Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Security and Angelic Care

Everything we receive from our Lord is received by faith.  Faith in who He says He is.  It is not just faith in faith, which is futile and empty. Faith is in the person of our great God, Elyon, the Most High God. If the Lord says it in His Word "that settles it!"  His Word is true and every man a liar.

Psalm 91:9 continues with reassuring promises to those who have made the Most High God, the LORD, their dwelling place and refuge.  He is our deliver from every possible type of affliction. Supporting this truth is Psalm 34:19  "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them ALL." 

Psalm 91:10 contains both a personal and family promise: " No evil shall befall you nor shall any plague come near your dwelling."  While we need to claim this promise by faith as protection for our entire household, sometimes what we see as evil is a blessing in disguise.  As Joseph said to his brothers:  Gen 50:20,"But as for you, you meant  evil against me: but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive."

We are in a war, and God has given us His Word as an offensive weapon.  In the midst of the battle, we have the LORD, (Elyon) as our security, our resting place, our rock.  "Blessed be the LORD my Rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle." Ps. 144:1)  We have the Name of Jesus to come against every foe, that has to bow at His Name.

The promise of angelic protection in verse eleven is very comforting.  This verse can be translated in the following ways: "For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways."  "For He will order His angels to care for you and guard you wherever you go."  For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways," and "For He will give His angels (especial) charge over you, to accompany and defend and preserve you in all of your ways,  ( of obedience and service)."  It is encouraging to know that our Father personally protects us with His heavenly angels and His strong right arm, His Son. Angels are God's messengers and they will do God's bidding and obey His commands.  They act on our behalf.

Psalm 90:13 promises us that we will trample or tread upon the lion, the cobra and the sepent.   This a a promise of victory over evil.  God has given us, through Yeshua, authority over the works of the enemy.  In His name, we continue His mission.  "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8).  The Father of Glory has put all things under Jesus' feet (Eph. 1:22).  As we abide in Him, the enemy is under our feet as well.  "Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall be any means hurt you."  Luke 10:19)

Friday, June 14, 2013

God's Protection

Psalm 91 is so full of promises and an intimate relationship with the Lord. It is a Psalm that the Lord has lead me to pray over my family and to memorize through meditation.  May the Lord bless you too.

        verses 1-4
       "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
        Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
        I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress;
        My God, in Him I will trust.
        Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
        And from the perilous pestilence.
        He shall cover you with His feathers,
        And under His wings you shall take refuge.
        His truth shall be your shield and buckler."

It am very encouraged by making this Psalm personal, as I am memorizing it.  For instance, If I dwell in the secret place of the Most High , I shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of my Lord, "You are my refuge and my fortress, my God in You I will trust.."

One thing I am learning is that dwelling in the shelter or secret place of Elyon, the Most High God, does not just happen.   It is a choice by FAITH to dwell there.  I must decide to make Elyon my dwelling place, to forsake the world and ONLY to Him be true. Secrets are not generally shared with strangers.  Intimacy of relationship is involved. It involves my heart to willfully  surrender to His control and come under His protection. I love to confess "There is no one, higher or greater than YOU , my LORD, in all the earth.  I choose YOU, as my place of shelter and safety. I will trust in YOU."  In a way, it is like the marriage vow, I took before God when I was married, 'To forsake all others and only unto my husband be true.'

"I shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."  Have you ever tried to walk in another person's shadow? It is very hard to do.  You are in and out all the time. When I thought about this picture, I felt the Lord showed me a GREAT BIG bird with a huge wing expansion hovering over me making its protecting shadow to shield me from evil.  I felt safe and secure under His wings.

"Surely He will deliver me from the snare of the fowler" The fowler is the devil.  How often he tries to  deceive us. The Lord   delivers us from his lies and schemes. He will talk to you as long as we will listen. At times, the voice of the enemy is very overwhelming, but when you cry out to Him, like the claws of an eagle catching its prey, He delivers you from the danger.

"You shall cover me with Your feathers and under Your wings I shall take refuge." Again this is another picture. This time it is a picture of a mother bird protecting her little fledgling from unknown danger.   God's protection is a powerful force for us in this fallen world.  

"His truth is like a shield and buckler". A shield and buckler are two pieces of armament worn by Roman soldiers to protect themselves.  In battle, the soldiers would gather tightly together and hide behind their shields to fend off arrows raining down upon them. and then  with a smaller shield, the buckler, be ready to fight man to man.  As a believer, we can hide behind  the shield of God's truth.  By faith, we are protected from the wiles of the enemy. When we are called to take a stand against our foe, God's truth is our buckler.. Every lie of Satan can be put down by the Word of truth. If the devil tries to condemn you, you can turn to Romans 8:1 and confess, "there is NO condemnation in Christ Jesus.  You lose devil.  Jesus is Lord and that settles it." "The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the  righteous run into it and are" SAFE. Proverb 18:10.

In 2 Chronicles 20:17, Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, was in an impossible situation fighting against his enemy. He cried out to the Lord and the Lord answered Him, "You will not need to fight in this battle.  Stand firm, hold your position and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf."  I am grateful that God's character will never change.  He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He is our defender, our protector.

As children of God and heirs to His Kingdom, we are Abraham's spiritual seed and children by adoption into the promises of God. We can stand by FAITH on these same words given to King Jehoshaphat, as he stood and watched the Lord confuse the enemy.  This same victory is ours today.  I John 5:4,5, "And this is the victory that HAS overcome the world" --- OUR FAITH. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the son of God? He has won very battle for us.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

He Prepares Our Days

In the year two thousand and four, my world was turned upside down.  You might think that after your children are married, that you don't have to worry about them any more, but that is NOT true.  It is just different. I found my "mother's heart" could be still very affected when I heard about my daughter's serious illness.

My husband and I had built a new home near our middle daughter  and her family, so that she could help us to meet any needs we might have caring for my elderly parents living in our home. It was a rich blessing for many years, as our daughter reached out by caring for her grand mother and grand father, when I was not available.

One day, my mother was in the hospital recovering from pneumonia and I was on my way to bring her back home. While I was waiting for the nurse to physically check my mother and to sign the release papers, I started to read  Psalm 118 :17, 18, "I shall not die, but I shall live,and recount the deeds of the LORD.  The LORD has disciplined me severely but He has not given me over to death.,"  I thought to myself, "WOW,what a great promise to share with someone."  I tucked that away, brought my mother home, settled her down for her nap, and then headed over to fellowship with my daughter.

My daughter was sitting on the front porch looking so dejected and confused. It wasn't like her.  She has never been prone to depression and I was deeply concerned. Graciously, as always, she offered me a cup of tea and said that she had something to share with me.  "Mom, I just got back from the doctors and the lump on my breast needs attention."

When I heard this, my mind started to go in a million different directions.  I sought hard to control my own thoughts, and not to upset her any more. "Lord help me." I silently cried in my heart, and then this still small voice said to me, "Share the verses". I immediately thought of Psalm 118:17:18.  Had the Lord already prepared my heart?  Was that scripture for my daughter NOW?  The Lord knew this moment between a mother and her daughter and He so  graciously provided a word of encouragement for both of us, "You shall not die, you shall live."

How much the Lord loved my daughter.  She was truly His. He was going to discipline her, not out of His anger towards her sin, because Jesus had already paid the price at Calvary.  But now she would begin to experience the cleansing power of the Word of God, as she grew in her faith.

 She drew very close to Jesus and He became very real to her.  She and her husband took communion every day believing in the healing power of the body and blood of Jesus.  Their marriage was  strengthened, along with the faith of her children, in the Lord. 

The trial of her faith effected many people around her.  The Lord encouraged my faith, as the Lord led she and her husband through the steps of healing. There is no fear in LOVE and where the Lord is, there is liberty. 

By the grace of God, our daughter has been clean of breast cancer for ten years. Cancer is only one of the consequences of Adams sin and it could happen to any of us, but Jesus was willing to come to earth, to take upon Himself the consequences of all of Adam's sin in EXCHANGE for His healthy body.  Psalm 107 says," He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction."   There is a name HIGHER above cancer and His name is JESUS. Our daughter's body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and cancer is not welcomed.  The Lord choose to heal her in this life, and continues to use her to reach out and encourage other brothers and sisters in the Lord, who are struggling with cancer. 

Looking back, the Lord was so kind to prepare me to hear my daughter's diagnosis. His Word kept both of us from being overwhelmed and released faith for the days and years ahead.

Friday, June 7, 2013

A Key to Hiding God's Word in Your Heart

In the early seventies and eighties, when I was a young Christian, TM (transcendental meditation ) was very popular in the secular world and many people were carried away with it. For many years, I was afraid to explore biblical meditation because of the association with the idea of meditating.  I found it hard to memorize verses. It seemed as if my mind was always filled with other thoughts.  I was getting older, starting later in life, and I wondered if I ever could memorize scripture. I knew that memorization was important.

It was such a big LIE.  I have to confess that I  let the enemy deceive me.  He knew the POWER IN  MEDITATION and was very successful with his subjects.  I soon learned that the devil would do anything to keep the believer from  BIBLICAL MEDITATION, because he knew the key to hiding God's word in my heart was MEDITATION. It would be a powerful confrontation to Satan's Kingdom. Jesus demonstrated this power in the wilderness when He was tempted and assailed by the devil.  He quoted the Word of God and Satan backed down.  From childhood, Jesus learned the Word of God and hid it in His heart.  The word was there when He needed it. He knew its power through meditating day and night.

Just for fun.  Take a simple verse that you would like to memorize and meditate on it.  Chew on every word, like a cow chews its cud. Take one word at a time and thinking about it.  You might like to look up the Hebrew or Greek meaning of each word in a Strong Concordance.  Before you know it, you will have not only memorized the verse, but allowed the Holy Spirit to feed your soul with a deep truth through meditation.  It will be in your heart when Satan tries to tempt you.  "Submit to God, resist the devil, (with the Word) and He will flee, James 4:7.

 Memorizing scripture through meditation is a very healthy way to meditate.  It renews your mind to think God's thoughts after Him and FAITH will rise more and more in your heart. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing from the Word of God, ( Romans 10:17)

Then I remembered the key to hiding God's Word in my heart was NOT just to MEMORIZE the Word, but to THINK and to PONDER, one verse at a time. For instance, take one simple verse like "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old  has passed away behold the new has come."  What is God saying about you?  Is He saying that you are completely a new person?  That verse alone is enough to ponder for days. The Holy Spirit will lead you into more and more verses to support that truth.  

MEDITATION IS AN EXCELLENT WAY TO MEMORIZE THE WORD. Memorization is a good thing, but if we first meditate on a verse and on it's context, truth will be revealed and we will begin to hide God's word in our heart. The key is simple, MEDITATE  on the Word and it will change your life.

Monday, June 3, 2013

A "Bubble of Peace"

Have you ever been challenged with an illness, believing God to heal you, but don't understand why He hasn't? Your mind begins to play all sorts of games with you and even will accuse God of not caring about you.  It is an ugly place to be. It is not true.  God wants us to be healed, but by His way, at His time and at His place.  Sometimes it is a miracle, sometimes it is a process, sometimes it is a promotion home. Whichever, I believe the truth is that my God wants me healed. I dare not be presumptuous, telling my God how to do anything.  God is good and He ONLY knows how to do good things.

My first experience learning this truth was when I needed an operation and I prayed for a year and a half to be healed.  I stood in prayer lines, had hands laid on me, and fasted and prayed, but I still needed an operation. My blood count was getting lower and lower, and if I  wasn't miraculously healed or had the operation I was in serious trouble. One morning while I was in prayer, I asked the Lord why He wasn't healing me?  I will never forget His answer. "My daughter, do you want a miracle or do you want to know Me?"  I felt at that moment that I had a decision to make. The choice was mine. In my heart I had been crying out to know Him more, so I said without thinking, "Lord, I want to know You." He answered, "Than go my way."  I knew exactly what He meant.  I never again asked.  I set up an appointment for the operation and prepared my heart. I can't say that I wasn't disappointed, but I had His peace. Now, I don't want you to think that I heard the Lord audibly, I didn't.  It was just a witness to my spirit that the Lord had spoken to me. (John 10:27) It was His peace.

The day I arrived at the hospital I was checked in and taken to my room. I didn't know what to expect.  Nurses came in and out poking me with needles, and before I knew it I was put on a gurney, rolled out into the hallway and left there. Doctors and nurses walked by, picked up my chart, looked at it and moved on. I didn't see my doctor for over an hour, but I had the most incredible peace.  I don't like hospitals. Honestly, that was the real reason I wanted a miracle.  I didn't want to deal with  my fear.  But, what I experienced was the Lord's most amazing PEACE through my whole stay. It was like I was living in a BIG BUBBLE of PEACE. Jesus NEVER left my side.  He was there the whole week.

During this time there was another kind of miraculous healing. I received an emotional healing between my mother and I. When I grew up, my mother had to teach school to keep food on the table. Whenever I got sick , my mother had to work and I missed her. My father was always around  somewhere on the farm, but I was alone in the house with a little kitty to amuse myself.  Oh, how much I wanted my mother to be with me, but it was impossible. For years I had stuffed  resentment down in the heart towards my mother. I didn't understand the family's financial stress.

 Now, I needed an operation and how much I wanted my mother to come and care for me and the children.  The most amazing thing happened. Only God could do it. My mother decided to come down from New England and stay with me for TWO WEEKS!  That was huge. Her willingness to come all the way down to care for me and my family was a surprise blessing. It helped to take the hurt away.  God had healed my heart. Now, I began to understand why God had said to me, "Do you want a miracle or do you want to know Me?  I had to got through the trial in order to experience the Lord's presence and especially His PEACE.  By His grace, I was able to forgive for my mother.

Everyone couldn't believe the peace that I had.  I couldn't believe it either. I even healed in half the time and was up to doing my regular routine within two weeks. When I think back, I am so happy that I chose to go His way and have the operation and not just a miracle.   The Lord knew my heart and personally, I think He was more interested  in the healing between my mother and me.  I received God's healing His way that was best for me.

Since then, I know to ask for His healing and to wait upon His timing.  He is my healer and He is my health.   God 's ways are good for each of His children.  His peace to me was the the essence of His presence. A peace that released me from all my worry, anxiety, and fear of the hospital. A peace that brought a deep healing between my mother and I. The Lord knew what I needed to continue to know Him.  I am very grateful that I chose to go His way. In my heart of hearts,I believe it was a MIRACLE.