Will the Lord’s Army of these End Times be as Gideon’s Army?

gideonJudges Chapters 7-8 tell us of Gideon and the assembling, or rather disassembling, of His army, which was then put together according to God’s Guidelines.

The result was totally amazing warfare waged, and victory won, because Gideon’s Army, in essence, BECAME the Lord’s Army!!

Today I was considering the question above that seemed to pop into my mind:

Will the Lord’s Army of these end times be AS Gideon’s Army of old? 

I reasoned as I read the passage…

“This is what happened concerning Gideon’s Army. Perhaps it is, or will be, this way with the Lord’s Army during these end times.”

“If we can recognize what God is doing, then we can adjust ourselves, as to what we think or do or focus on, accordingly.”

The Holy Spirit instructed me years ago saying, “Ask not, Is My agenda God’s…Ask, Is God’s Agenda Mine?”  and I realized then that God desires the transforming of our minds and a conforming of our ways, so He can have us “do life” centered on His perspective and not our own. This is why we are given the Word and the Spirit. To acquire a new paradigm, so we can BECOME the LORD’S ARMY!!

So let’s begin:

What was Gideon’s Army like?

To his amazement, God considered that Gideon had “too many” men, yet his original numbers were way lower than the opposing forces to begin with. So, if God’s end-time army will be as Gideon’s army, then it really has nothing to do with “how many” believers are left to be in God’s hands. God’s not about numbers!! He is about the ones “He can trust”, though they may be few.  Even if his modern churches are crowded with people, there may only be a few that will be able to meet these “qualifiers” that Gideon’s army had to meet:

First, those men AFRAID to face the enemywere let go.  The men themselves were told, if you’re afraid, you can leave. And they did. Each one of us must determine our own level of faith versus fear. I remember in my younger years when I was stumbling into sin fairly often, even as a believer,  God told me this: “Beth, you have more faith in the Enemy to take you down, than in Me to keep you and build you up!”  I realized that loving rebuke was right-on, and so I changed my mind’s thinking, and the Spirit began to show me the areas in my life controlled by that former paradigm . This FEAR can be experienced in the natural against men, or in the supernatural against the unseen realms of darkness. But Fear is essentially a Lack of Faith in God’s Ability, and a Faith in Satan’s Ability…and an Inability to Take a Stand, be it with God or with Satan.  Choosing Faith in God really does take fear away, but these men chose to stay with Fear, but not so much so that they sided with the Enemy. They simply saw the odds of losing their lives was too great, and wanted out when given the opportunity.

Then, Those NOT ALERT to the enemywere let go.  A test was given to determine this, having to do with how they drank their water, whether lapping with their hands so their eyes could peer upward to keep alert to danger, or whether they laid down their weapons and put their face right into the water to lap it up.  The ones NOT ALERT, failed the test, and were let go. God did not want them in Gideon’s army! Nor will He likely want people who are unaware to the enemy’s presence, in His army Today! Turning a blind eye, will disqualify.

The army’s leader, Gideon, LISTENED and DID EXACTLY AS HE WAS INSTRUCTED! (Leadership needs to be hearing and obeying God, in order to lead the people under them! Amen?!) We have a Captain of the Hosts too, who leads us daily, and his name is Jesus Christ.  He takes and leads us with what he hears from Father God just as Gideon led his men. And the Holy Spirit takes the orders He gives us straight to us, the men and women of His Army! He uses the Word of God, which is referred to as the Sword of the Spirit.

To Gideon and to the small number of men that were left God said, “Surely I Will Be With You.”  He says this to all who are in His Army today too. We are “never abandoned” “left alone” or “forsaken”. His promise remains with us as it was with Gideon.

The men remaining in the army LISTENED to their leader, Gideon, and DID EXACTLY AS THEY WERE INSTRUCTED even though their orders may have sounded as “foolishness” to them.  We too, will hear instructions come our way, that may not make sense to our finite minds, but we must realize who our Leader is. He is chosen of God. Annointed. More than able to lead us. He, Jesus, already “proved” that he listened and did exactly as He was instructed. Now will we?

A “divine strategy” WAS given. The army of Gideon’s was not left to depend on themselves or their own own numbers, their own wisdom, or their own strength. They were led by God and told exactly how to overthrow their enemies. So too, we who remain in God’s army, have a “KNOWING” (a total awareness) that what’s coming down is NOT of US, but of God. Not originated with us, nor played out totally by us, but that we have a part, that requires trust and obedience to THAT PLAN when its made known to us. God is a strategist every minute of every day, if only we would heed our orders, following those promptings of the Spirit, obeying what we know to be the Will of God, seeking His Ways within His Word.

Unusual warfare was fought! Gideon’s army actually surrounded the enemy-blowing trumpets-breaking pitchers with torches lit- shouting loudly, so this indeed was not your typical warfare! It was ingeniously master-minded! God knows how to use his army! But afterward, when we read of it, we think “wow” that was so smart! They thought they were surrounded by huge numbers! Their enemies were put into confusion by the unusual noise and light!  Believers, if we’d only realize that if we all start shining our lights and making noise unto the Lord in way of testimonies and sharing and helping and loving on each other, the enemy will go bonkers! We can really cause them to go into hysterics when they realize they are surrounded and unable to go forward in their evil way. If they can’t turn their frustration on us, they’ll turn it onto each other.

As they obeyed this unusual instruction, they shouted and declared:  “The Sword of the Lord and of Gideon!”  This was repeated in the chapter, as if for emphasis… and I wonder if God is indeed saying to us in modern day, from even this simple declaration, that His Sword today is the same Sword Gideon operated in in days of old. The sword stands for the real truth in my eyes… being on the “right side”…the side that GOD is on! It will penetrate through the enemy lines with ease. Nothing can stand in its way.

Now note this: It says that Every man STOOD in His Place, whilst they just did what they were told…while the Enemy’s Camp became hysterical and panicked!  Interestingly, a passage in the New Testament, Ephesians 6:13, says, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”  I can’t help but see that this is exactly what Gideon and his army did. They did what they were told and they STOOD, each in his own place! And they watched God fight the battle “for them”… yet they actively participated… so, in essence, God fought “with them”.

The Result? The Enemy, which was of a great number, began to destroy one another, for confusion came upon their camp!  They turned on one another!

Oh wow, I love that!  They got so frightened by God’s army taking a stand, letting their lights shine, and letting the trumpet sound be heard, declaring the words about the Sword of the Lord, and they simply didn’t know who they were “taking out”, as in destroying. It ended up it was their own men! They destroyed themselves.

When Gideon and his army’s victory was become known and they were crossed over the Jordan, while yet still in pursuit, other rulers were asked to feed Gideon’s army and they defiantly refused, and Gideon destroyed their defiant leaders as “enemies” as well. It tells us they were Ishmaelites. (Yes, as in modern day ISIS-Islam). Their leaders’ words to Gideon, “Rise yourself and kill us, for as a man is, so is his strength.” Well, Gideon did kill them, for they only looked at men As men, and didn’t see it was God who gave Gideon all ability. Just as Gideon took out these “leaders” for their defiance, so The Lord can easily “take out” the leaders of ISIS and other evil armies that would be anti-Christ as their root nature. They challenge God, as these leaders challenged Gideon? They’d better begin to tremble!! But they won’t (tremble) for they have the same mindset as these men of Judges 8. Yet Gideon’s men knew what was coming down, and knew the danger their open and direct defiance put them in. The End Time battle is about good versus evil, not a person automatically your enemy because of the color of his skin or where he is from.

In fact, when I think of  the atrocities our enemies, the Islam extremists, ISIS, Taliban, etc. have done, which are becoming so Vile and Violent, so great and widespread, I believe that the people of their own Islamic faith will begin open their eyes to their false God and beliefs and put their eyes onto Jesus! They will recognize the dichotomy and be given the grace to make the choice for Jesus! I’m praying for the Light of the World to shine upon them! That Jesus would reveal himself to people of all faiths that are not acknowledging Him as the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Why would people continue to serve a God that takes life from them, when they can serve a God that gives life TO them! Why would they choose bloodshed and hatred, over love and peace? God’s Army, following God’s Divine Strategy, remains on the winning side! Many may even be joining our ranks, while their brothers are killing one another in confusion!

Well, In the end, Gideon took no glory or rank, but declared to Israel:  “I will not rule over you, nor shall my son rule over you: THE LORD SHALL RULE OVER YOU!!”

All of this….warfare…in the spiritual realms and in the natural realms, comes to an END. And we in the Lord’s Army know that end!  Jesus, Our Leader, will reign… and ultimately will turn over the Kingdom of God, and God will be all in all !

I Corinthians 15:24-28 Then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For He has put all things in subjection under His Feet. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.”

But now for a final, sobering observation—-after reading to the end of Judges 8.

Note, though their enemy was quieted,  a stumbling block was created, by taking the plunder from the Ishmaelites…their golden earrings…which was made into a ephod…hung in the city of Ophrah, which caused all Israel to play the harlot, and it became a snare to Gideon. What place did God hold in their hearts as to the “glory given”? Evidently not too much! Victories of the past were not regarded as God’s but Gideon’s maybe…and not sure really how harlotry played out, but harlotry meant they weren’t loyal to God. Nor actually, to Gideon. And we see this horrible insight:

Near the end of Judges 8, it says when Gideon died, the children of Israel again played the harlot with the Baals, and did not remember the Lord their God, who delivered them from their enemies on every side, nor did they show kindness to the house of Gideon in accordance to the good he had done for Israel.

The people both ignored God, who had delivered them, and forsook their leader, who had led them and fought in their behalf.

IS THE LORD’S ARMY doing this TODAY? Are we holding God in our hearts and giving Him the Glory, for everything?

Are you drawing any parallels to modern-day events? Do we not even have plans to reconstruct Baal’s temple right in New York. God did so much for the USA, we were small but God fought with us for our independence. Then we erected glory unto ourselves, and now we have forgot God. The next step, returning to Baal?

I don’t know about you, but I’m choosing to be part of God’s Army, RIGHT NOW, Today! Not a part of those who turn away and forget who God is…  Or who, when in victory, believe we’ve overcome all the obstacles along life’s way ourselves. But we can confidently do our part… Taking Our Stand for truth, and righteousness, and exalting Christ our Lord.

As we take our stand, remember the size of our army to the enemies armies may look small… But We Have the One True God! And it is our Heart That God looks at. He can wage war with us. And, He is also Captain of the Hosts, and commands angels to fight in our behalf! Hallelujah!

So to capsulate these truths, let me just say this:

  • Wow! I’m getting excited!! I’m Seeing God’s Agenda, not mine!
  • I want to be as one in Gideon’s Army!!! or should I say “The LORD’S ARMY”
  • No Fear!
  • Alert!
  • Listening!
  • Doing Exactly as I am Instructed! (Whether it makes sense to me or not)
  • Standing in my Own Place
  • Seeing the Lord fight the Battle, of which I’ve done my part by cooperating with known strategy.
  • Pursuing the enemy until he is destroyed
  • AND Giving God all the Glory! Not setting up monuments onto ourselves and taking credit for our own victories, but realizing God is all in all !
  • Are YOU centered on Him and giving Him the honor due His Name?

Let’s Fight the Good Fight of Faith!

Let’s Wield “The Sword of the Lord and of Gideon!”

…. written by Beth Ann Smith, April 8, 2016

 

Please check out the Archived Articles tab above to check out many other articles Beth has written, and feel free to visit her music website http://www.handmaidenmusic.com where you will find discipleship songs and peaceful instrumentals. All these helps were created to aid you spiritually in your own personal walk with the Jesus Christ.

 

The End … at God’s Appointed Time

Clearly, “at the appointed time”  The End of all things will come.

God's appointed Time - Copy

And clearly, The Living God knows the endings from the beginnings…and future history has been determined even as we live in the today of our own individual lives. The triumph that comes from trusting in what God has revealed of what the future holds, is what I want you to know!

I just read through the book of Daniel today in my bible …a very difficult-to-understand book, but I want to record some simple truths to share with you today, regarding The End of All Things. Why? Because I think a godly perspective gives understanding, wisdom, and focus, and some of you may not have visited this book for awhile.

I am not going to focus on Daniel or his life…but rather share insight into “The End”…which was revealed to him by God, and is shared with us who are living in “today”! Yes, much understanding is actually sealed up until the end, but as time unfolds we gain more and more momentum, and more can be understood as time seems to be accelerating. I don’t know the interpretations to these visions, for they remain a mystery to me in many ways, but TODAY, you and I can know some powerful simple truths about what’s coming and what’s ahead for us, that can strengthen us immensely!!

It was God who showed these things to Daniel, who recorded the visions of what was to come forth in the future, though they troubled him, making him physically ill. He wrote down the revelation and made it plain, and now we have it to give us “encouragement” to face our future.

Rest assured, NOTHING in modern time is a surprise to God. Nothing that will happen in the future will be without his foreknowledge. He KNOWS what’s what, people! And it is all predetermined! But how “you and I” fit into this Eternal PLAN, is really up to us. And how we walk our daily walk can be determined by our gaining some understanding into the future. Ignorance of spiritual truth and lack of knowledge regarding God’s plan can be very costly to a person and a nation!

First let’s see what simple truths Daniel shares about The End:

The END includes:

  • A kingdom which shall not be destroyed…it is everlasting. (It is the Kingdom of God.)
  • A dominion that endures to the end…forever! (It is the rule and reign of Jesus, the Christ, the Son of the Living God.)
  • Jesus Christ is given by God…dominion, glory, and a kingdom…that all peoples, nations and languages will serve him! … it’s an everlasting dominion!
  • God has a 1000 thousands serving him and 10,000 ten-thousands standing before him as the court is seated, and the books are open. Is your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life? What is being recorded in the books about you?
  • The kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the Saints of The Most High!

This is the end of the matter, Saints! God’s Kingdom and Christ’s dominion is everlasting, and WE WILL INHERIT THIS KINGDOM!

What an awesome and incredible future awaits us all!  We have no reason to be sad, worried, fearful, depressed, or confounded. We have been told OUR FUTURE!!

So what will happen up until the appointed time?

  • The people who know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits!
  • Some with understanding, will fall… to refine them… purify them… make them white…until the time of the end, because it is still for the appointed time.
  • There will be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation even to that time. And at that time God’s people shall be delivered... everyone who is found written in the book… and many who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake… some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
  • Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament…those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever. (I.e. We will be glorified! at least those who are WISE and TURN MANY TO RIGHTEOUSNESS will be!)
  • Many will be purified, made white, and refined …but the wicked shall do wickedly… and none of the wicked should understand… but the wise shall understand.

So, as you can see, trouble will continue…such as the world has ever known… the wicked will remain wicked and not understand what’s what… but the WISE  WILL UNDERSTAND.  What?  That THE END has already been determined by Almighty God! And we are already a part of it… those of us who believe in and follow Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and the only way to the Father!

Do not fear what the future holds, brothers and sisters in Christ. Just as Daniel never feared standing up for God though he was thrown to the Lions and lived among foreigners, don’t fear being thrown to the Lions of modern day. But Fear God, who has the power to save or destroy…which choice is yours: To believe in Jesus and his death and resurrection and coming again, and look forward to his everlasting Kingdom, which all believers are now a part of? or to live for yourself and care nothing about the end of time, refusing to repent or turn toward God, and just “going along with the crowd” to destruction. This will lead to “everlasting destruction” eventually.

The End will come, you see, at its appointed time.

I for one, am happy God’s Word clearly tells us the VERY END OF TIME will come at its appointed time, so we can make it through all that happens between now and then by staying IN CHRIST and Believing In His Eternal Kingdom. Then no matter what happens to our earthly nation…be it the USA, or another nation of the world… and no matter what happens to us individually as far as how we would die or suffer, we KNOW an eternal kingdom awaits The Saints of God, and we need not live in fear. Ever! We can be REJOICING even now, for we know what The End includes! God’s got this!!!

This will take faith on the part of the Saints. And it may mean making a stand, as Daniel did in his day, as he was surrounded by people who served other gods. His life was in danger, yes! Yet, His Faith led to others coming to the True and Living God, and our faith will do the same!

Here is a verse in the New Testament that simply confirms what God showed Daniel in the old testament: Colossians 1:9-13

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and long suffering with joyfulness; 12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us qualified to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.

Accept Christ – And inherit His Kingdom! It’s as simple as this friends. He paid the cost to redeem you from the Kingdom of this World, and deliver you out of darkness… Just receive what He did for you. Then live for him… as the verses above describe. You’ll be SO TRIUMPHANT if you simply ABIDE IN CHRIST!!

 

Written by Beth Ann Smith

Please check out the archived articles tab above for additional spiritual insights. And if you enjoy music, check out http://www.bethannsmith.com for songs of discipleship and instrumentals of peace.

Know That I Am Here in YOUR Midst

**Read the following prose as if The Lord God Jehovah is speaking this TO YOU… 

In the midst of everyday living,

Know that I am here to care for you.

In the midst of sadness,

Know that I am here to cheer you up.

In the midst of happiness,

Know that I am here to rejoice with you.

In the midst of sorrow,

Know that I am here to empathize with you.

In the midst of desire,

Know that I am here to return that same desire

In the midst of confusion,

Know that I am here to bring clarity to your thinking.

In the midst of contentment,

Know that I am here to make you feel that way.

In the midst of weariness,

Know that I am here to give you strength.

In the midst of fear,

Know that I am here to give you confidence.

In the midst of insecurity,

Know that I am here to make you feel secure.

In the midst of pain,

Know that I am here to alleviate it and bring you comfort.

In the midst of joy,

Know that I am here to smile with you!!

In the midst of passion,

Know that I am here.  Be true to me, and I’ll return the passion.

In the midst of temptation,

Know that I am here to lead you out of it, repeatedly if necessary.

In the midst of emotion,

Know that I am here to help control your emotions, that you may express them.

In the midst of trouble,

Know that I am here and a “present” help in that time.

In the midst of torment or turmoil,

Know that I am here to bring deliverance and comfort.

In the MIDST OF IT ALL,

Know that I AM HERE.

….. and  I LOVE YOU

            from THE LORD YOUR GOD*

———————————————————————-

Sounds like the commitment of a “Best Friend” to me!!

In This Hour that is before us all, please keep this encouraging poem and this good scripture in your heart always:

“Be strong and of a good courage…

          fear not…

                  nor be afraid of them….

For it is the Lord YOUR God,

HE IT IS that doth go WITH YOU;

         He will NOT FAIL YOU or FORSAKE YOU.”

                  Deuteronomy 31:16

TO EMBRACE THIS AWESOME MESSAGE A QUESTION IS TO BE ASKED:

IS HE THE LORD YOUR GOD?

and if not…with promises like these and a deep friendship to embrace,

what are you waiting for?

Accept Christ Jesus and the Free Gift of Salvation

and be reconciled to Your Father today.(smile)

loved by God

*Poem by Beth Ann Smith. Shared via http://www.theimageofchrist.com

*Please check out Beth’s other articles under the Archived Articles tab above! Pass along to your friends the links of those articles that bless you, or you feel would bless them, and help spread the GOOD NEWS!

Last Days

The return of Jesus the Christ is so imminent that it has already begun.  Just as Enoch walked with God and one day was no more, so shall the beginning of the catching away of the Body of Christ be.  The continuing escalation of the manifestation of the presence of Jesus in fellowship with the unity of His Church, is likened to the relationship between God and Enoch prior to the first rapture.  It will continue to grow in power and might until the Church is caught up with Him in the heavens.rapture

It truly is the season where the former and latter rains will be given, and a supernatural harvest will take place.  The relationship between the Father and each believer, who will be led by His Spirit, will be continuous and awe-inspiring to the unbeliever, who will acknowledge them as “Children of the Most High God”.

It will be a time where the supernatural of God will become the natural way of doing throughout His Body.  The power of God to gain wealth to establish His covenant in the earth will be evident and practiced by the members of the Family of God.

The great shaking of the world system in these last days will be the world overwhelmed and overcome by the manifest glory of Jesus in the Body of Christ. (The persecution of the believers after the “Rapture” will be in response to the fear and turmoil caused by the Glorious Church exercising its authority in the Earth.  It will be the backlash of the kingdom of darkness to the glorious light which it would not accept and could not withstand.)

It is a season for each believer to totally give himself over to the Lordship of Jesus…To dedicate oneself…body, soul, and spirit… to the Master’s service.

It is the time for each believer to become as one with the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit.

—————————-This is a page written by my deceased husband, David Stephens, as he wrote it in a tablet upon his death bed. I felt prompted to share it with you, as he wrote it, for I came across it today as I was scanning files. It gave hope to my own heart, so I sincerely pray that it will encourage you as it did me.  Let’s continue to look to the author and finisher of our faith! …Growing in the knowledge of God and Christ, and enjoy sweet fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ! Whatever you do, do not deny The Faith… because Glorious Days are head for us…His Church…and are now upon us!

– Posted August 7, 2013, by Elizabeth Norland

One Day, We the Church, The Bride of Christ, Will Be United

With Our Bridegroom: Jesus Christ, The Lord of All ! 

Are you ready?

Are you getting excited?

I AM !

bride raptured

 

*Please check out the menu tab ARCHIVED ARTICLES… for many other articles exist to encourage you in your Christian Walk. And, please click on Follow, at the right, if interested in receiving new entries in your own email inbox as new articles are posted!

THANK YOU !

Through the Waters and the Rivers…with Him Alone…

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I had a dream a while back of standing alongside a mighty rushing river, not certain of crossing it.. for it was ominous…but being instructed by someone to cross, as I looked at dead bodies being pulled out of cars that had attempted to cross it. I was not in a vehicle, but was standing on foot, being told by someone next to me to cross and that there were people along the way to help me, to get to the other side.  But I saw no one “out there” to assist me in any way, and did see all the bodies to my left and right in water ditches being pulled out dead from their cars (it was a ghastly site in my dream), and I couldn’t, within myself, believe that I could possibly even step into this river with its torrents of water, and even survive, yet alone cross through. All I saw was the power of the river…and questioned then whether to believe “that man” who spoke in my ear, or rather, to go with my gut instinct to stay put. It wasn’t so much fear of death I had, as I thought it would be foolish of me, when I could see the force of that river clearly and even saw “what happened to the others” who had tried.  The river in my dream looked just as the picture that I have included in this post, and it was a very deep and wide, I could tell. I could barely see to the other side, and I certainly saw no other people over there waving at me or encouraging me to cross. And where I was, the river was in flood stage… for I was standing IN THE WATER at the edge, in a depth up now past my knees, knowing I’d have to make a decision soon. 

SO, THEN, TODAY, in light of this dream I had awhile back, while reading scripture, my eyes locked upon a phrase of scripture, which I have “personalized”, for the passage spoke to the fear and questioning I had within, resultant from the dream. And for the record, I rarely dream at all, so I know the Lord was trying to show me, a woman of God, something important. *please read whole post, for insights will come in its pondering…

When I go through the waters
He is with me
When I go through the rivers
They will not overflow me.

Isaiah 43:2a

Two words stand out as truths:
1. It does not say IF, it says WHEN.
i.e I will indeed have unfamiliar terrain and obstacles in my way through this life. Some small, some great. And evidently this big river awaits me. (and maybe you all)
2. It says THROUGH….Not just to, or caught in, or destroyed by…
i.e. all will be alright, and I will get through the circumstance(s)

The KEY…
is His presence WITH ME.

AND WHEN I must face the rushing water.

Are you depending upon His Presence to get you THROUGH
TOO? (Smile)

I still don’t know really the exact interpretation of my dream, but I believe from this verse, at least I’ll decide to trust this scriptural Word of Promise, and I will go through the rushing waters..without a vehicle…maybe simply “diving in!”  WHEN, I know it is the time to step in, and it is the voice of the Spirit I hear within, that is. Trusting the voice of God within, not even the voice of another telling me to do something. For you see, in the dream, my own heart was telling me something, but I was instructed to do what this person was telling me to do.

So I was STOPPED.  Whilst trying TO DISCERN. Still am. Do I stand alone? or do I just jump in to a raging river, even knowing its danger? Is this blind faith? or is it stupidity?

You see, IF the man in my dream telling me to cross was a type of the Holy Spirit in interpretation, then surely, I would get to the other side…and it would be wise to promptly obey, no matter what I saw or perceived, I suppose…

but if it was MAN, telling me to do something God was not in, then I would be utterly DESTROYED, as were all these people “dead in their vehicles” and this was more the perception of this particular dream. 

SO, I am still pondering all this, yet am sharing it for you to ponder too.  Somehow I feel it is for the body of Christ and not just me, as a lot of what I receive from the Lord is.

To conclude: My prayer is that you will all remain SAFE, abiding in His Presence, and not depending on “other vehicles” to get you to your destination…for in my dream, the people in their vehicles were the dead ones being pulled out.  I seemed to “know” that only as I was  depending on HIM and HIS PRESENCE with me alone, could I dare to make it.

Our trust MUST BE IN GOD….and NOT IN MAN… NOR IN MAN’S ORGANIZATIONS (Vehicles ?)…

May God give us all understanding of what His Will is, as we approach the rivers in our individual lives, and as the Church faces its own mighty rushing river ahead.

Ephesians 5:17 says it all:

Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Unusual for me, I am including a contact form, that goes to my email, if you are a Believer and believe God has given you extra insight to share with me on this matter. For I am yet “stopped” – “whilst trying to discern”.

God Is With Me

nothing canI wanted to share this declaration that I wrote back in 2003. Though I stumbled across it today among my papers, it is as “real to me” as ever! In fact, even more so…for trials have indeed intensified in my own life since 2003. I believe I’m to share this today, to minister to someone else’s heart. Maybe you will see, that our hard times, and God seeing us through them, makes for added peace and strength.   If there is to ever be a  similar trial or testing, FEAR will hold no place! No TORMENT.

And we can comfort others too, in their trials, for we have walked through similar, and found God faithful to those whose trust is In Him.

God is With Me

I have been poor. I do not fear poverty, for God is with me.

I have been ill. I do not fear illness, for God is with me.

I have been successful. I do not fear success, for God is with me.

I have been misunderstood and criticized.  I do not fear man, for God is with me.

I have been far from home.  I do not fear going anywhere, for God is with me.

I have been loved.  I do not fear loving again, for God is with me.

I have been betrayed.  I do not fear betrayal again, for God is with me.

What do I fear? Can anything be against me, if God is with me?

Written by Elizabeth Norland – 1/2/2003  (Shared 1/8/2012)

Here is also a scripture passage that rings true, with this, my declaration:

Praise to the God of All Comfort

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.  2 CORINTHIANS 1:3-7

AND HOLD ONTO THESE COMFORTING VERSES:

17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. 18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.      19 A righteous man may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all…

Psalm 34:17-19a

Faith and Unbelief – Humility and Pride

FAITH – Deeply believes God will do what HE SAYS – and it subsequently produces WORDS of agreement, and ACTIONS of obedience.

FAITH – Need not understand.  It doesn’t look at the natural. But believes GOD WILL do and GOD CAN do what GOD SAYS He will do.

Luke 1:37 says, For nothing is impossible with God.”

It’s one thing to Believe IN HIM, it is an entirely different matter to BELIEVE HIM.  This is where our faith is tested.  Do I take Him at His Word? Do I truly HEAR Him? Have I “REALIZED” His Promises?

PRIDE and FAITH are Opposites, just as UNBELIEF AND FAITH are Opposites.

UNBELIEF is really masked, or camouflaged PRIDE.

Let’s consider the 12 spies that returned from beyond the Jordan to report back to Moses and Aaron and the Children of Israel in the wilderness. The account is in Numbers 13:26-33.

10 of these spies  – we, in modern day, would consider “humble” – for they said “we are as grasshoppers”, and 2 of these spies – we’d consider “proud and arrogant” for they said “we can take the land!”

YET IN REALITY:

10 were PRIDEFUL – “relying on their own strength”  – their report was given according to a human perspective, not according to God’s perspective.

2 were HUMBLE – “relying on God’s ability to do as He said, and relying on God’s strength to make it all possible”.

DO YOU SEE, MY FRIENDS, HOW PRIDE LOOKS DECEIVING?  How it is a false humility? and “appearing humble” is in actuality UNBELIEF disguised?

True humility BELIEVES who God is and understands who we are. We maintain hope, and strength….and are more than conquerors!  For we know it all has to do WITH GOD, and NOT US, except to step out in FAITH that He will do as he says. We have to do OUR PART to do that stepping into what He says to.

NOT YET CONVINCED? Let’s look at the 10 spies report: Numbers 13: 26-33

“It truly flows with milk and honey” – what God had promised about the land was indeed true.  These men acknowledge it was as He SAID, and an awesome land of milk and honey, and they revealed its wonderful fruits.

YET THEN THEY SAY THIS:

“Nevertheless”

“nevertheless” means “despite all of that.”

At that moment, Moses, and every man of faith in Israel should have cried out and said, “Nevertheless nothing! How can one say, ‘We went to the land, found it good, and God’s promise true,’ and then say, ‘Despite all this . . .’?”

The 10 spies continued:

Despite God’s words and His promise….” the people there are strong.”

We will disregard God’s faithful promise… “for their cities are large and fortified .”

and Who cares about God’s Words…we saw with our own eyes the descendants of Anak, a tribe of large men! “

and despite God’s Ability…. “the land is taken up! the Amalekites dwell there, and  the Amorites . . . and so do the Canaanites.  “There is no room for us.”

Their UNBELIEF was revealed in their WORD: “Nevertheless”…and JUSTIFIED in their WORDS spoken thereafter…

It is hard to imagine a report more unbelieving and unfaithful to God than this; a report that recognizes the faithfulness of God’s promise, the truth of His word, and yet says, “Despite all that . . .”

UNBELIEF IS NOT HUMILITY.  FOR IT DOES NOT GIVE GOD HIS PROPER PLACE OF HONOR AND RESPECT. FAITH IS RESPECT FOR WHAT GOD HAS SAID.

So, let’s look at Caleb’s bold report of Numbers 13, and Joshua’s concurring:

“Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”

Then Caleb quieted the people: Caleb – blessed forever! – commanded the people to immediately (at once) trust and obey God and to take the land, because God had made them able.  It took great courage for Caleb and Joshua to stand against the tide of unbelief, of doubt and “despite all that“ attitude.

Caleb, for sure, had the spirit of Romans 3:4: Let God be true but every man a liar. Numbers 14:24 describes Caleb AND HOW GOD LOOKED UPON HIM:  “But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.

FAITH is really HUMILITY. We believe and follow another, ONE, greater than ourselves.

BUT, the majority sometimes rules, even if they are all “dead wrong”, for the other 10 men who had gone up with him countered this rally for faith to rise up, with their own declarations of UNBELIEF:

We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.”

Unbelief often presents itself as being “factual” or “practical” or “down to earth.” Yet, the most factual, practical, and down to earth thing we can to is trust the word of the living God. Their unbelief was not according to the facts, but despite the facts.  They left out their BIGGEST FACT – that what God SAYS is greater than Man’s abilities or inabilities.

WHEN WE DO NOT REPLACE OUR WEAKNESS, WITH HIS STRENGTH… WE ARE PARALYZED…UNABLE … TO DO WHAT GOD TELLS US TO DO.

God’s ABILITY must be taken into consideration!

FAITH IS HUMILITY.  UNBELIEF IS PRIDE.

Significantly, we see that two spies, Joshua and Caleb, could see the exact same sights – the same grapes, the same men, the same land, the same cities – and they come away singing in faith and encouraging the others to BELIEF not only could God do it, but that THEY COULD DO IT through faith and obedience…by going forward.

While at the same time, the others were filled with a sense of certain doom.

Ultimately, faith or unbelief does not spring from circumstances or environment, but from our hearts, which God must change.

To confirm scripture with scripture, let’s look at Jeremiah 17:5-7, and think of what was just shared:

This is what the Lord says:

“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who draws strength from mere flesh
and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.

Their UNBELIEF indeed brought about their desert experience.  It led them away from prosperity when it was presented.  It took them into a salt land where death is imminent.

Now let’s skip to the New Testament, and talk of Jesus Christ.

What GRIEVED Jesus the most, as he walked this earth?  Was it not UNBELIEF?  Can you not hear his words, “O, Ye of Little Faith!” as he went along life’s way?

Now, tell me, what PLEASED Jesus the most, as he walked this earth? Was it not BELIEF? Can you not hear his words joyously declared to the centurion, “ I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!”  or the words to the blind men “Do you believe I am able to do this? and then “According to your faith, it will be done for you.”

God does not respond to our need. He responds to OUR FAITH.  Jesus responded to FAITH.

My prayer for you, my reader, is that FAITH WILL ARISE WITHIN YOU. AND YOU WILL KNOW GOD’S ABILITY, AMIDST YOUR PERCEIVED INABILITY against what the Enemy may be doing in your household, neighborhood, workplace, or your country.  WE HAVE GOD!

There is no inability in God.  You can’t go wrong if you will trust Him and follow Him when He gives you his leading to advance forward in obedience to something He has told you.  DO NOT LET YOURSELF BE “INTIMIDATED” BY UNBELIEVERS…and Un-BELIEVE-ers. The latter can be God’s own people, if they are not actively believing God, and walking in their faith. Stand your ground, Humble yourself before God and walk in FAITH and HUMILITY BEFORE GOD. (Even if the World around you labels you as Proud!)

I Peter 5:6 “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.”

Written and Shared by Elizabeth Norland, October 19, 2012