Smile at God Today!

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This past week I was seeking the Lord for what we intercessors need in Him right now and every day.  I was directed by Holy Spirit to Proverbs 17:22  A merry heart does good,  like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones. NKJV

 A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired. MSG

 A joyful, cheerful heart brings healing to both body and soul. But the one whose heart is crushed struggles with sickness and depression. TPT

It seems like doom and gloom, sickness and depression, and folks with broken dreams/hearts is all we hear about on the news and social media. Our hope and hiding place from all that is in the Lord, yet it’s getting harder and harder to let go of all that negativity and pain and simply “be” in His presence. Distractions are becoming all-consuming as there is so much unrest, illness, and stressful situations going on in our nation and the world. And, I don’t know about you, but the need, even demand, for intercession and prayer for friends and family dealing with sudden emergencies, unexpected deaths, and major challenges of all kinds is on the increase. Plus, lately there is an almost constant need to deal with issues, some very serious, in my own household. Likely it’s the same for yours.

As I meditated on this scripture and also Proverbs 15: 13 and 15, I knew Holy Spirit was telling me it’s important, even vital, that we not be overwhelmed by life circumstances. And, to remember that it is still okay to relax, unwind and laugh, not only during prayer and worship, but also in the natural daily course of our life. We intercessors and praying Christians are a serious bunch. We take on burdens for many, many people including the our neighborhoods, cities, states and nations. Thus, we have responsibility to heed God’s advice to not become overburdened and drained. To implement His word that “a merry heart makes good medicine” and that it is healing for our bones and well-being.

So, here is my prayer and directive from the Lord for all of us: I pray we all get out in the sunshine as much as possible, after all it is SUMMER. And, join me in this challenge: Give Father God a big smile every day. He always smiles back and in His smile is love, life, abundance, favor, grace and blessings of all kinds. His joy and the gladness of heart it brings is the refreshing we most need to thrive even in the midst all that is going on around us!

The crux is: Neglecting R and R is the worst thing a busy in demand intercessor/minister of God can do. It will drain the very life out of us. But, resting in the Lord, plus daily fun, smiling, laughing, and seeking Him in and for gladness makes us more powerful intercessors/ministers!
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Receiving the gift of entering God’s rest and choosing joy is vital in this day and hour. Our families, friends, and ministry, even our nation and the world, need us to make this a priority.  We will find that the trials and challenges of life won’t be such a heavy burden. The sense of doom and gloom in the world will disappear; concern yes, doom no! When we minister and pray from a place of rest and joy there is strength and authority in the Spirit that flows through us that we did not know was possible. In fact, I believe getting this “rest and joy thing” is a big key to supernatural intercession where we pray and God answers right away. Wow! That is a goal to shoot for!!!

 

May your summer (and whole life) be filled with gladness, fun and relaxation!

Remember: Give God a Big Smile Every Day!

With Love and JOY in our Lord,

Rev. Cheryl

Copyrighted 2020 Cheryl S Birch – May be shared in whole with copyright and end notes intact.

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Repentance Factor

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Day after day for a week now I keep hearing two words when I seek the Lord:

REPENTANCE FACTOR.

It all started when an intercessor prayed regarding COVID 19 and launched their prayer using 2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now, they prayed a beautiful and heartfelt prayer with which I agreed. And, I really love God’s word. Truly I love Him and love all He has to say, but I realized during the prayer (wonderful as it was) that I am worn out by the quoting of this verse. It caused such upset within me that I had to seek out Holy Spirit to explain to me what was wrong with me.

That was when I heard Repentance Factor for the first time. The “thing” that was bothering me was not this important verse in the Bible nor the strong prayer prayed by my fellow intercessor. It was revelation of my own heart condition, revelation of the lack of repentance in our nation, and in the church most especially. Yes, the church! Without the Body of Christ’s lead in repenting for our sins and for the sins of our citizens, how would the nation ever know it was important to do so? Without the all important “IF” being fulfilled by God’s people, we can pray 2 Chronicles 7:14 until Jesus comes for us and our land will not be healed.

It says if MY PEOPLE will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways…MY PEOPLE. Who are God’s people? At the time it was given to Solomon, the Jews were God’s people and the temple was being dedicated. Today the Jews are still God’s people and, Praise Him, so are those who have the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior. In fact, those of us that have Jesus as our Savior are now the dedicated temple of God! In Solomon’s day the stone building was filled with the glory of God. Now, the Redeemed of the Lord are filled with the glory of God via Holy Spirit. Since we are God’s People and His Temple we need to seriously and profoundly take ownership of this verse of scripture and do what it says.

By and large during this crisis or any crisis we, the church, have the prayer part down pat. In fact,there is more prayer right now in the world than ever I have seen! Social media, Zoom, Skype, conference calls are a buzz with prayer and intercession. Praise God! We easily caught the part of the scripture that says to pray. Myriads of people are asking God for protection, healing and provision. No doubt the Father will be pouring out answers to these personal prayers going up to the throne of grace by the thousands. Nonetheless, this scripture is not being fulfilled. We are still lacking greatly in the Repentance Factor that will trigger healing for our land; the part of the scripture that says: HUMBLE THEMSELVES, TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS and also SEEK MY FACE.

Tackling “seek My face” first. Seems simple. Even Easy. But seeking His Face is far more than a prayer for protection, healing, and provision. God hears those prayers from everyone and in His mercy, he answers. But, He moves quickly and precisely for those who have a close relationship with Him. Why? Because the closer one becomes to God, talking and walking with Him daily, minute by minute, the more likely it is that we will pray prayers that are initiated by HIM and are flowing from HIS heart through ours as His vessel. When we move from personal survival requests and pray those kind of “seek his face” prayers, they get answered.

A Pastor’s devotional that I just finished called them “dangerous prayers.” They are the kind way beyond “protect me and my family.” Seek His Face Prayers always include “use me”,”change me”, “Help me to do YOUR will for me, Lord.” Dangerous intercessors ask God why things aren’t changing, stop and listen for His response AND implement or do what He says. Even if it means their lives are turned upside-down, God’s face seeking people allow Him to transform them into a reflection of Him in the earth, including their prayer priorities… and their whole lives.

That leads me back to the Repentance Factor. To be used by God, changed by God, and to gain ability to speak and do His will not our own, REPENTANCE is the only way. To see our land miraculously healed, REPENTANCE is the only way. We must let Holy Spirit reveal to us the depths of our own wicked ways. Let me phrase it another way for those of you that are bothered by the words wicked and sin in relation to a born again Believer. Think of it this way: God has an opinion clearly stated in His word and at salvation His opinion was written on our hearts. Even so, we have our own opinions formed from birth and opinions we have adopted from our culture. Those opinions do not always line up with God’s Word, do they? Every one of our opinions that do not line up with God’s Word is a “wicked way.” He wants all of our opinions to line up with His opinion!

Shocking isn’t it? Reflecting on where our heart leads us and what thoughts we have compared to the Bible (God’s opinion) can be hard to handle. Thank God Romans 8:1 starts out by saying: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are IN Christ Jesus.” (emphasis mine) If you desire to be a useful effective vessel that God can really use, simply repent. Ask Him to reveal every contrary opinion that you have and go to Him often! That is living “IN Christ Jesus!” When your opinion differs from His, repent. And ask Him to change your opinion to match His. No condemnation! Every second of every day is a second chance! He is overjoyed when we grab onto the truth that we need to continuously seek His face while turning from our opinions (wicked ways). Grab this truth and healing of your personal land will flow. If we grab it corporately, healing of our nation will flow!

We will also receive the promise of less quoted yet far more wonderful verses
2 Chronicles 7:15-16 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.

Please join me in prayer regarding a paradigm shift within the greater church, especially leadership, that will open an all important door to healing our land: the Repentance Factor.

My prayer is that the walls of separation between denominations and styles of worshiping our God would fall. That our prejudices toward one another in the body of Christ would be washed away in a flood of repentant opinion changing. And, that our leaders would stop for a moment in their own efforts and hear God’s voice of unity and love He has for us all. As a result that they would stand together (via all the electronic avenues we have available) in the midst of this crisis, ask forgiveness from God and each other, and then move into repentance for our collective sin of having a different opinion than God. Especially to repent for continuously trying to build the kingdom of God in their own strength while ignoring Jesus’ commandment to “Love one another as He has loved us.”

Start with me, Lord. Start with those who read this message. Holy Spirit help us to step into the Repentance Factor needed to heal our land, in Jesus Amazing Name I pray…AMEN!

With much hope in our Lord,
Rev Cheryl

Article may be share in whole with end notes include
Copyrighted 2020 Cheryl S Birch

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All Bible verses are from the New King James Version

The Very Great Test

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The last couple of days as I have prayed and pondered the ever increasing life changes we are all facing two thoughts keep surfacing:

  1. This is a very great test.
  2. The Lord is looking for changes of heart and habit.

In the midst of these circumstances of illness and fear,  be assured Holy Spirit is on the move in our lives BIG TIME! His goal is not only to help us but to teach us and change us.

Yes, the virus itself and the fear that is manifesting is certainly the work of the devil. We must stand in faith against it relying upon our God. And, that stand is the basis of the test.

Holy Spirit is dealing with me, perhaps you as well, during this stressful time. Soul searching questions arise out of my heart for myself and for the Body of Christ: Are we standing in faith praying trusting in and relying upon the amazing grace and love of God bought for us by the precious blood of Jesus or self-reliant? Are we panic praying or are we asking for direction and listening to the guidance of Holy Spirit? Are we still selfish beyond belief with an hoarding attitude, ungrateful, complaining, and reacting to these changes with deep seated fear? Or, are we thanking our God for what we do have, asking Him what changes we need to make during this time so that our lives are more pleasing to Him, and listening to Him regarding what we can do so that our neighbor’s needs are met?

You see we get an F on our test for fear response. God still loves us of course, but we will suffer greatly as we choose to do things out of selfish fear versus taking our fear to Him and asking Him to help us and, much more importantly, to help us to help others. 

Did you know that Holy Spirit will tell you who to help? And that He will tell you when to go out to get supplies. He will even tell you where to go to get what you or someone else needs.  He probably won’t direct you to what you want or what you desire to hoard, but He will direct you to the places where you can get what you and your family actually need. How do I know this? Because He is taking such good care of my husband and me. Wherever we feel led to go, what we really need is there! It has been astounding to walk into places with so many empty shelves and find the last package of noodles, the last bottle of anti-bacterial cleaner, the last package of toilette bowl cleaner, the last tube of Aspercreme (needed for sore muscles), the only bottle of tomato sauce, the last can opener (ours broke and we needed one), and tissues, wipes, foods, etc all there when needed. If we desired something and it wasn’t there,  after all His provision, its apparent we really don’t need it yet. When we do, I know I can trust Holy Spirit to guide us to the place where it can be found!

During this time it is vital we as a Body defeat our tendency toward fear and self-reliance. As stated earlier, Holy Spirit is impressing on me the great need for heart changes and habit breaking in all of us. Even the best of us can fail and fear, exhibit selfishness, complain instead of thank, and deal with habitual behaviors/attitudes that are displeasing to our Father in heaven. What better time than during isolation, like this season, to stop depending on other things, on other people, or on ourselves and choose to learn how to lean fully upon our wonderful loving God? What a great time to start praying together as a family or having family Bible study!  Living alone? What a great time to pray, read, and have a retreat with God; just you and Him where you can learn about His plans for your future.  For every one of us, what a perfect time for calling neighbors and friends to see how they are doing, especially those that need Jesus in their lives. Your call could be a salvation call. How exciting!

Remember, He is on the move. He is drawing people to Him. He has HOPE for us all! He has thoughts higher than ours and, as we call upon Him, He will tell us great and mighty things we don’t yet know.  He will even tell us who to call, email, or text.

A final word coming to me today is isolation is not really isolation in the Body of Christ. We are all ONE in Christ Jesus our Lord. We all listen to and are helped by the same Spirit and we all have the same Father in Heaven. He has already, way in advance, provided the perfect vehicles to not feel so alone. Reach out via telephone. Call instead of text and be blessed by the voice of a fellow believer.  Plan a video call, set up a conference call, and be encouraged by your brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus or encourage them. Tune into the streaming on Facebook and other sources featuring churches that are having online services. Watch inspirational messages and praise songs on YouTube and other websites when you feel down.  Praise God for the phone lines, internet, for Wifi and 4g. Isolation lonliness is state of mind and we must purpose to overcome it and help others in the process! With Holy Spirit’s help we will overcome and be victorious in our Lord.

How we go through this challenge is a huge witness to those that are pre-believers. It is indeed a very great test and it is hard to repent and change our ways, but we can pass the test and get an A+ (an awesome achievement heart change award) from our God as He sees the depth of our desire to do things His way no matter our circumstances.

You, we, are all very loved. God has not abandoned us or forsaken us! Instead, He is drawing us closer to Him. Transformation is His goal as we take a stand against this demonic attack and choose to lean fully upon Him as we do.  To all who are willing He is opening the treasures of His heart. Abundance of His presence awaits us!

With love and peace to you and yours,
Rev Cheryl

Copyrighted 2020 Cheryl S Birch
Photo found on Google labeled for reuse
May be shared in whole with name of author, copyright, and end notes intact

“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
photo found on google labeled for reuse

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