Glory in the Unexpected Places

I am a good and merciful God, and mercy triumphs over judgement. While many may be prophesying ‘gloom and doom,’ hold on to truth, and remember that I am your good Father. As I have said in My Word, “if My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face … then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

I instruct you in My Word to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Now is the time to lift up your prayers. Pray for Florida, pray for Texas, and pray for North Korea. Continue to lock your eyes on Me, and do not lose sight of My nature. When My children pray according to My will, My ear is bent towards them. Indeed, I will move on their behalf. Truly the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16).

Think it not strange when you hear of wars and rumors of wars. Have I not foretold you of these things in My Word? (Matthew 24:6) However, even in the shaking and very upheaval that you see, I will remember mercy. Even as the gross darkness covers the earth, My light shall shine even brighter.

For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
And deep darkness the people;
But the Lord will arise over you,
And His glory will be seen upon you (Isaiah 60:2).

I will cause My goodness and beauty to rise out of the ashes. I will take what the enemy had meant for destruction, and I will use it for good. Surely I, the Lord, will cause My very glory to rise in the unexpected places. Fear not, and draw upon My mercy and steadfast love.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23).

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I will unleash My mercy over Florida and Texas, for even in the midst of what appears to be ashes and devastation, I will cause My very glory to arise from that place.

My Spirit is brooding, and My Spirit is hovering. Truly, My voice is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters. My voice is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic. My very voice breaks the cedars; indeed, the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon (in reference to Psalm 29:3-5). 

Watch, as My glory will go forth from here and into the nations. Look for My glory in the unexpected places, as you keep your eyes focused on Me.

Restored to Double Honor

“Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, and instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double; everlasting joy shall be theirs.” | Isaiah 61:7

I sense that the Lord is removing shame and restoring honor in this season. To those who have experienced dishonor, yet have kept their hearts pure before the Lord, be encouraged! He is vindicating you even now, restoring you to a place of double honor and recompense. No longer will you suffer shame. As it is written in Isaiah, “Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. For your Maker is your husband—the Lord Almighty is his name—the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth” (Isaiah 54:4-5).

There are many who have felt like misfits in the eyes of the world, and (for some), even in the eyes of their own family and friends. Yet I sense the Lord’s heart of encouragement. I believe that He would say, “The very ones who have been labeled as ‘misfits,’ by the world are My ‘change agents.’ These ones have been trained in the secret place, and I am getting ready to bring them out of hiding and on display as a royal diadem for all the world to see!”

“You shall also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married. For as a young man marries a virgin, so shall your sons marry you; and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you” (Isaiah 62:3-5).

I see the Lord placing beautiful robes on His ‘change agents;’ He is allowing them to come and feast at His table, even in the very presence of their enemies (Psalm 23:5). As you have stayed in a place of lowness and humility before the Lord, He is now going to bring you up higher. For He gives grace to the humble, but resists the proud (Proverbs 3:34).

Truly your best days are at hand. The Lord is removing shame and reproach in this hour. Get ready to be restored to a place of double honor!

He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the beggar from the ash heap, to set them among princes and make them inherit the throne of glory (1 Samuel 2:8).

The Season of the Open Door

“I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” | Revelation 3:8

“Do not fear the unfamiliar places, for I am here with you, even in the transition in the change. Know that I am going before you, and then I have already prepared the way ahead of you.

“It’s the season of the open door. Watch, as I opened what was formally shut and reveal what was previously hidden. I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places (Isaiah 45:3). Be willing to step outside of your comfort zone and resist clinging to what has been familiar. I am taking you to a new place; I will show you how to navigate and walk in it, but you must abide in Me and obey Me, even when it doesn’t make sense. For my ways and thoughts are higher than yours. (Isaiah 55:9).

“Be open handed before me. Be willing to release freely whatever I call you to release, knowing that I am your abundant supply, and I am faithful always. This is the season to lean into Me and trust Me completely, for there are rapid changes and accelerations approaching you. Have full confidence, and know that the plans that I have for you are good. You are ready to be launched into all that I have been preparing for you. Fear not! Great and mighty things are quickly unfolding. This is the season of the open door,” declares the Lord!

Encouragement for the Battle Weary: The Lord Is Bringing the Turnaround!

The Lord will march out like a champion,
like a warrior he will stir up his zeal;
with a shout he will raise the battle cry
and will triumph over his enemies. | Isaiah 42:13

I want to encourage those who have become battle weary. These are the ones who feel as though they’ve been hit in multiple areas of their life, and have even contemplated giving up, due to how intense their battles have been. But today, I break the lies of the enemy that would seek to tell you that you are going backwards. The enemy wants you to believe that things are going to get worse, but this is not your reality! I decree the Lord’s truth over you today; the reality of the matter is that He is catapulting you forward in this next season, and that your best is yet to come. 

Let it be known that the Lord is bringing the turnaround, even now. He is renewing strength to those who have been feeling physically exhausted, due to the constant onslaught and warfare that they have been experiencing. The Lord is also vindicating those who have experienced extreme loss and injustice. Watch, as He is turning the loss into your gain, and bringing you repayment for all that you have suffered.

Yet if he is caught, he must pay seven-fold,
    though it costs him all the wealth of his house (Proverbs 6:31).

I sense that God is saying today, “The enemy has overplayed his hand against My people, and like Haman, he will be hanged on his own gallow (Esther 7:10). I, the Lord, am fighting for you, so take heart. I am rushing on the scene like a mighty warrior, and I am stirring up My zeal. Listen! I am raising the battle cry, and sounding the alarm on the enemy (Isaiah 42:13). Angelic assistance and reinforcement is being sent to strengthen you,” says the Lord, “even as you have said in your own heart, ‘Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident (Psalm 27:3).'”

Recently, while praying with a dear friend of mine, the Lord gave me a very clear and vivid image of beautiful flowers popping up through a layer of concrete. I believe that He is saying, “I am causing My beauty and new life to bloom in the midst of what have been your hardest circumstances.”

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The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the Lord,
the splendor of our God (Isaiah 35:1-2).

The Lord is healing deep sorrow and hope deferred in His people. The Father is truly turning their ashes into beauty, and giving them joy where there has been mourning. Yes, a great joy is going to explode in their hearts, as they see the manifestation of God’s long awaited promises come to pass. This will bring a deep cleansing and healing for the people of God! As it is written, “Rivers of living water will flow from your belly (John 7:38).

“Do not think for a moment that I have abandoned you,” says the Lord, “for the exact opposite is true. I have always been by your side, working My very purposes in you. The very trials that the enemy had sent to destroy you, I will turn around for your good. You have been fortified and strengthened, refined like the precious gold. You have walked through fire, yet the flames have not set you ablaze, for I have preserved you for such a time as this.

“Take heart, precious one. for even now I am rushing to the scene to breathe My very life back into you. Though you have felt weary, do not fear. I am stepping in and turning around the tables! Where you have seen what appeared to be loss and defeat, you will now see victory after victory,” declares the Lord.

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Restore our fortunes, Lord, like streams in the Negev. Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them (Psalm 126).

 

New Mercies for Today

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. | Lamentations 3:22-23

My Child, I am the Glory and the One who lifts your head. Even now My heart of compassion is being extended to you. My mercies are new every morning, and they never come to an end. Even in your weakness and in your times of struggle, My strength is being made perfect in you (2 Corinthians 12:9). Receive all that you have need of today, for a bruised wick and contrite spirit I will not deny (Isaiah 42:3).

Do not fret or fear the future, rather receive the grace that I offer you for today. Be assured that there will be new mercies every morning. I am calling you to trust Me and leave the future in My hands, having full confidence that I have a good plan and outcome for your life.

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Dear Butterfly

My yoke is easy, and My burden is light. Refuse to be weighed down by the cares and trials of this world, rather in all things give Me thanks. Continue to look to Me, for I am making the crooked places straight. I will help you navigate through the unknown as you continue to have childlike faith and trust in your Heavenly Father. Put no confidence in flesh, but look to Me, for I am faithful. All things are being upheld by Me and through Me (Colossians 1:17).

I am perfecting all that concerns you, My lovely one. Nothing can ever separate you from My great love (Romans 8:39). Know that, indeed, I am at work in your life, and all things are coming together for good. Trust in Me, Beloved, and receive My new mercies for today.

Garments of Praise

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. | Isaiah 61:1-3

In this season, the enemy has sought to bring down many with discouragement, despair, weariness, and hope deferred. He has sought to deceive you, trying to convince you to come into alignment with his lie that breakthrough will not happen in your life. Yet take heart, for the exact opposite is true! Even in what feels like chaos, I hear the Lord saying, “Put on a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” It may feel as though there has been an increase in the warfare that you have been experiencing, but the Lord is exposing the enemy’s plan. Breakthrough is happening now, and it will soon manifest in your life.

I recently saw a picture in my mind of many in the body of Christ, bent over by the weight of heavy chains (a symbol of burdens) wrapped around them. When they tried to take a step forward, the enemy would throw yet another chain around them, and they staggered under the added weight. Shortly after I saw that picture, I was reminded of a fascinating story that I had once heard:

As my friend was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from the ropes they were tied to but for some reason, they did not. My friend saw a trainer nearby and asked why these beautiful, magnificent animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away.

“Well,” he said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size of rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.” My friend was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.

– Author unknown

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I believe that the Lord is using this story as an analogy for the body of Christ in this hour. I hear Him saying, “I have given you strength like the elephants. The chains that the enemy has sought to entangle you with can easily be tossed off. The enemy has no real power to keep you bound, as he is just grasping to keep you in alignment with his lies. As My people open their mouths and give Me the sacrifice of their worship, truly the grave clothes and shackles will fall off of them; they will be adorned with new, beautiful garments of praise.”

It may feel as though your joy has been attacked in this last season. The enemy knows that the joy of the Lord is our strength, and he has been doing everything in his power to try and take that away from you. However, I sense that the Lord is releasing the fresh oil of His everlasting joy in this hour. The Lord is washing away the pain of the previous seasons, restoring and redeeming the times that the locust have eaten (Joel 2:25). As you give the Lord the sacrifice of your praise, rivers of living water will flow through those parched places of your life, bringing new healing and refreshing that will cleanse and renew your spirit.

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Lastly, I hear the Lord saying today, “Reinforcement is coming; help is on the way.” I believe that the Lord would say, “My favor is going to be released and extended to help you for your next step. Be encouraged! I am lining things up, bringing the provision and assistance that you need to fulfill the call that I have placed on your life. The puzzle pieces are coming together, and I am going to divinely order the next steps that you need to take.”

Continue to posture your heart in a place of humility and trust, and lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). Let His joy and His strength rise up in you, for the Lord is going to make your crooked places straight, and do for you what only He can do. Enter into the Lord’s rest today, and continue to put on the garment of praise.

“… Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit” (Zechariah 4:6).

“Come Up Higher!”

The Lord continues to speak to me in this season on the heart that He has for the Bride of Christ. In Song of Songs 8:6, Solomon’s bride expresses her deep love and devotion for her bridegroom, saying, “Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.” Similarly, Jesus Christ is jealous for His Bride. Out of the jealous love that He has for her, the Lord is allowing His fire to purge and purify anything in His Bride that does not align with His truth. He is exposing unhealthy thought patterns and behaviors—things that have held us in bondage—in order to bring us into a greater place of freedom that we have not previously known or experienced. However, we should not fear the process, for like gold, the Bride is being purified and fortified, even in the fire.

I hear the Lord beckoning His Bride, saying, “Come up higher! Call upon Me, and I will show you great and mighty things that you do not know (Jeremiah 33:3).” I truly believe that God is releasing fresh revelation in this season.  The Lord is roaring His freedom and His truth into the very areas where the enemy has sought to keep you bound and impoverished in your thinking. Can you hear the sound of chains breaking, and the rattling of prison doors being opened? Beloved, no longer will you live below your potential; the Lord is calling you upward to a higher place, for you are seated in heavenly places with Him (Ephesians 2:6). 

I sense that the Lord is also saying to His Bride, “I know how the enemy has sought to wear you out in this season, seemingly throwing at you one problem after the next. Yet, he does not know that the process and fire that you are going through is making you stronger. Like a butterfly coming from a cocoon, your wings have been strengthened in the struggle, and now you will soar to new heights with Me.

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“My Beloved, you have been purified like the precious gold, even through the refining. Rejoice at how far you have come, for truly nothing has been wasted. I have been using every circumstance for your good, as you have allowed Me to mold you and shape you as a potter does with clay. I tell you the truth, you will marvel at how far you have come, as I have been with you through it all.

“Do not focus on the past, rather move forward. Indeed, I am calling you up higher. I have collected all of your tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8 NLT), and the very tears that you have cried have been watering and fertilizing the harvest that shall soon spring forth. Truly, I have taken your sorrows, and I am giving you joy.

“Can you hear the love song that I am singing over you, My precious child? Continue to embrace the process, and receive your new-found freedom in Me. You are no longer a slave to fear, rather you are a child of the Most High! Rise up in renewed strength and vigor, and be confident that I, the One who has started the good work in you, will be faithful to complete it (Philippians 1:6). Come up higher, and step into your new place of freedom today, because it is for freedom that I have set you free (Galatians 5:1).”