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In league with the Destroyer?

Posted by on May 23, 2022 in Prayer Perspective | 0 comments

Got your hard-toed shoes on? Hope so, because this may hurt…it sure made me yell “OUCH!!”
 
Remember the lady in the gospels who poured costly perfume on Jesus’s feet? (She’s mentioned in Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 7, and John 12.)
 
What was one of the main gut-reactions of those who were there? “What a WASTE!! She could have sold this and GIVEN the money TO THE POOR!”
 
I was curious about that word WASTE, so I looked it up in my Strong’s Concordance.
 
WASTE: Greek word 684: apoleia, which means ruined, destroyed, damnable.
 
That caught my attention for two reasons. First, that’s VERY strong condemnation toward the gal; and second, it reminded me in both the sound and definition of an unsavory angel mentioned in the Book of Revelation—Apollyon.
 
Mr. Apollyon, according to that Book, is currently “tied up”, awaiting his release with his bizarre, pain-inflicting forces which will create havoc and distress for 5 wretched months—a true 911 crisis. You can find this being in Revelation 9:11, incidentally.
 
Anyway, Apollyon IS from the same word root as WASTE, or apoleia. Apollyon is the Greek word #623, apollyon, which means DESTROYER.
 
Back to that lady and her detractors. They accused her of DESTROYING precious goods and basically condemned her gift to Jesus as DAMNABLE.
 
Here’s the OUCH. Have you caught yourself condemning someone for their giving? I have. Once? Twice? Multiple times? Have you accused them of WASTING their resources on a certain ministry, charitable group, or even an individual?
 
What you were saying, then, was right in line with the accusers of that woman. You were virtually cursing the giver, the gift, AND the receiver as a waste, as damnable.
 
Hear Jesus’s take on the whole thing:
 
“Let her alone; why do you bother her?” (Mk14:6.)
 
He also declared, “Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.” (Mk 14:9.)
 
And you know something? Some of the most incredible miracles of Jesus were only recorded in one gospel. Others can be found in two or three of them. THIS act of extravagant giving, however, is recorded in all FOUR gospels. I believe this underscores Jesus’s passion and affirmation of what took place that day…AND exposes the hearts of all of us (myself included) who decry or bemoan the motives, intelligence, or wisdom of the gifts of others.
 
You do you. Let God deal with others.
 
And if you’re STILL uncomfortable with someone else’s giving, go before God and leave it with Him. He may give you the right to speak; but tread lightly…lest you find yourself in league with the Destroyer.
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You will not be afraid of the arrow that flies by day

Posted by on Jan 29, 2022 in Prayer Perspective, Psalm 91 | Comments Off on You will not be afraid of the arrow that flies by day

You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day;
Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.
Psalm 91:5-6

Four fears that tend to haunt people are listed under the declaration, “YOU WILL NOT BE AFRAID OF…”. The top four on that list include:

  • Terror by night
  • The arrow that flies by day
  • Pestilence that stalks in darkness
  • Destruction that lays waste at noon

I’ve discovered that the more I think on and pray through Psalm 91 and other Scriptures, the less fearful I have become. And I’ve also learned that when I do get afraid, I know exactly where to turn in my Bible for comfort and relief from torment and attack.

You will not be afraid of the terror by night…

The terror by night is, more often than not, an attack on your mind—imaginary—rather than physically undergoing a terrorizing event. Nevertheless, countless hours of sleep have been lost while multitudes of souls, ravaged by fearful torments or hideous nightmares, toss and turn. If this describes you, pray Psalm 91 before you go to bed. Let yourself think about the different aspects of God’s faithfulness to you. Picture Him near, guarding you, ready to act on your behalf. And do so often.

…or of the arrow that flies by day…

A year or so ago, drivers on a section of highway just outside of my neighborhood had been shot and killed on two different occasions about a week or so apart by drive-by shooters. People started saying, “I’ll never drive on that part of the highway again! Look at what’s happening there!”

By that time, I had been praying Psalm 91 fairly frequently, and I started feeling angry. “How DARE the devil try to stake out turf on MY section of highway?” I wasn’t scared; I was offended. So I prayed.

When I knew what I was to do, I shared the direction I’d received with a Saturday morning prayer group. They prayed in agreement, asking the Lord to lead and protect me, and after prayer, I proceeded to my assignment.

First stop was my town’s police station. I simply parked in the lot and prayed in the Spirit. I asked God to give wisdom to detectives on the case to find and arrest the perpetrators before anyone else was shot; I also prayed that He would foil any attempt to continue with the crime spree until then. I prayed against copycat activity as well.

I lingered in that lot until I had a “knowing” that I was finished there and then headed for the highway.

The approximately two-mile section was nearby. As I pulled onto the entrance ramp a plan emerged. I would drive from one entrance ramp to the next exit, cross over (or under) the highway and pull back onto it, circling around and around, praying until I knew I was finished. I prayed and sang in the Spirit, up and down, up and down the highway. After the fifth or sixth lap, a Scripture rose up in me. It was Isaiah 58:12.

Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins;
You will raise up the age-old foundations;
And you will be called the repairer of the breach,
The restorer of the streets in which to dwell.

Emboldened, I continued with the laps, proclaiming these words over the highway—my section of highway! In triumph, I shouted, “Thank You, Father! YOU, and You alone are the Restorer of the streets in which to dwell…and that includes THIS section of highway, the section You’ve given to ME!”

I didn’t care what the people driving next to me were thinking; I was doing this for THEM, for their KIDS, and for their friends and families. Anyway, I was certain they’d seen weirder things than this on their travels!

And do you know that to this day, there has not been ONE shot fired on that section of highway?

Remember, Jesus told us that “…In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good courage! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33b). If the world throws some tribulation your way, you have every right to turn to the Lord to see what He would have you to do about it. Don’t just accept the mess as your “new normal”.

We were also told, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith” (1 Peter 5:8-9a). We were not told to be afraid, to wring our hands, or to stop driving our familiar routes. Sure, there may be times that the Holy Spirit will intervene to send you a different way to spare you from danger, but He will never direct you to give up ground to violence or the enemy.

May you grow stronger and stronger as you put down roots in this amazing Psalm 91.

Dorothy

You will not be afraid of the arrow that flies by day. Psalm 91:5b

© 2022, Dorothy Frick

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You will not be afraid of the terror by night

Posted by on Dec 15, 2021 in Prayer Perspective, Psalm 91 | Comments Off on You will not be afraid of the terror by night

You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day;

Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon
. Psalm 91:5

How amazing is this verse!? Boldly, the Psalmist lists four fears common to humanity under the declaration, “YOU WILL NOT BE AFRAID…”.

The top four on the fear list include:

  • Terror by night [things that go bump in the night; creeper stuff]
  • The arrow that flies by day [projectiles of all kinds: drive-bys; snipers; terrorist attacks; hold ups; stick ups; home invasions]
  • Pestilence that stalks in darkness [covid; flu; plagues and diseases of every kind]
  • Destruction that lays waste at noon [California wildfires; Midwest tornadoes; terrorist attacks; earthquakes; etc.]

Every one of these scary potentialities has enough “oomph” to keep even the boldest among us tossing and turning, trying to sleep with one eye open, alert to the tiniest creak in the house. Hearing a noise outside can send the sleeper shooting upright in bed, heart pounding; the tiniest tickle in the throat can cause full-blown panic; and the brain’s replay of almost any given newscast can steal shuteye from the most exhausted body.

But Psalm 91 declares “YOU WILL NOT BE AFRAID”. Personalize it, and you will proclaim, “I WILL NOT BE AFRAID”, even when you DO feel afraid. You’re not lying; you’re quoting the Word of God.

The beauty of it all is that the more you interact with this Psalm and this verse (and with all of the Word of God), the more you will believe it. And the more you believe it, the more of a reality it will be in your life.

You will not be afraid of the terror by night.

I had frequent nightmares as a kid and was obsessively afraid of car accidents, break-ins, and the wolf man. Laugh if you want, but I’ll bet you had a list, too! But as I started spending time in the Bible, reading its promises, and taking them for myself, the fear levels in my life slowly decreased.

Then sometime in the last years of the Obama or the first year of the Trump administration, I sensed God saying, “Pray Psalm 91 a thousand times.” I didn’t try to do it in a hundred or even a thousand days, checking it off rapidly to get it done. No; I’m still not done! But as I walk my neighborhood or drive my car, I will likely be praying through something…and often it is Psalm 91.

I had been praying this Psalm for a good year or year and a half, and something happened that confirmed to me that I was indeed being changed on the inside by praying Psalm 91.

In the middle of the night, outside my bedroom window, I heard noises at the side gate to my backyard. I woke up for a moment, said to myself, “Oh, it’s probably just a bad guy,” and fell right back to sleep, unconcerned.

Perhaps thirty or forty minutes later, around 2 AM, I was awakened by loud banging on my front door. I peeked out the blinds and saw two police cars parked in front of my home. I threw on a robe and went to the front door, opened it, and asked, “How may I help you, Officers?”

They told me a house had been robbed a block over, and they found the perpetrator hiding in my neighbor’s bushes. When they approached him, he tore off into my back yard, and in the darkness of night, they lost him.

I think they were shocked when I declared, almost triumphantly, “I KNEW there was a bad guy back there!” They told me if I heard any other noise out there to let them know, and they went on their way.

But that lack of fear didn’t leave! I actually had to restrain myself from going outside immediately to look for loot! I just about had to take myself by the scruff of the neck and say, “Listen here, young lady! You can look for it in the morning!”

Now don’t get me wrong—praying and meditating on this Psalm will not automatically chase every fear out of your life. But when fear does crop up—and it will—you will have a well-worn path right back to the Scripture that declares “I WILL NOT FEAR” and by that, you can calm your soul as you look to God for His powerful help. And help He will.

You will not fear the terror by night.

Dorothy

© Dorothy Frick, 2021

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Nebuchadnezzar: The dream from God and the subsequent unwise image

Posted by on Nov 28, 2021 in Everyday Observations, Reflections in the Word | Comments Off on Nebuchadnezzar: The dream from God and the subsequent unwise image

Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, the height of which was sixty cubits and its width six cubits; he set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. Daniel 3:1

In chapter 2 Nebuchadnezzar had dreamt of an enormous statue consisting of sections of gold, silver, bronze, iron, and an alloy of iron and clay. Daniel explained to the king that God had given him a prophetic dream to reveal the kingdoms on the earth, present and yet to come. Daniel also told him that he—Nebuchadnezzar—was the head of gold and that all the other kingdoms would be inferior to his.

Well, this morning I opened my Bible to chapter 3 and got no further than verse one. In the margin I read something I had written on 9/21/19: “I’ll bet Neb was ‘inspired’ to do this [build the idol] because of his dream.” The dream was from God; the subsequent construction of the golden image was NOT. The note I had written started the wheels to spin in my mind.

It hit me—ministries, ministers, and everyday Christians ALL get tempted to pull this same sort of thing whether God speaks to them, uses them, or reveals to them something to come.

We are all quite capable of playing into the same temptation, revering the dream, the prophetic word, or the revealed call of God on our lives, and sometimes we even expect others to do likewise. The gift or directive of God now becomes the object of worship and awe, not God Himself! And without realizing it, we have erected Nebuchadnezzar’s image in our own likeness and name.

When Jesus is Lord and the Father Himself is the sole object of your love, worship, and devotion, you would not expect—much less demand—reverence or allegiance to be shown by others to the vision, word, or gifting that God has given to you. Any respect shown or loyalty displayed to you by others is received as a gift, treated as a free-will offering, precious, and NEVER as that which is due.

Would your refusal—as a Christian or a leader—to set up your own gifting or ministry as an idol mean that you no longer have the right to speak into the lives of others? Of course not! When self-promotion is set aside, discernment is free to operate more purely. Instead of counseling based on partisan affiliation or allegiance status, now the full motive in ministering to others is to help them to embrace the Lord and discover the direction He has for them, not to get them onboard with your church, ministry, vision, or with any particular leader. Nebuchadnezzar image-builders get people hooked on themselves and not on the Father to whom belongs all the glory.

It is my suspicion that most of the partisan, sectarian issues in the church of “I’m of Paul” and “I’m of Apollos” (see 1 Corinthians 3:1-4) has to do with the erection of Nebuchadnezzar-like statues in seeking to immortalize a simple gift, ministry, or prophetic understanding. In turn, these providential blessings from God morph into idols to which full devotion is often demanded.

Stop idolizing humans! Stop idolizing ministries!

Stop idolizing the directives and dreams that God has given to you, and just simply obey them as from the Lord! By the same token, stop expecting others to pay homage to your wisdom, your words, your dreams, your vision, or your ministry.

Let people be followers of Jesus, and as for you, be available to God to use you to help them on the course He has for them. And likewise, receive as a gift—not as what is due—the help others give to you as you pursue His will for your life.

But the bottom line is this: Shun idolatry of all kinds.

Dorothy

© Dorothy Frick, 2021

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His faithfulness

Posted by on Nov 26, 2021 in Prayer Perspective, Psalm 91 | Comments Off on His faithfulness

… His faithfulness is a shield and buckler. Psalm 91:4b, ESV

First, let’s take a quick look at this shield and buckler. According to Strong’s Concordance, the shield mentioned here is large and covers the whole body. As for the buckler, some references describe it as smaller (Merriam Webster), portable (biblestudytools.com), and often worn on the forearm or held by a handle (forwhatsaiththescriptures.org). As a result, I like to think of this shield/buckler duo as defensive spiritual weaponry, able to cover ALL incoming attacks against me, whether large or small.

Moreover, as I’ve been praying through Psalm 91, this phrase—His faithfulness is my shield and my buckler—has revolutionized my thinking about FAITH IN GOD. Follow with me as I explain.

You see, I have listened to some of the premiere preachers on the topic throughout the past 40 or so years and felt I “knew” just about all there was about faith, having been taught by the best. And yet when push came to shove, whenever a situation arose which demanded faith on my part, I often struggled, wondering if my faith was sufficient.

I knew that in Ephesians 6, one article in the full armor of God is the shield of faith. I also knew that according to Ephesians 6:16, the shield of faith quenches every flaming missile of the evil one. And here, in Psalm 91:4, I read that GOD’S faithfulness itself was my shield and buckler.

Since God provides us with the shield of faith, and since His very own faithfulness is also our shield and buckler, my lightning-fast mind started sniffing out a connection! Could it be that individual human faith—as limited as it often seems to be—was actually a product of the big, all-encompassing faithfulness of God? I was on to something!

I had been taught to have faith in my faith. Well, my faith sometimes seemed pretty shoddy, to tell you the truth, and trying to rustle up faith in my pipsqueak faith left me discouraged, not encouraged.

But here, in Psalm 91:4, all the pressure was on God’s faithfulness, not my own faith! The faithfulness of God was a shield in which I could trust without wavering; my own faith, on the other hand tended to rise and fall with my emotions.

Then it hit me: God never called us to trust in our own faith. From the very beginning, all He wanted us to do was to trust in HIM—in HIS faithfulness to us.

It is His faithfulness that is a shield for you. You don’t need to concern yourself one bit with how big or powerful your own faith is; your job is to trust Him and His big, beautiful faithfulness. His job is to shield you.

Once I realized that my faith has been indelibly linked to His faithfulness to shield me, I was finally free. No longer do I need to crank up enough faith. No matter what may come my way, large or small, His faithfulness to me is my shield and my buckler.

And no matter what may come YOUR way, large or small, His faithfulness to you will be your shield and buckler as well!

Dorothy

Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. 1 Thessalonians 5:24

© Dorothy Frick, 2021

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