(Into the Waters Ministry, Inc resources the earnest, helping them linger longer with God, to draw near and know Christ. Now more than ever, we need to know Christ and practice settling our souls in His presence, anchoring in His promises. Will you help us expand reach and impact? Listenership for our Peace Be Still prayer podcast is steadily growing! So many more can benefit! Please consider a donation! Help us match the $1K per month challenge pledge! Every donation is a blessing! Thank you for considering it. Now on to today's interactive Advent exercise...)
This is the 10th exercise released over the last 10 days for the Advent season! Find the interactive prayer exercises on the podcast tab or click above to find the podcast on Apple podcasts! Below is the content of today's Peace Be Still episode if you prefer to read it to engage. Blessings!
Hello Gina from Into the Waters, welcome to Peace Be Still and this Advent season! It’s Friend Friday, a time to experience the presence and person of Jesus Christ, Immanuel, with us is God. Isaiah 7:14 says the LORD himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. Let’s call upon His Name today.
Yesterday’s episode shared in the prayer portion that Isaiah wrote those prophetic words 700 years before Jesus was born. We see those words reappear in Matthew 1. An angel of the LORD appears to Joseph telling him not to be afraid, but to take Mary as his wife, because the child within her is from the Holy Spirit; he should be named Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. And then it says that "all of these supernatural events took place to fulfill what the LORD has said through the prophet Isaiah: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means “God with us.”
Jesus, God with us, fulfilled that prophecy as he ministered on the earth, and continues to fulfill that prophecy for you today. God is with you. Deuteronomy 31:6 is a promise from Jesus in the Old Testament- Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Remember Jesus is timeless, eternal, that Old Testament prophecy is from Jesus himself. We get a glimpse of His eternity and coming from the prophecy in Micah 5:2-
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”
Jesus, a leader coming from ancient times,? Yes. NKJV says "Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” The Amplified version clarifies his goings forth saying- His goings forth (appearances) are from long ago, From ancient days.”
The prophet declared God himself was coming! And yet Jesus has always been with His people, from the creation of physical time and space, Jesus has been with us!
So today, let’s proclaim His presence with us. Just position to repeat, affirm, and invite His presence with an open and receptive spirit.
Jesus, you are with me.
I carry your Spirit within me.
Nothing can separate me from your love.
Immanuel, you are with me.
You will never leave me or forsake me.
No one can snatch me out of your hand.
You are with me in the storm.
You speak to the wind and the waves within.
“Peace Be Still.”
You are with me in my fear.
I am not to be terrified or afraid.
You go with me.
You promise to guide me.
Your rod and your staff they comfort me.
Save me from guiding myself.
I need your wisdom.
By your Spirit, whisper wisdom.
Now wait quietly in His presence.
Help me obey your counsel.
Help me surrender to your whispers.
You go before me.
I am not alone.
Jesus, you are with me.
Immanuel... with me is God.
Below is content from today's podcast. It is part of a series on spiritual weapons of warfare. If asked about weapons of warfare, some people give a blank stare, some say it is making reference to the armor of God. However, the armor is not the weapons, it's the armor. Some say our weapon is the WORD of God which is true, but more so on terms of where all the weapons are found. It's plural, not one weapon, but weapons with an "s".
God has given us a powerful arsenal of weaponry. All without blood and gore. The blood has already been let by Him. No He has other weapons we are to use and they lead to life, power, healing, and intimacy with Him. In 2 Chronicles chapter 20 alone, I found 30 weapons of warfare!
Do you think you could name 10 weapons of warfare off the top of your head? Stop right now and try to name 10 spiritual weapons of warfare that are mighty in God for the destruction of strongholds, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.
Talking of spiritual weapons of warfare and destruction of strongholds can feel very elusive or like a high-minded philosophical discussion on spiritual matters far beyond our understanding. But this is not to be the case. If you take the time to understand what the LORD is saying, you'll find very practical insights to apply within that lead to freedom and deep healing. Of course this is not to be done alone, but with the help of and in the presence of our safe and Holy friend, Jesus. His friendship is a powerful weapon of warfare to destroy fortified places within us...
For more, this is where I'll transition you to today's podcast content. Read below the line for its content, or to participate by listening and engaging in the interactive prayer exercises, please visit the podcast page to tune into the entire series. You can find Peace Be Still Daily Prayer Download on Apple Podcasts, Google podcasts, Iheart radio, Spreaker, Spotify and more. Follow the program on your podcast provider to be notified of new episodes! (Note: The number of listens daily for the podcast started in May continues to grow. We in the ministry are so excited for this holy work of inspiring people to pray! To donate because you believe in our mission, and so we can reach more, please click on the donate button in the column to the right! God bless your generosity!)
PODCAST EPISODE 150- SPIRITUAL WEAPON #6- FRIENDSHIP WITH GOD
Today we are meditating upon the friendship of God. It’s weapon #6 in this series on praying for
victory over fears and negative counsel of the soul. Why is friendship a weapon? The language of
weapon comes from 2 Corinthians 10:4-5. These supernatural weapons have power to bring down
strongholds. Some strongholds require outside forces. And friendship with God is a magnificent
weapon on these terms.
But first, what is a stronghold? Do you have strongholds? Strongholds are fortified places of safety,
arguments and reasonings on which you rely to stay safe. Is this good or bad? Both, but in terms of
being weapons of warfare to bring down strongholds, they are places that must be torn down. These
negative strongholds are set up in the mind, affecting how you present yourself to others and attempt to control outcomes. It is a state of mind where in conscious and unconscious ways you fortify your soul in ways contrary to God.
Here are some examples:
It takes a lot of energy to hold your ground in these fortified spaces within. You alone are the one fighting to keep others out, and it is a long and lonely battle. It’s a battle you are losing at the expense of peace and power and healing God promises.
But we are stubborn and resistant in holding our ground! And we think we can compartmentalize these spaces in such a way that doesn’t affect us. For the most part, if we keep people at safe distances, they know little about our strongholds. Yet they do make up subtle nuances of our personality, only becoming blatantly obvious when anyone gets too close. If anyone does get too close, then look out, because you know how to keep people out. And these are places and spaces and thoughts and feelings that God’s word says that are strongholds. “I’m holding on to my shame.” “I won’t let myself get hurt again”. And “I cannot forgive” is completely contrary to God. These are places that must be destroyed.
And He is the friend, the safe place, the gentle Savior who we can trust to tear down all our arguments and have an open concept design within, a place without walls and barriers within our hearts. He becomes our stronghold and we are set free!
Friendship with God as a weapon is referenced through scripture. But since we are meditating upon 2
Chronicles 20 in this series, related to weapons of warfare, friendship with God is mentioned in verse 7 and is today's weapon.
In verse 7, the king reminds God of the covenant he made with Abraham, whom God called his friend. We see this language of Abraham being God's friend in verse 7. And we too have that privilege of being a friend of God! Jesus says in John 15:15, “I have called you friends, for everything I learned from my Father, I make known to you.” As our friend, Jesus shares his secrets with us! Psalm 25:14 says that the secret friendship of the LORD is with those who fear him. It says the Lord confides in those who fear him, he makes his covenant known to them.
The LORD confiding in you and making his covenant known in the deepest recesses of your soul will set you free from strongholds. He will tear down those walls of shame, fear, anger, unforgiveness,
He wants to confide in you! He wants to reveal the riches of His covenant in ways that set you free,
heal, redeems, makes new. I was with a friend this week who recounted a recent time that God spoke one word to her that transformed her whole perspective. It was about a stronghold of control. As she continued to share, out came a supernatural outpouring of wisdom and holy counsel of all she learned just from that one word from her holy friend Jesus! I said, “Wow, you got all of that from just one word from Jesus?” “Yes!” We laughed and marveled at the goodness and power that comes from just one word Jesus speaks to our soul!
So today, do not resist our Holy friend. Consider how your strongholds manifest today. What are you
compartmentalizing? How are you keeping him out, choosing instead to fortify your position? By
arguing with God or others? Are you stuffing your feelings by numbing them say with food, by over-eating? Do you have passive aggressive tendencies? Are you withdrawing or hiding from those closest to you? Jesus can be trusted.
He is safe. You won’t know the truth until you surrender and trust Him. And the simplest way to start is to talk openly and honestly with Him as friend. “Jesus, every time I feel vulnerable or anxious, I am
reaching for food.” “Jesus, I don’t think anyone will ever really love me. So I am keeping busy to avoid intimacy. Or I am reading romance novels to get what I need or I am watching “x” to feel what I long for. I’m keeping you out of these places.”
Confide. It’s powerful. Life changing. It will destroy the arguments draining you of life, of power.
Use this quiet time to ask Jesus to tear down strongholds within. “Jesus tear down my strongholds. Ask Jesus, what are my strongholds? Set me free.”
(Note in the podcast, a gentle instrumental plays at the end for a short, but quiet time to pray that prayer above and enjoy His friendship.)
My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.—Psa. 63:8
I want deliberately to encourage this mighty longing after God. The lack of it has brought us to our present low estate. The stiff and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our lack of holy desire. Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people. He waits to be wanted. Too bad that with many of us He waits so long, so very long, in vain. - AW Tozer, “The Pursuit of God”
We need to wake up. All is not yet over in this uncomfortable season that we are in. As AW Tozer wrote over 50 years ago, God is waiting to be wanted. In this season, is He waiting for us in vain?
What are we waiting for? For things to go back to normal? For routine? Eating out? Socializing? Entertaining? Attending events? Traveling? Shopping? All life activities that are normal, but in no means necessary. Have you replaced some of that time with a fresh pursuit of God?
What if our pursuit of God played critical part of transforming brokenness into God's glory?
2 Chronicles 7:14- if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land
Humbling ourselves. Taking initiative. Our soul following HARD after him...
Yesterday I started the day uploading a podcast I had recorded the day before. Then after, I went for a walk using it to spur me on for the day. I spent 45 minutes listening to God’s word, proclaiming God’s word, praying God’s word for myself and others. Before you think I am patting myself on the back, wait for what happened next.
I went home and ate breakfast. I changed clothes, and headed out for a simple task to get my vehicle inspected because it was due. Yes, I waited to the last day of the month. However, my check engine light had been on for weeks and I was hoping it would go off. When I had gotten into the Jeep that morning it was off! So just in time! Just in time for a spiritual test...
What I thought was going to be an easy task, ate up my whole day. For the first place I went, 3 bays were opened with cars in line. I was one of them. After about 15 minutes, I noticed a bay on the end, the only one that had a BIGGGGG banner across it that said "NY state inspections". Since it was an oil change place, I figured that they had that special bay just for inspections... so as to not interrupt efficient flow of getting cars in and out for oil changes. So I moved from my position; and went partially into that bay to ask. No sooner do I do this, and a man with a stern look comes into the bay and starts waving his arms in upset for me to leave the bay. I open my window and attempt to tell him I just needed an inspection and he barks out, “Get in line with everyone else.” I told him that I was in line before; but since there was a sign on this bay for inspections… He talks over me, cuts me off and says “unless I own the building, I should not be driving into the bay without first being ushered in”. I was shocked. Clearly he took great offense at what I had done, and refused to listen to my reasoning. He stayed intense, and began motioning with his arms, using airplane controller type movements to silence me and get me to back out of the partial entry I made into the bay.
Well. I could not believe how rude he was! So I thought, “Forget you. I’m leaving.” I didn’t want to be serviced there. I took offense at him taking offense. So off I went to find another place and the next places required appointments. So much for trying to stay close to home. I decided to go to my normal place 20 minutes away. Upon arriving, same backlog of cars for bays. I was told it would be a wait of a couple of hours. Okay.
Long story short, 3 hours pass, during which time I leave and walk across to Wegmans. I come back when its finished, only to check out to be wrongly charged for something they were to do (tire rotation), but didn’t do, but said they did. I see my paperwork on the seat, read that they didn’t do it, bring back my receipt for a refund and the confusion ensues for an additional 10 minutes. In the confusion I find myself short-tempered with them for arguing with me when they themselves typed the note into the system of not completing the work, which is also clearly on my paperwork.
The manager admits he forgot it, which I do believe was sincere. But then they couldn’t figure out how to refund the money. At this point of the day, I have lost my patience and let them know I cannot continue to stay, to please figure it out and call me when it is done.
Why am I detailing all of this? Because this was a wake-up call to me. I spent a good portion of the previous night in a 1 hour prayer walking session, then an hour interceding for the nation later on, then waking up to another prayer walk for an hour. I was very disturbed with lack of Spirit led response.
I knew that I did not extend grace to the manager who was being kind to me, but he was just overwhelmed with how busy they were. He was clearly the one trying to help, apologizing for the mistake, and even though he couldn’t figure out how to refund me, was indeed trying to resolve it. Plus, I knew that at the time I was leaving they had about 10-12 cars lined up in 3 bays all waiting for hours. He was under tremendous pressure, and I knew it was like this for them all day.
So I dealt with myself. I had a good talking to myself and with God. I was not a jerk to them, but I was impatient and had let the earlier situation get me stewing and upset. I had opportunity to speak and act in a way to reveal Jesus; but didn’t.
Just as soon as I was finishing up talking to God about this and evaluating myself, the manager calls and says he worked it out reversing the incorrect charge. I had a much different frame of mind after repentance and was kinder, and expressed empathy. He ended the call by adding he would not charge me for the inspection either because he felt badly about the inconvenience and time. And invited me to come back another time, so he could look at my tires for free, and figure out how to get the stuck lug nuts off and complete the work.
Again, why do I tell you all of this? Because folks we are in different times. And people are easily set off; and as a Christian we must have a spirit of self-control and a grace and mercy that stands out. If I am in prayer all that time, yet letting the fact that things happened that ate up my whole day, and then snuffing out my light, how great of a witness am I? This is not a time to be stewing within. It's not a time to be demanding. We may have to take some hits. We may have to be like Jesus right now. Yes. It's time. Let's be like Jesus, no offense. I am saying that to myself and praying for the Spirit's work in me.
He answers. More time in prayer, more time with God makes us much more self-aware. Why? The Spirit is answering our prayers to make us more like Jesus. If you want a "less of me, more of you" exercise, try episode #84 podcast from last week. Found at this link, just scroll down to the episode.
Anybody who would have observed me yesterday might say, “What’s the big deal? Anyone would have been annoyed.” That’s not the point. The point is revival within. I'm not to be anybody. I am to be a reflection of Christ. And it is so desperately needed in me, it is so desperately needed in you. It is a time to walk with the peace of Christ and reveal Him.
As we approach the elections, you can be sure more chaos is around the corner. Chaos and anarchy have not yet subsided really. It is still abounding in some cities. Murder rates are rising at alarming rates in New York, Chicago and other areas. Lawlessness is breaking out. 30 million people just had their unemployment benefits end. People are on edge and easily perturbed like I experienced at my first stop yesterday.
We need a wake up call to the times still. Would you say Christians are awake? Are we in revival mode? Or are we just in a mode of frustration or complacency wanting for things to go back to normal? It’s not going back to normal. And in it all, God is waiting to be wanted. He is waiting for a fire in our belly to burn for Him.
He can intervene. He can heal. He can turn things around. He can revive us. But it begins with you. It begins with me. Non-essential activity vs essential activity. Strip down to essentials…
“If we would find God amid all the religious externals we must first determine to find Him, and then proceed in the way of simplicity. Now as always God discovers Himself to "babes" and hides Himself in thick darkness from the wise and the prudent. We must simplify our approach to Him. We must strip down to essentials (and they will be found to be blessedly few). We must put away all effort to impress, and come with the guileless candor of childhood. If we do this, without doubt God will quickly respond.” AW Tozer- The Pursuit of God
Give yourself a wake up call. Assess if you are in a mode of revival or not. Is the Spirit thriving in you? Are you in hot pursuit? Is God enough?
If you want to go further in reading AW Tozer and the spiritual challenges he brings to bear, it might help in your wake-up call. You can find it offered FREE from the Gutenburg project at this link- https://www.gutenberg.org/files/25141/25141-h/25141-h.htm
I highly recommend it. I am re-reading it myself.
Otherwise, I have continued to release podcasts Monday-Friday. I will highlight yesterday’s. It is a 10 minute proclamation of blessing that you agree and proclaim. Try using it while walking! Listen to it more than once. Let the truth of God’s blessings penetrate, take ownership of them! Wake the sleeping giant within! He’s waiting to be wanted!
Yesterday was part 1 of a podcast series on Hannah, a Hebrew hero of the faith who lived in 11th century BC. She endured years of persecution and shame, yet never lost faith in God. Her prayers were earnest and her vows holy. Next week, the series will end looking at her warrior song which foretold of the coming Messiah!
Hannah was a woman after God’s own heart. She is distinguished as one of the great women God chose to bear a son to lead his people as a prophet of renown. Her heart is one I marvel at, one who returned her miracle back to God! Her account is found in 1 Samuel 1 and 2.
She was not a woman of offense. She respected authority, even when they were wrong about her.
What would your response be if you went to church, were in the midst of passionately praying to the LORD when a pastor approaches you and accuses you of being drunk. This is how Eli the priest treated Hannah. Scripture says she was praying in her heart and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli had been watching her lips move; but no words coming out. He approaches and says “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.”
In our day of offense, how quickly might we rise up with attitude and tell everyone about it after? "He thought I was drunk!" Yet Hannah is respectful in reply, “Not so, my lord I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”
Eli backs down and answers , “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”
Hannah was humble and considered herself merely a maidservant.
In a world of #metoo, does Hannah offend you? Do you see her as weak or strong?
She humbly says goodbye to Eli without offense, “May your maidservant find favor in your eyes.”
Scripture then says, she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast. Early the next morning she and her husband arise and worship one more time before the Lord before going back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.”
She prioritized worship and gave God everything, including her miracle!
Another season comes to go up and worship the LORD. Hannah remembers her vow and tells her husband that after she finishes weaning Samuel she will take him so that he may appear before the LORD and remain there forever.
Think about that. I have never given birth so cannot really know how selfless and painful that would have been to give your only child into the service of God. He was so little besides! Ancient Hebrew women would wean their children from the breast at around 3 years old. What can a 3 year old do in the temple? Well, it turns out that provision was made for males 3 years old and older, for those who served in the temple. This is referenced in 2 Chronicles 31:16. In our world though, it seems unthinkable to bring a 3 year old into God’s house for him to start serving. Not to be catered to; but to start serving God!
As you may be considering returning to your house of worship in this pandemic, is your heart in a position to serve or be served?
Hannah released her miracle... her promise into God’s hands for the service of God’s house!
This is awesome.
Releasing a promise into God’s hands for service in God’s house.
Releasing a promise into God’s hands for service in his house.
I may not have a child to give. You may not have a child to give. But we have been given the Son of God and so have promises that God has given us through His miracle of life within us. We can return these things into God’s hands for service that brings glory to His name.
God calls us to be living sacrifices. We are the little Samuel’s. We are to give ourselves into His service. And to do so with joy and thankfulness! Hannah returned with her whole heart, bringing not just Samuel but bringing 3 bulls, one ephah of flour, and a skin of wine. She brought sin offerings, thank offerings, and a drink offering which was an aroma pleasing to the LORD. She returned not withholding anything; but giving God everything as gift!
Am I withholding anything? Are you withholding anything from God? Your children? Your time? Your plans? Your finances? Your will? Your spiritual gifts? Ask Him to help you release all things into His hands. God blessed Hannah. Scripture says He visited her after, so that she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters after Samuel! He multiplied the miracle! We can't out-give God! Meanwhile the child Samuel grew before the LORD.
Consider what you might have. Even if merely broken pieces of bread, a few fish, even if just a widow’s mite. What it is doesn’t matter. The percentage of you of being all in for God does. Hannah gave 100%. The widow gave 100%. 100% for Him. 100% invested in His house and kingdom. 100% worship. Let Hannah’s heart inspire you into greater reliance and relationship with Jesus.
Let me pray for you. Agree with me as I pray-
"Lord you are 100% for us. Thank you Lord for visiting with this one. Let Hannah’s example rest in their mind and heart, may it cleanse and purify their desires. Renew them LORD, inspire them to return as living sacrifice, for your glory and kingdom. Help them realign any area of their life and prioritize you above all things. Bless and allow this one to miraculously conceive and supernaturally bear fruit for your glory! Returning to the house of the LORD with hands full of thankfulness, worship, service! May they return the miracle of life you have deposited within them to the praise and honor of your Name! Amen!"
Are you carrying the heart of God? Are you hearing the voice of the LORD for this season? Are you discerning what is happening in the Spirit? Do you see His hand in this worldwide shaking? Are you standing in the gap for the injustices? Are you asking him for his heart to penetrate nations, cities, neighborhoods, families, your heart? Do you believe in His Sovereignty? Among the things I hear Him saying is, "Disconnect." Disconnect from the scrolling. Disconnect from the emotional stewing. Disconnect from the fluff. That we are to align with his heart, and seek first the Kingdom, to return to the greatest commandment... loving God above all else with our everything.
Here is a scripture He has put on my heart- Why do the nations conspire
and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth rise up
and the rulers band together
against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
3 “Let us break their chains
and throw off their shackles.”
4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord scoffs at them.
5 He rebukes them in his anger
and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
6 “I have installed my king
on Zion, my holy mountain.”
I sense emphasis on "The One enthroned in heaven laughs". Do you believe God is a God of "suddenlies"? Can you hear the sound of the Spirit rising up reformers for the kingdom? Not for the world; but for the kingdom? Can you hear the sound of a birthing, a new move of his Spirit? Do you sense you are being called higher, to ascend and rise up in the power of the Spirit, to a higher a level of faith? Are you awake or asleep? Are you anticipating a GREAT AWAKENING? Are you hot, cold, or lukewarm water? Are you feeling love or hate? Are you blessing or cursing?
I believe God's glory is coming. The divine justice of God is coming to silence the wickedness of the world. HIS WORD. HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. HIS GOSPEL. HIS LOVE. HIS PRESENCE. HIS POWER. HIS GLORY IS COMING.
Did you know the Greek word for "glory" in the New Testament means opinion, judgment, view? If someone asked you what it meant would you have included those words?
Whereas in the Old Testament, the glory of the LORD is defined in Hebrew as weightiness, a heaviness of honor, abundance, splendor, dignity, reputation, reverence.
Going back to glory in Greek, it also means majesty, excellence, pre-eminence.
So there is a opinion of man; and then there is the opinion of God. There is a judgment of man; and then there is a judgment of God. There are views of men; and then there are the views of God. God is not seeking the glory of man. He is seeking the glory of the Son of Man, our great High priest, the KING OF Kings, LORD of Lords, HOLY SPIRIT.
His glory is his reputation, His splendor, His WORD, His opinion, His views, the weightiness of His presence. Are you crying out for that release of glory? Because the One is Heaven is laughing right now with anticipation... to release Himself in a fresh move of His Spirit that reveals His glory.
He will exalt the humble. He always resists the proud. He is coming as a demonstration through those really seeking. For those mourning. Are you being moved to tears, mourning over the darkness? He is with those blessing and not cursing. For those loving. For those tuned to his heart. For those who have attempted to walk in the Spirit for SO LONG within the Body of Christ only to be silenced and rebuked.
God has a government to establish in his church. His Name will be exalted among the nations. Chains of injustice that have held you back from your destiny are being broken. The healing power of God is coming. Do you hear the sounds of revival?
Wake up from your slumber. The time is near.
Let go of unforgiveness. Let go of bitterness. Clear accounts so that your heart is positioned, cleansed as a holy vessel through whom His Spirit will pour out and loose chains that bind.
Cry out for the sins of this nation. For the worldiness, selfish ambition, and pride within the church.
Position to hear the heart of God. Quiet yourself in His presence. Draw close to receive, to pray, to proclaim. Cry out for divine counsel and the GLORY OF GOD.
"Bride of Christ, stand in the gap. Now is the time of favor. I will brood over them with my Spirit", says the Lord God Almighty (2 Corinthians 4:6, Genesis 1:2).
For the ones earnestly seeking- "I see you. Keep calling for more. Faint not. Witness. Be bold. Front runner. Don't fear. Love your neighbor. Loose the chains that bind. I AM COMING."
I pray you sit with this message, pray through it. Let it stir you and move you to desire and long for the justice of God, the Glory of God, the Spirit of God in our time. He is FAITHFUL. Do not be weary in your fight of faith.. He is with you "jar of clay", to fill you with His all surpassing power, 2 Corinthians 4:7.
2 Corinthians 4:6-7 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and NOT FROM US.
I haven't posted in awhile, mostly because doing the podcast Monday though Friday is a challenge, especially when working a part-time job on Mondays and Tuesdays. But feeling purposed through it and encouraged! Over 500 listens in the first month. And lately average daily listens are increasing. I have received only very positive comments about it as a prayer resource and that it is speaking to hearts. If you haven't listened yet, please give a couple episodes a try. It can be found on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spreaker, and on the PODCAST tab above. If you want info on any episode before listening, simply click on the little grey circle with the "i" in the middle of it. It will bring a pop-up window with episode detail. As of today, there are 35 interactive prayer episodes with over 4 1/2 hours of listening! That is a good amount of free prayer inspiration! If the episodes are a blessing to you, please consider a free-will donation. It can be a one-time donation or as a monthly donor.
Why donate? We'd love to be able to market the podcast, but costs are easily at $250 per ad through Spotify or other similar podcast sites. We have some technology upgrades to make also. You can help spread the word too! Word-of-mouth is very helpful! And pray for ministry reach! Please share episodes with friends. People may be more receptive than you think!
There are many who are struggling. People are searching for answers. I witness on Quora and the question that has gotten a ton of new activity with over 12K new readers over the last month is, "How many times will God forgive a repeated sin?" People are reflecting on life and death issues. Ask God for greater boldness to witness!
Recently I shared a video on our Facebook page and our private group "Peace Be Still Daily Prayer Download". It was a state of our nation's faith video for National Day of Prayer and had 2018 research from The Barna Group. In summary, a majority of the population in the USA (over 70%) still identify as a Christian. Those are encouraging numbers! However, the majority of those Christians have not attended church in over a year. Only 20% had attended at least once in the month of the survey. The fastest growing faith category was "nones", i.e. those who are identifying as having no faith at all. Based on other data Barna shared in the online presentation I attended, there is clear evidence for a need for God's people to return to Him with a generational trend to not believe in the authority of the Bible. We're trending down and away from the God of the Bible.
Which brings me to the question for the post, "How are you doing?" Answers could be all over the map on that, but in general I am definitely crossing paths with people who are increasingly "not ok". The distancing and sudden change of life routine has sent shock waves into their thoughts and emotions. I shared in the last post (found here) some scriptures that the Lord has put on my heart during times of intercession, to ask God for direction on how to pray. I hope you read the scriptures posted and reflect on the consistent, cohesive message within those scriptures. There is a shaking mentioned in Hebrews chapter 12 to consider as a big idea for Christians to discern, as is 2 Chronicles 7:14 and Matthew Chapter 6. He will shake so that what remains cannot be shaken. His end goal is a faith rooted in Him that cannot be shaken!
God's calling us to "reset, pause, prioritize, return to Him as first love". Returning and prioritizing God is a choice. Are your life choices more of a consideration lately?
Joshua 24: 14 “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
What is God challenging you to "put away"? What things of the world so consume your time and thoughts and energy and money? If our house is in order, praise God! We have chosen well! And we are reaping the blessing of stealing away to spend time with Him and receive comfort in our troubles, nourishment for our soul.
The word I am hearing for you as I type this blog is "disconnect". What do you need to disconnect from in order to prioritize God, to return to God as first love? Take that challenge. Take it to God. Confess weakness and any waywardness. Use Psalm 116 verses 1-9 as inspiration with prompts as noted...
I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.
- Tell him you love him.
Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.
- See Him turning to listen as you pray.
The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow.
- Reflect on your life before God's grace.
Then I called on the name of the LORD: "O LORD, save me!"
- Remember the simple gift of calling on the name of the LORD
The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.
- Tell him who He is.
The LORD protects the simple-hearted; when I was in great need, he saved me.
- Humble yourself, approach him in childlike simplicity
Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.
- Speak to your soul, remind yourself of how good God has been to you.
For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling,
- Rejoice in the life to come, no more sorrow, no more tears.
that I may walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
- Discern the times. Time is short. Order your life towards heavenly reality.
Be blessed in your private time with the Father in your prayer closet! Simply shut the door behind you and pray.
Hi folks! Things have been very busy with ministry! Still producing a daily prayer podcast, have begun a new private Facebook group, and have held some private meditation sessions! Had a men's group a couple of weeks ago. Also have an upcoming group session this week. God is good!
The video above is a welcome video I shared in the group to welcome new members. We have over 225 members for the first week! It's very encouraging! I think it is a sign that people are making more time for prayer and obviously are being driven to engage online because of current circumstances with social distancing.
In the video I share a welcome to new members as well as personal testimony of God supernaturally healing me of depression. I hope you listen in.
For the Facebook group, Peace Be Still Daily Prayer Download is a private group and requires an invite for you or you can request to join. I hope you consider it, there have been good engagement so far. There is a link at the end of the video to find the group on Facebook. Otherwise just search for "Peace Be Still Daily Prayer Download" on Facebook.
Now related to current situation of the virus, during times of intercession, here are some scriptures that God has been putting on my heart over the last month:
It would be interesting for you to read through those scriptures and see what the LORD speaks to you. It's an excellent time to develop a deeper walk with the LORD. I wonder how He has been speaking to you during this time? If you are willing, let me know in the comments!
Here is the content of Podcast 15 if you want to review it first and then listen.
Episode 15- “she judged him faithful… he gave glory to God”
Hello my name is Gina, your prayer partner from Into the Waters. Our promise that brings peace today comes from Philippians 4:13- I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Let’s pray as we begin. “Lord Jesus, I humbly ask for your power to rest on each one as they listen. Open their ears to hear, open their eyes to see, give them the ability to understand what the Spirit of the LORD wants to say to them today. Position them by faith to believe and judge you as faithful.”
Yesterday’s episode shared that for God to be your strength means he is a PLACE of strength. As your place of strength, he is a hiding place for you, and one who pours out his strength by dispatching supernatural forces to surround you and deliver you. If you haven’t yet listened, please listen to yesterday. But for today, instead of the focus of him surrounding us with his power, the focus is his miraculous strength pouring out through you."
Listen to these scriptures- You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 2 Cor 4:7
Though you are merely a clay vessel which is fragile and powerless, yet the excellence of his power and strength is to be shown through you… as being from God, not yourself.
Who really believes this? Who really believes the miraculous power of God will be poured out through their frailty? A woman named Sarah did.
Hebrews 11:11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.
By faith… big words. She judged God faithful, more really big words.
If we are honest, they are so challenging.
Write down this question. What is the state of my faith? How am I judging God right now, as faithful or unfaithful?
Some seasons our faith is great with full faith in God. In others, we waver.
We are in a difficult season right now due to the virus. God wants us to position by faith, and judge him faithful.
How are you judging God right now, as faithful or unfaithful? Make a note to talk to God about that. Unburden and ask for revelation so that you judge Him correctly.
Because when you judge God as faithful and by faith believe, God will do amazing things through you. Scripture says that Abraham (Sarah’s husband and known as the father of our faith) grew strong in His faith as He gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what He had promised.
Abraham had excellent opinion of God and his faith grew strong as He gave God glory.
The promise of God’s miracle working power being poured out through you is only activated by faith and good opinion of God. Abraham and Sarah had a clear vision and promise from God. So for this kind of miraculous experience, you have to have a promise from God. It has to be personal to you. Sarah had a promise from God. She would give birth at a time in her life when her womb was dead. She judged God faithful to deliver. She laughed at first; then she tried to make it happen on her own power; but somewhere along the way, she stopped reasoning and she believed. So, He poured his miraculous strength into Sarah and supernaturally enabled her to give birth to a promised son at the ripe old age of 90 years old.
Many of us also laugh at the absurd thought God could do something miraculous through us. Often we may grab a promise; but then attempt receive it by striving in our own power. Somewhere along the way we need to stop reasoning and believe in the supernatural strength of God manifesting in us.
Write down this question. What promise has God given you that requires His power?
Here are some promises that are yours by faith in Jesus- You are adopted and heir to the kingdom of God. You are seated with Christ in the heavenly realms. Do you see yourself there? Do you see yourself seated with Christ? You have been given the authority of Christ Jesus, the maker of Heaven and earth. He is King of kings. You are part of his royal lineage. Do you see a crown on your head? He has promised to give you a crown of beauty instead of ashes. Are you holding ashes of death or do you see yourself as crowned in beauty? You are charged by Christ to do greater works than he did. He will do whatever you ask in His name so that Jesus can continue to bring glory to the Father. You are his masterpiece created in Christ Jesus to do good works that he planned long ago for you to do. Do you believe you will do greater works than Jesus? Boy is that a challenging one. Yet he said it. Do you believe it? You are Jesus’ friend. You have been made whole in Jesus Christ. With God as your shepherd, you lack nothing, not one thing. You are more than a conqueror through him who loves you. Since God is for you, who can be against you? You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are the apple of his eye. You are forgiven. You are chosen by God, holy and dearly loved. Your soul is sealed by the Holy Spirit he has deposited in you. Your life is now hidden with Christ in God. You are precious in His sight. Your life is not your own, you’ve been bought with a price. Have you surrendered? Not your will, but his will? It is key to receiving supernatural strength.
As an exercise for deeper meditation, which of those promises I just read struck you? Find your promise. There are over 3K promises in the bible. After you find your promise, position by faith!
That gives you a sense of an episode if you haven't listened yet! God rewards those who earnestly seek Him. He provides for those who seek first the Kingdom of God. Seek God first! Blessings on any who take that time with God. Hope some of the prayer inspiration we are offering is a blessing also!
Excited to introduce "Peace Be Still!" Our daily prayer podcast!
Into the Waters has introduced an interactive prayer podcast! Often in surveys, participants indicate they would like a way to experience interactive prayer exercises from the sessions on their own. The podcast is one way for that to happen. You can get a taste of the scripture reflections, interactive lessons, breath prayers, and biblical meditations that make up longer sessions.
As well, the Coronavirus really provided the impetus behind it's sudden start. The effects the virus is having on our daily lives is to be producing spiritual urgency to draw near to God. It definitely has given me a jolt, a resoluteness to implore people to draw near to the Lord! I hope you are feeling that urgency from the Spirit!
Last week, email subscribers got an introductory email from me for the first 4 podcasts. Since then, 5 more episodes have been released. Note, there is a new tab on the website for the podcast. Click here to access, just scroll down that page and hit the play button for each episode. It is also available on Apple Podcasts, Spreaker, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Castbox, Please save it as a favorite on your podcast player so you receive notifications of new episodes! Have received excellent feedback so far! Would love to hear your feedback on it also! Please post a review wherever you may listen!
As introduction, review the summaries of each episode released so far:
Believing this new resource will be a true blessing and gift that will inspire you to linger longer with God in prayer, to draw near and know Christ!
Into the Waters Ministry is a 501c3 ministry and is supported by free-will offerings. Please consider making a donation to help us produce and distribute our interactive prayer resources. Blessings!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Hope that you had a memorable time of worship and fellowship with God and others over this holiday! We are just a couple of days beyond Christmas so giving you a post birth scripture account to meditate upon. Maybe you are just finding time to wind down after the hustle and bustle of the season. Hoping you take a few moments to sit quietly with God and consider Simeon's joy! His joy is to be our joy as well!
Luke 2: 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the LORD's Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: 29 "Sovereign LORD, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel."
Verse 25 uses a phrase "the consolation of Israel". Simeon was a man who had a life mission to see it. Consolation is a calling near for comfort, solace, encouragement, refreshment. Clearly Simeon was a good man who was burdened for God to draw near His people as One who comforts. He did not want to die before seeing that promised Messiah, and God was good to share His secret with Simeon! He sent the Holy Spirit to tell Simeon that indeed he would see the promised Messiah!
It's such a tender, awe inspiring moment, which I think Ron DiCianni's artwork of "Simeon's Moment" above captures. There is inexpressible elation in his face! There are tears of joy and clearly some sound of holy praise coming from a place deep within. He held the Holy Promise in his arms! There was no doubt in Simeon. He recognized the promise as foretold by the Holy Spirit. He was led by the Holy Spirit to enter the temple at the exact right time! And Mary and Joseph were also led straight to him to perform the circumcision, cleanse Mary, and accept their offerings.
Have you ever imagined holding the Son of God in your arms? Do you have a heart response similar to Simeon? God's greatest and highest call is for us to love Him with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind. Love deepens the more we realize how desperately we need God's forgiveness, the reason the holy child was sent.
Luke 7:47- Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
Jesus knows the depth of your love and whether it is surface based or if you are one to unashamedly bow at his feet like the wise men did. Do you read that as a guilt message or an opportunity to more deeply experience the goodness of God? The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy, Psalm 103:8. He is right there waiting and longing for more time with you. Are you satisfied with where you are with God or do you long for more? He promises to openly reward those who go into their prayer closets and talk with Him, Matthew 6:6!
Meditate upon whether or not you are moved to emotion when you worship God. Can you connect with inexpressible joy because of God's love and sacrifice for your sins? Are you free in your time with God to unashamedly pour out your thanksgiving and marvel at His holiness? Do you have goals and longings related to experiencing God at a deeper level in the coming year?
Into the Waters will continue holding online sessions to give you an opportunity to linger in God's presence and deepen your relationship with Him. The sessions help you sit with the LORD, talk to Him, and get to know Him better. He is openly rewarding those who have been attending! A January session will be announced next week! May you join!
Until then, meditate on God as consolation, as comforter. Close your eyes; and do what Simeon did. Hold the Son of God as a newborn, born to die for you. Have you held a baby with a thought, "This child was born to die for me?" It's ludicrous to even think it, except if you are talking about Christ the Messiah. Note during your meditation that Simeon told Mary some very profound truths about who the child was, one who would pierce souls, including her own. See Luke 2:35. If any thoughts of fear or condemnation come up, remember again He is CONSOLATION (COMFORTER). Evaluate your emotional attachment to God. Review areas where you need more joy, where you need a new level of intimacy that brings freedom with God as your Comforter. Ask God to wake you up if you have no passion or desire to press in for more of God. Time is so short! May you invest now in deep fellowship with the heart of God! It is where your life can be made new by God's tender mercies every morning. Great is God's faithfulness, Lamentations 3:23!
Isaiah 9:6- For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
If these blogs have been a blessing to you, please consider an end of year donation! Thank you for your consideration! See our donate page to make a tax deductible offering!
As the year comes to an end, did you experience the change you hoped for? What is the current reading on your hope, joy, and peace meter? Are you continually experiencing peace like a river within? Do you need a recharge? Do you need a supernatural gift this season that takes you into the new year with anticipation? Really consider it, do you need some deep rest in heart, mind, and soul? Close your eyes and ask yourself that question.
In the beginning God created... In the beginning, God's power was executed through His spoken Word and the Holy Spirit. He hasn't changed. The Word and the Holy Spirit of Jesus are still His agents of change. The biggest question for us is, "Do we want that change?" Will we open ourselves up to linger in His presence for the supernatural newness He offers?
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.- James 1:17
Last Friday I did another "Lingering with the God of Hope" online session for a private group of leaders and their team. It was a group of 12 made up of men and women with ages that ranged from young adult to seasoned adult. We had a chance to debrief together at the end of the session. The things they shared, and the breakthroughs they experienced, were the same as in every other group. They received personal revelation and love relevant to their deepest needs within. Without disclosing too much, the bottom line is they heard from the heart of a good Father who affirmed them, comforted them, gently revealed truth, drew near to them, and deposited supernatural hope. The majority shed tears. Not tears of sorrow, but tears of joy and relief at the loving and supernatural touch of God! God was not dramatic with them. He didn't force himself on anyone or expose anyone. He led them like a Good Shepherd leads his sheep to lie down and rest, leading them beside quiet waters. The God of hope deposited joy and peace for an overflow of hope by the power of the Holy Spirit!
Experiencing this type of rest and quiet under the protective presence of God is a good and perfect gift sent from above. It is experienced by lingering in His presence, a discipline that needs to be practiced. It does require that we choose to schedule that kind of time. But it's not easy on our own to linger for a long time in prayer and meditation. Most people really struggle for spending some extended quiet, reflective time with God. That is why Into the Waters is offering these online sessions! We want to help you flow through the time, prompting you along in simple prayer and meditation exercises. God's Word and His Spirit do what He did in the beginning, hovers over our deep, sheds light and brings new life! In the hustle and bustle of your life, in the flurry of your unending thoughts, do you need those types of gifts this season?
If so you have an opportunity to join us on December 15th at 8pm EST. See button below to sign up! We are praying that you say yes. If you need more encouragement to do so, consider even more outcomes...
Over the last couple of weeks I have been meeting with a few of the folks who attended the November 2nd online session. I have already posted the survey results which can be found by clicking this link- NOV 2nd SURVEY RESULTS. However, there are more detailed accounts with powerful testimonies of real strongholds that were broken in attendees. A few shared those stories with me in detail. It so touched me that I have asked a couple to share their testimonies in a more public way. They agreed. So in the coming couple of months, we are finding a way to record those testimonies to be shared for the encouragement of others. Stay tuned!
Until then, ask yourself if you need a good and perfect gift from above this season. God makes it simple for us. His is a simple invitation, "Come to me all who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest." Say "Yes!" His Word and His Spirit will be present to do the rest! This season, be filled to overflow with HOPE!
Ways to stay connected to ministry offerings:
1- Sign up to receive blog and email announcements
2- Search on Facebook and join our private Facebook group> Peace Be Still Daily Prayer Download
Prayer is Gift!
Into the Waters Ministry is a 501(C)3 public charity. Our mission is to inspire you to linger longer with God, to draw near and know Christ. For those willing, it is a place of supernatural hope and healing. I know this first hand. My name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 20+ year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and receiving His life in greater measure! I've experienced radical healing in mind, body, and spirit and believe God for more! I long for others to position themselves for the same! Into the Waters' resources help you spend quality time with God to enter His rest and receive His divine provision. Let us help you experience more of God! Read the blogs, try the exercises, participate in online sessions! His promises for life and wholeness are offered to all! But you have to say "Yes!"