CENSUS

CENSUS

04.02.2020

Last night I had a dream that I was downtown in a city.  I don’t think the point of it was the specific city, but just being in a city setting, that I was to take notice of.

It was night-time. I was on my way to a special event. I don’t know what this special event was exactly, but I knew important people were going to be there. At one point, I was in an empty lobby of a what appeared to be a bank. I wasn’t sure why I was there, but I was looking around and caught my reflection in a window. I noticed I had no makeup on, and my hair wasn’t done. I found this odd for a couple of reasons. I used to be the type of person who wouldn’t leave the house without a shower, makeup on and hair done. Since having a child, this has pretty much gone out the door and I don’t really care anymore. So in this dream, I found it odd that I was bothered by the fact that I didn’t have makeup on but also bothered by the fact that I was supposed to be going to an important event and wasn’t “dressed up” for it other than a black ball gown.

I walked outside and there were some people on the streets, everyone on foot, not many compared to what it usually would be. I was heading to wherever this event was to be and as I walked around the corner of one block, I had the thought that I shouldn’t go that way being alone as it wouldn’t be safe. About that time, there were a couple others behind me that were also going the same direction. I then realized, it didn’t matter where I went, I would be safe because there were no other people out except those with the same mission – to get to this event. So, I continued on my way.

Those that were out and heading to the special event also were dressed nicely but I noticed they too had no makeup and the men weren’t groomed in the same sense that people going to a special event would be groomed. I remember thinking, “All of us are exposed.”

When I woke up I was saying key/trigger words associated with what is going on in the world, “COVID-19, corona virus, shelter at home, etc”  and as I recalled this dream, I asked God what the significance of it was because I felt this was a dream I needed to take note of. I knew the Holy Spirit was letting me know the dream had to do with the current events.

All this morning I’ve been talking with God and asking Him to reveal to me the meaning of this dream.

I was led to 2 Samuel 24. I encourage you to read this chapter for yourself.

In 2 Samuel 24, King David takes a census. This truly got my attention given 2020 is a census year. David took a census out of pride and not out of the command of God. There is some great commentary you can read at the following link in regards to this as it is too much to explain here:

https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/2-samuel-24/

As well as the commentary for Exodus 30

https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/exodus-30/

Numbering people takes ownership of them. David was trying to give himself credit for the growth in Israel. He was influenced by satan to do this, not God, which brought a three day-plague upon the people and thousands died.

Exodus 30:12 KJV states:

When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them.

When God ordered a census, the people had to pay a price to avoid a plague. They were only to be numbered if God requested it, not man. Back then, counting something (people, animals, etc) showed ownership. Israel didn’t own Israel, Israel was God’s. David took it upon himself to conduct a census in 2 Samuel thus bringing a plague upon the land.

Now, all of this takes place in the Old Testament. We know that Jesus was offered as the ultimate sacrifice and a New Covenant (New Testament) was made. It did not however abolish the Old Covenant, it FULFILLED it. So what does all of this have to do with current events?

God’s people are being tested right now. God will never tempt us, but He will test us. A test measures our weaknesses and our strengths. It is a way to show ourselves what areas we excel at and what areas we need to work on. God testing us is another way He shows His love towards us because it makes us grow.

Our faith is being tested. There are many who sit in a building at designated times of service and know nothing of God or Christ or the Holy Spirit. There are many who preach one thing and live another. There are many who say they believe but really don’t. I heard “threshing floor” in my time with God and the Holy Spirit today and immediately thought of Matthew 3:12 (Amplified)

12 His [j]winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear out His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat (believers) into His barn (kingdom), but He will burn up the chaff (the unrepentant) with unquenchable fire.”

 

My question was “God, are you clearing out your threshing floor?”. That is when I was directed to 2 Samuel 24. King David repents after conducting the census and buys the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite and sets up an altar to God on that threshing floor, as directed by God. He offered burnt offerings and peace offerings to God and God was moved to compassion by David’s prayer for the people and He held the plague back from Israel.

So I asked God for clarification on all of this as I pieced things together. Last week, I was going through a box of old items and came across a bookmark that I tossed to the trash pile. When I did, I heard in my spirit, “Pick it back up.” I did and written on the back side were two Bible verses. This was a bookmark I had used as a young girl in Sunday school in my Bible. The two verses were as follows:

Leviticus 27:2 King James Version (KJV)

Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When a man shall make a singular vow, the persons shall be for the Lord by thy estimation.

And the following:

Exodus 3:17 King James Version (KJV)

17 And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey.

 

These two verses tie right back in to 2 Samuel and Exodus 30.

I believe God is exposing His people to themselves through all of this. Our faith is being tested. We are being shown what we reflect. There will be many who fall away from the church as they no longer go to a building. They will be shown the superficial persona of their faith, of their belief. Then there will be those who are strengthened in their faith, those who grow in it.

There are those right now who stopped tithing and giving offerings because they aren’t physically present in a worship building yet will sit and watch the services on line. There are those who are using this time as free ride to not pursue the Word at all believing they will once the church opens back up.

It may not appear this way, but God is pouring His love out on his children as a gardener would on his crops to help them grown. The weeds will be plucked. The weak will be strengthened. The strong will be harvested first.

His threshing floor has filled up and He is making room using what the enemy meant for harm and making it glorious. He is not redefining His Church but taking us back to what He intended it to be all along. Man has redefined it into something that has caused confusion and hard hearts. God is opening the threshing floor for those who choose to come closer to Him.

The message now is the same as it has always been. Repent. Repent. Repent.

People don’t want to hear the message of Repentance because it makes them examine themselves and admit what they already know, that they are not living according to His Word or even trying to.

Faith doesn’t mean a person has to be perfected in the things of God. Faith is seeking the things of God and His ways for a better life for ourselves and those around us. God is testing His children to expose them, to reveal them, to GROW them. Let yourself be tested. Examine your faith. Repent and turn back to God. He waits for us, for you. He has a land flowing with milk and honey for those who would heed His Word.

Repent, pray, give offering to God. Seek Him in what that looks like.

Be blessed.

Misty

 

 

 

 

FEAR

FEAR

On my walk yesterday I was listening to a message from Gary Keesee and in that message they briefly talked about fear.

As I was listening, the Holy Spirit dropped this into my spirit and I’ve been meditating on it ever since.

“Fear is the enemy’s form of faith.”

When I heard this, I asked for further explanation and of course it was given.

It’s often said that fear is the opposite of faith, which is true. But to better understand this and fight off fear, we have to understand fear is the enemy’s form of faith.

The enemy has a way of taking Godly things and twisting or perverting them just enough to capture a person who may not have their guard up, or in Biblical terms, have their armor of God on (Ephesians 6:10-18).

Fear is the opposite of faith. Worry is a form of fear. Thinking the worst of a situation is fear. Thinking negatively is a form of fear.

Fear is having faith that the “bad” thing will happen. This is the enemy’s form of faith.

Godly faith is KNOWING the Word and that all things work together for our good (for those who love the Lord -Romans 8:28).

The Word informs us “bad” things will happen to all of us but for those of us who love Him, He will turn that situation into something good. This is what we should always focus our faith on. Not in worry, not in the negative “what ifs”.

What if we started what if-ing positive outcomes? What if I am healed? What if that debt is paid off? What if that relationship is reconciled? Those kind of what if’s will lead us into Godly faith and KNOWING His promises.

Never Forget

Today I looked at my son and realized one day he is going to ask me and his dad if we remember where we were on 9/11.

I realized one day I’m going to have to explain to him about the evil that exists in this world. I won’t be able to shield him from it forever as much as I would like to.

I’ll have to tell him I woke up that day like any other, took a shower and got dressed for work. I was living alone at the time and working my way through some personal issues that were consuming my mind that morning. I was 22 years old.

I had to be at work at 9am and was running a few minutes behind as usual. I got in my car, tape playing (I’m sure I’ll have to explain what a tape is to him), and headed to work. It was right at 9 o’clock and I noticed there were no other cars on the road. I thought maybe it was a holiday and I didn’t realize it. I kept driving along and things just seemed off.

I switched over to the radio and heard a very serious voice and I wasn’t sure what they were talking about. As I listened, I realized there had been an airplane crash but at the point I was listening, they weren’t really giving details, they were more in shock and at a loss for words. It was a strange few moments as I continued on to work because I didn’t understand why they were reporting like this on an airplane crash and then I heard the part about it being into the twin towers in New York.

I pulled in to work, sun shining, temperature comfortable, light breeze and puffy clouds in the sky. No noise. No traffic and no air noise. No planes.

I went in the front door of the building on Dayton Blvd into my dad’s upholstery shop and when he heard the door ding, he walked out of his office and gave me that look. He didn’t say a word but just looked at me.

I asked, “Am I hearing right? Was there a plane that crashed into one of the twin towers in New York?”

He said “Yes,” and turned on the TV in the front room. The news was on and reporting. We stood silently and watched trying to comprehend what was going on.

While we watched they reported a second plane. I said “This is no accident.”

Then a little while later the report about the pentagon.

I looked at my dad and said, “What do we do?”

His response surprised me. He said, “I don’t know,” and shook his head. He always had an answer. Always. I wasn’t scared until I heard him without one.

The day was solemn. We didn’t talk much, just listened to the news reports and worked at a little slower pace than normal. We didn’t have a single customer that day, not that we expected any. I’m sure, as many others, I spent the day wondering what all was going to happen. Are we at war here at home? Are we about to be? We waited for the media to tell us yes or no.

We left that day and my dad told me he loved me. I told him I loved him. He said if anything happened, head to the house.

I went home and stayed glued to the television. I watched the people on the screen terrified and I cried. I cried a lot. I prayed even though at that time I wasn’t at a place in my life where I prayed much at all.

I remembered being there not long before. This picture was taken earlier that year when I went for a weekend with my friend and her aunt. I wondered if I knew anyone who was in the buildings or those who were nearby. I cried for the families waiting to hear if their loved ones were okay. I couldn’t imagine that city, the way I remembered it, forever changed.

I thought of the ferry ride we took and seeing Ellis island off in the distance, the port through which many of us came to be American citizens generations before. The place where many became free to live their dream. The attack was truly an attack on freedom because it was meant to instill fear and those who live in fear do not live free.

The next few weeks were spent wondering if there would be other attacks and if we were really safe anywhere. Those weeks turned into months, now years.

Those who knew the world before 9/11 can say it’s different now, afterwards. Try taking a flight somewhere and we still see the residue of what 9/11 did to us as a country, as a world.

But after all that, I’ll be able to tell my son how people, for a while, set their differences aside and were a little more compassionate towards one another. For a while, love was shown between strangers by treating each other as we should. For a while, people realized how fleeting life truly is and acted accordingly, but, how quickly we forget.

We remember a date, the news reports, the images, but we can’t remember how to be compassionate. We are back in a place of arguing over our leaders instead of praying for them, we get more excited about games on television instead of checking on our neighbors, we resort to physical contact when someone cuts us off on the road instead of using mercy and grace that we are shown every day.

How quickly we forget. To my son, always be compassionate. Always err on the side of love.

Kingdom Business

SEEK what first above all else? The kingdom of God.

WHERE is the kingdom of God? Inside each of us.

WHAT is in the kingdom? Righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Matthew 6:33 KJV

Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
Luke 17:21 KJV

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Romans 14:17 KJV

God’s love

I first gave my life to Christ around the age of 11. That simply meant I chose to believe what the Word says about who God is and who Jesus is. Shortly after, I made the decision to be baptized, an outward declaration to the world of the decision I had made to follow after God.

Then as a teenager, probably starting around age 14, and into my 20’s, I fell far away from any kind of Godly life. That’s a story for a different time.

I was 28 when I rededicated my life to Christ and God. Those that know the story of the prodigal son just make it the story of the prodigal daughter and that was me. For those that don’t know the story, it simply means I was tired of living and doing things my way (because it brought nothing but misery) so I told God I was ready to try things His way again and that I needed His help.

I just turned 40 this past February so I’ve been growing in my faith for 12 years now. I would never want to go back to how I was living in that “middle” part of my life but it has only been in the past six months or so that I have had a revelation in my relationship with God that I didn’t even realize I struggled with all these years.

I’ve always believed and known that Jesus loves me. I’ve never doubted that. God on the other hand, I’ve doubted quite a bit.

God knows every detail of our lives and if you knew every detail of mine, you would see how hard it’s been for me to accept that God truly, relentlessly, constantly, loves me.

I don’t know the exact moment it hit me that I was not fully persuaded that God loves me but it’s been something I’ve been meditating on for quite some time now.

Over the years I would listen to messages or read my Bible on God’s love and God IS love and for some reason, without realizing I was doing it, I would always tell myself, “He may love everyone but not me. Not like that. Not constantly.”

I had somehow convinced myself that God was always kind of upset with me and if He was always kind of upset with me, He didn’t always love me.

This is how I was living my Christian faith. The entire time as I served at my church, as I tithed faithfully, as I prayed in the Spirit, as I talked to others about how God loved them…

I didn’t believe it for myself. I couldn’t accept that God would or could love me. I let past shame, self disappointment and doubt over shadow God’s written Word.

This past week, something clicked. I’ve been working on accepting God’s love for me and working to see Him as the Word describes Him and not what the world says about Him. Not letting MY past or MY actions determine who HE is.

I’ve had to immerse myself in completely opening up to God and letting Him love me. I believe this may be partially the reason he sent us a son who is now 15 months. I have gained a deeper understanding of my relationship with my heavenly Father through the relationship that is building with my son.

God looks at me and smiles and I see it now. He rejoices over me. He wants the best for me. He is on my side. He fights for me, not against me. He is the same God to me that He is for you. Let Him love you.

Zephaniah 3:17
The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

Avonlea

God speaks to me through dreams many times, always has. Probably because it’s the only time my mind is quiet enough to REALLY hear Him, ha.

I’ve had a few distinct dreams over the last year dealing with major life issues (mountains). God has shown me each time that I am the Victor, the winner, but only through Him, only by allowing Him to work through me. I won’t go into all the details but there have been spiritual struggles and dealing with things from my past that I thought I had dealt with when in fact I had just brushed (shoved) it all under the rug. So I have spent the last few years working on how I think. Reprogramming my brain according to His Word, if you will.

Last night, thinking about all of this, the first line of this poem came to me through mishearing some song lyrics. So I wrote it down. I found it funny at first because one of my favorite books/movies is Anne of Green Gables and the continuation of her story Anne of Avonlea. So unless you know those movies, this may not make much sense.

It’s written as a farewell to childhood/young adulthood/depression (the “bosom friend” in the poem) and embracing what it was instead of what I wish it had been. Letting go of the negative but holding on to all the dreams I had of what life should look like because it’s still possible.

Burn it down… God makes beauty from ashes when we relinquish the things that hold us back.

Maybe one day I’ll pick this poem apart and explain what each line means to me. It’s deeper than most would care to know.