Into The Light

Consumed with an insatiable desire for murder, Saul could hardly breathe.  O how he hated those who were of, “The Way”.  How dare they claim that this, “Jesus Christ” was the Savior of the world!  Squinting he looks up to the sky, with sweat running down his face, stinging his eyes, Saul sneers to himself as he recalls that fool “Stephen.”  The nerve of Stephen to call Saul and his fellow Sandhedrin, “A stubborn and stiff-necked people!”  Didn’t he realize who he was talking too!?  Then, for Stephen to fall on his knees with his last breath and ask this, “Lord” to not fix this, “sin” upon them,” was more than Saul could take!  With hate and rage coursing through his veins, Saul was driven by a demonic mission to personally see that not one of these so called, “Christians” as they referred to themselves; would be left alive on the face of the Earth, to propagate such blasphemy!  However, the darkness of Saul’s soul was no match for, “The Light” that he was about to encounter!

We read about Saul’s dramatic conversion as he steps, “Into The Light” in Acts 9:3-6 (AMP);

“Now as he traveled on, he came near to Damascus, and suddenly a light from Heaven flashed around him,”  “And he fell to the ground.  Then he heard a voice saying to him, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me [harassing, troubling, and molesting Me]?”  “And Saul said, Who are You, Lord?  And He said, I Am Jesus, Whom you are persecuting.  It is dangerous and it will turn out badly for you to keep kicking against the goad [to offer vain and perilous resistance].”  “Trembling and astonished he asked, Lord, what do You desire me to do?  The Lord said to him, But arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

Shocked, Awed and Radically Transformed Saul gets up and steps into Acts 9:8-9 (TPT) a, “New Creation in Christ” as he begins his journey, “Into The Light.”

“Saul stood to his feet, and even though his eyes were open he could see nothing-he was blind.  So the men had to take him by the hand and lead him into Damascus.”  “For three days he didn’t eat or drink and couldn’t see a thing.”

From a blood thirsty, religious zealot, to an appointed man of God, Saul’s, “Road to Damascus” conversion is undoubtedly one of the greatest accounts of personal salvation that has ever been documented.  My friend, this “Highway of Grace” paved with, “The Blood of Jesus Christ” is still a Promised Place of Transformation for each of us today!  

Have you had a, “Road to Damascus” conversion and stepped “IntoThe Light”?

If you are a Believer, take a few minutes to reflect back on the moment that you chose to step, “Into The Light”, what was it like to, “see through your spiritual eyes” for the first time?

If you are not a Believer in Jesus Christ, who or what is keeping you from, “Seeing The Light”?

There is a very important nugget of truth hidden in, “plain sight” for us in the previous scripture and that is this, though Saul got up with, “eyes wide open”, he was unable to see, “naturally.”  However his, “spiritual sight” was opened and he could clearly “see” into the Spirit.  The Holy Spirit then led Saul to fast for a period of three days and nights.  During those three days, The Lord started orchestrating and preparing for the Divine Healing of Saul’s eyes, along with the equipping of Saul with the Precious, Priceless Gift of being, “Filled with The Holy Spirit.”  

In order to get the job done, God needed one of his trusted disciples to take an obedient and bold step of faith.  We meet this mighty man of God in Acts 9:10-18 (AMP) as we read about the seemingly dangerous deployment that The Lord sent him on,

“Now there was in Damascus a disciple named Ananias.  The Lord said to him in a vision, Ananias, And he answered, Here am I, Lord.”  “And The Lord said to him, Get up and go to the street called Straight and ask at the house of Judas for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying [there].”  “And he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias enter and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.”  “But Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard many people tell about this man, especially how much evil and what great suffering he has brought on your saints at Jerusalem;”  “Now he is here and has authority from the high priests to put in chains all who call upon Your Name.”  “But The Lord said to him, Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of Mine to bear My name before the Gentiles and Kings and the descendants of Israel.”  “For I will make clear to him how much he will be afflicted and must endure and suffer for My name’s sake.”  “So Ananias left and went into the house, and he laid his hands on Saul and said, Brother Saul, The Lord Jesus, Who appeared to you along the way by which you came here, has sent me that you may recover your sight and be filled with The Holy Spirit.”  “And instantly something like scales fell from [Saul’s} eyes, and he recovered his sight.  Then he arose and was baptized.”

This passage of scripture is as much about Ananias as it is about Saul.  Here we have a mature disciple of Jesus Christ faced with the hard decision of whether or not to stay, “in the Light” by obeying the instructions of The Lord.  You see my friend, Ananias was a conduit for the Power of The Holy Spirit to flow through.  The same supernatural wattage of spiritual power that blinded Saul’s eyes on “The Road to Damascus”, resided within Ananias.  As a Believer in Jesus Christ, Ananias’ obedience to The Lord was needed to remove the scales (or scabs) from Saul’s eyes as a result of them being, “Cauterized” as he came into contact with The Light of God.  This profound act of obedience would simultaneously keep Ananias, “In The Light” as it would fully bring Saul, “Out Of The Dark” and “Into The Light” of his healing and deliverance.

Some of you reading this Word of The Lord right now are an “Ananias” whom God has called and commissioned to reach a, “Saul” on their “Road To Damascus.”  My Fellow Believer of The Most High God, don’t let fear, doubt and unbelief keep you “Out of The Light” of your obedience!  A literal soul is at stake!  Some of you may be in the condition of Saul, waiting patiently “In The Dark” for the “Ananias” that God has revealed to you, to show up with the Healing and Deliverance that you so desperately need in order to fully step, “Into The Light” of your calling.  To you The Lord would say, 

Isaiah 40:31 (AMP);

“But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.”

Whether we are in the place of “Ananias” or “Saul”, this my friend is how we can, “Be Strong and Live Free….Boldly For Him”, as we See and Soar, “Into The Light”!

 

© 2019 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

Photo by Simon Wijers

Crossing Guard

Stepping into the crosswalk of a busy school intersection, on my morning walk with the Lord, I carried the weight of the year which threatened to implode on me.  This was a mockery to Father God and I knew it!  Just then an unassuming gentleman stepped toward me and with one swift motion of confident authority, he positioned himself between me and the on-coming traffic.

Suddenly, I heard the sharp sound of his whistle blow as he simultaneously with protective outstretched arms held up a “Stop Sign.”  Knowing that he meant business, every car within the vicinity of that crosswalk immediately came to an abrupt stop.  As I read, “Crossing Guard” on his shirt, I sensed The Presence of The Lord in a very tangible way.  With tears streaming down my face, God let me know, that He was now and forever “My Personal Crossing Guard.”  He would make sure that I safely cross every busy, dangerous and uncertain intersection that may come my way in life.  He was gently reminding me of what I already knew but had so easily forgotten that morning.  I am so grateful that as Believers in the Overcoming Blood of Jesus Christ that we have this Eternal Promise to stand on!

Isaiah 52:12 (AMP) articulates this truth so beautifully;

“For you will not go out with haste, nor will you go in flight [as was necessary when Israel left Egypt]; for The Lord will go before you, and The God of Israel will be your Rear Guard.”

The term, “Rear Guard” is a military term.  In The Merriam Webster Dictionary, it is defined as A military detachment detailed to bring up and protect the rear of a main body or force.

My friend this is exciting news! Not only is God our, “Crossing Guard”, But He is also our, “Rear Guard.”

This means that God not only protects us when we miss it with our strengths, He also covers and protects us in our weaknesses.  When our most vulnerable areas are under attack, He is there to help us safely cross over to the other side!  To the other side of wisdom, stability, strength, and Victory in Jesus Name!

Psalm 46:1 (BSB) Explains this truth even further;

“God is our Refuge and Strength, an Ever-Present Help in times of trouble.”

To be, “Ever-Present” is to always “Be There.”  He is not an absentee father, He is a Loving, Focused Father, A Trusted Confidante Who is Fully Aware of His Children at all times.  No matter what trials, temptations or difficulties we may find ourselves in, He remains a Strong Tower, A Place of, “Refuge and Strength,” throughout every season of our lives.

I sense many of you that are reading this right now are struggling with the fact that God is Truly, “THERE FOR YOU.”  We must ask ourselves the following questions so that we can pinpoint and eradicate any deadly root system of unbelief that would hinder the effectiveness of the Word of God from Being our, “Crossing Guard” in life.

  1. Do I trust God with my strengths and my weaknesses?  
  2. What areas of vulnerability in my life am I struggling to trust God with? 
  3. What is hindering me from going to The Word of God to get the answers that I need?

My friend, Let God Himself assure you of His Unwavering Commitment TO YOU!  The following lyrics are to a beautiful song penned thousands of years ago by King David, also known as The Psalmist David, who happens to be one of Jesus Christ’s direct ancestors.

Psalm 121 (AMP);

“I will lift my eyes to the hills [around Jerusalem, to sacred Mount Zion and Mount Moriah]—From whence shall my help come from?”  “My Help comes from The Lord Who made Heaven and Earth.”  “He will not allow your foot to slip or to be moved; He Who keeps you will not slumber.”  “Behold, He Who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”  “The Lord is your Keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand [the side not carrying a shield].” “The sun shall not smite you by day, nor the moon by night.”  “The Lord will keep you from all evil; He will keep your life.”  “The Lord will keep your going out and you’re coming in from this time forth and forevermore.”

Though King David had a moment where he was personally wondering, “where his help comes from?”, he quickly realized that “My Help comes from The Lord Who made Heaven and Earth.”  So it is for us my friend, “Our Help comes from The Lord Who made Heaven and Earth!”  We must never allow our flesh, our vulnerabilities, our weaknesses, and yes even our strengths keep us from accepting and walking in this fact.  So many times, the enemy will tempt us to trust in our own strength or the “legs of men” to get us through a tough situation.  Though God will work through men to bring assistance, provision, and guidance to us, He wants us to base our trust in Him and His Word.  He wants us to realize that HE ALONE is our TRUE, “Crossing Guard!”  He wants us to, “Be Strong and Live Free…….Boldly For Him!”

Proverbs 3:5-10 (TPT);

“Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions.  With all your heart rely on Him to guide you, and He will lead you in every decision you make.” “Become intimate with Him in whatever you do, and He will lead you wherever you go.”  “Don’t think for a moment that you know it all, for wisdom comes when you adore Him with undivided devotion and avoid everything wrong.”  “Then you will find the healing refreshment your body and spirit long for.”  “Glorify God with all your wealth, honoring him with your very best, with every increase that comes to you.”  “Then every dimension of your life will overflow with blessings from an uncontainable source of inner joy!”

 

© 2019 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

Where is the Love?

His t-shirt read, “Love is for Losers.”  In the few short seconds that it took for me to open the car door and get in, he walked by a cigarette in hand wearing body piercings that demanded attention.  As I drove away I started praying for this young man, wondering what events shaped his life to the point of disfiguring his body?  You see, long before the message was written on his t-shirt, it was written on his heart.  It was obvious to see that this young man had been deeply wounded by, “looking for love in all the wrong places.”

“Looking for Love in all the wrong places” is not just a lyric line from a popular song written by Johnny Lee; it is also a “poison arrow” of destruction shot by a deadly Cupid. My friend the enemy of our soul is constantly looking for ways to lead you and me into places of self-deception and self-destruction as we go, “Looking for Love in all the wrong places!”

Just ask Samson, Judges 16:4-7 (AMP) gives us insight into this tragic one-sided love story;

“After this, he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah.”  “And the lords of the Philistines came to her and said to her, “Entice” him and see in what his great strength lies and by what means we may “Overpower” him that we may “Bind” him to “Subdue” him. And we will each give you 1,100 pieces of silver.”  “And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray you, wherein your great strength lies, and with what you might be bound to subdue you.”

The four-prong strategy that the enemy used to take Samson out and ultimately destroy him is revealed within the above scriptures, they were to, “Entice, Overpower, Bind, and Subdue” him.  God wants us, my friend, to not only become aware of this strategy, But He also wants us to be on guard against the enemy using these same “poison arrows” of destruction against us!  To accurately recognize and identify the enemy’s tactics, I have written out for our knowledge the definition for each of these poison arrows of destruction.

Entice = To attract artfully or adroitly or by arousing hope or desire.
implies the presenting of an attraction so strong that it overcomes the restraints of
conscience or better judgment.

Overpower = To overcome by superior force.  To affect with overwhelming intensity.

Bind = To make secure by tying.  To confine, restrain, or restrict as if with bonds.
To constrain with legal authority.
To wrap around with something to enclose or cover.

Subdue = To conquer and bring into subjection : Vanquish.
To bring under control especially by an exertion of the will:  Curb.
To bring (land) under cultivation.
To reduce the intensity or degree of Tone Down.

How long do you think it took for these “poison arrows” to pierce the sight of Samson’s eyes, both Spiritually then naturally?

Though we don’t know the exact number of days, we are given a glimpse as we read Judges 16:16 (AMP);

“And when she pressed him day after day with her words and urged him,  he was vexed to death.”  

In this true story of fatal lust, Delilah is a young woman who is being used by the enemy to carry out an evil plan.  Like the constant drip of a leaky faucet, Delilah erodes at Samson’s resolve to guard, “The Source” of his God-given strength.  This strength was the key to Samson’s identity as a Nazirite, a called Deliverer and Judge in The Kingdom of Heaven.

The seduction unfolds in Judges 16:17 (AMP);

“Then he told her all his mind and said to her, A razor has never come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my birth. If I am shaved, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak and be like any other man.”  (ENTICED).

Who or what may be a Delilah in your life my friend?  What valuable information have you been enticed to give up?

Remember my friend the ultimate goal of the enemy is to stop you and me.  To blind our spiritual sight so that he can subdue our God-given calling.  It is so important that you and I recognize that our God-given calling is also our spiritual Identity in The Kingdom of Heaven, and the key to our assignment here on earth.  We must remember that like Samson we have been called to be “Deliverers” for The Kingdom of God. Modern-day Deliverers of Healing, Hope, Peace, Joy, Wisdom, Strength, and most importantly, Modern Day Deliverers of the Salvation Message of Jesus Christ; as we have been Saved, Delivered and Healed!

Never allow the “Enticements” of this world cause you to uncover, “The Source” of your God-given strength.

With the seduction of Samson’s life and calling now complete, we read about this deeply sad moment of Biblical History in Judges 16:19-20 (AMP);

“And she made Samson sleep upon her knees, and she called a man and caused him to shave off the seven braids of his head.  Then she began to torment [Samson], and his strength went from him.”  “She said, The Philistines are upon you, Samson!  And he awoke out of his sleep and said, I will go out as I have time after time and shake myself free.  Samson did not know that the Lord had departed from him.”  (OVERPOWERED).

Don’t fall asleep upon the knees of the enemy and don’t toy with your weakness.  Notice that Samson said, “I will go out as I have time after time and shake myself free.”  As the scriptures record throughout Judges chapters 14-16, Samson had repeatedly given in to his desire for ungodly women and did not deny himself.  He was deceived into thinking that there were no repercussions for his insatiable and unholy appetite.  Samson insisted on living a lifestyle of, “Looking for Love in all the wrong places”, and it cost him everything!

Judges 16:21 (AMP) records the painful repercussion of Samson’s sin against God;

“But the Philistines laid hold of him, bored out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with [two] bronze fetters; and he ground at the mill in prison.”  (BOUND) and (SUBDUED).

Where have you been looking for love my friend?  Has a “Delilah” laid hold of you, deprived you of your “Spiritual Sight” and subdued your life?  Can you still “see and seize” your God-given assignment?

Samson went from a Supernaturally Promised Child, God Appointed Judge and Deliverer of Israel, to a depleted sightless prisoner.  His life is an example of a powerful man of God who became reckless with his Anointing.

Judges 16:28 (AMP) reveals the state of Samson’s heart at the time of his death;

“Then Samson called to the Lord and said, O Lord God, [earnestly] remember me, I pray You, and strengthen me.  I pray You, only this once, O God, and let me have one vengeance upon the Philistines for both my eyes.”

Judges 16:30 (AMP) gives us the dramatic account of Samson’s final feat of supernatural God-given strength;

“And Samson cried, Let me die with the Philistines!  And he bowed himself mightily, and the house fell upon the princes and upon all the people that were in it.  So the dead whom he slew at his death were more than they whom he slew in his life.”

You and I don’t have to “die with the Philistines”, (our enemies) my friend!  We can choose to resist the Delilah’s that tempt us, repent for our sins and receive restoration for our losses.

James 4:7-8 (TPT) provides the “Way of Escape” for us;

“So then, surrender to God.  Stand up to the devil and resist him and he will turn and run away from you.”  “Move your heart closer and closer to God, and he will come even closer to you.”  “But make sure you cleanse your life, you sinners, and keep your heart pure and stop doubting.”  “Feel the pain of your sin, be sorrowful and weep”!  “Let your joking around be turned into mourning and your joy into deep humiliation.”  “Be willing to be made low before the Lord and He will exalt you!”

You can escape Mighty Deliverer friend!  Seize your Strength in God, as you choose to, Be Strong and Live Free……Boldly For Him!

 

© 2019 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

Photo by Aziz Acharki

You Hungry?

Someplace in the middle of the Mojave Desert, in the restaurant of a modest motel, you will find some of the best blueberry pancakes on Planet Earth!  At least that’s what a ten-year-old girl on a cross country family move thought.  The memory of those crispy golden pancakes vividly lives on in my thoughts to this day.

Now as an adult Believer in Jesus Christ, there is a taste that I have developed a craving for that far outweighs the memory of those blueberry pancakes, as good as they were. “You Hungry” yet?

Psalm 34:8 (AMP) provides us with Heaven’s, “Eternal Recipe.”

“O taste and see that The Lord [our God] is good! Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who trusts and takes refuge in Him.”

It is vitally important my friend that you and I as Believers in Jesus Christ watch what we develop a “taste” for.  If we allow our appetites in life to be satiated by the carnal things of this world, rather than by our relationship with, The One True God, we will “see” God as a means to “our end” rather than The One True God Who Knows The Beginning from The End.  Since the appetites in our life determines the course in which our life will go, let’s ask ourselves this very important question;

What ingredients or influences have I allowed in the kitchen of my heart?

In order to, “Taste and See that The Lord [our God] is good”; the pantry shelves of our heart must be stocked with “The Fruit of The Spirit”, which has no expiration date.  The Love of God actively at work in our lives keeps “The Fruit of The Spirit” fresh, hot and abundant while preventing staleness of soul, which leads to lukewarmness of life.

We read about this staple diet in Galatians 5:22-23 (TPT);

“But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions.  The joy that overflows, Peace that subdues, kindness in action, A life full of virtue, Faith that prevails, Gentleness of heart, and Strength of Spirit.  Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.”

Isn’t it interesting that we learn in this scripture that, “Divine love” has many varied expressions Joy, Peace, Kindness, etc?  A spiritual diet full of these, “Fruit” will ultimately produce in us, “Strength of Spirit” which will give us the ability and tenacity to follow God no matter how hard or difficult the season that we are facing may be.  This is God’s recipe for a well-prepared life that is, “Rooted and Grounded in Love.” Ref. Ephesians 3:17 (NKJV).  A life that will always, “Rise” to the occasion of a Victorious overcoming walk in Him!

I really sense that The Lord wants to ask us this question,“What are you hungry for”?

Acceptance, Love, Fame, Power, Control, Attention, Money or is it that tenth piece of mom’s Chocolate Cake in two hours?

Whatever the craving may be, it is ONLY The Fruit of The Spirit that will keep you and me satisfied and healthy both Spiritually and Naturally.  This is because Jesus is our Righteousness!

1st Corinthians 1:30-31 (AMP) clearly explains this vital truth for us;

“But it is from Him that you have your life in Christ Jesus, Whom God made our Wisdom from God, [revealed to us a knowledge of the Divine Plan of salvation previously hidden, manifesting itself as] our Righteousness [thus making us upright and putting us in right standing with God], and our Consecration [making us pure and holy], and our Redemption [providing our ransom from eternal penalty for sin].”  “So then, as it is written, Let him who boasts and proudly rejoices and glories, boast and proudly rejoice and glory in The Lord.”

Matthew 5:6 (TPT) goes on to explain this Divine Spiritual Meal Plan for us;

“How enriched you are when you Crave Righteousness!  For you will be surrounded by Fruitfulness.”

Now is our time my friend to “Crave Him” to continually dine at The Table of His Word and become intimate with His Heart as we gaze into The Eyes of Love Himself!  Don’t break His Gaze!  His Look of Love IS our Righteousness, our Seal of Approval to be The “Spiritual Heavyweights” that God has called each of us to be for the Kingdom of Heaven! He is asking us to share His not so secret, “Eternal Recipe” with this lost, dying, searching and hurting world…..Let’s make a solid commitment my friend to not “binge and purge” the Word of God.  Let’s make a firm commitment to,

“Be Strong and Live Free”….Boldly For Him!

 

 

                                            © 2019 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

               Photo Credit:  Peter Lewicki….Unsplash.

 

Watchtower of Faith

Have you ever found yourself in a place where you didn’t know how to pray?  I have, somewhere in life, we may find ourselves praying the way King Jehoshaphat, the King of Judah did in,

II Chronicles 20:12 (AMP);

“O our God, will You not exercise judgment upon them?  For we have no might to stand against this great company that is coming against us.  We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”

As King Jehoshaphat and all of Judah stood before The Lord, with their “eyes on” The Lord, the answer that the King and Judah needed was given to them.  We read about it in,

II Chronicles 20:14-15 (AMP),

“Then the Spirit of The Lord came upon Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly.”  “He said, Hearken all Judah you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you King Jehoshaphat.  The Lord says this to you;  Be not afraid or dismayed at this great multitude;  for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

Though King Jehoshaphat and all of Judah, “did not know what to do”, they knew Who did and chose to keep their, “eyes” on The Lord.  In other words, they were observing their situation from a “Watchtower of Faith,” and they received their answer!  What is a “Watchtower of Faith”?  Here is the answer the Lord revealed to me in prayer;

Watchtower of Faith = Is the platform of expectation that is built upon the intercession of the Saint, a Born Again Believer in Jesus Christ.

This is where “Expectation becomes our Intercession.”  An exciting hope-filled truth that The Lord recently shared with my husband Mark during a recent time of our Intercessory Prayers together.  Though King Jehoshaphat reigned during Old Testament times, the principle of, “our eyes are upon You,” is the same principle of, “Expectation becoming our Intercession;” this is our, “Watchtower of Faith”!  Do you know where that, “Watchtower of Faith” is located?  The Apostle Paul writes to us about it,

Ephesians 2:6 (AMP);

“And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (The Messiah, The Anointed One).”

You see my friend when you and I accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we are literally co-seated with Him! This means that we share a place of Intimacy with Him where we can literally through His Word and prayer, “keep our eyes on Him””!  It is from this seated Heavenly position, this seat of intimacy that we are ensconced in, “The Watchtower of Faith.”  We not only observe, we reinforce our God-given victories from this safe place of active rest as we allow “Expectation to become our Intercession.”

Now for “the rest of the story” regarding King Jehoshaphat’s and Judah’s astounding victory in II Chronicles 20:22-24 (AMP);

“And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir who had come against Judah, and they were [self-] slaughtered”;  “For [suspecting betrayal] the men of Ammon and Moab rose against those of Mount Seir, utterly destroying them.  And when they had made an end of the men of Seir, they all helped to destroy one another.”  “And when Judah came to the Watchtower of the Wilderness they looked at the multitude, and behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none had escaped”!

From this Watchtower of the Wilderness which had become their “Watchtower of Faith” because they had chosen to, “keep their eyes on The Lord”, King Jehoshaphat and Judah were able to witness first hand the deliverance of The Lord on their behalf.  So significant was their deliverance that it took them three days to carry away the spoil!  We read about it in II Chronicles 20:25-27 (AMP);

“When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take the spoil, they found among them much cattle, goods, garments and precious things which they took for themselves more than they could carry away, so much they were three days in gathering the spoil.”  “On the fourth day, they assembled in the Valley of Beracah.  There they blessed The Lord. So the name of the place is still called the Valley of Beracah [blessing].”  “Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, Jehoshaphat leading them, to Jerusalem with joy., for The Lord had made them rejoice over their enemies.”

I say, pray and decree over your life my friend that because you like King Jehoshaphat and all of Judah have chosen to, “keep your eyes on Him” that you are safely ensconced in a “Watchtower of Faith” where “your expectation has become your intercession” and has generated the Power of The Living God to move Mightily on your behalf!  That no enemy, no obstacle and no human or spiritual delay will keep you from safely arriving at your Valley of Beracah your personal Valley of Blessing In The Matchless All Powerful Name of Jesus!

Establish the foundation of your personal “Watchtower of Faith” with this confession. Say this with me…..

My Expectation is my Intercession, and I choose to,                                                                                                  “Be Strong and Live Free…..”Boldly For Him”!

 

© 2019 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

 

Surrogate Christianity

He’s an old man desperate for an heir. Weary from the wait of a long-promised legacy, Abram finds himself questioning God.  “Could it really be that this Eliezer of Damascus, a servant born in his own household would now be his heir…..?”  The reply of The Lord takes him by surprise!

Genesis 15:4-5 (AMP);

“And behold, the Word of The Lord came to him, saying, This man shall not be your heir, but he who shall come from your own body shall be your heir.”  “And He brought him outside [his tent into the starlight] and said, Look now toward the heavens and count the stars—if you are able to number them.  Then He said to him, So shall your descendants be.”

As these words echoed through his thoughts, the memory of The Lord’s recent visit still fresh in his mind, he stares at the beautiful face of the frustrated woman in front of him. Abram wished he had the courage to overcome the fear that kept him from telling his wife about the Blood Covenant that The Lord had just made with him.  Yet he knew that Sarai had been pushed beyond her ability to trust him, after all, it was his idea to have her lie to Pharaoh and the rest of the Egyptians in order to spare his life.  A decision that almost cost their marriage!  With that integrity now violated, Sarai’s heart could no longer hold the pressure of unresolved hurts, anger and a lifeless womb.  The bitterness that drove the following irrational suggestion from her heart through her lips, would forever change the course of history and the lives of those closest to her!

Genesis 16:1-2 (AMP);

“Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children.  She had an Egyptian maid whose name was Hagar.”  “And Sarai said to Abram, See here, The Lord has restrained me from bearing (children).  I am asking you to have intercourse with my maid; it may be that I can obtain children by her.  And Abram listened to and heeded what Sarai said.”

Completely distracted from the Covenant that The Lord just made with him, Abram embraces the alternative of Sarai’s suggestion and agrees to have intercourse with Hagar for an heir.  The result….?… Surrogate Nation!”  The Substitution of God’s Covenant plan through Abram in exchange for the works of his hands.  In modern New Testament terms, “A Substitute for Jesus Christ” has just been conceived!

In order to clearly understand the meaning of what God is wanting us to learn through this passage of scripture, I am going to share with you the definition of each word in the term, “Surrogate Christianity.”

Surrogate =
: to appoint a successor, deputy, or substitute for oneself
: SUBSTITUTE

Christianity =
a): the religion derived from Jesus Christ, based on the Bible as sacred
scripture, and professed by Eastern, Roman Catholic, and Protestant
bodies
b): conformity to the Christian Religion
c): the practice of Christianity

* Above references are from Merriam-Webster.com

The enemy of our soul has a goal and that is to get us to, “mourn for what we haven’t lost.”  He does this by having us view long-awaited, yet to be fulfilled, promises of God for our life through, “The Eyes of Grief.”  If he is successful, he knows that we will do exactly what Abram and Sarai did.  Take matters into our own hands through “Substitution” and birth an “Ishmael.”

It is the “Ishmael” the “Substitutions” for God’s Promises that we birth that often causes us the most grief and sorrow in our lives.  Now is a good moment my friend to see where we are in the birthing process of our Covenant Promises from God.  Let’s ask ourselves the following questions:

What specific Covenant Promise of God have I been waiting for the longest?
Have I begun to view that Covenant Promise through, “The Eyes of Grief?”
Am I taking matters into my own hands?

No matter how we answer the above questions, we can be encouraged with this truth, that though we may have birthed an “Ishmael”, there is undoubtedly an “Isaac”,  the fulfillment of God’s Covenant Promise in our future!  How do I know that this is true? The Bible tells me so!  Let’s read Genesis 17:19 (AMP) together;

“But God said, Sarah, your wife shall bear you a son indeed, and you shall call his name Isaac [laughter]; and I will establish My covenant or solemn pledge with him for an Everlasting Covenant and with his posterity after him.”

This same Covenant is now Our Covenant through Jesus Christ!  No matter how many “Ishmaels” we have birthed in our life, God has our, “Isaacs” waiting for us!  His Covenant with us can never be revoked because the Blood of His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ, has ratified that Covenant at Calvary Forever!

This is our time my friend to Go Forth and Birth our “Isaacs” Boldly For Him!

 

© 2019 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

 

  • Photo by Cristian Newman

Pillars of Salt

One last look that’s all she wanted, after all, she had some fond memories of this place.   Secretly deep down inside she really didn’t believe that this city or any of the other cities in the region deserved to be destroyed.  “After all didn’t her husband Lot choose to settle their family in the city of Sodom because of all the vast resources before them?  Yes, there were some bad things that happened here, but didn’t bad things happen everywhere?”  With these thoughts racing through her mind, her steps slowed down to a resistant pace.  “Lot was Abraham’s nephew, surely God would take all of this into consideration and change His Mind…Wouldn’t He?”  Now weighed down with these heavy thoughts, …..she glanced up squinting, barely able to see Lot and her daughters, they were so far ahead of her.

The Angel had strictly warned them all not to stop or look back, however, the reasoning that started in her mind had now become an act of the heart.  With one assumptive act of fatal rebellion, Lot’s wife turned, looked back and became a “Pillar of Salt!”  A standing memorial of unbelief, rebellion, and death to this day.  One that our Lord Jesus Christ asked us to remember with these direct words in Luke 17:32 (TPT);

“Don’t forget the example of Lot’s wife and what happened to her when she turned back.”

Genesis 19:26 (AMP) records this sad lesson for us,

“But [Lot’s] wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”

Why did Jesus ask us to “remember what happened to Lot’s wife?”….because “She died in the day of her deliverance!”  You see my friend the enemy will try to get you and me to turn back to the things that God is trying to deliver us from, so that we like Lot’s wife, “Die in the day of our deliverance, and become like a “Pillar of Salt.”

Now is a good time to take a few moments of reflection and ask ourselves these questions:

1. What is God trying to deliver me from?
2. Is there something tempting me to turn back to my past?

The truth is, God never intended for anyone to become a “Pillar of Salt.”  You and I have been created to be “Free Flowing Agents of The Holy Spirit.”  Agents of Freedom and Deliverance for others, as we ourselves walk in freedom and deliverance.

Matthew 5:13-16 (AMP) gives us some encouraging insight from the Heart of God regarding this truth;

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, it’s quality), how can its saltness be restored?  It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men.”  “You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.”  “Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a peck measure, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.”  “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in Heaven.”

There is an interesting footnote in the Passion Translation regarding this scripture, it states that,

“Rabbinical literature equates salt with wisdom.  After speaking of salt, Jesus speaks of lighting a lamp.  It was a common practice in the time of Jesus to put salt on the wick of a lamp to increase its brightness.  The “salt” of wisdom will make our lights shine even brighter.”

The Passion Translation pg. 17 footnotes for Matthew 5:13 a.

So how do we not lose our “saltiness”?  That’s a great question!  Here’s a couple of steps that will help us,

1. We do exactly what The Lord Jesus asked us to do in Luke 17:32 (AMP) we,
“Remember Lot’s wife!”
2. We do exactly the opposite of what Lot’s wife did when it came time for her to participate with her deliverance.  We obey without delay!

In essence, because Lot’s wife had a heart fixed on the darkness that was behind her, she could not recognize the “wisdom” or see the “light’ of deliverance that was before her. My friends, we have the mandate to be the “salt and light” of this world, “A city set on a hill that cannot be hidden.”

No matter how tight or dark our situation may seem right now my friend, we must resist the temptation to turn back and become galvanized like, “Pillars of Salt.”  We must remember that our obedience to God’s Wisdom for our deliverance, illuminates the path of deliverance for someone else as well.  This is how our, “Moral excellence and our praiseworthy, noble and good deeds are recognized while, “ALL of the Honor, Praise and Glory are given to our Father God Who is in Heaven!”

Dear Friends, this is our day to “Be Strong and Live Free”……..Boldly For Him!

 

© 2019 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”