The Highway of Holiness

Often in the middle of the night, I wake and write down the time. This morning the time was 3:56 am. The Lord never fails to give me a scripture that corresponds to the time, so I keep a notebook on the nightstand. I knew immediately it was Isaiah 35:6. It was our first night back from a 3-day road trip that was a fun mini vacation to a place the Lord has put on our hearts. Isaiah 35 is a promise to us, and Mike and I have been drawn to this chapter again and again. This time there was clarity as never before. Verse 6 says: “Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.” I believe He is promising us joy and wholeness in our next life adventure. Our voices will be heard, and we will live in abundance of peace and happiness. But what really caught my attention was verses 8 through 10:

And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness;
it will be for those who walk on that Way.
The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it.


wicked fools will not go about on it.
9 No lion will be there,
nor any ravenous beast;

they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there,
10 and those the Lord has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;

everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

My spirit began to leap like that deer and my voice rose up in praise. You see, life is a series of detours. On our road trip, we had to take a detour because road construction was going on in the main highway. That detour was short, but it was beautiful. We may have never seen that lush farmland had we not been obedient to the detour. The detour could have been a boring or a bumpy road; it could have been a desolate and dirty way, but it was not this time. It was beautiful because God works all things together for His plans and purposes and glory in our lives.

I believe the Lord shows us a destiny, a destination, a promise to look forward to. The road to that destiny may not look like we expect. There might be detours on the way to the Highway of Holiness that prepare us and mold us and sever us from unrighteousness. We need a little construction, rebuilding and restoring now and again. How can we get on the Highway of Holiness if there are still things we need to shake off? Keeping the promise of God before us, we press on. Perseverance is the vehicle to righteousness. When we arrive at the off ramp of our destination, we begin to leap like a deer and shout for joy! The promises and freedom overtake us, and we give God the glory. The doors open, the details fall into place, the momentum is unstoppable! We are covered in joy and safety and peace and love. God longs to remove us from captivity, to free us from man-made rules and regulations. He wants us free to stop “doing” and start just being His friend. Glory to God for His lovingkindness that goes from everlasting to everlasting! What an adventure!

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Phoenix Rising

    Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes of devastation and destruction, we rise. We, the believers, the Church, the Body of Christ, are each individually, a new creation in Christ. All the old things have passed away. We rise in victory over sin and death, disease and sufferings, emotional abuse and betrayal. We, are citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. The City dwells within us, empowering us to live in Kingdom wisdom and authority. The promises of God, the Words of God, are our source and shield; the truth, the love, uncompromised and ready in season and out.

    We rise, knowing we have full assurance of salvation, freedom and value to our Father. We rise, knowing we have the mind of Christ and are created in the image of God. We rise, in confidence. No weapon formed against us will prosper, and every tongue that speaks against us, we shall condemn. This is the inheritance and the life of a Kingdom dweller. We rise, secure in the perfect love of Jesus, the power of His might, His resurrection that conquered death, and the restoration of all things necessary for abundant life. It is humbling to know the God of creation has made us to dwell with Him. It is humbling that He chose us before the foundation of the earth, to enjoy a mutual, intimate, fellowship and friendship. It is His desire that all come to the full knowledge of Jesus and choose His salvation. He waits for us.

    We rise, in the power of the Holy Spirit, the same power that raised Jesus from the grave and conveyed us into the Kingdom of His love. We rise out of the ash heap of our former lives, free and victorious; ecstatic and overwhelmed with the goodness of God.

    We rise, we soar through the Heavens, we seek the face of God, we hear His voice, we hide under the shadow of His wings, and we worship with abandon. We hear His heart and pray from Heaven in agreement with Him. He rejoices over us with singing; He loves to set captives free and give us a future and a hope.

    We rise together, the Church, the Body of Christ, His peculiar people. We rise, knowing we will never be cast down. We can only rise.

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Superheroes

    The Lord God has an army of intercessors, people who are called to pray out mysteries and strategies, and birth God’s plans in the Spirit. I believe that in this mighty army are special ops, special task forces. One of these special forces is made up of ordinary people like you and me. These task force members are those called to deep prayer and supplication with fasting. Perhaps they pray for territories, or their own churches, or governments, nations and individuals. These agents invade darkness and bring light. They take their instruction from Jesus; they do nothing without going to prayer and hearing from the Father. I believe this particular task force is called the Jesus League. They are a band of super heroes suited up in their uniforms, going to front line combat in prayer. They are equipped with supernatural faith and understanding of authority and power conferred to us by Jesus at the cross. Mat. 28:19-20, Mark 16:14-18.

    Can’t you just see them? Picture in your mind the super heroes of the Justice League. Ok, I’m being a geek, but can’t you see the Justice League standing tall, united together, determination on their faces, ready to help the helpless. The original DC Comics heroes included Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, and Wonder Woman.  I see the comic book cover in my mind, they are proud and powerful. They are unstoppable.

    Likewise, in my spirit, I can see the Jesus League. They are fully submitted to God, on their knees, crying out on behalf of the Body of Christ. They intercede for us, they fight battles for us against principalities and powers of darkness, they save us from peril. These warriors stand on the Word of God. They worship the Lord and march into every engagement in humbleness and love. They won’t quit until the battle is done. They are transparent. They have cried out in the wee hours for a clean heart. They represent the diversity found in the Body of Christ. People from every tribe and tongue from around the world, kneeling before God, united with the Holy Spirit in purpose and determination. They know their authority. They know the victory is already theirs and they call it into being. The Lord goes before us and is our rear guard. He calls the intercessors to march in unison in prayer, to the sound of victory.

    Pray for your intercessors. Hold them up, lend them strength. They have paid a great price to have the privilege of living a life of prayer. They can see into the spirit realm, they often pray in the Spirit and in their understanding at the same time, interpreting both prayers simultaneously. They pull down Angels and the resources of Heaven for your life specifically. What an amazing gift. What an amazing responsibility. This is God at work on our behalf. In the world, people hurt one another. In the Spirit, people work with God to love one another. He partners with us, He works in our hearts, He provides a way and He protects us. Again, I am humbled and overwhelmed by His great goodness, His reckless love, and His plans for us. And, He uses us to accomplish those plans and purposes, exceedingly, abundantly, more than we could ask or think! God makes superheroes. This is amazing grace.

Angry Mama

    My daughter Shawn, gave me an Angry Mama microwave oven cleaner for Christmas and I absolutely love this funny thing! She looks really angry. It’s like she’s fit to be tied about the dirt and is not quitting till it’s clean. All you do is remove her head, add water and vinegar, put the head back on, and run it in the microwave. At the end, simply wipe off the nasty stuck-on yuk and your oven is clean. It’s crazy! It’s effective and it’s so easy!

    That got me thinking about someone I know. There’s always been something not quite right about her, yet the Lord uses her mightily. Her wisdom has changed the lives of many people, yet I had a reservation about something I couldn’t identify. As I became more aware of the Holy Spirit’s gift of discernment and how it works, by grace, I began to understand my own reactions to people and things in a spiritually correct manner.

    First, when we discern a thing, the purpose one way or another, is to pray. I asked the Lord how to pray about this person and this is how He handled it in me. Your job, Carol, is to intercede. If I show you something, your only reaction is to pray. You don’t talk to another person, you don’t form a human opinion, you ask Me what your position is in this. I am sovereign. I can use anyone for my purposes, whether they are completely free or not. No one is instantly holy, it is a process of overcoming life experiences, pain, fear, and opinions wrongly formed. I look at the heart, man looks at the outward appearance. You all have flaws, human idiosyncrasies, yet I use those flaws and make them into aptitudes for my glory. I deliver, and I make testimony from nothing. Never judge another by your discernment or any other thing. Have no criticism ever, just pray. You would not see an issue if I did not trust you to follow through. I will cause someone to pray out the things that hold you captive, as you pray out the freedom for another. It’s a partnership with Jesus who intercedes for all of you. You have a gift with a purpose. Like the angry mama, this gift goes to intercession and deep cleans without making a sound. Prayer steams off dirt and stains. It brings all the yuk to the surface, so it can be wiped away. Vinegar is sour, but it dissolves soil and leaves a sweet smell of cleanness behind.

    If you see something off in a person, be vinegar to sin. Call off deception, fear and confusion. Pray deeply, hold them up and ask that blessings be lavished upon them. Cancel the plan of the enemy and glorify the Lord. Love them effectively in prayer. Remember that love covers a multitude of sins. Perfect love casts out all fear. Partner with Jesus to render a sweet smelling, clean vessel, for His glory. Hugs.

Desperation

    When you get to the place of desperation to give up everything that you think, know, believe and cherish, just for a glimpse of the love of Jesus, then you understand being a living sacrifice. Romans 12:11. When that freedom of letting go washes over you and floods your once sinful soul with joy and liberty from self, then you realize that sacrificing all for Jesus, the one who sacrificed His life for mine, is the greatest honor and blessing of all.

    Its not a religion, it’s not a person or a spiritual leader or a church, it’s the personal, intimate, love relationship between the God of all creation and me. It’s a dance, a perfect movement together as one heart. It’s a realization that He is only looking at me, I’m the only one He is enthralled with at this very moment in time. Knowing, just knowing. It takes my breath away.

A Visitation

    In the wee hours of February 10, 2018, something shook me awake. It wasn’t just a shoulder tap, it was full on whole body shaking, like my body was electrified. There was a surge of vibration and it felt like pure fun. Something told me to open my eyes, so I did. I saw lights, hundreds of threads of lights like little LED strings that played across my walls, swirling and dancing in a wavy circle. They made all right turns around the room. They ebbed and flowed. They moved with pure joy, spinning freely around the room. It was happy, playful, and childlike. I was in awe, I immediately knew these twinkling lights were angels at play, and I knew they wanted to introduce themselves. They didn’t manifest in bodily form, but I knew who they were in the Spirit. I wasn’t afraid, I was marveling at the spectacle frolicking before me.

    As I continued to watch, I began to hear very faint music. I heard string instruments, violins, cellos, mandolins, and the like. The music was very different. It was somewhat like classical music, yet more playful, more deliberately joyful, and had a dance beat to it. Suddenly, brass instruments joined in the melody. The richness, the fullness of the sound was otherworldly. Although it was very quiet, it seemed to play in my ears as well as my spirit. It was definitely audible. The lights continued their graceful dance around the room. Gradually, drums entered in, softly enhancing the tempo and the progress. It was a full orchestra, delightful and soothing, but beautiful, emotional and amusing at the same time. It was fun, I even found myself laughing a little at the pure joy of it. There must have been hundreds of spirits in my room, dancing and making music and laughing.

    The celebration continued about 30 minutes and then began to fade. The lights dimmed and the music softly diminished until it was a lovely memory. I think this was the most jubilant moment of my life. There was no fear or doubt or self-criticism. What remained was just awe and wonder and childlike delight. I’m still astonished at the plans and purposes of God and how He chooses to equip us and encourage us. He gives us bright glimpses of Heaven just when we need it. I knew this was but first time I would see them. I knew their presence would get clearer as time goes by, and that I would hear what they are sent to tell me. Angels are messengers as we all know. This message was to embrace it all and find joy in Him. In the meantime, I’m amazed that God would bless me in this fashion, completely and fully free, and blissfully happy. I’m humbled and overwhelmed that I get to partake of Heavenly things. But then the scripture says we are seated together with Christ in heavenly places, so why not. As my little church proclaims every Sunday, let it be on Earth as it is in Heaven.

    

The Hungry Place

I saw myself walking on a pretty old-fashioned sidewalk. A small berm of snow was neatly brushed to the gutter, frost decorated the shop windows. It was cold, but peaceful. I looked up and saw a retro fifties style diner. The building was painted like a mural to resemble a train’s dining car. It was red and blue and green, brightly colored, warm and inviting. Delicious aromas spilled out into the street promising passersby delightful comfort food. The name of the diner was proudly sprawled across the building over the door…The Hungry Place.

I entered with anticipation, my stomach growling, my mouth watering in readiness. As I seated myself in the homey red leather booth, a friendly waitress with a beaming grin handed me a menu and a glass that was etched with a scene of a deer drinking from a cool mountain stream. The water in this glass was so good, so fresh, so different! I looked around behind the counter across the aisle. Soda fountain trappings were sparkling. A milk shake machine stood tall. I could see the freshly starched white cap of the cook behind the food delivery window. I smelled burgers and fries, apple pie baking and chicken frying.

As I opened the menu, I saw that it was huge. There were too many things to choose from. It was a joy and a delight just to look at it. I studied page after page of that menu as someone nearby dropped a coin into the mini juke box on their table. Sweet sweet music filled the air. My soul was immediately soothed; a joyful word of praise filled my lips. This is the Hungry Place! This where we come to taste and see that the Lord is good! This is it! Look, look at the menu! There’s peace, joy, love, healing, provision, deliverance! There are instructions, truth and clarity! There’s more than enough! Then I saw it, the one thing I wanted, the thing I craved with all my being. The special of the day! It was boldly featured on the last page. A serving is available for me, right here, right now! That most prized dish is intimacy with Jesus. I’m so hungry for it. I feel faint with the need of it’s nourishment. I need it to survive. I will not leave this hungry place without it.

I ordered with boldness. The waitress with the white ruffly apron smiles in approval. “Yes Hun, it’s the most sought-after dish in the diner!” “Not everyone thinks they are entitled to partake; are even afraid the serving would be too much to digest.” “Go ahead, reach out and take it! Dig in! Breathe in the fragrance of Jesus, consume every bit of this meal!” “Commit it to memory, strengthen your bones.” “Fill yourself with His love and comeback often for more!”

Oh yes. The menu is vast, but that one special dish is what I craved and what I requested. I sat with my choice for hours, savoring every nugget of His presence, delighting in every word whispered into my ear. I left that Hungry Place filled, whole, rested and satisfied. I know I can return again and again, be filled and loved, and never be turned away.

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