How to be “astonished” in God’s work.

Acts 10:45a “and those of the circumcision who believed were astonished”

This blog is really a rehash of an earlier blog concerning Peter and the vision of the sheet of unclean animals. God challenged Peter to trust him. Because of the vision, when the three men appeared asking for Peter, he followed them, going against everything he felt. Peter had the vision on his mind, and the Holy Spirit spoke to him and encouraged Peter to trust him. The first step is the hardest, but in verses 44-45, we see for the first time the Holy Spirit falling on the Gentiles. Peter and other Jews (the circumcised) were “astounded.” I want to be astounded in my ministry. Do you?

Are there scriptures that challenge you in your thinking or actions? Has God been dealing with you to change your thinking in an area that feels so comfortable? He is getting ready to lead you to your own”astonishment.”

Read over the earlier blog below about God’s words to Peter (Rise, Kill, Eat)

Acts 10:9 Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”

God was planning on using Peter in a new way that would challenge some of his beliefs and traditions. God was opening the gospel to nations outside the Jews. But it was going to require a change in Peter’s thinking and traditions. God put Peter in a trance and lowered a sheet down that had many unclean animals by Peter’s standards. God said Rise, Kill, and Eat. Peter replied, “no, I have never eaten from unclean animals.” God said, “Do not call unclean what I have made clean.”

God was calling Peter to change a tradition and belief that was so ingrained that any thought of changing was unthinkable. Sometimes God will call us to change our daily patterns of activity and focus to be used by God. It may challenge us. God may want to use you in a new and fantastic way. To do that, He must give you a revelation, which will require you to change some habits and traditions in your life. After the vision, men from Cornelius arrived to ask for Peter. Peter went with them and followed God’s leading.

Rise

God showed Peter the trance to challenge his traditions and beliefs. Peter had to do more than just think about it. He had to put action toward this effort. It may not be an evil habit, but God may want you to change your life habits to open up more time for God. Today we have so many distractions surrounding us with streaming tv, social media, cell phone addiction, sports, and other activities. God may challenge you to change your daily focus. God told Peter to make a change, to do something outside his comfortable daily habits. Peter left with the gentiles. God may be calling you to spend more time with Him, to lead a small group, to change your thoughts about someone or a class of people. Reading more Godly books—volunteer for His purposes. You will need to rise from your normal life and make a change to follow God.

Kill

God was not only calling Peter to kill the animals (which he did not do). He called on Peter to kill some of his traditional beliefs. He knew it was God speaking to challenge him in a new way. To not call unclean what God has made clean. Peter was challenged to change his way of thinking. Peter was challenged not to let his past prejudice stop what God was doing. You may be challenged to kill some daily habits, things that would interfere with being used by God. Kill some addictive habits that keep you away from the Bible, prayer, and time to meditate on God and His word.

Eat

God was telling Peter this new journey was His plan. Peter was expected to follow God and the Holy Spirit by faith. When Peter later saw what God was doing, it changed his whole life.

God used Peter in powerful ways to grow His church in the Gentile world. God’s revelation to Peter that day on the roof challenged him to take action (Rise) in his life to trust God, to make changes (Kill) in his own traditions, and to walk in faith (Eat) and fellowship with God.

Following God is a challenge and requires changing elements of our own lives and habits. You never know what God will do with a person who, like Peter, will rise, kill, and eat their way to a powerful man or woman of God.


Let you lightnside be challenged by God this week and on to your own “astonishment.”

Be Strong in the Lord

Ephesians 6:10 Be strong in the Lord…

This world can beat you down. Your patience, your hopes, your plans, and your health can be challenging and abruptly changed. We can grow weak and disheartened as our plans and hopes break.

Paul says, “Be strong in the Lord…”

He makes this statement before he adds, “and in His mighty power.” The first part of this statement is to clarify who we are to focus on with our spirit and mind. Who are we to look to when life hits you hard? When dreams are dashed, expectations crumble around you. Paul says, “We are to be strong in the Lord.” ok, HOW?

Be strong by knowing God.

Read your Bible daily, along with times of prayer and meditation in His presence. You will begin to know the creator of the world and the God who loves you. Look at nature and the stars at night. Lift your eyes away from the screens, phones, and social media and observe the wonders of God’s creation and how all elements of His creation have continued since God created the world. The elements, the paths of planets, and the balance and care of nature are all signs of God’s greatness and majesty.

Be Strong by remembering God’s miracles.

When David had a troubled time, he wondered if God still cared. In Psalms 77:7-9 “Will the Lord cast off forever? And will He be favorable no more? Has His mercy ceased forever? Has His promise failed forevermore? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies?” David then began to remember God’s deeds. Psalms 77:10-12 “But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.” I will remember the works of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will also meditate on all of your work.” 

 Be strong by knowing God’s interest in you.  

James 1:17″ Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Be strong by knowing God’s love.

John 3:16″ For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Be strong by trusting God’s plan for you.

Proverbs 16:3 “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Jeremiah 29:11 “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.”

Be strong by resting in His presence.

Psalms 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalms 91:1-2 “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,  my God, in whom I trust.”

Lift your eyes to the Lord. Be strong in the Lord.

Be strong as your mind and spirit are fixed on Him.

No matter what your situation is right now…your Lightnside can

“Be strong in the Lord!”

Who has bewitched you?

Galatians 3:1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? 

Some of you may remember the old show Bewitched, about a husband who had a wife that was a witch. Of course, she is displayed as a “kind witch,” but she would say a spell and something supernatural would take place. The show was to bring laughter and entertainment. However, there is a real bewitching in this world. There is a real power of placing a spell on someone, and they become bewitched into believing a lie even if most of the world and the Bible opposes it. Paul reprimanded the Galatian church because evil leaders changed the message from Paul that salvation came through works and not faith.

Jim Jones

Remember the followers of Rev. Jim Jones. Jim created the People’s Temple in Indianapolis in 1955. Beginning in the late 1960s, reports of abuse began to surface as Jones became increasingly vocal in his rejection of traditional Christianity and began promoting a form of communism he called “Apostolic Socialism” and making claims of his own divinity. Jones became progressively more controlling of his followers in Peoples Temple, which at its peak had over 3,000 members. Jones’s followers engaged in a communal lifestyle in which many turned over all their income and property to Jones and Peoples Temple, who directed all aspects of community life. Jim was very charismatic and bold. He would work the people into a frenzy as he twisted the word of God. What was their outcome? In 1974 Jim moved his followers to Jonestown in Guyana, and tragically Jim Jones led his followers in a mass murder/suicide in 1978 by drinking a poison-laced drink. The phrase “don’t drink the Kool-Aid” came from this event.  

Several popular bewitching sermon teaching:

Christians should be wealthy – If you follow God, he will give you riches. No! God will bless you, but you are not guaranteed wealth. If you are blessed financially, it is for giving to missions and ministry.

All religions send people to heaven. The path to heaven is only through Jesus Christ. “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me. John 14:6

WHO has bewitched you?

Much of the bewitching is by the gifting of the speaker. They are usually a very dynamic, immensely likable person. They are someone who makes people happy to be around them. They are great salesmen and speak well or can create a very spiritual atmosphere. They are people you like being around. You will probably be complimented and made to feel very smart and important to their ministry. But understand this, there is a supernatural side to their power. The evil enemy of your soul helps their influence over you to be magnified supernaturally. Your eyes become blind to the truth. You are in a dangerous place.

Warning signs:  

Their truths do not match up with scripture.  

If scripture is used, it is twisted to mean something out of context.

There are not large portions of scripture condoning this truth.

Their teaching is not widely accepted.  

The teaching makes you feel powerful, and only you can understand the truth.

Bible versions of Galatians 3:1

New Living Translation – Oh, foolish Galatians! Who has cast an evil spell on you?

New Life Version – You foolish Galatians! What strange powers are trying to lead you from the way…

New Century Version – But you were foolish; you let someone trick you.

A dear friend spoke biblical truth to me concerning this issue. Proverbs 11:14 Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors, there is safety.

Keep your lightnside free of bewitched truths and live in safety.

Giving and receiving, and receiving.

Proverbs 11:24  One person gives freely yet gains even more; another withholds unduly but comes to poverty.

The verse in Proverbs states a person who freely gives will not only receive back what he has given, but he will also receive even more

This verse is not for frugal financial planners who see a way to earn more money to put away. The verse is not a financial contract. It is God’s reaction to those with a heart to give to God, organizations, and people in need. As you give from your heart, beyond the tithe, to give to the needs of others, you are getting God’s attention. He will bring blessings back into your life.

The blessings you receive may not always be financial. It can be through relationships, healing, and benefits in the families. God sees and is also a giver. He loves a cheerful heart of giving.

Cornelius

Acts 10:1- 4 “At Caesarea, there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing.” ( Devotion to following God meant he already gave the church tithe 10% of his income.) “he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.” Cornelius also gave to those in need and the poor. He was a giver in his heart.

GOD’S RESPONSE

 One day, at about three in the afternoon, he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!” 4 Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked. The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.”  Notice the angel did not say his tithe giving came up as a memorial to the Lord; it was his prayers and gifts to the poor that got God’s attention. Continue reading in Acts 12 how God brought Cornelius and his family the gift of receiving the Holy Spirit. 

Building Barns

Luke 12: 16-21 “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” 20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ 21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

There is nothing wrong with enjoying your money. But when you choose to supply yourself with larger and larger things while others are suffering around you, God also notices. God says about this man, “Who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” This man came to poverty in his heart even as he hordes all his wealth.

Become a giver. 

Give God the portion He requires and see the blessings. Malachi 3:10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 

Give to people and organizations dedicated to helping those who need help. This Thursday, Grace House has its banquet. The other centers in Indiana will also begin to have their banquets and fundraisers. 

I challenge you to give as I am and expect God to notice and respond in your life.

To give now, click Indiana-atc.org

Let your Lightnside glow brighter by giving to the needs around you.

Blessed be the storms of life

Psalms 1:1-3 Blessed is the one…whose delight is in the law of the Lord and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither- whatever they do prospers. 

Jeremiah 17:8 They will be like a tree planted by the water…

What makes a strong tree?

Not the sunshine or easy weather. The strong trees are not grouped in the thick forest and packed in with others. No, the strong trees are open to nature’s force. The strong trees face nature head-on. The winds beat it and try to twist it. Storms bend it one way and then another.  The tree almost breaks from the storm. Almost…but it straightens back upright as the storm goes away. What bad luck to be out in the storms of life…or is it a blessing? How cruel the storm is to beat upon the tree…or is it…love? 

We cannot grow without storms

The storms cause the soil around the tree to loosen. Cracks in the ground open up, exposing elements to nature. Deep wounds may appear, then in the calm, they heal. In the calm, the loosened roots push down deeper for a more excellent grip. The gaps and wounds heal and strengthen. The sun appears, and new growth bursts forth. The tree is growing both upward and downward deeper into the soil. 

Do you feel the storm in your life?

Are you bowed over by the wind and fierceness of life’s storm? Do you feel like it is hate or cruelty? It may be the love of the kind that brings growth, and maturity. Resist the power of the storm, grow roots deeper, stand tall in the sunlight and grow in the knowledge of Christ and the Power of His might. 

Romans 5:1-5 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now, hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. 

We are the trees of Thy planting,  O God, We are the trees of Thy wood.  

Now let the life-sap run, Clean through our every vein,

 Perfect what Thou hast began, God of the sun and rain.

Thou who dost measure the weight of wind,  Fit us for stress and strain!

A. W. C.

Be a tree planted by the waters that grow strong in the storms.

Your fruit will be sweet, and your choices will be productive.

Let your lightnside grow through the storm of life.  

Remember to Forget

Philippians 3:13  Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: 

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.

The past isn’t always easy to forget. Whether it’s a success or failure, the past can take hold of our minds in the present day. Bitterness or dreaming of days gone by are mostly caused by looking and focusing on the past. Some of us have wrestled with words spoken to us by another who may not have intended to harm us, but we may have misjudged their original intent and kept harmful words attacking our looks, talk, and acceptance.

Do you have words or events from the past that have defined some personal self-evaluation causing you to withdraw from a Biblical Truth or restrict your confidence in yourself? Most of us have these past issues. 

Today, this scripture is a turning point to free us from past bondage and refocus on the now and future. Easy to say, hard to do.

Forgetting what is behind

“When Paul says that he forgets what lies behind, he refers to a forgetting which is no mere passing effort; it is active obliteration so that when any harmful thought of the past would occur, it would be banished from our mind. It is a constant, deliberate discarding of any harmful thought of the past. Forgetting is stronger in Greek. It means to ‘completely forget.’ To translate Paul’s words, “I, in fact, am forgetting completely the things that are behind.”

F.B. Meyer wrote, “learn to forget and do not dwell upon past sin.” He explained, “There may be things in our past of which we are ashamed, that might haunt us. But if we have handed them over to God in confession and faith, He has put them away and forgotten them.” “So you forget them and the sin which blackened your record and reach forward to realize the beauty of Jesus.”

“Forgetting” is a present, active word

Forgetting is not a one-time task. It is part of putting on the whole armor of God including the Helmet of Salvation (mind), the shield of faith (against the devil’s attacks about the past), and the sword of the spirit (the power you have through the Holy Spirit to rebuke the enemy. Ephesians 6:10-17 

Moving forward in faith

Straining or reaching forward should be the healthy focus of all Christians. You cannot change the past, but the future is wide open for you. What are you striving for? Where in the future do you feel God is taking you? There are five characteristics of forward-moving Christians.

  • They know where they are going.
  • They have a sense of God’s call on their life.
  • They understand the purpose of their life.
  • They focus on God and God-given goals.
  • They choose wisely from their options to move toward their goal.

Do you know Christ as your savior? If not, you are missing out on the blessings of His forgiveness and peace. You are also missing out on the help of the Holy Spirit to help guide your path. Most important, when you die, you will be missing heaven and be lost in torment without God forever.

Right now is the time to decide you are moving forward with Christ, God, the Holy Spirit, and the Bible. It all starts by calling out to Jesus and asking Him to be your savior. Tell Him you have sinned, and you want to repent. Tell Jesus you believe He is the Son of God who has died for you. Ask Him to come into your life right now. Tell Jesus you will follow Him for the rest of your life. If you prayed this prayer, I know you are feeling a new peace in your heart. You have a new lightnside to light your path. The next step forward is to find a church with good worship and strong preaching. 

Philippians 3:12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

Part of this blog comes from the book ‘Loving God with all your mind’ – by Elizabeth George

Supreme Court – Gnashing of Teeth

Acts 7:54   When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him.

The verse comes from the recording of the first martyr of the church. Steven spoke to the Jews who rejected Jesus, telling them they rejected all the prophets and saints as they were told about the gift of grace through Jesus Christ. The more Stephen spoke, the angrier they became until they were in a rage of hate and violence. The bible calls this state “gnashing of teeth.”

Other translations of Acts 7:54:

 NLT The Jewish leaders were infuriated by Stephen’s accusation, and they shook their fists at him in rage.

NASB Now when they heard this, they were infuriated, and they began gnashing their teeth at him.

NKJV When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. 

The King’s Wedding Feast

Jesus tells about a King who planned a wedding feast. Those invited had excuses and rejected the invitations. The King told his servants to go to the highway and byways and gather all for the wedding feast. They invited all they could, the good and the bad. All of these people were grateful to be given this opportunity and accepted the wedding robes (God’s righteousness through repentance). 

However, there was this one man.   

Matthew 22:11-13 But when the King came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless. 13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

This man decided he would attend the wedding feast on his own terms. He rejected God’s offer of righteousness to receive a wedding robe. He dressed the way he wanted. This man liked being around Christian people but rejected the requirements of salvation. When the King (God) came, He noticed the man and asked him why he was here without a wedding robe. “The man was speechless.” God cast him out to a place of darkness and gnashing of teeth. A place of rage. I imagine the man yelling, “I demand to be accepted on my own terms. “, “You bunch of hateful Christians. “, and “I am just as good as you.” “I have a right to be here!”

We are a nation of rage, screaming, and violence when we hear something we don’t like. A nation of gnashing of teeth. We need revival in our hearts, homes, and government.

Don’t let your rage determine your eternity!

The Bible describes hell as a place of torment and gnashing of teeth (rage). Matthew 13:41-42.

Are there parts of the Bible that cause you to rage against it? Be careful about your emotions. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

Better to humble yourself before Christ and repent of your anger. Ask Him to forgive you. Accept Jesus as your savior. Tell Him to help you understand and lead you to a good church.  

Proverbs 27:19 As in water face reflects face, So a man’s heart reveals the man.

Let your lightnside burn with the light of Jesus and not rage.

Our Father – The only hope for peace.

Matthew 6:9-10 Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Favorite Father’s day card I received from my son many years ago.

As Father’s Day approaches,

I realize God the Father’s effect on His children

and our nation’s desperate to follow Him. 

Our Father in Heaven – rule of authority.  

There is an understanding that we are the children of God. He is our Father and authority. Our world has an order because we live in his established kingdom. There is safety and security when we identify God as our Father and stand under His protection and direction.   

Without recognizing God the Father’s identity, we become self-focused and only see our desires and emotions. We become unstable and do not know how to be at peace. The more we acquire, the less we feel complete. Something is missing. We are designed to belong to a Heavenly Father. We are built to follow God.  

Hallowed be Your Name

Hallowed means greatly revered and honored. The process of honoring God is to thank Him, Praise Him, and learn more about Him. Listen to Him speak to you through the Bible, sermons, and songs. Our God is a leader, healer, peace-maker, warrior, teacher, and even a God of discipline. God loves me, so He watches, blesses, and disciplines me. I honor His name. I feel secure and loved because of His care. His rod and staff comfort me. He restores my soul.

Rejecting the name of God is to reject hope. You become a vessel of unrest and lawlessness. The Bible says, “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.” To deny this is to be foolish and wandering through life, always seeking but never satisfied. Always longing but never connected.

Thy Kingdom come – Thy will be done.

Oh Lord, we need your kingdom and leadership in today’s world. Through the lawless efforts of media, social media, and political agendas, we are becoming a nation of rowdy immature children who have never learned to be obedient under a father’s love and authority.

You, Lord, established the universe and determined its rules and limitations. You set the oceans and mountains in place. You created all the plants and creatures and placed them into balance. You feed and care for the wild animals. You send hope and care to those who follow you. God, we need your holiness, leadership, structure, and discipline.  

Lord, please send your power to hold back the spirit of lawlessness in our land, our hearts, our families, and our different races. We have become lawless. We have become vessels for the demonic spirit of lawlessness to find homes and begin to fill our minds and mouths with hate, rebellion, and violence.

If…

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

Lord, I am asking for your forgiveness for my attitudes and actions of lawlessness. I ask You to clean my heart and mind. Please forgive our nation and heal our land. God said, “If My People…” He could also say, “If my children…”  

Matthew 6:13 Father, Deliver us from the Evil One. 

Let this Father’s Day be a start to call upon our Heavenly Father to forgive. Let us seek His face. Let us honor His name. Let us ask God to search our hearts, and we repent of what He finds.

Heavenly Father, we seek your healing for our nation and our own Lightnside.

Planning vs Preparing

Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Preparing for the future is different from making plans.

 Good preparation and planning may seem Godly, but two distant differences exist between the preparer and the planner. Planning involves human creativity and wisdom. The planner devises a map for the future and uses this to guide future direction. While he still believes in God’s presence, more decisions are made through creative personal ideas. Some ideas may have been a success in other ministries. The planner is limited to their abilities and looks to assets and numbers to decide their steps.

 Preparation focuses on discernment and faith in God’s leading. The preparer first gets his life aligned with God. Time is spent in His presence, listening to His voice and seeking the scripture to hear from the Holy Spirit. The preparer gets ready and then waits for God to reveal the way.

Abram (Abraham) preparer & planner

Abram (Abraham) is an excellent example of a preparer; however, he slips into planning in his travels.

Abram as Preparer Genesis 12:1-3 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Abram followed God’s leading.

Abram as Planner  Genesis 12:10-20  Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.” When Abram came to Egypt, the Egyptians saw that Sarai was a very beautiful woman. And when Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace. He treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels. But the Lord inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai. So Pharaoh summoned Abram. “What have you done to me?” he said. “Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go!” Then Pharaoh gave orders about Abram to his men, and they sent him on his way, with his wife and everything he had.

 John the Baptist was a preparer.

Mark 1:1-8 

The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way”— “a voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’” And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Joshua preparer – heard from God about Jericho.  

Joshua 3:5 Joshua told the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”

Joshua 6:2-5  Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. 3 March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. 4 Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. 5 When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”

Joshua 6:20 When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city. 

Are you a planner or a preparer?

Spend time with the Lord to be prepared for His direction in your life and ministry. He will do great things through you beyond your ability to plan. 

Let your lightnside be prepared for God’s work.

The Grapes are bigger than the Giants!

Numbers 13:23, 27 They cut off a branch of a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them…”But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large.”

From Larry Stockstill’s Blog

How do you view impossibilities? 

 Do they intimidate you and stop you dead in your tracks before you ever even attempt to defeat them?  I have found that there are usually 2 different ways to approach an obstacle in your life. The story of Israel’s twelve spies always helps me when I am facing an impossibility.  They focused on the giants but Joshua and Caleb focused on the grapes!  God called this kind of faith a “different spirit”:  “But my servant Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land he entered and his descendants will take possession of it” (Num. 14: 24)

Everybody feels it when there are giants lurking around.  I have faced situations where my knees literally grew weak.  I have always had to regather my spirit and take my stand of faith. Here Are A Few Of The “Differences” In A Different Spirit.

Peace instead of Panic 

Caleb “quieted the people” (Num 13:30). A leader must move in quiet assurance in the midst of terrifying symptoms and odds.

Jesus told the raging storm, “Peace, be still.” He had an inner calm while the storm was in a full gale.

Opportunity instead of Obstacles 

Caleb called the land full of giants an “exceedingly good land.” His mind recorded the beautiful cities, vineyards, water supplies, and homes instead of the walls, defenses, and giants.

We must see the potential rather than the problems.

Alignment for the Assignment 

Caleb knew that “If the Lord is pleased with us, then He will bring us in….” (Num. 14: 8). He searched his own life by prayer to be sure there was nothing within him that was “out of alignment” [See last four blogs on lightnside.com] with the perfect will of God.

We cannot face giants from without if we have tolerated giants As you face this huge problem ask yourself, “Is there anything in my life that would keep me from standing strong in this battle I am about to enter?”

Submission instead of Rebellion 

“Only do not rebel against the Lord.” To resist and move in the opposite direction from God is dangerous. Numbers 11 was their complaining; Numbers 12 was their criticism; Numbers 13 is their stubborn refusal to follow the direction of spiritual leadership.

When we honor those in spiritual authority, a blessing is released.

Spiritual Warfare instead of Natural Warfare 

“Their protection has been removed from them and the Lord is with us…” (Num. 14: 9). Caleb could see into the spirit world that the enemy’s armor was already removed. Walls and armor were worthless against God’s hornets! We must see our enemies as stripped of their defense against us, stripped of their power when Christ rose from the dead. See your enemy as already defeated by the resurrection of Christ. It has no power to intimidate or defeat you.

Peace, opportunity, alignment, submission, and spiritual warfare should be within you every time you face a giant.  Look for the grapes whenever you see giants coming toward you.

What is the giant you are facing and what do you need to do to prepare to defeat it?

LARRY STOCKSTILL

Let this borrowed and anointed blog bless your Lightnside as it did mine.