Dear Passion and Fire family,
Here we are and still in the middle of a pandemic and yet we have been encouraged as we see the outpouring of love and radical acts of kindness coming from many of you. It’s been amazing to see how people have pulled together to help one another and the sacrifices being made among those on the frontlines. If you’re one of those we thank you! You know who you are!
I think the one big thing we’re all learning during this time is to trust the Lord more fully! From shortages on toilet paper and hand sanitizer to more serious problems such as the loss of precious friends and loved ones. And our hearts go out to you if you’ve lost a loved one. We’re praying for those who have lost loved ones and those who are sick with this virus every day. We have had received some amazing testimonies of healings and so we want to encourage you to join us in believing for more to be healed. The Lord is still in the healing business. Even when you don’t see it, He’s working (as the song goes), the Lord is working. I believe that He’s using this time to awaken our hearts and drawing us closer to Him.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had to stop listening to all the theories and stories that are being propagated these days. They are all so confusing and we know that God is not the author of confusion. 1 Cor. 14:33 Confusion never promotes peace, but in the midst of all that’s happening in the world of Co-vid we have an incredible hope. Jesus! He loves us. As my husband often says, if He were to sleep, he would stay up all night thinking about you. But He never slumbers or sleeps (Ps. 121:1) and He lives to intercede for us (Heb. 7:25). In fact, both the Son and Holy Spirit are interceding for us right now and the Father is answering, so we’re in good shape and we WILL come through this.
A couple of nights ago I had a dream in which I saw people throughout the nations who were watching their televisions. And as they were taking in all the negative reports of deaths and theories about the virus, I watched the enemy casting shrouds over them; shrouds that looked like webs. Immediately I knew that they were webs of lies and defeat. And the people became drowsy as though they had been sedated. Instantly I knew that their minds were being poisoned with what they saw and heard. They were taking in the words of death. And as I looked on, I saw little children coming over to them ever so innocently. They would enter their homes and apartments and change their channels until they found something good to listen too. (Children can get away with it because of their innocence.) And as they did, one by one the shrouds began to melt and slip off of them and I heard a booming voice shouting, “Wake up, wake up. It’s time to wake up!”
The Lord is saying, “This is a wake- up call!” It’s time to change the channel for ourselves and others. Our life-giving words through phone calls, emails, social media can lift despondency off and break the spirit of death. Let’s flood the atmosphere with life-giving words. And let’s get the gospel out there. People are dying and need what we have, the Words of life and Jesus. Share some of the manna you gather each day. You’ll be surprised at how the Lord will use you as an agent of change. For you and I are called to change atmosphere from death to life.
Ro. 13:11-12, “It’s time for us to wake up! For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. Night’s darkness is dissolving away as a new day of destiny dawns. So, we must once and for all strip away what is being done in darkness, removing it like filthy clothes. And once for all we clothe ourselves with the radiance of light as our weapon.”
It’s time for us to be awakened!
Time to the put off darkness and turn on that radiant light that’s within. For it’s meant to be a powerful weapon to defeat the darkness over this land. Let’s wake up and encourage others to do the same!
1 Thess. 5:11 “Encourage the hearts of your fellow believers and support one another.”
The Lord is going to use your child-like faith to change the channel and the atmosphere from fear and unbelief to the channel of hope and faith in the promises of God!
God the Father is speaking to you. Are you listening?
I would characterize what many are facing right now as a wilderness or desert journey. But take heart, He will use our experiences there to cause our desert season to blossom like a rose. For in the desert the Father speaks and awakens our heart to hear. In fact, the word desert in the Hebrew means “the place of speaking”.
The question most people have when they’re led into a desert experience is why. There are ten named wildernesses in the desert wanderings of the Israelites. Every Christian will most likely go through eight of them in their lifetime. And I feel as though the one we’ve entered in this season is the wilderness of Shur.
Ex. 15:22, “Moses led Israel onward from the Red Seal into the Wilderness of Shur. For three days they trekked through the wilderness without finding water.”
Shur is a Hebrew word that means “a wall”, “hemmed in”, or limited”. God led them along a wall. They could not escape this desert. And so, none of us are escaping the wilderness of the Corona virus right now. Not one! We are in a place of restriction and limitation that’s making it impossible to move forward without a miracle!
We’re up against a wall like the Hebrews were? They had followed the cloud to a place of limitation. This was not because of their rebellion or disobedience. It was because of God’s plan to trade their limitation for His limitless grace, mercy, love and power. They and we need this for our advance. Limitations are God’s veiled opportunities for God’s miracle provisions. There is a realm of plenty just beyond our limitations. The end of your strength is the beginning of His. You could say it this way; the wilderness is simply a place in life that you don’t want to be. But it’s the place where the God of glory meets with the barren soul, showing us the deepest lessons of our life.
Here are five of those lessons that we can learn from our wilderness experiences:
1.After a new revelation, a new test will often follow
Take Jesus for instance. No sooner had He heard the heavenly voice proclaim, “You are my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”, He was led into the wilderness to face the temptation of Satan. It was the Word of God that gave Him His breakthrough.
It’s in this land of limitation that our Sonship is proven. This is your time to crawl up on His lap and find that you are truly His Son. Nothing will harm you when you find your place there, seated with Him on His throne in heavenly places.
2. Great problems often follow great victories
After a red sea there’s usually a desert. The Israelites had just been delivered from their enemy and were on their way to the promise land when three days in, they experienced a shortage of water.
After the dance of victory, we now have them bitter and complaining. At times we assume that a continual experience of victory is the norm, when in fact, it is often sandwiched between the lessons we learn from our difficulties. But the lessons are worth a life time of cure from going that way again.
3. Testing comes before resting.
When we turn our faces to Christ in the midst of pain and impossibility, character and Christlikeness are formed within us. Miracles are meant to do more than fascinate our soul; they’re meant to convince us that God’s faithfulness will not fail when the dry desert days come. The Israelites knew that God was powerful, but they did not yet know whether He was good. Christians throughout the ages have discovered that God will turn everything into good if we will but love Him through the difficulties of life.
4. In the midst of our difficulties, God designs tests that teach us His ways.
The Israelites had made a three-day trek into the wilderness when they ran out of water. So, when they saw the waters of Marah they must have been elated. But they soon became upset when they found that it was bitter and undrinkable. And so, they named it Marah which means “bitter”, “grief”, or “calamity” after the way they were feeling. They were all dry, dusty and upset. How could this happen?
“So, the people vented their anger and grumbled against Moses and said, “What are we to drink?”
The Hebrews cried out to Moses for water, but not to God. The same God that can handle the Red Sea can handle the virus of complaining. He can take the bitter waters of Marah and make them sweet. And so, we too can experience a great breakthrough and then three days later be griping about the way leadership has led us wrong. Instead we need to take it to the Father who can make right all wrongs.
5. We can shorten the wilderness by allowing God’s purpose to be fulfilled in it.
The sooner we learn the lesson of Shur, the sooner we are promoted and given the grace to move out. And although we see the wilderness as the outside influence around us it’s the wilderness within us that the Lord is really after. We must go heart deep. The beginning of your miracle is even now at work inside you.
So, I ask you this question, what is it that the Lord is doing in you right now? I believe the Lord has something personal He’s doing in every life. Are you anchored to hope? Hope in God is not a wishful fantasy. But our hope is an anchor that has gone up and inside the veil and into glory where Christ is seated on the throne. He is the anchor of our soul both sure and steadfast.
Hebrews 6:18-19 “And now let’s* run into His heart to hide ourselves in His faithfulness. This is where we find His strength and comfort, for He empowers us to seize what has already been established ahead of time-an unshakeable hope! We have this certain hope like a strong, unbreakable anchor holding our souls to God Himself.
In the midst of all of this chaos, I have had some of my best sleep in years. As a lover of God, I came to realize that we are up against a wall and all we can do is to run into His heart to be safe!
Proverbs 18:10, “The character God is a tower of strength, for the lovers of God delight to run into His heart…”
Notice that it’s His character that is our tower of strength. “Tower of strength” is the Hebrew word “Migdal. It’s a homonym that can also be translated “bed of flowers”. When His character is perfected in us it becomes like a bed of flowers; fragrant, and peaceful. A beautiful resting place for our souls.
The other morning as I awoke, I was singing this song:
“You are our hearts desire. Come as our healer. Shout your name over us! No one wants to make things right more than You. Have it Your way. Do what You long to do. I still believe that anything can happen when You move. So, would you come and move here!
This is what He’s saying to you right now. He’s asking for you to believe that He’s your healer, your redeemer and that He’s awaking your heart to trust His love for you during this difficult season. May your heart be awakened!
So, stand firm in Me until I have become your confidence. Set your eyes upon Me and don’t be worried about your future and your calling, for I am the God who begins and completes, the Alpha and the Omega. Lean into me and lean into My Word and find all that you need. The rest I bring will be sweet to your soul. Let Me arrange your priorities and remove your distractions. Your true life is discovered when you lean into Me. Weakness disappears and worries vanish when you lean into me. And I will cause My strength to overshadow you and it will give you the courage and discipline to move ahead. I have purposes for you that embrace eternity, and I have now begun to hasten those purposes to completion. For I have chosen you before time began to live in the fullness of My Spirit.
(Much of the portion about the wilderness that I’ve shared with you today I took from our book “The Wilderness, Where Miracles Are Born”. If you would like to purchase a copy you can find it in our store on our web site, passionandfire.com. I would recommend it as a great tool to help you through this season.)
May 15- 17 Austin, TX, Bethel Austin (over social media)
June 5-7 Casper, WA, Hope Church
27 West Haven, CT, Gateway Christian Fellowship –
Women’s Breakfast (Candice)
28 West Haven, CT, Gateway Christian Fellowship
(Everything is subject to change, especially during the pandemic. To get more info and updates about our schedule go to our calendar at passionandfire.com
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Brian has finished half of the book of Jeremiah. And I have finished my work on rewriting ‘The Dreamer’. I am writing the forward now and keeping up with my editing of Jeremiah.
We’re very thankful for our good health and our ability to have this extra time to write. We’re also being inundated with requests to do webinars and Brian has done several radio spots as well. It’s fun connecting with people all over the globe this way. Thank you for your prayers!
Of course, you can find the Translation & some of our books on audio. And look for other information at our passionandfire.com site. If you’re one of our Aussie friends, you can purchase the translation and all the books from Korong and amazon.com.au and our Canadians friends can purchase them at amazon.com.ca.
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Yours for transformation,