One day, I was meditating on how rest can be a powerful weapon in the spiritual realm, and Isaiah 30:15 came to mind, “For this is what Adonai Elohim, the Holy One of Isra’el, says: “Returning and resting is what will save you; calmness and confidence will make you strong —but you want none of this!” I often hear people quoting another translation of this Scripture, “in quietness and confidence is your strength.” While these words are a needed reminder, I couldn’t help but be drawn to the last part of that verse—God’s people resisted the call to return (repent) and rest. Continue reading “Where Does Our Help Come From?”
I remember when the Father dramatically changed the way I approached prophetic intercession. I had a friend who would often share prayer requests with me. Because I’m an intercessor, she knew I would always be willing to stop and pray. One day, she sent me a prayer request for a friend of hers. I had barely uttered a word of my prayer when the Father suddenly downloaded a lengthy vision to me. I sensed it was for her friend, so I wrote down the vision along with the revelation, which came as I wrote. Continue reading “As it is in Heaven”
I admit that I have often struggled to find a balance between keeping my feet on the ground and having my head in the clouds—keeping my thoughts in the heavens that is. I always thought that “looking up” meant continuing to looking forward to Christ’s reign. Someday, Christ would return. Someday, the Kingdom would come, and the earth would be restored. All the while, the daily demands and desires of the flesh kept me miserably rooted to the earth moment by moment. How could I practically pursue heavenly things while still in the flesh? Continue reading “Looking Up”
A few years ago, I was reading an article about the human soul from a Jewish perspective, and I was struck by the following phrase, “The root of the soul is God.” These words resonated within me as truth, particularly in light of the creation account. The Word says that God formed man out of the dust of the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and man became a living being (Genesis 2:7). While the rest of creation was formed through God’s speech, God bestowed humanity with a little piece of Himself in order to bring us to life. Continue reading “Minding Our Roots”
Genesis 12:2 (VOICE) I have plans to make a great people from your descendants. And I am going to put a special blessing on you and cause your reputation to grow so that you will become a blessing and example to others.
I remember some years ago when someone gave me a word of the LORD saying, “You are a daughter of blessing.” I was surprised by how deeply these words affected me. All at once, I recognized how they bore witness as truth in my spirit, however, my mind had trouble accepting what God was saying. Me? A blessing?
I realized that, on some level, I saw myself more like God’s problem child than a vessel of His blessing. Do you ever struggle with that feeling that you are unclean and that anything you put your hand to might crumble or become cursed? Do you feel more like a bad son or daughter instead of one that is beloved and highly favored? This has been my particular “identity crisis” for many years.
As God has walked me through different seasons, I’ve come to see how negative words and mistreatment from others sent me a message that did not agree with how God saw me. As I began to look back over my life with the eyes of the Spirit, I could recognize the overwhelming love, grace, and favor of God over me even through all of the trials. Many devices of the darkness had come along in an attempt to destroy me and keep me from the truth that I am a beloved daughter of the King. Yet no power can stop the fierce love of God! No matter what word curses have been spoken or what difficult circumstances I have faced, I cannot deny the incredible favor God has given me along the way.
This pattern in my life very much mirrors the life of Joseph. Though Joseph was hated by his brothers, enslaved, and eventually imprisoned, God shone his favor upon Joseph at every step. His favor manifested in the honor Joseph received from his father and through the position of authority he was given in both Potiphar’s household and in Egypt’s prison. Finally, at just the right time, God’s favor shone so brightly upon Joseph before Pharaoh that it opened the door for Joseph’s promotion as second in command of all of Egypt. Nothing could separate Joseph from the love of God!
Even so, I wouldn’t be surprised if, through all of Joseph’s trials, he struggled to believe that he was as highly favored as his prophetic dreams suggested (Genesis 37:4-11). It would have been easy for him to believe he was God’s problem child. Like many of us, Joseph may have even seen himself as the source of all the troubles he faced.
Yet God’s hand of blessing upon Joseph is undeniable. Even more, Joseph was a vessel of God’s blessings. The favor God poured out upon Joseph overflowed onto others. Joseph was a blessing to his family, Potiphar’s household, Egypt’s prison, and eventually Egypt and all the world. God’s hand of power was seen greatly when He gave Joseph the interpretation for Pharaoh’s dreams and the accompanying wisdom that would see the world through the coming famine.
Just like Joseph and just like Christ, the ultimate suffering servant of God, we too have been created to be vessels of blessing. We have been created to be temples of the living God. When He pours His Spirit upon us, the blessings of the Spirit overflow into the lives of others. We touch the world with anointed hands, releasing the Kingdom of God in everything and everyone that we touch.
Therefore, children of God, lift up your heads. You are not broken. You are not a problem and no longer a vehicle of darkness and sin. In fact, now that you are in Christ, you are God’s solution, a child of the light in a fallen world! Remember who you are and whose you are. You are a much-loved son or daughter of the Most High God. He has placed the Kingdom of Heaven within you and has ordained that you are the vessel through which His blessings will flow.
Luke 2:52 (NIV) And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
Deuteronomy 33:13-16 (VOICE)About Joseph he said, Moses: May his land be blessed by the Eternal with the best the sky has to offer—abundant rains—and with the dew and the waters that lie below the ground. May it be blessed with the best the sun can produce and the best crops of each month, With the best that grows on the ancient mountains and the everlasting hills, With the best the land has to offer when it’s filled with good things, And most of all may it be blessed with the favor of the One who appeared in the burning bush. Let all these blessings rest on Joseph’s head, on the head of this prince among his brothers.
Hebrews 4:1 (TPT) Now God has offered to us the same promise of entering into his realm of resting in confident faith. So we must be extremely careful to ensure that we all embrace the fullness of that promise and not fail to experience it.
When the children of Israel were delivered from the bondage of Egypt, God promised that His Presence would go with them and give them rest (Exodus 33:14). In Hebrew, the word “rest” in this Scripture is nuwach which has the concept of settling down, dwelling, and remaining. No longer would they be strangers in the land of their affliction nor would they be strangers in this new land where their father Abraham was a sojourner; God was bringing them to a place they could call home and the place that He would abide with them.
In Hebrews 4, Paul alludes to this concept in light of the redemption that Christ has brought us. He warns the redeemed not to follow in the pattern of those who wandered in the wilderness and miss out on the rest that Christ has purchased for us. But what does this rest in Christ look like? A clue can be found in the two types of rest that Paul alludes to.
Not only does Paul mention a nuwach type of rest (being settled, dwelling, and remaining in a place) but also another Hebrew word for rest, shabath. Shabath implies a sense of completion; God began the process of creation on the first day, and it was on the seventh day that He stopped creating because His work was complete. Nothing else need be added, so God could sit down and appreciate all that He had done.
We are being called to find our resting place in Christ. Just as the Israelites were redeemed and removed from Egypt, we too have been redeemed from the power of sin and bondage through the Cross. God is saying, “It is finished! It is complete! And your Promised Land of rest in the Everlasting Arms is accessible now in the land of the living!” When God promised the Israelites rest, technically the battle for the Promised Land was still in sight for them; but they allowed their fear over those looming battles to prevent them from attaining God’s promise. From their perspective, their redemption and fight for freedom wasn’t complete.
Therefore, we must be careful to resist the urge to let the battle against the flesh keep us from entering into our resting place in God. For the beautiful part of our redemption is that God comes into His rest with us as well. Just as the throne of God and His dwelling Presence went with the Israelites in the wilderness and into the Land, so God’s abiding Presence keeps us at every step. The battles ahead are already won. The only effort required on our part is to listen to the direction of the Holy Spirit. It is our redeemer who will do all the work and all of the fighting on our behalf. It is God alone who is responsible for bringing us into our completeness and fullness of Christ.
Exodus 33:14 (NKJV) And He said, “My Presence will go [with you], and I will give you rest.”
Genesis 1:27 (NKJV) So God created man in His [own] image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
In the opening of Genesis, we are told that humanity has been made in the image or shadow of God—in Hebrew, tselem (Strong’s H6754). Something that I have frequently meditated on is what this term tselem means. This meditation most often happens when I’m going through trials and tribulations. During these times when my soul is grieved, and I’m searching for the righteous path through the chaos of life, I will hear my Heavenly Father’s still small voice saying, “Come back into My shadow.” I‘ve come to understand that He means this is several ways.
Firstly, He is reminding me that it is only under His shade—tsêl (Strong’s 6738)—that we have any hope of finding real comfort and peace. Sometimes if we are not careful, life’s difficulties can chase us out of our hiding place in God instead of remaining in Him. Nothing in the world can refresh and sustain us better than our Source. In the heat of trials, when I pause to listen for His voice, I can tell that I have unintentionally moved out of His shadow. It is like standing outside on an incredibly hot day and completely avoiding the shade of a nearby tree. While the shade doesn’t compare to air conditioning, I would be a fool not to abide there when left with no other choice. Plus, there is sweet fruit from the tree that revives and sustains me.
Secondly, I know that by calling me to come back into His shadow, the Father is also referring to His image. One can say that, during troubles, we are tempted to lose our mind—or lose the mind of Christ. We can quickly forget who we are and the vows we have made to His covenant. Trials always require a response from us, but what will our response be? Will we let the trials disconnect us from our Source, leaving us with only the resources of our flesh? Or will we continue to abide and bear the fruits of the Spirit while under pressure—love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control? We have a choice in difficulties even when we may feel like we don’t.
When trials come—and as our Savior told us, they certain will come—they become an opportunity for God to build His character into us. The more we yield to the process and are mindful of the point of the difficulties, the more we will have access to the life-giving flow of the Holy Spirit. And the more of God’s Spirit that we are able to receive, the more we are able to accurately hear His voice and reflect His image in the earth—in both good times and bad.
Galatians 5:22-24 (TPT) But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions:
joy that overflows,
peace that subdues,
patience that endures,
kindness in action,
a life full of virtue,
faith that prevails,
gentleness of heart, and
strength of spirit.
Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.
Psalm 17:8 (VOICE) Keep close watch over me as the apple of Your eye; shelter me in the shadow of Your wings.
At some point in my childhood, I was seriously convinced that the moon was the eye of God. Before I would go to bed, I would sit by the window and stare at that bright light in the darkness sure that the One who loved me was staring back. At this time, I didn’t know about the Scripture that says the eyes of the Lord are always upon the righteous (Psalm 34:15) or how we are the apple of His eye (Psalm 17:8). Yet somehow, I instinctively knew this truth. Continue reading “Eye of the Lord”
I recently had a conversation with the Father regarding the season of life I’ve found myself in. I confessed that I was finding this season challenging because it seemed like He had me spending so much time and energy focusing on myself and my life. Logically, I understand why; I’ve spent most of my life so focused on caring for others, that there are many areas of my life that are in ruins. I most certainly need the restoration that God is bringing! Continue reading “The Message of Restoration”
For many years, I was always curious when I came across the Psalms known as the “Songs of Ascent” (Psalms 120-134). I wondered what this special title meant and the story that sets these psalms apart. Over time, I discovered that these psalms are known as the Pilgrim Songs. Some scholars believe they were sung by worshippers as they ascended the road to Jerusalem to attend the three pilgrim feasts (Deuteronomy 16:16). Others believe that the songs were sung by Levitical priests as they ascended the steps of the Temple in Jerusalem. Another theory suggests they were written after the rebuilding of the Second Temple. Finally, there are scholars who think these songs were individual poems that were collected and given a title that would connect them to the Jewish pilgrimage after the Babylonian captivity. Continue reading “Our Songs of Ascent”