“Among my people are the wicked who lie in wait like men who snare birds and like those who set traps to catch people. Like cages full of birds, their houses are full of deceit; they have become rich and powerful.” Jeremiah 5:26-27
Among My people – That is a sobering thought. I believe God is warning His people again now to beware of the wicked one’s trap of deceit. If we fall into that trap, we will be in great trouble. If our minds are deceived then our eyes become blind to the truth and our ears do not hear correctly. The communications we receive are tainted. We see through a distorted lens of deceit and hear through a filter which corrupts us.
The messages we receive become mixed and we are in danger that wrong things are heard and not discerned. The trap of deceit sucks us further and further into it. The door of the gilded cage is shut and we cannot fly and soar in truth as free as we should be. We are ensnared and our wings are clipped by deceit. Yet we do not see it or hear it.
Let us avoid these traps by keeping to His word revealed in Scripture as our plumb line of truth, stay close to Jesus, follow His paths. We encourage each other to weigh, test and discern the truth. It is Jesus, who is The Truth, who sets us free from deceit. The bible teaches us that –Who the son sets free is free indeed. Lies and deceit are a snare to God’s people and the father of lies, satan loves it so. Let us rather submit to God and resist Satan’s lies. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth and Jesus teaches us that He, the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth.
Peter in his second letter to the early churches reminds them that there were false prophets throughout history and that there would also be false prophets amongst them and the same is true for us as believers today. There are false teachers and false prophets at work still.
“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them —bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” 2 Peter 2:1-3
Peter warns us that such people will deny truthful aspects of Jesus, are greedy, exploitive and goes on to say that such people despise authority, are bold and arrogant, boastful, appeal to the flesh, entice people with promises of freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity. If we follow them the consequences are dire, and as people who once knew truth we are worse off than before we knew Christ. What a terrible thing. 2 Peter 2:10,17-20
I pray that we will pay attention to these warnings and not be like the people who Jeremiah spoke of “An astonishing and horrible thing has been committed in the land. The prophets prophecy falsely and the priests rule by their own power and My people love to have it so.”
I pray that we as followers of Jesus are not be deceived by flattery or words that “tickle our ears” and appeal to our flesh. The Word of God is like a fire 🔥 which refines and purifies us to be more like Christ.
“Behold I will make your words like fire and this people like wood and it will devour them” Jeremiah 5 v14
Please Lord keep us from the trap of deceit and reveal to us if we have been entrapped in any way.
Those were the words that came to me last night as I was sleeping. I was immediately taken back to the story of Ali Baba and the forty thieves.
I can remember being fascinated when I was young by the story of Ali Baba and the forty thieves who hid all their treasure in a secret cave. The cave was well hidden and you could not enter without the secret command “Open Sesame”. At that command, the cave would open and all the secret and hidden treasure was there for the taking.
I immediately thought of that scripture again from Isaiah 45 about God giving His people the hidden treasures and riches stored in secret places. I have had this same word on a number of occasions now so it is something the Lord is drawing back to my attention time and again in this season. There are hidden treasures and riches that God wants His people to discover for His glory to be revealed.
“I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.” Isaiah 45:3
I believe that there is also another revelation that the Lord is speaking through this dream. Firstly, I believe that the Lord is encouraging His People to pray for the hidden treasures and secret riches in the nations to be revealed. There are treasures and riches in the world which are currently concealed and hidden from their true and rightful owners and which need to be revealed and restored. It’s time for some restitution.
There are nations which have immorally and illegally plundered the riches of other nations and restitution needs to be made. It is time for justice in this area. Nations who have held onto treasures and riches which have been wrongfully taken and which are ill-gotten gains need to start to give back. This is a God given opportunity and window of grace for the nations to start to make restitution. God is a God of justice and mercy and He hates crooked ways, corruption and theft. His measuring scales are perfect.
This season is also relevant for individuals as well. There are people who have had things stolen from them and this is not only materials things but also goes much deeper things like identity, character, relationships, reputations etc. There are many things I believe the Lord is going to reveal to people in this season of things which have been stolen from them that it is time to restore. It’s time to plunder the enemies camp and take back what has been stolen.
In the bible we read of Abraham and David who did just that.
“When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan. During the night Abram divided his men to attack them and he routed them, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. He recovered all the goods and brought back his relative Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the other people.” Genesis 14:14-16
“When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. David’s two wives had been captured—Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God. Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelek, “Bring me the ephod. ” Abiathar brought it to him, and David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?” “Pursue them,” he answered. “You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue. ” David recovered everything the Amalekites had taken, including his two wives. Nothing was missing: young or old, boy or girl, plunder or anything else they had taken. David brought everything back. He took all the flocks and herds, and his men drove them ahead of the other livestock, saying, “This is David’s plunder.” 1 Samuel 30:3-8,18-20
In my dream it was the spoken words of “Open Sesame” which were the keys to the opening of the cave and unlocking of the treasure. We know as believers that there is power in God’s Word especially the spoken Word of God. God’s spoken Word is so powerful and I believe the Lord is saying that He is going to provide specific words of knowledge and prophecy which His Saints will declare which will unlock situations, bring increased levels of revelation about hidden things and open the door to the riches and treasures that He wants us to discover. The Saints are going to be used of God to reveal His truth and expose hidden evil. The Holy Spirit will quicken scripture to us which will encourage us to stand in faith on His promises and declare His truth.
Jesus himself is The Living Word and I believe that Jesus is going to unlock situations for His Saints as He has the key of David and it says in Isaiah 22:22
“I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.” Isaiah 22:22
These prophetic verses are about Jesus, who has been given the authority to open and shut. I pray that the Lord himself will bring revelation to His Saints in these days of the doors which are to be opened so that we can enter through and take hold of the riches in Him that He has available to us for His Kingdom and His glory. To advance His Kingdom.
If you are not a Christian and a disciple of Jesus, then I pray that you will want to know more about having a relationship with Jesus by asking Him into your life. Ask and you will receive. These verses from Romans talk about the power of your mouth to speak the equivalent of those words “Open Sesame” to open up the true treasure and riches of restored relationship with God through His son Jesus and know that you are saved.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile —the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:9-13
Whilst walking in the park the other day, these words kept coming to me, “Bless the Lord oh my soul, forget not all His benefits, who heals all our diseases”. I started singing the words from the song 10,000 reasons to bless the Lord by Matt Redman which starts with the same words , “Bless the Lord oh my soul” but I also remembered includes the line “May I be singing when the evening comes”.
I pray for those who are going through very difficult times at the moment that God will strengthen you by His grace. His grace is sufficient for us and His mercies are new every morning. Keep going, hold on, keep your eyes lifted to Him. He is sovereign and on the Throne. He loves us with an everlasting love. Remember His faithfulness and promise to be with us at all times and in all circumstances. I encourage you not to give up your confidence in Him but hold on so that when the evening comes you will be able to say “Bless the Lord Oh my soul”.
Psalm 103 is a beautiful and uplifting Psalm. I have posted it below and hope as you read it today that you are blessed, edified and inspired by Gods Word.
Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed. He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
As a father pities his children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more. But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children, To such as keep His covenant, And to those who remember His commandments to do them.
The Lord has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all. Bless the Lord, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word. Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, You ministers of His, who do His pleasure.
Bless the Lord, all His works, In all places of His dominion. Bless the Lord , O my soul! Psalm 103:1-22
I have added the link to Matt Redman’s song 10,000 reasons below.
Do you remember being at school and having to read aloud? I used to break out in a cold sweat at the very thought of it. I’m a natural blusher so the minute I became the focus of attention, I used to burn bright red in the face. I could hear my class mates sniggering and I was so self conscious then that I could hardly get the words out. It was torture to me and I used to dread it. 🥵
When I was in church though it was common for the Bible to be read aloud in a Sunday service, in the prayer meetings and in the bible studies. I became used to the practice of reading God’s Word out loud and started to be able to read out loud more easily and even sometimes from the front of the church. I still blushed like mad but I didn’t seem to let it bother me so much. There was usually a sea of encouraging faces agreeing with the spoken Word of God as the bible was read.
The Lord has been impressing upon me again recently that reading aloud God’s Holy Scriptures is very powerful. We read in Genesis how God spoke creation into being. His Word is in the very fabric of creation. As we speak out the Word of God I believe that creation itself responds. A word spoke in season and in Gods timing does not return void. Isaiah 55 v 11.
You may never have read the Bible out loud before and I encourage you to try it at home, outside or wherever you find yourself at the present time. Reading the Bible with my friends over FaceTime, Zoom or WhatsApp is a real blessing at the moment especially with the Covid situation. God has been encouraging us through His Word. For some I know it can be really hard to read out loud especially in front of others but I have found it to be such a help that I hope you will too.
I believe there is an impact in the spiritual realm when the Word of God is declared out loud. As truth is declared into the airwaves. There is so much false and lies being circulated over all communication channels that speaking out truth is so important. Faith also rises in your heart as you read and hear God’s Word. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Romans 10:17.
I really enjoy being outside and I know from reading other blogs that many of you do too. If you have read some of my other posts you will know that my friends and I will go and pray and read God’s Word at different locations around where we live especially up on the hills and from our local ruined castle walls. You get such great perspective over your town or city from a high viewpoint.
During COVID restrictions it has not been possible to gather as we used to, but where it has been permitted to walk with one or two others then we have continued to do this as the Holy Spirit leads. Last week, we went out for our daily exercise and prayed and read Psalm 18 on our walk. We walked in pairs in different locations in our local area which were all high points from which you could see all over. We read Psalm 18 out loud at the agreed time of 12 noon turning to the North, South, East and West as we did so.
I find during these walks, the Lord shows us different things and brings things to our attention. I always try and look closely at what is happening around me. Last week we noticed the birds. There was a bird in the distance sat right at the top of a tree. It couldn’t have got any higher unless it was flying. It was there for ages but as we read the Psalm the bird flew off at a certain point. God reminded me of some verses in Ecclesiastes which say that a bird in the sky may carry your words and a bird on the wing may report what you say. Ecclesiastes 10:20. It made me think what if the birds themselves carry the word of God as we speak it and repeat it into creation. The Lord certainly works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform.
Below are the words from Psalm 18 if you feel encouraged to do some reading aloud today. Blessings to you in Jesus precious name. Amen 🙏
“I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies.
The pangs of death surrounded me, And the floods of ungodliness made me afraid. The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me; The snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the Lord, And cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry came before Him, even to His ears.
Then the earth shook and trembled; The foundations of the hills also quaked and were shaken, Because He was angry. Smoke went up from His nostrils, And devouring fire from His mouth; Coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down With darkness under His feet. And He rode upon a cherub, and flew; He flew upon the wings of the wind.
He made darkness His secret place; His canopy around Him was dark waters And thick clouds of the skies. From the brightness before Him, His thick clouds passed with hailstones and coals of fire. The Lord thundered from heaven, And the Most High uttered His voice, Hailstones and coals of fire. He sent out His arrows and scattered the foe, Lightnings in abundance, and He vanquished them.
Then the channels of the sea were seen, The foundations of the world were uncovered At Your rebuke, O Lord, At the blast of the breath of Your nostrils.
He sent from above, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, From those who hated me, For they were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, But the Lord was my support. He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me.
The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord, And have not wickedly departed from my God. For all His judgments were before me, And I did not put away His statutes from me. I was also blameless before Him, And I kept myself from my iniquity.
Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness, According to the cleanness of my hands in His sight. With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful; With a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless; With the pure You will show Yourself pure; And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd. For You will save the humble people, But will bring down haughty looks.
For You will light my lamp; The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. For by You I can run against a troop, By my God I can leap over a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? It is God who arms me with strength, And makes my way perfect.
He makes my feet like the feet of deer, And sets me on my high places. He teaches my hands to make war, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great. You enlarged my path under me, So my feet did not slip.
I have pursued my enemies and overtaken them; Neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed. I have wounded them, So that they could not rise; They have fallen under my feet. For You have armed me with strength for the battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me. You have also given me the necks of my enemies, So that I destroyed those who hated me. They cried out, but there was none to save; Even to the Lord, but He did not answer them. Then I beat them as fine as the dust before the wind; I cast them out like dirt in the streets.
You have delivered me from the strivings of the people; You have made me the head of the nations; A people I have not known shall serve me. As soon as they hear of me they obey me; The foreigners submit to me. The foreigners fade away, And come frightened from their hideouts. The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted.
It is God who avenges me, And subdues the peoples under me; He delivers me from my enemies. You also lift me up above those who rise against me; You have delivered me from the violent man. Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the Gentiles, And sing praises to Your name. Great deliverance He gives to His king, And shows mercy to His anointed, To David and his descendants forevermore. Psalm 18:1-50
In the night, I was wakened with theses words “Today, if you will hear His voice DO NOT HARDEN your heart.” I felt a great stirring from the Lord to share these words with us all today so that we can ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the true condition of our hearts.
The Lord is speaking in these days to us through His Holy Scriptures and through His Holy Spirit. He wants us to hear His voice above all others. Especially each day. What is God saying Today. Let us have ears to hear as the Spirit says, what the Lord is speaking to us, individually and corporately as His body of believers. His church.
I have posted below the scriptures which speak of our hearts being hardened. We are warned to guard our hearts against unbelief, sin, unfaithfulness and disobedience as these will hinder and stop us entering into what God has for us.
My dear friends, I pray that we will seek the Lord for His guidance today and repent of anything the Holy Spirit reveals to us through Holy Scripture which is causing our hearts to be hard. Sometimes we don’t realise that there can be a hardening of our hearts. It can be very subtle.
Many years ago, my husband was extremely ill and thought he was having a heart attack. His symptoms were of a heart attack and in the ambulance and at the hospital, the tests were showing a heart attack. He was very young at the time and you would not think he could be suffering a heart attack. He was very healthy and fit. Even when the ambulance crew came, they laughed with us at the very thought but all soon changed when the ECG machine tested his heart.
However, the Consultant at the hospital said that they would not diagnose a heart attack until the blood tests came back. It was the blood which would tell them the condition of the heart. When the blood test came back there had been no evidence of a heart attack.
The consultant informed us that it was a virus that was attacking my husbands heart. The virus worked by hardening the tissue around the heart and squeezing it and if the virus was left untreated it would continue eventually causing the heart itself to become hardened. Sin, unbelief, disobedience in our lives are like that virus. Left unchecked they will work to cause great harm to our hearts.
The good news was that the treatment of this condition which was affecting my husbands’s heart was so simple. It was a little tablet which you could buy cheaply and easily from any pharmacy, an anti-inflammatory tablet. It would quickly break down the effects caused by the virus. Praise God it soon did and my husband quickly recovered.
The same is true for us. The hardening of our hearts can be healed through humbling ourselves, confessing our sins before God, repentance and the cleansing of our hearts by the washing of the Word and the blood of Jesus. We become restored and healed. Our hearts are cleansed and softened.
I pray that you will be encouraged and challenged today. That you hear His voice and respond to God. Have a blessed day. Scriptures posted below for ease.
“Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness, Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, And saw My works forty years.
Therefore I was angry with that generation, And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they have not known My ways.’ So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ”
Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture, And the sheep of His hand. Today, if you will hear His voice: “Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, As in the day of trial in the wilderness, When your fathers tested Me; They tried Me, though they saw My work. “Psalm 95:6-9
“For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. “Hebrews 3:7-19
“But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened? Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember? Mark 8:17-18 –