Tag Archives: test

Expect the Unexpected! 

The days have been long and hours of sleep short here in Spain. The sun sets close to ten o’clock in the evening, and we usually do not arrive back to the house until between eleven in the evening and one o’clock in the morning after a long day of ministering; where we sometimes proceed to eat dinner. The mornings are predominantly slow until around ten in the morning, depending upon which team you are on and if you have appointments for ministering to the lost here.

If there is one thing that I am learning on this trip that I could share with you, it would be that you have to live life going with the flow. More importantly, the flow of Holy Spirit! This is not a new lesson for me and I have walked through it before. However, it is one that I am learning on a deeper level. Winging it is completely not how I am wired. I operate well on a schedule and I like having a pretty clear idea of what my day is going to look like; but here in Spain that theology simply does not work. My husband has a motto that I hear quite frequently, “expect the unexpected!” I have found God reminding me of that numerous times on this adventure. Not one moment of this trip has been as expected. In fact, we missed our flights here after being stuck on the Tarmac for hours and the guys’ bags didn’t get here until yesterday.

Monday turned out to be one of those days. My partner this week, John, and I were to eat lunch with the pastors that we are aligning with, Pastor Pablo and Pastor Elsa. We met with them and enjoyed a full three course meal and spent a few hours with them at their church before we were to meet with our two appointments in the evening. What we did not expect when conversing with them is to find out the things taking place in their region; the economy is very poor with few jobs, depression, drugs, trafficking, and they were also surrounded by an amount of witchcraft that was cursing them and their church. They had also been through a wave of persecution from other ministers in the area. What I thought would be a meal for relationship building also turned into a time of encouragement them in the faith to stand strong, and a powerful time of deliverance, casting out demons, repentance, and prayer.

Expect the unexpected.

From there we headed to our appointments only to find we had lost our translator for the day and had to forego the appointments for another time; which led into spending more time with the pastors. When arriving back to the base, my mother and father-in-law were headed to an appointment with the co-worker of one of our translators and son of Pastor Abel, Israel; they invited us, so we tagged along.

Expect the unexpected.

IMG_4372

We met up with Israel, and his friend, David. David did not believe in God and from what I understand had an interesting perspective on how all creation existed; that it was more so like a video game with a game master. What a perfect set-up for sharing the Gospel!!!

We sat with him and got to know him. We talked quite some time about his desire to design a video game. Then my partner, John, in one mind-blowing swoop, transitioned into the greatest battle of good v.s. evil and how there really is a grand game master in charge of it all; and how the good wins in the end! We were all astonished at this!

Expect the unexpected.

After giving the parallel of truth against David’s own perception, he allowed John to share with him the story of the Gospel through the tool we are using, the evangecube. In the end, he ended up not choosing Jesus. He saw himself and his good deeds as enough and thought perhaps there was another way; even though we had already explained that there is no other way, JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY.

What do you do in a circumstance like that after you have been rejected in preaching the Gospel? Do you beat them over the head with the Bible and try to force them see the light and choose Jesus? Do you take them to dinner and continue to spend time with them and love on them the way Jesus would? We chose the latter. You encourage yourself in the the truth from Jesus’ own mouth in Luke 10:16 “Jesus concluded His instructions to the seventy with these words: ‘Remember this: Whoever listens to your message is actually listening to Me. And anyone who rejects you is rejecting Me, and not only Me but the One who sent Me.'” We had been faithful in proclaiming the Truth of Jesus’ death and resurrection and the rest is up to God and that person. You trust in God’s promise that when His Word goes forth, it ALWAYS accomplishes what it was sent out to do. A seed was planted that will one day produce a harvest. In faith.

We went to dinner with Israel and David and built relationship. They will know Him in how well you love. Though we were disappointed David didn’t choose Jesus, we loved on him. For me, love went up to a whole notha’ level that night when I ate a whole fried baby octopus. Loving others for Jesus this trip has stretched me in many ways, including multiplying my prayer of blessing on what I was to consume: “Lord, wherever You lead me, I’ll follow; whatever You feed me, I’ll swallow!” I got to add another tag onto that prayer that night: “Lord, I’ll put it down; You help me keep it down!”

My challenge to you today is that you would seriously ask yourself this question: Am I fully submitted to being used of God in HIS way and HIS time, NOT my own? 

That morning in prayer with the team over the day that was ahead of us, I heard the Lord say, “Expect the unexpected!” In telling me that, He was inviting me out of my own agenda and into HIS divine design for the day.

Proverbs‬ ‭16:1-7‬ ‭(TPT‬‬)
“Go ahead and make all the plans you want, but it’s the Lord who will ultimately direct your steps. We are all in love with our own opinions, convinced they’re correct. But the Lord is in the midst of us, testing and probing our every motive. Before you do anything, put your trust totally in God and not in yourself. Then every plan you make will succeed. The Lord works everything together to accomplish His purpose. Even the wicked are included in His plans— He sets them aside for the day of disaster. Exalting yourself is disgusting to the Lord, for pride attracts His punishment— and you can count on that! You can avoid evil through surrendered worship and the fear of God, for the power of His faithful love removes sin’s guilt and grip over you. When the Lord is pleased with the decisions you’ve made, He activates grace to turn enemies into friends.”

If you found yourself in the same boat as me, will you join me in a fresh surrender to HIS WAY and not our own? Will you ask Him how you can partner with Him in His grand plan for your life today? 

I promise you this: HIS WAY WILL ALWAYS BE BETTER THAN OUR OWN. It will also ALWAYS PRODUCE THE GREATEST ETERNAL FRUIT!

Proverbs‬ ‭16:9‬ ‭(TPT‬‬)
“Within your heart you can make plans for your future, but the Lord chooses the steps you take to get there.”

We are but vessels.

Katie, Pure Fire of Yahweh

Advertisements

Press In and Press Through Till There’s Breakthrough: A Call to Fast and Pray!

Early yesterday morning as I sat in prayer and to seek the Lord, He began to speak to me. For me, one of the biggest ways that He speaks to me is when I submit myself to His leading and His voice, by putting pen to paper. Yesterday was no different.

I felt such a strong pressing of this word and of it’s imperative timely status in the spirit. A kairos moment is upon us! I very much sensed that in the days leading up to Pentecost on June 9, that Father is bringing forth from Heaven a slim window of opportunity to the Body of Christ to see promises revealed transform into promises fulfilled. This has become increasingly apparent to me in the past few weeks and the urgency of the hour at hand is increasing as well.

This is what He said:

“NOW IS THE TIME in which the windows of Heaven are open and My blessings are being released in great proportion. NOW IS THE TIME in which My angelic messengers are carrying forth into the earth promises longed for, hoped for, prayed for, and warred for. There is an opened access door into the storehouses of Heaven to deliver that which was once blocked of release.

BEWARE of a slumbering presence that seeks to hinder the release and to stall the revealing! It seeks to blind and conceal with darkness, the revelation of divine release.

I tell you truly, IF you will commit to set your gaze, focus, and sights upon My Kingdom in this hour, THEN  I will bring into you that which has been promised. I will send warring angels on your behalf to bring deliverance and divine release.

DARE TO DREAM BIG WITH ME!

DO NOT LET slumber fall to your eyelids lest you remain blinded and fail to receive that which is coming on the clouds!

STAY AWAKE AND STAY UP WITH ME!!!

Circle your promises and keep circling them until I give the signal for every demonic delay to come toppling down; yes, crumbling down!!!”

Beloved, we MUST NOT allow this moment to pass us by! We must not be like those who in Jesus’ day, dwelt among THE ANSWER to every prophecy they had held onto for hundreds of years; and yet, they were completely blinded to the reality that their Savior stood right in front of them. Even His own disciples, His closest friends, doubted His resurrected existence as He stood among them.

It is time to strip off all unbelief, all doubt, all fear and complacency, every lie, and every deception that would blind us to His Presence and His activity in the earth at this moment and in the time to come!

I must share that something interesting occurred as I received this message from the Lord. The spirit of slumber attempted to overtake me. One could say, “Well, you had four hours of sleep! Of course that would happen!” I don’t disagree. However, this time was different. I was wide awake at 4:30 to seek Jesus and it was not until He began to release this word that I sensed the onslaught of this spirit. I discerned it’s presence and I warred for the Word, though my eyelids be heavy. To my husband, it probably would’ve been the gentlest of warring that he’s seen from me; not noticeable, even.

I believe something natural in the Kingdom of Heaven took place. Because I had submitted myself to Him to seek and receive, He fought for me. Because He saw my hunger and longing, He slayed the giants opposing me. I will say, most of, if not all of the word I received was written down with my eyes closed as I rested in He, Who fights my battles. He began to expose that which sought to hinder the release of the word was indeed, the ‘slumbering presence’ in which He spoke of.

As I dwelled on this word, He reminded me of a prophetic declaration and song that came forth from my lips two days ago, “Press in, and press through till there’s breakthrough!” 

He then led me back to the Gospel accounts I studied last week from Jesus’ encounter with His disciples, Peter, James, and John in the Garden of Gethsemane, just before He was betrayed by Judas and led to His crucifixion. I was wrecked last week of His interaction with His closest friends in their last moments together. He chose them to join Him in praying, for the hour was urgent to seek God.

Mark 14:33-35 says, “An intense feeling of great horror plunged His soul into deep sorrow and agony. And He said to them, ‘My heart is overwhelmed with anguish and crushed with grief. It feels as though I’m dying. STAY HERE AND KEEP WATCH WITH ME.’ He walked a short distance away, and being overcome with grief, He threw Himself facedown on the ground. He prayed that if it were possible, He would not have to experience this hour of suffering.Verse 37-38 says, Then He came back to His three disciples and found them all sound asleep. He awakened Peter and said to him, ‘Simon, are you asleep? Do you lack the strength to stay awake with Me for EVEN JUST AN HOURKeep alert and pray that you’ll be spared from this time of testing. For your spirit is eager enough, but your humanity is feeble.'”

They couldn’t stay awake for even ONE HOUR! Why?!?!?!?! 

photofy (1)

Photo: N/A

He did this three times, going off to pray in agony as though He were dying. Three times He returned to find His closest friends asleep. I believe He placed a test before them of their devotion to Him through any trial that may come. He chose them specifically to join Him in His secret place; however this time, they joined Him in what was probably the sole dark night of the soul in His life. I believe it was perhaps similar to Elijah’s test of Elisha in 2 Kings 2. Elisha prevailed in this test and not only saw His father taken into Heaven, but also received a double portion of Elijah’s mantle because he refused to depart from his father and was determined to receive what his Father had.

However, I do not believe the disciples passed Jesus’ test. They did not refuse to depart from Him in this moment where He obviously was like they had never seen Him be. They remained where they were and allowed Him to go on in solitude to cry out to God for relief from the cup He was to drink of. What if when He said, “STAY HERE AND KEEP WATCH WITH ME”, that it was actually a command to abide with Him and an invitation to join Him in His suffering? Luke 22:43-44 say that He called for an angel of glory to come and strengthen Him.” Would that have been necessary if they had joined Him?

Verses 39-42 state, “Then He left them a second time and went to pray the same thing. Afterward, He came back to the disciples and found them sound asleep, FOR THEY COULDN’T KEEP THEIR EYES OPEN AND THEY DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY TO HIM. After praying for the third time, He returned to His disciples and awoke them again, saying, ‘Do you plan on sleeping and resting indefinitely? THAT’S ENOUGH SLEEP! THE END HAS COME AND THE HOUR HAS ARRIVED for the Son of Man to be handed over to the authority of sinful men. Get up and let’s go. DON’T YOU SEE? My betrayer draws near.'”

THEY COULDN’T KEEP THEIR EYES OPEN AND THEY DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY TO HIM. 

What came upon them and overtook them so greatly that they literally COULD NOT keep their eyes open and keep watch with Him and had no answer for Him as to why? I believe that it was the same slumbering spirit that Father spoke of in the message He gave me. It seeks to blind in darkness, the vision and provision of Heaven. The word for “keep watch” and “see” literally means, “to see in the spirit”. Jesus was not telling them to watch with their natural eyes, but to keep watch and guard with their spirit eyes. If it is allowed to operate, then it will block what is being released from Heaven to earth.

photofy

Photo: N/A

I believe that in this hour, Jesus is calling His Bride to band together, stand together, and contend together through a season of intense and intentional prayer, fasting, and seeking. There are promises that have been pent up and blocked from release but His promise is that if we will seek Him in these ways, that He will send His angels to remove the barriers that the release may come.

I truly believe that we are in a brief Daniel 10 moment of time. Just as Daniel set his face to pray and fast for the release of revelation of the vision, WE TOO, MUST SEIZE THIS MOMENT WITH ACTION! I believe that just as with Daniel, if we do this, we will be met by the same glowing man to dispatch angels of deliverance. He is Jesus.

Per the urging of the Lord, I am calling a 40-day fast beginning tomorrow, May 1st until Pentecost Sunday, June 9th. I strongly urge you to join me! If you have been contending for miracles, healing, salvations, promises, deliverance; NOW IS THE TIME!!! Just as He met His faithful ones who remained through the release of Holy Spirit and fire on Pentecost, I believe that He is bringing forth the same in this hour!!!

Katie, Pure Fire of Yahweh

Complete

Daily Encouragement – 

I love you My child. I have a greater level of determination I want to pour out upon you. It is easy to start a new thing, but it takes great determination and perseverance to carry it to completion 

The true mark of a son or daughter is not what you can start or join in to be a part of, but what you can steward to completion.

To advance My Kingdom, you must learn to finish well. Carry the dream, labor in prayer, and birth a new thing. However, this is not the end. Walk in purity and integrity, run the race all the way to the finish line and pass the baton.

Just as in the physical, the true test of a parent is how a child acts when they become an adult and are on their own. So an anointing of determination will cause you to stand the true test of stewardship as a son or daughter.

Do not give up on dreams unfulfilled! Do not back down from doing what I have called you to. Carry it fully to completion that I may receive the fullness of glory and you can truly walk in maturity with Me. I love you My child.

2 Timothy 4:7-8 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. 

Press In to Press On

Belize Day 6 –
Emerging from our shelter we were greeted with an unfamiliar sight.  Trees as large as houses were strewn everywhere. Branches and leaves had been stripped from the trees and scattered on every inch of the ground.  With the welcome morning light, this is what our eyes came upon.  A new world lay before us, somehow similar to the old, but oh so different.
13876686_10210794493317821_8071969261472013854_n
Some of us got to work cleaning up immediately and others went off to sleep in their beds and make sure their rooms were not torn apart.  We had a lot of things get wet in our room and some leaves had blown in, but besides that not much trouble.  The power being out is inconvenient for a lot of people, but just another effect of the storm. We worked all morning to pile branches and leaves. Sometime during the night, Santi had forgotten to move his vehicle to a safe place and it had been partially crushed by a monstrous tree.  The highlight of the morning was when we were finally able to get the tree off the truck and see that it was dented and had some broken windows but was still usable.
32
13895417_1249608081718899_8603314979275502150_n
Our next task was to clear the downed power lines so that we could get them repaired. Along, the way, we repaired the horse pen while many continued to stack the seemingly endless supply of broken branches and downed trees.  By lunch, most were exhausted and I had to sleep for a few hours.  After a quick nap, I got back to work until dinner when I found out that Sarah was apparently suffering from heat exhaustion and lack of sleep.  I know she worked just as hard as, if not harder than, the majority of the guys and never took a break for water or anything.  She was paying for it. Heidi and I went and prayed for her, and we saw an immediate improvement.  We sat around for about an hour around a candle talking and finally turned in for the night.  This has become a rather interesting real mission trip that most people were unprepared for.
Interestingly, a day or two before I left for Belize, God had spoken something to me during my prayer time.  I was praying and preparing spiritually for the trip and got a strange impression.  It was not even what I would call a word, but I felt as if this mission would be more than what we knew or expected and that we may not come back when we planned on it.  I know now that it was God, but then I had this feeling that this trip was going to be bigger than anyone expected and that something was going to happen that no one planned on or prepared for.  Like I said, it was not clear enough for me to tell the leaders, but it was this nagging thought.  I was unsure of what to expect or if I was just being silly, but I made plans in the physical to have everything taken care of in case I did not come back when I thought I would.
Now, I know that was a word from the Lord.  I doubt any of us would have gone if we had known that we would be in the middle of a hurricane.  However, God was preparing me even before the trip for unexpected things that would take place.  Even on my 28th mission trip, God is still giving me adventure and allowing me to experience something I had never done before and may never do again, endure through a hurricane.
Devotion – 
These are difficult times that we all live in.  God has chosen you to live at this time and He gives you everything that you need to succeed.  The more troubling things that are around you, the closer you need to get to Him!
 Press into Him and He will give you the ability to press on no matter the lack of sleep, uncomfortable conditions, pain, or whatever you may be going through.  
Interestingly, God revealed to me something that I never really could have known or been prepared for, experiencing a hurricane, during my time with Him.  I was close to Him even before the hard times came, and because of this, He was able to prepare me for the unknown hard times to come so that I was ready to endure when the time came.  This demonstrates how important it is to press into Him during the easy times as well as the difficult. 
Challenge – 
Today, ask God to help you to come closer to Him than ever before.  As you do this, look for the encouragement, strength, and life that will come as a result of deepening devotion and intimacy with Him!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

The Call to Commitment

We have now been In India for two weeks, and I have yet to write a blog.  Returning to this beautiful place that I love to do ministry so much has not been different than any of the other previous countries.  Yes, there is more poverty, and this is a third-world country.  Yes, it is illegal to preach Christianity here.  Yes, the conditions are different, but the Spirit of the Gospel is the same and compels us to minister in the same ways, if not more, as we did in all the previous countries.  Counting our ministry in New York City, this is our seventh country to be ministering for the Lord in, and we just hit six months of traveling.  I do not think that anything has been like I expected, but the changes have been even more dramatic for my wife.  This is the main reason that I encouraged her to write the first few blogs.  India is the only third-world country she has ever been to, and the first time she has been in Asia.  The experiences to her are much more new and shocking than they are for me.  All of this being the case, she has written some amazing blogs from a first timer’s perspective.  I pray that you are able to experience this culture that is so different from ours in her unique perspective.

Last weekend, we were told that we would be traveling with Pastor Binny to preach to some youth in a neighboring state.  True to Indian culture, we met up with the pastor about two hours after we originally and planned.  Everything we had been told was not entirely accurate, which is very common here.  After staying the night at his mother’s house, we traveled through some very jungle-ish regions (where we saw many monkeys and were told elephants were often seen) to a small village in Andhra Pradesh where a church was holding Fasting-Prayer.  In India, it is very common, usually weekly, that churches will hold a 24-hour or all-day time where everyone in the church gathers to fast, pray, sing, and be taught.  Most of the people will spend all night and/or day here and then have a community meal afterwards.

Prayer and Fasting Church

With the plans being changed, I was not sure if I would be able to share the message that I knew that God had given me.  First, I shared about God’s ministry that had brought us here, and Katie shared the word that God had been speaking to her for India.  After this, Pastor Binny preached a word on faith.  I thought this was the end of the teaching, but about an hour before the fasting prayer was to finish Pastor Binny invited me to share a message, if I had one.  I was glad to be given the chance to share the Word I knew that God had given me to share.

Prayer Fasting Church

Here is the first part of the message that I spoke to the church, but is just as important to you wherever you are:

God began to speak to me about what made the prophet Daniel able to say at the end of his life that “…the people who know their God will be strong and carry out great exploits” (Daniel 11:32).  At this time, Daniel had experienced the greatness of God in so many ways.  He had escaped death many times, slept with lions, watched his friends last through the fire, survived many changes in rulers, and even governing kingdoms.

Holy Spirit revealed to me that the key to why Daniel was able to continue through all these things and make such a bold statement at the end of his life was found in Daniel 1:8 “Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself…”  Here, the scripture is talking about how Daniel chose at a young age not to eat food offered to idols; however, this revealed his desire was not to be disobedient to the Lord in any way.  This commitment led to Daniel and his friends being tested and later honored.  Both Daniel and his friends would be tested over and over again whether they would keep this commitment or value their own lives, status, power… more.  In spite of everything, they made this commitment and stuck to it.  Because of this, their strengths and great exploits are recorded and still bring encouragement to us today.

Meditating on this, God showed me four things that are keys to complete commitment to the Lord.

4 Keys to Commitment –

  1. Consecrate yourself to the Lord.  All of us start in a state of unholiness and dishonor because of sin.  However, through the blood of Jesus, we can be forgiven and are brought to a state of righteousness.  We must then chose to walk in a holy way or return to our former fleshly ways of living and thinking.  (When we are cleansed, we become “…vessels of honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work” 2 Timothy 2:21).  
  2. Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30).  This does not come naturally, but is a continual progression throughout our entire lives learning to love Him with everything we are, everything within us, and everything we have.  This is in direct opposition to our flesh that wants to please and love only itself.
  3. Stir up the giftings that are within you (2 Timothy 1:6-7).  Timothy is reminded to stir up the giftings within himself.  He is not told to pray for God to stir them up, but to stir them up himself.  He is encouraged to act and use the gifts that he has so that they may grow and be pruned into greater and more powerful ones.  This is evident by how the next verse talks about not fearing, but walking in power, love, and all wisdom.
  4. Be completely obedient in all that you do (Luke 17:5-10).  Here, the apostles ask the Lord to increase their faith.  Jesus responds to them by telling them a story about being obedient servants.  No matter what the size of faith you have, you are able to do great things!!!  However, it is obedience to the Lord that not only causes His power to work through you, but causes you to be given more faith and the ability to do even greater things.

As Followers of Christ, we are called to be committed, changed, and active in each one of these areas, or we will not be fully effective for His Kingdom.  I encourage you to examine your commitment to the Lord.

Are you walking as a fully committed Follower of Christ?  

Are you succeeding in each of these four areas?  

Are you strong and carrying out great exploits for Him? 

Ask Holy Spirit to reveal a few specific ways you can work on one of these areas this week!!!

Pray that the Lord will strengthen you in every area and that you would never settle for less than the very greatest of exploits that God has planned for your life.  I bless you with knowing God, being completely committed to Him, becoming strong and carrying out great exploits for His glory!!!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!