Mary’s Exciting News: Inheriting Kingdom Destiny!

thehublogoHELLO EVERYONE!

It is with great humility and honor that I announce to you the most recent amazing move of Papa God in my life!

You may recall in early February I shared with you about my alignment into Kingdom Family under Leanne Goff at The HUB Atlanta Church.  At that time I could sense God’s hand and strategy in aligning me for destiny but I had no idea what was about to happen next.

THE EXCITING NEWS!

Long story short (and there is SO much to this amazing story!)… I am now witnessing years of divine strategic preparation and over a decade of prophetic words culminate as this divine alignment has made a way for me to receive Kingdom inheritance in my life… I am now becoming the Senior Leader of The HUB Atlanta Church. From a complete state of rest I have watched Papa God reveal his plan for Leanne Goff (Founder & Senior Leader of the HUB), for myself and for my continued assignment in this city.

After several months of divine alignment, prayerful consideration and due diligence, Leanne Goff has received her own Kingdom inheritance and as of August will relocate to be the Senior Pastor of Family of Faith Community Church in Newark, OH. Leanne and I have become family so that connection will never change, and she will remain the apostolic covering over The HUB Atlanta and myself. I will miss her dearly but know that obedience to the will of God is the best and most exciting thing for all of us!

RELOCATING THE HUB TO “THE HUB”

As part of the Kingdom strategy that has been in my heart and prophesied, The HUB Atlanta will be relocating from the Atlanta suburb of Suwanee, GA to “the hub” of Atlanta… downtown… where we will bring Heaven to earth and intentionally impact our community outside the four walls. Our exact home-base of operations is still being determined, but our website and facebook will continually be updated with the latest information. STAY TUNED!

The mandate of the HUB will remain the same… we will continue to be A FAMILY TRANSFORMING NATIONS… and we will begin with our own nation in downtown Atlanta. Finding our identity as sons and daughters and walking in destiny will remain at the heart of who we are in the Kingdom. Our goal is to see that true identity is revealed to all and that everyone we meet is released into their designed destiny.

EXPERIENCING THE GLORY REALM

Along with the timing of our transition, this weekend The HUB Atlanta and Glory City Church are hosting a conference called EXPERIENCING THE GLORY REALM with Leif Hetland and Jason Upton. For a limited time registration is $60 and its BUY ONE BRING ONE FREE! If you can only make Friday night you can pay $25 p/p. If you can only make Saturday, you can pay $35 p/p. Register now! Sessions include Friday evening at 7pm (July 25) and Saturday (July 26) at 9am, 2pm and 7pm. The HUB Atlanta Church will not meet on Sunday this weekend in lieu of the conference.

ETGR

A PARADIGM SHIFT

I stand in awe of Papa God as he continues to unfold my destiny before my eyes without even a hint of my instigating or striving. Just six months ago I strived to be a “might woman of God” and work toward obtaining my inheritance to reach the world for Christ. But today my entire paradigm has shifted due to my alignment with Leanne Goff… I am now a “little girl with a BIG Dad” who has learned that from a state of REST I can sit back and RECEIVE my inheritance instead of working toward it.

As Kris Vallotton preached a while back… destiny is indeed birthed through alignment in Kingdom family. Papa God has an inheritance for His sons and daughters and we can learn to lean back into Him and receive what is rightfully ours in the Kingdom. May you seek His heart as to where His perfect alignment is for YOU!

Love and Peace,

Mary

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Navigating Storms: Approaching the Thick Darkness Where God Is…

FURIOUS STORMS

If you watch the video above, I think you’ll agree that we all have days or seasons in life where we feel like this ship. I’m in one of those seasons right now… it’s one of those times where I am completely aware of the sovereignty of God and my utter inability to do anything. Just like this ship, I am completely dependent on Him to carry me safely through the storm.

In recent days, I have been trying to be like Jesus and “rest” during the storm. However, the temptation is to act more like the disciples than Jesus:

Matt 8:23-27  Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”  He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.  The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

Such is the life when you’re following Jesus. Why is there such a misconception in the church and world today that if you follow Jesus everything will be smooth sailing? Au Contraire! In fact, just like with the disciples…Jesus Himself will lead us to the boat, and WITHOUT WARNING, ferocious storms can come up on us in the blink of an eye. In fact, obedience to God will often defy logic and reasoning by the world’s standards and it can feel like a whirlwind is upon you as a result!

So the question is: What are you going to do when the dark clouds come? Are you going to run away from them, hide under the covers or allow deep depression to overtake you? Or will you recognize that God is in them, divinely working out your destiny?

IT IS IN THE GREATEST DARKNESS THAT THE LIGHT SHINES THE BRIGHTEST

The greatest moves of God always seem to be birthed from great seasons of darkness. Take Genesis 1 for example: it was out of great darkness that God brought LIGHT and LIFE to the earth. And in was in a great season of darkness that Jesus was crucified, yet it resulted in LIGHT and LIFE for us today. Just because a season is dark, doesn’t mean God isn’t right in the middle of it.

There is another reference to the darkness that confirms to us that God is indeed in the midst:

Ex 20:18-21  When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.” Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.” The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.  

Today I am choosing to be like Moses and approach the thick darkness where God is… smack dab in the middle of my storm. I am going to trust and rely on my God who can calm the winds and the waves at His command. I am trusting and submitting to the inward work that He is doing in me to prepare me for what the future holds. I am confident that the storms I see around me are for my good and His Glory. I am trusting for Him to divinely show me every step, and I will obey no matter now unreasonable it appears!

I thank God for the Perfect Storm and rejoice with gratitude in the midst of it all! SHOW ME YOUR GLORY, LORD!

WILL THE STORMS EVER END?

Finally, I want to leave you with a reminder about what to expect after this storm passes and the flood waters recede in your situation:

Gen 8:1-4 But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded. Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky. The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down, and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.

I looked up what ARARAT represents, since this is where the ark came to rest. It means:

ARARAT: Holy Ground;  a mountainous, volcanic region in Armenia; this elevated plateau of Armenia is eminently suited to have been the center from which the human race spread in all directions. Notwithstanding its high elevation the region is fertile, furnishing abundant pasture, and producing good crops … Some people believe that Noah’s ark still rests on Mount Ararat, and occasional expeditions have been launched to find it. However, shifting glaciers, avalanches, hidden crevices, and sudden storms make the mountain so difficult to climb that it is referred to by the native inhabitants of that region as “the Painful Mountain.” (from International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, Electronic Database Copyright (c)1996 by Biblesoft and from Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright (c)1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

This is our reminder that “crossing over” into destiny and the fulfilling of God’s promises in our lives brings new levels of responsibility and surrender. While it is an exciting, joyous time of leaving that stormy season, we will also be stretched to new levels and be called to endure even more treacherous terrain for the sake of His glory. This is a place of ELEVATION the Lord brings us to, from which we spread out in all directions to share the gospel through the testimony of our endurance and obedience. We will never escape the storms. We just learn to navigate through them in peace and trust, knowing that God is in them and is using them to take us to new levels for our good and His great glory.

Here are two songs that have ministered to me in seasons of storms and I pray they will minister to you too.

Many Blessings!

And Now, Compelled By The Spirit, I Am Going To… ???

Region of MacedoniaSince having the vision of the flag that was for the former Yugoslavia, I continue to seek the Lord and do research. More than ever He keeps “randomly” crossing my path with things that connect to that area, including SERBIA, MACEDONIA and neighboring BULGARIA. (SURPRISE, SURPRISE!)

Along the way, I came to realize that MACEDONIA was one of the republics that made up the former Yugoslavia. MACEDONIA is indeed a country today, but it is also the name of a region that includes parts of Macedonia (the country), Greece, Bulgaria, Albania and Serbia/Kosovo. This includes the biblical cities of PHILIPPI and THESSALONIKI. As I did a scripture search for MACEDONIA, I found that the first mention of it is in Acts 16. And it reads as follows:

Acts 16:6-13
Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them. Therefore, sailing from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and the next day came to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is the foremost city of that part of Macedonia, a colony. And we were staying in that city for some days.

I was very drawn to the fact that God stopped Paul from ministering in Asia (modern day Turkey), and through a vision he redirected him to MACEDONIA. Paul immediately obeyed. They ministered in many cities in the MACEDONIA region and left quite the turbulence IN THEIR WAKE. So much so in fact, that they were turned in to the magistrates of Philippi with the charge that: “These men, being Jews, exceedingly trouble our city.” LOL As a result, Paul and Silas were put in jail.

But SUDDENLY while they were praising God from their cell, there was an earthquake and the foundations of the prison were shaken and everyone’s chains were loosed. The prison guard and his entire household came to know Christ as a result! (Acts 16:25-34) This goes to show that we can’t underestimate God in any situation. Even things that look bad can be a set-up for God’s supernatural glory to manifest in the midst!

Acts 18 & 19 also reference MACEDONIA, referring to the coming and goings of Silas, Timothy and Earstus, while Paul continued through many cities of the MACEDONIAN region, cities in Greece and eventually goes back and visits several cities in Asia (modern day Turkey.) He suffers much persecution during these travels and often leaves a city because he is being chased out for causing such an uproar about Jesus…. but he’s leaving Jesus IN HIS WAKE!

Then in Acts 20 Paul yet again travels through MACEDONIA where he gathers many with him on his way back to minister in various cities in Asia (in modern day Turkey).

The fact that my study of MACEDONIA led me to Acts 20 is no mere coincidence.

In 2000, after only being saved one year, the Lord led me to this chapter and it spoke to me like no other Scripture has to date. The verses that resonated so deeply in me that day (and since) were verses 22-24 which I will get to in a minute.

But first…

A few years back God led me to Acts 20:7-12 to encourage me. It speaks of Paul while he was in Troas (a region in modern day Turkey). The Lord saw fit to specifically mention that:

  1. Paul spoke until midnight
  2. A man, sitting by a window, fell asleep while Paul was speaking and fell out the third story window and died. (Paul/God raised him from the dead)
  3. Then they went back upstairs and Paul talked until daybreak! (some translations say he talked on and on… LOL!)

Now, being a woman of many words (haha!) and with three strong spiritual gifts that ALL center on speaking (prophecy, encouragement and teaching)… you know the enemy has tried to shut my voice down over the years. I have heard more comments in my life about how much I talk and it easily could have shut me down. Now it is true that all gifts need to be tempered, and there is balance in everything, but IT SURE ENCOURAGED ME TO SEE PAUL DESCRIBED IN THIS FASHION! ♥

And with experiencing miracles, signs and wonders since my trip to Brazil, now the fact that Paul raised the guy from the dead jumps out at me like it didn’t before! That was one of those things I never believed I would really ever see. But now if I was in a situation like that, I HAVE FAITH TO PRAY FOR SOMEONE TO BE RAISED FROM THE DEAD! Even more of Acts 20 takes shape in my life personally! Wow! Talk about leaving something IN YOUR WAKE… a dead man raised to life! WOOHOO!

Now back to Acts 20:22-24 that I mentioned has impacted my life so greatly. Those verses refer to Paul when he was in Miletus getting ready to head to Jerusalem (and he states in Acts 20:25 that he will see them no more, for he knew in His Spirit the end was near and per Acts 21:13 he was ready & willing to be bound and die for the name of Jesus in Jerusalem):

Acts 20:22-24
 “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me — the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”

When God led me to this Scripture in 2000, I knew it would be the story of my life. I’m not saying I’m necessarily going to be imprisoned for the Gospel, but I recognize it certainly is possible. Other translations of this say “chains and tribulations await me” or “bonds and affliction await me”. What it tells me for certain is that it won’t be a glamorous journey.

But I set my heart like flint the day I read it that “I CONSIDER MY LIFE WORTH NOTHING TO ME.” Or as another translation says “NONE OF THESE THINGS MOVE ME, NOR DO I COUNT MY LIFE DEAR TO MYSELF.” I truly want nothing more than “to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”

So as God would have it, in my research of MACEDONIA (as a result of the vision of the flag), I was led right back to where God had spoken to me 13 years ago. And I recognize how these years have been used as preparation for me to begin the journey. I believe with everything in me that this journey began in December with my trip to Brazil, and from this point forward there will be more trips, and more trips and more trips, until all I do is travel to preach the gospel. I know God will do this. And I will simply obey as Paul did, going where He tells me to go, and avoid where He tells me to avoid.

One of many things I’ve learned in 13 years is that I no longer desire a well known ministry like I used to. I realize that being accessible for invitations to speak can be very effective and used by God to reach those He intends for me to reach. And speaking to larger audiences can also be effective and accomplish the will of God. So I will likely always have a website and way of contacting me so I can prayerfully seek the Lord’s guidance. But in all reality, my heart’s desire is to just travel like Paul did… unannounced… and preach to whosoever I come in contact with… in the streets, on planes, trains, or ships, and hidden in houses on the third floor where the local authorities are unaware.

What is most important whether traveling the globe or traveling across your local town in your day to day life, is what you leave IN YOUR WAKE. This is why www.inyourwake.net was formed ~ to spread the word and make people conscious about what they are leaving in their wake. Often we are afraid of causing “turbulence”… afraid we might get fired… afraid we might be asked to leave… WELL, PAUL LEFT TURBULENCE EVERYWHERE HE WENT! He was jailed, flogged, and kicked out of many places. But He was obedient to God. Are all called to this level of sacrifice? Probably not. HOWEVER, that doesn’t limit our responsibility to SEEK GOD at ALL TIMES and be ready to OBEY His lead REGARDLESS of the consequences.

I know I am called to the nations. Brazil was my first taste of traveling internationally for the gospel, and I can barely think of anything else since.  And now, in my research of MACEDONIA, I found a trip with Georgian & Winnie Banov of Global Celebration to the region of MACEDONIA, primarily GREECE, BULGARIA and TURKEY, traveling every few nights to a different city doing gospel outreaches which includes praying for the sick, feeding the hungry and bringing the tangible love of Christ and His saving power to the lost and seemingly forgotten gypsy communities of the region. WOW! I hope to go on a trip like this soon! Here is a sample itinerary:  (http://www.globalcelebration.com/Footsteps-of-Paul-2013) I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will go on a trip similar to this at some point in time. He is faithful and when it’s time, He will provide. There are certain things you feel like FIRE burning inside of you when you see them, and this is one of them.

Thank you for taking the time to hear my heart and I ask if you would please keep my future in your prayers. I know I am called to the take the gospel to the nations, and like Paul “I know not what will happen to me there.” (Acts 20:22) But I trust God to lead me every step of the way…. “if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me — the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” (Acts 20:24)

Many blessings to you!

Mary

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED IN LAKELAND? Todd Bentley Interviewed on GOD TV

TOdd BentleyFor the first time since the Lakeland Revival ended in August 2008, GOD TV founders Rory and Wendy Alec interviewed Todd Bentley of Fresh Fire Ministries and asked the hard questions we all want to know… WHAT REALLY HAPPENED IN LAKELAND?

LIVE from their Jerusalem studios, Rory Alec indicates this interview has seemed long overdue, yet it is right on-time according to God’s timetable. Many, including GOD TV (especially Wendy), took much persecution for their association with Todd Bentley when the public became aware of Todd’s marriage problems, subsequent divorce and finally, his remarriage to his new wife Jessa.

Todd Bentley is asked many direct questions during this interview that many have no doubt been curious to hear answered. “Did you actually commit adultery?” “Were you having a physical relationship while you were married?” But by and large the overall question was “What happened?”

Admitting and agreeing with Wendy that the first three months of the revival (later called the Lakeland Outpouring) were pure and without sin, Bentley admits that while it wasn’t yet public knowledge, he had separated from his wife in early July 2008. The healings and miracles that happened in Lakeland were real and all God. Bentley points out that God’s miracles continued in spite of his sin because the revival was about Jesus, not about Todd Bentley. But Todd knew that he was in error and needed to step down. At that point, other evangelists began to preach the services instead of Todd as Todd got much needed rest, but also made the decision to finally go public with what was happening in his marriage. Bentley shares openly and transparently about his personal struggles and state of mind during this time.

Bentley then shares about the offer from Rick Joyner and Bill Johnson to oversee his restoration and how he saw the heart of the Father in these two men of God when so many others had turned away from him.

Many wonder about Todd’s former wife Shonnah and where she stands on all of this today. Included in the interview was a phone conversation with her family pastor Brent Borthwick (http://windword.ca/leadership/) who gave a statement on her behalf. He stated that she has forgiven Todd and gives her blessing on his continued ministry and calling of God on his life.

Also included was a phone interview with Rick Joyner regarding Todd’s healing and his response to restoration. He said he believes Todd completely submitted himself to correction and restoration and as a result has a stronger foundation today than many.

During the show, Todd refers to having marriage problems prior to the Lakeland Revival and speaks of the attempts that were made to bring healing. He talks about Bill Johnson’s support in helping to mend his marriage. Confident the marriage had been restored to a level that would endure, Todd began to travel again in ministry with great anointing. Here is a link to a letter from Bill Johnson sent to Rick Joyner in 2011 which confirms this: http://www.morningstarministries.org/resources/special-bulletins/2011/update-todd-bentley-note-bill-johnson#.UPxJ2Gf8iSo

As Christians we have no problem forgiving a sinner when they come to Christ. But can you forgive them more than once? What about after they become a Christian and mess up? What about after they become a leader and mess up? Are we able to see a true heart of repentance in someone and forgive them again? And again, if necessary?

Where does your heart stand when it comes to forgiving a Christian (leader or non-leader) when they mess up? In reality, are any of us above being deceived by the evil one and making mistakes?

The answer to this and any questions we have goes back to the coined phrase: “What would Jesus do?” Whatever Jesus would do, should be what we do also.

God forgave Peter after he denied him three times. God forgave David after he committed adultery with Bathsheba, had her husband killed and married her. God even allowed David to remain King after his true repentance and then allowed David and Bathsheba’s son Solomon to become King.

Matthew 18:21-22 “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

This interview on GOD TV was an incredible, pure display of the Father’s heart of forgiveness and restoration. Through tears, Bentley admitted his sin, repented before the public, and asked their forgiveness. Additionally, Wendy Alec publicly forgave Todd Bentley for the persecution she and GOD TV received as a result of Todd’s sin. And following Jesus’ instructions in Matthew 5:44, Wendy also publicly forgave and blessed her enemies who had persecuted her and GOD TV, as well as asked their forgiveness for GOD TV’s role in any wounding they may have experienced.

Matthew 5:44a “But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.”

If you missed the broadcast, GOD TV likely will be re-airing it and possibly posting it in their ON DEMAND viewings. It is definitely a must-watch broadcast for anyone, especially those affected by the consequences of Todd Bentley’s choices. This broadcast offers a much needed platform for healing and closure. The Lord surely is faithful as we see how His grace is truly sufficient and His power really can be made perfect in our weaknesses.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

This post is not intended to elevate Todd Bentley, it is  promoting the UNDENIABLE message of grace and forgiveness through this interview I saw today. Even if Todd Bentley turns out to be a fraud in the future, or he falls into sin again, I stand by what I posted here today and what I witnessed on this broadcast. It was genuine. People are not perfect, can fall prey to the enemy and can make many mistakes. But the key is TRUE repentance. We must pray for Todd that the enemy’s traps do not ensnare him again.

NOTE: Comments were once welcomed and people were entitled to agree or disagree with this post. However, I would not approve negative comments that did not carry a spirit of love. I read them, but did not publish them on my blog. Sadly, I got tired of reading the ugly, hateful, critical, bashing comments that many who profess Christianity were posting. So I closed the comments.

NOTE 2: This is being added on October 30, 2013. Since this particular blog post continues to get hundreds of views per week, I wanted to add another layer of conversation about Todd Bentley, his restoration and his return to ministry. Here is Rick Joyner talking about it on PROPHETIC PERSPECTIVES:  http://www.morningstartv.com/prophetic-perspective-current-events/messengers-power.

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WHEN PERSECUTION COMES… KEEP CALM, RISE UP and TAKE OVER THE GAME!!!!!

Keep calm and rise upThe theme that God is speaking to me about (through personal revelation, conference speakers and random things I’m reading or listening to at this appointed time) is:

John 15:20-16:4 (partial below)
15:20 Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me…. 

16:1 “All this I have told you so that you will not go astray. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4 I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you.

All of the war in our world is a HOLY war… it is evil against God and God’s people… the entire attempt is to discredit and destroy the Church. The church in America has been spared from severe persecution compared to almost all other countries in the world. But in 2013 persecution will increase for the church in America and the rubber will hit the road… testing our endurance. How will we respond? Persecution will come through terroristic activity but also through others who are family, friends, church leaders and fellow believers. A deception will come that will bring betrayal, division and a sifting in the Body of Christ.

BUT REJOICE! WE HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR if we have the Lord! Even death cannot have us! We must prepare our hearts to stay focused on CHRIST, not take things personally, but recognize the greater attempts of the enemy to destroy the Christian Church. STAND STRONG, STAY PRAYED UP, STAY IN THE SECRET PLACE so you don’t become cynical, offended and derailed. It’s time for the church to RISE UP! If we can send out a cry for a football team, then we should even more so send out the cry to the Church… RISE UP!!!! Don’t retreat when times get tough… RISE UP! Like Paul Keith David said this weekend at the MorningStar New Year’s Eve Conference: We must live FROM A POSITION OF VICTORY at all times, no matter what the circumstances around you!

WHEN PERSECUTION COMES…

KEEP CALM, RISE UP…

and TAKE OVER THE GAME!!!!!

Imperfect People Loving a Perfect God

Lately I’ve been in a very humbling season and it is drawing me ever closer to my great Lord and King… this is a most incredible season of my life! I am so full of joy at seeing the work of God’s hand as he tenderly and strategically uses his scalpel to dissect my soul and align my life to His perfect pleasing. I gladly lay myself at His altar daily while He perfects the things that concern me.

As we journey though life desiring only to please God, we must learn to discern between His will, the enemy’s temptation, and our own desires. While being in His will is our ultimate desire, other desires (which are not necessarily bad things) can become so strong that they drive our decisions and steal our focus. And if we’re not careful we can find ourselves out of the will of God. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve fallen into some type of sinful behavior, but it means that somehow you’ve become distracted by something other than what God desires you to be focused on.

Sometimes this happens because we get caught up in our emotions and are led by our flesh (mind, will, emotions, physical desires) rather than our Spirit. We all have areas of our life that are more susceptible to this misleading. For each of us, those areas are likely different. Often it’s the areas of life where you perceive you are lacking in some way. There may be promises from God that have not yet been fulfilled and the eagerness to see them come to pass can cause us to fall into this deception. The trap is that our mind will use reasoning and logic to justify our emotional decisions, therefore believing them to be the will of God. Just think of Abram and Sarai when they decided to create Ishmael. In this case they justified an immoral act in an attempt to see the promises of God come to pass. But it is also possible for us to create our own Ishmael even if our decision is not immoral. Anything that takes time and energy away from God’s desired focus for you is a problem.

The way to avoid falling into this trap is to take ample time to fast and pray before making these decisions. The enemy wants nothing more than for you to be out of alignment with God’s will. God is faithful and He will show you His will and desire for you. If His desire is different from yours, you must be willing to surrender it to Him… trusting and knowing that your Father in Heaven knows best. His ways are higher than your ways and He sees the end from the beginning, so in Him you can trust.

If you’ve already fallen into the “trap” and find yourself regretting a decision, it’s never too late to repent. Your loving Father understands your weaknesses and desires you to grow and learn from your experiences. Ask forgiveness and then forgive yourself. Whatever consequences you have in the natural as a result of your decision are not too big for God to get you through. It is better to get back on the right path than continue on the wrong one.

Another important way to learn from your experience is to think back to the details of how it unfolded. You will likely see some red flags or recall some checks in your Spirit that may have been God’s warning that you were heading in the wrong direction. But your overwhelming desire to see that promise come to pass may have overridden those warnings and justified your cause. These lessons are invaluable for us. They teach us the power of our own desires, the power of logic and reason, but they also teach us about the faithfulness of God. Not one child of God is above being misled by the flesh or the enemy. We have a tendency to think we should know better, but that is nothing short of pride. No one ever “arrives”.

Now… don’t “pick yourself up by your bootstraps” and purpose that you’ll never do that again, but humbly lay yourself down on the altar and say “apart from you Lord, I am sure to fail again… help me to stay in a state of complete surrender so I remain in your perfect will and hear your voice in all decisions I make going forward.” And above all… patiently wait on God and remain in an attitude of praise and thanksgiving in all circumstances. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

James 1:12-17

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. NIV    

2 Cor 12:9-10

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. NIV

Ps 138:8

The Lord will fulfill [his purpose] for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever — do not abandon the works of your hands. NIV

1 Thess 5:16-24

Be joyful always; pray continually;give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it. NIV

Ps 100:4-5

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. NIV

God’s Definition of Victory

ALIGNMENT:
Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. It’s about God’s greater plan, not our comfort or convenience. Past disobedience can leave a nation’s enemies in their midst that must be conquered once and for all. Sometimes the process of eradicating them is risky and costly. But GOD’s promise prevails in the end as He is faithful to deliver His people.

Josh 11:19-23
19 Except for the Hivites living in Gibeon, not one city made a treaty of peace with the Israelites, who took them all in battle. 20 For it was the Lord himself who hardened their hearts to wage war against Israel, so that he might destroy them totally, exterminating them without mercy, as the Lord had commanded Moses. 21 At that time Joshua went and destroyed the Anakites from the hill country: from Hebron, Debir and Anab, from all the hill country of Judah, and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua totally destroyed them and their towns. 22 No Anakites were left in Israelite territory; only in Gaza, Gath and Ashdod did any survive. 23 So Joshua took the entire land, just as the Lord had directed Moses, and he gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal divisions. Then the land had rest from war. NIV

We as Christians must “man-up” in the face of uncertain times. We must walk in our Kingdom authority and truly trust in the promises of God. It’s time for the church-at-large to stop letting the enemy oppress them and RISE UP AND CONQUER!!!! No more cowering in the corners of defeat or hiding under the covers of despair. When everything around you seems to be failing or crumbling, God’s promises will STAND! Put your hope in no one, no thing, no circumstance, but in God alone.

God’s ultimate plan is to draw people to Himself. For those of us who are ready for Christ’s return, we must be willing to endure difficult times if that’s what it takes for more people to bow their knee to Jesus Christ. We can’t measure “victory” by how much money we have in the bank, how many vehicles we own, or whether or not our preferred candidate wins an election. In a Kingdom mentality, victory equals SOULS.

If only we could be like Paul when he said in Rom 9:1-4: “I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, the people of Israel.”