Restoration of God’s People and Their Land

I’ve never given much thought to the book of Judges in the Bible before. It is not a book often referenced from American pulpits, at least not in my Protestant experience.

What inspired me to even read Judges recently was a curious dream. It was very short but went like this: I was in a public venue, in some type of leadership capacity. A petite, brown-haired woman approached to shake my hand, and she said to me, “I especially appreciated your research on Judges.” She said more, but it dissolved quickly upon returning to consciousness.

I awoke confused, wondering if the dream was random or if it was a message from the Holy Spirit. Many say there are no coincidences for the children of God. And, I supposed there was no harm in scanning through Judges regardless, so I did. First, I glanced through, then I began really reading in earnest as I witnessed a pattern unfold.

Through 450 years of ancient Israel’s ups and downs recorded in Judges’ 21 chapters, a clear formula was evident. It is very simple:

When the people of God trusted and were faithful to Him, their land was at peace and rest under good leadership. Conversely, whenever the people strayed, rebelled and turned to evil, they were punished with evil leadership.

But, each time the people cried out to the Lord for deliverance, He responded and answered their cry. In His response, He overturned evil and restored the good. Every. Single. Time.

Within this pattern, I noticed the phases of punishment were vastly shorter than the years of peace and rest. So, the grace of God was still present, even in judgment.

If you will allow, I would like to speak on a controversial subject related to American politics. I usually avoid politics like the plague. I don’t know about your country, but it seems to divide Americans faster than anything else.

As a Christ-follower and His ambassador first and foremost, I try not to offend one group or another. The sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ, is for all people. His followers can be found on all sides of any political argument. Staying focused on Him and His word is usually the best approach to remain welcoming to a diverse audience, as Christ is welcoming.

But sometimes, you have to speak truth no matter the consequences. This is one of those times.

As surprising as it is even to me to hear myself say this, I believe Donald Trump is God’s choice for America right now. I believe his victory was in response to a growing cry from God’s people for our nation to return to Him.

Mr. Trump is far from perfect, he is not a polished politician who guards his words. He is not a shiny Christian whose life has been exemplary as a Christ-follower.

But there are some things in particular he has spoken into the American conscience again, and chief among them is a respect for life in the womb. This, I believe, above all else, is near and dear to the heart of God.

The Bible teaches us God is the author of life, that He knit us in the womb (Psalm 139:13). No human, even the mother, has a right to take the life into which God placed a beating heart and breathed a soul.

Tellingly, every time the people of God in Judges rebelled, they returned to Baal worship. Baal worship involved infant sacrifice.

When the people of God in Judges returned to Him, repented and cried out for deliverance, good leadership was restored and Baal worship and infant sacrifice were knocked back down. The parallels to current day America and abortion are stunning and sobering.

In addition, Mr. Trump has reignited protection upon the people of God and their right to freedom of worship and speech. Finally, he has returned us to acknowledgement of the sovereignty of Israel and commitment to our close friendship and alignment with her as our best friend in the Middle East.

Who could have imagined the billionaire business tycoon and reality TV star would so powerfully step into the role of protector of things sacred and Holy to God’s people? But, he did. 

And in response, the economy has roared back to life, unemployment is down to historic levels, businesses are hiring and growing once more in America, and peace is being forged one talk at a time on the foreign stage. All of this happening while the President is attacked mercilessly by political opponents and the vast majority of the media.

Against all odds God is outpouring blessing once again upon America through a most unlikely candidate. I believe the principle spoken in II Chronicles 7:14 is being played out dramatically: 

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 I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land.

Prior to Mr. Trump’s election, a groundswell movement had grown over several years inside a broad spectrum of halls of faith, and individual followers of Christ began praying, seeking, repenting, and fasting… for a return of God’s hand of blessing upon our dear nation. We understood it required us to change, and Him to be placed back in charge. 

Incredible evidence of the mighty hand of God was seen ON election day, 2016: Signs of Divine Intervention in Trump Victory

On November 8, 2016, we witnessed a stunning turn in the election results – at the precise moment thousands were praying together for God’s intervention – and a miraculous victory that day for the long shot. (Of course, unknown numbers of us had also been fasting and praying leading up to the election.)

His opponent, the favorite to win, was the one candidate in history that had most championed abortion. Her husband was the first President to make it a primary part of his agenda years before, and she would have increased her defense of it and removed all restrictions.

Just as the ancient people of Israel in Judges cried out again and again under wicked leadership to see God overturn evil and restore them in response, I am as surprised as anyone to say I believe God placed Donald Trump in the White House in response to the cries of His people for America. And, defense of the most innocent human life, by no accident and with great significance, has returned.

Followers of Christ, appreciate every minute of this time of blessing and reprieve for our nation. Do not let down your vigilance to pray for our President and leadership. 

Never stop praying, regularly fasting, surrendering to His Spirit, for you are standing in the gap, upholding our land before Him. He has heard you, and He has moved His hand on your behalf!

What an amazing, faithful and great God we serve. He is holy and just, mighty and worthy. Praise Him! And may He continue outpouring His blessing upon America, that we may be a blessing to the rest of the globe!

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Fasting for America – Day 3 of 3 -Conclusion

Hello, my friends! Today was a bit of a first for me in my over 20 years of periodic fasting experience. I had to stop early.

This morning, after nearly 60 hours of fasting, I could barely get out of bed and felt if I stood up, I would faint. I did not want to give up without a fight, so instead of eating, I drank coconut water, which contains healthy electrolytes and natural sugar. It made me feel better, but I still felt so weak, so my husband got me a little glass of milk. The protein and electrolytes got me through a few more hours, although I knew I wasn’t feeling as strong as I’d felt in previous extended fasts.

No doubt, the reason I’ve struggled more this time around is I have been on a strict diet for months due to digestive health issues. I’m under the care of a doctor, and it should resolve itself in time. But, realistically, I don’t eat as much these days and my body is deprived of a lot of sugar and excess carbs. Sometimes, I don’t have the full energy I was used to having.

So, with all this going on in my body and already feeling extremely weak this morning, at around the 67th hour, a strange thing occurred. When I closed my eyes, I had a flickering pattern of lights in the corner of my vision. It grew in strength, and I then noticed it interrupted a portion of my vision when my eyes were open.

I kept pondering and praying, “Lord, can’t I just make it a few more hours?” I really wanted to finish 72 hours to make 3 full days. But it wasn’t meant to be.

Gratefully, my husband stepped in and said, “If you are having strange symptoms affecting your eyes, then I think you need to stop. I recommend you eat!”

Ironically, when I had struggled to get up this morning for being so incredibly weak, I thought then, “I will only stop if my husband tells me to, Lord”. Thank God for a good and wise husband. I listened.

My fast ended at 67.5 hours, only 4.5 hours shy of the 72 hour goal. Before eating, my husband and I held each other and prayed for the country, and for the election on Tuesday. We dearly love our nation, and want to see it become God’s nation again. Only He knows the shortest path to that ultimate goal of His and ours. It may get better, or it may get worse before it gets better. We have done our part, He is in charge, and may His will be done!

I realized last night that in these last days leading up to the election, we have people fasting on both the East coast and on the West coast!! Isn’t that just like God? He rallied His kids to cover His beloved land coast to coast. Hallelujah!

God bless all of you praying and those fasting (always using caution and common sense, of course, as the Lord would wish for you)!

Your will be done, Lord, this is in Your strong and capable hands…..

“…and to Him who is able above all things to do exceeding abundantly what we ask or think, according to the power that is working in us, to Him is the glory in the assembly in Christ Jesus, to all the generations of the age of the ages. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21 Young’s Literal Translation

Fasting for America – Day 3 of 3 – Praying for the Election

It has now been 50 hours since I began fasting for America before the elections. I was so encouraged late yesterday upon hearing more people are fasting. The prayer warriors from a local church prayer ministry, and another dear friend will all be fasting Sunday through Tuesday. Isn’t that exciting?

It is not too late to fast before the election, if your health allows. Even one meal will certainly make an impact in heaven and on earth!

As I enter my 3rd day, I notice my prayers are becoming more and more specific. Allow me to share them with you, and please join me in these requests as you feel led. Remember, Jesus told the disciples that whatever we loose on earth will already have been loosed in Heaven, and whatever we bind on earth will already have been bound in Heaven. He stays one step ahead of us, guiding us in His will!

Prayers – in the name of Jesus and with the strength of His whole kingdom:

Holy Father, please loose the Holy Spirit in every polling place between now and Tuesday, November 8th! Bind every deception and lie… Don’t allow them to prosper! Loose the Holy Spirit all over this country, your country, that He may take over this process, and that we may be freed from the workings of evil.

Bring every untruth to light, and make the people aware of those lies while there is still time to impact their decisions.

Lord, wake up Your people everywhere, but especially in the battleground states: Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, New Hampshire, Nevada, Colorado, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Turn those states to wisdom and away from false beliefs that hurt the people.

Pour out wisdom upon those who know You, and even on those who do not, if they have ears to hear. Lord, please do not allow Your people to buy into false stories.

Father, prevent voter fraud, and if it does happen, let it come to light quickly and be corrected before it highjacks any election data! Let the voice of the people be heard clearly and reflected with all honest ballots reported!

Holy Spirit, speak truth and provide guidance to everyone voting, to all who can hear. Open the ears of those who cannot. Let wisdom make a comeback in our people and in our land!

Over and above all, Father, let your will be done on Tuesday. Let your will be done!

Prayer warriors, I hope you will share this with others while we still have time to make a difference. When God’s people rise up and fight ‘on their knees’ and through fasting (those who are able), what mountains might He move on our behalf? I believe we can still see revival and renewal all over this great country that has been a beacon of hope and refuge for so many all over the world for so long.

Thank you for your every effort to make America God’s nation again. That is the true need of the day.

May God bless you, and may God bless America!

Fasting for America – Day 1 of 3

As announced a couple of days ago, I began a 3-day fast Wednesday at 6:00 PM (last night) for the election in America. So, this is the first full day.

I woke up happy, joyful. That sounds odd, I know. It is not that I love avoiding food, but I dearly adore the closeness I feel to the Lord when I am fasting. Giving up the pleasure of eating is truly a small thing, isn’t it, to seek Him and show Him we are serious about something?

Looking back at what Jesus did for us, it seems giving up pleasure for a day or two is a very, very minute sacrifice. I remind myself of that when hunger pain becomes distracting. And I tell Him, ‘You suffered for me, in this small way today I am privileged to share the fellowship of your suffering.’

As you may have gathered in other posts, the most common method of fasting I use is abstaining from food. However, I still drink coffee (without sweetener) to avoid a caffeine headache, have maybe one cup of plain green tea during the day, and occasionally a little coconut water or a few sips of milk or almond milk if I am feeling weak. I still have work to get done, so preventing myself from weakening to a place of non-functioning is important.

A passage in Matthew I read recently just came to mind. It was in chapter 15, where Jesus had been preaching to a large gathering of people. The people were so wrapped in His message, they would not leave, and they were hungry. He stopped and told His disciples (verse 32) something to the effect, “I have compassion on these people, they’ve not eaten in 3 days. I cannot send them on the road home fasting lest they faint along the way.”

Of course, then we all know the story about the few loaves of bread and fishes that ended up feeding 20,000 people. But my focus this moment is on the heart of Christ, feeling compassion for the hungry and indicating His awareness of such a practical need. These people needed to walk home, perhaps long distances. He didn’t want them to faint.

The point is, be aware of the needs of your life. You may need to work, run errands, care for the needs of your family, even cook for them. Do it. You may have health issues. Don’t let yourself become so weak as to render yourself useless! Jesus was practical. So should we be.

Before we go any further, isn’t He wonderful? He was kind, loving, and full of wisdom. On top of being God, doing miracles, sacrificing Himself for us, setting people free from the grip of evil, etc… He cared about our human needs. What an adorable Savior.

So, back to being practical… As I type, there is a mug of hot water sitting beside me, with a little lime juice squeezed into it. We have a lime tree in our backyard heavy with beautiful limes, so fresh juice is in ample supply. As a side note, did you know that water with either lemon or lime juice first thing in the morning is a wonderful toxin cleanser for your liver? So, I decided to begin the 3-day fast with this soothing and healing cup.

Thinking about it, it might be accurate to call this, ‘fasting in grace’. And this fast, with a little bit of liquid nourishment included, I’ve seen powerfully effect the spiritual realm in my life and others many times over.

After starting a load of laundry, I turned on my favorite inspirational playlist. Music so often helps me set the tone and connect with the Lord.

Soon, I found myself pacing and weeping, crying out to God on behalf of our country. Words poured out asking Him for truth to be renewed from the highest to the lowest places, for destructiveness to be weeded out, for His Spirit to be poured upon every inch of our land… that we may remain a blessing to those in need and to the rest of the world. For His enemies to be prevented from tightening their grip on this nation. For His people to awaken and take serious the condition of our home on every level, and to take up the cross to fight in prayer and through fasting, if physically able.

If only this would become a movement and spread to every pulpit, church and precious individual who knows Him, whose health allows fasting. We haven’t done all we can yet. Until in some way we have sacrificed our own pleasure to see Him pour revival and renewal upon America, we aren’t desperate enough yet. Wake up, American church!

After praying, my ears tuned in again to the music gently playing in the background. An old hymn, one of my favorites, was being sung beautifully by Fernando Ortega, Jesus Paid It All. Words of His mercy and sufficiency flowed out, and relief settled into my soul. I will close this post by reprinting the words of that hymn.

Be blessed, friends. Thank you for your prayers on behalf of the election, but more, for the great spiritual need of this land and its people.

Jesus Paid It All 

I hear the Savior say, ‘Thy strength indeed is small. Child of weakness, watch and pray. Find in me thine all in all.”

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

Lord, now indeed I find Thy power and Thine alone can change the leper’s spots and melt the heart of stone.

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

For nothing good have I whereby Thy grace to claim. I’ll wash my garments white in the blood of Calvary’s Lamb. 

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

And when before the throne I stand in Him complete, Jesus died my soul to save, my lips shall still repeat:

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

(by Elvina M. Hall, 1865)