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7 min read https://www.givehim15.com/post/may-20-2022 May 20, 2022 DSM has been blessed with a wonderful, hard-working, and loyal team. Ceci and I are going to do a staff retreat with them, then she and I will take a much-needed vacation. I have asked some of my close friends and associates - many being regular contributors to the Give Him 15 posts - to fill in during this time. You will recognize most of the names; and I’ve thrown in one or two whom perhaps you haven’t heard from. You’re going to love the insights from all of them - this will be a wonderful smorgasbord! Enjoy! _____________________________________________________________________________ The Times We Live In - Greg Hood If there has ever been a day when we needed to walk in the Spirit, it is today. In doing so, our nation will more wisely navigate through these turbulent times. Psalm 2:1 tells us, “Why are the nations in an uproar and the people devising a vain thing?” This verse asks questions of us today, questions that demand answers. Why is America in an uproar? Why are we seeing things today on an unprecedented scale that we have never seen before? In times past, we saw protests which were largely peaceful like those Dr. Martin Luther King led. Today, we are seeing organized riots and looting. Groups are actually bringing death and anarchy into our streets, defying the laws of the land, and defying God. Never before in the history of America—have we seen such hostility. America is not perfect. We have our problems. In times past, like today, we've had corruption, desperation, and dark times when we pulled away from God. Unlike many nations, however, America’s corruption has been hidden, and when exposed, we attempted to deal with it. Today, the light of God is shining in our nation for revival and awakening. It’s exposing darkness on a whole new level. There has never been a time of greater exposure of wickedness in our nation's history that I can recall. The devil wants to gain a foothold in America for evil. However, this only exposes his plans. We are seeing darkness exposed by light and the elements of evil are running. We are seeing all kinds of evil manifesting to keep their foothold in America, trying to hang on to its authority. By God, however, they are losing their grip on this nation as the Ekklesia is being positioned into a place of a great awakening and revival. We must look past the surface of current events to see as God sees, to react as God reacts, to receive the manifestation of heaven that God desires on the earth. Why is America in an uproar? Because change is here. I declare to you that we will see peace in this nation. Chaotic times cannot remain. Our God is not fazed by what He sees on the news. He cares about His purpose for this nation. Now, we know that God is a God of judgment. We understand that nations are either going to be goat nations or sheep nations. Look at Psalm 9:17 with me. It reads, “The wicked will return to Sheol, even all the nations who forget God.” The wicked will return to Sheol as the righteous return to God. The nations of the earth are evolving. God is bringing about His righteous judgment on the earth. Evil will cease. Righteousness will prevail. Jesus wins! King Jesus has overcome the world and He is raising up an Ekklesia—a church that will not back down until we see the kingdoms of this world become the Kingdom of our God. As we press toward “the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus,” we are causing the kingdoms of this world to become the kingdoms of our God. Consider with me the description of Issachar from 1 Chronicles 12:32: “Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times with the knowledge of what Israel should do…” The entire tribe was ready for action. Let’s unpack this verse and get some very important things back in place. This word “understood” in 1 Chronicles 12:32 means “an understanding,” of course. It also means: “discernment; truth; to discern; to act wisely; intelligent; to interpret; to be investigative; a skilled teacher; understanding and he will gain.” With this definition, knowledge is more than just “Oh, I know.” Rather, we seek understanding to be able to gain, move forward, and progress the agenda of the heart of the Father throughout the earth. The clearest meaning of “understand” is “truth.” Today, truth is more detested than a lie. Isaiah 5:20, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” We are in that day right now. We have news cycles all day long, 24/7, but little of it is truth. Instead, we are seeing reporting seeking to change our culture, our times, and the assignments that God has given us as individuals and as a nation. America is in a cultural war over the revision of history. The fact is, you cannot erase your history and correct your history at the same time. History must be learned before its lessons are clear. Erasure is ignorance. We embrace our history for what it is—a historical record of the good and the bad and everything in between—so we can move forward with healing and wisdom from God and not repeat our mistakes. To not repeat history is to know history, not erase it. America, and the world in general, faces a rising tide of activist groups operating behind noble-sounding titles and agendas. And some are noble, but many are cleverly disguised to divide and dismantle the plan and the purpose of God for America. Here is a verse for you, “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” (John 17:14-17) As we navigate through these times, we cannot succumb to operating in survival mode. It does no good to tread water until Jesus returns and “snatches” us out of here. We are partnered with an army of angels on a battlefield— we are kings called to the frontlines to strategically overcome and overtake the enemy so that the Kin Again, from 1 Chronicles, “understood the times” is a powerful description. It literally means “to always have understanding.” My redneck definition of this is, “being in step with God or being current with Him on current events.” God is speaking today. He is not silent today or any day. There is always an open heaven. We may not always hear Him, but God is always talking. When the Scripture refers to “the times,” it means “appointed times, circumstances, intervals, timely by year.” So, it is not just the time or a season but an appointed time. We are in an appointed time—a time in our lives when we need to step up as never before. The opposition is great. Darkness is real. The enemy is in our face. But today is the day, we say: “Back off, satan, you have crossed the line.” 1 John 4:4 encourages us in this, “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” It is time for the Ekklesia to capitalize on this opportune time God has us in. We were born for this! Pull yourself up by your bootstraps, square your shoulders and declare: “I am ready. Here I am, God. Send me. I will be a voice. I will be the light. I will be what You need me to be to turn this nation into a place of revival and awakening.” Listen, family, when you don’t know what to do - fear sets in, people stay still, chaos erupts - the enemy invades and his agenda takes root. We are seeing the majority of the church experiencing this today. Yet God wants His church in motion. We are not called to be stagnant. We are not retreating. We are moving forward. We are pressing on towards the mark of the prize of the high calling that is in Christ Jesus. (see Philippians 3:13-16) We need the mantle of Issachar manifesting in the church today. It is vital to us seeing and receiving the fire of God into our lives and the nation. This is not about individuals’ relationships with God, but about the Ekklesia—the body of Christ coming together to bring the awakening and revival that we need and have been crying out for. The fact is, God is waiting on us, the church; we are not waiting on God. We need to rise up in the functioning apostolic, prophetic anointing that God has given His Ekklesia. We need the Issachar mantle so we will know what to do. We don’t need any more good ideas. We need Kingdom ideas. We do not need to hear from men. We need to hear from God. We need to hear from God through His sons and daughters. Then we will have the answers we need to bring peace to a chaotic world. Pray with me: Father, we know that our nation is in a very dark place, and corruption is at a level we cannot remember seeing before. We ask that You give us that Issachar Mantle that we may step into a new place of understanding our time, so that we may bring to our nation the answers needed to release revival and awakening on a level not yet seen, in the name of King Jesus, amen! Our decree: We decree that we are ready. Here we are, God. Send us. We decree we will be Your voice. We will be the light. We will be what You need us to be to turn this nation into a place of revival and awakening. ******************* Portions of this post were taken from my book Rebuilding the Broken Altar - Awakening out of Chaos. You can find us at greghood.org or most social media platforms. God Bless you and go do business with the King today..! ************* Click on the link below to watch the full video.
6 min read https://www.givehim15.com/post/april-4-2022 April 4, 2022 Love’s Motivation First, I want to say thank you for the tremendous feedback we received from the three posts last week on forgiveness and being released from the wounds of the past. We do not usually know until later how certain things we are led to say or do are needed and appreciated. It seems that these teachings were very timely and a great blessing to many. Thank you again for the feedback. As you know, if you follow these daily posts on a regular basis, my goal is certainly to focus on issues that need corporate prayer. However, they are also intended to be devotionals and teachings, to help you in your personal walk and growth. And, of course, they are meant to inform you of issues you may not hear of elsewhere, that need our prayers. I want to pick up on a teaching I gave a week or so ago regarding God‘s instructions to Joshua when he was assuming the leadership over Israel. In that post, I pointed out that when Joshua was about to step into this important assignment, which involved possessing the promised inheritance God spoke of to Abraham, Yahweh began with some very interesting instructions: “Remember the basics, Joshua. Listen to Me, obey Me, meditate in My words, don’t be afraid,” and more. Have your devotions first, then go to war! Nothing should ever stand in the way of our personal times with our Father. It should be understood that the book of Joshua is a picture for us of how to possess or inherit our spiritual promises from God. What Israel did physically - possess the land - we do spiritually. We are to apply the lessons and principles given to them in order to possess our spiritual inheritance in Christ. Joshua was not the original name given to this leader. His name was changed from Hoshea to Joshua, which comes from the same Hebrew word as Yeshua, because he was going to be a very wonderful type or picture of Christ. Just as Joshua led Israel into their inheritance, Christ would lead us into ours. And many lessons are to be gleaned from Israel’s experiences and applied to the possessing of our promises. Here is our lesson from the book of Joshua for today. Seven times in the first chapter of Joshua the word “command” is used by Holy Spirit. Twice the phrase, “be careful to do, according to all” was used. This means a total of nine times in the first chapter when preparing Israel to possess their inheritance, God emphasized the need to obey Him very carefully. It is as though Yahweh was telling them, “Settle this now. You do not have the freedom to think about whether or not you will obey Me. You must obey Me immediately and without hesitation. This is not a suggestion; it is a requirement.” The first act of obedience was then required. The Lord told Joshua, “Start packing. In three days you are going to cross over the Jordan and begin this war.” No debate. No negotiating on the timing. Just, “Get started. You have three days.” One would think that after 40 years of waiting God could’ve given this multitude of people more than three days to pack everything and prepare to move. But, no. God had a schedule in mind and He did not want them to wait. This would be done in His timing. They did not realize that much of what they did was based on God‘s eternal calendar, that the day of their crossing over would one day coincide with the events of the cross. God’s timing was about more than their convenience and certainly beyond their understanding. But He needed it done on that day. “So start packing, Joshua.” Some Christians want to find out what God wants, then they’ll decide whether or not they want to do it. This is a recipe for failure. We must decide, in advance, that He is in charge and we will do whatever He asks of us, whatever the cost, regardless of how much it stretches our faith. We must obey if we are to inherit our provision through Christ. We may not always like the process, but we will always love the fruit. This does not mean we are “earning” God’s blessings. It means we are walking in step with His instructions, which guarantee life and victory. God’s commandments and instructions are to bless us, protect us, lead us in the right ways, bring freedom to us, and advance His purposes - not to produce bondage or a performance mentality. Simply stated, He knows what is best. We are to say along with the Psalmist, “I delight to do your will” (Psalm 40:8). There are five New Testament words for a servant/serving. One day I will teach on all of them in a post. But two of them are doulos and latris. A doulos was a bond-slave. Latris, however, from the verb form latreuo, means to serve, not out of compulsion but from relationship. A parent serves his or her family by providing and caring for them - not as a slave but out of the motivation of love. This is latreuo. Romans 12:1 tells us to present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God, “which is our reasonable service.” (KJV) Other versions of Scripture translate the phrase differently, and appropriately so: “which is our reasonable service of worship.” (NASV) They do this because the word is latreuo, not doulos. We are not being told to present our bodies as a living sacrifice because we are God’s slaves, but rather to do so because we are in relationship with Him and we want to please Him. He knows what is best for us and we trust Him. And as we do this it is considered worship, not just service. Yes, God owns us. This is true by the right of creation, but also because we are bought with a price by the blood of Jesus (1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23). As Lord, He can tell us to do anything He wants. And the apostle, Paul, regularly referred to himself as a doulos, God’s bondslave. In the early days of the Charismatic Movement we frequently sang the song, “He is Lord.” And He is. But God’s heart is not to treat us as slaves “owned” by Him, but to relate to us as His children and friends (John 15:14-15). He wants us to serve Him from a heart of love and worship, from relationship. When we move into this type of relationship with Him we become co-laborers with God, working together with Him. We embrace the great commission as a co-mission. Our hearts have become one with His and we want what He wants. We’re members of Abba’s household of faith. This motivation changes everything. Yes, Paul referred to himself as a bond slave, but he also said the love of God constrained him to do what he did (2 Corinthians 5:14). As we move forward in praying and working toward the great harvest that is beginning, we must establish that we will obey God fully. But we must also realize that we are His partners, friends, and kids. As the Senior Partner, He will give us direction, but He delights in involving us in the process. Pray with me: Father, Your heart toward us is amazing. As the infinite God, You want relationship with a human family. We are overwhelmed at Your incredible plan of the ages: creating us, redeeming us, and giving us a membership in Your heavenly family. May we never take this for granted. We are reminded today that You are indeed the Lord and Master. You are Almighty God. But You are also Father. Abba. You love us with an everlasting love. And as we pray, may we always remember that we are working together with You, not just for You. So as we intercede today, we remember that we are agreeing with You, not attempting to talk You into something. We ask for revival and the great harvest because You want that. We ask for salvation to come to people because it’s what You want. We ask for miracles because You want to perform them. We ask for deliverance because You want to set people free. We extend the victory of the cross into the earth now and we declare a spirit of deliverance be released throughout the world. We call forth the great awakening and harvest that is in Your heart and release it into the earth now, in the mighty name of Jesus. Our decree: We decree that we are co-laborers with God on the earth and as such, we move in His plan and authority. We bind every work of darkness that is attempting to thwart the purposes of God on the earth. We forbid its success. *********************** Click on the link below to watch the full video.