Rebellion vs. Redemption

We know that God sent His only begotten Son to save us from our rebellion: to recover us, restore us, cure us and make us well (Jn 3:17). To have relationship with Him as our Redeemer.  

One of the most prominent ways I’m seeing Him work right now is in the area of relationships in that He is miraculously redeeming them.

I’m referring to healthy relationships He desires us to experience for His higher purposes. I’m talking about close relationships with family and friends from whom we may have lived at a distance for a time. Maybe even years.

God is bringing them back around again. He is restoring them as He has grown each individual. And this time, they will prove better than before as He reveals more of His purpose to do good works for His Kingdom. Together.

As we go forth, we will sense and know God’s purpose in it all.

He will even reveal the work He has done in individuals to show others He has redeemed them. He will go so far as to have the redeemed ones help the wronged ones in a way that only they can. And in all of this, God will humble hearts.

He has been building powerhouses of individuals, who have allowed Him to work within them. And now, He’s aligning them with others to create a strong, outward bond for His good pleasure and for expanded Kingdom work. This could only happen, as He has renewed their minds and hearts individually.

He has made them lasting for relationships that will last (Jn 15:16).

Gone are the old rebellious ways of the past, as He converges us closer to the pinnacle of purpose than we’ve ever been. It hasn’t peaked yet. We’re just getting started. There’s so much more forward.

And it won’t be just about one event, even if the one event is a big one. There will be a multiplicity. A string of events, where one will affect the other. Not in a ripple effect, per se, where the impact fades, but in a sequence of separate events, impacted by the ones before.

God has greater glory and broader expansion He can entrust to us now, as we’ve learned to trust Him more.

Perhaps you’ve noticed Him rearranging your surroundings, instructing you to “go this way,” helping you to not miss His promises. Perhaps you’ve begun a new project that you cannot finish yourself. And now, He’s bringing in the help you need. Or maybe, He’s promoting you into your heart’s desire—progressing you with honor to your new, next assignment.

Watch for relationships to be restored in the midst. He will warm our hearts with old ones made new and sustainable. He will position us to put into practice the work He’s done in us. He will strengthen us with new-found relationships.

His methods may prove serendipitous. Suddenly, a door will close and another one will open. Then another and another. And one of the most beautiful elements in it all is His redemptive strength of truth.

We will bear witness to a lovely view of His strength as we see it work on our behalves in new areas (Ro 12:2 TPT). It will pour through us to connect with others fearlessly to accomplish tasks. We will experience the deep development He once did now work on our behalves outwardly. We will see His victory in our lives in new ways as He does, by His grace-work, what we didn’t see as possible earlier in life.

This reminds me of the redemptive work in Jericho, using Rahab’s cord in which two Israeli spies ultimately took hold of the cord not easily broken for greater freedom (Jos 2:15, 18; Ec 4:12).

What looked impossible proved accessible in a cyclical process when the two spies returned to impact this fortified city and rescue Rahab and her family (Jos 6:17, 22-23, 25).

So, get ready for fortresses to crumble and for our Way Maker to reveal Himself in ways that will shock, awe and amaze. We can expect a whole new outcome, as it won’t be like before. God is bringing us into position right now, where we will experience breakthrough after breakthrough. Connection after connection. Wholeness. Fluidity. And an abundance of blessing.

Pray with me, if you will…

Dear Lord,

Thank You for redeeming us so Your redemption can flow through us. Thank You for restoring Your fountain of life in our souls so we can flow in Your river of power to impact progress. Thank You for taking us to new places to accomplish Your will. Thank You for producing lasting fruit through us for Your glory. May we please You in all we do.

In Jesus’ Mighty Name.

Amen.

This devo was graciously re-posted by the Salem Web Network, which includes iBelieve.com.

Sliding Door Opportunities

Many are finding themselves in the thick of their sweet endings, right before their new beginnings. It may look like a brief time of to and fro on the surface to outsiders, but it isn’t. It’s a tying up of loose ends to bring a solid close so they can be in position for the new life God has for them.

I’ve heard from and read about people having a tough couple of years. But there are those who have had a tough couple of decades. There are those who have been steeped in restoration like Abraham, Moses, Joseph and David behind the scenes for what has felt like a lifetime. They are the ones who marched onward in fresh hope when doors they thought would be open forever suddenly closed for higher purposes.

These beloved leaders are on the cusp of their promised breakthroughs—the big ones for which they have waited and imagined. And each person’s will be unique.

These are the promises Holy Spirit revealed to these suffering ones, just before and in the midnight hour. They are the profound purposes for which He has confirmed repeatedly and given signs daily to them directly, ever inviting them to look up as He reveals reminders forward.

These are the people who have been most on my heart.

As I prayed, I saw, in a Word-vision: “Wisdom training leads to a lifetime achievement.” And then I saw “requires time for fulfillment.”

For the ones who suffered longest, this is what I believe our Lord would say to you:

I have lifetime achievements for those who will remain on track with Me. Yes, it has felt hard but you are about to see the fruit. The favor and opportunities you need are right in front of you. This is what I have been working in you all along, and now you will come through as My best works through you systematically.

These lifetime achievements will require adherence of dedication, commitment, time and energy as you navigate with Me, determined and committed to make wise choices and do the work at hand throughout.

I have put sliding door opportunities before you that will require you to continue to sync with My revealed wisdom, which includes My timing. Again, these opportunities will require you to remain on track with Me, which involves making wise choices for the best outcome.

As our Lord spoke to my heart, I had a sense that He is using it all—the years of hard lessons learned and willingness of commitment to continue forward with Him in faith-obedience.

For some, it can mean to tie up assignments so His promises can be fulfilled. For others, who have just broken through, it can mean to seek Him first and continue to march forward as He fleshes out the fullness of His promises.

What we decide to do at the end and in the beginning will determine much. We can either do it God’s way and be fruitful or do it our way and end up with less. The time is right now, and our choices will prove pivotal.

I was curious as to why God would show me “sliding door” to describe these opportunities. So, I researched prayerfully and here’s what I found:

Sliding doors are unhinged but are supported from the top and bottom. They can be top-hung, like a barn door or bottom-rolling, like a patio door. Both systems have mechanisms in place to prevent the door from slipping off track. They typically slide horizontally, but there are motorized ones that can lift and slide to create a better seal. So, not only do these doors slide, they can also glide, which means there is an ease to their movement.

There is even a feature film, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, titled Sliding Doors that released in 1998. I don’t recall knowing of this movie earlier. But the premise of the picture is about making choices amid chaos and how those choices impact the life we experience.

I believe God is about to push aside some horizontal doors for His beloved ones, who have known Him vertically and pressed through the narrow place. He is about to remove the final barriers that have kept His transparent ones only envisioning their promises so they can now step into them, while being protected in their new land.

What many tried to do in their own strength, God is now doing for the ones who sought Him and found His grace in the midst of hardship. They gained an understanding of what it looks and feels like for them in their divine assignments, and it has become their new familiar peace forward.

For those who may still be struggling to find their way out of the hard place, the Word “sliding” can also mean “rising or falling, increasing or decreasing, according to a standard or to a set of conditions” (Dictionary.com). We know we can glide forward or slide backward, depending on daily decisions and disciplines. Yet, God’s support remains constant.

We know that Jesus is our Door upon which we can choose to knock and that He has the final say. It isn’t too late. We must know that He goes before us and waits for us at the finish line of divine assignments to reward us and to accompany us into His new beginnings for us.

What’s especially interesting about the Word “door” is that it can reference direction and location of a building and reveal occupancy as in “two doors down” (Dictionary.com). It can be “any means of approach, admittance, or access: [such as] the doors to learning.” Or “any gateway marking an entrance or exit from one place or state to another.”

Concerning opportunities, Dictionary.com defines this Word as “an appropriate or favorable time or occasion; a situation or condition favorable for attainment of a goal; a good position, chance, or prospect, as for advancement or success.”

So, it’s obvious to me that our Lord is revealing that He has set His people up to follow Him into and through His best opportunities and that He has been leading them up to these doors all along. He has given His people wisdom along the way, even in and especially in hard places and times; and now they must continue to sync with Him for what is needed to experience the fullness of His promises for their lifetime achievements.

Pray with me if you will…

Dear Lord,

Thank You for opening sliding doors to opportunities that will lead to the fulfillment of Your lifetime promises in our lives. Please help us to continue to receive Your wisdom and apply it in ways that will keep us on track with You now and in new places to come. Thank You for helping us to forge forward as victorious in and with You.

In Jesus’ Mighty Name,

Amen.

This devo was graciously re-posted by the Salem Web Network, which includes iBelieve.com.

Wisdom Strategy

A couple of weeks ago, I saw the Words “Wisdom Strategy” and “comfort zone” in Word-visions. Here’s what I believe Holy Spirit is revealing:

Our Lord is bringing us into a new comfort with fresh wisdom. There will be some forging ahead, but there will also be grace to help us as He brings us into more wholeness.

God is about to re-set some people. As they have fought for a long time to overcome evil oppression, He is about to establish them and their house in peace in a manifest way. This may involve a physical relocation, even beyond where they are right now.

“There is more,” says The Lord of Hosts. And there is coming a distinct shift into higher. This will be a place of rest and honor in a way some haven’t felt for a long time and on a new level. This is a place that is pleasing to God, where He will be worshipped without disturbance.

God is removing false strongholds to free some up to live out this desire beautifully with Him. These people will experience the manifestation of 1 Samuel 25:28 and 2 Samuel 7:11 in their lives, which is to say that they will know a place of rest for themselves and their families from enemies as they have overcome evil and become more like Him.

God is also bringing physical healing to many as a form of rest to help them continue their journeys to their new places. The deliverance of mental strongholds will prove pivotal. He is uncorking painful wrongs that have been bottled up and worked to conflict people’s souls. He is bringing these issues into the light of His truth, where the enemy can no longer hide. This release will bring a celebration, as His people become freed to move forward with Him. Years of distress will fall away. No longer will these people be held back. Many will be brought to the forefront for the world to see His righteous light through them.

God is moving to expand and establish His Kingdom through their offspring, like Solomon, where wisdom is poured out as strategy to guide and to build God’s house spiritually and physically. They will know how to do it by The Spirit of the Living God, as trust and obedience continues to grow (1 Ki 2:3-4).

Remember the good and evil in John 10:10 was played out through Solomon and Absalom, both sons of King David (by different mothers). One honored authority. The other ignored it. One built. The other tore down (Pr 14:1; 2 Sa 7:13, 1 Ki 5:2-5). The one who tore down was himself torn down, as he brought evil upon himself, similar to Haman in the Book of Esther (Es 8:7, 9:25; 2 Sa 18).

Here are some wisdom nuggets from Holy Spirit to help in the journey:

The wisdom for deception is discernment (1 Ki 3:11).

In decision-making, courage without wisdom can kill. So, remain close to God and carefully obey Him.

Don’t make decisions based on the pain of your past. The answer for pain is not more pain. So, don’t bring worse on yourself. Instead, look up to The One who will guide you into all truth and give you beauty for ashes.

Our hearts are like radars—-always searching for just the right thing. Since Jesus is our most right thing, when we find Him as our Treasure, He will lead us to find His expression of treasure for us (Matt 13:44). Don’t settle for less.

What we can’t figure out is forward. But God will bring us into the knowledge we need. So, trust Him on the front end and walk with Him accordingly.

It’s better to hear God and go than to logic it out and waffle. We are being faced with whether we will trust God in the big shift or continue in what we know, the latter of which will short change us.

Resistance to God’s way, including leaning on our own understanding, is an alignment with evil limitation and can manifest in disease and/or death. But as we resist evil and live submitted lives unto our life-giving God, we receive His abundant life increasingly (Ja 4:7).

The devil has his own version of transformation. The enemy wants to mess up our intimacy with God. He wants to mess us up so we mess up. He will try to provoke us with fear into believing God’s ways are not enough and to rely on ourselves to get the job done. But this false path leads to exhaustion and fruitlessness.

Condemnation doesn’t make room for grace and fear doesn’t make room for faith. Time is short so don’t waste it.

Dwell on The One who dwells in us rather than on problems that arise. Acknowledge and trust His powerful grace at work on your behalf and ask Him for a fresh infilling of His Spirit.

Getting too focused on now will cause us to settle for smaller than God intended. When we keep our eyes on God, we are positioned to receive His best.

God will give us new eyes to show us how we’ve grown. He is our peace, our first place, our champion, our victor.

God’s way is light, so we don’t have to add to it or take on unnecessary burdens.

When our compassion becomes over-extended and misplaced, we uncover ourselves from God’s protection. Remain in His Presence and let Holy Spirit do what only He can do for others who aren’t getting it.

If you haven’t experienced God showing up for you like this, He will grow you in your faith to believe.

He is our greatest comfort and He has given us access.

Pray with me if you will…

Dear Lord,

Thank You for giving us rest on every side so there is neither adversary nor evil confronting us. Help us to choose Your way consistently. Give us Your wisdom to build a new dwelling place in Your Name and Presence (1 Ki 5:5).

In Jesus’ Mighty Name,

Amen.

Now,may “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” (The Aaronic Blessing in Numbers 6:23-26 NIV.)

Amen.

This devo was graciously re-posted by the Salem Web Network, which includes iBelieve.com.

Decision Making

A couple of weeks ago, our Lord gave me a song as soon as I awakened. It was Christopher Cross’ Sailing, produced by Stormie O’Martian’s husband, Michael, over four decades ago.

This song has special meaning to my heart.

To this day, it reminds me of my countless escapes to the city dock in Historic Annapolis, during some stressful teen and young adult years.

Sometimes, God will bring a remembrance of beauty to encourage us where we are now and for the narrow passage through which we are about to navigate before the blessed expanse. He will bring flashbacks to remind us how He revealed Himself then and that what He did for us long ago, He will do again.

All of this is to awaken us to His grace-power for a moment in time, as He brings to pass the desires He put in our hearts. The way we perceive it will determine how well we will receive it—Him and His offerings as our best blessings throughout the journey.

Holy Spirit is setting us up for victory right now by giving us a heads-up and inviting us to align our wills and perspectives with His. The way we think and process His will determines the quality of our experiences.

The day before I heard Sailing in the Spirit, our Lord also revealed the numbers 444 and 555 to me, as well as the title of this devotion in a Word-vision. I experienced a supernatural joy that God is about to break open doors of opportunity that are favorable by His grace. And within two days, He confirmed it four times.

These favorable opportunities will require wise decision-making. And the best wisdom to make the best decisions comes from on high. We need to consult The Decision Maker who knows everything and willingly reveals the wisdom we need in advance for the best possible outcome (Ja 1:5).

He highlighted Luke 11:9-10 TPT, which says, “So it is with your prayers. Ask and you’ll receive. Seek and you’ll discover. Knock on heaven’s door, and it will one day open for you. Every persistent person will receive what he asks for. Every persistent seeker will discover what he needs. And everyone who knocks persistently will one day find an open door.”

I believe Holy Spirit is revealing that for many, their “one day” is right before them; and He is reminding them to walk closely with Him to make righteous, destiny-fulfilling decisions.

This is not a time to lean on our own understanding any step of the way, because God is doing a new thing. Therefore, we must seek Him to enter into the new He has for us, lest we drift off course and cause delay.

Holy Spirit revealed to me that the winds are favorable to guide us and empower us in the direction of His righteousness along His course as we enter in. No storm will stand against these winds, because He is the dominant wind in this voyage.

“It will be good,” says The Lord of Hosts. Even in the journey, we can experience His constant goodness.

In the past, where we may have felt tossed to and fro as we have ventured out with Him, it will be different this time because He has restored us deeply. He has built us for what’s just before us and we will succeed. We will have a fresh perspective, and we will see our manifest restoration of youth like the eagle’s.

We will experience an updraft in the best way.

I remember many years ago, when I lived on an island, just off the coast of Annapolis, I would drive across the Chesapeake Bay bridge and see seagulls float on the updraft above the rails.

God is making our way light and His boundaries are good. He is making a way for us to go over this time—to see above, fly over and experience smooth sailing as we choose Him and His wisdom throughout the transitions, the connections and the new places we are crossing into.

We don’t have to worry whether we’re doing enough. We can enjoy the preparation He did beforehand and His constant grace at work on our behalves as He breathes on us forward.

I never knew Christopher Cross was inspired to write Sailing as he ventured out with a friend during his teen years to escape hardship until I researched it for this devotion. This song is more anointed than I realized when I first heard it. Now I know why I was so drawn to it decades ago. It makes me grateful for new eyes through which to find God in the midst and align with Him to live more in His liberty.

These are the passages from Christopher Cross’ song that speak to me most:

Believe me.

Sailing takes me away to where I’ve always heard it could be.

Just a dream and the wind to carry me.

And soon I will be free.

Won’t you believe me?

Ironically (and prophetically), just four months before this song was released, Christopher’s song, Ride Like the Wind was released. And four years after Sailing was released, his song, Words of Wisdom was released. (Yes, we receive more wisdom on the backend, too.)

Sailing received three Grammy awards for “Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Arrangement of the Year” (Wikipedia.com). This helped Christopher Cross win the Best New Artist award and other accolades. It even broke open a new genre of music (yacht rock).

Pray with me if you will…

Dear Lord,

Thank You for being The Wind in our sails. We say yes to Your invitation to help us navigate Your processes into greater liberty. Help us to receive and walk in Your wisdom. Help us see as You do and receive all You have for us. Blow on our canvas and take us where You desire we be. Thank You for Your favorable wind and for You as our most beautiful blessing. May it all be according to Your will.

In Jesus’ Mighty Name,

Amen.

This devo was graciously re-posted by the Salem Web Network, which includes iBelieve.com.

Trade Winds

Trade winds are east winds and there are many scriptures about how God uses them.

But first, when we look at these two Words separately, we see that east is derived from a Word that means forefront (Strong’s #6921, qadim). And wind means breath and spirit that can give life or a violent exhale (Strong’s #7307, ruach).

So, this wind can empower courage, inspiration and strength of mind and heart. Or it can express anger, wrath and grief. It can reveal goodness and expose evil simultaneously.

One commentary says the east (trade) winds are often violent and scorching and come from a desert (Brown-Driver-Briggs).

In Holy Scripture, God allows the east winds to:

Scatter (Jer 18:17)

Shatter (Ps 48:7)

Shrivel (Ge 41:27)

Sweep out (Job 27:21)

Drive out (Is 27:8)

Dry up, break off (Ez 19:12)

Wreck (Ez 27:26)

Wither, thin, blight (Ge 41:6, 23)

Parch, violently accuse (Job 15:2)

Plunder (Ho 13:15 AMPC; here Assyria is called the East Wind)

Poison (Am 4:9)

Bring locusts (Ex 10:13)

Yes, bring locusts!

Exodus 10:13 AMPC says that “Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the Lord brought an east wind upon the land all that day and all that night; when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts.”

God also used east winds to allowed a famine in the land. We see it in Genesis 41:27 AMPC, where Joseph says to Pharaoh, “And the seven thin and ill favored cows that came up after them are seven years, and also the seven empty ears [of grain], blighted and shriveled by the east wind; they are seven years of hunger and famine.”

What’s interesting here is that, with the famine, came God’s solution through Joseph that even went beyond Egypt.

So, with all this, we see that east winds are what God has used historically to bring a shift—to clean house from strongholds and restore order and freedom for His people. East winds are a tactical force that God simultaneously uses in spiritual battles to push back darkness and clear the path of victory for His faithful people.

Just like with the Israelites, described in Psalm 78, those living unrepentant lives (of bondage) must turn to The Lord and go His way to survive the east winds.

As I pursued God for this message, I believe Holy Spirit revealed to me that there is an east wind coming across the USA that is divinely-purposed to clear a path for His people to be set free from oppressive alignments and rise to the forefront. This same east wind that will cleanse Kingdom domains from evil will be the same east wind that accelerates God’s faithful people.

This new alignment is a type of revival.

God is expressing definition in this hour as this east wind blows through. He asks, “Did I not put My laws in your minds and write them on your hearts?” 

We must be ready for this defining moment by deciding whose side we’re on. We must turn from selfishness, stubbornness and rebellion. We must be awake and intentional in Kingdom efforts.

The Lord also showed me the Word “mill” in a Word-vision. I sensed a few interpretations:

First, no longer can we mill around “aimlessly, slowly or confusedly, as a herd of cattle” (Dictionary.com). It’s time to trade up. It’s time to decide this day whom we will serve, as this trade wind will prove to be God’s dividing line that will reveal His sheep from goats as individuals as well as nations.

Secondly, I sensed that God will expose more about international trade and give us wisdom and opportunity to spearhead and develop big and small shifts that will cause His people to excel, especially in work arenas.

As God re-ignites their dreams, these people can receive His invitation to head further into freedom by working together to pursue their hearts’ desires. God gave me the understanding that they will overcome limitations of the past with Christ-mindedness.

Thirdly, I sensed that there are specific regions and towns in the USA that will recapture manufacturing for God’s glory. I saw “East Tennessee” in a Word-vision. God highlighted this area but I sensed there will be an outpouring and an overflow that will affect outlying areas as well. “Be ready for new opportunities,” says The Lord of Hosts, “Be available. This is what I have been re-ordering you for.”

Fourthly, there are even those whom God is calling back into manufacturing. Those who thought they had to accept retirement. God has recompense for these wise and willing ones. He is inviting them into new opportunities to experience a fullness of joy in this area that they once missed. “This time,” says The Lord of Hosts, “will be different.”

You thought it was over, but God has a new beginning for you, a type of revival that will cause you to have a good ending. A better ending that will re-set your posterity.

Pray with me if you will…

Dear Lord,

Thank You for bringing us into greater truth and freedom. Please help us to be on the right side of your trade (east) winds. Bring any conviction that leads us to repentance. Get our minds and hearts right with You. Show us Your merciful provision. Order our steps. And reveal Your wisdom to help us get into position to receive Your fullness of joy in this season.

In Jesus’ Mighty Name,

Amen.

This devo was graciously re-posted by the Salem Web Network, which includes iBelieve.com.