The Spirit of Foxes

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THE SPIRIT OF FOXES

At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.”

He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
Luke 13:31-35

 

———–

 

No doubt that Jesus was not ignorant to the fact that Herod was not an actual fox, yet led by the Holy Spirit, he saw through Herod to the spirit behind his actions.

Metaphorically, he denounces his actions as sly and crafty, the characteristics of the fox. Or some could say, the ‘spirit’ of the fox.

And these hints noted in Scripture – especially the timing of their mention – is no coincidence. Jesus was presently driving out demons and intended to teach his disciples in this figurative language how to spot the spirit behind certain men.

Of his chosen people, he metaphorically refers to them as ‘chicks’ that he desired to gather as a hen. Chicks speak of the most vulnerable and dependent of the animal kingdom. A prey to every kind of harm. But if you’ve ever seen a video of a hen protecting her young, then you know that she’s someone you don’t want to mess with. No opponent is too great for her, for she is willing unto death to save them. Yet his people, blind to their own need for his protection, ‘were not willing.’

Not that they were unable, but willing; but able – yet refused. In doing so, they left themselves open to every form of deception; every sort of cunning and craftiness… Such men like Herod, and many men today are ready and waiting to take advantage of such circumstances. (I speak to men based on the context, but this spirit is in no way limited to men)

Yet in all this, even amidst the desolation that we bring upon ourselves by our own rebellion, we are not abandoned. Our Lord honors his servants as priests and heavenly messengers entrusted with the message of reconciliation between a Holy God and His rebellious children – which we ourselves were at one time.

A humbled heart alone can utter such words: “‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

Wherever the Kingdom of God is present, bringing freedom, deliverance, and the message of reconciliation, you can be sure that not too far away will be the spirit of the fox, with murder and rebellion in his heart against the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

———-

Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. As you enter the home, give it your greeting. If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you.

If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.
Matthew 10:11-16

 

God bless you saints of God,

 

 

 

Trust ♔ Jesus!

 

We Walk Together

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OUR EARNEST DESIRE TO SEE YOU

 

Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith. Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.
1 Thessalonians 3:10-13

———–

Do you find that you have an increasing desire for fellowship with your fellow believers; to have more and more opportunities to grow and show your love for one another; to edify and encourage one another with the testimony of how God is moving and what God is doing in your lives?

 

If you answered no, there may be something that is still seriously lacking in your devotion to love others. This is one of the key reasons why the error of some is so clear when they proclaim that they can just have a personal relationship with God all on their own and ‘don’t need to go to church.’

 

For the early church, by living out their faith daily, and walking in love for one another, they understood that this was impossible to do if they didn’t make time to ‘see’ one another.

Our culture has begun to renovate the expectations of fellowship to include:

 

– A nicely decorated place
– Wide selection of snacks
– Nightclub lighting
– 2ohm bass subwoofers
– State of the art stereo system
– A takehome pamphlet
– Your best attire, etc

 

To simply make time to invite fellow believers for ‘only’ prayer and worship, just because you love them and want to encourage your mutual love for God, has become a whole production. It may also be a sign at the superficial nature of the relationships forming.

 

But the believers of the early church had an earnest longing for one another. Not only was the Father made up of people from a wide variety of social class, but they lived in a time of heavy persecution when if someone didnt show up for a gathering, they’d better pray for them that they were still alive!

 

And this isn’t a far stretch from exactly what is still going on in some places around the world today where Christian’s are embracing the call to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

 

I suppose that because in our culture, since daily personal safety doesn’t seem like that big of an issue, it’s easy to not see the need to relish the few moments we do have together.

 

We may almost even take it for granted.

 

I’ve had at least one person that I knew personally pass away every year since I came to know Christ. I’m sure it’s probably been that way all of my life but I’ve only really begun to recognize the importance of these departures now in light of the only Gospel of reconciliation between God and man.

 

We may not see the reason for being around people who genuinely love one another because maybe we grew up in an environment where ‘people didn’t genuinely love one another’ – or at least have matured to the point where they know how to show that love in healthy ways.

 

But the only limitations that exist to us ever experiencing this sort of fellowship that the early church had, is the limitations you and I place on our own expectations of the gathering.

 

Many still frequent churches upto today as a sort of spiritual weekly duty.

 

In just as it starts, and then ready to go the moment the sermon is nearing completion.

 

But to those who have allowed themselves to be vulnerable enough to be open to know, and be known by others, they themselves will testify to you that there exists a deeper intimacy to true spiritual fellowship with others who genuinely love people, persevere to live out their faith, admit their weaknesses in humility, give as if they had nothing to lose, and sincerely want to get to know you and walk along with you in this journey of life.

 

If you haven’t met someone like that, I invite you today as a prayer to ask Jesus to point you to that person in your local church.

 

Take off your blinders, and look out for the unexpected stranger God is sending your way.

 

———

 

Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.
1 John 4:20

 

 

 

Trust ♔ Jesus!

 

The Garden Song

Garden_Tomb

Jason Upton – The Garden Song
https://youtu.be/dV8RkGxWBDU

 

 

At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb
John 19:41

———–

What a paradox of imagery.

 

The same is the call of light in a world of darkness. But don’t make the mistake of misunderstanding the paradox of the imagery… We might think then only of externals and leave from here believing that the garden beautified the scene of death into something pleasant.

 

But it is actually the symbol of Christ’s death here that brings about the beautiful life displayed in the garden.

 

The Lord Jesus said:

Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
John 12:24

 

And therein lies the paradox of what it really takes to advance the Kingdom of God:

 

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross *daily* and follow me”
Luke 9:23

 

The cross is an instrument of death and a symbol of our devotion to follow Christ even unto the denial of our own priorities and self.

 

That means it may interfere with your wedding plans this year…

It may get in the way of your weekly hockey game…

It may occur at the same time as your favourite TV show…

It may require the sacrifice of your free time…

It may cost you the nest egg you’ve been saving up…

It may come at the cost of your reputation with friends – to renounce all things, and follow the one who calls you to eternal life!

 

But the cost is as nothing in light of the sweet victory and beautiful hope that is yours in Christ Jesus, that transcends anything which fading worldly pleasure could ever possibly offer…

 

Eternal Life in the presence of the Perfecter of Love, Peace, & Joy unending!

 

So, are you ready to build a garden?

 

 

 

Trust ♔ Jesus!

 

You Are What You… Speak

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You Are What You… Speak

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of Godis coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and *filthy language from your lips.* Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
Colossians 3:5-10

 

———-

 

I remember a day when I was visiting a group home where I walked in at the same time that a case worker was trying to resolve an issue with a young man who was walking around the house swearing while talking to everyone.

 

“What’s the matter with my language?” he said. “We’re all adults here, I’m eighteen years old”

 

I wondered to myself why this young man equated swearing with adulthood. So I decided to ask some questions and get to know Him a little better.

 

It turns out that his parents swore regularly in their home where he was grew up. Whenever he swore though, he would often get into big trouble. So to avoid looking like hypocrites by telling him that ‘swearing is wrong’, his parents simply told him “swearing is grown up language.” So now he just naturally equates the expression of his every feeling using these words – with being an adult.

 

And this poor example is in no way limited to young adults. Just recently I had a co-worker of mine ask me as casual as ever “hey, are you going to attend the ‘effin’ group” with a very sincere and polite smile on his face.

 

Apparently the lie that ‘swearing is grown up language’ has spread further than we readily want to admit. Actors, athletes, celebrities, & musicians all across tv programming and movies certainly haven’t helped the issue.

 

———–

 

But this issue is not a new one at all. When I look back at the letters to the early church, I notice that the Apostle Paul recognized these issues in his day also. But when I consider the Apostles reasoning as to ‘why’ we should no longer mirror this example of the world, I notice a few profound things that he uses as his premise for this exhortation.

 

One of which is found in the last line:

put on the new self, which is being *renewed* in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”

 

The other is that “you used to walk in these ways” 

 

———–

 

In essence he is saying this:

“people live godless lives and that’s the proof that they don’t know the likeness of the One in whose image they have been created. But since we really do have access through Christ to know Him, and now we really have come to know Him, then as we grow in that knowledge of Him and are becoming more like Him, we should be more inclined to put off the things that do not properly represent Him in our lives, by the power of the ‘Holy’ Spirit.

 

That means, if our friends choose to continue to misrepresent God to this world – we do not.

If our parents choose to continue to misrepresent God to this world – we do not.

If our co-workers choose to continue misrepresent God to this world – we do not.

 

He’s calling us to stand out among a crooked and perverse generation who clearly does not know God, which is also the very life from which we’ve all been redeemed, so that the light of our lives may now shine forth as a testimony of one who absolutely DOES know God!

 

For through Christ, we truly did come to know Him.

 

———–

 

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” *The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.* Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Romans 8:14-17

 

 

So everyday we can show the world whose we are, both by our testimony in what we say, and by our words in what we ‘do not’ say.

 

I implore you,

 

 

 

Trust ♔ Jesus!

 

Evening Comes First!

creation

EVENING COMES FIRST

 

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” *And there was evening, and there was morning* – the first day.
Genesis 1:1-5

 

———–

 

In the Scriptures, God created the entire visible and invisible realm in just six days, and rested on the 7th. But an interesting phrase the inspired writer keeps using after each day of creation:

“And there was *evening*, and there was *morning*”

Why evening first?

 

In the Hebrew, the Word used for evening is “Ereb” and the Word for morning is “Boker”, and the Hebrew language, though made up of only very few words in comparison to other languages, are packed with a vast array of meaning.

 

In this verse, it has been translated ‘evening and morning’ But the two words also carry with them the meanings of “chaos” and “order.”

 

So in a Hebrew mind, this verse could actually be interpreted as a recap of all God did as He created each day by saying “God took chaos, and brought order”

 

Because of this, in the Hebrew mind, according to our 24 hour day, tomorrow actually begins at 6pm today. We have 12 hours of night, broken up into 4 ‘watches’ of the night, followed by 12 hours of day, starting at 6am.

 

6pm – 9pm: the first night watch
9pm – 12am: the second watch
12am – 3am: the third watch
3am – 6am: the fourth watch

 

So by the time we wake up each day, more than half the day has already passed!

 

But this also gives us maybe a little insight as to why we began evening prayers.

 

You see, the battle must be won in the spiritual before the victory of each day is enjoyed in the natural. We pray that God would bring His Divine order to a chaotic world each evening, so that we may live in peace each day.

 

Victory over temptation of sin
Victory over the flesh
Victory over the influences of the world
& Victory over Satan and the demonic realm

 

When we look at Israel’s history in the Bible, and even during the time of Jesus’s life on earth, we see that not only are many victories won during the night watches, but it was also a time when God did some extraordinary things!

 

———-

 

During the *last watch* of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion.
Exodus 14:24

It was *just after midnight,* after the changing of the guard, when Gideon and the 100 men with him reached the edge of the Midianite camp. Suddenly, they blew the rams’ horns and broke their clay jars. The three companies blew the trumpets and smashed the jars. Grasping the torches in their left hands and holding in their right hands the trumpets they were to blow, they shouted, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!”While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled.
Judges 7:19-21

The next day Saul separated his men into three divisions; during the *last watch* of the night they broke into the camp of the Ammonites and slaughtered them until the heat of the day. Those who survived were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.
1 Samuel 11:11

And in the *fourth watch* of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea.
Matthew 14:25

 

———-

 

This teaches us of the importance of the wars waged during the night hours, and the importance of standing your ground even throughout the night in order to enjoy the fruit of victory each day!

 

This could be won by earnest nightly prayers in preparation for the day ahead. Or through the revelation given through dreams that we are careful to write down (or record) so we don’t forget to meditate upon it the following day. It could also be through fasting from 6pm the evening before, which is why when we eat the next morning, we call it “break-fast.”

 

Imagine how many disasters could be avoided if we leaned on the wisdom of God to direct us and sought it out will all of our hearts, minds, soul, and strength!

 

Dont be like the sluggard:

 

As a door turns on its hinges, so a sluggard turns on his bed.
Proverbs 26:14

 

———-

 

God rewards those who earnestly seek Him. And remember, your revelation could very well be the key to someone elses breakthrough!

 

So I implore you,

Tonight,

 

 

 

Trust ♔ Jesus!

 

The Child in You

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United Pursuit – Let It Happen
https://youtu.be/bvsAV-MgGao

 

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child* is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 18:2-4

 

——–

 

In the Kingdom of light, there is a very big difference in becoming “child-like” and being “childish.”

 

I once sat in prayer on a Sunday afternoon when the Lord showed me a clear vision of this long forgotten memory from when I was maybe 7 or 8 years old. We had a metal swing set in our backyard and I would love to go out there a swing on any time I got the chance to go outside.

 

On the weekends, while my father was just inside of the balcony doors preparing dinner and my mother cleaning around the house, I would be outside swinging without a care in the world!

 

I mean, what worries does a 7 year old child have?

 

I wondered at why the Lord would remind me of this particular moment. Then He spoke and said:

 

“Just the same way that you trusted in your earthly parents to provide, to take care of your needs, and you swung with all your heart without a care in the world, in this same way, I am asking you to trust in Me now”

 

———

 

Childishness has always had more to do with wrong attitudes in how we address situations, immature behaviors that we carry into adulthood, and wrong or harmful perspectives and beliefs that we continue to hold throughout life that we never challenge or investigate their ends.

 

But child-likeness has more to do learning to obey and follow with dependency on our Heavenly Father as our Provider, our Protector, and Counsellor, and Friend; the One who lovingly admonishes us, and even disciplines us when necessary.

 

In fact, whereas we tend to view our family relations as something we are trying to depart from as we get older, as if independence is the mark of maturity, true godly maturity is to actually understand that the family unit was given to us as a spiritual training ground on how to learn to depend upon a good earthly Father – as an example of the sort of dependency we should then move on to have upon our Heavenly Father in adulthood.

 

———

 

However, not everyone has grown up in a environment where they had a good example of a father. This is where Scripture’s example and the Church are intended to shine forth with overwhelming hope! It’s never too late to get to know the love of the Perfect Father who regards you as His child and has made a way for you to return home to Him no matter what your life may have looked like all those years you may have been apart.

 

That way, is Christ!

 

———

 

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will – to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. In him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
Ephesians 1:3-10

 

It’s not too late to get to know Him,

 

 

 

Trust ♔ Jesus!

 

Dream & Visions

Understanding-Dreams-Visions

DREAMS & VISION’S

The Lord replied to them:
Be glad, people of Zion,
    rejoice in the Lord your God,
for he has given you the autumn rains
    because he is faithful.
He sends you abundant showers,
    both autumn and spring rains, as before.
The threshing floors will be filled with grain;
    the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.

“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—
    the great locust and the young locust,
    the other locusts and the locust swarm—
my great army that I sent among you.
You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
    and you will praise the name of the Lord your God,
    who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed.
Then you will know that I am in Israel,
    that I am the Lord your God,
    and that there is no other;
never again will my people be shamed.

“And afterward,
    *I will pour out my Spirit on ALL people.*
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    your old men will dream dreams,
    your young men will see visions.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
    I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
I will show wonders in the heavens
    and on the earth,
    blood and fire and billows of smoke.
The sun will be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood
    before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
And everyone who calls
    on the name of the Lord will be saved;
for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
    there will be deliverance,
    as the Lord has said,
even among the survivors
    whom the Lord calls.
Joel 2:19, 23-32

 

———-

 

In this Prophetic Word by the prophet Joel, God declares that in the day of restoration of His people, He would pour out His Spirit on “ALL people” which would in turn cause many to dream dreams and see visions, both young and old, both men and women.

 

This is an amazing and very relevant promise that we see throughout the Bible, both by believers an unbelievers alike.

 

Nebuchadnezzar had dreams
Joseph (of the 12 sons of Jacob) had dreams
Pharoah had dreams
Ezekiel had visions
Paul had visions
Jeremiah had visions and dreams
Joseph (Mary’s husband) had dreams

 

And these dreams were very important also! They gave counsel, warned of danger, gave direction, confirmed trust in certain people, declared God’s judgement, and so much more!

 

About one third of the 66 books that make up the Bible is filled with dreams and visions. And this is no coincidence considering that we spend approximately 8 hours a day – or ‘one third’ of our life asleep!

 

So that means that if we live to be 60 years old, by then we would’ve spent 20 years asleep!

 

So if we neglect the ministry of dreams and visions, wouldn’t that be an awful lot of time to neglect hearing from God throughout our lives?

 

———

 

I just recently met an ex-muslim woman who came to know Jesus as Lord and even only considered reading the Bible after having had an amazing and powerful dream from the Holy Spirit.

 

She saw a place with many trees far behind her while she was now in a dry and desert land. Suddenly, an enormous tsunami wave was about to crash over the desert when it paused in mid-air and an angel spoke to warn her. He warned her of original sin and that Jesus was returning!

 

When she awoke, she began to study and search out these things until she finally gave her entire life to Jesus and confessed Him as Lord.

 

The imagery of having the garden with many trees behind her while being in a desert land was symbolic of the very things the angel warned her about – original sin, and separation from our Holy and loving relationship in the Garden of Eden with God due to sin.

 

By understanding this, she began to understand why Jesus came and died to reconcile us to God.

 

———-

 

Throughout the night, there are a variety of influences that can affect our dreams…

 

– Some can be from God

– Others can be demonic

– Some can be from our soul (mind, will, and emotions)

– And some can be from too much pizza!

 

Being adequately knowledgeable in the Word of God will help you to understand the imagery and discern the symbolism rightfully.

 

And dont forget to begin each night with prayer! Both the dream and the interpretation of the dream come by the Holy Spirit, so your relationship with God will have the opportunity to grow as you begin to walk out this new supernatural life with your Heavenly Father who loves you dearly!

 

 

 

Trust ♔ Jesus!