The Hem of the Garment

For so long, too long maybe, I’ve equated myself with the woman with the issue of blood.  Have you ever done that?  Related yourself with one of the many that cried out to Jesus, sought Him for a touch, a healing, some deliverance?  Have you ever thought to yourself, “Maybe if I cry out the louder like blind Bartimaeus, I’ll finally get freed of…..?” (insert your personal affliction here) Or “Maybe if my faith was greater my faith would make me whole….”

There’s something in my life, my body, that I’ve been wanting to be freed of.  Something that has, quite honestly, tormented me for the last 35 years.  Something that I’ve recently decided to, beyond a shadow of a doubt, be freed from.  To stand unwavering for.  And as I was doing my hair and making my “faith declarations,” an image of the woman with the issue of blood came to mind.  I pictured her crawling through the crowds on her hands and knees, sneaking her way towards Jesus, weaving between dirty, sandal-covered feet, dust and sand being kicked up into her face as the multitudes thronged Jesus, the whole time saying to herself, “If I may but touch….I will be….”

But then His voice broke in and interrupted my imaginations:  “Are you not wearing a robe now?  Why do you need to ‘touch it’ daughter when you yourself are clothed in something far better and far greater?”  That stopped me in my tracks.  And He began to unravel a truth to me.

He told me that at that moment in that story with the woman, He was just a man in a robe, filled with the Holy Spirit.  (Oh, I know what you’re thinking: blasphemy!  How can you call Jesus just a man???)  But He was the SON OF MAN, who made Himself of no reputation (Phil. 2:7-8; in the Greek it means make empty, abase, neutralize) and had to come as a man to reclaim our stolen authority and dominion.  But I digress…

See, at that time He hadn’t yet laid down His life, shed His blood, the sacrifice hadn’t been made, He hadn’t died & risen, the firstfruits offering had yet to be given…and therefore He hadn’t yet sent His Spirit to abide in His people.  There was no redemption, no reconciliation, no restoration.  He was training His disciples how to go and be and do what He was doing and being, so that they could carry out the legacy once He died and He was no longer physically on the Earth.  He came not only to redeem to but SHOW what the New Creature was supposed to look, speak, act and live like.  He came as our example.

But, once He did die & rise again, once He did send His Spirit, everything changed.

Now there was reconciliation, restoration, salvation, redemption and RECREATION.  Now there was ADOPTION into the Kingdom to become Sons & Daughters.

And now, He said to me, now as a child of the kingdom there is NO reason any longer for me (or any one of us) to relate to that woman, or blind Bartimaeus, or the leper…there was no reason for us to think of ourselves as crawling on our hands and knees towards Him for healing or deliverance.  It’s already been given to us.  It’s our inheritance as Sons.  All that the kingdom has is ours and it’s His good pleasure to give it to us (Luke 12:32).  We have been raised up into the highest position: seated with Christ in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6).  We are right there, with Jesus, seated at the right hand of the Father!  And yet we picture ourselves crawling and begging and crying out.

We wear the garments of kings and priests because that’s who we are now.  (1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6; Revelation 5:10)

He told me that I (we) now wear a robe – the robe of righteousness!  We are wearing the garment of salvation!  It’s already on us, brethren!  ( I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. Isaiah 61:10).  It’s the garment that speaks of “christos,” the anointing of the Holy One Himself upon us as HIS BODY here on earth!

But even better than that, He said that I (we) are clothed in Christ Himself!  “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”  Galatians 3:27 (“put on” in the Greek means sinking into a garment, to invest with clothing).  The Greater One lives on the inside of us!  (1 John 4:4)  That I have been endued with power from on high, that I am a temple of the living God, that I house the Spirit of Christ Himself within me….(1 Corinthians 3:16)

And armed with these truths, not only do I not need to position myself with that woman to receive anything of God, but that now, as His temple, as Christ’s body and physical representation on this earth, that people can/should  touch ME and MY garments and be healed and set free.  (I can hear your thoughts:  WOAH, you said.  Bordering on blasphemy again)…but what else are we here for?  He said: “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) See?  His disciples already had their freedom, their deliverance.  Now THEY were to go and give it to others.

All that He came to do, WE’RE to do.  (Mark 16:17-20; Matthew 28:18-20)

He keeps saying to me:  Come up higher, come in closer.  And not that I’m not already there (spiritually) but that I need to get there in MY MIND, to really get and grasp who  I am & what I have as  His.  He’s just waiting for me, for all of us, to realize who we really are now, for us to recognize that reflection of Sonship and Christ-likeness when we see ourselves.  All the earth is groaning, waiting for the Sons of God to manifest (Romans 8:19) because WE hold their freedom in our hands (Matthew 10:7) and we carry the kingdom within us (Luke 17:21).

So get up, rise up, stand up, take your place, know who you are, know WHOSE you are.

Come up higher, come in closer….

What are you waiting for?

Blessings,

Miranda B. mary

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Choices

What kind of people do you prefer in positions of power and authority and importance?

Take a king, for example.  Would you put into a position of power and authority someone with no backbone?  Someone who is fragile, who can’t make sound judgments, whose thinking is muddied?  Someone who listens to those who don’t have their best interest at heart, who themselves are clouded and deceived?  How about a representative with no nobility or sense of self-worth?  How about someone who made justifications for their failures and shortcomings, who always pointed a finger of blame at someone else and never took responsibility for themselves?  How about someone who ruled with their feelings & emotions, based on whether or not they were feeling magnanimous that day or who took out their bad mood on everyone else?  Who let circumstances rule and dictate their lives and decisions?

Or would you want someone who was level-headed, who upheld the laws of the land for the benefit of those whom they were chosen to represent?  Someone who could do hard things, make fixed decisions not based on what others think or feel but by what was right and true, no matter who would deride them or criticize them or lie to them, no matter who would try to deceive them to get them to change their minds and falter from their position?  Someone who ruled and reigned with dignity, love, compassion and virtue?  Who knew truth and stuck to it no matter how they felt or what the situation or conditions were surrounding them?

What about a holy person…would you want a spiritual representative who lived however they wanted?  With no sense of true righteousness, sanctification or holiness?  What if they spoke and acted like those who are outside of the ministry?  Swearing, complaining, grumbling, murmuring, gossiping, backbiting, and criticizing?  Would you want someone who has no understanding of scripture?  Who has no real idea of the true nature of God, who maybe at best has a half-hearted relationship with the Lord, who takes no time to seek the Him, to know Him and His Word and to love Him?  (This person IS supposed to be Christ’s ambassador to you, now, don’t forget.)  Would you want someone who exalts and puts the world’s wisdom above God truth?

Or would you want someone who takes the lives of others seriously?  Who cared for the well-being of their fellow man above themselves and took great care to really know God, love God, get revelation about His Word and His truth so that they can, like Jesus, preach and teach with great authority, with the ability and power to set others free just like Jesus ordained them to do?  To be a true representation of Christ to others?

How about soldiers…those commissioned to be on the frontlines of war?  Would you put soldiers on the battlefield who were weak and fearful?  Who couldn’t hold their ground when the enemy came in hot?  Would you want a soldier on the frontline who ignored the enemy or who maybe threw half-hearted threats his way but then would turn tail and retreat when the enemy made an attempt or attacked in return?

What if the enemy captured your child?  Or your husband?  Or you?  What kind of soldier would you want fighting for you then?  Would you want one with fire or fear in their eyes?  Would you want soldiers who are stout-hearted, who, though they may feel fearful in the moment, in the heat of war, were still unwilling to turn and run?  Who would press on and in anyhow despite the dread, who would instead advance on the enemy, who would not give up or give in until they took back the territory that was stolen, until the prisoners of war were reclaimed and set free and reconciled?  People who were not afraid to get dirty, whose hands are scarred and calloused and bruised and bloodied from constantly knocking back the enemy forces, ensuring safety and protection?

Do you have your answer?

Okay, now let me ask: which category do YOU fall in?

You see, if you are born-again, if you are a “Christian,” a follower of Christ then you are:

1:  A king
2:  A priest
3:  A soldier
4:  An ambassador of Christ.

“And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”  Revelation 1:6

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” 1 Peter 2:9

“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” 1 Timothy 2:3

“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”  2 Corinthians 5:20

Do you see yourself this way?  Did you even know that this was who you now are?  First and foremost you are a son, and as a son you are given an inheritance, the Kingdom of God.

“And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me.”  Luke 22:29

And as a son you are given a position in the kingdom and these are positions of privilege and importance that are not to be taken lightly or flippantly and they are not OPTIONAL!  (Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you .Matthew 28:20)  THIS is who you are.  Sons and daughters, adopted into the family of God, with rights and privileges, an inheritance that can’t be calculated or measured, given an assignment by Christ Himself with His authority and power, to rule, to reign, to represent, to fight and take back and reconcile and set free.

It is for the HERE AND NOW, not just for a future inheritance or freedom (why do we need the gifts of the Spirit, the blood, the Name, the Word, Holy Spirit Himself and the armor in the “afterlife”?).  The Lord’s Prayer says, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  It doesn’t say “You’ll have to wait until you get to heaven to experience it.”  He said, BRING IT HERE TO THE EARTH.  How?  Through co-laboring with Him, by being the temple of the Living God, carrying His Presence in us, with us, being baptized in His Spirit.   How many times did Jesus say “Go to the people and tell them that the kingdom of heaven is AT HAND.  Heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead!”??

We’re called to rule & reign (kings), be carriers of His Presence (priests), called to fight the good fight of faith and to go and repossess the gates of hell, reclaim what the enemy has stolen, setting free all those who are prisoners of war (soldiers).  And we cannot do any of that if we are not sure, firm, set, steadfast, established, fully convinced, separated, sanctified, pressing in, living not just for Him but FROM Him, knowing who we are and all that we possess as His children.  We cannot turn tail and run when the enemy strikes.  We cannot allow ourselves to be moved or persuaded by outside sources or the enemy.  We have to stand firm and strong against all opposition even if it means being uncomfortable or persecuted or ridiculed and no matter what things LOOK like in the natural.  We cannot live from feelings and emotions, letting circumstances and situations dictate our beliefs.  We cannot form theology and doctrine based on the failures of man, or blame God for what didn’t come to pass (i.e. the “God is Sovereign” doctrine or “If it be Thy will” prayers). We cannot live and talk as the world lives and talks.  We must look different, live different.  People should take one look at you and know that SOMETHING is different about you.  You should exude light and life because that light and life should be living in you.

Brothers and sisters know this:  we are not just in this for ourselves.  We are in it for those out there suffering, in bondage, broken-hearted, sick, suicidal, lost, alone.  We  are in this to bring what we have been freely given to those who need it.  All that you are learning in the Lord, all that you are going through in your faith-fight is NOT just for yourself and maybe your family.  It’s for the world, friends.

So, I ask again: which one are you?  But more importantly, which do you wish to be?

Blessings,

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

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……”