Gather the Outcasts

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

We Are Open For Attack

Dear beloved:  Isaiah speaks that one of the results of fasting and prayer will be that the glory of the Lord will take up position as your rear guard.  Isaiah 58:8 Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your recovery will speedily spring forth; And your righteousness will go before you; The glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.  The rear guard is a military term that defines a military unit that is charged with protecting the rear of the main unit of troops who are either advancing or withdrawing.  Their duty is to keep the enemy at bay and protect the flow of travel, supply, and communication, and to keep the enemy from coming in and attacking from the rear.  When the glory of the Lord is our rearguard, we don't need to look back to see if the enemy is moving in on territory we have already moved through and taken; we can keep our eyes focused ahead for the territory that is out in front of us, we can move forward with boldness and confidence; the Lord literally "has our back."

As we commemorate the 40th year of Roe vs. Wade and the resulting death of 54 million infants murdered in the womb, the Lord wants  us all to pray and  meditate on the payment that must be made for the shedding of all that innocent blood. Genesis 9:6 "Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man. v 7 "And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it." . The children of Israel were guilty of the same offense and the Lord eventually allowed their enemies to come in and remove them from their land. Psalm 106:37 They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons, v38 and shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and their daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with the blood. v39 Thus they became unclean in their practices, and played the harlot in their deeds. When we as individuals and as a nation choose to rebel against God's warning and clear message given in His word, we can expect repercussions to come in ways we never imagined, for the payment must come from us who shed the blood.

The Lord gave me a dream in 2010 that showed we are in that place of vulnerability to attack from the rear. In the dream, I was standing behind the platform at a campaign rally listening to President Obama speak.  There was great enthusiasm and support for his message.  Suddenly, someone came rushing in from the back of the platform with a spear in his hand, and he lunged the spear into the President's back.  I believe the Lord was showing that the President, who is the Commander in Chief of our defense forces, and therefore in the dream represents the defense of this nation.  The Lord revealed that  because of our shedding of innocent's blood and other policies that represent  unclean practices in this nation, we are wide open to attack. Beloved, pray today that we will forsake this scourge of shedding innocent's blood, that  the Lord will once again take up His position as our rearguard..  God bless you as you pray, in Christ, Jim

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Walk in the Spirit pt7: More on Prayer and Fasting

Dear beloved:  God wants to use you to help shape the destiny of not only yourself, but also of your family, your community, and your nation, and possibly even other's nation.  In the tenth chapter of the book of Daniel, Daniel is seen (v2) fasting and mourning for three entire weeks. v3 I did not eat any tasty food, nor did meat or wine enter my mouth, nor did I use any ointment at all, until the three entire weeks were completed.  Daniel was then given a vision of the Messiah, who spoke to him in verse 11.  And he said to me, "O Daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words that I am about to tell you and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you." And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling.  v12 Then he said to me, " Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words." v13 "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia. v14 Now I have come to give you understanding of what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to the days yet future."

So we see that because of his fasting and mourning, Daniel was drawn into a spiritual battle much larger than himself, beyond anything that he knew about or was planning for.  Beloved, when we fast and pray, God unites our prayers with the battle plan that He has laid out in heaven for His kingdom to come here on earth!.  As you cry out to God through your fast, God sees and sends His angels to fight on your behalf against the powers, principalities, and rulers of darkness that rule in the demonic realm over the kingdoms of the earth. What a blessing to know that God wants to use you in ways you never thought or imagined to shape the destiny of nations.  As the doors then open for you to go forth, you will be walking into the territory that God has prophetically declared victory, and He will use you to carry His banner.

Last year God opened the door for me to go to Goma, Republic of Congo, a city that is the focal point of rebel insurgency on the east side of the Congo.  Because of the danger there and lack of security, we were originally denied visas to enter the country,  but God had strategically placed a man on our team who was able to get our visas approved, so God opened up door one. Then after three days of meetings in Goma, we had a heavenly visitation on the last night of the crusade, and God allowed a little meeting with 1,000 people in attendance to be blown up and shown on Immanuel TV to homes all over the Congo; He multiplied our efforts a thousand fold so many could see the glory of God filling that place.  The rebel army, which was perched right outside the city, eventually made entry into the city, but miraculously left 7 days later;  that was the move of God I was expecting as a result of the heavenly visitation, and a direct answer to the prayers of the saints in Goma and our team from Nairobi.  Beloved, when you pray and fast as Daniel did, expect the unexpected, expect God to move, and praise Him all the while you are fasting, and before and after you see the victory!  May God bless you this day as you pray.  in Christ, Jim

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Walk in the Spirit pt6: More on Prayer and Fasting

 Dear beloved: Jesus said in Matthew 6:17, "But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face, v18 so that you may not be seen fasting by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who is in secret will repay you."  The anointing of the head represents the symbolic setting aside, or consecration, of yourself to the work and service of the Lord.  It unites us with the priests of the Old Testament, such as Aaron, where we see that in their consecration ceremony, the same washing and anointing of oil was done to them by Moses.  Leviticus 8:6 Then Moses had Aaron and his sons come near, and washed them with water. v12 then he poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron's head and anointed him, to consecrate him.

God wants to give you greater authority to be a portal of entry for His kingdom here on this earth; Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.  When you fast and pray, and have anointed and washed yourself to consecrate yourself to the work and service of the Lord, God hears your prayers and sees your heart; He then has the plan in mind to give you the authority to repair, rebuild, and restore that which has been broken on earth.  Isaiah 58:12 "And those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; You will raise up the age old foundations; And you will be called a repairer of the breach, The restorer of the streets in which to dwell."  Your Father, who is in secret, will unite your heartcry with His plan for not only your family, but also your community, nation, and the world, as He links your prayer with the heartcry of those whose walls are torn down, whose foundations are crumbling and need shoring up, and whose streets are not safe to dwell in or walk down.

During a Daniel fast about 5 years ago, the Lord gave me a vivid dream to show me where I would be going to help repair the breach and raise up the age old foundations.  In the dream I was standing on a platform preaching to thousands of African people; every face was black except for mine, so I immediately knew it was Africa where He was sending me.  Between me and the crowd of people were about 40 men in blue shirts and red hats, some I recognized as men that I minister to in the state prison where I have been preaching for many years.  The Lord was showing me that they were going to be the intercessors for the mission,  the ones I would rely on to stand with me day and night in the prayer battle for the hearts of the African nations. Behind me on the platform was a big open slat wooden corn bin, similar to the kind frequently seen on farms throughout the midwest, and it was full to overflowing with ears of field corn; He was showing me that He would be my provision for all that would be needed to finance the missions to preach to the nations in Africa.  In my left hand I was holding a white bag that also had ear corn in it, I was taking out of the big bin and filling the little bag in my hand to finance each trip; on the front of the white bag was written the words 'Revelation 22'.  In my right hand I was holding a bible, God's word to pierce the hearts of the African people, and I was to be the conduit for His word to peirce their hearts.

When I preached a crusade in Kibera, the big slum in Nairobi two years ago, I took a white bag out with me each night when preaching, and the front of the bag had written on it 'Revelation 22'.  The pastors of Kibera came to me after the first night and said, "Jim, you have great authority to preach here, the people stayed and listened and were hungry for the word."  Before the crusade was over, nearly 800 people gave their lives to the Lord, and many received healing and deliverance.  The breaches in the walls of Kibera were being repaired!  The Lord orchestrated every detail of the trip, and I told the precious people of Kibera, "I am not here out of any good idea of my own, but it is the Lord who has directed my steps. I am here out of prophetic declaration."  Beloved, seek the Lord in prayer and fasting today, ask Him to direct your steps and expand your territory, then be ready to walk through the open doors into those streets which need restoring.  May God bless you this day, in Christ, Jim

Friday, January 18, 2013

Walk in the Spirit pt5: More Prayer and Fasting

Dear beloved: We are talking about the practical aspects of day to day walking in the Spirit, what it means to walk it out in your daily walk with the Lord. The first part of walking in the Spirit is daily prayer, and then on those occasions when more clarity or deliverance is needed, fasting is added to the prayer regimen. Fasting deals with our pride, our boasting, our inclination as humans to exalt ourself rather than to continually honor God in all things. Fasting is truly afflicting our soul, not for the attention of men to gain their favor, but for asking God for mercy and His protection. Isaiah says in Isaiah 58:6 "Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; You will cry, and He will say, 'Here I am.'. If you remove the yoke from your midst; The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness. v10 And if you give yourself to the hungry, And satisfy the desire of the afflicted, Then your light will rise in darkness, And your gloom will become like midday."

As you humble yourself, you also take on a heart of gratitude, you will become thankful for every little thing that the Lord has given you, from the air and the sunshine on your face, to the food and water that sustain you on a daily basis. As you quit pointing your accusing finger at others in an attempt to exalt yourself, you will then release them from any burdens of expectation and control over them that you may have been practicing. God loves a humble and a contrite heart and when you fast and pray your heart will become tender and contrite, the hardness of all the yokes and bonds of wickedness will begin to fall off. David speaks it in Psalms 51:16 "For Thou desires not sacrifice; else I would give it: Thou delights not in burnt offering. v17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, Thou will not despise."

Years ago during a period of fasting the Lord dealt with my pride, as I had let pride and boasting creep into my spirit. The Lord spoke to me in the night in an audible voice that woke me up from a deep sleep, "Deuteronomy 8!" I immediately got up and went to my Bible, and realized that the Lord was speaking to me about the boasting about the organic farm and business that I had successfully built up. Deuteronomy 8 is a warning given to the children of Israel, before He took them into the promised land, about staying humble and thanking the Lord for all things given to them. Deut 8:11 Beware lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today; v12 lest, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them, v13 and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and all that you have multiplies, v14 then your heart becomes proud, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. As you pray and fast today, give the Lord thanks for delivering you from the house of slavery into His bountiful land! God bless you, in Christ, Jim

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Walk in the Spirit pt 4: More on Fasting and Prayer

Dear beloved: We are talking about the first leg of walking out a Spirit led life, that leg being daily prayer to our heavenly Father.  There are also times when we want to cry out in our prayers for more clarity, more mercy and supplication, or when we are more desperate for answers.  Jesus knew those times would come, so He instructed the disciples on fasting, immediately after the instruction on prayer in the sermon on the mount, Matthew 6:16-18. v16 "And whenever you fast..." implies that we will be fasting at times to magnify our prayer life.

Isaiah also speaks for the Lord regarding fasting in Isaiah 58:6 "Is this not the fast which I choose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the  bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke?"  Isaiah is saying that when we fast, the chains and bonds of wickedness will drop off as you come face to face with the enemy of your soul and cry out to the Lord.  Those agreements you have made with the enemy that result in oppression of your freedom and joy will be broken and you will be set free!  In every situation the Lord is powerful and mighty to save.  The prophecy concerning Jesus in Isaiah 61 tells it all:  v1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, and freedom to the prisoners, v2 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn v3 To grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of a spirit of fainting.  So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, the He may be glorified.

Several years ago I was crying out to the Lord for my family, as I was seeing a drift away from the Lord in my children.  And so I decided to do an Esther fast of three days no food or water, the same fast Queen Esther proclaimed for herself and her people to prevent the enemy from destroying her people. (Esther 4:16).  After three days the Lord took me up in  the Spirit, in a dream at night, and set me down beside the river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb. (Rev.22:1)  As I kneeled down beside the beautiful river, bubbling down from the mountain of God, the Lord put a water pitcher in my hand and had me dip out of the river over and over, and pour the water down my parched throat and body.  The Lord was saying to me, " I have heard your pleas for yourself and your family, it is time now to drink, for whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst again; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life."  Isaiah sums it up in verse 9 of chapter 58, "Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; You will cry, and He will say, 'Here I am'.   Beloved, seek the Lord today that He may say to you, 'Here I am'.  God bless you, in Christ, Jim

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Walk in the Spirit pt 3: Fasting and Prayer

Dear beloved: Immediately after instructing the disciples on how they should pray to the Father in heaven, in the sermon on the mount, Matthew 6:5-15, Jesus then launches into another topic of instruction for them: how you are to fast.  This instruction was given to them in conjunction with prayer because that is the way Jesus saw it himself, that fasting and prayer are to be considered as a powerful tandem of weapons for defeating the enemy of our souls, and at the same time moving us forward in the Kingdom of  God.  Jesus walked this out in His own life and ministry, in Matthew 4:1 then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil, v2 and after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. Soon after this time of fasting and prayer, Jesus launched His public ministry, in the power and strength of the Holy Spirit, Matt 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand."

And so, if this is the example Jesus has set for us, it would be well for us to pay heed and to follow His example by fasting and praying in our own life, to rejuvenate and rededicate our walk with Him, as well as to receive revelation and instruction for future ministry and personal endeavors.  He told the disciples, Matthew 6:17 "But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face v18 so that you may not be seen fasting by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will repay you."   He repeats the same basic instruction that He gave the disciples when He spoke to them regarding prayer; the Father,who is hidden and dwells in the secret place, will be revealed to you when you fast and pray, and when the Father sees you He will then repay (reward) you for your sacrifice through answered prayer. So Jesus does not offer fasting up as an optional exercise, for twice he says, "and when you fast", implying that we will come to the point of understanding that fasting is a necessary part of walking in the Spirit.

Several years ago I decided to go on a 21 day Daniel fast, to intercede for my family and also to pray for revelation and direction for the ministry.  When I got to day 21, I was ready to end the fast, but the Lord spoke clearly for me to go on to 40, He said, "I have more for you than what you have received".  So in obedience I decided to go on to 40 days.  On the 28th day I received a call from a prophetess of the Lord, a lady with whom I had never spoken before in my life.  She proceeded to prophesy 21 different points over my life, my family, the ministry, and open doors the Lord wanted to take me through.  My cell phone eventually went dead after one and a half hours of prophetic revelation, and my life was changed for all time.  Within weeks after ending the 40 days of fasting some of the points of prophecy began to come to pass, and I quickly came to see that, yes, the Father did have alot  more in store for me.  The Holy Spirit has taken me into Africa and some of the other places that were prophesied over me, where I, too, have been able to proclaim, " repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!"  Beloved, fast and pray as you start the new year, even for just a day or two if you have never fasted before, and your Father, who is in the secret place, will see you in the secret place and repay you. May God bless you as you pray this day,  in Christ, Jim

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Walk In the Spirit pt 2

Dear beloved:  The first part of our walk in the Spirit that leads us into more intimacy with God is daily prayer, that time we set aside to commune with Him in the secret place of our physical and spiritual life.  Jesus emphasized the secret place in prayer in Matthew 6:6, when He said, "go into your prayer closet, and when you have shut the door, pray to the Father who is in secret; and the Father who sees in secret will repay you (give you your reward)."  So He is saying you have to separate yourself physically, get away from the noise and commotion, close the door behind you and then start talking, communicating, with your Father who is in heaven, who is in secret.  The implication here with the word secret is that our Father is secluded and hidden from view, and He is only accessible to those who are initiated into the silence of His presence.  One of the main reasons people have an empty spiritual life is they never get away from the noise of all the electronic gadgets and  busyness of their life to get quiet with God.  God speaks in the still, small voice, the voice that is hidden from us in our normal, fast paced lives.  So when you seperate yourself physically, you also then are in position to seperate yourself in the secret place spiritually.

As you then begin to speak or commune with the Lord, Jesus goes on to say it is not the number or amount of words that is important, for "your heavenly Father knows what things you are in need of even before you ask Him."  So, if He knows your needs even before you ask, then you might ask, "what is the point in even asking?"  And that is the point of prayer; it brings us into His presence, into position before Him, where we can come to a place of agreement with Him, that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Jesus says in John 14:13 " and whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. v14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it."  So He is encouraging us to send requests back to the Father, that which the Father has already declared in  His will for your life, your family, your nation, your ministry, to be on this earth; and that when you ask in the name of the Son, the Father who is in heaven will be glorified by seeing His will accomplished through you. For several years when I was really seeking the Lord for my life and ministry, I prayed for hours a week a very simple prayer, "Lord, show me Your way."  The Lord certainly did show me His way, through dreams and visions, open doors and strengthening of my walk with Him, that intimacy that my heart longed for.

Jesus goes on to give us assurance that the Father will hear our prayer and answer our prayers.  Matthew 7:7 " Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and your shall find; knock, and the door shall be opened unot you. v8, For everyone who asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks the door shall be opened."  Beloved, know that God's will for your life is that He wants to bless and prosper you, to give you hope and a future.  Get in your secret place and ask the Lord for His will to be done in your life; pray His will back to Him, and then get ready to walk it out through the open doors.  In the next post I will talk about adding fasting with your prayers to make it even more powerful and Spirit filled.  May God bless you as you pray today, in Christ, Jim

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Walk in the Spirit: A Plan For Spiritual Intimacy

Dear beloved:  As we venture forth into the New Year 2013, I think it is safe to say we all desire to be more intimate in our walk with the Lord.  This is a resolution that I believe we all have in our hearts, whether spoken or just a heartcry that we cry out to the Lord in our quiet times and in the secret place.  It is certainly the will of God that we walk closer with Him, so we can rest in peace in knowing that whatever effort and sacrifice we put forth will be multiplied and blessed by Him.  I have a plan for the coming year called walk in the Spirit that will propel you into a more joyful walk with Him, and free you to move into your destiny in the kingdom.

Paul says in Galatians 5:16 But I say, walk in the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. v17 for the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please (the things that move you forward in kingdom destiny).  And so, Paul encourages us to walk in the Spirit, that is to be continually Spirit saturated and Spirit led, so that you will not be distracted and led astray by the enticements of the flesh. For we all know those fleshly pursuits lead to death and destruction and subvert the plan of God for our life.  Paul goes on to say in verse 18, but if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.  He was speaking here of the Old Testament Law and the need for lawless people to be guided and corralled by the Law.  A Spirit filled life sets us free from the confines and restrictions of the law, we have no need for it because our life is led by love for God and for other people in our life.  So in practical day-to-day sense what does it mean to be led by the Spirit and therfore walk in the Spirit? 

I see three main streams or branches of a Spirit led life, each extremely important in its own right, but when taken together produce in us the wholeness of abundant life that Jesus had in mind for us when He said He came to give us life, and life abundantly.  The three branches of the Spirit led life are these: 1) daily communing with the Lord through prayer, 2) daily reflection and meditation by receiving counsel from His word, and 3) consistent fellowship with the saints in church or group bible study.  These three aspects of walking in the Spirit are like the legs of a three legged stool, without any one of the legs the stool falls over, but with all of them in place the stool can withstand any kind of pressure or pushing against it.   Paul goes on to describe the fruits of the Spirit led life: v22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, v23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  Again, Paul emphasizes a Spirit led life is above the need for the condemnation, confines, and constrictions of the law, it is a life that is led by the love of the Lord Jesus and His desire for us to reach out to others to bring glory to His Name in our life. In the posts in the days ahead on this blog I will go into greater detail on each of the three legs of the Spirit led chair, so we can see in practical steps how to move into this "lifestyle" for our life.
May God bless you as you pray today.  in Christ, Jim