Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. (Proverbs 31:30)
Wow… can I say this any better than already stated? Not really. As I grow older I realize the significance of this verse. I have found favor in many situations. However, favor does not last for an eternity. Favor is for a given moment.
Beauty on the other hand is eternal…but pertains to two different meanings. External and internal. External is the one many women struggle to obtain. Hair salons, nails, skin treatments, expensive clothing, all fall into this category. Why are we so driven to prove to the world that our outer layer is not depreciating? It’s called vanity. The definition for vain is:
Characteristic of false pride; having an exaggerated sense of self-importance; Unproductive of success.
I have found out, as many of you have, that when we concentrate on the inner women, the inner beauty of relationship to God and man, it is anything but vain. Often women, who strive to become beautiful in character and relationship with God, naturally are eminent in their external
beauty. When I am striving for that relationship, I can look in the mirror and be pleased with what I see. Does this mean that my skin is flawless, without wrinkle or imperfection? Does it mean that I’ve obtained my perfect body weight? Absolutely not! However, when I am struggling in my spiritual relationship, I also struggle with the reflection looking back at me in the glass.
How do we stop from falling into the status-quo trap of striving for outer perfection? The scripture above tells us. “Fear the Lord” When we have a healthy fear of the Lord, meaning, a profound respect towards Him and His law, we no longer fear man. We no longer worry what others are thinking of us, what we look like, how we measure up, etc. We are strictly concerned with pleasing God. As we develop the desire to please Him, as we in reverence fear Him, we will be surrounded by unexpected praise. This scripture says we will be praised, so we can expect that, but I often am taken back when someone has something of praise to tell me - about me. Maybe I’m not very good at receiving praise. It embarrasses me and makes me feel terribly awkward at times. I have learned from others to just be gracious and simply say “Thank you.”
It is pretty easy to pick out women who fear God and fear men. There is a big difference. I have met some of the most beautiful women through my years. Unfortunately, I have also seen some the ugliest characteristics of the human race emanate from some of them. My prayer for all of us is that we will learn to love God with all our hearts souls, mind and strength. In doing so, we will fear only Him. When we accomplish this we will then see that beauty is more than skin deep. We will be able to look in the mirror and say “I am God’s Princess!” “I am wonderfully made!”
What is clogging the veins in your heart?
I have heard this scripture preached, sung, spoken, and I’ve read it several times through the years. I would hate to say that I have become desensitized to it, thinking that I know right where my treasure is, but do I? Do you? Or are you experiencing spiritual arteriosclerosis? Arteriosclerosis is a heart disease that causes hardening of the arteries in your heart and they become clogged and can cause death if not treated. Today I want to talk to you about spiritual arteriosclerosis or a hardening of heart. What is clogging the spiritual pathways of your heart and preventing you from putting God first in your life?
Where do you spend the largest amount of your time during the day? If you work outside of the home, let’s ask, “What do you do with the rest of your time?” I can pretty much tell you on any given day how my day begins, what I am doing during the day and how it will end. Though life can be much more unpredictable than that, I have developed a routine in my earlier years that has sustained me through life’s unpredictable moments. My routine consists of prayer, bible reading, meditation, and including God in every part of my day.
Now I am not perfect, though it may seem I am disciplined and focused. The routine above, due to my schedule or other’s needs may vary in that order, but for the most part, these are things that are accomplished in my daily life. What does your daily routine tell others about you? Are you racing through life and throwing up a brief prayer or two hoping that God agrees with your plans? If you keep running at such a pace, you might find yourself on spiritual life support, suffering from severe spiritual arteriosclerosis. When this happens your judgment is clouded by everything else in your
life what you have deemed your purpose in life is often the opposite of what you were created for.
Just like you, I have other responsibilities, but the ones mentioned above are my priorities. Let me ask you, “What takes up the majority of your day?” If you already know, then that is where your treasure is and what your heart is following after? You may need to make adjustments if you find less time to hear from God. If your life is clogged up with priorities that take you away from hearing His will for your life, you are in the red zone of spiritual arteriosclerosis, and headed for a major heart problem and possible death. Jesus spoke frequently about the condition of the heart. We all are different, but I do know this one truth; God must be the one treasure that we pursue if we want our heart to be right with Him. God bless you!
1 Corinthians 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
I’ve been asked this many times by people who do not understand prophetic worship, and by others how they can develop it in their lives. Prophetic worship is simply to sing, speak or act under the influence of the Holy Spirit. When one does such, it allows the character of God to come to light in us, and thus draws others to Him. The fruit of such moments will reveal whether the Word that came forth is of the flesh or of the Spirit, meaning that is was divinely inspired. This is not something that is meant only for the charismatic churches; (though this gift has more freedom to produce fruit in that environment) it is intended for the entire Body of Christ. By the way, I do not attend what some of you would call a charismatic church, but I have led worship in many of them. So, as I am traveling and leading “After His Heart” worship events, I use these opportunities to educate, inspire and help others recognize their own prophetic worship gifts. Let me say this...that prophetic worship is not mysterious in anyway.
John 4: 23 says, “But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship
The spirit is about what the Spirit is saying, and the truth is about what God’s Word says. It comes down to three basic things one must know:
1. Prophetic worship is not soothsaying or fortune telling. It is having a total dependence on the Word of God (knowing what He says) and being able to apply it when needed in
your life. It is also having a keen knowledge of what God is saying to others around you. This knowledge comes from the Lord. It must always be backed up by His WORD. So in short, if you are not in the WORD of God, your prophetic worship will produce no fruit in His kingdom.
2. Prayer is the key in hearing God’s voice and His Spirit when moving in prophetic worship. If you have no prayer
life, how do you know His voice verses the enemy? Prayer
is our vital line of communication between us and our Heavenly Father. If you do not pray regularly and desire
to hear from the Lord, start now. He will give you the desire of your heart!
3. If you believe God has called you into prophetic worship, practice prophetic worship. You can do this by surrounding yourself with people who do hear from God. When you sense God is speaking, speak or sing it out boldly, and let them
judge your fruit. Prophetic worship can be developed if you have the gift of prophecy. Revelation 19:10 says, “For the
testimony of Jesus is in the spirit of prophecy.” Not all believers do, so do not beat your head against a brick wall
because you desire it to be so! Remember our passage above in 1 Corinthians, “....God has set some in the church….” not all.
I want to mention one more thing that is important if you desire to grow in your prophetic worship ministry. "Grow
a thick skin." Many a prophet is persecuted and misunderstood by those who have deaf ears and eyes that cannot see what the Spirit is saying. If you are easily offended, prophetic worship will never arise within you. You will never be able to walk in forgiveness, and you will second guess the Spirit of God by what you see in the flesh. Know that you know what God is saying and walk therefore in integrity, not allowing the devil an inroad to your ministry.
Prophetic Worship is nothing new, and some may even say it is unbiblical. I would have to agree that I have seen some use this gift inaccurately; as I have seen some abuse other spiritual gifts in the same manner. In every spiritual gift, there is a (fake) or a counterfeit created by the devil. Be encouraged and do not be deceived brethren; if it is of God, no man will be able to stop what the Spirit is saying or revealing through you!
But Peter said, “Ananias, why did Satan fill your heart for you to lie to the Holy Spirit and to secretly keep back from the price of the land? Remaining, did it not remain yours? And being sold was it not in your authority? Why is it that this action was put into your heart? You did not lie to men, but to God!” And hearing these words, Ananias fell down and expired. And great fear came on all those hearing these things. Act 5:3-5
Today I have been playing catch up since I have been gone for about two weeks. It has been good to get back, see my husband and settle in for a few days before I am gone again.
As a defender of the gospel and a worship servant it can be demanding at times, but the rewards are immensely gratifying.
I have seen people recently catch the vision that God has given me regarding After His Heart Worship Events and that is exciting. God is calling his people to be holy and in doing that our homes must be a haven for His very Presence to feel invited and to dwell. We must treat our bodies as holy, making sure that what we see, what we hear, what we say is what Christ himself would do in any situation. To some that is radical…but to others it is completely normal and essential if we call ourselves His child.
I heard a sermon Sunday from a pastor saying “If we as Christians refuse to confront sin in others’ lives, who is going to do it? The sinner will not confront his own sin.” I about jumped out of my seat shouting "Hallelujah!" Here stands before me a man not afraid to preach the gospel boldly and to approach God’s people with the truth of their spiritual condition. Churches today pat the sinner on the back; tell them they are doing a good job as they watch them go to hell. The politically correct church will not address sin and God forbid should they do anything like what is found in Acts 5 when Ananias and Saphirra sinned against the Holy Spirit thinking that their sin would not be found out. Peter confronted them and their sin boldly and their refusal to repent led to immediate death. If the church acted like the original church back then, the fold would be less sinful, and the Holy Spirit could move in signs and wonders and in the greatest of these----salvation. Now I very well know that some of you are saying, ‘It is the Holy Spirit’s job to convict people of their sin,” and I agree. But who do you think the Holy Spirit uses most of the time? Huh?
Others will say, "God is love and we must love others regardless of their spiritual condition." Proverbs 13:24 tells us that those who love their children, discipline them. The greatest form of love is to be truthful with people about their spiritual condition.
Listen, I am much like you. I do not like confrontation, but if it will redeem a dying soul I am all for it, regardless of the cost. I am grateful for those who have confronted me when I was walking the wrong way. I am grateful for the “Peter’s” in my life that have spoken out blatantly and warned me. Oh, I may have run from such correction in the past, but as we mature in the Lord, our heart’s desire must be to run to His correction.
Learning how to worship the Lord in Spirit and in Truth starts in our homes. It does not start in the pew, or in the car listening to Christian radio, but at home where the real person must confront real sin. Can others tell that you are a believer in the Lord Jesus, or are you blending into the worlds’ backdrop? If you are blending in your spiritual condition may be much like Ananias and Saphirra. It is a choice, and you can choose life or death. I pray you choose life!