Thursday, October 22, 2009

Shadow of Death

On September 11th of this year, after going to bed shortly before 11:00 p.m., I felt the presence of evil pass over me in the atmosphere above. It was like a big cloud moving over the city (of Houston). There was electricity in the air, and I kept asking the Lord if I needed to get up and go somewhere to hide, etc. When He didn't indicate any action on my part, I simply went to sleep. However, as I was asking the Lord about the incident the next morning, I heard Him say that the "cloud of evil" had been the shadow of death.

There is a current assignment of the enemy against God's people, causing depression and hopelessness. The Lord revealed that this is an activity of the spirit of the Shadow of Death. This spirit brings darkness into the lives of Christians. In fact, one of the definitions of the word "shadow", according to Webster's Dictionary, is "the dark figure cast upon a surface by a body intercepting the rays from a source of light". The Lord, of course, is our source of light. When we take our eyes off of Him and focus on the circumstances around us, we allow the enemy to cast his shadow over us. If we remain in this shadow for any length of time, we then become subject to depression, hopelessness, deception, fear, lethargy, a sense of isolation from friends and family, sickness or disease that doesn't respond to prayers or medical treatment, and a host of other symptoms. However, there is good news!

Psalm 107:10,13,14 - "There were those who dwelt in darkness and in the shadow of death. Prisoners in misery and chains.... Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and broke their bands apart."

Nugget of Gold: Another definition of the word "shadow" is "shelter from danger or observation".

Psalm 91:1-4 - "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, 'My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust'.... He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge..."

Let us continually dwell in the Presence of God that we may be protected from the power of evil in this day!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hope vs. Desire

As the Body of Christ enters the new year on the Jewish calendar, I believe the Lord would have us come before Him as Esther did. Once she had undergone a period of preparation, during which time she walked in faith and obedience to that which she was instructed to do, there came a time to appear before the King. It is recorded that she found great favor with the King and that he extended his scepter to her and asked for her request (Esther 5:2,3) .

The Lord recently quickened to me that there's a difference between Hope and Desire.
The word "hope", as defined by Webster's Dictionary, means "desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in a future fulfillment". The word "desire" encompasses those things hoped for, but it also includes a request or petition for action!

Esther 5:3-8 - "Then the king said to her, 'What is troubling you, Queen Esther? And what is your request? Even to half of the kingdom it will be given to you.... Then the king said, 'Bring Haman quickly that we may do as Esther desires......So Esther answered and said, 'My petition and my request is: if I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my petition and do what I request, may the king and Haman come to the banquet which I shall prepare....'"

Nugget of Gold: I believe the Lord is saying that it is time to come before Him with our requests - those promises that He has given us and that have become the desires of our hearts. We have been faithful to HOPE in the future fulfillment of what God has spoken, but it is now time to make a REQUEST before the King. What are the promises that the Lord has been quickening in the past days, weeks, or even months? Come before Him boldly, knowing that His favor is upon you and that His scepter is extended.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Servant's Heart

Many of those in the Body of Christ are asking the Lord to use them in the same way that we see the disciples being used in the Book of Acts. Recently, as I was praying that God would choose and send me, I heard Him say,
"I only send those with a servant's heart!"

He then took me to the following scriptures:

Acts 6:1-3 - "Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food. And the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, 'It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables. But select from among you, brethren, seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.'"

Two of the seven chosen to serve included Stephen and Philip, who were both used mightily by the Lord in the working of miracles, signs, and wonders.

Acts 6:8 - "And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people."

Acts 8:6 - "And the multitudes, with one accord, were giving attention to what was said by Philip, as they heard and saw the signs which he was performing."

Nugget of Gold: Only those with a servant's heart will be used by God for the working of the miracles and signs that He has reserved for this time. His servants will be full of the Holy Spirit, full of grace, wisdom, faith, and power, to perform the tasks that He will assign in the days ahead. Will we be counted in this number?