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 I felt sad and overwhelmed only because I was fearful and because of the fear I was meditating on the wrong things.  Fear is a sneaky foe, but Holy Spirit revealed it to me. He said: Child, there is NO JOY found in the world except that which is flowing from Me. How true those words to me are! No matter where I looked, nothing but HIM could give me deep abiding sense of hope and happiness. So, now I purpose to check myself regularly and ask Holy Spirit to check on me and what I am focusing on. l purpose to meditate on what my God is doing, what He is speaking, and on what it says in His written WORD to us.  No matter the turmoil in my life or in the world around me there is a place of supernatural JOY that keeps me strong and enables me to do all thing through Christ Jesus, my Lord!

So join me in a SHOUT!  I will REJOICE in the Lord Always! And again we Shout REJOICE!

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Who’s Your Daddy?

“Lay down your spiritual warfare weapons,” said the voice of the Lord I have come to know, love and obey. My response: HUH?

The apparent warfare around me and around the body of Christ screamed out in demand of increasing every spiritual warfare technique I had ever learned.  To lay down all of that felt contrary to everything I had learned from my mentors, teachers, and pastors. In six words the Voice I loved had negated every spiritual warfare seminar and conference I had attended as well as every book I read and video series I had watched. Even closer to home, it wiped out what I had taught hundreds of others. Thus, it was hard for me to receive those 6 words.

Then started the conversation with Holy Spirit.  Not sure why I persist with this habit, none-the-less, it always starts out: But, Lord….

I had a lot of “But, Lords” to state and “How can it be” questions to ask. Seemed that He already knew that and He spoke to me in His loving, soft, gentle, yet firm way, “You’re doing it all wrong.”  My answer: HUH?

No doubt, we His kids, can be quite comical to Him at times I am sure.  In this case, I am certain my astonishment must have been amusing because I heard His wonderful laughter wash over me. All I could feel was joy and peace followed by love and acceptance. What could I say to that except, “Yes, Lord”? And, because He apparently knew I was ready to hear Him on this topic, I yielded, albeit a bit begrudgingly, and turned my inner ear toward Him.

It wasn’t what I heard, but what I saw next that impacted me.  I saw a small child (couldn’t tell boy or girl) chased by the enemy (demonic beings) running toward flowing purple fabric. The child ran into the fabric and disappeared. While watching this vision, I realized the child was hiding behind the leg of a man wearing leather sandals. In moments, the child, comforted and strengthened by the encounter with the man, peeked out. The enemy was a great distance away.  The enemy could not approach the man or the child.  The man spoke over the child lovingly and kindly. After awhile the child lifted their hand and repeated the words of the man. As the words were released, power flowed and the enemy disappeared completely.

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Hiding in the robe of the Father

A lesson in an intense way of intercession began that day.  Holy Spirit pointed out the child was not dressed in armor as I had pictured it. The child was not holding a sword or a shield.  The child was not shouting or yelling at the devils. The child was standing strong, at peace, full of joy and lovingly protected in the purple skirts. The child listened, learned and repeated what the man said.  And the man? …. Continue reading

A World gone Crazy

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This morning I felt overwhelmed by prayer needs and the need to pray.  If you are an intercessor, or one who prays, you have probably had those days too. My heart breaks today for the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch TN where 7 were wounded and a 39 year old woman was killed by a masked shooter.  And our eastern seaboard is projected to be pounded once again by a strong hurricane, the 3rd one, 4th if one counts the hurricane that kicked up storms while blowing itself out in the middle of the ocean. Puerto Rico lies in devastation from the same storm and Florida and Texas are still in crisis cleaning up from the previous two. And, my prayer list for personal needs, illnesses, sudden deaths in families and on and on is growing. Seems like every day I get more bad news that needs prayer.

What does a follower of Jesus do when the world has seemingly gone crazy around them? In the language of my first prayer partners who were all 80 something and I was a kid of 41, we PRESS IN.  That phrase when I first heard it back in the 1990’s made little sense to me. I was a new believer and my question at the time was “Press into what?” My mentors smiled a knowing smile and simply said “Jesus, of course.”

Brother John, tall graying black curly hair, with a wonderful base voice came over to my side. My hands completely disappear into his large knuckled chocolate brown hands… Continue reading

Call to Fast Jan 15th – 22nd

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We are in a most remarkable time in history. Though not much is “normal”, there is a lot of division, name calling and angst, the good news is our God is not surprised, He is still on His throne, the end of the world has not arrived (yet), and He has a perfectly wonderful plan for the USA to fulfill her destiny and glorify Him. We have taken many detours, but none-the-less, we are still on the road to His best for us! It’s hard to see the goal right now. The future is indeed hazy as the old passes away and the Lord institutes HIS NEW. In order to get clarity on our purpose, role, direction both individually and corporately during this time of change, the Lord put on my heart to fast 7 days from sundown on Jan 15th through sundown on January 22nd.

Read more about the fast by clicking this link: https://www.facebook.com/notes/cheryl-birch-ministriesinc/a-call-to-fast-jan-15-21/1356976201000635

This is a multiple purpose fast to humble ourselves and draw closer to Him for redirection and refreshing… AND, for the transition of our nation from one President to another with PEACE. It is vital that we get in sync with our Father’s plans for us, our city, state, and nation. We MUST bless President Obama as he leaves office and bless President-Elect Trump as he enters office. That is our role as the ecclesia! To pray for all leadership whether we like them or don’t like them…. “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior…” 1 Tim 2:1-3

I will be posting scriptures, prayers, encouragement and whatever Holy Spirit speaks to my heart on our ministry page at www.facebook.com/cherylbirchministries. If you are fasting with us, make sure you have “liked” our page and watch for those posts!

We have job to do!

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“And you shall swear, ‘The Lord lives,’ In truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; The nations shall bless themselves in Him, And in Him they shall glory.” Jeremiah 4:2

All I ever hear from the Lord is that
we are being prepared to enter into the USA’s Greatest Hour!

I don’t listen to or read all the junk being published about the downfall of the USA. Truly, there are far too many that love the Lord with their whole heart and whole mind salted throughout our nation for God to destroy us. No, we are not in a time of wrath and destruction. We are in a time of course correction, discipline and intense training so we are prepared to rise up in our greatest hour ever!

I know that I must shout from the rooftops to the body of Christ: Believe the truth of God’s word and begin to declare His truth and BLESS our nation!!!

Start today, during our national birthday month. Let’s stop speaking unbelief, fear and death over our land and start speaking LIFE ABUNDANT in Christ Jesus! As we rise up together and become a voice of blessing in every sphere, we will see righteousness return steadily to our land!

We have a job to do, a great work in the Lord, to win a nation back to Christ.

Let’s stop complaining and go do it!

We Can Do It!!

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In a recent dream I saw a woman standing in total darkness. A bright spotlight pierced the darkness and lit her up. She held a microphone. She stood alone on a platform. Her head was down. She was dressed in white with a red wrap. She lifted her head. Her hair shone brilliant white and her eyes flashed with fire. At the top of her voice she shouted: I CAN! I CAN DO THIS! Then she began to sing in chant with great joy: I can! I can do this! over and over. I joined her in the dream and woke myself up saying “I can! I can do this!”

I took the dream to the the Lord in prayer and He gave me Psalm 98:1 “Oh sing to the Lord a New Song! For He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the Victory!”

Some of the dream interpretation is obvious: The woman represents the church, the bride of Christ. The Light of heaven is upon her. She stands in purity wrapped in the blood of Jesus. She radiates glory and fire is in her eyes. She stands in a place of authority and her voice is amplified in the earth.

Holy Spirit also spoke this to me: Up till that moment in the dream, when she began to declare in song chant, she was not using her voice. And, by her words, there was a thought of failure and oppression of the enemy that needed to be dealt with through declaration.    1 Thessalonians 1:24 “He who called you is faithful, who also will do it.” came to mind.

Yes, Lord, let us sing a new song of faith in YOU, of trust that You can do great things as we take our stand and lift our voice declaring Your truth. Let Your Light shine brilliantly upon us and flow through us. Restore our joy in You for YES! we can do this! We can be Your Ambassadors in the midst of darkness declaring your Your marvelous love and works. There is Victory in Christ Jesus! AMEN!

Pillars of Hope

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Many people asked me if the prayer focus I shared at the 3rd Annual Pray Modesto Prayer Breakfast was recorded. Since it was a prayer meeting, it was not. However, I have gone over my notes and asked the Holy Spirit to help me to reconstruct the message. The written version of “Pillars of Hope: Water, Wealth, Contentment, Health” is posted here. While the Father spoke this over the city of Modesto California on June 4, 2015, I believe the principles in the message apply no matter where we live. May His word to our beloved city bless you whether you live in the greater Modesto area or anywhere in the world!

Pillars of Hope: Water, Wealth, Contentment, Health
By Rev Cheryl Birch

Back in 1911 there was a contest to choose a motto for Modesto.  Whichever slogan won the contest, those words would be placed upon a brand new entrance arch to greet all visitors.

The slogan that won that contest was “Nobody’s got Modesto’s Goat” –

Thankfully, the Modesto Businessmen’s Association made an excellent decision to put the second place winner on our arch.  In 1912, Water Wealth Contentment Health lit up 9th and I Streets for the first time using 696 incandescent light bulbs.

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As I was praying in preparation for this morning, I could see those words – Water Wealth Contentment Health – glowing in the dark. They began to radiate with glory.

In them I could see that the Lord Jesus intended blessing for our city. He had something far more wonderful than “Nobody’s got Modesto’s goat”… I believe He turned the hearts of the decision makers in 1911 toward His promises for this city.

When these 4 words were first proclaimed, they described Modesto in the natural or physical realms.  This area was golden with wheat that brought great wealth, there     was lots of water to grow that wheat and other produce with two rivers flowing, and later because of irrigation.

People were by and large content with life here. All cities have some problems, but Modesto, in the early 1900s, was known for excellence in education, music, entertain-ment and the beautiful rose gardens. The people were healthy because of all the wonderful foods, fruits and vegetables available year round.

Over the years, and most recently, it is obvious these 4 promises have come under severe attack.

We look around and we have challenges: drought and water battles, unemployment and poverty with resulting discontentment and on top of that poor air quality and a challengingly dismal health record.  We seem to be on the bottom of everyone’s good list and the top of everyone’s bad list. And, according to the powers that be, the best we do is the middle of the pack.

What I say to that is Baloney! Yes, Baloney! Modesto is not all that, it is a blessed city!

The Lord spoke to my heart many years ago now to look again with supernatural or spiritual eyes at our city.  When I looked again with spiritual eyes at our Arch, I could see He gave us a Gift — A Gift of Four Pillars of Hope

Hope, He wished to bestow upon the residents back then and Hope for all future citizens of Modesto.  Words to rejoice over during good times, and to stand upon during difficult times.

The word of God is rich with scriptures to define these promises of HOPE.  In fact,  there are too many verses to share in this short time so, I chose key scriptures that stood out to me for each one:

The Promise of Water – A symbol of the Holy Spirit and God’s word – John 7:37-39 37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

The Promise of Wealth – symbol of Godly treasures, treasures of heaven, and treasures of the heart Colossians 2:2-3  that their (that our) hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

The Promise of Contentment – symbol of resting in the Lord, of the fullness of trusting in Christ Jesus no matter what is going on around us … Philippians 4 entire chapter, especially verses 11-13 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ[b] who strengthens me.

The Promise of Health – Symbol of Christ Jesus healing our heart, mind and body Isaiah 53:5 (Repeated in 1 Peter 2) But He (Jesus) was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

The very gates of our city have been and are being assailed by our spiritual enemy twisting and turning the wonderful message found in these 4 words. BUT, City of Modesto, we possess these promises, they supersede our natural circumstances and we can contend together for those promises!

We can stand together and we can Hope again! We can Pray together and unify in faith on God’s promises. We can proclaim together, knowing the Biblical message of Water Wealth Contentment Health defines God’s plans for us! We can come into agreement with the Father’s vision and destiny for our city and see the fulfillment of these spiritual promises also begin to transform our natural atmosphere as He transforms hearts.

As we seek first His righteousness, then all the things we need will be added to us. There is equity in our God but we need to ask.

This is where we are: The very identity and future of Modesto rests in the hearts and mouths of the believers and her citizens.  What we say about ourselves and our city is contagious whether positive or negative.

In this world everyone is trying to make us into their image of who and how and what they think we should be. When we accept that and allow others to tell us who we are; we lose our God given identity.  What we must hang on to at all times, no matter the pressure from others or the demonic spiritual pressures, is that our identity is found in Christ Jesus alone. As we embrace Him more and more fully, who we are in Him is revealed and it becomes evident to all.

The same is true for our collective selves as a city.  Modesto’s identity is to be found in Christ Jesus alone. It is time we stepped away from old paradigms of expression, old mindsets about who we are, and stop allowing others to mold Modesto’s image.  Instead let’s look at who we are individually and collectively in Christ and Christ alone! In Him all things old have passed away and behold all things have become NEW!

Jesus Himself said in Luke 6:44-46 (NKJV)
44 For every tree is known by its own fruit…. 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Modesto is suffering from low self- esteem not only because others have spoken badly about her, but because so much discouragement has been flowing out of the hearts and the mouths of her residents.

Let’s break the cycle! Let’s become Champions for Modesto and speak according to the Father’s vision for us.  I see a thriving Modesto flowing in an abundance of the good things of God as we give utterance to our promises.

Let’s take a moment of personal reflection, and repentance if needed, before we pray together…and, ask our Father in heaven to give us His eyes to see the city and His love for this place we live. Let’s truly unify in prayer believing, for there is power in faith agreement, and ask God to release His purposes and His excellence in our midst. Not for our sakes but for the sakes of the multitude of souls waiting in the valley of decision.

Our prayers are more effective than we think they are – They are part of the ministry of reconciliation.  Our words and requests help pave the way to restoring the people of this city to Harmony with God. To restoration of His grace, favor and provision!

We could pray this morning from the point of view that Modesto has problems that are getting our goat… or we can pray from God’s point of view…

We have a divinely appointed and heavenly orchestrated opportunity to bless Modesto in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ this morning. Not one of you is here by accident. What each of you prays will lift up this city to the throne of grace and our Father in heaven will hear and will respond to YOUR prayers.

Let’s ask Him to fulfill in our day, in our lifetime, His promises of Water Wealth Contentment Health…

Everyone, can we say together: Water Wealth Contentment Health?

Yes Father – Water Wealth Contentment Health in Jesus Name we pray! AMEN!

~*~
Copyrighted 2015 Cheryl S Birch – All rights reserved
Contact author for permission to reprint or share.

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