“A Banner Love”

The unthinkable happened, with the verdict guilty, the decision was sealed.  Now it would take The Blood of His First Born Son to eradicate the penalty of death caused by the sin of man.

It wasn’t that long ago that God walked with Adam in “the cool of the day”, sharing His Thoughts, Plans, and Dreams for man.  Now with Eyes Full of Tears, He watched with Love and Compassion as the man and woman whom He had created, “In His Very Own Image” were driven from their home.  The first, “eviction” had occurred and now their home, “Eden,” the Beautiful Garden that God Had “Planted” for them was left without a caretaker.  Oh, how God would miss the fellowship of His Beloved Creation!  Adam, the first “man” and his wife Eve, the first “woman,”  would now be removed from His Presence, as a result of their disobedience.

What sin did Adam and Eve commit, that drove them from Eden?

It was the “sin” of unbelief and rebellion against the commandment of The Lord.

In Genesis 2:15-17 (AMP) we read the commandment of The Lord God to Adam.  A commandment that Adam and his wife Eve would later go on to violate;

“And The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and guard and keep it.”  “And The Lord God commanded the man, saying, You may freely eat of every tree of the garden;” “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and blessing and calamity you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

The devastating “fall of man”, has forever been recorded for us in Genesis 3:1-8 (NKJV);

“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”  “And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden;” “but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’” “Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.”  “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.  She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.”  “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.”  “And they heard the sound of The Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from The Presence of The Lord God among the trees of the garden.”

Beguiled by the language of rebellion that the enemy spoke, and enticed by the lust of their eyes, Adam and Eve desired and partook of the fruit that God had commanded them to stay away from.  Now for the first time in recorded human history, fear and shame shrouded God’s creation with a vice grip of death, that squeezed their Holy Innocence from them.

The awareness that Adam and his wife Eve had of their transgression caused them to, “hide themselves from The Presence of The Lord God among the trees of the garden.”  You see my friend their, “willful” sin created a “Spiritual Homelessness” a “Vacancy of Heart” that had evicted them from, “Eden” the garden home that God had planted for them.

The domino effect of the original sin of Adam and Eve was staggering.  It would go on to affect everyone who would ever be born on the face of the Earth.  Thank God that He had a Holy, Divine Plan put in place long before you and I were born, to Redeem Man back to his original relationship with God.

What is this Plan?

This Holy, Divine Plan is called, “SALVATION” and His Name is JESUS CHRIST!  We read about This, “Banner Love”, this Gift of Salvation in;

John 3:16-17 (TPT);

“For this is how much God Loved the world-He gave His One and Only, Unique Son as a Gift.  So now everyone who believes in Him will never perish but experience Everlasting Life.”  “God did not send His Son into the world to judge and condemn the world, but to be it’s Savior and rescue it!”

This is Good News for you and me, my friend!  Remember what happened back in the Garden of Eden?  Adam and Eve sinned and through that sin, introduced, “everlasting death”.  Now through our believing upon “Jesus Christ” His Son, our “Savior,” we all receive, “Everlasting Life,” as we are rescued from the effects of eternal damnation, which is eternal separation from God!

This is God’s “BANNER LOVE” for you and me Redemption through His Son Jesus Christ!

What do we do with this, BANNER LOVE?

So glad you asked!  Colossians 3:12-14 (TPT) gives us the answer;

“You are always and dearly loved by God!  So robe yourselves with virtues of God, since you have been divinely chosen to be holy.  Be merciful as you endeavor to understand others, and be compassionate, showing kindness toward all.  Be gentle and humble, un-offendable in your patience with others.”  “Tolerate the weaknesses of those in the family of faith, forgiving one another in the same way you have been graciously forgiven by Jesus Christ.  If you find fault with someone, release this same gift of forgiveness to them.”  “For love is supreme and must flow through each of these virtues.  Love becomes the mark of True Maturity.”

My friend since, “Love becomes the mark of True Maturity”, then we must ask ourselves the following question;

“Am I a spiritual adult”?

Ouch!  A question from The Lord that hits home for all of us!  I know that there have been many times that I have personally felt the “pinch”, the “grief” of The Holy Spirit when I did not respond in a manner where love was “supreme” toward others or even towards myself.  When this happens in our lives, it is so important to recognize, “Why” The Holy Spirit is Grieved.  You see my friend, when, “love reigns supreme through our lives”, we are the most like God!  We become, Spiritual Adults by choosing to live from a “Banner Heart” as we Advance The Kingdom of Heaven with every thought, word, and action!  This is how His, “Banner Love” is seen and reproduced in our lives, Glory To God!

On the other hand, when love does not “Reign Supreme” in our lives, we are then giving way to our, “old Adam self” living like the enemy and reproducing death with every thought, word, and action.  This type of behavior is extremely detrimental to our lives and very harmful to The Kingdom of Heaven.

Why is this behavior so detrimental to our lives and harmful to The Kingdom of Heaven?

Simply put, when we make choices contrary to the characteristics of Christ-likeness in our lives, we are choosing to create a “hard heart” rather than choosing to live from a “Banner Heart.”  An unrepentant “hard heart” will eventually lead you and others away from The Presence of God.

What is the solution to a “hard heart”?

To receive God’s “Banner Love” for our lives as the scriptures state in John 3:16-17 (TPT).  When we make this decision and choose daily to live for The Kingdom of Heaven we will then develop a strong, immovable, unshakeable, “Banner Heart,”  able to disciple others because we ourselves have been discipled in the ways of God.

The next step is to follow the instructions that The Lord has given us in Colossians 3:12-14 (TPT) and, “Robe ourselves with The Virtues of God.”

What are the Virtues of God that make up this Robe?

Holiness, Mercy, Understanding, Compassion, Kindness, Gentleness, Humbleness, Un-offendable, Patient, Tolerant and Forgiving.

This, my friend, is the Glorious Robe of His “Banner Love”, which was wrapped around The Tree of Calvary for you and me!  Jesus Christ is His Name and when you receive Him, you will never be the same.  He was Bruised and Beaten for every one of your sins, diseases, and iniquities, with The Blood of Jesus you have been Washed and made Clean. Now you are in The Kingdom of God Family!  Righteous, Free and Totally Healed…..So “Be Strong and Live Free” in Perpetual Victory With The Power and Strength of “The Banner Love” of Calvary!

AMEN and AMEN!

 

© 2020 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

Picture by: Brandon Morgan

“A Banner Life”

Banners have long been used since ancient Biblical times for a variety of reasons.  To declare the identity of a people, to signify a hard-fought won a victory or for the surrender of an enemy during a military campaign, to name a few.  As modern-day Believers and Soldiers in the Army of The Lord, we are to recognize Jesus Christ as, “Jehovah Nissi,” “THE LORD IS MY BANNER,” denoting our trust and allegiance in The One True Living God.  He is The ONLY TRUE SOURCE for our deliverance when confronting life’s battles.  He Is The God “Who will never leave us nor forsake us”, no matter what may come our way!  Ref. Deuteronomy 31:6

King David The Psalmist declares this powerful truth for us in Psalm 20:1-5 (NKJV);

“May The Lord answer you in the day of trouble; May the name of The God of Jacob defend you;”  “May He send you help from the sanctuary, And strengthen you out of Zion;” “May He remember all your offerings, And accept your burnt sacrifice.” “May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, And fulfill all your purpose.” “We will rejoice in your salvation, And in the name of our God we will set up our Banners”!  May The Lord fulfill all your petitions.”

If there was anyone who knew first hand the Power of “Jehovah Nissi,” “The Lord Is My Banner,” it was King David.  In all of the tests and trials that he went through, he continually called upon The Name of The Lord and was delivered!  King David lived a “Banner Life” by putting his trust in God, even in the face of costly failures and seemingly impossible situations.

We read about one of those seemingly impossible situations in 1st Samuel 30:1-7 (AMP);

“Now when David and his men came home to Ziklag on the third day, they found that the Amalekites had made a raid on the South (the Negeb) and Ziklag, and had struck Ziklag and had burned it with fire.”  “And had taken the women and all who were there, both great and small, captive.  They killed no one, but carried them off and went on their way.”  “So David and his men came to the town, and behold, it was burned, and their wives and sons and daughters were taken captive.”  “Then David and the men with him lifted their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep.”  “David’s two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess and Abigail, the widow of Nabal the Carmelite.”  “David was greatly distressed for the men spoke of stoning him because the souls of them all were bitterly grieved, each man for his sons and daughters.  But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God.”

In these verses of scripture my friend, we learn a life-changing lesson, one that David walks out for us so beautifully, and that is this;

“A Banner Life begins with making a banner decision that ultimately leads to a fruitful, “Banner Life” filled with, ”Banner Years”!

As demonstrated in the life of King David, a life well lived for The Kingdom of Heaven is not a “perfect life’ free of faults and failures, it is a “faithful life” that continually gets up in obedience, in the midst of trials, temptations and mis-steps through the Overcoming Strength of The Lord Most High, The One True God to, “Pursue overtake and recover all.”  Notice that is exactly what David did at Ziklag, though his men spoke of stoning him, he chose to encourage himself in The Lord second by second, minute by minute and hour by hour.  This, my friend, is an example of a “Banner Decision” being made under tremendous pressure!

The remarkable payoff?  We read about it in 1st Samuel 30:17-20 (AMP);

“And David smote them from twilight even to the evening of the next day, and not a man of them escaped, except 400 youths who rode camels and fled.”  “David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken and rescued his two wives.”  “Nothing was missing, small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that had been taken; David recovered all.”  “Also David captured all the flocks and herds [which the enemy had], and the people drove those animals before him and said, This is David’s spoil.”

What a day of Divine Dramatic Reversal for David, he went from being a grieving, distressed leader fearing for his life by the hands of his men who “spoke of stoning him;” (which is rather ironic when you think of the fact that earlier in his youth he slew the Giant Goliath with one smooth stone); to an overcoming hero who led the way in “recovering all” that the enemy had taken from them.  The people even chose to set aside the flocks and herds of the enemy and declare it as, “David’s spoil.”  In other words, those who were once against David were now for David, ensuring that he was highly honored and well taken care of.

How did David accomplish this mighty feat….and why wasn’t “the spoiler” (the enemy) able to disrupt David’s Divine Breakthrough?

The answer to this important question can be found in 1st Samuel 30:7-8 (AMP) which reveals The Source of David’s Epic Victory;

“David said to Abiathar the Priest, Ahimelech’s son, I pray you, bring me the ephod, And Abiathar brought him the ephod.”  “And David inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue this troop?  Shall I overtake them?  The Lord answered him, Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail to recover all.”

After all of the years of miraculous feats done by David in The Name of The Lord, he did not rely on his strength or his understanding, he continued to draw near to God and wait upon Him with a “Banner Heart.”  A heart that is positioned in a place of humility and obedience to receive from The Lord.

David did not allow the memories of past victories and the former strategies that The Lord had given him to cloud his expectation and hearing of a “Fresh Word” from The Lord.  Whats more David did not put the responsibility for his authority on a word from Abiathar the Priest to guide him in this dire situation.  David’s intimacy and friendship with the Lord gave him the confidence to don “His Ephod,” and wait until he received the “Banner Word” of The Lord for his situation.  This, my friend, is how David won all of his, “Banner Victory’s” time and time again throughout each season of his life!

The donning of “The Ephod” which was a holy sacred garment used by King’s and Priest’s in ancient Biblical times to set themselves apart to hear the instructions and guidance of The Lord, was significant for David.  Why?….because the heart that beat under that ephod was a “Banner Heart,” that was set on hearing and obeying the Lord His God, no matter what the consequences were!

How did God view a heart like David’s?
We find the answer to that question in Acts 13: 21-22 (AMP);

“Then they asked for a King; and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin for forty years.” “And when He had deposed him, He raised David to be their king; of him He bore witness and said, I have found David son of Jesse a man after My Own Heart, who will do all My Will and carry out My program fully.”

Whose program are we carrying out in our lives? Ours?….Or The Lord’s?

For us, today, “The Banner of The Lord” written upon the tablet of King David’s heart in The Holy Scriptures, is a continual reminder of an overcoming, “Banner Life.”  You see my friend a “Banner Life” will always be lived from a “Banner Heart.”  A heart that is inclined to hear The Heartbeat of Heaven through The Voice of The Holy Spirit as He shares the secret truths and mysteries that God is longing to share with each one of us that call Him Abba Father!  Therefore my friend, “WE MUST NEVER ALLOW OUR, “HEART” TO BEAT AFTER ANOTHER god!

God, Himself states this truth so clearly for us in Exodus 20:3;

“You shall have no other gods before or besides Me.”

Let’s take a few minutes here and ask ourselves the following life-changing questions, I encourage you to write your answers down in a private place where you and The Lord can work it out.

What is written upon the tablet of my heart?

1. Am I living a “Banner Life” life from a “Banner Heart”?…..Or does my heartbeat after another god?

2. Do I recognize Jesus Christ as, “Jehovah Nissi” “The Lord Is My Banner”….. If not, why?

3. What course corrections do I need to make, if any, to keep my heart beating in line with God’s Will for my life?

My friend, when God sent His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ to Calvary as our “Everlasting Banner of Life,” that was and IS His Eternal Heartbeat of Love for a lost and dying world.  A Heartbeat that you and I as believers in Christ Jesus cannot ignore! We must remember that every act of obedience in sharing The Goodness of God with those around us is an act of love that keeps this Heavenly Heartbeat alive and well and beating strong for The Glory of God!

This, my friend, is how we live a “Banner Life”, that will leave a “Banner Legacy”……
“Strong and Free….Boldly For Him”!

Psalm 60:4 (NKJV);

“You have given a banner to those who fear You, that it may be displayed because of the Truth.”

 

© 2020 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

Picture by: Ben White

“Alive And Well”

“Christ’s Resurrection is your resurrection too. This is why we are to yearn for all that is above, for that’s where Christ sits enthroned at the Place of All Power, Honor, and Authority!” “Yes, feast on all the treasures of the Heavenly Realm and fill your thoughts with Heavenly Realities, and not with the distractions of the natural realm.” Colossians 3:1-2 (TPT)

At the beginning of 2019, The Lord instructed me to write two specific blogs to start the New Year. January’s title is, “The Expected End” and February’s title is, “Inner-Action”.  Now as we have come to the last month of the decade, and are about to embark on what I believe will be a “Whole New Era” for the Body of Christ in the coming years; The Lord redirected my attention back to these two blogs.

As I re-read what He had to share with us through these writings, I became keenly aware that these blogs encapsulate what He is now saying to us through this last, “Boldly For Him” blog of the year. With 2019 quickly coming to a close, The Lord wants us to know that as we approach 2020, that no matter where we are or what we may be currently facing, that as Born Again Believers in Jesus Christ, the reality of our, “Expected End” is that we are, ”Alive And Well”, In Him as we recognize, renew, develop and mature our, “Inner-Action” to the truths that are shared with us in Colossians 3:1-2 (TPT).

To fully grasp what The Lord is now saying through this blog, I think it’s important for me to refresh us on the definition of “Inner-Action.”

Inner-Action = The relationship between the mind, the will and the emotions and how they are displayed in an individual’s life through their interaction with God and others.

You see my friend we are entering a time where everything that can be challenged will be challenged regarding what we believe about our identity In Jesus Christ. It is an Era, a decade, a time that will see much fruit as well as much loss within The Body of Christ. Why?….. because of the very pressure that is coming in the days ahead that will cause many to continue to be deceived, stumble and fall in their individual and corporate walk with The Lord. That is why it is so important my friend that you and I, “fill our thoughts with Heavenly Realities, and not with the distractions of the natural realm.”  Ref. Col 3:2 (TPT) 

What we learn and who we learn from can greatly affect what we believe about our God Given identity In Christ Jesus. So much so that the Apostle Paul gave the following instructions to his spiritual son Timothy who was an Evangelist and Pastor in the ancient town of Ephesus:

2nd Timothy 2:15 (AMP);

“Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.”

The Word of God and the Truths that have been “Rightly Divided” and “Accurately Taught” to us must become so “Deeply Rooted Within Us”, that no matter what distraction, adversity or challenge may come our way; we are confident that we can live our lives as one who is “Alive and Well” because of the TRUTH that “Christ’s Resurrection IS OUR Resurrection too!” Ref. Col 3:1 (TPT)  

Understanding and accurately applying this passage of scripture in Col 3:1-2, in our daily walk, as Believers is paramount to a healthy, “Inner-Action” with God and others. An overcoming “Inner-Action” that will lead to Total Victory in every area of our lives, Spirit, soul, and body, in the coming days ahead. To God Be The Glory!

How does this Biblical Principle work in our lives?  

Colossians 3:3-4 (TPT) gives us the answer;

“Your crucifixion with Christ has severed the tie to this life, and now your true life is hidden away with God in Christ.” “And as Christ, Himself is seen for Who He Is, who you are will also be revealed, for YOU ARE NOW ONE WITH HIM IN HIS GLORY.”

This is not just a figure of speech my friend these are the Words of God Himself and the REALITY of Who We Are In Christ Jesus! According to the Word of God, we as Believers, have “severed the tie to this life.”  Meaning we no longer are bound or have any obligation whatsoever to live a defeated life of sin, sickness, poverty, shame, etc.!

Can this be proven by the Word of God? 

Yes, let’s see what He has to say to us in Colossians 3:5-9 (TPT);

“Live as one who has died to every form of sexual sin and impurity. Live as one who died to diseases, and desires for forbidden things, including the desire for wealth, which is the essence of idol worship.” “When you live in these vices you ignite the anger of God against these acts of disobedience.” “That’s how you once behaved, characterized by your evil deeds. But now it’s time to eliminate them from your lives once and for all-anger, fits of rage, all forms of hatred, cursing, filthy speech, and lying.” “Lay aside your old Adam-self with its masquerade and disguise.”

God went to great lengths for you and me my friend to be, “Alive and Well” through the Crucifixion of His Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, and Savior! You see, Calvary not only Confronted, but CALVARY also DEFEATED EVERY FORM of sinsickness, poverty, and disease for all men, for all time…PERIOD! Calvary did not console the enemy, by fearing him and accepting his slander against the Shed Blood of Jesus Christ. Calvary Confronted and Cast the evil works of the enemy out forever!

This is The Resurrection Power of 1st Peter 1:24 (TPT);

“He carried our sins in His body on the Cross so that we would be dead to sin and live for righteousness, Our INSTANT healing flowed from His Wounding.”

Therefore my friend, you and I as believers in Christ Jesus are not to console the enemy by fearing him and caving in when he attacks us with sin, sickness, poverty, and disease, we are to confront him with The Living Word of God and cast him out of our lives, spirit, soul, and body! It is not through our strength that we do this, it is through “The Blood of Jesus Christ”, that was Shed At Calvary. My friend, it is “The Good News” of His Resurrection Power that RESIDES WITHIN US that gives us, as Believers in Christ Jesus, the AUTHORITY AND THE RESPONSIBILITY to Confront and Cast out the devil and all of his evil works from EVERY area of our lives!

Did God give me this responsibility?

YES! Jesus Himself tells us about this “Priceless Privilege” in the following passages of scripture:

 John 14:12-14 (TPT); 

“I tell you this timeless truth: The person who follows me in faith, believing in Me, will do the Same Mighty Miracles that I do—Even Greater Miracles than these because I go to be with My Father!” “For I will do whatever you ask Me to do when you ask Me in My Name. And that is how the Son will show what the Father is really like and bring Glory To Him.” “Ask Me anything in My Name, and I will do it for you!”

Mark 16:16-18 (TPT);

“Whoever believes the Good News and is baptized will be saved, and whoever does not believe the Good News will be condemned.” “And these miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will drive out demons in the power of My Name. They will speak in tongues.” “They will be supernaturally protected from snakes, and from drinking anything poisonous. And they will lay hands on the sick and heal them.”

Never doubt my friend the Power of The Name of Jesus spoken out of your mouth as a Believer in Jesus Christ! It is the same power and authority that was given to the first Disciples! As modern-day Believers it is our turn to do what these Forefathers of Faith did, to take the healing power of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world, to “lay hands on the sick and heal them”, this includes laying hands on yourself!  This Mandate is how we perpetuate the Eternal Message of Calvary! A Precious “Blood Bought” Message that Forever Speaks that, WE ARE, “Alive and Well” and Empowered to,

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

 

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

“But I Wasn’t Racing!”

“I wasn’t racing!”  “It doesn’t matter, I won!”  “But I wasn’t racing!”  “It doesn’t matter, I won!”  This loud and insistent exchange between two young siblings took place years ago in a crowded crosswalk in Honolulu, Hawaii.  As Mark and I passed them by, we couldn’t help but smile at the older brother’s insistence that he had “won” some obviously “imaginary race” against his younger sister.  After all, she wasn’t “racing” pronounced “wacing” because she was missing a few front teeth!  Oh, the woes of sibling rivalry!

As I have reflected numerous times throughout the years, over this amusing and seemingly innocent inter-change between brother and sister, The Lord started to reveal to me the underlying current that the enemy was cunningly at work with to try to capture this young boy’s heart.  The purpose?  To keep him frantically competing in some “imaginary race” for the rest of his life.

In Hebrews 12:14-15 (TPT); we receive some practical life-saving advice from The Lord.

“In every relationship be swift to choose peace over competition, and run swiftly toward Holiness, for those who are not Holy will not see the Lord.”  “Watch over each other to make sure that no one misses the revelation of God’s Grace.  And make sure no one lives with a root of bitterness sprouting within them which will only cause trouble and poison the hearts of many.”

My friend, there is a “Code of Conduct” that The Lord is introducing to us in these scriptures, “Swift Peace over Competition,” with ourselves and others.  Notice that the first three words of the above scripture are, “In every relationship.”  This includes the relationship that we have with ourselves.  God knows that we can’t be, “swift to choose peace over competition” if we are not first, at peace within ourselves.

Like this young boy, if you and I choose to look at everyone around us as a competitor to be conquered, rather than a relationship to be nurtured, we will run a race of, “unholy competitiveness” against them, which will produce negative results.  Running our life’s race with others in this manner will cause us to miss the Heavenly revelation of God’s Grace in our lives and the lives of those around us; fast-tracking us on a road to self-destruction.  This will eventually make a way for a “root of bitterness” to begin to sprout within us that will cause trouble and poison the hearts of many.”

Why is it so important for us to adhere to this God Given, “Code of Conduct” with ourselves and others?

You see my friend when we choose God’s instructions of, “swift peace over competition” we create an atmosphere of “Grace” that nurtures those around us.  This allows these precious relationships that The Lord has entrusted to us too, “Safely Flourish” in their God-given gifts and talents with confidence and ease.  This Divine harmony produces a cohesive unity, a “Oneness” that Jesus Himself prayed for us to have in John 17:21-23 (TPT);

“I pray for all of them to be joined together as one even as You and I, Father, are joined together as One.  I pray for them to become One with Us so that the world will recognize that You sent Me.”  “For the very Glory that You have given to Me, I have given to them so that they will be joined together as One and experience the same Unity that we enjoy.”  “You live fully in Me and now I live fully in them so that they will experience perfect unity, and the world will be convinced that You have sent Me, for they will see that you love each one of them with the same passionate love that You have for Me.”

Friend’s as we choose to cooperate with a “Holy Oneness”, we bring the “Revelation” and “Protection” of God’s Grace into the center of our relationships.  This “Guardrail of Grace,” keeps us running our life’s race with a Divine Pace of Peace, void of fleshly striving.  This Divine Pace of Peace produces within us an intimate place of Holiness with The Lord!  This Sacred Holiness gives us the strength to choose, “swift peace over competition,” every time!  Glory To God!

On the contrary, when we feel insecure and threatened by the calling, gifts, and talents of others we will view them through the fear based, imaginary lens of “unholy competitiveness.”  This “unholy competitiveness” creates within us a striving and “bitter heart” that leads to an “unholy desire” to diminish their value and worth as a called individual of God.  An individual who like us my friend has been made in His Very Image!  Though we may not recognize it, at the core of this heart action is an attempt to, “Silence God.”

How do we Silence God?

By suppressing and discrediting the gifts and callings that He has placed on another individual’s life.  This is how God loses The Strength of His Voice to the world as we attempt to Silence Him, His Movement and His Purpose through the voice and ministry of another Brother and Sister in Christ.  A voice and ministry that God Himself planned, established and set in place in order to Advance His Kingdom.  My friend, attempting to “Silence God” disrupts the Peace and Perfect Unity that, “Oneness” that Jesus prayed for you and me to have.

How does this happen?

The same way it happened to lucifer, in Isaiah 14:13-14 (AMP);

“And you said in your heart, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit upon the mount of assembly in the uttermost North.”  “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like The Most High.”

Like lucifer, if we are driven by a striving “unholy competitiveness,” “We will say in our heart, I will exalt my life above the plans and purposes of God; I will sit in God’s place and judge the callings of my brothers and sisters in Christ because, “It doesn’t matter, I won!”  ALL they have is MINE!  I will ascend above everyone that I know, there is no one greater than me, I will make myself like The Most High.”

The pride of lucifer’s heart gave birth to a destructive “unholy competitiveness” against God.  This rebellion poisoned the hearts of a third of the angels, dooming them forever to the eternal lake of fire, as they were cast from The Presence of God!  Let us not make the same mistake my friend running our life’s journey with a carnal, destructive “unholy competitiveness” that attempts to silence God while leading others astray, thus breaking fellowship with The Lord.

Before we run one more step, let’s ask ourselves the following questions:

1. Like the young boy in the crosswalk, Am I racing in an “imaginary race.”

2. Who am I racing against?  Why?

3. Have I participated in advancing the Kingdom of God by cultivating, promoting and releasing the gifts, talents, and callings of others without guile?

4. How can I better walk in, “the ministry of reconciliation” with my brothers and sisters in Christ?

Our God-given influence is greater than we think my friend!  The Lord is adamant that we protect the “Oneness” that “Holy Unity” that will show all men that we are Passionately loved by Him.  This is how we strengthen the Body of Christ and Advance His Kingdom.

My friend, if you are ready to join me in protecting the “Oneness.” that “Perfect Unity,” that Jesus prayed for us to have as we relinquish any “unholy competitiveness” from our life, then I invite you to make this declaration in the following prayer of repentance and reconciliation.

Please pray out loud with me: 

“Father God search my heart.  Any seed of “unholy competitiveness” that would cause a “bitter root” to grow within me and poison the hearts of others I repent of now to You.  Through the Shed Blood of Jesus Christ, I call it uprooted in Jesus Name!

I say and decree that every word and action of “unholy authority” that I have spoken or acted upon that has undermined, hurt and hindered the calling and progress of my brother or sister in Christ, I repent and ask you, Lord, to reverse that damage over every area of their life in Jesus Name!

Father God remove any curse that I have spoken over my life, and the lives of others.  Lord, any person that I have poisoned by spreading gossip, hurt or bitterness, would you please bring them to my heart, and show me how to address those words and actions for the sake of their restoration.  I repent of this sin!  Lord, I now decree Blessing over their life.

Thank You Father God for Your Divine Cleansing and Healing of my spirit, soul and body in The Name Of Jesus!  Lord, with Great Joy and Expectation, I receive The Complete and Manifest Victory for all of these areas that I have repented for and requested of You.  Father God, as a Cleansed Vessel I am now ready to report for active duty for my Kingdom Assignment.  To God Be The Glory!  Amen and Amen!

With The Holy Spirit Wind Beneath Our Wings we can now run as God taught us to run in 1st Corinthians 13:13 (TPT);

“Until then, there are three things that remain; faith, hope, and love yet love surpasses them all.  So above all else, let love be the beautiful prize for which you run.”

This, my friend, is how you and I Run Strong and Free in Perfect Unity……..Boldly For Him!

 

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

Photo: Ben White

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