Bethany's BlogWords of Encouragement

Wall Breaker

"The 'One Who Breaks Through Walls' will push through and walk to the front of his people. They will break through the gates and leave the city. They will leave with their king marching before them, with the Lord at the front of his people."

Micah 2:13

I haven't usually thought of  the word Breaker as a positive, but then I read a book by Shawn Bolz. It's titled Breakthrough. I love this book! Have you ever needed a breakthrough in some area of your life? I have. I've called out to God many times for breakthroughs, for him to unravel the cage that my heart was locked in. He absolutely breaks through, and sometimes it can feel as if my heart is breaking in the process of His work. But, always there is healing and new revelation as He breaksthrough. 

Some of my favorite quotes from the book Breakthrough:

"As your breaker, I am going to break open pathways you could never have seen open that will show that My favor and love are covering you."

"As your breaker, I will break through the enemy's line and take you into the land I promised."

"Let my love be the greatest breaker, my love that finds a way where there was no way before."

This is God. There is nothing that can keep Him from breaking through to victory!  He sees all possibilities for you and He eagerly wants to show you how much he loves you.  The enemy may try to claim territory over you, but God will prevail and bring you to the fulfillment of His promises to you.  What is your enemy today? Fear, shame, poverty, deceit, or maybe emptiness?  I know for a fact that God will break through all those enemies and bring you peace, hope, favor, truth, and fullness of His love.  It doesn't matter how wounded your heart may be, how guarded you may feel, He can break through all things. 

Have you carefully guarded your heart in an effort to be safe from pain? The wounds of this world can become walls around us and eventually it feels as if there is no way out. Pray this prayer today from Shawns book:

"Help fill me with Your perspective that the promised land isn't just a land of giants and that You are big enough to clear out all the enemies, and that I get to possess it with You and for You. Help me to have a victorious attitude when I look at my life and the world around me. Create in me the positive attitude of a breaker so when people interact with me, they can feel that through You, all things are possible. Amen"

Shawns book get a five star review from me and I recommend it for all those that are looking for a breakthrough in their life.

Big Love

 

 

 

 

"The voice spoke again, 'Nothing is unclean if God declares it to be clean.'"

Acts 10: 15

The voice in the verse above is God speaking to Peter. God gave Peter a vision of all kinds of four footed animals, reptiles, and birds and then told him to go and prepare them to be eaten.  For Peter, this was a big no-no. He was Jewish and he did not eat unclean food of any kind. In fact, Peter responded to God like this: "There's no way I could do that, Lord, for I've never eaten anything forbidden or impure according to our Jewish laws." But, God repeated this vision to Peter three times before leaving him stunned and wondering. Peter pondered the vision for awhile and then the Spirit of God said to him, "Go downstairs now, for three men are looking for you. Don't hesitate to go with them, because I have sent them."  Sure enough three men were looking for Peter, and he did go with them. A Roman military captain by the name of Cornelius had sent them. He was a devout man who worshiped God and was very respected in the Jewish community. An angel had instucted Cornelius to go after Peter, when Peter arrived he announced to them that it was unlawful for him to associate with or even visit the home of anyone that was not a Jew. Yet, because of the dream, Peter knew that God was telling him that he absolutely should not view anyone as inferior to him or ritually unclean. Cornelius happily shared with Peter that just a few days earlier a man in glistening white had visited him and said to him "Cornelius, God has heard your prayers. Your generosity to the poor has been recorded and remembered in God's presence. However, you must send for a man named Simon, the Rock, who is staying in Joppa as a guest of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea." And, that is how the three men ended up in search of Peter. Peter respnded: "Now I know for cerain that God doesn't show favortism with people' but treats everyone on the same basis. It makes no difference what race of people one belongs to. If they show deep reverence for God and are committed to doing what's right, they are acceptable before him. God sent his word to the Jewish people first, announcing the wonderful news of hope and peace through Jesus, the annointed One, the Lord of all."  Peter continued on telling them of Jesus and then while he was still speaking, the Holy Spirit cascaded over all those listing to his message. The Jews in the room were astounded that the presence of God was poured out over people who were not Jews! Then, Peter baptized them.

You may be wondering what my point is by now. Some of you have heard this story already numerous times, and have concluded for yourselves that you don't need to be Jewish to be saved, right? What strikes me about this story is a question: "what does this look like in today's world?" Who do we, as the Body of Christ, treat like Gentiles?  Forbidden or impure?  Do we open our churches to all people, treating them with the same love and compassion that Jesus does? Do we respect their hearts and love them, even if they may be living in sin? Are we judging them because their lifestyle choices do not align with the box we have God in?

Who can you welcome in to your church doors this week? Ask God to send you someone that needs to see the example and love of Jesus, and then ask Him to use you to be the example and love they need today.

 

 

Is That a Woman Preaching?

Dear Girl Preacher, You will have to decide if man called you or God called you.

(Seen on Havilah Cunnington Instagram)

I'm just going to praise God today for all the women that answer the call of God, even when there is resistance. Rise up, women of God, rise up above the dishonor, the pain, the blame. Rise up and speak to all women and men!

As a woman that loves God and is called by God to speak of Who He Is, it is discouraging to hear that we are still stuck on this issue in the Body of Christ. We are not hearing that men and women are equal in the sight of God. "So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them." Genesis 1:27 We are not acknowledging that men can actually gain wisdom from a woman preaching and teaching from the pulpit. We are saying unkind and dishonoring words in an effort to prove a point. Some bodies refuse to learn truth from women because they have a belief that women cannot teach men. Really?

Paul was an advocate for women, just like Jesus. He was friends with many women, they worked alongside with him and their husbands, they taught about Jesus to both men and women.  Just as many women do today. Women are throughout the Bible, and are an example of the Bride! God created women after his very own image. God commissions them to walk in that manner. If the church is the BRIDE of Christ, then when will it learn to  honor them? When will the male leaders demonstrate the same tender devotion for the females within the church walls as Christ does for His Bride? 

If you are a woman and you feel that God is calling you to speak, don't be fooled into believing that you can only speak to women. Your God given voice can be used for all! In God's eyes there is a message you can present that will enable men and women to grow in Him. The Holy Spirit does speak through you too.

I'm praising God for each woman that answers the call of God, and is still able to honor the men that resist her. I praise God for giving women a heart of love and empathy, and the ability to persevere in their callings. I praise God for the men that willingly come alongside them and cheer them on, because they know God speaks through them. I praise God that He is using women today to speak life, hope, joy, and a bright future to all people!

Holy Spirit calls us all to be disciples, to preach to the nations, to love one another. There is no seperation in the calling based on gender.

If you are called today to speak out to others, listen to that call. Your voice, Dear Girl, is of great value!

Worship

 

It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth.  That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself-Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.

John 4:23-24

As Christians, we worship, right? What exactly is worship? My Webster says this: To honor or show reverence for as a divine being or supernatural power. To regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion.

Sometimes, we get a little messed up in our priorities and we start to worship someone or something else. We might worship our children, leaders, money, time. Anytime we place someone or something above our worship for God, we have a problem.

Sometimes, we think of worship as the time in church when we sing praises. We do it once a week, and then there’s not a lot of thought given to it until the next week.

Worship. I’ve asked myself what it looks like for me, and I’ve concluded that worship for me is complete surrender of who I am.  The truth of who God says I am. I may feel or think I am one way, but until I pursue the truth about what God says, I am not fully real and honest with Him. 

This last weekend, I got really angry with someone. It was unexpected. I had to work hard to sort through the way I felt with the reality of who God says I am. To do that, I had to be completely honest with God. I had to surrender the turmoil inside of me to Him, admit that only God has the supernatural power to show me truth, and worship Him through the process. As I did this, I began to settle down and instead of anger I felt the intense power of Holy Spirit rest upon my heart. I felt worship deep inside of me! I experienced intimacy with God.

Everything comes from him; everything happens through him; everything ends up in him. Always glory! Always praise! 

Yes. Yes. Yes.

Romans 11:36 (MSG)

When we worship God, we experience intimacy. When trouble comes our way, we trust that God will help us. When we are sad, angry, hurt, happy, joyful, etc we worship God because He is our most intimate friend.

I will exalt You, my God, O King, and [with gratitude and submissive wonder] I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You and lovingly praise You; Yes, [with awe-inspired reverence] I will praise Your name forever and ever.

Psalms 145:1-2 (AMP)

I don’t know what may be happening in your life right now. I do know that there are some pretty tough situations to walk through, and when we are able to surrender the heartache to God in worship, something happens inside of us.  When we are able to believe the truth of what He says over the facts of our lives, He swells within our hearts. Worship of Who He is, opens new doors of hope and gives us the courage to walk on.

So, today I declare the surrender of worship over you, and I praise Him for the truth of who He has created you to be!

 

(printed in the Community of Christian Creatives magazine/August issue)

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