Several weeks ago, I shared on FB that I felt the Lord had been showing us that the intense attack many have been enduring, and all He’s been teaching us through it, has been essential preparation we need in order to endure and overcome what lies ahead.
He’d reminded us before the attack even hit (through the Slaying the Giants series) that the battle was for the purpose of making us STRONGER. Yet in spite of being aware of this intended purpose, our “distress” over the “traumatizing” nature of the attack (specific words we’ve used throughout), led Him to also tell us we need to trust His heart, even when we don’t understand His purpose and trust His character when we don’t understand His ways. He reminded us we needed to “get our minds right” to avoid allowing the stress of the situation to break us. This theme of trusting when we don’t understand continued into the early part of the final week of June, when He once again said – “You don’t understand now what I’m doing, but later on you will understand.” (John 13:7) But this time, shortly afterward He added ~ “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.” (John 16:12) He gave this same word three more times that week ~ as one shock wave after another was sent forth from Washington, culminating in the Supreme Court’s ruling, redefining marriage.
I shared in the FB post that in light of all the horrifying things He’s already revealed to us in the past years that are coming if our nation doesn’t repent (some of which are shared in previous posts), it’s an extremely sobering thought that He’s now saying there are some things He can’t even reveal because we can’t bear them yet. Last time we intensely sought Him about whether we can still see our nation turned back to Him (prior to this SC ruling), we felt He was showing us He would miraculously intervene to deliver our nation and bring us back into covenant with Him, but this would only happen after much tribulation, possibly leaving only a remnant remaining (seeThis is the Plan…) (…unless, of course, He was still extending the Jeremiah 18 invitation so this could be averted through repentance.) This is why I shared in the FB post that I felt it was now unlikely that we’d see our nation return to Him without undergoing great shaking. In the “This is the Plan” note, we also shared that He seemed to be connecting all that’s coming with end-time events (as He’s been stressing since 2011). Since the SC ruling, I regret to say that He’s given us several very strong words that, at face value, say that because the nation has rejected all the prophets He’s sent to warn them, His judgment IS now coming and will be fully carried out. We continue to ask whether the Jeremiah 18 option is still possible or if the course is now determined and will not be altered. He’s given Ezekiel 33 again, which certainly still offers the opportunity for individuals to repent before these things happen, in response to the warnings still being given. But some of the latter verses seem to indicate this won’t happen on a widespread enough scale to spare the nation from what’s coming. We still pray that the Great Awakening the church / nation needs can come without the things He’s showed us, but at the same time we must all be prepared to stand no matter what. If the words He’s given us ARE now going to happen, we must focus on getting as many people as possible into the safety of “the Ark” of Christ and the refuge of His “Psalm 91 Secret Place” before they take place. For this reason I encouraged at the end of the FB post, “Please take this time to get strongly built up in the Lord and develop a deeper intimacy with Him, to be filled with His Spirit and get rooted in His Word, so that by His grace you can endure to the end, regardless of what may come on the road to repentance and restoration for our land. #SeektheLord”
The week after the Supreme Court ruling the Lord gave us a word that powerfully confirmed our belief that what He’s been teaching us through this most recent battle has been necessary preparation for what’s coming (both the things He’s revealed and the things we can’t yet bear to know). Here’s a quick recap of just a few of the lessons He’s taught us in this time before I share the confirming word below:
As you may remember, from the beginning He emphasized that He did not want us to PANIC; He wanted us to remember that He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of POWER, LOVE, and a SOUND MIND. And He wanted to be ourANCHOR to hold usSTEADY, STABLE, and SECUREthrough the storm (see Don’t Panic; Praise). In connection with all the words He gave about TRUSTING Him when we don’t understand what’s happening or why, He strongly emphasized that we must depend on His never-failing love regardless of what attacks we’re enduring ~ assuring us that NOTHING can separate us from His love (see Watching Over You) ~ and stressed that we can have PEACE that transcends our ability to understand ( see Perfect Peace Comes From Trusting ~ Not Understanding)! The “Watching Over You” word also stressed His protection in the midst of the battle. He’d also given us another series of words about Him being our SHIELD in response to our cries (see past SHIELD and SHEPHERD and SHIELD and ARMOR notes). (The revelation of Him as our REFUGE, SECURE FORTRESS, STRONG TOWER, HIDING PLACE, STRONGHOLD, SHELTER, SHIELD, STRENGTH, HELP, DEFENSE, SALVATION – Healer, Deliverer, Rescuer, Protector, Provider, etc. – to name a few – has also been prevalent throughout this time. Remember, we receive these benefits by faith ~ through faith we’re shielded by His power – I Peter 1:5.)
If you’ve followed previous posts, you also know that He revealed that He wanted the storm to drive our roots DEEPER into Him and that He also wanted to train us to ascend HIGHERabove the storm to the Psalm 91 secret place of the MOST HIGH. Again, this Psalm 91 secret place is the “atmosphere of UNSHAKABLE FAITH and confidence in Him and His promises and the HOPE (confident, cheerful, eager expectation of good), TRUST, JOY, and PEACE that are found in this place of BELIEVING, regardless of how circumstances appear (regardless of the storm that may still be raging below).” (see Letting the Storm send us DEEPER and HIGHER) Learning to not only fight with our Ephesians 6 weapons, but also with the weapons of Joy, Peace, Praise, Thanksgiving, Contentment, and Casting our Cares in the midst of the storm have also continued to be major themes (as shared in previous FB posts). (So many important themes for this time are encompassed in Psalm 91 and I pray all will be declaring these promises over their lives.)
He repeatedly stressed that ascending to this Psalm 91 Secret Place, is accomplished, in part, by refusing to set our minds on (focus/meditate on) the temporary, seen facts (symptoms, circumstances, “giants”, etc.) so that they will not control and dominate us. Instead we must choose to set our minds on (focus/meditate on) the unseen eternal truths of the Spirit (God’s Word, His promises, etc.), so that we can be controlled and dominated by these greater spiritual realities (which have the power to trump and transform the facts when we stay in agreement with them in faith). (Romans 8:6 Greek, II Corinthians 4:18) This was actually the recurring theme again the day before the SC ruling came out. God surrounded us with the message to NOT BE MOVED BY WHAT WE SEE, HEAR, or FEEL, but to only be moved by HIS WORD and PROMISES. We knew He was emphasizing this again for our personal battle, but couldn’t help but notice how appropriate that word was to also prepare us for the news the next day.
Lastly, before we move on to the confirming word, I want to share that immediately after the SC ruling, the Lord kept bringing a verse to my heart that He’d given us during our battle. I went to look it up, wondering if He was using it to confirm again that this battle has been “instruction”, training, preparation for what’s coming:
Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man whom You discipline and instruct, O Lord, and teach out of Your law, That You may give him power to keep himself calm in the days of adversity, until the [inevitable] pit of corruption is dug for the wicked. Psalm 94:12-13
When I read the whole Psalm I was amazed! I believe the Lord was speaking directly to what just happened in our nation! I was especially struck by verse 20, which speaks of those who try to hide, frame, and devise evil and unrighteousness in their laws, decrees, or rulings. This Psalm speaks of injustices against God’s people, but in the midst of them He promises in verse 14 that He will not cast off or forsake His inheritance. Though this Psalm prophesies God’s judgment on those who are opposed to Him (His Word and His people), again, our cry is always for His judgment to be executed on the enemies in the spiritual realm and for the people who have been deceived to come to know the Truth and be set free.
OK – so without further delay, here’s the word God gave us from Sparkling Gems the week after the SC ruling. We were in awe to see how it was packed full with confirmations of key words we’ve/He’s used to describe our situation and packed full of confirmations of how He’s been training us to respond to it.Praying Praying Praying for all!!!!!!!
In Second Thessalonians 2:2, the apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonian believers and warned them about events that would occur right before the coming of the Lord. He wanted to PREPARE THEM so these major world events wouldn’t take them off guard and throw them into a state of PANIC. Therefore, Paul told them, “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand” (2 Thessalonians 2:2).
…The word “soon” is the Greek word tachus, which means quickly, suddenly, or hastily. The word “shaken” is the Greek word saleuo, which means to shake, to waver, to totter, or to be moved. The tense used in the Greek points to events so dramatic that they could result in shock or alarm. In fact, the Greek tense strongly suggests a devastating occurrence or a sequence of devastating occurrences so dramatic that they will throw the world into a state of shock or distress.
By using the words “soon shaken,” Paul was urging his readers (and us!) to resist being easily shaken up by events that will occur just before the coming of Jesus. He was particularly careful to mention that we must not be “soon shaken in mind.” The Greek word for the “mind” is nous, which describes everything in the realm of the intellect, including one’s will, emotions, and ability to think, reason, and decide. Whoever or whatever controls a person’s mind ultimately has the power to dictate the affairs and outcome of that person’s life. Thus, if a person allows his mind to be doused with panic or fear, he is putting fear in charge of his life.Because Paul wanted his readers to remain in peace regardless of the tumultuous events that transpired around them, he urged them not to allow fear from these shocking and distressful events to penetrate their minds, will, and emotions.
Then to make certain we comprehend the magnitude of these last-day events, Paul went on to say, “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled.…” The word “troubled” is the Greek word throeo, which indicates an inward fright that results from the shocking occurrence described above. The shock resulting from these nerve-racking events could be so severe that it could cause a person to be devoured with worry, anxiety, or fear.Paul is confident these events will not be only a one-time occurrence; thus, he uses a Greek tense that points to an ongoing state of worry and inward anxiety resulting from these outward events that keep occurring again and again. It is as if he prophesies that there is no pause between these shocking, debilitating, and nerve-racking happenings.…
… I have translated and paraphrased the original Greek words, pulling the full meaning out of each word and then transferring those meanings into the interpretive translation below…:
“Some things will be happening right before His coming that could shake you up quite a bit. I’m referring to events that will be so dramatic that they could really leave your head spinning — occurrences of such a serious nature that many people will end up feeling alarmed, panicked, intimidated, and even unnerved! Naturally speaking, these events could nearly drive you over the brink emotionally, putting your nerves on edge and making you feel apprehensive and insecure about life. I wish I could tell you these incidents were going to be just a one-shot deal, but when they finally get rolling, they’re going to keep coming and coming, one after another. That’s why you have to DETERMINE NOT TO BE SHAKEN OR MOVED BY ANYTHING YOU SEE OR HEAR. You need to get a grip on your mind and refuse to allow yourselves to be traumatized by these events. If you let these things get to you, it won’t be too long until you’re a nervous wreck! So decide beforehand that you are not going to give in and allow ‘fright’ to worm its way into your mind and emotions until it runs your whole life.”
Paul strongly urges us not to allow ourselves to be shaken or moved by anything we see or hear. He tells us that we must get a grip on our minds and refuse to allow ourselves to betraumatizedby the events that occur in the world around us or to allow fear to control our whole lives. Instead of letting these things “get to us”and rob us of our JOY, PEACE, and VICTORY, we need to be DEEPLY ROOTED in the confidence of God’s promises!
If you take a look at the world around us today, it is clear that Paul’s prophecy about the last days is unfolding before our very eyes. Because of the many different situations that our generation is facing, we must take a stand against fear and determine to stay in faith! But in order for us to stay in faith, it is imperative that we KEEP OUR MINDS FOCUSED on the WORD of GOD.
Colossians 3:15 says, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts.…” Verse 16 goes on to say, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly….” When the Word of God dwells richly in our lives, it produces peace — so much supernatural peace that it actually rules our hearts! … Rather than being led by the ups and downs of the day or by what you read in the newspaper, you will be ruled by the wonderful peace of God! But to receive this benefit of God’s Word, you must let it dwell in you richly. …When you let God’s Word have this place of honor inside your heart, mind, and emotions, it releases its power to STABILIZE you and keep you in peace, even in the most difficult times.
There is no doubt that we are living in the very end of the last days. We are a chosen generation — and we will observe events that no other generation has ever seen.
If you are going to keep your heart fear-free so you can live in continual peace, you must make a firm commitment to let God’s Word rule in your heart! God’s Word will protect your mind and prohibit fear from worming its way into your emotions and turning you into an emotional mess. Is God’s Word the foundation of your life today?
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, I am so thankful that Your Word prepares us for every event that comes along in this life! I know I am living in the last days and that these challenging times require a higher level of commitment from me if I am going to live free from fear. This is such a critical moment for me to be strong, free, and secure. When I am strong, I can be a tower of strength to others who are drowning in the world around me.Help me be that source of strength and power to the people who surround me, Lord. I want to be all that I need to be in this hour.
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that God’s Word dominates my mind, my will, and my emotions! Because I have put God’s Word into my heart, I am not shaken or easily moved by the things that occur in the world around me. I know who I am; I am secure in my Father’s love; and I recognize that He destined me to live in these last days because He has a special plan for me.Regardless of what I see or hear, I take my stand on the promises of God’s Word, and it provides me with safety and security!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO ANSWER
~ If it is true that we are living in the last days just before the coming of Jesus Christ, how should this affect the manner in which you are living your life?
~ Do you spend more time reading your Bible, reading the newspaper, or watching the news? Whatever you dwell on the most is what will dominate you, so isn’t it time that you make God’s Word the primary focus of your attention?
Copyright Rick Renner, Sparkling Gems from the Greek (for entire devotional, click on link in the title of this Gem) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
God’s bringing powerful confirmations of this message. Yesterday He led us to watch a movie we’d never heard of. We were amazed when we realized He was confirming the message of the blog through it. Early In the film, we see a boy boxing with his father. It seemed EXTREME, like his father was being WAY too tough on him. The boy was tempted to become angry with his father for this perceived excessive roughness (which has been part of the test of this season). But even though any onlooker would have faulted the father’s behavior, there seemed to be a sincere purpose in his mind for what he was doing. The entire time he was coaching not only his son’s physical response, but his mental/emotional response in the midst of the fight ~ telling him to focus, not to lose control, to think (strategize), etc. Later in the movie, when the boy is in a true life-threatening situation, fighting a real enemy (something we learn his father had known in advance would likely happen), we hear the father’s voice replaying in the boy’s mind, coaching him through to victory against impossible odds where he would have otherwise been in way over his head.
At this point, I was thinking ~ …OK Lord, I think you’re speaking/confirming, don’t let us miss it. The next scene removed all doubt, when we heard the boy tell his friend, “I DIDN’T GET IT UNTIL NOW. All that time spent training, wrestling, sparring… HE WAS PREPARING ME…FOR THIS MOMENT.” We were overwhelmed by the implications of this continued confirmation that He’s saying we will (fully) understand later on that He’s allowed this extreme, seemingly excessive battle against the enemy, in order to train and prepare us for what He knows is coming!
Then, this morning, we listened to today’s Joyce broadcast, and once again knew God was confirming when we heard her say: “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” … “I’m pretty busy these days TRYING TO GET PEOPLE PREPARED FOR WHATEVER MAY BE AHEAD in our lives. I hope we have nothing but prosperous, wonderful, amazing things happen in our world until Jesus comes back – but I’m not so sure that’s going to be the case. And I want us to be PREPARED AND READY. If it stays great, amen. But if it doesn’t, I want to be just as STRONG in that hard place as I am on the pulpit – in the good places. And we’re making a mistake if we don’t ask ourselves ‘am I ready for that?’ We need to ask ourselves if we’re ready, if we need to, to go through difficulty and stay firm. …The devil is on a rampage…and I think it’s b/c he knows his time is short. …We can say I believe..and I trust God, but we don’t have a clue what we believe until our beliefs get tested. And I want to make sure that, …as a teacher in the body of Christ, that I do what God would have me do to help get you prepared to stand firm in difficult times.” Here’s part of this portion of her sermon: