Salt of the Earth

“So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord.” – Isaiah 59:19-20

When wickedness (which is always rooted in pride and selfishness) floods the land, God will combat it with a preacher of righteousness. The standard that God raises up against this swelling tide of iniquity is a standard of righteousness. You see, biblically it is only Righteousness through repentance, and agreement with and submission to the word and will of God that can stay judgment (the consequences of sin).

“And God spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;” – 2 Peter 2:5

In essence, righteousness (or being in right standing with God) is a ticket into the ark that is available to every man because of what Jesus did at Calvary. He made a way of escape from judgment by taking our sin and offering us His righteousness. Through the washing of His blood we can be cleansed and through the infilling, leading, and empowering if His Spirit we can overcome sin and walk in His righteousness, His right-standing, or out quite simply… what He says is right.

When we do this we become righteous and are protected from the judgment of the wicked, for God hath not appointed the righteous unto wrath. Therefore, when the fullness of time had come and the wrath of God was ready to be poured out upon the earth and all, like sheep, had gone astray. God sent Jesus, that through His righteousness, He might lead us to righteousness and thus sprinkle the righteous through the earth like salt, preserving the land from wrath (Until the time of the great falling away), for wrath cannot fall upon the righteous.

We see this exemplified in Abraham’s plea to God for mercy over Sodom and Gomorrah. He states that God will not destroy the righteous with the wicked. So he ask God if there be 30 righteous sin the city, will He not spare the land for the sake of the righteous that are in it? And of course God says that He would, for He will not pour His wrath upon the righteous. The enemy may bring tribulation upon the righteous but God will never send His wrath upon them. Abraham asked if there be 20, or 10, and God said that He would spare it. So in this do we see that while sin brings a curse upon a person, a people, and a land, so does righteousness bring a blessing. The sin of one will effect many around them but so will the righteousness of one preserve many around them. In this do we see why Jesus called us the “salt of the earth”, because salt preserves.

So humble yourself, repent, acknowledge your need to be in right standing, ask Jesus to cleanse you and empower you to walk in it, and remain obedient unto righteousness. Reject sin and live a life in agreement with the word and will of God. Be the salt, less you be found useless to your purpose in this earth. Preach repentance, holiness, and righteousness that you and your house might be saved and those around you might have a little more time and opportunity to do the same.

“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” – Matthew 5:13

“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” – Luke 13:3

“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” – Ephesians 4:22-24

“I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him. Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.” – Psalms 32:5-7

Just Enough

We love to pray for blessings, for abundance, for excess, but this is not really a biblical mindset. It’s a worldly one. One of the most beautiful, humble, passionate, powerful, and wise prayers in the Bible goes like this:

“Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me (just enough): Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.” – Proverbs 30:8-9

It’s pride, selfishness, and foolishness that begs for abundance. In fact James, the brother of Jesus said that many ask and do not receive what they ask because they are asking for things to consume upon themselves, their desires, and their lust. God’s mercy does not answer such prayers but I fear that sometimes the devil does. Armed with this wisdom the writer of the proverb prays to be guarded from this snare of the enemy. He does not ask for riches, attention, possessions, positions, or abundance. He ask for just enough. Just enough to keep him from the temptation to resort to thievery, dishonesty, or unbelief. Yet not so much that he might lose his dependency on God and forget Him knowing that need drives men to seek, and a seeking man will not stray from the hand that feeds.

“For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” – 1 Timothy 6:7-12

This is the lesson that God was teaching His people in the wilderness when He supplied Manna from heaven for them. He needed to lead them. He needed them to seek Him. Not to get ahead of Him. Not to stray trying to make their own way. So He supplied their need day by day. If they tried to collect more then enough for that one day, the abundance would quickly rot away. They could not move on without Him or forget about Him, because He only gave them just enough, and He did it because He loved them.

If we could grab hold of this biblical mindset. That trust, communion, and dependence on God is of greater value then the riches of Egypt; we would quickly rid ourselves and the modern church of this worldly mindset that puts more value on abundance then on relationship, selflessness, faithfulness, righteousness, and the souls of men.

“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.” – Hebrews 11:24-26

Prayer:

Lord I do not ask for more, for You alone are my greatest reward. I ask instead for just enough, that I not be distracted from the depths of Your, which always meets me at the place of my need. I pray for You to be my daily bread. That which sustains me. I pray for Your wisdom and Spirit to lead me, to rightly use that which you give me. To always pour it back out into growing Your Kingdom. Never to use it on self-building, pleasure seeking, or easy living. Never to consume it on selfish lust, but to trust You each day for just enough.

The Marriage of Holiness and Biblical Unity

“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” – Ephesians 4:1-8

There is one truth, one way, one door to access heaven, and there is one Spirit given to lead us there. Therefor to truly be part of the body of Christ, His true church, His true bride and not just a counterfeit or even an antithesis of it, we must be led by that Spirit.

“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” – Romans 8:13-14

Every revival, outpouring, releasing of God’s giftings, or mighty move of God in History came by way of two things. Holiness and unity. Knowing that Holiness literally means “separation”, this might seem impossible, but it’s not. Because what many who preach unity fail to clarify is that the Bible says that there are two kinds of unity, unity with the world which makes you the enemy of God, and unity with the Spirit which makes you the enemy of the world and will by default of it’s very nature produce Holiness (which is separation).

“And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” – 2 Corinthians 6:16-18

You simply cannot serve two masters, saltwater and fresh can’t mix, what Agreement has Christ with Baal? To unify with it makes you a spiritual adulteress who has left her first love, Jesus, to cheat on Him with the unholy spirit of this age, become a spotted unholy unexceptional bride to an antichrist spirit run church system. It’s counterfeit and God will not endorse it, He will separate Himself from it for He is Holy.

“Be ye holy; for I am holy says the Lord.” -1 Peter 1:16

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” – James 4:4

So that now we see that they are one in the same because you cannot have one without the other. It’s a marriage, for me to be in unity with my husband I have to be set apart from all others and by holy unto him. True biblical unity, unity (are marriage) with the Holy Spirit will cause you to take a stand for Him that is set apart from the world system. It will cause you to “take God’s side”, to obey His voice, to preach His truths, to be holy, and for this He will endorse you, cover you, provide for you, be with you, and empower you.

This is the biblical reality that we see played out through all of history through Noah, Moses, Joshua, Elijah, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, Jesus, Paul, and countless others who’s names are recorded in heavenly archives of glory and honor unto the day of revealing before all the saints and angels when God Himself will tell their story and commend them for it.

“For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.” – 2 Corinthians 10:18

So if you want to truly be used mightily by God, this is what it will take. Holiness (separation from the world, it’s lust, it’s lies, it’s desires, it’s pride, it’s compromise, and those who esteem it of any value), and unity with the Holy Spirit (agreement with God and submitting to His Holy Spirit even though all the world will often seem to hate you for it. Yet will God Himself endorse it). This is what brings a true God birthed Holy Spirit outpouring.

“And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain.” – 1 Kings 18:41

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” – James 5:16

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” – Acts 2:1-4

Follow Jesus, Not Men

“Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.” – John 1:35-37

John the Baptist was a great man of God. By God’s own declaration there had been no greater prophet ever born to woman then John. He preached, he baptized, he prophesied, and Andrew was one of his faithful disciples!

Yet when Jesus passed by and the time of stepping out had come. Andrew had to make a hard decision, yet he made it without flinching! This was the Lamb of God, the Messiah, the Christ, the anointed One, Jesus. John was a great man, but this was Jesus. John was a great preacher, but this was Jesus. John was a great prophet, but this was Jesus. John was a great leader, but this was Jesus. John was a great friend, but this was Jesus. Andrew made the right choice, he followed Jesus, even though he had to walk away from John to do it and John understood. John, being a true man of God concerned with building God’s kingdom rather then his own, humbly and wisely said “He must increase and I must decrease.

With that John proved to have the most successful ministry. A ministry that raised people up to follow Jesus, not a man, a ministry, a doctrine, or a program, just Jesus Himself. Real ministry is not about building a large following that forever come to you for an other bottle of milk. It’s about being the voice of one crying in the wilderness “repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.” Not the kingdom of a man. It’s about raising up men and women of Faith, pointing them to Jesus, and teaching them how to hear Him personally so that when their time of visitation comes they will hear His words, “come and follow Me” and obey joyfully!

When a young Christian is first saved they depend heavily on their leaders, preachers, disciplers, and teachers, and a good minister will invest much into them. But there comes a time when they must be willing to say, today is the day that I must decrease so that He can increase, go and follow Him, build His Kingdom.

In this moment, and in this moment only, is the minister truly a success, this is why God Himself proclaimed before all eternity, that among ministers, John was the best. Yes, sometimes you will have to walk away from great men in order to walk with Jesus because we all have a place in the Kingdom and work to do for Him. John knew his place was but a member in the body and he dared not assume himself the head to be followed, but rather a part in the process, a mere servant.

There have been many great men and women of God throughout history. Some well know and followed and some more hidden. There have also been many who made themselves known spouting things that were wrong. Jesus addressed this issue among His followers by asking them this simple question, “who do you say that I Am?” To which they began to recite other men’s interpretations of Him saying:

“Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” – Matthew 16:14

Jesus was not satisfied with who others had told them He was, so He asked again saying, “but who do you say that I Am?”. This is what Jesus is asking each one of us. He expects a personal relationship which brings us personal revelation of who He really is, not who others say that He is. In this instance all the others were wrong and the personal revelation that God placed in Peter through the experiences he had with Jesus personally revealed the truth to Him.

“And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar–jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” – Matthew 16:16-18

Jesus was not pleased with them relying on men to interpret who He was to them. He was satisfied when they drew revelation personally from the Holy Spirit for this was the reason that Jesus was given. To build a church that was not dependent on temples and priest nor the teachings of men but upon personal revelation through encountering Him. Unless we abide and commune with Him daily we will stray and fall sway to the ideas, teachings, and traditions of men when we were never called to follow men, we were called to follow Him.

“And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.” – Matthew 4:19-20

We have all followed someone at some point. Some were great men like John the Baptist who pointed us toward Jesus. Some spoke things to us that were wrong like those the disciples spoke of. Yet we will all come to a place, a fork in the road, a road to Damascus, a valley of Decision where we will encounter Jesus personally. We will experience Him in a real and personal way. His Holy Spirit will move in undeniable super natural ways to reveal how real, and present, and powerful the person of Jesus Christ really is, and in that moment we will have to make the decision to go and follow Him and His will for us. However to pick up our cross and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit will most assuredly cause us to walk away from many men in the process. You can’t walk in newness while living in the past. Count the cost, esteem Him the treasure of greatest value, and follow Jesus.

“Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?” – 1 Corinthians 1:12-13

“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,” – Philippians 3:7-8

Just Because

“Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” – Mark 10:14

Today I saw a picture of a small child hugging his dad. To which the picture said, “Happiness is when your child comes up to you and hugs you, just because.” How true this is. Such total, innocent, unassuming, agenda-less love. An absolutely safe hug! Safe to receive and safe to return! No fear of betrayal, no threat of insincerity, no preconceived notions, no shame, pride, or dishonesty. Just love. There is no safer place to receive love from and release your love too, then to your child when it comes to you, just because. What happiness it brings, what joy, what a blessing.

Remember God is a parent too, and this is a blessing that He can only receive from you. When is the last time that you went to Him simply to love on Him, just because? No petitions, no needs, no wants, no burdens. Though He does want us to take these things to Him in prayer, yet when is the last time you came to Him just to be there? Not for us, but for Him. Not to get, but to give? To love Him, to bless Him, to hug Him, just because.

We know that our kids come to us when they are hurt, or hungry, or in need and that’s just fine. But it’s those times when they come to offer back to us all that they really have to offer, their love, that safe hug that melts away every sorrow, if only for a moment and makes all the heartache in the world, worth it.

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Hebrews 12:2

Prayer:

You are so good to me Lord. I can’t thank You enough. I love You with my all and all. If all I have is You for eternity then I have all I need and ever want. I wanna make You happy. I’ll be a fool to make You smile. I’ll be rejected to see You defended. I’ll be worn to see You rewarded. I’ll be Yours, to see You honored and adored. I give You my all, Lord. My whole heart. You cherish it, You see it, You never deceive it. You are my resting place, my joy, my safety, my hope, my love, my savior, my rescuer, my redeemer, and my home. I’m only ok when I’m with You. I want You to be ok when You’re with me too. Make me someone You can trust with Your love. Make me a safe place for You to rest. Like the embrace of a toddler to it’s parent, where they can abandon all and just receive it knowing that it is pure and selfless. I want to be that for You. A safe hug, a safe place to just love. Just like that toddler, I may get tired, I may fall down, I may make mistakes or get confused but I will never not love you. No matter what happens or what I go through. I will always be Your safe hug because You have always been mine.

“We love him, because he first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19

Feed My Lambs

“For, lo, there will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces. Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.” – Zechariah 11:16-17

The modern word “pastor” comes from an Old Testament word “pasturer”. It was a type of shepherd who tended to the needs of a flock that was not his own. When a good shepherd had many sheep, he would appoint pasturers to shepherd smaller flocks of his sheep for him. Their job was to tend to their needs on the good shepherds behalf. To mend the broken, to set the captive ones free from being entangled in snares, to lead them to safe waters, to protect them from wolves, and most importantly to feed the lambs. Being young, frail, and inexperienced, lambs cannot always find their own food and fend for themselves like mature sheep can. It was the pasturers job to see to it that the lambs got fed and had a fighting chance to make it to maturity. They need special care and it’s a lot of work but a good shepherd does it because he is selfless and loves his sheep, and a good pasturer does it because he loves the sheep and the good shepherd and desires to please him.

“So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.” – John 21:15

Yet there are times when those appointed shepherds over God’s flocks loose sight of their purpose. They forget that the flock is not theirs, that the good shepherd is taking account of their selfish actions. They eat the sheep and take the fat for themselves (that which was meant for God’s glory). They drive the sheep to lands and labors that the good shepherd commanded not. Yet worse of all, they sit idly by while the lambs starve, the broken are not mended, the lost are not recovered. They work their own plan, they build their own house, they consume but they do not feed. All because they have strayed away from the good shepherd to do their own thing and taken His flock with them.

The sad truth is that the pasturer did not have to come up with food, he only had to feed what the good shepherd gave him. He only had to lead the flock where the good shepherd told him, but for lack of communion he strayed and began to do his own thing and took the good shepherd’s flock with him. Then being cut off from the good shepherds provision, the flock began to succumb to starvation. Yet the selfish pasturer cared not for the starving lambs, he pressed on doing his own thing and feeding on them. So finally the good shepherd stepped in and had to deal with him, and his dealing was quite severe. He brought the sword against him and cut off his right arm (spiritual strength) and plucked out his right eye (spiritual vision/revelation), leaving him with visibly shameful wounds. A pasturer with no strength or vision and publicly disgraced, never again able to lead, or lead astray.

So minister, the Lord is saying to you today:

Examine your heart. Your building, your plotting, your schemes. Are you feeding the lambs or are you feeding on them? If you love Me, feed My sheep. If you love yourself you will feed on them or feed them to the wolves for selfish gain. You will not come to me to obtain what you need to feed them and wisely lead them. You will weary the matured and abandon the young leaving them to starve. You will use the fatted ones until there are no more. You will lead them to polluted waters and when wolves sneak in to over take them you will not risk all to save them, because you’ve built your own kingdom and nothing is worth loosing it. But the good shepherd gives his very life for the sheep. Like little David running toward the bear and the lion to save one lamb from it’s mouth because he had My heart for the sheep, and you can only get My heart from spending time with Me.”

“For, lo, there will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces. Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.” – Zechariah 11:16-17

Unity With Egypt

“For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.” – Isaiah 30:15

The enemy was amassing against the Israelites and they were facing a full on attack. They needed only repent of their sins and unbelief and to cry out to God in faith in Him to deliver them as He had moved to prove that He could do in times past. In quietness and rest through prayer, seeking, and waiting on the Lord they would have been saved, yet they did not put their trust in Him. They did not come in prayer and faith, they began to plot and to plan instead and to put their trust in man, mammon, battle plans, and alliances.

Pride comes before a fall because pride doesn’t seek the Lord. Instead they hastily sought an Alliance with Egypt, revealing that they trusted more in Egypt’s tools, weapons, chariots, and mighty masses of men then in God, His faithfulness, power, and wisdom, and God saw it as sin. You see God counted Moses righteous because that he refused to put his trust in the riches of Egypt, esteeming faith in, and alliance with, Christ of far greater value. However, here God counted the Israelites unrighteous for doing the exact opposite; for putting their trust in the riches of Egypt and esteeming faith in, and alliance with it of far greater value then trusting in God.

“Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt! Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion.” – Isaiah 30:1-3

How sad for this people whom God had once defended. Yet now they had made an allegiance with God’s enemy. So God determined to turn them over to it and show them the consequences of such unwise and faithless decisions. God cannot defend that which is contaminated with sin, error, or Rebelion. You cannot mix the world in and expect God to endorse it or have any part of it.

God calls you friend? Be cautious then because friendship (or alliances) with the world does not make them God’s Friend because of you. It makes you God’s enemy because of them. Stand for Holiness, stand for God, because God is Holy. If it’s not Holy it’s not of God and if we are not standing with Him we are taking a stand against Him. So be warned that unity with the Holy Spirit of a Holy God will cause you separation from the unholy spirit of the world (Egypt). Or else unity with the unholy spirit of Egypt will cause a Holy God to separate Himself from you. So choose ye this day whom you will serve and love God enough to take a stand for Holiness, because as for me and my house….

“know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” – James 4:4

“Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” – 1 Peter 1:16

“(Jesus said) He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” – Matthew 12:30

“Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:14-15

“Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord! Yet he also is wise, and will bring evil, and will not call back his words: but will arise against the house of the evildoers, and against the help of them that work iniquity. Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the Lord shall stretch out his hand, both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen shall fall down, and they all shall fail together. For thus hath the Lord spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall the Lord of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hill thereof. As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it. Turn ye unto him from whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted. For in that day every man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your own hands have made unto you for a sin. Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of a mighty man; and the sword, not of a mean man, shall devour him: but he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be discomfited. And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the Lord, whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem.” – Isaiah‬ ‭31:1-9‬ ‭

Take a Stand: There’s More at Play than You’re Seeing

“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed–nego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” – Daniel 3:16-18

We’ve all heard the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. How these 3 Hebrew youths stood for God when no one else would and so God stood with them when no one else could. How they were willing to refuse to obey ungodly authorities that commanded them to disobey the will and word of God. How their faith and determination to take God’s side at all cost set the stage for God to prove Himself real to the faithless many through this faithful few and bring revival to an inter nation.

But today I want to zoom in on the mindset that led to all of this. Let’s examine for a moment what these three youths were really facing. Because when dealing with the enemy, what we see on the surface (in the physical) is only a shadow of what is really there in the spiritual.

You see the Chaldean “accusers of these brethren” on the surface were but envious, power hungry, attention seeking men. But in reality what these boys were really dealing with were demons. Paul himself parallels the Chaldeans with demons in Acts chapter 13. Looking beneath the surface is not something that many modern Christians like to do but Paul boldly called out the demonic that was driving the actions of the physical men that were rising up against him and we would be wise to do the same.

Furthermore, these three boys were not dealing merely with a king, a leader, the man Nebuchadnezzar, but with a principality. The Antichrist spirit that ruled the region through Nebuchadnezzar. You see, though wrapped up in a charismatic worship service full of great music with all manner of instruments, Nebuchadnezzar’s decree that all must worship this image or be killed is a clear character of the Antichrist spirit.

“And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” – Revelation 13:15

Yet while all this was going on, the music, the worship, the idolatry all set up by this wicked principality that everyone in the region bowed in agreement too, these three kids chose to refuse. They risked all knowing that God was able to deliver them but even if He didn’t, they would not compromise and be in agreement with this unrighteousness. Knowing that to refuse to stand against sin is to choose to agree with it, and to agree with it is to endorse it and silence convictions against it.

“If the spirit of the ruler (Principality) rise up against thee, leave not thy place (stand your ground); for yielding pacifieth (justifies) great sinners.” – Ecclesiastes 10:4

Now let’s look pass the surface on the three Hebrew boys side of what happened. What exactly were these demonic powers and Principalities fighting so hard to stop them from doing? Praying. There is nothing that the demonic fears more and thus fights more then a praying people. When you read their story one thing stands out, they were committed to prayer and fasting! They would not compromise, they would not justify the lies of the enemy, and they countered them on their knees calling on a greater authority. This is what the enemy feared, why he hated them and attacked them, but it is also why God Himself stepped in and defended them.

So determine today to start looking past the surface of the men and situations that rise up against you and start seeing the reason that the enemy is angry so you will move in wisdom and know how to defeat him. Pray without ceasing. Stand your ground. Stand for righteousness. Stand for holiness. Stand for God, and He will stand with you no matter what you go through. In the end let it be said of me that I would rather stand in the fire with Jesus, then in the palace with the Chaldeans and the self worshiping antichrist spirit king leading them.

“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him.” – Job 13:15-16

The Door

As I recently sat in Hebrew class listening to the teacher explain the characters in the Hebrew alphabet that spell the word “Adam”, the Holy Spirit began to speak to me of the perfection, simplicity, and complexity of God’s great wisdom all packaged up in this one little word. “Adam”.

You see in the original Hebrew the word “Adam” is spelled with 3 pictographs each having their own origin and meaning that contribute to the story of the whole. You see, the first means “something of great strength” it is also sometimes associated with God or that which is first. The second character represents a door. The third represents that which spreads out, like water does. So that though the sound translates to Adam, the first man, the story of the Pictographs in the name speak of Adam (and thus all mankind) having been created to be the door by which the strength of God’s Spirit would spread across the earth like a river!

It is also no coincidence I think that there are three letters with three meanings that describe the purpose of man’s being considering that we are three part beings, created in the likeness of a three part God. That is to say that God is comprised of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost and in that likeness are we comprised (according to scripture) of a spirit, a soul, and a body. Therefore just like the three letters of the name Adam in Hebrew is our soul (the mind will and emotions) the door by which God’s spirit (character/voice) is able to influence the body so that it can effect and spread out into the physical world.

But there was a problem. There was an other spirit knocking at that door as well and when Adam opened the door to that other spirit, he let sin into the world. Therefore in the same manner that he was suppose to be the door that let God’s spirit (character/fruit) spread through the earth, he instead let the devil and his character begin to be spread into the earth. We now call this “the sin nature”.

“And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door…” – Genesis 4:6-7

Yet where the first Adam failed the second Adam came to redeem and set God’s original plan back in motion. This was spoken of prophetically by Ezekiel when he saw the temple (Jesus’s body), and a river (God’s Spirit), flowing out of it’s door (the blood) into all the world.

“Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” – John 10:7-9

This is why on the day of Pentecost the fire was seen resting upon their heads. So that they would know that they had become the new temple, as the fire only fell upon the temple, and that river of God’s Spirit would now be able to flow out of them into all the world! So now we are back to where Adam was! We are all doors.

“Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.” – Psalms 24:7-8

Yet Jesus made one thing very clear about this door. As my dad always told us as kids, the door knob is on the inside, you have to choose to open it to Him. He will not force His way in. He will speak, but we have to open our hearts to Him and what He says. We have to ask Him to come in and teach us, and change us, and lead us. Because though He stands at the door and knocks, so does the enemy of our soul, even as he did for Adam. We have to choose to close the door to him and open it to the Holy Spirit of Jesus. Flesh cannot overcome spirit, Spirit overcomes flesh. We cannot defeat the sin nature by any work of our flesh, we simply were not designed to work that way. We must choose to open the door of our heart to a stronger Spirit (the Lord strong and mighty, the Holy Spirit), so that He will come in and overcome every other spirit, our soul, and our flesh that we might walk in the demonstration of His righteousness, going into all the world as a witness of the overcoming power of the blood of Jesus. Because in the end it comes down to this, He came and became our door, that we might go out and be His.

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” – Revelation 3:20-22

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” – Mark 16:15-18

Shout

Day 120

On Day 120 of our 120 Day Upper Room Prayer Campaign we lift up a shout of victory as God sends forth a word of assurance that He hath given us the city! We need only to march out in faith so He can give it to us in the sight of the enemy!

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