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An early fantasy I used to have…

Posted by on Jul 24, 2020 in Gifts of the Spirit | Comments Off on An early fantasy I used to have…

…and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it…  1 Corinthians 12:23-26

My Bible reading led me to 1 Corinthians 12 today. I was all set to think about gifts of the Spirit and how they operate in a church, but what really caught my attention was what was said in verses 23-26.

I asked myself, “How well do we honor those members among us whom we may deem less honorable? How do we approach those whom we think are less presentable? Are we being scriptural in our dealings with members who lack the elegance of our more appealing members? Are we ignoring and shunning them or are we taking them under our wings, listening to them, and lovingly discipling them?”

Tough questions. But we are entering a new time in the church. Whoever I listen to online these days, the call for the re-establishment of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in our churches is clear. The Holy Ghost must be free to flow, the voices are all saying. I agree.

But I found it interesting that Paul, the writer of the letters to the Corinthians, included—and did not exclude—the less honorable, the less presentable, and those who lacked (in my opinion, social graces) in his admonition concerning the gifts of the Holy Spirit. In fact, I LOVE that he included these precious, awkward souls in his teaching!

This thought came to me: Is it because the churches—generally—have been somewhat embarrassed and put off by such souls in their midst that the Holy Spirit has actually been hindered in His full, powerful, life-giving and life-affirming operation and manifestation?

Then I remembered a fantasy I used to play frequently in my mind when I moved back to St. Louis after my first year of teaching. I was a whopping four years old in Christ, gobbling up the Word of God, and full of the zeal of the Lord.

I would see people wherever I went—to the gas station, McDonald’s, the store, in the neighborhood—and I would fasten my eyes on a random individual. Whoever that was, black or white, old or young, male or female, big or small, dirty or clean, wealthy or poor—I would imagine them behind a pulpit, preaching a fiery sermon, and praying for the sick and oppressed while signs and wonders followed. This fantasy made me incredibly happy.

The Lord told me as memory took me back to my old fantasy, “That fantasy used to make Me very happy, too.”

As we the church transition into the restoration of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we must be sure to make every correction Paul prescribed to re-establish not only the gifts of 1 Corinthians 12, but also the very heart of that message as well. Otherwise, we will merely be noisy gongs or clanging cymbals.

Dorothy

© 2020, Dorothy Frick

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The power of Your anger

Posted by on Jul 3, 2020 in Prayer Perspective | Comments Off on The power of Your anger

Some of you may remember my series at the beginning of the year on Vision. The Lord downloaded six principles that He wanted me to hold dear this year.

Today as I was praying concerning these, I decided to reacquaint myself with the accompanying Scriptures.

The very first principle I received for the year of clear vision was to fear God.

Who understands the power of Your anger and Your fury, according to the fear that is due You? Psalm 90:11

Right away, I was transfixed as I absorbed that first statement: Who understands the power of Your anger?

As I prayed and mulled it over in my mind, I thought of recent scenes of anger in the news. An officer kneeling on a defenseless man’s neck, depriving him of oxygen…of life. The ensuing anger and rage, destroying properties and burning cities. I thought of the targeted rage of man against man and of multitudes intent on destroying an individual. I imagined myself as the focus of such targeted rage; then I heard this in my spirit: That rage is nothing compared to Mine when once it is released.

The God I serve is Love (see 1 John 4:16), and yet, He who made Man and Woman in His own image feels—and He feels deeply—just like us.

When we see a wrong, it angers us. God made us that way because He is that way.

I read it again, in a different translation. Who knows the power of Your anger? Then it hit me: No one alive—north or south, east or west, left or right—KNOWS the power of our God’s anger. None of us have experienced it—if we had, we would no longer be here.

And because we have never experienced the full range of God’s anger—and because we know from Scripture that He is Love—we suppose He is devoid of anger.

He is not.

Who understands the power of Your anger and Your fury, according to the fear that is due You?

He is patient with us; He is kind toward us. He loved us so much and longed for intimate friendship with us, His creation, so greatly that He sent His Son to allow our sins to be heaped upon Him and, as a result, He took on the full wrath of God that we deserved. Once the full measure of that punishment was spent, in accordance with God’s plan, He raised Jesus from death to be our forever Advocate before God as a reminder—I paid for their sins in full.

So why fear Him if everything is already covered? It has to do with the very reason Jesus came here in the first place—to restore relationship between God and His creatures.

I know many of you are bothered by that word “fear” in relation to a loving God. Well, imagine with me for a moment my favorite animal on earth—a cat.

Let’s say a large cat—a Lion—came to live with you. This Lion loved humans—and not necessarily to eat! This Lion enjoyed companionship with humans and chose to live with you, to love you, and to be loved by you.

Imagine burrowing your face into His [hypoallergenic] golden fur, walking with him down your street with your hand on his back, unafraid of a soul due to his magnificent strength and presence.

You would learn how to care for him and what made him happy. Just as quickly, you would want to know what made him mad. In your love and desire to continue to live with your Lion in harmony, you would refrain from everything that would arouse his displeasure. Why? Because fellowship with this Lion would be too rich, too amazing, and too precious to recklessly neglect, discard, or jeopardize.

In other words, you would both love and fear your Lion. You would love him because of his great love and gentleness toward you; you would fear him because you understood that in his love for you, he restrained the unmatchable exercise of the full range of his terrifying ability to destroy. And because of his terrifying ability to inflict damage on those who hated him (and by association, you), you felt safe whenever he was near.

So it is with the Living God. He loves you and is gentle toward you. And yet, He is unmatchable in the full range of His terrifying ability to destroy—that devastating power which He has chosen to restrain for now. But because of that power, those of us who have opened our hearts and our homes to Him can feel safe.

I am grateful that I have neither known nor experienced the power of His anger. But not unlike that Lion, He is certainly worthy of all the fear, respect, and reverence that is due Him. The day is coming when His anger toward those who shun Him will no longer be restrained.

Choosing to live in the fear that is due Him,

Dorothy

© 2020, Dorothy Frick

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Declare

Posted by on Jun 17, 2020 in Everyday Observations, Prayer Perspective | Comments Off on Declare

I had a thought today while reading Romans 1:4a. “[Jesus] was DECLARED the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead…”

That word DECLARED stood out to me. I thought that word always had to do with WORDS that are SPOKEN. However, here, it is a NON-VERBAL declaration by the ultimate DEMONSTRATION of GOD’S POWER—raising Jesus from the dead.

That got me to thinking. I SAY things all the time; but what is my LIFE declaring? It is certainly speaking day in and day out.

I will pray that my life, as well as my words, will declare the things God has ordained for me to declare. I am aware that this will take some discipline, self-control, and at times being brutally honest with myself and others. It will take the power of God that is beyond my ability.

But I believe it will be well worth it. 

Dorothy


© 2020, Dorothy Frick

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One way to restrain…

Posted by on Jun 15, 2020 in Prayer Perspective | Comments Off on One way to restrain…

Second Timothy 3 is one of the oft-quoted end times chapters in the Bible. BUT good news! Buried within are these two verses which reveal how to pray in such a time (which I am taking out of order for the purpose of my argument):


Verse 13: “But evil men and impostors will PROCEED from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” NOTE the word PROCEED. It is the EXACT same Greek word as the word PROGRESS in the next verse (vs. 9a):

“But they will not make further PROGRESS; for their folly will be obvious to all…”

How do we pray in such a demonically-driven, deceptive time?

One way is revealed in 2 Timothy 3:9. Pray boldly that “their folly will be OBVIOUS, OPENLY MANIFESTED to ALL.”

You see, men and women of evil intentions WILL proceed from bad to worse; however, their PROGRESS will remain LIMITED as we pray and act effectively. After all, this is STILL the Age of Grace. We STILL have authority as members of the Body of Christ. We ARE individually members of the RESTRAINING FORCE that is STILL on the earth (2 Thes. 2:6-7).

We must pray and act like it!

Dorothy

© 2020, Dorothy Frick

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The weapons of our warfare

Posted by on Jun 2, 2020 in Ferguson, Prayer Perspective | Comments Off on The weapons of our warfare

[As intercessors, we are engaged in probably the most intense battle we’ve seen in our lifetime. Your stand in this hour is not one of weakness or ineffectiveness, NO. God, in His foresight has equipped you and me with spiritual weapons custom-made for this very hour of warfare. My hope is that this entry, originally posted on August 15, 2014, will help to gird and strengthen you for your portion of this spiritual battle.]

***This was first posted on Day 6 of the conflict in Ferguson after the death of Michael Brown. Although our current events rage even greater than in those days, the principles in the Word of God are eternal and sufficient for every conflict.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ… 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Many around the nation have been praying about the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. I am grateful for every bit of spiritual assistance in the face of all the hurt, anger, and discord in the area—my area.

We stand in the gap before the Lord on behalf of the residents and others involved in this situation. As we stand, we pray, sowing seeds of peace for the purpose of rebuilding the hedge of protection around the community.

But we also stand equipped. God never sends His children into spiritual battle without granting them the appropriate equipment and weaponry.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh…

If you are alive, you are walking around in a flesh and blood body. But even though you are “packaged” in flesh, you don’t conduct spiritual warfare according to the flesh.

for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh

Bible commentator David Guzik explained this portion of Scripture. He wrote, “The carnal [or fleshly] weapons Paul refuses were not material weapons like swords or spears. The carnal weapons he renounced were the manipulative and deceitful ways his opponents used.” (Guzik’s Bible Commentary can be found at BlueLetterBible.com)

No matter what the concern or conflict may be, you need to lay aside manipulation, backstabbing, slander, deceit, hate, insinuations, power plays, and all the other methods which typically rise up out of a fleshly desire to justify yourself, prop yourself up, save face, or get ahead.

but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.

God does outfit you with equipment and weapons for fighting spiritual battles. In Ephesians 6:11, the apostle Paul urged, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil” when struggling against the unseen forces of darkness. The armor He provides not only protects you defensively, but it is also effective offensively against the enemy targeting you or those for whom you pray. However, you must lay aside both the defensive and offensive techniques of the flesh and take up God’s equipment if you are serious about effectual gap-standing.

According to Ephesians 6, God provides six specific pieces of equipment to any believer seeking to stand against the enemy—the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the gospel, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit. Guzik observes, “Our spiritual weapons are scorned by the world, but feared by demonic powers”. The man or woman who launches into prayer covered by the truth and righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, the preparation of the gospel of peace, steadfast faith, the helmet of salvation, and the Word of God can be confident in the face of any scheme of the evil one.

We are destroying speculations

While praying for volatile situations such as in Ferguson [or in 2020, throughout the nation], you may not be able to distinguish between speculation and fact. But your part is to remain in the gap and pray. As you do, speculations will be brought down and truth will be made known. Pray that the authorized fact-finders will receive divine direction, grace, and wisdom as they do their jobs. Cover them—those in law enforcement and government and the journalists reporting on unfolding events—so that speculative and incorrect information will be squelched, enabling truth to prevail and healing to begin.

…and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God…

One prayer focus of mine is to address the “lofty things raised up against the knowledge of God” stirring around in Ferguson. People from outside of the community have arrived to take advantage of the chaos and to push their own agendas [as has occurred in 2020 across the nation, drowning the message of those protestors who sincerely cry out for reformed and humane policing]. As I pray, I remind myself that despite what I see or hear, the weapons I’m wielding in the gap are divinely powerful to bring those lofty things down. The forces of darkness—manipulating men like pawns—are not more powerful than the living God—and as you and I pray, their demonic effectiveness is being diminished. However, more often than not, it takes persistence and the long-haul in prayer to see the restoration of territory which the devil has ravaged. That’s why Paul wrote, “…and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm” (see Ephesians 6:13-14).

If things you’re hearing or seeing in a local, national, or international situation don’t line up with the knowledge of God, you are equipped with spiritual weaponry to address them in prayer and render them ineffective. But again, remember—this is warfare, and it won’t necessarily change overnight. Stand.

…and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…

Whose thoughts should you take captive to the obedience of Christ as you stand in the gap? Despite the fact that individuals being manipulated by the enemy are unpredictable or volatile, it’s not their thoughts you’re to take captive. As a prayer warrior, that’s not your job—controlling people or their minds. Instead, first you must get control over your own thoughts, lining them up with the Word of God to the obedience of Christ. Saturate yourself in His Word; let it speak to your heart and direct your thoughts as you yield to the Holy Ghost. Then you’ll be ready to take up your authority in the name of Jesus against the realm of demonic forces stirring and agitating chaos, violence, and destruction.

I have barely scratched the surface of the divinely powerful weaponry God has given to you for effective spiritual warfare. My aim in writing this is to whet your appetite, hoping to make you hungry to press in and learn more and more about how to stand in the all the gaps God reveals to you—and to do so effectively.

Dorothy

Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21

© 2014, Dorothy Frick; revised 2020

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