Power in the Heavenly Places

Version 2It is exciting to share that my newest book with Paul L Cox, Exploring Heavenly Places, Volume 4: Power in the Heavenly Places, is now available in both print and e-book editions.  It can also be ordered as part of a package with the first three books in the series.

Throughout scripture we find one account after another of God’s power, and if we stop to consider the magnitude of that power it’s mind-boggling. We often read such statements as, the voice of the Lord is powerful; He rules by His power forever; by His power He brought in the south wind; Who knows the power of Your anger; Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; All Your works shall praise You, O Lord…And talk of Your power. All of His works shall praise Him—wow!!! That’s big.

God’s handiwork is evident everywhere we look, and the Bible is full of golden nuggets of truth that we may not have recognized because our everyday focus is usually on what we see right in front of us. The manifestations of God’s power hint of the glorious eternity that awaits those who are His; and while there is still much to understand, we begin to learn to recognize and access His power throughout the dimensions in Exploring Heavenly Places, Volume 4, Power in the Heavenly Places.

Fear Not

FEAR NOT PIC

I’ve often written about fear, but it seems to be on the Lord’s mind this morning so here we go again. If a lesson can be repeated over and over in the Bible, I guess it’s not redundant if I do the same.

As anyone who has paid attention to the news lately will know, fear is rampant throughout the world. The latest international incident motivating fear was the attacks against women that occurred in Germany and throughout a number of other European countries on New Years Eve. Nationally, it’s the story of a police officer in Philadelphia whose assailant walked right up to the window of the patrol car and blasted away, critically wounding him. As I watched a news program last night, I lost count of the number of times someone said, “I’m afraid,” “Should we be afraid?” or “You/we should be afraid.” But I’m here to say, NO, we shouldn’t.

Fear is NOT God’s plan for His people, as He made clear to me once again this morning. Currently, I’m reading in Genesis, Isaiah, and Matthew, which obviously covers a pretty broad span of time, yet God’s message never changes, so just from my devotional time this morning without considering the hundreds of other biblical references to ‘fear’ or ‘afraid’ (do a word search, and you’ll be reading for hours!):

And the Lord appeared to him the same night and said, “I am the God of Abraham your father. Fear not, for I am with you and will bless you and multiply your offspring for my servant Abraham’s sake.” Genesis 26:24

For the Lord spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: 12 “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. 13 But the Lord of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. Isaiah 8:11-13

Fear not, for you will not be ashamed;
be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced. Isaiah 54:4a

But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” Matthew 14:27

Jesus is the antidote for our hopelessness and fears, whether they are phony or based on very real threats, such as the terrorism that is rampant throughout our world. Fear not, for I am with you says the Lord!

In or Out of the Box?

scan13colorIt is for freedom that Christ has set us free…So if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed. Galatians 5:1a & John 8:36

 Sheba has a dog-crate in which she’s often lived for extended periods of time—it’s a place where she is safe, but it’s also a place where her movement is limited. She’s in a box and she reacts in two different ways. Usually she’s content—in fact, she seems to love it, either sleeping peacefully or lazily watching the world go by in front of her. At other times she rebels and wants out; and she makes sure everyone knows it by her continual barking, as well as pawing at the sides of the crate; but regardless of how much she whines, she can only get out if we open the door. Once she’s out, the better-behaved she is, the more freedom she generally has. As an older lady with much better manners than she had as a puppy, Sheba spends very little time in her box—she is usually free to roam around the house as she pleases.

Perhaps we’re very much the same—but the boxes we live in are of our own making—they’re places where we think we’re safe—places with emotional or attitudinal walls that we’ve erected to keep other people out. Like Sheba we may be very content most of the time—sitting back, relaxing and just watching the world go by. But while our boxes may be quite comfortable, they’re also limiting for there’s no challenge; no potential for growth. So there comes a time when we get restless because our needs seem to be unmet, or our hopes and dreams don’t seem to be coming true. But we feel trapped—we can’t get out of our boxes—and there seems to be no way to open the door to freedom.

But our Master can unlock the doors to our self-imposed limitations. God can break down those walls—the barriers that prevent us from being all that we can be, for “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2 Corinthians 3:17b)

If we allow him to open the doors and we step out in faith, we can explore, grow, learn and mature. Pretty soon our boxes are no longer necessary. In fact, we may find that they’ve become too small and we no longer fit inside!

A Picture of Forgiveness

 

page15colorHe was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth.  Isaiah 53:7a

Walking barefoot through my bedroom, my foot touched on a wet spot and I reacted quickly in anger toward Sheba.  There she was, as usual, staring up at me with those big, beautiful, innocent-looking brown eyes—but this was no time for me to be forgiving or nice!  I grabbed her and sternly put her outside and closed the door, paying no attention to the confused, “what-did-I-do?” look on her face.  I yelled too—even though she was completely deaf at this stage in her life and couldn’t hear a word I said, I was sure she got the message.

Next, I hurried to grab some towels and dry up the spot on the carpet.  Wait—this spot wasn’t yellow—it didn’t have a bad odor—in fact it smelled nice—what was going on?  Further investigation revealed that a few moments before I had carried a plastic container of wet cleaning wipes through the bedroom—the lid was loose, and some of the scented water sloshed out on the floor.

So, did I feel bad, or what?  I immediately let Sheba back inside, held her and petted her, and apologized profusely (you’d think she could hear me).  And she was so happy to see me—immediately right back at my feet—her curly little pug-tail wriggling with delight—her beautiful big brown eyes sparkling with joy—no grudges or resentment—just pure, unadulterated love; as always.

God is like Sheba—we may hurt him, we may accuse him unjustly; we may shut him out; but when we re-open the door to our life there he is, happily waiting to come back inside, not holding the slightest grudge, for “…there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1)

No Greater Love

scan 16color

The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.     Romans 8:16-18

Dog Lovers—I’m not one in the sense that many people are.  I have friends who consider their dogs as precious as their children—nothing but the best for them—trips to the vet at every little sneeze; homemade meals; expensive toys/clothes/jewelry; anything and everything a dog could desire.  My interest is a little more removed.  I do admire dogs—I think they’re beautiful, cute, cuddly, loveable, or downright-ugly-but-sweet; tiny to humongous; neat or messy. Actually, dogs are a lot like people.  They come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors, and each has its own personality.  And I do have a dog (Sheba)—and I do love and care for my dog—and my dog is very happy.  However, with apologies to many devoted dog lovers, while my dog does not rate as high on my scale of affection as my child, Sheba is content; she loves me, follows me around everywhere I go, and always wants to be wherever I am.

There are reasons why I’m not a “true” dog person.  Dogs tend to stink; they do bad things on the carpet; they may bark at all hours and annoy the neighbors; they can be very expensive; and they take a tremendous amount of time and effort.  But for Sheba I’ll put up with it all because she’s mine and I love her.

Maybe God’s a bit like that—I’m his and he loves me—in spite of the sin in my life that’s a stench to his nostrils—in spite of the fact that I require time, effort, and patience—none of that matters to God because I belong to him and he loves me.

But, as I think of it, God’s really more of a passionate dog-lover kind of guy.  He not only considers me to be his treasured child and gives me the desires of my heart, but he has made me an heir to his kingdom.  What more could I ask?

Exploring Heavenly Places, Volume 1

Heavenly Realms v01 Cov#649-2

About four years ago, God began speaking to Paul Cox and myself about writing a book together; and it’s been such a start-and-stop process that many, including us, have wondered if it would ever actually happen.  Well, it finally did happen, and we’re very excited to announce that it has been released.  Interestingly, as God has developed the project, it has become the first of a series that the Lord seems to have placed on a fast track.  Exploring Heavenly Places, Volume 2 has already been written by Paul L Cox and Rob Gross, and is in the final stages of editing, almost ready for printing.  Meanwhile, Volume 3 is in the works, and while we think we know what it will include, we are also very aware that God may change it up a bit.

 

A Significant Release of Healing

Several years ago the Lord gave us the revelation of the Depth, and told us that parts of us could be trapped in the ungodly depth.  David speaks of this many times in the book of Psalms.

Psalm 88:6-8: You have laid me in the lowest pit, In darkness, in the depths. Your wrath lies heavy upon me, And You have afflicted me with all Your waves. You have put away my acquaintances far from me; you have made me an abomination to them; I am shut up, and I cannot get out.

Just after receiving the beginnings of the revelation of the Depth, we were conducting a school near Sydney, Australia.  A lady in her late 50’s started sharing that even though she had been a Christian for many decades, there was no joy in her life, and she had lost all hope.  I have heard this many times in my ministry.  Did we finally have a solution for her?

A prayer minister on our team met with the woman.  She led her through a prayer that God had recently led us to develop as a group, which would release us from the ungodly depth.  The next day, she shared that the Lord had done a wonderful miracle in her life and she was radically changed!

In Exploring Heavenly Places, Volume 1, Barbara Parker and I share the Biblical support for the understanding of the Depth.  The book also includes the Prayer to Release One from the Ungodly Depth.  I can honestly say that I have seen the Lord use this prayer in many wonderful ways, and it has proven to be a marvelous key in helping people to become free.

-Paul L. Cox

 

Exploring Heavenly Places, Volume 1 is available at http://aslansplace.3dcartstores.com/Exploring-Heavenly-Places-Volume-1_p_547.html