Kathy — Is it lack of training that leaves gaps in our character? Is it lack of healthy examples that weakens our character? Or does character corrupt in the breach between knowing the truth and living according to the truth we know? I think the latter is the heart of the matter. It moves the emphasis from lack and circumstance to diligence. We do not have to be perfect, but diligence is a requirement. The hand of the diligent will rule, Prov 12:24. (NKJ) In business or ministry or government or family or the local garden club, we do not suffer a downfall because of other people. Neither do circumstances cause us to fall. Opposition does not cause us to fall. We build our own path to downfall. Bad choices, emotional decisions, wrong priorities and self-focused agendas can cause us to fail, but a downfall comes from a breach of character.
Kathy — The problem with strongholds in the soul is that Self takes the lead, surrounding itself in a defensive determination, demanding a right to survive. As king of the hill, the banners of NO SUBMISSION and SELF-SUFFICIENCY defy all comers – even God. Soulish determinations, demands, self-justifications and self-sufficiency are the opposite of humbling self; and it is those who humble themselves to God that receive God’s enabling grace, His ability to overcome. (1 Pe 5:5b) “…for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
As the people of God assemble today, may they hear and experience the powerful Word of God that propels them forward and may they go into the coming week stronger than the week before.
”The righteous shall move onward and forward; those with pure hearts shall become stronger and stronger.” (Job 17:9, Living Bible)
Everything you fear has limitations.
2Tim.1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
(Melissa Gabler)–It’s been something else the last month or so! There have been many calls, reports and instances that could keep one in the prayer closet 24/7 (let alone what’s going on nationally). It’s one of those moments that, while feeling bombarded, you realize there are many feeling the same way so there must be something bigger afoot. If you are nodding your head in agreement right now I would just like to encourage you. In the middle of a rather intense evening recently my mom said, “This is a threshold war.” That was the hammer that struck the gong right there! I then saw me and my family pushing through a clear membrane into a new place. Then around 3:00AM the next morning, I woke up and kept hearing, “You are there.” The only thing left was writing on the wall! We are at a new threshold!
God is giving His people loving and creative insights into impacting people’s lives. People in this present culture are not wondering whether or not they will go to heaven or hell if they die, they are concerned whether they have a purpose and what they will do if they continue to have to deal with present moral and cultural challenges. God will speak to us about what He is concerned about in a person’s life while steering us away from pet peeves (religious pet peeves and pet peeves formed from our family paradigms) so that we can effectively impact them with His love and compassion. “Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.” (1Pe 2:12,Msg)
As the people of God assemble today, may they “look to the hills from whence comes their help”. (Ps.121:1) May they look to the place where God’s presence is welcomed and enthroned. May they look to the place from whence come the messengers of peace whose feet are beautiful as they “bring good news, good news of good things and who announce salvation and who say, ‘Your God reigns’”. (Isa.52:7)
Removing Mountains Within (by Kathy Gabler)
As I considered the prayer of David in Ps139:23, I noticed the definition of “wicked” even included: “a grievous pang of body.” Many people are distracted or diverted from their destiny by physical distress. I believe this prayer could be the catalyst for change in our physical bodies as well. I pray, “Lord, reveal any sorrow or offense that is the root of disease or dysfunction in my body. Don’t let me hold to any issue or belief that hinders my soul or body. Let neither soul nor body distract me or defeat me as I follow your lead in the ordained path you have for me. I am confident that with your answer will come the grace to make any changes necessary and remove mountains WITHIN in 2012.” Amen.
Don’t Let The Mountain Block The View (by Kathy Gabler)
As he prayed “Search me, O God, and know my heart,” (Ps 139:23) David wasn’t just praying for an examination and a test score. He was positioned to repent. He submitted to God knowing God’s answer or instructions would bring change in his thinking and his opinions, perhaps in his relationships and daily lifestyle. David knew he must release fear or grief or offense as God pointed them out so that those things would not block his view of God.
May we be like David as he prayed for the mountains within himself to be revealed in Psalms 139:23,24. Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (NKJ) A paraphrased word study reveals this in his prayer: “O God, examine me and reveal my mind, my knowledge, my thinking, my memories, my inclinations, my determinations, my conscience, my moral character, my appetites, my emotions and my passions. Scrutinize me and reveal my disturbing thoughts and opinions.” When David asked God to search him for wicked ways he was NOT on a guilt-driven search for evil and moral decay in himself. The word translated “wicked” here is used only two other times in the Old Testament and both times it was translated “sorrow.” So David was asking God to see if there were any high places of idolatry in him that had been built on wounds or offense or sorrow or hardship or bitter memories. He was asking God to see if there was any experience or threat bigger or more important to him than God. David knew those things could distort God’s counsel and instructions and even block him from God’s presence. Every soulish mountain-stronghold becomes a blind spot that blocks us from seeing God’s truth and purpose, thereby keeping us from God’s presence and plans in some part of our life.
Liberty, Adversaries and Cost
In 1776 the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence. There was much sacrifice in reaching that momentous date forever etched in history. The colonists came dangerously close to losing on more than one occasion. There was a lack of weapons, training and basic supplies. The soldiers were up against disease as well as the well-trained British army and their desperate generals. George Washington not only had to be on alert against British tactics but also on alert for self-seeking traitors in his own army.
In spite of the seeming unbalance in the two opposing forces, what could only be called “the hand of God,” not only brought the scales back into balance but took them over in favor of the colonials. Just one example among others is that when Washington marched against Boston, the soldiers dug trenches with the help of a clear night. The next morning a British engineering officer reported that the progress of the colonials must have required 15,000 to 20,000 men, more than double the size of the present colonial army. Just as the battle was beginning the weather suddenly changed and a storm set in by noon with hail, sleet and a wind that “blew almost a hurricane.” General Howe decided not to attack and retreated from Boston. Washington and others gave the glory to God’s hand at work.
Although it has been noted that Washington was not a brilliant strategist and had shown indecisiveness at crucial moments, one writer said, “Washington never forgot what was at stake and never gave up.” George Washington credited the blessing of God as the reason he was able to endure. “He only is my rock and my salvation: He is my defense; I shall not be moved” (Ps 62:6)
Many Americans sense the threat against the liberties those Founding Fathers faithfully fought for. But we will not continue to realize them simply through political efforts. Without the intervening Hand of Almighty God and our desperate seeking of His precepts, those liberties remain eminently threatened. “I will walk at liberty and at ease, for I have sought and inquired for and desperately required Your precepts.” (Ps 119:45) I pray the Lord God will give us determination, not only to guard our civil liberties, but to seek His precepts so that we have a value system that will prompt us to, at least, basic stewardship (such as voting) in the preserving of what He gave us in this great nation. (Ref.: americanvision.org)
Bulldozing Mountains (by Kathy Gabler)
The Word of God is our antidote. The Word is our bulldozer. The Word has the power to displace the emotional residue pushed ashore by the tide or even by a tidal wave of circumstances. So our part of the process is to clear out the blockages within self by agreeing with the Word and by speaking the Word and telling every contrary force to be removed! (Mt 17:20) And the truth is that if stress, anxiety, fear, anger, frustration, guilt and confusion are removed and God’s Peace is in the house, what’s going on outside does not hold the same threat.
Assurance In Facing The Mountain (by Kathy Gabler)
As we position our hearts to receive the joy of the Lord, may we have the wisdom not to equate JOY with EASE. If we think JOY means EASE then the least bit of opposition can add discouragement, oppression and depression to the mountains we face. JOY does not pivot around EASE. Joy comes on the heels of conflict: Isaiah 29:19 tells us, The “afflicted” shall increase their joy in the Lord. That statement is both an assurance and a challenge: the temptation and trial process shall not win, nor shall the accuser of the brethren or failure prevail; so we must forge ahead, confident the Joy of the Lord is rooted in overcoming. Joy confronts the depleting foes of grief, vexation, disappointment, hurt and worry to defy and defeat them. Joy is a by-product of relationship with God. Joy is not an emotional state. It is an attitude of the heart that does not bow at the throne of EASE.
Joy In The Mountain (by Kathy Gabler)
Ps 121:1-2: “I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” (NAS) It was not the mountains that provided strength and help, rather the God who created them and who sat enthroned in Zion. We will not find the strength and refuge we seek by isolating ourselves in a mountain-stronghold. Neh 8:10 says, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” In Hebrew, the word “strength” literally means: a place or means of safety, a protection, a refuge, a stronghold. We must allow the joy of the Lord to rise up in us to remove our mountains and provide true protection and refuge.
King Of The Hill?
(by Kathy Gabler)
The problem with strongholds in the soul is that Self takes the lead, surrounding itself in a defensive determination, demanding a right to survive. As king of the hill, the banners of NO SUBMISSION and SELF-SUFFICIENCY defy all comers – even God. Soulish determinations, demands, self-justifications and self-sufficiency are the opposite of humbling self; and it is those who humble themselves to God that receive God’s enabling grace, His ability to overcome. (1 Pe 5:5b) “…for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Tides And Mountain Strongholds (Kathy)
Like tides coming and going, there will always be problems. Ps34:19 “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.” (NKJ) 1Pet 4:12 “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.” (NIV) It is not life that builds blockages in our hearts and understanding. It is our reaction to life that causes us to build isolated forts atop high mountains of the soul every time we try to protect ourselves rather than trusting God, or when we try to justify our offenses rather than forgive or repent, or when we try to avoid pain rather than obey God. So God’s goal is to change me to the point that the tides cannot stir the same reactions within me. He desires to equip us so that troubles, afflictions and offenses are confronted with the Word and displaced by the Truth instead of a reactionary blockage or the false strength of a mountain-stronghold I erect in my soul. seecministries.org
While focused on circumstances, the Holy Spirit instructed me to speak to the “mountain” within. In a matter of seconds the Lord made me to understand that outward circumstances were not the real problem. God could, in seconds, remove every hindrance and pull every devil off my back and, if that were best for me, He would. So as good as that sounds, there is obviously something better. One of God’s principles is that He looks at the heart, not the outward appearance. He deals with the root rather than just the fruit. If my problem went away but could return and cause the same reaction in me, then the mountain is not really gone, it has just become a hill temporarily . . . until floods of life’s circumstances cause it to swell again. (Mt17:20)
I saw the words scroll across the television screen: “SPEAK TO THE MOUNTAIN.” I thought of all the times I had spoken to circumstances and problems to be removed or resolved but saw no change. Suddenly the Holy Spirit interrupted my musings and instructed me to speak to the MOUNTAIN “within,” not “without.” In that moment the emphasis switched from the trouble and pressure around me to the troubled soul within me. Ps 143:12 “And in your mercy and loving-kindness, cut off my enemies and destroy all those who afflict my inner self, for I am Your servant.” (Amp) The primary mountain is the stress or anxiety or fear or anger or frustration or guilt or confusion that mounts up in us in reaction to circumstances. Those negative and destructive forces mount to such heights that they block out the light of truth and smother hope. They darken our emotions and obstruct God who is our Light, Truth and Hope, by raising a barrier between me and Him. So the “inner” MOUNTAIN is the first and critical challenge. (This is the first short article in a series. More to come…) seecministries.org