As I have gone back and looked at some of my journals and the words God has given me I have realized how “off” my interpretation or understanding was of what He was trying to tell me; because I did not see Him clearly back then.
So the other morning this is what God and I were talking about:
In the prophetic it is imperative that we see God correctly. That our view is clear and we start at the right starting point. As believers, in Christ, we should be able to see God clearly for Who He is and what His Son has completed for us. When we know who we are and Whose we are the interpretation of the prophetic is on target. When we start at the wrong starting point, because we don’t know who we are or exactly Whose we are, our interpretation of the prophetic will be skewed or off.
We need to start off believing, having faith, that Christ has completed all that we never could, on our behalf, putting us in right standing with God for eternity. And as my mom said forever, or eternity, is a long time. ☺️. We are made righteous through Christ alone. As we begin at the right starting point with these truths we can begin to interpret what God is saying to us much more clearly. “For now we see obscurely in a mirror, but then it will be face to face. Now I know partly; then I will know fully, just as God has fully known me.” 1 Corinthians 13:12 CJB
If you believe you are prophetic, I would encourage you to read through my blogs and begin to undo what you may have been taught in the past of Who God is and begin to soak in Who God truly is and who you are in Him. As His sons and daughters we are to see Him clearly and you will be much more confident as you know to the depths of your being just how important and beloved you are to Him. ❤️
How many times have you been taught about the armor of God? I can say I have sat through many teachings and preaching regarding the armor of God. Most times the teaching was about how I needed to put on the armor, keep on the armor, how not to take off the armor. I don’t know about you but for me God wanted to reassure me that it wasn’t so much about me and my behavior but about Him and standing in what He has already done for me.
I have been waiting awhile to write about this. I have been so excited to write about this topic. Here is why: the Lord had asked me, “Darlene, do you know how well Bryan (my husband is a police officer) knows how to use his weapons?” I answered, “Yes.” Then He asked, “Do you understand how to use My weapons?” I answered, “I don’t know.” “It is time for you to understand,” He replied.
Let’s look at the scripture in Ephesians:
“Finally, grow powerful in union with the Lord, in union with his mighty strength! Use all the armor and weaponry that God provides, so that you will be able to stand against the deceptive tactics of the Adversary. For we are not struggling against human beings, but against the rulers, authorities and cosmic powers governing this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm. So take up every piece of war equipment God provides; so that when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist; and when the battle is won, you will still be standing. Therefore, stand! Have the belt of truth buckled around your waist, put on righteousness for a breastplate, and wear on your feet the readiness that comes from the Good News of shalom. Always carry the shield of trust, with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the Evil One. And take the helmet of deliverance; along with the sword given by the Spirit, that is, the Word of God; as you pray at all times, with all kinds of prayers and requests, in the Spirit, vigilantly and persistently, for all God’s people.” Ephesians (Eph) 6:10-14, 16-18 CJB
You may want to read It All Begins and Ends With Trust, Walk Confidently-It All Begins and Ends With Trust (Faith) (Part 2), and A New Wine Skin if you haven’t already. These set up where I am going next. Like I said in It All Begins and Ends With Trust:
The enemy wants to steal, kill and destroy your trust. That is what he is roaming about to do. Yet God brought eternal life through His Son which we receive through trust.
One of the things I have been telling myself and others lately is God never promised that we would not have “evil days”. What is interesting is Paul also told us that our struggle is not against human beings. Now we have to look at context here. This is during some evil days. Christ followers are being fed to lions, crucified, boiled in tar….by other HUMANS. What, the what!?!?!!! If Christ followers were being told by Paul to specifically do something when all of this was happening to them, we might want to take note. I have to say I have not been fed to lions, crucified or boiled….but some tactics felt like that in my life….just not unto death in this lifetime. So….let’s pick apart this very strong statement Paul makes through the Holy Spirit.
First Paul reminds us of the very thing in which I believe the entire armor truly consists of in his opening statement in Ephesians 6:10:
“grow powerful in union with the Lord, in union with his mighty strength!”
Here is the direct translation from Biblehub.com:
“be empowered (1743-I fill with power, strengthen, make strong)
in [the] Lord and in the strength (2904 dominion, strength, power; a mighty deed)
of the might (2479-strength(absolutely),power,might,force,ability*) of him.”
Note that there are two different strength meanings in this verse. What I want you to see is how God does this for us. We do not do this for ourselves. We simply TRUST (believe) He will do it for us or already has done it for us and we thank Him for doing it. I want to clarify here, my strength comes from the Lord alone. I do not have enough strength of my own to be able to stand in circumstances that are beyond me. Truly I don’t know how people who don’t have a relationship with Jesus do life. I love the direct translation from bible hub.com because it helps us to start at the right starting point-trusting (faith) Him to do for us what we can not.
Next Paul calls what he talks about next our “war equipment that God PROVIDES” and that we are to put it on or use it so that we can stand (2476-I cause to stand) against the schemes (3180-a way of search after something, an inquiry; a method), scheming, craftiness, deceit.). Again I want you to see in the Greek that HE will enable us to stand against the methodology of the evil one or “rulers, authorities and cosmic powers governing this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm”. Father causes us to be able to stand!
Now into the nitty-gritty. I believe Paul is showing us the way to stand during trials and tribulations. Yes they come to the believer and the non-believer. As believers we do not get a pass on these trials and tribulations: but what we do get is Someone, the Great I Am that walks it with us, enables us to stand, helps us to see a greater picture and to have good come out of it (2 Corinthians 4:8-12, Romans 8:28).
Truth-But not merely truth as spoken; truth of idea;reality, sincerity, truth in the moral sphere, divine truth revealed to man, straightforwardness: true to fact. Literal: what can’t be hidden.=Jesus is the way the truth and the life (John 14:6).
Righteousness-divine righteousness. =Jesus gave us our divine righteousness our righteousness is like filthy rags (1 Corinthians 1:30,Isaiah 64:6) Romans 10:10 helps describe why righteousness is a breastplate; because, “For with the heart one goes on trusting and thus continues toward righteousness.”
Peace-Good News of Shalom-wholeness. Jesus came so that we would have “firm footing, foundation, preparation, readiness” in that He came to give us wholeness (shalom, peace). This is a foundational truth of what He did for us in His death and resurrection and what He desires for us to share with others. (Luke 1:79)
Trust-belief, come to trust, confidence, be persuaded, core meaning of faith=DIVINE PERSUASION- Jesus came, died and was resurrected and our part is to believe in who He said He is. This is why we are to always carry this “shield”. It all starts in the faith of Who Jesus is. For we have been delivered by grace through trusting and even this is not your accomplishment but God’s gift. (Ephesians 2:8). This shield (4570) thwarts, extinguishes, and I suppress. As we trust the true battle is won. Like I said above the enemy wants to steal, kill or destroy your trust.
Salvation-saving, bring salvation. This word is derived from the word soter which means Savior who of course is Jesus– Again Romans 10:10 helps us understand why salvation is a helmet, while with the mouth one keeps on making public acknowledgement and thus continues toward deliverance (salvation).
Sword (3162 properly, a slaughter knife; a short sword or dagger mainly used for stabbing; figuratively- an instrument for exacting retribution) given by the Spirit which is the word (rhema) of God. In Matthew both the sword and word (rhema) are used for the first time in the New Testament. Let’s look at both: in Matthew 10:34 Jesus says He came to bring a sword and in Matthew 4:4 Jesus says we are not to live by bread alone but every rhema (word) coming out of the mouth of God. Also in Revelation Jesus is shown to have a sword coming from his mouth (Revelation 1:16). Rhema word is very different from the Logos word. Rhema (4487) means (from 4483 /rhéō, “to speak”) – a spoken word, made “by the living voice” (J. Thayer). 4487 /rhḗma (“spoken-word”) is commonly used in the NT (and in LXX) for the Lord speaking His dynamic, living word in a believer to inbirth faith (“His inwrought persuasion”). Because we are here to continue Jesus’ ministry (see A New Wine Skin for more info) we are to speak what the Spirit tells us to. Remember when Paul encouraged us that we would know what to say when we need to say it (Matthew 10:19). We are to bring the necessary words in the time of need through being connected to the vine Who is Jesus. This is how we know what to pray…by His Spirit in us.
So how in the world do we do this? I have been taught I need to prayerfully put on each piece and make sure none of my armor slips off. If it slips off I need to say sorry and pray to put it back on. I have finally truly repented from this way of thinking and see it God’s way. I believe the Lord has shown me exactly how we are clothed in the armor and are able to fully use the weaponry God has given us. Please note God gave this all to us through His Son. His Son made the way for all of the above. All we need to do is believe in Who Jesus is. We find a great secret in Isaiah 56 and Hebrews 4. Let’s take a look:
Isaiah 56:1-2 (CJB)
“Observe justice, do what is right,
for my salvation is close to coming,
my righteousness to being revealed.”
Happy is the person who does this,
anyone who grasps it firmly,
who keeps Shabbat and does not profane it,
and keeps himself from doing any evil.
Hebrews 4:1-3 (MSG)
“For as long, then, as that promise of resting in him pulls us on to God’s goal for us, we need to be careful that we’re not disqualified. We received the same promises as those people in the wilderness, but the promises didn’t do them a bit of good because they didn’t receive the promises with faith. If we believe, though, we’ll experience that state of resting. But not if we don’t have faith.”
How are we disqualified? By not having faith or trust in Who Jesus is–the Son of God! Once again faith (4102) is a gift from God never generated by us. Again this all begins and ends with faith. Faith as small as a mustard seed that each of us is given by a loving Father in heaven.
So, we have a choice, yes that is a free will choice that God also gave us, to enter His rest as we choose to believe the Good News of Who He is and choose to trust He has truly done it all for us. This is why we can approach the throne boldly with our requests, our prayers; we can stand in the evil day and when God has completed or literally, “worked down to the end-point,” i.e. to an exact, definite conclusion (2716 katergazomai)— we are still standing, because of what Jesus did for us. We trust that Jesus is Who He says He is and that the promises are ours…we rest in ALL that Jesus accomplished at the Cross in His death and in His resurrection.
That is literally what the armor is….resting in ALL THAT CHRIST DID FOR YOU. Otherwise known as standing in Christ the vine.
And we pray in the Spirit. The Greek word “en” is contained within this sentence, “in the Spirit”. Realize again this word means:
The Holy Spirit dwells within us and time after time the prayers that have been “in the Spirit” always align with God’s will. This truly is a whole other topic that will take another post. Realize though or prayerfully ask Father what His will is in situations…not what you expect but what is His will. His love is multi-dimensional and doesn’t always look the way you think it has to. Ask Him and rest in Him.
Two core values, the place where I live from, are 1) God is good– no matter my circumstances and 2) Nothing can ever separate me from the love of God. I have not somehow produced this as my value, I simply don’t state that I have this value it has been given by God. Because this is a place I live from it becomes my starting point as I walk through life with Him in me. I believe as I have walked through life and tough circumstances have happened to me, family, friends these beliefs were formed in me by His hand…simply beautiful but also at times painful. Maybe this might be better explained by Molinos, a writer in the 1600’s. His books were burned all over Europe and if you were found with one of his books it meant automatic excommunication from the Church. His fate was to be put on trial, sealed up in a dungeon so his face could never to be seen again. It is told that while he was in the dungeon he repented and on that day the Pope declared a holiday and people partied in the streets celebrating his supposed repentance. He never left the dungeon though and died in 1696. Here is what he wrote about humility:
“True humility is an inward thing..It is an understanding so vast that no tongue can express it. From this revelation proceeds a glimpse of the grace of God….a grace which takes pleasure in encompassing that person with the pure goodness of God.” Pg 43
As you read this keep in mind two of my core beliefs. I wrote on Facebook a few days ago as I shared a memory from two years ago: We do skip death…I will be posting a blog on this soon….this was the biggest hope for Israel and it became true with Jesus…It is our perspective that needs to shift into our Father’s big plan and what salvation means. ❤ There is much hope!! Here is the memory I shared:
Today I am chewing on GOD LOVES ME NO MATTER WHAT. Look: Enoch by an act of faith skipped death, he pleased God. Paul goes on to say it is impossible to please God without faith. And then further, WHY? (Hebrews 11:5-6 MSG) Simply put, ALL you do is believe God is real and true (Jesus is my Lord and Savior) and KNOW that He LOVES YOU-unconditionally. Period. That is all. The love part is challenging because our filters, that we have been taught, of how we see God. Keep chewing on God loves me no matter what. This brings such great pleasure to our Father in heaven. 💜
When I had re-read this memory and some of the comments immediately the Lord told me you do skip death. And I was like, “Huh???!!!” That is when He said Darlene go look up the word “death” associated with this passage in Hebrews…..so I did. Here is what it means directly from biblehub.com:
2288 thánatos (derived from 2348 /thnḗskō, “to die”) – physical or spiritual death; (figuratively) separation from the life (salvation) of God forever by dying without first experiencing death to self to receive His gift of salvation.
Again a commonality to the word salvation from my earlier post It’s an Inside Job, separation from the life (salvation) and receiving His gift of salvation. Again let’s look at the definition of salvation from the same source:
Cognate: 4991 sōtēría (from 4982 /sṓzō, “to save, rescue”) – salvation, i.e. God’s rescue which delivers believers out of destruction and into His safety. See 4982 (sōzō).
4982 sṓzō (from sōs, “safe, rescued”) – properly, deliver out of danger and into safety; used principally of God rescuing believers from the penalty and power of sin – and into His provisions (safety). [4982 (sṓzō) is the root of: 4990 /sōtḗr (“Savior”), 4991 /sōtēría (“salvation”) and the adjectival form, 4992 /sōtḗrion (what is “saved/rescued from destruction and brought into divine safety”).]
Please note the root of sózō is sōs….SOS. The well-known code to ask for rescue. Amazing!! Anyhow, how does God’s big plan, SOS and death all come together? Let me first start with what I believed salvation to be before. For me it meant I was saved and not going to hell. I believed in Jesus and that meant I was saved from eternal damnation. As I grew in my Christian faith I heard arguments of whether or not you could “lose your salvation or not”. Yet still what does this encompass and what did the early believers have or understand that we at times seem to be missing. Here is one example the Lord keeps pressing me with:
Maybe this is only me but I know of others who have viewed it the same way. Have you ever looked at your life or others lives and because of their circumstances thought oh they aren’t blessed or I am not as blessed as them because of this situation in my life i.e.: sickness, children, lack of children or something you would think as negatory?? I know I have. I have thought in the past okay my life is going well I am in favor with God…and when it isn’t going well…oh I must not be in favor with God. This is incorrect when we are no longer under the law and under grace. This actual thinking allows the enemy to have you running in circles many times chasing something down that no longer has an impact in your life. This is wrong thinking because if we believe this way we are actually saying to all those Christians who were put to death at the Colosseum we would have to say they are less blessed than those who were not. We would even have to go so far to say Peter was less blessed than John since he ended being martyred and John on the other hand survived so many ways of trying to kill him. (John 21:18-23)
I know this is a tough subject but I wanted to share what I feel the Lord has been showing me in Romans 8-10 regarding this subject. See when we think this way we are saying to the potter: we, being mere clay, why did you make me this way? Instead we must look at His larger picture, His larger plan and know that His will is perfect. He keeps telling me Darlene you just play your small bit part in connection with Me. Does this mean my life is perfect, No certainly not! We still live in a world that is moaning for its redemption or the return of the King of kings!! Does this mean I do not believe in healing, No certainly not! Or other miracles, no certainly not. But ultimately my faith does not lie in those things it lies in Jesus. Because of faith Enoch skipped death and Abraham was made righteous and now because Jesus died we have approval from God, the righteous One and because Jesus rose from the dead we have been freed from the power and penalty of sin and removed from destruction into God’s safety/provision. We have life eternal. The early Christians, I believe, looked past their present circumstances and didn’t judge their worthiness to God by what they faced; but by Who they believed in. I desire the church, the believers of today to do the same. To note their worthiness in what God did for them not in their present circumstances.
What we need to understand is that speaking our faith, trust belief in Who Jesus is and in our hearts have faith trust and believe that Jesus rose from the dead…it speaks of Who He is the first fruits. That we skip death, the real death–the separation from life (salvation-God’s promises and provisions). Yes our bodies will die the first death yet it is like opening a door to pass through it.
Above and beyond everything, I believe, God’s interest lies in the desire for all to know Him. He will go to extreme measures for His one lost sheep. Didn’t He for you? He certainly did for me. And as people, Christians we play our part in this tapestry called God’s plan and somehow it isn’t always comfortable. Yet, through that discomfort comes great and good things if we set our eyes on that. This isn’t easy, yet I believe this is a place God wants us to have balance in. Let’s look at this in scripture.
“Now what if God, even though he was quite willing to demonstrate his anger and make known his power, patiently put up with people who deserved punishment and were ripe for destruction? What if he did this in order to make known the riches of his glory to those who are the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory — that is, to us, whom he called not only from among the Jews but also from among the Gentiles?” Romans (Rom) 9:22-24 CJB
The whole plan with Pharoah up until the time of Jesus had been a plan for God to show his glory to us, those living during Jesus’ time till now. All the people, all the things that happened were ultimately to show His Glory. Jesus spoke to this in John 21. See Peter was told exactly how he would die and approximately when and why he would die that particular death. Peter was told it was for His Glory. I don’t know if I could know this, could you? Yet, it was obviously with purpose. Peter though asked about John and this is what Jesus said:
“If I want him to stay on until I come, what is it to you? You, follow me!”” John 21:22
In the midst of my circumstances, friends circumstances and my life…I simply follow Him knowing I have my bit part to play to bring Him Glory in the way He desires me to. He is the potter and I am mere clay. I know He has the best for me and for others, no matter what their current circumstances are and that He loves, loves, loves us. Pharoah made a choice because God hardened his heart so that the whole world will know His Name. Yet I know Pharoah got a choice whether or not to follow Jesus. See my faith has healed me. My faith in Jesus has healed me, given me peace (shalom), taken all my sin, given me power over sin, given me eternal life, put me into God’s safety and given me God’s provision. This is the place I live from while also understanding my life will not always look the way I think it should; but God will bring goodness out of it. All I have to do is look at the many who walked before me….the Christians martyred. It is with great purpose we individually live and with great purpose each individual impacts history and the tapestry of God’s larger plan. I am assured we have exactly what we need in the time we need it to bring God glory and to let those around us know the riches of His glory.
We have all been hurt and may have been told to forgive, “let it go”, move on, you haven’t forgiven, forgiveness is for you not the other person, and just say you forgive and all is good now. I think we have meant well when we have said these things but I don’t think we fully understand how forgiveness actually needs to occur. I now believe there is a process in forgiving or better yet a process to healing when someone has hurt you, when these hurtful circumstances are still on going, when someone refuses to admit they were wrong and apologize, or maybe they have apologized and you still can’t seem to move past it. As I have pondered this subject with the Lord, He has led me personally to John 20:23.
It is imperative for us to begin at the right starting point. I want to begin with the correct understanding of God in regards to forgiveness. So, I must start with something that I had misunderstood and I believe many in the church community may misunderstand. I was taught over the years of my Christian walk and have many times, in the past, used the scripture found in Matthew 6:14-15: if you do not forgive you will not be forgiven by your Father in Heaven- to convince myself and others we needed to forgive someone. It was not a choice it was mandatory otherwise God couldn’t or wouldn’t forgive me the next time I failed. I was literally so afraid. I saw God as this big mean punisher ever expecting me to fail and then laughing at me for failing. I didn’t say this is how I saw Him but in the very belief system, my core values created this outlook of Him. Not only did I believe this but I made sure to let other people believe this. God had to show me what I said about Him and what I really believed didn’t line up together. Last year when God took me away for three days in a row this subject came up between He and I. I was questioning Him and He most certainly was answering. He told me I had the wrong perception of this scripture and I was shocked. I wanted to understand and He told me it was necessary to read scripture with the understanding: is it stated before or after the Cross. This statement was made by Him before He went to the Cross. What I came to realize is really just how much the Cross changed things and brought those that choose Jesus as their Lord and Savior into a New Covenant with Him. It doesn’t make this statement any less true, but it does make it impossible. Impossible you might say. Yes, truly impossible on my own. Truly impossible for us to be able to keep the law-which was the purpose of the law. Let me explain….Maybe it is just me, but I am pretty sure since I am human there are many others that might have run into the same circumstances….
Many years ago while my husband and I were dating, he had made a promise to me. This promise was one he did not or could not keep. Many of us have made this mistake. He had been sincere at heart with the promise and the reasons why he couldn’t or didn’t are so many and varied; yet it caused a rift in our relationship to the point where we broke off our dating relationship. One year later we saw one another again, started to talk and eleven months later we were married. This broken promise and the hurt that occurred after though was impacting our marriage because of me. I said I had forgiven him and he had asked for forgiveness but still there was a deep part in me that would not trust him completely. He worked hard at regaining my trust and I wanted to trust him and yes I know that forgiveness is one thing and trust is another….but I believe both take something Divine….Okay back to my story…I forgave every time I felt like I wasn’t trusting or was scared to trust. I forgave every time this situation came up in my memory. I got really good at saying I forgive again, and again, and again. Yet, it still came forward. I told God and myself, I don’t want to live the rest of my life like this and yet it lingered and impacted my marriage and my family. I struggled to open my heart and love freely. People had taught me to just say you forgive and it is done yet my heart was saying something entirely different. I was so frustrated with my lack or inability to let this go.
I want to pause my story there for a moment and look at the importance of John Chapter 20 and what the Lord revealed to me there. When I had written Conviction vs. Condemnation I had stated how important the Holy Spirit was and is. I think for many people we know the Holy Spirit came down at Pentecost like tongues of fire and the disciples spoke in many tongues. Many of us may forget what Jesus did when He first showed Himself to His disciples before the tongues of fire at Pentecost. Here let’s read:
So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. “If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.” (John 20:19-23 NASB)
This is the same day Jesus rose from the dead; saw Mary Magdalene; ascended to His Father and our Father; and then came to His disciples. He speaks to them, “Peace be with you”. Yet, it was necessary for Him to show His hands and His side and then they knew Who He was and He again said Peace be with you and then reminded them their purpose had not changed from when He was on earth with them; but realize first He gave them peace (God’s gift of wholeness-to understand the fuller definition click here: How Much Do You Trust God?) then the purpose was given. The next thing He did was to breath on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” He filled them with life. This reminds me of when God, in Genesis, breathed the breath of life into Adam and Adam lived. Next Jesus states if you forgive the sins of any they are forgiven and if you retain they are retained. Wow…why that statement??? What I do need to clarify with the verb usage in this sentence is the first use of both forgive and retain are subjunctive mood verbs and the second set are indicative mood. This means the first shows a wish or a doubt where the second states a fact or asks a question. This does show the truth of the matter for ourselves personally and I believe answered a question battering around the disciples heads at that moment. Forgiveness was a large topic. The disciples asked how many times they should forgive. Jesus went and forgave people of their sins. I really think at this time the disciples wanted to be forgiven for abandoning Jesus, remember Peter said he would never abandon Jesus. They were mad at themselves and probably mad at all the people that had turned against Jesus and called out for Him to be crucified. They were probably mad at the religious elite and the government for their choice to have Jesus crucified. They may have even been mad at Jesus for leaving….And remember….Jesus had said forgive so that your Father in Heaven can forgive you…..uh oh!!! Can we do this as completely as He said we should. Will we ever know if we have done it well enough?!?!?!! OH NO!!!! First though He does something amazing He spoke peace (God’s wholeness) and then breathed the Holy Spirit into them…then He spoke about the topic of forgiveness– because Jesus always goes to the matter at hand, always in every situation we read in scripture. He knows what the disciples are in need of. Jesus knew and I am pretty sure by now the disciples also knew there was no way they could ever forgive on their own. This had been three days of hell on earth for them and Jesus knew they needed healing and they needed power that only He could give them so they could accomplish their mission. I really believe by know the disciples knew that to. They had come to the end of themselves after all that had happened the last three days. This is the New Covenant. Jesus came to them, they received Him for Who He is, they were made whole and filled with the Holy Spirit and then they are given choices knowing they have the very power they need within them to choose. So simple, yet so huge!
Now back to my story…See I had been doing this process all backwards. People had taught me, forgive, move forward then God would heal me and then I could move forward. But it was not working and I was frustrated. I don’t know if you noticed but there were a lot of “I” statements abounding in the process I had been taught as a Christian. I finally got to the end of myself. I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t get it right and I was only frustrated and feeling unable to love anyone, even myself. I felt in a pickle. It wasn’t just from the one promise broken but I believe from many hurts over my life that had piled up and I would just choose to forgive and then God could/would heal me. But see we now live in the New Covenant, no longer in the Old Covenant.
In the Old Covenant it was “when I do the requirements then God will”. In the New Covenant it is “God has, is and will do in abundance and only through the power of the Holy Spirit living in me and through me can I then do”.
This truth was realized one morning, over a year ago, as I had come to the end of myself forgiving, forgiving, and forgiving. One morning I was telling Him–I want to love not because I have to but because I want to. Abba, Help me to love in all things You call me to. Then I heard a creaking noise and I asked what is that?? Immediately, I was in colorless forest with a still lake, it looked and felt like only one dimension. In this area was a door in the opening of a cave. It had rusty hinges and I was trying to open this door but I couldn’t. I simply turned to Jesus (who was smiling at me) and asked Him to help me. He came and helped me open the door. We walked through the door into what looked like a dark cave. Yet, Jesus lit up the whole cave and it was glittery inside-beautiful jewel like crystals on the walls and ceiling all different colors with Jesus lighting it up. I knew that what was inside this cave belonged outside in the forest and I said I don’t know how to get this out there, how can I get all of this out there, it needs to be out there. So, again I simply asked Jesus to help me and BOOM it exploded out into the black and white, one dimensional place inside me and I heard Him say, “No more hiding!”. My heart instantly felt alive and I knew He had healed me from years of pain. I knew forgiveness had occurred and years of pain were gone. In this experience I cried out for help. I knew I couldn’t open the door, I couldn’t get the color back on the outside, I couldn’t forgive, I couldn’t do anything in my own strength. But Jesus He did it all. It wasn’t the backwards way of I forgive then God…It was God did it all and then on top of doing it all He gives me the ability, strength and all that I need to choose what a daughter of the Most High God would naturally do. We can not get this backwards because it only backfires. In the New Covenant, just like when He first comes on the scene with His disciples, first Jesus does it all and we have a choice. Remember it is subjunctive mood first–if we wish or desire to forgive or retain then indicative mood second–surely as a fact the hurt will be released or held on to.
I simply live out of Him which is who I really am. A new creation in Christ Jesus. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
So, to finish my story….the healing that Jesus did led to my ability to forgive or send it away, gave me the ability to trust again and love. None of my ability though was in and of myself but only through the power of the Holy Spirit. That is what makes me a new creation with the ability to act or become like a daughter of the Most High God. I was finally able to move forward and what happened in the past did not rear it’s ugly head again and again like it had before…it was finished. So much so that I can’t even remember exactly what the promise was, in the sense that before I could remember word for word what the promise was and now I can’t. Only God can do something like that, not me.
As of late, I have been given the opportunity to forgive those that have hurt me, my family and my friends. I have learned to process with friends and ask God to heal me and help me to forgive. These opportunities are situations where there has been no reconciliation, no asking for forgiveness for the hurts said and done. So there is hope here too for those that may have similar circumstances. I have asked the Lord to help me love what is in front of me and for me to be able to do that, I have to go to Him and acknowledge I can’t heal myself nor can I forgive in my own strength. Sure these things have made me angry some things more than others. Yet, I do not want to retain these things. Retaining means living in the past not the present. I know what this feels like because for years I was trying in my own strength to forgive and then hoping God would heal me. But once I started at the right starting point which is knowing I fully stand in the New Covenant, God loves me no matter what, He has already forgiven me and He has wiped my slate clean; then it becomes very easy to go to Him and receive the abundance that His Son paid dearly for. I stopped relying on my strength and ability and came to Him for everything. What I do now is ask for His healing, know He is a just God, trust Him and move forward. Does this mean I trust these people? Of course not. When there is no desire for restoration or it is not a safe situation for restoration you do your part because it is imperative for me to go to God for healing and the ability to forgive and trust Him because I desire to love what is in front of me in the here and now. Is this my ability or strength to do any of this. Definitely not! It is the Holy Spirit working in me and through me to touch this world with the Kingdom of God. Am I perfect at this, certainly not…but I am going from glory to glory….much like Paul says in Galatians 2:15-18 when he confronts Peter:
“We Jews know that we have no advantage of birth over “non-Jewish sinners.” We know very well that we are not set right with God by rule-keeping but only through personal faith in Jesus Christ. How do we know? We tried it—and we had the best system of rules the world has ever seen! Convinced that no human being can please God by self-improvement, we believed in Jesus as the Messiah so that we might be set right before God by trusting in the Messiah, not by trying to be good. Have some of you noticed that we are not yet perfect? (No great surprise, right?) And are you ready to make the accusation that since people like me, who go through Christ in order to get things right with God, aren’t perfectly virtuous, Christ must therefore be an accessory to sin? The accusation is frivolous. If I was “trying to be good,” I would be rebuilding the same old barn that I tore down. I would be acting as a charlatan.”(MSG)
The New Covenant is the first thing Jesus performed or enacted on this earth when He returned from ascending to His Father-our Father. He not only spoke it, He did it. In the New Covenant God took care of everything for us through His dearly loved Son’s obedience. This is where, as believers in Who Jesus Christ is, stand, solidly, firmly, freely, equipped and dearly loved by our Father in Heaven. I am so very thankful! 💜💜💜💜
I want to share a vision and word that the Lord has been revealing to me over the past couple of weeks. This year is to be a year that we walk in “the greater things”, see unity as Jesus saw it, along with the lost and prodigals coming in droves to Jesus. Read on…..
“Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. (Matthew 11:11-13 NKJV)
I have heard this verse taught so many different ways, yet I have not felt settled with it for so long. I have also read a great translation of it from Greek to Hebrew to English, but still had not felt I understood it until a few days ago. First let’s look at a translation of the verse, taking in the Greek to Hebrew to English from excerpts in the book, Jesus the Jewish Theologian, written by Brad H. Young pgs. 51-55:
“As we will see, instead of “suffers violence” [Matthew 11:12] the action words “the kingdom of heaven breaks fourth” are much closer to the real meaning of the text….This translation of biazō is more appropriate than the passive idea from “suffers violence” because the active meaning correctly conveys both the force associated with the verb and also mentions the progressive movement of the divine reign. At times, the Hebrew verb paretz , which means “to break forth” was translated by the Greek verb biazō in the Septuagint. The idea conveyed by the Greek verb certainly includes the action of breaking out with strong force….Unquestionably, the entire saying of Jesus [above scripture] is connected to the words of the prophet Micah:
He who opens the breach (the breaker, haropetz) will go up before them; they will break through (partzu) and pass the gate, going out by it. Their king(malkam) will pass on before them, the Lord at their head. (Micah 2:13)
The Hebrew word radaf is best translated as “to pursue earnestly”…..The text [Matthew 11:12] could be translated into Hebrew, mega me yochanan hamatbil vead atah malchut shamayim poretzet vehaportzim rodfim [mevakshim] otah, “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven breaks forth and those breaking forth are pursuing [seeking] it”. This translation brings out the meaning of the Greek text. The concept conveyed by this translation of the verse in Matthew would be similar to the words of Psalm 34:14, “seek peace and pursue it” (bekesh shalom verodfehu)…The essence of Matthew 11:12 dynamically portrays the ones breaking out of the sheepfold. They actively pursue the divine purposes in life…”
I wanted to set this up because a long time ago I had read this book and had a little understanding of this verse and the better translation in the fullness of the Hebrew understanding of their richer vocabulary. I believe the Lord has expanded on it for me, just recently. This expansion gives such a rich and beautiful picture of when Jesus answers John’s disciples of Who He is and who John is.
John the Baptist was the “breaker” the Elijah that had been written about that would come before the Messiah. I see him as the opening between the last of the “law prophets” and the new covenant of “Grace prophets”. John the Baptist had believed that Jesus was expected to come to judge at this time because Jesus told him:
And blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) is he who takes no offense at Me and finds no cause for stumbling in or through Me and is not hindered from seeing the Truth. (Matthew 11:6 AMP)
John talks of bringing a winnowing fork that would divide the chaff and the wheat at the beginning of his ministry:
His winnowing shovel (fork) is in His hand to thoroughly clear and cleanse His [threshing] floor and to gather the wheat and store it in His granary, but the chaff He will burn with fire that cannot be extinguished. (Luke 3:17 AMP)
Jesus was telling John that He had not come to judge, at this time, that John was stumbling over his own perspective that Jesus had come at this time to judge from the law. This judgment will not happen until the second coming. Jesus was redirecting John to look at the reality of what He was doing right now: healing and restoration; and that this would be a season of Grace. See John doubted Who Jesus was because his perspective was from the LAW. Jesus had to help John see what He was doing was what was expected during this time.
Jesus is known as the door (John 10:2) and He is the only way through to the open grace filled kingdom of heaven: I am the Door; anyone who enters in through Me will be saved (will live). He will come in and he will go out [freely], and will find pasture. (John 10:9 AMP)
Here is the picture the Lord showed me, portrayed into words:
Imagine a cave (see picture) and the sheep are following the shepherd into the cave for the night, for safety. The law is like the cave, it keeps you safe and protected from the night (curse). Sheep will not jump over even a low wall. Shepherds would put up a low stone wall or even lie down in front of the cave entrance to keep the sheep safe inside. In the morning when the sun rises (Jesus) the shepherd would get up or kick (break) the wall and let the sheep out into the wide open.
Here is what the Lord told me: we of course are His sheep, He is the gate-the Shepherd that put up the wall to keep His sheep safe in the cave (law). That is why the law is not bad but it can not save you from sin (Romans 7). John the Baptist (watchmen,breaker) broke that wall and the good Shepherd has led the way out of the cave (law) and into wide open spaces (grace) and we are no longer confined to the cave (law). Yet there are times, we as humans, want/desire to go back into the cave or maybe just stand at the entrance of the cave, part in and part out of the cave. A little grace and a lot of law or more grace and a little law. These are what the millstones around the necks (Mark 9:42) are about, when we hang around the cave we can stumble like John the Baptist was told not to by Jesus. Remember Jesus told John not to stumble over Him. Jesus wants us to fully come out and take off the law glasses. Jesus is saying come all the way out, it is safer here, because of My Grace and Mercy and complete forgiveness rests out in the wide open spaces. Do not go back to even a little of the law because when you do (Galatians 4:21-5:6) you come under the fullness of the law. Here is the scripture that goes with this:
The watchman opens the door for this man, and the sheep listen to his voice and heed it; and he calls his own sheep by name and brings (leads) them out. When he has brought his own sheep outside, he walks on before them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will never [on any account] follow a stranger, but will run away from him because they do not know the voice of strangers or recognize their call. (John 10:1-5 AMP)
The last “law prophet”, John the Baptist, was the breaker that caused the sheep (all of us) to be able to follow our King-Jesus into the wide open freedom of Grace, Mercy and complete forgiveness. This year will be the year that His Bride comes into greater understanding of this truth and will walk in the “greater things”, see unity in Jesus, and the lost and prodigals coming in droves to Jesus.