The Lord is still working in people’s lives in spite of the enemy trying to get everyone’s focus on the negative. A couple of weeks ago Kathy, Melissa and I were ministering to a group of leaders at a church. After the meeting a young man walked up and said that several years ago I walked up to him and put a $20 bill in his shirt pocket and said, “You will have income when others do not”. He said that has been the case for all those years. Even during the pandemic their business has picked up continually and he and his wife have doubled their savings since the pandemic started. Ps.37:18-19, TPT — “Day by day the Lord watches the good deeds of the godly and he prepares for them his forever-reward. 19 Even in a time of disaster he will watch over them, and they will always have more than enough no matter what happens.”
Kathy — I love the way The Message reads in Eph 2:2, “let’s not… let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell us how to live.” That should be on billboards in Hollywood since they constantly try to dictate lifestyle! Eph 2:2 (AMP) “[When you were dead in sin- when you were walking/talking zombies} . . . you walked [habitually] … following the course and fashion of this world [under the sway of this present age] that is, following the prince of the power of the air.” When I pursued the question, what is the “power of the air” the devil is prince of, that power boiled down to influence. We can be DUI – (driven under the influence) of the air or atmosphere around us and the fallen prince who dominates it. Our thoughts, moods and decisions can be affected by the atmosphere. The air we breathe is chock full of echoes and whispers from people’s conversations and murmured opinions and rehearsed memories and reports. Even sounds around us can carry threats and words and sounds that are legal instruments that devils know how to use against us. If we leave outbursts, murmurs, curses, vows, worries, lusts and fears hanging in the atmosphere, uncontested and unresolved, they are up for grabs to be used as negative forces against us.
As the people of God assemble today may they be ready for the Holy Spirit to use them to edify others by ministering the gifts of the Holy Spirit. May they speak as the Spirit gives utterance and may they release in love what He gives. “And that’s what’s happening among you. You are so passionate about embracing the manifestations of the Holy Spirit! Now become even more passionate about the things that strengthen the entire church.” (1Cor.14:12, TPT)
Self prophecies tend to come to pass. We get into agreement with what comes out of our mouths. Our psychological and body systems cooperate with our state of mind that we use to make predictions. If our minds can make monsters out of a bump in the night, surely we can take hold of the Word of God and make all manner of declarations for what God has planned for His Name’s sake. Num.23:19, Msg — “God is not man, one given to lies, and not a son of man changing his mind. Does he speak and not do what he says? Does he promise and not come through?”
Kathy — Rom. 12:2, addresses this: be not conformed to this world or age or time or influences of culture. Don’t let your beliefs and conclusions and priorities be molded by that. If we are going to see “as it is in heaven” and see God’s original intent in earth, we’ll have to think beyond typical. That means, (a) we can’t be so open minded that our brains fall out, and (b) we don’t react to life like everybody else does. We have to choose not to live in anxiety over a new strain of flu and we have to choose not to assume that we’ll be one of the predicted financial failures in 2020. We absolutely dare not be typical and ignorant and follow the dictates of this age and culture where someone with a big mouth and a microphone becomes the TV expert to decide our future.
Kathy — I don’t think Father intended “heaven coming to earth” through us to be a constant strain but rather a flow out of relationship, like Father like son, like Father like daughter. It’s a powerful and dynamic flow but beautifully simple. Of course, the essential requisite is that we think like our Father and that may be a strain and take some effort and practice and retraining. That is especially true since we have been trained since we were children under the influence of mindsets and traditions in our family, church, schools, government and media. There are some misbeliefs instilled in us that don’t come close to God’s thinking. Like some churches are full of people that strain to be good just to make it to heaven and they have no awareness that God wants them involved and touching the lives of those in their reach and seeing heaven come to earth. Ironically, while they are straining to measure up, they are missing God’s will and purpose for their entire lifetime; and because their beliefs and lifestyle are so typical in the church world, no one notices. That is sad, but that is the result of adopting a religion instead of being adopted into a relationship. Wherever we adapt to the culture of this earth, this world, this age or mere religion, we’ll find it a challenge to think like our Father in heaven.
Decree (Job 22:28) is not determined by whim or emotion. They are those things that decide one thing one time under one set of circumstances or feelings but not under another. Decree involves comprehending a plan. (“You shall frame all your projects and purposes with much wisdom and resignation to the will of God” — Matthew Henry on Job 22:28)
Kathy — Thankfully, Father has many sons, a corporate people in the earth and we each are allotted our own reach. Our reach is our sphere of responsibility and our area of influence. Our reach is the lives and issues we can touch and affect. Our reach is the assignments that come into our radar or awareness.
As the people of God assemble today, may hearts of fathers be turned to the coming generation. May fathers in our congregations discern the potential of the youth around them and let their hearts be turned to affirming them, encouraging them and enabling them on to their destiny in Christ. May this be the most memorable Father’s Day with fathers and children turned to each other in love and in honor, grasping the heavenly Father’s heart for the generations to glorify His intent. “May the Lord richly bless both you and your children.” (Ps.115:14, TLB)
I saw a statue of a child standing on the shoulders of a man. The plaque at the base of the statue was a quote attributed to Sir Isaac Newton. It reads something like this: “The reason the present generation can see so far is because it is standing on the shoulders of the former generation.” Is the generation coming after us presently standing on their fathers’ shoulders? Does that generation even know that those shoulders are available? Have we taken that generation and lifted them, no matter what the cost, up and onto our shoulders? Are we expecting them to simply stand alongside us and inherit the same inadequacies and shortcomings we have been willing to live with? Some people rehearse to their children the failures and injustices and less-than-desirable qualities of their heritage. While some boldly abort the coming generation while they are still in the womb, some abort them in a more religiously acceptable manner once they are out of the womb. In either case, the future has been robbed of their God-ordained potential. Perhaps it is the job of the mothers to push until they are born and then perhaps it is the job of the fathers to push up until they are securely standing on our shoulders.
Kathy — Heaven coming to earth is a bigger deal than praying a prayer. When we were in North Carolina, our nephew was going to take us to the airport. He asked Isaiah, his 5 yr-old, if he wanted to go to the airport with us. Isaiah answered, “Sounds like a job for Spiderman.” That might of had something to do with the pajamas he was wearing, but if someone asks us, “You want to be a part of heaven coming to earth?” our first thought might be to borrow Isaiah’s PJs! That sounds like a job for a super hero or Super Spiritual Someone, but the first thing Jesus said in the Lord’s prayer is our starting point and safe anchor, “Our Father”. Even before God’s awesome, ultimate majesty begins unfolding as the scripture continues, “Who is in heaven”, He is first Father and that establishes relationship as a Father with sons and daughters. The reality is that every son and daughter of God is on earth to do Father’s doings and can bring His presence, authority, power, plans and governmental order to change lives and situations in the earth as it is in heaven. Seeing heaven come into earth is supposed to be part of sonship and normal life because wherever sons and daughters are, the Kingdom is within reach (Lk.10:9,11).
“And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed…” (2Pe1:19) “Heed” means to apply oneself to; to attach oneself to; to be given or addicted to. There must be some point at some level in which we come into agreement with the declared word of God and own it for ourselves. It becomes a part of us as we begin to declare it.
Kathy — To pray, “Your Kingdom come and Your will be done, on earth as in heaven,” is not asking God to do what He does and just take care of everything while I go grocery shopping. Praying His Kingdom come is an action of agreement. To pray that as Jesus meant it, we must be willing to align with His answer as it processes into the earth. We cannot effectually pray “Your Kingdom come and will be done on earth” without being committed to participation that may involve action on our part.
“That by them you may wage the good warfare” (1Tim.1:18). The only good warfare is the warfare you win. We wage warfare with a prophecy by proclaiming it into the atmosphere (remember “faith comes by hearing”) and by praying it and by using it as a comeback every time the enemy, or certain persons, speak the opposite.
Kathy — At my age, you’d think I’d know what I want to be when I grow up, but when I read the dark headlines in our nation and hear the chaotic chatter, there are days I just get irritated and wonder what is going on. The Bible doesn’t say believers should never get irritated or annoyed. In fact, Eph 4:26 says “Be angry, but don’t sin. So, we can get riled up, but we don’t go off the page in a rage and we don’t give in to a “spirit of cuss”! Instead, we can learn to spell anger with a capital “G,” anGer, (Acquire-Necessary-God-Empowered-Response). Then when we get upset, it can end up in a God result of bringing heaven into earth. When the pythonic girl got on Paul’s last nerve, he acquired-necessary-God-empowered-response and whipped around and delivered her from that spirit of divination. When devils occupy people and circumstances and cultures and atmospheres, sons of God interrupting that occupation and casting out demons is heaven coming to earth. One challenge facing us is that there have been major strongholds of darkness in our nation for decades and centuries. They have been here so long that many Christians don’t think to question them or even imagine how we could ever displace such evil. Add to that decades of church erroneous teachings that support not even trying to overcome them. Hence, the great necessity of a “God empowered response”.
As the people of God assemble today, may His powerful Holy Spirit form us into community operating in harmony. May the ligaments in His Church hold us together solidly throughout crisis and opposition. And may we so be built up in love that our harmony may never be found by Him to be disconsonant. “For because of Him the whole body (the church, in all its various parts), closely joined and firmly knit together by the joints and ligaments with which it is supplied, when each part [with power adapted to its need] is working properly [in all its functions], grows to full maturity, building itself up in love.” (Eph.4:16, Amp)
God’s appointments are not governed by clocks and calendars. Time serves His plans. He can even bend or break time if necessary, like ignoring Sarah’s biological clock to fulfill a promise or stopping the sun until Joshua finished the battle. It seems that His timing pivots around people and circumstances, so the clock has to come along and cooperate. (Rom.8:25,TPT) “So because our hope is set on what is yet to be seen, we patiently keep on waiting for its fulfillment.”
Concerning a declaration we must first contend for the word. “Contend” means to excite oneself against a foe, to wage war. We just expect to confess and then immediately come into possession of promise. But we can’t just feel sorry for ourselves because we are not already throwing parties in the promised land. Deut.2:24 “begin to possess it and contend with him in battle.”
While we are contending (Deut.2:24) for the word of the Lord over our lives and our nation, we must keep a guard on our tongue (Js.3:5) so that what it says lines up with what God has said (Jn.12:49). Like a farmer who works in his harvest and watches over his harvest, we cannot check out of the on-going process, lest we suffer crop failure.
Kathy — As we read Matthew 6 and Luke 10, we find Jesus teaching the disciples to pray. The verses leading up to the actual prayer reveal firstly what prayer is not. Prayer is not practicing your righteousness before men. Prayer is not using surplus words trying to cover your bases. Prayer is not from any motive that would manipulate God or man. Then, Jesus gives directions to His disciples on how to communicate with the Father. His instruction becomes a model for us known as “The Lord’s Prayer”.
Almighty God’s thoughts and ways are far above ours. We must needs pray for and prepare ourselves for Father’s thoughts and ways at this time. We must apply faith, positive attitudes and industrious minds to adjust to the unconventional of our times. God can use desperate conditions to open our eyes to see the facilitation available in unconventional people and unconventional opportunities (Ex.16:4-17; 1K.27:7-16; Josh.2:1-15; Isa.45:1-13; Acts 16:30-34).