Friday, May 18, 2018

The Dominion of Blessing


Few things are more painful to the human heart than strained or severed relationships. Because we love deeply, we can also hurt deeply, and it is especially so in a Christian family unit.

I recently read two books that have powerfully changed my prayer life and my view of people: The Grace Outpouring by Roy Godwin and The Power of Blessing by Kerry Kirkwood. In them, I read many stories of how people and situations were changed for the better when someone spoke blessing over them (even privately)! We can do the same.



  

Do you have a difficult someone in your life? Jesus says to us in Matthew 5:44, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you; do good to those who hate you and pray for those who spitefully use you.”

Why are we to do something that seems so contrary to our human nature? The answer is found in I Peter 3:8-9: “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous, not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.” As we bless others, we ourselves inherit a blessing; our God is a blessing God. His heart is to bless people and not curse them, and we are to be imitators of Him.

Titus 3:1-2 also says, “Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.” God’s love never fails. When we bless people rather than say negative things about them, God will have an open highway into their lives to bring needed change. God is good; He is gentle and kind; He knows how to change people. Our job is to bless rather than curse.

By “curse,” I don’t mean you necessarily use swear words. Wishing someone ill or misfortune, or talking about how bad they are, complaining to God about them, is cursing them. We need to learn to bless and speak words of life, hope, peace, and healing over them. Kerry Kirkwood, author of the book I mentioned earlier, said he grew up hearing his mom pray for his dad this way: “O Lord, just dangle him over the flames and let him feel the heat of hell.”  Kerry says, “And feel it he did, and so did our family! So, one day I asked her, ‘Why don’t you pray the peace of God on him, so we can get some peace ourselves?’ Thank God, she finally did.”

When I feel pained and distressed by someone’s actions or beliefs, I have learned to immediately pray, “Father, I bless _______________ with health, strength, long life and good days. I bless them to receive Your goodness and help; I bless their eyes to be opened to the truth that they may have the joy of the Lord.” You know what? The first person to be changed is me. But as I bless, I sense the Lord’s pleasure, and I have a peaceful heart.

Now think of the person (including political figures) who irritates, angers, or saddens you the most. Bless them continually and watch God work!

Copyright © Elaine Beachy 2018

Monday, March 27, 2017

Be Still

Radio and TV stations are filled with so many voices that clamor for our attention. Riots, terrorism, sex trafficking, drug trade, political intrigue, snarky behavior, betrayal, obstruction of truth, violence,  and injustice, threaten to overwhelm our nation and the world. Satan's gripping tentacles of moral decay seem to have made inroads everywhere -- in the church, the government, the family, in our children caught in sexual confusion, in our elementary schools, high schools, our halls of ivy, movies, video games, and music. And I am filled with righteous indignation.

I think of the biblical account of Lot who lived in the plains of Sodom and Gomorrah and what his life must have been like. 2 Peter 2:8 (NKJ) tells us that God ". . .delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds). . ."

Sometimes one tends to feel quite helpless and overwhelmed in the threat of such a world; the voices of fear and negativity are everywhere, and one's soul can all too easily undergo their osmosis.



When I sat down with my journal this morning, I sensed the Lord speak to my heart: "Be still, and know that I am God." I said, "Holy Spirit, talk to me about that." The following is taken from writings today.

Be still, and know that I am God.

Do not worry, do not fret.
Those things you imagine
Have not happened yet.
Why borrow trouble? Why feel dismayed?
Fix your thoughts on good things --
I will come to your aid.

Be still, and know that I am God.

Don't run here, don't run there,
Fighting just to beat the air.
Take your stand, as I have said.
You wear a crown upon your head.
Watch Me work. Look at Me;
It will change how you see.

When the Lord said, "Watch Me work," I thought of what Dr. Emerson Eggerichs said in his "Love and Respect" DVD's, on the marriage relationship, how a husband feels energized and happy when his wife watches him repair and paint the house, fix the car, etc. I  sensed the Lord say, "As a husband is energized and pleased when his wife watches him work, so I am pleased when My people rest and watch Me work. I enjoy your faith and trust in Me."

Recently, because of revelation I received from God about Romans 8:26, I have begun to pray in tongues with added focus. The Amplified Bible reads, "The Holy Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness. . .the Holy Spirit goes to meet our supplication." The meaning for me expanded to realize the Holy Spirit "takes hold with me" in my prayers.

So, I say to the Holy Spirit, "I believe as I pray in tongues about this person / situation, You take hold together with me concerning the matter." My, how that boosts my faith and joy in prayer! I have found that when I pray in tongues, I don't feel helpless or "wrought-up." I REST.

If you as a Christian do not speak in tongues, I invite you to watch and listen to this 15 minute clip of Andrew Wommack. At all his meetings across the U.S., he instructs and helps others receive this much-needed gift of power from the Holy Spirit. Jesus basically told His disciples, "Don't leave home without it!" (Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:4)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VS4CbmnVhcY

Copyright © 2017 Elaine Beachy


Thursday, March 2, 2017

A Family Restored

Night and day among the tombs and on the mountainsides, the tormented man shrieked and screamed and cut himself with stones. (Thought: stones can represent the Law.) Jesus came and gave him grace. "Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!" Jesus commanded of the unclean spirit residing in the pitiful man who made his lonely home among the tombs and on the mountainsides. "What is your name?"

"My name is Legion, for we are many," the unclean spirit replied; "But please don't send us out of this region. Send us into that herd of pigs feeding near the mountains."

Immediately, Jesus gave the order, and the entire herd of two thousand hogs rushed headlong down the steep slope into the sea and drowned.

How that poor man, created in God's image, house those two thousand evil spirits? He must have resisted them with the part of him that was able to do so. He did not kill himself. I can only imagine the intense agony he endured as he screamed and shrieked and cut himself to try to find relief. He had no sleep or rest. He had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he just pulled the chains apart and broke the shackles into pieces. Nobody could tame him.

No one could help him. Perhaps he begged to be chained so he couldn't hurt himself anymore -- all to no avail. When he saw Jesus come toward him, he ran and fell on his knees in homage. Perhaps he thought this person could finally tie him down securely. Instead of binding him, the Man gave an order of freedom: "Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!" And he was gloriously freed!

Human shackles for his feet, handcuffs and chains to tie him down, were ineffective. (Binding him with the Law was powerless to bring deliverance. How often do we put religious commands and restrictions on people that produce burdens of guilt or shame, that are powerless to bring change and freedom? We are to free the captives, and set at liberty those who are bruised.) I'm sure this poor man's entire body was bruised.

I can imagine this man's mother with a heavy heart as she went about her work every day, longing to have her son restored -- to have him back with the family. I wonder how many nights she cried herself to sleep, wondering where her boy was, what he was doing, if he'd had something to eat that day. . .

I wonder how many times she lay prostrate before the God with tears in earnest prayer for his healing and deliverance.

I wonder if she endured sideways glances and whispers among the townspeople's gossip and blame: "Her son is incurable. He's a real nut case. If she had been a better mother, he wouldn't be this way now. Tsk, tsk. . ."

I wonder how much shame, blame, and self-hatred she felt because of mistakes she'd made as a parent. And her husband--well, he'd not been a good role model for her son. Perhaps she blamed him, too. Her family was torn apart. Jewish holidays and celebrations weren't the same anymore.

I can imagine the inner torment she felt tore a raw, gaping hole in her heart as she longed for her son. It had been so long since she'd seen him. What would become of him? The bright future she'd envisioned for him seemed swept away like writing in the sand was washed away on the shores of the sea of Galilee.

People likely considered him a great nuisance -- disturbing the peace, if you will. Perhaps they tried chaining him to a tree in that open-air mental institution. Did the Roman soldiers try to tie him down? Perhaps the same Roman soldiers who later nailed Jesus to a tree. . . a tree that brought us freedom.

I wonder.

I imagine the overwhelming joy that mother felt as she saw her son come up the road toward home, clothed, and in his right mind. I can well imagine the family celebration of joy that followed as he told them of the great compassion of Jesus for him, and of his Deliverer.

Her prayers had been answered. Her son was home, with family, where he belonged.

Internet Photo

Taken from Mark, chapter 5, Amplified Bible.

Copyright © 2017 Elaine Beachy