Can you feel it?
There has been a significant SHIFT in the Spirit within the past few days, and a fresh outpouring of HOPE is here! I believe the Lord is STRENGTHENING His people and releasing a RESOLUTE spirit; a strong resolve in the wake of much reconstruction.
Some of you have been standing in faith for a while, believing for change that has still not manifested. But as I spent time with the Lord this week, I sensed such a momentous shift in the Spirit. I heard Him say:
“I WILL BE AN ENEMY TO YOUR ENEMIES AND A FOE TO YOUR FOES!” (Exodus 23:22.)
I saw that some who have been flying with the Lord in a certain direction for many months, will suddenly see their plane take a hard right turn. You'll hear your heavenly Pilot announce your new destination. I prophesy to you that destinations that have been hidden or unclear to you will suddenly SHINE and become very visible against the night sky as you prepare to land. The names of your new destinations are written on the rooftops so that you cannot miss them!
This past season of purging, pruning, darkness, and uncertainty is changing into a season of LIGHT and will come with CONFIDENT ASSURANCE of your new missions and assignments. Wisdom is entering your heart and knowledge will delight your soul! (Proverbs 2:10) Knowledge of HIM will be translated into the knowledge of your future.
Some of you are being RELOCATED in this process of change so that you can fulfill your new orders from the Throne. This is so that God’s GLORY can be released in the exact locations and timings God has determined, according to a preset pattern. While you may have helped “steer” your plane at times, the Spirit has also had you on autopilot and on a precise schedule. You won’t fail, and you can't miss it!
I hear the Lord saying: “Pay attention to what I’m showing you right now. Pay attention to the patterns and the order of things. Don’t move unless I tell you to. When you move, move in sync with Me and let Me order your steps!”
There will be a PRECISE ORDER to your steps during this next sequence of events and you must be ready to move WITH the Lord.
IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD AND THE WORD WAS WITH GOD AND THE WORD WAS GOD.
In the early hours one morning this week, I heard Holy Spirit whispering the first five verses of John to me over and over again. As I meditated on these verses, the Spirit said: “Begin with the WORD. Stay in the WORD. Keep your gaze on the WORD, so that you abide WITH GOD.”
The Word - Jesus - refers to a person, not just the pages of a Bible. Jesus is WITH GOD, and as we keep our gaze on Jesus we abide in Him and remain WITH GOD ourselves. The incarnate WORD OF GOD whom we celebrate this season is also EMMANUEL, GOD WITH US!
As we abide in the Word we become demonstrations of the WORD ourselves (“the Word WAS GOD”); and the light that shines in the WORD begins to shine in us. This light is unquenchable by darkness: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5)
The Lord has been highlighting Exodus 23 to me for many weeks. In this chapter, God promises Canaan to the Israelites, saying: “Behold, I send an ANGEL before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. PAY CAREFUL ATTENTION TO HIM and obey his voice; do not rebel against him… for MY NAME IS IN HIM.” (Exodus 23:21; emphasis mine.)
Many scholars believe that the “Angel of the Lord” who appears so frequently in Old Testament scriptures refers to Christ Himself - a God who, although He did not appear in our timeline until much later, is nevertheless not confined to time. The Redeemer of all reveals Himself to the likes of Joshua, Gideon, Moses, and Manoah even before His birth on earth, simply because He can!
The Word - Jesus our Emmanuel - is ever-present, from the beginning and even before the foundations of the earth were laid, and the Word is still with us now.
This is why the promise of the Lord “I will be an enemy to your enemies and a foe to your foes” is so powerful today. GOD THE AVENGER is fighting for justice, to bring you into YOUR promised land. He is not slack in keeping His promises.
Meditate on the MIGHT of God described in Exodus 23:27-31:
“I will send My terror before you and will throw into confusion all the people against whom you shall come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you. And I will send hornets before you, which shall drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites from before you. I will not drive them out in one year, lest the land become desolate and the wild beasts multiply against you. Little by little I will drive them out… until YOU have increased and possess the land. And I will set your border from the Red Sea to the Sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the Euphrates, for I will give the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you shall drive them out before you.” (ESV)
The Holman translation of that last verse clarifies: “I will place the inhabitants of the land under your control, and you will drive them out ahead of you.”
I feel so strongly that these are promises for YOU to decree today over your own lives and situations. The work of the enemy in the past few years has been to oppress like the Midianites, and to use widespread fear as a means of controlling God’s people. I hear the Lord saying: “I have given these enemies into YOUR control, and YOU will now overthrow them and break their demonic structures in pieces!”
Freedom does not come without a fight, and you must know that the enemy will oppose you as the Spirit brings you into your land. But it is time to TRUST that the Lord will COMPLETELY DESTROY them as you obey His voice and move with Him, unafraid, at this time.
During the exodus, darkness fell over all the land of Egypt, but the Word says Israel had LIGHT IN ALL THEIR DWELLINGS!” (Exodus 10:23)
Friends, because of the supremacy and preeminence of Christ, who was IN THE BEGINNING and still wants to disclose Himself to you now, you can EXPECT LIGHT to enter you and bring wisdom when things are shrouded or unclear.
You can EXPECT God to fight on your behalf when you feel your strength is spent and you have nothing but weariness and tears to offer Him. GOD DELIGHTS in you, He is close to the brokenhearted, and He delights in revealing Himself to you! Let the KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST IN YOU delight your soul!
WORSHIP is still a powerful key. Continue to cultivate the Presence of the Lord in your homes and your gatherings, saturating yourselves with the sound of HIS VOICE, which thunders against every enemy of your soul and causes even cedars to shake.
There is NOTHING that is too hard for God. Everything that you see in the natural realm was made by the WORD: “Without Him NOTHING was made that has been made” (John 1:3). In the same way, WITHOUT HIM WE CAN DO NOTHING.
I’m praying for your breakthroughs as you cling fervently to the Lord our Warrior and Deliverer! Believe in His unchanging LOVE for you. Stir up your gifts! Turn up your worship! Stir yourself up to faith and hope again, for God is giving the inhabitants of the land into YOUR hands!
A war is a series of battles, not just a “one-and-done.” Satan, the enemy of our souls, is prepared to fight for the long haul. Believers today must be equally equipped in the knowledge of God and His Word to defeat him.
Nearly two years ago, the Lord took me into a vision of His armory. He showed me exquisite swords and weapons hanging on the armory walls. Each sword represented a Scripture verse or strategy that could be used in spiritual warfare. Sadly, for the most part, they were not being used.
This week, as many of us are taking a firm stand in very difficult times, I feel it is important to re-publish the vision. I want to encourage you to take up your swords for as long as necessary, believing in both the sharpness of each blade and the slickness of each anointing!
Biblical warriors were as married to their swords as present-day prayer warriors can be to our cell phones. 2 Samuel 23:10 describes one of David’s mighty men, Eleazer, who “stood his ground and struck the Philistines until his hand grew weary and stuck to his sword.” We’re told that the LORD brought about a great victory because of Eleazer’s perseverance with the sword.
Psalm 30:5 says: “Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.” Psalm 12:6 expands on this thought, saying: “The words of the Lord are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible; like gold refined seven times.” Jesus adds in Matthew 4:4 that man LIVES by every word that comes out of the mouth of God.
Every sword in God’s armory is available to believers today. Faith does not shrink back to destruction when weary! There is a weariness that has overtaken many in the Body of Christ right now, but the Lord is raising up warriors that are as captivated by the Word as David was, and as skilled at using it as Eleazer.
As you read this vision, my prayer is that you will cling to the Word like never before and see continued victories. Whether you speak it, sing it, decree it, or pray it, the Word of God will NEVER return void.
In September of this year, at the close of Rosh Hashanah, I had an encounter with the Lord Jesus in what seemed to be the throne room of heaven. The focus of the encounter was on specific sons and daughters who had felt pressured by the enemy to step away from their God-given callings or divine destinies.
For a variety of reasons, these chosen ones had adopted a “wait-and-see” attitude concerning God's current Kingdom plans. I saw that the Lord wanted to reignite faith and boldness in these disillusioned leaders. He is breaking off demonic hindrances of apathy and reluctance, encouraging them to fulfill their destiny in His amazing Kingdom plan!
A few nights ago I was awakened by the Holy Spirit, who began walking me through the texts of Joshua 3 & 4, bringing them to life line by line, without my Bible!
He wanted to reveal what it feels like to be “in the middle of a miracle.”
This portion of the book of Joshua tells the story of Israel crossing the Jordan into the Promised Land. It parallels the miracle of the Red Sea crossing with Moses. I believe these words will be encouraging to those of you who are called to be leaders and prayer warriors for the Lord.
“It happened that the father of Publius lay sick in bed with fever and dysentery. And Paul visited him and prayed, and putting his hands on him, healed him. And when this had taken place, the rest of the people on the island (of Malta) who had diseases also came and were cured.”
Acts 28:8-9; ESV
I believe the Body of Christ is entering a “sweet spot” in time. Despite all evidence to the contrary, we are beginning a bright new Kingdom era full of miracles and favor!
I believe that this will be a season of marked increase in healing and deliverance ministries that honor Christ and help bring in the harvest.
I hear the Lord saying: “I am solving the puzzles of your life, one piece at a time!”
I believe the Lord is saying that there has been a massive attack of confusion: a demonic attempt from the enemy to send confusion over people's lives and over the directions that they should take.
This morning I heard the Lord say, “Take heart, because I am solving the puzzles of your life one piece at a time. What the enemy has used to keep you in a maze of confusion and darkness will not stand. I am releasing light into tunnels of darkness, hope into caverns of confusion, and a new clarity to see how the pieces of your life should fit together to bring Me glory.
I will not only show you how to solve complex situations with people on the outside, but I will show you how to connect the dots on the inside, so that you can see what I have been doing in the background all along. I have never stopped working on your behalf! I have never stopped moving the pieces together so that they can be assembled correctly. I have not forgotten you and I will not leave you until the puzzles of your lives are finished!”
“Simon Peter said (to the disciples), ‘I am going fishing.’ They said, ‘And we are coming with you.’ So they went out and got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.” ~John 21:3
There was a time when the apostle Peter felt more like a defeated soldier than a fearless leader. He wasn’t “catching” much of anything! His Savior had just been arrested. A valiant attempt to defend Jesus with his sword had brought the Master’s rebuke instead of praise.
Even worse, Peter had watched Jesus willingly face death like a lamb led to the slaughter. On the darkest of nights, Peter matched Christ’s three bold identity statements (“I am He”) with three denials of his own (“I am not;” see John 18).
Come to the sea of Galilee with me to understand how Peter must have felt at this moment - and what the Lord did to restore him.
Exactly eight months to the day since the glory of God entered my home (see this post for the beginning of the story), I was preparing to take communion with the Lord in the early morning hours before dawn. To my surprise, I heard the Lord say: “I want to lead our time of communion today.”
As we shared the elements together He spoke these words:
“My body, broken for you, is a symbol of My love. It is the international symbol of love for mankind. It is the standard for love upon which all other models of love are (or should be) based. To fall short of the standard of the cross - of a sacrificial life - is to fall short of true love.
“Most people do not define love as “brokenness.” Yet a broken heart is one I can both fix and fill to capacity, for in its brokenness, all of self is poured out and there is room for My anointing of love to come in.
“Many people will never know true love because they will not allow themselves to be broken and poured out for another. Yet I tell you, every time you yield to My anointing for brokenness, your capacity to love will expand.”
"WILL HE EVEN MOLEST THE QUEEN WHILE SHE IS WITH ME IN THE HOUSE?"
Those who desire to live a life of prayer in the Presence of the Lord will eventually find that there is someone who seeks to interrupt intimacy and destroy identity. I believe that what I share today will set many people free from a demonic strategy of Satan used to steal peace and stop believers from abiding in their secret places with the Lord.
I had a dream from the Lord this week which truly alarmed me.
In the dream, I saw that the Church at large, Christ’s Bride, was being systematically seduced by a man who was familiar to her. He was a “believer” and an active participant in countless local and regional ministries.
Because this man was working toward the same goals and supposedly serving the same Lord, the Bride willingly gave herself to his service in the deepest sense of the word. The Bride (represented in the dream by a variety of different women) bore his children and nurtured them as best as she could.
However, once the children were born, the man returned to each one of the women, exposing himself as a liar, not a lover of God. Though operating within the Church, he was anti-Christ.
My spiritual father has a favorite saying he’s used for years when things get tough. No matter how difficult the situation, he’ll put a big smile on his face and say, “We win!”
As I listened to the Lord last night, I felt His heart of compassion and I believe strongly that He asked me to simply pray for you today. Prophetic words are wonderful, teaching and devotionals help us grow, but there is nothing like the powerful ministry of the Holy Spirit in prayer!
There is no distance in the Spirit (see Colossians 2:5; 1 Cor 5:3a). God is omnipresent and unlimited in His ability to reach anyone, anytime, anywhere. As I pray in the Spirit for you, and you agree with me, I believe I am effectively standing beside you, IN HIM. Our unity with the Savior means we are never alone!
Please join me in agreeing for these very biblical promises and blessings to take place in your life today! Read them out loud over yourself; insert your name if you'd like to make them more personal. They represent God's heart for you!
Evil roots bear bad fruit.
Have you ever said to someone:
“Well, that’s just the way I am.”
“I’ve tried to overcome ______ (fill in the blank), but I’ve never been successful.”
“It’s part of my personality; I’m a _________” (insert label here).
“I guess some things never change.”
Or has your spouse, parent, or close friend ever said to you:
“You always do this….”
“I wish you would stop ______.” (Fill in the blank)
“Can’t you see that you’re the problem here?”
I believe most of us have said or heard at least one of these statements in our lifetimes. I certainly have!
Typically, comments like these stem from issues we or others have noticed about ourselves that don’t represent our best selves. You know what I mean: the nagging wife. The controlling husband. The angry child. The fearful friend.
Ask any one of us why we do what we do and we’ll say, “It’s because _______ (name a situation or offender) made me do it. I was bullied as a child, so I never became who I wanted to be. My mother was always angry. My husband doesn’t help me around the house unless I nag him. You get the picture!
Evil roots bear bad fruit, and while it’s easy for people to spot the bad fruit (and want to throw you out like a rotten tomato for it!), it’s not so easy to deal with the roots.
Instead of thinking we are bound to bear bad fruit in some areas, we can take a more comprehensive approach to prayer and work with the Lord to destroy evil roots and establish righteousness.
“There is a time for everything,” the Preacher of Ecclesiastes writes, yet one of the hardest lessons to learn is to watch and wait for God’s perfect timing! This week, as I listened to the Lord in the still of the night, I heard Him speak about timing, and the times we are living in. His insights helped me immensely, and I pray they will be a blessing to you as well. Here is what I heard Him say...
Around the world today, people are dealing with unprecedented levels of stress. Never before have we had such widespread fear, anxiety, and even terror. In response to this, I believe the Lord wants to release not just the grace to deal with stress, but strategies to overcome it. Keep reading for a prophetic word on this subject, and a prayer strategy you can use to eradicate stress from your life altogether!
Sometimes the voice of the enemy is LOUD. Embarrassing. Even publicly humiliating. Sometimes the devil is uncomfortably close to home. Like a strong-willed child, he tries to draw you into a power struggle. He hopes you will cave to the factual truths of his accusations against you. Has this happened to you?
It happened to King Hezekiah. And it’s happened to me. The question is, what do you do?
God is Raising Up Mighty, FEARLESS Warriors
Click to Watch Video or Scroll Down to Read:
God is looking for fearless leaders who are unafraid of confrontation. If the words "fearless," "leaders," or "confrontation" make you think of other people, not yourself, then rejoice! You are a work in progress!
However, it is the wholehearted warriors who win the war. This is the truth the Lord is impressing on my heart this week, as I return to Deuteronomy 20: the Lord's protocol for battle.
In 1943, artist Norman Rockwell created a series of four oil paintings which would become known as the Four Freedoms. Based on a wartime speech by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, these paintings depicted basic human rights that later became a part of the United Nations charter, including Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear. This last painting, Freedom from Fear, is the image that the Lord brought to my mind early this morning.
It's almost Labor Day, and with the kids - and hubby! - going back to school, preliminary college visits for my oldest (yes, we're already doing that!), football practice for my youngest, and a variety of other interesting developments, I definitely did not have time to "labor" over this week's post!
Instead, here is an end-of-summer post "roundup" of 5 new, recent, and older-but-popular posts for you to choose from. I hope you'll take time to relax, grab a tall glass of iced tea, and enjoy reading these carefully-selected articles over the weekend. You'll find a couple of new items here, including a cool Slideshare presentation you can use to pray!
And by the way, despite the busyness, I do pray for you, my readers, on a regular basis. Have a new prayer request? Send it to me here. Think a friend would enjoy the posts below? They're free to share. Happy Labor Day!
c. Deborah Perkins / HisInscriptions.com
Deborah Perkins is a Christian author and the founder of His Inscriptions, a ministry focused on life-giving communication with God. Through her website, inspired teaching and a weekly blog, Deborah offers discipleship to those who want to grow their relationship with God. A ministry leader for over 25 years, Deborah is an experienced prophetic counselor, marriage mentor, and prayer warrior. She's also fond of her hubby, 3 sons, and dark chocolate - in that order! To purchase her newest Bible Study, click here.
The crucifixion of Christ is a reminder that all of us have to deal with times of death in our lives. We may have to face the death of a loved one, or the death of a dream, or the death of a hope we hold dear. At some point, we all come to our tombs, as Mary did in the resurrection story, and we have to confront the harsh realities of our mortality.
Above my writing desk in my tiny office at home is a wall-art stencil, a quotation that my husband gave me last Christmas. It reads: “Pray about everything. Worry about nothing.”
Like many women – mothers especially – I have a tendency to worry. I think my hubby hoped a “subtle” reminder on the wall might cure me of the habit!
The older I grow, the more I notice the storms. I am like a tree, whose increasing height causes its branches to tremble in greater gales. As an immature shrub I did not notice the weather as much, being close to the ground. As a more mature evergreen, I feel the wind rustle through every branch, shake every leaf, and chill me to the core. I see more, gain greater perspective, and face greater fears as I grow.
Just because you're a Christian doesn't mean you're fearless.
In fact, God tells us not to fear roughly 365 times in the Bible. That's once for every day of the year! Sure, there are some amazing examples of fearless faith out there, from the spies who entered the Promised Land to present-day martyrs facing ISIS. But most of us, even on a good day, battle fear in one form or another.
We know that fear is part of the curse (see Leviticus 26:36-37 for an example), and God gives us the ability to overcome our personal fears. But what of the larger-scale fears, the things that threaten to undo not just us, but our communities, our nation, and our world? These things are on the rise as Satan propels the battle between good and evil to a climax.
Luke records Jesus's words, saying that men's hearts will fail them "from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth." (Luke 21:26) Earthquakes, diseases, and famines will be the norm. He says the end times will be full of "fearful sights and great signs from heaven." (Luke 21:11).
Those words don't seem very comforting at first glance. Many Christians avoid the end-time prophecies in the Bible, not just because they don't understand them, but because they seem full of "doom and gloom" for a people who should be continually filled with joy and peace!
I believe that every word Jesus spoke is still relevant to us today. And as I began to study fear as it relates to current events, I realized that these end-time prophecies are a critical key for us as we overcome our fears about what lies ahead. The reason? A known enemy is easier to defeat than an unknown one.
The Genius of Jesus
Most of our fears are irrational, drawing their power from our emotions rather than the facts in front of us. Those of us who have been hurt in certain areas are predisposed to fears in the areas where we were wounded.
I once was horrified to find a drug addict hiding behind his shower curtain, in an apartment a realtor intended to rent to me. For a while after that incident, every time I opened a shower curtain, I did so with trepidation! Statistically, the likelihood of that ever happening again was extremely low. But the fears persisted until I dealt with them.
The genius of Jesus is that He prepares us ahead of time for what is to come. The power of the fear I had about the man in the shower came largely from the element of surprise. What you don't expect alarms you far more than what you can foresee. This is why we prepare a child, for instance, by telling him that the shot at the doctor's will hurt, but only for a minute. We want him to know how it will end and assure him that he will be safe.
In the same way, Jesus tells us that the end times are going to be difficult, but only for a while. He takes great pains to give us details about the tribulations and about what He expects from us as we face them. He gives us specific things to do that will help us feel more peaceful during a chaotic time. Click here for a free, printable download: "10 Things Jesus Wants You to Do in the End Times."
Perfect Love Drives Out Fear
Apart from the wisdom of God, we also have the love of God to help us overcome fear. 1 John 4:18 tells us that perfect love casts out fear, because fear has to do with torment, or punishment. In the end times, only those who are living apart from God's ways will face punishment. I know from experience that when we pray and ask God for more of His love, He is eager to comply!
So overcoming fear is a two-pronged approach. We need both the wisdom of God found in Scripture and the experiential knowledge of the love of God in our hearts. Isaiah clarifies this beautifully: "Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times, and the strength of salvation." (Isaiah 33:6).
Your testimony of God's love, combined with the strategic wisdom He gives you through His Word, will cause you to overcome any fears you might have about the end times. It will keep you stable when the world is falling apart. Instead of running from Goliath, as the Israelites did, you'll stand and slay your Goliath like David did. You'll be fearless in the face of fear.
c. Deborah Perkins, His Inscriptions.com. All Bible references NKJV unless noted.
Last week I was given a precious gift by a friend in Tennessee, a reader of this blog and one of my strongest supporters. She gave me the gift of time spent with a dear friend relaxing, worshiping, and working together on some projects. What she didn't realize she'd given me was equally important: the gift of perspective.
As a wife and mother, I don't travel nearly as much as I used to. Unlike my husband, I actually love the adventure of travel: visiting new places, interacting with different cultures, and experiencing the "flavors" of life lived in other places! So from the moment my plane began soaring above the clouds, my heart was rejuvenated as well. Here's what I discovered.
Tennessee, as a "Bible Belt" state, is still proclaiming the Word of God. Everywhere we went, from an inner-city high school graduation, to Walmart, to the Christian-owned Hobby Lobby store, what I noticed was the Word of God, expressed in amazing creativity.
The Word is literally "in your face" wherever you turn. Plaques and trendy chalkboard artwork with Bible verses line the shelves of even mainstream stores. A local family whose home I visited makes no effort to hide their faith; it is evident the moment you walk in the door. During a high school ceremony, I heard both ranking Tennessee politicians and local teachers and students pray and cite the Word as they spoke to the graduating class. The choral selection? A rendition of Numbers 6:24, which in case you haven't read lately, is the Aaronic blessing over Israel:
The Lord bless you and keep you;
It was beautiful. After several days of experiencing these constant public proclamations of the Word, I was feeling incredibly encouraged. How refreshing! It reminded me of Moses' instructions in Deuteronomy:
These words which I command you today shall be in your heart.
Comparing Tennessee to my home state, where a simple prayer by a student is outlawed and transgender bathrooms might soon become the norm, I almost didn't want to return home! New England suddenly seemed very dark to me. I had gained some perspective.
A Religious Spirit?
I did, of course, return home to my wonderful family, and know that I am called to New England for ministry purposes. As I shared my news of the trip with a fellow New Englander, however, their reaction was to say: "Oh, all that public display of Christ down South is just a religious spirit. It doesn't mean anything."
Well, apart from knocking the wind out of my sails and quickly deflating any joy I had experienced, this person missed a fundamental truth that Paul brings out in Philippians. Paul writes: "What does it matter? Just this, that Christ is proclaimed in every way, whether out of false motives or true; and in that I rejoice." (Philippians 1:18; see also previous verses).
It is true that some proclaim Christ insincerely or from selfish ambition, while others proclaim Him out of love. It is not our job to decide who is sincere and who is not. Our job, according to Jesus in Matthew 28, is to simply make Him known, and to keep the Word prominent in our lives. The perspective I gained in the South encouraged me to proclaim Him even more loudly in the North.
A Southerner can just as easily say that New England is bound by an intellectual spirit which darkens the light of Christ in us. Rarely do I enter a New England home to find "PDA's" (Public Displays of Affection) for Christ! We are more likely to boast about our impressive array of educational institutions or big-city job opportunities than about our Christianity.
I became motivated to turn up the "dimmer switch" on my faith. Dial it up. Light up the room. Make a greater effort to inspire instead of retire. We sorely need more light here, lest the long, wintry days and spiritual darkness overwhelm us. As a local pastor often quips, "When you love something, it shows!"
The apostle Paul was also confined for a time, far from the sunny green pastures of Tennessee! Yet the letters written from his jail cell impacted more people than he ever dreamed of reaching in his freedom. The darkness of his situation did not hinder him from proclaiming Christ. His limitations became the source of his greatest ministry.
It may be easier to be a Christian down South, where everyone agrees with you. It's certainly sunnier and warmer, and maybe that's why many New Englanders can't wait to go South! The truth is, though, that the light of God already in you is warm enough and sunny enough to radiate a significant amount of heat, no matter where you live. I'm choosing to pursue an assignment to bring His light into what seems like a much darker place at the moment. What will you do?
Instead of being envious of others' situations, ask God to give you perspective on your situation. Are you hiding the light that is in you, for fear of offending someone? Has being "politically correct" become more of the norm for you than being "biblically correct?" Ask God to show you what you can do to put your love for Him on display! Will you be mocked or misinterpreted as "religious?" Maybe. But the wonderful thing is that you might just encourage somebody. I'll be praying for you, that your future shines more brightly than your past.
c. Deborah Perkins, 2015
What makes one person thrive while another barely survives? Why do some people seem to live almost effortlessly, while others go through life hanging on by their fingernails? Even Christians are not exempt. We cling to the Gospel's wonderful hope of heaven. But is that all there is? What about the problems in this present life? What do I do between now and eternity?
I believe there is a key difference between survivors and those who thrive in life. Or for Christians, between the survivors and the revivers! It's not just a difference between rich and poor. It's actually a different state of mind.
To describe this, let's look at the law of the jungle.
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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.