Running the race God’s way… to win!!! (His ways are much different from the world)

“Run with endurance the race that God has set before you”

(Hebrews 12:1)

Here’s the point: In this race that God has placed us in, called life, it is not necessary to cross the finish line first to receive the prize. The prize is Jesus Christ, and all that is necessary for us to win this race and receive our prize is that we not quit, and we stay in faith!

Hebrews 12

Discipline in a Long-Distance Race

1-3Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on?

It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit!

No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in.

Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.

When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

God has a race for you to run!  What a challenging and exciting thought—God has given me a race to run. God has designed a purpose for my life—a purpose that I can discover and fulfill.  What is this race?

(Note: This race begins, not when we are born into the world, but it begins when we receive Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour and make Him Lord of our life; this happens when we are born-again; as we receive his gift of complete forgiveness and restoration back into God’s family.)

My thanks go out to Manna Ko today for posting the above video on her Facebook page.

It is an excellent illustration of what the above verses of scripture are talking about.

How God has placed each of us in a race; and as the Apostle Paul said, for us to run this race we must discipline our bodies, and build our strength and endurance, that we may persevere and win the prize.

This prize however is the same prize that Jesus spoke of in the parable of the Workers in the Vineyard, spoken here as wages; where this landowner goes out in the early morning hours to hire laborers for his field, and they agree to work for a denarius a day.

He then goes out about 9 am and when he sees others standing idle, he says to them, “Go into my vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.

Once again at noon and again at three o’clock he did the same thing.

Then at five o’clock that afternoon he went into town once again and saw some more people standing around; and so he asked them, “Why haven’t you been working today?

They replied, “Because no one hired us.”

The landowner told them, “Then go out and join the others in my vineyard.”

Then on that evening he told the foreman to call the workers in and pay them, beginning with the last workers first.

When those hired at five o’clock were paid, each received a full day’s wage.

When those hired first came to get their pay, they assumed they would receive more; but they, too, were paid a day’s wage.

When they received their pay, they protested to the owner saying, “Those people worked only one hour, and yet you’ve paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat.”

The owner of the vineyard answered one of them, “Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage of one denarius? Take your money and go.”

If I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you, is it against the law? Can I not do what I want with my money?
Should you be jealous because I am kind to these others?

You will note that it was only the laborers who were hired first who went into the field to work only after agreeing on a wage of one denarius a day; the rest went in faith, because the master said “He would give them what was right.”

And as the Bible also says, “Those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.”

We can learn from these stories that God’s ways of doing things and thinking are very different from the world; and if we are going to be His disciples the Bible clearly says that we have to learn His ways, and even it says we are to put on the mind of Christ.

How that happens is that we make choices when confronted with trails and challenges in our life; and we do this after our having meditated upon God’s Word, where we acquaint ourselves with His ways of doing and thinking, as the Holy Spirit rewrites our internal software, our source code for our lives; and replaces the sin ridden, virus infected, software of the world.

This experience cannot be had or learned vicariously, but it must be experienced and lived out in our life, as we persevere through the fiery trials of our life.

In the same way you cannot learn to swim by watching a movie or reading a book; you have to jump in the water!

Life is like that, and the challenges for the child of God, we will soon find out, are all prearranged and really they are a setup; and this is true whether it is good things or bad things that have happened to us.

We can learn this lesson from the story of Job, in the Bible, where Satan comes before God, from wandering to and fro in the earth; and God says to ole ‘slue foot,’ “Have you considered my servant Job?

To which Satan answers, “You have built a hedge around his life, and I can’t get to him; you remove the hedge, let me at him, and then see how faithful he is!

So we can learn from this that even though Job lost everything, it was Satan who is the destroyer who attacked Him, but God allowed it, for a reason; and so it is with us.

The reason is to train us and build us up, in preparation for the destiny God has prepared for us, in His service; and to mold us also into the image of Christ Jesus our Lord.

The Bible even says of Jesus (in Hebrews 5:8) that He learned obedience through the things He suffered… and so should we expect any different in our life?

There is a saying that is often used in gyms that says, “No pain, no gain;” and that is true in our spiritual walk as well.

We must understand that whatever challenges we face in life, and as much as we cry and holler for God to save us and rescue us; what God wants to see first, and mind you He watches us closely in order to monitor our reaction, is what is our attitude while in the fire? Who or what are we looking to as our Source and what truly makes up our foundation? Is it made of silver and gold, or wood, hay, and stubble?

Have we constructed our house on solid rock, or on shifting sands?

The outcome will determine the material that was used, and whether we persevere through the fiery trails, or are washed out by them… it all will depend on whether we followed the instructions of our Lord and obeyed Him, or not?

And here is the point, as illustrated in the above video; when we fall, and rest assured we ALL stumble and fall in this race; we don’t stay and cry there in that fallen place, we get back up as this runner did, and we get back into the race, because the goal is to cross the finish line; and as we will note in the video, it was his dad who came and helped him to cross; and so will our Heavenly Father do for us!

Just remember that life for God’s children is a setup, from start to finish, and as long as we remain in the race, in faith, and don’t quit, we are all assured of winning our prize! Selah


Skip Barland

Our Father in Heaven already knows what things we have need of…

“Our Father in Heaven already knows what things we have need of”

And Jesus says:

In Matthew 6:25-34

Do Not Worry

25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[a]?

28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

The illustration of prayer that our Lord used here is one of a good child who is asking for something good.

We talk about prayer as if God hears us regardless of what our relationship is to Him (seeMatthew 5:45 ).

Never say that it is not God’s will to give you what you ask.

Don’t faint and give up, but find out the reason you have not received; increase the intensity of your search and examine the evidence.

Is your relationship right with your spouse, your children, and your fellow students?

Are you a “good child” in those relationships? Do you have to say to the Lord, “I have been irritable and cross, but I still want spiritual blessings?” You cannot receive and will have to do without them until you have the attitude of a “good child.”

We mistake defiance for devotion, arguing with God instead of surrendering.

We refuse to look at the evidence that clearly indicates where we are wrong.

Have I been asking God to give me money for something I want, while refusing to pay someone what I owe him?

Have I been asking God for liberty while I am withholding it from someone who belongs to me?

Have I refused to forgive someone, and have I been unkind to that person?

Have I been living as God’s child among my relatives and friends? (see Matthew 7:12 ).

I am a child of God only by being born again, and as His child I am good only as I “walk in the light” ( 1 John 1:7 ).

For most of us, prayer simply becomes some trivial religious expression, a matter of mystical and emotional fellowship with God. We are all good at producing spiritual fog that blinds our sight. But if we will search out and examine the evidence, we will see very clearly what is wrong— a friendship, an unpaid debt, or an improper attitude.

There is no use praying unless we are living as children of God. Then Jesus says, regarding His children, “Everyone who asks receives . . .” ( Matthew 7:8 ).

So the question is, are we facing problems today and are wondering why the heavens have turned to brass concerning our prayers?

Are we wondering why our prayers seemingly have gone unheard and unanswered by God?

Could it be, as is pointed out in the above devotion, that there are certain areas of our life that we have stubbornly refused to deal with?

One thing that becomes plain for all to see, as we study the examples of scripture, which by the way we are told in 1 Corinthians 10 have been written for our example and for our edification, is that God will often test us to see if we will obey him or not; and He often does this while we are under pressure.

He certainly did this with the children of Israel, when He allowed them to suffer lack in the desert; and likewise God will not graduate us to the next level either until we learn our lesson where we are, and are obeying… or like the children of Israel, we also will go in circles, repeating past problems and trials, until we learn to submit and obey where we are.

This one is a biggy, are we harboring unforgiveness and bitterness in our hearts, and are justifying those feelings and hanging on to them because of something we have suffered from our past?

If we are, then we are ignoring the scriptures that tell us to NOT allow the sun to go down on our anger, least we give a foothold to the enemy in our life!

For those who are married, examine yourself to see whether you are honoring your covenant relationships, as you once vowed to do with your husband or wife, whichever the case may be, which you vowed before God to do until death do you part?

Ask yourself whether you are doing what the scripture says to do, when it says to submit first to God and then to each other in the marriage relationship?

If you are wanting God to keep His covenant relationship with you, to forgive you and extend grace to you for your mistakes and trespasses, should not you also do likewise and extend the same to your covenant partner?

We don’t want to be like the rich servant who owed his master a lot of money, and when he was released from his debt and forgiven, this ungrateful servant then turns to one who owed him a much smaller amount, and refused to do the same.

Truly as the Bible teaches in more than one place, that we cannot be forgiven of our trespasses and sins, unless we first learn to release and forgive others of their trespasses and sins against us.

These are all things that must be considered, because before we can call ourselves disciples of Christ, and before we can even say that we love God, we must first (as Jesus himself said) show that we do by the way we honor and obey His Word… trusting and obeying Him with ALL our heart, and not leaning upon our own understanding.

Christianity is a process or pilgrimage, if you will, that takes us through many different experiences and challenges; and the purpose for this is so that we may be molded into the image of God’s Son; that we may learn to discern and obey the leading of the Holy Spirit; and put on the mind of Christ… meaning that we begin to do and act in our situations as we learn to do in God’s Word the Bible, in all the many examples that are given there; and that we should in all things learn to walk and do as Jesus did in His earthly ministry.

That is the goal from God’s perspective, and it had better be our goal as well! Selah


Skip Barland

The power of FAITH, in our having absolute trust and reliance upon God… and the power the tongue!

When all else fails and we are at the end of our rope, this is where God begins!

David Wilkerson Today



The Psalmist wrote, “Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded”
(Psalm 22:4-5).

The Hebrew root word for trust suggests “to fling oneself off a precipice.”

That means being like a child who has climbed up into the rafters and cannot get down. He hears his father say, “Jump!” and he obeys, throwing himself into his father’s arms.

Are you in such a place right now? Are you on the edge, teetering, and have no other option but to fling yourself into the arms of Jesus?

You have simply resigned yourself to your situation, but that is not trust; it is nothing more than fatalism.

Trust is something vastly different from passive resignation. It is active belief!

As we hunger for Jesus more intensely, we will find that our trust in him is well founded.

At some point in our lives we may have thought that we could not really trust him—that he did not really have control over the big picture and that we had to stay in charge.

But growing closer to him and getting to know him better changes that. It means that we do not just come to him for help when we are at the end of our rope; instead, we begin to walk with him so closely that we hear him warning of the trials ahead.

The trusting heart always says, “All my steps are ordered by the Lord. He is my loving Father, and he permits my sufferings, temptations and trials—but never more than I can bear, for he always makes a way of escape.

He has an eternal plan and purpose for me. He has numbered every hair on my head, and he formed all my parts when I was in my mother’s womb.

He knows when I sit, stand or lie down because I am the apple of his eye. He is Lord—not just over me, but over every event and situation that touches me.”

A perfect heart is also a broken heart!

The Psalmist David said, “The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite [crushed] spirit” (Psalm 34:18).

Brokenness means more than sorrow and weeping, more than a crushed spirit, more than humility.

True brokenness releases in the heart the greatest power God can entrust to mankind—greater than power to raise the dead or heal sickness and disease.

When we are truly broken before God, we are given a power that restores ruins, a power that brings a special kind of glory and honor to our Lord.

You see, brokenness has to do with walls—broken down, crumbling walls. David associated the crumbling walls of Jerusalem with the brokenheartedness of God’s people. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart…. Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness” (Psalm 51:17–19).

Nehemiah was a brokenhearted man, and his example has to do with those broken walls of Jerusalem (see Nehemiah 2:12–15). In the dark of the night, Nehemiah “viewed the wall.” The Hebrew word shabar is used here. It is the same word used in Psalm 51:17 for “broken heart.” In the fullest Hebrew meaning, Nehemiah’s heart was breaking in two ways. It broke first with anguish for the ruin, and second with a hope for rebuilding (bursting with hope).

This is truly a broken heart: one that first sees the church and families in ruin and feels the Lord’s anguish. Such a heart grieves over the reproach cast on the Lord’s name.

It also looks deep inside and sees, as David did, its own shame and failure. But there is a second important element to this brokenness, and that is hope. The truly broken heart has heard from God: “I will heal, restore and build. Get rid of the rubbish, and get to work rebuilding the breaches!”

Kathryn Kuhlman always used to say God is not looking for golden vessels, and nor is He looking for silver vessels, only yielded vessels!

Well how are we doing on that score, when it comes to our TRUSTING God?

This is very important, because whether or not God can use us, as He would like, depends on our level of maturity in Him, our intimacy with the Holy Spirit, and our willingness to obey Him; also it depends on our heart relationship with Him (whether we truly love Him, have Him first place in our life, and are truly called according to His purpose).

Even Jesus makes reference to the importance or our trusting Him, and whether or not we have ulterior motives:

John 2:23-25

The Discerner of Hearts

23 Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him.24 But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew human nature. 25 No one needed to tell him what mankind is really like.

Question: Can Jesus trust us?

Can He rely on us to obey His Word and not rely on our own understanding?

When we are under pressure how are we apt to react? Do we react according to our flesh, or according the counsel of God’s Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Why do you suppose the military has boot camp and advanced training for SEAL unites and Special Forces?

It is to teach these men how to deal with pressure, and not to be compromised by external forces… to keep their eye on the ball!

This ability to trust and have faith in God in every situation, though it may come easy for children, it is generally a bit harder for most adults, especially if we have been hurt in the past and have been let down by people (such as parents, relatives, friends, and etc) who have used us; or maybe even have abused us (either emotionally or physically, or both).

In order for us to appreciate what God has for us, what His destiny and plans are for us, it helps if we first understand the nature of our relationship with Him, in that we have a Blood Covenant with Him.

This Blood Covenant is a marriage between Christ and His Church, that is not based on emotions or feelings, which vary up and down with each passing day (depending on our circumstances) but it is based on commitment, upon Agape (LOVE), and upon GRACE (unmerited favor), where each party to the covenant vows to dedicate the rest of their life, and give to their covenant partner all they have and the best they have, in order to benefit their Covenant Partner; and even if the other party fails to carry their weight, the other will carry them until they can.

This is what every marriage is to be like, and we each can thank God for this is exactly God’s commitment to us, in that truly (and this is true of all of us), in that we each blow our end of our covenant with Him every day; nevertheless, Jesus is faithful to carry us (as His covenant partners) every single day, or else we all would be up the creek without a paddle!

This Blood Covenant is a life long contract, that lasts until death do you part, and it is so sacred that under many cultures, even today, and this was certainly true in ancient Israel, that to break this Blood Covenant was a capitol offense.

The model and often the training ground in learning to trust, to love, and to extend grace and forgiveness, is found in the marriage relationship, between a husband and wife, as this is a model of the same covenant relationship which we have with God.

However, for those who have been abused in the past, God understands that it takes some time to get them to trust again; and the way God does this, is first by letting us know that whatever has happened in our past, whether by family or friends, and however we have been hurt or let down, God is NOT like that!

Secondly, God will enter into our circumstances, our trials and tribulations, if we let Him (and this includes situations and problems within family and marriage relationships as well), in order to teach us how to not be anxious (regardless of what we face); to petition God, and to trust Him, according to His Word, and to pray and supplicate before Him, even while in the midst of the fire and adverse circumstances, and to cast the whole of our lives upon Him, die to ourselves, and our understanding, and believe only what God says and has promised… this is what faith is.  And the Bible says that unless we have this kind of faith we cannot please God (Hebrews 11:6).

So again, I ask the question, look at yourself in the mirror (which is a metaphor for the Bible) and ask yourself how are you doing?

God will allow challenges in our life, where you live, and also (for those who are married) even in your marriage, in order that we might learn that in spite of what comes against us in the natural, God is faithful to His Word; and that if we would but TRUST Him, and have FAITH in Him, that we can truly cast the whole of our lives and ALL our circumstances upon Him, and jump into His arms, all the while knowing that He will never let us down!

How do we get there? We need to start today, with today’s problems, and begin to apply these principles to how we deal with our every day problems; and above all, we need to do this regardless of our circumstances or what we may feel or think, in the natural.

The point is, we don’t give up on Him (Jesus), and even when we stumble and fall (as will happen often), we have but to repent, confess to God our mistake, as the Blood of Jesus covers ALL our sins (past, present, and future), and then we just get back up and put ourselves back in the race. Because you see, to win this race (called life) you needed cross the finish line first, to win this race all you need to do is just don’t quit, and remain in faith!

Let’s now take a look at this subject of trust, as it relates to God’s Word and our confession.

What does the Bible have to say about the POWER of words and the confession of our tongue?

  • Matthew 15:18, “But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.”
  • Matthew 12:36, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak.”
  • Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear”
  • Colossians 3:8, “But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.”
  • Proverbs 16:24, “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”
  • Proverbs 13:3, “Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.”
  • Proverbs 21:23, “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.”
  • James 1:26, “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.”
  • Proverbs 10:19, “When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.”
  • Matthew 12:37, “For by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned.”
  • Proverbs 17:9, “Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.”
  • Proverbs 15:4, “A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.”
  • Psalm 19:14, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
  • Matthew 12:34, “You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”
  • John 8:31, “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples.”
  • John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
  • Proverbs 17:27, “Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.”
  • Proverbs 15:1, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
  • Ephesians 6:17, “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
  • Romans 10:8, “But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim).”
  • John 8:31-32, “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'”
  • John 1:14, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
  • Matthew 5:1-48, “Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth…”
  • Proverbs 29:20, “Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.”
  • Proverbs 17:28, “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.”
  • Proverbs 15:2, “The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.”
  • Proverbs 14:1, “The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands (and with her mouth) tears it down.”
  • Proverbs 16:23-24, “The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips. Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”
  • Psalm 118:17, “I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord.”
  • Romans 4:1-25, “What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness…”
  • Proverbs 18:20-21, A man is filled with what comes from his mouth and is nourished by what his lips provide. The tongue has power over life and death, those who like speaking will eat its fruit”
  • Romans 10:10 says, By believing from the heart, you obtain true righteousness; by confessing the faith with your lips you are saved” – After you have believed in your heart, it is necessary to engage your mouth to confess your salvation or else you will forfeit it. The leper in Mark 1:40-45 only needed the Lord to make one pronunciation. All Jesus needed to say was “You will, be clean,” and if he had refrained from saying it, the man would have died a leper.

    In Mathew 8:5-13 the centurion wanted Jesus to say just a word for his servant to receive his healing.

Listen up folks, if God used His words to create the world and all the planets, the vast expanse of space, and all that is in it; and if we are created in His image and after His likeness, then our words also create the world that we live in… so use them wisely!!! Selah


Skip Barland

Encouragement for the discouraged in time of battle, for some who may feel forsaken and forloarned; know this… God has not forgotten you!!!

Greater are them who are with us, than whatever or whoever opposes us…

“For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways”

(Psalm 91:11)

Eileen Fisher:

I Want to Place Upon You Divine Appointments

The following corporate prophetic word was given by Eileen Fisher on August 3, 2010 during her weekly Prophetic School of the Holy Spirit meeting in Colorado Springs, Colorado:

I heard the Lord say, “I am looking for empty vessels—that feel empty of themselves. They even feel empty of dreams, hopes, plans and purposes. For I have shaken that which could be shaken even unto the foundation of the earth—I have shaken out dreams of the soulish realm, I have shaken out dreams and visions that came man to man, and I was making room—room for a wineskin that could be poured out and poured into.

“For I have seen hearts that have been broken over and over and over, and left bleeding with no understanding with why. And yet I have counted the tears, I have shared in the size and I have felt the hearts that have felt that they have been shattered to where the pieces have been tossed to the North, South, East and West—impossible to come together again—except by My Spirit.

“For in My Word I have spoken that all things are possible with Me—so tonight I would come and I would rest My hand upon each head, and My other hand I would place upon your heart, and I would command the wind of change to come, to blow in every piece from the North, South, East and West. For have I not said in My Word I have come to heal the brokenhearted, to set the captives free, to proclaim liberty?

“I Am Pulling You Out of Chasms of Fear Where You have Hidden Away in Unbelief and Doubt”

“I am pulling you out of chasms of fear where you have hidden away in unbelief and doubt, fearful that I would come and judge you, that I would place disappointment and shame upon you, that I would exchange your broken heart and leave you with a broken spirit. No, I have come to take your spirits and set them free; I have come to heal your hearts, that they could not only give love but receive love. Have you not remembered in My Word that God is love? Let My love flow, receive it into your hearts, receive it just as you received salvation in faith; believe it, reach out for it, go beyond your understanding and come into the Spirit and let My Spirit exchange disappointment tonight.

“For I want to take off of you disappointment and I want to place upon you divine appointments. For I want to rearrange your schedules, I want to rearrange your plans, your vision, your purposes—I want to even recall your callings and call you in a new name. I want to place you at a higher level; I would not allow you to suffer in the soulish realm when I have grace and the anointing to cause you to rise up into the spiritual realm. For My grace I would place upon your feet, for you will not lose ground but you will claim ground, ground that has been robbed and stolen.

“I Have Boxed You In with Goodness, Mercy, Kindness, Gentleness and Compassion”

“You will see My Spirit come as one who tills the very ground, tills it with the moisture from your tears, as He goes behind you taking the soil and molding the future to place in front of you. For I am the Alpha and the Omega. And just as David said, ‘Where can I run from Your presence?’ I would declare over My own, ‘Nowhere.’ For I have boxed you in with goodness, and mercy, and kindness, and gentleness and compassion, and every wall that you run into will be the wall of grace that I have placed there, for you are about to see grace poured over you—grace poured into your families, grace released back into your nation, and you will stand in awe and you will say, ‘Truly is He not only a God of grace but a God of power.’

“For I am calling aside My own to be renewed, to be refreshed. To those who are battle-fatigued, I would say come off the battlefield and lay on the bridal gown. And when I say, ‘Lay on the bridal gown,’ I mean speak to your position in Me; pick up the armor, but put on the gown of righteousness, for when you come into that gown of righteousness, you come into who you were called to be—right-standing, right authority, right-mindedness, rightly called, and rightly positioned. I would say to you, My people, ‘Claim holy ground.’ For tonight I speak to each one of you and I say your body is the temple of My Holy Spirit, your body is My holy ground, and now I would have you stand, claim and worship on holy ground.”

Eileen Fisher
Eileen Fisher Ministries


In the heat of battle often the forces that oppose us seem overwhelming. What comes to mind is the account in 2 Kings, where Elisha was faced with overwhelming problems, in that an entire army had come to capture him.

2 Kings 6:8-23

The Blinded Syrians Captured

8 When the king of Syria
was at war with Israel, he would confer with his officers and say, “We will mobilize our forces at such and such a place.”

9 But immediately Elisha, the man of God, would warn the king of Israel, “Do not go near that place, for the Syrians are planning to mobilize their troops there.” 10 So the king of Israel would send word to the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he would be on the alert there.

11 The king of Syria
became very upset over this. He called his officers together and demanded, “Which of you is the traitor? Who has been informing the king of Israel of my plans?”

12 “It’s not us, my lord the king,” one of the officers replied. “Elisha, the prophet in Israel, tells the king of Israel even the words you speak in the privacy of your bedroom!”

13 “Go and find out where he is,” the king commanded, “so I can send troops to seize him.”   And the report came back: “Elisha is at Dothan.”

So one night the king of Syria sent a great army with many chariots and horses to surround the city.

15 When the servant of the man of God got up early the next morning and went outside, there were troops, horses, and chariots everywhere. “Oh, sir, what will we do now?” the young man cried to Elisha.

16 “Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!”

17 Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.

18 As the Syrian army advanced toward him, Elisha prayed, “O Lord, please make them blind.” So the Lord struck them with blindness as Elisha had asked.

19 Then Elisha went out and told them, “You have come the wrong way! This isn’t the right city! Follow me, and I will take you to the man you are looking for.” And he led them to the city of Samaria.

20 As soon as they had entered Samaria, Elisha prayed, “O Lord, now open their eyes and let them see.” So the Lord opened their eyes, and they discovered that they were in the middle of Samaria.

21 When the king of Israel saw them, he shouted to Elisha, “My father, should I kill them? Should I kill them?”

22 “Of course not!” Elisha replied. “Do we kill prisoners of war? Give them food and drink and send them home again to their master.”

23 So the king made a great feast for them and then sent them home to their master. After that, the Syrian raiders stayed away from the land of Israel.

Since we have the better covenant, with Christ; and since we have the Holy Spirit living inside us; since our sins are forgiven and washed clean (white as snow) through the sacrifice and shed blood of Jesus; and also since Satan (the accuser of the brethren) has lost his leverage over us because of the work of Christ as our Passover Lamb; why should we also not have the same resources and benefits to aid us in our battles, and in our time of need, as happened under the Old Covenant.

In the above account we learn that Elisha supernaturally got the battle plans that were being discussed in the secret chambers of the enemy’s camp.

Question: could we not also use that same advantage and that level of knowledge and wisdom in our government today, and also in our personal battles that we all are fighting these days?

Of course we could, and why not… why shouldn’t we expect that and more, since as the Bible says, we do have the better covenant?

Why should we not also have the same protection of these angelic forces of God to back us up and guard our path, especially since the Word promises as much, and even tells us to expect it by faith?

How do we get to that place where we know that we know that God has our back, and that there truly are no trials nor temptations, nor obstacles in our path, placed there by the enemy, that is greater than the forces of God that back us up… but here’s the secret, we have to have faith; and we have to believe in God’s Word, more than we do our circumstances, our doubts, and our feelings… and therein is the rub!

The way we get to this place of faith is by having it tested and tempered while under fire; and by our also having to experience the heat of the fire.

Just as what happened with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, the three Hebrew young men who were captured by King Nebuchadnezzar, and were being required to bow to his image.

Listen to their response, given in the Book of Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar, in the face of certain death, and learn what faith looks like under fire.

“King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, ninety feet high and nine feet wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up.

So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it.”

“Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “This is what you are commanded to do, O peoples, nations and men of every language: As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.

Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”

“Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music, all the peoples, nations and men of every language fell down and worshiped the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

At this time some astrologers came forward and denounced the Jews. They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever! You have issued a decree, O king, that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold, and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace.

But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon – Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego – who pay no attention to you, O king. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”

“Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up?

Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”

“Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

You will note that God did not keep them from the fire; and also neither did they have any assurance prior to being thrown into the fire that God would rescue them.

Quite the contrary, they had already resigned themselves to the worse possible scenario, and had totally put their lives, by faith, into God’s hands; and whether He saved them or not, they had totally resigned themselves to never allow this command to worship this image to compromise their stand and to offend their God.

Jesus puts it this way, when He says: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:24)

Let us learn to lay hold of every opportunity, in our current trials, to trust God; as we understand that there is no trial nor temptation that we face in life, but such is common to all men; but God is faithful, in that He will not suffer us to be tempted beyond our ability to withstand the pressure (as He knows our breaking point), but along with that test, His promise is to provide a way of escape.

My point is, if we fail to learn our lesson, if we fail to gain endurance and perseverance in our trials, and if we fail to exercise our faith in these lesser trials and tribulations, then how can we hope to face the more severe ones, that I believe are coming?

Jesus has warned us that a “Time of Sorrows” is coming upon the world, that would precede His return to earth; and that it would be the worse time that this world has ever seen in the past, nor will ever see in the future!

Look around you, folks, read your Bible, look to the news, and understand that we are living very close to those times that have been predicted by our Lord, that would precede this “Time of Sorrows;” as the signs that our Lord gave us that would mark His Second Coming are today happening all around us!

We cannot be of a divided mind, and neither can we serve two Gods.

We have a guy in the White House today, who though he calls himself a Christian, he also champions the cause of Islam and of Allah, which is a demon god; and is not the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob!

We also have many people in our country who claim to be Christian, but who are also serving the god of Mammon, the name of another demon god; and are much more interested in maintaining their status quo, and their economic stability and comfort, than they are about being about our Father’s business; and whether they know it or not, they have made Mammon their god.

Even as Jesus warns us that: “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money (Mammon).” (Matthew 6:24)

Our nation is in trouble, and I believe we have already been weighed in the balance (as happened to Belshazzar) and have been found wanting.

Our time is running short; and as I’ve pointed out before, with human nature being what it is, I totally believe that there will not be any national repentance, and nor will we have a massive turning back to God, unless there are some very serious, earth shaking calamities, on the order of Katrina and 9/11… and I believe that is what is coming.

It will not be to destroy us, however; and neither is God angry with us; but rather it is out of His love for us, that He will allow this attack of the enemy (who is Satan, aka – the Devil) on us in order to get our attention; and hopefully get all those who are currently sitting on the fence and are undecided, to decide for Christ… for as the Bible says, “God chastens them whom He loves!” Selah

Our part is to maintain our course; to put on our armor, and to be still and know God, and to know and experience the power of God, in the midst of every kind of problem and shaking that we go through.

God has already given us His Word that He will NEVER leave us nor forsake us; and that He will complete the work which He has begun in us, in route to our being molded and shaped, through our trials and tribulations, into the image of Jesus Christ!

The point being, until we are moving in sync with Him and are of the same mind as Him, we are not truly one with Him… and therein is the point for all of this… for us to be in sync with God; for us to have unending communion with Him; and for us to have the Mind of Christ!

The Bible tells us that even Jesus learned obedience through the things that He suffered (Heb 5:8); and can we expect any less!

Let us each, therefore, learn from the examples given us in Scripture, where we find that God often allows the enemy to present us with adversity, in various problems and situations, in order to raise up the men and women of God, and teach them how to do spiritual battle, and to overcome and contradict the powers that are coming against them. Selah


Skip Barland

God’s ways are very different from the worlds, and from ours, especially when it comes to this living by dying business…

Which one will it be?

The New Testament notices things that do not seem worthy of notice by our standards. “Blessed are the poor in spirit . . . .”
This literally means, “Blessed are the paupers.” Paupers are remarkably commonplace!

The preaching of today tends to point out a person’s strength of will or the beauty of his character— things that are easily noticed.

The statement we so often hear, “Make a decision for Jesus Christ,” places the emphasis on something our Lord never trusted. He never asks us to decide for Him, but to yield to Him— something very different.

At the foundation of Jesus Christ’s kingdom is the genuine loveliness of those who are commonplace.

I am truly blessed in my poverty. If I have no strength of will and a nature without worth or excellence, then Jesus says to me, “Blessed are you, because it is through your poverty that you can enter My kingdom.”

I cannot enter His kingdom by virtue of my goodness— I can only enter it as an absolute pauper.

The true character of the loveliness that speaks for God is always unnoticed by the one possessing that quality.

Conscious influence is prideful and unchristian. If I wonder if I am being of any use to God, I instantly lose the beauty and the freshness of the touch of the Lord.

“He who believes in Me . . . out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” ( John 7:38 ). And if I examine the outflow, I lose the touch of the Lord.

Who are the people who have influenced us most?

Certainly not the ones who thought they did, but those who did not have even the slightest idea that they were influencing us.

In the Christian life, godly influence is never conscious of itself. If we are conscious of our influence, it ceases to have the genuine loveliness which is characteristic of the touch of Jesus.

We always know when Jesus is at work because He produces in the commonplace something that is inspiring.

It would seem God’s value system is just the opposite from the worlds, as illustrated in the following verses, taken from Yeshua’s Sermon on the Mount; and also in many other places we can find throughout the Bible.

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

We can learn from these examples of Jesus that certainly God’s value system is much different from ours; in that the things we consider of little importance and consequence, God puts a lot of stock in.

I think all of this comes into better focus as we understand that the first symptom of this thing called SIN which leads to separation from God is personal pride; and this is made evident by the first being who sinned against God.

The fall of Lucifer

Isaiah 14

12 “ How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
13 For you have said in your heart:

‘ I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’

Our relationship with God starts with this phrase:

Not my will, but Thine be done!

Notice the difference between Satan’s I will’s and the Lord’s own attitude in the garden of Gethsemane.

  • Satan’s attitude was totally self-centered, prideful, and arrogant.
  • The Lord’s attitude, even though He was facing a cruel death on the cross, was that of complete meekness and submission unto God.
  • Three times Jesus prayed to His Father, saying,NOT as I will, but as You will.”

It is equally important to notice what the Lord taught us about OUR attitude toward God’s sovereignty, when it comes to our understanding that in ALL matters concerning us, that He knows what’s best for us; and it is for us to trust Him, and to follow His instructions, and to follow the lead of Jesus, as we read in the Bible.

It is necessary that we learn that God is not a man that He should lie to us, He would never do that; and if we are to be pleasing to God, it is all important that we come to the place in our lives where we learn to trust Him with ALL our heart, and are not leaning on our own understanding.

This is where our relation with God begins, as was emphasized in the life of Jesus:

  • In Matthew 6, Jesus teaches us to tell our Father in heaven, “THY will be done.”
  • If we pray with any other motive, other than absolute trust and faith in God, then we are falling into the same trap as Satan did, which is to make ourselves all important and self-centered, which means we are becoming puffed up with pride!

In life every day we are faced with decisions, and in each of these decisions there is a choice for us to make; do we react as Jesus would have us to react, in obedience to God, as we can learn from His example and from His instructions, as they are given to us in the Bible; or do we react in our old carnal nature, and follow and do as we always have, in doing what seems right in our eyes, with our understanding; which is most often motivated by totally self-serving and selfish reasons.

So the question is in each one of these TESTS, for that is exactly what they are, and as a covenant child of God we need to understand that God is watching us; and He is training us through all of life’s trials and tribulations that we are experiencing in the earth… and we can learn this lesson from what happened to Job.

Mind you however, that God is never the one who tempts us, or who causes bad things to happen in our life… and again we can learn this lesson as well, from the life of Job.

James explains it this way:

James 4

Submit Yourselves to God

1What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

4You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?[a]
6But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
“God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble.”[b]

It is how we face life’s problems, and the decisions we make while feeling the heat of the fire; these are the things that determine our spiritual growth and our maturity!

The road to salvation starts with REPENTANCE (which literally means to change the way we think); in other words it means that we no longer are following after the world’s way of doing things; and nor are we any longer submitting to those old habits of our flesh; but that we now, of our own free will and choosing, are allowing the Holy Spirit to direct and lead us through every situation that we face in life; and we do this day by day, step by step, 24/7… and when we mess up and blow it (as we will many times), then we repent, we learn from our mistake, and get right back into the race!

But if we insist upon doing things as we always have done them past, and are refusing to submit to the counsel of God, as found in His Operations Manual (the Holy Bible), then we can expect to be facing a repeat of the same frustrations and trials in the future, because God will not graduate us to the next level until we learn obedience and we are doing as we are instructed where we are today! Selah


Skip Barland

The present situation in our country and in the church requires a supernatural move of the Holy Spirit in the life of every Christian…

What is the Spirit of Prophecy as explained in the New Testament?

“But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.

(1 Corinthians 14: 3-4)

What The Lord Is Saying Today

August 18, 2010. Allow My peace to flood your soul.  My peace is more powerful than the waves and tumult around you.

Look to Me and you will walk on water in this season.  Focus on the waves and tumult and you will sink. And what good is there coming from doubt and unbelief?

Why entertain them?  The enemy is very present in and around doubt and unbelief seeking whom and what he can destroy.

But Jesus came to give you life and peace.  His life is eternal and He freely gives it to you.

His peace passes all understanding.  My peace is a gift you can receive daily.  Let it forever flood your soul.

Matthew 14:29-31 (NASB) “And He said, “Come!”  And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.  But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”  Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and *said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt? Ras Robinson

August 18, 2010. Going through the ringer is a mild way of saying how you feel.  Don’t you remember you just told some brothers and sisters that Christians don’t just live by the way they feel, they live by the Word of God.

Do you believe that for what you are going through now or not?

Yes! I know you do.  That’s the kind the person you are.

I have seen you do this time and time again.  And you will do it again.

You will rise to the occasion.  You absolutely fully believe that I am good and all will work out for the good of the ones you and I both love.

Matthew 4:4 (NASB) “But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’ “ Bev Robinson

The above message, I believe, will speak to a lot of people today, in these times; and we need to all be paying attention, especially in these times, to what the Bible says, and not so much follow what our culture, our secularized society, and what our circumstances and feelings may be saying.

I need to touch on something here that I believe is lacking in much of the church today, and that is, whereas I believe the church has for the most part successfully taken the Gospel to the World, to other nations, to the extent we have abdicated our Biblically mandated role here at home, and have failed to disciple the people in our own society and culture, our nation has suffered immensely.

We have allowed our government to force the separation of the sacred from the secular, and we have allowed unbelievers, atheists and agnostics to seize the reigns of our government, our society, and our culture; and what you see happening today all around us is the result.

This was NEVER God’s plan, that this should happen; and that fact becomes particularly obvious as you realize that many of our founding fathers were very serious about their faith in God and the Holy Bible, and they incorporated that faith in the formation of our government, and our U.S. Constitution.

What follows is an accurate description of where as a nation and people  have gone wrong, and how far away from God we have drifted:

America’s Godly Heritage

David Barton

Revised & Condensed by Annette Nay

The Founding Fathers and Christianity

Our founding fathers were brought up in schools in which their primers taught bible scriptures, morals and its teachings. They were taught the Ten Commandments and were thoroughly versed on each one and their meaning.

As adults, the founding fathers continued to read and learn from the bible. Many of them were evangelical preachers. Many of them started the American Tract Society and wrote many of their tracts. They started the American Bible Society, The Philadelphia Bible Society, and the Christian Constitutional Society, all of which still exist today. It was no wonder then that they used the bible to frame the Constitution.

Patrick Henry – “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians not on religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ!”

From 1690 to 1900 American’s youth learned their ABC’s with a bible scripture associated with each letter. First graders talked about the Ten Commandments, in class, and learned what they meant.

The founding fathers wanted government and Christianity to be in an insoluble bond.

John Quincy Adams stated, “The highest glory of the American Revolution was this… it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.”

John Jay the Chief Justice and the most influential writer of the constitution stated, “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.” We need to elect Christians to office if we want to have righteous men making good laws to rule our country.

In summation from George Washington’s farewell speech, speaking to the citizens of The United States, he touched on these points: Do not let anyone claim to be a true American if they attempt to remove religion from American politics. If they do they are not true Americans.

Our American government has lasted over 200 years. Having a government, in any form, lasting this long is unheard of. For example, in the last 200 years France has had seven forms of government and Italy has had forty-eight.

Our Constitution and Its Basis

Where did the founding fathers get their ideas for our constitution that has caused it to last so long? Some would have you believe that it was because of the Age of Enlightenment in Britain which brought to light ideas such as:

  • Government should be formed to protect people’s natural rights.
  • Government should have limited power.
  • The type of government should be accepted by all citizens.
  • Government has an obligation to those it governs.
  • Man is born free.
  • Controls by a freely formed government are good.
  • When government is by the consent of the governed the people, they retain their rights.
  • People have the right to challenged old ways of thinking.
  • They questioned divine-right of rule.

They taught that people should be able to gain material well-being, social justice, and happiness in this life – not just the next (Ellis, Esler, Beers, & Hart, 1999).

These ideas spread to American and found place in Thomas Paine’s pamphlet called Common Sense. Some would have you think that it was Paine’s pamphlet which swayed the founding father’s minds to their incorporation in the Constitution (Ellis, Esler, Beers, & Hart, 1999). The fact is that there were many heated debates on the constitutional legislature’s floor over these ideas. Such ideas were not espoused by the founding fathers until they could find a precedence in the bible for them. Then, it was only by unanimously consent spurred on by spiritual confirmation, that they accept these ideas into the constitution (Barton, 1999).

The Bible was important to our founding fathers. Out of fifteen thousand samples of their writings that University of Houston professors collected, they found 3154 of those had a significant impact on our constitution. Of those writings, they found that the bible was quoted sixteen times more than any other source. 94% of the quotes were based on the bible, 34% came directly out of the bible, and 60% used the bible to arrive at their conclusion.

The House and the Senate would discuss what the bible said and use its ideas to make law. The idea of three branches of government originated with John Locke in his article called Two Treaties of Government. The founding fathers substantiated the idea for separation of powers from Jeremiah 17:32. They found mention of the three branches of government in Isaiah 33:22. They found the idea of tax exemption for churches in Ezra 7:24. These men were students of the Bible and brought their expertise into the legislature to help them to know that to do.

Court Rulings that lead to Religion Leaving Government

The Way It Used to Be

1892 – Trinity vs. the US: The Supreme Court stated, “Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It’s impossible that it should be otherwise; and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian.”  This case gave 87 historical precedences to prove this statement. It further stated that there were more, but 78 should suffice to prove the government must be based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.

1844 – Vidal vs. Girard’s: “The purest principles of morality are to be taught. Where are they found? Whosoever searches for them must go to the source for which the Christian man derives his faith… the bible.”  A Philadelphia school’s premise was that they could teach morality with out teaching the bible. The court ruled that they couldn’t have a school that didn’t teach the bible’s morality, as it was the source of morality.

1811 – People vs. Ruggles: “Whatever strikes at the root of Christianity tends manifestly to the dissolution of civil government.” In this case a man became profane about Jesus Christ and the bible both written and spoken. The courts said it was blasphemy and the man was fined $500.00 and jailed for 3 months. The court said if you’ve attacked Jesus Christ you have attacked Christianity. If you attack Christianity, you have attacked the foundation of the US. Therefore, it is an attack on the US.

How Amoral Laws Came to Being

The founding fathers never wanted separation of church and state, yet 67% of US citizens today believe that that very idea is contained in the constitution, even though those words never appear in the constitution.

The Constitution of the United States’ first amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Pre-drafts of this statement clarifies the founding fathers constitutional statement. There were twelve variations, they all mirrored the sentiments found in this one, “Congress will pass no laws making one denomination of Christians higher than another denomination.”

Their intent was that they did not want in America what they had in Great Britain where one denomination was running the nation. They wanted God’s principles, but did not want one designated church running the nation.

1796 – Funckle vs Winemiller – The Danbury Baptists who wanted a state church designated. The courts stated: “In our form of government the Christian religion is the established religion and all sects and denominations of Christians are placed upon the same equal footing.”

1802 – Thomas Jefferson addressed those Danbury Baptist. He said that the first amendment has erected a wall between church and state, but that wall is a one directional wall. It keeps the government from running the church and Christian principles will always stay in government. The First National Church never happened and Jefferson’s writing was put away until 1853. Today, we only hear half of this statement, that is: the separation of church and state.

A small number of people petitioned to separate Christian principles from government. Studies were done to see if it could be done. The findings of the House Judiciary committee were announced March 27, 1854. They said that if the people, during the Revolution, or had they any suspicion of any attempt to war against Christianity that revolution would have been strangled in its cradle. At the time of the adoption of the Constitution and the amendments the universal sentiment was that Christianity should be encouraged, not any one sect.

The Founders of the Constitution were Christians and they expected it would be so for their descendents. They stated, “The great vital and conservative element in our system is the belief of our people in the pure doctrine and divine truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

1947 – Everson vs. the Board of Education – Only nineteen words of Jefferson’s speech were used, those being, “The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state.” That wall must be kept high and impregnable.” It was because these words were taken out of context that the Founding father’s intent was reversed. Jefferson meant, not state from church, but church from state.

Dr. William James –the Father of Modern Psychology influenced the court. He wanted church out of state. Dr. James stated, “There is nothing so absurd but if you repeat it often enough, people will believe it.” The courts began used this tactic through the years.

1958 – Bear vs. Colmore – One of the judges got tired of hearing the statement, “separation of church and state.” He said, “If this court doesn’t stop talking about separation of church and state, someone will think it is part of the constitution.” The court continued to talk about it.

June 25, 1962 – Engle vs. Vitale – This was the first time there was a separation of religious principles from public education. The courts rules that there should not be prayers in school. It was the first time we had a separation of church and state. It was the first time that NO precedence (where previous legal cases were cited) or historical incidents were quoted.

1962-65 – The courts removed church from state through rulings on these cases:

1- Engle vs. Vital – Removal of prayer from school. The prayer before the court only mentioned God once. The Constitution mentions God four times. Does this make it unconstitutional?

2- Murray vs. Curlett – Removal of bible reading in school. Bible study used to be required to graduate from High School.

3- June 17, 1965 –Abington vs. Schempp – Removal of religious instruction from school. The courts stated, “If portions of the New Testament were read without explanation, they could be, and have been psychologically harmful to the child.”

In this case the courts said that only 3% of the nation professed no belief in religion or God. That prayer was consistent with 97% of the nation, but the courts ruled for the minority. Now, the philosophy of the 3% rules the 97%.

Our courts used to use biblical guidelines to rule on the areas of the citizens, families, schools, and the nation. Not anymore! Before 1962, the courts said, “We only allow divorce for six reasons. They are the six reasons God allows as written in the bible. God made the family (Adam’s and Noah’s) and so we have to use God’s precepts/rules to govern the family.” After 1965 the courts said we were not to do so any more, because it causes psychological damage to children. George Washington stated, “Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religions principle.”

1965 – Reid vs. Vanhovan – It is unconstitutional for a student to pray aloud in school.

1967 – Decab vs. Dispain – The courts took a four-line nursery rhyme used in pre-kindergarten and ruled it unconstitutional. The courts said, “The rhyme is unconstitutional since it might cause someone to think of God.”

1980 – Stone vs. Graham – The Ten Commandments were posted in a school’s hall bulletin board. The court ruled: “If the posted copies of the Ten commandments are to have any effect at all it will be induce the school children to read, meditate upon them, and perhaps to venerate and obey the commandment; this is not a permissible objective.”

When the courts say something is unconstitutional, what they are saying is that this thing is something our founding fathers would have been opposed to and would not have allowed it! The court’s findings do not reflect this.

James Madison, the Chief Architect of the Constitution, said, “We have stated the whole future of American civilization not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”

Our Country’s Downfall

Since 1963, when prayer was taken out of school, unwed birth rates of 15-19 year-olds doubled. Pregnancies for girls 10-14 went up 553% since prayer was disallowed in school. (The separation of church and state.)

Divorce rates from 1963 to 1983 were up 117%. For fifteen years prior 1963, divorce had been declining.

Since 1963, single families were up 140%, single families with children with children were up 160%, and unmarried couples living together went up 353%.

From 1965, there was a sharp incline of gonorrhea in students in ages 15-19. It incline became since the removal of religious principles from school. Student STD’s went up 228%.

When a people throw away their values, they reap the consequences Some of those consequences are crime, divorce, STD’s, unwed mothers, and unmarried couples living together. There are more!

SAT scores approximate average was 970 points from 1952 to 1963. From 1963 to 1980 scores declined for eighteen consecutive years to drop to a low average of 890 points in 1980.

In 1974-75 the sharp decline in SAT scores slowed with the advent of private religious schools, which allowed religion in the curriculum. During this time, there were 32 thousand U.S. schools, which accounted for 8.5 million students.

Some say that the better scores of these students were because private schools had more money available for a better education for these students. This statement was investigated. It was found that private schools had, on average, $110.00 per student, whereas public schools had $370.52 per student.

SAT scores showed that students from the Christian private schools, on average, got 100 points higher, than the Non-Christian schooled students. That put the Christian schooled students back on the par where students were prior to 1963 and the separation of church and state. It was as if no change had occurred. Whereas public schooled student scores continued to declined!

In 1988 – the number of Academic High Achievers were as follows :

60.8 were from public schools

39.2 were from private schools – This group was 3 times larger than those from the public schools. Remember too, that private religious schools had 1/3 less money per person and used the same curriculum as the public schools, except the private schools added religion.

Violent crimes went up 544% since religious principles were removed from schools in 1963. Thomas Jefferson said that religion is the friend to government because it teaches morals of the heart. This means we are not dealing with murder, instead we deal with the religious morals which say do not hate. When we eliminate hate there is no murder. The commandment to not lust, stops adultery or rape.

Our Citizen’s need Internal Values

John Adams stated that there was no government big enough, to make you do what’s right. If you don’t do what’s right out of your heart, the gun has already been fired; the damage has already been done. He further stated, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is whole inadequate to the government of any other.”

Our people need internal constraints governed by God to keep our constitution working well. The greater number of our people are not and as a result, the constitution is not working!

Our country is now number one in:

  • Violent crime
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Illegal drug use
  • Divorce
  • Abortion
  • Illiteracy (in all the industrial world) – In 1997, seven hundred thousand students graduated from high school, who couldn’t read their diplomas.

Jeremiah 6:16 says to go back to the old paths if you want things to be back the way it should be. Many state constitutions require people, who hold office, to believe in God, the scriptures, and understand them.

Nations are accountable to God. The founding fathers said, “As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world, they must be punished in this. By an inevitable chain of cause and effect, providence punishes national sins by national calamities.” When a nation leaves God, God deals with them immediately. Hence, moral decay brings violent crimes, teen pregnancies, divorce, abortions, and etc. When wicked men rule, the nation suffers.

Ben Franklin and the Constitutional Convention stated, “We need God to be our friend not our enemy. We need Him to be our allay not our adversary. We need to make sure we keep God’s concurring aid. If a sparrow cannot fall without God’s notice, how can our nation rise without His aid?” He further called for regular daily prayer to keep Him close to us.

Thomas Jefferson, upon leaving the office of president, said, “Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot not sleep forever.”

We Need Good People in High Places

1774 – Ben Franklin stated, “Introduce into public affairs the principles of Christianity and it will change the face of the world.”

Charles Finnay said, ” The church must take right ground in regard to politics. Politics are part of religion in a country as this, and Christians must do their duty to the country as a part of their duty to God. He will bless or curse this nation according to the course Christians take in politics.”

If God’s people do not make it into office God’s principles do not make it into office. That is why Christians must be in office. Our government has been taken over by ungodly men. God-fearing Christians must take it back. We must get involved! Do something where you can affect people’s principles.

Proverbs 18:1 “A man who isolates himself seeks his own desires; he rages against all wise judgment.”

The separation of church and state allows Christians to be a light to the world, but only in the confines of the church. We know that the Lord wants us to be a light unto the government too.

We have lost our heritage. We must get Christianity back into government, our schools, and in our society!


Barton, David (1993). Video: America’s Godly Heritage. WallBuilder Press, Aledo, Texas.

Ellis, Elisabeth; Esler, Anthony; Beers, Burton; & Hart, Diane (1999), World History –

Connections to Today – The Modern Era, Prentice Hall: New Jersey.

One of the main warnings and dangers, I believe, for these last days is what Paul warned us about, when he told us what the state of mind would be like in much of the culture, and also among much of the church, in the last days that would see Jesus’ return to earth:

2 Timothy 3

Perilous Times and Perilous Men

1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Is this not an accurate description of the culture and society that we are living in today?

This is particularly true among our present day political leadership, of those who give lip service, when it serves their purpose, and they may talk about God, and even claim that they are Christian, in order to appear respectable and gain votes; but their lives and what they say and do all shows that their hearts are very far from God; and that they don’t even know Him.

As just one example, just look at the man who presently sits in the White House today, who says that he is a Christian; and yet he also says that Muslims and even atheists can get into heaven, if they are good people; he has been heard, and recorded on video, mocking the Bible; he supports infanticide and abortion, and wants to export it to other countries; he supports same sex marriage and the “Gay” agenda; and he is a socialist communist; and in spite of all of this evidence, he wants us to believe that he is a Christian… go figure! What’s even worse than that, apparently much of the people who voted for him believed him.

The truth is, as bad as all of this is, all of it is only a reflection of the values of the people who voted these people into office… and so I think that tells you what the spiritual state of our society and culture is in today.

This is not only true of what we see in Washington DC, but this is also true in most of our municipal and state governments across our nation today; and it is here that I truly believe 2 Timothy 3:5 applies; but certainly it is not limited to just our government, but it is a pretty accurate description of our society and culture in general.

So we have had a condition for years now, where we have elected pretty much godless men and women to represent us, and they have made policies and laws that have taken us further and further away from the values and teachings that we find in our Bible.

The most glaring offense against God, in my opinion, is found in the fact that we as a people have passed laws that have allowed our society to brutally exterminate over 50 million unborn babies, since 1973, when legalized abortion became the law of our land.

Starting back in the early sixties (around 1963, when prayer was officially taken out of our schools), a process started which has allowed our public education system to virtually take God out of our history books, and they have virtually lied to us regarding the role that faith had, among our founding fathers, in the formation of our government and in the our Constitution.

All of that history has been removed from our text books, and what is taught today, in its place, is a story that gives us a secularized world view that our government wants us to have and to follow, that completely ignores both God and the Bible.

So truly we have both a culture and a society today that Jesus warned us about, in his discourse with the Laodicean church, where He said:

Revelation 3:14-22

To the Church in Laodicea

14“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

‘ These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.

15I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

17You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

18I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

19Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.

20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

21To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'”

So here we are today, where we have allowed people who don’t have a relationship with God to lead us; to make our polices and laws; and tell us how to live… and my question is what did we expect would happen, other than what has happened?

Did we expect that people who have no relationship with God, who don’t know Him and who don’t respect and follow His commandments, that that would make righteous and godly decisions and laws?

As an example, we had a former president, in Bill Clinton, who was caught cheating on his wife numerous times, but also in the Oval Office no less; was even shown to be a liar on national TV, when he first tried to deny it took place, when he said: “Read my lips, I did NOT have sex with that woman;” and yet even after he was found to be the lair he is, most people gave him a pass, and said moral character, as it relates to his personal life, should not be a factor in his professional and political life.

So if his own wife can’t trust him, we as a nation can… is what apparently most people believe… and so is it any wonder our nation is in trouble today?

These are the sort of people who have been setting our course, and directing our future for years now; as we have fallen further and further down this rabbit hole.

They have, by their leadership and policies, taken us as a nation further and further away from the God of the Bible, and have pretty much removed any mention of the Bible and of the God from our culture.

But folks how did we who are Christians think that it was possible that they would do anything else?

The truth is, except for the grace of God and the impact He has had upon each of our lives, through the Holy Spirit and influence of the Bible, we most likely would be doing the very same dumb things that they are doing… for truly how could we do anything else?

For the church in particular I think what 2 Timothy says in verse 5 is very relevant, where it says: …having a form of godliness but denying its power.”

Is this not an accurate description of much of the church today?

How can we have any spiritual discernment without the Holy Spirit? The answer is we can’t!

As someone who has been privileged to see what life is like in what we would call Third World Nations,” having visited Cambodia, Thailand, and in the Philippines, I can tell you there is a much different paradigm of thinking over there in these countries, than what we find here in the West. There is more of an openness in these countries, and even an expectation and reception of the supernatural, that is all but lacking in our culture and society, here in the West.

Over there they are much more open to miracles; and when they have a need, having committed their lives to Christ, the literally believe that what the Bible says is true.

As just one example, when I was in Phnom Penh Cambodia, I met a man who had been raised from the death, after having been dead for over 12 hours.

Over their when the breadwinner dies, it pretty much destines the family to destitution and poverty. In this instance, the wife, who was a new Christian herself (about two weeks old in the Lord), she read in the Bible how Jesus raised the dead, and so when her husband died, she and another friend from her church, prayed for 12 hours for God to raise her husband (who was not even a Believer, mind you) from the dead… and after 12 hours of praying, with her husband’s dead body in the house, God answered their prayers.

Question, how many people in the West would even think to do such a thing, let alone do it… and therein is our problem! Today many Christians believe God can do these things, but to don’t expect it.

So much of the Gospel message in the West has been watered down and has been intellectualized; and I believe that much of that is owed to our progressive and secularized public education system that has virtually taught for several generations now that belief in God is absolutely irrelevant and unimportant in our life, and that by the way is the message that is being taught to our kids today.

Although it may not be said quite that way, in those exact words, but certainly that is the message that is implied, as education today it would seem is more about programming the minds of our young people to accept certain secular “Politically Correct” ideologies, to the exclusion even of teaching our kids even the basics, and this is true particularly in many of the inner city schools, in that we have failed to teach many of our children to read and write; and certainly any teaching about God and the Bible is totally forbidden.

Getting back to my original point and that is the role that the Holy Spirit is meant to play in our society, in the church, and in our culture… my point is it’s all the same!

There is no difference, and there is no separation, to God anyway, between the sacred and the secular; and that point is made obvious all throughout the Bible!

From everything that I have described about the current state of our society today, I can tell you it will take a miracle of God to turn us around; and that won’t happen without the church gets back in sync with the Holy Spirit, and we get plugged into the supernatural, and the Gifts of the Spirit, as it is illustrated and demonstrated in the Book of Acts!

Also, unless we who are Christians do as we are instructed, in 2 Chronicles 7:14; and humble ourselves and turn from our wicked ways; and begin to seek after God’s face, then there is no hope for our nation at all!

Mind you, for us to seek after God’s face is talking about our having a very personal and intimate relationship with Him, and that can only happen through the Spirit; and unless we as the church are open to the Holy Spirit, and are willing to trust Him, and allow Him to lead us, then we have no power to back us up, nor our prayers!

So with that said, I’ll ask the question again… what is the Spirit of Prophecy, as explained in the New Testament?

The prophetic gift is from God and its purpose is to provide a way for man to speak forth the mind and counsel of God for repentance to be taught and righteousness to be preached in order to bring restoration, to heal (Matthew 4:34; 9:35), “… for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (King James Version) (Revelation 19:10.)

In the Amplified Bible that portion of verse reads: “… For the substance (essence) of the truth revealed by Jesus is the spirit of all prophecy—the vital breath, the inspiration of all inspired preaching and interpretation of the divine will and purpose [including both mine and yours].)”

A Christian prophetic ministry also provides a way for the priorities, the present-day utility of God’s power, and contemporary purposes to be communicated to man as history progresses (Amos 3:7 “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.”; Hebrews 1:1,2 “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds”; Revelation 10:7 (…more)

Certainly the church today needs to repent and turn back to God; and for that to happen it is mandated that we turn back to the supernatural aspects of the Spirit, that we see taught in the Bible and in the Book of Acts… none of that was ever to cease.

For us to turn our nation around it will require a Spiritual Awakening in our country, and among our people; and I am one who believes that we are going to have such an awakening, and also a revival; but I’m afraid, human nature being what it is, it most likely will not happen without God allows something serious to happen, on the level of what happened on 9/11, only worse, to get our attention!

So with that I want to encourage us all to take the above Prophetic word to heart, and let us not focus on circumstances and feelings; but let us all focus on Jesus Christ, and follow after the Holy Spirit, and the teachings of His Word. Selah


Skip Barland

Being shaped, sharpened, and formed into the image of Christ, on God’s Anvil of Life!

Being shaped, sharpened, and formed into the image of Christ, on God’s Anvil of Life!

It happens…

“‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’

Says the LORD of hosts.”

(Zech 4:6)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Here on the streets of New York City, you can buy a Rolex watch for fifteen dollars. As every New Yorker knows, these watches aren’t truly Rolexes. They are simply “knock-offs”—cheap copies of the original.

There seems to be a duplicate for just about everything today. But there is one thing that cannot be duplicated and that is true spirituality.

Nothing that is truly spiritual can be copied. The Lord recognizes the work of his own hands—and he won’t accept a man-made duplication of any of his divine workings.

Why? Because it’s impossible for man to duplicate what is truly spiritual. That is the work of the Holy Spirit alone. He’s constantly at work doing something new in his people. And there is no possible way for us to reproduce that work.

This is the big mistake of modern religion. We think if we merely impart knowledge of the Scriptures and biblical principles to people, they’ll become spiritual. But the fact remains—no person or institution has the power to produce spirituality in someone. Only the Holy Ghost does that.

Very little of the work God’s Spirit does in us can be seen. This is why truly spiritual people rarely look for outward evidence of his work.

Paul says, “We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen” (2 Corinthians 4:18).

In the context of this passage, Paul is speaking of sufferings and afflictions. He saying, “No one knows all the things we face, except the Holy Spirit. And this is where true spirituality is manifested—in the crucible of suffering.”

Those who submit to the leading of God’s Spirit—who face their afflictions confident that the Lord is producing something in them—emerge from their crucible with strong faith. And they testify that the Spirit taught them more during their suffering than when all was well in their lives.

In all my years of walking with the Lord, I’ve rarely seen an increase in my spirituality during good times. Rather, any such increase usually took place as I endured hard places, agonies, testings—all of which the Holy Ghost allowed.

At one point in his walk of faith, Paul said, “The Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me that bonds and afflictions await me” (see Acts 20:21–22). Indeed, throughout Paul’s entire life, his afflictions never let up. They just kept coming.

“Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17). According to Paul, our afflictions and difficulties produce eternal values in us. He’s saying, “The suffering we go through on this earth will probably last our whole lifetime. But that’s only momentary compared to eternity. And right now, as we endure afflictions, God is producing in us a revelation of his glory that will last forever.”

In these days and times, at least for many of us… and I believe this is becoming increasingly true for more people with each passing day… that life’s problems and challenges seem to be ramping up and on the increase. Can I hear an AMEN out there? 🙂

Did not God promise us in Hebrews 12 that in the last days that in route to our destiny and in preparation for eternity that we would of necessity have to experience and become an Unshakable Kingdom:

Unlike your ancestors, you didn’t come to Mount Sinai—all that volcanic blaze and earthshaking rumble—to hear God speak. The earsplitting words and soul-shaking message terrified them and they begged him to stop. When they heard the words—”If an animal touches the Mountain, it’s as good as dead”—they were afraid to move. Even Moses was terrified.

No, that’s not your experience at all. You’ve come to Mount Zion, the city where the living God resides. The invisible Jerusalem is populated by throngs of festive angels and Christian citizens. It is the city where God is Judge, with judgments that make us just. You’ve come to Jesus, who presents us with a new covenant, a fresh charter from God. He is the Mediator of this covenant. The murder of Jesus, unlike Abel’s—a homicide that cried out for vengeance—became a proclamation of grace.

So don’t turn a deaf ear to these gracious words. If those who ignored earthly warnings didn’t get away with it, what will happen to us if we turn our backs on heavenly warnings? His voice that time shook the earth to its foundations; this time—he’s told us this quite plainly—he’ll also rock the heavens: “One last shaking, from top to bottom, stem to stern.” The phrase “one last shaking” means a thorough housecleaning, getting rid of all the historical and religious junk so that the unshakable essentials stand clear and uncluttered.

Do you see what we’ve got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God. For God is not an indifferent bystander. He’s actively cleaning house, torching all that needs to burn, and he won’t quit until it’s all cleansed. God himself is Fire!

Hebrews 12:18-29 (The Message Bible)

So how does this happen? It happens when everything in your world gets shaken, right down to your foundation; when all your personal resources, your plans, your ambitions, your wants and desires seem to be on hold; and all that you formally looked to for security in the natural is now in disarray and is of no use to you anymore, or worse it isn’t even there.

Kind of like what happened to the children of Israel, in route to their promise land; where all of the sudden they found themselves challenged by a desert wilderness, where every day they were being trained to rely on God alone!

No longer was there an over abundance of life’s necessities, as they had before in Egypt; everything now, even the bare necessities of food and water were scarce and in short supply.

Now they had to live day by day, and trust God moment by moment for their very subsistence and survival; and their reaction was probably like yours and mine, until we learn (if we are wise enough to consult the Operations manual—The Holy Bible) that this is a test; it’s a set up by God to where we are being stretched and tried to see if we will obey God, or if we will follow our old habits and follow after our understanding and limited knowledge?

When under pressure, you can count on it, at least at first until we are trained and know better, we will most often react in our flesh at the first sign of trouble; and yes we will stumble and fall many times along the way (I do several times a day—more than I can count), and even this is necessary and is a part of our training, for we learn from our mistakes.

The test is, when you stumble, when you make mistakes, do you quit, or do you get back up and try again. In this case, practice makes permanent; but without the practice you are lacking in the experience that enables you to persevere and not quit.

It is here that we learn that God is there when all seems to be lost, and there is no visible sign, nor sight/sense evidence of His presence. It is here that we learn that God’s presence is assured and verified not by our feelings and circumstances, but ONLY by our faith and reliance upon His Word!

It is here also that we are taught to look to God alone and not to man as our source. For as we look to other people and to other things, as our resource, they will often prove to be unreliable and a vain hope at best; because people and things can fail you, but God is not a man that He should lie… and He NEVER fails!

However we can’t learn this by reading a book, not even by reading our Bible, though reading the Bible is necessary for it is there that we get our instructions, and learn what it is that we should expect and do.

But when it comes to our gaining perseverance and hope, these things come only by our having experienced the heat of the fire, and our having been put to the test.

Like what happened to the Children of Israel; where their wilderness experience, after having stumbled and made mistakes, and therefore having to go in circles for forty years, the result of the lack of faith and obedience of that first generation; when God was ready to give them another chance, and take them into the “Promised Land,” that was only the beginning; and if they thought it was hard in the wilderness, now they would be facing giants and fortified armies, and all of this would necessitate an even closer walk with God, and greater trust, reliance, and obedience!

Compare that with your experience, and ask yourself how are you doing?

What is it that you are looking to as your primary support system… is it God and His Word? Are you responding in faith and obedience to His Word, not leaning on your understanding, but doing what God instructs, even when you don’t agree, understand, or like it?

Unless you can answer in the affirmative to all the above questions, then just know that what happened to the Children of Israel, when they failed to obey, will also happen to us; and God does not mark on a curve, but only on a pass or fail bases!

So if we don’t learn our lesson on the first go-round, then we had better be prepared to go the test again, and go in circles just as the Children of Israel did until we learn; because God will not take us to the next level until we learn to be obedient and do as we are told where we are!

The next thing is, while we are on this journey, it is very important that we become intimately acquainted with our personal Guide, Comforter, Paraclete, and Friend… the Holy Spirit! This is very important because, as David is pointing out in the above devotional message, it is the Holy Spirit that both empowers and guides us while we are on this pilgrimage, and it is He who illuminates the way.

We are talking here about a person who is closer to each of us than our next breath, who lives inside of us; and is longing to have never-ending communion with us; but unless we take the time to be still, and to listen, and to learn to discern His voice, and His guidance, then we are without a light for our path.

It is the Holy Spirit who illuminates and gives us insight, understanding, and personal application into our lives, as we mediate upon God’s Word. The Holy Spirit is like the laser light to a film, that when the film is exposed to this laser light, the resulting image or photo is holographic, and three dimensional. It is the Holy Spirit who makes the Scriptures come alive; and when we do not know how to pray for a particular problem and need, it is the Holy Spirit who prays through us!

In short, the Holy Spirit is that part of the God Head who gives us the power, wisdom, and guidance we need to walk our path, and to live our life in a manner that is pleasing to God; it is also the Holy Spirit who is our chief instructor and guide along the way.

It is so sad that so many Christians have yet to learn this secret, that we can only successfully accomplished our assignment, and carry out the Great Commission to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God in the earth, and to disciple all nations as we are empowered to do so through the Holy Spirit, and are in fact relying on him moment by moment, 24/7!

So with all of this in mind, let us each start out each day in sync with the one who is our Comforter, our Teacher and Guide; and let us allow Him to lead us, moment by moment throughout our day; for as the Bible promises in Proverbs 3, that if we acknowledge Him in ALL our ways, then He is directing our steps; but we have to do so by trusting with ALL our heart, and by NOT relying upon our own understanding!

This walk that God has placed us on is a faith walk, and the Bible says in Hebrews 11:6, that unless we walk by faith, then it is impossible for us to please God! Selah


Skip Barland

Two paradoxes of Christian living… we must die to live; and we must learn to let go, to let God!!!

And Jesus said to his disciples:

“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.

What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?

For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.” Mat 16:24-27

A classic daily devotional

Edited by A. J. Russell

Empty Yourself

Rely on Me alone. Ask no other help. Pay all out in the Spirit of trust that more will come to meet your supply.

Empty your vessels quickly to ensure a Divine Supply.

So much retained by you, so much the less will be gained from Me. It is a Law of Divine Supply.

To hold back, to retain, implies a fear of the future, a want of trust in Me.

When you ask Me to save you from the sea of poverty and difficulty you must trust wholly to Me.  If you do not, and your prayer and faith are genuine, then I must first answer your prayer for help as a rescuer does that of a drowning man who is struggling to save himself.

He renders him still more helpless and powerless until he is wholly at the will and mercy of the rescuer.  So understand My leading.  Trust wholly. Trust completely.

Empty your vessel.  I will fill it.  You ask both of you to understand Divine Supply. It is a most difficult lesson for My children to learn.  So dependent have they become on material supply they fail to understand.  You must live as I tell you.

Depend on Me.

I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.  Psalm 4:8

Have we each counted the cost of following Christ, for if we have then we understand, from having read His Word, that the Christian life requires that we cease to be the masters of our own destiny, living as we choose; and that we relinquish completely unto the Master, our Creator God, ALL our perceived rights to our self; including all our will and ambitions, our ways and means of doing things; and that we pick up our cross (symbol of our death) and follow Jesus daily! And the way we do this is that we begin to reprogram ourselves by meditating on God’s ways and means at handling life, by mediating upon, and obeying His Word, as found in the Holy Bible.

In fact Jesus said that we cannot even begin to have a relationship with Him, and He and the Father will not make their abode with us, unless we begin here, by honoring and obeying His Word!

Anything less than that and we are practicing mere religion of man, which attempts to earn something the Bible clearly says comes only by grace, through faith; and that it is not of ourselves, but is a gift from God; and that is the salvation of our souls.

If you find yourself struggling in life, with certain problems and situations that always seems to arise; and if you seem always to be in the same predicament and pickle; then it just may be that the Lord is waiting on you to quit struggling, trying to save yourself, much as a lifeguard is trained to do.

You see lifeguards are trained not to just jump in and rescue a drowning person, unless he has a floatation device to throw to him, or her; and the reason is if he were to grab a drowning person, who is panicking and fighting the water, that drowning person would only pull the rescuer down with him.

So instead sometimes they have to wait until that drowning person is coming up for their last breathe; and have given up rescuing themselves, before he can save them.

Well I have found, and I believe the Scriptures support this, that God operates just like that.

Until we have let go and quit trying to save ourselves; until we have given up depending on our own understanding and our resources; often God will let us flounder and struggle, until we are finally willing to trust Him.

Really what I am describing to you here is the nature of what SIN is all about; and it is exactly that attitude that is found in each of us that has separated us from God to begin with, in that nature which we have inherited from our father Adam; a nature whose predisposition is to always assert our will above God’s; that goes crosswise against God’s original plan and purpose for our life.

Jesus died to provide a door of reconciliation and forgiveness; but that door requires that we each die to ourselves, meaning we cease living for ourselves, and we begin by FAITH to live for Jesus Christ! Selah

God has so much better things for us; but as long as we refuse to let go, and are hanging on to what we have; God cannot release His gifts, and He cannot begin to unfold our destiny in our lives.

God will not be a backseat driver in our life, and he will not operate inside of our little boxes either; and so if we insist on being in control, and of being the masters of our own destinies, doing everything our way, according to our understanding, then God will not stand in our way; He will appliage us, and He will let us continue down our own path… but understand this, the Bible says at the end of that path, there is nothing but eternal separation from God!

So this is God’s standing commandment for ALL of His covenant children, for all those who are pursuing fulfillment of their life, and are willing to first let go of their lives; and trust completely in God:

Proverbs 3:5-8

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil.

8 It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.

So do you want to know what the secret is to an abundant life; and how you can enter into the Secret Place of the Most High?

Follow these instructions:

Psalm 91

1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

2 This I declare about the Lord:  He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.

3 For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease.

4 He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day.

6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
7 Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you.
8 Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished.

9 If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, 10 no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home.

11 For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.

12 They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.

15 When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.

16 I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”

So there you have it, you now have your marching orders… so now go and do it!

Live long and prosper in Jesus Christ… and have a blessed life! 🙂


Skip Barland

Be loosed from your safe harbor moorings, and launch your faith out into the deep…

God’s invitation is to come launch your faith out into the deep!

The Bewildering Call of God

God called Jesus Christ to what seemed absolute disaster. And Jesus Christ called His disciples to see Him put to death, leading every one of them to the place where their hearts were broken.

His life was an absolute failure from every standpoint except God’s. But what seemed to be failure from man’s standpoint was a triumph from God’s standpoint, because God’s purpose is never the same as man’s purpose.

This bewildering call of God comes into our lives as well. The call of God can never be understood absolutely or explained externally; it is a call that can only be perceived and understood internally by our true inner-nature.

The call of God is like the call of the sea— no one hears it except the person who has the nature of the sea in him.

What God calls us to cannot be definitely stated, because His call is simply to be His friend to accomplish His own purposes.

Our real test is in truly believing that God knows what He desires. The things that happen do not happen by chance— they happen entirely by the decree of God. God is sovereignly working out His own purposes.

If we are in fellowship and oneness with God and recognize that He is taking us into His purposes, then we will no longer strive to find out what His purposes are.

As we grow in the Christian life, it becomes simpler to us, because we are less inclined to say, “I wonder why God allowed this or that?” And we begin to see that the compelling purpose of God lies behind everything in life, and that God is divinely shaping us into oneness with that purpose.

A Christian is someone who trusts in the knowledge and the wisdom of God, not in his own abilities. If we have a purpose of our own, it destroys the simplicity and the calm, relaxed pace which should be characteristic of the children of God.

Old sailors know about this call, of those who have that predisposition and experience of being at home in the sea.

I’ve even heard it said that sometimes there is even a very definite and unworldly beaconing and calling that they feel, almost as with a magnet, drawing and beaconing them to come.

Well, God’s calling is much like that; but to answer it will requiring our willingness to face the unknown, and loose our long established moorings of the status quo, and the average and ordinary, in our own little harbors of safety.

Battleships are very impressive to look at and I for one love to tour them and marvel at their beauty and awesome might and power; but battleships though they may come into a harbor from time to time, the harbor is never its home. No, battleships are made for the open seas!

And so it is with us, for like those battleships, neither have we been made for the safe and ordinary; but we are constructed and destined for greatness, to be soldiers of the Most High God, and as such for us to stay in safe harbors, just rusting away in idleness, looking impressive, as no doubt we often think; but nevertheless it is a complete waste of God’s resources; and never did He intend for us to remain in shallow waters.

I like what the above devotion said about how God’s ways and means at accomplishing His purposes are so far different from ours!

Truly as it God says in the Bible: My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts, ‘says the LORD.’ And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts
(Isa 55:8-9)

Yet for us to continually attempt to navigate solely by our understanding, our experience, and our limited knowledge, is to severely handicap ourselves if we desire to be fit for God’s service.

Notice in the above devotion how Mr. Chambers points out how God’s call upon Jesus Christ, at least at first glance, from this world’s perspective, and with its values, Jesus life first seemed like an absolute disaster and failure; in that Jesus ended up dying on a Cross; leaving each of His disciples with a broken heart, and an extreme sense of loss!

Truly, from this worlds standards, Christ’s death on the cross looked in every way to be an absolute failure, but not to God!!!

We must understand this by faith, that what seems to be a failure from man’s standpoint, when done in cooperation and in obedience to God, will always end up to be a huge triumph, because God’s purposes, and His ways of doing things, are always much different from that of men.

Compare that with what’s going on in your own life today, and what you are presently facing. Possibly to you, in your understanding and in all that you are presently hearing from your own committee voices (your self-talk), within your own thoughts (which is quite often where the enemy attacks us), and possibly also from those around you, among your family, friends, and coworkers, who are also seeing only from a carnal perspective, from all of these different voices you may be hearing nothing but that you are a failure!

Again at this point we must pause and remind ourselves that God’s purposes are not ours; and that His ways and means of accomplishing His purposes in our life are far different from anything we would think to do, or even imagine.

From our perspective, and with our limited understanding and foresight, it often appears as if everything is going in exactly the opposite direction, from where we need to go; and if we spend very much time listening to our committee voices, then we will soon find ourselves discouraged, depressed, and maybe even angry, as though we have been abandoned by God.

Did not Jesus also feel abandoned, as He hung on His Cross?

So too will we; and we must also recognize that we too are called to carry a cross that we are to die on. And by death I mean we die to our own understanding, and our ambitions; as we relinquish complete control of our lives and our wills to be directed by the Holy Spirit.

Until we have done that we are not where God is calling us to be, neither physically, spiritually, nor mentally… and we have in fact chosen to remain anchored in our safe harbor!

Just as we read what Mr. Chamber said in the above devotion: The call of God is like the call of the sea— no one hears it except the person who has the nature of the sea in him.”

Likewise, until we have God’s nature inside of us; until we are filled with the Holy Spirit, and are continually being refilled everyday (for we leak in this world); and until we have put on the mind of Christ (as scripture instructs every Christian to do); then we are navigating solely by our limited understanding, and our own limited knowledge, and so of course we are handicapped.

We must understand and know by faith that every trail, and every circumstance that we face in life, that each and everyone is a test, where God is watching us to see how we react; and whether we will obey His leading, or follow our flesh?

We must understand also that the things that are happening in our life, as a result of decisions and choices that we have made, have either taken us closer to God’s purpose, or have possibly delayed God’s purpose in our life; and truly not until we have completely relinquished our perceived rights to self, as the masters of our destiny, and have give that over to God, it’s not until we have done that, that we know ALL things are now being worked together for our good, according to God’s master plan for our life… because at that point God knows that we love Him and are truly submitting by faith to His call and plan for our life!

We all are looking to experience so much more; and instinctively we all know there has to be more to our life than what we have thus far experienced. The problem occurs when we are looking to fulfill our desires and our will; and not God’s!

To the extent we all do this, by nature, and even (as the Bible says) each one of us like dumb sheep, we have gone astray, as we have chosen our own way, travelling by the sparks of light that we have made, with our limited understanding, without regard to the plans and purposes of God for our lives; and to the extent we all do this, it is called SIN; and it is that sin which has separated us from our God!

The road home, to be reconciled back into God’s family, and then to be put on course for the absolute ride of a lifetime; and experience what Jesus Called an Abundant Life,” it requires that we begin to live our lives much differently from the way the world does; it requires that we begin to chart our course by the directions found in the Holy Bible, meaning that we must begin meditating upon it day and night, to know what it says; and it also means that we begin to sensitize ourselves to the presence, the voice, and the leaning of the Holy Spirit in our lives; and that we begin to walk in communion with Him moment by moment, 24/7, 365 days a year.

However, none of that can even begin to happen until we loose ourselves from our present moorings, and we launch our faith out into the deep, for it is ONLY in the deep that the Holy Spirit hangs out.

That is where all the action and excitements is; where miracles and the supernatural become everyday occurrences. Selah

It is also where we experience an Abundant life,” as we are fulfilling our destiny in cooperation with, and in union and oneness with the Spirit of God, who lives inside of every born-again child of God!

So my encouragement to you today, if you haven’t yet signed up for this adventure, that you don’t put it off another day; and if you are a Believer but are hanging out in your safe harbor, begin today to let go, and let God!!! Selah


Skip Barland

God’s Prime Directive is… “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness!!!

God’s Prime Directive is…

“Seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness!!!

He Already Knows
August 2, 2010 — by Bill Crowder

Listen Now

A friend who is a commercial pilot told me about a flight in which he encountered a serious mechanical issue—a problem with dangerous implications. When the situation occurred, the warning lights in the cockpit informed him of the problem and he monitored it all the way to the destination, ultimately landing safely.

Once on the ground, the pilot immediately went to the maintenance staff and reported it. To his surprise, the mechanics responded, “We already know about the problem and are ready to fix it. When you got the cockpit warning, we automatically got an electronic warning as well.”

As he shared that incident, I couldn’t help but compare it to Jesus’ words about our heavenly Father: “Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him” (Matt. 6:8). He said this in contrast to people who believe that they must “use vain repetitions . . . . For they think that they will be heard for their many words” (v.7). Jesus presupposes God’s knowledge of and concern for His children.

Even though God knows our needs, He still wants us to share our hearts with Him. He stands ready to hear our prayer and to repair our brokenness by His grace.

Although God knows our every need,
His work He wants to share;
He takes us into partnership
By calling us to prayer. —D. De Haan

Prayer is the voice of faith, trusting that God knows and cares.

The Bible says there is a way that seems right unto man, but that it ends in death!

It also says that the road to destruction and is wide, and many there be that take it; but the road to life is narrow, and few there be that follow it.

So what’s the difference and why is it that most people choose to follow the road to destruction, which by the way means an eternal state of separation from God?

The secret of life is having communion and relationship with your Creator; but something called SIN interfered with our relationship.

Our sins have separated us from God, is what the Bible says; and sin is that part of our human nature that asserts our own will above the will and purposes of God.

To the extent we ALL as sheep have gone astray, and have chosen our own way, and have lived our lives without regard to the will and purpose of God for our life, the Bible says we are outside of relationship with God, and are estranged from Him; meaning also that we have been barred from His Kingdom.

This thing called sin is as a disease that will keep us out of Heaven, and the only cure for that disease is provided in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and His atonement for mankind provided for us on Calvary’s Cross.

Most people are aware that there is more to life and are instinctively pursuing various avenues of fulfillment, howbeit most of those avenues that are sought deal only with the satisfaction of the flesh, having to do with the pride of life, the lust of the eyes and the carnal nature of man; but since we are created in the image and likeness of God, who is Himself a Spirit, in order for us to have communion with Him, and for us to experience life abundantly (as we were intended to do) Jesus said that we must do so in Spirit and in truth.

How do we go about entering into this communion with God; and how do we make the decision to follow the narrow road?

The answer is quite simply you must deny yourself. In other words, we must deny our natural impulses, including our reasoning and our own understanding, and we must begin to allow ourselves to be reprogrammed by the Holy Spirit; allowing Him to rewrite the flawed and virus (sin) ridden programming of the world.

In other words we must let go of something we each by nature have learned to cling to and to worship, and are born into this world demanding that that it be first, and that is own our flesh; and we must turn away and deny all that is associated with our connection to this fallen world system that has refused to submit to its creator, and has instead chosen to idolize and to worship the creation and created things, rather than the one true God!

For those of you who have submitted to this process, and are Born-again, we all have relatives, friends, loved ones, and neighbors who have yet to come to this realization; and the ONLY cure and way to reach these people, I believe personally, is to do the same thing that someone did for us, in order for us to finally see the light… and that is to intercede and to pray for them. There is no other way!

The carnal nature of the world, and the forces of evil that are made available and are provided in the world in order to allure and to deceive are very powerful indeed; but all that the world has to offer doesn’t hold a candle to what God has provided us in Jesus Christ our Lord.

But for us to experience this New Life for ourselves, we must first be willing to forsake the world; die to our self, meaning to our will, our ambitions and our desires; and we must freely relinquish the reins of our life to the one who authored and created us, the one who is our Creator and God, who is Jesus Christ! Selah

In conclusion I will just leave you with the words of Jesus, and leave you with the decision of which of the two paths in life will you take… the one that leads to Life, or the one that leads to eternal separation from God?

  • For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. (Mat 16:25)
  • “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”
    (Luke 6:46)
  • Jesus said: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
    (John 14:15)

One thing you must not let escape your attention from today’s lesson and that is this one important fact, that your life is a gift from God; but it is includes a maze of different paths, and each path will require a decision and choice for you to make, where we exercise our free will to choose.

Either we are following the lead of God’s Word and the Holy Spirit, denying our self and our understanding; or we are following our path according to our understanding, and our perception; but understand this folks, there is a day of reckoning coming, when we each will have to give an account for our life, and what we have done with Jesus Christ.

For those who are born-again, who have relinquished their rights to self and have freely given there will over to serve Jesus, their sins are covered and forgiven; but for all others, for everyone who has refused to accept God’s only door to forgiveness and reconciliation, who have instead chosen to hang on to their anger, unforgiveness and resentment, who have refused to let go and let God, for those people they each will be without a Saviour and will have to answer for their own sins.

This is not my opinion, but this is what the Bible clearly says; and so that is why it is so very important that every person avail him or herself of whatever time they have left in this world, starting today in this moment, to consider this man Christ Jesus, for to ignore Him has dire consequences.

So listen up, if you are not happy with the direction your life is going, then might I suggest the reason is you are going against the flow of God’s Spirit for your life.

Change directions and start by repenting, meaning literally to change the way you think; and begin this day and every day, let go of your anger and resentment against ALL those who have wronged you; lest as the Bible warns we give a foothold to the Devil in our lives.

Instead make Jesus Lord and master of your life; be his conduit and distributors of Agape (love) to this lost world; and don’t you dare leave home without Him!!! Selah


Skip Barland