THE NEW EXODUS

Heaven has moved and shifted the atmospheres to align the trajectory for our launch, for this time of harvest! As the Lord began to talk to me about this, He highlighted some parallels of us, The Church and the Israelites during their exit from Egypt. We have to realize that our “Exodus”, this trajectory shift and launch, will require us to continually and fully rely on God, His promptings and provisions so we may walk in and manifest His Fullness; everything He created us to be in this most unprecedented and exciting time! What we are being led and launched into is such a weighty and pivotal moment that will be written about and looked upon in the months and years to come.

THE NEW EXODUS

Before the Lord led the Israelites from their captive place in Egypt, He equipped them with provision from the enemy (wealth transfer) and readied them for battle (Ex. 13:17). He then directed them away from the Philistine armies (avoiding battles they weren’t ready for) by going through the desert. They still battled things like frustration and doubt but were always met with Grace, protection and miraculous provision.

How much of your life is representative of this exact scenario? The Lord miraculously removes you from your bondages and equips you for the journey you can’t quite see and a lot of times, unsure of what He has equipped you with. This is never a negative thing; it’s a learning thing – learning to hear from God and following His instructions. In the midst of your following Him, you will also see the weapons He has equipped you with for all the battles you will face.

The Israelites (numbering somewhere near a million) ALL walked out in good health (Ps. 105:37), weighed down with the gold and jewels from their captors (Ex. 12:36). The ones that held them captive were paying and begging them to leave. There will be times your enemies will be a blessing to you without even knowing it and pushing you out toward your Promised Land. There will also always be those in your Egypt that will fight your Exodus. No matter the scenario, the Lord’s favor will be upon you.

“…stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you only need to be still.” Ex. 14:13-14 (NIV) 

Take the word “Egyptians” and put in its place the name of those things you’ve been battling. It doesn’t matter if that battle has been four days or forty years. He is doing a new thing right now! You only need to be still; settling in a surrendered, trusting faith knowing He is handling every situation in your life. These things are your Red Sea Moments where He brings favor over you and confusion over all your enemies (Ex. 14:21, 24). The ones trying to hold you in your Egypt will be unsuccessful and know you will not battle these things again. The Red Sea was a one-time thing, so will yours be also.

Once you experience your Red Sea Miracle, the aftermath may not always look as you think it should, but you need to keep praising and prophesying God’s promises over yourself and situations (Ex. 15:10, 13-18). After your Red Sea Miracle and your praise in this desert, He then reveals Himself as Rapha, your Healer. He heals those bitter waters flowing in front of you and within your soul with one touch – one reminder of the power of that Tree (the Cross) (Ex. 15:23-26).

When He heals you He also feeds you. Even in the midst of your complaining and painful crying out, His desire is to feed you.

“Then Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from Heaven for you…” Ex. 16:4 (NIV)

“So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you will know that it was the Lord who brought you out of Egypt and in the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, because He has heard your grumbling against Him…” Ex. 16:6-7 (NIV)

Have you ever had moments in your life where you looked and the only description was “God was Merciful and Gracious to me”?

Because they grumbled, He was moved by His gracious, merciful Love and rained down fresh provision for them every morning. The Lord called this provision “bread from Heaven” but Moses called it “the Glory of the Lord”. Let that soak in for a moment. What God called food Moses called Glory. Moses had a revelation of relationship. This is Heavenly perspective and no longer situational; something that happens in the midst of your journey.

Your daily provisional bread from Heaven IS GOD’S GLORY! The receipt of a “simple” piece of bread needs to be taken and looked upon as something to be cherished and handled with reverence and honor. The “simple” things of God ARE His Glory and you need to carry them all as such! You are chosen to be His Glory Carrier!

This daily manna is fresh revelation of Him! You cannot hoard and hold onto yesterday’s provision to sustain you for this day or the days to come. When the Israelites did this, the day-old manna had maggots in it; completely spoiled (Ex. 16:20).

This daily provision was called an “omer”. This was the supply measurement for each person’s daily need. It was the exact measure of what they needed for that day to sustain them.

“…take an omer of manna and keep it for the generations to come, so they can see the bread I gave you to eat in the desert when I brought you out of Egypt.” Ex. 16:32 (NIV)

 Your daily need being met by Heaven is incredibly vast and weighty. Every day you receive that fresh manna, it not only nourishes you, but also is able to be kept and passed on for generations to come! You have to remember that every single thing about God and His Kingdom is Generational!

The instruction from the Lord is to take an omer to keep for generations to come. The instruction from Moses was to put that omer into a jar place in front of the Testimony (God’s Presence) to be kept for generations (Ex. 16:34).

God gifted miraculous daily provision; they took that and gave it back. That sounds a lot like Tithe! In verse 36, it says an “omer” is ten percent of an “ephah” – which equates to ten days. In the book “The Divinity Code” the definition of the number ten is: (1) complete (2) completion of order/cycle (3) Full. There is completeness and divine order in and through your life. One day of miraculous provision for your needs is something you can give back and the Lord will take and use as provision for you and generations to come!

“If the part (1/10) of the dough offered as first fruits is Holy, then the whole batch is Holy; if the root is Holy so are the branches” (Romans 11:16 NIV)

What the Lord calls Holy is absolutely untouchable. If you are tithing your life, giving back to God what He has given you – that set time you spend with Him is your “omer” and it redeems everything else. He calls it Holy and blessed for this day and for generations to come! Remember, our “omer” is our worship and gratitude. If it is anything else, the manna will spoil.

As you walk this journey and launch into the everything set before you, always remember the miraculous breaking out of your bondages, the miraculous provisions, the journey of learning who He created and purposed you to be, learning the weapons you have for battle and the miraculous fulfilling of His daily manna. May you always respond to Heaven’s promptings, taking yourself back before The Testimony so that everything you pour out is impacting for the Kingdom now and for the generations to come. May you always remember the goodness of your Heavenly Father during your Exodus and in your Promised Land.

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Memorial Sacrifice

Memorial Day (here in the USA) is a day to remember all our service men and women who have laid down their lives for our freedom. Their blood on the battlefield has been payment for the freedoms we live under in this country. My admiration for these people and their families is and will always be indescribable.

When we are in love with someone, we think about them all the time. Since this past holiday weekend, I couldn’t help but think about Jesus laying His life down for my freedoms as well. The freedoms that transcend the place I reside in; these freedoms gifted to me go so far beyond. They give me peace in the midst of storms, provisions in my needs, love for the “unlovable”, forgiveness for everything not apologized for, forgiveness for myself and all the things I’ve ever said and done, an eternal freedom in Heaven when my time is done here on this Earth. This freedom is like a breath of the fresh air on the first day of spring, breathing in all the fragrance of the budding flowers and grass; all the new life coming into bloom. His willingness to give up His life for me so that I can experience these freedoms leaves me blown away every moment of every day.

Then, I’m left with this question for myself: Is there anything in my life that I’m willing to lay down in sacrifice for Him? When you’ve been blessed with a freedom like this, you want to do something to honor it. Not because you have to or because it’s required, but because your heart is filled with gratitude. How has my life honored this? Am I just enjoying the freedoms or am I truly honoring it.

I wrote about this in a previous blog post (Net-Breaking Blessing) that I’m constantly being reminded of. This story about Simon Peter (Luke 5:1-11), a fisherman by trade, had been out all night long trying to bring in a harvest and was grossly unsuccessful. Pulled his boat to shore early that morning, cleaning off the nets and closing up his day and likely full of frustration and discouragement, is now asked by Jesus to use his boat. He then gets Jesus on his boat, puts out a bit from the shore and Jesus preaches a message to all who were following him. After the message, Jesus tells him to go out into the deeper waters and cast his nets on the right side of the boat. After a long night of unsuccessful fishing, the last thing I’d want to do is more fishing. But, he did it and not only did Jesus fill the nets with fish, they were in such abundance the nets were breaking and the boat was sinking! Once they got to shore, Simon Peter was in awe of this miraculous thing that had just taken place. Jesus spoke purpose over him and Simon Peter’s reaction was to leave his blessing right there on the shore to follow Jesus into an unknown future.

I share this to say, what have we sacrificed out of our adoration of Jesus and the blessings He’s gifted us? How could we become fishers of men if we hold onto the blessing for ourselves? How would we gain wisdom without trials? How would we grasp a hold of peace if it weren’t for storms? How would we recognize the amazing and lush greens of our Promised Land if we hadn’t experienced the elements of the desert? The thing we have to continually sacrifice is our flesh. Our flesh wants the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil when wisdom tells us the Tree of Life is all we truly need. Our flesh wants the blessings without sacrificing some comforts to become all the Lord has called us to be. I suppose Simon Peter could have still been a fisher of men while enjoying the spoils of that net-breaking haul, but I don’t believe he would have been as successful as we was. He still would have reached lives, but not at the level of impact that he had. No matter our choices, the Lord will use us. It’s our choice to learn and understand Heaven’s accounting. Simon Peter became more blessed than that load of fish. Wholly blessed, inside and out, not just isolated to his bank account.

So, my challenge is this: to be willing to lay my life down in sacrifice, walking away from what appears to be the blessing I’ve been praying and hoping for; realizing that if that is so amazing, He has something so much better in store. We have to strive not for the blessings, but for the purpose He has on our lives. It’s not about me, it’s about Him working through me to reach the ones who haven’t met Him yet. Becoming “fishers of men” in this life.

Net-Breaking Blessing

net-breaking

Luke 5:1-11

“One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God, he saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.

Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.”

So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.”

 

I don’t think I could begin to count how many times I’ve read this scripture. And then try to add in how many times I’ve heard someone speaking about this passage. It’s countless.

BUT, as I was reading this scripture this week, something new jumped out at me.

These guys, after a full and unsuccessful night of fishing, on shore washing up their nets, were asked to get back in their boat to give Jesus a platform to speak from. I can only imagine how exhausted they were, but they provided that platform.

I can also only imagine how important it was that they catch something. This was their provision; their way to pay the bills. So, I’m also certain that in addition to their exhaustion, was a fair amount of disappointment, worry and stress.

At this point in the story I began to reflect on current life. Am I willing and obedient in the midst of my lack, frustration and/or stress? Honestly? Not 100% of the time.

They listen to Jesus’ lesson, he finishes then tells them to go further out to sea and drop their nets. I’m telling you that would be the LAST thing I’d be willing to do. “I just cleaned these nets”, “I’m tired”, “we just fished ALL NIGHT LONG”, etc… RIGHT?

Obediently, they did what Jesus told them to do. I think their obedience had a slight tilt on what happened next, but I just know that it was mostly because of how awesome God is! He loves His kids and craves to meet our needs.

I can only imagine the adrenaline rush that came as their nets started to snap, as the boats started to sink with this overwhelming supply! A supply I’m certain they desperately needed. Most likely that type of catch you hope for, dream for; the type of catch that would most definitely take care of all things. No more lack.

I think it’s safe to say, this answer to their needs and prayers was met with an Ephesians 3:20 answer: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…”

They received this net-breaking blessing with excessive joy, then with humility, repentance; he then recognized his brokenness. When you’re initially broken, you don’t feel worthy of much. I know how those shoes feel. I’m sure that’s why Jesus’ first comment was “don’t be afraid”. He was saying, there’s no judgment here, I’m not condemning you for anything. Now, here’s your purpose! “You will now be fishers of men”! Whew!

They received the largest blessing they’ve ever had, got to shore and left it all to follow Jesus.

Here’s where I got hit with the revelatory brick.

The question that immediately came to my mind as I read was this:

“If I blessed you with all you’ve prayed for, would you walk away from it to do something I’ve not yet asked you to do?”

You see, I’m sure the majority of us have had at least one prophetic word spoken over our lives, at least one vision; a glimpse into His plans for us, a dream that we’ve carried for our entire life. If in this moment, you received this answer to prayer, the prayer you’ve travailed over, soaked your carpet in tears over, fasted for, fought for, been alienated for, believed for was instantaneously given to you; would you set it down and walk into an unknown, undreamt, not prophesied, but God is speaking it to you in that moment where He wants you to go, would you do it? I think we would all say yes, but it definitely comes with a little bit of pain, right? We’ve got some serious skin in the game when it comes to our hopes, dreams, plans and purposes that we believe are on our lives. Maybe this is where some immaturity in my relationship is shining through my cracks. I know I would say yes, but it would be a teary-eyed yes. Yet, in the same breath, I know Kingdom principles. I know that if He asks me to lay something down, He has something better in store. If He wants me to give something away, I do, because I know He will provide for all my needs.

If we are truly surrendered to His perfect purpose, plans and provisions for our lives, the things we plead for really shouldn’t be of any consequence if we are to give them up at His request. It’s fine to take ownership of those things and contend for them to manifest, but they have to remain fluid for Him to do what He plans with it. It has to remain His, for Him, for His Glory.

You see, Simon could have said, “That’s cool, Jesus. I’ll pass on the message of what you just shared, we’ll catch some folks for Heaven while we work our day jobs and hey, thank you so much for this awesome blessing!” He could have stayed comfortable in what he knew was a certain thing because he had this net-breaking, boat-sinking blessing they just hauled to shore. But he didn’t. He laid it all down and walked into unknown territory. This blessing that initially meant everything to him instantly became fluid; dispensable, once he knew his purpose; his identity.

I’m sure there was a twinge of fear leaving all he knew behind and walking into places and doing things he’d never done before, but He had Jesus. Jesus is the real treasure; the true and tangible, net-breaking, boat-sinking treasure. No dream come true, no financial provision, no success in business will ever compare to Him. Just say “YES”!

The Ultimate Valentine

lamb

Picture this.  You’re a kid and your parents bring home this adorable baby lamb. They say it’s yours to care for.  That lamb instantly has your affection.  Over the course of five days you feed it, walk with it, talk to it, cuddle with it, you fall in love with this amazing creature that is now a part of your family; a part of you.  On the fifth day, your parents now tell you this lamb is going to be your dinner.  How do you feel now? This creature has now died to feed you.  Tell me you’re not sobbing with every single bite you take?!

This is a glimpse of the Israelites while they were still in Egyptian captivity (Gen. 12:1-14). This lamb they sacrificed, saved them from certain death (the final plague – death of first born son).  This lamb was their redemption. By eating it, roasted with fire, they were strengthened for the journey and trials that lay ahead of them.  A desert journey filled with trials and miracles!  A trespass offering had been made in order for them to walk out of Egypt under God’s Hand of Grace.  No one went hungry because food rained from Heaven.  No one went thirsty because the tree made the bitter waters sweet.  God was close to them the entire time despite their grumblings. He loved them.

I used to think that I wouldn’t have been one of the complainers after witnessing all those miracles.  Yet, here I am today, realizing the truth of it all.  I acknowledge all His amazing miracles in my life, but still a complaint will trump my gratitude.  Why is that?  It amazes me how quickly the thinking of “not enough” or “not going my way” creeps in and how quickly it distracts from my gratitude for My Lamb.

If you study the Trespass Offering (Lev. 1), you will see the Lamb for the Israelites duplicated, but it’s done more ceremoniously.  That ceremony comes from their acknowledgement of what was done in the past.  They carried on that tradition so to speak.

The ceremony went something like this:

Once a year, the head of the household found a lamb with no blemish (had to be perfect).  He walked it to the Priest. The Priest examined the lamb (not the man). The man laid his hands on the lamb’s head transferring all his sins onto the lamb. Then, he slit the throat of the lamb, spilling its blood and then the lamb was roasted in the fire. The man and his family lived another year under the redemption and forgiveness of their lamb’s blood sacrifice.

Sound familiar?

Jesus was our Trespass Lamb, once and for all. No need for the pomp and circumstance from the old covenant. He made all things new…forever.  We now live under His constant forgiveness, His never-ending Grace, His unconditional love.

With Valentine’s Day approaching, this is what has been on my mind when I think of Love.  Yes, I’ve been blessed with an amazing man for my husband, who is the best manifested presence of my Heavenly Father’s unconditional love. Our four children are another manifestation of that.  But, when I meditate on Christ’s Perfect Love for me, all He’s brought me through, what He’s teaching me now and where He’s taking me in the future; I am indescribably overwhelmed.  I’m filled with an inexpressible love and gratitude for my Heavenly Father’s gift…My Lamb.

Cross

My prayer for you is that you know this love, too! I pray you fall in love with our Lamb, Jesus Christ, all over again or maybe for the first time.  No ceremony needed. The sacrifice is done. Believe and receive this amazing Gift.

I thank God for the Love from My Lamb.

John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

Ephesians 3: 17-19 “…that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height – to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

Quiet

prayer

I set out this morning to simply rest; to calm my mind and emotions. Of course, when I say I’m going to do this, the noise seems louder and more chaotic!

I’ve been meditating on this whole “rest thing” for a couple of weeks now. Some days I’m good but others, not so much. Lately, I’ve been anxious over a lot for things that I can’t even put into words. Just this morning I was blessed with tangible quiet time. The Bigs were at school, husband at work and the Littles playing quietly together. This is a strange and rare occurrence in my house. I slouched down on the couch, exhaled and began going down my Prayer List. Suddenly I heard a stern “Stop!” It took me by surprise a little, but I shut up. I stopped talking and simply sat there in the quiet. Sometimes that quiet is all we’re supposed to do. This morning, it overwhelmed me. I didn’t have an understanding of it, but I knew the Lord was ministering to my Spirit.

 waiting

Later on I sat down with the Littles to eat lunch, normal conversation, normal clean up and then as I was reading something, my understanding came from my 2-yr old. She came to me with a request, “peas help”, then sat and waited for my response. She had complete faith and confidence in me that I would answer her request. This revelation is so simple, but it floored me! Why do I have difficulty doing this? I ask and ask and ask without ever shutting my mouth long enough for a response. His still, quiet voice won’t ever be heard over my loud mouth!

Matthew 7:25-26 “I tell you, do not worry about your life; what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear…look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them.”

 bird

Matthew 7:33 “But seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”

“Things and provisions were created to pursue the ones that pursue God.” – Creflo Dollar

 

Today I will accomplish this! I am pursuing God because at the end of the day He is all I will ever want and need. His gift of righteousness is more than I can fathom, yet it is mine.

He is not a “Santa Claus God”; He is our Creator, our Provider, our Healer, our Restoration and our Heavenly Father. There is no need to continually shed tears over the same things daily. It’s been taken care of. He knows my heart; He holds my tears in His Hands. I’m not saying it’s bad to be upset about something. It’s our broken hearts crying out for healing or desperate pleas for a need to be met. The thing is, we’re always being healed of something, walking/struggling through the desert, climbing a mountain or sitting in a valley. He is in the midst of it all; meeting every single need we have. The key is finding His Peace in it all.

 valley mountain

I find myself looking for His miraculous nature daily, when in reality; I’m already living in it. Everyday is a miracle; some big, some small, but we are miracles! We awake and lie down with the sun. Every breath we’re gifted to breathe is a miracle! What are we doing with that breath for this day? Some days I feel I’ve failed because all I’ve done is kept kids fed and alive. But, these kids, as taxing as some days are, are being shaped and molded into World Changers! Some days I feel like the sandpaper, making noticeable progress; doing something worthy. Other days, I feel like the potter’s wheel, just spinning around in circles. But, regardless of what tool I am for the day, I’m a useful one in the Hands of the Master.

 potter hands

One random act of kindness, one encouraging word, one prayer for a sick child or a broken heart will be used for a purpose and those breaths you’ve breathed in those moments may be somebody’s miracle; their answered prayer.

I’m always going to be a work in progress. Today’s lesson is to wait patiently. Wait quietly. In the midst of it all, He will use me for His Glory.

Mark 11:24 “Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe you have received it and it will be yours.”

expectancy chambers