The greatest enemy of faith, the most subtle and the most devastating, is the lack of knowledge of the Word of God. To believe the devil's lie that, "It is God that is putting you through trials and tests" will neutralize your faith. Through religious tradition Satan has blinded the minds of Christians to what the Word says. Jesus said, "SATAN HATH DESIRED TO...SIFT YOU." James 1:2 says, "...count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations." Notice, he said, "When you fall into temptations," not when you walk into them with your eyes open. Some folks have walked into them with their eyes wide open! This verse is often misquoted as, "The trying of your faith perfects it." But the Word says, "The trying of your faith works patience."
We have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16) what and where is the mind of Christ our what does it mean to have your EYES open! An interesting verse about hearing God is found in (Psalm 16:7). The word for mind here also describes heart, and the inmost being. They are used interchangeably in three different bible translations: "I will bless the LORD who has counseled me; indeed, my mind instructs me in the night" (NAS). "I will bless the LORD Who has given me counsel; yes my heart instructs me in the night seasons" (Amplified Bible). In the Complete Jewish Bible, the Hebrew translates mind and heart as inmost being: "I bless ADONAI, my counselor; at night my inmost being instructs me." The promise is that even as you sleep there will be revelation.
It's the season of woodpeckers. Recently I see multiple of these red-headed beauties each day, which seems like more than I typically notice each spring. The beautiful thing about woodpeckers is that they SEEK OUT areas of DISTURBANCE. Areas recently affected by fire, land that's recently been CLEARED (God just recently spoke about clearing), or places where trees have died are just a few places they choose for their NESTING GROUND (allaboutbirds.org). How beautifully unexpected. They seek for their place of BIRTHING new life the places that have just experienced disturbance. Google dictionary defines disturbance as "the interruption of a settled and peaceful condition."
John the Revelator warned, "Beware of FALSE apostles." (Rev. 2:2). Even in his day, there must have been those masquerading around pretending to be an apostle. We sure see a lot of that going on today! John tells us that God HATES their deeds and the way people elevate themselves as "apostles." We will later examine the characteristics of those who really do the work of apostles. But. right now, let's look at the false. In our modern day, it seems that being an apostle has been greatly misunderstood. The title and anointing of the Office of the Apostle is often abused and misinterpreted.
Those of you who know me, know that the Holy Spirit sometimes speaks to me through extremely vivid dreams. This morning when I woke up I knew that I had several dreams but I couldn't recall the details. After a few minutes I walked into the kitchen and as I looked at my clock the Holy Spirit instantly brought back to my remembrance an amazing dream that I had. I knew without a doubt that this dream was a word from God. In the dream I was looking at a clock on a wall. It was a fairly large clock, round, and approximately 12' in diameter. As I was watching it the hands began to rotate on their own.
"If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to show unto man his uprightness." (Job 33:23) There is a great need for interpreters in our day. These are the ones Father can trust to share His heart and impart that truth into the lives and circumstances of desperate souls. But they are few and far between—one out of a thousand, according to Scripture, and it's probably not much more today. The Lord chooses and qualifies these anointed ones to speak His heart into the lives of others.
I tend to write three types of blogs. One, I fulfill my weekly commitment and offer an observation and lesson. Two, I actually hit a nerve but make sure the points are general enough to not be too personal. Three, I cut right to the core with less regard to social expectations. The third normally stays saved in the drafts. I know this about myself because I have an iPhone full of notes I've never shared. Many get deleted. Few get posted. Why? Because I'm afraid if I post the ones I wrote therapeutically, with no regards to audience or perception, it would be too much. It would fall outside the bounds of what you expect.
Luke 24:49 "And look, I am sending the promise of My Father upon you. But wait in the city of Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from on high." God has called us to be a people who carry the substance of His Presence and have a live connection to the power of His Holy Spirit. Just as Jesus told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they receive "power" from on high. Jesus knew the essentiality of that power to our lives and for the gospel to be fully demonstrated. If the disciples would have gone out without following the words Jesus had spoken to them, not waiting to be clothed with the power of the Spirit in Jerusalem, it would have been a flop – no Holy Spirit, no power.
Many are called, but few are chosen. Matthew 22:14 Billy Graham was definitely one of the chosen few. Like John the Baptist, Jeremiah and others, his destiny seemed to be sealed before he exited his mother's womb. There is a catch phrase that has become somewhat of a cliché among Christians, "In God's perfect timing." But I am convinced that everything does actually happen in God's perfect timing. The birth, life and passing of Billy Graham is perhaps one of the greatest examples in modern history. His simple message of personal salvation was probably the main catalyst that brought into existence a Christian mindset that transcended denominations, establishing a block of Christianity known as Evangelicals; who have not only been influential in the Church at large but also in the American political arena.
In this third chapter of Joel, we hear the prophet describe a time yet to come. It will be a time of great harvest on the earth, and this verse describes the catalyst. A plowshare is an agricultural instrument used to till the soil. At this point in history, it was a tool that spoke of one's vocation. However, the prophet was speaking of a time yet to come. The prophet described the plowshare as an instrument that will be turned into a sword. The sword is often used in the Bible to describe God's Word. The only way a plowshare can be turned into a sword is for it to go through extreme heat, and then the blacksmith must beat that plowshare into shape.