had sent 75 dollars and the reply was that I currently owed 202 dollars or the electric would be turned off!!!
I was in between pay days and I explained of the child in the hospital, the insulin that had to stay refrigerated, and such. I was told that I had ten days to pay the total bill. Three days later the "meter lady" shows up at our door and said if the bill was not paid in 1 hour the electric would be disconnected, with a reconnection fee, plus another security deposit. She said the insulin was not her problem and left! Customer service at its best, now a days.
This is nothing like being ship wrecked, stoned and left for dead, or beaten; but this was bad, none the less. I was at work when this happened. I got one of those phone calls from my wife, if you know what I mean...My wife went to her parents and "borrowed" a credit card to pay the bill in less than an hour and everything was settled. (Yes, the credit card was paid on my next payday!!) for those who are wondering...
In the middle of all of this, after I tried to regain my exposure ( I mean my composure!) I felt immediately in my spirit the LORD speak to me and command me to say and pray, " This is a day that the LORD has made, I WILL rejoice and be glad in it..."
I thought am I crazy? No, I was not crazy. In all things I am to give thanks; even in my shortcomings, tests, oversights and trials. I fought this feeling with everything that was in me. But I whispered "this is a day that the LORD has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it..." I heard a whisper in my spirit saying " a little louder, please..." I spoke very loud and again said, " This IS a day that the LORD has made, and I WILL REJOICE and be glad in it..."
How did Paul proclaim with great joy and no shame that he suffered the loss of all things, joyfully? Did he serve a different God than I believe in?
Consider, in the book of Psalms, God is the all satisfying Object of our praise. We, as His people are nor requested to, but commanded to adore Him unashamedly for the exceeding joy we find in Him. (Psalm 43:4)
Our pleasure must be in God Himself. Not centered in what He can give us. Sure, having electricity is fantastic! But it is just a perk, an extra, when taken in an eternal perspective. God is the end of our search; He is not a means to get what we want; a sugar daddy, as it were. He is not some key that unlocks the streets of gold, the mansion on the hilltop or treasures of silver and gold.
Job hit the nail right on the head for us when He said that THE ALMIGHTY IS OUR GOLD AND CHOICE SILVER TO US! (Job 22:23-26)
Our delight is in the Almighty. Our chief end is to glorify Him by enjoying Him forever. He demands that we glorify Him, for He is worthy of all praise. He gets great joy when we are joyful in Him! He inhabits the praise of His people, the Bible says. Do you want to get close to God? PRAISE HIM MORE!
No matter the circumstance; no matter how tight it gets from here on out for our nation and its citizens. We need to draw very, very close to God and become very, very intimate with Him. He is a very present help in times of trouble. He will truly stick closer than any brother in our hour of need and trial.
Draw close to Him. He has given His word that He will then draw close to us. In His presence is fullness of joy!
Saturday, October 17, 2009
and He delighteth in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down:
for the LORD upholdeth him with His hand. " (PSALM 37:24)
This is a verse, a concept, I was taught as a child. No matter how hopeless or successful we are in life, whether by disobedience or faithfulness, God knew from the beginning the steps we would take. Our desires are changed in the process -Hard lessons learned for disobedience and joy for obedience. We learn of the love of God, His tender mercies and forgiveness when we repent and turn from evil. I do not speak of an evil like we read of in the news of gross sin; but a wagging tongue, a lustful thought almost acted upon, lack of prayer, intercession and witness. Or at times desiring things we really do not need or trying to fulfil those desires and letting the good things we could have done to languish in the process.
Interspersed in these thoughts are some thoughts of Matthew Henry hundreds of years ago; our battles are the same. The enemy of our souls is very adaptable but the issues and the battles are the same.
God will direct and dispose of our actions and affairs in a way that will bring Him glory and praise. By His grace and Spirit He directs our thoughts, affections and designs. Every person's heart is in His hand; but His children's hearts are His by our own consent. We have given our hearts to Him.
By His providence He over rules events that concern us. He makes our way plain before us if we seek His guidance; what we should say, what we should do. God orders our steps and has expressed His desires in His written Word. The words of God are as silver, refined seven times (completely) written by those who were moved upon by the Holy Spirit.
He whispers to our conscience, our spirit (for He is spirit) and says, " This is the way, walk in it..." If we would only listen, all of the time! He does not often show us things into the distant future, but leads us step by step, as one leads a small child. Why lead in this way? Perhaps, in this manner of guidance we are always totally dependant upon Him.
He delights in His ways! We should also. Who are we to direct the LORD? God orders His way for us to follow because He loves His own image upon us! Though we fall and falter at times, ready to "throw in the towel" we are not utterly cast down. He is still here. If we are overcome with a fault, and for a time lose the joy of our salvation, yet we will be restored unto Him; He has declared this.
By His providence and our repentance the root is kept alive, though the leaves may wither for a season. There will come a Spring after our Winter. We may be in distress, our affairs embarrassed, our spirits sunk, but we are not utterly cast down. God will be the strength of our heart and uphold us with His comforts.
It may be a song, perhaps a passage of scripture, somehow, someway, He breaks through on our behalf. Remember, He has promised, a smoking wick He will not extinguish; He will never put our our candle-though it grow dim in our winter seasons. He rekindle's the flame and our light will shine in the darkness once again as we wait upon Him.
Matthew Henry has said that a our good person will be in distress, our affairs embarrassed, our spirits sunk, but we will not be utterly cast down; God will arise with strength in our hearts when our hearts and flesh fail, and He will uphold us with His comforts, so that the spirit He has made shall not fail before Him.
I believe deep in my spirit that He will not deny us, for He cannot! He cannot deny Himself. He is in us; we are in Him - indwelled by His Spirit. We are created in His image; transformed daily into being more and more of the image and character of Christ. It is a process in which He is in total control; even in our shortcomings.
Our duty is to believe, follow, worship, and yield as He leads. Self sufficiency has no place in the Kingdom of God! Even though we are now adults, we must remain children, totally dependent upon Him.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
The history of my family is similar. My Grandparents on my Mother's side were Godly people. They loved, worshipped and served God in both good and difficult times; recognizing without a shadow of a doubt that He was their Saviour, their protection and their provider. As a nation, long ago we also payed homage to the Creator. Many have fallen by the wayside and gone their own way.
What to do now? Is it too late? Psalm 80 is an appropriate cry for 2009; both for individuals who realize from where they came and as a nation ~
" Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
Thou that leadest the flock;
Thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth.
Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stir up Thy strength,
and come and save us."
" Turn us again, O God,
and cause Thy face to shine;
and we shall be saved.
O LORD God of hosts,
how long wilt Thou be angry against they prayer of Thy people?"
" Thou feedest them with the bread of tears;
and gvest them tears to drink in great measure.
Thou makest us a strife unto our neighbours:
and our enemies laugh among themselves."
" Turn us again, O God of hosts,
and cause Thy face to shine;
and we shall be saved."
* (our history is given, a rememberance both as individuals and as a nation)
" Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt (the world)
Thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it.
Thou preparedst room before it,
and didst cause it to take deep root,
and it filled the land."
" The hills were covered with the shadow of it,
and the boughs therof were like the goodly cedars.
She sent out her boughs unto the sea,
and her branches unto the river."
" Why hast Thou then broken down the hedges,
so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her?
The boar out of the wood doth waste it,
and the wild beast of the field doth devour it."
" Return, we beseech Thee,
O God of Hosts;
look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine.
And the vineyard which Thy right hand hath planted,
and the branch that Thou madest strong for Thyself."
" It is burned with fire,
it is cut down:
they perish at the rebuke of Thy countenance.
Let Thy hand be upon the man of Thy right hand,
upon the son of man whom Thou madest strong for Thyself."
" So will not we go back from Thee:
and we will call upon Thy name."
" Turn us again, O LORD God of Hosts,
cause Thy face to shine:
and we shall be saved."
If He does not turn us again, to whom shall we go?
Friday, October 9, 2009
The list of promises given are amazing as I have thought on them this morning. In chapter 89 God says His hand will be established (a process) and shall be strong for David (and us, as his spiritual seed). The enemy will not exact upon him nor the son of wickedness afflict him. God will beat down (a process that usually takes time) his foes before his face (we will see this happen), and God will plague those that hate us.
God promises that His faithfulness and mercies will be with us. In His Name shall our strength come forth and be exalted. Our strength in all circumstances will exalt His Name. It is all about Him! God will set our hand, or work, in the sea (the peoples) and our right hand in the rivers. We shall cry unto Him (why should we have to cry unless in distress?) when we cry He is our Rock, our God and our Father, He delivers us.
We are his firstborn in creation, higher than the kings of the earth in a spiritual, eternal sense. I think of Rev. Cooper, whom I consider to be my pastor, in his elder years of 88, no matter the situation, his surroundings, those to whom he is speaking, he has the Spirit of the living God upon him and his faithfulness radiates and it all comes down to the question of the ages, " Do you know Jesus"?
God says that His mercy toward us is forevermore. His covenant shall stand fast with us (the seed of David). If God says something will stand fast, it will stand fast! Our seed will endure forever; the seed that acknowledges that He is in control, that we are accountable to and depend upon our great God and Saviour. Our throne, our eternal standing is as solid as the throne of heaven, God says.
When we forsake His law and do not walk in His judgements; when we break His statues and do not keep His commandments, He visits our transgression with the rod, and our iniquities he punishes with stripes. But we are told to not despise the chasening of the LORD; those He loves, He chastens. It is not pleasant at all, believe me, but it is necessary from time to time or He would not do it.
NEVERTHELESS! - He says His loving kindness He will not utterly take from us nor suffer His faithfulness to fail. His covenant with us, His promises He will never break. No matter how we feel in a given situation, His promises are true. We must remind ourselves of them daily, sometimes during great trial, hourly!
Our confidence? He swore by His Holiness that He will not lie to us! Our seed shall endure forever, into the ages of eternity. Our throne, our position in Him, is established as the sun before God; we are established as the moon as His faithful witnesses in the heavens (spiritual places).
Here is the difficult part for me personally. I am told that those who wait upon the LORD shall have their strength renewed. Last evening at work I was so tired and weary that I had great difficulty even getting out of my vehicle; much less doing any work. I thought of the verse in Isaiah that " those who wait upon the LORD will have their strength renewed..." ( Isaiah 40:31).
I looked up the original meaning of the word "wait" and was surprised at what it means. I means to be bound together, like twisting of cords; to expect and patiently tarry and wait. In other words, if I am bound to Him, which I am by faith, I do not run ahead of Him and try to make things happen right now! I fight this tenancy all of my life; it is a very bad weakness in both a physical and spiritual sense. Great mistakes have been made on my part by so easily yielding to this tendency. How many blessings and deliverance's have I forfeited because of this?
Jeremiah says in Lamentations 3: 24,25 that the LORD is our portion. Therefore, I hope in Him. The LORD is good unto those that wait for Him, to the soul that seeks Him (in every situation).
LORD, teach me to wait, to be so bound and twisted together with You that we become inseparable. God's promise to David and his seed, of which we are, " I have sworn by My holiness that I will not lie to David. "
One of His names when He appears the final time to this earth, it is even written on the horse upon which He will ride, FAITHFUL and TRUE. We can depend on this; as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow morning and the moon and stars appear tonight.
Great is His faithfulness.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
I have a large retriever, shiny full of energy and as fast a a horse it seems! He gets me out of bed in the mornings by coming into the bedroom; sticking his paw through the crack in the door and slams the door into the wall. He says by his actions that it is time to arise, get my coffee and go outside to throw the stick (really a tree limb!)
His name is Samson; properly names for his strength-he is not going to get a hair cut, ever!
He jumps in anticipation as I wave the stick into the air. He shoots off like a rocket full of jet fuel. He will run into a tree or a planter or a wall to the garden and brush it aside as nothing. He is single eyed and slides several feet as he retrieves the limb. He prances like a dancer as he dashes back up the driveway or through the woods with his treasure. Full of energy to do it all over again.
In the book of Job, God gives a perfect picture of the vitality of the horse. He asks Job if he gave the horse strength? Has Job clothed the horses neck with thunder? Can you make him afraid as a grasshopper? the glory of his nostrils is terrible. He paws in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength; he goes on to meet the armed men.
He mocks at fear, he is not afraid; neither turneth he back from the sword. The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield. He swallows the ground with fierceness and rage; neither believeth he that is the sound of the trumpet. He says among the trumpets - Ha! Ha! - and he smells the battle from afar off - the thunder of the captains and the shouting.
Those who love and are dedicated to Christ know without a doubt that we are facing the thundering of war in the spiritual world; the glittering spears and shields of our enemy rattle against us. Do we cower, grow weak and fearful? We need to realize that those that are with us are greater than those that are against us.
Can we reach a place where we, like the horse in the natural, mock at fear? Do the promises of God really sink down deep into our soul where they can be readily applied to all of the battles we face?
The key, I believe in my life, is having the ability to say as Christ did in the garden,
" The evil one cometh but he has nothing in me...." Through the blood of Jesus I can say this with confidence. Repentance is a daily, sometimes hourly exercise. The Spirit within speaks without ceasing in that regard. Do not become so bogged down thinking of the battle past, present or future. Like King David says, he had great peace in his spirit because he presented his case to God, had confidence that God heard his request, and that He would take care of the issues.
I should get to a place in Christ where I anticipate the battle; have no fear as I hear the shouts of war or see the glittering darts and defenses of the enemy. Do I paw at the ground in anticipation of winning ground for my King? I have a promise that if I resist the devil, he has to flee!
The battle lines have been drawn for the last days of the age of grace. They have become distinct and visible. Have I put on the whole armour of God in preparation?
If not now, when? If I do not do it for myself with God's help, who will do it for me?
Can we swallow the ground in fierceness and rage at the enemy and set the captives free? Through prayer we can. Through intercession, we can. We have the history of Moses and Aaron, just two, interceding for hundreds of thousands of people stuck in the desert in rebellion. We have the history of the Prophets interceding for the nation of Israel, and God listened. One man, Elijah was so fervent and intimate with God that fire fell from heaven.
May the fire fall into our spirit's and consume all that is unlike Jesus so we can say with confidence, "the evil one comes and he has nothing in me." This is where the power is displayed. Total dedication to God; death to self. Paul could suffer unspeakable suffering in the flesh because he was able to say that he no longer lives but Christ lives in him! Was this only available to Paul? I think not.
Total dedication is required. God help me to be like the sons of Issachar to understand the season in which I live and prepare myself and my household accordingly.