I was having a look back in my journal today and noticed that earlier this year I had made a few scribbled notes about mountains. As I read my notes again, I realised that this year I have certainly and I’m sure I’m not alone in this, encountered some “mountains” in my life. Mountains I didn’t even know existed especially pre COVID 19!
I’ve realised that sometimes these mountains just have to be conquered. It would be much easier to ignore them and pretend they don’t exist, to try and find another easier way around them (my preference usually if I’m honest) but if we are to make progress in life then I have learnt that they have to be tackled.
These mountains, and they certainly come in all different shapes and sizes and may be different for each of us, have to be climbed and overcome. These are the experiences that God uses to teach us. We persevere and as we do so we encounter the love and faithfulness of God who walks with us each step of the way. He strengthens us and equips us.
The satisfaction we get when we eventually stand on the top, that sense of achievement knowing that we can do it ….when we see life from a different perspective is awesome. We see things we couldn’t see on the way up…hidden things become revealed. We get new perspective.
Some mountains of opposition are intended to be crushed under our feet. Strongholds that need to be brought down and demolished through the authority of Christ Jesus and the Word of God. We crucify our flesh and walk in the Spirit. We take captive thoughts and imaginations and submit them to Christ.
“ Who are you , oh great mountain, before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain “. Ezekiel 4:7
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”. 2 Cor 10:4
Some mountains are to be moved in faith…Jesus said to them. “If you have faith as a mustard seed you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there” and it will move, and nothing will be impossible” Some mountains in our lives which are blocking us need to be be moved out of the way by faith. Mountains of insecurity, doubt, anxiety, inferiority…choosing instead to believe what the bible says and not what I think or what others say about me.
Other mountains we can leap on and over like a deer as the Lord fills us with His joy. It is amazing that we can experience the joy of the Lord despite the realities of our current difficulties and circumstances. We don’t deny those difficulties but we can rise above them as we praise Him and as we dance with the knowledge of the joy of our salvation. We can jump with joy on the mountains.
“The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deers feet ..and He will make me walk on the high hills”. Habakkuk 3:19.
James 1:2. “My brethren count it all joy when you fall into various trials knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience but let patience have its perfect work that you may be perfect and complete lacking nothing.”
God is there on the mountains. God met Moses on the mountain. He meets us in our circumstances too. God came down but Moses also had to choose to go up. It was a fearful sight to behold and the mountain trembled, there was smoke and fire. It required boldness and faith to approach the mountain of God.
“Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire…..Then the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.”
Moses did not let fear hold him back. He overcame any fear of approaching the mountain of God’s presence. Do not let fear hold you back either. The Lord says do not fear because the truth is as the bible says that we have not come to the mountain that cannot be touched. In Christ we can have confidence that we can boldly approach God’s throne of grace for help in times of need. Jesus has made the way and prepared the way for us.
There is good news we can still receive in every mountain of our life. For every difficult situation we have the word of God to comfort us, guide us, encourage us, lift us and remind us of the hope we have in Jesus our Saviour.
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of Him who bring good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings, who proclaims salvation,”. Isaiah 52:7
What is the mountain you are facing today? Be encouraged it will not defeat you.
“Behold, I will make you into a new threshing sledge with sharp teeth. You shall thresh the mountains and beat them small and make hills like chaff. You shall winnow them, the wind shall carry them away and the whirlwind shall scatter them, you shall rejoice in the Lord and glory in the Holy One of Israel”
“Fresh Oil…You need fresh oil ….a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit”. These were the words I heard in my spirit this morning from the Lord as I was preparing for a time of fellowship.
I knew the Lord was right and felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to act on this word. It was a now word. I did need a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit. I did need His fresh outpouring.
I need more of the Lord and less of me. My flesh is weak but I am reminded that the same God that raised Christ Jesus from the dead lives in me by the power of the Holy Spirit. Praise God. Glory to His name. Our awesome God.
I felt prompted to go and find my anointing bottle. It had some oil in it but it has been some time since I had used it. I emptied it out and filled the bottle with fresh oil.
This is a picture of that little bottle. I’m not very good yet at posting photos so it may look giant sized!😀
I received this bottle from my Dad, William who received it from his Dad, David.
When prompted by the Holy Spirit I use it to pray and anoint people with oil as the Lord leads. Today was a day to put it to use again. Hallelujah 🙏
After a time of praise and prayer with friends the Lord reminded me of a picture I had seen at least a year ago. Whilst praying, I saw golden oil being poured out from heaven onto believers. I was stood with arms held high and this golden oil was being poured out on us. Not in small amounts but a mighty outpouring. We were drenched in this golden oil from head to foot. It was an incredible picture.
There is a scripture in Zechariah 4 which says “Not by might, nor by power but by My Spirit says the Lord”. Zechariah saw in the spirit olive branches beside two gold pipes that pours out golden oil. I have pasted the verses below at the end of this post. I was reminded of this scripture again today.
I believe that as Christians we need the Word and Spirit in our lives. These are the days that God has given to us to declare His glory and bring glory to His name. God wants to use us….we are Christ’s body on this earth. We are His hands, His feet, His voice. There are people that we all come into contact with. People in our sphere of influence. We have the Holy Spirit to empower us to be witnesses of Christ’s resurrection power. The good news of salvation. Jesus wants to reach them and speak into their lives. We are co-workers with Christ. I cannot do it in my own strength or my way…I need to be led by the Holy Spirit. His guidance, His wisdom, His timing, His power. Praise God. I just need to be ready and willing to act when God calls me.
I pray that if like me you need fresh oil in your life today that you will ask Jesus to fill you afresh. May you receive a fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit today.
“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” Ephesians 1:17-23 – https://www.biblegateway.com
“Then the angel who talked with me returned and woke me up, like someone awakened from sleep. He asked me, ‘What do you see?’ I answered, ‘I see a solid gold lampstand with a bowl at the top and seven lamps on it, with seven channels to the lamps. Also there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.’ I asked the angel who talked with me, ‘What are these, my lord?’ He answered, ‘Do you not know what these are?’ ‘No, my lord,’ I replied. So he said to me, ‘This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord Almighty. ‘What are you, mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of “God bless it! God bless it!”’ Then the word of the Lord came to me: ‘The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands will also complete it. Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. ‘Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel?’ Then I asked the angel, ‘What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?’ Again I asked him, ‘What are these two olive branches beside the two gold pipes that pour out golden oil?’ He replied, ‘Do you not know what these are?’ ‘No, my lord,’ I said. Zechariah 4:1-13 – https://www.biblegateway.com
Early this morning I heard my alarm clock start to sound. It was very clear. One long burst and then it went off.
I woke up but then realised that my alarm had not sounded. What I had heard was in the spirit. I then heard the Lord say that He is sounding His alarm all over the world.
His people are being woken by His alarm but many are not responding and continue to sleep.
Jesus says wake up you sleepers. Rise from the dead and He will give you light.
Many are confused about what is happening. There is fertile ground for deception and much deception, lies and false news is being spread. Many are searching for truth and the Lord says if you Seek Him you will Find Him as He is the Truth, the Way and the Life.
The Lord has been speaking these same words “a course correction” to me over the last month or so. It has certainly got my attention and through various scriptures and pictures, I keep coming back to this theme of a “course correction”. As I have been reading and praying, I believe that the Lord is emphasising that whether it is on a personal level or even governmental and national – there is need of a “course correction”.
I have this sense that some may have gone “off course” in terms of following God, or in doing what God wants us to do in our lives or doing what is pleasing to Him. The degree of “course correction” required is going to vary depending on how far we have wandered from the right path or direction that God wants to take us. It could be just a small correction or adjustment to get us back on track or if we are going in the wrong direction entirely then it will mean a complete “U” turn – whether that is in terms of mindsets and/or behaviors to get back on track.
For some I believe it means they will find the right way in God through Jesus for the first time. It will be a complete revelation of truth to them. They will hear the good news and receive the gospel and believe. There could be opposition, trouble and persecution to this new direction in life and for some people it will mean going in the opposite direction to those around you – people you may have journeyed through life with for a long time. There will be challenging times ahead but Jesus will journey with you and take you through.
You might be led to take a different path and for some there may be a literal parting of ways with certain people – this even happened with the Apostle Paul when he parted ways with Barnabas and they went in different directions in their missionary journey. I see this happening in certain ministries – people are going to part company but God will show the timing of this and trust Him to give you peace about the decision. It may mean for those who do not discern God’s hand and direction that there could be hurts along the way and difficulties to overcome, so I pray for God’s grace in these situations and a covering of protection of hearts & minds. That no root of bitterness will spring up or jealousy among fellow believers leading to disunity and trouble.
At the start of Covid 19 we certainly seemed to be having a time of “reset” and people took the opportunity of an enforced lockdown to review lots of aspects of their lives. Even Churches were not immune and had to review their practices and make changes to the way that they functioned in terms of meeting together, teaching & helping each other and their local communities. Lots of changes were made, there was innovation & new practices undertaken – but recently people seem to be wanting to get back to “normal”.
People are saying more and more that they can’t wait until things return to normal. I can understand this because there has been a lot of confusion and changes of rules/regulations and this has unsettled us -there are restrictions on our every day lives and we are longing for a return to normality, but I don’t think God wants us to return to the old “normal”. I believe God really wants us to embrace a course correction. God does not want us to return to old habits and ways of doing things especially if they were wrong. There is something better that God has for us.
The Lord first got my attention on a “course correction” with a reading in the book of Habakkuk. Habakkuk was a prophet in the Old Testament and in Chapter 2 he says “I will stand my watch and set myself on the ramparts and watch to see what He (God) will say to me and what I will answerwhen I am corrected“.
Habakkuk actively sought correction from God – he prepared himself to listen and receive it but in my experience (this may just be me) -we usually try and avoid correction or disciplining. I don’t think I have met anyone yet who really likes being disciplined and told they are wrong but it is good for us and its necessary. We can make wrong choices or we move and act impulsively or at the wrong time. God loves us and correcting us is a sign of His love for us – If we are children of God then it is a given that He will correct us. As a loving Father, God wants to correct us and show us when we are “off course”. God wants the best for us. He showed Habakkuk plainly – God said “write the vision and make it plain i.e. clear so that he may run who reads it” – in other words God speaks clearly to us through His word and shows us what is required for Godly living.
When I was thinking about this scripture from Habakkuk the Lord showed me a picture of a sail boat. It was just a small simple boat with a sail and a person sitting at the helm with his hand on the tiller. The tiller is the “course corrector” – without the tiller the boat would just go with the currents, the winds & tides which would dictate its course. However, the sailor constantly adjusts the pressure on the tiller to keep the boat going in the right direction. God is the tiller in our lives. There is always going to be a “wind” or a “current” in our lives which tries to influence us and take us in a certain direction. It’s identifying which is prevailing and influencing the direction of my life – is it culture, relationships, work, fears, lies, anxieties, my desires, my assumptions etc. there are so many things – or am I allowing the word of God and the breath of the Holy Spirit to lead me in the right way – with my eyes fixed on Jesus. It’s challenging to take time and ask God to identify what is truly influencing our decisions and the direction we are travelling.
The good news is that Jesus comes to set us back on track if we are going the wrong way. Jesus set two of His followers back on the right course. In Luke 24 starting at verse 13, we read the story of two followers of Jesus, one named Cleopas, who were travelling from Jerusalem on the road to Emmaus. Both had been in Jerusalem when Jesus was crucified and were discussing everything that had happened with Jesus’ death and also the story that the women had told them that morning of Jesus’ tomb being empty. They were confused, sad and didn’t know what to believe. They had now left Jerusalem & the other believers – we are not told why- and were travelling to Emmaus – 7 miles away – going in the wrong direction. Jesus took the time to go and meet them on the road and explain the truth to them – he took them through the scriptures and explained the truth about the Messiah as prophesied in the Old Testament. These men both knew Jesus but they didn’t immediately recognise Jesus on the road but something compelled them not to let this “stranger” go on but to hear more from Him. The story ends with them doing a “U” turn and heading back to Jerusalem.
I love this story – Jesus shows His love and compassion as the good shepherd for these two followers. He actively seeks them out because they are headed in the wrong direction but they don’t realise it. They need to be in Jerusalem. They need to go back to where they headed out from. Jesus eventually reveals himself to them when they all sit down to eat & break bread together (this speaks to me of a time of intimacy and fellowship) and then immediately once they recognise Jesus it all makes sense – they get up and head back to Jerusalem – even though it is late at night to tell the rest of the disciples the good news – Jesus is alive – He has been resurrected.
This story made me think – What would have happened if those two followers had not returned to Jerusalem. Not only did they encourage and immediately witness about Jesus’ resurrection to the other disciples when they returned which must have had an impact especially when their story was verified when Jesus appeared again to all of them there, but I also think they could have missed out on receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit which Jesus had promised His followers. It is not recorded in scripture, but I do believe those two men were part of those 120 who were recorded as gathered in the upper room in the Acts of the Apostles and received the infilling and power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus did not want them to miss out on the fullness of what He had promised and it’s the same for you and I today. Jesus does not want us to miss out on the fullness of what He died and rose from death to give us – life in all its abundance.
I think Jesus wants to cause an intervention in some lives to get us back on track. We hear of “interventions” being made in secular terms – someone might be in a desperate situation and there has to be an “intervention” by friends or authorities to get them to stop and change – to get them to realise truth. Jesus does the same and the New Testament is full of stories of Jesus intervening in people’s lives and totally changing them and their circumstances. The apostle Paul is another example who comes to mind- Jesus meets him on the road to Damascus and totally changes the direction of his life – instead of persecuting and killing Christians as Saul – he becomes Paul – a believer and follower of Christ who becomes a witness of Jesus – an apostle and missionary.
Isaiah 55 v 7 says “Let the wicked forsake his way, …….Let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him, and to our God for He will abundantly pardon”. The good news of Jesus is that salvation -believing in Jesus and accepting Him into our lives – the biggest course corrector to lead us back into fellowship with God – is available to everyone. Repenting means doing a “U” turn – a “turn around” – turning away from our former sinful and self-centered lives – and following Jesus as a disciple. It is not too late to make that decision to get off the wide path that Jesus says leads to destruction and instead choose to take the narrow path which Jesus guides us to and puts our feet on – the path of salvation and to eternal life with God. Restoration in all its fullness.
And what of those of us who are followers of Christ already- where could we possible need a course correction. Jesus speaks to the churches in Revelation and showed them some course corrections needed -Firstly – the church who had forgotten their first love. I was really convicted of this recently – My love for Jesus – it needed rekindling. My passion for Him as I had at first as a young believer – when I first came to know Him and love Him. Those verses in Revelation 2:4 spoke right into my heart “I have this against you – that you have left your first love”. Remember from where you have fallen – repent – a course corrector – it’s always first and foremost about Jesus. It’s about our relationship with Him. It’s not what we do but why we do it – Jesus is the reason – our love for Him.
It’s not just losing our first love, Jesus also points out in these early chapters of Revelation the churches who are tolerating immorality, idolatry, false teachings, tolerating false prophets, the indifferent church – neither hot nor cold and the dead church – having a name for being alive but actually dead. Jesus has words of correction to all these churches but also words of encouragement to keep the churches on the right paths of His presence and teachings. To help them get back on track and overcome all trials and temptations just as Jesus did – with His guidance and the Holy Spirit at work in us and through us. We, who are the Church – the body of Christ – a living, breathing body with Christ as our head need to take these words of Jesus on board – They are relevant to these times that we are living in. What is Jesus saying to His church today – what words of correction is He bringing to us.
I pray that this blog will be an encouragement, challenge and help to you. It may resonate with you and may you be blessed in Jesus’ precious name.
I sense that God is encouraging us to watch & pray and see which nations are aligning themselves with each other in the times ahead.
Nations which at one time were bitter enemies may start to align themselves – taking sides against other nations.
Nations which at one time would have relied on support from another nation will instead be betrayed when that nation unexpectedly sides against them.
I felt God say that this is a time when nations need to be careful who they align themselves with in the days ahead and what they do. Those decisions will have eternal consequences.
Nations are in danger of allowing pride to deceive them into making the wrong alliances.
Obadiah is one of the shortest books in the Old Testament but it warns about the consequences of such actions for the nation of Edom. In verse 3 we read about the nation of Edom “the pride of your heart has deceived you”.
Edom picked the wrong side to support. They chose to align themselves with an enemy against Israel & the people of God who were their brothers.
Edom was part of the winning side or so it seemed at the time. Israel was defeated. Edom celebrated the victory and rejoiced over Israel’s destruction & captivity.
However, God was against their behavior – v 10 – “For violence against your brother Jacob, shame shall cover you” v11 – in the day that you stood on the other side”
Edom aligned themselves wrongly.
The consequences of that decision & their subsequent actions were that they were going to be shamed & brought low. God would take vengeance on their actions and against those who harmed His people. God was going to restore His people.
In verse 15 it says “For the day of the Lord upon all nations is near; As you have done, it shall be done to you – your reprisal shall return upon your own head“.
How the nations act & what they do – God will measure it back to them.
There is a day of divine justice coming to all the nations of the earth.
Jesus said that in the last days “Nations will rise against Nations” – Matthew 24:7
Let us watch & pray over the nations as the Lord leads us in these days.
This morning the Lord led me to read Daniel 5 and the account of Belshazzar’s feast. During the feast a finger divinely appears on the wall and writes. This sight terrifies the king and he wants to know what the words mean as no-one can read them. Daniel is brought in and he interprets the words as:
Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin
He tells the King that the meaning is this: God had numbered Belshazzar’s kingdom & finished it. Belshazzar had been weighed and found wanting. His Kingdom was now going to be taken from him and given to others.
Belshazzar had not learnt the lessons of the past from his own father’s (Nebuchadnezzar) experience and was brought down by pride.
I believe that God is warning us that we, the United Kingdom, are in danger of being brought down because of Nationalistic Pride.
I have written below the words I heard from the Lord this morning in my spirit:
My eye has been over the kingdoms of the earth since the beginning of time. I have watched them rise and I have watched them fall.
In the time of Daniel, my servant was shown the mystery of the kingdoms of the earth and how they would be brought up and brought down.
I have measured each one in My hand and all have been found wanting. Not one earthly kingdom has measured up fully to the calling that was put upon it and the mantle which covered it.
The kingdom that you live in (the United Kingdom) is a kingdom about to divide itself again.
For a kingdom divided against itself, such as your kingdom is now, cannot stand.
The day is approaching faster than some can see – that the kingdom will divided. This is not part of My divine plan for your nation but is an inevitable outcome if they continue in this way. If each one takes continual power for themselves and decides what benefits their own nation rather than the collective then this kingdom will fall.
It is an inevitable consequence unless there is a repentance and turn of heart and each nation truly joins together for the common good of all. Divided they will fall otherwise.
May My people pray for a turning to occur in the hearts of those who govern these nations. May they humble themselves and rid themselves of nationalistic pride but rather seek the good of all. United they stand but divided they fall.
Pray for the unity of the kingdom before it cleaves itself completely and then it will not be able to fulfill the destiny calling to which it has been called for the last days.
This is the day for coming together and not tearing itself apart.
I was reminded of Jesus words in Matthew 12:25 – “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.”
I believe that we are stronger together as a kingdom rather than as individual nations. Nationalistic pride is a stumbling block. Each nation that makes up the United Kingdom – Scotland, England, Wales & Northern Ireland is important and has a voice that should be heard but no element should be favored above the other. Let each work together for the benefit of all.
Lord we pray that you will open the eyes of those who govern our nations and the ministers of each nation of Scotland, Wales, England & Northern Ireland. Lord let them see the division that is occurring. Open their eyes Lord and convict their hearts. Let their hearts be softened and let truth be received. Reveal nationalistic price and let all be truly repentant and turn instead in humility to working for the common good of all in equality and for unity. Let there be true unity among those who govern our nations. Let the stumbling blocks of pride be removed.
Let them lead us, the people, by example and let their example Lord then bring change in us. Let us all Lord come together as one – truly united in You our sovereign God.
Lord reveal the demonic plans of the enemy to bring division and stir up hatred. Let the enemy be undone and let his plans to divide this nation come to nothing. Lord we pray that your Will is achieved in us and that you use the United Kingdom powerfully for your purposes in these days ahead Lord. Amen