A course correction – the right direction

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.

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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 answer when 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.

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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.

Truth will always out

Matthew 5 v 8. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. 

There is a very dramatic scene in Shakespeare’s play “Macbeth” when Lady Macbeth is observed at night sleep walking and “washing” her hands over and over in an attempt to clean them from the “blood” which only she can see on her hands.      She keeps repeating over and over “out damned spot out” but no matter how often she cleans her hands it has no effect.    The “blood” is still there and she knows it. 

Those watching her think she has gone mad because they cannot see any blood on her hands.     As far as they know she hasn’t murdered anyone or spilled blood– her hands are to all intents and purposes clean.     

Her unconscious actions whilst asleep however betray the truth.  

Lady Macbeth was to all intents and purposes a murderer. She had persuaded her husband to murder the King and now she was suffering from guilt and revealing through her actions what had previously been hidden in her heart.      Her heart was certainly not pure as it was full of murderous thoughts, jealousy and scheming ambition.   Consequently, her apparently clean hands were not really clean at all. 

She was the ultimate hypocrite whose heart betrayed her.  

The story of Lady Macbeth is rather an extreme example but I hope it might makes us stop and think and consider our own hearts and what motivates us.   We can all put on a good show (myself included) but impurity in our thoughts and character will eventually come out no matter how much we might try to hide or pretend it’s not there.  

Jesus taught his disciples that it wasn’t enough to just observe the religious rituals of the day because it was the evil thoughts which came out of their hearts which actually defiled them and shaped their actions. 

Jesus had a lot to say about hypocrisy and wasn’t shy to challenge the religious people of the day.  

I believe Jesus issues the same challenges to us, His followers today.   

Jesus didn’t mince His words.   He called the Pharisees “whitewashed” tombs and accused them of being too concerned with appearing holy to others but actually inside they were full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.     

The religious leaders of the day were so meticulous in enforcing, and on the face of it obeying all the laws and traditions, but in practice they were not living out a pure life but were full of “extortion and self-indulgence”.   The outside of the cup may have been clean but not the inside.

Matthew 5 v 8. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. 

These words of Jesus show us that it must be possible to become pure in heart otherwise Jesus would be lying.  I believe that Jesus is truth so this statement would on that principle be true.    

The bible teaches us that we cannot be pure through our own efforts – it is impossible.  

The Old Testament points us to the need for a Saviour.    I believe that Jesus is that Saviour who makes this possible. Jesus is the only one who can make us clean from sin by His sacrifice on the Cross and His blood shed for us to cleanse us from sin. 

The apostle Paul teaches us that “Jesus loved the church and gave himself for her that he might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of the Word in order to present her as a glorious church without spot or wrinkle or any such thing but that she should be holy and without blemish” i.e. pure.    

Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross ensures that we can daily come and take hold of His blood to cleanse and purify us.   However, we must not treat his sacrifice with contempt and pay lip service when we are convicted of sin.      True repentance means turning away from sin. Changing our behavior. Replacing the old wrong behaviors and thoughts with the right and Godly ones.

I believe in the biblical promise that one day when we die in faith we will then be with and see God.    To be absent from the body as Paul put it and present with the Lord.    However, I think that Jesus’ promise that we will see God can be evidenced in our behavior in our everyday lives.  

When we are hypocritical and our actions do not mirror what we say we believe or what God requires of us in his Word then we do not “see” God at work in our lives or in the lives of others around us.  

However, when we submit ourselves to God and allow Him to work in us and to change us by the power of the Holy Spirit, then I believe we “see” God at work in the changes we experience in our character and motives.     We become more Christ like in our attitudes and so we see God’s character reflected in us and our actions to others.   

I know for myself and I am sure that others can testify to the changes that have taken place in them since becoming Christians.   Some of the immediate changes in my behavior were more obvious and noticeable (my lifestyle changed dramatically when I came back to the Lord) and I think it can be the same for a lot of people.   The lifestyle changes are usually the first to be seen. 

However, some changes in character and behavior are a deeper work of the Holy Spirit especially if we are “blind” or don’t want to acknowledge those character flaws within us.    This is when the Word of God and applying the Word is so important as we can use the Word to hold ourselves to account.   1 Peter 2 says “Lay aside all hypocrisy –desire the pure milk of the word that you may grow thereby” and   Romans 12:  “Let love be without hypocrisy”.  

True Christian love in our hearts will show itself through our actions.   These are certainly the days for action.

We are because of Covid 19 in a new day of opportunity in how we live out our Christian faith daily- the old pattern & structure of church attendance is not the same any more. We are not pew fillers and were never just meant to be “Sunday believers”. I believe we are now less “building focused” and more “body of Christ” focused.

I am not perfect by any means and some days the thoughts and motives of my heart are anything but pure.  I would be lying if I said otherwise, but I love the fact that God’s grace is at work in my life.  I take confidence from the fact that “He who has begun a good work in me will complete it” Phil 1:6.

It is difficult to acknowledge that our hearts might not be right before God and to humble ourselves. 

There is an encouraging prayer in the Psalms – Psalm 51 –A prayer of repentance which can help us. 

David acknowledged that he needed to be cleansed from his sins and that God “desires truth in the inward parts”.  David certainly knew what he was talking about – the sinful desires of his heart had also led him to contrive a murder (rather like our fictional Lady Macbeth) which he then tried to cover up but God revealed the truth through his prophet, Nathan.   David was truly repentant and experienced God’s redeeming love.     

Can I encourage us all that our prayer to God this week is “Create in me a clean heart O’ God”.

What’s in a name?

Psalm 8:1 “ O Lord our God, the majesty and glory of your name fills all the earth and overflows the heavens”

Names are extremely significant.    They are used to identify and describe people.    People sometimes pick names for their children based on characteristics they hope that child will develop.    Some people’s names really suit them and others not so much.   Names become popular and then are picked because they happen to be the latest fashion.

There is authority & power associated with names.    A law or order signed in the name of the ruler of a nation has a seal of authenticity and is to be obeyed.   It signifies the will of that person and those subject to their authority will obey.

Some people will still “name drop” to get favoured treatment or bend the rules by pretending to be associated with a famous name or person.

Others go even further and will steal other people’s names & identity to get what they want.   Identity theft is one of the major crimes throughout the world.   Good names can be stolen and ruined in an instant.

The bible teaches us a lot about the character of God from the names which God reveals about himself and uses.    Jesus also introduced a new name for God – “Abba” meaning Father.

Matthew 6: 9-13 “Our FATHER in heaven, Hallowed be Your NAME

Hallowed means – to revere, sanctify, consecrate, set apart, worship, lift up, exalt HIS HOLY NAME

Names also have great significance in the Bible and in the spiritual realm.

The Hebrew word for name is “onoma” and was used to signify:

RANK OR AUTHORITY, CHARACTER AND REPUTATION

Every name of God in the Bible reveals a characteristic of God

 1. “ELOHIM” – GOD THE CREATOR – Genesis 1:1

GOD is revealed as the creator of heaven and earth who has all authority, power, greatness, dominion and glory in the whole of the universe.   This goes very much against current secular teachings.

Elohim is in the plural form because Jesus and the Holy Spirit were there at the beginning with God when the world was created.

It is humbling to think but actually I believe that man has never had an original thought or done anything new under the sun really.   We claim to create but I believe that God is the only true source of creative power.

We are taught in the bible that satan is also a created being & a counterfeiter.   He impersonates and steals identities.  He pretends to be what he is not.  We are warned to test things and not to just accept what we see on face value as there are false christs, false prophets, false teachers impersonating the truth.

2        “EL ELYON” – THE MOST HIGH GOD

Genesis 14:18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying,

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,

Creator of heaven and earth.

And blessed be God Most High,

who delivered your enemies into your hand.”

There is no-one or thing above God.

GOD occupies the highest position and throne.

God has the last word.   He cannot be over ruled.   If God has declared or decreed it – then it is coming to pass and no-one or nothing can stop His will being accomplished.

God has sent forth His Word and it will be performed.

3.  “JEHOVAH JIREH” – GOD OF PROVISION

Genesis 22:8-14 –Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”

God revealed himself to Abraham on Mount Moriah that he is the GOD of PROVISION.

God provided a ram for the sacrifice instead of Isaac. Abraham experienced the provision of God.

God later provided Jesus as the sacrifice for sin in our place so that we could be redeemed.

God shows his provision for His people all through the bible.  God can and does provide for our needs.    We still encounter His incredible provision for us.

The storehouses of heaven are not empty and God has all resources.  He can truly supply all our needs.

4.  ”EL – SHADDAI” – GOD ALMIGHTY -ALL POWERFUL

 Genesis 17:1 & Exodus 6:3

“I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty”

The literal translation “The God who is Enough”   “The All Powerful” “The one who is Self-Sufficient”

God is the source of all power.  Nothing or no-one is more powerful than God.

If He is for us then who can be against us.

5.  “JEHOVAH” – Exodus 3 v 13 “ I AM THE I AM.”

God reveals himself to Moses at the burning bush as the I AM.

God is saying in this statement that He is everything and also in everything.  He reveals himself as a HOLY GOD and tells Moses to take off his shoes because he is standing on holy ground.

God is going to demonstrate to the Israelites that He alone is everything to them:

Redeemer, Protector, Healer, Source of all Provision in the wilderness, Defeater of their enemies.

6.  “JEHOVAH RAPHA”HEALER

Exodus 15:26 – God reveals himself as the GOD WHO HEALS.

He said, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.”

GOD reveals that it is in nature to heal and to sustain in health.   Jesus went about doing good and healing people.  He sent his disciples out with the power to heal and he uses His people today to bring healing in His name.   God is still in the business of healing people.

7.  “JEHOVAH NISSI”PROTECTOR

Exodus 17:15 – God is revealed as “The LORD is my BANNER”.

God revealed his protection of Israel by defeating their enemies the Amalekites.

Exodus 17:15 Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner.

In the same theme there is also a similar name of God

EL GIBBOR –Mighty God (Champion/hero) – Isaiah 9: 6,7

Super heroes are very much the culture of today.   The film franchises of super heroes are popular for a reason.   Everyone wants a hero –  A champion to look up to.

God is the ultimate hero of His people.

8. “JEHOVAH SHALOM”the Lord is PEACE

Judges 6:24 So Gideon built an altar to the LORD there and called it The LORD is Peace.

Shalom Peace means rest, harmony, wholeness, completeness, health, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquillity, and prosperity i.e. total wellbeing.

Jesus is described as the Prince of Peace.

Perfect Peace is found in God.

9.  “JEHOVAH TSIDKENU” – RIGHTEOUSNESS

Jeremiah 23:6 – the LORD our RIGHTEOUSNESS

“In his days Judah will be saved  and Israel will live in safety.

This is the name by which He will be called:

The LORD Our Righteousness.”

Jesus is righteous.   He was the only true righteous son because he is God.   God himself who is Righteous became our Righteousness through Jesus.

10. “JEHOVAH SHAMMAH” – the LORD is THERE/PRESENT

 Ezekiel 48:35 God reveals himself as wanting to be present with us – that is His plan.  He is in our past, present and future. He is omnipresent and eternal in nature.

God is the Alpha (beginning) and the Omega (end).  He is there when we get up and when we go to bed.  He is not surprised by anything!! Even when we are.

He makes the way ahead for us to walk in.

11. “JEHOVAH SABAOTH” – “The LORD of HOSTS”.

1 Samuel 17:45  “Then said David to the Philistine,  You come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts”

God is the captain of all the hosts (angelic) of Heaven.

The angels are at God’s command.   We read in the bible how they are used as God’s messengers and to carry out God’s orders.   I often pray and ask God to send his angels to help me and to protect my family.

12.  “JEHOVAH – ROI (Ra-ah)”– SHEPHERD

 Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

God is the good shepherd who looks after us.  We are the sheep of His pasture.

A good shepherd tends & watches over the flock,  protects them, feeds them & leads them in and out to good pastures.   He binds up their wounds & heals them.

13.  ABBA  – God as FATHER

Matthew 6 9-13 – Jesus teaches us to pray to  “Our FATHER in heaven, Hallowed be Your NAME

Jesus reveals God as our Father for the first time in scripture. It reveals a new more intimate level of relationship.

The identity of God as a Father to us is so important and learning to relate to God as a Father can be difficult if we have not experienced what true fatherhood is.  I pray for a revelation of God as a father to those who have not experienced or understood this before.

14.  GOD IS LOVE

The Bible reveals that God is LOVE (AGAPE)– His Character is LOVE

 1 John 4:8 “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.”

AGAPE means “undefeatable benevolence and unconquerable good will that always seeks the highest good of the other person.

It describes the unconditional love which God has for the world.

Discovering God loves us and the extent of that love for us – that love that knows no bounds – it’s height, depth & breadth – what an incredible thing to be loved so much.

When we are loved like that and by such an awesome God then you realise how valuable you are to God.

We really are the apple of His eye.

PRAYER;

“ Lord, your word says that you are my shepherd. I choose to believe your word and declare in faith that you are my shepherd . Thank you God that you are Jehovah Roi – My Shepherd. I declare that I belong to you and you alone and you are Lord of my life. Thank you God that you are the one true shepherd who tends, cares and provides for me.   Thank you that you make me lie down in green pastures where I can rest and be refreshed in you.   Thank you Lord that you lead me every day. Help me to follow in your footsteps and to be obedient to your voice.

Thank you God that you are JEHOVAH JIREH – the God who provides for me and that I shall not want. Lord, your word declares that you will provide all my needs according to your riches in glory. Help me to see Lord that these are not my wants but my needs.

Thank you Lord that you are JEHOVAH TSIDKENU the God of righteousness who leads me in paths of righteousness.   Lord keep me from temptation and sin and keep my feet on the rights paths of your presence. Thank you God for Jesus who your word declares is the good shepherd who by his death on the cross has opened up the way for me to come before your throne. I thank you for the blood of Christ that cleanses me and the robes of righteousness which cover me.

God, help me to share the love of Christ with those who don’t know you so that they can see and know Christ as their Shepherd.   Lord give me compassion for those who don’t know you.

Thank you God for the pastors and elders who you have put in positions to be shepherds of this flock. God bless them and help them to be good shepherds filled with your wisdom as they love us, lead us and care for us.

Lord, help me to feed on good food – building up myself and strengthening myself in you and your Word. Lord, renew my appetite and thirst for you because I know that you are the only one who can satisfy.   You alone are the bread of life.

God finally, I acknowledge that your word says that “Know that the Lord, He is God. It is He who has made us and not we ourselves. We are His People and the Sheep of His pasture”. Lord, let me have a true revelation of who you are so that I will not boast in me but in you alone. That I will walk humbly before you.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Finally, these are some of the things which the Bible says about the Name of the Lord:

The Name of the Lord is a defence (Psalm 20:1)

A help in time of trouble (Psalm 9:10)

A comfort (Daniel 11:32)

A strong tower (Proverbs 18:10)

A weapon (1 Samuel 17:45; 2 Chronicles 14:11)

An ointment poured forth (Song of Solomon 1:3)

“In the name of our God We will set up our banners: The Lord fulfill all your petitions “ Psalm 20:5

Exodus 34 v5

“The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there AND PROCLAIMED THE NAME OF THE LORD; And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed. “The Lord, the Lord God merciful and gracious, longsuffering and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and fourth generation

 

 

 

A warning -Don’t be deceived -Watchmen take your place

You will hear a rumour or a word that “The Lord is there ” – Jehovah Shammah”  but the Lord says do not be fooled.

This morning the Lord impressed this word to me:

The Lord says that in the past many have run after the manifestations of the Holy Spirit because of a deep hunger to meet the Lord and encounter His presence but these have often been false manifestations and have led peopled into the wrong things and opened up a door in their lives to the enemy by accepting a false anointing or a false spirit to oppress them.

The Lord says that you don’t have to run after manifestations of His glory. The glory of the Lord is coming to you.  Wait patiently for the Lord he says – He will come.  He will not disappoint you.

The Lord says that He has already warned us in His word not to run after such manifestations or people that claim to be Him.  He says not to do it -for if you do then you will be deceived.

As the lightning streaked across the sky as it did in the storms that roared across this nation in the night and which all could see clearly in the sky, then so shall the coming of the Son of Man be.

Do not be deceived.  Do not go running after false manifestations of the Spirit and the glory.  You will know the awesome presence of the Lord for He is Holy and where He is – is Holy.   You will not be able to stand in His presence.  Every knee will bow & every tongue confess that He is Lord.   He is Lord & there is no other.

The Lord does things according to His Word.   He does not act outside of His Word.  Keep the Word of God close to your heart.  Feed on the Word of God.  Be guided by the Word and do not be deceived for many false prophecies & false words are circulating at the moment.

Many false prophets and leaders are rising up in this hour to lead His people astray.  Do not be deceived says the Lord.   Say true to His Word – Put your trust in God & do not be deceived.   God is faithful and He is true.  He will sustain you and protect you at these times.

Watchmen – Take your place on the city walls.  Arise & look out at the horizons.  What do you see?    Warn the body of Christ.  Sound the alarm.  You need to watch in these days ahead says the Lord.   There is an acceleration now occurring and things will happen fast.  There is a suddenly approaching – Look & Wait.  Sound the alarm when the time comes and warn the body of Christ.

24 As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives,( the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming( and of the end of the age?

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.(For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.( You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted( and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets( will appear and deceive many people.

12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom( will be preached in the whole world(as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

15 “So when you see standing in the holy place(‘the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop( go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequalled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equalled again.

22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.  For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders( to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.

26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning( that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

29 “Immediately after the distress of those days

“‘the sun will be darkened,
    and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
    and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’[

 

30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven,with power and great glory. 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

32 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33 Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it[ is near, right at the door. 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.  35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

The Day and Hour Unknown

36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,but only the Father.(37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage,(up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.( 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.(43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant,(whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

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Jehovah Shammah – The Lord is there..Do you know how to find God

“and the name of the city from that day shall be: THE LORD IS THERE.”
Ezekiel 48:35 or “The Lord is PRESENT”.

These are the very last words in the book of Ezekiel. It’s an encouragement that there is hope & restoration following God’s judgments on the sins of his people and the surrounding nations which have been prophesied by Ezekiel. God is merciful.

Ezekiel describes a future day when the temple is rebuilt and where God’s glory comes to dwell with them and which will remain forever. This time the glory of the Lord will not depart as it had in the past.

John also describes such a place in the last book in the bible, Revelation.

After God’s final judgments on Satan, the nations and sin, we have this beautiful picture of the holy city and that we will be with God forever…just as God always wanted it to be.

Complete restoration of Gods plan for mankind. Eternal Fellowship with Him. Eternity in His presence.

“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.

Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people.

God Himself will be with them and be their God.

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes;

there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.

There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Revelation 21:1-4

These verses speak of a future day & time which we look forward to but these words for me also sum up the ultimate desire of every Christian’s heart and I hope the desire of your heart. To be where God is present.

That is my goal, my vision..to be where He is. To be in His presence. There is no better place to be. There is no more loving & secure place. Not going ahead of Him, not behind but perfectly aligned with Him.

The good news that we declare and are witnesses of is that Jesus has made not only this future possible but also a present reality. The truth is that you can be where God is. You can have the confidence to know that you will be part of that glorious city. To be forever with God.

But the good news is also that you don’t just have to wait for that future day in eternity. You can also enjoy relationship with God right now in the present.

God can be present in your present.

You can enjoy a relationship now with God through Jesus his son. We can come boldly to Gods throne in prayer for help every day. You don’t have to be alone and without help. God can be your refuge and help in times of trouble. He will be your comforter.

“Seeing then we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathise with our weaknesses but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

The reason Jesus came and died is so that we can be in right relationship with God. So we can be where God is present. There is no other way to get to the place where the Lord is. Jesus made the way.

We can’t get to God by our own efforts and good works alone because sin is the barrier to a holy God. We can only come through the cross by acknowledging our sins and receiving Gods forgiveness through Jesus’ death on the cross. Jesus paid the price of sin by his death and took our sins on himself.

Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
John 14:6 –

God wants you to find Him while there is still time.

“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”
Jeremiah 29:13

“Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.”
Isaiah 55:6-7

In Revelation we are warned not to leave it too late. We read of those who won’t be allowed into this glorious place where God is forever present.

“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
Revelation 21:8 –

“ Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life” Revelation 21:25-27

“Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.
Revelation 22:14-15

Is your name in the Lamb’s book of life?

Jesus is inviting you today to believe in Him and accept Him as your Lord and Saviour. To follow Him. To add your name to the millions that are already written there. God wants to write your name too.

What does the bible warn about those whose name is not in the Book of Life:

“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.

And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened.

And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.

The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”
Revelation 20:11-15

That means going to a place where God is not present. A place where we do not want to be.

It is not Gods will that you go there. He does not want you to perish.

“ For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “

He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

John 3:16-18

Please respond to the invitation to find God through Jesus His son before it is too late.

And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.
Revelation 22:16-17

The good news of JESUS to run swiftly throughout the nations

2 Thessalonians 3 v 1 “Finally, brethren pray for us that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified just as it is with you”.

These are the words that the Lord has spoken to my heart today.    This is the day for the release of an acceleration of the powerful message of the good news of Jesus Christ.  That it will run swiftly now as the apostle Paul said through our cities, our communities and through our families.

The word of God to run swiftly as horses through the nation – Let it run swiftly and be glorified.

Let it be shouted from the rooftops – There is Good News.  There is hope – His name is JESUS.

He died for your sins.  He rose again & conquered death so that you may live with Him and be with Him in his kingdom.   He is the only saviour who can restore you to relationship with your loving Father in Heaven.

Believe in Him.  Turn from your wicked ways.  Believe in Him and in the power of His death & resurrection and be saved.   Today is the day of salvation.  Today is the day to believe.  Cast away all doubt & fear and put your faith in Him.

He will never let you down.  Turn from darkness to the light.  Turn from death to live in Him.  May you hear His word today.

Let the message of salvation run swiftly through the whole earth.  Amen.

2 Thessalonians 3 v 1 “Finally, brethren pray for us that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified just as it is with you”.

Let us pray that that the word of God and the message of salvation in Jesus Christ will run swiftly through the nations of the earth today.  That we will be bold to speak it out.  That we will be bearers of that message and will speak it and testify of it. 

There is hope and His name is Jesus Christ.   He alone is the hope for our nations.  That people’s hearts will be softened to receive the message of salvation, that their minds will be set free to hear His word & that the Holy Spirit will bring conviction of sins to men’s hearts and lead them to the truth that is Jesus Christ.

Lord is looking for His people to cry out to Him for Mercy and to stand up for righteousness and justice in the nations

This morning the Lord spoke these words to me –

“I am looking – I am looking down from heaven over the earth and I am looking for a people who will execute judgement and righteousness in their lands.   People who will stand in the gap for their nations and who will cry out with a voice to heaven for mercy on those who are wicked and who are doing wicked things.

Let the voice of those who are righteous cry out at this time.  Let there be a cry that goes up from the day to the night before the throne of heaven.  Let there be mourning and crying for the wickedness of the earth is great.   The poor are oppressed, the strangers are treated harshly, the needy are exploited, there is no justice for the righteous, the innocent are killed and slaughtered all day long.

Who will stand up and cry out for those?   Who will take their side?   Who will rise up for justice and righteousness in their lands?  The pillars of justice and righteousness are to be re-established in the nations.  Woe to those nations who oppress the poor and needy.  Woe to those nations who mistreat the vulnerable & do not offer shelter to the foreigner and those who have no homes.  Woe to the selfish & the proud.

This is the time to offer mercy and to help those in need.  If you turn your back on those in need then why should my Father in heaven pour out blessings upon you.   The treasures of heaven are stored up for such a time as this.   Do not ask with a selfish heart for yourselves for there is more than enough for all.   Did anyone in My house ever beg for bread.   I am the bread of life and there is an abundance in My hand.

Search your hearts.    When did you help those in need or are you just concerned for your own needs?  Are you just interested in your own kingdoms and to build your own kingdom or are you looking to build My kingdom.

Lo – you need to wake up and listen to Me.   The shout has gone out from My throne – Wake up you sleepers and rise from the dead and I will give you light.   Now is the day – Take hold of today for you do not know what tomorrow will bring.    Amen.

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The Risen Son Jesus -In service of the King

The Lord spoke this word to my spirit this morning.   It is a long word so please read & pray and I hope that it blesses, encourages and challenges you as it does me:

“Thus says the Son – For I came into the world and you did not recognise me because you chose to be wilfully blind, but when I come again in all My glory with My heavenly army with me then all eyes will see and all will know that I am Jesus – He that was crucified and rose again.

None will be able to deny it.  Some may choose to rebel against Me and choose the wicked deceiver but the choice will be theirs to make.   There will be no excuses.  There will be no deniers on that day for all will see My glory & My power.

Trust in Me.   All you who have put your trust and faith in My death & resurrection for I will not disappoint you. 

I will raise each one to life who has believed in Me.  They will be honoured and they will share in My glory for it pleases Me to share My glory and My life with those who love me.

I will give gifts to all those who have served Me with a true heart.   Not the hypocrites and not the fame seekers.  

For I will test all men’s works.   Those works that remain after the fire will receive a reward but for everything burned up they will suffer loss.  

For I am a righteous and true judge.  I am fair in all I do.   Justice goes forth from My throne for nothing is hidden from My eyes.

All will be laid bare before My sight & before the sight of everyone from the kings of the earth to the lowest – All will stand before My throne & receive from Me. 

Some will pretend and make excuses for the things that they have done, but I will tell them to depart from Me because they are wicked, serving only themselves and not the one true King.

Repent My people of your selfish ambitions & serve Me with humility, kindness & love for as much as I gave for you out of My heart, then so much I ask from you to be poured out for Me. 

I give you life in all its fullness so that you can give to others.  

Each one of My followers has something to give.  No-one is empty handed in My kingdom for if you ask of Me then you will receive.

Ask of Me and I will open up the treasures of heaven to pour into your hands.  A good measure pressed down & overflowing.   Give as it is given to you and hold nothing back, especially in these days when you have the opportunity to do much good and show much love to those in need.

Bless you My children.   One day I will look into your eyes and you will look into mine and you will truly understand the sacrifice which I made for each one of you. 

It was worth it and I saw what My Father had in mind from the foundation of the earth so I was pleased to offer Myself as a sacrifice for you because it is worth it to My father and it is worth it to Me.

All honour & glory belongs to the One who sits on the throne forever and ever, Amen.

 

 

The One True God who can save us -Our Father in Heaven

Isaiah 45 v 18-22  “For thus says the Lord

Who created the heavens,

Who is God,

Who formed the earth and made it,

Who has established it,

Who did not create it in vain,

Who formed it to be inhabited:

I am the Lord, and there is no other.

I have not spoken in secret, In a dark place of the earth;

I did not say to the seed of Jacob,

Seek Me in vain,

I, the Lord speak righteousness,

I declare things that are right.

Assemble yourselves and come;

Draw near together,

You who have escaped from the nations.

They have no knowledge, who carry the wood of their carved image,

and pray to a god that cannot save.

Tell and bring forth your case;

yes let them take counsel together.

Who has declared this from ancient time?

Who has told it from that time?

Have not I the Lord?

And there is no other God besides Me,

A Just God and a Saviour:

There is none beside Me;

Look to me and be saved,

All you ends of the earth!

For I am God and there is no other.

I believe that there is only one true God in heaven whose son is Jesus Christ who died and rose again and has conquered sin and death.  

He alone is able to save us from our sins.   

Look to God in these days and put your trust in His unfailing love & mercy.   

He is a merciful & gracious God.  Cry out to Him for help and He will surely hear you and answer you.

There is none other able to stretch forth His hand from heaven and save us apart from Him.   Trust in Him and He will not let you down.

Psalm 9: 9  “The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed.  A refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in you: For you Lord, have not forsaken those who see You.”

God’s glory and righteousness will be revealed.  

I pray and ask God to arise in these times and have mercy on us, to move on our behalf and to save us from this dreadful disease Covid 19 which is ravaging the nations and killing people. 

Rescue us O Lord we ask as there is no-one who can help us at this time to stop this disease and miraculously deliver and heal us. 

There is only you who can do this.  Only you Oh Lord who have the power to do this. 

Show your mighty power in these days.  Hear our prayers God through the precious name of your son Jesus Christ who makes intercession on our behalf before Your throne.

v19 “Arise O Lord; Do not let man prevail, let the nations be judged in your sight.  Put them in fear O Lord, that the nations may know themselves to be but men”.

 

Our Great High Priest Jesus Christ

Yesterday God reminded me from readings in Hebrews that we have a great High Priest Jesus who is seated in heaven continually making intercession for us to God the Father.

Hebrews 10 “ But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God” Hebrews 4:14 “ seeing then we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathise with our weaknesses but was in all points tempted as we are yet without sin, let us come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.Hebrews 7:24- “ but He (Jesus) because He continues forever, he has an unchangeable priesthood, therefore He (Jesus) is also able to save to the uttermost (everyone) who comes to God through Him since He always lives to make intercession for them”.

Daniel prayed to God 3 times a day. I feel stirred at this time that God is seeking intercessors in this season to pray morning, noon and night with the mind of Christ that we have been given. To stand in the gap on behalf of our nations and pray as the Holy Spirit leads us. To join our prayers to Jesus’.

Today I read another word posted on Kingdom Prophecy which really encouraged me and confirmed this sense of what God is stirring in my heart. They also posted these bible verses:

“For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered,” Romans 8:26.

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all The LORD’s people,” Ephesians 6:18.

“From the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard,” Daniel 10:1

I encourage you to draw near to God in worship and prayer at this time and pray as the Holy Spirit leads you.

There is so much going on & news that we can actually become quite distracted in this season from all that is happening and this could lead to confusion and exhaustion just trying to keep up. I sense God is saying take time in the secret place with Him first and foremost. Turn your eyes on Jesus and seek Him. Keep yourself rooted and grounded in Him and His word and guard your hearts and minds against deception.

Share from the well of living water and let’s encourage each other with our prayers and what we hear God saying at this time. Blessings to you in Christ Jesus our Lord.