Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ahava Love Letter (#29)- "Carry My Bags" - from the archives

      Ahava Love Letter
                    
                     “Carry My Bags”
 “Your God and the God of your father
put treasure in your packs.” (Gen. 43:23 CJB)

Dear family of friends,

In August of 2002, Laurie and I had the tremendous blessing of going on a Derek Prince Ministries outreach trip into China. We were among ten others who carried Bibles in the Chinese language, and translated books of Derek Prince, to give to underground believers thoughout the vast country. From Hong Kong to Beijing and back, we rode the 22 hour train rides to deliver these “carry on” bags loaded with the Lord’s treasures. The believers we passed the written words onto were so thrilled to be receiving His Word in their own language, to share with the home churches hidden from the governing authorities.
As “tourists” in outward appearance, we saw the sights of the Imperial Gardens, the Forbidden City and the Great Wall. As mules for His purposes, we connected with our brothers and sisters in the faith, supporting and encouraging them with our goods. While here in the USA we often take for granted the readily availability of books and related teaching tools, even one page of the Scripture is so precious to them. Often it was copied many times and passed onto others. They were willing to take the risk of having it found in their hands, which was cause for possible torture in prison, or death. It was a stealth mission.
A few years earlier, after completing almost 14 years with a ministry having a worldwide impact, my heart’s desire longed to travel internationally. Being my main responsibility was the administration of the ministry and related church, my time though was spent on the home front, tending the local needs. Even though the Lord had put in my heart a desire since my youth to “be a missionary”, it seemed my never ending mission was to “hold down the fort” as others went out.
When I finally got the courage to request the opportunity to accompany the main minister on at least one international trip a year, the short response was, “What would you do, carry my bags?”
My self worth was shattered. In less than six months I had left that ministry, rejected and left wondering what had been accomplished during those years.
But oh how the Lord has a way of showing His faithfulness.
Near the end of the China “tour”, after dropping off our final bags to a pastor in Beijing, the group had a free day to travel to the Great Wall, just west of the capital city. As Laurie and I sat on the bus seats, the Holy Spirit spoke a word to my heart. “You can carry My bags.”
At first I wasn’t sure if it was Him when I heard the word. I wondered what He meant. And then tears came down my cheeks as the impact of what He had just shared gripped, and comforted, my heart.
“You can carry My bags.” The good Lord had just allowed us to deliver His precious treasure, in written form, to hungry believers in this vast land. When another had earlier considered my worth as a simple baggage carrier, the Lord God of Israel had counted this journey as precious in His sight, and held us in high esteem. Deep into my soul the value that He held for me healed the rejection and hurt experienced before.
As we later climbed the 182 steps on that Great Wall to the tower we ventured on, I wasn’t singing “Climb Every Mountain” that Julie Andrews sang in the Sound of Music. But I was making melody in my heart, having been given the opportunity to “carry His bags” to a multitude of people in this foreign land.
Remember, what the enemy means for evil, the Lord will cause for good as we seek His purposes. Keep on walking as you carry His message to those around you, whether in word or deed. He is so grateful that you too are carrying His bags, and He delights in you.
Ahava to my family of friends,

Steve Martin
Founder/President


Love For His People, Inc. truly appreciates your generous support. Please consider sending a charitable gift to help us bless Messianic Jews in Israel. Our website  http://www.loveforhispeople.com/ lists the opportunities available. You can send checks to the address below. Todah rabah! (Hebrew - Thank you very much.)
©2011 Steve  Martin      Love For His People, Inc.  12120 Woodside Falls Rd. Pineville, NC 28134      


Facebook pages: Steve Martin  and  Love For His People       

Twitter: martinlighthous, LovingHisPeople and ahavaloveletter 

Blogger: http://loveforhispeople.blogspot.com/         YouTube: loveforhispeopleinc

Love For His People, Inc. is a charitable, not-for-profit USA organization. Fed. ID#27-1633858.  Tax deductible contributions receive a receipt for each donation.

Ahava Love Letter #29   Date: Aug. 2, in the year of our Lord 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Blessing Undefiled - Morris Ruddick



THE BLESSING UNDEFILED

 (c) Morris Ruddick


"Till the Spirit is poured out from on high and the desert becomes a fertile field and the fertile field seems like a forest, justice will dwell in the desert and righteousness live in the fertile field. The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever." Isa 32:15-18

Before the end of the first century Church, the incredible growth of new believers beyond the early days of being a Jewish sect, had brought with it defilement. John the Revelator addresses the issues of this defilement, not to individuals, but to the specific communities represented by the early church.

Then early in the fourth century, the emperor Constantine reversed what had been extended persecution against the Church. However, in the process, the Jewish roots to the faith were expunged. With the Jewish roots to the faith removed, across Christendom the fifth century began ten centuries of what has been labeled as the Dark Ages; a time marked by lawlessness and chaos.

The time of the inquisition brought still further separation of the faith from its Hebraic origins. Despite these and other like developments in the church, there has always been a remnant of Jewish believers. Now, in just this last generation, that remnant has emerged into a movement. This movement has seen more Jews come to know their Messiah than in all the years since the first century church; and with it the restoration of the Jewish roots to the faith.

With this restoration of Jewish roots has been a distinct correlation between what God has been doing in restoring Israel, together with the restoration of the spiritual power, vibrancy and purpose so evident in the first century Church.

In 1948 Israel was restored as a nation. In that same year, in the United States alone, more than 250 healing ministries were birthed as the supernatural began being restored to an anemic, weary church. In 1967 Jerusalem was returned into Jewish hands. That same year marked the beginning of the Charismatic renewal as a shift took place restoring prayer and the power of the Spirit to everyday believers, reversing the long-held gap between clergy and laity with the first steps of reviving biblical community. This time also marked the rise of the parachurch movement, which took the task of "perfecting the saints" outside the boundaries of the four walls of the church. It was also a major turning point for Jewish believers who began embracing afresh their Jewish identity and the Jewish roots of the faith.

Today the momentum of this spiritual shift has intensified, as the Messianic Jewish movement has emerged into its rightful role within Israel; and as the marketplace movement is mobilizing believers to penetrate the power structures of society. The common thread throughout each of these recent developments has been and is the restoration of the Jewish roots to the faith. At its heart, is the release of the mantle of Abraham: to be blessed to be a blessing.

The Battleground
This "blessing undefiled" has been and remains a primary battleground. Within the majority of the city-church communities addressed in Revelation was the operation of seductive deceptions, each designed to defile the blessing.

The defilement of the blessing began in the garden as the evil one, through beguilement, sought to distort the nature, purpose and goodness of God in His relationship with man. Throughout history, the beguiler has sought to defile God's people, and the purpose and the purity of the mantle of the blessing extended by God.

The book of Acts describes challenges to the power of the blessing that came from both outside and within the community of believers. The sorcerer Elymas came from outside challenging Paul in Acts 13. From within, there is the account of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5) and the recently converted sorcerer Simon (Acts 8). In each case, the intention was defilement. Note the fear and spiritual blindness operating with those from without; and the spiritual immaturity operating from those from within.

Yet, the more deadly and most subtle of the deceptions are the doctrinal precepts that give such a degree of myopic focus to single-level dimensions of the faith that it creates a blindness to other, more significant dimensions. It has been the stratagem behind the removal of the Jewish roots to the faith; and the overshadowing of the gospel of the Kingdom.

The Challenge

The challenge has been and is in employing righteous power in a corrupt world, as a people. This requires a God-centered identity, in the process of making a difference. The imperative is bringing change that gives glory to God. The hurdle is restoring the defilements-within so to gain the authority to reverse the defilements in the world. The effort to be targeted is described in Romans as the "bondage of corruption." Creation itself longs for those who will bring this infusion of true righteous power.

In short, the world is looking for a people who will demonstrate the reality of God. It is the mantle for employing the undefiled blessing. It is a mantle of leadership not based on the world's idea of power. Joseph the Patriarch demonstrated it, beginning while he was yet a slave in Potipher's house. Daniel exercised it when immersed in a culture of sorcery. At the core of this type of leadership is the undefiled mantle of Abraham: that through God's chosen all the peoples of the earth will be blessed.

The exercise of the blessing by the Jewish people over the centuries has been punctuated by disproportionate achievement and contribution, despite them being a fraction of the world's population.

As a people and against the defilements that began in the garden, the Jewish people have fulfilled the role of a middle class as merchants, bankers and people of business in societies with social stratum marked only by a ruling elite and the poor. In those contexts, Jews have influenced kings, rulers and leaders and left the mark of their influence with the moral, judicial, economic and governmental foundations now guiding Western civilization. Against all odds, the Jewish people biblically and throughout history have wielded the blessing that began with Abraham:
Abraham modeled God-centered entrepreneurial community.
Isaac in Genesis 26 heard from God and obeyed and became a light to the nations after prospering from sowing in famine.
Joseph wielded his God-centered identity and the Abrahamic mantle of being blessed to be a blessing and prophetically brought the undefiled blessing to Egypt, the world around him and restored it to his own people.
Moses provided the leadership to activate the community response through the spiritual, economic and community principles of the Torah that pivoted on hearing God's voice and obeying His word.
David gave priority to God's heart and in the process paved the path of community into God's Kingdom rule.
Hezekiah brought about restoration and liberty by employing spiritual authority against foes who were numerically far more powerful.
Daniel reshaped and restored the spiritual climate of a culture of sorcery to God.
Nehemiah gained favor for access to the resources of the world.

The Defilement



Jesus made it clear that He came to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt 15:24); and that He came not to destroy the law and the prophets, but to bring completion to them. This foundational focus punctuates the strategic nature of the blessing undefiled. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil and to set the captives free. He completed His mission undefiled (Heb 7:26-27). The employment of the blessing is at the heart of Jesus' message; so aptly reflecting Jewish strategies to meet the challenge of a fallen, defiled world by releasing the undefiled blessing:

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven." Matthew 5:16

"I came not to destroy the law and the prophets, but to fulfill." Matthew 5:17

"You will be in the world, but not of the world." John 17:15, 16

"Go, make disciples of the nations, teaching them to observe all I have shown you." Matthew 28:19, 20

It is this foundation for change, targeting the bondage of corruption, for which we are to disciple the nations. It is the mantle that wields the completed blessing undefiled.

The Standard of Measure

Romans 11:15 explains that if rejection of the Jews, as a people, served as the catalyst to the reconciling of the world to God, how much more will be their acceptance, but life from the dead. He then compared them to holy first fruits of the root, which carries the need for the grafted-in branches to enter their roles undefiled.
"For if the first fruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. So if some of the branches were broken off and you being a wild olive tree were grafted in among them and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember you do not support the root, but the root supports you." Rom 11:16-18

Paul wrote the Ephesians that we no longer are to be tossed to and fro like children, but are to begin operating in oneness, as His people, with our hearts no longer enticed by the defilements of the love of the world, the lust of the flesh or pride of life. He explained that God gave gifts to men to prepare them for His service that we all might become mature, built to the full stature of the undefiled Messiah, with a full knowledge of Him.
"...for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."
Eph 4:12-13

This is an incredible statement: that the body should even consider reaching the stature of the fullness of Messiah, undefiled. Yet, that is exactly what it means. The clue to the pathway is in maturity, which then was stressed in the 16th verse with Paul telling the Ephesians to stop thinking like the gentiles! Years later, the correction for the Ephesians in Revelation did not include this issue of defilement to their mind-set as it did with the majority of other churches, but while they had a need for improvement, they were praised for resisting the replacement defilers.

Jesus said we would know them by their fruit. While God gives gifts to men, the scripture says many are called but few are chosen. The chosen will be determined not by the gift, but rather the fruit from the undefiled blessing. While this principle is aptly applied to individuals, the biblical measuring criterion is to the community.

As a people, from the grasp of this foundation of the undefiled blessing, God's order will flow doctrinally, power-wise and for His strategic purposes. When God's community of people dysfunctions, it has been individuals like Joseph, Moses and David who have led the way to restore them as wielders of the undefiled blessing.

In the opening scripture from Isaiah 32, the reference to righteousness is from the Hebrew word tz-dakah. This scripture captures the cosmic drama of a fallen world, pointing to the role of tz-dakah or charitable righteousness exercised through community as the means to employing righteous, undefiled power in a corrupt world.

"The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad and the desert shall rejoice and bloom. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the excellency of our God. So, strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are fearful-hearted, "Be strong, do not fear!" Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. The parched ground shall become a pool and the thirsty land springs of water. A highway shall be there and a road, and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, for it shall be for the redeemed. Whoever walks this road shall not go astray." Isaiah 35:6-8
_________________________________________

Morris Ruddick has been a forerunner and spokesman for the call of God in the marketplace. He is author of "The Joseph-Daniel Calling;" "Gods Economy, Israel and the Nations;" "The Heart of a King;" and "Something More," which address the mobilization of business and governmental leaders called to impact their communities with God's blessings. They are available from Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and other popular outlets.

Mr. Ruddick is also the founder of the Global Equippers Entrepreneurial Program, which imparts hope and equips economic community builders where God's light is dim in both the Western and non-Western world. To schedule a speaking engagement, sponsor a workshop, make a donation or to get more information on how you can help, contact Global Initiatives at 303.741.9000.

2011 Copyright Morris Ruddick - response@strategic-initiatives.org

Reproduction is prohibited unless permission is given by a SIGN advisor. Since 1996, the Strategic Intercession Global Network (SIGN) has mobilized prophetic intercessors committed to targeting strategic-level issues impacting the Body on a global basis. For previous posts or more information on SIGN, check: http://www.strategicintercession.org/ 


Morris Ruddick
Global Initiatives Foundation
http://www.strategic-initiatives.org/

Monday, July 25, 2011

The 2 Spies: Dr. Jazz

The 2 Spies: Dr. Jazz: "Many in Jerusalem and around Israel have thoroughly enjoyed the lively music of Dr. Jazz. He has brought a smile to our faces and healing ..."

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

pot·pour·ri - by Jim & Linda

Potpourri

pot·pour·ri

  [poh-poo-ree, poh-poo-ree] 
–noun
1.
a mixture of dried petals of roses or other flowers with spices, kept in a jar for their fragrance.
2.
a musical medley.
3.
a collection of miscellaneous literary extracts.
4.
any mixture, especially of unrelated objects, subjects, etc.


Although this blog is a "mixed bag" of sorts, we hope is will also be a pleasant fragrance!  Here's a few miscellaneous pictures and tidbits of life in Israel..... Please remember to click on any picture to view it larger (then click the back arrow to go back to the blog).


Speaking of "bags", although milk is offered by the carton or jug, the most common way to buy it (and the cheapest) is by the BAG.  It has a little less than 1 quart of milk and costs about $1.75 per bag.





You then put the bag in the pitcher so it can be poured...




Here is one of the kitties we feed, she is looking for dinner 
for her 4 kittens and orange kitty friend.






This is a view of the Pools of Bethesda.  It is located in the Moslem Quarter of the Old City.  In the background you can see the Arab neighborhoods as well.






Arab markets just inside Damascus Gate.





Arab markets just outside Damascus Gate :)





"Sefer Torah" store - these are beautifully ornate and hold 
the scrolls of the Torah (Bible).





The sporting rivalries don't even end in Jerusalem - knitted 
kipas (head caps) for every fan...





View of a field in Bethlehem.




A minaret (tower attached to a mosque that announces the calls to prayer) in Bethlehem.  Bethlehem is an Arab town, run by the Palestinian Authority. 



Yea! Domino's pizza!  For the first time in 20 years we live within the route to have pizza delivered to our home.  Thing is, 2 medium pizzas cost about $23 USD - with a coupon....so we'll stick with our homemade pita pizzas :)




There are scooters for almost every business you can think of in Jerusalem.  Domino's, UPS, postal mail, even the hospital has one.  They are the quickest way through traffic - they don't wait in line like the rest of the cars, but weave their way through the cars & buses, drive on sidewalks & pedetrian roads, and even the wrong way down a one way street.




We're sitting in the Coffee Bean on a Friday afternoon with some friends while the workers were "cleaning up" for Shabbat.  We thought we just might get washed away....




View from the Mount of Olives looking at the Southern end of the Old City - the Jewish Quarter, the south end of the Temple Mount, the Southern Excavations, and the Davidson Center - sloping down into the Kidron Valley.




Now this is a form of transportation we had not seen before! 
Makes me think of the golf carts people drive around in the States.




In the winter months (rainy months) we had giant snails - about the size of a golf ball!  When walking home in the dark, we had to watch where we were going so we wouldn't step on them,
they're not so fast to get out of the way...
We've also seen 2 very large porcupines since we've been here - one was just a few buildings from us,
and the other in the government buildings area....





So you've heard of the Appalachian Trail?  Well here's the Jerusalem Trail!  There are many pleasant places to go walking in Jerusalem - and all around Israel.  There are also many National Parks that offer hiking, with amazing views and adventures that probably wouldn't be allowed in the States....




A shepherd with his sheep.




Picture from a local hospital that Jim visited with some of our volunteers 
to pass out teddy bears and hugs.





There are several murals around the city on buildings.  The whole left side of this building is a mural.





Here's a different form of "artwork" along the road between Qumran and En-Gedi.
Dead Sea on right.






“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 
 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:4-9




An end to another beautiful day....




Funny how God shows little things to us along life's way that make us smile.  
We began writing this blog 2 days ago, but hadn't had time to finish and post it.   Earlier today, a new volunteer from France gave us a small gift she brought with her - a small packet of potpourri!! 


May our lives be a musical medley
 that is a pleasing fragrance to the Lord.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Ahava Love Letter - "Hand To The Plow"

  
Ahava Love Letter
                  “Hand To The Plow”
              "No one, having put his hand to the plow,
                                  and looking back,
         is fit for the kingdom of God." Luke 9:62 NKJV)
Dear family of friends,

Back in 1977, Paul Clark, a Christian songwriter and singer, came out with an album (before MP3 downloads and IPhones, in case you weren’t born then) entitled “Hand To The Plow.” The title song of the same name, if my memory serves me right from 24 years ago, was about his grandfather, a farmer in the Midwest. The song was about perseverance.

Persevering, according to the dictionary, means “to persist in a state, enterprise, or undertaking in spite of counterinfluences, opposition, or discouragement.Perseverance is a timely, and most needed, personal quality to possess. It allows us to get through to the finish line when others may have dropped out of the race, or quit plowing the field, in the meantime.
Growing up in Iowa back in the 60’s and 70’s meant one got to watch the massive green John Deere and big red International Harvester tractors out plowing the fields before and after the harvest. For the farmers, it consisted of long hours sitting on the lone seat, turning row after row of black dirt over, to plant the seed. After the summer growing period, they did it again, to prepare for the next season after it had borne its “fruit.” The reward had come at the end of the enduring time.
When one looks at the hand of the plower on the front of the pictured album cover, it is actually Paul Clark’s grandfather’s hands on the plow. Rugged and strong, they held to that instrument that would enable them to be persistent in the annual work that went into harvest preparation. Whether walking behind the mule or horses, as he did in his time, or sitting behind the front wheels of the tractor now, the farmer had to keep his eye on the end of the row, to make a straight line, one at a time, back and forth. His perseverance was necessary to accomplish the task, to reap the hopeful harvest after many months had passed.
In our walk with the Lord, we know we need to keep  “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross…” (Heb. 12:2 NAS). Daily and persistently.
I commend those who have been running the marathon race, who have been plowing in the fields for what seems “forever”, and yet continue to courageously plow ahead for the reward of the harvest which will be realized. I commend the people of Israel, who stand as their small country faces the world opposed to them.
I applaud the parents, the teachers, the men and women safeguarding our liberties, and those daily persevering to the end, knowing that as they keep their hands to the plow their efforts will bring eternal accomplishments. When it is a tough go, they just keep on going.
As you put your hand to the plow today, remember that it is not in vain. That sacrifice and love you pour out today will have its just reward, whether seen now or not, for the Almighty One sees all. He is the rewarder for each of you who continue on the path He leads you on.
As once was a popular saying, “Keep on keeping on”, I hope you do so. Or even now, keep that plow in the dirt, and expect the good results in the years to come. We are walking together in this. Keep your hand to the plow! (Use superglue if you have too…)
Ahava to my family of friends,

Steve Martin
Founder/President


Love For His People, Inc. truly appreciates your generous support. Please consider sending a charitable gift to help us bless Messianic Jews in Israel. Our website  http://www.loveforhispeople.com/ lists the opportunities available. You can send checks to the address below. Todah rabah! (Hebrew - Thank you very much.)
©2011 Steve  Martin      Love For His People, Inc.  P.O. Box 470035   Charlotte, NC 28247-0035      


Facebook pages: Steve Martin  and  Love For His People       

Twitter: martinlighthous, LovingHisPeople and ahavaloveletter 

Blogger: http://loveforhispeople.blogspot.com/         YouTube: loveforhispeopleinc

Love For His People, Inc. is a charitable, not-for-profit USA organization. Fed. ID#27-1633858.  Tax deductible contributions receive a receipt for each donation.

Ahava Love Letter #28   Date: July 12, in the year of our Lord 2011    


Friday, July 8, 2011

The 2 Spies: Bits-and-Pieces

The 2 Spies: Bits-and-Pieces: "Israel is such a great place to live! Today we are going to share some 'bits-and-pieces' of what we see on a daily (or not so daily) basis...."

"A Time To Love & A Time To Hate" - Cathy Hargett

Cathy Hargett - Highway To Zion President/Founder
(Board Member - Love For His People)

Shalom, Shalom, Friends!

The Lord continues to impress on my heart the reality and the intensity of the battle that exists between the people filled with the Ruach ha Kodesh (the Holy Spirit) and the demonic hordes filled with satan’s darkness. 

I am sometimes shocked at how much I hate evil.   “…a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”  Ecc. 3:8 Yet, I am convinced by the Word of the Lord that hating evil is evidence that we belong to God. “Let those who love the Lord hate evil….”  Ps. 97:10 “Do I not hate those who hate You, O Lord, and abhor those who rise up against You?” Ps. 139:21 

I just did not understand how very intense this hatred would become as we see the Day approaching.  If you hate evil bad enough, you will war against it with all His power working in you.  The gauntlet has been thrown down.  The dividing lines are becoming cleaner and sharper. As we go through these end-times battles, we begin to recognize that the "everyday" struggles that we are facing are not simply aggravations of this life but true battles in the spirit realm where we will ultimately see the victory of Yeshua ha Mashiach.  

It gives me hope to embrace this truth and a sense of purpose in the trial.  He often teaches us through the bread of adversity and the water of affliction.  (Isa. 30:20)  I'm beginning to understand this and no longer am I surprised at the fiery trials and I am learning that He is teaching me to rejoice in this participation of His suffering (I Peter 4:12-13) and that endurance itself is his training/his discipline – not in a punitive sense, but in a learning sense.   “Regard your endurance as discipline; God is dealing with you as sons….” Heb. 12:7 CJB

I’m not saying I have it all figured out.  I am saying that I am learning, and I am quiet in my spirit as He teaches me about it. I realize just how “Other” He is.  He’s way up ahead now, as Brother Oswald Chambers mentions in one of his devotionals, and He seems strange at times because He is past finding out.  This Yeshua is also the Warrior King of heaven and we can’t understand the fullness of what this truly means to know that we, too, are in the epic battle of the end of the age.  

My eyes are straining to see what's next....sometimes I get a picture of myself standing in the middle of an intense storm with a barely visible line of troops coming across the horizon, and there is all kind of debris flying by and wind whipping my face so that I can barely keep my eyes open because of the sting of it.  The battle is raging and I can see that satan's hordes are approaching, yet I know and am convinced that the One called Faithful and True is equipping us for the end of these days.  The darkness is encroaching and there is no doubt about it.  

Yes, I hate evil.  I abhor it.  I am steely against it and becoming more strategic with my spiritual weaponry as I watch the enemy infiltrate loved ones, friends and family with his lying deceit and snares placed “just so” to entangle the unsuspecting. 

Yes, the battle is on.   The Holy Spirit Himself is teaching us, just as Yeshua promised – He is showing us these things that are to come – it is awesome in its intensity: "...But when the Spirit of Truth (the truth giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the truth - the whole, full truth.  For He will not speak His own message - on His own authority - but He will tell whatever He hears (from the Father He will give the message that has been given to Him) and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come - that will happen in the future."  (John 16:13 Amplified Version)

It has taken me some years and many battles to understand that hating evil is His Word to us, remembering that we are not talking about focusing our anger on flesh and blood.  A compelling passage for me is this one in II Peter 2:7-8 about Lot - righteous people are tormented in their souls by this pervasive evil of the world, the flesh and the devil: "and if He rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)...."  II Peter 2:7-8 NIV

Don’t you just “spiritually feel” this verse – knowing what it feels like to be tormented in your soul by what you see in the world around you?   This is how I so often feel these days as we look around at the continual decline of the morality of this world, the degrading acts of lawlessness, with people giving themselves over to the enemy with ever more degrading choices - and such were we before He rescued us and made us His own.  (II Cor. 6:11)

There is another twist to this truth of the righteous hating evil – and this you may or may not be prepared to hear – but evil hates you back.  If you are feeling this coming against you, rejoice that you are on the Lord’s side! If Yeshua, the Righteous One, the One we adore was hated, and we are His followers, it only makes sense to expect that same hatred the enemy has for Him to also come against us. 

Even as I write this, I realize that this whole subject may be too much for many who are still faint-hearted and not ready for such a challenge as hating and being hated!  I’m not so sure myself!  All I know is this – it is true.  There is a difference now, though, as I accept what the Holy Spirit is revealing. It no longer feels “personal”.  I simply know the life to which we are called….a life of absolute and total abandon, the life of a lover and the life of a warrior….fighting the good fight of faith.  Knowing Whose side we are on.  No compromise. 

Oh, God, help us live up to what we have already attained in You. Love God.  Hate evil.  His Light will appear and satan will be destroyed at the splendor of His coming.  (II Thes. 2:8) In the love of the One Called Faithful and True,Cathy

Cathy Hargett
Highway to Zion Ministries, Inc.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The 2 Spies: Wishing You Were Here With Us!

The 2 Spies: Wishing You Were Here With Us!: "We invite you to sit back and drink in this beautiful aerial view of the Land. Come fall in love all over again! (Thanks to our friend Scott..."

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