The Valley of Decision and God’s Training Ground

valley of decision

The Valley of Decision

We can either be possessed by the Holy Spirit or possessed by demons. We get to choose.

Life on earth is a valley of decision. We may be tempted to think that we can just be possessed with ourselves and not choose God or Satan. I would respond to that thought with a phrase from the Rush song “Freewill” which says, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.” Rush may have gotten many things very wrong, but they sure got that one line right! At the end of the day, there is no middle ground. It is the battle of the kingdoms and we will choose sides…and Satan owns the fence.

“So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” ~Revelation 3:16 (NIV)

Ultimately, we will be possessed by what, or by who, possesses us. Then, we get to spend eternity with the gods—or with The God—that we worshipped and invested our lives in. Wouldn’t you rather be possessed by a God who is pure, righteous love?

 

God’s Training Ground

Life on earth is also a training ground. If we choose to give our whole life to God, He will begin to teach us how to love. We must receive His love and then give it back to Him and to others (See Luke 10:25-37). We don’t have love in ourselves, unless we first receive it from above.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” ~James 1:17 (NV)

We must learn to give love freely in the face of evil and hatred. God has allowed enough devil opposition here on earth enable us to learn to be overcomers. We must learn to overcome evil with good. We will then receive the rewards of the overcomer (see Revelation 2, 3 & 22).

Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43-48)

So, I hope that you are encouraged today. You are here for a reason. I pray that you are strengthened in the Lord. I pray that you are filled completely with the Holy Spirit and receive the great love that He has for you. I pray that you waste no time to move forward in His great purposes and calling for your life. Amen!

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The Greater Works!

Fire Hands 2

I want to be more like Jesus, don’t you? But, doesn’t it seem astounding that Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12, NIV). Amazing, isn’t it? How is this even possible? He is so great and powerful and we are so weak and small!

“God came from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran. His glory covered the heavens and his praise filled the earth. His splendor was like the sunrise; rays flashed from his hand, where his power was hidden.” ~Habakkuk 3:3-4 (NIV)

“Sun and moon stood still in the heavens at the glint of your flying arrows, at the lightning of your flashing spear. In wrath you strode through the earth and in anger you threshed the nations. You came out to deliver your people, to save your anointed one.” ~Habakkuk 3: 11-13 (NIV)


“The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.” ~Revelation 1:14 (NIV)


“His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.” ~Revelation 1: 16 (NIV)

It sounds intimidating, especially considering His immense power and glory! But, we must press on into Jesus, just as Moses approached the mountain of the Lord, to yield our hearts to Him and let him set our hearts on fire with His Holy Spirit, and then His fire will emanate from our eyes, mouth, face and hands.

Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” ~Exodus 33:15-18 (NIV)

“When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him.” ~Exodus 34:30 (NIV)

Jesus said, “Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.” ~Luke 11:33-36 (NIV)

“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” ~Luke 6:45 (NIV)

One of the results of the fire of the Holy Spirit coming from our hearts and proceeding out our mouths, is that the wisdom of the world and demonic strongholds are uprooted and destroyed.

“For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God…” ~2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (AMP)

“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” ~I Corinthians 2:4-8 (NIV)

In the time that we are now entering, the “demonstration of the Spirit’s power” through the spoken word, will take on new dimensions that we would currently find difficult to comprehend, similar to what the Lord through the prophet Habakkuk.

“Look around [you, Habakkuk, replied the Lord] among the nations and see! And be astonished! Astounded! For I am putting into effect a work in your days [such] that you would not believe it if it were told you.” ~Habakkuk 1:5 (AMP)

In scripture, we can clearly see the theme of the Holy fire proceeding from God, Jesus, Moses and the prophets. Are we to just sit back and wait for Jesus, a prophet or an angel to speak His words and accomplish these great and mighty works? We know that even many of the prophets and heroes of the Bible were considered weak in many ways, yet we know that through faith, they overcame. “…through faith, [they] conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.” (see Hebrews 11:33-34)

Have you considered that He might be waiting for you to ask Him to fill you with His Holy fire, so it can flow in and through you? When Moses approached the Red Sea, it appears in scripture that Moses was standing there waiting on God to do His thing. But we see later that God was also waiting on Moses…He wanted to work with and through Moses. God didn’t want Moses and the Israelites to stand there in fear, staring at the Red Sea on one side and the Egyptians coming from the other side. He needed them to step up in faith and do their part!

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen.” ~Exodus 14:15-17 (NIV)

I get the sense from this that God was saying, “Ok, Moses, I’ve given you authority and you know me and you know my heart. You see the enemy coming for you and the Red Sea in front of you. What are you going to do about it?”

What about us? He’s filled us with His precious Holy Spirit. He’s given us authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and all forms of evil (see Luke 10:19). Are we going to respond by hiding, or by just standing there and staring in fear and terror at the giants in front of us–at the gross sin and the disasters on the earth? Instead, aren’t we ready to step up, step out and be a Holy Spirit fire pryo for Jesus? I believe that Jesus and all of His creation is waiting for us you as well! He’s waiting for all of us to come forth and make our move!

Jesus said, “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! ~Luke 12:49 (NIV)

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” ~Romans 8:18-21 (NKJV)

Should not the sons of God be about doing what the Son and His Father are doing? Shouldn’t we follow Christ’s example of radiating light and love and bringing the Kingdom of heaven to earth?

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy [See Psalm 45:7] instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. Strangers will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast. Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.” ~Isaiah 61:1-7 (NIV)

Also, it should not surprise us that the greatest works will come at the time of the greatest need. Have you ever noticed in the Bible that there is a lot of spiritual darkness, devastation, death and destruction during the time of the end of the age? During the birth pangs, the seals and the trumpets, for example, there are plagues, sicknesses, diseases, demons being released. There are people dying from war and from all kinds of natural disasters. But let me ask you a question. What is more powerful: Life or Death? Love or Hate? We all know that answer. And we must live it during this time! This will be an amazing time for the love, power and Holy fire of Christ to flow through us to bring an answer to all of these things that are going on across the earth; and then we will lead multitudes to Christ. But let’s not wait for the very last few years to do this. Let’s jump in the river and start now!

Once again, at the end of the age we will see the fullest manifestation of the following scripture,

“As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.” ~Matthew 10:7-8 (NIV)

“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.” ~Daniel 12:3 (NIV)

Darkness is increasing! Why? And who are you?

Return to Pigeon Point Lighthouse - 138th Anniversary

We can look around us and see that darkness is increasing–especially if we watch the news! Jesus warned us that this increase in wickedness would happen. However, He also said that He would let the “wheat and the tares” grow up together, and that in these perilous times there would also be an amazing outpouring of His Spirit! Joel 2:28-32. This also means that the darkness and the light will increase together. At the end of times, there will be two harvests: 1) The Weeds (or Tares) and 2) the Wheat. In Matthew 13:41-43, Jesus explains, “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

Why does the darkness increase with the light for a time? Jesus says He allows this because He does not want the “wheat” to be uprooted with the “weeds.” My guess is that this has to do with His mercy. But, we know that this is only temporary–and is during this period of grace. Personally, this seems like a very deep subject that requires much wisdom and revelation; perhaps we will pursue this further in another post.

So, what remains in our discussion is “who are you?” Also, what can I do? I have come of up with a simple acronym, “DARK.” It is something to remind us how we can respond to darkness.

Destroy it.

Yes, overcome the darkness. But how?…

Arise and Shine.

Stand up to it! “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.” Isaiah 60:1-3 says, “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.” Remember that in the parable of the talents, Jesus told us not to crawl into a hole in fear and wait for Him to come back (my paraphrase). We must stand up and shine!

Resist and rebuke it.

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
James 4:7. That seems simple enough. Perhaps it is not easy, but simple. But it’s not enough just to resist…

Kick it out and overcome it!

In the Garden of Eden, mankind made a decision to give his authority over to the devil, plunging us into darkness. Bad idea. Now, it’s our job to kick the devil back out!

The Bible predicted this overthrow of darkness in Genesis–the plan was revealed right away! Father God spoke of Adam’s offspring, that “he [Adam’s offspring] will your crush [Satan’s] head, and you [Satan] will strike his heel.” Genesis 3:15.

First of all, this means that Jesus would come and defeat death and the grave on the cross! Jesus said that He came to destroy the works of Satan. Jesus was given all authority in heaven and on earth; then He told us to GO! He said He will be with us always, even until the end of the age. He told us to bring the Kingdom and disciple the nations!

So, secondly, this also means that we will bruise our heel kicking Satan out! Romans 16:20, Paul says, “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” I John 3:8. Romans 12:21 says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” One thing that Jesus says over and over again in Revelation, especially in regards to the end times: “Overcome–overcome–overcome–overcome!” There are many rewards He lists for those who overcome! (I highly recommend you read them in Revelation 2, 3 & 22). Let us not be like that generation of complaining Israelites that were afraid to go into the promised land and kick the enemy out! After that, there was another generation that got it–and did it! Today, in regards to the end times, I think that generation is you! Your children and babies are part of the plan too! Jesus reminded us in the book of Matthew of Psalm 8:2, “From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.”

In summary, our Father God prophesied in Genesis that we would defeat Satan. He then encourages us over and over again to overcome Satan. Finally He prophesied that His prophesy will come true! Revelation 12:11 says, “They triumphed over him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” He is saying that we WILL become His Light and Love in the world; and we WILL overcome!

The only thing that will remain on this earth after this whole thing goes down is God’s Kingdom of Light and Love. Everything else will have been assimilated (by Love) or will have been destroyed.

Yes, darkness is increasing on the earth–but it is quite temporary. Light and Love will overcome it and will be permanent. So, who are you?

The Burning Ones

burninglion

Billions have likely prayed, “…let Your Kingdom come, Your will be done…on earth as it is in heaven.” But I wonder sometimes if we really consider what we are asking for? Well, Daniel saw “as it is” in heaven. In Daniel 7:9-10 (NIV) he describes what he saw,

“As I looked,

…thrones were set in place,
and the Ancient of Days took his seat.
His clothing was as white as snow;
the hair of his head was white like wool.
His throne was flaming with fire,
and its wheels were all ablaze.
A river of fire was flowing,
coming out from before him.
Thousands upon thousands attended him;
ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.
The court was seated,
and the books were opened.”

What an awesome sight! It can be presumed from this scene, that one thing we are asking for when we pray the Lord’s prayer, is for the Ancient of Days to come to earth, and for Him to bring His throne of flaming fire, and river of fire with Him!

Many might say, “How will we survive this?” As the prophet Isaiah foretold, “The sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling grips the godless: ‘Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?’” (Isaiah 33:14, NIV)

It is only by the blood of the Lamb, that a way has been made for us! He made a way for us to invite the Burning One into our very hearts! When we do this…it sets our hearts ablaze and burns out anything that is not of Him! We, then, also become burning ones for Him!

Remember the two that walked with Jesus on the road to Emmaus, but didn’t know at first that it was Him? They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” Just being close to Him set their hearts ablaze! Jesus wants the same thing for us! Remember also what happened later in the upper room? “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.” They went out from there, and with signs following, they led thousands to the Lord! His desire is for our hearts to be set on fire…and for that fire to spread to others!

During his revelation, John saw the fire in Jesus’ eyes. It is the fire of his love! This love is described in Song of Songs 8:6-7, “Put me like a seal over your heart, Like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, Jealousy is as severe as Sheol; Its flashes are flashes of fire, The very flame of the Lord. “Many waters cannot quench love, Nor will rivers overflow it…”

Let us, therefore, receive the consuming fire of His love into our hearts…and let us spread it to others and increase His Kingdom…and reduce the number of souls ultimately consumed as enemies of God by the fire of His jealous anger!