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November 5, 2016

May our Precious Lord be the whole meaning of life for us, dear Heartdwellers.

Just a quick note, you would have heard from me yesterday, but an unexpected event occurred. We had to pack up and move our chapel all of a sudden the moment I woke up. That was quite an event, but God was SO faithful. Out of His blue, He sent three wonderful helpers and what seemed like a disaster in the making was just an exhausting day of non-stop work! So, that's why you didn't get a message yesterday. And I appreciate those of you who were moved to pray for us, 'cause I'll tell you what, we needed it!

This lesson is coming out of that experience.

I want to talk about Pride. It's a demon we all struggle with, and today in prayer the Lord reminded me of the insight He had given me into the source of my pride. Those who have a low self-opinion are, I believe, more vulnerable to pride. They always have to prove their worth.

If the soul is not grounded in God, having all it's worth from the way God sees it and loves it, it will fall into pride with the need to justify itself in the eyes of others; to increase self-worth, to defend oneself, to prove oneself in order to feel worthy in the eyes of others. That leaves us treacherously dependent on the opinions of others.

But if the soul is grounded in the Lord, all its justification is in Jesus. All its worth is in Jesus, all its defense is in Jesus and there's no need to talk and influence people to gain self-worth or to prove who we are. All our worth is tied up in how Jesus sees and loves us and ultimately, the price He paid for us is what gives us worth.

In this way, the richest, the most brilliant, the poorest, the most ignorant--are all of the same worth. Nothing we can do in our lives gives us more worth than the sacrifice God made of His only begotten Son, to atone for our sins. Nothing. Therefore, we are all, from the littlest to the biggest, stamped with the same price tag. And that's our worth, nothing more, nothing less.

So, coming from that standpoint, it's easier to get over Pride.

When we are in the Lord, we are empty and ready to learn. We are quiet and open to instruction. The wisdom of others is not threatening or belittling, rather it feeds the soul. We can take what we need from it or be confirmed in what we already knew and there is peace.

But the soul who is insecure and has not found all their worth in Jesus, must constantly be on the lookout to defend themselves, to prove themselves, to build themselves up in the eyes of others. So it is constantly in a state of turmoil, looking for ways to increase it's worth, its knowledge, its intellectual strength, its spirituality. It cannot be silent, but must always be in defensive mode, lest it is judged inferior.

I lived this way for most of my adult life. It wore me out! Whether it was a photography client, or a spiritual gathering, I always had to look good.

But when I began to be steeped in the Love of Jesus, especially dwelling/soaking prayer, I began to feel deeply loved and valued. I lost the taste for proving myself or having to look good. I was safe inside my Savior's arms; loved, honored and of inestimable worth to Him.

The soul who has found its worth in Jesus is at rest, is at peace, has little need to talk unless there is something they are morally bound to talk about. Otherwise, it is peaceful, like a weaned child on its mother's knee.

These times we are in right now have been saturated with demonic creatures, assigned to belittle and pull us down in every possible way. This, unlike any time previously in history, is more fraught with danger to our spirit, soul and body than ever before.

I am learning that the very first thing in the morning I need to do is repent. Did I have one tiny, little, judgmental thought about someone? If I did, did I immediately repent? Chances are I ignored my conscience, said I was sorry and just went on. In the past I could afford to do that, but now? Well, let me explain.

When I was called out of bed to immediately pack up the chapel, I started having resentful thoughts. Let's be honest here, who wouldn't? My eyes are barely open, and all of a sudden I've got to do something, a huge project without any helpers! I thought of a hundred things I wanted to say, but I immediately said, "NO. You're not going there. You are not going to feed your anger and resentment. NO."

Well...but do you think that was enough repenting--even when I refused to complain??? Well, here's a dynamic that we all need to watch out for: a seed of bitterness and anger got dropped into my heart, the minutes I felt that. Why? Because I felt resentful. I didn't entertain it, I put myself down, and I refused to feed my anger. I just quietly asked God to help me and we got the job done in about 7 grueling hours. But all the time, resentment and anger were knocking at my door, trying to get me to really lose it.

What had happened is that curses of miscommunication, anger and rage had been sent to all parties concerned. The demons assigned in that curse were just hovering, waiting for an opening. The very moment I felt anger, that very moment, I opened my soul up to receiving seeds of bitterness, demons of anger and resentment, and from that point on, they were going to build a stronghold in me. At that moment, they got a foothold on Ezekiel and I both. Even though I refused to nurse a grudge, the seed had already gained entrance and the demons were already at work trying to build a stronghold of rage.

Even though I continually, throughout the ordeal of the day, continued to reject anger and bitterness, the seeds were there, the demons had a foothold in both of us. After they had build the foothold, they were working on a stronghold and had almost completed it in our hearts.

A stronghold is like a fortress where demons have continual access to cause anger, rage, resentment and bitterness.

We believe that a stronghold can only be broken by prayer AND fasting. Well, it just so happened someone was fasting and they caught it--just in time. But we were warned-- they will be back to try it again. And I have to confess to you, brothers and sisters, I have no confidence that I will pass the next test, either. I have seen a stronghold of anger and rage at work. I have seen it tear a family to shreds and send them all scattering in different directions to get away from its ugliness, never to be reunited.

So, we are being very, very careful not to allow this to enter our hearts again.

Do you see why humility and gratitude are so important? No matter what happens, the humble soul sees the hand of God and receives the burden with gratitude.

I knew this was to be an offering for the election, I knew it was a suffering. That's why I was able to conquer my tendency towards anger. But it was too late. I had already opened the door by feeling the anger. Yes, I know, you can't control anger.

But you can control thanksgiving and a life of praise and gratitude. Then you don't have any space at all for bitterness--you have filled yourself with gratitude. It's like a meltdown--you go in to clean up with protective gear, you don't just walk into the midst of it. The protective gear is knowing God gave you this situation for a reason, thanking Him profusely and being already in a posture of worship and thanksgiving. Then you have the space to reason.

But if you're part of the meltdown, it's too late.

Do NOT allow yourself to get angry, guys! If it hits you--renounce it, and thank God for the opportunity to learn from the lesson. Medicine is bitter, but necessary. If we take it with gratitude, we will be healed. If we fight, fuss, argue and nurse resentments, we make ourselves very, very sick--body, soul and spirit.

So, this is what we are finding out. The very second you feel anger--REPENT, do not allow the demons to build a stronghold. Every morning when you get up, before anything else ask, "Holy Spirit, please show me my sins and what has gained entry to my soul. Please show me, so I can repent."

Then on your knees is a good place to ask forgiveness and really stir your heart to serious repentance. Then as you repent, ask the Lord to please remove the seeds, the door, the excrement, the demons that entered and to please repair any damage that was done in your heart.

Beloved, there is no longer any room for these things. The demons are thick as smog in our atmosphere and all they need is your consent to land.

And I don't mean consent like, "Sure, come on in." No, I mean one sinful, negative thought and they are in. Lord, save us!