Come Just As You Are

I am being reminded of so many friends as this Resurrection Day approaches and one in particular. I had the privilege of being able to pray with one who had passed away recently and the Lord told me it was urgent. Although I am directionally challenged and the enemy kept trying to route me in circles, this only made me more determined to get to my destination. He should know me better than that. I had some sisters praying for me and I fulfilled my directive given by the Lord. Now you have no idea how many spiritual warriors are in the world. Putting on their armor and on their knees fighting those battles with their spiritual swords as you go about your daily business. Yes, the laborers are always busy in the harvest fields, quietly sowing and watering seeds, as the Lord ‘gives the increase.”

I thought of a friend of mine years ago and we are told to “share our testimonies” as a way of building up the body, so this is what I do. And if it seems I’m boasting, I assure you, I am not. As Paul said, “If I boast, let me boast in the Lord.” For it is not I that do these things, but Christ in me.” Believe me, I’m just as amazed to watch these miraculous things as anyone else, and I share all of this, only as a means of encouraging others to get out and walk in faith, so they may also see the ordinary become extraordinary, in their own lives. This is what the Lord has commanded us to do. Make, disciples!

When I began reading my prayer journal from 1988, I saw the year that I  read a few years later, when I began working for my present company and met my friend who had become like a sister to me. So incredibly close, that her and I had the same first names, except hers was spelled differently. She had the same middle name, and her last name had the same first initial. Was this some strange coincidence? We were roommates and we had ID numbers that happened to be one number apart. We became best friends along with our other roommate in training and sat next to each other in every class. This drove our instructors crazy! We thought it was hilarious. We were unlike most of the other roommates, since it usually is difficult enough in flight attendant training with the stress level involved and all the craziness.

I had just come from the most horrific time of my life. In the course of two years, I had lost my brother, my father, been stripped of my job with Eastern Airlines, trying to make a marriage work, raise a toddler, near bankruptcy, etc. You name it, I lived it. 

But something else happened. In the midst of it all, I thought, the only way my ex-husband would make it and I could handle any stress would be to go to church. Somehow I knew that the bizarre things that I was dealing with in my life were spiritual. I knew only God could help me. And I’ve shared this before, when I made one simple request and I only had a small amount of something left in me to cry out, I said, “God if you’re real, please make sure I’m with my brother when he dies.” That’s all it took. When that plea was fulfilled, He began to lead me down the path to prove He was, and is, the great, I AM!

Now, I will tell you, by the time I got to my new company, I was a new person. Yes, this is what’s called, “Born Again.” The new creation. The old has passed away. Oh, believe, I was glad. I didn’t have anything, yet, I had a reason to be glad. So, I had two roommates watching me and wondering, what does she have to be so happy about? Little did I know, that I had a lot of people watching me. “We are Epistle’s being read.”

After I was out of training I stayed in the city of San Francisco and I realized that the Lord had me serving Him there. I was a witness to my roommates and they had all turned their lives to Him. This was encouraging to me as well. To see the power of His Spirit at work and His words, “Lift up my name and all men will be drawn to me!” Yes, as a new believer, I sure didn’t know what I was doing, but I could see it was true.

Now I transferred to New York and I was with my friend whom had been like my sister. We flew all of our trips together and now I was beginning to see, we would get along great, unless someone would start talking to me about my faith. I never started this conversation of course and I never slammed someone over the head with a bible. As my pastor used to say, “The Holy Spirit is a gentleman. He waits to be invited in. How true this is. He will never break down the door of anyones heart. But remember the Lord said to the woman at the well, “if you drink of that water, you shall thirst again, but if you knew of the water, that I have to offer, you would never thirst again. It was at this point, she asked, for this water.

My friend, was in a group with me and some other flight attendants one day as they just started firing questions at me. They seemed very intrigued, not unlike the group in San Francisco, that I had mentored at one time. They weren’t being antagonistic, but very interested. So I was answering them. It was at this point that she went and sat down around the corner, but within earshot of the conversation. The Holy Spirit reminded me that “Gods Word, does not return void, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”(Isaiah 55:11) I held fast to this promise for her life and prayed for her constantly because of my love for her. He reminded me that He had placed her in my life for that purpose and nothing was a coincidence. But we are linked together with others in this life for His purposes and plans.

Later, she confronted me. “Why do you have to talk to people about your faith all the time?” “Listen,” I told her. “I love you like a sister, but , my faith in the Lord, is part of who I am, and if you love me, then you can not separate that from me. When I speak it is for those who want to hear, not for those who do not. There will always be some, that don’t want to know about the Lord, but even if there is one, that is the one the Lord is speaking to.” At this she didn’t say anything else.

Upon returning home, I grieved for her. She was a psychology major, and I knew that it was her own worldly intelligence and wit that kept her spiritually blinded. I knew, because I had been the same way. This is exactly why the Lord yoked us together. We had a kindred spirit and in every other way, we were similar. Now she was trying to makes sense of something that, would never hold logic. This was the stumbling block. The other stumbling block was her Religion. Yes, that other thing that Satan loves to use against man. Her security blanket. The double-whammy. Logic and Religion. The Dual Highway to Hell. How many times did she tell me, “I’m Catholic.”  Hmm, well, good luck with that. (That’s what I want to say…ahhh, but I was there once too, so grace kicks in.)

That’s it…I decided, I’m fasting for her. I told the Lord. I’m going on a three-day fast and I’m praying for her. I was going to meet her in New York on the third day.

Now I don’t know what the Lord going to do but I just pray and pray and pray. I fly into New York on the third day and I see her. She’s waiting outside for me. What in the world is wrong with her? She looks terrified. “What’s going on?” I ask her. “Oh, my gosh! I had the worst nightmare last night! ” she says. “What was it about?” “Well, in my bedroom I have a little statue of Mary on my nightstand by my bed and in my dream it started talking to me!” “What did it say?” I asked. “It doesn’t matter It was demonic! I started screaming for my mom and dad in my dream! I told them to call you! I told them that you would know what to do! It’s like you’re a priestess or something.” “Well listen, I don’t have to be a priestess to cast out demons. All I must have is authority. And any follower of Jesus Christ does carry that authority! You know the Lord said that he would use dreams to terrify some, (Job 7:14). He will do whatever it takes to bring us back from our foolishness and you’d better believe our prayers are powerful. So if you have loved ones you’re praying for, don’t give up! At that point I asked her, when are you ready to surrender to the Lord’s love? He’s waiting for you. He doesn’t want to punish but to have a relationship with you. And the Holy Spirit says, “Today if you hear His voice do not harden your hearts.” (Hebrews 3:7)

Your religion teaches that you must be good enough to come to Christ, but Christ tells us we can never be good enough and that is why, He came to us! He became the living sacrifice. Every time we try to use religion as our ‘cover’ it becomes Adam and Eve, with the animal skins, all over again. Trying to use an insufficient covering, as they tried to cover themselves. It wasn’t until Christ had come that we had the ultimate covering, at Calvary, when His blood was shed. 

She understood this and accepted this. immediately after praying, her life began to change. She told me that she felt convicted about her own lifestyle and this was the power of the Lord telling her to make changes. As she began to ‘let go’ of things in her life, I watched as God began to change her. It was amazing. She let go of a worldly relationship and the Lord brought a Christian man into her life. She had met him on a flight and he was an airforce officer. He had regular bible studies and they ended up adopting 3 children from Russia.

She truly blossomed as she let go of her worldly needs and trusted the Lord. This is when we became true sisters. I had to let go and let the Lord deal with this aspect of her life. And I trusted Him and now I see the fruit that has been born as a result.

“The word is near you, it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is the word of faith we are proclaiming; That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)

Streams In The Desert

We are drawn to the water

We are drawn to the water

This book, Streams In The Desert by L.B. Cowman,is a book that I read almost daily. The Lord always has a word for me in this book.

I have used it over the years and marked in it  many times. It has ministered to me in countless ways and all of the scripture passages are divinely directed for each day.

When I am going through severe tribulation in my life, this book has spoken right into my circumstances. When I am at peace and full of joy, it has spoken to my spirit as well. How does it know? Well, the Holy Spirit knows the heart of all men. Whether a person is submitted to the Lord or not, He has a way of reaching us and speaking in a way that we can understand. He is always with us.

I went out to my mailbox one day last summer, when I was at the peak of my anxiety with my Post Traumatic Stress, and I found a dead iguana. It’s throat had been slit and eyes poked out. I was so alarmed as my ex-husband stood before me with my son; I pulled it out by the tail and said, “See?” I knew that my ex-husband had no idea of the level of spiritual battle I was involved in. I would battle in my prayers and the Lord constantly reminded me that worry and anxiety were not from Him. He gives us peace, and as He says, “perfect peace, unlike the world offers.” I knew I was not experiencing this perfect peace, because the enemy of my soul was bringing out the big guns from his arsenal and I was afraid.

After I threw this iguana in the trash and stopped trying to figure out what person was responsible for this atrocity, I brought the mail into the house.

This is when the Lord spoke to me. “Didn’t I tell you that you trample scorpions and serpents for my name sake? Didn’t I show you as an example that you are the Head not the Tail?” He reminded me of His love for me and “not to be afraid of those who can kill the body, but rather fear the one who can kill both body and soul.

Yes, now I am remembering His words to me, which are the words of Life. I looked down at my mail and right on top was the magazine that I have and it is also a message from the Lord. “Israel, my glory.” This iguana was laying right on top of it. The Lord had spoken to me long ago and told me that I am a picture of Israel to Him and should apply all of the same promises made to her, also to myself. He also reminded me that this was not a coincidence. Satan hates Israel and anyone who bears her name. The one whom the Lord has called and is in covenant is going to be the object of Satan’s hatred.  All believers in Christ, are considered part of this same covenant through Abraham.

He told me that I should remember all of these promises made by Him, my heavenly Father and He will never break them. As I looked at this writing, “Israel My Glory,” I felt as if He had just reached out of heaven and sent me a little love note. Something to remind me that I am “ruling and reigning with Him in heavenly places.” This little fear tactic by the enemy shall have no power over me, but I was reminded by the Lord to pray for anyone that is being used as a servant by these dark spirits. They are the ones that are in great peril.

Yes, I have suffered. Tremendously, however, as I read the passage from today, I saw such an interesting quote by a Roman soldier; When a Roman soldier was told by his  guide that if he insisted on taking a certain journey, it would probably be fatal, he answered, “It is necessary for me to go-it is not necessary for me to live.” (Streams in the Desert. September 10, Special TBN Edition)

The Lord can never use a person that is still holding onto themselves. This soldier showed a perfect example of a life lived for the purpose of his mission, whether his life is lost or not. “Whoever finds his life, will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” How many people have this conviction to follow the path to life? Not many, in fact scripture tells us this.

Check yourself; if you are on the road that speaks, “everyone is doing it.” Believe me, you are on the wide road and many travel on it. It is the road that is very narrow, with few traveling along, that you must find, if you are to attain life eternal. Then all of this suffering and efforts to reach some kind of worldly status, is unimportant. It will pale in comparison to the one who Has called you and the mission He has called you to.

If you are parched from this world and you’ve reached to top, and found, there’s nothing gratifying about any of this, it’s because you were following after the wrong things. Now you have asked, “Is this all there is? Why do I still feel empty?”

You are a desert. Jesus Christ is the Living Water, and once this desert has a drink of this Living Water, you will ” never thirst again.” Take it and drink it. He became a drink offering for all who thirst!”