Five-Fold Today - Scratching the "Wonder" Itch!! - Beyond the Lips - Doing the Impossible - For the Downhearted - The Presence of God - Overcoming Faith

January 29, 2002

Scratching the "Wonder" Itch!!

Mona McReynolds

Remember the awesome miracles God did through His hand on behalf of Israel in leading them out of bondage? How long was it before the people had forgotten and were complaining and wanting to go back? We are just like them. "A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign"

But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: Mat 12:39

I am not trying to burst anyone's faith bubble. I am not trying to disagree with anything being said about great moves of God coming, or even that judgment is still to come. I am not trying to say that we should not pray for God's glory to be manifested and that Jesus be uplifted. We pray for those things every time we pray the Lord's Prayer. I am not saying that He does not back up His word when preached with signs following...that was a promise He made and He doesn't renege on it.

I have been led recently to study that scripture in Matthew 7 : (the whole chapter deals with good vs bad fruit/works/behavior):

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Mat 7:21

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? Mat 7:22

And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Mat 7:23

We are as a Body praying for "more demonstrations of God's power" (more miracles, revivals, healings, mighty moves of God) and that's okay. We all desire to see God's glory displayed on the earth. We all want Papa to come to the rescue, to straighten out all the "woes" in life. We all want to see Him kick satan's hind parts. We all want to be like Jesus...whatever that entails cost wise in our personal lives. And it does cost! : )

But as the above-mentioned scriptures indicate...all these "power" demonstrations are not necessarily in sync with God's approval or blessings.

When I witness the love of Christ to others, if they cannot see any peace, love, joy, victory or some kind of order, contentment, or sense to my life, what does that say to them? If, however, they can see us standing in the face of persecution and not fainting, or going through trials and yet holding on to our faith and belief in the goodness and faithfulness of God and keep going without bitterness or hopelessness in our hearts...does that not speak louder than a lot of temporary power manifestations that are soon forgotten the within the next week or so? Don't get me wrong, I love to see God's power gifts and manifestations as much as anyone, but honestly folks, how is gold dust, feathers, spiritual goose bumps, and "strange fire" going to make any kind of LASTING impact on the more important issues of life?

This word has been stirring in my spirit now for days and I have entered into a solemn state in my spirit. This word and the one before it are not easy words to release and I am aware of this, but nevertheless, God speaks correction and warning because He cares for us. He puts our spirits in remembrance of His word so that we can keep staring into it like a mirror that reflects back the true image (truth) to us.

The prophetic community always gets a "dose" of what the rest of the Body is going to experience as a whole. In the midst of all the prophetic words that are being poured forth for the Body, and in light of supernatural manifestations (some true, some used as counterfeits to bring confusion), we need discernment to understand what the Spirit is saying to the churches. I really believe in my spirit that Father is bringing us to a place where we are to sit or ("STAND" as one brother's word encouraged) listen, discern, and take heed in our spirits to what He is wanting us to see and understand.

I am being honest here (maybe perhaps because of what I have already come through in my own life or been through and am now going through) but I do not wish to "crash and burn" any more because of going along with every "wave of the supernatural" or "popular doctrines" that came floating through the Body of Christ. (when I was younger, I did just that...been there done that and the Lord had to break me of that) Everyone wants to get on the "wave of glory" and ride it until it is no longer a wave which point they will take their surf boards and go back out looking for the "next big wave" to ride on. You look closely at some of these people's personal lives and you have to scratch your head. They are so busy chasing "waves of glory" (miracles, healings, prophets, apostles, conferences...etc.) that they miss His very personal presence and knocking at their own heart's door to be let in to do the very things and works that they are out seeking. (go figure...but it is human nature) Isn't God big enough, wise enough, capable enough to minister those things to us individually or in smaller home groups? Where do you think these people got started?

May the Lord bless the hearing of this word for the edification of your spirits and may your souls prosper in Jesus. May His Spirit lead and guide you into all truth and light your path.

Mona McReynolds

Beyond the Lips

Undrai and Bridget Fizer

Men honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me Matt. 15:8-9

-as spoken by Jesus Christ (to the Pharisees and teachers of the law, concerning Isaiah's prophecy).

You must experience the full manifestation of God's adoration within your body, mind, and spirit. Your prophetic "environment" must experience the things that you "say" that God is to you. You cannot afford to live "far" from God.

"Honor with the lips" speak of being in a place with God that is not connected with your experience (and without prophetic unction). It is the voice of a disconnected existence or experience. It is speech that is void of manifestation. It is an honor and adoration that is full of nothingness and no meaning. Your life must have meaning. Your worship and expressions of prophetic life must be produced from that "meaning".(purpose)

*Religion/Tradition are rules without Spirit and voices without words (the Word). It is fruit without seed (something that can be nice, but cannot reproduce the Life of the Father: "Whitewashed Tombs" beautiful on the outside, but full of dead bones on the inside)

The Holy Spirit has released an anointing in the mouths of His servants that has produced a word from Christ Himself. This word will penetrate the soul of the hearer and provoke a sense of deep, intimate thought. In this thought, the hearer will begin to examine their environment and see if the honor from their lips has manifested in their personal lives. They will begin to see if their worship and honor of God have produced the power in which they say they live in. They will begin to see if "they are far from God" (or God's purpose for their lives).

We must honor Him "beyond the lips" (beyond the talk). We must be moved within the "house that He dwells in." We must be found living within His power. From His power, we will have everything we need to accomplish what He has spoken in our lives. Does your environment say that you are far from God? Does your daily transactions say that you are accomplishing His prophetic word in your life? Are you in "regroup mode?" (God can even send direction to those who are regrouping.)

We cannot say how great God is and yet despise the process of perfection. We cannot speak of His awesome anointing and yet cannot be moved into what He has designed for us to do. Our environment must expose the reality of a life moved by God. Even in the midst of "inward faults," our present situation must reveal the Lord's doing and direction. Are you where He has directed you to be? At this moment in time?

The Spirit is calling us into the place of our praise. He is creating the "house" in which we speak of about the Father. He is creating this dwelling within our spirit, and we will live out His anointing from this Place.

We are called to live out of who He is and not what we "wish" Him to be. We are to love what and who He is in order to express the true Glory in which He resides. He wants us to reside with Him and in His Desire. "Lip service" describes to others what it has not seen or discovered in Christ. It creates a sincere, but false, imaginary realm of Glory that will not produce the vision of the Father in others lives.

It is a place that is far from Him. A place that is far from the Truth.

Doing the Impossible

Timothy Glendenning

Clear Day Matt. 14:28,29.---' And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee upon the waters. And He said, Come. And Peter went down from the boat, and walked upon the waters, to come to Jesus.'

The thing that holds our eye and grips our heart in this amazing story is the figure of Jesus riding the storm. This power-story fascinates us, because it so manifestly is an exhibition of power, explain it how we will. Also the element of sheer risk gives it added color and piquancy, the utter abandonment of Jesus to a high way of living, and His complete regardless ness of the beaten paths of safety. But above and beyond all such considerations is the feeling it awakens in our minds that our Lord here is challenging us to rise with Him to another and higher type of life than the one we normally live. Tertullian long ago said of Jesus: "He became what we are, in order that we might become what He is." The feeling persists in our minds that this picture is not simply a unique and solitary display of exceptional power, but is really an acted parable of the type of thing a Christ-filled life should be.

That this is not a fanciful interpretation is clear from the reaction which the vision of Jesus awakened in Peter's mind. 'Bid me to come to thee upon the waters.' This request was not motivated by his affection so much as by his spirit of adventure. He wanted to live his life on the same basis as Jesus. Who amongst us would not wish the same? And the life of Jesus, calm, strong, and adequate, as for one moment we glimpse it here battling successfully with the crude and colossal forces of Nature, as elsewhere with the forces of society, becomes for us the norm to which all adventurous hearts aspire. But how are we to get on to this power-level of life?

The first step in this overcoming life is consciously to direct our wills towards Christ. John Bunyan in a memorable phrase characterizes faith "as a leap from the ladder blindfold into eternity." Yet there is something defective in this definition, for the eyes of faith are not really bandaged. There are always present two elements in a genuine faith---seeing and following, perception and loyalty, intuition and courage. Peter's faith, as it exhibited itself here, was not a blindfold leap into the dark. He had the intuition that Christ was out there beyond him, on the waste of the heaving waters, waiting to welcome him. he was sure he had heard His voice, was certain he had seen His form. Even although that form was new and unfamiliar, it was that vision that called forth his faith. He not only saw, he resolutely followed where he saw. It is at this point that most people become a lack of firmness and hang back.

"It is an enterprise," says Clement, "it is an enterprise of noble daring to take our way to God," Look what it meant in Peter's case. His initial act of faith was, to use a phrase of Kierkegaard's, "a desperate sortie." Peter was an experienced fisherman, and he knew the terror of the sea. It was, indeed, an enterprise of noble daring to step out of the comparative safety of his boat, and walk in the darkest part of the night into a boiling sea, and into the teeth of a tempestuous gale.

We must follow what we think right quite recklessly, and leave the issue to God. How many of us have the courage to face up to the demands of a faith like this? Are we prepared to give up our fancied securities, and commit ourselves to a risky and uncertain course of life? Are we prepared to leave the familiar and face the unknown with Christ? Are we willing to step off the material basis of life, the basis of prudence, expediency, and human calculation, and step out on to the spiritual basis of life, relying on no arm of flesh for support but on Christ alone.

The second point is to realize that this daring and adventurous type of life is precisely the life to which Christ calls us. 'Bid me to come to thee upon the waters,' said Peter, and Christ said, 'Come!' The commentators on the whole are less than just to Peter in their interpretation of his motives for acting as he did. They are disposed to look on this request of Peter's as a gratuitous display of swagger and presumption, and they interpret Christ's invitation as designed to teach a foolishly reckless disciple a salutary lesson on the folly of overweening ambition. But surely such an interpretation is quite alien to the method of Jesus. When Jesus says, 'Come!' He means us to come. He put all His heart behind that invitation to Peter, and nothing disappointed Him more that Peter's failure to come all the way.

Jesus loved the man who was prepared to play big stakes for His sake. He would have subscribed to the sentiment of R. L. Stevenson, "Life is an affair of Calvary, a thing to be dashingly used and cheerfully hazarded." Like the Psalmist He would have said: 'I hate a man who is half and half.' He loved adventurous and even reckless natures that spilled the red wine of life in prodigal love and selfless devotion at His feet.

We should draw attention to our Lord's fondness for the word 'all'---'giving all,' 'forsaking all', 'sacrificing all.' 'loving with all the heart, mind, and strength.' His great men and women are those who flung everything into the scales on His side---the widow who flung all she had into the treasury, the pearl merchant who sold all that he had, Peter who forsook all his friends and his security for the privilege of going to Christ on the water. This spirit of utter abandonment of self and goods to causes and spiritual values supremely worth while appealed to Jesus, because it was akin to His own nature. His was a giving life, and when He gave, He gave with both hands freely. He kept nothing back, not even His life. 'This is my body,' He said, 'and it is broken for you, my blood and it is shed for you.'

The third point to notice is the astonishing success of the venture of faith. We must not allow Peter's temporary failure to cloud for us our appreciation of his achievement. So long as he lived his life on a supernatural basis he was gloriously equal to all the forces arrayed against him. He only failed when he slipped off that basis on to the natural level. No degree of self-confidence will ever give us power to do the humanly impossible. Peter with all his self-confidence could not walk on the water. He could swim through the water, and on another occasion he actually did take this method of reaching his Master, but he could not walk on the water, with all the self-confidence in the world. Well, here he is doing the impossible thing, and he is doing it, not because he believes in himself, but because he believes in Christ.

Faith is the faculty by which we tap the resources of God, and the limits of faith are set, not by our personal exertions, but by our capacity to appropriate the power of God. If we believe in Christ enough, we should do the impossible too. That is the measure of the task that we, as Christians, are set in the world to do. We are here to do impossible things, to attempt impossible tasks, to bring to pass impossible results. 'All things are possible to him that believeth.'

One word of appeal to those whose lives are not lived on a faith-basis. Let us see that we do not put the challenge of this incident lightly aside, as if it were something that did not concern us. On the contrary, it is a matter of grave concern, because our response to this challenge determines our way of living. Life is not a matter of choice, it is a restless necessity. Whether believers or not, we must face its imperious demands. Of necessity we must make the same voyage over the same waters. The journey is not a matter of choice, it is only the way that we travel that is.

We are living in troubled and unique times. The night around us is black like a raven's wing. Even the boat to which we cling offers no sure security. At any moment a great sea wave, some sudden cataclysm, may destroy it and overwhelm us. All our material securities, the things that stand between us and the ultimate disaster, are of the flimsiest kind. The only real question that faces us is how we are to fare through that inky darkness and across that risky way? The Christian policy is to capture the secret of riding the waves with Christ. It is to dispense entirely with the use of the boat, and in the illuminating phrase of Walt Whitman: "To make friends of the winds and the weather." This victory over circumstances, this conquest of the world and all its forces, this independence of all security except the security of God are given only to those who, like Peter, venture all for Christ and count the world well lost for His sake.

In Christ. timothy.

For the Downhearted....I love you Says the Lord

by Suzanne Cantrelle

Listen my little ones and hear my heart beat. I desire for you such wonders. I desire for you wholeness in the midst of the trial. But hear me oh little one. In just a moment, a twinkling, it is done. And you will see greater things than this. Feast your eyes for new worlds are opening we speak...New dimensions of my love pour into your life. Doors are opening wide. Can you hear the footsteps, echoing in the hallways. Do you feel my breath against your cheek whispering how much I love you. Do you feel my embrace enclosing tightly about you to keep you protected. No weapon formed against you will prosper. It cannot. Not as long as I hold the keys to life and death. So come little one and seek me, and find me, in the midst of the storm I am there. In the quiet breath of a gentle breeze I whisper your name. My beloved in whom I am well pleased.

Submitted for your discernment by Suzanne Cantrelle

The Presence of God

Susanne Miller

The presence of God will be so strong at times that we will say and do things we would never have thought possible. This army of the Lord's anointed will not be big in size compared to the size of the body of Christ but what it lacks in size it will make up for in anointing and boldness. As God's holy fire continues to burn away the chaff in our lives His image will shine forth. People will be so drawn to those who have completely given their lives to the lord. We will be weapons against the kingdom of darkness. God is raising up this army. He is preparing us, equipping us, and anointing us.
Praise the Lord!

Overcoming Faith

Yolanda Ballard

Deep within our hearts in the midst of the battle there is a passion to want to be able to stay in the center of God's perfect will, and that is to be able to overcome the onslaughts of the enemy and to stand bold and unwavering. Oh, Church, we need to be immovable--head set like flint--in the face of battle--that nothing that the enemy sends against us can shake us. Yes, the Lord's perfect will for our lives is to overcome. So many of God's promises are to the overcomers. The Lord wants to encourage us to take our stand against the armies of the enemy and to be bold and courageous and to press them back and take the land. Take what is already ours, but we cannot do this if we don't take our stand and to take our place in the mighty army of the Lord.

Be bold and be strong for the Lord thy God is with thee. Do not be afraid or do not be dismayed but walk in faith and victory. There are so many praises that we sing where the Lord encourages us to overcome. I tell you that the Lord knows us much better than we know ourselves, and He knows that we can do much more than we could ever imagine. In the natural, I have always been a very fearful and timid person, but the Lord is changing me by the trials that He has allowed me to go through. He has been purging this fear out and giving me more and more confidence so that I can stand bold and courageous in the face of the battle.

Everything the Lord allows us to go through is for our good. He is using each trial to cause us to grow stronger and stronger. We need to trust Him completely with our lives, because He is doing a mighty work in us, and He is preparing us so that He can move mightily through us by His Spirit. Believe me, God makes no mistakes. Everything we go through is for a purpose. No time has been wasted since He has set us on the path of holiness following His dear Son, Jesus.

Every step of the way He is there allowing situations that cause us to have to choose to die out to our own ways of doing things and to put His will first. This is a painful walk to the flesh, but such glorious results when we see ourselves conforming into the image of our Lord and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. The closer we draw near to His side the more we see in ourselves what is unlike Him, but we have to remember that we cannot conform in our own strength. We need God's grace and to know that He loves us right where we are--full of sinful attitudes and imperfections. We need to accept ourselves and know that God is drawing up out of us all that is unlike Him. He is not leaving us in this state for He is purging it out by His fire, love and grace.

Believe me, the Lord loves us right where we are. He wouldn't bring us this far just to leave us stranded and defenseless without Him. The more we see that He loves and accepts us, the more we are willing to change. We are the ones who judge and condemn ourselves when we look at the imperfections. We need to love and accept ourselves and have peace in our hearts that God is doing a purifying work in both our hearts and our lives. We are to be content in this truth and never feel that our situations are hopeless for there is nothing that is too difficult or impossible for the Lord for He is our miracle-working God and Father who loves us deeply.

Many of God's people want to be able to fill a place in the Body of Christ where they are functioning, but they are afraid that they are too inadequate to fulfill this calling so they stay on the outskirts of what is happening. Even so, the Lord still pours out His anointing upon us, and when there is a true calling for us to fulfill, the Lord gives us the boldness and the confidence to stand up and accept it. So many times we give into having a false sense of responsibility because when we see a need, we feel we should meet it without first seeking the Lord's will. When we get out of the Lord's perfect will, the results can be devastating, and there is no fulfillment or accomplishment in it at all. It is all done in vain.

We need to overcome the temptation to have to be busy all the time and spend time drawing close to the Lord's side to find out for sure what He would have us to do. Remember the passage in God's word referring to Martha and Mary? Martha was busy with things that truly needed to be done, but Jesus desired for her to be at His die attending to what really mattered at the time. Too many have become involved in things that distract us from our highest calling and that is to delight in His presence. We need to be so sensitive to knowing God's perfect will for our lives or we end up falling into the snare of busyness and complacency. We need to stay in God's presence in the center of His perfect will. During times of intimacy with the Lord, we receive strength to be able to overcome the mighty onslaughts of the enemy, and we also receive what is on the Father's heart. We need to draw close to Him so that He can show us the tactics and the schemes the enemy will try to use to defeat us.

If the enemy can keep us busy caught up in a works religion, then when we finally find time to get before the Lord, we are too tired to make it of any effect. The enemy will try this tactic, or he will distract us with the allurements of the world so that we would not have the desire to come before the Lord. Either way we would be ensnared with complacency and we need to be aware of this.

Many of God's people have given into having a laid-back, nonchalant attitude towards overcoming what the enemy has sent out to overcome our faith in the battle of our souls. Many have become complacent and uncaring towards the needs of God's people that are to be interceded for. If the enemy can keep us in a lazy frame of mind, he can run all over us. We need to take a stand against the schemes and maneuvers the enemy is using to attack and destroy our faith. We need to take a stand against complacency and this deadness in our hearts towards what needs to be done in the camp of God's people. Don't let this continue in our lives. Allow the Lord's love to flow through you.

Rise up, O Church, awake from your sleep. Take your stand and fight for the enemy is going about as a roaring lion devouring all in its path. Be vigilant, completely covered with God's armor and His blood and stand firm and resist. Press back the armies of the evil one, and take your ground. Conquer all that is yours for all of God's promises are yes and Amen and the nations are your inheritance. Claim the land and its people for the Lord Jesus. The Lord says that we are His faithful and committed people, and that He is going to use us mightily in these end times. I encourage you to keep on your armor for we need this equipment for the battle. Put on the Lord Jesus. He is all that we need. He is your Captain. Just stand in rank and follow Him. When the Lord says to march, march on into battle. We are to take the land tearing down strongholds and principalities over the land. March on into the victory.

Prepare your hearts for the Lord is ready to manifest unto groaning creation His sons--the mature sons of God. We are His chosen people and He will move mightily through us. Keep praising your Lord and keep pressing in on the enemy for his armies are being scattered in your midst! Halleluia!

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