Shalom is more than Peace

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This month the Lord has really highlighted to me the amazing power found in praying His Peace into and over every situation. In fact, so much so that I want to put out a challenge for us to specifically pray for God’s Peace, Shalom, over our communities, states and nations….and, all of us, for the next 30 days and beyond as the Lord leads.  I believe we will see Holy Spirit move in outrageously amazing ways in response!

This challenge will be most effective if we have an understanding that Peace in the word of God is both a noun and a verb. It is both a state of being and an action word!  Simply stated Shalom is more than peace.

God’s Peace is the word Shalom in Hebrew, interpreted in Greek as the word Eirene. However, we must note that the Hebrew folks and our Lord Jesus would have actually spoken or written the word Shalom wherever you see Eirene used.

Shalom means to have favor, to be safe,happy, healthy, prosperous, restored: perfectly well and whole and at rest. It’s profoundly interesting to not that
the Hebrew symbols for Shalom actually say “the authority that destroys chaos.” It is an action word! It is something we can choose to be and choose to pursue and do in the power of God.

Eirene means prosperity: to be one, peace, quietness, rest, + set at one  again (put back together).

What most of us really want is to experience the state of being represented by the noun Peace – which really is a goal of resting in the Lord – but, we’re not going to get to that goal until we understand the mighty ACTION of the verb Shalom/Eirene which is part of the transformational work of Holy Spirit that will lead us to the place of rest, wholeness, and prosperity in Him.

Holy Spirit brought this home to me at a recent prayer retreat I attended. He gave 3 scriptures as I was reading the Passion Translation

Psalm 23:1-3 The Lord is my best friend and my shepherd.  I always have more than enough. He offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love. His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quiet brook of bliss. That’s where he restores and revives my life. He opens before me pathways to God’s pleasure and leads me along in his footsteps of righteousness so that I can bring honor to his name.

Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of rules about food and drink, but is in the realm of the Holy Spirit, filled with righteousness, peace, and joy.

Romans 16:20 And the God of peace will swiftly pound Satan to a pulp under your feet! And the wonderful favor of our Lord Jesus will surround you.

What David wrote in Psalm 23 – actually the whole of it – is our goal. No matter what is going on we can abide in that amazing place of resting in our God, at peace, knowing HE has it all taken care of, whatever “it” may be.   Ultimately verse 6 is the result: So why would I fear the future? For your goodness and love pursue me all the days of my life. Then afterward, when my life is through, I’ll return to your glorious presence to be forever with you! 

The Romans 14 verse reveals a three-part active, action oriented, transformation of every soul and thereby the Kingdom of God is built as whole families, congregations, neighborhoods, cities, nations are restored. Believers are transformed through salvation which brings righteousness, the process of healing our soul (wounds of the heart and mind) which brings peace. Righteousness plus Peace produces great joy in our Lord!

Then there is the ACTION part of peace that destroys chaos: Romans 16 which reveals the astounding power of cooperating with the God of Peace. The Shalom released by God into our lives is so powerful that it pounds satan to a pulp under our feet making room for Jesus to surround us with His wonderful favor. That is our goal of intercession in this challenge of praying peace. As we co-conspire with Holy Spirit this month asking for the restoring transforming power of peace, satan is gonna get a pounding! The result? The Kingdom of God: righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit!!

The Body of Christ needs this kind of prayer as they minister and as they launch into the new things our God is doing. WE who pray and intercede need this kind of prayer. Our world needs this kind of prayer. What most folks think peace is falls far short of God’s definition.

Shalom is a magnificent gift from a magnificent God. The more we understand His peace the more we will see lives changed for Him. For additional information about the mighty and amazing action of the Peace of God, and why it is so vital to pray for and to cooperate with His Shalom, check out this excellent (and short) Bible Project video   https://thebibleproject.com/videos/shalom-peace/.  And explore their site. It’s chock full of good stuff for personal study and to share with others.

If you decide to begin the “Praying Peace” challenge, let me know!

SHALOM!
Cheryl

Photo found on Google Images labeled “for reuse”

Favor-Doors-Heart’s Desires

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Today in prayer I am simply drenched with three thoughts/impressions from the heart of God:

I am releasing favor to My Beloveds!

I am granting long time deeply held heart’s desires!

I have opened doors that were closed.

Plus, as I am typing this I hear:

Be Brave, Be Bold, Be Strong, Be Courageous! Take a step into the NEW I have for you.

A Great Seeing and Hearing

As I was reading Ephesians chapter 1 on January 1st I got grabbed by Holy Spirit and  began to write in my journal. This is what the Lord gave me about the New Year and beyond:

This year My people will learn to TRUST me like never before. I will do great exploits for them so that they may do great exploits that glorify Me and build MY Kingdom!

My banner of TRUST flies over them. They will see the demonstrations that are the longing of their hearts as they humble themselves before My throne of grace and give to Me the reins of their lives. They are the ones that sit at My feet loving Me no matter the cost. These are the ones that long to hear My voice and yearn to see what I see.

A “Great Seeing” is upon these, My Beloveds. Ability to see Me high and lifted up; to see what they have not been able to see.  A “Great Hearing” is being bestowed upon them even as you write this message. They will hear what they have not been able to hear. In the seeing and hearing they will be able to speak My words and perform My acts of mercy in the earth unlike they have ever done before.

No generation is like this generation. For Myself I have prepared a generation and I am raising them up. A generation that TRUSTS Me. A generation that WORSHIPS Me in spirit and in truth. This generation will shine for Me, glorifying Me, honoring Me; a chosen “generation of generations.”

All who will bow down I will lift up as mighty and strong in My love and power. Hurting, dying, lost souls cry out and this generation will hear keenly their hearts cry. They will bring in My harvest with joy; no longer fearful, no longer self absorbed, oppressed, or held back by life circumstances. The time of their testing and training for this season is over. Great opportunities are upon them to build My Kingdom. I have equipped them!

Through their tears and sacrifices they have become vessels of honor that I will fill to overflowing with My Brand New Wine.

(Speaking to each individual the Lord said tell them) Just a little while you will see your True Heart’s Desire!

(He concluded)

My Beloveds, I am proud of you! My hand of favor is upon you. My love wraps you. My joy fills your heart and I am making you strong in MY POWER! I am wiping away all hindrances. Dust yourself off and GO!

Love, Papa

Submitted by Rev Cheryl Birch
January 1, 2019

What You Pray Smells Really Good!

This month Holy Spirit has been speaking to me steadily about our role as intercessors living in the “evil laden” atmosphere that we find ourselves in the USA and all over the world. More than ever intercession and standing for righteousness as a unified body of believers in Christ Jesus is needed! While I was praying in response to His words to me, I felt led to reread a portion of James Goll’s book The Lost Art of Intercession. Here’s what he says that really inspired me to take courage and press in even more persistently to the heart of the Father through Christ Jesus:

Oh, what a blessed gift and privilege is the holy thing call prayer! More than anything else, prayer is man’s invitation sent heavenward for God’s response to be cast earthward – the human in exchange for the heavenly!
(2 Chronicles 7:1-3) … We want to see God’s glory fill the earth. It will happen through exchange. Prayer ascends. Incense arises. Man’s smoke signal to his Highest Chief arises declaring, “Send forth the fire!” Heavenly fire from the altar comes crashing down and the glory of the Lord fills His house once again. What goes up must come down!

Yes! Indeed! What wonderful picture of our prayers going up to the throne of grace as a cloud of incense. In the Old Testament that incense is a fragrant mixture of fresh pine-like and cinnamon-like spices. A sweet smelling savor to our God. None the less, the phrases that really hit my heart weren’t that beautiful image but: “Oh, what a blessed gift and privilege is the holy thing called prayer” and “The human in exchange for the Heavenly” and “What goes up must come down”

Our prayers don’t stay on earth. They are a holy thing and they travel to heaven. And, they don’t stay in heaven forever. They get exchanged for heavenly answers! They are returned to earth mixed with fire from God’s altar. They crash through the barriers of sin and evil with thunders and lightning and loud noises in the spirit realms and WHAM! Our prayers are answered supernaturally. We never know when or how the answer will come. That is up to our God. But, the answer will come down! We get a heavenly exchange with interest!

So, keep praying for your family and sphere of influence,for your city, state and nation, and for each other. It is a blessed gift and privilege to pray and talk to God. It is a privilege to stand as light in the darkness interceding for folks in need, whatever that need may be. Know that what you pray smells really really really good to God and suddenly it will smell so good to Him that the answers will come crashing to earth at just the right moment in time to fulfill His perfect will and plans.

As I was reading Romans 11 and 12 and meditating on the amazing picture of our intercession crashing back to earth, I was inspired to record another blessing prayer for the body of Christ. You can find the recording on my Semon.net station by clicking HERE.

Know that you, the Body of Christ, are all always in my prayers!
With love, joy and peace to you,
Rev. Cheryl

NEVER Give Up!

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Beloved of the Lord,

Seems that the enemy is working overtime right now to discourage the body of Christ. Especially those who pray. This seems to be on the increase here in the USA. Because of that increased pressure to give up, I felt led today to share with you this simple statement that I have posted in my office and on a plaque in my entryway: Never, Never, Never Give Up! When I feel like life is too much or situations have drained the heart of prayer right out of me, I look to heaven and declare those 5 words starting with “Lord, I will.” Yup, like Winston Churchill who admonished a nation with that phrase, I admonish myself with “Lord, I will never, never, never give up!”  It’s amazing the flood of strength and resolve that always pours out from the heart of God when I make that simple declaration. 

Why is it so powerful? I believe it hits the very center of the Father’s plan to bless us with answers to our prayers. If we refuse to give up we WILL receive those answers, more than that, the people we are praying for WILL receive the answers.

Pastor Mark Batterson in his book “Draw the Circle – The 40 Day Prayer Challenge” wrote this: Our prayers never die! When we pray, our prayers exit our four dimensions of space time. Our prayers have no space or time limitations because the God who answers them exists outside of the four dimensions He created. You never know when His timeless answer will reenter the atmosphere of our lives, and that should fill us with holy anticipation.  Never underestimate His ability to answer anytime, anyplace, anyhow. He has infinite answers to our finite prayers. He can answer them more than once. And He answers them forever. And, later in that chapter he writes: Every prayer we utter is like the marble stones used in the building of the Washington Monument or Lincoln Memorial. When we pray, we are building a monument to God, a memorial to Him. And those prayers are not perishable. They aren’t wood, hay, or straw. They are a foundation of gold, silver and costly stones. They will not be forgotten. They will not go unanswered.

Keep lifting up what God puts on your hearts and keep praying for one another! Suddenly those prayers will reenter earth’s atmosphere as powerful answered prayer and we will be amazed at what our Glorious God has done!!

In closing, check out the strengthening and blessing prayer from 1 Peter that I recorded for you and the body of Christ this month: Strengthening Prayer.  Return to this link any time you need a prayer boost! And, it can be shared with others if you wish.

With JOY

Rev. Cheryl

Stand Fast Against Witchcraft – Part 1

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Been concerned in prayer over an increase in the spirit realms of witchcraft opposition especially toward those who pray and intercede. Just a reminder, Intercessors, that between the vernal equinox and October 31st there is always a surge in witchcraft. While we celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles and head for Reformation Day, the enemy becomes intensely active. He hates Reformation Day and he hates it when we celebrate with JOY our Lord’s indwelling presence in the tabernacle of our heart.

This year the stirring of resistance to the body of Christ is more than ever. Opposition is stronger in part because too many in the body of Christ have entered into agreement with the enemy. The negativity, cursing, complaining and hatred that is dividing our nation has sadly invaded the church. While we are to recognize issues of injustice and evil and PRAY – it is NOT to be with negativity. We should be releasing the love of God, blessing and not cursing, speaking the solutions not the problems, speaking words of life and not death.

The GOOD NEWS is that our Lord and King is far more powerful than anything the enemy can release. If we will repent of negativity and agree with God, we will see victory! Join me in blessing prayer… It power packed! Let’s declare GOD’s WORD, allow Holy Spirit to pray through us the plans of the Father for our nation and what Jesus is interceding for at the throne of grace.

Let’s Fight evil with good!! We can and will see magnificent changes, if we stay the course set by our Lord and Savior… that is a course of loving even our enemies. Yes,do pray with mercy for those releasing witchcraft. Ask for their salvations and bless them with healing and deliverance.

Choose LOVE’s way and Keep up the GOOD fight God’s way!

With JOY in our Lord,
Rev. Cheryl

Rejoicing in Christ Jesus

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Today the Lord poured out a powerful reminder to  refocus! There is a tendency for us to get caught up in the negative things going on in our lives and the world and forget that we  have a constant place of JOY and REFRESHING available to us.  His word to me was REJOICE! Laugh! BE GLAD! Holy Spirit directed me to Romans 8:31-39.  He wants to strengthen us and help us to walk through everything that comes our way!

After reading those verses in Romans here is what I recorded. I pray that it blesses you!
http://revcherylbirch.sermon.net/main/main/21223574

He also gave this precious spontaneous song during a worship service awhile back. It goes so well with His word to me today that I believe it will be an additional blessing to you: http://revcherylbirch.sermon.net/main/main/21224312

With love to you,
Rev. Cheryl