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.
There were several people who were washed off of a walkway into a swollen river in a flood. They were floating along with the current and just able to keep their heads above the water while growing weaker and weaker with every panicked stroke and gulp of filthy water. Several of them were crying out in great fear and voicing the obvious aspects of peril they were in, crying out about the rushing water, the great amount of debris, the likelihood of drowning. One man, however, was not focusing on the dangerous aspects of floating debris. He was constantly looking for something big enough to grab hold of and use for flotation. He was constantly aware of what the dangerous current was bringing that might be useful in the present circumstances. When a large tree branch came floating along, he grabbed hold of it and rode it to a place where it lodged against a protrusion of land that jutted out into the river. He was then able to climb out of the danger which had, only moments earlier, threatened his life. The tree branch was a possible threat like the other debris but the man believed he could use the flotsam that present dynamics sent his way to better improve his position. He came out unscathed because, while aware of the various dangerous aspects, he chose to focus on what he might apply to rise above the peril.
Melissa — I have been hearing about awakening coming for a while now but what are we awakening to? The thing that hits me the loudest is that we are being awakened to the fear of the Lord. I’ve heard from several places that the church has to return to the fear of the Lord, and as He sheds insight on this subject it makes more and more sense why we cannot live outside of it. Well, we have been living outside of it for the most part and that just isn’t working. If we are awaking to the fear of the Lord, what have we been in? We’ve been operating in fear, but it’s a substandard fear. A substandard fear is fear of lack, death, pain, trauma, loss, etc. We, however, are waking up to what we were meant to operate in, which is the premium fear of the Lord. In this premium fear we operate out of awe, reverence, trust, insight and understanding. This is a totally different way of living! Substandard fear is unclean fear, but premium fear of the Lord is clean fear. This obviously leads to totally different outcomes.
As the people of God assemble today around their computers and smart phones and in church parking lots, may the peace of our Lord and Savior fall upon them like the spring rain and may it wash away weariness and worrisome thoughts that steal soundness of mind. “Thou wilt keep [him] in perfect peace, [whose] mind [is] stayed [on thee]: because he trusteth in thee.” (Isa.26:3)
As the people of God assemble around the family table or the TV or the computer screen, may they give themselves fully to The Potter, the Master Molder and Shaper of vessels, knowing that The Potter is never without purpose and He knows just how to work the clay to form the vessel for the right time and the right place. May they be conformed to His purposeful shaping and not be conformed to the present circumstances of the world. ”…as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand” (Jer.18:6, Amp) “My own sheep will hear my voice and I know each one, and they will follow me. 28 I give to them the gift of eternal life and they will never be lost and no one has the power to snatch them out of my hands. 29 My Father, who has given them to me as his gift, is the mightiest of all, and no one has the power to snatch them from my Father’s care. 30 The Father and I are one.” (Jn.10:27-31, TPT)
Melissa — There is something big shifting that requires us to move forward inch-by-inch as God directs. It’s about being restored to take possession. There are things that each of us have been created to lay our hands to and we are about to be called up. As we move forward with tenacity and God frustrates the devices of the wicked, we will each begin to see our place in the upcoming future. Just take rest in knowing you don’t have to have it all figured out and on track in the next 24 hours. Just simply start with realizing that He is the One that restores your soul and leads you in paths of righteousness.
In Jn.14:1 when Jesus is instructing His disciples to not let their hearts be troubled, Jesus is saying, “Stop putting your thoughts on those things, consciously and determinedly steer your thoughts back on to Me”. That does not mean you put your head in the sand, it means putting your focus where it belongs. There were probably disciples saying, “But I know the waves are there! I am sitting in 6in. of water!” But the answer is not in focusing on the waves but focusing on Him who is so desiring to pull me up out of the waves and on Him who is so desirous to stop the waves. “We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us…” (Heb.12:2a, TPT)
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”.)
“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!
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).