A Heavenly Mindset

Last week and over the weekend, I had the great privilege of hosting and hanging out with my friends Bing and Kat Kerr here in the Puget Sound region of Washington State and in Abbotsford, BC. What an honor this was!

As I listened and watched Kat as she revealed the reality of heaven to those attending her services. I read her first book, Revealing Heaven and watched one of her DVD’s prior to arrival, but experiencing the release of heavenly truths firsthand left my spirit feeling refreshed and stirred up for greater works on this earth. How often have we heard the saying, “Heavenly minded, but no earthly good”. How far this is from the truth! We all need to become more heavenly minded so we CAN be of greater earthly good!

Each of us needs to have our eyes focused on the current events of heaven so we can all respond in the agreement with all our true eternal family already residing in the home for those who have declared their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Kat described for us how the saints in heaven are richly rewarded and are able to witness all that is going on earth as declared in Romans 12:1, the great cloud of witnesses. She challenged us to begin using the anointing residing within us so the earth can be prepared for the greatest invasion of heaven coming to our current place of dwelling.

Kat described a timeline she saw in the Throne Room indicating the closeness to the release of this outpouring of our Father’s grace upon us. This is the time of which all the prophets of old foresaw when the glory of God will literally cover the face of the whole world described in Joel 2. We live in the days of fulfillment.

What an exciting time to be alive!

Let Not Your Heart be Troubled!

In John chapter 14 twice Jesus repeated the same phrase in emphasis to His listeners. He said, “Let not your hearts be troubled…” in verse 1 and again repeated Himself in verse 27, but added, “…neither let it be afraid.”

When looking at this, it’s clear that this is a job we are given. We are not to allow our hearts (this speaks of our souls – mind, will, thoughts, emotions) to be riled up with worry, fear, or stress. That’s a nice suggestion, we might think, but how are we supposed to get rid of fear in our lives?

Jesus gave us His answer in John 14:27 when He announced that He was giving us His gift of peace, but once again we must ask, how do we get this peace to remain in constant guard over our active minds? Hebrews 4 describes a gift of rest that the writer insists we must be diligent and even “fear” lest we fall short of accessing this spiritual treasure. (verses 1, 9, 11)

So where do we find this gift of peace and rest?

I believe the answer is found in Heb 4:12 where the sword of peace is permitted to “pierce asunder” dividing between our soul and spirit. Though sounding very much like fileting a fish, piercing actually describes a wonderful birthing process (born again) and asunder is defined as a gift which disunites our emotional soul from our spiritually clear spirit man.

When our eternal spirit man is in the lead, he is able to direct us to the paths of peace and pastures of rest. He can actually bring healing to both our soul and body! Isn’t that wonderful?

Listen to 1 Peter 1:22: “Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the spirit (spirit man) in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart…”

Our soul is purified when we follow the lead of our spirit!

Now 3 John 1:2: “Beloved, I wish above all that you may prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers.”

When our soul is healed by submitting to our spirit, we begin to prosper and be in good physical health as well! Isn’t that an amazing promise?

So how do we invite our spirit man to take the lead? Simply ask the Holy Spirit to “pierce asunder” between your soul and spirit and then ask your soul to step aside and allow your spirit man to take the lead daily. Read blessings of encouragement found in the Word of God and declare them over youself on a regular basis. Your spirit will love it and your soul and body will reap greatly from these blessings!

Be filled with the peace of Jesus today!

Building Up Your Spirit!

It was the strangest thing! Tears welled up in my eyes as listened to the woman speaker ministering to another woman she had chosen from among our group of 50 or so. She didn’t just prophesy or minister healing to some part of the body. This was different.

While gazing deeply into her eyes, the woman began to administer blessing and encouragement to the spirit. Not the Holy Spirit, but the human spirit. This is the portion within us all that carries the DNA of our heavenly Father uniquely created at the beginning of time.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 says “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Our three parts: spirit, soul, and body are mentioned here. While living here on earth we often take care of our bodies and allow our soulish realm to completely run the show, but what about our spirit?

What I witnessed and experienced by allowing this ministry of encouragement to my spirit completely rocked my world. I knew by my reaction that something deep was being ministered to. The eternal part of my being enjoyed the blessing that day!

Since then, my husband and I have vowed to begin speaking encouragement and blessing to our spirit on a daily basis. We invite our spirit to take the led rather than allowing our soulish realm to make all the decisions…and we are noticing a difference!

Though we are still learning much more about this, I encourage you to begin blessing your spirit by declaring the Word of God over your life and see what how this affects you as well!

Let me know if you begin noticing a difference!

May the Holy Spirit fully fill and strengthen you in spirit, soul, and body today!

Robbed by “Natural” Unbelief?

Surrounded by today’s modern society, so often we find ourselves falling into patterns of thinking that only serve to reinforce the limits of natural logic telling us that only what we see, feel, taste, touch, or smell are the only reality on this earth.  This fallacy in thinking causes us to literally feed upon the lies of the enemy which seeks to steal, kill, and destroy everything good that God has placed in each of us.

Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”  This verse is  especially true in relation to the Kingdom of God.  If we choose to base all of our thoughts and decisions only upon what we see with our natural eyes, we will miss at least two thirds of the reality surrounding us!  In addition to that, Proverbs 14:12 indicates that there is a way which may appear right to a natural man, but in the end, he will find only death!

The Bible tells us that each human on this earth has three parts: body, soul, and spirit.  (1 Thessalonians 5:23)  If we are relying only upon that which can be discerned in the natural, we will miss the important input from both our soul and spirit.  A man bound by only his natural understanding will literally be blind to the amazing world of God’s spiritual reality.

1 Corinthians 2:14 says, “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

The Bible calls this blindness “unbelief” and has some pretty serious consequences for those not choosing to acknowledge and seek after the spiritual Kingdom of God and His ways.  We’re told that unbelief in the time of Jesus brought about limited “mighty works” in Nazareth.  (Matthew 13:54-58)  One whole generation of Israel was forbidden to enter into the Promised Land because of their unbelief even when God had proven Himself faithful.  Unbelief causes us to waver at the promises of God and unable to receive anything from Him! (James 1:6-7, Romans 4:20)

The world tells us that we must “see it to believe it” while Jesus calls us to first believe, and then we will see.  My personal challenge of lately has been whether or not I have my heart and mind firmly anchored in the promises I have been given, or will I allow only what my eyes see to dictate both my meditations and actions?

How about you?  Has this shaky economy stirred up fear, doubts, and worries?  I have determined, I will not be robbed!  We must make a daily choice to battle unbelief and fill ourselves with the eternal truths which cannot be shaken!

Take a Walk Around Zion

With my newest submission “Weapons of Peace” now at the publisher, I find myself repeatedly drawn back into meditations on the Kingdom of Peace and seeing just how important peace is in the life of a believer.  As followers of Jesus we are repeatedly told that God has made a covenant of “perfect peace” with each of us IF we will keep our minds stayed upon Him.  (Isaiah 26:12)  Our state of peace even when circumstances look dire indicates that we truly do believe the promises of God and absolutely trust in what He has said.

I know in my own life, this deep sense of peace and trust has been built upon many years of experience where I have seen the goodness of my God repeatedly demonstrated.  His unconditional love and faithfulness has convinced me that He will never leave me or forsake me, but even with this knowledge, there have been times when fear or worry would rush into my mind attempting to dislodge me from my place of utter confidence in God.

When I entertain these thoughts, I notice that both my joy and peace immediately leave and I am left with a sick sense of panic in the pit of my stomach.  I have learned to recognize this as a common tactic of the enemy so he can tempt me to leave my place of peaceful refuge found only in the Lord.

My newest strategy for remaining solid in the peace of God is described for us in Psalm 48:12-14.  These verses say, “Walk about Zion, and go all around her.  Count her towers; mark well her bulwarks; consider her palaces; that you may tell it to the generation following.  For this is our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even to death.”

Zion is a picture of the bride of Christ, so we can consider Zion as also representing our individual lives as well.  With this in mind, take and moment and “walk around” your life as a believer.

How often has the Lord either spoken to you through His Word or comforted you in your heart? (towers)  How many times have you found the Lord to be a source of strength and protection for you? (bulwarks)  How often have you discovered God’s unmerited favor displayed in your life? (palaces)

By taking a moment to meditate on the goodness of God, it’s easy to begin thanking and praising Him for all He has done.  When our hearts are full of thanksgiving we naturally are inclined to begin testifying to others about all God has done.  By declaring the truths of God, we are refreshing our own spirits and planting seeds of life and hope into those who are listening!

Often when I take a stroll around my “Zion” and declare God’s goodness to others,  it doesn’t take long for my own faith and joy to be renewed.  My spirit has come back into alignment with the Kingdom of Peace and all is well.

May I encourage each of you to take a moment to examine your faith and recall all that God has done for you.  Give Him the praise and thanksgiving that He is so deserving of…and then go and declare His goodness to someone else.  I guarantee it won’t take long for you to be filled with His peace and joy as well!

Blessings of His peace and joy be upon you each today!

Mary

Full-Hearted Obedience

In considering the daily battles we often encounter, I have come to realize that much of what we go through is often a result of our own disobedience or “self-will” in regards to what the Holy Spirit has counseled us to do within our hearts.  Many times our rebellion actually leaves the door of protection open in our lives rather than shut as it should be.  This allows the enemy to come in with whatever new lie he has conceived and plant his thought in our minds.

That thought, if not quickly addressed, can grow into sin causing a major change in our countenance and joy.  When we see our sin, we feel even worse about ourselves as the enemy loves to heap guilt and condemnation upon us.  The vicious cycle continues until finally in desperation we call out to God for help.

Recently, I’ve been meditating on the truths found in 1 Samuel 15:22-23 where Samuel the prophet is addressing King Saul’s partial attempts in obedience to God.  The Lord had specifically instructed Saul to utterly destroy the Amalekites and every living thing in the land because of their great sin.  Saul, because he was more concerned with pleasing the people than following God’s directions, decided to spare King Agag and save the best of the flocks to sacrifice later.

That was not what God had instructed him to do!

King Saul half-hearted obedience was not viewed by God as obedience at all, but rather disobedience and rebellion.  Because of his choices, the kingdom was later “ripped out of his hands” and given to another.

Though we now live under a new covenant with God, there are other options we have when we find ourselves in disobedience before the Lord.  The shed blood of Jesus grants us the opportunity to repent of our failings before God and start all over with new grace and new forgiveness.

However wonderful the blood of Jesus is, if we do not deal with our issue of partial or half-hearted obedience to the Word of the Lord, then we will soon find ourselves back into the same old cycle of sin.

What the Lord is calling for in our lives is a fresh, whole-hearted obedience to the things He calls us to do knowing that He direction is always for our benefit and blessing.  It is our joy to follow the the guidance offered us by the Holy Spirit.  That joy gives birth to greater faith and greater works in the Kingdom of God.

My prayer today is that each of us would discover the joy found in fully following our Lord in the paths He has directed us to walk in.

May the peace of the Lord Jesus rest upon you today!

When Good Seed Falls to the Ground

At noon today my husband and I attended a memorial service for a 30-year-old special education teacher who had been shot and killed right in front of the elementary school where she worked.  This woman was a strong Christian who always seemed to have a smile on her face and bounce in her step.  She was a former co-worker of mine with whom I had become acquainted with during my two years of work at that same elementary school.

Her name was Jennifer and unfortunately Jennifer had a stalker.  An acquaintance from her college days, this man continually badgered her until she was compelled to get a restraining order against him.  Two weeks ago, he showed up at the school and followed her in his car when she got off work.

Jennifer called the police and the man was arrested over the weekend.  Last week on Monday, he posted bail and was released.  Friday morning he arrived early and waited for her to show up at the school.  When she arrived, he shot her before she had a chance to enter the school building.

Jennifer died instantly.  The man escaped but was soon caught and killed when he fired back at police officers.

Shock waves hit our community.  We could hardly believe this really happened.  How could something this terrible  occur to such a wonderful young woman?

Though we don’t fully understand why this occurred, we have already begun to see sweet fruit arising as a result of Jennifer’s life.  The testimony of one who was completely sold out to Jesus rang out loud and clear for every teacher, staff member, friend, and even representatives from our local police and fire departments in attendance.  With media cameras rolling, the standing-room only service brought many to tears as they heard how Jennifer had chosen to live her life and now was able to receive her eternal rewards in heaven.

As the pastor spoke of Jennifer’s amazing faith, he invited those who did not have the same faith in Jesus to raise their hands in surrender to God.  Hands shot up all over the sanctuary.  We now have more brothers and sisters in the faith than before and in that we can rejoice!

All over Washington state, flags were flying at half mast not only in honor of a fallen war hero, but also in honor of a young woman whose love for Jesus has impacted a whole region.  Her life was not in vain, though young as she was, good seed has been planted and a rich harvest will certainly spring forth!

Singing in Prison

This last week has been a very challenging week for us in many ways, but one of the most painful experiences we had involved the poor treatment of our dear friend, Maria who had planned to rejoin my husband and I after her visit back in Germany with her family over the Christmas holidays.

On her return trip, she was “red tagged” by customs, interviewed for hours, and then sent to the detention center (in handcuffs!) overnight before being returned to the customs department.  Maria was sent back to Germany the following day as they determined her to be “impermissible” to the United States as she had the wrong type of visa for what she intended to do here. Thankfully, she was not deported, but was treated in many ways as if she was a criminal instead of just the selfless, sweet woman she is who only intended to come and serve the body of Christ in love.

I could go on and on about the many injustices she endured and the days of sleeplessness that she experienced throughout all this, but what has impacted all of us so much was her response to the trial.  Instead of feeling upset, frightened, and angry, Maria experienced God’s gift of supernatural peace.  Though exhausted from the lack of sleep, our sister continued to maintain a joy and cheerfulness that caused others around her to take notice.

A young Chinese woman, Xiog with no visa was taken to the detention center with Maria and she commented several times that she was grateful to be with our sister throughout the ordeal.    Xiog mentioned that some of her friends had gone to Singapore and came back changed and excited about Jesus. Maria was able to minister to her and encouraged her to listen to the Christian witness of her friends back home in China.  Xiog agreed to consider what they had to say when she returned home.

Maria also met a couple of Guatemalan ladies at the detention center who were Christians as well.  (No visas or passports)  Though handicapped a bit through a language barrier, they basically understood each other and spent the majority of the night singing praises to God in both English and Spanish.  When she was returned back to the customs office the following morning to await her return flight, the officer commented that he had never seen such a cheerful and happy detainee before.  It was like she was from another world.

Oh, yes!  That’s right!  We are all of another world!

Maria says in her email, the cell echoed with their songs of praise, “Santo, santo, santo, (holy, holy, holy) My heart adores You, my heart was saved by You.   Santo, santo, santo, You are God.”  They were all encouraged by the presence of God in their midst.  Doesn’t this remind you of Acts 16:25 where Paul and Silas sat in prison singing praises to God at midnight?

In reflecting back upon her experience, Maria says that for the first time in her life, she truly began to understand what real freedom is all about.  She found that even though she was physically imprisoned, her heart was free inside.   As she pondered the cost of her round trip ticket, that she was forced to use, the Holy Spirit asked her one question.

How much is it worth for one more soul to come into the Kingdom of God?

Though we have no more information about the Chinese woman, Xiog, we are confident that the truths Maria demonstrated in front of her that day will leave a lasting impact upon her life.  We are praying that more witnesses will be placed in Xiog’s path and it won’t be long before she herself has fully surrendered to Jesus Christ as well.

As far as Maria is concerned, already friends have spoken up and said they will help pay for her return flight.  We are working on this end to see that she does get the right type of visa (a religious worker visa) through a non-profit organization so Maria will be with us to continue the work she so desires to do in the kingdom of God.

As we ponder the ways God works in spite of some of the terrible predicaments we can find ourselves in, the bottom line is this:   God is good and as we have given our lives to Him, if God calls us to have a brief (or long) ministry in a detention center, He can.  There are souls He desires to reach in many desperate situations that we must be willing to walk in ourselves if necessary.

My heart’s challenge is this:   Am I willing to walk whatever path He lays out before me?  Will I walk it in faith and even joyfully regardless of the circumstances?

How about you?  Are you challenged by Maria’s joy and peace even with all she experienced?  Would you have that same frame of mind to be able to sing and praise God in the midst of your trials?   I pray that all of us would have that same kind of spiritual stamina, even when things appear to be going very wrong!

The Noise of Fear

The other day I was reading in the book of Isaiah and came across this phrase in chapter 24.   “And it shall be that he who flees from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit…” (verse 18)  This verse is talking about the judgment to befall the earth in the very last days, but in looking at the concept of fleeing from just the noise of fear, we can find a deeper truth we should look at.

1 Peter 5:8 speaks of a noise which causes fear to rise up in the hearts of the mentally and spiritually unprepared.  It says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

I once heard a preacher describe the tactics of lions which are hunting with their pride.  Often, the old toothless lions will be placed behind the desired prey.  They begin roaring to bring fear and panic into the herd.  In desperation, the herd runs away from the noise of their fears, but what they don’t know is that the young lions with the sharp teeth and claws are waiting for them on the other side.  The herd literally runs into the very thing they were trying to avoid!

Our common enemy, the devil, is like an old toothless lion which has lost his authority over those who have surrendered their lives to Jesus.  When it comes to a believer who has been washed in the cleansing blood of Jesus and destroyed the old strongholds of sin, the enemy has no power over them…but he loves to make us think he still has power, so he “roars” out his false lies and threats.  If we give in to his threats and begin running in fear, we have agreed with his lies…which is sin.  That fear gives him ground to follow through causing that which we have feared to come upon us. (Job 3:25)

On the other hand, if we submit to God and resist the devil and his lies, the devil must flee from us.  (James 4:7)  We have called his bluff and instead of running from him, we confidently continue walking in the direction God has told us to go.  This is how victories in our lives are accomplished!

Let me give you an example.  A young friend attended a recent Christian meeting with us where the man of God singled her out in the crowd.  Prophetically, he described all the physical and emotional attacks she had been suffering with.  As soon as he called it out, every physical attack lifted and she was healed!

However, in the days that followed some of the symptoms began to return.  Not understanding the principle of resisting the lies of the enemy in this area, she began to wonder if God had taken back His gift of healing!  Of course not, I assured her!  God never takes back what He has given!

“For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”  (Romans 11:29)

Her problem is that instead of calling the devil on his bluff  (fake symptoms), she naively thought that she had lost her healing because of her own unbelief.  I exhorted her to fight off the symptoms by rebuking the enemy and declaring to full healing of God in her body.

I know this battle well.  I have had to resist “phantom symptoms” of pain in my own body many times, especially in my lower back which God had healed many years ago.  In my book, “The 12 Gemstones of Revelation” I describe how as a young married woman with 2 young children at home, I was suddenly inflicted with lower back pain that brought me to the floor nearly screaming with pain.  I had to drag myself to the phone to call for help as my legs could not be moved without excruciating pain.

When my husband and mother arrived, I was rushed to the emergency room.  There the doctor proclaimed that I had somehow torn the muscles in my lower back and would be bedridden for at least 6 weeks unable to do anything on my own.  He told me that I would be unable to lift more than 10 pounds and would have to live with chronic back pain the rest of my life.

We were devastated!

It took me 4 years to learn first how to fully conquer this lie of the devil and then how to maintain God’s gift of healing in this area.  This gift of healing was appropriated for me when Jesus took stripes on His back and then died on the cross for my sins, but I had to learn how to face down my fears in this area and boldly walk in everything the Lord had given me.

My confidence in the promises of God brought me total healing and victory in this area.  At times, the enemy has tried to convince me to give up my confidence by inflicting “phantom pains” in my back once again.  My response has been to call his bluff by declaring first that my back belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ and he cannot touch the Lord’s back.  Secondly, I declare that the Lord does not ever take away gifts that He has already dispensed.  At that point, I rebuke the pain and lies of the enemy and my healing is restored.

How about you?  Have you ever wondered if God had “taken away” something He had given you at one time?  Have you been fleeing from the noise of fear right into the clutches of the enemy?

The amazing thing about God is that as long as we are alive, it is never too late to repent of our fears.  It is never too late to stand up and resist the roars of this toothless lion.  God has promised that if we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and restore that which the enemy has stolen. (1 John 1:9)

My prayer is that you too will learn how to stand up and face down the noise of fears the enemy loves to throw at us every day.  I know you can do it!

Mary

It’s Revelation Revolution!

Just last week a dear friend from church came up to me and in so many words said, “I need what you have. I’m burned out and desperate for more of the Lord.” Mind you, this was not just a “regular Joe” sitting in the pew. This was one of our very active leaders and faithful servants within our body.

The Holy Spirit spoke very clearly to my heart.

“She’s hungry,” He said.

From past lessons, I knew that God always faithfully fills and answers those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. (Matthew 5:6) With this in mind, I called her a couple of days later to set up a time of prayer together. When we finally met, she began to pour out her heart listing all the frustrations she was experiencing spiritually. My friend was dry and empty on the inside and felt as though she had nothing more to give.

As we moved into prayer, I first spoke the peace of Jesus over her weary heart and asked the Holy Spirit to refill to overflowing every part of her spirit. As I prayed, she suddenly began to feel something uneasy within her. Her stomach began to churn as the Holy Spirit brought to the surface that which had troubled her.

When we asked what this was, the Holy Spirit confirmed to both of us that this was indeed a religious spirit which ever so subtly had moved in. The more we prayed, the more the Holy Spirit revealed. Religious pride and self-sufficiency were its roots. Once those things were confessed, the strongholds and lies destroyed, that which tormented her quickly left and she was set free.

Once the blockages were destroyed, the Holy Spirit faithfully answered my original prayer by causing her to literally feel something beginning to gush up from her innermost being. It was the Lord’s gift of overflowing joy!

In John 7:38 Jesus clearly said, “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

I know this joy. I too have experienced its refreshing life-giving flow bubbling up from within me. Both of us rejoiced as we saw her spirit and soul restored in God’s peace that is only experience when we are lined up with heaven.

The next day, my husband and I were blessed to see my friend and her husband at a church function. Her husband went out of his way to speak to John and told him his wife was like a whole new woman! He was thrilled with what God had done in just a matter of a few hours!

Yes, it is time for the body of Christ to really get hold of the full revelation of Jesus Christ so we can begin walking in everything He has made available to us. A spiritual revolution is upon us! No more can we simply walk in comfortable and familiar patterns of trained religious behavior. The Lord has released so much more into our hands! He is calling for us to see and take hold of His power and authority by first rooting out every hindrance so His life-changing love can easily flow through us.

This truly is a Revelation Revolution initiated by the Holy Spirit Himself!

Are you hungry for this same kind of walk in your own life? It’s time to come and see a release of living waters in each of our lives! Ask the Holy Spirit to show you any blockages so you can also freely drink and freely receive all He has for you!

Let me know how I can pray for you!

Mary Trask