“We are like common clay jars that carry a glorious treasure within, so that the extraordinary overflow of power will be seen as God’s, not ours.”
Never is it more clear that we are “treasures in jars of clay” than when the pressure is on!
Our desire to love dissipates as we are squeezed, it seems, almost unmercifully, and what spills out of us is not love or power at all but hatred, judgment, anger, or fear.
“Lord, I can’t take this anymore! I am so stressed. People don’t understand. I simply can’t continue doing life this way.”
This complaint was mine recently, as life itself seemed to strangle and choke me. Pressure and disappointments from family, a lack of time for the things I most needed to do, some boundary issues that needed confronting, and - for good measure - several troubling issues with our house all conspired to crush me.
The funny part? That was the week the Lord whispered to me: “Write about love.”
For a moment, I wondered if God had missed something. Perhaps He was slipping as eternity wore on? Because at that point in time, my attitude was far from loving!
Author and speaker Graham Cooke says that when your mountain doesn’t move, perhaps it’s because you are meant to learn something from it. I agree, and here’s how I’d say it: Sometimes mountains need to be mastered before they can be moved.
For the past few weeks, the Lord has been bringing to my mind a vision as I’ve reflected on prayer. The scene is so unlikely to ever happen in the natural that it is almost humorous! Yet the Lord is impressing on me that this scenario happens daily in the lives of many believers, and spiritually, it can mean the difference between victory and defeat.
Today I’d like to share this vision with you because I believe it identifies a particular problem we face in prayer and gives us a strategy for greater victory. This vision could be the one major reason why Christians are defeated on the battlefield, and I don’t want you to be a casualty!
As I listened to the Lord this week, I heard God saying that He is cultivating in His people an ability to work through the noise and distractions of battle right now. It is so easy to be distracted by the sights and sounds of spiritual war! The battlefield can be a painful, ugly place, and not an easy road.
For those of you who feel like you are in the middle of a battlefield today, I hear the Lord saying,
“I am calling My people to take a higher view of their territory, looking up from those wounded and slain who are past help and returning wholeheartedly to their true mission, which is to make Me known. Do not be surprised by the torments of the enemy! Learn to live and thrive in the midst of his noise, for I will create an oasis of peace for you if you look only to Me.
“Ten thousand will fall at your right hand” - you will see My miracles here on the battlefield more clearly than in any other place of your life, and praise Me for My goodness! Your praise will then become a gateway to greater victories overall, as others around you join in your song. I will set ambushes against the one who destroys when you repeatedly surrender to Me on your battlefield. Don’t look around you, but look UP to the heavens and see My salvation. My mercy is always at hand. Only believe and you will see My goodness!"
Standing with you for your victories!
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!
God is Raising Up Mighty, FEARLESS Warriors
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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.
On 7-17-17, as I reread the story of Nehemiah, the Lord showed me a vision that will greatly encourage you! Click the video to watch the YouTube, or scroll down to read a summary.
One of the fun parts of this ministry is that I get to meet all kinds of amazing people who love the Lord! One of my favorite people is Teresa DeMatos, who co-pastors the church I attend with her husband, Lee DeMatos. Together, they have experienced some powerful encounters with Jesus and - even more exciting - some very personal answers to prayer.
In prayer this morning I heard the Lord say, “Your victory does not lie in your defense but in your offense.” He followed this with a prophetic word (below) that will encourage you to resist the temptation to trust in your defenses and instead, to advance with Him in a victorious offense!
There is a deception in the church today that concerns me. Like all deception, it is based on a measure of truth. But taken too far, it changes from a helpful tool for understanding spiritual seasons, to a prison in which we lock fellow believers and throw away the key.
Because prayer is a work done mostly in secret, it is rare for an intercessor to immediately know whether his prayers are effective. It is rarer still for someone to realize they are being prayed for, since humility constrains us from boasting about our praying!
Yet from time to time, we do hear of amazing answers to prayer, and have the joy of knowing that there is indeed power released when we pray. In the midst of a very difficult week, God allowed both me and my pastor to see the power of prayer. I want to use this story as a "case study" on prayer.
I had the unparalleled joy of running around my yard at 6:48 this morning, half-naked in my robe and slippers, chasing eight mutinous chickens who escaped, somehow, from their coop. I'm sure the neighbors thought I'd lost my mind.
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.
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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.