When God Dismantles your Kingdom

devastatedchurch

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

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The Deadly Duo

deadlyduo
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

Hope

Hope

I was reading news stories today about Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade, two well-know, admired and financially well-to-do people, that became so very distraught they ended their lives by their own hand. My first thought was for their family and loved ones that God would comfort them. Then, I was overcome with the simple truth that money and success, though touted as the goal that will make a person happy and content, actually has nothing to do with happiness and contentment.  Pondering that with the Lord in prayer, I came away with renewed realization that what actually brings joy, a sense of well-being and peace or contentment to a person’s life is HOPE. Without hope we are lost in place of darkness slaved to depression and despair even in the midst the most opulent of life’s circumstances.

No doubt in the darkest moments of the trials of life, even the most generally hopeful of us have entertained the thought that death would bring relief from the suffering, stress, pain and challenges.  Why do some succumb to the darkness of those thoughts and end up miserable and bitter at best or kill themselves at worst while others are touched by a spark of saving hope and they endure Continue reading

Rejoice! And again I say Rejoice!

Rejoice

These past weeks, while walking though a particularly stressful time, I have been hearing from the Lord about the remarkable power of JOY in Him. In fact, the overcoming resilience, fortitude and stalwartness of faith that is needed for this time in history is only found in a foundation of the abounding JOY we have in our Lord Jesus.

He spoke to me: Child, reading  and studying My word is excellent. Praying is excellent. Gathering in fellowship with your brothers and sisters in Me is excellent. Participating in community outreaches is excellent. Blessing others and helping others is excellent. Yet, you do all this in little power and strength of fleeting happiness and do not draw fully upon the well of power packed overflowing and abounding JOY that is found only in Me. Let’s talk together just to talk. Let’s laugh and dance and be silly together. Let Me make your heart merry as you spend time with Me; as My love washes away the heavy load of life and ministry. Yes! Let’s laugh and rejoice together, even in the midst of tears and challenges, because all things are in My hands and you can trust Me no matter your circumstances. 

It was true when I heard these words that life had weighed me down. There were deaths of people I loved and admired. Illness had struck too many in my group of friends and close to home in my life and family. Ministry, while so fulfilling and good, was busy and feeling heavy. Decisions came upon me that seemed insurmountable but needed to be made and then, as if He had no idea that I was overwhelmed, the Lord called me to make a giant step into the unknown with Him. He asked me to give up something I love. Of course, I said yes, but the sacrifice of it was very painful. As I took the pain to Him, He gave me supernatural Joy in exchange. I was able to overcome and do all I needed to do because of that JOY! I received it because I went to the Father and asked for help.

First, He poured it out upon me and then He taught me how to walk constantly in His abounding JOY.

Paul and the church at Philippi were in dire circumstances when he instructed them out of the abounding JOY he had in Christ Jesus to: REJOICE in the Lord always! Knowing that those words would fall on overwhelmed hearts and not penetrate he added: And again, I will say REJOICE!  That admonition was followed by instructions in Philippians 4:5-9

Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Holy Spirit’s revelation to me as He taught me about these passages of scripture was that Continue reading

Good Gifts

JetsonsI remember way back in 1964 during Social Studies class we figured out what age we kids would be in the year 2000. That seemed like a Sci-fi year to all of us as it was so very far in the future. We did essays on what we thought the world would be like in the year we would turned 50 years old. Despite the fact that all of us thought 50 was an ancient age, and it was hard for us to believe we would ever be “that old,” we began to imagine and dream what it would be like. Most of us thought it would be like the “Jetsons” cartoon on television replete with spaceship like cars, robots serving us, anti-gravity belts, instant food cooking, and a dog name Astro.

Now, we are all well past that 2000 year marker. While I cannot speak for my classmates, who could be inventors or scientists making stunning Sci-fi gizmos, I don’t have an anti-gravity car, nor can I transport to Hawaii in 5 minutes like Judy Jetson did for a beach party. But, we do have communicators (cell phones), nearly instant cooking (microwave ovens), video calling and a bunch of other Jetsons-like stuff. Too bad the robots haven’t progressed past vacuuming the floor as far as serving us at home, but they are in every industry so even that has come true.

Our imaginations as a generation of kids took us toward those inventions and technologies and many of them were created. It’s all pretty impressive what humankind has done and taken all the credit for.  Yes, I was being a little critical because, by and large, we have left out of the picture a very important component; the central reason we have been blessed with all these creature comforts. Left out by most folks has been the divine inspiration and blessings of the Lord God. There has been a gross lack of spiritual connection to the One giving all these good things to humankind. That Father God would be involved in inspiring invention and technology doesn’t seem to fully compute with our culture. Nonetheless, the Word of God says in James 1:17 “All good things come down from the Father of Lights above.” Continue reading

Oblivious to Evil

Halloween No

Beloveds of the Lord,

Today I have been overtaken by the Lord’s heart regarding the oblivious condition of the church toward evil. Every store I go to I am greeted by ghouls, skeletons, vampires, and grotesque masks and costumes along with ghosts and ugly jack-o-lanterns. To me it is a blight and my soul is vexed over this tribute to evil. But, sadly, I have discovered that much of the church goes about its day oblivious, or worse, they are preparing to celebrate evil right along with the world on October 31st.

My concern got me wondering why Halloween is a day to celebrate evil and that got me researching. I found out a lot of historic things about it having roots in pagan ceremony and superstition, but what really grabbed me a couple of years ago was the revelation that it is the night Martin Luther posted his theses on the church door for all to read. It was on October 31st 1517 that the wickedness of the then current religious order was exposed and the truth of the Word of God was restored to the people. The Reformation was birthed 500 years ago this Month! Oh, how the devil hated that then and how he hates it now! He has been seeking revenge ever since, successfully perverting a night, then a day, and now we deal with an entire month or more of disgusting evil displayed everywhere we go. And sadly, he has succeeded in desensitizing a huge portion of the church to the evil, and has successfully managed to get many of them to celebrate the evil and not the Reformation. (Read my article about this scheme of our enemy at: Should we Celebrate October 31st?)

It’s not clear how the church became so oblivious to evil. Some how, somewhere along the line, the church leaders decided to ignore Halloween occult practices, incorporate them as a draw, condone them openly and/or adopt them. That didn’t make any of it less evil, it just became less obvious as it hid behind the skirts of the church. People going to church were taught to accept it because their leaders did.

The result is that few church leaders in the USA now-a-days preach against the evils of it. But,  I love God’s kids too much to let the year go by without saying something that may penetrate the lies and encourage even one person to step away from the wickedness of Halloween.

Though you may be one that thinks I am old fashioned or overreacting,  I am not moved by your protests, so don’t bother to write.  Nor will I accept or acknowledge excuses that “it is all in fun” or “it’s all make believe” or “we do it for the kids.” None of that washes and I won’t respond to those comments either.  Why am I so stubborn on this?  Two reasons:  First and foremost, the word of God says to reject evil, even the appearance of it. To me the evil of Halloween has been and is quite obvious.

Here are just a couple of verses, out of many that are in the Word of God, telling us to turn away from evil things like Halloween and do good instead:

Amos 5:14 – 15 (NRSV) Seek good and not evil, that you may live; and so the LORD, the God of hosts, will be with you, just as you have said. Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

3 John 1:11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.

1 Peter 2:15 – 16 (NRSV) For it is God’s will that by doing right you should silence the ignorance of the foolish. As servants of God, live as free people, yet do not use your freedom as a pretext for evil.

Secondly,  I have first hand knowledge of the evils of the occult and its supposedly innocent fun beginnings “for the kids.” My Lord Jesus delivered me out of that trap in 1990. Celebrating Halloween as a child, led me to fascination with the occult. Living my life in occult New Age practices for over 20 years as an adult nearly killed me. I will never be silent regarding the dangers to both children and adults of playing around with demonic things, including Halloween,  because I personally KNOW what can happen and I don’t want it to happen to you or your children!

You can read my testimony on cherylbirchministries.com .  You can also view my testimony that was recorded a couple of years ago. I spoke regarding the need to step out of evil contrasting with a Halloween decorated set. View it by clicking Here.

As well, I have written an article from my heart called  What Part of Evil is Good?

So, what if this article or my testimony has touched your heart and you are ready to step away from Halloween? How does one combat this evil?  Answer: Renounce it. Repent for entertaining it and participating in it. Receive forgiveness and determine to step into GOOD! Evil is overcome by good!

Then, this time of year,  start celebrating the Reformation! Have a Reformation Party for the kids. Sure candy is great and lots of treats.  Cute, not evil, costumes add to the festivities.  Celebrate with great joy! Have fun! Our God loves a good party that honors Him!  When folks say “Happy Halloween” reply with “Happy Reformation Day!” When folks ask if you celebrating October 31st answer: Yes! I celebrate the Reformation every year.

Does that work? Yup! Been doing it for years and the conversations are astounding. The presence of God is remarkable. People ask questions! What is the Reformation? It opens doors to telling people it’s a celebration of the word of God or the Bible. That opens up a door to tell them about Jesus.

In this, the 500th year of God restoring His Word to us, let’s honor HIM on October 31st and give the devil a GOOD kick in his back side!

With much love to you always,

Rev. Cheryl

 

 

 

 

 

Beginning = Love One Another

potter hands

And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another. This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it. 2 John 1:5-6

In my walk with our Lord I have found over and over again that every ending means God has developed in me a greater capacity to keep His commandment to love one another as He has loved us.  (John 15:12) This increased capacity to love as He loves creates a new beginning and He opens new doors for me to walk through in order that I may demonstrate His love in fresh new ways.  The hard part of this process is always the ending of a season, especially if that season has been the center of my life. The closing of a door can be confusing if it is something I had come to rely upon or had thought I would be part of forever. It can be painful as closing doors always means I have to let go of something whether its my opinions, habits, status and position, financial, or even people. Often the new door is not clear and I have needed to let the old door close in obedience following the leading of Holy Spirit without knowing exactly where I am going or why.

In this process of beginning, for I am determined to look at each ending situation no matter how painful as an exciting new chapter in my life, Continue reading