Kathy — Wisdom is working to equip us to prevail in days ahead over key forces like offense, self-pity, anger and fear. The power of those forces is that they condition us to defeat ourselves. Offense is stumbling and it causes us to cripple ourselves. Offense causes us to become distrustful and desert our post. We do not have to take in offense even when it comes banging on our door with every logic. Ps.119:165, TPT — “There is such a great peace and well-being that comes to the lovers of your word, and they will never be offended.”
As the people of God assemble today may they all give acknowledgement and give assent that Yahweh is due “Amens” and “Hallelujahs” from everyone — from the ancient ones all the way to us today and to the ones who are yet to be born. Ps.106:48, TPT — “Blessed be our Lord God forever and ever. And let everyone everywhere say, “Hallelujah!” Amen! Faithful is our King!” Let them all say, “Be it so, certainly, truly” for merciful, Almighty God is faithful and true to His Word and to His character. Though people had sinned, though the sins were listed in this Psalm as a witness against them, yet the Lord was merciful to them so that there was reason for thanksgiving, for “Amens” and “Hallelujahs”. Amen, Oh, King of Kings!
No matter what catastrophe is making headlines, we are already obligated to the purposes of Almighty God. We have already made a decision for the God of heaven. Bad things that happen may make it a bit more difficult to get certain things done and may knock wind out of us but they must not become insurmountable walls; they must only be obstacles which we overcome to fulfill purpose. (Rom.8:39)
Kathy — When we refuse to listen we never learn to think and decide as God does. A hardened heart can mean we’ll never get where we were born to go. Why would we choose to waste our lifetime, our opportunity to accomplish what we were born to do? Jer.29:11 tells us that God has good plans for us with an expected end. An expected end: the hoped for outcome, the longed for outcome and that which we’ve waited for.
Our hearts are turned to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in thanksgiving for His sacrificial and redemptive acts of love in our behalf. We receive them and what He has procured through them that we may gratefully bring glory to His Wonderful Name. “And let the peace from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].” (Col.3:15, Amp)
A while back I walked into the kitchen and I said to Kathy, “That smells like Thanksgiving!”. As I walked in, I experienced a wide range of sensory connections with Thanksgiving. The smell of spices and basting meat and the odors of baking coming out of the oven filled my senses. But I also began to hear things. As memories of Thanksgivings-come-and-gone stirred in my mind, I could hear the sounds of those gatherings, those loved ones, those children, those songs, that worship—in my memory. Kathy couldn’t hear any of it but I could hear many things all at once. I had to just stand there for a minute or two, not focusing on anything in the room but looking with my memory into those sights and sounds that had been cherished and stored away in valuable files of my heart. Then, even as I write now, hot tears filled my eyes and my heart raced up at the peace and joy and delight all those sounds and people in my memory brought to me. I didn’t even realize that I had tucked those precious memories away so many years ago. But the loving atmosphere, the loving people, the lovely ambiance and delicious foods all impacted my senses then for a delightful, sensory and welcome release now. No camera could have accomplished what those pleasant experiences wrought, for they were drawn up out of the well of cherished ones and cherished things in my heart. And for a brief time they were all there, all real and all so lovely once again. I am so thankful for a rich heritage, deeply meaningful relationships and for cherished memories that still impact me today. May this Thanksgiving bring to you sights and sounds and smells that pleasantly soothe you and heal you, and may they all bring you to a fresh place of rest in our Lord. (Prov.10:7a, Amp) ”The memory of the righteous [person] is a blessing,”.
And our thankfulness goes on and on…. We are thankful that all things have been given us through our relationship with Jesus for a life of living godly in this present world. 2Pe.1:2 — “Grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 according as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who has called us to glory and virtue,”
As the people of God assemble today, may they lift their voices, their hearts and hands and sing thanksgiving unto the Lord God for all His beneficent blessings toward us. For God is good and greatly to be praised. “[ A Song of Praise ] Come, let us praise the Lord! Let us sing for joy to God, who protects us! Let us come before him with thanksgiving and sing joyful songs of praise. (Ps.95:1-2, GNT)
When the church is truly the church, in all its God-ordained function and authority, and takes her place in culture, culture will place so much attention on the life and productivity that is flowing out of the church (please refer to the entire Book of Acts) that politicians will be reported and lauded very little. In the book of Acts the church was getting more press than were government officials. “…These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also.” (Acts 17:6) No politician or governmental entity was being given credit for “turning the world upside down” but the disciples of Jesus that He gave His authority to and the disciples He sent out. Jesus and His disciples (count them: 12) impacted the mighty Roman world and jolted its foundation so that He and they were deemed a national threat. It was not because they directly threatened Rome or Caesar but because they acted in an authority that, because of its results, was obviously a higher government than that of Rome.
Kathy — Some might be thinking, “Well, I’ve interceded for years. Where in the world is my harvest?” I believe it is possible to fail to recognize harvest. How many suddenlies and blessings to us or our families have we thought random, knowing we didn’t pray for them? Well, someone did! “We have not because we ask not.” (Js.4:2) So, if we do have — that means someone did ask!
God speaks the end while standing at the beginning (Isa.46:9-10). After speaking the end God must begin looking for some folks who will stay the course so that particular end may be realized. Someone must stay the course out of Egypt and remain standing before the Red Sea (without demanding relief) until it splits—so there can be witness to the fact that this God truly is a sea-splitter. Isa.46:9-10, TPT—“Remember the miracles of long ago. Acknowledge that I am God, and there is no other. I am God, and there is none like me. 10 I declare from the beginning how it will end and foretell from the start what has not yet happened. I decree that my purpose will stand, and I will fulfill my every plan.”
Kathy — A word of encouragement for those who intercede: Seedtime and harvest is an established law of God (Gen.8:22). That thought might surprise some, but how could God not perform His Word? Gal.6:7 promises a crop of whatever we sow. When we cover others in prayer, why would we doubt Father will stir others to prayer in our behalf? Gal.6:7, TPT — “Make no mistake about it, God will never be mocked! For what you plant will always be the very thing you harvest.”
Esau reached a point where he decided that he had resisted the now-demands of his belly long enough and also decided that his birthright just wasn’t worth living for something in the future (Heb.12:17). We may stay the course with hunger in our belly but we best stay the course. Moby Dick may be doing his best to chew the side off the boat but we must row, bail water & proclaim the promises of God above the racket of mighty molars crunching boat parts. To cease to stay the course is tantamount to selling one’s birthright. In ceasing, we trade the garments of a possessor for the rags of a beggar. Ps.121:1-3, TPT — “I look up to the mountains and hills, longing for God’s help. 2 But then I realize that our true help and protection come only from the Lord, our Creator who made the heavens and the earth. 3 He will guard and guide me, never letting me stumble or fall. God is my keeper; he will never forget nor ignore me.”
Kathy — God help us all if intercession is ever based on deserving or sinlessness. And God help us as intercessors that we never pray, or refuse to pray, based on our opinion or judgment of others. Help us Lord not to ever allow opinions to override obedience. Neither let our opinions be so loud that they deafen us to obedience. 1Sam.15:22, Amp — “Has the Lord as great a delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obedience to the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed [is better] than the fat of rams.”
As the people of God assemble today may they assemble as a governing body. When we assemble as a governing body (ekklesia), there is a synergy created by the power of the Holy Spirit that brings us into the functioning of our destiny. If Jesus did not think that it would work, He would have never ascended to the right hand of the Father. He has, therefore, sent the Holy Spirit with the authority and the power of heaven to bring heaven to earth (Jn.16:7). Heb.10:25, TPT — “This is not the time to pull away and neglect meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing, because we need each other! In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward as we anticipate that day dawning.”
Jesus was shaking the present religious and political scene when He was recorded to say, “All authority (all power of rule) in heaven and earth has been given to Me. Go then…” (Matt.28:18-19a) and “…just as my Father has sent Me forth, so I am sending you.” (Jn.20:21) Key factors we must be aware of: (1) “all authority” and (2) “just as” and (3) “go then.”
Kathy — If we pray out of our opinions and judgments rather than the heart of God, we can bring ourselves under judgment rather than blessing. Also, we position ourselves for discouragement and unbelief because our prayers are hindered as Js.4:3 says, “You ask and do not receive because you ask with wrong motives.” (NAS)
Is the real need of this nation a great politician or a real church? Politicians would hardly ever get a mention in the news media if the church was being and doing everything Jesus was and did when He was on earth. One of the major factors that got Jesus crucified was that He was getting more press than Caesar. People were following and clamoring after Jesus because of His acts which so effectively represented the Father. When Jesus confronted and contradicted darkness through redemptive acts it got the nation’s attention. After consistently revealing the Father in this manner, there was a snowballing effort to make Jesus king. Simply put, Jesus was more representative of life and productivity than was Caesar with all his financial resources and all his millions of citizens. Needs were met and problems solved that Caesar had no capacity for.
Kathy — How do we fight for a corporate cause when we are fighting to survive individually? First, we must take hope that God has positioned gifts and strengths geographically and relationally for corporate wars ahead of time, and we must believe corporate agreement will defeat customized weapons as well as enemies with tenure that are attempting to protect ungodly strongholds. Secondly, we have to be confident that being the target does not mean we have to just take a right hook and then wait helplessly for a left jab every time the enemy gets upset. We are not a victim nor a God-authorized target. Once that is settled in us we can fight with confidence and win through time and perseverance. Heb.3:14, Msg — “If we can only keep our grip on the sure thing we started out with, we’re in this with Christ for the long haul.”