“Enduring Faith”

The jail cell is cold, yet his heart is on fire! Not even the death sentence of a heathen Emperor can quench the passion and joy that bubbles up within him. With swift strokes of determination, the Apostle Paul begins to pen an urgent message of “Enduring Faith,” to his spiritual son Timothy.

2nd Timothy 1:2-5 (TPT);

“My beloved son, I pray for a greater release of God’s Grace, Love, and Total Well-Being to flow into your life from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ!” “You know that I’ve been called to serve the God of my fathers with a clean conscience. Night and day, I pray, constantly for you, building a memorial for you with my prayers.” “ I know that you have wept for me, your spiritual father, and your tears are dear to me. I can’t wait to see you again! I’m filled with joy” as I think of your strong faith that was passed down through your family line. It began with your grandmother Lois, who passed it on to your dear mother, Eunice. And it’s clear that you too are following in the footsteps of their Godly example.”

The “Enduring Faith” of Timothy’s grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice created a “Heritage of Faith.” One that fills the Apostle Paul “with joy!” Because of this joy-filled faith and the urgency of the hour, the Apostle Paul continually contends in prayer for his spiritual son Timothy.

What is “Enduring Faith?”

MERRIAM WEBSTER DICTIONARY:

ENDURE = To remain firm under suffering without yielding.

FAITH = belief and trust in and loyalty to God.
Firm belief in something for which there is no proof.
Complete trust.

This is how I define “Enduring Faith:”

ENDURING FAITH = To remain firm in our belief and trust in God when there is no proof that a need or difficult situation has changed or will change.

The Word of God provides for us a clear picture of “Enduring Faith” in Hebrews 11:1 (AMPC);

“Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].”

As the Apostle Paul fervently prayed for Timothy, he “built a memorial for him.” A spiritual monument of intercession that covered Timothy to preserve. “The Enduring Faith” that was passed on to him. A faith that the Apostle Paul discerns has come under attack in Timothy’s life and ministry.

2nd Timothy 1:6-7 (AMPC);

“That is why I would remind you to stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the [gracious] gift of God, [the inner fire] that is in you by means of the laying on of my hands [with those of the elders at your ordination].” “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and love and calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.”

Never forget this important spiritual truth, my friend:

FEAR FIGHTS AGAINST THE FIRE OF GOD IN OUR LIVES!

If we allow the spirit of fear to dominate us, the desire and the “Fire” to passionately live our life calling will be quenched. The Apostle Paul knew that Timothy was dangerously close to losing “his fire” in carrying on The Gospel of Jesus Christ. He knew that discouragement and “fear of men” had set in because of Paul’s imprisonment and death sentence. The “Enduring Faith” that was passed down, to Timothy was being shaken to the core. Like Timothy, we too must guard “the inner fire,“the gracious gift of God” that resides within us. There is a race that God has called each of us to run, and it will take “Enduring Faith” to run and finish it well.

Hebrews 10:35-39 (TPT);

“So don’t lose your bold, courageous faith, for you are destined, for a great reward!” “You need the strength of endurance to reveal the poetry of God’s will, and then, you receive the promise in full.” “For soon and very soon, “The One Who is appearing will come without delay!” “And He also says, “My righteous ones will live from My Faith. But if fear holds them back, My Soul is not content with them!” “But we are certainly not those who are held back, by fear and perish; we are among those who have faith and experience true life.

When “Enduring Faith” is alive in our lives, we will “experience true life!” With “Eyes of Faith,” we can recognize and utilize the power of God that resides within us through salvation. This Holy Power, given to us by The Grace of God, equips us to walk in love with a calm and well-balanced mind. These attributes of “Enduring Faith” working together develop our discipline and self-control in God. As our self-control grows in God, the fruit of our life matures into a “bold, courageous faith that receives a great reward!” Glory To God! This is why it was so important for the Apostle Paul to encourage Timothy in his faith. I am grateful that his writing still encourages us in our faith today!

2nd Timothy 3:14 (TPT);

Yet you must continue to advance in strength with the truth wrapped around your heart, being assured by God that He’s The One Who has truly taught you all these things.”

The “Enduring Faith” of Timothy became The “Endearing Faith” of God, which filled The Apostle Paul with joy. This my friend, is the same “Enduring Faith” that “Endears” us to The Heart of Father God as we rest In Him.

Hebrews 4:10-11 (TPT);

As we enter into God’s faith-rest life, we cease from our works, just as God Celebrates His Finished Works and Rests in them.” “So then we must give our all and be eager to experience this faith-rest life so that no one falls short by following the same pattern of doubt and unbelief.”

The Great Hall of Faith”, listed in Hebrews chapter 11, is an eternally documented memorial of “Enduring Faith”. This chapter is filled, with mighty men and women of God who learned by experience how to “enter into God’s faith-rest life.” These ancestors of our faith, which includes Paul and Timothy, did not allow doubt and unbelief to “quench the fire of God within them.” Their love and passion for God enabled them to endure persecutions, trials, and tribulations without wavering. Their stalwart faith endeared them to the Heart of God!

Hebrews 11:39-40 (TPT);

“These were the true heroes, commended for their faith, yet they lived in hope without receiving the fullness of what was promised them.” “But now God has invited us to live in something better than what they had—faith’s fullness! This is so that they could be brought to finished perfection alongside us.”

By the end of his life, the Apostle Paul shares with Timothy a beautiful snapshot of “Enduring Faith.” One that is meant to encourage us today.

2nd Timothy 4:6-8 (TPT);

“And now the time is fast approaching for my release from this life. And I am ready to be offered as a sacrifice.” “I have fought an excellent fight. I have finished my full course. I’ve kept my heart full of faith.” “There’s a crown of righteousness waiting in Heaven for me, and I know that my Lord will reward me on his day of righteous judgment. And this crown is not only waiting for me, but for all who love and long for His Unveiling.”

We must “love and long for His Unveiling,” my friend!

Why? So that we can:

Be Strong and Live Free with Enduring Faith…………. Boldly For Him!

Hebrews 11:6 (TPT);

“And without faith living within us, it would be impossible to please God. For we come to God in faith knowing this He is real and that He rewards the faith of those who passionately seek Him.”

© 2021 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

Photo: Esther Wechsler

Breaking Bitterness

Hebrews 12:15 (TPT);

“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.”

While preparing to write this blog, I heard the following statement from The Holy Spirit:

“YOU MUST BREAK BITTERNESS BEFORE IT BREAKS YOU!”

Stunned, I realized then that this is an urgent warning to all of us from The Heart of God!

What Is Bitterness?

According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, Someone bitter is angry and unhappy because they cannot forget bad things that happened in the past.

How Does Bitterness Break Us?

First and foremost, bitterness will cause us to miss the revelation of God’s Grace, as stated in Hebrews 12:15. Without a revelation of God’s Grace, His Love will not be a tangible reality to us, and we will never be able to comprehend or receive true forgiveness for our sins. We will also be unable to extend Christ-Like Grace, Mercy, and Forgiveness toward another individual who has sinned against us. Living in this perpetual state of un-forgiveness creates an atmosphere of torment in our souls and will manifest in our lives. This heavy load of bitterness then becomes a beast of burden that we carry around within us, and it will eventually break us.

Matthew 11:28-30 (TPT);

“Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me, I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis.” “Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me.” “For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.”

This Word is Good News, my friend! Though the weight of bitterness will continually try to break us, God has an answer for us as we learn His Ways.

How Do We Break Bitterness?

Through Forgiveness!

The Oxford Languages Dictionary offers a simple and concise definition of the word forgive.

FORGIVE = Stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for (an offense, flaw, or mistake).

Matthew 6:14-15 (TPT);

“And when you pray, make sure you forgive the faults of others so that your Father in Heaven will also forgive you.” “But if you withhold forgiveness from others, your Father withholds forgiveness from you.”

This scripture is astounding! You and I can cause GOD TO WITHHOLD HIS FORGIVENESS FROM US, WHILE OUR PRAYERS GO UN-HEARD! When we choose to withhold forgiveness from someone who has hurt us or that we perceived has hurt us, we are planting a root of bitterness within our hearts. Unforgiveness keeps our prayers from effectively being heard by God! By not breaking bitterness, we forge a, “Barrier of Bitterness” over our hearts that repel the Love of God and His Blessings from flowing freely in our lives. Ultimately, if we refuse to identify and repent of bitterness, we will reject God and His Plan for our life!

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (MEV);

“For I know the plans that I have for you, says the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” “Then you shall call upon Me, and you shall come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.” “You shall seek Me and find Me when you shall search for Me with all your heart.”

Bitterness is spiritual cancer that can spread quickly by stealing our future and killing our hope. Thus, causing trouble and poisoning the hearts of many, starting with ours! A poisoned heart is a divided heart. It is imperative that you and I consciously recognize and BREAK BITTERNESS BEFORE IT BREAKS US! The survival rate of the God Given relationships in our lives depends on our willingness to forgive decisively and quickly.

Recently I heard a teaching from a well-respected, trusted minister of The Gospel who shares some valuable eye-opening insight regarding the root of bitterness. He described bitterness as undeveloped murder. Another way that he put it is, bitterness is murder in diapers. This minister then went on to relay a story that impacted me. During his ministry, he had counseled two different people on two different occasions, who were believers. They came to him for help to break free from the root of bitterness. However, these individuals were so consumed with the “Spirit of Bitterness,” that they both ended up killing people and are now in jail after rejecting his help! My friend, These brutal acts of murder are a sobering account of “The Root of Bitterness” in action.

1st John 3:15 (TPT) describes the minister’s tragic story for us;

“Everyone who keeps hating a fellow Believer is a murderer,” and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.”

The message from The Lord is loud and clear, my friend. We must ”Break Bitterness Before It Breaks Us!”

1st John 4:20-21 (MEV);

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar. For whoever does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” “We have this commandment from Him: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.”

What Barriers of Bitterness are weighing you down?

Is there anyone, or perhaps even yourself that you need to forgive?

Are you, “Breaking Bitterness or is it Breaking You?”

If Breaking Free From Bitterness has been a battle for you, please join me in the following prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, I recognize today that I have been carrying the heavy burden of the sin of bitterness and un-forgiveness. I come to You and lay it down at Your feet. Please forgive me for walking in bitterness and un-forgiveness toward_________________(name the person or persons).

By an act of my will, I release them now and choose to forgive them for hurting me. Father God, If I have unknowingly hurt someone, I ask that you bring their name to me now, and I ask that you forgive me for hurting them in Jesus’ Name! Direct may path to restitution for the pain and hurt that I have caused them in this situation.

Lord, I now receive the total cleansing, healing, strength, and refreshing that comes from Your Presence as I walk with an upright heart before You, in Jesus’ Name! Amen! I Love You, Lord!

II Chronicles 7:14 (AMPC);

“If My people, who are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.”

Be Strong and Live Free as you Break Bitterness………….. Boldly For Him!

© 2021 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

Photo: Niel Taelman

Birthing A Deliverer

Can this be happening? She’s pregnant again! All Hannah wants to do is run into her tent and hide! Peninnah’s taunts are becoming unbearable; every word is a vindictive razor that cuts at her weary, barren womb.

Safely out of sight, crying uncontrollably, Hannah buries her head into a pillow, trying hard to forget that she is in a polygamous marriage. Emotionally exhausted, she wonders how her husband Elkanah could have taken Peninnah as a secondary wife?! Isn’t Hannah “worth more to him than ten sons?” If it weren’t for the laws of the land, Hannah’s love for God, and devotion to Elkanah, she would have left for Jerusalem a long time ago. Yet, there is a Deep and Holy desire that has been growing in Hannah’s heart for years, and she won’t be denied!

Spiritual and natural pregnancies can sometimes be uncertain because you don’t readily see that you are pregnant, so you forget you are. All you know is that suddenly you feel overwhelmed, uncomfortable, and challenged. What you may not realize is that there is a “Peninnah,” an assignment of the enemy dispatched against you!

Why?

To keep you from “Birthing a Deliverer!”

Merriam Webster Dictionary:

DELIVERER: One that saves from danger or destruction.

Never forget that nobody else can “Birth The Deliverer” that God has called you to, “For such a time as this!” Ref. Esther 4:14 (b). The fruit of your womb is a God Sent Solution to a lost and hurting world! An answer that has the ability through God to “save from danger or destruction.” Don’t allow the taunts of a “Peninnah” cause you to question or miscarry your God-Given Deliverer!

Who is “Peninnah?”

The meaning of her name is “coral,” in this instance, the razor-like coral that has the potential to wound or kill if touched, cut and left untreated.

1st Samuel 1:1-7 (AMPC)

“There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim, of the hill country of Ephraim, named Elkanah, son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.” “He had two wives, one named Hannah and the other named Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.” “This man went from his city year by year to worship and sacrifice to the Lord of Hosts at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were the Lord’s priests.” “ When the day came that Elkanah sacrificed, he would give to Peninnah his wife and all her sons and daughters portions [of the sacrificial meat]. “But to Hannah, he gave a double portion, for he loved Hannah, but the Lord had given her no children.” “[This embarrassed and grieved Hannah] her rival provoked her greatly to vex her because The Lord had left her childless.” “So it was year after year; whenever Hannah went up to the Lord’s House, Peninnah provoked her, so she wept and did not eat.” “Then Elkanah, her husband, said to her, Hannah, why do you cry? And why do you not eat? And why are you grieving? Am I not more to you than ten sons?” “So Hannah rose after they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his seat beside a post of the temple (tent) of the Lord.” “And {Hannah} was in distress of soul, praying to the Lord and weeping bitterly.” “She vowed, saying, O Lord of Hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your handmaid and [earnestly] remember, and not forget Your handmaid but will give me a son, I will give him to The Lord all his life; no razor shall touch his head.”

Hannah is upright before the Lord. She doesn’t ask God for revenge against Peninnah or Elkanah, She asks for a “Deliverer!” A son that she vows to give back to The Lord as a Priest. That is what the scripture means when Hannah prays, “no razor shall touch his head.”

The sharp “coral” edge of Peninnah’s cutting words and Elkanah’s indifference to Hannah’s barrenness could not defile Hannah’s heart! Hannah is determined to “Birth A Deliverer,” A son who will one day replace Hophni and Phinehas, the evil sons who serve as Priests under their father, Eli. Hannah’s prayer so moved God that He “remembered” her request.”

1st Samuel 1:19-22 (AMPC);

“The family rose early the next morning, worshiped before The Lord, and returned to their home in Ramah. Elkanah knew Hannah, his wife, and The Lord remembered her.” “Hannah became pregnant and in due time bore a son and named him Samuel [heard of God]. Because she said, I have asked him of The Lord,” “And Elkanah and all his house went up to offer The Lord the yearly sacrifice and pay his vow.” “But Hannah did not go, for she said to her husband, I will not go until the child is of age, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before The Lord and remain there as long as he lives.”

Hannah could have asked for a son that she could raise as her own, yet she chose the greater and made a decision to “tithe” her womb by offering to God the best. Her “First Born” son. Hannah understood that her pregnancy was a “covenant” between her and God. What an important truth that you and I must remember. Whenever we are pregnant with a Promise of God, we are pregnant with a “Covenant of God.” There is Covenant in our womb, and that Covenant must come forth In Jesus Name!

Merriam Webster Dictionary:

COVENANT: A written agreement or promise usually under seal between two or more parties, especially for the performance of some action.

How do we safely carry our “Covenant Promises” to full term and have a healthy delivery?

By being committed to the process! You see, when God calls you to pregnancy, He calls you to the process. Every pregnancy has a process from conception to gestation to the water breaking to the actual birth. In both spiritual and natural pregnancies, you may have cravings at each stage of the process. Feed your growing baby with the right spiritual and natural nutrients to create a safe and nurturing environment that develops a healthy baby and makes way for safe delivery.

Like Hannah, our pregnancies are also prophecies. With each prophecy is a God-Given Promise with a name. For Hannah, the name was “Samuel,” for you; the name could be Sarah or Peter or the cure for cancer or the name of a new business or ministry or the preparation process for marriage; the list is endless.

What we have to keep at the forefront of our minds is that the enemy hates our pregnancies. He will always send a “Peninnah” our way to discourage or miscarry or abort those God Given Promises, which are His Prophecies in Motion for our lives.

Ephesians 6:12 (TPT);

“Your hand-to-hand combat is not with human beings, but with the highest principalities and authorities operating in rebellion under the heavenly realms. For they are a powerful class of demon-gods and evil spirits that hold this dark world in bondage.”

Why does the enemy hate your pregnancy so much?

The enemy hates your pregnancy because he knows that, “You Are A Deliverer,” one called to “Birth A Deliverer!” Our wombs nurture spiritual and natural assignments of God’s Presence, Power, and Purpose! Think about it, when you were born your mother, “Delivered” you. She was and is a “Deliverer” who “Birthed A Deliverer,” YOU!!! I sense by The Holy Spirit that I am to remind you of something VERY IMPORTANT RIGHT NOW:

“THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN UNWANTED PREGNANCY IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN!”

No matter what the circumstances were or are surrounding your birth or pregnancy, God wants you to know that HE IS LIFE. Therefore THE LIFE that you carry in your womb is a Covenant With Him! You Are Pregnant With The Covenant of God and that child that promise must come forth In Jesus Name!

Psalm 139:13-18 (AMPC);

“For you did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother’s womb.” “I will confess and praise You for You are fearful and wonderful and for the awful wonder of my birth! Wonderful are Your works, and that my inner self knows right well.” “My frame was not hidden from You when I was being formed in secret [and] intricately and curiously wrought [as if embroidered with various colors] in the depths of the earth [a region of darkness and mystery].” “Your Eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book, all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape when as yet there was none of them.” “How precious and weighty also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them!” “If I could count them, they would be more in number than the sand. When I awoke, [could I count to the end} I would still be with You.”

Beautiful, Precious Friend, God Is With You!

“Be Strong and Live Free…..As You Go Forth and Birth Boldly For Him!”

© 2021 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

Photo By: Andriyko Podilnyk

“Table For Two”

I don’t have to close my eyes to re-live one of my most cherished memories. Captured in my thoughts and stored in my heart, it is a beautiful scene that I often revisit.

It’s a chilly winter night, and the intimate “table for two” is set against a quaint brick wall in the small dining room of a cozy restaurant in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. The ambiance creates an atmosphere of expectancy, igniting questions of hopeful love to swirl through my thoughts and dance through my heart! Is this “The One?” I wonder, My Knight in Shining Armor? The man that God has called to be my husband?

Song Of Solomon 2:4 (AMPC);

“He brought me to the banqueting house, and His banner over me was love [for love waved as a protecting and comforting banner over my head when I was near Him].”

Through the flickering candlelight, I can see in Mark’s eyes the “Protecting Presence of God’s Banner of Love” waving over my heart. His beautiful blue eyes reflect an inviting Peace that is both comforting and intimidating to me at the same time. As a fairly new Believer, I wonder, How could this handsome and Godly man be interested in me? At moments I feel like I am in the midst of the most beautiful dream that I never want to end!

For once in my life, the “Cinderella Shoe” fits and I’m wearing it!

It has been several years since the concert in Dover, Delaware. My best friend growing up begs me to go with her; at first, I’m not interested since I’m not a big fan of “rock music” and had never heard the term “Christian Rock” before. Besides, I have not been feeling well, and it’s going to take us a few hours to get to our destination from where we live.

Several phone calls later and a promise that we will stop to get something to eat finds me on the road to Dover! As we journey along, my friend, who has previously dated the bands’ drummer, realizes that we are running late and decides to forego the food. After all, there is no time to waste!

Getting to the Church where the concert is taking place catches me by surprise, where is everybody?

As people begin to filter in, the lights dim, and the atmosphere begins to shift, dry ice adds to the mystique of the moment. Suddenly, the spotlight highlights a guy blindfolded in a plexiglass phone booth-shaped box, wearing a red shirt. From an opening in the top of the box, there is a key hanging from a string dangling in front of him.

As the music starts, the guy in the box grabs the key takes the blindfold off, swings the door wide open, steps out, and confronts another guy dressed as a demon. As they go through the motions of a staged fight between good and evil, I am intrigued by what I am witnessing.

This “staged” fight seems a lot like the life that I am currently living. I am a reasonably new Believer in Jesus Christ, yet the ties to my past are strong, and I am having a difficult time “Breaking Free” from a very toxic relationship in my life. I find out later that this is one reason my friend has asked me to accompany her to the concert.

By now, the guy in the box has won his fight against the force of evil, and the band comes out in full force. The guy in red is singing a song that he wrote entitled, “I Surrender.” With tears stinging my eyes and rolling down my cheeks, God uses every lyric he sings to fully open the eyes of my heart and break me free from the “soul ties” of my past.

For the first time in my life, I am not afraid to Dine with Father God at His “Table for Two.”

Revelation 3:20 (TPT);

“Behold, I’m standing at the door, knocking. If your heart is open to hear my voice and you open the door within, I will come into you and feast with you, and you will feast with me.”

Feasting with God at His “Table for Two,” created a “Holy Hunger” within me, a True Divine Appetite. Yes, “I Surrendered” to God’s Perfect Will for my life that night, and I am so glad I did!

Many years later, I can testify that the beauty of my relationship with Mark, (the guy who was in the box that night) is that WE BOTH LOVE GOD MORE THAN WE LOVE EACH OTHER! We have learned to continually dine at Father God’s, “Table for Two,” developing our intimacy with Him individually through His Word before communing as husband and wife.

Why?……because anything less would be idolatry!

Deuteronomy 5:7 (AMPC);

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

Idolatry is the antithesis of intimacy with God.

Idolatry is the devil’s playground.

Idolatry is the force behind “crimes of passion!”

Idolatry is the trap that the enemy will use to destroy your intimacy with God and kill the relationships in your life, spirit, soul, and body!

Merriam Webster Dictionary:

IDOLATRY = The worship of a physical object as a God.

ANTITHESIS = The Direct Opposite.

My friend, when you and I choose to love someone, something, or even our desires more than God, that person or thing becomes an “object of our worship.” our god! By desecrating our hearts in this manner, we sit and dine at the tables of “foreign gods,” feasting on the carnality of our fleshly desires. This heart action works in “The Direct Opposite” to developing True Intimacy with God, at His Holy, “Table for Two.”

The danger in all of this, “idol worship,” is that our true soul satisfaction can never come from any source outside of the “One True Source,” Jesus Christ!

John 4:13-14 (TPT);

“Jesus answered, If you drink from Jacob’s well, you’ll be thirsty again and again,” “but if anyone drinks the Living Water I give them, they will never thirst again and will be forever satisfied! For when you drink the water I give you, it becomes a gushing fountain of The Holy Spirit, springing up and flooding you with endless life!”

To drink from the well of human efforts will bring disappointment, and leave us spiritually dry, brittle, and thirsty “again and again. “However, drinking the “Living Water” of Jesus Christ will fill our souls to the Brim with Him! We become a “Gusher” of Holy Spirit Power as He “Springs up and Floods us with Endless Life!”

Whose dining table are you sitting at, my friend?

Have you chosen to dine at the table of foreign gods?

Have you answered God’s RSVP for Eternity?

I am so grateful that God, “Who Is,” “Love Himself,” offers His Love to us in all of the “Right Places.” My journey with Mark began at The Most Important “Table For Two” FIRST. The Table of Intimacy With God, Dining on His Word and Feasting on His Presence!

When I reflect, my heart’s deepest desire was to meet and marry a man who LOVED GOD MORE THAN HE LOVED ME! In Mark, I have found that “Dream Come True!”

Luke 12:37 (TPT):

“What great joy is ahead for The Awakened Ones who are for The Master’s return. He Himself will become their servant and wait on them at His Table as He passes by.

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

© 2021 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

Photo: Raissa Lara Lutolf ( -Fasel )

Unshakable Hope

Did you know that as Born Again Believers in Christ Jesus, that you and I have a “Hope Chest?” I’m not talking about a cedar chest filled with “earthen treasures.” I am referring to a “Heavenly Hope Chest,” an “Unshakable Hope,” that God wants everyone to know.

Merriam Webster Dictionary:

UNSHAKABLE = Not possible to weaken or get rid of, Not able to be shaken.

HOPE = To cherish a desire with anticipation to want something to be true.

Colossians 1:23 (b) (TPT);

“Never be shaken from the Hope of The Gospel you have believed in. And this is the glorious News I preach all over the world.”

How does our hope in The Gospel of Jesus Christ remain unshaken?

We continue to advance in Faith.

How do we advance in Faith when everything around us is being shaken?

By tapping into our “Heavenly Hope Chest.”

Where is our “Heavenly Hope Chest” found?

Colossians 1:26-27 (TPT) lets us in on this “secret surprise”;

There is a divine mystery, a secret surprise, that has been concealed from the world for generations, but now it’s being revealed, unfolded, and manifested for every Holy Believer to experience.” “Living within you is The Christ Who Floods you with the expectation of Glory! This mystery of Christ, embedded within us, becomes a Heavenly Treasure Chest of Hope filled with The Riches of Glory for His people, and God wants everyone to know it!”

Jesus Christ, The Son of The Living God, is “embedded within us!”

Merriam Webster Dictionary:

EMBEDDED = Attached to a military unit or group for some purpose (such as covering a conflict or providing expert advice.)

Oxford Languages Dictionary:

EMBEDDED = (Of an object) fixed firmly and deeply in a surrounding mass, implanted.

In this case, my friend the PersonHood of Jesus Christ is “The One” fixed firmly and deeply within the surrounding mass of our spirit man’s heart when we invite Him to be our Lord and Savior.

This is powerful, Jesus Christ, through salvation has been “IMPLANTED” within us!

Not only that, He is our “Ever Present Help in a time of trouble.” Ref. Psalm 46:1. He covers us in every conflict that may come our way, always providing us with “Expert Advice” just when we need it! As we choose to stay connected to Jesus Christ, Who is our “Heavenly Treasure Chest of Hope,” drawing our strength from Him, we will remain faith-filled and rock-solid in The Kingdom of Heaven. This stance of faith enables us to become reliable, joyful dispensers of “His Divine Unshakable Hope,” wherever we go! Glory To God!

While praying and asking God to make this word, “A revelation from His Heart and not merely a human explanation,” He shared something very profound with me about Divine Hope…..

WE ARE GOD’S HOPE CHEST!

When The Lord shared His Word with me, I was surprised and began to ponder it throughout the day. Early in the morning, when I woke up, I continued to think about what He had shared with me and then I asked The Lord:

“God, how are we YOUR Hope Chest?”

Immediately came The Reply of The Lord:

“I have placed Eternity within the hearts of men, IN HOPES that man would live for ME!”

Wow! God Has Hopes! I had never heard that before. I got excited with expectation! The Lord then gave me the following scripture:

Ecclesiastes 3:11(AMPC);

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy], yet so that men cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.”

Can you see this friend? The whole worth of Heaven has been, Divinely Deposited within us because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ at Calvary! We are “God’s Hope Chest,” a “Heavenly Treasure Chest” filled with “The Riches of His Glory!” This is our “Unshakable Hope” in The Gospel of Jesus Christ that lives within us! As men and women created in The Image of God, The Lord has implanted a yearning for Eternity, a “sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy!”

Jeremiah 29:11 (AMPC);

“For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts, and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you HOPE in your final outcome.”

Do you know what God Has placed in His Hope Chest for your life?

My beloved friend, God Has Eternal High Hopes For Us! He has filled His “Hope Chest” that is you and me with His “thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give us HOPE in our final outcome!”

Why is this so important to The Heart of Father God that you and I grasp this revelation?

Proverbs 13:12 (AMP) holds the key to our answer;

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a TREE OF LIFE.”

God knows that our flesh, the enemy, and sometimes the decisions of others can detour the timing of our hopes and dreams from being realized. The result? A spiritually sick heart, which is a confused heart. When the spiritual Heart becomes confused we can potentially “skip a beat,” regarding life-altering decisions. This can cause us to misjudge the people around us and misstep the path that is before us. However, when we stay “In Sync with God,” the desires, hopes, and dreams that He has for our lives will be fulfilled. Why?….. because the root system for our “Unshakable Hope” stems from “The Tree of Life Himself,” Jesus Christ! This is how everyone will know that we are “God’s Hope Chest” and give Him ALL The Glory For Eternity!

Ephesians 6:10 (AMPC);

“In conclusion, be strong in The Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides].”

“Be Strong and Live Free with an Unshakable Hope now and into Eternity…..Boldly For Him!”

© 2021 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

Photo By: Lena De Fanti

“Insulated”

For years I have held back the following personal testimony, mostly in silent contemplation, sharing it only with a handful of people. It wasn’t until December 2020 that I sensed a release from The Lord to share it publicly. My prayer is that we all continue to embrace the Invaluable Power and Presence of God’s Eternal Word Spoken through “Our Mouth” no matter what situation we face.

Matthew 24:35 (TPT);

“The earth and sky will wear out and fade away before One Word I Speak loses its power or fails to accomplish its purpose.”

It was one of those late-night flights from Dallas, Texas, to Honolulu, Hawaii. Mark had just finished his final session in the recording studio for his “Still Waters Run Deep” project, and we were excited to get back home. The lights recently dimmed by the Flight Attendants, everyone began to settle down for the long ride ahead. The peaceful hum of the Jet engines created a soothing lullaby causing weary passengers to doze off. SUDDENLY like a BULLHORN FROM HEAVEN, THE AUTHORITATIVE VOICE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT URGENTLY and LOUDLY DECLARED in my Spirit

“THERE IS A TERRORIST ON THIS PLANE”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FULLY ALERT and ALARMED, I remember thinking what!!!!!!!, a Terrorist! As I clutched the arm of my seat, a horrific fear that I had never experienced in my entire life, before or since began to overtake me. I quickly turned to Mark, who was quietly resting. I wanted to tell him what I had just heard from The Lord, BEFORE I COULD EVEN OPEN MY MOUTH TO SPEAK, THE VOICE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT INTERJECTED, DIRECTING ME “TO NOT” SPEAK OUT LOUD WHAT HE JUST SHARED WITH ME AND TO “IMMEDIATELY” START PRAYING PSALM 91.

In quick obedience to The Instruction of The Lord, I began to quote Psalm 91verse by verse. Visibly shaken and still unsure of what was going on, I began to wonder if this was the specific reason that He had me memorize this passage of scripture several years earlier.

The more I quoted Psalm 91, the calmer my spirit became, though I remained on guard and cautious, looking over my shoulder from time to time. Getting up from my seat to go to the restroom, I could not resist scanning the plane with my eyes to confirm a sense of “normal.” As The Peace of God “INSULATED” me, I made my way back to my seat and buckled in for the remainder of the flight home, I never did say anything to Mark that night.

The mornings in Hawaii are a beautiful gift from God, and this one was no different. As I arrived at work, I suddenly wondered, “where is everyone?” Finally, the Office Manager greeted me and promptly told me that I could go home. As I questioned her why, she looked at me strangely and said, You don’t know? I replied, no. She then proceeded to tell me that several planes had flown into The World Trade Center in New York City and The Pentagon in DC. Potentially the White House and that America was under attack!

Somehow with the time zone difference and me rushing to get to work on time, I had missed the devastating news. Like the rest of the Nation, I am stunned, horrified, and in complete shock! September 11th, 2001 is a nightmare of epic proportions and one of the saddest events of American History. So, I leave the office in a state of numbness, my thoughts race back to the plane ride home that Mark and I had taken just weeks earlier, and what occurred during that flight, there is a pit in my stomach.

Throughout the ensuing years, there has been a myriad of questions that have bombarded my mind from time to time, but the Lord has Graciously answered some, others only Heaven will reveal. What I have come to realize, though, is with every fiber of my being, there was a Magnitude of God’s Divine Protection, Through His Spoken Word, which Insulated me…….and others at a very intense moment.

Proverbs 30:5 (ESV):

“Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.”

At the moment that God released His Instruction to me and I obeyed, reciting Psalm 91 verse by verse, His Power and Presence released as “A Wrap-Around Shield of Protection.” To God Be The Glory! This is how God “Insulates” us with “His Word” as WE SPEAK HIM from our HEART through our MOUTH, as He Directs us.

What does it mean to Insulate Us?

Here is the Cambridge Dictionary definition of the word insulate.

Insulate = To Cover and Surround something with a material or substance, to stop heat, sound, or electricity from escaping or entering.

God’s Word Spoken through our mouth is Creative Power and Substance. “The Insulation” of His Divine Protection, Provision, Wisdom, and Favor for whatever may be needed, in our life, according to His Will. My friend, this is how His “Wrap-Around Shield of Protection” becomes our confidence. It activates and “Insulates” us for everyday life.

Hebrews 11:1-3 (NKJV) says;

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” “For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.” “By faith, we understand the worlds were framed by The Word of God so that the things which are seen, were not made of things which are visible.”

You see friends, our trust and total reliance on The Word of God Spoken through our mouth no matter what we can see, taste, touch, hear, smell, or even “feel like” is what will ultimately provide you and me with “a good testimony” like, “the elders” of faith that have gone before us! I can personally attest to that plane ride decades ago that I felt anything but courageous or overcoming. It was ONLY “HIS Word” spoken through me, “not mine” that created the “Substance,” the “Faith,” “The Frame,” “The Insulation” and ultimately the “Divine Protection” that calmed the atmosphere.

Why is speaking The Word of God so important?

Here is our answer,

Psalm 107:20 (AMPC);

“He sends His Word and heals them and delivers them from the pit and destruction.”

God can’t Send forth His Word to bring healing or deliverance, “from any pit or destruction” unless we Open our mouth and “Speak His Word,” which releases His Manifest Presence, (His Personhood) into the atmosphere surrounding the obstacle or obstacles that we may be facing at the time. Yes! His Words, coming out of our mouth my friend can alter History! Go back and read Joshua 10:12-14, in your Bible where this Mighty Man of God commanded “The sun to stand still,” in order for the Israelites to win an important victory, and you will see what I am talking about!

I have witnessed Father God Show up, time and time again when I have implemented this vital truth in my life! However, when I have failed to implement this principle in my life or have been delayed or distracted in utilizing The Word Of God against the attacks of the enemy, I have experienced some serious and costly setbacks. My friend, the cry of my heart in sharing this testimony with you, is to remind us of the importance of learning to be quick in our obedience to The Instructions of The Lord at ALL TIMES! Our life could depend on it, and for many of us, it has!

How do we learn to operate in this principle?

Through Obedience.

1st Samuel 15:22-23 (AMP);

“Samuel said, Has The Lord as great a delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of The Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as idolatry and teraphim (household good luck images). Because you have rejected the Word of The Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.”

Here the Prophet Samuel is informing a disobedient King Saul of the penalty of doing things, “his way,” (disobedience) versus “God’s Way,” (obedience). You see my friend, anytime we choose to do things “our way” outside of The Will or Direction of God for our lives, we are actually, “Rejecting God” through our disobedience. When we do this, we reject His Safety and Protection for our lives! If we continually live this way, outside of God’s Will, rejecting His Safety and Protection for our lives without making an, “About Face of The Heart,” we will, like this Ancient King, “lose everything!”

What Instructions has God given you, my friend If any, that you have yet to acknowledge or follow-up?

Are there any areas in your life that you do not sense God’s safety and protection?

Have you allowed your decisions to replace God’s Direction for your life?

Is there a passage of scripture or scriptures that The Lord has impressed you to study or memorize?

My friend, I want to encourage you to invest some time with The Lord, Listening to His Heart for Your Life. See what He has to say to you, then quickly follow through on any instructions that He has given to you. Your life and others may one day depend on it!

Psalm 119:11 (AMP);

“Your Word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”

BE STRONG AND LIVE FREE……….BOLDLY FOR HIM!

© 2021 Clare Matthews – Boldly For Him. “All Rights Reserved.”

Photo By: Joanna Nix

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.”

© 2020 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

What Color Is God?

*This month I have the honor of having my husband Mark Matthews guest blog for me.  I believe that you will find the word that he has written relevant, insightful and transforming as he addresses a topic that has recently been widely discussed and debated.

-Clare- 

 

The little boy looked into his mother’s eyes and asked the obvious question of the current times.  Mom, what is racism?  The mother of the bright-eyed 5-year-old paused to make sure that her response would answer her son’s inquiring mind.  Well, son, it is hatred and the belief that some people are better because of where they were born or the color of their skin.  “Mom, did God make all people”?  Yes, son! What color is God, mom?  The million-dollar question that every person who has ever heard about God has wondered.

There is something about God that might surprise you.  He loves to reveal Himself to mankind.  With God there is no containment when it comes to the Love that he has shed abroad for His creation through His Son Jesus Christ.  Did you know that God is as infinitely small as He is Large?  There is no place that you can go without running into God. If you run one direction and never turned back when you stop, God will be there.

To know God, you have to acknowledge that He is.  God is a Spirit, and He has an Image. John 4:24 (KJV) says, “God is Spirit, and all those who worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and truth.”  God made mankind a three-part person.  We have a body, we have a soul, and we have a human spirit. Our body is an earth suit. Our soul is made up of our mind, our will, and our emotions.  When we surrender our hearts to God, Our human spirit is born again by the Spirit of God. From this point forward, we are recognized by God as His son or daughter and a citizen of Heaven.  We are a Spirit-filled being temporarily living on earth.  

 Gen 1: 26-27 (ESV), “Then God said, let us make man in our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the sky and the cattle and all of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.  God created man in His image, in the image of God, He created him; male and female. He created them.” 

It is hard for us to reconcile in our minds that God has never made a mistake.  The world looks at you through the eyes of inspection.  God looks at you through The Eyes of Reflection.  He does not see imperfection He sees a one of a kind creation made in His Image.  He says I did not have one of you, so I made one of you.

Like this five year old you might be wondering what color is God? God is flawless.  He is the color of perfection.  When you look into a flaw-less diamond or precious jewel, you experience multiple dimensions at one time.  The color, light, and facets that make up the prisms of the diamond all interact in concert to perform a radiant expression of beauty. No matter how many times you look at that diamond, you will discover something new every time, yet it is still the same diamond.  The diamond never changed, the prisms never changed, but one thing changes every time, and that is the light. Remove the light, and the diamond looks lifeless and dull, cover it in mud, and you can’t even tell if it is glass or the real deal. 

1 John 1:5 (ESV) states, “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you: God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.”

The conflict that we are witnessing in the world today is about control, it is not about restoration from racism.  The enemy has made a power play of manipulation that has taken vindication hostage, right when justice was preparing to shine”.

Real love understands that tension must have restraint.  Apart from God, you can’t do anything of lasting value.  He knows the difference between the real and the counterfeit because He does not make cheap glass. 

If you could look into God’s Eyes, you would discover that whichever direction He moves or looks, you see your color and reflection in His Presence.  The moment you recognize God, you feel right at home, because He is your Heavenly Father.  Instantly Everything about Him reflects Himself in you, that is why whatever color you are on earth looks like God! 

How could God make so many people with so many different colors and they all look like Him?

The comforting answer, 

“God’s foundation color is love, not ethnicity.”

Revelation 4: 3,5 (TPT) “His appearance was sparkling like crystal and glowing like a carnelian gemstone.  Surrounding the throne was a circle of green light like an emerald rainbow! V – 5a, And pulsing from the throne were blinding flashes of lighting, crashes of thunder, and voices.”  

The color of your skin is God’s expression, His Robe of Love that frames the destiny that He has given you.  Like a fine Diamond the flawless facets of His presence reflects a Son like brilliance through your life, as you choose to walk in the “ministry of reconciliation”. 

Friends, God is forever near, and “He is our present help in times of trouble.” Ref. (Ps 46:1.) We all have a choice to make.  Which side of history will you be counted on?  Will you be remembered as the group who makes history and ushers in the love of God, or will you be numbered in the group who tried to erase history?  

Jesus is the Only Way that true peace and reconciliation will ever be found. Col 1:17 (ESV); “And He is before all things, and in Him, all things hold together!”

Search your heart, don’t be hesitant to ask God if there is any animosity or prejudice residing within your heart, that will get in the way of His Love for you and others. 

Act 17:26 (MEV) “He has made from one blood every nation of men to live on the entire face of the earth, having appointed fixed times and the boundaries of their habitation”.

I want to thank my beautiful wife, Clare, a student of the Word of God for inviting me to be the first guest blogger on Boldly for Him.  Thank you, my love! “Be Strong and Live Free…. Boldly For Him!”

 

Mark Matthews

 

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