Melissa — I feel something big churning as of late. I do know that some of it is about the decade, but more importantly I believe this discernment is about getting ready for the rest of 2020. I believe that the latter part of 2020 is very significant to how we enter the rest of the decade. As I write this I see a picture of the American flag being raised by brave Marines at Iwo Jima during World War II. In researching this battle this statement stuck out, “The battle was won by the inch-by-inch tenacity of the foot soldier,” (Iwojima.com). 2020 will be won “by the inch-by-inch tenacity of the foot soldier,” right now. For those that struggle with an all-or-nothing drive, (like me) the statement “inch-by-inch tenacity” can be almost devastating. I really prefer a battle being done in a one-glorious-moment tenacity! Here’s the thing with the remainder of 2020, the inch-by-inch is going to lead to many glorious moments in the coming years. (This is the first excerpt from Melissa’s article “Something Churning”.)
Jesus needed the disciples to understand that they must not allow their hearts to be troubled (Jn.14:27) because, although they would be facing the world, its issues and needs without His physical presence and although they were launching into a lifestyle of ministering and facing opposition, they could not let their hearts be troubled. They were prepared and they would now be the ones who were 1.) dealing directly with religious opposition in all forms, 2.) dealing directly with devils in all forms and 3.) dealing directly with the great weight of human need. They would no longer be standing behind Him observing, listening as He authoritatively dealt with each person and each situation with acts of power. THEY are now the ones who will be speaking authoritatively and performing acts of power for, if they don’t, troubles will go uncontradicted and needs will continue unmet and unabated. Therefore, it is no wonder that their hearts were troubled, distressed, agitated. Therefore, it is now that they must realize there is no need for troubled hearts because “lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age”. (Matt.28:20) Now is the time to let assurance of His presence and promises arise.
As the people of God assemble around the family table or the TV or the computer screen, may they know that they have not been left nor forsaken (Heb.13:5) but their heavenly Father is drawing near to them as they are drawing near to Him (Js.4:8). May they go right straight through shutdowns and crisis knowing they are mandated and that for such a time as this, “they are it!”. The people of God have been gifted and appointed “for the saving of many” in this time of crisis — we are it (Gen.50:20; Jn.20:21). There will be purging of character (Ps.105:19) but out of it will come refined gold that will save a nation — no one else is coming — we are it. (Compare Ps.105:37, 44-45) Joseph and Moses and Jesus and Holy Spirit have already come — now it’s our turn to apply what they brought us: example and covenant and power and the authority to use it.
Benjamin Franklin said, “A good example is the best sermon”. Growing up, I heard a lady tell her children on several occasions, “Do as I say, not as I do.” She required her children to be good people but gave herself extra latitude of conduct. But how many know that her saying one thing and doing another was about as effective as a screen door in a submarine? Jesus speaking to the Father: (Jn.17:6, Msg) “I spelled out your character in detail to the men and women you gave me. (v.9) I pray for them. (v.10) And my life is on display in them. They’ll continue in the world.” We are praying you discover daily that you are finding the list of people growing who watch you and speak well of you. (Marty’s Daily Discovery as heard on the internet radio station: TEXAS PRAISE RADIO at the bottom of the hour 24hrs/day.)
Wow, what a way to begin an announcement: “Hey, guys, I have something very important to say here but first I must ask you to not be troubled of heart.” (Hint to the wise: this has something to do with the fact that things are not going to stay the same as they have been.) Jesus addresses His disciples at a momentous time, on a very important occasion to communicate to them the launching of a new era that was immediately upon them and in which they would take the lead. “DO NOT let your hearts be troubled (distressed, agitated). You believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely on God; believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely also on Me.” (Jn.14:1, Amp) Jesus announces His transitioning to another level and their transitioning to total dependency upon Holy Spirit to do what He has been doing while with them. Suddenly they realize their Lord’s necessary urging to not let their heart be troubled. Everything was changing and would never go back to being the way it was. They were launching upon a new era in their individual lives, a new era in the ministry of the disciples (the church-“ekklesia” Mt.16:18) and they were doing it with pressure from every side under Roman domination and increasing resistance to their belief system. But the cocoon they had been in was being exposed to current events and the current events were helping the cocoon to expose/present what was on the inside. Jesus’ shifting to His next stage of fulfillment in Father’s plan was propelling them forward so that the ekklesia could be realized for what it was actually meant to be in current events, and that involved their stepping out and relying on Holy Spirit to enable them to be “christianous” (Acts 11:26) or Christians — the followers of Christ who were, in fact, like the Christ, who were little ones like the big one. The inference is that those of the same name could be expected to be and do what the One is and does for Whom they are named. As they rolled with current events, Holy Spirit put them in places and circumstances to impact and influence current events. (Compare 1Jn.2:20 – “But you [plural] have an unction” (a divine enablement]) Circumstances are prime for cocoons (and old wineskins) to give way to what is inside being exposed for the impacting of current events for the advancing of the purposes of Father to glorify His Son.
“When Jesus came walking on the viruses and shortages and shutdowns”… oops! (**That’s from the CEC Version: Current Events Comparison Version ©Martin Gabler March 26,2020, 2:00am CDT— that I am thinking about writing as we go through 2020!) Try this: When Jesus came walking on the water (ruling over the very crisis threatening the disciples), “they screamed out with fright” (Matt.14:26, Amp). They could not conceive, in present circumstances, the possibility of Jesus being able to walk on top of life-endangering components that were scientifically considered incapable of holding His weight. There isn’t even any evidence that the boys are attempting to bale water out of the boat. They are now operating on fore-gone conclusions and it has left them in nonproductive panic. The miracle of provision they had just witnessed (feeding of 5,000+ with a boy’s lunch and 12 baskets of leftovers just five verses earlier) was forgotten with their focus on the present negative factors. Their hearts are very troubled and they are very unproductive. Is it more difficult for Jesus to calm wind and waves than it is to multiply a little boy’s lunch to feed 5,000+? Is it more difficult to walk on 300 foot deep water than to walk on 3 foot deep water? Has the Master of the Storm stopped working miracles because “this is now and that was then”? The same faith-authority-power applied to loaves and fishes gets the same results when applied to wind and waves and viruses and shutdowns!
When Jesus told His disciples to go to the other side of the lake, the hard facts the disciples focused on, once out on the water in the storm, were (Matt.14:22-27): 1.) it was night-dark 2.) they were a great distance from land 3.) the boat was beaten by waves 4.) the wind was against them—blowing the opposite direction they were supposed to go. We must beware of reaching a point that we are merely dwelling on just the facts. These may be the present facts but they are not the conclusion of the matter. In the Bible, present facts (threatening and impossible) and final conclusions always looked very different from one another.
The disciples confronted the storm on the lake but Jesus contradicted it with peace. When Jesus said to His disciples that He had been given all authority in heaven and on earth and then commissioned them to disciple nations, that was the announcement that believers had now become the embodiment of the Kingdom like He was. We have the same authority and power to contradict danger and crisis. The very least we can do is stop rehearsing the obvious and speak and declare the opposite — the known will of God which may be readily found in the Bible: life (Jn.10:10), health (3Jn.1:2), provision (2Cor.9:8), safety (Ps.46:1), peace (Jn.14:27).
“Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.” (Gen 2:19, NKJ) We can immediately become jointly active with heaven by, at least, opening our mouths. What will you and I call people and situations in coming days?
As the people of God assemble in their homes and around their computer screens to join in worship and the Word may they be strengthened, encouraged and comforted by the life of the risen Christ Who has already risen victorious over the grave, let alone any other life-defying thing. May they hide in Yahweh Who is the God of heaven and earth and the One Who protects and sustains His children. “Please, God, show me mercy!Open your grace-fountain for me, for you are my soul’s true shelter. I WILL HIDE beneath the shadow of your embrace, under the wings of your cherubim, until this terrible trouble is past.” (Ps.57:1, TPT)
Heaven’s invasion has to do with more than redemption. It has to do with God’s redemptive rule. We are not merely attempting to get some people to heaven, we are part of a great plan to bring the rule of God into present circumstances. People don’t just need a ticket to heaven, they need the rule of God now in their bodies, families, finances and workplace. (Acts17:6; 28:31)
When heaven invaded Jericho Road, the man was called “Blind” Bartimaeus. Bartimaeus was told to be quiet by those who held to conventional norms but he cried out directly to Jesus so that his life might be invaded by heaven (Mk.10:47). He pushed beyond what was normally acceptable and defied religious limitations and barriers. What are people calling you? How much longer will you accept that? Well… heaven is invading your road by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Acts10:38)
Isa.9:7 speaks of the increase of Christ the King’s government. The Kingdom of God will increase in us first, then in the areas where we have influence. But first comes self-government. God is processing things in us so He can do things thru us. Any movement toward order will expose things in us that are out of order. ”The fruit of the Holy Spirit is… self-control (self-restraint, continence) ”Gal.5:23-Amp (Also Mt.6:22)
(Kathy) — Your salvation means you have the covenant-backing of Almighty God to help you overcome anything that opposes what you’re born to do, whether that opposition be in your health, relationships, finance, timing or circumstances. Your salvation assures you of overcoming power. This awesome salvation will even save you from yourself. Ps.18:35; Ps.51:12
(Kathy) — Your name is “written in the Book of Life” indicates that your name is written in several chapters of God’s plans unfolding in the details of history. Maybe your part is to raise a daughter who will be a godly influence in a school system. Maybe your part is to build a moral stronghold in the business community. You might be an encourager that God will use in a 1000 different settings. “For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jer.29:11, Amp)
As the people of God assemble today may they rejoice in sharing with each other the good news of what Father God is doing in the lives that they are touching as they go about preaching the Kingdom of God. May the propane man, and the plumber and the A/C man and the babysitter tell others about what they experienced of a touch from God when they came into contact with each of us. “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ (Matt.10:7) “As we go” we can tell people that God’s authority, rule, government and power are at hand to meet them where they are.
The Goliath of this age: the mind, the thinking, the reasoning of opposition in this hour of history must be hit with THE Rock, i.e., His Word, His righteousness, His purpose, His Name, His actions… consistently. None of these can have effect without a biblical worldview foremost in the hearts and actions of sons/daughters of God. For David, nothing in his life was separate from the Word and purpose of God.(1Sam17:45)
David hit Goliath in the mind with a rock. That resulted in an unprecedented victory. There are unprecedented events that are making history for the first time. There are more to come. Unheard-of giants must be met with unprecedented courage and means. “I will work a work in your days, which you will not believe, though it be told you. (Hab.1:5; Acts13:41)
One of the types of Christ in the Bible is a Rock. The Rock we are instructed to build upon in Mt.7:24 is none other than Jesus. The Rock doesn’t move or shake or crack because there are things leaking in deep parts of the ocean. The Rock is steady and firm no matter what political system or false god is threatening with teeming hordes within our borders or outside them. Run to the Rock and stay on the Rock.
Twenty generations of Israel had known nothing but slavery. Master commands and slave responds. No freedom and no fulfillment, just like many today. We can break in our generation the things that have bound us so that the coming generation does not have to live under them. If we remain under the bondage of past generations, so will our children. The breaking out starts with us. (Gen.13:14)
Isaiah shows Messiah setting his face like flint (Isa.50:7) as He heads toward Jerusalem. He could not be dissuaded from His purpose. “Steadfastly set His face…”(Lk.9:51) means “courage, firmness, resolution”. There are goals yet to reach, purpose yet to fulfill and mature sons of God will accomplish what they are purposed for and will not shrink back or change their minds just because circumstances threaten.