The dark world grew darker, wickedness more rampant and shocking, modesty disappeared, differences of opinions fueled anger turning to hatred and intolerance, gouging a wider divisive gap between “sides.” Pride fed impatience and intolerance. People, even leaders, threw so-called opponents under the bus (blaming someone else for selfish gain or atonement). Sound familiar? Sound like our culture today?
In a vision I had of this world, I witnessed a scene of the unseen unfold. Shadows spiraled violently around people, manipulating their actions. The erratic movement of the shadows turned my stomach. Then, amid turbulent chaos-land, a bright light emitted from a rock like a center-stage platform of immovable stone. A group of people, a number of saints, a remnant, stood on that rock. I realized the holy light came from within those who stood on the rock. Others who were not on the rock had influences clinging on them like black creatures that moved like eels. One at a time, and sometimes in a bobbing cluster, they’d slither up to a saint, getting right into their face, and spew vile words at them, then slither back. Slither up again with revolting insults and character defamation, then shrink back. The oral onslaught continued. But what I noticed was that the saints didn’t react at all, only closed their eyes during the verbal bombarding. They each appeared like an upright impenetrable wall, unaffected, while every insult rolled around each of the remnant and disintegrated to nothingness. And when they opened their eyes, with peaceful countenances, they looked at the ones spewing the ugly, and all that was in their eyes was love—volumes of it! And the love undulated; it moved like a current; it was alive. Unconditional, beautiful, pure, holy love. When the vision ended, I heard the Lord speak one word. That word was “Unoffendable”.
I didn’t want the vision to end, as the flowing love I witnessed enraptured me, but the Ruach HaKodesh prompted me to pray.
The Lord is calling us to a higher standard. Set apart, living holy. Not reactive. Allow him to refine our souls to handle the storms, even, and especially, if the storms are people. Difficult in a pressurized, mixed-up, and angry society, but not impossible. We can look at an offense like we would anything else; temptation, for instance. The Holy Spirit gives us power to overcome, but we also have to make the choice to refrain. “Cease from anger and forsake wrath,” Psalm 37:8. Hold the tongue, close our eyes, maybe even walk away if we need to. If someone hurls an insult or offends and you want to rebut in the worst way, try taking a deep breath, and in the space of counting to three, close your eyes, lifting your heart to him, and say: "Lord, I praise you. You’re making me an overcomer. I choose to be unoffendable, in your name." Because what does the offense matter? The Lord loves you; he has a higher purpose for you. He loves you better than anyone else can or will. That’s all that matters. Aren’t we to strive to be the image of Christ on earth? Let the offense go.
It can start small. For instance, when someone crowds you in traffic then cuts you off and flips you the bird; when a certain coworker gets under your skin and you swear they make jabbing comments with intention, or the waiter got your simple food order wrong not once but twice. Instead of getting peeved, maybe we mutter to ourselves, “Well, that was irritating, but… Lord, bless that person anyway, just bless them.” Prayer has a special way of shedding the unwanted stuff. And then we come to a point of meaning it, instead of holding on to the disagreeable until it builds up inside of us and then explodes in a terrible and messy way. I believe the Lord would want us to let go and be free, not affected, and be at peace, calm, and to love… genuinely love our neighbor, near or far. Because it's significant what we do with what we’ve been given. I want to be like the saints on that rock! Tranquil beauty amid ugly, light in the darkness, and love overcoming anger.
Our Divine Calling
“As a prisoner of the Lord, I plead with you to walk holy, in a way that is suitable to your high rank, given to you in your divine calling. With tender humility and quiet patience, always demonstrate gentleness and generous love toward one another, especially toward those who may try your patience. Be faithful to guard the sweet harmony of the Holy Spirit among you in the bonds of peace, being one body and one spirit, as you were all called into the same glorious hope of divine destiny.”
“But don’t let the passion of your emotions lead you to sin! Don’t let anger control you or be fuel for revenge, not for even a day.”
“And never let ugly or hateful words come from your mouth, but instead let your words become beautiful gifts that encourage others; do this by speaking words of grace to help them. Lay aside bitter words, temper tantrums, revenge, profanity, and insults. But instead be kind and affectionate toward one another. Has God graciously forgiven you? Then graciously forgive one another in the depths of Christ’s love.”
Whole Heart Trust
The Lord told me before it began that this week would be pivotal. Whether the importance of the week was something in the spirit or in the natural, I didn’t yet know, but that didn’t matter. Last week, he asked me to push everything aside, some things sacrificially, for four days; tasks, obligations, hobbies—everything. I canceled it all and spent intimate time saturated in the Lord’s sweet presence. So then at the start of this particular week, I had several early morning appointments scheduled and so went to bed early. Fell into a deep sleep when I heard, “Tessa, wake up, wake up!” and felt a gentle invisible hand moving my head to face the clock, which read 11:11. I awoke startled, gasped, heart pounding, bleary eyes blinking as I stared at the significant numbers. Then I fell back into a deep sleep. I heard again, “Wake up! Pay attention…” I again looked at the clock, which read 1:11. When I got up and prepared for the day, I felt an excitement—as excited as the messenger’s voice sounded. And I hummed a random tune, when it dawned on me the lyrics I sang. “These are the final hours. These are the final hours now,” and, “wake, unafraid. A new day, a new time is here…”
I asked the Lord for clarity about the numbers. He told me to stay alert; recognize that he’s at work and moving behind the scenes for an ushering in of promises. I saw (and heard) an arrow, bow having been pulled back, finally released, signaling the launch of all else ordained to follow. “Things will happen quickly,” he said. What once would take ten years to develop will take one under his provision. The transition will be intense, but it’s a shaking necessary to bring alignment into the new. He told me to write down everything he gives me this week and share it. Lose any fear of man's opinions or seeking approval. He asked me if I was ready and willing to let go and share. I said yes.
The next day, my phone buzzed. I picked it up and its face lit up 1:11. Often nudges come in threes for me; that is, if there’s an emphasis on something, I see or experience that something three times. So I stared at the numbers long and hard, also noticing that there were no actual notifications. The phone had vibrated so I could see the display of those specific numbers. I had already surrendered time as an idol in my heart; I’d given God my timetable or idea of when I thought things should happen, thus also relinquishing my frail disappointments. It was an act of trust in him, and understanding that my human-standards timing looked different from his divine timeline. He does things differently, period. And his timing is always perfect… he is always right on time. I had to learn to trust him in that. The Lord often uses clocks and numbers to communicate his agenda. It all belongs to him. Still, I had a big fat question mark about the stirring I was feeling at that moment in the spirit. So here we go.
Right after I set the phone down, my belly swelled and intense pain brought me to my hands and knees. These pains I’d recognized. They were labor contractions—only I wasn’t pregnant! I moaned and rocked and even pushed, crying out, feeling as if I was giving birth. I prayed in the Spirit, and a holy fire consumed me. Here I was praying in a birthing position. I thought of the prophet Elijah, head between his knees, travailing, expecting the coming of heaven’s rains. Holy Spirit whispered to me, the words of Isaiah 66:9, “Shall I bring a baby to the point of birth and not deliver it?” The Lord has promises coming, some maybe even already here. What he says is true. He will leave not one promise unfulfilled. If he begins a thing, he will finish it! It will come to full term and be delivered.
When this session ended, I stood up. My belly reverted. I was spent, though. Physically and spiritually exhausted. I felt as if I had indeed given birth to something big and long-awaited. If you think this story is strange, believe me, it is. Prophetic intercessors sometimes go through symbolic actions, or are asked to do some very odd things. This one for me, though, took the cake. He told me again to write everything down and share it… so, would I? Let go and share what he gives me regardless of what others might think? Oy, a pause, but then, “Yes,” I said. Then I was reminded of the prophet Jeremiah, who was instructed to wear a loincloth the distance of 350 miles, then hide it in a hole in a rock at the Euphrates River, only to retrieve it later (chapter 13). It represented how, like a loincloth cling to a man, we are to cling tightly and humbly to God. It was also a lesson of obedience. What will we do and say yes to, when the Lord asks, as strange as it sometimes sounds and appears?
Feeling so groggy and still spent even into the next day, I took that day also to rest and linger in the Lord’s presence, focusing on him. Really, I think those who are called to the next revival wave of Jehovah are right now required to give up a lot of the busyness of life and just dwell in his presence, sink into a deeper intimacy with him. At one point in the afternoon, I listened to a random worship music playlist, and I was pondering the process of obedience, when a certain song popped up by Kendall Payne. Gah, if her raw-message melodies don’t spring up at the most opportune moments—it’s ridiculous, I love it. A bit of a blubbering child now, I listened to “Trust Me” repeatedly.
He just wants us to want him, to open ourselves up to him, in intimacy, in communion. He longs to be the lover of our souls. That’s all. He’ll take care of every little detail in our lives as we take each step in him. One step at a time, one foot in front of the other. It’s not about platforms or programs, titles, positions, formats, or plans anymore. All we do is love Jesus. His yoke is easy, his burden light. Receive his love; allow him to love us. Beginning with a piece of our heart. “Here ya go, Lord. Here’s my brittle piece of strangled muscle—what’s left of it.” And watch. Watch that muscle become whole, vibrant, life-filled, beating with the sound of his glory to the flight of freedom, as you march out of your old places and into the new; from the wilderness to your promised land, a brand spanking new baby placed tenderly in your arms.
P.S. As I finished writing the draft of this post, I picked up my mug for a refill then set it right back down to snap this picture really quick, for my black coffee had left rings in the shape of a heart at the bottom of the cup. How sweet the reminders, even small ones…
Do you long for that word somewhere in your life? Does it quicken your spirit or stir something within you? Is restoration something you need—maybe have needed for a long time?
I’ve heard by various men and women of God, single words given to them in the spirit, summarizing the theme of our year 2023. These words work well together. One precise word might also carry special significance for you or bring affirmation. Words I’ve witnessed so far, on separate occasions, out of the mouths of the righteous: Arise. Build. Grace. Favor. Glory. Completion (which included the explanation that this means both an ending and a beginning).
I also received a theme-word from the Lord for this year. Three times I heard it, so consider it amplified, lol. Restored. This word came to me in the past tense, showing it is something already sealed; a done deal. At least, something on which to expect closure; a promise fulfilled. This specific word also came with a Bible verse.
“As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.” (Ezekiel 34:12)
Circumstances don’t have to be perfect to be restored. In fact, I don’t believe there is such a thing as “perfect circumstances”, not on earth as we know it right now. We can come close to what we perceive is perfect, but only the fulfillment of Yeshua’s promised return will bring perfection—because only he is perfect. And I don’t think it’s unlikely we walk through a shaking or two this year, to come to our restoration. Because God is always moving and seekers are yearning, and with yearning comes growth, and with growth… well, some pains of stretching.
Though we walk in darkness (for our days are indeed dark), yet our light shines. Inwardly restored, outwardly we are steadfast and exhibiting peace. The Lord told me that despite dark days and growing persecution, his flock will experience the greatest joy and harvest, favor, renewal, and restoration during giant storms. It will be like a supernatural manifestation that will confound observers… True peace, magnified (come what may). Not just our speaking of peace, but living it. To see a harvest of promises unfolding in the dark; hidden treasures revealed in a coming-out-of-the-woodwork type of disclosure; double and triple repayment for our prior troubles. Gifts over losses. Healing. Hard-to-plow ground made soft and pliable for us to freely cultivate the strange work he once prompted, or whispered, now set before us with greater clarity. In fact, I believe this even means for some people, a literal building or restoration of some-thing, a prophetic plan come to pass. For some also, a geographical move this year, to a place where the Lord has something (maybe someone) specifically waiting for you (scattered sheep brought together).
Restored means Jehovah Raah, The Lord our Shepherd, goes ahead of us to prepare the way, and we the sheep know his voice. It’s our complete trust in him, to follow our kindest and best friend and rescuer, our guide and overseer.
It’s important that we don’t look back. Don’t hang onto the past. As humans, we tend to give way too much energy to the transpirations and negative decisions (failed harvests) of the past; victims dwelling on shoddy events of the former days. Enough is enough. Although failed harvests (a necessary evil?) have primed us to grasp and appreciate harvests of the present and future, for “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28), accept it for what it is, at whatever age you are, and don’t look back. Let go, shift, forgive (even yourself) if you need to, move forward, setting your face like flint and with mounting integrity, a warrior seeking deeper intimacy in the Refiner’s Fire.
That’s it. That’s all I’ve got for 2023. The word is good. God is good. It’s going to be good.
Maybe the Lord spoke to you in this manner, having given you a themed word, or a string of words, too. I’d be interested to hear about it.
Loneliness, the Cure
There’s something about the holiday season that amplifies feelings of loneliness. Even if you aren’t a lonely person, you can miss those who you wish you could visit, yet logistically can’t. There are some who don’t have anybody at all. You might be yearning for a companion. Genesis 2:18 tells us it’s not good for man to be alone. Yet, meeting a person doesn’t fix things. Unless we’re already happy, and know who we are in Christ, another person could be double the trouble. We aren’t meant to be or to have human crutches, but be filled with purpose, glorifying God equally together, being fruitful, strengthening each other so that nobody needs crutches. Which leads me to the thought that maybe you have someone, but in that covenant, you’ve suffered. You can be right beside somebody, or in a crowded room, and yet feel like the loneliest person on earth. Observers might even believe you have the perfect situation, but you’re far from it. Or maybe you have a partner who is the epitome of a true helpmate from the Lord, and a blessing. But the truth is that even your closest can let you down at times. And then maybe you've lost someone, and loneliness is amplified by grief. All kinds of scenarios and relationships I could paint here. Whatever your picture, if (when) you find yourself alone, when everybody else from that crowded event is gone (Elvis has left the building), the only one still there is the Lord. The only one who was forever there, and will always be. He’s Number One.
*When you’re longing and reminiscing, the Lord is there.
*If you’re yearning and dreaming, the Lord cares, so tell him how you feel. Tell him your story. He already knows your heart’s desires but wants to listen anyway, and he’ll listen most attentively.
*When others make you feel singled out and crappy by unkind or ugly remarks, the Lord won’t judge, only accept. While we’re at it, he doesn’t mind the added lines on your face, blemishes, or pudginess in your middle; he won’t see the way you’re wired as wrong or weird—because he created you! In fact, he made you in his image, and he loves unconditionally. Glance in a mirror. If you see somebody unlovable or hosting imperfections, consider saying to the reflection, “Well, Jesus loves me unconditionally. Thank you, Lord, for loving me like you do.”
*If frail and imperfect human nature has caused you to feel lonely and invisible… Really, the only one who is perfect is Jesus. And Perfection considers You the Apple of His Eye. Shouldn’t it matter most what HE thinks of you?
*When you're in sorrow, the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and will not forsake you.
Only the Lord knows the inner workings of our hearts, our essences; he knows us inside out, yet loves us wholly, completely, perfectly. If you don’t have him, find him. He’s right there beside you and has been there all along. He’ll always make you feel like the most precious cargo, always. He will build up, never tear down. The truth is, he intended to be our closest friend. He’s the most beautiful truth. He eases loneliness and hurt like no other. Whatever your situation (there are so many), seek him, seek your Creator. He’ll not only comfort; he’ll delight in you. He’s eager for your company.
I find the song posted below brilliantly relatable. It can apply to all kinds of relationships and situations. It’s relative. So for me right now, it’s a love song to the Lord. The only one who was with me from the beginning is with me always, no matter what! My constant companion. To him who sees all, knows all, takes it all, and ever loves. I think this just might be my new personal theme song.
Purity: What It Is
The dictionaries will tell us that purity, a noun, means “not dirty” or “free from contamination”; unadulterated, uncompromised; faultless, moral, and chaste.
With people, who then is pure? Absolutely nobody.
We are veined with darkness, born into sin with selfish natures. Disobedient as sheep gone astray, each turning to his own iniquity. Even the Apostle Paul said he was unspiritual, carnal, and sold to sin (Romans 7:14).
Often, I hear how a person admits to having done too much wrong for the Lord to want them. Bad history or choices, afflictions, keeping us from serving the One True God of purity and goodness. Maybe regrets of a tainted past keep regurgitating like wounds, sharp thorns that won’t go away. Living in a fallen world means there is a division between soul and spirit. Yet it’s the Word of God—which is Spirit and alive—that is our source for clean-living (Hebrews 4:12). We can’t do it on our own. And the living Word doesn’t just sit there… it moves, breathes, transforms; therefore, requires our active pursuit and absorption.
It’s an old and effective ploy of the enemy to keep us stagnant. Prohibit us from moving forward into freedom by flinging at us hisses of guilting, shaming, and regret. Nagging that we are weak in the body or corrupt at the heart, and it’s pointless to fight the next dirty urge.
I would suggest viewing purity as an action verb and not a noun. Purify: “To cleanse, or rid of impurities. To free from guilt or sin.” We grow in purity.
Go to the source, the Word of God. That’s our aim. For “The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.” (Psalm 12:6). “And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.” (1 John 3:3). “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.” (Psalm 119:9). How about, “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.” (1 Peter 1:22).
That’s something to savor, isn’t it? Obedience. Obedience to the truth, to the only unblemished one, Jesus, who fills us with himself, making us pure, for the Lord surely wants us, his precious ones, close to him. This includes those who already made a commitment to faith in him. We don’t accept forgiveness for our sins then just sit there. Life is hard and we all still falter, so it takes a daily renewal of mind. I would suggest the verb form of obedience here. Obey: “an act or instance of obeying.” Just as we deliberately fall into an immorality (it’s a choice, always a choice), we can be deliberate about reading/viewing the Word. “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:8).
In this age of instant gratification, and where immodest boastfulness and temptation come at us in bombarding fashion, the struggle is strong for anyone who wants to live a clean life. But the same troubles have existed in every generation. It’s tough, the pressure, especially if one has succumbed to a form of enticement often, that it’s become a persistent pattern or addiction. But it’s not impossible to overcome, not when we have the miracle-worker manifesting in our lives.
The Word is also our shield, our protector. Through the Word, we find sanctity. It is our cleanser and healer. Here is a helpful link I found providing an array of scriptures on Being Pure.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8). I want to be that person. I want to see God.
His Word, beginning with His Word…
is a storyteller, and a transcript editor. She's also a Romans 8:28 kind of Jewish girl ...