The Journey

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The journey may seem long and very difficult. It feels like endless days of wondering when the end will come, how it will unfold and where God is in the process. We feel His gentle hand on our shoulder in the dead of night when morning seems miles away. We know He's working when a friend calls to say, "You've been on my mind. I'm praying for you." We even see little miraculous moments that only God could have orchestrated...and yet we wait, with no conclusion, no wrap up in sight and no evidence of a "suddenly" happening to us. It is the most agonizing trial of our lives to wait on a promise of God and not see with our eyes what God is creating underneath what is visible. It is a time when we must find strength outside of ourselves to simply wait...and trust...and hope...and know that there is a God who laughs at the schemes of the wicked...for He knows their day is coming. There is a God who has no lack of power, ingenuity or resourcefulness to orchestrate your pledged victory. It is on its way. The only thing between you and God's total vindication in your life is time. Align yourself quickly with His will. Wait with courage...wait with anticipation...wait with hope. Your God commands your strength Ps. 68:28 There is no glory in giving up; no acceptable way to view your self-initiated defeat. God is not a man that He would lie...stand and wait with brave resolution for God's destined timing. He is not late. You, need not be early. Habakkuk 2:3 (NKJV) "For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry."

Praise Brings Victory

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What we might miss when we are in the raging inferno of our trial is how intimately and intricately God is directing the storm on our behalf. We cannot see how He is moving the pieces. After I recently saw God decimate the enemy on my behalf, I have read Psalm 71 as if it were written with me in mind. Since David did not know me, he was clearly writing of God's eternal truth to all of us....His loyalty to the righteous and His judgment on those who do evil. It may take a while for the walls of your Jericho to come down, but they are comin' down! Psalm 71 begins with a powerful prayer for God to intervene when there is a serious and desperate need for justice and deliverance. It then shows David's position and his refusal to stop praising God when things don't look good and ultimately, how God destroys his enemies... for good! Never to be seen again! Your victory is closer than you know. If the enemy can distract you with fear and anxiety you may miss the joy of watching it all unfold like a perfectly executed strategy of war against your foes. Here is a shortened version of Psalm 71... God's gonna show up with a vengeance!! "... For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb... For my enemies speak against me; those who wait to kill me conspire together...Do not be far from me, my God: come quickly, God, to help me. May my accusers perish in shame; may those who want to harm me be covered with scorn and disgrace...Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once more... My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you— I whom you have delivered. My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long, for those who wanted to harm me have been put to shame and confusion." Selah...pause and reflect on what God is about to do for you...

The Battle

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You may be dealing with a long-standing attack on your life and have come to realize that there is no way for you to get out of this on your own. The battle has been so intense for so long that you have almost accepted ... it may never end. You've prayed every prayer of deliverance, you've called out for mercy and justice to Almighty God and in the absence of visible intervention have reconciled that perhaps He simply does not see you. The one thing you do know is that this assault is a direct hit from the enemy who hates you and has been unrelenting in his battering. There was a woman "whom Satan had bound" (Luke 13:16) who had sustained eighteen years of attack. Eighteen years of infirmity which bent her soul, spirit and body toward the dust of the ground. Eighteen long years of wishing, hoping and praying that something, some miracle ... someone would help her, would heal her ... would see her and do something about it! Take the Old Testament story of Hagar, who declared in her crisis in Genesis 16:13 "...'You are the God who sees me', for she said, 'I have now seen the One who sees me.'" There is something powerful about finally SEEING the One Who sees you. Job was at the end of his desperate trial when he declared in Job 42:5 “My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you.” The woman in Luke 13 finally saw Jesus, the Son of God. It says in verse 12, “But when Jesus saw her …” God had known this woman’s plight since her conception, yet on this day ~~ HER eyes now saw the One who had always seen her. “He called her to Him and said to her, ‘Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.’” Eighteen years of pain and assault ~~ gone in a moment of time. If you are walking through an unrelenting furnace of affliction, set your heart, soul and eyes on seeing Jesus. Your suddenly is coming! When you see the vindication, healing, restoration and resurrection He has had specifically planned for you all along, your eyes will truly to opened to seeing Who He is. All loving, all compassionate, all-powerful, God of justice and truth. He is Who you must see… for that will set you free.

True Freedom

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True freedom in life means understanding that you do not need to worry or fear what lays ahead of you. Complete surrender is a beautiful place. It is finally laying down all the control, the anxiety, the expectations of your own desires and ambitions. It is a a place of peace and trust in the One Who will order your steps in perfect synchronization (regardless of what your situation looks like today). He is God. He is the Master Architect. He is fully in control of even that which seems chaotic. He is not random; He is an exact, precise administrator of justice, beauty and victory. Our hope is in the name of the Lord. Whatever it looks like today, lay it down and give Him the room to do what He does best...bringing every thing to order and an avalanche of triumph in its time. Jeremiah 10:23 (NLT) "I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course."

Your GPS

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I was driving to dinner tonight in the fog. After going for blocks on end in a part of town I'm unfamiliar with, without being able to see or recognize anything, I actually had no idea where I was. The fog was so thick I had a quick sense of panic till I realized my GPS was right in front of me and it new my exact position. I was so used to it sitting there and not paying much attention to it that I had not relied on it at all ... when I needed it most. In contrast to the hazy mist all around me the GPS was crystal clear...I had never noticed how sharp and precise the picture on my dashboard looked until I really had to depend on it when I could not even make out a visible sign post. I thought about how life is like this too. We go through a season where we can't see where we are headed. Nothing is familiar and we feel lost. A thick fog has set in and we know we are headed somewhere, but who knows how we will get there. We are out of our comfort zone, on unknown paths, with no ability to sense, with our own skills where we should go next...until we look to our GPS ~~ God's Positioning System. It knows exactly where we are and where we are going at all times. It measures the exact distance to your destination and has a set time for arrival. It isn't thrown off by a hurricane, typhoon or tsunami, it knows how to avoid a dead end. It speaks to us in a gentle voice when it's time to change directions. It never gets angry when we go left, when it should have been a right. It just reconfigures a new way. The circumstances have no bearing on its ability to guide us. When we cannot see ahead, it has already calculated the distance down to the inch. It is precise, fearless, faultless and trustworthy. If you're in a fog...look at your GPS.

Trials

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Our trials are like the furnace faced by Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the book of Daniel. We feel trapped by the circumstance. We can't see a way out and pray that we will not have to endure the fire. We declare in faith that our God is able to save us, and yet we know He may not. We yield to His sovereign will even as we pray for a miracle, which seems like a long shot. Will He save us? We hope the crisis is averted, but suddenly we are being dragged by the enemy, towards the hot, fiery pit without any recourse. There's nothing we can do to stop the calamity. An agony we didn't know we could feel... overtakes us. Where is God we wonder? It's so brutal even the soldiers who carry out the damning orders… die of heat exhaustion. Everything in the wake of this disaster is lost. Barely knowing how we got here, we are engulfed in a blaze at a temperature that melts iron. Our prayers are so desperate we don’t recognize our own voice. “Father, will you save us or will we be destroyed?” The flames consume everything in their path…everything...but us ... A strange and astonishing awareness begins to unfold. There is someone else in the fire. His arms are strong and His face bears the comfort of One Who knows, all is well. Have you ever danced in the fire and did you ever imagine you could? Count it all joy. Who knew that there is an intimacy with Jesus that is only experienced in the inferno of affliction? Does He preserve His closest, most cherished encounters for those whom He trusts to endure the scorching flames? Suddenly, there is a courage that grips our soul; a hope in the dream that we had previously had no evidence of seeing actualize. “We may survive this nightmare”, we ruminate. As quickly as it all began, we are escorted from the fire in a march of commemoration to the God Who never forsook us though we worried He would. It is finished. He is the God Who is seen most closely by those who have lost all security in earthly treasures. When Jesus is all of you've got, He is all you need. The fire ends and we remain. Daniel 3:27 (AMP) "And the satraps, the deputies, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered around together and saw these men—that the fire had no power upon their bodies, nor was the hair of their head singed; neither were their garments scorched or changed in color or condition, nor had even the smell of smoke clung to them." When our trial is over, there will be no evidence of the anguish; no sign or scar of the pain and no smell of the smoke. When this is over, your victory will be astounding and used to the glory of God alone. Trust Him.

Power

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Are you up against a formidable enemy that is terrifying your life?  There’s an amazing story in 2 Kings 6.  If we could see the power that surrounds us in the invisible world, we would not be afraid of the onslaught of disastrous circumstances that seem to be rising against us.  When the servant of Elisha woke up one day to see the enemy had surrounded their city for the specific reason of killing them, he was terrified.  Your situation may terrify you.  It may appear you are outnumbered.  There is no visible way of escape and it looks hopeless.  The man of God, Elisha, had weathered many storms of life.  He was not a novice in the things of the supernatural.  He knew the power of God.  He had already seen the incredible manifestation of the vengeance of God on behalf of His children…over and over again.  There is no indication that Elisha saw with his natural eyes what he next gifted his servant with.  Elisha said, “Fear not, for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.” The servant could not comprehend what Elisha was talking about.  Clearly they were about to be consumed by the enemy…clearly with all the facts … as they appeared; this was going to end badly.   I love this in verse 17, “And Elisha prayed, ‘Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.’” May God open our eyes to see that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities and rulers of darkness.  If our fight is not against what we actually see with our eyes, then our worry, anxiety and stress over the visible is a complete waste of time.  God is fighting for you in a realm you cannot see, except your eyes of faith are opened. The verse continues, “Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”  God is not mocked; He is not weak; He is not powerless and He will not let our justice be miscarried.  He will not leave us defenseless when attacked by evil.  With the precision of a laser-guided weapon, God will obliterate the assault of our adversary.  Do not look at what your eyes can see.  This is not a battle of circumstance.  Fight with prayer that your eyes would be opened to see the most powerful force in the universe, steadily, immovably, unstoppably at work on your behalf.