Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Divine Protection

There are many different theories and concerns among believers about how to have God's protection. Some think it is important to pray Ephesians 6 everyday where it talks about putting on the full armor of God. Others, mainly some Catholics, are involved in a devotion that has a prayer to "blind the devil". 

If I had to choose, I'd at least choose the first option because it is biblical. Nowhere in scripture does it say we have the authority to "blind" Satan. It does say, however that Satan blinds the minds of unbelievers (2 Corinthians 4:4). Also, if we step outside of our realm of authority, that is a sure way NOT to be protected.

However, I would like to share with you a more excellent way to have God's protection. In order to do so, I need to mention circumcision.

In the Old Testament, physical circumcision was required of God's people. Physical circumcision is a procedure that initially leaves a man rather vulnerable in the natural. Circumcision was used in the Old Testament as a Covenant with God, declaring that their trust was in Him alone and not in themselves. 

In the New Testament, specifically Romans 2:29, Paul talks about having our hearts circumcised. What does that mean? I believe it has to do with having our own self-protection stripped away. David in the OT had the right idea when he refused to wear Saul's armor, leaving him vulnerable in the natural and he put his trust in God alone to defeat Goliath.

Another thing to consider is that the devil is God's devil. The devil is not able to do anything that God doesn't allow. Sometimes God will allow the devil to humble a person. I am currently reading the book of Samuel. In Samuel 18:10, it says that, "an evil spirit from God rushed upon Saul." In the book of Job, God allowed Satan to test Job. In the New Testament, specifically in 1 Corinthians 5:5, Paul talks about handing a person over to Satan for the "destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved." 

God's heart is ultimately for us to be protected and it can happen sovereignly but it is usually a process that does not happen overnight. Gaining God's protection sometimes can take a lifetime of us learning to abide in Christ as we yield and walk with God in humility. This process, is accelerated through trials, where we learn to let go of self-protection and find protection under the shelter of God's wings (Psalm 91). As we learn to find shelter and protection, tucked away under God's wing, we become invisible to the enemy and we become clothed with the armor of God mentioned in Ephesians 6. The armor of God; helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, belt of truth, shield of faith, shoes of the Gospel is ALL Christ! It is being clothed with Christ! 

That is our goal and happens as we learn to abide. John 15:4 says, "Abide in me as I abide in you." The way to abide in Christ is to let go of everything that hinders us; our self-protection, our fear, our sadness, our idols, etc. and learn to rest. 

Exodus 14:14 - The Lord will fight for you and you have only to be still.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

A God Who Draws Near

I know it has been awhile since I have blogged. A couple of years ago I felt led by the Lord to create a YouTube channel, however I have not been very consistent with it. I am a stay at home, homeschool mom, so there are many days where I only leave my house to go to the grocery store and pick up my son. Therefore, fixing my hair and putting on make-up is not a major priority. Today happens to be a lazy Sunday and it works out better for me to write out my thoughts rather than do a video.

This brings me to my next point and one that lines up with the fast approaching Lenten season. This morning in prayer I was confessing to the Lord that in my own humanness, when given the choice, I often choose comfort and the path of least resistance. I was also however, thanking Him that he has often chosen a different path for me, for narrow is the road that often leads to life (Matt. 7: 13-14). Because he has chosen a different path for me than the one I would have chosen, I am not the same person I was twenty or even ten years ago. 

This became abundantly clear to me yesterday after my husband and I did an inner-healing session with someone. I led it and afterwards my husband commented on how merciful and compassionate I was. This is only because of a work I've allowed the Lord to do in my own heart through trials, disappointments and various sufferings. The Lord has truly become my refuge and my shelter (Psalm 91).

Jesus is alive and so desires to draw near to his people. The New Testament talks about our hearts becoming circumcised. This means that our own self protection is stripped away so He can become our protection. Many however, including God's own children, are afraid of letting go of their own defenses and afraid of a God who draws near. They want him on their own terms, a God they can control and a God they can keep at arms length. I have felt the Lord's heart on this and it grieves Him!

If people only knew what kind of a God he is! A bruised reed He will not break and a smoldering wick, He will not snuff out (Is. 42:3). He longs to draw us close and to draw near to us. He desires to make our hearts His home (foxes have dens and birds of the air have nests but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head - Matt. 8:20).

Recently the Lord shared an image with me of the kind of protection he wants to offer His people. He said, "Lisa, do you know why frogs have a white underbelly?" I didn't, so I Googled it. The reason frogs have a white underbelly is because when that frog is floating in the water with the sun shining on it, it becomes virtually invisible to predators (Matt. 6:26 - if God even cares about the birds of the air, how much more will he care for you). In the natural, that frog looks vulnerable as it is resting in the middle of the water. God thought of everything however and that frog is actually protected. In the same way, when we rest in the water of God's Spirit, in the shelter of the Most High, soaking in the presence of the Son, we also become invisible to the enemy, the devil. It is in this place where we can even enjoy a banquet in the midst of our enemies (Psalm 23).

Many have been hearing about the recent Asbury revival. It started through a group of college students who were hungry for a God that draws near and draw near he did! How much more of the Holy Spirit will He give those who ask (Luke 11:13).

My challenge to you this Lent is to pray for a greater hunger for God's presence. Also pray that you can let go of your own defenses and allow the God of all creation to draw near to you so you can experience his love in a way you have never experienced before!

Thursday, July 14, 2022

The Great Exchange

My husband and I are co-directors of the Indianapolis satellite campus for Encounter Ministries. In our first quarter of the school we teach about one's identity in Christ. It is important that we know who we are and whose we are. If we are believers in Jesus, we are his children. If we are his children, we are sons and daughters of the King. If we are sons and daughters of the King, then we are co-heirs with Christ. Everything he has, is also ours. How exciting is that!

For a while now, I believe the Lord has been preparing his people for a greater glory. He has been preparing his people to have the ability to carry the weight of His glory that is coming. This will usher in the greatest move of His Spirit that we have ever seen and will be glorious to be a part of it! It will start with laid down lovers of God that loved him more than their own lives; People that realize that He is enough.

There was a time in my walk with the Lord that I was weary of all the spiritual warfare I was undergoing. At the time, I did not have a clear understanding of my identity as a daughter of the King. Instead of walking in my authority, I asked the Lord for a way out. I told him I just wanted a nice, leisurely life. He granted my wish and left me alone. For four long years, I did not feel his presence and I did not hear his voice. I was miserable and ended up repenting. In his mercy, he restored me. I am now very careful to abide in him, realizing that he is enough and my everything!

Years ago, the Lord gave me a powerful word through an angel. It was, "It is coming! It is coming! It is coming! A great harvest of souls is coming! You are a royal priesthood, a holy nation (1Peter 2:9)! Now is the time to get ready!"

At the time, I didn't understand why the 1 Peter scripture was thrown in there. I think I have even left that part out when talking about the word in the past. I have since come to understand. Royal, means we are children of the King and royalty ourselves. To be a priest, one offers sacrifice. By our baptism, we are priests, prophets and kings. To be a royal priest, is a call to offer sacrifice by laying down our crowns. 

 In this season, as part of the preparation for a greater glory and as a way to get ready, I believe the Lord is asking his children to lay down their crowns; be willing to lay down their rights and their inheritance.  As sons and daughters of God, we are co-heirs and have many freedoms and rights. Are we however, willing to lay down our rights without any other expectation than more of God because, he is enough?! He will not disappoint! In exchange he wants to give us a greater glory, beyond what we could have imagined!

2 Corinthians 3:18, 4:7-12, 16-18 - "And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.  We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.  For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

Saturday, June 11, 2022

The Pearl of Great Price


If the Lord ever asks you if you want an acceleration, brace yourself! He recently asked me this. I said, yes, but I also know to hold on and buckle up, because I also know it will probably come at a price and it is his desire to kill me. I said yes however, because I also know he is good and I can trust him. It is only in the dying that we can fully live. It is only in the dying that Christ can be more fully alive in us. It is only in dying that we can be fully free. It is only in dying that we truly have something to offer others.

Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat dies, it remains a single seed, but if it dies, it produces many seeds. - John 12:24

Recently, I was in prayer and I  saw something really gross. It looked like raw flesh. My first thought was, "This can't be God." and then I realized it was inside an oyster shell. I thought about how dark it would be, how bad it would smell, how claustrophobic it would feel. I then realized that sums up part of my life right now. Isn't that always our first thought though, when uncomfortable situations happen in our life, "This cannot be God!"?

To get into the details of everything that has taken place in the last 4 years, wouldn't do it justice. I have had to die to dreams, even good ones; dreams for my children and for myself; basic dreams of my children just being able to attend or even do school, any school; dreams for everyone to be healthy and whole.

If you can relate to what I am saying, I think one thing the Lord is doing, is messing with the status quo. Let me explain. In society, are we in bondage to the way things have always been done or are we truly looking outside the box of life's possibilities? I remember a word the Lord gave me over 20 years ago. He said there was going to be a reversal of the order of how things are now. That can only happen if there is a shift in mindsets and our current ways of thinking.

I know, it is ultimately God's desire for myself and my family to be healthy and whole. I know it is ultimately God's desire for us to prosper, for us to have a home that is big enough for us, for us to have enough income for us to buy the things we need and even some things we want. I know it is his desire for us to live in a house that is not making us sick, so I continue to hope, I continue to pray, I continue to press in and I worship.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. - Jeremiah 29:11

Recently, I had a dream. In the dream, I was tied up on the side of a cruise ship. I was stuck and could not move as everyone else was getting off. I knew in my dream, I had a choice to make; I could either panic because of the situation I was in or I could choose to worship. I chose to worship.

Even though I am in the coffin of an oyster shell, I choose to be still and worship, knowing something beautiful is being formed. I choose to stay here until the work is complete and at the same time, hoping and having faith that there is more, both in the physical and spiritual. 

The pearl of great price is no joke, but it is worth it! 

Saturday, July 3, 2021

A Faith that Endures

 Psalm 23 is a scripture passage most Christians are familiar with. For myself, it took on a whole new meaning in the last few years as they have been the most challenging and painful years of my life. I know I am not alone. I have heard many say they have been tried and tested the last couple years like never before and it was not just because of Covid. I realize also, that what I have gone through pales in comparison to what others have experienced. 

Hopefully, sharing my experience and what I have learned from it will help others.

Psalm 23:5 says, "You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows."

In the past I interpreted the word "enemies" to mean people who were against me or the devil that wanted to destroy me. I have since learned that it encompasses so much more. I believe it also has to do with the storms of life and negative situations we find ourselves in.

The Lord desires to get us to the place where we can rise above our circumstances. He wants to get us to the place where our soul is calm and at peace even when there is a whirlwind swirling around us. He wants us to enjoy the intimacy of being in his presence and not even noticing when evil is knocking at our door. He is our feast. He is our banquet. He wants to be our all in all, free from all distractions.

The trials that we go through can become a gift that strengthens our faith, which is more precious than gold, if we will let it and we don't give up. Also, through our sufferings we can come to know aspects of God's nature that we wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to discover. One question we can even ask the Lord when we are suffering is, "Who do you want to be for me during this season of my life that you couldn't be in any other time?"

You are probably curious about what I have endured in the last 3 years. Many of you know that in 2019, my husband was diagnosed with a rare form of sarcoma that manifested in a grapefruit size tumor on his arm. He went through chemo, surgery and radiation. Praise God, we can say he is now cancer free.

If my trials had just stopped there, I wouldn't have risen to the heights the Lord wanted to take me to. Instead the pressure continued like grapes in a wine press.  One of our daughters suddenly became bedridden in January of 2020. She spent nearly a year in bed, unable to function, with me as her nurse, bringing food to her bed so she would eat and stay alive. I took her to every doctor imaginable, plus a week in the hospital and a multitude of tests, trying to get to the bottom of what was going on, with little to no answers. Needless to say, she was not able to even go to school or do school work, increasingly falling behind.

In January of 2021, I had another daughter fall ill. It started off with what seemed like a virus but she wasn't getting better. She even had several Covid tests but they were all negative. After a couple months of not being able to get out of bed, I finally had to withdraw her from school too. She also was not well enough to do school at home and again I was a nurse to another child, bringing her 3 meals a day in bed to keep her alive. Again, we lived at the doctors, negatively affecting the ability to homeschool another daughter that needed one on one instruction and still not getting any answers.

I spent nearly every day crying tears of desperation. I would wake up in the middle of the night crying and praying desperate prayers. I would spontaneously start crying in the grocery store or other public places. I was definitely grieving the life I dreamed I was supposed to have and as a mom I felt completely helpless because I didn't know what was wrong with my children.

To add insult to injury, in the middle of it all, Tom lost his job at the church and was initially given 2 weeks notice to find another job. We felt rejected and hurt by leadership.

In prayer, however, the Lord had a different perspective. He kept telling me to come up higher. I wasn't sure what that meant or what it looked like. I didn't know how I could ascend the heights and have joy when my children were suffering. He asked me if I thought the saints in Heaven were sad because of their loved ones on earth who are suffering. I realized they probably were not sad because they were enjoying the beatific vision.

I asked him what he thought of the situation with my daughters. He actually got excited and told me this was going to propel us into our destiny. I asked him what lie I bought into. He said, "That you are alone in this." I asked him what was the truth. He showed me my daughters in the palm of his hands.

It still took many more months of tears before I figured out how to come up higher and ascend the heights. I felt that could only happen if he healed my daughters and if my husband got a good job that paid well.

Neither of those things happened and I continued in my pain until one day I was drawn to John 15. This is the parable of the vine and the branches. I've always wondered what Jesus meant when he said "abide in me as I abide in you." 

I often reflect on the fact that Christ lives in me but what did it mean to abide in him. I tend to be a very imaginative person so I thought I would try to imagine myself actually in Christ's body, looking out of his eyes and seeing things from his perspective. 

What I began to realize as I did this was if we are to remain or abide in Christ, there are things in our life we need to be willing to let go of. In Him there is no fear. In Him there is no worry. In Him there is no anxiety. In Him there is no depression. In Him there is no shame. In Him there is no bitterness. In Him there is no resentment. In Him there is no anger. 

As I spiritually began to place myself in Christ, these other things began to fall away. I suddenly felt a new freedom and peace I hadn't felt in a long time. I realized this was what the Lord meant when he said, "Come up higher!"

The interesting thing is, coming up higher wasn't dependent on my circumstances. It wasn't dependent on everything in my life going well. It was dependent on coming to a deeper level of surrender and trust in the God who holds the whole world in his hands.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Resurrecting the Titanic May not be a Good Idea!

I had a dream last week about the Titanic. In my dream, the Titanic had been recovered and brought to the surface. It was about to be restored and people were going to be given the opportunity to live on it. I was touring the wreckage and as I was touring it I was thinking, "I'm not sure this is a good idea." The first reason I was thinking this is because, if we are aware of history, we know that part of the reason the Titanic sank is because of arrogant people that thought it was unsinkable. In my opinion, it didn't seem like something that should be resurrected and reused. The second reason I didn't think it would be a good idea to live on the Titanic is because, even if it was restored, it would still contain the memories of all the innocent people that had died.

I also had a vision that I feel goes along with that dream. In the vision, I saw "kings of the earth" seated high up in a circle on thrones that looked like hands. Unaware to them, these throne hands were sitting on one giant hand. I then saw the giant hand close into a fist.

When I had the vision, a couple scriptures also came to my mind. The first scripture comes from 2Cor.10:5 (paraphrased). I heard, "Every high and lofty thought that has exalted itself above the knowledge of God is going to be brought low." 

Isaiah 40 also came to me - "Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill made low, the uneven ground shall become level and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed and all the people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken."

So, what does all this mean? I believe the Lord is showing me, there are leaders on the earth who have exalted themselves above the knowledge of God. They do not realize that the only way they are in the positions they are in is because God has allowed it. They also have not learned from history. Feeling comfortable in their positions, they are going to become lax. They are going to over play their hand and their true colors are going to be revealed. The Lord is only going to tolerate this for so long and then will enact judgement because of the innocent that would suffer due to their arrogant and tyrannical leadership.

As I did back in June, I again heard the Lord laugh and quote Psalm 2:1 - "Why do the nations rage and why do the people plot in vain?"

I also heard him say, "Do they not realize that all their efforts are going to be brought to nothing because I am about to move!"

Thursday, January 14, 2021

The Glory Train

I am in tears as I am sitting down to write this blog post.  A couple months ago, I had a vision of people that looked lost and/or homeless waiting for the sons and daughters of God to be revealed. The following scripture was and is so strong on my heart as I believe the Lord is also revealing his heart to me.
Romans 8:19 - For all of creation waits with eager expectation for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

The Lord's heart is for ALL to be saved and set free - 1 Tim. 2:4. In order to reach the lost, the Lord is looking for Glory carriers; people who can display his Glory and reveal the true nature of who He is on the earth. In order for his people to be able to do this, they need to first know who they are in Him. 

For those who have fully surrendered their lives to the Lord, he has been able to transform them and get them ready to carry his Glory. They have been learning who they are and whose they are. They have been learning their authority in Christ and their true identity. Hence, they have been able to be formed into a very strategic army like the one described in Joel 2.

This is a remnant army and the first to be invited on the "Glory Train" of the Lord. These are going to be burning out of love of Christ and carriers of his Glory. They are going to go into barren and desolate places with great displays of glory rooted in love and rescue those who are lost and bound by the enemy. Those who were once lost will then be invited onto the "Glory Train" to then rescue others and invite them on this fast moving train.

A great harvest of souls coming to the Lord will be one of the main signature marks of the next move of God. Many others have also prophesied a great move of God that is coming. There have been many moves of God in the past but many have been short lived and scattered. This move is going to be different than other moves. The reason it is going to be different is because, like a well thought out bonfire, the Lord is being really strategic.

My husband is an Eagle Scout. He knows how to make a good fire that will be big and last a long time. When he prepares for a bonfire, he is real strategic in how he lays the sticks and logs and what kind of kindling he uses.

Likewise, the Lord is being real strategic. He has been working in the hearts of his people for a while now; humbling, transforming and calling people to partner with Him by first being willing to take up His cross. People laying their lives down in humble obedience and surrender, people choosing the narrow, less traveled road are like the logs that are going to cultivate the right atmosphere for the fire of the Spirit to burn bright, long and far.

This next move of God's Spirit is also going to be marked by a high level of personal holiness, uncompromising surrender and passion for the Lord. They loved not their lives even unto death - Revelations 12:11. 

Like the wise virgins (Matthew 5), they will have extra oil for their lamps. Through a shared love for Christ, the extra oil will be oil that has been pressed from the lives of the saints that have gone before them. They will also drink deeply from barrels of ancient wine of the Holy Spirit that has been fermenting for over 2000 years and carries the Glory and fear of the Lord.

The ones that are going to be ripe and ready to be initial carriers of God's Glory are those who are able to remain in faith, hope and love even during times of great trial. The fruit of the Spirit will marry the gifts of the Spirit in their lives and great displays of God's Glory; signs, wonders and miracles are what are going to greatly attract those who are hungry for a living, all powerful and loving God!

I believe with all my heart that this move of God is around the corner. The Glory Train is starting to appear from the tunnel with its headlights blaring!

A couple decades ago the Lord told me, "A new day is dawning! What you are about to see is a privilege and others in the past longed to see!