FRIENDSHIP WITH THE KING
He who loves purity of heart and whose speech is gracious, will have the King as his friend.
The current Hebrew month of “Elul” is such a beautiful time to celebrate the nearness of our King!
As I’ve meditated on this traditional Jewish time of preparation leading up to the “Days of Awe,” the Lord has drawn me back into the story of Ruth and Boaz. Within this ancient text are keys for how we must partner with our heavenly “Boaz” - King Jesus - today.
You may remember that like Christ, Boaz returns to his field at harvest time to check on his servants and reapers. Like Christ, he probably wonders: “Will I find faithfulness in my land? Will my fields be well tended and my full harvest come in?” (Luke 18:8)
What Boaz finds becomes the seed for an incredible story of redemption and new beginnings. Ruth is the eighth book of the Bible. While it is set in the time of the Judges, Ruth’s story has unique applications for us now.
In a time of economic and political instability as well as spiritual decline, a man named Elimilech (meaning “My God is King”), encounters a famine in Bethlehem. Yet instead of remaining in the Promised Land, he moves his wife (Naomi) and their two sons to Moab, a nation hostile to Israel. This is no easy, local move: Moab is at best 1800 miles from Bethlehem; roughly a month's journey on foot.
Whether motivated by fear or faulty human reasoning, Elimilech runs from a problem instead of facing it. His decision proves to be fatal: Elimilech’s two sons marry Moabite women (Ruth and Orpah) and eventually all three men die, leaving three widows destitute in a foreign country.
Naomi sums up the experience this way: “I left full (with a husband and two sons), but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi (“pleasantness”), since the Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has afflicted me?” (Ruth 1:21)
Naomi and Elimilech's story is a picture of a curse in action.
After these deaths, Naomi hears that God has actually been taking care of His people in Judah, giving them food in a time of famine. It would have been better to trust God than to run from the problems!
Think about it: in the space of just ten years in Moab, Naomi loses not one but three intimate family members. She is abandoned by one of her daughters-in-law and winds up penniless except for an unredeemed piece of land in Bethlehem. To reclaim her inheritance, Naomi and Ruth must begin a long journey back home.
How does this apply today?
The journey symbolizes an urgent “return” to God that many people need to make right now, lest we, too, encounter worse situations in dire times.
God’s mercy is still available even to unbelievers - the “Ruths” among us - who are hungry for the Lord and His Word. But wholehearted return is often a long journey through death, grief, bitterness of soul, facing the fears, and encountering spiritual famine or impoverishment.
The journey is hard, but it is meant to restore.
Throughout the journey, Ruth remains a faithful, comforting companion to Naomi, even pledging her life to the God of Israel. The meaning of Ruth’s name is “Compassionate Friend.”
Like New Testament Cornelius, Ruth’s hard work during the harvest season, her bold loyalty, and her generous devotion are noticed by others. They earn her, in the end, a fruitful place in the lineage of Jesus. Ruth’s son becomes David’s grandfather.
Returning to God always carries a blessing with it, and Ruth’s story illustrates just how wonderful the blessings of friendship with the Lord can be.
From Boaz’s first words in Ruth 2:4, we see a Christ-like figure who speaks blessings over his people. He cares for the condition of his workers, not just his crops.
As this symbolic “King” returns to his field, Boaz hears of Ruth’s faithfulness and submission while she exercises the biblical right of the poor to glean at the edges of his field.
When Jesus returns to the field of this world once again, will He find your faithfulness, too?
Like the servants with the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), Ruth has used any skills or strength she possesses to labor from dawn to dusk for her food. As a result, Boaz blesses her with more.
Ruth is “promoted” from gleaning to reaping as Boaz commands his reapers to undo their work, pulling stalks of grain from bundles already gathered. She is promoted again when she moves from doing the work of reaping to bearing fruit herself.
Boaz’s interactions with Ruth release 12 blessings:
This is what Jesus does for His friends. While it’s easy to see the connections between Boaz and Christ in these twelve blessings, I believe that Ruth's story also holds significant prophetic weight for us in our current season.
Just as Boaz blessed Ruth with protection and provision, so God will protect and provide for those families who remain in or return to Him at this hour, even in times of famine. Whether this lack is experienced naturally or spiritually, the Lord intends to satisfy those who come to Him with bread from His table (Isaiah 55).
Christ teaches in Matthew 13 that the reapers are the angels. There is a powerful partnership with angelic reapers available to all believers at this time. Where you have labored tirelessly like Ruth, there is promotion and acceleration available to you as you lean in to the supernatural help God is providing through His Spirit. Ask the Lord for these ministering and reaping angels to bring supernatural help as you labor for your harvest!
We are in a time of “winnowing,” where wheat is clearly being separated from the chaff. Yet for Ruth and for believers today, the time of winnowing can become the time of promotion! It is at the threshing floor that Ruth receives her greatest reward: the promise of a covering and full redemption by her soon-to-be bridegroom.
Notice that Ruth had to walk in a precarious place of integrity and trust throughout her difficult journey. While she grieved, she retained honor for her elders; worked tirelessly for little pay while obeying the laws of the land; had the boldness to approach her “redeemer” undercover, in the darkness of night; and found courage to invite Boaz to partner with her.
Deep trust and strong faith are necessary components for relationships that work in difficult situations. Steps of bold faith - not running from hard times - will lead you into God's current places of provision.
It is through this tiny “community” of three faithful people - two of them extremely broken but yielded to God - that healing, restoration, and the continuation of a family line are preserved. It is through these three faithful people - Naomi, Ruth, and Boaz - that healing and restoration are made possible for the world as the generational line of Christ is continued! (Matthew 18:19-20.)
Faithful, intimate alignment with God in today's “winnowing” season is a key to receiving the fullness of your inheritance! God is waiting for you to ask Him for your full inheritance in prayer. Alignment with others who share a similar commitment to excellence and integrity is essential to your survival!
THE "KING IN THE FIELD" SEEKS FRIENDS
Proverbs 22:11 describes the type of person who has the King as his friend. It is someone whose heart, like Ruth’s, is pure, and who celebrates purity of heart in others. It is someone whose words, like Boaz’s, are governed by the law of kindness, even in times of deep loss, hardship, or alienation.
When the “King is in your field,” as He is in this beautiful story of Ruth, you’ll see a shift from poverty to blessing. Widowhood to marriage. Bitterness to joy. Gleaning to reaping. Scraps to sheaves. Famine to harvest. Isolation to friendship. Barrenness to fruitfulness. Vulnerability to protection. Alienation to covenant!
My prayer for you today contains words from the book of Ruth:
Blessed is the Lord who has not left you without a Redeemer!
May His Name become famous through you. May He be the One who restores your life and sustains you in old age as you devote yourself to serving Him faithfully; in season and out of season.
May you never be afraid to stand your ground when famine or loss strikes. May you have the courage to always return to God, even if your soul must journey from very far away.
May you receive the fullness of your own inheritance in Christ as you seek to remain intimately within the protection of His covering. May you find refuge under His outstretched wings. Amen.
Early in the morning on 8.13.22, the Lord drew me into an encounter with Him. I heard Him say: “The scepter of wickedness will not remain over the land of the righteous.” (Psalm 125:3.)
I was immediately shown a vision of a “scepter of wickedness.” It resembled a rough, brown branch or wooden staff, much like a walking stick. Carved into it were words like “slavery;” “debt;” “fear;” “poverty;” “borrower;” “bribery;” “money;” and “interest.”
All the words on this scepter spoke specifically of economic oppression that was being inflicted worldwide through ungodly leaders.
The Lord then highlighted three Scriptures.
The first was 1 Timothy 6:10: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”
In context, 1 Timothy 6 warns believers about false teachers, greed and covetousness along with the need for us to guard the “deposits” of faith and contentment we have made for eternity.
The second scripture was Matthew 19:21. Here, Jesus responds to a rich young ruler’s question, saying: “If you want to be perfect (mature; complete), go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.”
The third scripture was from Matthew 6:24: “You cannot serve God and mammon.”
REDEEMED WITH JUSTICE!
I hear the Lord saying to His Bride:
“You thought I abandoned you, but I have not forsaken you! You thought I left you in the wilderness, but you did not perceive what I was doing behind the scenes as you learned to depend entirely on Me.
“For here I have given you the gifts of My Presence and provision, which will carry you out beyond the wilderness and into a world at war. I am taking My cup of wrath and placing it in the hands of your tormentors, who took you captive and made you like dirt for them to walk on. I am pleading your cause and rendering justice in your case. Your justice will become a testimony to your tormentors!”
I see the Lord’s Bride emerging from the wilderness with spiritual power and authority that can come only from the Throne of God. This Throne is firmly founded on justice, holiness, and righteousness.
I hear the Lord saying to the weary: “I am your Lifeline and your Rescuer!”
In a vision this week, I saw the Lord Jesus holding a thick rope which extended from heaven to earth. His desire was to rescue His people by drawing them up higher with Him in the Spirit.
The ones who took hold of the Lord to ascend in this way were deposited on a cloud in the heavens. All around them was darkness. I heard the Lord say that He was a “Lifeline” and a “Rescuer.”
When I asked the Lord about the cloud, which was very high above earth and surrounded by a vast space, He spoke into my ears a verse from Psalm 18:19: “He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.”
[God] reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him.
Special thanks to those who have been praying for the ministry of His Inscriptions! I had the privilege, this week, of talking with Joel Yount from SpiritFuel on a live broadcast. We talked more about last week's "Puzzles" word (you can read that post here or on SpiritFuel's website).
Watch the broadcast on Facebook or Twitter to hear our conversation. Or scroll down to read the summary.
"I Will Greatly Multiply Your Seed!"
As I prayed this morning, I heard the voice of the Lord speaking about seeds and harvest. It is so important to be sowing God's Words right now so that He can multiply our harvest!
The Lord also reminded me of a word He had released in January, 2017 concerning the "Garden of the Lord," which I have not published until now. The two words dovetailed so beautifully that I wanted to share them with you today.
My prayer is that these words will encourage you to intentionally plant the "seeds" the Lord is giving you in this season so that you can see a great harvest.
Christmas blessings to every reader of His Inscriptions! In this joyful season I am celebrating the gift of Jesus Christ!
I have been meditating on the first chapter of Ephesians, which reminds us of our hope of heaven's promised blessings, our redemption through Christ's forgiveness, our adoption as sons and daughters of a heavenly Father, and our inheritance in Him.
What does it mean to be a “burning one?” To be passionate for Jesus, bearing fruit in every good work?
There was a tremendous response to this topic in a previous post. I promised you I would share more about what it means to be a “burning one,” and I believe today’s practical prophetic word will be a blessing to you as you seek to burn brightly for the Lord!
Receive Your Keys!
"I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven." -Matthew 16:19, NASB
Following is a word I received in prayer just two nights ago. I believe it will be a great encouragement to you as well! God is releasing great revelation to His people: prophetic keys that unlock vision, hearts, and even storehouses, all for Kingdom purposes! Don't miss your appointments with God, which have the potential to unlock so much for so many. Enter His gates with expectation, believing that He is ALWAYS speaking good things to those who will listen!
Press in! Press in! For the time is short and the Kingdom’s agenda still long before the coming of the Lord!
Those who linger behind will miss the joy of receiving My new assignments for age-old plans! There are still many people I wish to reach, and you must know the ones I am calling you to in this hour. Every person has a task, every believer a work to do to fulfill My hope in the nations worldwide. I can use you! I can use you as you are; only come to Me to hear and learn. Let Me touch your lips, and fill your mouths with good and mighty things!
Let My Spirit open you up in this hour to receive from Me and give to others. Without an internal opening up of your heart, there will be no external reach to the nations. Only what I will give you will have the weight and substance necessary to unlock the difficult “puzzles” of men’s hearts.
Are You Angry With God?
Not many Christians will admit to being angry with God. It seems unholy somehow, against the "rules" of Christianity that we have been taught. After all, if God is no longer angry with us, then what right do we have to be angry with Him?
Yet simmering beneath the surface, even the best believers have some level of anger towards God, anger they often won't admit even to themselves. Why? Because most of us, no matter how holy, deal with unmet expectations.
One of the greatest breakthroughs in how we understand God can also lead us to one of the greatest difficulties: God is a person! We can have a wonderful, personal relationship with God, yet that very same truth can become a stumbling block to us when we transfer natural human expectations over onto Him and forget He is also divine.
What's Your Personality?
Have you ever taken a personality test?
People around the world have used personality profiles to understand each other better. Knowing our strengths and weaknesses has become a trend, especially in Christian circles. The information can be a helpful tool for teambuilding and for leaders, to know how best to motivate the people who serve them.
I have taken many of these tests over the years and emerged with a series of “labels” designed to define me. I’m sure you have, too!
I know, for example, that I am equally balanced between introversion and extroversion (although my husband might question the “balanced” part!). I love a good party, love connecting with people, but recharge alone and need some time to “regroup” after a series of social events.
I am a researcher, a teacher/trainer, a high achiever, a creative, a prophet with a pastoral bent, an intuitive “feeler” and a very passionate person. I have been called melancholic, choleric, a leader, a judge, a mystic and - help me Jesus - a "Beaver!"
What are you?
More importantly, who does God say you are? How does God define you?
Here is what I believe God is saying to us today: “I want to develop personality in you - not YOURS but MINE!”
God knows who we are. He knows what labels we’ve been given. He’ll even use our strengths and weaknesses for His glory. Yet ultimately, He wants to infuse us with HIMSELF, filling us with His Divine Personality.
Podcast: Families with a Mission
Growth - both spiritual and natural - happens in the context of family. It is intimacy that brings healing, and accountability that promotes maturity.
Romans 8 says we are all children of God, adopted into the household of God and part of a spiritual "first family." Amazingly, God's family is - like some of ours - a blended family, and God understands the unique challenges we face as we grow up into His image and learn to love each other along the way!
While we will always be the children of a loving Father, our goal is maturity in God. God wants us to become mothers and fathers in the faith, just as He is! The way we do that is through our relationships with family.
Today, listen in as I share both prophetic words and experiences that will encourage you as you grow to maturity in God. Click here to listen to the Podcast on Youtube. For a written version of the prophetic words I share in this video, click below:
If Deborah's posts are a blessing to you, please consider sowing a seed into the ministry of His Inscriptions! Partners like you enable His Inscriptions to be published around the world daily, encouraging others to "Discover Life-Giving Communication with God." Click here to donate today.
Lead with Love!
An unusual thing happened the other day. The Senior Pastor of my church called me, out of the blue, to say hello. No agenda. No problems. No church business to discuss. Just a “Hello, how are you” kind of call.
That call was a HUGE blessing in my day!
Most leaders I know are pretty busy people. Heck, I am, too! When I hung up the phone after our call, I sat for a moment wondering: when is the last time a leader called me and didn’t need something? Wanted to just connect, for the sake of the relationship, not the “mission” or the shared purpose, whatever that may be?
Apart from a handful of very dear friends I know in leadership, I couldn’t remember. Leaders who lead with love are a rare and special breed.
In the next few posts, I will be focusing on three spiritual roadblocks that can hinder your revival. These three are not the only barriers to revival, but they are things I felt the Lord wanted to us to focus on here at His Inscriptions. The first barrier? Unforgiveness.
Don't Stop the Flow!
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.”
The Secret to Seeing God
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.
The Amazing Power of Intercession
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!
Trained by Pain
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!
I had a powerful dream this morning which was so evidently from the Lord that I felt compelled to write it down and share it. This dream revealed the Father's heart for healing the next generation, our youth, and could not be ignored. The reason? The children of today are both the most anointed and the most assaulted of any previous generations. Even in their schools, the places where they should be receiving mentoring and training, they are not safe. The enemy sees the call of God on this generation and is trying desperately to take them out before they can step into their destinies as miracle-working, revival-awakening instruments of God.
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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.