Learning from the Language of Heaven – His Love Wins!

God continues to speak to me about the concept of “hope!” Ever since the end of October I have had daily encounters with this precious Biblical theme.  In fact right after writing this blog I will jump into a sermon for this coming Sunday, any guess on what Lenten subject I was given to teach on?  Hope!  And the crazy thing is the church I’m preaching at is called, “Hope.”  Do you think God wants me to learn a few things about the importance of this word?

Recently, I was speaking to a group of inmates and I wanted to get their input on the subject so I asked them, “What are you hoping for?” To be honest I thought a majority of them would say “getting out” or  “their freedom.”  The shocker was not one of them responded this way.  Everyone one of their answers had to do with love.  Either restoring a broken relationship with a family member or their love relationship with God.  Their hearts were hoping for love.

A continuous bombardment of the word HOPE has been teaching me the importance of love. Deep down in the depths of every heart is a desire to be known and loved unconditionally. Our hope gets skewed at times by the deceptive plots of the enemy to refocus our longings on temporal fixes that never touch the deep ache in our hearts, so we keep searching but are never satisfied.

Reading and rereading the book of Revelation over the last month stirs my soul to a deeper awakening of hope for the unfolding of history.  As you listen to the language of heaven you discover that every detail being worked out in history is to bring God’s beloved bride to the Bridegroom Jesus Christ (Read Rev. 19). Every battle being fought with beasts and the dragon in the heavenly realm and every plague cast upon the earth has an all-consuming purpose, to bring us into forever love.

Your Father is moving heaven and earth, He is using every battle and trial you and I face to prepare our hearts for an everlasting perfect love.  I challenge you to read the book of Revelation. You won’t understand it all, I sure don’t, but it leaves me with this hope – His love is unfailing and His love always wins!!!!

“Then I heard again what sounded like the shout of a huge crowd, or the roar of mighty ocean waves, or the crash of loud thunder. Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty reigns. Let us be glad and rejoice and honor Him. For the time has come for the wedding feast of theLamb, and the bride has prepared herself. She is permitted to wear the finest white line. (Fine linen represents the good deeds done by the people of God.)…Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.…these are the true words that come from God,”(Rev. 19:6-9 NLT).

Learning from the Language of Heaven – The Anointing

“I’m a heroine baby. My mother gave me up and I have no idea who my father is and I’m just trying to do the best I can to make it,” sobbed Amy. For the past several months Patty and I have gotten to know Amy and her family who live in a hotel on East Colfax. However, last Tuesday night the dam broke and she opened up her hurting soul about her painful past she is trying to overcome.

Your past may not be as difficult as Amy’s but more than likely you have faced a spiritual battle where the enemy of your soul, Satan, has unleashed his arrows of accusations against your mind. As hard as you try to resist, it seems he knows just when and where to launch a new assault to crush your spirit.

The only way to combat his cunning lies is to listen again to the language of heaven. For those who have been anointed by the perfect blood of Christ we hear this powerful declaration:

“…Because you were slain and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God and they will reign on the earth,” (Rev. 5:9).

The Lion & Lamb of Revelation 5 rewrites our history by His blood and we become anointed sons and daughters who reign right now and serve in His Kingdom. Heaven continues to shout out that in Christ, the blood of the Lamb has overcome our past and we have the anointed heart of the Lion roaring through our veins.

Amy has this picture near the door of her hotel, displaying the blood and water flowing out of the side of Jesus.

It was a powerful time of prayer as we reminded Amy that the blood of the Lamb anoints her and us and that His blood not only forgives every sin, but also transforms us into anointed children of the King who have overcome our past and reign in power with Him at this very moment.

Don’t waste another moment, CLAIM your royal anointing and the victory it brings over any lies of the enemy shot your way, “You are more than conquerors through Christ who loves you!” (Romans 8:37).

Learning from the Language of Heaven – Silence

 

“There was silence throughout heaven for about half an hour…” (Rev. 8:1 NLT).

 

“Silence!” A word we are not very familiar with in our noise saturated society. Yet, in the heavenly realm-where worship is the continual heartbeat of the thick atmosphere around the throne-there is a stunning silence.

 

What would cause millions of angels, the 24 elders, the living beings, and multitudes from every tribe and nation to cease shouting and singing praise to the Father and Son? Simply put-PRAYER!

 

Revelation chapter 8 presents an amazing picture! How is it that the prayers of God’s children cause heaven to go silent? The thought of this leaves me speechless!

 

“Then another angel with a gold incense burner came and stood at the altar. And a great quantity of incense was given to him to mix with the prayers of God’s people, to be offered on the gold altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, mixed with the prayers of the saints, ascended up to God from the altar where the angel had poured them out. (Rev. 8:3-4 NLT).

 

Our Father hushes the worship in heaven to hear you! This passage encouraged my heart as I have been studying the language of heaven the last few weeks. To be honest sometimes I feel like my prayers get hijacked on the way to heaven and never grab the heart of my Father. But this passage states differently.

My finite mind cannot even begin to comprehend the scene in Revelation 8. How can it be that all the prayers of God’s children are laid before Him as beautiful incense AND these prayers link with God’s heart to unfold history. As I read through the book of Revelation the history is spelled out is VICTORY for all who are His.

 

Even though unanswered prayers may perplex me the silence of heaven gives me hope that my Father hears. In some miraculous way our prayers are blended together and offered on the “gold altar” with the end result a victorious purpose.

 

Even when it may feel that God’s answer to our prayers are slow in coming and perhaps no one is hearing the cry of your heart or my heart, remember your Father loves you so much! He even silences heaven to hear you His precious child.

 

Let’s keep praying all of heaven is listening and victory is coming!

 

 

Learning the Language of Heaven – “Shout it Out!”

 

In a world overrun by a constant storm of messages of negativity, hate, discord, and fear, we can easily fall into despair. Recently I have heard many people say they don’t watch the news anymore and they have turned off social media accounts because it drains them of peace.

 

For some reason I have been contemplating the word “peace.” Wondering what brings peace and what causes it to vanish. For me I know that what I choose to hear and listen to makes a definite impact on whether I experience peace or its absence.

 

So the other day I investigated the language of heaven from the book of Revelation. After all you can’t find a purer form of communication than what takes place around the celestial throne of God.

 

Did you know there is a lot of “shouting” going on in the heavenly realm? This shouting is more like a roar that shakes everything around you. The closest thing that comes to my mind is 75,000 crazy fans shouting and jumping up and down when the Denver Broncos pull off a stunning victory. But even this can’t even come close to what is happen in Heaven right at this very moment:

 

“After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a mighty shout, ‘Salvation comes from our God on the throne and from the Lamb!’ ” (Rev. 7:9-10 NLT).

 

What could cause such a “mighty shout” from people from every tribe and nation on earth? A victory that has been guaranteed from a loving Father who sent His only Son as a perfect spotless Lamb to take away the sins of the world. This united throng has been given a pure white victors jersey from the Father through the work of the Son and can’t help but scream out their FREEDOM and VICTORY in Christ.

 

Contemplating this “shouting” in heaven has convicted me to refocus my attention back to the Throne and allow what I hear to ignite my soul with a heaven inspired shout. Watch what will happen when you listen to the language of Heaven and begin to join in with your own shouts, you will be drawn into Heaven’s perfect peace! As one holiday has ended and the Christmas season is upon us, may you hold fast to the peace we receive through Christ Jesus, a peace that the world cannot fill!

 

So on the count of 3 let out a good shout of praise, 1,2, 3!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

“This is How I Fight My Battles…”

Written by Mike Verkaik

For the past month I have had the same song going through my mind. I first heard it with Tim at the conference we attended in Redding, CA. Music has always had a significant influence on my life and as the worship team sang the lyrics of Surrounded, the words resonated with my heart. The verses are as follows:

There’s a table that You’ve prepared for me

In the presence of my enemies

It’s the body and the blood you shed for me

This is how I fight my battles

 

In the valley I know that You’re with me

And surely your goodness and mercy follow me

So my weapons are praise and thanksgiving

This is how I fight my battles

 

It may look like I’m surrounded

But I’m surrounded by you

After Tim and I sang Surrounded for the first time we headed back to our room, both humming and singing the chorus. As we discussed the impact of the worship in our room, it was discovered we were blessed by a different section of the song.

The song was birthed out of Psalm 23. Tim’s heart was moved by the thought of the table that our Abba Father has prepared for us, while I was impacted by Biblical truth that we fight our battles with weapons of praise and thanksgiving.

This past weekend the song Surrounded was the focus of our meditation at the Thanksgiving Celebration Oceans hosted for the residents at our motel ministry in Holland, MI.

As we set the tables and prepared the formal dinner/worship time, we experienced many challenges and difficulties. It was brought out in the meditation, that we did it, because we loved them and desired for them to have a special night with each other. Likewise, our Father has prepared a table for us, one that is full of goodness, mercy, grace and love that He lavishes on us. He does this in the middle of our challenges and difficulties. In the midst of our messes, sins, doubts and fears. It is in that setting that He longs for us to sit at His table and converse with Him, to taste and see that He is a good, good Father.

We finished our evening with a time of thanksgiving. Each person shared at least one thing they were thankful for. It was a beautiful moment, sitting at the table with our friends and hearing in the midst of their difficulties how they experienced the blessings of their Father. After all remembering and giving praise and thanksgiving to our Abba Father is the way to fight our battles against an enemy that wants our thoughts to be on our past and present failures.