“Fret-Fest”

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It seems that for intercessors and those who are faithful leaders and witnesses in the body of Christ that the difficulties of life just keep on happening without much of a break. Most are totally out of our control and too many are beyond disappointing, they are downright scary. There are victories too, but the challenges seem so heavy that they appear to far outweigh the good things God is doing in our lives.  Recently, when I was going through yet another round of challenging circumstances I heard this question: Do you believe in Me or do you Believe Me?  That stopped me in the middle of my fretting party! It really is two different things. To believe there is a God is common to humankind.  As followers and Disciples of Christ Jesus we are called to step beyond believing in God to believing everything about Him and believing everything He says as true.  There I was sitting in the place of the man whose daughter was ill as recorded in Mark chapter 9:24. He said “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” Jesus had said to him in verse 23, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”

Meditating on that for a bit, it became evident that the “fret-fest” about my personal challenges had taken over my thoughts and emotions causing my “belief-o-meter” to plummet. I certainly was NOT in the place of “all things are possible to him who believes” in regard to my life.  Fretting was where I was living and that had to change. Now please note that fretting is selective. If friends, fellow intercessors or my Pastor need prayer my faith is a mountain; no problem believing God for other folks! It’s the close to home stuff that is the challenge and the Lord is after that root of fear and unbelief in His chosen ones.

Fretting means to be devoured or consumed by anxiety and worry over problems perceived or real.  Some problems aren’t even a problem, we just think they are!  If left unattended, the worry and anxiousness begins to gnaw away at one’s mind and emotions resulting in an uneasy, distressed, anguished, complaining, grumbling, whining person.  Maybe none of you have lived in “fret-fest land,” but I suspect that the Lord put this on my heart to share because there are some of you living there right now and/or something is about to happen and this word will help you not go there!

In fact, I believe that many in the body of Christ are in a battle with fretting tendencies right now because Holy Spirit is bringing this rather hidden sin to the surface and making it glaring so we will deal with it.  We can’t go to the NEW THING He is doing with a bag full of frets.  He wants us free of that luggage and all of our fret-buttons healed so that He can use us in marvelous and exciting ways as intercessors and ministers of His Gospel of Truth.

Fretting has to go because it’s more than a minor worry. It is based in primal instincts of fear and self-preservation. Fear and self-preservation are natural and even good when there is immediate danger.  In fretting both turn to sin. One is doubt in God’s ability or willingness to help and the other is pride and trying to fix it ourselves.  To be victorious intercessors for ourselves and the powerful leaders and witnesses that are Ambassadors of Christ to our spheres of influence, this battle needs to be won by each of us. Fretting needs to be replaced with absolute 100 percent dependent upon God faith where our “belief-o-meter” explodes out the top.

But HOW, was my question to the Lord as He revealed this need of healing for my soul.  I heard in response: “Call unto Me and I will show you great and mighty things which you do not know,” Jeremiah 33:3 and “I am the author and finisher of your faith!” Hebrews 12:2.  The main thing was for me to admit that I was dealing with the revelation of a longtime hidden sin of fretting and repent for allowing that gnawing all-consuming worry to erode my ability to believe God.  I need to call upon Him to help me. So,  I thanked Him for revealing this thing, repented and received forgiveness. His forgiveness is amazing!  What seemed impossible to overcome became simple to me. If I ask Jesus for more faith, He will supply it. If I Believe HIM, I will receive because there is nothing too hard for Him.

So, take time with the Lord during this season of fretting revelation. Ask Him if some or maybe all of your challenges are being amplified because your soul is having a fret-fest.  Then get ready for a belief-o-meter explosion! He’s got mega-faith stored up for you so you can receive the mega-answers and breakthroughs He is ready to pour out of heaven!

May this season be one of most astounding reaping of all you have sown into the Kingdom of God!

With Joy

Cheryl

Authored by Rev Cheryl Birch
8-31-19
May be shared with author and date intact
Copyrighted 2019 Cheryl S. Birch
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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

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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.

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

When God Dismantles your Kingdom

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Today I write because a great metamorphosis is taking place. A Call has gone out from our Father in Heaven to hundreds in the body of Christ and the call is: Give Me your kingdom.

As I was listening to God about this call, I saw a great tug o’war. A castle and all it’s surrounding lands were the “rope.” The hand of God held on to one end. He ever so gently tugged at the rope. The other end was held by His kids. Unaware Father God was doing the tugging, they interpreted the disruption as attack. They used every bit of their strength to hold onto the rope and protect their castle and its lands. Father God let that go on for awhile lovingly watching. Then He pulled a little harder. The castle and the lands shook under the pressure of His loving grip and He spoke to them softly: Let Go. On the other end, His kids shook too. They were alarmed at the perceived intensity of attack hitting their kingdom. They armored up and went to war. They called reinforcements. They cried out to God for help to defeat the enemy destroying their land and what they had built for Him. Father God smiled so lovingly and let them go on like that for awhile listening carefully to their cries. And, then with great mercy He pulled even harder.  This time louder, He said with loving firmness: Let go.  At His voice part of the buildings around the castle collapsed. Part of the land fell away. On the other end, His kids collapsed with fear, confusion and grief over the losses. They fell on their faces and finally said the words Father had been waiting for: We repent. Show us Your will, Your plan, Your ways. We humble ourselves before You. We give you all. Help us in our weakness. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. With that, Father God took hold of the rope with power and the tug o’ war was over. The castle crashed to the ground. The castle was demolished.  But, the land was perfectly preserved, in fact better than before! He restored what had fallen away then He placed it back in their hands. It had turned ever so green and and lush. His love poured out to heal, strengthen and renew His kids. He swept away the castle ruins as His kids willingly gave Him each bit of the rubble. In exchange for the rubble, He gave them new dreams, new vision, new materials to build with, new plans, new ways and the land got more and more green. They flourished in His abundance and favor.

Our God requires a lot of those whom He loves. He requires absolutely everything!

Change and sacrifice is an ever constant process in the Kingdom of God that produces wonderful new things that glorify our King.  Or, perhaps more precisely,  it is the result of the advancement of the Kingdom of God in the earth. Wherever His breath blows, wherever He is working, there is change.    And, since the whole earth is His and the fullness thereof, that means our world is experiencing constant changes.

Who doesn’t get excited over the prospect of all things becoming NEW? The part we forget is that we have to let go of the old in order to receive the new. Sacrifice is always required if there is to be transformation.  If you are like me, I am very excited over prospect of all things becoming new in Christ Jesus.  I can pray and ask for that of God with enthusiasm and truly desire the change… that is until I am one of the souls in the middle of His mighty work of transformation.  My response and maybe yours too is WHOA, what’s going on here.  More than one time I dug in my heels, just like the vision He gave me, and fought for what is mine, not discerning the huge change was an answer to my prayers and a gift from my God.

Mercifully, He works soul by soul with slow, steady, deeply profound internal changes, perhaps over many years.  As we yield to those small steps, we become more like Him and step out doing His work.  We build our lives and ministries are launched.  Then the time comes for His new plans and seemingly overnight the ministries, the works, the thing we do for Him, what we thought was rock solid and even our highest call in Him,  He closes. The season is finished. The training is over.  Something new is on the way. When we don’t discern that He is requiring change and stubbornly hang on, suddenly those castles we have built  get shaken and eventually they collapse so that He can build up something better, something more reflective of Him. Something He has prepared for us and us for it. Yes, something that gives Him more glory and benefits humankind in ways we could never have imagined if He did not take this action. Continue reading

The Deadly Duo

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The Deadly Duo? From a recent movie?

No, I’m not speaking of a Marvel Comic Book team of evil characters! This team is far more insidious than that and real, not make believe. The deadly duo that I see destroying lives, visions, dreams, ministries, and people themselves is FEAR and PRIDE. These two are experts at hiding behind facades while eloquently manipulating situations and people. Fear is spirit, a really evil one, and Pride is a condition of the heart that allows the evil to do its nasty stuff.

They work in concert to keep an individual in a prison of what is familiar and easy, creating a life that requires little change and no risk-taking. In order to maintain that kind of environment, everyone around the person under the influence of the Duo is expected to remain the same. When the boat of life gets rocked, as it always does, Continue reading

Under the Foundation

rocksNow, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”  

These words in Ephesians 2:19-22 have been read by me many times, quoted by my colleagues and friends, and shared from the pulpit by my Pastors. Of course, intellectually I understood what Paul was saying to the church in Ephesus and the thought of being part of the unity in Christ Jesus grabbed my heart from the first time I heard/read it. Then one day years ago, the Lord unexpectedly expanded this verse for me. He gave me a picture, actually a dreamy vision upon waking, about the building of His Kingdom and its foundation.  Since I received the dream quite awhile ago, for the most part I had forgotten about it, until this week. During my prayer and meditation time, Holy Spirit brought forth a powerful memory of what He had shared with me all those years ago. He repeated it, expanded it and overwhelmed me with it.  The reliving of the dream was so powerful that there is no doubt in my heart I am to share the dream and His commentary/interpretation as an encouragement. It is particularly for His intercessors and the praying church, but truly a message to all.

In the dream the Lord showed me His apostolic people, the builders of His Kingdom, with a particular focus on the foundation. We always talk about the foundation of church (the Ecclesia) being the Apostles and Prophets. I had been taught they were the builders, fuel and catalyst for expansion of the Kingdom of God. And, that these two anointed groups of leaders build upon the foundation of the Lord Jesus Christ. Well, they do all that, but there is more!

In the dream I saw a huge building. It was sprawling and construction was happening all over and around it.  It was alive with activity. I could see it was wide and deep, strong and sturdy. As we approached the building I could see that it was made up of many “living stones” – many people of every color, shape and size.

The scene changed quickly and we (Holy Spirit and I) zoomed in from the top of the building sailing through layer after layer of it very quickly. The movement toward the foundation abruptly stopped for a moment and we hovered on one of the floors so that I could see clearly where we were. Then we slowly proceeded. As we went lower and lower, floor after floor, there were fewer and fewer living stones. The bustling activity and construction appearance of the upper and outer portions of the building were far different than the atmosphere on the lower floors. The living stone here were larger and stronger, Rock-solid, able to bear great weight. There was a sense of joyful abiding, steadfast dependence upon God, stalwart faith and perseverance. When we reached what I perceived as the foundation we stopped. It was thick and very strong, but full of cracks. Though the cracks were there, it was still strong as every crack was filled by many stones.

While we tarried there, Holy Spirit spoke to me: “Your position is the foundation under the foundation.”   I have to say that stunned me. It never occurred to me there could be a place under the foundation, but of course for every building in the natural realms there is something under it…. the earth!  So, I asked to see that place under the foundation.

We punched through that last apostolic layer of the Kingdom building and under it was a thick bed of what I can only describe as “river rock,” rock that one might use as a decorative edge in gardening. The activity here was indeed like a mighty rushing river. A flood of prayer, intercession and supplication, praise, thanksgiving, travail and worship poured out of that place in all directions. All the time of the dream I thought we were going down into the foundation, I suddenly understood we were actually travelling upward toward Jesus.  To us here on earth the Kingdom of God is “upside down” when in actuality our view is the one that is up side down!  The further “down” in the Kingdom building we went in the dream, the closer we were going to to the true foundation of the Ecclesia. That is the Head, our Lord Jesus, seated at the right hand of the Father and from Him flows the Kingdom of God into the natural realms.

This layer of River Rock is where the intercessors and praying church dwell right next to Jesus. These strong, electrically alive stones, support the entire structure that is flowing from Jesus to earth as they stand in the gaps (cracks) in the apostolic foundation and cry out for the things of God to manifest or to be built or established in the earth.  They are recognized , yet hidden.  They rest upon the Chief Cornerstone, the Rock of our Salvation hearing His heartbeat and praying His prayers.  Upon the intercessions and supplications of these praying saints the Apostles, Prophets and the whole rest of Ecclesia and body of Christ are supported and build.

Nothing happens to build God’s Kingdom until it has been prayed by the intercessors/praying church and answered by God through our Lord Jesus Christ who then pours out His Spirit through His Ecclesia to accomplish the plans of the Father.  Colossians 4:3, Ephesians 6:18-20, Acts 10:3-5, Romans 8:25-27

Holy Spirit made it abundantly clear to me that prayer is the power that fuels everything we do to share the Good News and minister to His people.  Intercessors (those with the gift of intercession or who stand in the Office of Intercessor) and the praying church (those in the body of Christ that understand the importance of prayer) are VITAL to the health and well-being and growth of God’s Kingdom.

Yes, every layer of the Kingdom that I saw in the dream there is prayer happening and that is what holds the whole structure together.  As well, some who are intercessors or who pray regularly are also key people in the fabric of other parts of the Kingdom.  This dream is for all who pray, but was released especially to encourage those whose assignment and calling is intercession.  Holy Spirit says to all intercessors: Don’t give up! Keep pressing in!

We who dwell in the foundation under the foundation are about to see an outpouring of answered prayers. Yes, we have had answers all along, but recently the assignment has been very hard. Many are growing weary.  The Lord spoke to me: Hang on! In this season coming quickly there will be an avalanche of answered prayers! Ministers and ministries are about to be accelerated and multiplied. Souls are about to come in by the hundreds then thousands and millions.  Keep on praying and believing! Our God is answering and He is about to answer BIG TIME!

With love to you all,
Rev. Cheryl