Don’t Look Back!

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Why do you suppose Lot’s wife looked back after being warned by the angels of the Lord? What was it that was so important to her that she should turn for one last look?

With little notice she and her family were whisked away by the angels of the Lord. And, Lot’s wife looked back. Was she thinking about the house she had made into a home? The upcoming weddings of her two daughters? The friends she had to leave behind? The success of her husband and the status that brought her? What about their household items? How would they get along without those? She had no time to pack all she had were the clothes she wore.

Perhaps she couldn’t resist looking back simply because she was told not to, like a child when told, “Don’t touch that.” Or, perhaps, she looked back because she was sad and upset at having to leave everything behind, making those things her idol rather than God her God.

It isn’t always easy when God says, “This is the way walk in it.” When He does, how often do we pine for the past, when remaining in the past only keeps us rooted there? What if we chose to step out in faith? Stepping out in faith allows us to live in the present and step into the future with God. It is in the present and the future that we find God’s will for our life and position ourselves to receive every spiritual blessing that is showered upon us from the Father of Lights as part of our inheritance here and now.

Sadly, Lot’s wife didn’t understand that not looking back was God’s protection.

Shalom!

©TereseJMBelme 2018

 

Friends and Enemies

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It all started over lunch with my beautifully sunny friend, with golden hair, a ready smile and encouragement always upon her lips. She even uses yellow hearts in her text messages. Like a sunflower follows the sun, she consistently follows and points others to the Son. Yet, she is raw and intimate and transparent in her close relationships and has no qualms about coming alongside her friends and walking life with them.

This particular day we were eating robust salads and chatting about being creatures of habit and always ordering the same salad over being adventurous and trying something different. (I have been there since and ordered the salad she had that day and it is now my new favorite!).

Our conversation turned to life and opportunities that had come along. We discussed being seen and heard by God, as we both had been in holding patterns ministerially. She has recently accepted a wonderful position at her church, that God tailor-made just for her!

Since that day, God has been connecting things together in my life like a dot to dot coloring page. Over the last several days I have had three people, so far, (and one of them was a complete stranger I met at the post office!) confirm God’s anointing on my life, that HE hears me and HE sees me.

As many of you know, last year was a season of restoration and God gave me Joel 2:25 promising to restore all the locust had eaten. This year God has given me Isaiah 49:25 promising to return the plunder the enemy has stolen.

While in prayer this morning, I was impressed to take a closer look at Malachi 3:11. The word devourer means an animal that feeds on agricultural produce such as a, wait for it, LOCUST! (definition taken from LOGOS software, FAITHLIFE study Bible).

Isn’t God AMAZING?! Through all the sifting, delivering and healing God was right there. And today He reminds me that HE restored everything the locust had eaten, He returned all the plunder the enemy had stolen and now HE protects the fruit of my labor and tells me I will continue to bear fruit!

Oh, my sweet friends! If you believe in Jesus I encourage you to start or continue to dig deep into His word for the truths He wants you to imprint on your heart that speak to you of his love and commitment and promises to you.

If you don’t yet know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, I pray that the Holy Spirit is hard at work softening your heart to hear the truth of His love for you, crowding out all the darkness with His marvelous light and you will choose Him by the power of the Holy Spirit, who gives you the faith to believe. And that Papa God will protect your new found trust in Him from the devourer.

Shalom!

©2018TereseJMBelme

Don’t Stop Short

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I  wonder why Abraham stopped short of asking God to save Sodom and Gomorrah for ten righteous people. Yes, the sins of these cities was severe and surely God’s heart was incredibly broken. But, Abraham had already established that he was being bold and God had established that he would answer Abraham’s multiple requests that began with fifty righteous down to ten.

The angels of the Lord even warned Abraham’s nephew, Lot, about the coming disaster telling him to gather his wife, two daughters and both sons-in-law (six people) and flee the area quickly.

What if Abraham would have asked God to spare these cities for the sake of his relatives living there?

Sometimes, perhaps many, we stop short of asking God for what is really on our heart or we ask out of the alignment of his will. The work of Jesus on the cross gives us the ability to approach God and ask big, bodacious things.

You will never know unless you ask.

Shalom!

#2018fulcrumyear #restoredtoovercome

 

Angels in the Clouds

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I saw You in the clouds again today

Your spear

Your helmet

Your watchful eye

 

A warrior guardian

Sent to watch over me

 

Angels don’t only fly

Appearing in the clouds of the sky

 

Speaking to me

Your visible presence

The way you designed me

 

Angel don’t only fly

Appearing in the clouds of the sky

Shalom!

tjmb ©2017

 

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Use Your Words

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Earlier this morning as I was praying I was thinking about an encouragement that I see often across social media in various forms. The thought is if we are meeting with resistance or experiencing push back then surely God is getting ready to bless us. I’m still looking for where that is specifically in Scripture and if you have any verse references please leave them in the comments.

Resistance and push back are simply part of the enemy’s plan to lie, cheat, steal and destroy.  Especially when we begin to choose to go deeper into an intimate relationship with God. Satan doesn’t want us to know one iota more about our identity, authority or inheritance in Christ than we currently do because he knows what that will look like for him and glory to God it isn’t pretty!

As I continued to pray this morning I heard Holy Spirit gently whisper, “You push back, you resist.” In a moment’s notice my prayers did an about face and I began to fight back in prayer like the mighty warrior that I am.

Spiritual warfare is so real that is why it is so important to be in God’s word everyday. Holy Spirit infuses you with Scripture that he imprints on your heart and in your soul and when the moment is called for He brings the right verse to mind. He gives us His words for the battle.

Precious One, as the old saying goes, “Them’s fightin’ words!”

Shalom!

 

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Return to Sender Addressee Unknown

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The sun was just setting and dusk was upon us. We were home alone and settling in. We were in our house but it wasn’t our house and the kids were much younger than they are today. They were playing quietly in the living room. There was a knock on the door and I whispered to the children not to answer the door.

That’s odd. Our front door was a sliding glass door; when did this happen? There was a small space just wide enough for me to see out and there was a man standing there. Why was he still standing there? He knocked on the door many minutes ago, obviously no one was going to answer. What was that he was holding in his hands? Seriously, he’s holding San Francisco Giants jerseys? He had three; one black, one orange and one white. Did he really think I would open the door because of this?

He was menacing looking with dark hair and scruffy beard and a deep snarl. I could tell immediately he was evil. He tried to open the slider, which wasn’t locked but thankfully the stick we always put in the door track was faithfully in it’s place. I had my phone and immediately called 911 but I couldn’t understand a word she said. My heart was racing.

Suddenly, I woke up and realized it had been a dream. A spiritual attack dream. As my heart began to calm down I asked God about the meaning. He very quickly spoke to my heart, “There is a space in your armor.”

I use to have these types of dreams more frequently and they would freak me out, they are so real. Now I see them as God’s love, grace and mercy. I believe he uses some dreams to forewarn us about things we ought to take care of in realtime. Today will be spent asking Him how to shore up my armor.

And, isn’t it just like Satan to deliver a package special delivery containing something that is special to us? One of my best friends says when you receive one of those packages sign it, “return to sender addressee unknown”

God is faithful even in our dreams. While the door was unlocked the safety stick was in place.

Precious One, have you prayed on your full armor today? Ephesians 6:10-17.

Shalom!

 

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Be Like Daniel

Long exposure black and white landscape of moving clouds over withered treeThis morning I came to the book of Daniel looking for something else and instead Holy Spirit led me here.

I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed: “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your command and laws. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. Daniel 9:4-6.

The above verses are the beginning of a beautiful prayer by Daniel for his homeland. Did you catch how Daniel begins his prayer? He begins with praising God for Who he is. All too often, I believe, we many times step into a sweet and beautiful time of prayer with God and immediately begin with our requests. Prayer means to intervene or intercede, but it is so much more than our requests, whether for ourselves or on behalf of others, it is part of the deep and intimate relationship with God that we ought to reach for on a daily basis. The second part of Daniel’s prayer is confession. Daily I thank God for the gifts of confession and repentance and His faithfulness to show me the sin in my life so I can enjoy uninterrupted fellowship with him. (1 John 1:6-9).

The body of Daniels’ prayer is for his country Israel. Not only was Daniel pleading with God to restore Israel, he did so in fasting, in sackcloth and in ashes. Fasting was sometimes done to show grief, distress or repentance. The wearing of sackcloth and ashes were also signs of repentance. Daniel was serious about his prayers for Israel, which has me thinking, am I, are you, serious about the way you pray for your homeland, your family, yourself and others?

I chuckle as I write this because yesterday I began asking God what I was missing in my prayers about a current situation. What came to mind was the angel that was sent to Daniel but was delayed by the prince of Persia and one of the chief angels, Michael, was sent to help. (Daniel 10). When I sat down to write this morning I was sure it would be about praying for our homelands and the current affairs of the world, yet, here I am, learning more about prayer from an ancient prophet and reading God’s answer to my question.

Precious One, whether today finds you praying for yourself, your family, for others, for your homeland or for all of these things, may we both follow Daniel’s lead with heart’s of sincerity and seriousness for the task at hand.

May we cry out as Daniel did;

O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake, O my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name. Daniel 9:19.

Shalom!

Touched By An Angel

festival-dancers_zJHtYPFdEver since I can remember, I have wanted to see angels. I am a visual person and there are a lot of things about God’s word that I desire to ‘see’. Angels is one of them.

God’s word has several instances, that are recorded, of others being approached by angels. Take Mary for instance, Jesus’ mother, she was approached by the angel Gabriel, who said to her, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” and told she would conceive a child and name him Jesus and he would be the Son of the Most High.

Right before Mary’s encounter with Gabriel, Scripture tells us that Gabriel spoke to Zechariah, the husband of Elizabeth, who was Mary’s cousin and told Zechariah that Elizabeth would became pregnant with John the Baptist. Gabriel said to Zechariah, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard.”

One of my favorite encounters is when an angel of the Lord approaches Gideon and greets him with, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.” Is it just me or how cool is that, that the angel of the Lord greets Gideon as a mighty warrior?!

I’ve never really stopped to ponder the reactions of those approached by angels in God’s word until now. Mary was troubled by the angels words, Zechariah was startled by the appearance of Gabriel and Gideon, oh Gideon, he carried on a conversation with the angel as if it was the most natural thing to do! Maybe that is why his angel encounter is one of my favorites!

Yesterday I was leaving the grocery store, (I’m not sure what it is about grocery stores, but God always invites me into his work there!), and as I was getting ready to cross the parking lot to my car, out of the corner of my eye I saw a lady sitting on a bench in front of the store. I didn’t even make full eye contact with her but somehow she knew I had seen her. She very quietly asked me for a quarter. The first peculiarity is that I actually heard her quiet request crystal clear. As I reflect now, the second peculiarity is that she asked for only a quarter. I immediately told her that I did have a quarter and began to take out my wallet. Before she began to walk toward me she said, “I’m sorry, please forgive me.” I told her there wasn’t anything for her to be sorry about. As she approached me she did so with a slight limp. I asked if I could pray with her and instantly she grabbed both my hands, held tight and bowed her head. Before I began to pray I asked her name and what happened to her leg. I prayed a simply prayer of God’s love, provision and healing touch upon her.

Here is peculiarity number three, from the time this sweet woman approached me until now this thought keeps running through my mind, “This is an angel, this is an angel.” Even as I was praying, I was thinking, “This is an angel.”

Precious One, may you remain alert and aware, who knows but God, that some days you may be touched by an angel.

 

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:2.

Shalom!