What is Your Eternal Inheritance?

ocean landscape.pngThe following intro from “The Triumphant Church”:

The believer’s inheritance in Christ is the wisdom of God, and it was hidden throughout previous ages until it was revealed through Jesus Christ. Grasping that truth and walking in the reality of God’s inheritance for us as saints is the key to taking our place as the triumphant Church, reigning as kings in this life.

The riches of our inheritance are revealed more fully in the Book of Ephesians than in any other book of the Bible. In Ephesians chapter 1 and 3 are Spirit-inspired prayers, which apply to believers everywhere because they were given by the Holy Spirit to the Body of Christ.

EPHESIANS 1:16-23

EPHESIANS 3:14-21

If you are a believer, you can pray these prayers for yourself by putting “I,” “me,” and “my” where Paul says “you” and “your.” (I’ve made these changes for you at the end.)

In these prayers, the Holy Spirit wants to reveal to believers “the spirit of wisdom andrevelation in the knowledge of Jesus” (Eph. 1:17). What is the wisdom and knowledge God wants to reveal to the believer about Jesus Christ?

The Holy Spirit wants the eyes of our understanding opened to understand Jesus’ complete victory over Satan in the triumph of the Cross. He wants us to understand what Jesus’ seating on High really means to the believer. The wisdom and knowledge the Holy Spirit wants to reveal to us is the believer’s joint- seating with Christ as a benefit of our redemption. Joint-seating with Christ is a position of authority and triumph over Satan. God wants us to see what we have as rights and privileges by being in Christ.

The Holy Spirit, writing through Paul, wants you as a believer to pray for the eyes of your understanding to be enlightened. The word “enlightened” means illuminatedor flooded with light. Another translation says to pray that the eyes of your heart will be flooded with light.

After praying these prayers for a number of months, one day I was praying at the altar and the Lord spoke to me and said, “I am going to take you on to revelations and visions.” That came as a result of praying these prayers thousands of times for myself. Revelation from the Word of God began to come to me and kept on coming. I am talking about revelations in line with the Word.

Finally, I said, “What in the world have I been preaching!” I had been in the ministry fourteen years, but in six months of praying these prayers for myself, I received so much revelation from the Word of God that it seemed like I was a brand-new person.

That’s what Ephesians 1 is talking about—insight into the knowledge of Jesus and understanding of the knowledge of His Word.

Believers have been ignorant of Satan’s devices, so he has been able to take advantage of them. But the Spirit of God wants believers to get the wisdom and revelation of the knowledge of Jesus and His Word so the eyes of their understanding will be enlightened to know their authority in Christ.

God wants believers to know they are no longer subject to Satan because they have been delivered from his dominion and authority (Col. 1:13). God wants the Body of Christ to know that we aren’t a defeated Church—we are a triumphant Church.We are to reign in life through Jesus Christ because we have a position of authority over the devil. When the eyes of our understanding are enlightened, we can stand in our place of authority as the triumphant Church upon the earth.

From Kenneth Hagin, “The Triumphant Church”

Remember: If you are a believer, you can pray these prayers for yourself by putting “I,” “me,” and “my” where Paul says “you” and “your.” (I’ve made these changes for you below.)

 

  1. My prayer for Divine wisdom and revelation

Ephesians 1:16-23  (TPT)

17 I pray that the Father of glory, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, would impart to me the riches of the Spirit of wisdom and the Spirit of revelation[b] to know him through my deepening intimacy with him.

18 I pray that the light of God will illuminate the eyes of my imagination,[c] flooding me with light, until I experience the full revelation of the hope of his calling[d]—that is, the wealth of God’s glorious inheritances that he finds in us, his holy ones!

19 I pray that I will continually experience the immeasurable greatness of God’s power made available to me through faith. Then my life will be an advertisement of this immense power as it works through me! This is the mighty power 20 that was released when God raised Christ from the dead and exalted him[e] to the place of highest honor and supreme authority[f] in the heavenly realm! 21 And now he is exalted as first above every ruler, authority, government, and realm of power in existence! He is gloriously enthroned over every name that is ever praised,[g]not only in this age,[h] but in the age that is coming![i]

22 And he alone is the leader and source of everything needed in the church. God has put everything beneath the authority of Jesus Christ[j] and has given him the highest rank above all others23 And now we, his church, are his body on the earth and that which fills him who is being filled by it![k]

 

2.  My prayer for Love to Overflow

Ephesians 3:14-21 (TPT)

14 So, I kneel humbly in awe before the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, 15 the perfect Father of every father and child[a] in heaven and on the earth. 16 And I pray that he would unveil within me the unlimited riches of his glory and favor until supernatural strength floods my innermost being with his divine might and explosive power.

17 Then, by constantly using my faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside me, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of my life.

18–19 Then I will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude[b] of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding—this extravagant love pours into meuntil I amfilled to overflowing with the fullness of God!

20 I will never doubt God’s mighty power to work in me and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than my greatest request, my most unbelievable dream, and exceed my wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes me.

21 Now I offer up to God all the glorious praise that rises from every church in every generation through Jesus Christ—and all that will yet be manifest through time and eternity. Amen!

 

 

Theology: Are you a Settler or Pioneer?

pioneer wagon

This is from Brennan Manning’s book Lion and Lamb: the Relentless Tenderness of Jesus. (As read in class by Murray Dueck of Samuel’s Mantle)

There are two visions of life, two kinds of people. The first see life as a possession to be carefully guarded. They are called settlers. The second see life as a wild, fantastic, explosive gift. They are called pioneers.

These two types give rise to two kinds of theology: Settler Theology and Pioneer Theology. According to Wes Seeliger in his book, Western Theology, the first kind, Settler Theology, is an attempt to answer all the questions, define and housebreak some sort of Supreme Being, establish the status quo on golden tablets in cinemascope. Pioneer Theology is an attempt to talk about what it means to receive the strange gift of life. The Wild West is the setting for both theologies.

In Settler Theology, the church is the courthouse. It is the center of town life. The old stone structure dominates the town square. Its windows are small and this makes things dark inside. Within the courthouse walls, records are kept, taxes collected, trials held for bad guys. The courthouse is the settler’s symbol of law, order, stability, and—most importantly—security. The mayor’s office is on the top floor. His eagle eye ferrets out the smallest details of town life.

In Pioneer Theology, the church is the covered wagon. It’s a house on wheels, always on the move. The covered wagon is where the pioneers eat, sleep, fight, love and die. It bears the marks of life and movement—it creaks, is scarred with arrows, bandaged with baling wire. The covered wagon is always where the action is. It moves toward the future and doesn’t bother to glorify its own ruts. The old wagon isn’t comfortable, but the pioneers don’t mind. They are more into adventure than comfort.

In Settler Theology, God is the mayor. He is a sight to behold. Dressed like a dude from back East, he lounges in an over-stuffed chair in his courthouse office. He keeps the blinds drawn. No one sees him or knows him directly, but since there is order in town, who can deny that he is there? The mayor is predictable and always on schedule. The settlers fear the mayor, but look to him to clear the payroll and keep things going. Peace and quiet are the mayor’s main concerns. That’s why he sends the sheriff to check on the pioneers who ride into town.

In Pioneer Theology, God is the trail boss. He is rough and rugged, full of life. He chews tobacco, drinks straight whiskey. The trail boss lives, eats, sleeps, fights with his people. Their sell-being is his concern. Without him the wagon wouldn’t move; living as a free man would be impossible. The trail boss often gets down in the mud with the pioneers to help push the wagon, which often gets stuck. He prods the pioneers when they get soft and want to turn back. His fist is an expression of his concern.

In Settler Theology, Jesus is the sheriff. He’s the guy who is sent by the mayor to enforce the rules. He wears a white hat, drinks milk, outdraws the bad guys. The sheriff decides who is thrown into jail. There is a saying in town that goes: those who believe the mayor sent the sheriff, and follow the rules, they won’t stay in Boothill when it comes their time.

In Pioneer Theology, Jesus is the scout. He rides out ahead to find our which way the pioneers should go. He lives all the dangers of the trail. The scout suffers every hardship, is attacked by the Indians. Through his words and actions he reveals the true intentions of the trail boss. By looking at the scout, those on the trail learn what it means to be a pioneer.

In Settler Theology, the Holy Spirit is the saloon girl. Her job is to comfort the settlers. They come to her when they feel lonely, or when life gets dull or dangerous. She tickles them under the chin and makes everything okay again. The saloon girl squeals to the sheriff when someone starts disturbing the peace.

In Pioneer Theology, the Holy Spirit is the buffalo hunter. He rides along with the covered wagon and furnishes fresh meat for the pioneers. Without it they would die. The buffalo hunter is a strange character—sort of a wild man. The pioneers can never tell what he will do next.

He scares the hell out of the settlers. He has a big black gun that goes off like a cannon. He rides into town on Sunday to shake up the settlers. You see, every Sunday morning, the settlers have a little ice cream party in the courthouse. With his gun in hand the buffalo hunter sneaks up to one of the courthouse windows. He fires a tremendous blast that rattles the whole courthouse. Men jump out of their skin, women scream, dogs bark. Chuckling to himself, the buffalo hunter rides back to the wagon train shooting up the town as he goes.

In Settler Theology, the Christian is the settler. He fears the open, unknown frontier. His concern is to stay on good terms with the mayor and keep out of the sheriff’s way. “Safety first” is his motto. To him the courthouse is a symbol of security, peace, order, and happiness. He keeps his money in the bank. The banker is his best friend. The settler never misses an ice cream party.

In Pioneer Theology, the Christian is the pioneer. He is a man of daring, hungry for a new life. He rides hard, knows how to use a gun when necessary. The pioneer feels sorry for the settlers and tries to tell them of the joy and fulfillment of life on the trail. He dies with his boots on.

In Settler Theology, the clergyman is the banker. Within his vault are locked the values of the town. He is a highly respected man. He has a gun, but keeps it hidden in his desk. He feels that he and the sheriff have a lot in common. After all, they both protect the bank.

In Pioneer Theology, the clergyman is the cook. He doesn’t furnish the meat. He just dishes up what the buffalo hunter provides. This is how he supports the movement of the wagon. He never confuses his job with that of the trail boss, scout, or the buffalo hunter. He sees himself as just another pioneer who has learned how to cook. The cook’s job is to help the pioneers pioneer.

In Settler Theology, faith is trusting in the safety of the town: obeying the laws, keeping your nose clean, believing the mayor is in the courthouse.

In Pioneer Theology, faith is the spirit of adventure: the readiness to move out, to risk everything on the trail. Faith is obedience to the restless voice of the trail boss.

In Settler Theology, sin is breaking one of the town’s ordinances.

In Pioneer Theology, sin is wanting to turn back.

In Settler Theology, salvation is living close to home and hanging around the courthouse.

In Pioneer Theology, salvation is being more afraid of sterile town life than death on the trail. Salvation is joy at the thought of another day to push on into the unknown. It is trusting the trail boss and following his scout while living on the meat furnished by the buffalo hunter.

However, this image below is key…

“Some people want to be slaves…”

…and what it means if we are not yet experiencing freedom…!

(Read the whole page below…)

IMG_7226

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Lion and Lamb: the Relentless Tenderness of Jesus, Brennan Manning, Chapter 3, Fleming H. Revell Company, Old Tappan, NJ, 1986.3

Letters to the Church – Francis Chan

Francis Chan – Letters to the Church ( #paradigmshift )

letterstothechurch.francischanA few quotes from Francis Chan that will get you thinking…!

“God designed the Church to be much more than what the majority of us experience in America. There are many of us who believe this and want change. The good news is that God wants this change even more than we do.

The early church didn’t need the energetic music, great videos, attractive leaders, or elaborate lighting to be excited about being a part of God’s body. The pure gospel was enough to put them in a place of awe.

If you think that sitting back and letting the church staff feed you will bring you the most fulfillment, you are so wrong. God promised that those who give will be most blessed (Acts 20:35).

When the Bible describes the power available to you, doesn’t it sound like hyperbole? It seems so extreme, yet we see so little of this in our own lives and in the Church. The discrepancy could challenge your faith in the Scriptures—how can the Bible promise things we never experience in real life? But are you willing to consider that the Bible is accurate and the Church has domesticated us to the point where we doubt our power?

Church, the answer is not to build bigger and nicer cages. Nor is it to renovate the cages so they look more like the wild. It’s time to open the cages, remind the animals of their God-given instincts and capabilities, and release them into the wild.

Alan Hirsch said, “In so many churches the mission of the church has actually become the maintenance of the institution itself.”

It’s time to train people to live in the wild again.

There are elements of modern churches that on the surface seem like good ideas, but they can actually keep us from the biblical vision of unity, true fellowship, mutual love, and pursuit of the mission. Too many look at these elements and insist you can’t have a church without them.

I believe God is leading a movement in this country toward simple, smaller gatherings, and I long to see this movement gain greater traction. I get so excited when I dream about the Church spreading in small, invigorating expressions that look and feel like the early church. My goal is to get you dreaming about this as well.

My hope is simply to convince you that there are compelling ways of living as the Church that look nothing like our traditional models. My goal is to get you dreaming, to keep you from settling, to affirm that nagging sense you can’t shake that God wants something more for His Church than what you’re experiencing.”

Learn more about the book: ‘Letters to the Church’ by Francis Chan

What does freedom look like?

worship

I recently asked Jesus this question: “What does freedom look like?”

He immediately brought to mind the picture of the Israelites walking through the Red Sea escaping slavery… BUT … NOT grumbling and complaining in the wilderness wanting to go back to slavery …which, sadly, is what the Israelites did …and as a result died in the wilderness, not entering the promised land. It was only the next generation who were allowed to enter the Promised Land.

Today, I reflect on this promise: “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
– 2 Corinthians 3:17

And I read this from Nicky Gumbel…from his ‘Bible in One Year’ readings…

Love and unity go hand in hand. The Tower of Babel is the symbol of disunity (Genesis 11:1–9). The people said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves’ (v.4). This act of pride and power-seeking led to disunity, symbolised in the confusion of different languages in the world. ‘The Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth’ (v.9).

The day of Pentecost was the reversal of Babel. The Holy Spirit enables people to say: ‘each of us hears them [speaking] in our native language’ (Acts 2:8). The gift of tongues symbolises the fact that the Holy Spirit reverses the disunity of Babel and unites all peoples and languages.

This is a common experience today as we see the Holy Spirit bringing love and unity across churches, languages and nations.

Lord, may we never seek to make a name for ourselves or our own church, denomination or movement. Rather, may we seek to glorify your name. Pour out your Spirit, O Lord, on the church as on the day of Pentecost. May there be a reversal of Babel. May there be an end to disunity. May your Spirit and the values of the kingdom of God bring love, joy, peace, true happiness and unity.

Wow…

As I continue to reflect on …what God is calling us to BE as the church …building God’s kingdom, rather than our own little kingdoms, this rings so beautifully.

Questions to Reflect on:

Where have we been trying to make a name for ourselves? (Rather than lifting up the name of Jesus?)

Where have we settled, perhaps becoming complacent, becoming stuck in ruts?

Where have we been looking backwards to the past?

Have we perhaps been controlling or manipulating a ‘move of God’ without asking for more of Holy Spirit?

Are we open to God moving outside the box in the future, no matter what He brings?

Ask the Lord, “What do you have next?”

Invite Holy Spirit to fall on your family, your friendships, your gatherings and be ready for anything that looks different than what you’re used to.

Be prepared to fast and pray for days… God longs to invite us into friendship with Him rather than just giving us marching orders.

Did you know that in world history, all the Revivals look differently? They each look like Jesus but not like each other. People may reject Jesus’ move of Holy Spirit when He doesn’t fit their box. Let us not be people who reject God’s Spirit because He doesn’t fit our traditions.

My Prayer:

“Holy Spirit lead us to be ready for each new day of what you are doing. Thank you for your move in the past, but let us not settle and build our own little kingdoms around your movements. Let us instead, build your Kingdom by following your every move! Yes & Amen! 💗🙌

Quote Source: https://www.bibleinoneyear.org/bioy/commentary/3171

Are you ready for new wine?

What does it cost for new wine and new wine skins?

So often we want God to move but when He moves differently than we want, we shut the door on Him. Let’s not be stuck, but hungry for more of Him. You can’t see the new thing unless you let go of the old. God is on the move.
 
I enjoyed a delightful conversation this morning over coffee as a faithful friend and I reflected on all the changes we’ve experienced together. I found this video afterwards thanks to my friend and it reflects MUCH of our conversation. My friend and I both agree we are in better places today and yet grateful for the hell we both walked through together – feeling like we were ripped out of an old wine skin. (Definitely, we experienced the ‘tension in transition’ as Craig speaks of below…) Yet, today, we are hungry for more of what God has next! And what we’re experiencing today is thanks to being open to more of Him outside of any box we unknowingly put Him in.
 
God, what do you have next for us in this new year?

I’ve enjoyed reading Craig’s words on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/daily.prophetic/

and on Twitter…

Locating God’s presence this past year.

reflection
image source: Biblicalleadership.com

Locating God’s presence this past year.
(The Grand Prayer of Examen)

  1. Look Back
    – Look over the past 6 – 12 months.
    – Where has the Lord been present and at work in my life?
    – What significant changes have come my way?
    – When have I been the most stressed? the most blessed, and full of joy?
    – What can I give thanks to God for?
    – Where have I been?
    – Where am I now?
  2. Look through
    – Identify any patterns, connections or themes that have characterized the past 6-12 months.
    – If you can, summarize the past year in a sentence or two.
    – Do you notice anything or patterns? specific thought patterns or emotions?
    – Ask the Lord about these patterns. How do they line up with the fruit of Holy Spirit?
  3. Look forward
    – Where do you sense God leading you forward?
    – What do you sense your spirit needs in this season?
    – What are your hopes and dreams for this coming year? Ask the Lord what His hopes and dream are for you!
    – Paint a picture of what you envision over the next six months.
    – What are you asking the Lord for in the new year? for your community, your family?
  4. Look around
    – What does your community need? How can you pray for them, help them?
    – Consider a prayer walk through your neighbourhood to help you see.
    – Who are the people you can intentionally walk with?
    – What community support do you need in this season of your life?
    – Who are the people you need to invite to walk alongside you?
    – Who are the people you can intentionally walk with?
    – How can others best support you?

Prayer prompts:

God, still my heart and mind. 

I am silent in your presence. 

You are Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. You are fully here with me. 

Father, I look back on my year. 

Thank you for… (list off people, provision…)

God, help me to see where you were present and working in and around me… 

 …I bend my heart to you. Show me where I need to ask for your forgiveness and receive your grace. (If He brings things to mind, take time to do so.)

In humility, and renewed vision, faith and courage, I look toward the new year coming. I commit what I know and not know to you Lord. I ask for your discernment. Help me through your Holy Spirit to know you more deeply, to better love, serve, and lead others with your guidance and grace. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

 

Scriptures for Reflection:

Psalm 103:2-5 (NLT)

Let all that I am praise the Lord;
    may I never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins
    and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death
    and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things.
    My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

 

Psalm 139:1-7 (NLT)

O Lord, you have examined my heart
    and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
    You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel
    and when I rest at home.
    You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say
    even before I say it, Lord.
You go before me and follow me.
    You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too great for me to understand!

I can never escape from your Spirit!
    I can never get away from your presence!

 

Psalm 51:10-12 (NLT)

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.
    Renew a loyal spirit within me.
11 Do not banish me from your presence,
    and don’t take your Holy Spirit[a] from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and make me willing to obey you.

 

I bless you with a new year of greater intimacy with your loving Heavenly Father, rich in Holy Spirit fruit, in the name of Christ Jesus! Amen!

Sources:

The Prayer Of Examen, Ignatian Spirituality

The Psalms, NLT

The Grand Examen – Locating God’s Presence in 2017 : New Life Fellowship Church – New York

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZAauF3laXQ

 

Hybrid Church: ReThinking the Great Commission

Read Roy’s: “Hybrid Church” here… (free resource)

Longer video but poor quality: Roy Moran – Hybrid Church: ReThinking the Great Commission

One pastor’s thoughts on Roy Moran’s other book: “Spent Matches”

Spent Matches – Roy’s book on being apart of an institutional church but with a missional focus.

 

Making Disciples WHO MAKE Disciples

I was recently sent an interview with Roy Moran on disciple making movements.

Some of the quotes…

In order to make disciples who make disciples, you need to learn a new language. In a churched world, we have to tear down a lot of concepts.

It’s not about making disciples, but about making disciples who make disciples.

Making disciples who make disciples is a lifestyle.

Start with a group, rather than individuals…

Learn the space you are in. Where do people have relationships and activities there? Begin prayer walks there in order to learn it. Pray for God to lead you to people who are spiritually interested.

Below, I lined up all 3 parts of the interview for easy viewing… (each video has a short duplicated intro but each has new content.) Also, you’ll see below and after the videos, I share the resources he refers to.

 

Resources mentioned:

The Father Glorified: True Stories of God’s Power Through Ordinary People

Contagious Disciplemaking

Spent Matches – Roy’s book on being apart of an institutional church but with a missional focus.

Multipliers

Multipliers for Educators (I couldn’t find it but found this: http://multipliersbooks.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Multipliers-Minimizing-Accidental-Diminisher-Tendencies-May-2017.pdf

Teaching as a Subversive Activity – Neil Postma

Seth Godin’s blog – often relates to DMM – (missional thinking)

Discover DMM

DMM Learning Lab

Hermie Smit on DMM – YouTube

DMM City Team – Now NewGenerations

Read Roy’s: “Hybrid Church” here… (free resource)

 

 

Worship is Warfare

worshiphands

Topic: Worship is Warfare
Scripture Text: 2 Chronicles 20:1-30
Aim: To help us focus on worshiping God during the battle

God gave me this message in early 2017 after my nervous system crashed in June 2016, that had left me stuttering and walking like a 70 year old cripple. A long-time friend invited me out for coffee at 8am on Christmas break in 2016. She invited me to join her and take a course together (from a training society for hearing God’s voice, and seeing Him at work in our lives, according to God’s Word). This began a huge healing journey in me. She and I and another friend did this together. Part of my crash was over the shock of being told in ministry that I listened too much to the voice of God and prayed too much. (It’s still bizarre typing that out.) So, thankfully, the course set me free confirming my heart’s desire to hear my Shepherd’s voice, …which is never condemning of seeking to hear His voice!

(John 10:27 – “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”)

While in class one day, I received a message from the Lord that continued to be the theme of that season of healing. God spoke it over me again and again. I now have shared it over and over with other prayer warriors.

My focus: Worship is Warfare

When we feel an attack raging and we feel a darkness over us, whether it’s a spirit of overwhelm, anxiety, depression, addiction… when we feel like the enemy is closing in… There is one battle tactic in the Bible that I think we need to use more often. It’s a fun one. Way less stressful. In fact, the enemy runs away!

Turn to 2 Chronicles 20:1-30 NLT and read it aloud. It’s a bizarre story!

Here is the excerpt…

War with Surrounding Nations

After this, the armies of the Moabites, Ammonites, and some of the Meunites declared war on Jehoshaphat. Messengers came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army from Edom is marching against you from beyond the Dead Sea. They are already at Hazazon-tamar.” (This was another name for En-gedi.)

Jehoshaphat was terrified by this news and begged the Lord for guidance. He also ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting. So people from all the towns of Judah came to Jerusalem to seek the Lord’s help.

Jehoshaphat stood before the community of Judah and Jerusalem in front of the new courtyard at the Temple of the Lord. He prayed, “O Lord, God of our ancestors, you alone are the God who is in heaven. You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you! O our God, did you not drive out those who lived in this land when your people Israel arrived? And did you not give this land forever to the descendants of your friend Abraham? Your people settled here and built this Temple to honor your name. They said, ‘Whenever we are faced with any calamity such as war,plague, or famine, we can come to stand in your presence before this Temple where your name is honored. We can cry out to you to save us, and you will hear us and rescue us.’

10 “And now see what the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir are doing. You would not let our ancestors invade those nations when Israel left Egypt, so they went around them and did not destroy them. 11 Now see how they reward us! For they have come to throw us out of your land, which you gave us as an inheritance. 12 O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.”

13 As all the men of Judah stood before the Lord with their little ones, wives, and children,14 the Spirit of the Lord came upon one of the men standing there. His name was Jahaziel son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite who was a descendant of Asaph.

15 He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow, march out against them. You will find them coming up through the ascent of Ziz at the end of the valley that opens into the wilderness of Jeruel.17 But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!”

18 Then King Jehoshaphat bowed low with his face to the ground. And all the people of Judah and Jerusalem did the same, worshiping the Lord. 19 Then the Levites from the clans of Kohath and Korah stood to praise the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud shout.

20 Early the next morning the army of Judah went out into the wilderness of Tekoa. On the way Jehoshaphat stopped and said, “Listen to me, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be able to stand firm. Believe in his prophets, and you will succeed.”

21 After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising him for his holy splendor. This is what they sang:

“Give thanks to the Lord; his faithful love endures forever!”

22 At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves. 23 The armies of Moab and Ammon turned against their allies from Mount Seir and killed every one of them. After they had destroyed the army of Seir, they began attacking each other. 24 So when the army of Judah arrived at the lookout point in the wilderness, all they saw were dead bodies lying on the ground as far as they could see. Not a single one of the enemy had escaped.

25 King Jehoshaphat and his men went out to gather the plunder. They found vast amounts of equipment, clothing, and other valuables—more than they could carry. There was so much plunder that it took them three days just to collect it all! 26 On the fourth day they gathered in the Valley of Blessing,[f] which got its name that day because the people praised and thanked the Lord there. It is still called the Valley of Blessing today.

27 Then all the men returned to Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat leading them, overjoyed that the Lord had given them victory over their enemies. 28 They marched into Jerusalem to the music of harps, lyres, and trumpets, and they proceeded to the Temple of the Lord.

29 When all the surrounding kingdoms heard that the Lord himself had fought against the enemies of Israel, the fear of God came over them. 30 So Jehoshaphat’s kingdom was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.

Review: (What happened? In your own words, what stands out for you?)
Some things which stand out for me…

-The Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel – Levite.
-The King bowed low to the ground
– King Jehosophat put the singers in front of the army.
– confusion over the enemy
– how many days to gather plunder? 3 days! They spent energy gathering the plunder and no energy fighting!
– Name of the Valley?? – Valley of Blessing
– verse 30 – God had given him rest on every side. The kingdom was at peace.

If you’ve ever heard Melissa Helser’s testimony – she suffered from chronic fatigue and the Lord told her to sing her way out of the battle. And out came a flood of music – music that has impacted thousands today – bringing peace and blessing.

(Hear her tell the story: https://youtu.be/0ULDu6M5KQo)

(One of the songs she’s written is: “No longer slaves” – https://youtu.be/f8TkUMJtK5k)

Application Qs:  Ask yourself…

  • What valley in your life do you want God to turn into the Valley of Blessing?
    (Read Isaiah 61:7 – for every shame and dishonor – a double portion of honour!)
  • What good things to date, no matter how small, that you can give thanks to God for? That you could turn into a praise song?!
  • Do you need to surrender a certain situation to God, with your face to the ground? Recognizing that the battle belongs to the Lord and not to you? He goes ahead of us! God loved you enough to send Jesus to die on the cross for you. That pain in your life, Jesus died for that – to defeat it and turn it into joy! (Isaiah 61)
  • verse 30 – God had given him rest on every side. The kingdom was at peace.
  • Where in your life do you need rest and peace?
  • How is God speaking to you right now? Are there people or situations in your life that come to mind? How is Holy Spirit speaking to you? What is He saying? Take note. If you are hearing comforting and encouraging things even challenging things that are loving – that is God. If it’s blame, shame, guilt, despair – that is not God. Just reject that in Jesus name.

James 4:7-8 CEV: Surrender to God! Resist the devil, and he will run from you.Come near to God, and he will come near to you. Clean up your lives… Purify your hearts…10 Be humble in the Lord’s presence, and he will honor you.

  • Where have you doubted God in your life? James calls us to make up our minds and walk away from doubt. Today, if you have doubted – repent. “God, I’m sorry for believing the lie that you are not going to come through for me… for believing the lie that…(fill in the blank.) Forgive me for trying to win this battle on my own strength… instead of falling on my face before you…”
  • Or maybe you have surrendered, and today is another opportunity to give Him worship and thanks… to declare to God:… “because you are faithful God, and I am choosing to surrender… I give thanks that you are bringing freedom… that I am on a journey and you are doing a good thing in me in order to experience freedom! Hallelujah!!”
  • There are 2 battles – one to get free – and the 2ndto stay free! When the enemy comes again, to tempt us with lies – we simply must …over and over …reject his lies in Jesus name. You are to remind him who you are, and that you are royalty – you belong to Jesus. The mention of Jesus’ name makes him flee.
  • I invite you now to bring to the Lord whatever battle, situation, person, …in your life that He invites you to bring to Him.
  • Declare to Him, “God this… is yours… I worship you and not the problem by worrying more about it …rather than worshiping you!” (pause)
  • And then, give thanks! “Thank you, God for…” and list off the things, God has done for you to date… if you have trouble… ask Him… God, where were you at work in my life… show me where you were battling for me… and then give thanks… I love how the people declared to God who He is and listed off historical reminders of God’s faithfulness… You can do that today…
  • Then, very cool thing…. After you have surrendered things and people to God, ask Him – what gift do you want to give me in return…? For every loss/situation in our life that we surrender to Him, God wants to give us a blessing…! Ask Him! (Isaiah 61:7 – Instead of shame and dishonor, you will inherit a double portion of prosperity and everlasting joy!)- Let me prime your praise pump with this…

Psalm 100 (TPT) Praise God

100 A poetic song for thanksgiving

Lift up a great shout of joy to the Lord!
Go ahead and do it—everyone, everywhere!
As you serve him, be glad and worship him.
Sing your way into his presence with joy!
And realize what this really means—
we have the privilege of worshiping the Lord our God.
For he is our Creator and we belong to him.
We are the people of his pleasure.[a]
You can pass through his open gates with the password of praise.
    Come right into his presence with thanksgiving.
    Come bring your thank offering to him
    and affectionately bless his beautiful name!
For the Lord is always good and ready to receive you.
He’s so loving that it will amaze you—
so kind that it will astound you!
And he is famous for his faithfulness toward all.
Everyone knows our God can be trusted,
for he keeps his promises to every generation!

Prayer and Ministry time:

Look in the mirror and declare:
…“you are winning!”
…you are chosen to be a worshiper of the one true King!
…He is crazy about you!
…He invites you to celebrate and be on His winning team!
…He invites you to sing at this party!
…He goes ahead of you in the battle!
…Jesus went ahead and died on the cross for your victory!

My prayer for you:

>I bless you by the power of Holy Spirit with Hope that would lead to perseverance! (pause)

Put your hand on your heart… and another hand open to the Lord…

Open your hearts, minds, and ears to receive this blessing…

Lord, I release hope and perseverance in these warriors. Release their hearts, their mouths to sing your glory!! Lord, strengthen those who were feeling weak – give them your power, your strength! In Jesus’ name.

I bless your spirit to worship who God is – a Good, Good God – who wants to fight our battles to bring freedom, rest, peace and joy! I bless your spirit to be bound to Holy Spirit and all His fruit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – and all His chosen gifts appointed for you… in order to receive all that your loving Heavenly Father, Creator of the Universe – has for you – in Christ Jesus, your Saviour who set your joy as his goal in order to endure the cross, and in order for you to experience freedom! Amen!!

>Declare aloud:… “I receive that for myself. …I am about to breakthrough! The promises of God for me are : Yes and Amen – I receive that in Jesus’ name!!”

Maybe you need to soak this one in again:
“No longer slaves” – https://youtu.be/f8TkUMJtK5k

Update? My health is awesome. I’m more fit than ever before, and I’m having fun praying with and for people, teaching them to hear God’s voice (sometimes I have clients who have been in church for 30 years and hear the Lord while in my office for the first time!), and seeing them set free from addiction, depression, anxiety, etc… There’s never been a dull moment when I meet with Jesus and a hungry soul in my office seeking to be healed by Him! I come home from work each day praising the Lord!

“Give thanks to the Lord; his faithful love endures forever!”