As the people of God assemble today, may they be filled and overflowing with His grace and His empowering Holy Spirit and hope like they were at Pentecost and may His Spirit overflow into every area of their lives and into the areas of responsibility they have and the relationships they have. “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:4, KJV) “May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!” (Rom.15:13, Msg)
Things you feel prompted of the Holy Spirit to declare may seem out of place or impossible in the face of present circumstances and contradiction. When you are in a season of shifting, those things you declare will not likely seem attainable until the shift is complete. When God’s hand is moving, you can’t predict the future by present defeats. Ask Abraham, Joseph, David. Declare in spite of circumstances. (Rom.10:8)
The word “declare” means: manifest, announce; making something known emphatically, openly or formally; to make known, sometimes in the face of actual or potential contradiction. The people of God are not on earth to just observe events but to make declarations in keeping with the character of our God, right in the face of those things that contradict the righteousness of God. We will not keep silent. 1Chron.16:24, Amp — “Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all peoples.”
Kathy Gabler — Holy Scripture says that Jehovah will restore what the locusts have eaten. (Joel 2:25) He will make up for those times that no matter how many bugs you killed, they kept coming. He will restore those years it took to fight and endure the swarming circumstances. He will make up for the time it took for circumstances to consistently strip away your strength and hope. He will make up for all those mornings when the sunrise woke up the dread in your soul again and circumstances continued to devour your day and your future. He will make up for the months and years that opposition smothered you and circumstances robbed you through changelessness. He is, indeed, your Redeemer!
There was an Army general in 1898 who wanted to disband the Rough Riders Teddy Roosevelt had organized before they could even get on a boat to Cuba because so many things about them were unconventional in comparison to conventional Army methodology. When the captain of the Rough Riders was required by a general to give a description of his fighting unit, he said, “They are the most unconventional men you have ever seen.” At that point the general began speaking of disbanding the company and requiring them to walk back to the western states from Florida. When their captain asked the general what his particular objection was the red-faced officer doubled up both fists and yelled, “I have never seen anything like this in my lifetime!” The captain responded, “Sir, that’s because nothing like this has ever happened in your lifetime” to which the general had to eventually concede. He needed an unconventional fighting unit to fight an unconventional war.
Kathy — Being born again offers us a new beginning. Our salvation brings another opportunity to be equipped for life as we gain identity and affirmation through healthy fathering. What was not experienced in our natural sonship can be established in our spiritual sonship. These essentials get established as we think differently and become mature sons, overcoming everything that opposes God’s plans for our lives. Gal.4:6-7
As the people of God assemble today may they trust in the Lord and encourage one another to trust so that each one moves into the momentum of Father’s answer and gets us on the road to His outcome. Ps.9:10, TPT — “May everyone who knows your mercy keep putting their trust in you, for they can count on you for help no matter what. O Lord, you will never, no never, neglect those who come to you.”
Kathy — Obedience should be the truest expression of submission, respect and honor in a mature son. Satan offered Jesus a quick way to the kingdoms of this world. Jesus was a mature son and so intent upon obedience that He couldn’t be tempted by success on an easier path. Satan could not get Jesus to focus on what He could do instead of who He was. That is mature character. Jn.10:18
Convention: “a rule, method, or practice established by usage; custom; accepted usage, especially as a standard of procedure.” One label that fits Jesus very well is “unconventional”. “There is no one like You among the gods, O Lord, Nor are there any works like yours.” (Ps.86:8; also Jer.10:6; 1Sam.2:2; Deut.33:26; Ps.74:12; Job 5:9) Jesus’ disciples had observed Jesus praying and had observed the impacting redemptive results He got when He spoke to nature, disease and demons. When they asked Him to teach them to pray, He told them that they should ask for that which is in heaven to be moved into the earth (Matt.6:10). Needless to say, that which is conventional in heaven (God’s will) is going to be unconventional by earth’s standards, practices, methods, rules and usage. And yet, that is what our Lord instructed us to ask for.
Kathy — They had called out to God during the battle, and he answered their prayers because they trusted him, (1Chron. 5:20). There’s a lot of reasons we cry out to God during battle. Pain, fear, offense, anger, pity, grief and hopelessness are some understandable causes for a “cry out”, but if we park on any of those causes, the battle can become a stalled storm we cannot see beyond. If we sit in neutral gear feeling helpless, the siege continues to smother. Crying out in “park” or “neutral” gear and racing the motor and burning fuel doesn’t get us anywhere. But if we cry out because we trust the Lord to hear, to care and to do something, we shift into a gear to move forward. Trust moves us into the momentum of His answer and gets us on the road to His outcome.
May your heart keep Jehovah’s commandments. May they give you long life, good years and peace. May you be diligent to keep mercy and truth near you. Fasten them around your neck so that you are continually reminded of them and so they stay close and ready to apply. May you find favor and much success in the sight of God and people. (Prov.3:1-4)
Kathy — Time is the most complex and frustrating dimension. I find that what little understanding I do gain about God’s timing is most often in hindsight. Is there any other issue that can harass faith any more consistently? Like water dripping, the clock seems to chip away at my rock-solid confidence. I believe that when we get to the end of our aggravations we will realize we should not allow time to rule us. (Lk21:19)
If we allow them, desperate conditions can open our eyes to see the unconventional in the light of facilitation. Baling wire is not a conventional fastener on an airplane. But I had an uncle who, in the 1940’s, flew a single engine plane back and forth between Louisiana and Texas numerous times with various pieces of the plane held in place with baling wire because other parts and equipment were not available. (Please note: I DO NOT recommend any of my uncle’s mechanical practices!) He couldn’t afford instruments for flying aids so he tied a bolt to a piece of string and hung it over the center of the windshield so that, in a cloud, he could determine if he was still flying right side up! There are those who would not use the unconventional simply because it is unconventional but there are those who will take courage and apply an unconventional solution when they realize that attempting to apply the conventional no longer works or the conventional simply is no longer available.
As the people of God assemble today may they realize they are not pawns and slaves to demographics that so many willingly give in to as mandatory but are chosen to succeed in the purpose for which the Lord of heaven and earth has called them no matter the forces of current events that seem to pressure most into demographic molds/agendas of “correctness”. Eph.3:20, Amp — “Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us,” Eph.1:18, ESV — “Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,” Eph.2:10, ESV — “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
Kathy — The second temptation of Jesus was when Satan said, “Since you are God’s Son, jump.” Many grow up never being affirmed. No authority figure notices their worth or ever takes the time to declare it, but God did. “This is My beloved Son in whom I’m well pleased,” affirmed Jesus personally and publicly. Satan couldn’t make Him test His own worth because he couldn’t make Him doubt His Father’s affirmation. (Mt.3:17)
A careful perusal of our nation’s history will reveal to us that in every economic downturn, there were people making money. The challenges of unconventional times and ways can find us shutting down because of focusing on limitations or they can spur us into looking where we have never considered looking for resources and answers. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isa.55:8-9, Amp) We must needs pray for and prepare ourselves for Father’s thoughts and ways at this time.
Kathy — Identity is knowing who you are and being confident you have purpose for being here. The first shot the devil took at Jesus in the wilderness was at His identity: “IF You are God’s Son, then command these stones.” However, Jesus was so confident of His identity that Satan couldn’t tempt Him to even have to prove it. (Ps.71:18)
There were people who came through the economic downturn, and ensuing hardships of the crippling Great Depression. They applied positive attitudes and industrious minds to adjust to the unconventional of their times. They broke free from what some viewed as yokes necessary to bear because of decades-long standard practice and even enabled others to excel, instead of allowing themselves to be harnessed to an old paradigm that they would drag around and pass off to coming generations.
Kathy — In God’s order, healthy parenting establishes three essentials in each son or daughter: 1. Identity which produces self-image, 2. Affirmation which produces self-worth, 3. Obedience which produces self-discipline. These are three essentials for mature, healthy character, and mature character is essential to experience our fullest destiny that glorifies God. (Ps71:18)
Saving each bit of tin foil, no matter how torn or wrinkled, was what some of my kinfolks did after they went through the Great Depression in the last century. My grandmother made dish soap out of old bars of bath soap that had become too small to handle easily. She would drop them in a jar of water and let them melt and use the liquid to wash her dishes. Experiences of the past help shape our attitudes and actions (or lack thereof) in the present. There were, however, people who came through that economic downturn, and ensuing hardships, by applying positive attitudes and industrious minds to adjust to the unconventional of their times. They were, therefore, able to affect the future so that they might be better prepared to advance into coming changes and developments.
As the people of God assemble today as best they can, may they support mothers young and old with encouragement and a helping hand and edify them with inspiring words from the Lord. May our mothers continue to find refuge and strength in the Lord God. We pray that mothers receive refreshing from the Lord and courage to admonish their children in His ways in coming days. “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” (Prov.31:25) “Her children arise and call her blessed..” (v.28).
If we will go before the throne of God (prayer & meditation in His presence) to receive the grace we are invited to come and receive (Heb.4:16), we will carry into relationships and situations (good and bad) something of heaven, something of God’s attributes with us.