“That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving...” Psalm 26:7
Vol. 17, No. 7 July 2008
The Word continues to be clear. Things are not as they appear to be. The spirit realm is experiencing great chaos. Things are about to terminate like never before. This generation is going to see calamity on a greater scale. It seems like each new report gets worse. But for the people of God we do not have to fear any of it. Simply keep yourself in the arms of God and do not allow the tumultuous times to cause you to retreat.
The Lord continues to promise us blessings if we are following close to Him. You must not allow your feelings or circumstances to dictate the way you serve the Lord. Give Him your whole heart and He will direct your paths into safety and peace and contentment. When you see one thousand fall at your side you can still continue on. You may be shaken or surprised but you can carry on because Jesus is Lord of all.
Make sure you stay on your knees and keep hearing the Lord for the comfort that will bless your heart and may your eyes see the salvation of the Lord.
I have been hearing the Lord speak in the past weeks over and over “a soft answer turns away wrath.” So try to keep a gentle word in your heart at all times and no matter how people are, remember there is turmoil all around them and they simply need to know the kindness of the Lord.
Act 16:6-15 (KJV) “Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, (7) After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. (8) And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas. (9) And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. (10) And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them. (11) Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next [day] to Neapolis; (12) And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, [and] a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days. (13) And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted [thither]. (14) And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard [us]: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. (15) And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought [us], saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide [there]. And she constrained us.”
“Age of Paradox” = inconsistency, absurdity, irony, contradiction, illogical
Today our lives are full of disappointments and broken dreams. It takes much effort to bounce back after defeats, but it is a “must” in this life.
Paul had a broken dream. Vrs.7 it says “Assayed” = desire or tried; to strive for intensely. Webster = signifies maximum exertion, to strain. In other words, Paul would have given his life to go to Bithynia. Why? It was the hub of Asia. It was where the rich, the popular, the educated, the greatest colleges of learning were. It was where Constantine later moved to. Both religiously and politically, Bithynia was the capital of the Eastern Empire…And Paul wanted to be a part of it.
Paul could of thought like so many today, he would have the largest church in the world. But it was a dream. Because the rest of the verse says, “But the Spirit said, No!”
Where did he go? Vrs.8 – to Troas. Troas was located off the shore of the Aegean Sea, separating Europe and Asia. Their economy was fishing. Everywhere in Troas it smelled like decaying fish. The people were sickly and dirty.
We know Troas as the “Ancient Troy of Helen” – a goddess of love, daughter of Zeus, Trojan War (jpg). Now 1300 years later, it was poverty-stricken, filled with disease and filth. Historically while Paul was visiting here, he himself contracted fever and nearly died. It was while he was with fever that Paul had this vision (vrs.9) “A man of Macedonia begging him to come over and help…” But Paul wanted to go to Bithynia!!!
Have you ever seen your dreams smashed right before your very eyes? [I was supposed to be in Africa this month – No!]
How did Paul face his problem of a broken dream? First, he did not fall into self-pity. It is being reported that this is now the plague of the church – “self-pity”. Why? Because prior to the turn of the century, Christians thought they were going to be raptured out of here. They were looking for their utopia, the Golden age of glory. For the past 50 years America has been chanting “The world is getting better and better” yet disease and plague and terrorism is growing daily. But this is not the way Paul faced his broken dream. HE USED HIS HEARTACHE TO GIVE HELP.
1. He believed God had purpose for his life. Paul was lying on a death bed. He could have pouted and said, “That vision must be of the devil. I must be hallucinating.” Or he could have said Phi 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ:”
You see, this was the man who believed: Rom 8:38-39 “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Paul found purpose in COMMITMENT. He knew God had a reason for every situation in his life and that Paul’s life was not over until its purpose was accomplished
2. He waited on God to fulfill that purpose. The people who do the least outwardly are the ones who get criticized the most. From this story we find that Paul’s life was tied up for several months because of this sickness. So Paul spent his time tuning into the Spirit of God and finally God spoke through a vision. How often through the stinking, nasty, sickly times of our life we receive the greatest direction for our lives. [Remember the pigsty of the prodigal son?]
What were the results? God did not leave him in indecisiveness, frustration, and uselessness. Remember, it is never God’s will that we live out our lives this way. God has a plan – we simply must find it.
Paul knew nothing about Macedonia except that it was the gateway to Europe. Europe was at this time uncivilized – a land of barbarians and thieves. [‘Lord, I know you are telling me to go to Bithynia – Macedonia must be the ‘outer darkness’ you spoke about to your disciples.”]
3. He knew the voice of God. There were no more “Big church meetings, no more popularity or prestige.” So the Bible says, (vrs.11-12) “…loosed from Troas, we came to Philippi, the chief city of Macedonia.”
DO YOU WANT TO BE LOOSED FROM YOUR TROAS OF FRUSTRATION AND SICKNESS AND CONFUSION? Then listen for the voice of God. Put everything else aside until you hear his direction.
What did they find In Philippi? A few women! And uneducated at that! In all of Macedonia there was no church. [“What have you sent me to, Lord?”] No, Paul witnessed to one person, who heard and received and understood the gospel message. And when he did, vrs.14 says, “the Lord opened her heart.” And that person was the door that spread the gospel ultimately into the Western world.
This is important because several centuries later the Eastern world became Moslem, destroying Bithynia and turning it into a Moslem shrine. But because the gospel was spread through Macedonia and into Europe, the Word of God has been preserved and Christianity covers the whole earth.
Do you feel like you are failing today – not knowing which way to turn? Are your dreams broken? DON’T DESPAIR. Jesus wants to take the shattered pieces and make something beautiful out of your life. HIS PRESENCE IS HERE TO COMFORT YOU TONIGHT!
. . . My calling as a pastor
Pastor’s Journal 2007
July 3: “Keep your eyes on the Lamb. As things begin to unfold do not be moved. Do not flinch at the distress. Keep your focus on the Lamb. You will then know what sacrifices to make and who to help.”
July 7: “The more one has the control, the more self-will is operating. When one lets go of their self-will and yields to My Spirit they will feel out of control but there will be peace and joy and rest, for I am directing.”
July 10: “You will know the power of My love and be empowered by that love.” “God’s chosen ones put on heartfelt compassion and kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. You must forgive.” Col. 3:12-13 (HCSB)
July 13: I pray resurrection power to rule the hearts and lives of Your people.
July 23: “There is nothing you lack for this journey to maturity. I have continued to provide each element to sustain you in the battle. Everything is being accomplished according to My Father’s will. I have continued to pray for you through the sifting and the manifestation of My life is in you. I am touched by the feeling of your pain and disappointments in life, but I say the joy will be greater than the pain and disappointment. You have experienced it to a degree, but it will continue to increase to the fullest.”
July 25: “There is an abundance of peace being poured out for you. Soak it up. You have been faithful in My decisions. The pain has been intense but the results will be favorable.”
July 28: “The road less traveled is the road you chose. You are not alone. It is a new experience so that the closeness you desire will come through. Don’t turn back.”
July 31: “I will raise you up to fulfill your destiny. My purposes and plans will be accomplished in you and My fullness will be poured out upon you. Stand in the power of My Spirit through all you endure for surely My words will come to pass.”
The Christian Call - part 1 of 2
We love to be called Christians, but do we love what Christians are called to be? Phi 4:21-23 (KJV) “Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you. (22) All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household. (23) The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with you all. Amen. To the Philippians written from Rome, by Epaphroditus.” As Christians we are called to be saints. A saint is defined as one who is righteousness, and filled with goodness, and lives a life of consecration in their relationship to God that grants Him divine claim and ownership. They are to live as men and women of God, being set apart for His purposes. Christians are also called to prophecy and preach the good news of Jesus Christ.
2Ti 4:2-5 (KJV) “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (3) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; (4) And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (5) But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”
Through preaching and prophecy the saints progress the Kingdom of God in the earth. If you don’t think that you are supposed to preach, you must not have read: “Mat 28:19-20 (KJV) “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (20) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.” And if you don’t think that you are supposed to prophecy, you must not have read: 1Co 14:1 (KJV) “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual [gifts], but rather that ye may prophesy.” The old nature of our flesh, along with the devil and his crew, are enemies of God; and His Kingdom. We are called to be saints that are on a mission from God; His mission not ours. Modern day Christianity seems to focus mainly upon the issues that make our lives better. Though there is nothing wrong with trying to live more righteously, there is much wrong with missing the mark we are supposed to leave on this world.
Act 1:8 (KJV) “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
The word witness in the original biblical interpretation means Martyr, and that means to carry a testimony through life even unto death without wavering. The many saints who have gone before us have paved a path that still leads to Jesus Christ. May we be willing to continue with that same passion as the Lord leads.
You Are Everything To Me!
Why do words not come so easily to express how I feel?
Why does my heart hurt every time I fail?
Why is the quietness not a comfort at all, but tortures me with the sounds of the world all around?
He says seek me and I will come, but how do I seek Him when words do not come?
How do I pick up this clay of a body and move on, when it does not know where to go?
I busy myself with things that need to be done, or mope around with no feelings at all.
I am weary of this pain that I have inside, how do I let go and just realize…..
My Jesus, my Savior you are Everything!
Lord, help me to let go of the things in the past, they are done and over, there is no turning back.
I want to move forward with you in my sight, no doubting or trouble can make me not fight.
You have cleansed me and claimed me as your precious one, you will carry and keep me, I am your promised bride.
You will never leave nor walk away, even when I may.
You are always watching and waiting for me night and day.
When I realize that I have been in the wrong, you are right there, ready to embrace me, with forgiving and loving arms, never putting guilt or shame on me in pain.
Thank you for taking away all of my fears and pain, for making me clean in your sight.
You are teaching me every day how to fight this good fight
I will be an overcomer, with you by my side.
You are everything to me!
-By Crystal Frost
Thoughts To Ponder
The Pentecostal movement is something which God started at high speed, but the faster we go the greater the need of holiness. The more power we have, the more we need to have every obstacle cleared out of the way. That which cannot be noticed in a dead church can wreck a revival in a Pentecostal church. May God give us holiness with our Pentecost, for we surely need it. No revival can continue with the blessing of God upon it that does not have a high standard of holiness.
The very truths that gave birth to the Pentecostal movement are today generally rejected as too strong!