The Meaning of Hope

Rom. 5:5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

I had just told God, “I hate to say it, but I’m kind of disappointed with the way things have turned out.” I didn’t want to complain. I had just spent the last four years carefully watching my tongue and not complaining about anything, no matter how distressing the events were. I was completely caught off guard by what God allowed to happen to us. I never would have dreamed He would let such bad things happen to me. I thought I was above such things. But I had so much pride, arrogance, jealousy, and lots of other nasty hidden things in me that I needed a jolt of reality. I needed to see what was really in my heart.

By the time of my confession of disappointment, I had been thoroughly humbled. But I was tired. My husband was so frustrated and angry about the things that were happening at work and in his life in general. The kids and I were doing spiritual warfare for him every single day. Things were better. We had a stability we hadn’t had in months. But things were still bad. We were cramped. Our house felt unhealthy. Allergies were bad. And we still had no options. We couldn’t do anything to make anything better.

Then I cried out to God. My heart was hurting. I felt disappointed. I knew God hadn’t let us down, but things were still so far from what we had prayed and sown for. I knew He was going to come through for us… but when?

I never asked that. That was Gary’s question. That… and “why”? I never let myself ask those questions. But I had come to the end of my stamina. I finally let out what I was feeling. I told Him the truth about how I felt. And then I opened my Bible. The first verse my eyes fell on was Romans 5:5. “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” I didn’t really understand the whole thing, but I knew that God was telling me to keep hoping. He was telling me that the things we were asking and believing for were going to happen, and that I should not give up hope, because hope doesn’t disappoint. That’s all I needed to hold on to. Hope does not disappoint. That phrase helped me make it through the next three years of waiting for things to really get better.

And one day, they did get better! And they’ve been getting better all the time. We are going from glory to glory. My husband has had promotion and is expecting more. We are expecting great things financially, physically and spiritually. All for His glory.

Don’t give up hope. Hold on to it while you wait. Like a life preserver. And remember, Hope does not disappoint!

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Dying to Save Our Marriage

When we first got married, I was selfish. So was he. But neither one of us knew it. We were both Christians. We were both following Christ. We loved each other. We thought we were Christ-like. We were clueless.

I had some issues. So did he. I wanted all of his attention. He wanted to watch TV or play video games all of the time. I hated games. He didn’t care for chitchat. I wanted to tell him all about my day. He was bored by all of my rambling and wanted me to get to the point. The problem was there was no point. I just wanted to talk. He didn’t see the point. It was a vicious cycle.

Throughout our years of marriage, we had several epiphanies. One happened for me when we had been married for 3 1/2 years. I was listening to a song from Robin Hood (the one with Kevin Costner), because we were going to sing it together in a wedding. The song was called Everything I Do (I Do it for You). I was sad and lonely in our marriage because of the reasons stated above. Oh, yes, he was also a workaholic. I was lonely because I hardly ever saw him. He worked late every night that he didn’t go to the gym. I had a baby boy and stayed at home with him all the time. I really resented the fact that the few moments my husband was at home, he was watching TV or playing a video game. I never got any of his attention. And I wanted ALL of it! I felt like he wasn’t meeting my needs at all. I resented the long hours he put in at work, too. I knew that he was trying to get ahead. I knew that he was having problems at work. I knew that he was trying to prove himself in his very first real full-time job, and that it was very stressful. But that didn’t stop me from resenting the time he spent away from me and our son. I stuffed all of my feelings inside, so he didn’t know how I felt. But as I listened to that song, I was suddenly struck by the knowledge that everything Gary was doing, he was doing for me. I was absolutely dumbfounded. It didn’t feel like he was doing anything for me. I felt like he was just doing whatever he wanted to do. But the Lord revealed to me what was really in Gary’s heart. He was trying to do the best job he could at work, hoping to make more money for me and our family. He believed that if he worked long hours and showed his willingness to work and did the best work he could possibly do that he would get a raise and possibly be promoted, and we would make more money. I never saw it that way before. I wanted time with him more than I wanted more money, and I just couldn’t get past that. Money didn’t mean much to me, and I didn’t understand how important being a good provider was to him. But, ultimately, he really was working long hours for me, and the Lord made me see that. Even lifting weights at the gym was as much for me as it was for him. He wanted to look good for me and to stay healthy and fit for me. I had been too selfish and self-focused to realize that, in doing those things, he was trying to let me know how much he loved me.

I felt a little better about things after that. I appreciated his efforts more. But I still felt like he wasn’t meeting my deepest needs. I needed attention. I needed for him to ask me how I was doing. I needed for him to talk to me like a friend. But he didn’t know I needed those things. And I didn’t know how to tell him. I was putting so much of my time and energy into my children that I wasn’t taking care of myself. We had 5 more children in the next 8 1/2 years. I had six children 10 years old and under. And I was doing almost everything for them and all of the housekeeping. Besides that, I was tutoring other children and trying to homeschool my own that were of legal school age. I was also doing homeschool assessments every summer for 100 homeschool families. In between all of that, I had to take classes to keep my teaching license current. As if that wasn’t enough, I acted in a Christmas play and started singing in a quartet. I was a bona fide “Mommy Martyr” to quote Cindy Rushton. I thought the busier I was, the better I was.

About this time, he had an epiphany at a Promise Keepers conference. The speaker challenged the men to do one thing each day to improve their marriage. Gary thought, “I don’t need to worry about that. My marriage is just fine.” Then he said he felt like a spotlight shone on him, and he heard a voice saying, “Your marriage is just fine? Do you really believe that? Your wife is caught up in singing in a quartet and busy with that all the time, and you’re busy working all the time, and you barely see each other, and you think your marriage is just fine?” He said he looked around to see if everybody in the stadium was staring at him, because it felt like he had just been put on the spot. Nobody else seemed to notice anything unusual, so he wiped his brow and thought about what the Lord had just said to him. When he got home, he seemed really serious and said, “We need to talk.” I was in such a state of mind that my thought was, “Oh no, he came back worse than when he left.” I always wanted him to act happy and excited. I hated to see him depressed. When he got down, I got mad at him. But when we went to our room to talk, and he told me what happened during the conference, I knew God was helping us to get this communication thing going. We talked and decided that we needed to do more together. I ended up quitting the quartet. He tried to spend more time with me. We prayed together more often. He asked me to tell him what I was really thinking, how I was really feeling. I still had a hard time with that, because I was always afraid of making him mad. It wasn’t that I was “afraid”. I just hated for him to be mad, and I avoided causing him to be angry at all costs. I assumed that things would make him angry that I know now wouldn’t have. But my desire for him to be happy all the time was so strong that I avoided communicating with him things that I should have.

To make a long story short, we went through some perilous times together, with no one but each other, the Lord and our children to depend on. We had the stuffing knocked out of us. We went through devastating loss and humiliation. But we made it through it together. I found out some more of my issues. Like how I expected Gary to meet some of my needs that only God can meet. I found out during our time in Kansas City that I was wrong to insist that Gary be happy and jolly all the time. I was wrong to get angry at him for not being happy.

Most of all, I learned that I needed to die. I had to die to myself and my desires. I had to turn to God for every need. I had to love Gary and pray for him as if my life depended on it. Because it did! Whatever happened to him happened to me. I was told by a mentor that I should pray down blessings on Gary’s head even when I felt like I hated him. There were times…! I started praying for him in a less selfish way. I started seeing things from his perspective. The Lord helped me to put myself in his shoes and sense the frustration he felt at work. I was able to build him up and encourage him in his efforts, because I got my eyes off of myself and my needs and the things I thought he should be doing and onto what he was going through and how he was feeling. I became a help meet for him in a way that I had never been before. I saw for the first time how talented he really was at technical writing. I became proud of his ability and thanked God for it in Gary’s hearing. I praised his abilities and talents and encouraged him to stand up for himself at work, instead of wishing he would just be content and not rock the boat. I was on his side for the first time. I was in his corner. We were a team working together. I got myself out of the picture altogether. I wasn’t worrying about my needs. I was too focused on his to even think about mine. And as I did this, he gave me more attention. He wanted to hear what I had to say. He shared with me every detail of what he was going through. He started trusting me to take his side.

We both died in a lot of ways during our journey of fire. Many of our dreams died. Many of our concepts died. But in the kingdom of God, life comes out of death. And sometimes you have to die to live.

As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;

10 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. 2 Cor. 6:9,10

He Knows My Name

Nahum 1:7 The LORD is good,
A stronghold in the day of trouble;
And He knows those who trust in Him.

But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
2 When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you. Isa. 43:1,2

It’s so good to know that He knows us. By name.

From My Journey of Fire Journal – Jan. 12, 2006

We’ve been learning how to live as a family that tries to deal with everything in a scriptural, godly way. Our settling of disputes has revolved around being unselfish and kind. We’re trying to do everything in love. We’re praying about everything. We ask the children what they think about things and how they’re feeling. We’re trying to discover their individual gifts and encourage them in developing and using their gifts.

We’re trying to learn to live all over again. Living by our spirits instead of our souls, by our intuition instead of our minds. Hearing the voice of God, waiting in His Presence. Developing a real, intimate relationship with God.

We like being together, working together. We don’t want to be separated. We believe God wants families to spend lots of time together. Quantity of time is as important as “quality time”. We believe that God teaches us how to build good relationships through families that put God first. We believe there should be an “iron sharpening iron” effect that happens in a godly family. We believe that children raised in this kind of home will be better friends and “neighbors” because of the love and support they’ve received in the home. We believe that love will be the motivation for everything they do, not selfishness. They won’t be searching for approval or significance. They won’t put others down to try to lift themselves up. They won’t go around trying to get their own needs met. They’ll be able to reach out to others.

We want our children to know that God is real. So we put our lives in His hands and only did what He told us to do. We prayed and waited on Him even when it seemed like He was not speaking and He was late. We were willing to look foolish to man in order to obey God. We have let Him prove Himself to us and our children. We have proven that we believe in Him. He has been faithful to us. We have never been forsaken or had to beg for bread. We never had to sleep on the streets or sidewalks of Phoenix! Quite the contrary. We had luxury accommodations!

Our faith has grown by leaps and bounds. We have all grown spiritually. We’ve learned to be more open and honest with God and with each other.

I Worship God Because He’s Worth It

We are to worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth. And the truth is – it’s not about us. True worship is coming to God and telling Him how much we love Him and how wonderful He is. A hymn that gives a lesson in theology and teaches about sin and salvation is not a great vehicle for coming before God and crying out to Him about how sorry I am for my sin and how grateful I am for His salvation.

I love to come to God and tell Him how wonderful He is. I love to feel His presence. When I truly enter into His presence, I usually cry. Sometimes I get goosebumps. I always feel loved and special, like I’m doing what I was created for. This is where I want to be, and I never want it to end.

When I feel my Father smile on me, I am strengthened and enabled to keep on living the life He has given me on this earth. I need that time in heavenly places to make it through the stuff of earth.

It doesn’t matter if I sing beautifully or say eloquent words of praise that rhyme or cause men to admire my poetic ability. It is not about what man thinks of me. It’s between me and my Father.

I worship God every day. Sometimes I can spend a long time in His presence with a worship CD, sometimes just a short time of thanking Him while I’m praying with my kids or praying over our meals. But every chance I get, I tell God how grateful I am for all He has done for us, and I honor and glorify Him for His greatness and majesty and holiness.

A few hymns can take me into His presence, but the worship choruses based on the Bible are the best vehicles I know of to really enter into His presence and feel the Spirit moving on me. I love to worship God. It’s not a duty or drudgery. I would rather worship the Lord than most anything. It’s one of my favorite things to do.

If you’ve never experienced this kind of worship, pray that the Lord would reveal to you what you’ve been missing. Bow before Him and ponder His greatness and majesty and the beauty of His holiness and the mercy He has shown you by making a way of Salvation and reaching out to you so that you could come into His Kingdom. Start out by thanking Him and keep developing an attitude of praise until you feel His presence come upon you. Stay with it long enough to get to a place of leaving the thoughts of this world behind and becoming totally enraptured with your Creator. He is so worth it! And He is so kind and loving that He rewards our efforts to get close to Him and to worship Him by filling our hearts with peace and joy and contentment that nothing else can give us.

When things get tough and you don’t know what you’re going to do or how you’re going to make it, go worship the Lord and listen to what He has to say. Even if He doesn’t directly tell you a solution, He will enable you to keep going until the solution does become evident to you. And He will take away your worry and fear. When you are in touch with the Creator of all things, problems don’t seem so big any more.

Psalm 103:1
[ [A Psalm] of David. ] BLESS (AFFECTIONATELY, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul; and all that is [deepest] within me, bless His holy name!

http://www.tangle.com/view_video?viewkey=c455e06ebd06647fc4de

Go see this video, and sing The Revelation Song with Kari Jobe. She will lead you into true worship!

God Loves You – A LOT!

God loves you a lot! He just has a funny way of showing it sometimes.

Years ago, when things were still normal and mundane and fairly secure in my life, I asked the Lord to show me what He thinks of me, how He feels about me.

Since then, I’ve lost my house, my family, my friends, my stuff, my security, my hope (at times), my pride, my reputation, my identity, (in some ways) – basically my normal, mundane, fairly secure life.

I have also had to face the fact that I’ve always been a jealous, envious, uncharitable, judgmental person – OUCH! I’m still catching and casting down those kinds of thoughts.

So, through all of this, what have I discovered about what God thinks of me? He loves me – A LOT! He loves me too much to leave me the way I was. But He also loved me then. You just can’t get away form His love.

How has He shown me that He loves Me? Through prophecy in the Prophecy Rooms at IHOP. How did we end up in Kansas City right next door to the International House of Prayer? That’s where God took us along a very crooked path so that we could have our old foundation dug out and a new foundation put in. Every time I went to the Prophecy Rooms, He told me that He was pleased with me, that I was doing a good job with my children, that I was special to Him, that my children would rise up and call me blessed, that I’m strong and have great endurance.

The people on the Prophecy Teams didn’t know me. They didn’t know I had children, except for the times I took some of the children with me. There was a different group of people on the team each time I went. Yet, they almost always said things about my being a good mother. I needed to hear that SO badly.

Neighbors came by many times and said that God was using our family in that neighborhood. We hardly left our house! It was a strange thing. God used us even when we didn’t DO anything. We just lived our daily lives and prayed every day.

We prayed mightily for Gary during his last several months at B/E Aerospace. He was in constant warfare with spirits of jealousy, control, Jezebel and witchcraft, among others.

His boss and coworkers were doing everything in their power to make him look bad. They stole his work, they belittled him and acted like he didn’t know what he was doing.

Gary was terribly oppressed. It was ALL he could talk about. The kids and I bound those spirits and prayed for him every day.

He finally talked to his superior over his immediate boss and told him he knew how to make the department work better. The man wanted to see Gary’s plan. Gary spent hours working on it. Three other people at work edited it. Shawn and I helped him with some of the charts. He put together a very professional proposal. The boss said he needed more information. Gary realized he just wanted Gary to write everything step by step, so he could take it and implement it himself without Gary. So he didn’t give him any more.

The time for that tribulation finally ran out.

Gary got a job near St. Louis. Before he left B/E, he gave Human Resources and the President an earful. He told them the way he had been treated and warned the President not to trust the boss of the department he worked for.

Gary had one friend in the department who was kind and treated him well. She was a God-send. She saved his sanity. She was the only one who talked to him and was a friend to him. She even had a couple of dreams about our family living on a farm with a big barn. These things encouraged Gary at a time when everything seemed so bleak.

He made many friends among the engineers. They gave him their business cards and said he could use them as references.

Our neighbors gave us a going-away party before we left Kansas City. I’m not much for parties, and we didn’t really have many friends, but I went along with the idea for the kids’ sake. It was nice. I actually enjoyed it!

After the party, Anna found an envelope on our table at home. I opened it and found a check for….

$20,000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At first, I started to laugh, thinking it was a joke. Then I looked at it more closely and saw that it was real. That was when I almost fainted. I’ve never seen a check made out to me for that much money. It was from somebody at IHOP who wanted us to have a house and wanted to be a part of the blessing on our family.

We were blown away by God’s BIG SURPRISE! We finally got one of those big breakthroughs that we had been praying for.

God is wonderful. He’s amazing. He’s powerful. He’s mighty. He’s faithful. I love Him so much. He has been so good to me. He’s my Daddy. He’s my best friend. I love Him with all my heart.

He gave me a verse for this year: 1 Cor. 2:9 Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.

I believe He really means to bless us BIG. With a big house in the place that will be HOME for us. With all the things we’ve asked for – land, privacy, extra rooms or houses for people to visit us, nature near us, friends, people who believe the way we do, all of the money we need, all of the vehicles we need, good relations with family and spiritual power and gifts and manifestations.

He delivers me because He delights in me. Ps. 18:19

He loves me A LOT! I know that now.

Prepare the Way for His Coming

This is a paper that my son just wrote. The Lord gives him amazing revelation. I believe that all American Christians would benefit from learning about how our Father really sees us and wants to relate to us and how He wants us to relate to Him and to each other.

Please read this and tell us what you think.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Reinstating The Father Revelation

“For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption by which we cry, Abba, Father!”
(Romans 8:15, MKJV).

There is a serious issue in the American Judeo-Christian Church of our time – a system of belief and practice that is contrary to the Gospel of God’s Kingdom, and which is reminiscent of the Nicolaitans who rose up near the beginning of Church history.

Principally, the Nicolaitans held the doctrine that there are two groups of people in the Church: the special, gifted people who are superior in the kingdom of God, and then there are those who are less gifted and inferior to the first, and who are therefore of less importance. They believed that the specially gifted people of the first category were meant to rule over the general “laymen” of the second category who were supposed to devote their lives to serving the specially gifted people of the first category, the Church “leaders”. Basically, the Nicolaitans taught that the Kingdom of God is a caste system, and that there is a big division between those who are the anointed leaders or “clergy” and the common people or “laity”, with the clergy being the aristocratic class of God’s Kingdom, and the laity being the lowly peasants and serfs who are here on earth to serve the clergy.

This setup is not at all according to the purpose and nature of authority and leadership in the Kingdom of God, which Christ set forth in the Gospels (see Mt 20:25-28; Mr 10:42-45), and which Paul also modeled in his apostolic ministry (see 2Cor 1:24). In fact, the doctrine of the Nicolaitans is diametrically opposed to the teaching of Christ, robbing believers of their inheritance in Christ and the dignity that belongs to them as sons of God. But what has God said? “And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the sons of Israel” (Exodus 19:6, MKJV). And it is also written, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for possession, so that you might speak of the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1Peter 2:9, MKJV; see also Re 1:6; 5:10). It is no wonder that when speaking in regard to the Nicolaitans, the Lord said: “I hate their deeds and their teaching!” (paraphrasing His words in Re 2:6 and Re 2:15).

Now what is the connection between this Nicolaitan caste system and the spirit of bondage? They are both joined in opposing the Spirit of adoption which brings the revelation of sonship and fatherhood. We are shown throughout Scripture, that a slave in the household is the opposite of a son (Joh 8:35; Ga 4:7,30). This does not mean that sons are exempt from serving, but those who have been freed and made sons in Christ (see John 1:12; 8:36), the same should use their freedom as servants of God (see 1Pe 2:16), not as servants of men (see 1Co 7:23).

The problem with the Nicolaitan caste system – or any other caste system for that matter – is that it takes men who are rightfully sons of God, and it makes them into slaves of other men instead of servants of God. This cannot be done without tearing down or severely diminishing the belief that we are God’s sons, because a son is also an heir of God and joint-heir of Christ, and therefore inferior to no one and dependent only on God’s loving care for them. For the caste system to be successful, there must be an established ideology in two classes: 1) the “common” people must believe that they are inferior to and dependent upon their human “lords”, and therefore they must serve them; 2) those who are gifted or simply positioned in leadership must believe that they are superior to those of the lower classes, and that the common people cannot properly exist without the rulers running the show.

But in contrast, a person who is established in the truth that he is God’s child and a joint-heir with Christ will never bow to the rulers of such a system, but he will conduct his life freely and outside of the control of the “ruling class”. And the true leaders of God’s Kingdom – those who walk in the revelation of sonship – will not conduct themselves as the rulers of the caste system, but they will recognize that the authority they have been given is to serve God by serving their brethren. The leaders who walk in the Spirit of adoption will conduct themselves as fathers, training and teaching the spiritual children that God has given them – not to become dependent upon their leaders and think of them as superior – but to grow and mature in Christ and the abilities God has given them, until they too can become leaders and spiritual fathers.

Because of all this, the spirit of bondage and its caste system are at war against the Spirit of adoption and His system of sonship. And it is due to this deeply entrenched enmity that the Spirit has not been welcome to move in much of the American Church, because we have given in to the spirit of bondage by giving in to its caste system. One of the biggest indicators of this, is the fatherless state and/or attitude of so many teens and young adults in our day. This in turn, has caused an increase in bondage and lawlessness which is unprecedented in our nation’s history, and which is threatening America with a quick collapse from within – self-destruction because of our increasingly diverse and intensified sins. This is a sign along with many others that we are reaching the close of this age.

“But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20b, KJV). God is not through with the Church in America, but He has reserved a weapon for these last days, which will be able to overpower the strongholds of the spirit of bondage and usher in the Spirit of adoption and God’s Kingdom: “Behold, I am sending you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the sons, and the heart of the sons to their fathers, that I not come and strike the earth with utter destruction” (Malachi 4:5,6, MKJV). This prophecy is not concerning a literal visitation from Elijah, but it is referencing the spirit and power of Elijah which John the Baptist walked in to prepare the way for Christ’s first coming (see Lu 1:17), and which will be released in an even greater measure to the Church in these last days, so that the earth will not be struck with utter destruction.

So what is the purpose that the power of the spirit of Eijah is given to accomplish? Just what was written: “…he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the sons, and the heart of the sons to their fathers…” The purpose of the spirit of Elijah is to bring reconciliation between the fathers and the sons, and most importantly, between the Father and His sons. The spirit of Elijah is being released so that the hearts of the children of God will be turned to know their Father, and their hearts will then be turned in the Father’s love toward their children. The spirit of Elijah then, is being released to tear down the resistance, release the spirit of Adoption into the lives of God’s people, establish them in the revelation of the Father’s heart towards them.

But the devil is not so foolish as to helplessly wait for God to finally unleash this dynamic weapon. The adversary has been spending these thousands of years cultivating a spirit to war against the spirit of Elijah. Just as Jezebel was the Prophet Elijah’s greatest adversary in his day, so the greatest adversary of the Elijah in these last days is Jezebel. Just as Elijah is mentioned in end-times prophecy and represents a spirit and power rather than the man himself, so Jezebel is mentioned in end-times prophecy (see Re 2:20) and she too represents a spirit and power rather than the evil woman of that name in history. The spirit of Jezebel is the opposite of the spirit of Elijah in every way, its purpose being to prevent the hearts of the fathers from being turned to the children, and especially to do its best in preventing the children of God from ever turning their hearts to know their Father. However, just as the Prophet Elijah was not defeated by Queen Jezebel – but on the contrary, he succeeded in his calling to raise up sons, and she failed to prevent this and came herself to a gruesome end – so the spirit of Elijah will be victorious over the spirit of Jezebel in these last days. It is important, though, that we do not underestimate the spirit of Jezebel and we are not fooled by its strategies.

One of the particular manifestations of the spirit of Jezebel which reveals that spirit at work, is when a father or grandfather is prevented by his wife from showing love to his children in discipline, reproof and instruction. The wife who is under that spirit will always run interference, and prevent the man from being the father he is supposed to be to His children. In the woman’s mind, she thinks that she is protecting the children from the father, who in her mind doesn’t understand the situation or know how to handle the children. Because of this, she does her best to prevent him from taking his role as a father, and she does her best to ensure that only her methods and personal judgment are exercised.

What does this do to the children? They end up lacking the full influence of their father, which they deeply need so that they can have a right identity and be secure in who they are. Because of their incomplete/skewed understanding of their father, they are not able to relate to God the Father properly, as their concept of a father altogether is false. This also severely hinders them from ever connecting properly to a spiritual leader or father in God’s kingdom, and they will gravitate towards false father-figures within religious and secular systems. The net effect is that they will be inclined towards the caste system and the spirit of bondage, and they will be repelled from truly knowing God.

This is only one of many strategies used by the Jezebel spirit, but many of its devices include the base strategic element of undermining those who are meant to be the leaders (i.e. fathers of the family, spiritual fathers), and usurping their authority. This is usually done in a subtle manner, and while there are instances where the spirit of Jezebel may take a more aggressive and blatant approach, the general rule is deception and shadowy manipulation.

Here is something I picked up from Arthur Burk: another prevalent pattern that can be witnessed in a person who comes under the influence and becomes a carrier of the Jezebel spirit, is that she is usually a woman who has accepted the false belief (whether consciously or unconsciously) that no one will ever take care of her and do what she needs (including God), and she thinks that the only way for her to get what she needs and wants is to get it herself – usually through contriving devices and behavior patterns designed to get it out of others. The basis for the strategies they use is always rooted in manipulation and control.

Why is it usually a woman who is under this spirit? Because a woman who is wounded in her self image – usually being malformed because of deficiency in her upbringing, lacking the influence of a good father, or else having the influence of a bad or abusive father – fits the mold of the Jezebel spirit more naturally, and men who are deficient usually default to other patterns that are more suited to their psychological makeup. But a woman has the fundamental need within her to know that she is loved and that she will be cared for and not abandoned or left to fend for herself. If this need is not met by her family when she is young, by her father in particular, then often she will come to the unconscious conclusion that no one will ever love and take care of her, and therefore she must figure out how to protect herself and acquire the things that she needs (i.e. emotionally, physically, etc.). And if this is further reinforced by a mother who also holds the same ideology, whether consciously or unconsciously, then she will very quickly become a perfect container for the spirit of Jezebel. And it is usually from within this context in childhood that a woman with Jezebelic tendencies will emerge.

It is vitally important to realize that such women who are under the sway of this spirit, are actually just wounded and hurting inside, and because of what is lacking within in them, they have been targeted by a spirit that has completely taken advantage of them. God still loves them, and He wants them to be freed from this false belief and the spirit that feeds on it and so cruelly uses them. That is one of the saddest things about women who have come to a Jezebelic view of life: they think that even God doesn’t love them and even He won’t take care of them. So even if they do come to some degree of relationship with Him, they don’t really trust Him, and they are so deeply rooted in their belief that they must take care of themselves and influence the outcome for things to be well for them, they even try to manipulate God in ways similar to how they manipulate other people. They usually aren’t even aware that they are living their whole lives based on this belief, but it is established on such a deep level in their identity, that they are often completely unconscious of the way that they are living their lives.
There are even many Christian women who believe that they are just normal, whole human beings living for Christ, but they are actually living from a foundation of Jezebelic beliefs and tendencies. These women believe that God exists, and often they even have a good theology on how God works in relation to humanity, but their perspective is skewed on such a foundational level, that even with all of this understanding built up, they still cannot properly relate to God, and they unconsciously reach for something and hold on to anything that gives them a feeling of being able to control God. They don’t see this; they think that they trust God!

But what they have learned has only touched the surface of their lives, and the depths of their foundations are still untouched. And this same internally distorted view of God, malignantly affects every single relationship they have like venom, especially with their most important human relationships: their friends, their children, their spouse. The closer the person, the more this Jezebelic foundation influences every aspect of the relationship. And where there is the Jezebelic foundation, very often the spirit of Jezebel will find a resting place, because it has agreement with the host. Remember the words of Jesus in regard to the demonic: “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, he walks through dry places seeking rest, and finds none. Then he said, I will return into my house from where I came out. And when he has come, he finds it empty, swept, and decorated. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter in and live there…” (Matthew 12:43-45, MKJV; see also Lu 11:24-26). Where there is an emptiness, a void of truth and the absence of the Spirit of Truth, then there is an opening for the demonic to dwell there. That there is such an emptiness in even some Christian women, is evidenced by the untruth of the foundation which these women with Jezebelic tendencies live upon.

What, then, is to be done about all of this?

In regard to the spirit of Jezebel, we must develop and exercise our discernment, seeing where Jezebelic tendencies are evidenced in our lives and the lives of others. And then, we must commence praying intentionally and specifically for those who are under this bondage, asking in the Name of Jesus that God would reveal to them His true heart towards them, and that He would penetrate the lies that are at the foundation of their being, and replace them with His Truth. We should pray that God breaks the stronghold of the spirit of Jezebel and the spirit of bondage over them, and that He would pour out His Spirit of adoption upon them and establish them in His truth and love.

It may or may not be wise to attempt to engage with a person who has a spirit of Jezebel, to try to awaken them to the truth. The only chance that they have to be brought out of the deception, is for the Spirit of Truth to shed the light and love of God abroad in their hearts, and if He is not upon you and leading you to facilitate this, then it is likely that things will only be made worse. As is the general rule with spiritual warfare, prayer is the primary weapon against the spirit and stronghold of Jezebel. However, be sure that you remain within your proper bounds of authority in reference to the spirit of Jezebel itself. You should not attempt to directly bind, rebuke, or cast out that spirit unless you know that you are doing so with the permission and agreement of the person who is under it, or because it is within the bounds of your authority in Christ and is according to the leading of the Spirit. Whatever action you take, do so according to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and based on God’s counsel.

Besides this, we must also ask the Lord to release the spirit of Elijah according to His promise for the last days, on the basis of Matthew 9:37,38 – so that there would be well equipped and empowered laborers for the great harvest, which is at the end of this age (see Mt 13:39). We must seek the Lord concerning the nature of the spirit of Elijah and seek an understanding of its operation from Scripture and the revelation of the Spirit. When we see those who are walking in the spirit of Elijah, whether we recognize them as they are presently fighting the battle for the restoration of the Father Revelation to the Church and in the world, or we see that they have the potential within them and the calling to walk with the Lord in this purpose, we should pray for them to be strengthened and prepared for this mission. We should pray that God raises up the Elijahs in these last days, to contend against the spirit of bondage and the spirit of Jezebel, men and women who will not rest until the Spirit of adoption has been fully received in the Church, and the way has been prepared for the coming of the King of Kings. We should pray that they are successful in their mission, and that they are protected from the wiles of the enemy and his schemes against their lives – that they will be victorious over the spirit of Jezebel and not overcome by it.

They are unique people who will not fit into the same mold that everyone else has fit into, so they are perceived and painted as rebels and miscreants by the present system. They will have a natural dislike for caste systems and every system of bondage and control, and they will always be the number one enemy of the spirit of Jezebel and the spirit of bondage and of the leaders who are devoted to the continuation of the order governed by these spirits. Because of this, the plan of the enemy is to recognize these Elijahs as soon as possible, and then to do everything in his power to crush them and make them feel inadequate, worthless, and stupid. We must pray that they will not be lost in this relentless attack of the enemy from every direction in our culture, but that they will instead be strengthened by the opposition because of being pushed to rely even more on the power of God in their lives.
As the Lord directs us, we should do whatever we can to discern these forerunners of the Lord’s coming, to help them in every way that His Spirit leads us.

Where the spirit of bondage is concerned, we must discontinue our support of every leader and organization that operates according to a system that is in alignment with the teaching of the Nicolaitans. This does not mean that we become adversarial against them and totally reject any degree of relationship with them, but simply that we do not bring ourselves under the wrong authority of those who are actually rulers of a caste system and under a spirit of bondage, and we do not “advertise” for them in such a way that others would have the idea that things are right in their society. We should pray that the Lord would set them free from the spirit of bondage, and that He would pour out His Spirit of adoption and bring them to an understanding of the order of God’s Kingdom.

We should examine ourselves to see if we are living according to the spirit of bondage or the Spirit of adoption, and if there are still areas of our lives where we are still thinking according to its ideology as in Nicolaitan doctrine and the caste system.

And in regard to the Spirit of adoption, we must ask Him to come and fill us, and to examine and set right the foundation of our deepest beliefs, taking out everything that is false and replacing it with His truth. And we must be determined to walk in the revelation of the sonship and fatherhood, knowing who He is and who we are in Him. We should pray also according to the promise in Joel 2:27-29, that God would pour out His Spirit in these last days, and that the Spirit of adoption would be established in the midst of His people. We should do what ever we can to facilitate the move of the Spirit of adoption, following Him in all that we do so as to bring reconciliation and restoration of God’s true purpose for His Church and their leadership structure.

Throughout the Prophets, we are asked the question, “Who shall be able to stand in the day of the Lord?” (see Joe 2:11; Na 1:6; Mal 3:2; Rev 6:17). It is clear that the nations will not be able to stand (see Jer 10:10), but it is God’s intention that His people shall stand and remain established through it all (see Psalm 9:3-10; 58:10,11; Isa 3:10,11,13,14; 40:10,11; Dan 12:2-4; Mic 4:1; Mal 4:1-3).
But who is the person who can stand in the day of the Lord? What is the substance of their being that will enable them to endure? This is a question we must answer for ourselves as we strive to draw near to God and enter His rest, submitting ourselves to God to be formed into the people that will stand with Him in the end.

I believe that a crucial part of our preparation for the day of the Lord, is to understand His plan and how we fit into it in these last days. It is for this reason that I have written the things that are in this article. We need to know what God is going to do and how we are to cooperate with Him in it. And we also need all of the accompanying understanding that He is releasing to us, so that we will be able to discern between the works of the enemy and the works of God, to tear down the demonic strongholds and build up the city of God – to remove every obstacle and make straight a highway in the wilderness for our God (see Isa 40:3-5). As this was the calling of John the Baptist to go before Christ in preparing the way for Him, so it is the calling of all of the Church in these last days.

As the Prophets asked under the inspiration of the Spirit – and as I believe God is asking all of us in these last days, challenging us to set aside every hindrance, and calling us to draw near to Him – I ask you now to answer within yourself: Who shall be able to stand in the day of the Lord? Will you be ready, having His power abiding in you to stand?

Get ready; be prepared, for He is coming quickly.

A Van for the Douglas Clan

This is the van we are believing God for. We have sowed for others to get what they need, and we believe that God will provide what we need. When Jesus needed a donkey to ride into Jerusalem for the Triumphal Entry, a donkey was right there at his disposal. When other people of faith have needed vehicles, houses, money, etc., God has provided them. Our whole family has been praying for a Savana van for about eight years. We sowed for it, so we don’t believe we will have to go into debt for it. So please pray with us for the provision of this real need.

Doing Spiritual Warfare and Getting Set Free

Wow, my brain has been turned on! We did some spiritual warfare and deliverance two nights ago, and since then I’ve had all kinds of ideas about ways to do things. I have figured out how to do things that I’ve had on to-do lists for months but just couldn’t seem to get accomplished. Suddenly, I know how to work things out that I just couldn’t get a handle on before.

Shawn identified some family curses that had been passed down to him through my side and through Gary’s side of the family. He shared them with us. Gary led us in prayer to break all of those curses in Jesus’ name, and I have felt different ever since. Shawn broke them over himself before he told us what had happened, but Gary went ahead and broke everything over all of the kids, too.

This is not the first time we have experienced deliverance and freedom from curses. We had always been under a spirit of poverty during our whole marriage. No matter how much money we made, it always felt like we were putting it in a bag full of holes. We knew what the Word says about how God wants to bless His people with prosperity and abundance, but we never saw it happening for us. We were faithful church attenders and very active in the church. We tithed and gave offerings. We were honest in our financial transactions. We didn’t spend foolishly. But we still couldn’t get ahead.

We finally got some CD’s from Arthur Burk about breaking curses off of your life. He is the founder of Plumbline Ministries. The Seven Curses CD’s were the ones we listened to. They also have renunciations you can go through after hearing about all of the curses. Gary and I went through and renounced all of the curses mentioned. Not long after that, everything changed for us financially. Someone surprised us with a gift of $20,000 not too long after that. Gary got a job that paid a whole lot more than he was making before. We were able to move into a house that was like new and big enough to accommodate our large family. We can buy what we want when we want – in moderation, of course. We don’t have too much month and not enough money any more. We don’t have to rely on food banks or thrift stores, although I still like to go to Goodwill and consignment shops. 😉

Basically, life is much easier and more enjoyable now than it was before we broke those curses. While I was in a Prophecy Room at IHOP-KC, one lady told me, “The time will come when you will be able to breathe again.” Well, that time has come. And I sure appreciate the peace and calm that God has blessed us with.

How to Hear God

If you want to learn how to hear God’s voice, I highly recommend the book Surprised by the Voice of God by Jack Deere. Its subtitle is How God Speaks Today Through Prophecies, Dreams, and Visions. It is available here. The author came out of the cessationist camp and landed squarely in the middle of the charismatic Vineyard Christian Fellowship, even being mentored by the founder of that ministry, John Wimber. He also wrote Surprised by the Power of the Spirit in which he describes how that transformation took place.

In Surprised by the Voice of God, Jack Deere gives many examples of God speaking to people in multiple ways in the Bible and in contemporary life. He tells how to accurately hear God speak through prophecies, dreams, visions, and other forms of divine communication. As a biblical scholar, he points out things that we laymen might miss in our regular Bible reading. For example, he goes through the book of Acts and shows that, with the exception of chapter 17, every chapter contains an example of, or a reference to, supernatural revelatory communication from God to his servants. He also tells fascinating stories of real people whose lives have been profoundly impacted by hearing God speak to them. And he shares personal experiences of hearing God speak to him in a variety of ways and the effect it has had on his spiritual life. He writes in a very personal, engaging style and reveals a sense of humor and humility you might not expect from a theology professor. I really enjoy reading his books.

My personal journey of learning how to hear God’s voice began when I realized that I was never sure if I was hearing from God or from my own mind or from the devil or what! I asked the Lord to help me hear Him better. Gary had just lost his job at the end of 2001, and I asked God to do this for me because I knew that His people really need to be able to hear His voice and know it’s Him, especially as we get into the last days and deception gets stronger. So I prayed for God to speak to me clearly. The thought came to me, “Buy yourself a new dress.” I laughed. I thought, “I don’t buy myself clothes. Everything I get is for the kids. I don’t buy dresses. I don’t even wear dresses! I don’t want to buy myself a new dress. Gary just lost his job. We have no money. And I’m supposed to go buy myself a new dress?” So I realized it must be God telling me that, because I certainly wouldn’t have thought of it myself. So I told Gary what had just happened, and he said, “Let’s go shopping.”

We went to Elder Beerman’s, and they just happened to be having Clover Days sales. They had reduced prices on their most expensive dresses, so that you could buy a $100 dress for $10. I couldn’t believe it. I was so excited. I started trying on all these fancy dresses. Most of them were long dresses, and I wondered where I could even wear them. I decided that I really liked 3 particular dresses – 2 long, fancy ones and one more practical knee-length dress that I could wear to church. We bought all 3 of them and took them home. I felt so good about my bargains, and it was fun having some new dresses in my closet. The next morning I woke up to hear these words: “I only told you to buy one dress.” Oh no! I asked the Lord to forgive me for disobeying Him and asked what I should do about it. I knew that I had to take two of the dresses back. But which two? I prayed and asked the Lord and tried to figure out with my mind which dress would be the right one to keep. The logical choice was the one I could wear to church. But somehow I didn’t think that was what He wanted. I started to understand that when I ask God His will, I’m not supposed to use my mind to figure out what makes the most sense. I’m really supposed to listen to what He says. I just couldn’t figure out which dress I was supposed to keep, so I asked the Lord to bypass my mind and speak to my spirit. When I did that I knew I was supposed to keep the red dress. We drove back over to the store and took the other dresses back and got the money back for them. My favorite one had really been a sparkly sapphire blue long dress, and I secretly wished I could have kept that one, but it was not to be. The whole thing turned out to be a real test of obedience for me.

After that, I started really paying attention to my spirit and what God was saying to my spirit instead of mentally figuring out what made sense to me whenever I was supposed to be consulting God about something. I read several books. One was by Joy Dawson called Forever Ruined for the Ordinary available here. It was an eye-opening book in which she talked about ways of seeking God’s will that are similar to the Urim and Thummim that the Old Testament priests used. She taught that we need to put our soul and our flesh in submission to our spirit. From her book, I learned to pray that God would bypass my mind and speak to my spirit- that it was okay. When I did it earlier, I wasn’t sure it was right. I learned to ask God yes or no questions. I learned that we need to bind anything that would keep us from hearing God speak to us. Then I learned that we can feel and hear our spirit somewhere near our stomach region. We started asking God specific questions about whether we should go to a certain place or if we should do a certain thing. We would phrase it as a question that could be answered yes or no. We started to hear in our spirits the answer to the question. We learned to stop thinking and start listening with our spirits.

We have been doing this for a couple of years now, and it’s getting easier to hear with our spirits. After we hear His answer, it’s up to us to obey even if what we heard seems crazy. The Lord has used this to give us such assurance that we are really hearing from Him and not just muddling along in life, hoping that we’re pleasing Him and doing His will. He has taken us through some really hard times, but being able to hear clearly from Him has made it easier than it would have been and has helped us to make right choices when they seemed to be illogical and even harmful to us. We know that we’re hearing from God and not some other spirit because we bind anything that would keep us from hearing from Him. This includes demonic spirits. We know that we’ve been hearing His instructions because He has delivered us from an impossible situation of homelessness, hopelessness and despair and has brought us into a place of abundance, prosperity and joy.

You CAN hear God’s voice! You have to learn a whole new way of listening, though – with your spirit, not your mind.

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