The Fountain Day 334: Home

Home…it’s where the heart is.  Home…it’s the sometimes forgotten and often neglected place.  Home…if we don’t have a rooted home place then it’ll be harder for us to grow strong and healthy. 

As a parent, I know just how easy it is to place your family on the side burner while you focus on things that seem greater.  I am ashamed to admit that I know the struggle, but it is the truth. 

In this season, I have joyfully found so much satisfaction focusing on my family…yet, when extra opportunities come, I still see how easy it is to fall back into the routine of putting family to the side to pursue external things.  It’s shocking how easy it is to fall back into that old habit, honestly.

Know the state of your flocks, and put your heart into caring for your herds, for riches don’t last forever, and the crown might not be passed to the next generations.  After the hay is harvested and the new crop appears and the mountain grasses are gathered in, your sheep will provide wool for clothing, and your goats will provide the price of a field.  And you will have enough goats’ milk for yourself, your family, and your servant girls.  Proverbs 27:23-27

This portion of scripture reminds me of the importance of cultivating home.  Families who are strong together.  Families who know the value of being a tight knit family.  Families who grow together, serve together, worship together, etc. are so much more fulfilling and profitable.  Sowing into future generations is so important.  We’re not on this earth to simply live for ourselves…we were meant to build and then pass on what we’ve built to the next generation.

We need to turn back in…and look at our own homes.  Is your home in order?

I know that when we become more involved at church it can become a distraction from family life.  We must always weigh every decision before we commit to it…even when it pertains to church and ministry.  

When we choose a job, we consider the imposition it will be for our entire family…and weigh that in our decision.  Far too less, do we even consider weighing ministry opportunities this same way. 

Family.  Home.  Marriage.  These are pillars in our lives that must not be neglected.  If more people would focus on these things, the divorce rate within the church would plummet. 

Why then do many neglect it?  Well, because it’s hard.  It requires 100% of us all the time.  Family is the most important thing yet brings no immediate praise or acknowledgment.  Basically, the way I see it, is that pride and selfishness stand between us and developing strong family units.  In Bible times, they knew the benefit of strong families.  They had a much more solid place from which to grow. 

We can reform this situation at any time…it just requires that we begin to act deliberately and intentionally.  It means that we would pull away from the status quo and sow into our households. 

Our focus should be…God, family, then everything else.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.  Colossians 3:12-14

The Fountain Day 333: Tested by praise

Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but a person is tested by being praised.  Proverbs 27:21

This Proverb couldn’t ring more true.  It’s amazing how the Word of God works as a winnowing fork to divide the deepest parts of us. 

I have seen people completely lose the sweetest parts of their hearts, to man’s praise.  Heads puffed up, egos enlarged, beginning to refer to themselves in the third person, thinking that they have the solution to every answer.  It is sickening.  

I have briefly fallen into the trap on occasion…I’m just extremely grateful that God never lets it go too long.  I feel it quickly, when praise of man begins to be a snare.  I am constantly reminding myself that I am nothing without Him.  We all have a prideful place inside.  If we pretend that we don’t, then we are much easier prey for the trap of man’s praise.  

If we love man’s praise, then we will live or die by it.  If we live for God’s affection, then we will grow in character, humility, grace, and the other fruits of the spirit.

Have you ever bought fruit that looked so pretty on the outside, only to taste it and discover that it was flavorless or sour?  I sure have.  There are many people we will see that have the appearance of being good fruit, but upon closer inspection…meaning, upon diving into deeper relationship with them or coming into a closer circle with them…reveals they are void of real depth.  Our lives can truly be measured by the fruit.  I want to bear fruit that is not only ripe and healthy, but also so sweet to the taste.  I want to know that when people draw near to me, they will be blessed by our time together.  I don’t want to be a person that others have to recover from being around. 

Unfortunately, I have come across many people, whom after our relationship ended, required a lot of healing in my heart. 

If we are drawn to others merely for their praise, then we will find ourselves abused more often.  We decide what quality of relationships we want.  We must be brave enough to walk away from wrong relationship.   

And on a final note…if words of affirmation are your primary love language, you will truly need to walk in lockstep with Holy Spirit.  He placed that desire within you.  It is a holy desire, but I know that He wants to be the One Who fills the space for you.  He desires for us to come to His fountain.  Come and be filled.  Come and thirst no more. 

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God?  Or am I trying to please man?  If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.  Galatians 1:10

But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God Who tests our hearts.  1 Thessalonians 2:4

The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.  Proverbs 29:25

The Fountain Day 332: Honoring marriage and remaining satisfied

Marriage is so important.  There’s a reason the enemy is trying to destroy the fabric of the family in every way.  Marriage, one man and one woman, this is the way.  Children need a father and a mother.  This fact has been proven time and time again.  Other countries are attempting to aid in the destruction of the family unit in America because they know that strong families are necessary for a strong nation.  The enemy has been working overtime too…he hates all things family…because family is a reflection of the Godhead…three in One.  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  God is a family within Himself.  Out of sheer jealousy, the enemy seeks to destroy family.

Out of pain and disappointment, many join in on the side of familial destruction.  We should never let our wounding be our guide though.  When wounds guide us, then they never heal.  God is Healer.  When we lean into His ways and His plan, then we discover the grace to be made whole.

We should honor marriage.  Respect it even.  It teaches us what it is to be faithful.  Marriage is an opportunity to be refined by God.  It takes grand humility and steadfastness to remain in a joyful marriage. 

Give honor to marriage and remain faithful to one another in marriage.  God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.  Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have.  For God has said, “I will never fail you.  I will never abandon you.”  So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear.  What can mere people do to me?”  Hebrews 13:4-6

I love this scripture.  “Be satisfied with what you have.”  This pertains to not only money, but also marriage. 

Isn’t every “wandering” eye not lead by dissatisfaction?  Isn’t all comparison urged on by dissatisfaction? 

Yes.

We must remain open to the knowledge that learning to be satisfied brings us one step closer to the “more” that we all desire.  The way to more of God, is to first learn to be satisfied in His presence. 

The times in marriage when I’ve become disgruntled and unsatisfied, are the times when I have allowed dissatisfaction to take hold in my heart.  This is me being totally honest with you. 

The times when we want only what we don’t have, are times when we’ve lost focus on God as our Source.  Maintaining a life that holds God in the number one position is a continual decision…that eventually becomes much more of a habit…but will always be a daily choice. 

God is my Husband first.  When I keep that in mind, then everything else will fall into place.

The Fountain Day 331: Covenant of peace

I know that people like to fuss about how some scriptures and promises were only for specific people at specific times, but I believe that we can lay hold of any of the promises because they all reflect God’s character.  So, really, I believe that we can always count on the consistency of God’s character…and that leads to promises released and fulfilled.  God’s character never changes…therefore, in my opinion, we have access to Him in ways that we have barely tapped into.  Any promise that He highlights, I lay hold of in faith.  He leads me to them…how can that be wrong? 

You can be sure that where He leads, I will follow…will you?

America, as we’ve discussed before, is in major need of God’s intervention.  We need God to release restoration, repentance, and change here.  We are in desperate need of massive waves of salvation.  We need Egypt sized miracles.  You know what I mean?

So…my only recourse…the only way I can feel like my small life can have any real impact…is to raise up my children in the Truth and to pray scripture over my family and our sweet nation.  To believe in the promises of the past to reignite the future.  He is still the same…

Let’s read this scripture. 

“I will make a covenant of peace with My people and drive away the dangerous animals from the land.  Then they will be able to camp safely in the wildest places and sleep in the woods without fear.  I will bless My people and their homes around My holy hill.  And in the proper season I will send the showers they need.  There will be showers of blessing.  The orchards and fields of My people will yield bumper crops, and everyone will live in safety.  When I have broken their chains of slavery and rescued them from those who enslaved them, then they will know that I am the Lord.  They will no longer be prey for other nations, and wild animals will no longer devour them.  They will live in safety, and no one will frighten them.  And I will make their land famous for its crops, so My people will never again suffer from famines or the insults of foreign nations.  In this way, they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them.  And they will know that they, the people of Israel, are My people, says the Sovereign Lord.  You are My flock, the sheep of My pasture.  You are My people, and I am your God.  I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”  Ezekiel 34:25-31

As I read this scripture, I am struck at how relevant it is for our homeland.  We need the same God who spoke to Ezekiel, to come and rescue us now.  So, I will continue to pray the above scripture over us until we see His hand save us.  Will you join me?

Oh Lord, let this scripture ignite Your heart over America.  Remind us what it is to live in peace and prosperity.  Remind us what holiness and morality looks like.  Rescue us from every country that is trying to defeat us by placing people within us to destroy us.  Fill our hearts with pride in our homeland.  Restore our Hope.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

The Fountain Day 330: One stalk becomes a sheaf

While driving and talking to God the other day, I was thinking about my “small” ministry.  I was about to have a “Six Month Journey of the Heart” meeting with a client…and suddenly I saw her as a stalk of wheat.  The stalk was in my arm and suddenly it became a sheaf (bundle of stalks) and God spoke, “One stalk will become a sheaf.”

Suddenly, I knew God was showing me not to be distracted by how large or small the group is that I am ministering to, rather I’m to know that He is the God of multiplication.  He will multiply the work I’m doing.  And isn’t that what discipleship should lead to anyway?  Shouldn’t those we lead, then go and lead others and on and on…it should go.

What a great reminder and powerful vision.  It set a refreshed fire within my soul, and I am so grateful!

We should all remember that if we do all things unto God, then He will multiply them. 

Wherever God’s presence is…there is always multiplication. 

Don’t be afraid to invest in one person.  One family.  Whatever it is.  Don’t be afraid of the small.  In fact, we would all likely have a much larger impact if we’d stop seeing small investments as a waste of time.  Nothing spent on the Kingdom is a waste.  It’s always going to be multiplied. 

Indeed, I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies.  Genesis 22:17

God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”  Genesis 1:28

The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.  2 Timothy 2:2

Over and over again, throughout scripture, you can see the laws of multiplication.  When God blesses, He multiplies.  When His presence is somewhere, there is always a multiplication of something.  He doesn’t waste seed. 

Instead of thinking, “I’m not doing anything,” simply do something.  Invest in someone.  Pray with whoever God leads you to pray with.  Make an investment…an eternal investment…today and just watch what God will do with it.

He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.  Psalm 126:6

The Fountain Day 329: Stumble upon praise

I had a very powerful encounter with God the other day.  I was pondering the writings of David again.  I was lovingly pondering how honest he was and how real…and then I had this thought…

We should go honestly before God in prayer.  Be real and pray out your feelings until you stumble upon God’s greatness again. 

I don’t know about you, but every time I bring my mess to God, I find myself remembering how great He is.  It’s amazing the way my honesty does lead me to discover His goodness all over again. 

It’s wonderful. 

No matter what trials are currently in your life, you can be honest with God.  The beauty of being honest with Him, is the exchange that I described above.  Our honesty will always lead us to His goodness, if we allow it to do so. 

O God, do not keep silent; be not quiet, O God, be not still.  See how Your enemies are astir, how Your foes rear their heads.  With cunning they conspire against Your people; they plot against those You cherish.  “Come,” they say, “let us destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more.”  With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you- the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, of Moab and the Hagrites, Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek, Philistia, with the people of Tyre.  Even Assyria has joined them to lend strength to the descendants of Lot.  Do to them as You did to Midian, as You did to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon, who perished at Endor and became like refuse on the ground.  Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna, who said, “Let us take possession of the pasturelands of God.”  Make them like tumbleweed, O my God, like chaff before the wind.  As fire consumes the forest or a flame sets the mountains ablaze, so pursue them with Your tempest and terrify them with Your storm.  Cover their faces with shame so that men will seek Your name, O Lord.  May they ever be ashamed and dismayed; may they perish in disgrace.  Let them know that You, whose name is the Lord- that You alone are the Most High over all the earth.  Psalm 83

I love the journey of this Psalm.  He implores God for help.  He reminds God of the trials occurring, and then lands on the greatness of God. 

I encourage you to take some time today and have an open and honest dialogue with God.  Tell Him exactly how you feel and even how you may feel wronged by others.  Openly speak to Him about your fears and worries.  If you do…I guarantee you will find yourself stumbling upon praise.  Stumbling upon God’s greatness.  You will find yourself in His presence, if you allow the truth to come forward. 

The Fountain Day 328: Glow stick

While worshiping, I had a clear vision of a glow stick.  I saw that we are like glow sticks in God’s hands.  We have hidden light inside of us that takes breaking and shaking to come to the surface.  I could see Him holding me in His hand, as this glow stick, and could hear the sound that it makes when you begin to crack them in many different places to begin activating them.  Then He shook me, and my light shone so bright. 

This is so real to me.  Can you see it too?

It’s in life’s different seasons of discomfort and shaking that we are made strong and mature.  Those who have been through seasons that crack them and shake them always have a depth that others don’t. 

It’s really a privilege to be intentional given opportunities to grow.  God loves us too much to want us to remain the same forever.  He wants us to know Him better. 

Blessed is the man whom You discipline, O Lord, and whom You teach out of Your law.  Psalm 94:12

He meets us in hard places.  We meet more intimate places within His heart during the hard times.  During the shaking, we meet a Father Who remains.  He is unshakeable.  When we allow Him to break and shake us, then we come out of it unshakeable, because in those times we learn how to better stand on Him alone. 

On Christ the solid rock I stand…all other ground is sinking sand.

We want to be the wise ones who builds our houses on the rocks…not the sand.  This is an intentional decision.  The world is constantly pointing us toward sandy spots…we must let the glow inside of us, the Holy Spirit, lead the way toward our solid ground.    

Heaven and earth will disappear, but My words will never disappear.  Matthew 24:35

God’s word stands firm forever.  Nothing else will last forever.  One day, everything we see will be gone and we will be standing before the One Who created it all.  We really must take hold of this reality.  If we could really believe this, our whole lives would change.  Knowing what’s eternal should shade everything we do.  Everything. 

It can be hard to remember this during our daily lives, but we must.  When you begin your day, start off by focusing on God.  When you serve your family and do whatever work you do in the day, let it be colored by your knowledge of God and eternity.  Invite God to lead you through the day…instead of just going about things on autopilot.  Make the most of life.  Make the most of relationships.  You’ll never regret investing in your relationship with God, your family, and sharing the gospel with anyone God leads you to share with. 

“But in the end, the holy people of the Most High will be given the kingdom, and they will rule forever and ever.”  Daniel 7:18

The Fountain Day 327: The heart

Your heart. 

How often do you think about your heart?

We all know that scripture says, the heart is deceptive above all things.  I know that based on this, many see themselves as innately bad.  I’m not sure that was the intention behind that scripture.  Honestly, I think it just points us toward our need for Jesus.

Sure, we are born with a sin nature.  I’m not denying that.  But when we are saved, what is it for?  Are we not saved completely?  Are we not rescued from our sins and redeemed?  Doesn’t our heart begin transformation from the moment of salvation?

These are all questions that I have been pondering.  I won’t pretend to know the answers to all of this, but it’s worth beginning to discuss.

As we embark upon this topic, I want to reference a different scripture…

As a face reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person.  Just as Death and Destruction are never satisfied, so human desire is never satisfied.  Proverbs 27:19-20

This is powerful.  When I consider this scripture, it shows me that it’s possible for our hearts to reflect good or bad things from within us.  Our real person.  The real things inside of us.  I think it would be crazy to imagine that all that would be found within our hearts was evil.  God saves us…then Jesus comes into our hearts.  That has to be transformational, right?

I have been praying for a long time that God would make my heart pure.  He can do that…but only He can. 

Let’s also look at this scripture…

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.  Matthew 5:8

This is another scripture that indicates the possibility of goodness found in our hearts. 

You may be wondering why I’m taking you on this journey.  It’s because it’s really hard for you to move forward in your God given purpose and take ground for the kingdom of Heaven, if you keep seeing yourself as bad.

Now do you get it?

We need to see what God wants us to see about ourselves.  Here’s what I know.  When God looks at me, He sees me through the blood of Jesus…void of sin…pure in heart.  I know this beyond a shadow of doubt. 

I encourage you to take time today and imagine yourself standing before God.  Now reach your hands out toward Him and imagine them holding your heart.  Ask Him what He sees when He looks at you.  He will answer…and it will be kind. 

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.  And because you belong to Him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.  Romans 8:1-2

The Fountain Day 326: Trembling

I have noticed many people freaking out after the mid-term elections.  It’s similar to the response to the 2020 election.  Listen, there is so much fraud in our government, but God is always sovereign.  We have to remember Who we are trusting in…not men, but God alone.  He is our savior. 

Did I have hope in a huge turnaround after mid-terms, yes.  But I also felt God in my spirit showing me that it would be more helpful to not allow exactly what I was hoping.  We did make a lot of progress…that fact cannot be denied.  But, for some reason I have known that God was wanting to hold back some of it for a greater purpose.  Think about it, had the republicans taken over everything after mid-terms, then the immediate narrative would’ve been the left finally admitting we are in a recession, but if republicans had taken everything over, they would’ve spun it so that they could make it look like a right problem.  We know that is a lie, but there seems to be a large portion of America that doesn’t think for themselves.  A portion that is under a veil of deception.  They believe what they are told.  We know that is true, because when we were in the midst of covid, it was glaringly obvious to me exactly what was happening and that I wasn’t to give in to it…but so many did. 

God will cause a great awakening across the earth.  America will revive.  We will be restored, but right now we are in a season of trembling. 

Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob.  He turned the rock into a pool of water; yes, a spring of water flowed from solid rock.  Psalm 114:7-8

Trembling of the earth is mentioned many times in scripture.  We can trust when it occurs.  It is a healthy part of life and the shifting of God. 

In order for us to see the changes we long to see, not only in America, but all over the earth…there has to be some shaking. 

Be ready to hold on!

Don’t lose faith.  Hold onto hope.  Remain in joy.  Dream daily.  Dream wild. 

Know that God is the Lord.  He remains forever and ever.

When God spoke from Mount Sinai His voice shook the earth, but now He makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.”  This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain.  Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping Him with holy fear and awe.  For our God is a devouring fire.  Hebrews 12:26-29

The Fountain Day 325: Corruptible

Even though we are saved.  Even though we have Jesus in our hearts.  There is something that can corrupt us…not only us, but it will also spread to others…

Bitterness

It’s not really the only thing…anger also corrupts…jealousy too and a few other things…but today, we will focus on this…

Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.  Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God.  Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.  Hebrews 12:14-15

The bitter root can feel like a complicated thing. 

Have you ever spoken with someone and even the very tone of their voice sounds bitter?  Have you heard a person who complains about everyone?  Do you know a person who always says, “Oh, I’ve forgiven (so and so)” yet, you feel inside your spirit that they have some residual unforgiveness in their heart?  Have you ever struggled to walk out forgiveness?

One practice that I have…and have mentioned recently…is this, if someone asks me if I have forgiven someone or something, whether I feel that I have or not, I say, “I thought I had, but if you’re bringing it up then I know I must need to revisit it.” 

Listen, only a prideful heart would demand that they had nothing else to deal with over a certain point of forgiveness.  Humility always surrenders to examination.  I want to live that way.  Always willing to examine myself and my motives. 

Are you willing to hold your heart before the Lord and allow Him to examine it? 

You may be scared, but it will bring you such freedom!  It’s worth it.  Growth is always uncomfortable.

God, come into my heart and reveal to me any areas of unforgiveness and bitterness.  I want to be pure and holy.  I long to be closer to You.  Snip off all bitter roots in my life.  I surrender to the Master’s hand.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.