Peace & Joy, Now!
If you’re feeling anxious, like the enemy is on every side, and/or you simply cannot muster up joy in the Lord, this word may be for you.
My dreams can be random, or nightmares (although I believe this has come to an end). Last night I had what I felt were random dreams. I continued to toss and turn with each vivid dream. I recall dreaming about…
My grandmother who passed away NINE years ago. After her passing is when the nightmares began.
A school “market”. Many people I knew and didn’t know were there; my daughters were there as well.
So much was going on all around. Then, I honed in on a gal holding a receipt. The receipt was for “butcher school” and the total was $996.
An old friend of my daughter’s was there, upset, but freed once he was able to get out into fresh air.
Then I woke up at 5:42am.
Most of the time my dreams fade away without additional thought or concern. But this morning 996 stood out to me; I sensed Holy Spirit wanted me to read Psalm 9 and Psalm 96.
Psalm 9:1 – 2 1 I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. 2 I will be filled with JOY because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.
I will praise and love with ALL MY HEART – the crux of Beyond: Living Unshakable!
I will tell of ALL the marvelous things God has done!
I will be filled with JOY because of God!
I will sing PRAISES to His Holy Name!
I read on…
Psalm 9:8 He will judge the world with justice and rule the nations with fairness.
In my Bible there is a cross-reference: Psalm 96:13. Ha! God does need me to read Psalm 96. I read on to the end of the Psalm, underlining: Those who know Your Name trust in You, for You, O Lord, do not abandon THOSE WHO SEARCH FOR YOU; For He who avenges murder cares for the helpless. He does not ignore the cries of those who suffer (thoughts of unborn babies flooded my mind and brought tears to my eyes); the Lord is known for His justice. The wicked are trapped by their own deeds. The wicked will go down to the grave. This is the fate of all the nations who ignore God. Arise, O Lord! Do not let mere mortals defy you! Judge the nations! I noted the cross-reference to 2 Chronicles 14:11.
Given the current global climate, many things came to mind and I sensed “changes, this week”. After the confirmation to visit Psalm 96, I thumbed over several pages.
Psalm 96:2 Each day proclaim the good news that He saves. 3 Publish His glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things He does. 4 Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! He is to be feared above all gods.
THIS! This is why I am always sharing the goodness of God. Not to boast in myself, but to boast in my amazingly faithful God!
Psalm 96:9 Worship the Lord in all His holy splendor. Let all the earth tremble before Him. 10 Tell all the nations, “The Lord reigns!” The world stands firm and cannot be shaken. He will judge all peoples fairly.
An alternate translations for “the world stands firm and cannot be shaken” is “the world is established; it shall not be moved”. Beyond: Living Unshakable points souls to becoming unshakable in their personal walk with Jesus while establishing His unshakable Kingdom in the earth. My heart was filled with gratitude for His confirmation. Then, then I read…
Psalm 96:12 Let the fields and their crops burst out with JOY! Let the trees of the forest sing for JOY 13 before the Lord, FOR HE IS COMING!
I was quickened at the thought of His return! I was excited reading the reference to JOY a second time! I have repeatedly been reminded of a word shared earlier in the year. On June 3 a brother in the faith shared this, regarding December 31, 2020 (just a few days away):
“Expect to receive repayment for the attacks of the enemy. God is now breaking the clouds of darkness and bringing people out of the wilderness. We will enter into a new season of joy, and God’s light is going to shine on you in a new way.”
EXPECT JOY. These are the words I have held onto since reading Doug Addison’s word. Much transpired following Addison’s word in June, but not one word God spoke regarding 2020 for my life was stolen. And while some days my joy waned, Holy Spirit caused it to wax when it especially did not make a lick of sense for it to!
I flipped the pages back in time to 2 Chronicles 14:11 (the cross reference in Psalm 9):
11 Then Asa cried out to the Lord his God, “O Lord, no one but You can help the powerless against the mighty! Help us, O Lord our God, for we trust in You alone. It is in Your name that we have come against this vast horde. O Lord, you are our God; do not let mere men prevail against You!”
Again, given the current global climate, many thoughts flooded my mind regarding entities who appear to be prevailing over God’s sovereignty. But when you read on, you will see God OVERCAME the enemy of Asa. Moving on into chapter fifteen, we read the Spirit of God comes upon a fella named Azariah who is moved to share:
2 Chronicles 15:2 The Lord will stay with you as long as you stay with Him! Whenever you seek Him, you will find Him. But if you abandon Him, He will abandon you.
5 “During those dark times, it was not safe to travel. Problems troubled the people of every land. 6 Nation fought against nation, and city against city, for God was troubling them with every kind of problem. 7 But as for you, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded.”
Thoughts AGAIN flooded my mind…
“Holy Spirit, cause me to stay with Jesus and not abandon my walk with Him! Times are dark, travel is restricted, people are fighting in cities and nations – cause us to wake up, open our eyes, and see Jesus rather than all the problems we see in the earth. Cause us to be strong and courageous! Thank You for causing me to continue to teach, encouraged and facilitate healing through this ministry, regardless of the darkness, fighting, and problems. Holy Spirit, thank You for empowering me to be faithful to God’s call. Thank you!”
As I read on in chapter fifteen, several actions stood out to me we should be encouraged to practice ourselves. For months now, in various circles like the Rise Up Community, my church home, our county’s monthly prayer group, folks related to our state’s intercession group, and groups called to intercede on a national level have been pointing to 2 Chronicles 7:14:
Then if my people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.
MANY have been doing their best to humble themselves and pray, seeking His healing of a virus, civil unrest, and apparent wickedness in the fabric of the United States’ democracy. The Lord seems to be pointing to “next steps”. The word in 2 Chronicles 15 goes on to say:
2 Chronicles 15: 8 And when Asa heard these words of the prophecy of Azariah son of Oded the prophet, he was encouraged and removed the detestable idols…
…he [Asa] repaired the altar of the Lord that was before the vestibule of the Lord.
9 And he gathered together all of Judah… and those from Israel who saw that the Lord his God was with him [Asa]
11 They sacrificed to the Lord
12 …they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and soul; anyone who did not seek with their whole lives would perish and Asa’s grandmother was ousted as queen because of an idol
14 They shouted out their oath of loyalty to the Lord
17 … Asa’s heart remained completely faithful throughout his life.
What followed the steps Asa and the kingdoms of Judah and Israel took? God was found by them. The people were happy. God gave them rest from their enemies on every side. God provided for them. There was peace. (Read the remainder of 2 Chronicles 15).
Happiness and joy! Rest! Peace! Provision! Are these not blessings many are seeking in this season? Perhaps you are as well? Perhaps you have found joy, rest, peace and provision to be elusive amidst this darkened hour and turmoil? I believe Holy Spirit is proposing an antidote. Follow humble prayers before the Lord with…
Can we not trust and move in faith, happiness, peace, rest and provision will follow in our lives as well. I believe the Lord is calling us to receive the same, by gleaning from the life of Asa and walking in obedience. This is Old Testament, you may counter. Each of these instructions are found for New Testament believers as well.
I cannot help but sense this is where God would have us, or at least myself and those within the reach God has place my life and ministry, take next steps of obedience. I could see clearly, groups of people joining together to seek and love the Lord with all their heart, mind and soul – individually and collectively. When I revisited other random dreams from the night, I zoomed in on the dream about my grandmother.
As I shared, following her passing nine years ago, nightmares were stirred up in my life. I asked the Lord if there was a significance to my Mammaw being in my dreams much of the night. Anyone of you who have listened to this podcast for the past several years may bear to mind the relationship with my grandmother and how the Lord moved through me to bring her to salvation the morning of her death – after years of hurt and heartache. God was reminding me of His faithfulness to move in response to my faithfulness to move when He shares His heart with me. This is my eager expectation for this message:
We are equipped with the next steps of faith and then walk and watch and see His vision come to pass in our lives, as He extends His hand of mercy prior to His judgment.
It is interesting the number NINE is coined as representing bearing fruit, which was the emphasis of our last study. You can listen to the study in its entirety, here. On the other side of the coin, NINE also represents judgment.
Psalm 9:8 shares: He will judge the world with justice and rule the nations with fairness.
Psalm 96:13 shares: He is coming! He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with his truth.
Friends, allow this to be a call to respond to the Lord with humility and love and trust Him for change and the turnaround many have been holding out for. We must first start in our own lives and then allow Holy Spirit to inspire through our lives in the circles of influence He has strategically positioned us in.
I am praying for YOU and trust as you respond to the word of the Lord, allow your mind to be renewed, and cast down any vain thought lifting itself above the will of God – the Lord, in His mercy, will pour out the blessing of peace, joy, rest and the provision of His presence in your life. I trust you will receive this seed and cultivate it in order for His gifts to come to fruition in your life! I trust as you love and seek Him with all your heart and soul, immunity from any pending judgment will cover your life. Blessings!
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