The Solution

Often, I catch myself fretting over the continual cultural slide and division in the United States. The fabric of our American soul is being pulled so hard at both ends, it is thin and close to being torn to shreds in the middle. At least, it seems that way sometimes.

One sleepless night recently, I lay in bed pondering the condition of America. This time I was listening more than whining, earnestly seeking His comfort and wisdom.

In this quiet, honest reflection, He reminded me the American people, including me, too often think politics, political leaders are our hope, the solution. We fight and argue and try to persuade others to agree with us, yet end up feeling powerless as we watch disharmony continuing to grow.

We wear political hats and t-shirts, hold rallies and wave signs and flags. And maybe we convince a few. But violence increases, attacks grow, divisions form widening chasms in our worldviews, and we despair of seeing our beloved nation come together in peace and unity.

Children of God, followers of Christ, our true power is not in sign-waving politics. It is in surrendered relationship with Him. Real power is in giving ourselves up to His Holy Spirit. It is found when we invite Him to fill every inch of our personal temples and give Him control, every hour, every day.

More, real hope and change for our nation is found when the people of God, the ‘Israel of God’, in this land unite in surrender to His Spirit and in seeking Him for their nation, His nation. This land belongs to the Lord, having been dedicated publicly to Him by George Washington in its founding days! No amount of white-washing our history or denial intending to erase our Biblical founding will remove who we are to God.

So, as I lay in surrender and restful listening to the wisdom of His Spirit, the quiet voice of inspiration whispered the Solution:

Pray for the youth of this nation to have another Holy Spirit-led awakening. Pray for the young of My people to fall deeply in love with Jesus, to claim their schools and universities again for Christ! To take their youth groups, neighborhoods, clubs and community groups, by storm! Pray, Holy One, sweep this land for another harvest of young souls. Begin with the children of Your people, raise up a generation, two generations, three generations, of surrendered, Spirit-filled young people! Through them, usher in a great revival that restores Your Spirit and Your values to every corner of this very divided land.

Friends, instead of fretting over the divisions, the degradation of our culture or political landscape, instead of having one more argument with friends on social media about party politics, pray today for the people of God to awaken to His Spirit and fully surrender to Him. Pray for revival to begin in the lives of His children, our children. As II Chronicles 7:14 reminds us, when we are fully His, humbly, purely seeking Him, He heals our land!

Watch and see what the Lord will do!

God bless you today, and God bless America!

If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
II Chronicles 7:14

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Trusting in Troubled Times

Don’t get angry [literally, Hold back from anger; Abandon wrath].
    Don’t be ·upset [worried; angry]; it only leads to ·trouble [or evil].
Evil people will be ·sent away [literally, cut off],
    but those who ·trust [wait/pin their hope on] the Lord will inherit the land.
10 In a little while the wicked will be no more.
    You may look for them, but they will be ·gone [or no more].
11 People who are not proud [literally, the humble/meek] will inherit the land*
    and will enjoy ·complete peace [or much prosperity].

12 The wicked make evil plans against ·good [righteous] people.
They ·grind [gnash] their teeth at them [in anger].
13 But the Lord laughs at the wicked,
because he sees that their day [of judgment] is coming. Psalm 37:8-13 Expanded Bible (EXB)

*They are blessed who are ·humble [meek; gentle], for ·the whole earth will be theirs [L they shall inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5 (EXB)

These passages in Psalm 37 and Matthew 5 urge the people of God to trust Him instead of spending time fuming over those who do evil. They assure us of God’s control and that justice will be done, in time! Someday, the wicked will be no more, those who trusted the Lord end up with… everything! What a comfort.

Take heart in these promises in your own life, in whatever situation you may be facing personally.

Also, for the American people of God dismayed over the actions of angry, violent mobs who threaten our peace and security, rest in the knowledge of God’s awareness and involvement! Stay innocent in your actions, pure before Him. Remember 2 Chronicles 7:14, and keep seeking the Lord for our nation in humility and surrender.

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Coming Soon: Fasting for the November Election

Elections are a couple of weeks away. It is time to prepare for fasting and praying again. We WILL be fasting in our home leading up to November 6. How long you fast is up to you. As little as one meal will make a difference!

Some may fast a day or two, or for several days as God leads and your physical ability allows. God will see and hear, and our nation will be blessed! We will talk more about this soon…

God bless you!

May His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift His face to look upon you and give you peace. Numbers 6:26-27

O’Lord – Lyrics

[At the end of a day fasting for our nation, the Lord reminded me of the lyrics of this beautiful song. The assurance that He will make all things right is so precious, such a comfort. We will stand our ground. He will make it right.]

O’Lord

Tho times it seems like I’m comin’ undone,

this world can often feel lonely.

No matter what, until this race is won,

I will stand my ground where hope can be found.

I will stand my ground where hope can be found.

O’Lord, O’Lord, I know you hear my cry.

Your love is lifting me above all the lies.

No matter what I face, this I know, in time,

You’ll take all that is wrong and make it right.

You’ll take all that is wrong and make it right.

Your strength is found at the end of my rope.

Your grace reaches to the hurting.

Still through the tears and the questioning why,

I will stand my ground where hope can be found.

I will stand my ground where hope can be found.

O’Lord, O’Lord, I know you hear my cry.

Your love is lifting me above all the lies.

No matter what I face, this I know, in time,

You’ll take all that is wrong and make it right.

You’ll take all that is wrong and make it right.

Make it right. Make it right.

I will stand my ground.

I will stand my ground.

I will stand my ground where hope can be found.

I will stand my ground where hope can be found.

O’Lord, O’Lord, I know you hear my cry.

Your love is lifting me above all the lies.

No matter what I face, this I know, in time,

You’ll take all that is wrong and make it right.

You’ll take all that is wrong and make it right.

Make it right. Make it right.

 

From album, How Can It Be, artist Lauren Daigle

Composers: Paul Mabury & Joe Williams

The Bridegroom

Before the time of Christ, the leaders of Jerusalem and Israel were expecting a conquering King to rise up for the nation, to make it great again. They did not get what they expected.

Those who know Old Testament prophecy may remember the prophet, Isaiah, had centuries before the time of Christ proclaimed that the people of God, after the sacrificial work of a wonderful Redeemer, would be called Bride! 

ISA 49.18 …[As] I live, says the LORD, you shall surely clothe yourself with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them [on you], as a bride.

ISA 62.5 …[as] the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, [so] shall your God rejoice over you.

Several centuries later, John the Baptist and prophet, preached the coming of Jesus just before He began His earthly ministry. John also identified Jesus as the Bridegroom, and himself as the friend who rejoices with the Bridegroom.

JOH 3.28-29 …I am not the Christ, but I am sent before Him. He that has the bride is the Bridegroom: but the friend of the Bridegroom, who stands and hears Him, rejoices greatly because of the Bridegroom’s voice: by this my joy is fulfilled.

When Jesus the Messiah came to earth as flesh and blood, He came not to govern one nation, but to love and win hearts of all on earth who would love Him in return. He came as a Bridegroom to restore the heart and family of God – Israel of God – to Himself. 

It is worth a mention, however, that the protective blessing of national greatness, by lesson of history, is a byproduct of purity and faithfulness of the people to God.

Friends, our Bridegroom has arisen and His heart is on His sleeve. He gave His life to know, love and be loved. Jesus calls all who will listen to His voice, “Trust Me, will you place your hand in mine, and become part of my beloved family, Israel?”

Trust the Bridegroom… and know the rewards of being the bride are eternal!

How to Change a Country for Good

Hello, friends of Faith and Fasting! Happy New Year!

My prayer and encouragement is broadly for the people of God today, not just in America, but around the world. God’s precious people fill the whole earth, just as Isaiah prophesied they would some day, after the Redeemer had, well, redeemed them.

The followers of Messiah, Jesus Christ, have indeed, spread worldwide. But the densest population of His people live in the United States. By more than 30%, we contain more Christians than any other nation. This means we contain the metaphorical heart of Christianity, whether we want to be known that way or not.

America has not always been true to her role as heart of God’s people. Many have tried to make this a political battle. Maybe there is a place for that, but I prefer to see it as a spiritual battle.

Let’s revisit one of my favorite passages, 2 Chronicles 7:14:

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land.”

I’ve spoken of this before, but it is my strong belief the way to apply this for our country (and for your country, wherever you may live), is to recognize God said “if MY PEOPLE will do these things… I will hear… forgive… and heal their LAND!”

God’s formula for blessing His land is for His people to get right with Him. The entire nation benefits.

In the same spirit, the entire point of this blog overall is to call American Christians to renewal. For, when we are right with Him, His blessing falls upon our nation. When God’s favor and blessing is upon this nation, we in turn bless the whole world with aid and refuge for the hurting.

A few years ago in my personal life, I came to a point where I began surrendering to the Lord every morning before getting out of bed. I tell Him, “I am Yours, fill me Holy Spirit, and take over this day.” At night, before going to sleep, I pray, “Holy Spirit, take over even my sleep and dreams!”

Try it, if you haven’t already, surrendering and asking the Holy Spirit to fill you, and then give Him even your night. You may be surprised how differently you see your circumstances, relationships, and beyond.

The Spirit brings every good gift with His presence, such as patience, wisdom, and love. Everything we don’t have, He has and gives freely to those surrendered to Him.

This is how we change our country. We begin by taking this first step of trust in relationship to the Lord, putting our hand into the hand of our great Savior, Jesus, and giving His Spirit full authority. Any other changes needed in our lives are up to Him from that point forward.

This is abundant life. This is the path to wholeness for individuals and nations!

God bless America, and may she continue to bless the world. God bless your nation, wherever you may be, through YOUR obedience to Him! That is the promise of God to His people, and isn’t it just amazing?

Resist Hate = Embrace Love

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Jesus/John 16:33

Last night, I had a terrible time sleeping. Tossing and turning, I felt unrest in body and soul. I told God, ‘I feel braced for bad news.’

His answering whisper in my soul was from the verse above: ‘In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’

After sleeping less than two hours, I awoke early, still anxious. He led me to a song by Rich Mullins in my inspirational playlist. The words that penetrated my soul went something like this:

There’s bound to come some trouble in this life… hold onto Jesus, hold on tight. He’s been there before and He knows what it’s like. You’ll find He’s there.

After listening to the sweet melody and comforting words of this classic Rich Mullins song, I searched His Spirit as to, ‘what next?’ I felt pressed to switch on the news, something I almost never do, for I don’t watch daytime TV.

The headlines were screaming across several channels: 50+ Dead, 200 injured… over 400 taken to hospitals in Las Vegas. Largest mass shooting in U.S. 

As my mind and emotions struggled to take in the devastating, overwhelming news and images, I realized God had been prepping me all night long. He was one step ahead, leading me, letting me know He was still in control.

God is real. He talks to His kids. He wants us to understand He does not prevent all pain in this world, but He promises to be with us no matter what we face.

 

One of the things we hear a lot these days is the phrase, ‘resist hate’. That is actually good advice. But I find many who proclaim it seem to lack real know-how. You see, to fight a negative, you must replace it with a positive. To resist hate, we must embrace Love.

Love is more than a concept. It comes from somewhere, a very pure, living source, a Person. His name is Jesus, the Creator who made us and gave all for us, Who loves us without end. He is Truth. He IS Love. In His presence, hate cannot survive.

So, connect with the source today. Embrace Love. The world so desperately needs Him.

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— John 1:12

Heart of God

Yesterday morning brought one of those unusual God-moments, a touch of love in the midst of my human nonsense. Some will think I am a nut. I am a nut. A nut for the Savior Who loves me no matter what mess I make!

My dietary health has been a challenge the last couple of years. As a result of long ignorance on the diet/immune system connection, my digestive system suffered at the hands of an often unhealthy diet. I’ve been trying to do better since I realized the cause, but admit it is a struggle. Old habits are hard to break.

Yesterday morning I woke up late, and in my hurry I wondered if I could eat cold pizza for breakfast instead of making myself something healthy which would take longer. Wallowing in guilt over that decision, I gingerly asked the Lord if He thought it would be okay for me to eat just one piece of cold pizza.

I heard His Spirit say in a rather formal manner, “I will authorize it… one piece.” I was a little surprised He answered at all, to be honest, and moreso over the permission. Amazed and relieved, I started munching on a slice of cold pizza with my coffee.

After a few bites I thought, this would be better if I heated it! So, I turned on our countertop griddle and attempted to heat the half piece remaining. As I ate the freshly heated half, so much better than the first, I thought to myself, I really want to heat another piece and I’ll just call it breakfast and lunch!

Another guilt wave hit me. I knew the Lord had only ‘authorized’ one piece. But knowing I was going to do it regardless, shamelessly petitioned Him for grace anyway. Again, I was shocked at the generous reply in my spirit, “eat it with your homemade dressing”.

My homemade salad dressing is extra virgin olive oil and apple cider vinegar with spices. That type of vinegar is an excellent detoxing tool. I was surprised and thought, what a good idea! And I was grateful for the grace even though still ashamed.

After pouring some dressing into a little cup for dipping, I went to return the container to the fridge. Before closing the door, I heard the Spirit say, “more”. So, I drizzled more into the cup and headed back to the fridge again.

A second time, I heard the Spirit say, “more”. I obeyed, but as I looked on the growing amount, perhaps a full half cup at this point, I wondered how on earth I was going to eat all of that dressing. Oh no, did He want me to drink it? Detox drinks are made every day with apple cider vinegar. I cringed at the thought. It would serve me right for cheating with pizza for breakfast!

When I finally sat down with my second piece of hot pizza and half cup of dressing, still feeling bad about myself, I struggled to soak as much dressing as I could into each bite. It seemed to be going nowhere fast. I dreaded being convicted to drink it, so I knowingly cheated, pouring the whole amount all over the pizza, most of it dripping off onto the plate. My hope was I would have an excuse to throw it away when I was finished eating!

More guilt. I had become completely nonsensical! Working every angle to get around what I feared would be the Lord’s condemnation and anticipated punishment.

Can you relate? How many times do we do exactly the same, in all types of situations, trying to maneuver ourselves around God?

By this time, I vaguely realized if I’d just cooked myself a couple of eggs, it would have taken less time than all the pizza manipulations! Still more shame washed over me.

When finally I took the last bite and gave up wrestling my conscience over breakfast, I looked down at the plate and saw something that made me gasp… and laugh.

There swimming in a pool of wasted olive oil, vinegar and spices was a blob of pulpy tomato sauce in a very distinct shape. It had oddly formed a perfect heart, looking all the more real with its bright red, fleshy appearance.

The little, lifelike heart in the midst of the mess I’d created whispered a clear reminder of the very real heart of God, of His wish for me to chill out and rest in His love. I laughed and laughed over His cuteness in the midst of my ridiculousness.

He knew the amount of dressing would be overwhelming, knew exactly what I would do… saw all my manipulations, and still waited for the perfect opportunity to show His heart and encourage me not to take myself so seriously.

Now, I know some people think, there is no way God does anything like that. Perhaps you grew up being taught God is as black and white as the words printed on the pages of your Bible. Maybe some stiff adult convinced you He is austere, He doesn’t play! Well, I’m here to tell you, you need to think again!

I’ve seen God’s humor so many times over. Think of how silly and playful so many of us are, we humans. He made us in His image, remember? So, He has a sense of humor, too. Only, unlike most humans, His is combined with purity and love. It is never sarcastic or mean-spirited, and He doesn’t pull pranks. His humor is sweet, cute and innocent.

God knows life has enough difficulty. I believe He interjects moments of humor to give us joy and help us lighten up. Just like how we crave those times with our closest family and friends, I think the Savior wants to share moments of love and laughter with us.

Open your mind, and get to know another side of God today. Draw near to Him, surrender to His love and pray for His Holy Spirit to fill you. Then, watch for Him to give you messages of love… to play with you in ways that let you know He is with you, that He loves you… that you can relax in His presence.

He is just that personal… and extraordinary.

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