“The patience of Job”

“And there was a day when his (Job’s) sons and his daughters were sitting and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house. And THERE CAME  a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen WERE plowing, and the asses FEEDING beside them; And the Sabeans FELL upon them (attacked), and took them ALL away; yea, and they have SLAIN the servants with the edge of the sword; And I ONLY AM ESCAPED TO TELL THEE; 

WHILE HE WAS YET SPEAKING, there came ALSO ANOTHER, and said The fire of God IS fallen from heaven, and hath BURNED UP the sheep, AND the servants, and CONSUMED (destroyed) THEM: And I ONLY AM ESCAPED TO TELL THEE.

WHILE HE WAS YET SPEAKING, THERE CAME ALSO ANOTHER, and said, The Chaldeans made (formed) out three bands, and FELL UPON (raided) the camels, and have carried the away, yea, and SLAIN the servants with the edge of the sword; and I ONLY AM ESCAPED ALONE TO TELL THEE.

WHILE HE WAS YET SPEAKING, THERE CAME ALSO ANOTHER, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters WERE eating and drinking wine in the eldest brother’s house; And, behold, THERE CAME a great wind from the wilderness, and SMOTE the four corners of the house, and IT FELL UPON THE YOUNG MEN AND THEY ARE DEAD; and I ONLY AM ESCAPED ALONE TO TELL THEE.” JOB 1: 13-19

So many points in the story of Job, it is hard to know where to start and if you are feeling down, I suggest reading Job. It will make almost anyone rethink their own suffering.

What he went through was TRULY from satan himself, that is how the story began.  Job WAS a righteous man, he did everything he could to honor God on his behalf and even on the behalf of his children. God had blessed Job and Job WAS pleasing to God.

But to have been around for this onslaught of messengers, coming so closely together that one was YET giving Job bad news as another was standing there with more to report would have probably made it appear otherwise.

That IS often exactly what the enemy wants. Notice how all these thing FELL, just as the enemy would like to see God’s chosen fall, and that was his plan in all these tragedies to make Job fall because of what had fallen on him. 

And he wanted Job to know it and to know it fast, as EVERY messenger repeated that they alone WERE escaped to tell what had taken place. And this story has been used many times, I have used it many times myself but I felt I needed to again because so often what is mistaken as “God” is actually an attack by the enemy and not understanding what is really going on leads people to discouragement and hopelessness, and leads them away from God rather than to him.

Again, that is why the devil does it. And at the time the story starts, a perfectly normal, delightful day, just like any other day, or it would have seemed, they were enjoying life, the family was close, having dinner being gathered together.

Even the animals were just having an average day, the ox were working, the donkeys eating, and suddenly the attack came, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys stolen away and those who had been in charge of their care, murdered. 

And as this was in the process of taking place, the “fire of God” had fallen, translates to “hot thunderbolts” which we would know as lightning, BUT we also know that THIS WAS NOT FROM GOD and can you only imagine what a lightning storm would appear as that could in an instant completely burn up SEVEN THOUSAND sheep and all those that tended them?

And at the same moment yet another rogue group divided into three groups attack and steal three thousand camels, again slaughtering those who tended them. And simultaneously as this is still being told, more bad news comes, a strange, monstrous wind had come actually hitting ALL sides of the brother’s house, caving it in and killing all of his children in one single attack. 

Unimaginable, but it is the first of what Job would endure and many times as attacks came, we to, fall into the trap of thinking that somehow we  are the problem, that we have done something wrong, or offended God, or these things would not happen but the truth is Job went through this because he belonged to God.

Now to back this train up a little bit it and see what was really going on here, this was a contest of the “powers”, God has ALL power, He is supreme and nothing in the universe has more power than Jehovah God, but Satan likes to think that he will be like God, but he is quite mistaken, however he is still NOT human and is very powerful and Job was a human caught in the middle of this show down.

Job 1:6-12: “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came in among them.  And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? (where did you come from?) Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

REMEMBER that the “devil goes about as a roaring lion SEEKING whom he MAY DEVOUR”}

 And the Lord said unto Satan, HAST THOU CONSIDERED MY SERVANT JOB that there IS NONE LIKE HIM IN THE EARTH, a perfect (blameless) and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth (shuns) evil?

The Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge (protection) about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance (possessions) are increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.

And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, ALL THAT HE HATH IS IN THY POWER (your hand) ; ONLY UPON HIMSELF (his physical body) PUT NOT FORTH THINE HAND, so Satan went forth from the presence of God.

Now, as I said I have written posts similar to this but this was on my heart to really get to this… Satan was looking for someone to destroy, someone he could bring down and what God asked him literally translates to asking had he set his heart on Job.

God pointed out the impeccable character of Job, for God to refer to a human as someone whose worship, and dedication to the Lord was like no one else on earth is a statement to end all statements.

So of course satan wanted to destroy him because he hates God and he hates anyone who loves God and he hates all humans anyway because God created us in His image.

So satan gets all cocky and says that Job ONLY loves and serves God because of what god had done for him, and that god protected him and blessed him and only because of this and that if God didn’t do all these things for job and would take his hand of protection from Job that Job would change his tune and curse God.

So God decided to allow satan to try to “prove his point” but actually God was proving His!

Job STILL loved God , Job STILL worshipped God and even losing EVERYTHING under horrific circumstances, so horrific that everyone knew these were not natural occurrences and a sequence of events such as these could only be orchestrated by supernatural forces. 

And of course Job thought he had offended God and Job’s “friends”were there to make sure he KNEW that he had, (of course we know they were wrong) but there are always people there to kick you when you’re down and tell you that “you brought it on yourself” or that something is cosmic retaliation for some failure you had along the way.

 AGAIN, God does NOT work that way! When you serve God, love God, and do your best to honor Him in your life, I promise bad things ARE not coming from Him and sometimes when we get down, we need to be reminded of that.

So this massive attack waged on every possible scale and at every possible angle, with the only  restriction being that he could not harm Job’s body, Job 1:22 ends it this way: ” In ALL this Job sinned NOT, NOR charged God foolishly.”

Job stayed faithful to the Lord, he did not fall and he certainly did not question God or blame God, or accuse God of being wrong. Think satan was happy about that?

Sometimes the fight is only half over… Job 2:1-8: “AGAIN there was a day  the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them and presented himself before the Lord.

And the Lord said unto Satan, From whence camest thou? And Satan answered the Lord, and said from going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect (blameless) and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth (shuns) evil?

And STILL he holdeth fast his integrity, ALTHOUGH thou movest (incited) me against him, to destroy him WITHOUT a cause.

And Satan answered the Lord, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.

And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; BUT save his life.  So went Satan forth from the presence of the Lord, and SMOTE Job with sore boils FROM THE SOLE OF HIS FOOT UNTO HIS CROWN. And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal (with) and SAT DOWN AMONG THE ASHES.”

By this point Job wife even told him to just curse God and die, she was undoubtedly a mess herself with all that had happened and watching him suffer and maybe someone is telling you because of persecutions or attacks to give up on God that “it is not worth it” Don’t ever believe that!

Job was one of a kind and hopefully in comparison to the attack waged on him, your situation looks a little brighter.

But know IT IS WORTH IT and as Job WAS restored beyond measure because he stood the test that satan waged, you will be too. 

God protects us, God blesses us, and whatever valley we are allowed to walk through is going to lead to a beautiful mountain top.

And just like those ashes Job sat in, our ashes are turned, anything the enemy has destroyed, burned to ashes will be returned as pure beauty. IT WILL BE WORTH IT.

The enemy wants you destroyed either way and God wants good for you and He alone IS your protection, your shield, and hedge, so going back, turning our backs on God IS never an option.

As Peter replied to Jesus when asked was he too going to leave, and his answer was WHERE could he go? Because Jesus alone has the word of life.

Seek God, pray, and surround yourself with others who will also pray for you and walk with you through whatever you are going through but know you won’t go in all alone, we NEED each other and HOLD ON, HOLD ON, HOLD ON!

James 5:11: ” Behold, we count them happy (BLESSED) which ENDURE. ye have heard the PATIENCE (perseverance) OF JOB, and have seen the end of the Lord ( intended by the Lord) that THE LORD IS VERY PITIFUL (COMPASSIONATE) AND OF TENDER MERCY.” 

So carefully think about your situations and recognize traps for what they are and remember that the Lord IS love and He is compassionate and things that are hurting you DO NOT come from Him but He is faithful to deliver you from those things if you wait in patience for that deliverance. 

Take a lesson from Job and DON’T be quick to question and never blame God, more people fall because of lies of the enemy in these areas that any other trick he has. he pulls the old “If God loved you, WHY did this happen?” routine, ALL attacks ARE from the enemy and then some things just happen, simply just part of being alive in this world. THIS life, this world IS NEVER gonna be perfect, IT IS NOT MEANT TO BE.

The next life, the resurrected life, the New Jerusalem life IS the perfect life where there will BE no death, sorrow, or sickness.

But too often people let the enemy convince them that because a tragedy happened HERE  that means God does not care, or does not love them but that IS not true and we are NEVER told in the Bible that being saved makes us exempt from being HUMAN, in HUMAN BODIES, and SUFFERING COMPLETELY HUMAN CONDITIONS AND OCCURRENCES.

Some things are just unfortunately part of THIS life, but that is YOUR PATIENCE and YOUR HOPE.

This life is not all there is!

This life is only temporary and our hope is NOT in this life.

But God will bless you, protect you, and bring good things into our lives but that still does not exempt us from the natural.

Don’t throw that eternal assurance away because of the lies of a force that wants nothing more than to take you to hell anyway!

Outside of Jesus Christ there is no hope.

I hope this has encouraged you in someway and that you will find peace through the storm and that the storms soon comes to an end, but until then hold on because you have the blessed assurance that ALL storms do end!

Luke 21:19: “In your patience possess ye your souls.”  

Φλογιζω NBJ 2017

Original post date10/17/3017  REVISITED 10/20/2019 

Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

“Patient reminder”

“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.” James 1:4

All the things that could be said of the need of patience, the most notable of all, “patience is a virtue”, and it truly is but there is so much more to such a simple thought.

And to get to that thought, we’ll back up on this passage a little bit.

“Listen” to his greeting carefully, as we go to James 1:1-3: “James, a servant of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trails):  Knowing THIS, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience.”

And that patience that comes from those “tests” and  that trying and stretching of your faith, think of the saying “…would try the patience of a saint.” 

Jesus stressed this to us many times, even telling us “In your patience possess ye your souls.”  

James was in a sense telling us that those tough breaks, rocky roads, and crooked paths that we navigate in life, those “tests” are to be all counted as joy, and all that comes with being human, being alive, and are often simply “part of life” all those things are to be not so much as viewed as still images, each shot overwhelming in sight but more to be considered into the big picture of growing, developing, and becoming the men and women that God created us to be. And that is that perfection that will come from all that “trying”. 

The definition of perfection in Christ does NOT mean our definition of perfection, to be one hundred percent, to have absolutely no need of improvement.

From far from it, the spiritual  definition of perfection is to allow ourselves to be conformed to the will of God, to be “blameless”, meaning keeping a level head and clear thoughts even in the midst of times that are anything but peaceful. And notice that it is the “perfect” work that brings that “perfection” about.

Our true hope, as believers is not even IN this world, it is not in this life, it is in the eternal, a thought that seems silly to those who do not believe, but as a child of God, you know the truth, but during “trying” times it is so easy to lose sight of those things we can not see, that blessed assurance that there is so much more to our beings than living and dying.

And we can’t lose that hope, Hebrews 11: 34(c)-36: “…knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance (possession). Cast not away (Don’t throw it away) therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”

So whatever you are “waiting” for, whatever you are believing for in your life and in your walk with Christ, keep waiting and keep believing.

And if does not turn out exactly as you had envisioned, never think that somehow means that God does not love you or that you are completely off base, life does indeed have  away of working out completely different that we would have ever imagined but nothing is ever surprising to God.

Don’t give up on your hopes, dreams, and desires of your ministerial heart.

Puzzles are nothing more than oddly shaped pieces scattered about until it is patiently and carefully put together to reveal a beautiful complex image and life is much the same and the reason some of those “pieces” are so oddly cut will remain a mystery on this earth and we will not have those answers until the day they are revealed by Jesus himself when he wipes every tear away.

But I will tell you this, the definition of patience is this:”the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.”

That my friends speaks for itself. I’ll leave you with the words of our favorite David. Psalm 25:13-14: ” I had fainted, (I would have given up) unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living

Wait (wait in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage (try you best to be positive), and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

May the Lord bless and keep you this week.

Rev. Nina Brown Johnson/Φλογιζω/ NBJ 2019

 

“Iron Mask”

“O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get the up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid: say unto the cities of Judah, Behold, your God!

Behold the Lord God will come with strong hand (strength), and his arm shall rule for  him: behold his reward is with him, and his work (wage) before him.

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead  those that are with young.” Isaiah 40:9-11

I love Dumas, I love the Musketeers, I love the sword fights , I love the Chivalry, justice, honor, and especially mercy in mercy out policies that were a must for his heroes and use them a lot in my writing.

But my all time favorite is “The Man in the Iron Mask”, and the intrigue behind the actual person behind that legend. But my thought with it comes from a line from the movie version, my total favorite version of the movie is the one from the seventies starring Richard Chamberlain, I was ten and thought he was the most handsome man on earth, whom I was totally going to marry one day when I grew up 🙂

But anyway in the newer version after the foiled coup the good guy is captured again and as he makes his pleas to his sadistic psychotic brother to just kill him instead of putting him back in that mask and to which his evil twin rants and screams with no mercy.

And as strange a comparison that this may be it just reminds me of how the enemy and even ourselves can try to put us back into the iron mask that that God has delivered us from.

The mask that we either were fitted when we were bound by the shackles of that are sometimes just part of being born into this world, just as Jesus always taught us, and this world is full of evil and only through accepting his salvation , and his peace, can we allow his grace to guide our lives and above resting in the assurance that through him we can overcome and live for him so that we will with  him.

The mask that we sometimes find ourselves in when we are faced with difficulties so far beyond our control and pain that we just can’t deal with so we try our best to hide the hurt, the grief and function through life, at work at home or sometimes even at church. When we try our best to smile and “go on” when secretly inside, behind that mask we really just want to lay down and cry.

But God and life has a way of bringing us out of that because we tend to see “hiding” our emotions, “working past the pain” somehow as “protecting” ourselves, our hearts, when it truth it is the opposite of that, it is not about being “courageous” it is actually about fear and not so much as being brave but rather our human fear of being broken.

Jesus specializes in broken, in fact we have to be broken, broken from our thinking and our false sense of self reliance so that we can accept him and him he desires for us, which is to live a life authored and finished by him.

Trusting him in everything and trusting him in our pain and trials and being who he has created us to be and that can require moments and times of revealing our vulnerabilities to others around us and most of us are not ever entirely comfortable with that. And that uncomfortableness leads to fear and fear makes us want to hide.

2nd Timothy 1:7,8: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be thou not ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me, his prisoner; but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the Gospel with me according to the power of God.”

God gave us liberty through his salvation, because as Jesus told us, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

And that truth is knowing in his word and knowing in him that this world and the suffering, pain, and sorrows is just a little while as Paul had described a “thorn in his flesh”, that the messenger of Satan had come to buffet (beat) him, as Paul went on to explain what translates to this, if he never went through troubles or faced difficulties or things he could not handle he would have became cold and exalted, and he would have never been effective as a representative of Christ.

 But because Paul did not hid from us (his future readers) or from those around him, his troubles and his pain, and most of all his vulnerabilities, he effectively allowed the power of God to manifest in his life and that power to effect others.

I want to remind us all again with 2 Corinthians 12:8-10: “For this thing I besought (PLEADED with) the Lord thrice (on three separate occasions) that it might depart form me.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness. 

Most gladly therefore will glory in my infirmities (weaknesses) that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distress for Christ’s sake: for When I am weak, then I am strong.” 

Of course was by no means saying he loved trouble or going through all the turmoil that he did, but he is saying, to us, that by embracing the things he had no control over and seeing them in a different light and doing as we were commanded and “counting it all joy” that he discovered the true meaning of Christ with him and he and all around him saw the evidence of God’s power on his life.

And he wrote these words, and Jesus had him record these words to give hope and encouragement to those of the time, those who came before us and us now.

When God stripped away the “mask” of Saul, as Saul persecuted Christians and sought to destroy the church through violence, hatred, and self righteous, he became Paul and the power of God gave him the ability to show the vulnerability of his true face, the man God had created him to be and God removing that hard, unyielding, “iron” covering  allowed him to effectively minister to others through the revealing of his own struggles.

This was the “pleasure” he took in that, he knew God would prove strong and he knew that this would encourage others to embrace who they were and embrace the Gospel for the truth that it is.

Jesus brought us out of darkness into his glorious light so that we could be light and once that light has broken those “iron masks” that use we hid behind, we must be very careful to not allow the devil, the world, and most of all, our own flesh to cover us again with that unyielding iron.

Embrace who you are, embrace all the struggles of life that have made you who you are, don’t ever feel like you have to be “strong” and don’t ever let anyone make you feel “weak” for being vulnerable, because we you are at your breaking point or if you have already broke that it when you are shielded, covered, and surrounded by the absolute glory and absolute power of the only, living, Holy God and this is why scripture refers to God making our face to shine, in doing so you will shine his light to others giving them hope and courage to embrace the freedom to take off their own masks.

John 8:36: “IF the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” And your freedom will inspire others.

2 Corinthians 3:17: “Now the Lord is  that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

But we all, with open face (uncovered, bare face) beholding as in a glass (as looking in a mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (being transformed) into the same image from glory to glory, even, as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

You can see from these verses that God is telling us that as we are saved we are changed through his Spirit giving us freedom as we are being processed, changed, through the process of life, and all the difficulties that come with that are actually being used for our good to transforms us as God desires. 

We have to consciously remember his word and  keep that word on our mind and apply that word to our hearts, for example when Jesus said that He would never forsake us, that means  he will never forsake us.

When the Bible promises that no weapon formed against will prosper, that means that no scheme or plot has power to destroy you, it may feel like you are going to be, but you will not be, because God sees  with the eyes of eternity. And we must apply his promises to our lives every single day.

If we fail to do that, we can easily get off course and forget what we once knew.

We go to James 1:23-25: “For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass (looking in a mirror).

For he beholdeth himself and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was (glances in the mirror, leaves and forgets what kind of man he even is).

But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty (freedom), and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man is blessed in his deed.”

God gave us two views of  the same issue, we can look honestly or we can give it a quick glance  a note that we are after all, “just human” and go our way and completely forgetting who God called us to be and forgetting his promises and just give up and be quickly lead into the temptation of not particularly liking “what” we see staring back at us and putting ourselves back into a mask that God  had already removed. And that is not his desire or his purpose for any of us.

So today I want to encourage you to BE who God says you are. And LIVE how he told you to live, and this one is a hard one, when everyone around you is fitting in and hiding their faces behind the masks they feel comfortable in, let Jesus shine through you and let the pain, the scars, be visible because someone else NEEDS to see them.

Let them see his gentleness lead you in his paths!

Rev. Nina Brown Johnson  2019 / Φλογιζω NBJ 2019

If you have never heard this please do, I believe it will bless you, probably make you cry but those tears are precious to God!

 

 

 

 

EL ROI….. The well in our wilderness

“And Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, PUTTING IT ON HER SHOULDER, and the child and sent her away: and she departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.” Genesis 21:14
                                      
I can only imagine the torturous thoughts that played out in Hagar’s mind as she attempted to take her child and embark on what she believed would be their death march to die a slow agonizing death of dehydration and starvation, if they were able to survive the wild animals.
Yet again, this was Sarah’s plan, she was quite a character and could have taught Samson a thing or two about manipulation and self-righteousness.
She is probably the gene donor responsible for the cattiness, jealousy, and vanity that have plagued women’s relationships one to another since the dawn of time, much more so than anything we inherited from Eve.
How had it come to this? That question surely  flooded her mind, I am sure there were many, many times that she wanted to see both of them suffer, as they had made her suffer.

And now, as he put the bread and water on her shoulder, sending her and the child he was responsible for out into a formidable land to make their way back to Egypt, he was laying the entire burden of the enormous mess on her shoulders to be born alone.
But she WAS NOT alone, she only felt that way. She had been down this road before, as a servant subjected to Sarah’s insane idea to force her to bear a child to Abraham, once accomplished Sarah’s jealousy kicked in and she mistreated Hagar, Abraham refused to intervene, BUT God let Hagar know that it was THE CRIES OF HER HEART that he heard, not necessarily Sarah’s.

 Genesis 16:7-14 tells us: “And the ANGEL of the Lord FOUND her  by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.  And he said, HAGAR, SARAI’S MAID, whence cometh thou? and whither wilt thou go? and she said I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.

And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. And the angel of the Lord said unto her, I will multiply THY seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.

And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael (God hears) BECAUSE THE LORD HATH HEARD THY  AFFLICTION.  And he will be as a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of his brethren.

And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God (EL ROI) seest me: for she said, have I also looked after (saw) him that seest me? wherefore THE WELL was called Beerlahairoi (well of one who lives and sees me); behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.”
She did as she had been told, even submitting to the humiliation of giving birth to her son while sitting on Sarah’s knees to appease Sarah’s misguided  belief  that somehow this would really make the child hers.

But now they had Isaac and the very child they had forced her to bear and then taken from her, they have now given back, as if he were an unwanted pet replaced by one of a more valued breed and have sent them both on their way to an unknown fate.

But one thing Hagar was not aware of , this plan, although it had come from the mouth of Sarah, who didn’t care if they both died she just wanted them out of her face, God had given permission for this to happen and it WOULD NOW BE USED FOR HER GOOD.

God was going to use this, as He does all things, to her benefit, as when the angel told her to go back, this was a wilderness walk that she had to take, regardless of the pain and the injustice, this walk WOULD NOT LEAD TO THE DESTRUCTION OF HER AND ISHMAEL, BUT IT WOULD LEAD TO THEIR FREEDOM.
She would never again be slave to Abraham or Sarah and her maker would in fact now be her husband and a father to her son, who was now fatherless. And just as her son was rejected by his own people and sent to Egypt, there would be another son called forth out of Egypt only to face the same rejection by his kindred.
But when all we can see is the wilderness in front of us, the hunger, the thirst and the fear of what is waiting down that road starts to set in, we forget the promises we have been given, what the angel has spoken and sometimes we need to be reminded.
Genesis 21:15-21 “And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs, And she went, and sat down over against (across) him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she had said Let me not see the death of the child. and she sat over against him and lift up her voice and wept.

AND GOD HEARD THE VOICE OF THE LAD; and the ANGEL OF THE LORD CALLED OUT TO HAGAR OUT OF HEAVEN, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? ( THIS TIME HE DID NOT CALL HER SARAI’S MAID) fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad, WHERE HE IS.

Arise, lift up the lad, hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation. And God opened her eyes, and SHE SAW A WELL OF WATER; and she went and filled the bottle with water and gave the lad drink. And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. And he dwelt in the wilderness of  Paran: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt.”
I know the wilderness is a rough place, I don’t like it myself.
But you know had God not led Hagar on that journey and she had not agreed to trust Him on that trip she would have never realized the power and intimacy of God on her and her son’s life, remember the second time all she could do was cry, God heard Ismael’s prayers, HEAVEN ITSELF ANSWERED!  

She would have never known freedom. Just as Jesus was led by the spirit into the wilderness, and successfully resisted the devil and John the Baptist was prepared for his work and grew strong in the wilderness, it grows us.
There are required traits that we only acquire  in the wilderness, those barren, desolate places, sparse pastures that barely keep us alive, the side paths that are so lonely, we feel like tears are our only companion.
It is in those places, the wilderness, the deserts, the almost uninhabitable lands that the roses bloom and the fountains of living water burst forth out of that parched ground.
If you never had to go there, you would never know the sweetest of that water or the scent of a rose so strong and determined to live that it grew up through sand , pushing the rocks past, as the blazing sun-scorched down on it.

So don’t fight it, don’t even try to resist it, just take that trip with EL ROI, because He does live and He does see and He wants you to know you can depend solely on him, you may be like Hagar, alone in the middle of nowhere feeling like everything you love is about to die, have faith, He sees and He will show up and He will bless that which you thought was hopeless and prosper it and make it something so mighty it will beyond your wildest dreams.
Once you have been given these waters, you will never fear the wilderness quite so much again, I’m sure you won’t be excited to visit there again, but take along an empty suitcase, I promise you will return with a souvenir so rare, so priceless that you will never part with it.
Apostle Paul said “he glorified in his affliction” because he knew the sweet Holy spirit would rest on him and that was worth the brier scratches, the harder the enemy hit him, the greater the power of God would bathe him.
Go, you will be glad you did!
Original Post: 09/05/2014. all rights reserved. Rev. Nina Brown Johnson/ baresoulphlogizo 2015/ revisited 09/22/2019

Truly beautiful song.. As close as I could find to the thought of this post! Love and Peace!

                                

“He’s got ya…”

“Then the eleven disciples went way into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted.

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to all things whatsoever I have commanded you; 

And, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. A-men,”  Matthew 28:16-20  

I am sure that you are very familiar with those verses, and I have used them many times myself over the years.

And when my thoughts for this post were hitting, I had actually thought about a television commercial. And I know how strange that may sound, and it wasn’t about the product or service offered, it was about the support

A trainer is encouraging a person by telling her “I got you” and that has always just reminded me of how Jesus encourages us, that when storms that we had expected to cease somehow still swirl all around us and the battles that we have entered into full of hope, faith, and determination assured that victory will come and we can find ourselves doubting, questioning as that battle seems to go on endlessly in an exhausting dead heat. 

We often wonder and question, much like the disciples that found themselves doubting. just like Thomas when he had doubted that Jesus rose from the dead. And they found themselves in the place that he had destined them to be, the place they were told to go.

That is the deal with the doubt and uncertainty that comes at us when life goes upside down, the first thought the enemy brings to us is, “IF”, IF you were where you should be with the Lord, none of this would be happening.” 

Has that ever went through your mind?

I am sure, if we would be honest, this has went through many minds. Because that is how the enemy uses doubt and it is one of his more powerful weapons, and that is how you have to view, nothing more, nothing less. 

As I have “preached” many times in this little blog, reintegrating Romans 8:38,39 NO ONE and NOTHING can ever separate us from God so the enemy uses doubt to cause us to separate ourselves from God through the false belief that somehow we are out of his will when nothing in our lives feels like it could possibly be his will. 

It causes us to THINK…RETHINK… and finally OVERTHINK  everything that we have been taught about the Word of God and about God and make us completely question our relationship with him. So don’t!

Try out a new weapon of your own. Change your battleplan.

Jesus promised us many things but it ultimately up us to believe those promises and sometimes we have to look at things differently, because how we view a situation or an expected outcome is not always how he views it and when those things go a way not of our choosing NEVER means that he does not love and NEVER means that he has suddenly changed his mind and DECIDED to go against his own word and forsake us. He will NEVER do that.

And once we understand that we can see truly step back away from  our battles and see the truth that we can’t fight life and we certainly can not fight death but we can have peace in knowing that he is the ONLY one who holds our tomorrow and the only reason we can get through today.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts.

For as the rain cometh down, and snow from heaven, and returneth not thither (it does not go back up), but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return to me void (empty, without fruit) but it shall ACCOPMLISH that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereunto I send it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace…” Isaiah 55:8-11a 

Trust him, remember his promises and don’t let doubt steal that joy, joy that you need, joy that is your strength, the joy OF the Lord, joy not in this world but the joy in knowing that the God of the universe loves you! 

He’s “got” you and he is NEVER going to let you go and know that it is in that joy in him, joy in soul, not to be confused with being joyous in this world, it is hard to be cheerful when your heart is broken, so no, it is not cheerful joy, it is the joy in salvation and the promise of eternity.

And that is the joy that will bring you out of the wilderness and lead you forth out of that battle in his peace.

“RESTORE unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free (generous) spirit.” Psalm 51:12 

For something to be restored it had to have already be possessed, And when we start our journey with Jesus we are full of that joy, the joy that comes with the realization that his grace and mercy had spared our through our days of darkness and sin.  

Then as we mature in him and life comes as life does we find ourselves in that doubt… forgetting that joy.

He never changes, he accepts and loves us just as much as he did the day we accepted his salvation, the change lies within us. that why he tells us of his thoughts and our thoughts, and I have been very guilty of this myself, we have our thoughts of what should happen on earth but he gave us promises NOT of this earth an dour true hope and salvation are not of this earth.

Being human we want all the promises fulfilled here(and some are) but our hope is supposed to rest in the ETERNAL outcome. And that is your joy, that is your hope, that EVERY single morning while you are in this world, on this earth, HIS mercy is renewed every single morning and His mercy endures FOREVER. NOTHING will ever change that, nothing.  Get in your prayer closet and spend time with him in the Holy Ghost, let heaven bless earth remember those words that will NEVER return to him unfruitful… I AM WITH YOU ALWAY… 

And He’s got ya! He did not create you, love you, and save you just to throw you out to the wolves!

Have a blessed week! Love and peace till next time…

Rev. Nina Brown Johnson / phlogizo360  2019

“Keeping it Holy”

“And the glory of the Lord came into the house (the temple) by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward (which faces) the east. So the Spirit took (lifted) me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house.” Ezekiel 43:4,5

I want to stop there for a second, most of this post will be from the Book of Ezekiel and it will be kinda dealing with the glory of the Lord but it will be mainly dealing with what stands BETWEEN us the “church” as a whole, NOT one particular church or group or denomination, but the entire innumerable group of believers who will make up the Bride of Christ.

So please don’t take it as attacking anyone or ANY church. I think sometimes people take my writing the wrong way and mistakenly believe it is referring to their church or them but that is NOT the case. It is in reference to the “Bride of Christ” and what must be done as she is prepared to meet her King. Now that that is out of the way, Onward shall we?

The reason I wanted to stop there is to point out a couple of things before we get into the  what God told Ezekiel. If you notice the gate, and this is truly a gate but also keep in mind the spiritual “gate” for Isaiah 60:18a: “…thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.”

And when we notice that the translators of the Bible capitalized Praise, that tells us that this is a special usage, it is the name that what is to be used to get you through that gate. That is the moment when the Spirit took him, lifted him, up and revealed the manifested Glory of God to him, and we are no different.

We are never just going to walk into that glory, we are never going to just find ourselves in the midst of the Holy presence of the living God without acknowledging who He is and what he requires, Which now gets us to the flip side of the post and as you read it, remember we compare Israel to us, the church is but an ingrafted branch and Israel is our spiritual “motherland”, so what applied to her does indeed apply to us.

Picking it back up, Ezekiel 43:6-10:”And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house (temple); and the man stood by me.

And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, the place where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom (spiritual idolatry), nor by the carcases of their kings in  their high places.

In the setting of their threshold by thresholds and their post by posts, and (with only) the wall between me and them, they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger.

Now let them put away (STOP IT) their whoredom (idolatry), and the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of the for ever

Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern.”

Basically what he is saying is that humans have intermingled their own “temples” setting up “houses” built of the wicked carnal imaginations of their own hearts and minds and self-will and the spiritual idolatry of their kings and they have purposely “set” these abominations next to the holy “buildings” of the Lord as he said, which only a wall separating the truth from the lie and the true holiest from detestable sacrilege.

This is was Israel’s problem, among the many warnings that God sent down to them, And this is now “our” problem and as we continue to ignore warnings and more warnings and continue to let the devil set up his counterfeit teachings beside the true teachings of God and even falsely under the name of God, just as God said that they not of him. This is what he told Ezekiel to show them.

Ezekiel 43:11: ” And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew (make known to them) the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in therefore, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof: and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them.”  What God is saying here is that once Ezekiel puts all these things out to them that IF they will repent and consider all the issues that he points out and stop it, then his ways will be revealed to them. But not as long as they are allowing paganism and false doctrine to “set up” housekeeping next to his house.

Remember as believers we are temples of the Lord, so this can apply allowing thoughts, attitudes, and sins, inside of us and still expect God to dwell with us.

And for the bigger picture- the church, and what is going on now and has been and unfortunately will be until the reign of Christ on earth is THIS as God described it for Ezekiel, and he is referring to allowing sin and unholiness into his house and even more so allowing those who have never even committed to Jesus or even repented (referred to an uncircumcised in heart) to hold office and do service in the house of God.

God expects holiness, he expects sanctification, and everyone is and should be welcome at his house BUT to work in his house, perform in house, and especially stand behind his pulpit requires consecration to the Lord because those areas ARE holy ground and by allowing  what should not be, those “posts’ that God referenced earlier get set up in the house, side by side with his true teaching and the purpose of it is to confuse those whom God wishes to save.

It is hard to convince a person that they need to repent when others are teaching that there is no such thing, that “we just go to heaven when we die” and that is just no so. You have to have the Son.

Ezekiel 44:5-8 :”And the Lord said unto me, Son of man, mark well (take note) and behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears( pay attention to) all that I say unto thee concerning all the ordinances of the house of the Lord, and all the laws thereof and mark well the entering in of the house (who may enter the temple), with every going forth of the sanctuary (and all who go out).

And thou shalt say to the rebellious, even to the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; O ye house of Israel, let it suffice you of all (let us have NO MORE of) your abominations.

In that ye have BROUGHT into my sanctuary strangers (foreign to God), uncircumcised in heart (unrepentant), and uncircumcised in flesh (spiritually this would be still living carnally), to be in my sanctuary, to pollute it, even my house, where ye offer my bread, the fat and the blood, and they broken my covenant BECAUSE of YOUR abominations.

And ye have NOT kept the charge of mine holy things: but ye have SET keepers of my charge in my sanctuary for YOURSELVES.”  

And this is clearly what he is referring to, those things and people that are set up as his ministers and servants in his house that are not even dedicated much less consecrated to him. His word tells us that he sets up the church as he desires and gives charge, the job, as he wills and he is telling us here that his wishes are being completely ignored so man can set up his own agenda with his own workers.

And God will NOT give his glory unto another and he will not bless what is not his and he will not allow his house to be profaned and this is why his glory will depart from those houses.

So be very careful and do as the Bible says KNOW them that labour among you, KNOW them, know their life and more importantly their relationship with God and the foundation of that relationship with him before you turn them loose with your flock and vice versa, KNOW who you are listening to, KNOW what they believe and know how they live before you turn the loose by trusting them with your soul.

Believe it or not when you are guided by another and you listen to them and their preaching and take their advice you are trusting them with your soul, which is why you have to have your own relationship with God and know his word for yourselves because if it sounds too good to be true it is and right now society can’t leave well enough alone.

They don’t want to just say that they do not belong to God, instead they want to lay claim to the promise but yet not repent or follow his rules because yes, there are rules to live for God and as he said without holiness no man shall see him. And that is that, that is his requirement and he loves us and he does make it easy and he does welcome everyone but NO ONE will insult or make light of or profane his Holiness without facing the consequence.

So keep it in mind, and keep it real, and above do everything in your power to keep making sure that those that influence you and your life and those who you may even have to answer for (such as those in ministry) are the real deal and they are keepin’ it holy, you may become less popular and be hated and called intolerant but when it all comes down in the end we all still only answer for us and we still will ultimately only answer to him.

Love & peace till next time!

Phlogizo/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson 2019

I love this song and yesterday I happened up on this performance and if you have never saw this please take a moment to watch it. Incredibly anointed!

 

 

Just a quick thought..

“Unless the Lord had been on my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence.

When I said, My foot slippeth; they mercy, O Lord, held me up.

In the multitude of my thoughts within me they comforts delight my soul.” Psalm 94:17-19

If this post is a little out of whack from my usual groove, bear with me. My desktop is still DOA with BSOD and this thought hit me so deep that I knew I had to write it…so we are “tablet-ing” it my friends, and it keeps trying to correct my words and feel I have the right to add “ing” as I please, whether it is grammatically correct or not🐱

So here we go! When we go through so many changing seasons in life it is so easy and so human to feel overwhelmed and often alone.

Not really alone as in being alone, but alone in our thoughts, what path to choose, what step to take, and sometimes even in the midst of truly life altering events, we can even find ourselves asking ourselves who we even are, now that changes have assured that we will never be quiet who we once were.

That’s the power of this verse.

My “thoughts” used in the verse translates to “anxious thoughts”, and the greatest revelation in this is that Jehovah God KNOWS our thoughts before we EVEN think them!

He knows every worry, every hurt, and every single time that we feel overwhelmed. He knew before the foundation of the world and before time on earth even ever began, He knew what we would feel TODAY.

And He knew what we were going to feel yesterday and tomorrow.

“For his eyes are are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings.” Job 34:21

Also, Job 31:4: “Doth he not see my ways, and count all my steps.”

Which is not asking in exasperation, “Doesn’t God see what I’m going through?” It is a proclamation that God does see and he is very aware of our pain and walks every step with us.

So remember in the multitude of your thoughts that you are in his thoughts and this is who’s thoughts you are in….

Psalm 145: 8-10,18,19

“The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion;slow to anger, and of great mercy.

The Lord is good to all;and his tender mercies are over all his works.

All they works shall praise thee,O Lord; and they saints shall bless thee.”

“The Lord is nigh unto all that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.

He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him; he will also hear their cry, and he will save them.”

That is some serious comfort! This world is only for a short time but we are eternal and our God is forever and our peace is only found is resting in the knowledge of his sovereignty, so I leave you with this:

Psalm 144:15:“Happy is that people that is in such a case (state): yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.”  

Have a blessed week!

Rev. Nina Brown Johnson Phlogizo360/2019

Love. this song!