Today is named CONQUER because we are more than conquerors. There is no situation, no circumstance, nothing at all that we cannot overcome through Christ. His love empowers us, His love surrounds us and His love protects us. Nothing can separate us from His love, and because of Him and our abiding in Him, we are victorious. He is for us, who really can be against us?
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. (Romans 8:37 NKJV)
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)
You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
Today is named SET TABLE because in the midst of trial, God sets a table for us, right in front of our enemies. He invites us to sit and partake of His bounty, resting while our enemy growls and snarls in front of us. Whatever the cacaphony of circumstance we face, provision is made for the journey and we can be sure of a set table in the midst of it.
“You spread out a table before me, provisions in the midst of attack from my enemies.” (Psalm 23:5 VOICE)
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12 NKJV)
I have had two seemingly different streams of thought running rampant in my head over the last few weeks; however, the more I meditate on them, the more they tie together.
The Lord has been sharing some impressions with me. I don’t have the full picture, but what I have seen is an office space filled with cubicle partitions. Each cubicle has a separate group of like people within. I heard the word “partition” and realized this is tied to one of the thoughts I’ve been meditating on.
When you hear the word “community” what do you think of? What does that word mean to you? Is it not enough to simply be a community? Why must there be defined demographic people communities within one community? Where is the unity and promotion of God’s love in that?
When I think of community I think of a group of people with common unity. This, to me, does not mean we agree on every single thing, but recognize and respect our differences, working together toward a common goal where we are and loving each other in our diversity. What bothers me are the subsets or “partitions” of communities within a community. We have black communities, white communities, hispanic communities, asian communities, evangelical communities, Catholic communities, muslim communities, immigrant communities, religious communities, rich communities, poor communities, school communities, etc. Never are these labeled subsets of community more prevalent than within our media and governmental speech. For many of us, we have become so used to the partitions we don’t even think about it. But I believe this to be an effective way to subtly keep us separated and reminded of who we are seen as rather than as simply a human community.
The other thought stream I’ve had is in reference to dry, desert and barren places. Where I live in the Northeast, we are experiencing a drought. According to our meteorologists, it has been many years since we have dealt with conditions such as these. Our lawn is the color of hay and about as soft as kindling to walk on. Matter of fact, it greatly resembles kindling right now. Much of our nation has been under a heat spell and the west coast is dealing with widespread fires. Basically, we need rain, we need it all over and very badly. We can say our nation, in the natural, is experiencing some dry, desert and barren conditions.
In the spirit, demons are restless in the dry places. Luke 11: 24 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’” Our fight is in the spirit realm, not the natural, but we see the effects in the natural realm. As I have prayed for this nation, and over the jars of dirt, the Lord has revealed a few things to me: we have an enemy who desires division to the extent of another civil war; corruption is rampant within our current elected government; our borders leak; our land has blood crying out for vengeance, to name a few. Our nation is in a desert place and the demons in the spirit realm are restless, looking for places to dwell.
In Matthew 4, we see Jesus being led into the desert to be tempted by the devil. He went fasting, but the bible only tells us He was hungry, not thirsty. Jesus, as the Word, used the Word to overcome temptation and resist the devil, but he had to go to the devil to do it. Desert places are designed for battle; when we enter the desert, we can expect to fight. When we are grounded in the Word of God and abiding in His presence, we will not be thirsty in our desert place, strengthening us. We may not “feel” saturated, but we must continue to have faith and not give up when the heat rises at midday and the cracks form in the dust at our feet. We must stand firm on what we know that we know that we know.
Our country is in political upheaval, division is rampant and Christian men and women are at each other’s throats with no love. This deeply saddens me. God is into community organizing, not community disorganizing. We have allowed the spirits of religion and politics too much freedom and I believe our battle has just begun. This is not the time to sit back, but to rise up in our authority as the Church, to take our seat next to Christ and to enter the desert as a bold conqueror of Christ. The devil seeks to steal, kill and destroy and to do that he will divide, segregate and discourage; but Jesus came to seek and save the lost, to set the captives free and comfort the broken hearted; He is our strength and the source of our courage.
The devil wants to label us with faulty names and separate us into cubicles with only those who are like us to promote his version of “unity”, which is complete and total agreement. In the vision I saw each group of people begin to shake and push agains the walls of the cubicle, breaking the walls down. I saw them begin to mingle with each other, to laugh and hug and talk. It was a beautiful sight.
Let us walk boldly into the desert and take back our human community, giving the desert demons NO MORE GROUND!
Look, a righteous king is coming!
And honest princes will rule under him.
Each one will be like a shelter from the wind
and a refuge from the storm,
like streams of water in the desert
and the shadow of a great rock in a parched land.
Then everyone who has eyes will be able to see the truth,
and everyone who has ears will be able to hear it. (Isaiah 32:1-3 NLT)
But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. (Genesis 50:20 NKJV)
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)
Today is named SHEPHERD because we have a shepherd who takes very good care of us. His care, attentiveness and provision are ever present. We have no reason to fear anything or anyone for He is well able to deliver. His eyes are always on us, His hand always guiding. We have no need which He has not forseen and made accomodations for. We are safe, secure and spoken for in His care.
“The Eternal is my shepherd, He cares for me always. He provides me rest in rich, green fields, beside streams of refreshing water. he soothes my fears; He makes me whole again, steering me off worn, hard paths to roads where truth and righteousness echo His name. Even in the unending shadows of death’s darkness, I am not overcome by fear. Because You are with me in those dark moments, near with Your protection and guidance, I am comforted. You spread out a table before me, provisions in the midst of attack from my enemies; You care for all my needs, anointing my head with soothing, fragrant oil, filling my cup again and again with Your grace. Certainly Your faithful protectionand loving provision will pursue me where I go, always, everywhere. I will always be with the Eternal, in Your house forever.” (Psalm 23 VOICE)
Today’s name is PERSONAL because our God is personal. How can we call Him Father if He is not? As our Heavenly Father, He is personally interested in each of us individually as well as corporately. It is by His hands we were fashioned in the womb, given our personality and extraordinary talents designed specifically for our ordained purpose. He has vested Himself in each of us. He cares what happens and how we feel. Oh, I know, often it may seem as though He is distant and seemingly ignorant of our plight and circumstances, but I assure you, He knows. We can often overlook His personal touch in our lives when focusing on the big things, yet He is there. He is in the small things – the beat of a bird’s wings, the giggle of a child, the breeze on a still day – whispers of love from a personal God. His joy is when we sit and converse with Him, sharing our hearts. Get personal, it’s worth it.
When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—the moon and the stars you set in place—what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor. (Psalm 8:3-5 NLT)
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (1 Peter 5: 6-7 NKJV)
Today is named STOP COMPLAINING because we simply need to stop. Complaint opens the door to hitchhikers such as judgement, disdain, anger, comparison and control, just to name a few. It can be very easy to slip into complaining; we are unique individuals with distinct likes and dislikes. The key is to discover what benefit to the situation voicing our complaint is. We would be wise to either improve the situation or live with it. Constant complaint closes our eyes and ears to what the Holy Spirit may be attempting to teach or reveal to us. Don’t get stuck in a cycle of complaint, rejoice instead.
Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. (Philippians 2:3-16 NKJV)
Today is named TRUST because in God we can safely put our trust. He will never let us down, although sometimes we want His timing to be different. We can trust Him with all aspects or our lives, He has proven Himself over and over how faithful He is. When we are unclear about anything, we can trust Him to clarify it. He is more trustworthy than our best friend, for man can often disappoint when we least expect it. Trusting in Him ensures we have an escape plan, fight plan, vision, mission, direction and a safe place. Trusting in Him is also rest. Why strive to accomplish what only He can? Resting is so much easier, and less stressful. Trust more, stress less.
“It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in people. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.” (Psalm 118:8-9 NLT)
“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.” (Jeremiah 17:7)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3: 5-6)
Today’s named BELONG because God has a place for us within the Body. We have been accepted in the Beloved and He calls us His own. We are joint heirs with Christ, seated with Him in high places and given complementery gifts meant to enhance, work alongside and complete each other. There is no better place to be and no greater honor than to fully understand we have a place, a home, a family; that we belong.
“And so you are no longer called outcasts and wanderers but citizens with God’s people, members of God’s holy family, and residents of His household. You are being built on a solid foundation: the message of the prophets and the voices of God’s chosen emissaries with Jesus, the Anointed Himself, the precious cornerstone. The building is joined together stone by stone- all of us chosen and sealed in Him, rising up to become a holy temple in the Lord. In Him you are being built together, creating a sacred dwelling place among you where God can live in the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2: 19-22 Voice)
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.”. (Ephesians 1:3-6 NKJV)