How familiar and comforting are these words from the prophet Isaiah!
I have been quoting this verse all week, praying it over myself as I battled sickness that overtook my son and me. Weary and decidedly un-energetic, I knew I needed God’s strength!
Then a dear friend called me and said he had been quoting that same verse this week, as he was in severe pain and could not walk. It is a wonderful promise to those who love the Lord. The Bible promises renewal, not just in our minds, but in our physical bodies!
When I woke up this morning, however, it was as though the Holy Spirit were urging me to dig a little deeper. “Those words in Isaiah are not reactionary,” he said, “but preemptive.” Isaiah does not envision only a battle-weary tribe of godly people, clawing their way desperately back into God’s renewing presence! (Although historically, that is what happened.)
No, in fact, Isaiah’s words also envision a victorious people, whose “waiting upon the Lord” connects them daily to a God who is “Everlasting;” who never grows faint or weary Himself (verse 28).
In other words, we are not just the weary who hope to run again; we are runners with the potential to not grow weary in the first place!
Why? Because we pray.
Strength In the Waiting
We may begin in weakness, but our time with God enables us to persevere. Our waiting on God precedes our running and precludes our weariness. All our strength is predicated on waiting!
Waiting on God may seem like a slow start to your day when you see those java-loaded, caffeine-energized sprinters heading out the gate, leaving you in the dust of their wake! But the quiet peace and renewed energy you gain from those first moments alone with God will cause you to keep running when the golden hours come, overtaking those who have long since dropped in exhaustion by the wayside.
Not only that - but if you do fall - when you are wearied beyond belief and think God has forgotten you, Isaiah reminds: “His understanding is unsearchable.” (40:28) Compassion, not condemnation, is extended to you like a firm and sturdy hand, lifting you back to your feet.
No matter how you look at these verses - whether preemptive or redemptive - they carry tremendous hope. Either God will sustain us as we run because we waited on Him and received our sustaining strategy; or He will come to us and assist us when we fall. There is no situation in which you could find yourself where God cannot renew or restore you.
For this reason, Isaiah says, “Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel: “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my just claim is passed over by my God? Do you not know? (Hebrew yada, to know intimately) Have you not heard? He is your EVERLASTING God!”
In case you missed the irony of this verse, Jacob and Israel are the same person! (Genesis 32:27-28). Jacob represents our fallen nature, the soul that cries out in desperation to God. Israel, however, is the victor who emerges after that struggle, the one who learns to run his race successfully in the strength of the Lord. No matter how you feel today, or whom you most identify with, God is still your God!
Wait a Minute!
God has said that this is the year of “recompense.” (Isaiah 35:4) Do you believe He is renewing and restoring all things to you, both physically and emotionally? Do you rely on Him to help you walk - even run - through situations that made you stumble before? Are you believing Him for the prophetic strategies and insights that come from having divine perspective - the eyes of an eagle soaring above? Most importantly, is your life and are all your movements founded on the directions you receive as you wait upon the Lord?
For Isaiah, prayer precedes our daily walks and runs for a reason. Waiting on the Lord is preemptive. It protects us from the burnout and weariness that others experience in their eagerness to run ahead. Prayer is also redemptive when we run ahead of Him ourselves. We could ask for no greater God than this, whose compassion never fails and whose strength towards us is undying!
Teach us, Lord, to wait!
As I meditated on what to write to you this week, the Lord impressed on me that I should release the full prophetic word He gave me just before Thanksgiving. I shared some of the key thoughts from that word in last week's Thanksgiving post, but as I reread the word this afternoon I felt it needed to be shared in full. The focus of His message was this:
God's desire is to continually refresh you on your journey!
As I spontaneously worshiped the Lord this morning I noticed that every song that came to mind seemed to center on the Name of Jesus. I simply couldn't stop singing about His Name! It was as if the Holy Spirit were gently reminding me: It's the Name that frees you. It's the Name that delivers you. It's the Name that heals you. It's the Name that sustains you. Every time you call on My Name, I answer!
The Lord will always lead you, satisfy you in a parched land, and strengthen your bones. You will be like a watered garden and like a spring whose waters never run dry.
I hear the Lord saying: “At present, you are more like a water spigot than a fountain. You are connected to your Source and can access My power, but you enjoy the ability to turn on or off the water at your own good pleasure. I would rather you be a fountain flowing continuously, not a spigot flowing sporadically. For this, you will need to yield full control to Me.”
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. ~Mark 1:35
In a world where there are so many different kinds of prayer and meditation, what is the right way to pray? Should we pray the Lord’s Prayer? Do we pray alone, or with a priest? Do we need rosary beads, or a tallit? Can we pray effectively at home, or does prayer work better in church?
What does the Bible really say about prayer? And how can we be sure that our prayers will be answered? Read Deborah's newest post, published by LivingBetter50 magazine, right here.
"Without a vision, the people perish..." Proverbs 29:18
I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, but there was a time when I got stuck. Really stuck.
A complex situation, one which had bothered me for some time, gathered its strength, reared its ugly head, and reminded me that no, I had not yet found a way to “overcome.” I did not know the answer, even after hours of searching my Bible, wondering “What would Jesus do?” I was not moving forward or making any real progress in this particular area.
In fact, if anything, the situation was becoming worse. My frustration level soared. My first response to the situation, which used to be tolerance, morphed into anger. It was as if this one situation, stirred up by some malevolent demon, finally depleted me of any remaining strength or willpower I possessed and convinced me that no, this was not worth my effort any more. I simply could not resolve it, especially since other people were involved.
Have you ever felt this way?
"Sharing or exchanging intimate thoughts and feelings, especially on a mental or spiritual level."
The above dictionary definition could easily describe the life of prayer. After all, prayer is the place where we develop "Life-Giving Communication with God" (our His Inscriptions mission), sharing our thoughts and listening to God's heart.
Actually, the definition above is not for prayer, but for communion! Far from just a sacred sacrament, communion is one of the most powerful ways to connect with God in prayer.
I often take communion as part of my personal prayer time. It is a way of remembering the Lord's sacrificial death and renewing my commitment to the New Covenant. As I meditated on His death once again this week, the Holy Spirit highlighted these words: "The Lord Jesus, on the same night He was betrayed, took bread..."
My oldest son came home from college last weekend. For me, his mom, it felt like Christmas! I cleaned the house, bought extra food (he’s 6-foot-1, folks!), and prepared a quiet place for him to sleep near his brothers.
My heart, which felt such utter loss and lack when he left for school five weeks ago, now filled with joy as I anticipated his return. I couldn't wait to talk to him, to hear how his new life was unfolding, to celebrate his growth.
As the day of his arrival drew near, I became almost restless waiting for him, like a child waiting for Christmas morning. Everything was ready; I longed to spring into action, to make the drive to pick him up, to hold him in my arms again. The appointed time could not come fast enough!
When at last that moment arrived and my boy was home, it was as if a hole in my heart had been filled. All was well again. Everything about him – the new growth in his beard, his manly smell, even the overstuffed bag of dirty laundry he brought with him made me happy and complete!
I am mom. He’s my boy. He’s back home.
“The black community will ‘come of age’ in this hour, throwing off their shackles and seeking Me like never before. Their time has come.”
(Scroll down to read or click here to listen to a YouTube Podcast of this prophetic word.)
At the beginning of September, Jewish New Year 5779, I heard the Lord give a warning. The enemy, it seems, is bent more than ever on undermining believers in this hour. (One glance at the Kavanaugh hearings is enough to convince me of that!) This is the year, the Lord emphasized, to go deep in Him. To hold on to the Word of Truth as never before, to guard against deception, to seek Him for greater revelation. We will need it!
Jesus is on a rescue mission to our nation and to the next generation!
Beginning at 9pm tonight (Thursday September 27th, 2018) a powerful movement of prayer and intercession will be launched in ALL 50 STATES and on 100 COLLEGE CAMPUSES around America.
Our goal: to bring the Presence of Jesus into every state in our nation, and to impact this generation to bring in a billion-soul harvest.
I want to personally invite you to find the location nearest your home (see below), and join us for an hour, a day, or the entire weekend.
Never before has our nation needed God so desperately, and never before (to my knowledge) has every state in our nation joined in unity to seek God simultaneously through prayer and praise. This is an historic moment you don't want to miss!
Who is invited: anyone, anywhere in the US
What: 50 hours (3 days) of continuous, 24/7 worship to exalt Jesus and pray for revival in our nation, our children, our government, our churches and our homes.
When: September 27th (Thursday, 9pm) through September 29th (Saturday, until 11pm)
Where: Every State capital in our nation (see list of locations below) and 100 college campuses
Why: 2 Chronicles 7:14
There are two great choices every Christian must make. The first is a choice to be free; the second is a choice to surrender that freedom.
I am eager to share a very powerful vision with you today, one that isn’t mine, but comes from a father in the faith during the "Latter Rain" movement who has now gone home to Jesus. Before I do, let me retell a story.
Some of you might remember the 1998 movie entitled “The Horse Whisperer.” In it, a very young Scarlett Johansson (think: Avengers star and now the world’s highest-paid actress) plays the role of Grace, a horse-loving 12-year-old. A traumatic winter accident injures Grace and her horse, and kills her childhood girlfriend. After this, Grace and “Pilgrim” (her horse) seem broken beyond repair.
Enter the Horse Whisperer. (Played by Robert Redford).
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.
As a maturing believer, I have a burning desire to see and hear God more accurately. I often ask to know more of God. Sometimes I hear from you readers asking similar questions: How do I know what God wants me to do? How can I be sure I will see Him leading me, or hear Him guiding me? I want to know Him, but I have trouble seeing Him!
God’s solution to these everyday questions is a secret that Jesus revealed in the Sermon on the Mount.
Change is inevitable. Many people in the Body of Christ are going through intense changes right now: the loss of a friend, a spouse, or a child. A transition into a new job. A feeling that God is calling you to do something different in the next season than what you have done before, accompanied by a disconcerting sense that you aren’t sure yet how to do it!
A new Jewish year, 5779, begins this Sunday, September 11 at sundown – Rosh Hashanah. Spiritually, the number nine speaks of fruitfulness, harvest, birthing and creation. Politically, a new government is being shaped as we vote in the primaries this week and watch the “dethroning” and reseating of key justices in the court. Personal, political and religious seasons are shifting, for better or worse. Why?
A new season is here! It is important that we understand our place in the “new,” releasing the past and realigning ourselves with God and others for the future.
But how do we do that?
God has issued a Divine Invitation!
It’s not just an invitation to salvation, although believers begin there.
It’s not just an invitation to experience healing or deliverance, although those are benefits of belonging to the Kingdom.
It’s an invitation to come up higher spiritually, to experience the supernatural dimensions of the Kingdom of God.
Why would we need this? Francis Frangipane says it best: “A Christian is not just a person going to heaven. Shouldn’t a Christian also be a person coming from heaven, with the goods, power and virtues of heaven?”
Christianity isn’t meant to be a just a security blanket, providing comfort when we contemplate death. It’s meant to be a dynamic relationship involving supernatural power here and now. The beloved disciple, John, understood this and gives us a glimpse into God’s multi-faceted invitation.
Do you know the difference between prayer and intercession?
Prayer, according to Merriam-Webster, is “an address or petition to God in word or thought.” It is, as most people imagine, making an earnest request to God.
Intercession, which many people believe to be the same thing, actually takes prayer one step further. While it may include praying to God for something, to intercede is to “intervene between parties with a view to reconciling differences; to mediate.”* In other words, intercession is prayer in action!
In a charismatic church I attended a couple of weeks ago, the pastor asked this question: "Be completely honest. How many of you read your Bible on a daily basis?" Fewer than 5 hands went up.
Alarmed, I decided to ask the same question in a second church where I preached the following Sunday. Again, the same response - just 6 or 7 hands this time. I was amazed.
Not coincidentally, the same week I received Lifeway's "Facts and Trends" magazine in the mail. One of the articles contained this statistic: 66% of Christians (including Evangelical, Mainline and Black Protestant churches) believe that "many religions can lead to eternal life." Among Catholics, that statistic jumps to 79%.*
The Bible teaches that Jesus is "the way, the truth and the life. " (John 14:6) No one comes to the Father except through Jesus Christ. For a Christian, then, this belief in many roads leading to heaven is, quite simply, untenable. How did we get here?
No one was more skeptical of the supernatural than I. Raised in a world governed by the intellect, I was trained from an early age to focus on learning and self-development while rejecting emotionalism and spiritual “fanaticism.” Truth was limited to what could be discerned through science or the five physical senses alone.
In fact, when I finally discovered the Holy Spirit, the very first “label” my family put on me was that of a “fanatic.” Never mind that I hadn’t actually done anything worthy of that label yet; my confession of faith in the third person of the Trinity was enough to worry them!
As I spent time with the Lord today, I asked Him, "What is Your Kingdom priority for this moment?" The answer came quickly and powerfully: "SATURATION!" God is ready to SATURATE you with His Presence! Are you positioning yourself to receive all He has? Keep reading for the full word.
What is your first response to pain?
In the span of just one week, several of my close friends experienced heavy losses. One friend was betrayed by someone close to her. Another dear friend was faced with the emotional pain of feeling unloved in primary relationships. When a third friend broke her foot in a roadside accident on vacation, I spent a number of hours with her in the ER, hoping to relieve her physical pain.
In each case, my first response was compassionate action: I reached out as best I could with prayers and practical help.
I know for a fact, though, that when I am the one in pain, my first response is very different. When hurt increases, compassion vanishes. I have a new goal: avoid that pain at all costs!
“Therefore my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling…” -Philippians 2:12, NKJV
This week, I woke up early one morning to the unmistakable musing of the Holy Spirit. As I opened my eyes and peered into the darkness of our bedroom, I heard Him saying, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling!”
This seemed a strange sort of thought at first. Until I padded my way downstairs, where I could pray and write without disturbing anyone, I wasn’t sure why this fragment of a verse from Philippians 2 was reverberating in my spirit. It was as I sat with the Lord and listened further that He began to clarify…
This weekend will forever be marked in the Kingdom of God as a weekend of DESTINY, convergence, and unity! Approximately 125 believers from New England gathered together at Freedom Worship Center in West Boylston, MA, for the Destiny Conference, an amazing time in the presence of the Lord. We experienced powerful worship that broke into heaven's throne room, anointed speakers and ministry times, and - best of all - unity with each other. Glory to God!
If you were unable to join us, I strongly suggest you get copies of the audio downloads here. You do not want to miss what each speaker shared, and we were able to record all three Saturday sessions. These MP3 digital downloads are available for you in the His Inscriptions store.
I also want to share with readers a corporate prophetic word (below) that God gave us during the conference. Keep reading to hear what the Spirit is saying to those who feel scattered or pulled in too many directions - there is hope for your future!
Why Pray? What reason do we have, in a world that depends almost exclusively on what we see, hear, touch, taste, and smell, to reach for a supernatural God? This is the question I answer in my newest book, which was just released on Amazon this week.
If you've wondered what difference prayer makes, or need a faith-building resource that is easily shared with a friend, this is your book. It is short (four chapters) yet packed with stories, scriptures, prayers you can pray and questions you can answer in your quiet times. A compilation of several recent blog posts, this book provides four compelling reasons why we should pray: to know God and make Him known; for power to become effective Christians in a fallen world; to overcome a supernatural enemy; and to fulfill the Great Commission.
Order your paperback copy today on Amazon.com for $7.00, or a Kindle version of the book for just $2.99. Click here for more!
Have YOU signed up for the Destiny Conference? Last chance! Make plans to join us in West Boylston, MA next week, June 8th & 9th, for a powerful time in the Holy Spirit! Click Here to listen to our Radio Ad. Click photo for Registration information.
When you live in Jesus, your words are as the words of a King. Every sentence you speak is an edict in the Spirit, for better or for worse! Watch that your words are doing what they are designed to do: to edify, exhort and encourage others.
© Deborah Perkins / www.HisInscriptions.com
Destiny Conference Video Just Released - Please Watch and Share!
*Please note: $30 Registration online by June 6th, 2018.
$35 registration at the door on day of event.
Registration fee includes catered lunch by Tabitha's Table!
Location: Freedom Worship Center, West Boylston, MA (Rte 12)
Click registration button for more info and full schedule.
Need a printable flyer for church bulletins? Click here!
Questions? Contact Deborah here.
This morning as I prayed, I heard the Lord saying: "When you realize that I never leave you, it will change your life. Where you see separation, I see unity. Where you feel division, I feel only love. The measure of My love does not depend on the size of your container! I will pour until you overflow... you cannot contain My glory!"
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.