You can trust God to bring it to pass--as long as you don't settle for less than his best.
Many of us are pregnant with a word that God has spoken to us either directly or through someone else. But if we have been carrying the word for a season with no indication that it is about to be birthed, we can become discouraged.
What promise has God proclaimed to you personally? Is it the restoration of your family? A ministry that mends the brokenhearted? Or a business that prospers and produces?
The beginning of a new year is like a mile marker on the path of life--a checkpoint to show how far you've come. It's a good time to think about where you are on the road to destiny.
When you were younger, what did you expect to have accomplished by this point? When you first got a vision of what God had planned for you, where did you think you would be by now? Are you moving forward--or has the climate of fear in our country paralyzed you and prevented you from making progress?
Many of us have allowed the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 and the subsequent declaration of war to immobilize us. We have allowed fear to supercede faith--and to rule our thoughts, feelings and actions.
Probably the best advice my mother ever gave me came when I was finishing my senior year of high school. We were in one of those mother-and-daughter heated discussions because I had made some decisions that were breaking her heart. Like a broken record, she had repeated her speech over and over. It went something like this: "You lie in the bed that you make."
Faced with my "Oh, no, here we go again" attitude, my mother was completely frustrated. She blurted out, "You can come in here and fool me, Paula. You can fool your family and your friends, but you'd better be honest with yourself!"
I knew she was right. She had hit a nerve, and eventually, it proved to be the advice that would change my life.
Like Mama Bears who fiercely protect their cubs, rightous women can become a powerful force in safeguarding America's destiny.
On a beautiful May morning in our nation's capital, the sun was streaming into the ornate reception room just off the floor of the United States Senate. Usually this is a very busy room, noisy with the hustle and bustle of senators scurrying on and off the floor or meeting with their constituents and staff.
Sometimes this space is filled with the well-heeled lobbyists of industry or a civics class visiting the Capitol. Often I listen to the echo of my own footsteps as I walk these halls or stand here alone, waiting to talk with a senator.
Recently Charisma magazine reported on a crusade in Nigeria that was hosted by German evangelist Reinhard Bonnke. During the six days of the crusade, a record number of people--3.4 million--made decisions to receive Christ.
In a television interview not long after the crusade Bonnke said:"The tide is coming in! The immovable is now movable; the impossible is now possible; the incurable is now curable!"
I believe Bonnke's comment was a prophetic statement about the spiritual atmosphere in the world today. Many leaders, both Christian and secular, have sensed a turning of the spiritual tide. Related to the recent change of leadership in our nation, a secular newscaster declared that "God is in," and U.S. News & World Report raised the question, "Is America undergoing a spiritual awakening?"
If you are especially burdened to intercede for governmental authorities, it's possible you've been anointed for a special assignment. Who can forget the memorable Wednesday night in January 1991 when television viewers watched with astonishment as the Gulf War unfolded before our very eyes? The war appeared to be a struggle over Kuwait's crude oil. However, oil is symbolic of power, both physically and spiritually.
Saddam Hussein did not count on the fact that God's people would gather throughout the land to pray. Not unlike the prideful Goliath, Hussein was swiftly defeated and made the laughingstock of the entire world. God honors the prayers of His government intercessors!
Some christians beleive being Spirit-Led applies to only one aspect of their lives. But God wants us to be guided by Him in all areas. One day shortly before the November 2000 presidential election, I came home from work and found my son listening to sound clips on his computer that had been posted on Rush Limbaugh's Web site. The clips were recordings of the voices of women who, previously unsure about their choice for president, had de-cided to vote for Al Gore. Their reason? He had kissed his wife publicly before giving his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention!
"It made my knees go weak," one woman commented. Another said she nearly swooned when she observed Gore's public display of affection. Several admitted that the kiss alone had caused them to become avid Gore supporters.
There is no difficulty in life that can hold you captive when you know that the victor, the word of God, lives in you.
As Christian women we are often told to read the Word of God. "The Word is your defense against the attacks of Satan," people say. So how come it looks as if the enemy is winning in our lives more often than not?
"Lord, am I faithless?" I cried out to Him not long ago. "Do I doubt your Word? Why isn't there more victory in my life?" In response, God led me to Revelation 19:11-13--a picture of the victorious Christ riding into battle on a white horse. But what did this Rider have to do with me and my battles, right here and right now? I wondered. Again, God responded, leading me step by step through the Scriptures until I understood this powerful message of hope and victory.
PROCURRING THE PROMISES OF GOD REQUIRES PERSEVERANCE. ARE YOU WILLING TO PRESS THROUGH ADVERSITY TO FULFILL YOUR DESTINY? Your life is about more than merely existing. You are pregnant with promises from God, and He has an assignment for you! But are you willing to endure the process to procure the blessings that are inside of you?
Joseph is the perfect example of a man who was pregnant with promise and yet had to walk through the processes, trials and hurts of life to attain his destiny. He was the son of Jacob and Rachel (see Gen. 30:22-24). Because Joseph "was the son of his old age," Jacob loved him more than he did his other children, and he gave him a coat of many colors (Gen. 37:3, NKJV).
OLD TESTAMENT PRIESTS WERE CONSECRATED TO GOD THROUGH THE USE OF SPECIAL OILS. TODAY, WE MUST BE SURE WE DON'T MIX THE WRONG ELEMENTS WHEN WE SEEK TO CARRY HIS ANNOINTING. Throughout my teen-age years, my aunt owned a catering business. She was known particularly for her ability to bake wonderful cakes--as beautiful as they were delicious. These weren't your everyday oven fare made from butter, eggs, sugar and flour. These were anointed cakes, and they included a secret ingredient.
I remember one occasion when her daughter asked her to bake a huge cake for a friend's baby shower. My mother and I and several others were in the dining room when she was putting the cake together.
Recently my husband, Steve, and I visited Argentina, where revival has been taking place for several years now. Over and over again we heard the same message proclaimed: God is pouring out His fire to purify and prepare a bride who is without spot or wrinkle. This message is based on the declaration John the Baptist made about Jesus, "'He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire'" (Matt. 3:11, NIV, emphasis added).
One of the results of being baptized in fire is holiness, a characteristic that was the primary focus of the Spirit in the late 1800s. It defined the Holiness movement and set the stage for the Pentecostal movement that followed at the turn of the century.
But gradually the emphasis in the Holiness movement changed from seeking to develop a pure heart to simply following a set of rules, and true holiness--taking on the nature of God--was lost. We settled for a doctrine of partial holiness: one that allowed a watered-down purity to coexist with carnal hearts full of compromise, competition and division.