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Mark 3:13-19 "And he went up on the mountain, and called to him those whom he desired; and they came to him. And he appointed twelve, to be with him… " For three years, the first twelve were able to really know Jesus and to be trained by Him. Above all, they knew Christ. He knew them. Their lives were ruled with the insatiable desire to serve Him – even through the most discouraging situations. To this day, true apostles have this same driving passion to know God and to make Him known. What we often miss is knowing those who are "with us." As apostles, do they stay with us, follow us, or travel with us?
As I minister around the world, I see a resurgence within the body of Christ for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In God's people from all denominations, whether pastors and other leaders or the people within the congregations, there is a cry for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is a definite move of God, as the altars are full of people desiring to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Men, women, youth and children are activating their faith and are receiving this precious power from above. Grown men and intellectuals who have struggled for years with receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit are receiving instantly and weeping for joy as they begin to speak in tongues.
I hear the Father saying, "I am breaking the age barrier! Quit saying, 'I am getting older.' Christ in you is ageless. Allow His Spirit to quicken your mortal body and soar with the eagles. And don't tell Me where I can't send you this year. Get over yourself and buy some new luggage." (Someone should be shouting about now!) I sense the Lord saying, "The older stars in My kingdom are going to shine brighter and do greater exploits than ever before!" I sense there is a special anointing coming upon older men and women in the Body of Christ. God is not through using you.
In February 2018, I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day when before me a massive ancient lock appeared suspended in the air. The Holy Spirit invited me to enter in through the skeleton key opening on the front of the lock. When I approached the keyhole, it was like a large arched entryway into a castle or fortress. It was plenty big enough for me to walk into it. The giant arched walkway led into the intricate inner workings of the lock. I realized that my body and presence were being used as keys to gain entrance into the depths of the giant lock.
"When Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, He yielded up His spirit. At that moment the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom." (Matthew 27:50) At Easter we remember the sacrifice of Christ at Calvary and how He took the judgment and chastisement for our sins upon Himself. But there's another significant event that took place at the moment Jesus cried out from the cross and yielded up His spirit. Scripture says that the veil in the Jewish Temple was suddenly ripped in two. It was not simply pushed aside, it was violently torn apart from the top to the bottom!
When new revelation from the Lord first penetrates our minds, we tend to justify old beliefs using human philosophy, traditions of men and scripture taken out of context. But if that revelation connects with our spirit and we entertain its validity, it germinates and begins to grow, at which point our current paradigm begins to lose its power to limit our understanding of truth.
The Israelites left Egypt where they were slaves for several hundred years. As they came out to the desert God waited for them longing to woo them much the same way that a man woos a woman during courtship. Things unfortunately started to go South very quickly when the Israelites did what most of us normally do which is to put the face of Pharaoh (who/what we live to please) over the face of God. This action implants in us an erroneous view of God which means that we try to relate with him much the same way we did/do with the one who has wounded us the most. In their case, Pharaoh, with whom they knew no relationship was possible apart from one that revolved around hard labor. He gave them their marching orders and they performed them. As long as they did this all was well and they were allowed to survive.
Maureen and I literally bumped into each other at church walking down the same isle. She was new, single and alone so I asked her to come and sit with me! She did and that is how our friendship started. Maureen came to singles class with me for a while. We had such joy when together. She is so vivacious and draws me out of myself. Truly a blessing in my life!
Starting this month you can expect to gain new clarity and see the birthing of new things. The Lord is going to provide greater understanding into why you have suffered. Suffering produces perseverance and God is going to use this to bring new strength to you. Get ready for God to release a divine strategy to help you navigate through what is coming! There are good things that God has kept hidden for this time and they are now being revealed to you. Set up road signs; put up guideposts. Take note of the highway, the road that you take. Jeremiah 31:21a NIV
Do you know those phone calls you dread to receive? The person on the other end tells you your worst fear has come true, your loved one has passed, your company is shutting the doors. A pit opens in your stomach, and you feel yourself falling into the black hole of despair. I will never forget one of the stupidest things I did as a teenager that resulted in my parents receiving one of those phone calls. "Mr. Butler, this is the Hoover Police [long, unnecessary pause for dramatic effect]. I have your son, Chase, here with me now."

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