Open Heart Test – Part One

Two Kings, two hearts, two test’s with two very different outcomes. 

Perhaps the greatest test that you and I will ever take will not be taken in a classroom setting, sitting at a desk or administered to us by a teacher on-line.  Where will it be taken then?  It will be a test of the heart, taken as we go through everyday life.  “This “Open Heart Test” my friend, may be one that you are right in the middle of taking right now, and not even aware of.        

Emboldened by his past successes and pumped with pride, King Asa impatiently motions for Hanani the seer to approach him in the Throne Room.  Expecting an accolade from The Lord for his latest building projects of the cities of Geba and Mizpah, King Asa sits smugly with his arms folded in front of him, lifting his finely chiseled chin he stares down his regal nose at the awaiting seer.

Hanani knows in his heart that there are great risks to this assignment of The Lord, yet as it is with every true voice of God, he has counted the cost and lives for no earthly reward. Indeed, much damage had been done to The Kingdom of God because of King Asa’s rebellion to enter into a league with Ben-hadad King of Syria; now it had to be dealt with!  Undergirded by prayer, fasting and a bold love for God, the courageous seer opens his mouth, instantly The Penetrating Word of The Lord shoots forth as a Blazing Arrow of Holy Righteousness, hitting the target, “King Asa’s hardened heart of rebellious pride!”  

Un-surprisingly delivering the Word and Judgement of God to an enraged King brings a swift repercussion to Hanani, yet he has no regret for his obedience to The Lord!  Indeed Hanani’s confident assurance for the outcome of his life, is secure in the fact that these crucial words of truth and the judgements given are not of his own manufacturing, they belong to The Lord.

Rather than receive the rebuke of The Lord and repent for his spiritual adultery, King Asa hardens his heart even further and foolishly chooses with one quick decision to jail Hanani.  Tragically, King Asa fails this, “Open Heart Test,” without realizing that you cannot jail the truth! The repercussions for his actions would live on!

II Chronicles 16:1-10 (AMP) is the astounding account of this dramatic story;

“In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign, Baasha King of Israel came up against Judah, and built (fortified) Ramah intending to intercept anyone going out or coming in to Asa King of Judah.”  “Then Asa brought silver and gold out of the treasuries of The House of The Lord and of the King’s house and sent them to Ben-hadad King of Syria, who dwelt at Damascus, saying,”  “Let there be a league between me and you, as was between my father and your father.  Behold, I am sending you silver and gold; go, break your league with Baasha King of Israel, that he may withdraw from me.”  “And Ben-hadad hearkened to King Asa and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel; and they smote Ijon, Dan, Abel-maim, and all the store cities of Naphtali.”  “And when Baasha heard it, he stopped building Ramah and let his work cease.”  “Then King Asa took all Judah, and they carried away the stones of Ramah and its timber with which Baasha had been building, and with them he built Geba and Mizpah.”  “At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa King of Judah and said to him, Because you relied on the King of Syria and not on the Lord your God, the army of the King of Syria has escaped you.”  “Were not the Ethiopians and Libyans a huge host with very many chariots and horsemen?  Yet because you relied then on The Lord, He gave them into your hand.”  “For the eyes of The Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong in behalf of those whose hearts are blameless toward Him.  You have done foolishly in this; therefore, from now on you shall have wars.”  “Then Asa was angry with the seer and put him in prison [in the stocks], for he was enraged with him because of this.  Asa oppressed some of the people at the same time.”

“When leadership fears truth, corruption begins.”  This word given to me by The Lord several months ago, applies so well to the life of King Asa, as it does to ours today, if we choose the way of hard hearted rebellion as he did.     

You see my friend, the corruption of King Asa’s heart and reign over Judah began long before God sent Hanani the seer to confront him.  The corruption of King Asa’s heart began the moment he disconnected from God as his “True Source,” and looked to the, “strength of man” the King of Syria for his deliverance.  What is so devastating about this true life account of epic self destruction, is that King Asa takes “the silver and gold out of the treasuries of The House of The Lord and of the King’s house,” treasuries that he once valued with his “Whole Heart” and uses them to bribe the King of Syria with!”  In essence, “King Asa deifies himself” above The One True God as a source of provision and protection to another “man!”  Oh how far he had fallen and didn’t even know it!!!

How could this happen?  Why did it happen?  King Asa had so much going for him, how could he so easily forget the past victories that God had given him when he sought The Lord with his “Whole Heart;” and now think that, “the strength of man,” could deliver him?

There is something so deep happening here my friend!  When I went to The Lord in the middle of writing this blog and asked Him these questions, He quickly brought King Asa’s mother to my thoughts, the former Queen Maacah, whom King Asa had removed from position as Queen Mother earlier in his reign. The Lord then shared this startling revelation with me:

“HE REMOVED HER FROM POSITION, BUT NOT FROM INFLUENCE”!!!!!!!

Instantly my spirit was open to The Word of the Lord!

Friends, I want to share this revelation with you exactly in the same manner in which The Lord shared it with me.

II Chronicles 15:16-17 (AMP) Also Maacah, King Asa’s mother, he removed from being Queen Mother, because she had made an abominable image for [the goddess] Asherah.  Asa cut down her idol, crushed it, and burned it at the brook Kidron.”

Here in verse 16 is where King Asa, “REMOVES HIS MOTHER FROM POSITION.”

“But the high places were not taken out of Israel.  Nevertheless, the heart of Asa was blameless all his days.”

However, here in verse 17 is where King Asa, “RETAINS HER INFLUENCE.”

The demonic influences from King Asa’s mother had been planted like poisonous seeds in King Asa’s heart, when he did not take, “the high places out of Israel.” 

Though he had removed her from position of Queen Mother, he did not remove the, “influence” of her position from his heart or from his eyes, still leaving the nation of Israel defiled.  He allowed those poisonous seeds of rebellion, idolatry and pride to have a place in his heart. When King Asa came under pressure in the natural realm, those seeds of rebellion, idolatry and pride, that were sown in the spiritual realm, came to fruition as a harvest of death and self destruction!  Inevitably it would cost him everything!

1. My friend, are there any demonic influences that you need to remove from holding a “position” in your life?

2. Have these seeds of “influence” been allowed to remain or grow in your heart?

If so, uproot any leftover seeds of corruption from the past. You don’t want any residue from any evil influence that could catch your eyes, or change your heart.

You see my friend we are not playing a game called life we are walking out a, “God Planned  Purpose” for our lives! “Everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God” in our hearts and lives must be taken down or they will take us down!  Ref. 2nd Cor. 10:5.

I am prompted by the The Holy Spirit as I am writing this, that some of you, like King Asa, have removed from “position” a source of evil from your lives. However, their “influence” is still “active” in your life, therefore the enemy is just waiting for an opportunity to bring a harvest of self destruction to pass in your life!  My friend, my prayer for you is that you will take this word “to heart”, and quickly make the necessary adjustments spirit, soul and body that are needed in order to remove and eradicate every, “influence of evil” that has been sown by these sources from your life and heart!

Please pray the following prayer with me:

Dear Heavenly Father, I submit my life and heart to You.  Please show me any evil seed that has been planted in my life and heart that would cause me and others to stumble and fall short of the plans and purposes of God.  I ask You Father God that every one of those seeds of rebellion, idolatry and pride be uprooted in Jesus Name!  I now make a fresh commitment to Plant Your Word  in the soil of my heart today, Father God, realizing that You Alone Are THE Source, and Final Authority of my life.  I repent of placing myself and others above You in any way Lord, and I receive Your Divine Forgiveness Now in Jesus Mighty Name!  Amen and Amen!

Now my friend you can,

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

Proverbs 4:23 (TPT);

“So above all guard the affections of your heart, for they affect all that you are.  Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being, for from there flows the wellspring of life.”

*Next months blog will be part two of this message.”

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

Photo by : Antonino Visalli

“Alive and Well”

In this time of upheaval and uncertainty, God is sending a message of HOPE that is LOUD and CLEAR…..that IN HIM WE ARE, “ALIVE AND WELL!”

Friend, as I was praying about and thinking about writing August 2020’s blog, The Lord reminded me of the blog that He instructed me to write and publish in December of 2019. As I went back and re-read that blog, I felt impressed to re-publish it this month.

Why? I realized that, this blog, “Alive and Well” was and is a, “Forerunner of Encouragement” to us as we continue to walk out the days, months and years before us, “Strong and Free…..Boldly For Him!”

Much Love,

-Clare-

“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.”

Bricks or Blood?

Have you ever had God ask you a question then immediately follow with an answer that completely caught you off guard?  I have!  Several weeks ago, there was an undeniable pull to go into intercessory prayer with my husband Mark.  As we began to pray, I sensed the Tangible Presence of The Holy Spirit, so I asked Mark to start praying and declaring prophetically what he was seeing.  Suddenly, after praying for about ten to fifteen minutes, there was a shift in the atmosphere, and out of my mouth came the question of The Lord, “Bricks or Blood?….. You choose!….Bricks or Blood?

Stunned by the question that The Holy Spirit had just posed to both of us, we stood quietly and reverently yielding to The Lord.  As we pressed into His Presence, The Lord began revealing to me by the Spirit, the desperation and conversations going on in the Body of Christ.  I saw and heard many leaders concerned about “what they perceived” as, “momentum lost” during the pandemic shutdown.

The Lord continued to reveal to me that, “The current temptation for our lives was to pick up the Bricks of “human effort” and “self-accomplishment” devoid of the Power and Presence of The Living God.”  A Power and Presence that had so graciously, sacrificially, and freely been given to each one of us through The Shed Blood of Jesus Christ at Calvary.  I could see that leaders were being pushed and pushing to “hurry up” and “make up” for lost time and re-build what they thought the enemy had breached in their lives, businesses, and ministries.  All of this “Brick Work” activity was being dangerously ramped up without stopping to consider the True Clear Leadership Voice, Guidance, and Timing of The Holy Spirit.  He then led me to the following passage of scripture to illustrate what He was sharing with me;

Exodus 5:1-23 (AMPC);

“Afterward Moses and Aaron went in and told Pharaoh, Thus says The Lord, The God of Israel, Let My People go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.”  “But Pharaoh said, Who is The Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go?  I know not The Lord, neither will I let Israel go.”  “And they said, The God of the Hebrews has met with us; let us go, we pray you, three days journey into the desert and sacrifice to The Lord our God, lest He fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.”  “The king of Egypt said to Moses and Aaron, Why do you take the people from their jobs?  Get to your burdens!” “Pharaoh said, Behold, the people of the land now are many, and you make them rest from their burdens!”  “The very same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people and their officers, “You shall no more give the people straw to make brick; let them go and gather straw for themselves.”  “But the number of the bricks which they made before you shall require of them; you shall not diminish it in the least.  For they are idle; that is why they cry, Let us go and sacrifice to our God.”  “Let heavier work be laid upon the men that they may labor at it and pay no attention to lying words.”  “The taskmasters of the people went out, and their officers and they said to the people, Thus says Pharaoh, I will not give you straw.”  “Go get straw where you can find it, but your work shall not be diminished in the least.”  “So the people were scattered through all the land of Egypt to gather the short stubble instead of straw.” “And the taskmasters were urgent, saying, Finish your work, your daily quotas, as when there was straw.”  “And the Hebrew foremen, whom Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over them, were beaten and were asked, Why have you not fulfilled all your quota of making bricks yesterday and today, as before?” “Then the Hebrew foremen came to Pharaoh and cried, Why do you deal like this with your servants?”  “No straw is given to your servants, yet they say to us, Make bricks!  And behold, your servants are beaten, but the fault is in your people.”  “But [Pharaoh] said, You are idle, lazy, and idle!  That is why you say, Let us go and sacrifice to The Lord.”  “Get out now and get to work; for no straw shall be given you, yet you shall deliver the full quota of bricks.”  “And the Hebrew foremen saw that they were in an evil situation when it was said, you shall not diminish in the least your full daily quota of bricks.”  “And the foremen met Moses and Aaron, who was standing in the way as they came forth from Pharaoh.”  “And the foremen said to them, The Lord look upon you and judge because you have made us a rotten stench to be detested by Pharaoh and his servants and have put a sword in their hand to slay us.”  “Then Moses turned again to The Lord and said, O Lord, why have You dealt evil to this people?  Why did you ever send me?”  “For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your Name, he has done evil to this people, neither have You delivered Your people at all.”

Beware, fellow believers, the objective of the “Pharaoh spirit” is to push us into becoming a “taskmaster” an oppressor of ourselves AND others.  If we allow this to happen we will become a “beast of burden”, reproducing other “beast’s of burdens” as we begin to demand of those in our spheres of influence that they:

“Hurry Up and Finish their work, after all, enough time has been lost during the pandemic and we have a lot MORE WORK to catch up on!  This is no time to rest!  “Go Get Your Bricks,” before all is lost!”

The result of all this Brickwork?

An exhausted depleted family, business, or ministry on the verge of collapse!

Friends, when we get caught up in this demonically driven frenzy, we will no longer recognize God as The True, “Author and Finisher of our faith.” Ref. Hebrews 12:2. This makes it virtually impossible for us to lead, train, and mentor others through The Guidance of The Holy Spirit.  Instead, “The Bricks” of our leadership decisions, produces “Mausoleums of death” rather than “Temples of Life”

How does this happen?

By sacrificing our own, “Times of refreshing” in The Lord and ignoring The Voice and Leadership of The Holy Spirit as He Rejuvenates and Speaks to our hearts.

Romans 8:14 (AMP) says;

“For all who are ALLOWING themselves to be led by The Spirit of God are sons of God.”

The Holy Spirit is a True Gentleman!  He will not force the plan of God on our lives, or our ability to “see” that plan, we must CHOOSE to be LED and FOLLOW the Plan of God for our life.  As we REST in The Presence of God while listening and yielding to The Voice of The Holy Spirit and choosing to follow the instructions that He Gives us, we mature and develop into effective, men and women of God, “sons of God,” as the above scripture states.

Why is it so important to follow The Holy Spirit’s Guidance and learn to live a “Life in The Spirit as a son of God?”

Romans 8:15-16 (TPT) holds the key that unlocks the door to this very important answer;

“And you did not receive the spirit of religious duty, leading you back into the fear of never being good enough.  But you have received the Spirit of Full Acceptance, enfolding you into The Family of God.  And you will never feel orphaned, for as He Rises Up Within us, our spirits join Him in saying the words of tender affection, “Beloved Father!”  “For The Holy Spirit makes God’s Fatherhood real to us as He Whispers into our innermost being, “You are God’s beloved child!”

My friend, it is only through the Power and Discernment of The Holy Spirit that we learn how to recognize and reject the “Brick Mentality” which is rooted in the “fear of never being good enough.”

As we continually confront and defeat the thoughts of rejection that challenge the truth of “God’s Fatherhood” in our lives, we overcome this stronghold of fear.  This Vital Victory opens up our hearts to recognize and receive the “Spirit of Full Acceptance,” which, “enfolds us into The Family of God.”  This is where True Freedom, Joy, and Peace begins in our, “Born Again” walk with God and the relationship we have with ourselves and others.

As we learn to trust God and lay down the bricks of oppression, we understand, “The Language of The Blood” which continually speaks, “forgiveness.” Ref. Hebrews 12:24. As we freely accept and choose to “speak forgiveness,” over our lives and others, the reality of The redemption of The Blood of Jesus takes root in our lives releasing the “The Joy of The Lord” to become “Our Strength and our Stronghold.” Ref. Nehemiah 8:10. Now with eager tender affection, we can shout, “Beloved Father,” as we receive the “sweet something” that, “The Holy Spirit Whispers into our innermost being, “You are God’s beloved child!”

So now Mighty Warriors of The Most High God The Choice is yours.

Bricks or Blood?……. You Choose!

The Bricks of human effort outside of God or The Redemptive Life in The Spirit through The Blood of Jesus Christ?

Choose The Blood of Jesus Christ which Speaks of Redemption and you will…..

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

Galatians 5:16-18 (TPT);

“As you yield freely and fully to the dynamic Life and Power of The Holy Spirit, you will abandon the cravings of your self-life.”  “For your self-life craves the things that offend The Holy Spirit and hinder Him from Living Free within you!  And The Holy Spirit’s intense cravings hinder your old self-life from dominating you!  So then the two incompatible and conflicting forces within you are your self-life of the flesh and the new creation life of The Spirit.”  “But when you are brought into The Full Freedom of The Spirit of Grace, you will no longer be living under the dominion of the law, but SOARING ABOVE IT!

 

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

Picture by: Majid Gheidarlou