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How The Sound of the Shofar
Affects Our Destiny

"God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet" (Psalms 47:5)

We are exhorted in the Word to shout unto God with the voice of triumph.  God goes UP with a shout, and the LORD with the "sound of the trumpet." (Psalm 47:5)  The trumpet in this Psalm is the shofar. 

The sound of the shofar from earth affects the heavenly realms and facilitates our connecting with the Lord.  Our spirit man is awakened by the sound of the shofar.  This sound can reveal places where we have stopped moving in God's cycles.  Once made aware, and if we receive the revelation, we can be set free and re-connect with a stronger relationship than ever.  

The Scriptures are full of information on the power of the shofar's sound.  May we all look at one such story from Judges.  Judges incorporates several stories of unlikely men and women who were chosen as temporary leaders in order to defeat Israel's enemies.  There wasn't an earthly king in those days because the Lord Himself wanted to be Israel's king.  In truth, nothing has changed today.  God wants to be our King, our Saviour, our Husband, our Healer, our Deliverer, our Shepherd, our everything.  

Upon close inspection, we will find a consistent unhealthy pattern or cycle in the book of Judges.  It would serve us well to apply this study to our lives and judge our own selves.  What was this pattern in Judges?  After being delivered from Egypt, Israel was unfaithful, not impressed by God's miracles and forgot His many acts of kindness to them.  Because of their rebellion, God would deliver the people into the hands of their enemies.  Time after time, they would eventually repent and cry out for mercy.  God would appoint a judge to deliver them from their troubles and they would again begin to prosper.  But sadly, the cycle would repeat itself and the people would become unfaithful again and again until God had had enough.

THE DELIVERER WILL ARISE

In Judges 3:12, we discover that the Children of Israel had gone back to doing evil in God's sight.  Because of this, the LORD recruited the Ammonites and Amalekites to strike Israel.  This judgment caused the children of Israel to be in servitude to King Eglon of Moab for eighteen(18) years.  Again, the children of Israel began to cry out to the LORD and once again, God raised up a deliverer named Ehud. 

Eglon in it's root form means: to revolve, to be circular.  Please meditate on this for a moment. To revolve or be circular is a picture of a cycle.  How many of us have not been able to break out of certain cycles?  Though we have prayed and have had prayers spoken over us, we seem to remain trapped in the same trial(s).

Ehud, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, was chosen and equipped by God to help the Israelites be delivered from King Eglon of Moab.  After God moved on Ehud, he made himself a two-edged dagger, and he did gird it under his raiment on his right thigh. (Judges 3:16) 

Focusing on ourselves, we should ask "what is our two-edged dagger needed to combat endless cycles?"  Our two-edged dagger is the Word of God.  "For the Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Heb. 4:12).  Our two-edged dagger is the high praises of God in our mouth.  "Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron" (Ps. 148:6-8).

Ehud approached King Eglon and told him he had a message for him.  This got Eglon's attention and caused him to rise up. The enemy knows full well, as we speak what has already been written, he is defeated. The message was in the form of a dagger.  This message was not going to be for Eglon's ear, but for his fat belly. (Judges 3:20-21).  After Ehud escaped from assassinating Eglon, he blew the shofar in the mountain of Ephraim.  When the children of Israel heard the "Sound of the Shofar," they gathered for war.  "So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel and the land had rest for eighty (80) years. 

The children of Israel received the "sound"  and came into proper alignment after eighteen (18) years.  The eighteen (18) year unholy cycle was broken and eighty (80) godly years of peace were unlocked.  Demonstrating the interdependency of God's Hebrew language, please note that the 17th letter of the Hebrew alphabet is the "Pe" and has the numerical value of 80.  The "Pe" signifies the mouth and serves as a reminder of the importance of our words.

THE POWER OF SOUND

Sound (our words) can destroy material objects, as well as spiritual objects.  As we speak God's Word, the LORD will dismantle the works of ungodly cycles (rulers over us, if you will) and set us free.  We are encouraged by remembering another sound. The sound of the shofars and the shout of the people were so powerful they brought down the ungodly walls of Jericho.

I pray this letter will encourage you to continually use your mouth to praise God.  May our words be such as to encourage God to inhabit them and us.  The LORD will go up with the shout, the LORD with the sound of the trumpet (shofar). (Psalm 47:5).

Blessings,

P/Karen

RESTORING THE WATCHMAN ANOINTING

"So you, son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear the word at my mouth and give them warning from me" (Ezek. 33:7)

Many have been called to walk in the watchman anointing, but a spirit of slumber has tried to overtake and bring them into a state of lethargy.  Romans 11:8 speaks of the "spirit of slumber."  The Apostle Paul teaches us in Romans 11:7-8 that Israel had been given the "spirit of slumber," so that they were unable to spiritually see and hear.  The Aramaic can be translated as "a spirit of frustration." 1  We would do well to ask ourselves, "lately, have I felt frustrated in any area of my life?"

If we will call out to God for deliverance from this spirit of slumber/frustration, the LORD will restore the watchman anointing to us.

While there is much to teach on the watchman anointing, we must first learn the daytime divisions of the prayer watches.  By the time of Jesus, daily time was divided into 3 hour segments.2  Another thing we need to know is that we have spheres of influence and authority. Watchmen are assigned to areas.  If we are not "watching" over the area assigned to us, we cannot exercise authority in another area.  We also need a vision, or we are like soldiers operating without sight.  We cannot blindly fire our weapons without strategy.  Here are four areas of "spheres of influence:" 3

  • Home
  • Work
  • Church
  • Community

 

DAYTIME DIVISIONS

In the days of Jesus, Rome established chimes in the city that would signal the beginning of each time division, or segment.

The following are the Roman time segments which correspond to the prayer hours.  The following information is extracted from Chuck Pierce's book Reordering Your Day Understanding and Embracing the Four Prayer Watches.4

DAYTIME DIVISIONS

Lauds (sometime just before Dawn): A time to begin the day in praise.  It pictured the morning sacrifice offered by Israel's priests every morning.5

Prime (the First Hour) at 6:00 am: Prime is to be considered as the prayer of the beginning of the day. Prayer at this watch consecrated all of the work of the day.6

Terce (3rd Hour at 9:00 am): This was the hour of Christ's condemnation to death, and the hour of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles on the Day of Pentecost.7

Sext (6th Hour at Noon): Peter went up to the higher parts of the house to pray (Acts 10:9).  It was the middle of the day, also the usual hour of rest.  A time to seek the LORD! At the sixth hour Abraham received the three angels.  It was thehour when darkness covered the whole land during the crucifixion (Matt. 27:45; Mark 15:33).8

None (9th Hour at 3:00 pm).  Its name comes from Latin and refers to the ninth hour of the day after dawn. "Now Peter and John went up into the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer." (Acts 3:1). Among the ancients, the hour of None was regarded as the close of the day's business and time for the baths and supper.  The Christians used this time as an opportunity to pray.9

Vespers (Sundown-Around 6:00 pm): The word comes from the Latin vesper, meaning "evening."  This time was most widely known in the Early Church as Lucernalis or Lucenaria hora (the hour of lights).  It was so called because at this hour the candles were lighted.  This was often the time of corporate prayer. All the lamps and torches were lighted.  The psalms were sung, thanksgiving offered, then the prayers and finally the blessing and dismissal.  This evening gathering was a continuation of the evening sacrifice of the Old Testament.  The day is consecrated to God by Vespers.10

Compile: The term Compile is a derivation of the Latin word completorium,designating the last (completing hour of the day.  It is a private prayer at bedtime.  Prayer at the time of compile closes the day with the LORD.11

Vigils: A "Middle of the Night Prayer Watch."  Usually around 3:00 am.  Many prophetic individuals will be awakened by the Holy Spirit to pray at this time.12

The Lord will teach us how to build our future, if we will learn to watch with Him.  Ep. 5:16 tells us to "Redeem time".  To redeem means to buy back.  May the Holy Spirit teach us the depths of this concept of buying back.  Wherever we have been locked up in a "time prison," may we be set free and may the watchman anointing be restored.

Love,

P/Karen

________________

  1. TPT, pg. 779
  2. Biblical Life Prayer Dynamics, Chpt. 19, pg. 19
  3. Ibid
  4. Pierce, Chuck.  Reordering Your Day. Understanding and Embracing The Four Prayer Watches. Glory of Zion Int. Ministries, Denton, Tx. C 2006.  Pgs. 15-17
  5. Ibid
  6. Ibid
  7. Ibid
  8. Ibid
  9. Ibid
  10. Ibid
  11. Ibid
  12. Ibid

THE INNER STRUGGLE

"And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD" (Gen. 25:22) 

 

We cannot walk with God without struggle and pain.  The LORD told Adam that his disobedience to His voice would cause him pain all the days of his life. (Gen. 3:17)  That may not have sounded very encouraging at the moment, however, understanding the reason for this kind of struggle is the key to long-term victory.  A perfect example of this kind of struggle begins with the story of Rebekah and her pregnancy with her twins, Esau and Jacob.  God points out in His Word that the children struggled together WITHIN HER.  

Likewise, our struggle is WITHIN US.  We can blame the struggle on our geographical location, on our family, on our church, on our pastor, on our mate, or on our friends.  Even if this sort of blame assignment seemed to "work" in the past, it won't "work" anymore!  It has no permanent, Godly solution.

We must understand that our primary struggle lies in the truth that we need a true identity, and only God can give us the right one, the one He has chosen.  Although we will continue to battle in all sorts of "fleshly struggles," once we are re-named, we have the tools to remain at peace with who we are as we stand before God and before man.  

Jacob started his struggle in the womb of his mother. (Gen. 25:22)  Hosea 12:3-4 tells us that Jacob took his brother by the heel while in the womb.  That was only the beginning of his struggles with his brother, with himself, and with others.

Again, our biggest struggle is internal.  Too many times we don't understand our motives at all; we want to do what is right, but time after time, we don't do it.  The Apostle Paul says that we actually do the very thing we hate (the thing we know is not pleasing to God, nor beneficial to us).  Remember there is the law of sin and death at work WITHIN US that causes our will (flesh) to be at war with our redeemed mind (soul).  (Rom. 7:15-23)  Interpersonal battles (with others) are NOT with flesh and blood.... ever.  

Because we are human, we all encounter the internal and external struggles that are common to every man.  Each of our struggles is personal and, in fact, can be named.  The list of names is vast and includes:  fear, insecurity, temptation, guilt, addiction, discontentment, manipulation, and pride.

THE REAL STRUGGLE

If we honestly search for the root of all our struggles, we inevitably discover that our real struggle is with God Himself.  Jacob struggled with God. (Hos. 12:3). "And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day" (Gen. 32:24).  Jacob was actually in a wrestling match with God.  In this struggle, God asks Jacob to tell him his name. (Gen. 32:27)  God already knew Jacob's name, but wanted Jacob to understand and proclaim what was going on WITHIN him.

Hebraically, the name Jacob can mean "layer of snares."  In Hebrew, a layer of snares is trickery.  The name Jacob also means "to be a supplanter," one who wants to take over.  The natural man, the flesh, does not want to submit to God.  Fortunately for Jacob, this story tells us that as the time came for Jacob to face God, get honest with himself, be broken and re-named, he submitted to the Lord's will.  

Be encouraged!  Whenever we find ourselves in a struggle, know that God is trying to change our identity and give us a new name.  He is directing us to conform to His will. 

Here are three keys to help us through these struggles:

  1. With honesty and respect, tell God what you are really thinking.  Do you feel things are unfair?  Are situations too painful?  Confess to the LORD as David did.  David in Psalm 13:1-5 says "How long, Lord, will you forget me?  Forever? How long will you look the other way?  How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with the sorrow in my heart everyday? How long will my enemy have the upper hand?  Turn and answer me, my God!"

  2. Respectfully complain to God.  I heard a minister once teach that we are not to complain ABOUT God.  There is a way to come before the LORD to humbly present your complaint, as you express your anguish and disappointment about your circumstances.  Moses complained to God (about the people) and received God's help.  On the contrary, the children of Israel complained about what God was asking of them, and they were destroyed in the wilderness.  Your attitude toward and your respect for the Father are critical to your outcome and many times, your survival.

  3. Remind the LORD of His promises to you.  Right before Jacob goes through his struggle with God, he prays.  "Then Jacob prayed, 'O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father, Isaac—O LORD, You told me, 'Return to your own land and to your relatives.'  And You promised me, 'I will treat you kindly.'  I am not worthy of all the unfailing love and faithfulness You have shown to me, Your servant. When I left home and crossed the Jordan River, I owned nothing except a walking stick.  Now my household fills two large camps!'"  "O LORD, please rescue me from the hand of my brother, Esau.  I am afraid that he is coming to attack me, along with my wives and children.  But You promised me, 'I will surely treat you kindly, and I will multiply your descendants until they become as numerous as the sands along the seashore—too many to count.'" (Gen. 32:9-12)

Jacob struggled with God and WON a personal victory, a victory over himself.  God gave him a new name, "Israel." God said, "Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince have you power with God and with men, and have prevailed" (Gen. 32:28).

Jacob had to be emptied of self, in order to receive his new name. Only upon being renamed was he empowered to face his brother Esau, whom he greatly feared.

To make amends for his brother's anger against him, Jacob sent Esau gifts.  As the two were re-united, the exchange of words between the brothers gives us a key to grant us hope, especially if we are those who are going through the process of being emptied.  Esau tells Jacob he does not need his gifts.  In Hebrew, Esau says to Jacob, "Yesh li rab."  This means "I have many things."  Because Jacob has been broken, emptied out and re-named by God, he replies, "Yesh li kol."  which means, "I HAVE EVERYTHING."  

We cannot say "I have everything" until we are completely emptied of self.  Yeshua is the perfect picture of a man completely yielded and emptied.  He walked in divine power as He was wholly submitted and led by His Father—every step, every moment.

Learn to use these keys to get through struggles.  Remember that Jacob told the LORD he would NOT let him go until He blessed him. (Gen. 32:26).  Don't give up or even look back.  God truly wants to bless.

Love,

P/Karen

 

THE BATTLE IS OVER THE SOUL

"The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul" (Psalm 19:7).

 

The longer we walk with the Lord, the more we will discover that once we are a citizen of the kingdom of God, our primary battle is over our soul. 

The soul is an especially fascinating study.  The information contained in this message is for those of you who want to learn more Hebraic truth. I am bringing some new things to you to encourage you and give you hope.

Understanding Nephesh And Lev

God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils his very breath. (Gen. 2:7).  By the breath of God, the dust became a living soul (in Hebrew, "nephesh").  Interestingly, man does not seem to have exclusive possession of a soul.  Genesis 1:21 teaches us that God created every living creature.  "Living creature" in Hebrew is the word "nephesh" or soul.  However, man's advantage over animals in this matter is that man's soul can be converted. 

Our souls have appetites and need to eat.  Our soul is the seat of our appetite, our emotions and our passions.  The activity of our mind is also called the soul. Our souls and our mind are one and must be transformed daily, converted if you will.

When Adam was created, his soul/heart was called "nephesh."  After he sinned, his soul/heart was called "lev."  Interestingly, the word "lev" is not found in Scripture before Adam fell, only afterwards.  When we were born we were not in the state as Adam was before he fell.  We were born "lev."  Mercifully, because of the sacrifice of Yeshua our Messiah, we can be restored in our soul/minds to the state that Adam enjoyed before he sinned (nephesh).  The only way to be restored to "nephesh" is to be converted.  The soul of man can only be restored and return to its original state by consuming and obeying the instruction of God through Jesus Christ.  I learned from Hebrew scholars that by studying and obeying the law/instruction of the LORD, I am being restored from "lev" to "nephesh."

The Prophet Isaiah asks the question, "Wherefore do you spend money for that which is not bread?  And your labor for that which satisfies not?  Hearken diligently unto me, and EAT that which is good, and let your SOUL delight itself in fatness" (Isaiah 55:2).

What Comes Out Of The Battle?

Our souls have to eat spiritual food (bread) in order to be converted.  The reason the battle is against the soul/mind is because the enemy knows that if we do not live by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God, he can keep us from being transformed from "lev" to "nephesh."  This is an example of how idolatry comes into our lives. 

We are warned to keep ourselves from idols. (I John 5:21)  If we have idols in our souls (minds), we are driven to find relief.  Thus, we may start spending money to satisfy what only the bread of life, that is Jesus and His instructions written in His Word, can bring.  Trying to satisfy our soul with anything that is not of the Spirit, will open the door for the enemy to enter and trap us in an endless cycle of seeking, but never finding.  Understanding what bread means in the Hebrew language will give us a picture of why I called this teaching "The Battle Is Over Your Soul."  Bread and battle are close companions.

What does"BREAD" have to do with a battle?  The Hebrew word for battle is "milchamah."  As we learn to study Hebrew, we learn to discover the roots of a word.  In the middle of the word "battle", we find the Hebrew word, "lcham.  "Lcham" means "bread." What comes out of the battle? Bread!

We can better picture this by examining the process of making a loaf of bread.  To make bread, we must first mix the flour and water together creating the dough.  Then we must vigorously knead the dough.  Kneading is a picture of war in the sense of having to "fight" with the dough in order to produce a proper outcome.  Whether making bread or battling in a personal war, many times, we are actually in a struggle for our lives (a proper loaf of bread.)  Without bread (food), we perish; without victory in battle, we perish.  In reality, every time we eat a piece of bread, we are celebrating the spoils of a war.  

What is the battle of the soul?  The battle over the soul is a result of the enemy lying to us as he did Eve, to doubt God and keep us from His word, our "bread of life."  Of course, there is more to this than can be contained in this short message, but I write this to stimulate our minds and to prepare us all for the "Idols Riot Healing School" we are hosting this weekend at OTC, presented by Katie Souza and Dr. Francis Myles.

It is time for the victory over all idolatry and a renewed appetite for those things which CAN satisfy the soul.  It is time for us to return to the original state in which God ordained us to live at creation and forever more.

Be blessed,

P/Karen

COMING HOME

"...and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah" (Ruth 1:7).

 

Today is the 29th day of the Hebrew month Iyar.  We are at the 44th  day of the counting of the omer.  Iyar is a significant month in the Hebrew calendar, as it is an acronym for "I am the LORD that heals you" (Exod. 15:26), "Ani Hashem Rofecha"—"I am G-d, your healer."

As we study Moses and the children of Israel, after they were delivered from Egypt, we see instances of healing that took place in the second month called Iyar.  Iyar is considered a linking month, connecting the month of Nisan to the month of Sivan. Shavuot/Pentecost is a feast that celebrates the end of harvesting barley and the beginning of the harvest of wheat.  Barley is symbolic of the Israelites and wheat is symbolic of the Gentiles. 1

THE BOOK OF RUTH

In the book of Ruth, which is customarily read on Shavuot/Pentecost, we see events that took place between Passover and Shavuot.  The book of Ruth is a beautiful story that demonstrates God's plan to save both the Jew and the Gentile. 

One of the key characters in the Book of Ruth is Naomi, the mother-in-law of Ruth.  When we are introduced to Naomi, we see a description of a woman who had experienced the devastation of famine, widowhood, and the loss of her only two sons.  In the original language, to be widowed could be illustrative of a desolate condition.  The Hebrew word "widow" means that you have become bound, tongue-tied and silenced.  

Spiritually speaking, if you are tongue tied, you are not able to speak with power.  I bring this to our attention because as a Pastor, I am hearing reports of many people experiencing great harvest and breakthrough, and others experiencing desolation and drought.  Naomi was able to be delivered from ruination and desperation.  The Bible tells us how she did it.

Naomi arose with her daughters-in-law while she was in the land of Moab because she HEARD how the LORD had visited his people and gave them bread. (Ruth 1:6)  The first thing she had to overcome in her "widowness" was to raise herself up.  The reason she could raise herself was birthed in something she had heard.  She then had to go forth "out of the place" where she was being oppressed. 

This "place" is a condition of the mind or body.  Many who are in the place of failure will have to make a decision.  They must decide to go forth out of the place in their mind that has allowed even their own speech to work against them.  We live in a voice-activated kingdom, and by speaking God's Word into a situation we are able to decree a thing and have it be established.  Not only that, as we do so, the light will shine upon our ways. (Job 22:28)  I have seen this principle work in my life throughout my whole walk with the LORD.  Likewise, the same principle (God acting on your words of faith) will work for you.

The widow Naomi, one who once had been silenced, bound and not able to speak with power, now hears a message that God is visiting his people with bread.  A Hebrew definition of bread can mean to engage in battle, wage war and fight. The Apostle Paul told his spiritual son, Timothy, that he could take the prophetic words spoken over him and war a "good warfare."  (I Tim. 1:18)  We all know that when we are in warfare, we are on active "military" duty.  We cannot remain passive.

Naomi and Ruth went out of that place.  They moved.  The Bible says that they went on the way to return onto the land of Judah.  Since one of the definitions of Judah means praise, the name, Judah, will always be a key for us.  The high praises of God coming out of our mouths is a two-edged sword.  When we are praising God and blessing Him, our praise causes demonic kings to be bound with chains and evil nobles to be bound with fetters of iron. (Psalm 149:6, 8)  

We are approaching Shavuot, the time of harvest.  I encourage us all to begin to practice what Naomi did and see what happens in our lives. We choose to not miss our harvest and the time of great joy.  (Ps. 126:6)

Love,

P/Karen

____________________

1. Timothy Program International. Study on Shavuot.

MOTIVATION BE RESTORED

"Study this Book of Instruction continually.
Meditate on it day 
and night
so you will be sure to obey everything written in it.
Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do." Jos. 1:8 (TL

I've never met anyone in my life who has deliberately chosen to be a failure.  Almost everyone I know and especially those whom I mentor wants to be a success.  They desire to walk in the blessings of God and see their dreams fulfilled.  The LORD Himself wants us to succeed.  The Word of God holds the key to our future success and forward movement.  This key is available to every single believer without regard to their status, other than that of a humble heart.  This key is found in the Book of Joshua.  "This book of the Torah (Instruction) should not depart from your mouth - you are to MEDITATE on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. For then you will make your ways prosperous and then you will be SUCCESSFUL" (Jos. 1:8)(TLV).

Meditation understood from the Hebraic perspective can bring great change in our attitude toward our situation and in the situation itself.  Hebrew meditation was not a silent act, but is a speaking forth and uttering of sounds and words.  The Hebrew word for meditation is "hagah."  Hagah means to speak out, talk and utter.  This word implies that the Scriptures are to be spoken out loud and contemplated, not exclusively read silently.  

The Book of Psalms opens with the same theme as the Book of Joshua.  The blessed man is one who delights in the Torah (Instruction) of God and meditates on it day and night.  Meditating on the Word of God will cause us to become like a tree planted by water, bringing forth fruit, not withering but prospering in EVERYTHING that we do. (Psa. 1:3) 

A PERSONAL STORY ABOUT MOTIVATION

Have you ever awakened to find yourself drained of all energy and motivation, when just the day before, you were energized and determined to tackle the world?  How does this happen, and what is the root cause?

I will share a personal story about this very phenomenon that happened to me in the year 2016.  Our offices are in our home. Our home is kept free from distractions that come from television and other outside influence, so we can focus on our work.  When the elections were under way in 2016, I wanted to know what was happening, almost by the moment.  I turned on the television to watch the news.  One hour of news-watching turned into a day of watching and progressively becoming enthralled by the election process and prospects of its outcome.

I lost hours of sleep, as my focus was turned away from my usual daily mode of operation, studying God's Word.  I became fatigued.  My usual high energy level was waning.  After the election results were in and the new president-elect was announced, I was exhausted to the point that I even felt nearly paralyzed in my planning processes.  Preparing for the week's teaching seemed almost impossible.  When I sat at my desk to get quiet before the LORD, I was drained.  Something was very wrong.  I knew I had to identify the influences that brought me to this place.

Distraction easily and almost completely impacted my motivation in a most negative way.  I know from studying the Word that fatigue can cause fatal errors.  King David understood this very well when his former Attorney General, Ahithophel, betrayed him and gave counsel against him.  Ahithophel knew David well enough to know that when David was tired, he could be overcome.  "And Ahithophel said to Absalom, please let me choose out twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David tonight" (2 Sam. 17:1) (MKJV).  " And I will come upon him while he is WEARY and weak-handed, and I will make him tremble.  And all the people with him will flee.  And I will strike the king by himself" (2 Sam.17:2) (MKJV).  We all have an adversary that knows this strategy can work against us, too.

After identifying the influences that drained me, I re-focused on the Word of God.  The renewed focus caused my energy and enthusiasm to return.  Shortly thereafter, I received a very powerful and life-changing message for two different groups of people that I mentor.

We MUST learn how to stay motivated.  "And David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people were grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters; but David ENCOURAGED himself in the LORD his God" (I Sam. 30:6)(KJV).  We all have a responsibility to stay self-motivated.  Every person with whom we associate is either causing us to stay motivated or is discouraging and draining us.  An unhealthy or toxic relation will drain us mentally and spiritually.  Attempting to do too many things at one time will also negatively affect our motivation.  Trying to please everyone will reduce our energy, and can ultimately break down our resistance, which may even lead to physical problems.

Focusing on the Word of God and speaking it out loud will bring noticeable, positive changes in our lives - if we will practice doing so faithfully.  If we can stay motivated in this way, we will become successful - God's way.

PROTECTING OUR RESTING TIME

We can never under estimate the power of rest.  Jesus said it: "Come unto me, all you that labor (are fatigued) and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28)(KJV).  In another place, Jesus says, "Let's go off to a quiet place and rest awhile" (Mark 6:31)(NLT).  Also, we are instructed to remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy (Exod. 20:8).  Sabbath means: "to cease from working, desist from exertion" (Strong's Concordance).

There are mysteries hidden in the weekly Sabbath rest.  Through resting in the Lord, we can experience the beauty of the mysteries for ourselves.  I hope we all are beginning to see that in order to protect our motivation, we must protect our resting time.

There are many medical studies on the dangers of an exhausted brain. "Brain fog, also commonly known as brain fatigue can be a mild to severe episode of mental confusion that can strike without warning.  When this occurs, it is common to experience a lack of focus, poor memory recall and reduced mental activity." (www.nutrex-hawaii.com/blogs/learn/common-brain-fog-fatigue-causes).  The world seems to have turned to prescription drugs to stimulate or depress the mind in an attempt to alleviate brain fog.  But as believers, we have an Hebraic key/code and "mystery" solution to eliminate brain exhaustion. Through the use of the key (meditation on the Word), we can embrace Paul's words to the Corinthians that tells us that "we have the mind of Christ" (I Cor. 2:1)(KJV).

HEBRAIC MYSTERY CONTAINED IN
THE WORD MEDITATION

As most of the people whom I mentor know, I place great importance on the study of Hebrew, the Hebrew alphabet and the root meanings of Hebrew words.  In the word for meditation, "hagah" the letter "g" is the third letter in the Hebrew alphabet.  It's called the "gimel."  Let's explore a mystery contained in this third letter.

The gimel (no. 3), written in Hebrew, is shaped to look like a camel, and represents blessings.  Hebraically, a camel is called "gomel chesed", literally "a performer of kindness."  A camel is a tall animal and must kneel down for men to be able to load it with cargo.  To be blessed and successful through Hebraic eyes does not mean that we are keeping all the blessings for ourselves.  The camel kneels to be loaded with cargo/benefits.  Once it is loaded, it rises and then transfers the goods from one place to another; moving the goods from those who have to those in need.  This image of a camel is a parallel of the activities of a truly blessed and successful person.

"Gird up the loins of your mind" (I Peter 1:13)(KJV), comes from the idea of hobbling your camel.  Arab headgear is called a 'caffiyeh.'  A caffiyeh is a scarf worn on men's heads and held on by a rope called an 'egal.'  This same rope is placed around the knobby knee of a kneeling camel at night to prevent it from rising up and wandering away.  Peter says to let God's Word be to your mind what the rope is to the wandering camel.  (Camel information taken from the Timothy Program Hebrew Alphabet, pg. 5, Dr. Karl D. Coke)

Lord, help us to keep that rope (Your Word) around our minds tight enough to prevent our minds from wandering.

May you be blessed, prosperous and a distributor of blessings.

Love,

P/Karen

PASSOVER THOUGHTS

"In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD'S passover" (Lev. 23:5)

Passover is a permanent celebration, an historic celebration, a set time reminding all of when the children of Israel were delivered from the bondage of Egypt. (Exod. 12:14)  This feast is a memorial and an ordinance to be kept and observed throughout all generations.

Passover is the symbol of the time God's people were delivered from the world's sinful system, epitomized by Egypt's god-king, Pharoah.  Pharoah is an image of Satan.  When we live according to the system of the world, we miss the mark and are subject to the kingship of Pharoah (Satan).  We are in bondage to the sin-kingdom of Satan. 

The children of Israel were commanded on the 10th day of Nisan (this year, March 23, 2021) for every man to take a lamb according to the size of his family. (Exod. 12:3)  The (faultless) lamb was to be kept until the 14th day of Nisan.  Then the congregation of Israel was to kill the lamb in the evening. (Exod. 12:6)  Did you know that these 4 days were fulfilled by Yeshua, the faultless lamb, during the week of Passover?  Remember that Yeshua was inspected for 4 days by the Chief Priests, the elders, Pilate, Herod, Annas the High Priest and Caiaphas the High Priest and found to be faultless. 

PURIFICATION AND PASSOVER

Purification is necessary for the observance of Passover.  One story regarding the Passover can be found in 2 Chronicles 30:15-19.  Hezekiah prayed a prayer for those who were not clean and wanted to observe the Passover.  He prayed, "The good LORD pardon evey one that prepares his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.  And the LORD HEARKENED to Hezekiah and healed the people" (2 Chron. 30: 18-20).  What a wonderful picture of the love and mercy of God!  Hezekiah stood in the gap for the people, just as Jesus stood in the gap for mankind and paid the price for the deliverance and healing of all who come to Him.  

As I was in prayer early this morning reading the Scriptures in The Passion Translation, I was amazed at a Scripture that was quickened to me and how appropriate it is for this time.  "And all who focus their hope on Him (Jesus) will always be purifying themselves, just as Jesus is pure" (I John 3:3).  At the first Passover, Moses gave the command that one must be circumcised to eat the Passover. (Exod.12:31-36)  This is a description that indicates to us that God wants us spiritually circumcised, so we may walk before Him with a pure heart. 

JESUS OR BARABBAS

In Jesus' time, there was a custom that at every Passover a prisoner would be released.  "Now at the Feast [of the Passover] the governor was in the habit of setting free for the people any one prisoner whom they chose, and at that time they had a notorious prisoner whose nane was "Barabbas" (Matt. 27:15-16 AMP).  Pilate asked the people whom they desired to have him set free, Barabbas or Jesus? (Matt. 27:17).

We can see special Hebraic meaning in the name, BarAbbas.  Bar in Hebrew means "adopted."  Abba is the Hebrew word for "father."  Think for a moment and consider what the people were requesting when they chanted "We want BarAbbas."  They were actually saying we want the "adopted" father, a murderer, and not the true Father who can set us free from sin and Satan's bondage.  Jesus is called the Everlasting Father in (Isaiah 9:6).

My purpose for this message is to challenge our thinking.  Do we want to associate with the true Jesus who asks us to deny self and follow Him?  Do we want to associate with the One with whose relationship we're warned, brings persecution and separation, even from family members?  Or do we want the BarAbbas (adopted) father who is an image of man's making, a symbol of the enemy of mankind, Satan?  The adopted father was a criminal, just as Satan is a criminal.  The adopted father, Satan, can never set us free or give us eternal life. 

May we spend this week allowing God to purify body, soul and spirit.  May we purposely and forever keep ourselves from all idols. (I John 5:21).

Blessings,

P/Karen

What About Today?

"Today if you hear His Voice 
harden not your hearts."  Heb. 3:15

 

John Maxwell, a former pastor and widely known business and ministry leadership expert, wrote a book called, Today Matters.  I am calling our attention to the subject of "today" because of the scriptural importance of understanding it, and because it affects everything that pertains to our lives, our well-being and our future.  Joshua 24:15 says to choose daily (today) whom we will serve.  Jesus taught the disciples how to pray daily (today) in Matt. 6:9-13.  I am persuaded that the LORD wants His people to understand the principle of "today," and how understanding it brings the success for which every man and woman needs.  As a pastor, my heart's desire is to see the flock at OTC master the concept, and in fact, that all of God's people master the "today" principle of success.

If the Body of Christ starts walking in their God-appointed calling, whether in the marketplace or in formal ministry, we will begin to see healthy communities developing.  As some may have noticed, this is a recurrent theme I present.  Hebraic thinking requires us to repeat things over and over until it becomes a part of us, forming in us a "good habit."

John Maxwell writes in Chapter One of Today Matters:  "We may think success is Productivity, so we work for it.  There are many people who work hard and never see success.  Some people give their energy to dead-end jobs.  We believe success comes from an opportunity—and so we wait for it.  Their motto begins with the words, "if only."  If only my boss would cut me some slack. If only I could get that promotion. If only I had some start-up capital. If only my kids would behave then life would be perfect." 1 To rid yourselves of this "if only" habit, we must realize that "You will never change your life until you change what you do daily." 2

In reality, we ARE what we do daily.  There is a law of inevitable eventuality.  If we eat the wrong foods daily, we will eventually weigh too much or too little, or even become sick.  If we continually avoid quiet time with God and personal study of His Word, we will inevitably become bitter and deceived.  If we study the Scriptures daily, we will eventually and inevitably become successful.  Mastery of the subject, "today" will endue us with foundational truth and will cause us to walk in success.  Ignoring this lesson will surely lead to less-than-desirable results and sadly, even to disaster.

When teaching on success, American believers may be tempted to equate the lessons with those of "prosperity preachers" and turn a deaf ear.  I want us to master the kingdom principle of success because it is the truth and will benefit us greatly.  Real success is much more than finances.  God's definition of success will affect our family, health, relationships, values, jobs and much more.  Today, if any of us are feeling as if we are floundering without direction, disappointed in our present circumstances, unsuccessful in our attempts, and pretty much a failure, then this brief study can facilitate a turnaround in our attitude and consequently, in our results.  

The Hebrew word for success (sakal) is found in Joshua 1:8.  The Lord spoke to Joshua telling him that by meditating on His instruction day and night, night and day, (in other words, today) and guarding that instruction, he would become prosperous and successful.  This concept of daily meditation and success is also found in Psalm 1:2,3:  "But his delight is in the law of the LORD and in His law does he meditate day and night.  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers that brings forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper."

Success (sakal) found in Joshua 1:8 means:

  1. To be circumspect.  If we are circumspect we are prudently watching, cautious and guarded.  Wisdom teaches us to guard our hearts (mindset) for from the heart are the issues of life. Prov. 4:23 "Keep/guard your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."  If we are circumspect, we become the watchmen over our own thoughts and protect what enters our mind.  Habakkuk 2:1-2 "I will stand upon my watch and set ME upon the tower, and will watch to see what He will say unto ME, and what I shall answer when I am reproved."  God speaks and gives instruction daily.

  2. To be intelligent.  Some of the synonyms for the word intelligent are brilliant, bright, intuitive, perceptive and discerning.  Discernment comes through practice.  Heb. 5:14 "But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, even those who because of use have their senses EXERCISED to discern both good and evil.  If we become successful in our walk with God, it is because we are learning how to discern.

  3. To be an expert.  An expert is one with comprehensive and authoritative knowledge or skill in a particular area.  Jesus taught his disciples in Matt. 13:52, that if they could understand His parables they would become as scholars/experts bringing out of their treasures new things and old things.  In other words, not only will we understand the ancient paths, but we will receive fresh and new revelation through that understanding.  The LORD did not call us to be a jack of all trades.  This is proven in I Cor. 12:4-6.  There are diversities of gifts, administrations and operations. I Cor. 12:11 tells us that the Spirit divides severally as HE WILLS.  I sincerely believe He is looking to make us experts in our specific and authentic callings.

How Do I Do This?

If we are serious about the changes we need to make, we will certainly ask, "How do I do this?"  and  "How do I get started?"  I believe first of all we have to choose to follow God's guidelines.  When we discover the patterns for coming into the presence of the LORD and thus position ourselves, He speaks very clearly to us.  The Tabernacle of Moses (a type and shadow) reveals a pattern for seeking the face of God and applying it to our daily lives.  Below is a sample outline I learned years ago from Dr. Michael Lake.  As you begin to slowly practice this, it becomes easier.  You will see results.

Steps to Hearing God

  1. Habakkuk knew how to position himself to hear the voice of God. This would include:

    1. Binding the enemy. (Mark 3:27)

    2. Quieting his soul. (Psalm 131)

    3. Learning how he was to come into God's presence. (Psalm 100:4)

    4. How to maintain a humble and teachable spirit.  (James 4:10)

  2. He knew how to recognize the voice of God and how God spoke to him.  (John 10:27)

    1. God speaks to some in words (i.e. "the Word of the Lord came to me.")

    2. God speaks to some visually (i.e. "Jeremiah, what do you see.") (Jeremiah 1:11)

      1. Dreams (Joel 2:28)

      2. Visions (Joel 2:28)

  3. He was ready to be reproved of God.  This is a part of being humble and teachable.

  4. He wrote down what God told him.  This left a record for him that he could re-examine, study and even be used by others.  (Hab. 2:2)

"Today" is the day of salvation. May we start living our daily life well.  Eventually and inevitably we will succeed and enjoy the compounding results of our labor.

Love,

P/Karen

______________

  1. Maxwell, John C. "Chapter 1,2." Today Matters: 12 Daily Practices to Guarantee Tomorrow's Success. New York: Warner Faith, 2004. 19,. Print.

  2. Maxwell, John C. "Chapter 1,2." Today Matters: 12 Daily Practices to Guarantee Tomorrow's Success. New York: Warner Faith, 2004. 5,6. Print.

  3. Michael K. Lake, Th.D., Patterns For Coming Into His Presence- Part I. Lesson Ten: Biblical Life Prayer Dynamics Study Guide.  Marshfield, MO. Biblical Life Publishing. 2006. 104,105. Print

PRAISE CREATES VICTORY

"And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were SMITTEN" (II Chrn. 20:22).

Please be reminded that whatever we may be facing in this country and in our personal lives, we are to continue to praise God without ceasing, We must remember the story of Jehoshaphat in II Chron.20, who being surrounded by the enemy, believed the word of the Prophet who instructed the children of Israel to sing and praise, the LORD.  As they began to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the enemy and the enemy was smitten.

Praise is an complex and powerful word in the Hebrew language. One of the words for "Praise" is the Hebrew word "Yadah."  When we are praising (yadah) the LORD, we are not only lifting our hands and our voices in thanksgiving, but according to the Hebrew definition of "Yadah," we are shooting arrows.  God uses us to shoot spiritual arrows when we are in praise.  Praise is a weapon of war against the forces of evil in this earth.

In Psalm 149:6, the Lord gives us wisdom keys for victory.  "Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand" (Psalm 149:6).  Praise and warfare go hand in hand.  In Hebrew Scripture, Psalm 149:6 declares that the "exaltation of God is in the throat of them."  We are called to take up the two-edged praise sword against the enemy.  According to the Book of Ephesians the two-edged sword is the Word. 

God is not a man that He should lie. He has spoken through His prophets regarding the present circumstances in our country, and He will perform His Word.  Psalm 149: 7-8 is a picture of divine vengeance against those evil workers who will not follow God.  The reason for this warfare is "To bind the enemy's kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron" (Psalm 149:8).  

In Acts 16, we read of Paul addressing a woman with a spirit of divination. (Acts 16:16-19)  Divination in this sentence defines a python spirit.  A python spirit is operating over America right now, trying to squeeze the very life out of God's people.  Once the spirit was expelled from the lady with the spirit of divination through Paul's command, the magistrates of the city rose up against Paul and Silas and cast them into prison.  There was a temporary price to pay for their boldness.  At midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God.  "And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed" (Acts 16:25-26).  Their praises freed them from captivity.

As we, the Body of Christ, continue to praise God, we WILL see Him rise up on our behalf.  "For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazin, He shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that He may do His work, His strange work; and bring to pass His act, His strange act" (Isa. 28:21).  May we not be alarmed by God doing things in ways that are "strange" to us.

If we, God's people, will stop listening to, and worse, receiving prognostications from the media and instead begin to praise the Lord, we will receive the revelation we need to see what is really happening behind the "media screens."  If possible, please go to elijahstreams.com on Facebook and watch Johnny Enlow's most recent interview with Steve Shultz.  It will give you MUCH hope and a renewed reason to rejoice.

Love,

P/Karen 

HOW ARE YOU SEEING THE CURRENT SITUATION?

"And Elisha prayed, and said, 'Lord, I pray you, open his eyes that he may see, and the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw" (II Kings 6:17).

I am saddened by what I am hearing from some who say they are believers.  Division among those who call themselves by the Name of the Lord is at epic proportions.  Doubt seems to be rampant.  Have we forgotten the Words of Jesus who says "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation." "Every city or house divided against itself shall not stand." (Matt. 12:25).  Have we not forgotten the words of wisdom that say: "These six things doth the Lord hate:  Yea, seven are an abomination unto him" (Prov. 6:16).  Here is one of the seven: "A false witness that speaks lies, and he that sows discord among brethren." (Prov. 6:19).  False witnessing and sowing discord are an abomination to God.

Some prophets who spoke God's Words regarding the U.S. Presidency and now are experiencing a contradictory situation have backtracked on their decrees, words they were convinced to be given to them by the Holy Spirit.  When the Spirit of the Lord truly speaks to you, you must not backtrack.  I am grateful for the prophets and leaders who are standing steadily in what they know was revealed to them by the Spirit of God.  I too know without doubt what has been revealed to me.

Hebraic vs. Roman/Greco Thinking

Why are some of God's people in America interpreting the current situation with natural thinking?  I know one of the reasons.  Western thinking, which dominates the world of the church in America, has been influenced by Roman and Greek thought processes.  To accurately and fully understand the Scriptures, we must know them through the meaning of God's language, Hebrew.  Greek interpretation is abstract; Hebrew is conceptual.  The Hebrew mind can easily handle the language and experience of paradox.  The language of paradox is what Dr. Marvin Wilson, renown Hebraic scholar, calls "dynamic tension."  Mystery and contradiction are signs of the divine.  If you have not been taught this, you will not understand divine contradiction and you will interpret the situation quite differently from the way God intends.

I believe this with all my heart, that right now, the believers in our country are in a divine contradiction.  How you interpret this present contradiction could well make or break your spiritual resolve.

Dead Ends

God told Moses He was raising him up as a deliverer to bring His people into the promised land.  Moses obeyed the voice of the Lord and led the children of Israel exactly where God commanded.  The Lord led them to a dead end, seemingly without hope.  Those who reasoned in the natural cried out against the apparent contradictory situation and blamed Moses.  Moses rose up and said unto the people, "Fear not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will show you today. The Lord shall fight for you and you shall hold your peace." (Exod. 14:13,-14).  Then the Lord spoke to Moses and said unto him, "Wherefore criest unto me? Speak unto the children of Israel that they go forward" (Exod. 14-15). 

In this present contradictory situation, we find ourselves in what seems to be a dead end, but the Lord is saying, "Walk forward!"  Only God could tell you to walk forward when before you is only the sea. Only a leader who understands contradiction can lead you through the sea.  To understand where we are headed and know the future, we must always review the past.  (Ecc. 1:9).

As I taught OliveTreeConnections last Sunday regarding Abraham: "Who against hope believed in hope." Abraham was fully persuaded that what God had promised, he was able also to perform (Rom. 4:18, 21), even though it was not humanly possible for Abraham to have a son.

Falsehood And Deceit

I learned a Hebrew word years ago, SHEQER, which means falsehood; to be untrue; to cheat.  Rabbis, in noting this word, point out that it consists of the Shin, Qoph, and the Resh, and emphasizes that all three letters are written as if standing on one leg.  Falsehood, deception, and stealing stand on one leg; they will eventually collapse.  Falsehood generates falsehood.  Falsehood is doomed and will collapse.

Why have God's people embraced falsehood and fraud?  David asks in the Psalms, "If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Psalms 11:3). The builder of a house knows that there are many signs that might indicate that a foundation is in trouble.  If the foundation is set on unstable ground, or if it is made of inferior material, you might experience what is called,  "Foundation Upheaval," or equally serious, "Foundation Settling."  If the foundation heaves or settles dramatically, the entire structure is compromised needing either repair or to be torn down and completely rebuilt with a sound foundation set in stable soil.

I am asking the Lord to continue to open the eyes of His Church to face the current contradictory situation.

Do not close your heart to the truth.  Look past the contradictions and focus on God's voice.  What He says is always true; lies will continue to be exposed daily.

Love,

P/Karen

 

 

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