ALIVE

Jesus is ALIVE.

We serve a LIVING GOD.

He lives in me, in us.

That means: Jesus is here.  Right now.

Whenever we enter a room, He enters that room, too.  Whenever we walk into a building, He walks into that building.  We are the highest spiritual authority in these places because we have Him LIVING in us.

Wherever we go we bring with us opportunities for any & everyone we meet to know, experience & come in contact with the Living God.

We are the carriers of His Presence.

We are the carriers of: His Spirit, His life, His healing, His love, His joy, His strength, His mercy, His grace, His power.  It all comes with us wherever we go.  Do you not see the implications of this truth?

It is up to us to release these things to elicit change, to set right what is wrong, to restore what has been broken and stolen by the enemy, to bring light into dark places, to demolish lies and deceit, to reconcile those God loves to God Himself so that they, too, can live, so they can come fully alive and become a carrier of His DNA: Divine Nature of the Almighty.  We leave traces of our natural DNA every time we touch something or someone…wouldn’t the same be true of our new spiritual DNA?  Touch someone and leave a trace of God with them.

THIS is who we are.

And this is to Whom we belong.

He lives.

Jesus….Our King.

To Him be the Glory forever.

Blessings,

Miranda

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Sacred Cows and “Christianese:” Part 1

I know most of you have heard of the phrase “sacred cows,” but what about “Christianese?”  What the heck is that?  It’s a language “owned” by Christians, clichés and phrases that are on the lips of most church-going people that, on the surface may sound holy and pious and Christian, but when you break down these clichés and phrases and pit them against scripture and the Word of God, you’ll see that they are really quite unbiblical and actually hold Christians back from the truth of who they are and what they have in Christ.  It keeps them held to a lower standard and therefore the enemy still has them in bondage in some fashion.

Today I would like to kick over and destroy the sacred cow/Christianese saying:

“God works in mysterious ways”

DISCLAIMER: You should ALWAYS line everything up with scripture!  Yes, even those funny little phrases and sayings because you are re-presenting Christ and God to the world and you should be speaking what God and His Word says in the right context.  It’s not about you and your experiences!  It’s about God’s Word!

First of all, “God works in mysterious ways” is not in the Bible.  (As my friend Don Allen would say, it’s in 1st Imaginations!)  Actually when you do a search for the word “mysterious” in the Bible, it comes up with ZERO hits.  NADA.  When you search out the word “mystery” the first occurrence of it does not show up until the New Testament in Mark 4:11, which reads:

“And He said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables.”

Hmmm….did you get that?  UNTO YOU IT IS GIVEN TO KNOW THE MYSTERY OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD.  I didn’t read anything in there that says “Gods ways are a mystery and to you they always shall be and hence they shall remain.”

In Romans 16 Paul says that the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret since the beginning is NOW MADE MANIFEST  (manifest:  RENDER APPARENT).  I’ve heard it said that the Old Testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.

What else does the Bible say about God and His “mysteries?”

Eph. 1:8-9– “Wherein He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself.”

Eph. 3:3-5,9  “How that by revelation He made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,  Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the SpiritAnd to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.”

Eph. 6:19 “And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel.”

Col 1:26-27  “Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

All of these scriptures clearly state that yes, through Christ Jesus the mystery that was concealed has now been revealed unto His people.  (And before you say that it was for just the apostles and prophets and all these things died with death of last apostle, I’d say, show me scripture and verse for that please)  WE ARE HIS SAINTS.  We are His people.  We are His dwelling place.  We’ve been given His Spirit!  Holy Spirit abides in us and what He did for Jesus He’ll do for us!

1Co 2:7,9-12  “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.”

This basically says that no one can know God except the Spirit but now that very Spirit lives in us!  And if the Spirit that knows God lives in us then we can know God and the things of God because we are now His people!  And a few lines later the scripture then goes on to say that “WE HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST!”

There are several scriptures that talk about the Holy Spirit and how He shows us, teaches us, reveals to us, leads us, guides us into ALL truth.

John even boldly states: “But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.” 1 John 2:20 (unction:  chrisma – an unguent or smearing, that is, (figuratively) the special endowment (“chrism”) of the Holy Spirit: – anointing, unction.)

So how can we then state with confidence that GOD works in mysterious ways?  I believe it’s a complete lack of relationship and intimate fellowship with God, Jesus and Holy Spirit.  It’s not knowing who you are and what you’ve been given in Christ, your inheritance, the power, the restoration, the gifts that ARE YOURS just for being His.  It’s a lack of power in the body and therefore man had to make up some kind of reason for defeat and powerlessness.

Many bad doctrines and theologies have been formed out of a lack in the body, out of circumstances (which we like to call “circumstantial theology”).  NEVER FORM YOUR THEOLOGY IN THE MIDDLE OF A CRISIS!  Because then you get sayings like this that have no basis in scripture and they become roadblocks to victory and excuses for not trying (sorry, some there is some serious laziness in the body!  Get up and look into it for yourself!)!  Stop throwing your hands up and shifting the responsibility (ahem, blame) on God!  You are CO-LABORERS with Him!  He already gave you all you’ll ever need, so what have you done with it, brethren?  Stop waiting for God to move, He’s already done His part, He’s just now waiting for YOU!!!

So, God does NOT work in mysterious ways.  It’s all made plain in the Word and if you need wisdom, brothers and sisters, ASK!

Jas 1:5-8 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

It’s either one or the other, it cannot be both.  So which do you choose to believe?

Get to know Him.  It’s totally worth the effort.

In Christ,

Miranda

Healed of Cancer & Divine Appointments

I shop at Wegmans…a lot.  I am there sometimes two or three times a week.  And, yes, I have prayed for some people there, sometimes in the aisles, sometimes in the breezeway.  I walk away not ever seeing them again and wondering how they are.

A few months ago, on a Friday morning, I stopped there on my way to work to get my morning latte and as I was walking up to the store I “just happened” to notice a man walking across the parking lot, limping.  (When I say “just happened” what I mean is the Holy Spirit caused me to see him.)  My first thought was “Man, I would love to see him healed.”  And immediately this mocking voice comes crashing in (wonder who that could be) saying “Well, go ahead, sister Christian, go heal him then, you really think you can?  C’mon, go on, do it…”  All laced with doubt and sarcasm.  I told the voice to zip it and went in to get my coffee.  I was in there for about 10 minutes and as I was walking out I look to my left and see that very man walking right beside me.

Now I KNEW.

I say hi and start making small talk with him.  We stop outside and chit chat for a few minutes and finally I say “Listen, what can I pray for you for?  I want to pray for you.  What do you need prayer for?”  I wasn’t expecting what came out of his mouth.  He said “I have cancer. I’ve been struggling with it for 15 years.”  My heart burst with compassion for him but also with love for God because He brought this man to my attention for a reason.  He said that the doctors were concerned about it going into his bones.  I said “Uh-uh, no way, Jesus is going to take care of that.”  I pulled him over to the side and dropped my stuff to the ground and put my hand right over his heart and right there spoke healing, rebuked the cancer, commanded life.

When I was finished I think he was a little flabbergasted and he thanked me, telling me that he had an appointment the following Wednesday.  What timing!  I told him I hoped to see him again to hear that good report.  As I walked to my car, I praised the Lord and thanked Him for healing “R.”  The enemy of course tried to come in with doubt, but I spoke God’s Word…I said “God Your word says if I lay hands on the sick they WILL recover, and I know You are true to Your word, so I believe he IS healed.”  For the next week I took time every day to thank God that “R” was healed, and asked to see him again.

A few weeks later, I made a trip to Wegmans.  I don’t usually go on Monday’s but I decided to go pick up a few things anyhow.  Once there I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in a while and when we get together we TALK!  I mean, for a while!  So after we caught up, I got my stuff and cashed out.  As I was getting ready to leave, I flip-flop over whether or not to get a coffee and decide what the heck…and who do I see at the buffet on the way there?  “R.”  I was thrilled.  I asked how he was and he said he was ok.  I asked about the doctors and he said they were going to do scans on him to check his “status.”  I said (with total enthusiasm) “Hey, don’t worry, you are going to be just fine.  I know it.  I have no doubts!”  I gave him some encouragement and walked out thanking God again for the opportunity to see him and to be able to reassure him.

So, today, I had a hair appointment at 11:00.  There were a few things I wanted to grab (yes, at Wegmans) and considered going after my appointment but for “some reason” (ahem, Holy Spirit) I felt the urge to go beforehand.  I walked in and headed right for the fresh baked bread and who was standing there in that very spot?  “R.”  I walked up to him and started chatting him up (he is a very quiet and soft-spoken person).  Then I asked, “How are you?  You doing okay?  You been to the doctors?”  He said he had his scans done.  I asked, “And..”

And he said “They were all negative.”  Oh yes, glory to God!  I had to contain myself so as not to freak out my friend.

I said “So you’re all good?”

“For now,” he said.

I said “Oh no, for good!”

“I hope so,” he replied.

“No, you ARE!  Because it’s done and He loves you!”  And then I went on to tell him how I had prayed to the Lord to see him again so I could hear for myself his good report.  I wanted so much to convey to him hope and the love of God for him because he’d been living with this for so long that’s all he knew.  I hugged him and invited him to come see me at work sometime….because I really would love more opportunity to share the love of God with him.

I cried all the way to my hair appointment, for the goodness of the Lord, for “R” and his healing, for God hearing my heart and leading me to those “divine appointments” of seeing him all those times and couldn’t help but to see Holy Spirit’s leading and timing through every one.

And this is the life I want to live….His life lived through me, what He’s given to me I get to go and give.  “And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:7-8)  He told me “Daughter, you don’t NEED healing, you HAVE healing.  You have what they need.  So go.”

To Him be the glory.

Thank You, Lord.  With all my heart.

God bless,

Miranda

To you….

I pass by this guy sometimes on my way to or from work, sitting and waiting for his bus to go to work.  He always looks down, miserable, unhappy.  Add to that the fact that he buys a large can of beer from the corner store across the street before he goes to his stop.  He’ll either drink it outright or pour it into his thermal coffee mug.  I hated seeing him like that.  I couldn’t help but wonder, what was it that drove him to that place?  Why did he feel so bad?  Why why why…???

One day, on my way home, I saw him there and I rolled down my window, pulled over to the side and said to him, “Hey, God loves you.   I just wanted you to know that.”  I don’t remember what he said in response, but it wasn’t very enthusiastic.

 

On another day, the Holy Spirit inspired me to write him a letter.  And this is what it said:

 

To you:

You are loved.

You are special.

You are treasured.

You are important.

You are more than your current circumstances, more than your mistakes, far more than what you think you are and way more than you could ever imagine yourself to be.  Open your eyes and mind to new possibilities, ones that only God Himself can provide for you.

Imagine this:

There you stand, tall, happy, joyful, bold, confident, liberated from any bondage’s or disillusionment that holds you down, freed from the whispered lies of hopeless defeat that plague you day after day.

Picture this:

You, there, dressed in fine linens, royalty, a chosen son adopted by God Himself into His Kingdom; a brother and co-heir with Christ Jesus….all that the Kingdom of heaven is and has becomes YOURS as a son.  No more standing outside looking in.  No more wishing or hoping or burying the disappointments under a self-induced numbness to keep the pain of failed expectation at bay.  No more, because Jesus took it all for you and from you.  Picture it:  a new life in Christ, full of joy and peace and love.

And why?

Because He loves you.  He loves you so much He laid down His life for you, took pain, sickness and punishment so that you could be free.

FREE.

This is how God sees you through the eyes of the sacrifice of His one and only begotten Son, whose shed blood covers and takes away all the things we’ve been told that we are, that we’ve been conditioned to believe are true…but they’re all lies.  He is the truth and the truth is:  HE LOVES YOU.

YOU.

I make this declaration over you: that you will receive this revelation in such a profound way that your life will forever be changed for the best; you will become His and all that He knows that you are and will be as a chosen son loved by God, the one who created you.  You will be a living testimony and you will change the lives of others with this truth once it becomes yours.

I don’t know your name, but God does and He has it written on the palm of His hand:

“Look, I have inscribed you name on my palms; your walls are constantly before Me.” (Isaiah 49:16)

 

God bless.

Sincerely,

Someone who cares

But don’t we all need to know this?  Even us, those of us who are “believers” or consider ourselves “Christians”?  Do WE even see ourselves as this?  Free.  Sons.  Saved.  Rescued.  Redeemed.  Healed.  We throw these words around but do they even have any weight?  Have we the true revelation about what these words mean and the gravity of all that Jesus did for us so that we could truly become like Him??  Do you know what your inheritance is as a son?  Most would say, “yeah, heaven, when I die.”  Oh but brethren, it is SO much more than that.  Jesus, as the Testator of the will of God, died and that inheritance is something that becomes ours NOW.   Here and now.  But we cannot act on what we do not know.

We are not to be what we once were.  We are to put on Christ.  We are to be citizens of the Kingdom, imitators of God, shedding the old man like dirty garments and stepping into the new man that He created us to be.

Who are you?

You are loved, special, treasured, His.  And in this knowledge, we are then to go and tell others that they, too, are these things as well.

God bless,

Miranda

Illusions

Illusion: something with deceptive appearance; false or incorrect idea.

The enemy operates in the realm of deception and lies.  He wants you to keep your eyes on what SEEMS to be and not what really is.   He wants you to believe that you are living a life of lack: lack of health and peace, lack of provision, lack of evidence, signs, healings, miracles; lack of the Word of God working and producing in your life, lack of change, even the lack of God’s presence.  When you’re going through a trial, which of us doesn’t at some point have the thought of “Where is God?  I don’t feel Him!”?  This leads you to begin to doubt God’s love and provision and presence just because you don’t FEEL it.

The enemy functions in the realm of the senses and when we rely on our senses as our source of truth, we are then open to his deceptions.   We are then prone to believing his lies that we are lacking when the Word of God says that we lack nothing when we are in Christ.

Adam and Eve had it all.  No lack whatsoever.   They had peace, health, food, everlasting life and more importantly, intimate fellowship with God Himself yet what did the enemy get them to focus on?  The one and only thing that God said they could not partake of ……and why?  Because He was being mean and withholding something good from them?  No, because they would DIE if they ate it.  DEATH would be their reward.  Did they not understand what that meant?

If we allow ourselves to focus on the illusion of lack, then we are partaking of and eating the lies of the enemy and this brings death to us.

It begins to kill your faith.  It’s like a small infection that, if not treated, will keep spreading and growing until it eats away at anything living and good, leaving behind rot, decay and death.   The enemy knows that it is by FAITH that we receive the promises of God; he knows that the substance of FAITH is what makes those very things manifest and thrive in your life.

It kills off your trust in God and in His Word.  Did God really say?  Why isn’t it working?  I don’t see or feel anything different or better so it must not be working which means God’s Word doesn’t work, at least not for me….if I still feel this way then why bother praying and standing on the Word….and on and on and on…..  Don’t think for one second these thoughts are all yours.  Who do you think plants those seeds and then waters them with fear and anxiety and symptoms and unbelief?    The enemy knows full well the laws of sowing and reaping.  He knows how the spiritual laws of God operate better than most Christian’s do which is why he can keep doing what he does and be so successful at putting them under repeatedly.

It kills off your identity in Christ.  Well, if I really was then this would change…..I wouldn’t feel/be/act this way….since I don’t see or feel any change then maybe I really don’t….maybe I’m really not…..

It kills off your peace.  So, if I still have these symptoms/issues, and it doesn’t work, at least not for me, and I’m not what I thought I was, and God’s Word isn’t producing in my life, then there’s no hope…I’m not healed, I’m not protected, I’m not saved…..  It fills and torments you with fear and dread.  It kills off your joy, your light, all the things that Christ is to be in you, all the things that are the fruit of the life of the Holy Spirit within you….and this brings death to your spirit as the light begins to be overshadowed by darkness, suffocating the flame inside until it’s snuffed out completely.

THIS is the enemy’s purpose.

It can and does bring death to the physical body: sickness, disease, malfunction, fatigue, weakness.  People grow weary of fighting and some even give in to death, believing that it is better for them to die than to live.  The enemy wearies them into full subjection and snuffs out the light of Christ in another, to quiet another….because he lies.

And we believe.

He is the creator of lies, the stealer of truth.  We must stop letting him take from us what is rightfully ours.  ALL (not some) of the promises of God in Him are yes and in Him amen for the glory of God by us (2 Corinthians 1:20)

Paul tells us that we must bring ALL/EVERY thought(s) captive.  They must all be tried against the Word of God and if that thought does not line up with the Word, we are to discard it forcefully!   “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

DO NOT COMPROMISE with the enemy of your soul.  Not once, not ever.  He will steal any morsel he can get his hands on.  Give and inch and he’ll take so much more.

Be tenacious.  Dig in.  Know that no matter how bad the “illusion of lack” can seem God’s Word IS life, it DOES prosper but we cannot let the enemy steal that seed or allow him to dig it up and out from under us or it stalls the process.

Fight the good fight of faith.  Get and keep His Word, guard it like a precious gem, bury it deep within you.  It’s your only offensive weapon against the enemy, and he’ll do anything he can to knock it out of your hand so that you are left defenseless, left to become just another statistic of the devil, who started off so strong, but man, what happened???

Did God really say?  Well, go find out for yourself….

Then hold tight and don’t give up.

God bless,

Miranda

The Good Shepherd?

I had a conversation with someone last week and something that was said completely disturbed me.

We were talking about God and suffering and I said that I absolutely do not believe for one minute that God puts suffering/sickness on us to “teach us a lesson” or to discipline us.  Aside from the fact that it is unscriptural (please do NOT mention Job’s boils or Paul’s thorn), it is out of God’s character to do such a thing.  The person I was talking to disagreed with me wholeheartedly and believed that He does do that.   After some back and forth, this person then tells me that they once heard a pastor (well-known) do a sermon on Psalm 23, the shepherd and His sheep.  I’ve personally read “A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23” by Phillip Keller (highly recommended) and couldn’t imagine where they were going with this.

They said that this pastor said sheep are inherently stupid, that they needed to be disciplined (i.e. the rod, of which this person also mentioned the “spare the rod, spoil the child” verse, etc).  This pastor then went on to say that to keep the sheep safe that the shepherd would BREAK THE LEGS of a wayward sheep to keep it from running away from the flock and into danger then he would carry it on his shoulders until it was healed and it would be dependent on the shepherd and never stray again.

I’m sorry…..WHAT?  I was so incensed by this statement because it’s so out of God’s character but I mean… is this what His people are really saying and believing about Him?  Of course I went and researched this statement to see if any of it was true.  Nope.  Not true.  It’s an anecdote pastor’s use.  (To keep this short I’ll paste one of the article links here http://pulpitandpen.org/2014/06/27/the-shepherd-breaking-his-sheeps-legs-myths-thatll-preach/ ).

But let’s say that human shepherds actually DID do that?  What does that say about God?  Would that in any way reflect how Jesus treats us as His sheep?  We have to measure everything against His Word so what does scripture say about the sheep (us) and the shepherds (pastors or God/Jesus Himself)?

First of all, there is a scathing judgment on the “shepherds” of Israel by God Himself in Ezekiel 34.  The first four verses read:

And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.”  (Read all of this chapter, very telling)

Sorry, but to me, breaking someone’s bones to “keep them safe” is forceful, cruel and abusive.  Causing disease and suffering to “work something out” in people’s lives and character is forceful, cruel and abusive.  Let me ask you this:  would YOU do that to someone you love to teach them a lesson?  When children are harmed or beat in the natural, it’s considered ABUSE right?  Well, have you ever thought that maybe their parents are trying to work out some character flaw in them?  I mean, isn’t that what we’re saying about God?  Imagine this:  maybe you see your child is going astray, making poor decisions or acting in ways that are “sinful,”  ways that are going to bring more harm to them in some way….so based on this “logic”, maybe you should afflict them physically, inject them with poison or a disease so that you can “keep them safe” or strengthen their character, teach them a valuable lesson.  And not only that, but then they will come to depend on you as caretaker and parent and it will draw them closer to you.  Then, ultimately you get to decide when they are ready to be healed and restored, if at all.

Ridiculous, isn’t it?  Doesn’t that make you mad?

That would be considered a “captive audience” and God is the Liberator, not the Captor.  How many times does the Word say He came to set the captives free?  “And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity.”  (Jeremiah 29:14A)  And not only that, but God does not force Himself on anyone, He does not work against someone’s will.  We have free will, we make our own decisions and God cannot and will not go against anyone’s will.

Does that above scenario sound loving to you?  So how can people say that God is love and in the same breath say that God gave them cancer?  Or that He killed someone they love because “He needed them?”  They say it because that’s what they are taught.

Back to scripture.  What about Jesus?  What does HE say about sheep (us) and being the Good Shepherd?

Matthew 12:9-14 – “And when He was departed thence, He went into their synagogue: And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked Him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse Him. And He said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. Then saith He to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And He stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other. Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against Him, how they might destroy Him.”  Notice: first, the man in the parable did not break the sheep’s legs to teach it to not stray, nor did he leave it in that condition, he went and SAVED IT.  Second, Jesus was talking about HEALING, healing the man, who is better than the sheep!

Luke 15:4-6 – “What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.” There is rejoicing over the one found.  Not anger or punishment. He left all the rest of his flock to go and rescue the one who was lost.  Do we not all get lost at times?  Do we not all go astray?  Are we always perfect and obedient?  No.  But God comes through LOVE, His Word, and His Spirit to bring us back to Him.  It’s the LOVE of God that brings people to repentance.

In John 10, Jesus talks extensively about the Shepherd and the sheep.  He says that He goes before the sheep and the sheep follow because they KNOW HIS VOICE.  When He speaks, they hear, they listen.  How does He speak to us today?  Through His Word and His Spirit.  He teaches us to heed His voice only, so that all He has to do is speak and we will listen.  He draws us in through love and trust.  And if the sheep (us) do not listen, if we do stray, we suffer the consequences of our poor decision to leave the safety of our Shepherd’s watch and care.  He doesn’t need to inflict harm on us, we do it to ourselves. And we have an enemy who will take full advantage of our disobedience.

V:10-11 – “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”

He came to GIVE us life, not take it from us.  That’s Satan’s job and for people to lay blame on God for OUR sickness and suffering is blasphemy.  And if God “uses Satan” to teach us lessons (as some teach), then Satan is not a thief because he’s only doing what he is told and given permission to do.  If he has permission, it’s not robbery.

Jesus gave His life.  He took our punishment; the price was already paid for our sins!  If we need to be continually made to suffer punishment for our wrong doings, then there was no reason at all for what Jesus did.  All the scourging and suffering He endured was all for nothing.

God is love.  Love does no harm.

He mends, He does not break.

God bless,

Miranda

The Great Physician

It amazes me how fast we give up on God.  When He doesn’t “come through” on our time frame or operate under our expectations, we throw up our hands and say “Oh well, wasn’t meant to be” or “must not be God’s will for me” or some other excuse that we come up with that causes us to give up on God’s word, which, by the way, is His truth.  In a way, it’s giving up on God Himself.

Healing is one of the biggest and most divisive subjects in the church that this happens with all the time.  We, as the church, have failed in so many ways regarding this issue.  We have made up bad doctrine and false theologies out of our failures and then tell people “well, it must be God’s will for you to be sick then, oh He is chastening you because you’re in sin, He’s working out a character flaw, He’s testing your faith”…etc. etc…insert unscriptural diatribe here…..  (I could write a whole dissertation on THAT subject, like if it’s God’s will for you to be sick, then don’t pray it away or seek a doctor because then you’d be in rebellion, refuting Paul’s thorn and Job’s boils, but that’s for another day….)

However, they will then quickly go to a doctor and will follow THEIR directions and instructions to the T.  They’ll take the medicine religiously; they’ll read up on “their disease” and “educate themselves” about it, filling their heads with all the terms and technical jargon and statistics so that they can know all about it.  It begs the question: did they do as much for God?  Did they go and search and dig in the Word for His truths and promises and cling to them with as much dedication?  Did they fill their heads and hearts with His truth so they can know all about that?  Did they go after and seek God Himself, fellowship with Him, spend time in His Presence and get to know the One who created them?  They can talk with all knowledge and authority about the sickness but can’t give one scripture regarding God’s will for their health and well-being.  Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

They’ll allow the doctors to poke, prod, cut open, take radiated pictures of their bodies, fill their bodies with man-made chemicals in HOPES that it will work, remove organs and parts…thereby becoming a torn apart and now lesser version of themselves, certainly not any longer how God created and intended them to be.

The success rate of doctors and medication is NOT 100%.  Yet people STILL go despite the risks, of which there are many.  They still take the medicine in desperation for some relief despite the side-effects or that they may have to be on it for life.  So it’s basically managing symptoms, it’s not a remedy.  If they were curative, you wouldn’t need to take them every day for months, years, or even for the rest of your life.

How sad for God, the Creator of our bodies, the One who breathed life into us, who knit us together in our mothers’ wombs, that we trust more in man and his ways than in God and His ways.  How sad for Jesus who took our sin AND SICKNESS (Isaiah 53:5, Matthew 8:16-16; 1 Peter 2:24) upon Himself so that we could be freed from it in our redemption, that He seemingly took it for nothing when we continue to claim sickness and disease as our burden to bear.  Did He not bear it for us?  Would you dare look Jesus in the eye and tell Him, “Well, what You did wasn’t enough to cure what I have and to save me, but thanks anyway.”  Would you say that to Him at the whipping post, blood-covered and unrecognizable, taking stripes for you?

Is it really so much easier to wait weeks for a doctor to see you for maybe an hour, someone who doesn’t really know you, who only hears what you tell them in that short time, then decides for you on your behalf what THEY think is best for you only to shove you out and please come back in 6 months for a checkup (and then have to pay hundreds of dollars for their advice and treatment that may or may not work) than to fellowship with and get to know the Great Physician who already paid for your healing…with HIS LIFE??  You’ve already been bought and paid for, as has your healing.  It’s part of His benefit package when you sign up with Him (Psalm 103:1-5).

Jesus is available 24/7/365.  You don’t need to make an appointment.  It could be 3 in the morning and no one is around but if you seek Him, He will be there.  He’s just waiting for you to take that step.  A decent physician practices medicine to try to help people; Jesus the Great Physician heals people because He LOVES them and gave His life for them.

Let me say that again:  GOD LOVES YOU.  YOU.  YES, YOU.

Which report would you rather hear?

One that says, “Well, we found something and we’re going to have to cut you open, poke around inside your body, remove pieces of you that are sick, stitch your skin back together and then give you medication that may or may not help you and comes with a variety of side-effects that could make you feel bad….”?

Or one that says, “You’re healed.”  ??

I know which one I’d rather hear.  And you can hear it every time you look in God’s word because that’s a promise He gave to us.  Not only that, but one of His redemptive names is Healer, Jehovah-Rapha (Exodus 15:26).  The Hebrew word rapha means: to mend (by stitching), to cure, (cause to) heal, physician, repair thoroughly, make whole.

In the book “The Healing Creed” by Becky Dvorak she writes: “When we preach from human reasoning instead of truth found in scripture, people suffer.  When we put all our faith in the doctor’s report in place of the Bible, miracles cease.  When we trust secular psychology rather than heed biblical counsel, healing is hindered.  We suffer from unanswered prayers when we give in to the world’s system of doubt and unbelief, but we can change that situation around.”

How many times did Jesus say to those who came to Him for healing “your faith has made you whole” or “be it unto you according to your faith”?  So, whose report are you going to put YOUR faith in (Isaiah 53:1)?

daily-bible-verses-of-jesus-healing-the-sick

(Please, read this carefully and thoughtfully, as I know messages regarding divine healing are very conflict-ridden and cause offense in a lot of people.  Jesus offended a lot of people with it, too, but He loved people too much to be quiet for the sake of keeping the peace.  No, I do not know it all, and yes, I do have my struggles, too, however we must staunchly refuse to let our situations override God’s Word.  Our theology must never be circumstantial but must always line up with His word.  I do recognize that everyone has their own convictions regarding faith and doctors and are in different places in their walks with the Lord and that the Lord can and does meet people where they are in their walk/faith because He is a loving Father who cares for His children.)

God bless,

Miranda

Some books to consider regarding this subject:

The Bible

Christ the Healer – F.F. Bosworth

His Healing Power – Dr. Lilian B. Yeomans

Healing the Sick – T.L. Osborn

Jesus the Healer- E.W. Kenyon

Consulting the Dead

My entire life up until the last decade was pretty crazy. Quite dysfunctional. (And as I sit here typing this, my fingers just froze over the keys, overwhelmed at the thought of telling people anything about my past.) Funny thing: since I have become a Christian I have spent a good portion of this walk absolutely hating who I used to be, have felt deafening shame over my past and all those decisions I made and all those self-destructive things I did. It was tormenting, really, trying to reconcile who I was and who I thought I was supposed to be now as a “good Christian girl.” I tried my damnedest to kill off every part of me and shape myself into what I thought I should look like. I became very inauthentic and it drove my husband crazy. I was also driving myself crazy. I was trying to do God’s work for Him. (Are you thinking to yourself: how’d that work out for ya?)

I was living the try-hard life. The do-more-to-be-more way. Which is exactly how I lived my life up until then. Nothing was ever good enough and I received my validation in what I did not who I was and that attitude carried over into my walk with God. I created this perfectionistic standard by which I thought I needed to live up to in order to look like what I thought me as a Christian should be. So, even though I was trying so hard to bury my old self, I was still consulting that corpse as to how I should react and respond.

That dead girl still had a hold over me.

And she still does.

See, that dead girl lived a life a survival, just trying to live and get by, always wishing for something better but never expecting it. That girl made poor decisions, sought validation in a lot of wrong places, hurt herself and allowed other people to hurt her. Inside, she was still that little girl who only wanted to feel loved, to believe someone truly loved her and cared about her and would protect her but no one ever did, who always felt alone and abandoned and worthless and unlovable. She started writing novels at 10 years old to lose herself in other worlds where she was in control, who began to write dark poetry at 15 as a way to get the pain out, who, at 17 was compared to Sylvia Plath (and for those of you who don’t know, Sylvia killed herself by gassing herself in her oven while her two children slept in another room; she was 30).

That girl left home at the age of 16. Sixteen. (My son is 7 months away from the age I was when I left home. Incomprehensible.) She went from place to place, wherever anyone would take her, never really feeling at home, but always an outsider looking in. That girl went through a depression once so bad that for three months she suffered constant panic attacks, wouldn’t leave the house unless it was to go to work and lost so much weight that people feared for her life (she weighed in at 89 pounds at one point).

I don’t tell you this to make you feel sorry for this girl but only to give you an idea of the kind of person that for some reason I still insist on talking to even though she is dead. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” And Romans 6:6-7 says “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that from now on we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.”

So, if that part of me is dead, I must be talking to a dead person.

Consulting her like a necromancer.

“What do you think? How should I feel? What does this mean? How should I react?”
I am grabbing that corpse by her tattered collar and asking her for direction. And the enemy is more than happy to oblige that kind of behavior. He cannot manufacture life, but he can certainly counterfeit it. He’s a ventriloquist, speaking to me from that corpse, giving me the answers he wants me to hear. A puppet-master with his hand in the back of that dead shell, making it move and respond, speaking to me through another source like he did with Eve in the garden. And I am listening.

Why? Why do I keep doing this? This is what I really want to know. I mean, if I am to be honest, all my old-nature responses and self-defense mechanisms don’t work, they don’t get me where I want to be but are only tiny little band-aids applied to gaping, infected wounds that desperately need to be HEALED, once and for all. Why am I still so intrigued by and in bondage to these old things when I hate them so much? Can familiarity be the only reason?

I’m praying the Lord will give me an answer but that means I have to want to hear it and be ready to move and act when He tells me what needs to be done. And I pray that Holy Spirit give me the strength I need to do so, because I cannot do this on my own.

The Word says that whom the Son sets free is free indeed and I need to walk out that truth in my life because until then I am a self-contained prisoner, choosing to live in the cell while the door stands open just waiting for me to leave.

God bless,
Miranda

“And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living?”  Isaiah 8:19

Go ye, therefore…

I was talking to someone yesterday about the heavily charged atmosphere of these current times, especially when you look at what’s happening in the political spectrum.  We also talked about how “churches” have changed, how they’ve “let go” and now follow after their own wishes and created doctrines, changing their beliefs based on what the world says is acceptable.

So, in this conversation I said, “I feel like there’s a winnowing going on right now in the church.”  The person I was talking to felt the same way.  This is where the chaff and the grain gets separated.  The divide between those who truly stand for Christ and those who only think they do is growing larger and more obvious.

Jesus said you’ll know His people by His fruit.  But it seems that the church has been so diluted in the world’s ways and philosophies that they have no idea what that means or what His fruit is supposed to look like, therefore they cannot make good sound judgments on whose fruit looks like what, least of all their own.  Why is that?

Because they go to church.

Well, you may be asking, isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?  No, actually, it’s not.  See, if you study out the word  for “church” in the Greek, it’s the word ekklesia and it means “called out from.”  It’s speaking about usWE’VE been called out.  Called out of darkness into light, from death to life, from the world system to God’s kingdom, from sinners to saints, from old creatures to new.  Church is not a building, it’s not somewhere you GO, it’s who you ARE.

You’re not supposed to go to church, you’re supposed to BE the church.

Living stones in the temple of God.  A walking sanctuary.  Carriers of God’s presence.  As the Church, you are supposed to be a meeting place where people can come face to face with Jesus.  We are supposed to be imitators of God.  Ministers of reconciliation. What is the Great Commission?  For us to go out and do all that Jesus did, to introduce people to Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit.

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”  (Matthew 18:18-20)  And if you read the Gospel of Mark, it says exactly what it is we’re supposed to do as His church (Mark 16:15-20).

It’s so much more than what people think it is or experience it to be.  And they are missing out on a truth that could not only change their lives, but the lives of countless others that need Jesus so desperately.   But that means sacrificing the flesh and all the things that people think they love and need in their lives and that they’d be “missing out.”

Really?  How sad that the gospel has been so watered down and diluted that it’s only about keeping people out of hell.  You know what it’s really about?  Getting heaven into you!

But let me ask you: isn’t He worth the sacrifice?

I hear “Christians” complain all the time about the state of the world and how awful it is….and we the church are supposed to be the change.  We’ve been given the kingdom of Heaven itself and most don’t even know it.

Who will you be?

A church-goer?  Or the Church itself?

“Is what you’re living for worth Christ dying for?”  Leonard Ravenhill

 

God bless,

Miranda

 

 

 

Thorns and Thistles

Yesterday was a “weedy” day.

Whatever do you mean, you may be asking.  In my last (and first) entry I spoke about the thought-life and I likened it to a garden.  Bad/negative thoughts = WEEDS.  So, yes, my “garden” was on the tipping point of being overrun by those dastardly, prickly, blood-letting suckers.

NO GOOD.

To be quite honest, there are sometimes that it definitely feels like an uncontrollable thing.  At one point you may ask yourself, “How did it get so bad?”  Sneaky weeds.  Thanks to the curse, they have NO problem growing at an exponential rate, am I right?  Just ask anyone who gardens.

So, let’s go back to the beginning and look at man in the original garden.  Can we find a parallel there?

First, it says that God gave man dominion over the earth and all things in it.  Dominion = authority.  Remember that.  Genesis 2:15 says: “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.”  If we look at what the words in the original language mean, you can gain more insight.  First of all, Eden means “pleasure.”  The word “dress” means to work (it) and the word “keep” means to hedge about, protect, attend to.  Ok so protect this garden (a place of pleasure and delight) from what?  From the enemy.  From the one who prowls about seeing whom he MAY devour.  The one who watched man in the garden, seeking out a way to undermine and steal from man the authority and dominion that he himself wanted and tried to overthrow the throne of God to obtain.

Unfortunately, he succeeded.  And how did he do it?  Their thought-life.  Their “mind-garden” so to speak.  He implanted doubts into their minds as to God’s goodness and also to who they were and what they had.  Does that sound familiar?  What should’ve happened was Adam looking at Satan, pointing a finger in his face and telling him to get the you-know-what out of there because he was trespassing.  Adam had the authority to do that and Satan would’ve had to obey.  But because they allowed those “weeds” of doubt and lies to come in and take root, they lost it all and Satan illegally obtained authority over our earth.

And in the process they lost their true pleasure and delight: being at peace and in intimate fellowship with God Himself.  Paradise lost?  More like given away.

Jesus came as the Second Adam and did all that the first Adam should have so that our authority and dominion could be restored through Him.  Thank You Lord.  He was our example in how to deal with the lies and deceit of the enemy: wield the Word with authority and faith, no compromise, no discussion.  But the Word only becomes a weapon when it becomes completely settled in our hearts that it is absolutely true.  Faith sharpens it’s edges and only then we can cut through the thorny, weedy lies of the enemy like a sharp knife through soft butter.

And yesterday, my sword certainly wasn’t as sharp as it could’ve been.  Our enemy is relentless and sneaky and wicked and cruel, yes, but remember that “greater is He that is in me than He that is in the world.”  Sometimes I think we are guilty of putting faith in our faith instead of the One who has given us the gift of faith.  We try to work ourselves up into having more faith instead of seeking the One whom we should have faith in.

So, remember Adam and Eve and their failure to keep and protect their “garden” and be vigilant and persistent in keeping yours.  Don’t let the enemy steal your peace or truth.  Sharpen your sword, seek His face, pull up those God-forsaken lies and remember Philippians 4:6-8.

God bless,

Miranda

Genesis 3:17B-18: “….cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee……”