Archive for the ‘fear’ Tag
The logs crackled and snapped in the campfire as Jesus unfolded a large wool blanket and draped one end around my shoulders. Then He pulled the other end around His own shoulders and sat down on the log beside me as we faced the fire. The surf pounded on the beach nearby and tiny crabs ran into their holes to hide. Enjoying the beauty of His creation, the Lord breathed in the salty air and watched the night sky with pleasure as one by one the bright stars appeared above us. Soon we were surrounded by His galaxies in the canopy overhead.
Time always seems to be suspended when I am with Him like this. It does not pass, it just is. He is never in a hurry. He has all the time in the world. After all, He created time and it submits to Him. In one instant He can remove me from the cares and stress of life and transfer me into His timeless realm of peace, showing me where reality truly lies. It is as though life in the realm we consider real is only a tragic story in a book. Then we lift our eyes and close the book and are once again in the present reality of His realm of glorious life.
The warmth of Him close beside me dispelled the chill of the night air. Quietly now He sharpened the end of a long stick with a pocket knife. Then He reached into a bag of marshmallows and placed one on the end of the stick. Grinning at me, He held the stick over the fire. When the marshmallow was golden He pulled off the outer layer, as I had done as a child, and popped it into my mouth.
What detailed care He takes to surprise us with such small, yet wonderful encouragements of His love. The cares of many days rolled away as I sat on the beach, eating marshmallows with my friend, the Creator.
Recently I read a posting on Elijahlist by Kathi Pelton regarding revelation the Lord had given her about peace. It seemed such vital information that I wanted to share it with you. She said:
Peace creates an atmosphere of blessing, but fear creates an atmosphere of warfare. The Holy Spirit spoke to me one day and said, “Fear is like bait for demons. They smell it and they gather to it in order to feast of its many delights. It gives strength to demons and leaves its victim weak and vulnerable.”
Then He went on to say, “Peace is absolute confusion to the enemy. He doesn’t recognize it; he cannot work within the atmosphere of peace because chaos and peace cannot coexist. Peace is the pathway to the banqueting table that I’ve prepared for you in the presence of your enemies. Peace is to fear like light is to darkness; it dispels it.”
This was one of the greatest revelations that I have ever received. Honestly, the majority of the warfare that I’ve faced in my life has come from lack of peace. The loss of peace increased my warfare, because fear came in and the enemy had an atmosphere that he could breathe and work in. As I have allowed the Holy Spirit to take me into deeper levels of peace I have found that it is an atmosphere of breakthrough. It is as if peace creates a portal that bypasses the enemy’s opposition on some level. As I have come into greater peace, I have also discovered that I can more clearly hear the voice of wisdom. Peace calms the storm and the noise produced by fear, allowing us to hear the counsel and wisdom of the Lord.
* Elijahlist article posted by Kathi Pelton, May 9,’15 (www.elijahlist.com)
There are places on this earth where a portal into Heaven has been opened, making it easier to rise in the Spirit into the realms of God. (see post from April 15,’13). Conversely, there are other places where quite the opposite is true. Those who have experienced this will need little explanation of it. Interestingly enough, the reasons for this are quite similar.
We saw in the April 15 post that God sometimes opens portals on earth to mark certain places where He has met with man in a significant way. At other times He opens a portal because of all the worship that has ascended from that place. Christians go to these places and are able to receive anointing, healing and blessing.
Other places have been marked by satan because of the great evil that has occurred there, allowing him to set up an evil reign over the area. Those who belong to him make pilgrimage to those places to practice evil and they are empowered by doing so.
Satan is the master of counterfeit. He delights in taking what God does, twisting it for his own evil purposes and deceiving people with it.
The missions compound that I spoke of in the April 15 post was like a glorious bubble in the midst of darkness. There was an open Heaven there where we delighted in the presence of God. But on one side, just across the wall, we heard early morning prayers being chanted to false gods while on the other side the witch doctors banged their drums all night cursing us and our leaders by name. Things would be fine for awhile, then suddenly there would be 10 cases of malaria and several people having odd accidents. We’d give each other the “uh-oh” look and realize we had been lulled to sleep and neglected our prayer cover. So we would once again put on our spiritual armour, plead the blood of Jesus over us, do prayer walks around the compound and break the curses that were aimed against us.
While there are ways of redeeming land in evil places and breaking the curses that are on it, this is never a job for one individual or a few who are untrained. It usually involves finding out what defiled the land there historically, repentance by those involved or their families, tribes or nations and making amends in some way. Each place is unique and only God holds the keys to the deep secrets of restoration. For the untrained, these places are best avoided. There are those He trains and sends to such places and when He does, realms collide and light wins over the darkness.
My purpose here is not to study spiritual warfare in this area but only to contrast the access of Heavenly realms in areas where a portal exists with those areas where great evil reigns. In such places it is decidedly difficult to even feel the presence of the Lord since everything is geared toward the evil one. Sometimes people stumble into a place like this and don’t understand it. They think something is wrong with them. But the problem may actually be the geographical location, or even other people around them who have ungodly spirits. When you feel that something is out of line spiritually, always stop and ask the Lord for discernment and instructions. Putting on your spiritual armour (Eph.6:13-18) and staying alert is mandatory. Remember that Jesus is always with you and will never leave you. The enemy plays games of shadows and darkness meant to deceive you. But greater is He that is within you than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
A word to tourists:
I have travelled much and seen tourists repeatedly invite trouble, whether innocently or not. Remember that you do not understand the customs of the country you are visiting. Most things have spiritual significance that those in the West are ignorant of.
Visiting the “holy” sites of other religions and false gods is a bad idea. You serve the One True God who is very jealous of your love. He is so jealous, in fact, that He says His very name is ‘Jealous’! (Ex.20:5, Ex. 34:14) These verses talk about bowing down or worshipping other gods. Most Christians would never do that. However, any time one goes into such a tourist site, especially into temples and other places where false gods are worshipped, they will be asked to remove their shoes and often cover their heads. This is a sign of honor to the ‘deity’. Satan, who is behind all false gods, accepts this as worship! And it particularly pleases him when it comes from a Christian. Please do not do this. Be wise enough and strong enough to say no to your hosts if necessary and refuse to go. (Mt. 10:32, Rom.1:16) It can open doors of access to the enemy into your life. Often, people don’t know why they become ill afterwards or why many evil things begin to happen in their lives. They don’t even trace it back to the source and things can drag on and become worse over time. In such cases, repentence along with prophetic intercession should be done to pinpoint the problem and break the curses.
This leads also to the matter of souvenirs that people bring home with them. One must use much discernment in gift shops. There are certain things to always avoid. Masks are in that category, and carvings/idols, along with anything that is obviously to be used in a religious ceremony. If it has the look of evil about it … it likely is. Jewellery is another questionable item, especially if there are words or symbols inscribed on it in a language you don’t understand. (When we were on the mission field in Mozambique, babies who were brought to the orphanage always wore a small leather bracelet that had been put on them by the witch doctor. The parents were told that it was a ‘blessing’ but in reality, it was a curse which had to be broken when the missionaries removed the bracelet.) These things are unheard of by those of us in 1st world countries. How harmful could a simple leather bracelet be? Plenty, if the one who made it placed curses on it.
You see, it works like this. Whatever man worships, he empowers. For example, an idol made of wood is only an object and has no power. But when men believe it has power and they worship it, satan uses that to his advantage and begins to work through it, thereby strengthening their belief. When you give an object like this a place of honor in your home, that power comes along with it, even if you were not the one worshipping it. It’s a very foolish thing to do and also falls under the list of things that make your God jealous.
It works in the same way (but opposite) as the aprons and handkerchiefs that the Apostle Paul prayed over and sent out. (Acts 19:12) Those who received them were healed of diseases and even delivered from demons! Unfortunately, the opposite works in the enemy’s realm as well in the form of evil anointings and curses.
This may seem like a rather hard word but please hear my heart. It is not meant to bring fear to you, but wisdom and protection as you heed this advice. If you find yourself inadvertently in a situation or place of danger, do not fear. Plead the blood of Jesus over yourself and ask for wisdom and guidance. And remember that Jesus is always with you to protect and deliver you from evil.
What was it like for Moses to actually climb up that quaking, thundering mountain and walk right into the fire of God? Remember again the smoking, fiery moutain in the wilderness. When the earthquake came and the voice of God thundered, the people were terrified and ran away. (See previous post, July 30) But Moses “drew near unto the thick darkess where God was.” (Ex. 20:21) This darkness that sometimes seems to surround God is actually the “dense oil of the spirit – incomprehensible to man and therefore seemingly dark”. (see footnote)
Even though the rest of the people ran away in terror, Moses wanted God so desperately that he was willing to answer His invitation to come up into the fire. My guess is that the higher he climbed and the closer he came, the more the fire turned to glory and the thicker the presence of God became until he was enveloped by God Himself.
In later expereinces he actually talked with God “face to face as a man speaks to his friend”. (Ex.33:11) I’ve heard many preachers quote the other verse … you know, the one where God said, “You cannot see my face; for there shall no man see me and live.” (Ex. 33:20) I puzzled about that verse for a long time. It’s interesting that both these verses occur in the same chapter and were written by the same man under the inspiration of God. Even studying the Hebrew words revealed that the same word was used both times for “face”. There was no difference of terms. More interesting still is the fact that speaking face to face with God was recorded first in v. 11, while the verses shortly following that seem to restrict that ability.
There are times when God seems to “bend the rules” or bring something into the present that is actually reserved for the future. This usually happens because of an intimate relationship with Him. We see this in the life of David when he was allowed to put the Ark of God in a tent in his back yard and change the whole pattern of worship during a certain time period. (1 Chron. 16) We see this at the wedding of Cana when Jesus mother Mary persuaded Him to do the first miracle even though He told her it was not yet His time. (St. John 2)
Could it be that God was saying to Moses, “You and I have such a close relationship that you have become My friend and I can speak to you face to face. But just so you know the rules for this time period … no man can see Me and live. (Ex. 33:20,21) However … there is a place, a position beside Me, where you can stand.” Perhaps the Lord left the door open just enough for Moses to get through.
But now the rules that held us at a distance have changed! Now Jesus has come and died for us and opened the way for relationship with God. Now we have a better covenant and better promises based on relationship with God. (Heb. 8). Now there is a door standing open in Heaven and a voice calling “Come up here”! (Rev. 4:1)
What are we waiting for? Just respond to His call. Just start climbing, step by step, up the mountain to meet with the One you love.
*Footnote: This is a quote from Anna Rountree’s book Heaven Awaits the Bride.
Picture yourself for a moment in the wilderness at the foot of Mt. Sinai with the Israelites. You’ve been told that you’re going to meet with God – that He is actually going to come down and talk to you. It’s a clear, hot day but suddenly there is thunder and lightening and a thick cloud coming down onto the mountain. The piercing blast of a ram’s horn sounds above the noise of the thunder. But this is not one of the priests blowing the shofar. No, the sound is coming from above you and it’s growing louder and louder until it merges with your spirit and brings you to your knees. Now the ground begins to rumble and quake beneath you and fire breaks out on top of the mountain. Then, as you lay terrified on the ground clinging to the roots of a large tree, you hear the loud, clear voice of the living God.
This was not just a supernatural, spiritual experience or a vision. This literally happened to every one of the Israelites who came out of Egypt.
God’s deep desire has always been a close fellowship with man, the kind He enjoyed with Adam and Eve in the garden before the fall. He chose Israel to be a holy people separated unto Himself. He planned to come and dwell in the midst of them and be their God. He had revealed Himself through the miracles of Egypt and the escape into the wilderness. He showed Himself in the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night that travelled with them. He supplied numerous miracles in the wilderness to sustain them. But He longed to be closer to them. Finally He told Moses to prepare them to meet with Him.
After all the preparation was finished, “on the third day, it being morning, it happened. There were thunders and lightnings, and a heavy cloud on the mountain, and the sound of a ram’s horn, very strong! And all the people in the camp trembled. And the mountain of Sinai was smoking, all of it, because Jehovah came down on it in fire. And its smoke went up like the smoke of a furnace; and the mountain quaked exceedingly. And it happened while the sound of the ram’s horn was sounding, and becoming very strong, Moses spoke. And God answered him by a voice. ” (Ex. 19:16-19 Literal Translation)
A careful reading of Exodus 20 and the parallel passage of Deuteronomy 5 reveals that this was the time when God gave them the 10 commandments. I had always pictured God giving them to Moses on the mountain, then Moses coming down to read them to the people. But God says clearly to Moses, “Say to the children of Israel, you have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.” [Ex. 20:22] In chapter 5 of Deuteronomy Moses is relating their history to them and tells the whole story of how they saw the mountain on fire and heard the voice of the Lord giving them the commandments. He also reminds them of their response. They were terrified and told Moses to hear from God then tell them what He said so they wouldn’t die.
So God’s plan of closer fellowship was rejected by them and God gave them what they asked for. Now He talked to Moses and Moses told them what God said. The Lord spoke His heart on the matter later through Jeremiah (Jer.7:22-24) when He said that His first plan was obedience to His voice rather than sacrifice. His original goal was always a close, intimate relationship with man. But since they rejected the relationship He desired, another system with laws had to be put in place for their own protection.
The lesson here is about relationship once again. Our own fears can keep us from the presence of God. The book of Hebrews tells us that Moses was fearful as well. (Heb.12:21) But evidently His hunger and passion for God was greater than his fear. The voice of the Spirit within us always whispers, “You were made for this.”
When we allow God’s perfect love to cast out our fear, (1 Jn. 4:18 ) when we hunger and thirst for Him more than anything else, we can be drawn into a depth of relationship with Him that others only dream of.
In the next posting we will look at Moses reaction to the same fiery mountain. (Ex. 19:20) “The Lord called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.”
These are challenging times when we are facing great difficulties and uncertainties. This is causing fear in many of God’s people. Recently the Lord reminded me that His peace is another one of those crucial blessings that flow out of intimacy with Him. Let me share with you what He said:
“Fear will only cripple you and hold you back. Fear is from the enemy of your soul. Do not listen to or agree with fear. As the times grow darker, peoples hearts are failing them because of fear. But not you! I have delivered you and trained you and filled you with My peace. Then I set you among them to help deliver them from fear and show them the way of peace.”
“You must continually dwell in Me and in My peace, so that same peace can flow out of you and into the darkness around you. You are the light of the world. (Mt. 5:14-16) Only when you are hidden in Me, only when you live in that secret place of intimacy with Me can I flow through you unhindered to bring light to those around you. It’s not just something you do. It’s who you are … it’s who I Am within you.”
“When you feel that peace disturbed or sense a lack of peace within you, stop and return to Me. Come and really be with Me. I am standing beside you, waiting with open arms. I will never leave you. (Heb.13:5) Call to Me and I will answer you. (Jer.33:3)”
“Come and let Me breathe the breath of My Spirit on you once again.”
When things get too complicated – stop. Just sit down, close your eyes and breathe in the peace of God for a few moments.
Try not to be frustrated in your relationship with Jesus. This love affair is a journey that is meant to be savored every day and every moment. Let it unfold like the beauty of a rose. Don’t be in a hurry for what you think should be happening. Let Him lead. He knows that we need direction and specifics from Him. He designs every experience specifically for each of us, knowing us so intimately because He created us and our distinct personalities. There are some of us who, if given “the plan”, would leave Him sitting on the love seat alone while we ran off to accomplish it for Him. He knows this. And while He does have work for us to share with Him – the relationship is always His primary interest. Everything flows out of that relationship with Him. Intimacy produces fruitfulness.
There are others whose primary goal is power. The motive may even seem right since without power we cannot accomplish what He has sent us to do here. However, if we have His power but we do not have His heart, that very power will corrupt us. When we are in that intimate, ongoing love relationship with Him, His love will flow into us and out through us to the people around us. He will give us the power to love with. The motivation is love. We want to see people healed and delivered and blessed because we love them … because He loves them and died to set them free.
I have found that focusing on problems and constantly rehearsing my needs and reminding Him of my time limits are quite counter-productive. Yes I do have needs. Yes I do need to know His will so I can try to do it. But He knows all of this as well. What He wants is my heart … not just first but always, daily and moment by moment. Sometimes it’s a matter of building trust. We have told Him our needs as He asks us to do. We’ve assured Him that it is His will we are seeking and not our own. If the answer is delayed can we still trust and be at rest even if we don’t understand?
I once read a story told by Corrie Ten Boom. Her father said to her, “Corrie, when we are getting on a train, when do I give you the ticket?”
And she replied, “Just before I get on the train, Father.”
“Yes,” said her father. “You don’t need it until you step onto the train. Then you don’t have to worry about it and you won’t lose it. I take care of it and make it easier for you.”
This does not cancel out the Lord’s instructions to ask and keep on asking … to press in to what He has promised. Sometimes He will ask you to do that, to even be part of the answer. Other times He will require your trust and rest. Once again, this is a relationship not a formula or a list of rules. Human nature would usually prefer a formula than having to deal with God in person. (Ex. 20:18,19) But our spirits cry out for the living God face to face. (Ex. 33:11, Ps. 42:2) In this place we are close enough to hear Him whisper and we will find He doesn’t usually do things the same way twice.
There are times when the Lord will give us a bigger picture of our assignment here. But sometimes that’s on a need-to-know basis. I like a good heart-pounding, white-knuckle, secret agent movie. And because the Lord often speaks to me through movies, one day He said to me, “Did you notice how little information the agent actually had to go on?” That got my attention and I listened closely to what He was saying.
“He was only given the briefest details about his assignment and given a choice to take it or not. This was for the safety of the mission so that If he was caught, he would not have valuable information for the enemy to try to gain from him. All he could see was his small part in a very large espionage plan. It was also very dangerous. Most of the time it wasn’t even clear who to trust – who was on the side of the enemy and who was not. He just had to completely trust the wisdom and guidance of the one who sent him while drawing from the discernment of the intense training he had already completed.”
From the tone of His voice now I could hear Him smiling. “Do you know how much I love you? Can you believe that I have your best interest at heart as well as My own Kingdom plan? I’m doing many things behind the scenes that you do not see. Will you just trust me, My love?”
Slowly my white knuckles began to relax and my heart rate slowed. “OK Jesus,” I breathed. “Just hand me the ticket as I get on the train … with You.”