Tried? You are being tested…

joseph

Gen 37-40
Ah, the story of Joseph. An excruciatingly comforting, yet painful confirmation of the faithfulness of God to perform what He said. To anyone out there walking through a Joseph experience, know that you are not alone, nor misunderstood. God is with you, and many, many leaders have had to walk through similar things. Don’t give up on your dream, and whatever your circumstance, continue to pray and do what you can to improve yourself, and in due season, you will come out of the furnace of affliction, and see the glory of God in this generation….

God test

Ps 105:

17 He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant:

18 Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron:

19 Until the time that his word came: the word of the Lord tried him.

This 19th verse has kept me sane over the years, as I work out my own call before the Lord. For your encouragement, here are a couple other translations:

Until his appointed time came, and the counsel of the Lord had tried him

Joseph remained a slave until his own words had come true, and the Lord had finished testing him

Until the time that his word [of prophecy regarding his brothers] came true, The word of the Lord tested and refined him
hearts revealed
It is interesting to see how my particular trial, reveals the hearts of those around me:

(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
As I walk out my particular calling, I recognize that the word of the Lord is testing and refining me, as I stay in the face of God. Circumstances have been brutal, but I stand, before the throne, awaiting His timing, No compromise.
May you do the same! Jesus is worthy!

Let’s Pray:

Father, there is an appointed time for my gift in the earth. May I continually stay in the press with you, growing, learning, hardening myself against sin, accepting responsibility, and where necessary, breaking at Your feet. I know what I have heard, and by Your grace, I will fully obey You, for the sake of Your glory Lord Jesus, Amen’

We must believe – and OVERCOME!

overcome2
1 Corinthians 15:57

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

God gives us grace to overcome. This grace comes when we believe!

1 John 5:4

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith

Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

There will be tests and trials in this world, yet we are more than conquerors, called to overcome them all!

Jesus promised we would have troubles and tribulation, yet He is with us and in us to overcome!

John 16:33

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world
overcome1
1 Cor 10:13 AMP
For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently

Revelation 2:26

And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

Jesus over earth

No Test, No Testimony! We are created to overcome!

Victory, is for those that overcome, in faith!

Matthew 11:12

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force

Let’s Pray:

‘Father, you see what I am going through, and the troubles and trials I face today. Give me overcoming grace, deliverance, and wisdom to know how to overcome every one of them in Jesus! I believe, now Lord Jesus, my way, make a way, where there seems to be no way, today! Amen’

The Jeep Saga – A Missionary Moment – Help Needed

The Jeep Saga –

Well, here I sit, in Yatehey, NM, believing God for my jeep to be fixed today.

Been a real adventure so far.

Two weeks ago, we planned a trip to Page, AZ to meet with national native leaders for a conference, to give copies of my new book to elders as protocol gifts, and to renew friendships as we went.

poster

Before leaving Tulsa, for the 1036 mile drive each way, I had a good friend who is mechanically minded check everything out. We had the oil change done, but there was a rattle in the motor that concerned me. Turned out the rotor bug clip was broken off inside my distributer cap, so we changed cap, rotor and wires, as I had put in platinum plugs last month for the Canada trip.

We went to his uncles muffler shop, to check out the rattle in the exhaust, and it was determined that it was the catalytic converter acting up, but he was booked up that day, and I needed to get outta town. Decided to chance it, and make the conference schedule, and GO!

I teach that faith without works is dead, and my version of this, it that you ALWAYS do what you can, with what you have, trusting God to supply and help with what you do not have. You can’t just sit there!

In hindsight, I should have waited for him to fix it next day.

To break up the drive, we had booked a night in a hotel in Amarillo, Texas, May 27th, as it was my birthday, and we celebrated with the included breakfast!

By the time we reached Amarillo, the catalytic converter was causing the engine to run hot, and making lots of noise.

A good friend had sent some money for my birthday, so Karen and I were up early, to find a Laundromat, and a muffler shop to get this thing fixed.

And so the ordeal began. Found a muffler shop recommended by a guy at the Laundromat, and they put on a new catalytic converter. Thought we were doing well, as they only charged me $180 for an aftermarket part.

By Santa Rosa, NM I was losing power, and the engine was overheating. Found a shop there, and we checked fire on each cylinder, while we had spark, there was yet no power, and engine running rough.

Did a compression test. No compression on cylinders 3,4 and 5. Ugh!

When we tried to discover why, we found that that muffler shop in Amarillo, had done a nasty. They had replaced my new platinum spark plugs, with a mismatched bunch of plugs, and one of them had broken inside a cylinder. Also looked like we had a blown head gasket between cylinders 3 and 4.

Made it to Albequerque, blowing blue smoke. Used 2 quarts of oil in only 3 hours. Stopped at a Panera, to get on WiFi, and to calm down. Engine running rough (Jay said: ‘Dad, are we driving a tractor out to the Navajo nation?’)

Prayed for a couple hours, and Karen felt impressed to call some friends to stay for the night.

Phew! Showers, coffee, and air conditioning made something brutal, bearable.

They were leaving town next day, so we had to leave, and I did not have peace to drive on to Page. I asked the Lord what to do, as we were supposed to be staying with Navajo elders that night, and I was determined not to dishonor them.

Holy Spiirt said: ‘Lewis is the elder hosting you to the Navajo nation, call him, and submit to what he asks you to do.’

So, I called him, and he counseled me to press through to Gallup, NM, and he would help me. We eventually limped into Gallup (driving 50mph in a 75), four hours later, and made it to their home here on Navajo land.

Tried to rent a car in Albequerque, but it would not accept my debit card.

So, we  found an AutoZone, and they had a couple of mechanics come over. We replaced the broken plug, put in a can of Lucas stop leak, bought a gallon of oil, and drove.

Well, the jeep was now firmly parked in Lewis driveway, and we had a number of mechanics come to try and diagnose the problem.

At that point, I only had $200 left, not enough to buy gas to get home, much less  pay repairs.

Lewis called around, and a salvage yard had a head they agreed to sell us for $150, in a ‘U-pull-it’ yard.

So, off we went, to pull this head out of a scrapped jeep.

Two days in the hot sun, we got it off. The owner only charged us $100.

Then, we tore down my motor, and discovered that despite the Youtube videos that had counseled us that this was a cracked head, we had bullet sized hole in the top of piston number 5.

motor

Time for another motor.

Called back the salvage yard, and he had another vehicle that had been rolled, that had a good motor in it, but he was selling it for $800. After discussion, he agreed to lower the price to $600, and give me $100 credit if I brought the head back.

So, 2 more days in the hot sun, pulling this motor out of this wrecked jeep. The guys there were awesome! They lifted the wrecked jeep up on their forklift so that we could work on the bottom half in the shade, and they gave us tons of counsel and loan of tools to get those brutally hard to reach ‘star’ bolts out from the top of the transmission.

IMG_20150530_141624

I have never been a mechanic, but I sure got a crash course, and the learning curve has been steep.

IMG_20150530_141647 (1)

Pulling the head outta the first wrecked jeep.

In the midst of this, $200 had come in donations, which amounted to $193 after Paypal got theirs.

So, the salvage yard owned said that if we removed all the accessories from the motor (starter, AC, water pump, intake and exhaust manifolds, fuel rail, etc) he would sell me the block and head for $400.

IMG_20150606_130548 (1)

Pulling the motor outta the second jeep

I gave him my $193 to hold the motor, then Lewis loaned me the $107 so that we could get this motor home.

So, Lewis borrowed a pick-up truck, and we got it hauled back here to the house.

Then, we took out the block and everything on my jeep, and we were done.

We knew, from the complexity of removing everything, we were not skilled enough to install the replacement motor. Too many plugs on the wiring harness, cooling system, transmission, phew!

We needed a mechanic, who we could trust.

More fervent prayer!

A friend of ours, Melvin Yashie Hill, has a brother that is a good mechanic, but his shop is in Ganado, AZ, 45 miles from here.

I now had no money to pay him, and I don’t write faith checks.

He agreed to install the new motor for $250, and he showed up here with his truck, and loaded the jeep and all the parts and towed it to Ganado, where he has been working on it for the past couple of days.

So, presently, I am penniless, in some violent faith for these repairs, and travel expenses back to Tulsa, and on to St. Louis, where I will fly to Denmark next week. I had put up a prayer request for Denmark, and perhaps God has had me fulfilling my own request, because we have PRAYED, day and night these past two weeks, over in the Holy Spirit in other tongues.

Denmark pray

What was to be a fun adventure in faith, has now been two weeks staying uninvited with some precious Navajo elders and their family here in Yatehey, NM.

Yet, God is love,and works all things together for good when we love Him.

What is really needed, is a more reliable vehicle….so, we pray for it, and deal with the hand we are dealt.

Gotta admit though, it has sure bumped up my prayer life. Day and night for the past two weeks we have prayed in other tongues, crying out to God for provision and grace to get through this particular trial.

If the Lord leads you to help us financially at this time, we surely need it.

For prayer, comments, or to donate online:

Email: chris.aomministries@gmail.com

paypal

Donate on-line: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=95XHSDDXDS7MC

Give in faith!

1 Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits?

1 Corinthians 9:14 [On the same principle] the Lord directed that those who publish the good news (the Gospel) should live (get their maintenance) by the Gospel.

Paul goes on to say, that he did not use his position as a minister of the gospel to take up offerings, rather he worked, making tents, to support himself. You might notice here, that Paul was not married, nor did he have children. Family responsibilities take time, and just as you bust a move on your job to provide for your family, I work every bit as hard, doing this, faithful to the Lord in prayer and the ministry of His Word, to you.

I will never charge for this: it my responsibility to God, my calling. Freely I have been given, now, I freely give…

As you give, hear Holy Spirit what to give, and honestly expect God to reward you for your giving.

Matt 10: 41 He who receives and welcomes and accepts a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives and welcomes and accepts a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones [in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward.

I am a five-fold ministry gift and office – this is my life – I pray, I hear, I write, and wonderful things happen. You have your job description, I have mine – this is mine….

I have ‘see through’ faith for you, in this: Gal 3: 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

I believe I have a responsibility before God to be like Jesus, in every offering I receive. I receive it with thanksgiving, just like Jesus did the little boys lunch.

Then, because I walk and live by faith according to the blessing of Abraham, I believe that God will take your seed sown, and multiply it, according to what the blessing of Abraham promises:

Genesis 22:17 In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies

It has been a joy to me, to see the hand of the living God act in the lives of those of you who have supported us this year!

Many have seen tremendous blessing come into your households, and for this we give thanks, and give Jesus all the glory!

Hear God – Even if you are in trouble!

Revelation brings persecution!

possible not easy

Heb 10: 32  But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;

Mr 4:17  And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.

2Co 12:7  And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

When you honestly hear God, Satan will oppose you. The very direction, illumination, and revelation you have been seeking God for, when granted, brings Satan on the scene.

Why?

Containment.

If he can’t take the Word from you, he will try and shake it from you, and he does this to stop the work of God in the earth.  You cannot judge what you hear from God by your circumstances, or the voices of other people, but must judge what you hear by the Holy Spirit, and the Word of God.

Jesus said: Joh 16:33  These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

faith John 16-33

The apostles knew this, and taught it to the early church, clearly:

Ac 14:22  Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

You will have victory in this life, when you believe God, and walk out what He is telling you, but it is not always a walk of ease. There can be intense hardship, affliction, and persecution for following Jesus, to try to get you off of your heavenly mandate and vision.

1Jo 5:4  For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

faith stand

Your belief will see you through, and you will become stronger than your trial, as you obey God.

1Co 15:57  But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

If you are in a trial of your faith now, know that you are not alone. All of us that have stepped out in faith have experienced challenges, sometimes very, very severely. Yet, God did not bring the trial, He loves us, and is a good God. He will give you overwhelming, supernatural power and grace to not only go through it, but to explode out the other side in total victory, not just a winner, a conquerer, but more than a conquerer in Him. Keep on walking friend, you are not alone warrior, history making and nation shaking is our duty and responsibility, let’s walk through it in JOY!

33  Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.

Had a group of businessmen that I had led to the Lord buy me a plaque, that read, ‘He is no fool, that gives up what he cannot keep, to gain that which he can never lose!”

It is a statement made by a missionary named Jim Elliot, who was killed for trying to share the gospel with an unreached Indian tribe in South America.

In the eyes of the world, we may look like fools, laughingstocks to people who have no understanding of who we are and what we do. Yet our testimony is making headlines in heaven! What we are doing has eternal weight and consequence!

34  For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.

These Christians loved Paul, their minister, when everyone else wanted him imprisoned or killed. It cost them their stuff, the joyful spoiling of their goods, yet they saw their lives through heavens eyes.

35  Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.

The word Confidence here, is the same word translated in other verses as Boldness. Live boldly for Jesus, and do not back down on what He has told you.

36  For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

37  For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

Who is He? Jesus! King of kings, Lord of Lords, king of glory! When He shows up on the scene, you trial ends, with His power and glory displayed!

faith king

38  Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

What we believe keeps us alive! No matter what the circumstances are screaming, believe, and continue walking forward! You are putting a smile on God’s face as you do, and with all the heartache and evil in the world, that alone should be enough to encourage you. He has been good to us, let’s give Him pleasure!

39  But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

You are going to make it! Jesus is with you, and I am praying for you! You are not alone, but have heaven on it’s feet, the great cloud of witnesses, cheering you on! Don’t let up, shut up, nor put up with compromise! WHATEVER HE SAYS, DO IT!

faith voice

We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;
Jesus knows, He sees, He feels, and He understands!
He loves you! Even if you feel you cannot see Him:
faith believe sunrise

Is 63:9  In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.

Heb 4:15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Jesus knows! Jesus cares! He knows what you are going through, and these verses declare that He is in it with you! He will never leave you nor forsake you, and has given you Holy Spirit and angels to get you through.

Ro 8:26  Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

When you have come to the end of yourself, pray in the Holy Spirit. He will help you, strengthen you, comfort, encourage, direct, and reveal to you what needs to be done. Jesus loves you, and so do I, you are not alone….

Is 64:1 ¶  Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence,

2  As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence!

3  When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence.

4  For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.

This is the cry of my heart these days. I was in a meeting once, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, at a conference in the revival there, at Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship. Worship had been deep and rich, and there was an incredible presence of God in the air, as the man of God came to the pulpit to preach. Then, it happened: God moved. The minister was knocked to the floor, and like a wave, so were the 5000 people present in the meeting. We laid on the floor, some under chairs, for over an hour, the only sound being the occasional deep sobbing and weeping of God’s people as He ministered. There was a tremendous fear of the Lord in the place. God showed up, not in some Holy Ghost giftings, and goose bumps, but in His power, majesty and glory, and no man could stand to minister, nor speak for that matter.

This is my cry for the church here in the United States, and for America. That God show up, and reveal again His power, majesty, holiness, and glory, to this generation. For this I am pressing in, the hope of the nations, the only hope for this nation….Jesus is Lord!

Yet, even after the manifest presence and glory of God is revealed, we must still walk by faith:

Hebrews 11:6 [Full Chapter]

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Matthew 13:21

yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended

Rev dim light

Seems that in the glory of God, God speaks clearly. When He does, He expects us to believe what He says, to the exclusion of every other voice and circumstance. His passion is to be believed and trusted…this is a way we can put a smile on His face!

When we actually believe that He has not only spoken to us, but that despite the often incredibly contrary circumstances, He, Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth is both willing and able to bring to pass exactly what He said He would….

This, and distractions are the main reasons the works of Jesus do not fully happen in the earth…

He is developing us, for eternal rank and privilege, and this life becomes a training ground for this process, as we learn to live and walk by faith!

Romans 8:29 (King James)

29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

He loves us! Holy Spirit will both bring to our remembrance things He has already told us to do, and will show us things to come…

Yet, His name is ‘I AM’, the one who will never leave nor forsake us, and NOW, faith is.

He has opened doors for you and I:

John 10:3

To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out

13 A temptation has not seized you except what is common-to-humanity. And God is faithful, Who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but also with the temptation will make the way-out, that you may be able to endure

 

Even now, as we seek Him in His Word, He speaks, He leads, He reveals, and He guides…

 

Acts 22:14

And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth

 

voice

 

Hebrews 3:7

Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,

 

Hebrews 4:7

again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

 

 

Revelation 21:3

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

 

We are called to bring Heaven to earth, by His Word and our obedience to His Spirit.

 

There are always people on the other side of our obedience, people who are good works for us, prepared from before the foundation of the world, for His glory.

 

Yesterdays tragedies, failures, or victories are but memories and instruction points: we learn from them, but today is the day of salvation, and NOW faith is what is required.

 

Today is a great day to obey God, a great day for your miracle, a great day to work miracles in the lives of those He has called you to serve!

 

Let’s Pray:

 

‘Father, Today, I would obey You! Today, I release my faith in You for direction, breakthroughs, wisdom, the hearing afresh and anew, Your voice. I expect You to use me and flow through me today to promote Your kingdom and Your glory, for I come before Your throne, knowing I am loved, heard, and answered, for I have come in Your mighty and matchless name Lord Jesus, Amen!’

For prayer, comments, or to donate online:

Email: chris.aomministries@gmail.com

Donate on-line: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=95XHSDDXDS7MC

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Give in faith!

1 Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits?

1 Corinthians 9:14 [On the same principle] the Lord directed that those who publish the good news (the Gospel) should live (get their maintenance) by the Gospel.

Paul goes on to say, that he did not use his position as a minister of the gospel to take up offerings, rather he worked, making tents, to support himself. You might notice here, that Paul was not married, nor did he have children. Family responsibilities take time, and just as you bust a move on your job to provide for your family, I work every bit as hard, doing this, faithful to the Lord in prayer and the ministry of His Word, to you.

I will never charge for this: it my responsibility to God, my calling. Freely I have been given, now, I freely give…

 

As you give, hear Holy Spirit what to give, and honestly expect God to reward you for your giving.

Matt 10: 41 He who receives and welcomes and accepts a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives and welcomes and accepts a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And whoever gives to one of these little ones [in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward.

I have ‘see through’ faith for you, in this: Gal 3: 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

I believe I have a responsibility before God to be like Jesus, in every offering I receive. I receive it with thanksgiving, just like Jesus did the little boys lunch.

Then, because I walk and live by faith according to the blessing of Abraham, I believe that God will take your seed sown, and multiply it, according to what the blessing of Abraham promises:

Genesis 22:17 In blessing I will bless you and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore. And your Seed (Heir) will possess the gate of His enemies

It has been a joy to me, to see the hand of the living God act in the lives of those of you who have supported us this year!

Many have seen tremendous blessing come into your households, and for this we give thanks, and give Jesus all the glory!

Leader, You will make it!

Leader, You will make it!

A Business Owners Cry
Job 7:1
New International Version (NIV)
“Do not mortals have hard service on earth?
Are not their days like those of hired laborers?
Like a slave longing for the evening shadows,
or a hired laborer waiting to be paid.

Ever owned a business, or created something out of nothing?

Whether a business, a farm, a ministry, or any organization, you step out from the comfort, the security of a steady paycheck, and a job, unto the great aching void of nothingness, with the future as bright as the promises of God, but with nothing but Jesus, and your dream to move you forward.
Remember this old Indiana Jones video:

These verses will come alive to you, at that point, because the idea of time clocks, and another man’s schedule are now gone. You will work for your dream, harder than for any other things you have ever worked for, and you will walk it out by faith, and discover that God really is with you, and has made a way for you.

How well, we understand the ‘paycheck to paycheck’ mentality. The comfort of payday, when that check comes into your hands, and you run to the bank, to rest from your period of toil…temporary satisfaction.

Even a slave finds darkness a place to rest, eat, huddle down for the night, perhaps around a warm fire…

Yet, to those of us movers, shakers, dreamers and visionaries, there is still territory to be conquered, and we are at the other end of the stick, fighting sometimes, long into the night, to make sure that there is money in the bank so that our employees get paid. Fighting for contracts, aggressively building, planting, managing scarce resources, in order to keep the machine running, a responsibility and weariness, our employees never see, or in many cases, understand.

I remember one day, in speaking with another contractor, the particular pain, of not being paid for a job completed. He made the comment: ‘It’s worse than slavery, because at least a slave didn’t have to buy his own tools, pay his own gas, buy his own materials, and pay for his house, to work long, long hours, to not get paid…’

Wicked people, with fancy attorneys, that deliberately steal from hard working people, not nickels and dimes, but, in the stroke of a pen, obtain unrighteous judgments, carefully, with predatory zeal, manipulating the legal system, causing truth to fall in the streets, as they prey upon those unable to defend themselves, often hard working business people….

Yet, you must see that there is more going on here, than mere business, betrayal, and hard work.

There is a God, a very living, loving, heavenly Father, who knows, who cares, who sees…

1Pe 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

Sometimes, the suffering goes on for some time. Job’s particular trial lasted nine months, Bible scholars teach us.

So what do we do in our place of pain?

Isa 12:6 Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.

CRY OUT TO GOD!

Job did:
Job 7:11 “Therefore I will not keep silent;
I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit,
I will complain in the bitterness of my soul

To you, you forgive, and He heals, and He works eternal character into our hearts, the longsuffering love of Jesus, making us holy…

Rom 8:29 ¶ For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

To those who appear to be getting away with theft, embezzlement, fraud, He also sees, He loves, and He judges….

Ro 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

In the meantime, stand upon His promises, and know that your particular stand of faith is working in you, Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

As His process works in you, Holy Spirit is working through you, as your stand of faith makes headlines in heaven, and He writes the eternal testimony upon the parchment of time…

Crying out to God for understanding, pressing into Him in prayer and His Word, are your only options…because like Job, at the end of any particular stand of faith, the object of your faith will appear, Jesus, the fourth man in the fire.

It may seem like you are overwhelmed, and perhaps you are, but God is growing you, and your capacity for responsibility, and trust in Him…

1Co 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

There is a way out, you are going to make it through…
Let’s Pray:
‘Father, I cry out to you, asking You for understanding, strength, healing, provision, direction, the way of escape you promise in Your word. I ask, knowing that I am heard and answered, for I ask in Your precious name Lord Jesus, Amen.’

Prisoners of Hope!

Prisoners of Hope!

In today’s reading, we read the 105th Psalm. Please read it for yourself:

Ps 105:6 O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen.

Ga 3:7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

Ps 105:17 He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant:
18 Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron:
19 Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.
tried
I wish to focus on v19,  Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.

Joseph had a dream from God as a young man, and it was authentic. He would become the prime minister of Egypt. He believed that word, and then all hell broke loose against him. Instead of his brothers rejoicing and participating in his development willingly, they beat him up, threw him in a well, and sold him into slavery. Then, as God promoted him as a slave, he was falsely accused, and thrown into prison, and God was with him. Then, the chief cup bearer for Pharoah and baker ended up in prison, and Joseph’s gift of dream interpretation ‘read their mail’.
joseph-dream
Looked like, finally Joe was headed for freedom, but nope, not yet…

There was a set time appointed by the Father for Joseph, and his life was on hold, while Egypt was being prepared for his leadership.

I love this verse. Joseph had a word from God!

Yet the very word he had received, tried him!

He had to believe he had heard God, no matter what the circumstances looked like…

joseph-dream-pic

Was Joseph trying the word of God?

Nope, the Word of God is already tried.

2Sa 22:31 As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.

Ps 18:30 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

Ps 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

So the word of God is already tried, God is holy and cannot lie.

It is us that need refinement, and believing a personal promise from God, when every circumstance is against us, provides that refinement.

Joseph is not alone in his trial, you and I are being tried too…

Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
tried-as-gold
Now, read: Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Faith is a heavenly substance, and after we have believed we received, then what?

Then there is Bible hope.
hope-filled
In order to understand true Bible hope, I quote Kenneth Copeland:

“ If you look up the Greek definition of the word hope, you’ll find it means “to be intensely expectant, to be confidently looking forward to something you fully expect to happen.”

You can see this kind of hope in action in Philippians 1:19-20. There, the Apostle Paul says:

“I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and my hope…”

For emphasis, Paul used the two Greek words there that mean earnest expectation.
earnest

In other words, he was saying to them, “This thing is so inevitable I’m just burning up with expectancy!”

This sheds a brand new light on this wonderful verse brought before us pastors Terri and Steve Spanish of Victory.com, when we attended their connect group:

Zec 9:12 Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee;
When pastor Terri uttered those words, they literally leapt off of the page for me, under the illumination of the Holy Spirit.

Here is what I saw, clearly that night!

It is only after we have believed we received, that we need Bible hope. Hope is the total, passionate expectation that which we have believed, will surely come to pass.
great-expectation
The very word from God that we have believed, is what makes us a ‘prisoner of hope’. We see clearly by the illumination of the Holy Spirit, the vision of God for our lives, and no matter what the daily circumstances scream, we are captive to the vision. We have believed we have received, and each day, we fully expect that today is going to be the day it comes to pass!

This captivity, this heavenly vision, this faith in action, is what empowers us to:
2Ti 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

It empowered the apostle Paul, when he cheerfully proclaimed the gospel in chains:

Ac 26:19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:

The kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force!
kingdom-warfare
We are in a war, it is the fight of faith!

To believe when it looks impossible, because faith makes the impossible, possible, in fact, inevitable!

When we have authentically heard God, that which He has spoken, tries us, refines us, forces us to grow, to discipline ourselves, to get equipped, trained, fit for service.
impossible
I believe this is what sustained Nelson Mandela through his years in prison, before becoming the first black leader in apartheid South Africa. God raised him up, through hardship, to be a vessel of great wisdom, compassion, mercy, strength, and forgiveness, in prison.
mandela
I believe he knew he would be President for many, many years before it happened, and that this inward knowing was his faith in operation, and that this word from God, tried him, just like it tried Joseph.

How about Martin Luther King? The words, ‘I Have A Dream!’ have been a battle cry against racism here in the United States since he rallied this nation to confront this great evil. He died for what he believed, yet his work is immortal, and still goes on today, for there is power in heavenly vision.
mlk-light
Think about President Abraham Lincoln: his repeated failures, yet, one of the greatest Presidents to ever live: http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/education/failures.htm

As Paul Harvey says, ‘now for the rest of the story!”

Isa 61:7 For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.

Both yours and mine days of promotion and prominence will indeed come to pass, as we move forward in obedience to Holy Spirit, after we have believed we received.

Heaven is on its feet, the great cloud of heavenly witnesses, watching our course with joy, eternal testimony being written on parchment of time, we call, history.

Indeed it is HIS story, written in eternal record for all the universe to see, when we victoriously serve Jesus in this life!

Let the process have its work in you, remember, we never try the Word of God, it is trying us!

Let’s Pray:
‘Father God, I ask for confirmation, strength, encouragement, and fresh revelation of the vision for my brother or sister today. May we walk out, without compromise, the heavenly vision, and come out of this trial, perfect, entire, and lacking nothing. We ask this Father, in Your name Lord Jesus, Amen’