No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up there on, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there. (Isaiah 35:9 NKJV).
Read Isaiah 35 and be blessed!
As we remember the death by crucifixion and celebrate the resurrected life of Jesus, think about one of the last things He said. In John 19:20, He stated, “It is finished.” What was finished? Jesus had completed what He stepped out of heaven to accomplish. He had redeemed us. He bought back our lives. He saved us to be whole, healed and complete in Him.
Isaiah 35 is one of the most beautifully painted pictures of the finished work of Jesus on the cross. This is what the King of Kings bought back for us:
We shall see the Glory of the Lord. We shall see the excellency of the Lord. He will strengthen the weak hands. He will make firm the feeble knees. To the fearful hearted He says: Be strong! Do not fear! God will come with vengeance. God will come with recompense. God will save you. The eyes of the blind shall be opened. The ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. The lame shall leap like a deer. The tongue of the dumb will sing. The waters shall burst forth in the wilderness. Streams will be in the desert. The parched ground shall become a pool. The thirsty land springs of water. A highway shall be there and a road. The road will be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it. It is for others. The redeemed will walk there. Whoever walks the road, although a fool, Shall not go astray. No lion shall be there. No ravenous beast can go up on it. It will not be found there. The ransomed of the LORD shall return. The ransomed of the LORD come to Zion with singing. Everlasting joy will be on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness. Sorrow and sighing shall flee away. (Isaiah 35:3-10 NKJV)
Jesus is the Way! He made a better way for us, the Highway. In Him we have ALL that Isaiah 35 says. He is our strength. We do not have to fear. He is the God of impossible. He pours into the dry places in us and life springs up. God has saved us and will save us every time. NO LION will be there or any ravenous beast because he defeated the beast! Cancer is a ravenous beast. C-19 is a ravenous beast. Addiction is a ravenous beast. Worry is a lion that roars loudly. All authority is His. He obliterated every obstacle. He cleared the way and made a way for us to live life abundantly with Him here and now and for all eternity! Everlasting joy! Glory to God. And thank you Father!
I encourage you to think about this. “It was our weaknesses He carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought His troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for His own sins! 5 But He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. 6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on Him the sins of us all.” (Isaiah 53:4-6 NLT) He made the way where NO LION will be there! Oh, wait. I hear the roar! The LION OF JUDAH IS here with us every step of the way, but no other! HAPPIEST EASTER.
There is nothing like the hugs of my husband, but his hugs are different. You know what I mean? My Papa Abney was a big man. He was a larger-than-life man to me. He used to give the best hugs. They were all encompassing bear hugs. When he embraced you, he was giving you all the love he had at that moment. He held nothing back.
On January 14, 2021 the Holy Spirit collided several verses together and showed me how the love of our heavenly Father encompasses us.
This “rabbit trail” began as I was looking at the necklace my precious daughter-in-law to be gave me for Christmas. It is a gold pendant that has “4110” on it. She said that she had scanned my blog and that Isaiah 41:10 was a verse she noticed that I often used.
“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ … For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’ (Isaiah 41:10, 13 NKJV)
As I pondered over 41:10 and I read further to 41:13, a picture came into my mind. The Lord is holding us up with His right hand and holding our right hand. For this to happen, He is either bear hugging us like the picture above to the left or He is holding us up with His right hand and looking at us face to face and pulling us gently into Him by holding our right hand. Either way, He has us in a bear hug and He is not letting go. The word of God tells us over and over again that He is with us and that He will never forsake us.
An example is when Moses speaks these words to Joshua in Deuteronomy 31:6, 8 (NKJV):
“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you.He will not leave you nor forsake you.” … 8 “And the LORD, He [is] the One who goes before you. He will be with you;He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”
And, the word of God says that He is with us. It also promises in Isaiah 52:12 that He goes before us and He has got our back.
“For you shall not go out with haste, Nor go by flight; For the LORD will go before you, And the God of Israel will be your rear guard.”
And again, in Isaiah 58:8 (NKJV):
“Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.”
Not only does God hold us up with His right hand, go before us, guard our backside, Psalm 118:6 (KJV) tells us that He is also on our left side and our right side.
The LORD [is] on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?
Do you see it? Do you see the all-encompassing love of God, as you look into His eyes full of compassion? Can you feel the warmth of His adoring touch? Can you hear His strong, mighty, and comforting voice through the collision of all these scriptures? Can you hear Him gently saying: “I got you; I will hold you up?” Can see in His caring face His encouraging you to be strong and repeating over and over again, “Do not be afraid.”
I enCOURAGE you to spend some time today meditating on the “bear hug of God.” The Lord God who loved us so much that He gave His only Son as an exchange for us. Jesus died so that we could live and have a loving relationship with God, the Creator of the whole universe and God who is LOVE. The God that I know wants this kind of relationship with you! Bask in His love. He has you covered on all sides and holds you tightly in His loving arms.
Benaiah was the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man from Kabzeel, who had done many deeds. He had killed two lion-like heroes of Moab. He also had gone down and killed a lion in the midst of a pit on a snowy day. (2 Samuel 23:20 NKJV)
My last encouragement was about fasting. Take a journey with me. Allow me to outline how mightily God showed Himself and directed me in the first week of the fast in 2021. I felt like Isaiah in Isaiah 6:5, I literally became “undone” at how Holy Spirit wove all this together. Remember, faith comes by hearing.
“The Lord will RESTORE THE ROAR of these battle-weary ones. He is raising them up in FIERCE BOLDNESS. There is not only a complete restoration, healing, deliverance, and resurrection coming upon these, but FIERCE BOLDNESS to declare and speak the word of the Lord and the revelation of heaven with such accuracy, such conviction and such power, that it will cause the kingdom of darkness to shake and tremble. These ones were HUNTED by the enemy, but the resurrection power of God is coming upon them so strongly right now that they are now becoming the HUNTERS. They are the ones being sent out on assignment from the Lord with the ROAR of the Lion of Judah within them and through them that will bring an OVERTURNING to the enemy’s plans.”
January 6, 2021: A podcast from Ana Werner and Lana Vawser I heard:
RESOLUTE ONES HOLD onto your promise! (You know, RESOLUTE is my word.)
A warrior filled with wisdom ascends into the high place and releases regional breakthrough, bringing down the strongholds of the mighty.” (Proverbs 21:22 TPT)
We are warriors in the kingdom.
Later the same day, I learned about an inspirational, valiant character in the Bible that I knew absolutely nothing about, Benaiah. I first heard of him from my son, Parker. On Park’s first day as an Operations Volunteer with the Austin Peay State University football team, he learned about Benaiah from the head football coach, Scotty Walden. He came home and shared the story with me. The team’s mantra is “Chase the Lion.” Scotty encouraged the team to “have an attitude of ATTACK in everything they do and, when faced with opportunity or adversity, run to the fight and not away from it.” This mantra was all based on the story of Benaiah.
I did some research and found out that not a lot is said about Benaiah in the Bible. One would be led to believe from the few things that were said that he was a fearless warrior. And he took after his valiant grandfather, in that he was bold, brave and courageous. I mean… he went on the defense, chased and killed a lion in a pit on a snowy day. Hello? HE CHASED THE LION! We are also told that he killed two Moab heroes that were as strong and brave as lions. And like David, he killed his own, seven-foot tall, Egyptian giant by plucking a spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and slaying his enemy with his own spear. Benaiah seemed fearless. His exploits earned him favor as one of David’s might men. He was given charge of David’s bodyguards (2 Samuel 23:23). Later, after his faithful service, he was named commander-in-chief of Solomon’s army.
The amazing thing about God is He KNOWS ME and you, and Holy Spirit always confirms His word. He knows that for us to really get what He is saying, He is going to have to hammer it home and tell us more than once. It’s like confirming appointment. He sets the appointment, but He always follows up, if there is somewhere He really wants me to be.
January 8, 2021: Within days of Parker telling me about Benaiah, Dutch Sheets in his, “Give Him 15” devotional, also shared about him. He stated that Benaiah had a warrior’s heart and that we are called to have one, too. Isn’t that what Proverbs 21:22 said?
Take-a-way lessons from Benaiah, the lion and the word:
A warrior rises, brings breakthrough in their life and the lives of others, and brings down the mighty.
We are determining to become fierce, bold, warrior hunters in Him.
“He is always using past experiences to prepare us for future opportunities. But those God-given opportunities often come disguised as man-eating lions. And how we react when we encounter those lions will determine our destiny. We can cower in fear and run away from our greatest challenges. Or we can chase our God-ordained destiny by seizing the God-ordained opportunity.”-from Mark Batterson’s, In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day
With resolute, focused, ferocious faith, we are to attack everything we do.
Run to the fight not away from it.
CHASE THE LION!
Like Benaiah, praise God, I have valiancy in my lineage! My great grandmother Mary Willie Veal Hewell was a “Benaiah.” She was something else. She was a warrior in her own way. She was sassy, obstinate, stubborn, strong, bold, brave and courageous. She was a protector. I do not believe she was afraid of anything. When she was in her seventies, I saw her more than once chase down a rattle snake with a hoe. I do not know how she would do it, but she would chop the head right off the snake with her hoe. I do remember that. What an example she was to me!
Who fearlessly chases the lion and the rattlesnake? The one who God has built up. Benaiah translated means, “Jehovah has built,” or “Yahweh has built up.” God builds us up step by step and from glory to glory. I want to be a warrior in the kingdom of God. I want to walk by faith on the rattlesnakes of my life. How about you?
I enCOURAGE you to chase your lion into the snowy pit. Be a bold, brave, courageous warrior in the kingdom of God. Walk by faith. He goes before you, stands behind you and is beside you every step of the way. CHASE THE LION and the rattlesnake!
“However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” (Matthew 17:21 NKJV)
Who wants to talk about disciplining their body, said no one ever? However, fasting has become a very important part of my life. I fast each year at the beginning of the year for at least the first 21 days. (I also fast, as called to do so, during the year.) I have been doing this for the last five years. It is a way for me to kick off the year solely focused on the Lord. It is way to get the things to go out that need to go out and to call the things in that need to come in. It is a practice in self-control and discipline. Sometimes, I do a full fast with no food, just water and juices. Sometimes, I give up a certain group of foods. Sometimes, I do the Daniel fast. I gave up desserts in a fast in August of 2020 and I am still withstanding. I loved desserts. I do not think I ever met a dessert that I did not love. You would think with that cutting out sugar and with the loss of smell that I would be skinny by now. I am not…yet. (I lost 90% of smell a year of two before covid hit with some strange sickness like c-19. It has not returned.)
All this to say… great revelation, great breakthrough, great pain and great change have been results of a fast. I have come to realize that the fast is also a great time of acceleration. It lives up to its name, FAST. As I honor the Lord in prayer and fastingt, the Holy Spirit pours into me sometimes faster than I think I can receive. January has become one of my favorite times with the Lord. Our relationship is always strengthened and grows during these times set apart to our great God.
I strongly enCOURAGE you to fast and pray before the Lord. It is a time when you can focus on Him, deny yourself, pour yourself out to Him and hear clearly all He has to say. AND…great things always come out of a fast!!!
Below are some links about fasting and a link to a couple of good books about fasting, if you are interested.
But she who is married cares about the things of the world–how she may please [her] husband. 35 And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction. (1 Corinthians 7:34-35 NKJV)
Excerpt from journal January 7, 2021: Yesterday, in the place of silence…the potty. The place where God LOVES to speak to me. I loudly heard in my spirit… “I AM NOT DONE!” My response, “OK, Lord…?”
What does that mean? I take you at Your word.
Then came the verse at the bottom of my journal: “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9 KJV)
Ok, God, You are not done. I can expectantly wait to see what you are going to do!
Excerpt from journal January 8, 2021: Help me focus? So many distractions! Help me?! This is your day! FOCUS!
Excerpt from journal January 9, 2021: It is 10:13 AM I AM STILL DISTRACTED. I have fed my brain junk information from social and regular media outlets since 4 AM. IT STOPS NOW. I OCCUPY MY DINING ROOM. SPIRIT OF DISTRACTION BE GONE. I EVICT DISTRACTION in Jesus name.
10:59 AM -Prayed through this—- Ugh! Ok——-DISTRACTION is gone. Let’s go.
Have you ever felt this way? Husband calling for one thing, kid’s calling for another and parents another. The news we hear from the media is all bad. The people of the United States seem to have lost their minds. Things seem out of control and whirling. How can all this be happening? When this happens, we have to stop. When this happened to me, the Holy Spirit taught me to EVICT DISTRATCTION.
The Greek word for distraction is perispaō. It literally means drug all around; drawn away, to be driven about mentally; to be over-occupied; too busy, about a thing,
The Websters 1828 Dictionary definition of distract:
Literally, to draw apart; to pull in different directions, and separate. Hence, to divide; to separate; and hence, to throw into confusion.
To turn or draw from any object; to divert from any point, towards another point or toward various other objects.
To draw towards different objects; to fill with different considerations; to perplex; to confound; to harass.
Satan has a plan. He wants to drag us all around, busy us and literally pull us apart. His mission is to distract and draw our attention away from what should be our main focus, Jesus. Why do you think we are told so many times in scripture to behold, look, listen and to pay attention? Jesus has another plan. Jesus took back the keys of the kingdom and he gave us authority over the enemy.
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. (Matthew 28:18 NKJV)
“And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:19 NKJV)
So, when Holy Spirit told me to evict distraction, He was showing me that I have the authority to recover the mental property the devil was trying to occupy. We have been given the choice and authority to force distraction out, to bind that spirit up and kick him out the front door. I chose to do exactly that.
I enCOURAGE you not to be drug around when the disturbing winds of the enemy begin to spin around you, evict distraction! Don’t be a “Martha!”
But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” (Luke 10:40 NKJV)
by Tammy Phillips (and Lana Vawser) March 30, 2021
Can you say the title five times fast? LOL.
HOLY SPIRIT WILL USE EVERYONE AND ANYONE TO REACH YOU. I want to show you today how other brothers and sister can speak into your life, if you will open the door and allow them to speak to you on the inside. Lana Vawser is one of them for me. She is a sister in Christ that lives in Australia. I love her heart. Honestly, we do not know each other, but we have the same heavenly Father. He speaks to us in the exact same way. He often uses the exact same words. It is absolutely amazing to me. The Lord has used her to confirm many things that Holy Spirit has spoken to me, and often, it is just a day or two after.
“Lana Vawser has a heart to encourage the body of Christ and individuals in their walks with Jesus; deeper intimacy with Him; and learning to hear His voice. Lana operates in the prophetic and loves to share the heart of God with others.” -Lana Vawser Ministries
I am an enCOURAGER; she is an encourager. We all should be. Remember, I told you a few days back that I had been hearing the buzz word “RESTORE,” a lot in last part of 2020 and the beginning of 2021. (I have one sister that if I say, RESOLUTE, she will say, RESTORE.) I have heard that word a lot in the past three years. I have definitely heard it a lot since the Lord told me I was an “Interior Designer” for Him. I have a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the University of Georgia in Interior Design. I never actually worked in that field, but God has shown me that He wanted me to encourage others in their “interior design,” what is on the inside. I have come to learn over the years of walking with the Lord that the inside is so much more important than the out. Don’t get me wrong, I so appreciate good interior design in the home. However, it is your temple that is the MOST important.
Can you imagine my amazement when Lana posted: “I heard the Lord thunder over many, RESTORED.” She also used the same word…REALIGN…which is another word Holy Spirit had been speaking to me. Actually, RESOLUTELY ALIGN: BE PLUMB not PLUMP is my progressive word for 2021.
As I read over her words again, I am encouraged! I “bolded” the buzz words that I have heard in my life. Actually, I am in tears! God has done EXACTLY these things in my life since this post. I am realizing that God has done exactly what He said He would do!
He is restoring, RESOLUTELY REALIGINING, refreshing, and reviving me. I was “weighed down” by the battle and by literal weight. I will share later how God spent a week or so talking to me about the “DO IT” and how on February 14, He breathed on me in the most precious way. Lastly, creativity in the assignment. He absolutely changed the how and why of my assignment of encouragement. Who wants to bare their soul and journey? He has required bold faith and courage, and told me not to be afraid, for where I guide, I provide. WOW. God you are above and beyond.
I enCOURAGE you to read the excerpt from her post below and be encouraged, too!
I HAD AN ENCOUNTER WITH THE LORD AND I HEARD HIS VOICE THUNDER OVER MANY-“RESTORED” from Lana Vawser, January 6, 2021
Over the last week, I have been taken into an encounter after encounter with the Lord where He has been speaking to me about health, healing, wholeness, freedom, and refreshing over the battle-weary saints right now. I have released a number of words in the last few days at the prompting of the Holy Spirit because He is wanting to deeply encourage those wounded warriors right now that there is a mighty move of His hand upon them to bring a refresh, reset, and realignment.
As I sat with the Lord this morning I was taken into an encounter with the Lord where He showed me a ‘word’ that was over the lives of many of His children right now.
I heard His voice THUNDER and He said: “RESTORED”.
When he spoke that word “RESTORED” the sense surrounded me so strongly that it was a DEEP, FORTIFIED restoration. This was a restoration that was unlike any restoration that these ones had experienced before. This was truly MIRACULOUS.
The hand of the Lord coming in power and strength to bring the most miraculous REALIGNMENT and RESTORATION that these ones had ever seen.
What struck me was not only the depth and demonstration of restoration that was taking place but that the restoration was MULTI-FACETED. It wasn’t just in one area, this was almost like a domino effect of restoration by the power of the Lord. I have had many words over the last year and a half about this being the era of the reintroduction of the power of God and how we are going to see that manifest in NUMEROUS ways in this new era, but one of the ways I believe God is about to demonstrate His power is through the miraculous restoration that is bursting forth. There will be NO OTHER EXPLANATION for this restoration but that it was the POWER of Almighty God.
“Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6)
I heard the Lord say “COMPLETELY restored, COMPLETELY transformed.” This level of restoration that the Lord is bringing is not ‘partial’ restoration, this is a complete restoration and complete transformation. Lacking in nothing. Overflow. Abundance.”
I hear the Holy Spirit saying “THERE WILL BE REST IN THE RESET”
RESTORATION OF JOY IN YOUR ASSIGNMENT
The Lord showed me that through the battle many have endured over the last while, they have lost their “joy” in what the Lord has called them to do.
There has been a strong feeling of ‘burnout’ and ‘hopelessness’ because of the battle, but the Lord is going to RESTORE the JOY again to that which He has called you to. How? I saw deep encounters with Jesus taking place where the Lord will remind you again of who He is, He will remind you again of the hope of your calling, the joy of what you have been assigned to, and the place of rest in Him in the deep place of intimacy that refreshes your heart and soul and brings you back to the place of joy in partnering with Him in what He has called you to do.
The enemy has fought HARD to have many of you “weighed down” by the battle and to be “overwhelmed” by the warfare and difficulty of the assignment, but the Lord is going to remind you of His grace, His empowerment, and that it is by HIS SPIRIT that you accomplish that which He has asked you to do.
There is such a deep place of rest I am seeing coming upon you for your assignments and new assignments the Lord has for you in this new era. It doesn’t mean there won’t be warfare, but the restoration of JOY in partnering with Jesus in all He has for you to do in the earth is going to refresh your heart and strengthen you afresh.
As He leads you deeper into the place of rest, you will WAR from the place of REST. You will build from the place of rest. You will run from the place of rest.
The Lord is wanting to deeply minister to your soul. It’s a deep restoration, a deep refreshment, a deep reset and revival from WITHIN that is going to change how you do things in the natural and the outworking of your calling.
The Lord whispered ‘THEY ARE COMING ALIVE AGAIN in all that I have for them to do! Oh, the JOY and LIFE that they will find again in partnering with Me and the new things I have for them to do in this new era. The enemy may have come fiercely to weary them, but the supernatural empowering restoration of My spirit is going to not only bring them back to LIFE in their calling and anointing but their capacity ‘to do’ with Me in this new era will MAJORLY increase. The JOY that I am restoring to them in the deep place of intimacy is not dependent upon anything in the natural realm, it is found in this deep well of intimacy with Me. The battle has hindered intimacy with Me for many, but I am their Beloved, I am their Avenger, I am their Defender, and I am here to restore, I am here to revive, I am here to resurrect, I am here to realign, I am here to BREATHE MY LIFE into them again. It’s time for these ones who have lost the joy of their assignment to be RESTORED to JOY and delight in partnering with Me in such deep ways.”
CREATIVITY IN THE ASSIGNMENTS WILL ERUPT
The Holy Spirit continued to whisper:
“As this restoration of JOY in Me and their assignment takes place, I am bringing them into a new realm of CREATIVE DOWNLOADS in their assignments. Creativity will begin to explode as I show them the new ways of building with Me, the new ways of partnering with Me creatively in this new era in their assignment ERUPTS into their lives from My heart. I am going to completely revamp things with My creativity in their assignments right now and for this new era, and the CREATIVE DOWNLOADS they will receive from encountering Me and My heart is going to restore such JOY in the assignment. I am releasing creative strategies to them on such a deep level, many will look and say “WOW, that is so fresh, it’s so NEW, I have NEVER seen that before.” The anointing will be so thick and so heavy, so fresh, that it will be VERY clear that it has been birthed out of My heart and the throne room of heaven. Implementing in obedience the creative strategy and downloads that I will release will not only see the power of My Spirit move to impact and change lives on a scale that has never been seen, but it will draw in the harvest in such unprecedented ways, salvation will EXPLODE all around.”
“My people, as My creative strategy is released from My heart, take it and run with it in the ways that I lead you. The ‘never been done before’ creative strategies will require bold faith and courage, but do not be afraid, for where I guide, I provide, and My favour will explode upon your obedience. Listen not to the ‘naysayers’, follow My voice and direction, and you will see the most incredible demonstrations of My creative power within your assignments and through your assignments in this hour. Oh, the joy set before you in partnering with Mein the new things I have for you. You are about to see what a creative God I really am.”
“Therefore, do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?‘ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What you shall we wear?’ 32 “For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:31-33 NKJV)
Here we go. Let’s do this.
I am going to illustrate how the Lord loved me back onto the right path. Isn’t it funny that God leads off this passagewith “don’t worry about what you are going to eat? Seek me.” We have to eat to live, but we do not have to live to eat. I thought and think about food much too often. What do you worry about? Food? Drink? Husband? Children? Family? Finances? Job? What does God say about it? “DO NOT WORRY. I KNOW. SEEK ME FIRST and then it will all fall in place.”
The number one, most important, thing in the journey is to seek God first. How do we do that?
Get into the word of God and stay there. Make it a habit. See what the Lord has to say. Read the Bible. Download a Bible ap on your phone. I know your phone is always with you. This way you can carry your Bible everywhere you go.
Commit to reading the word 15 minutes a day and grow from there. It is like exercising. You have to start somewhere. It will renew your mind and change your life.
Talk to God. Get to know Him. He wants to talk with you. Ask Him the hard questions. He can take it.
Listen to what He says. He speaks in so many different ways
Seek God in devotionals, (shameless plug… follow me at https://complete-in-him.com), books, magazines, websites, podcasts, other preachers, conferences, meetings, music…God can be found in a lot of places, if you just look for Him. I get emails from people I follow every day. A good word, a God word can be found in them.
Get in a church that preaches the whole word of God. Hear the word. Faith comes by hearing.
I purpose to seek the Lord early, every morning. It is how I start my day. Last year, on November 30, 2020, I sat at the feet of Jesus to hear what He had to say. I felt like things were different. I could not explain it. I heard Holy Spirit say:
“Time to go deeper. Dig deeper. It is hard work. It may take longer. It is a new season. Go higher and dig deeper.” Well, if you are like me, I instantly thought… digging deeper and going higher that IS going to be hard work.
Through December and January, I repeatedly heard the leading of Holy Spirit with buzz words and phrases like plumb line, new cycle, reset and refocus. They were all words leading me back to Him. I heard the “just live by faith and giants will fall.” All along I was thinking, will the giant mountain of my weight ever fall away?
I heard and read verses from the Bible like:
The way of the just is uprightness; O Most Upright, You weigh the path of the just.(Isaiah 26:7 NKJV)
I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line; (Isaiah 28:17 NIV)
Good and upright [is] the LORD; Therefore, He teaches sinners in the way. … 10 All the paths of the LORD [are] mercy and truth, To such as keep His covenant and His testimonies. (Psalm 25:8, 10 NKJV)
I kept hearing, justice, righteousness and plumb line. I spent a month studying the PLUMB LINE. If you did not read the “mini book: I wrote and posted, I encourage you to (https://wordpress.com/post/complete-in-him.com/2449). I knew that I was plump, but that I was not completely plumb nor upright before the Lord. I was off a few degrees and needed to resolutely align with Him. It has been and is a process. I sought the Lord. I heard other buzz words and phrases that increased my faith, words like restored and… Resolute One Hold onto your promise from Lana Vawser and Anna Werner (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CLNNXYxiX0)
And more verses…
“For the Lord GOD will help me; Therefore, I will not be disgraced; Therefore, I have set my face like a flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed. (Isaiah 50:7 NKJV)
He who follows righteousness and mercy finds life, righteousness, and honor. (Proverbs 21:21 NKJV)
A warrior filled with wisdom ascends into the high place and releases regional breakthrough, bringing down the strongholds of the mighty.” (Proverbs 21:22 TPT)
As I sought Him, I garnered that: The Lord will help me! He always does. I will not be ashamed that I have fallen again and have to get back up. I will follow righteousness…the Plumb Line. I will find life, the life God has called me to. I am a warrior. I seek God for wisdom. Holy Spirit told me to go higher. I am all about the breakthrough and bringing down the strongholds in my life and the lives of others. I wanted a breakthrough in the weight battle. I was hanging on the same number, but not making enough of the necessary changes to effect change.
The Lord was filling me with encouragement from all directions. He was leading me back to His loving arms.
I enCOURAGE you to SEEK HIM. You will find Him and you will find life. His open, loving arms are waiting.
Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This [is] the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left. (Isaiah 30:21 NKJV)
If you know me, you know I have battled with weight my entire life. It has been my Goliath. It is his been my mountain, literally and figuratively. I have dropped a hundred pounds twice in my life and found them again. I have shed forty to fifty pounds multiple times. I have lost ten to twenty pounds so many times that I bet it would equal a small elephant. Obviously, food has been my addiction. It was my best friend and worst enemy.
Thank God! He keeps calling me to a better life. He calls me to His best life. I get knocked down, but I get up again. The Lord keeps encouraging me to get back up again and again with scripture like…
“For the lovers of God may suffer adversity and stumble seven times, but they will continue to rise over and over again. But the unrighteous are brought down by just one calamity and will never be able to rise again.” Proverbs 24:16 TPT
Non-Christians or baby believers might have the wrong perception of Christians. They may think we are not susceptible to the fall. Wrong! I am a Christian. I am not Jesus. I am a follower of Christ, BUT I am not perfect. I am clumsy and I fall. I do not pay attention and I tumble. I lose focus on Jesus and I stumble. Just because I am a believer in Christ does not mean I always get things right or that I will never sin again. This is why Jesus! Jesus died, paid for and covered all our mistakes, wrongs, ill spoken words and actions with His precious blood. I have accepted Him and what He did for us all. My hope is that you have or will accept Him, too.
I have also learned that you do not just choose Jesus once. Salvation is not one and done. Salvation is choosing Jesus as Savior and Lord every day, in every circumstance and in every decision. I still take wrong turns in this journey of life. Don’t we all? This is where the grace of God comes in. He forgives us even though we do not deserve it. We cannot take the grace of God, His unmerited favor, lightly. We can not take His grace for granted. God paid a huge price to redeem us from our transgressions. He paid for it with His only Son’s life.
I want to talk to you about the journey. The Bible says:
“For My thoughts [are] not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9 NKJV)
God has a better plan and if we seek Him, He will instruct us and teach us the way to go (Psalms 32:8) If you will indulge me, I want to show you over the next few blogs how Holy Spirit lovingly directed my steps, turned me around, led me to repentance and back on to His High-way.
I enCOURAGE you to get up or get back up again, if you have fallen. God has a purpose and a plan for YOU. More than that… He loves YOU and wants a relationship with YOU. He wants to be your Savior and Lord, every minute of every day. What do you need to be saved from? He is there if you just call on Him.
Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of me sharing encouragements every day for 365 consecutive days online at Complete in Him.
Thank you, Father for Your Love, Jesus for your sacrifice and Holy Spirit for your inspiration, guidance and instruction. These encouragements were birthed from great pain and the loss of Brandon, my Sister, Sapphire, Sparkle, Queen Fuchsia, Stephanie Tharpe’s only son. Holy Spirit told me to keep the word before her for one year and to encourage her. I had no clue what to say at funeral much less to attempt to encourage someone who had experienced such great loss. I love you Queen F! Thanks for allowing me to share the encouragement meant for you with the world. Huge thanks to Kris, my husband, for encouraging and dealing with all of me and all that this required of me when I am writing. Thanks to my “COVER TENNESSEE IN PRAYER” sisters. Thanks to my family and friends for championing me and all who went on this journey with me. Thanks for your love, support, and encouragement! Thank you to teach of the 17,000 people in 57 countries who stopped to read what the Lord had to say in : The United States, China, Ireland, South Africa, Canada, India, the United Kingdom, France, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Turkey, Australia, the Philippines, the Netherlands, Germany, Singapore, Israel, Japan, Italy, Austria, Bulgaria, Mexico, Mauritius, Argentina, Brazil, Sweden, the Solomon Islands, Indonesia, Russia, Finland, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Jamaica, Romania, Cameroon, Kuwait , Norway, Trinidad and Tobago, Poland, Slovenia, South Korea, Pakistan, Ecuador, Columbia, Croatia, Egypt, Ukraine, Chile, Bangladesh, Belgium, Estonia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland, and Papa New Guinea.
As far as this assignment, it was a labor of love. I endured and I was faithful in my writing journey. All glory to God! The words are His and I just passed on what He shared. What a journey… I could not, nor would have done it without Him!
All this said, we have an enemy who likes to derail and keep us from God’s best for our lives. I was resolute in writing, in prayer and many areas. However, I was not resolute in my weight loss journey. Many times, I thought, “I have got this. We are doing this God!” I would repent and be faithful for a month or two and then lose focus. I had big goals for August 1, 2020 and then May 1, 2021. This time last year, I fully believed that I would attain my goal weight or be super close. I have dreamed that dream and started that journey more times than I can count on my toes and fingers.
Obviously, I did not completely surrender my eating habits to God every day or I would have achieved that goal.
I want to reiterate. THE HEALING BEGINS WITH US. I am reposting last year’s first online encouragement. It is a repost of my heart at that time and it is full circle where I am at today. Please meditate on it, as I have.
I also invite you to continue the journey with me. Share https://completeinhimcom.wordpress.com/ with others not for me, but to help build fame in the name of Jesus. Go on this healing journey with me? For now, the blog will be a little bit different. For the next few weeks, I want to share with you how the Lord has brought me full circle back to…
Healing Begins With US
by Tammy Phillips March 26, 2020
#HealingBeginsWithUS…Borrowed this hashtag from Tasha Tharpe-Patton. I love it and it hit me hard!
If each individual person will seek God, then allow God to heal their brokenness “that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:26-27 NKJV)
I know that our faith in the One and only God, and obedience to His word, will turn this world around.
The healing of our land begins with us.Our healing begins inside us.We have heard 2 Chronicles 7:14 many times since 9/11.
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV)
Have we done it? We can hear it 1,000,000 times. We must DO IT! If we want God to listen to us, we need to listen to Him and stop acting like spoiled, entitled, disobedient brats. Simply, we must believe His word and do what he says.
In 2 Chronicles 6, Solomon offered a beautiful sacrificial prayer to God dedicating the Temple. He asked God In verse 14: “Now therefore arise, O LORD God, into thy resting place, thou, and the ark of thy strength: let thy priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints rejoice in goodness.”He was asking God to occupy the temple. And, the Glory of God came.
1 Corinthians 3:16 states,“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”God has given us a better way! We are His temple. We should offer the sacrifice of prayer to our Lord. We should welcome Him to always occupy our temple! As Christians, we are called by His name. His name is written on us, just like the Temple of old. Welcome God to occupy.
I’ll borrow Solomon’s words: “O LORD God, there is no God like you in the heaven, nor in the earth; which keeps your covenant, and shows mercy unto thy servants, that walk before thee with all their hearts: For You are good; for Your mercy endures forever. You are always welcome here.”
When Solomon prayed to the Lord, the Glory came and filled the temple, but it was a few days later before the Lord answered in 7:12. “I have heard thy prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for an house of sacrifice.”Under the new covenant, He chose us as His house of sacrifice, His temple where He dwells.
The Lord continues His response through verse 22, but let’s look AGAIN at 2 Chronicles 7:14-16, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
He is talking to US! We have His name. We have to humble ourselves. The Hebrew word for humble iskana meaning, bow your knees and submit.
What in our lives do we need to submit to the Lord? What are we holding on to? My prayer today is: “Father, I do believe. Help my unbelief in the areas I need to submit to you. Help me to turn to you. Repent means turn. Repent is not… “I am sorry.” Repenting is changing your mind, turning and going in the other direction.
Good news. God has already forgiven us. We just have to ask and accept it. He has heard us and now is the time.
#HealingBeginsWithUS and then spreads across the land.
The Lord promises in 2 Chronicle 7: 15-16,“NOW mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attend unto the prayer [that is made] in this place. 16 For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there forever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.”
What a promise! I want healing. I want healing in our world. I want healing in our nation. I want healing in our states. I want healing in our communities. I want healing in our cities. I want healing in our schools, churches, marriages, families, and homes. I want healing. I want God’s eyes and heart on me all the time! He is God! Glory to his name.
I enCOURAGE you to let the #HealingBeginWithUS.Be called. Humbly bow and submit. Seek. Pray. Turn. Be heard. Be forgiven. Be healed.
I have sought, prayed, turned, am heard, forgiven and healed. Please stay tuned to see exactly how God turned my life around…again.
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who [is] above all, and through all, and in you all. (Ephesians 4:4-6 NKJV)
There is only…
One God One Spirit One Jesus One Savior One Good One Holy One Just One Righteous One Lawgiver
One man’s disobedience and many were made sinners. One man’s obedience and many were made righteous. One man’s rebellion changed the world. One man’s submission bought it back. One man’s life changed our eternity. One action saved all generations. One offering perfected the sanctified. One life brought life to all. One death brought life to all. One touch heals our brokenness. One word encourages our heart. One smile can brighten the day. One call can be life changing. One meeting can change the course of your life. One obstacle can throw you off course. One breakthrough can put you back on course. One song lifts the spirits. One flower inspires hope. One brightens the night. One sun lights the sky. One action can change everything.
One generation One person One prayer One ask One decision One sin One repent One day One hour One minute One second One can change everything.
“One man prayed, and God stopped the entire universe.”- Dutch Sheets
“One word out of the mouth of God changes everything.” -Lana Vawser
“One drop of blood changed everything.”-Alli Becker
It only takes one. Jesus is the One for us. Will you be the one who surrenders it all to the One? Will you be the one who makes one right decision? Will you be the one that makes a difference in the life of another one? Will you be the one who prays? Will you be the one to effect change?
I enCOURAGE you to be the one who makes a difference. Follow the One and His example. It only takes one.