My Wife Is Always Right

Twenty five years ago my wife Ceci, told me, “One day you’ll write a book titled, The Pleasure of His Company, in which you’ll teach people how to connect with God’s heart.”

My response was appropriate: “Yes, dear.” Actually, I knew Ceci was prophesying; like Mary with her promises regarding Christ, we tucked the word away until Holy Spirit awakened us to its time. I waited 20 years.

The book bearing that name now exists. It’s my most well-written book, is easily my most personal and transparent, and perhaps is my most important. Beginning May 7 and running through June 6, my Give Him 15 posts will come from this book, with added thoughts and prayers, of course. Give Him 15 will always be about prayer. There are 30 short chapters, written to be used as a 30-day devotional. You will have the written posts to follow, of course, but I’m sure many of you will want the book in order to read it at your personal pace and make notes. Some will teach it. I am NOT doing this to sell books. I simply know many of you will want one and am giving you advance notice in case you want it before we begin this journey. I am also doing it in advance, so that my staff won’t receive hundreds of orders at the last minute.

So, why use this book for prayer posts when I have several other books on the subject of prayer? Because of what God is about to release on the earth. When God was about to do something very significant in Israel, He would ask them to draw near to Him. Why? Our levels of faith, power, authority, and effectiveness will always be determined by how well we know Him; intimacy determines efficacy. Our heart connection with Abba completely dictates the degree of all productivity in the kingdom. The more we know His heart and ways, the more authority and responsibility He can trust us with. He wants partners, family, not hirelings.

Therefore, an intimate knowledge of Yahweh should be our highest goal in life and, if achieved, will become life’s greatest treasure. As we embark on this journey into His heart, my desire is that enjoying the pleasure of His company becomes your greatest reward. And I believe it will. My hope is that millions participate with us in these posts. Consider telling a friend about them.

Let’s look at my statement saying God preceded significant activity by requesting the Israelites to draw near to Him.

The actual Hebrew word He used was qadash. The way this word is translated, along with our preconceived ideas, robs us of critical understanding. Qadash is usually translated as “consecrate” or “sanctify.” To most people, these are antiquated religious terms meaning, “to be holy by not sinning or committing inappropriate acts.” However, that is NOT what qadash means. It actually means to be “set apart” or “separated unto” God.

The Old Testament word for being separated from sin (or from other things as an offering to God) is actually nazir. You can easily see the word nazarite in this word, which was a person who took a nazarite vow of “separation from” certain things and activities. It was meant to be a vow that pictured one’s devotion to God; it was not an activity which created or defined one’s relationship with Him. Religion has taken the concept of nazir - don’t do this, don’t touch that, don’t go here, etc., and defined our relationship with God according to it. Religion says - NOT that God is a Father (Abba) to love and enjoy; to the contrary, He is the Judge. And He’s a mean one, at that, just looking for an excuse to sentence us sorry humans to pain and torment. Our only hope for safety and salvation is good works, performance, righteous deeds. Eventually the concept of nazir - separate yourself from - became the religious standard.

Qadash, on the other hand, is not a command to separate from things and activities - i.e., stop doing something. Rather, it is an invitation to separate ourselves unto: to draw near someone, to devote oneself to a person, to be set aside or separated unto an individual. Whereas nazir is “stay away from,” qadash is “draw near.” God wants connection, not perfection; He wants a family, not fearful subjects; He craves relationship, not religious activity. He told Israel repeatedly, “Qadash yourselves. Draw near to Me.” He didn’t say, “nazir yourselves.” The difference is profound:

  • Qadash is do; nazir is don’t.

  • Qadash produces and enhances relationship; nazir is only a picture of relationship.

  • Qadash is worship; nazir is works.

  • Qadash is the source; nazir is the result/outflow.

  • Qadash is the root; nazir is the fruit.

Would it surprise you, then, if I said the word “holy” does not come from the Hebrew word nazir, but from qadash? ”Holy,” in the Old Testament is the word qodesh. Nazir - attempting, even succeeding, in separating ourselves from/not doing things we perceive as sinful, does not make us holy. Can you say Pharisee?

Holiness (qodesh) is literally defined as being separated unto God (qadash): Drawing near to Him; giving Him quality time; worship; devotion. These things describe relationship, they define holiness and they produce good works.

In the Old Testament:

  • Exodus 19:10 - Moses was told to qadash the descendants of Abraham for three days at Mount Sinai, before God began the process of forming them into a literal nation.

  • Exodus 28:41 - Moses was told to qadash Aaron and his sons before anointing them as the beginning of the priesthood in Israel.

  • Joshua 3:5 - Joshua was told to qadash the people for three days before crossing into the promised land of Canaan.

  • Joel 2:15 - Joel prophesied that the people of Israel should qadash themselves, in preparation for the incredible restoration God was about to perform, which pictured Pentecost in Acts 2.

Why am I doing a month of posts that revolve around drawing near to the Lord? Because THAT is what prepares us for revival, for restoration, for new beginnings. It is what God needs and wants - not our works but our hearts.

I believe the coming outpouring of Holy Spirit will be the greatest “presence movement” in history. It will not be built on or revolve around gifts, preaching, personalities, methods, programs, buildings, innovation, sensationalism, and hype. It will center around relationship with a person. And billions of people around the world will find what they have been looking for.

Pray with me:

Father, as we move toward an outpouring that undoubtedly brings You great excitement, we want to prepare ourselves. Forgive us for past seasons in which we have felt as though our good works could motivate You to act on our behalf. There is nothing we could ever do to earn Your love and grace. EVERYTHING You do is motivated by Your love. You ARE love, so how could it be otherwise?

We ask You to release great revelation to us over the coming weeks as we draw near to You. May we please see facets of Your character and nature that we have not seen before, and see other facets of who You are at a higher level. We cry out with our brother, Apostle Paul, whose cry was, “that I may know Him...” (Philippians 3:10). We align with the words of David, who said, “I heard Your voice in my heart say, ‘Come, seek My face;’ my inner being responded, ‘Yahweh, I’m seeking Your face with all my heart.’” (Psalm 27:8 TPT)

Our heart’s cry, Lord, is that through our response of drawing near to You, we help prepare the way for You to bring a presence movement to the earth that draws billions of people to You. So often in the past we have offered them religion. In this next great outpouring, may we offer them YOU!

Our decree:

We join our faith together now, and decree that the greatest presence movement in history is about to invade the earth.

As a reminder, May 7-June 6, our posts will be coming from my book The Pleasure of His Company.

Clash of the Titans

The Lord uses prophetic words, visions, and dreams to encourage us. These manifestations of Holy Spirit help us to see what He is doing. They also provide strategies to help us carry out His will on the earth. He releases them to bring direction and they provide strength against wavering when adversity comes our way.

My brother, Tim Sheets, received an open vision on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2021. He has been praying into that experience for the past few months. Tim feels this season between Resurrection and Pentecost is the time the Lord wanted him to release it. It is a clear word to ready the Ekklesia to move in power and glory.

Tim says, “As I watched the Presidential Inauguration, there was a long line of black limousines pulling up in front of the U.S. Capitol. They stretched down the street. There were a lot of limousines; even the news person commented on how many there were.

“As I watched this, my spirit jumped. Then, I felt a major earthquake. I literally felt the ground under me shake. I then began to hear a low rumbling sound. It was like the thunder you hear off in the distance when a storm front is coming. My first thought was that there had been an earthquake where I was, but then I realized this was occurring in the spiritual realm. I began to quietly pray in the Spirit under my breath, pondering this.

“Then I said, ‘Holy Spirit, I felt that! I heard that! What is it?’

“I heard Him say very clearly, ‘It’s the clash of the Titans.’

“I knew He was referring to the mythological philosophies and ideologies promoted by demon principalities and powers - the anti-Christ doctrines of demons - clashing with the Kingdom of God and the angel armies. The power of heaven was engaging with the powers of earth.

“I have had a deep sense of confidence since that day,” Tim says. “I know God has a plan He is going to unfold, and it includes a battle plan for this nation. It includes the Ekklesia prevailing. And it includes some sort of shaking on the earth and in this nation—a shaking initiated by God. He is going to shake the natural earth realm, and He is going to provide a victory—a win!”

Tim compared this to the clash in the Bible when Lucifer rebelled against God. He attempted a coup d’etat and led one-third of heaven’s angels against the Godhead. Michael and his archangels fought against them and won. As we know, Lucifer and his rebellious angels were then cast out of heaven.

Tim said he feels this coming clash will once again involve Michael and his angel armies. It will also involve the church, the heirs of God, the joint-heirs with Christ. He stressed that God is saying to His Ekklesia now what He has said so often through the ages, “You have My authority. Take care of this. You’ll win. Stop the takeover and do not fear a clash with the Titans.”

Other prophetic voices are referencing this. The Lord is revealing His Glory to and through those in His Church who have eyes to see and ears to hear what Holy Spirit is currently saying. God is coming to the nations of the earth in a powerful way. He will be seen, His name will be praised. And He will shake whatever is opposing Him. Through Him, we will overcome!

Through revelation from other encounters, Tim has been talking about this clash for the last few years. He has stated, “Holy Spirit is telling us His angel armies are being moved forward to assist the people of God. They’re moving forward to assist the King’s Ekklesia. They are moving forward into a spiritual conflict—the clash of the Titans.” He goes on to say, “Now, Holy Spirit is saying, ‘It’s beginning.’”

Hebrews 12:25-29 references what the Lord is saying:

See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, ‘Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.’ Now this, ‘Yet once more,’ indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have (receive) grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.” (NKJV)

It is not God’s kingdom that will shake. It is everything not of His Kingdom. We, the born again ones, the heirs, are part of Christ’s Kingdom. We won’t be shaken. The Lord has been forming a deep faith and confidence with His Ekklesia. It is a confidence in who HE is, in what He has said, and in who we are in Him. We will display a faith and confidence that does not shake. It is a season for demons to tremble, not the heirs of God.

Don’t waver in your faith. Do not be alarmed by the shaking. Look at Jesus, the Lord of Hosts. The shaking will simply shake us free. The zeal and passion of the Lord is driving the shaking. The shaking will loose a massive harvest of souls. Yahweh is passionate about those who are being held in bondage.

Tim summarizes for us what he believes the Lord is saying, “Rise and shine in My greater Glory! Be strong in these perilous times. Rise and shine in My authority. Get ready! The heavenly armies are on the move. The shaking is an answer to our prayers. The shaking will cause a removal of policies, laws, organizations, and ideologies. The shaking will cause the end of certain activities in government, education, business and media. So, do not fear the shaking! Rise with Me and reign.”

“And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:31 KJV)

Declare with me:

Lord, our declaration of faith is that You have brought us to an era of Pentecost. What You are about to do, the world has never seen. You are not an indifferent bystander, simply watching over the affairs of men. You are rising up. You will thunder against iniquitous roots that mock You. You will rise against sin and its destruction, against idolatry, and against governments that disdain Your word. You will judge in fairness. But You will not be mocked and You will not be stopped.

You are also causing the Ekklesia to rise up and stand strong in faith. We are part of a Kingdom that cannot be shaken, regardless of what is thrown its way. We, Your Ekklesia, will declare and act in faith. We will continue to decree against what hell is attempting to put in place. Faith is rising to oppose its every action. Together with the angel armies, we will defeat the enemy’s plans.

We will lock onto covenant promises and inherit new territories. You will not be stymied, blocked, or stopped. You will shake open the way before us. And we will arise, pursue, and recover all, in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.

Today’s decree:

The Glory of the Lord is coming on His Ekklesia and the kingdoms of the earth will shake before Him!

Learn more about Tim Sheets here.

The Arrows

One thing I expect to change in the coming revival - and when Roe v. Wade is reversed - is a powerful adoption movement. Our good friends, Randy and Kelsey Bohlender, are being used as forerunners of this. They share some of their thoughts with us today.

Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court. (Psalm 127:3-5)

“When the Supreme Court handed down their ruling on Roe v. Wade in 1973, the stage was set for a battle of epic proportions. The church has poured resources, energy and prayer into a campaign often framed as an effort to overturn a court ruling, while missing an important part of what the battle is about. To be sure, it is our desire that the evil decree of Roe v. Wade be reversed, but we’re not simply fighting to win a court decision. Thinking of the victory as a legal one is to think too small. Winning the battle for the unborn is to lay hold of the future.

“The psalmist likens children to arrows in the hand of a warrior.

“The invention of the arrow fundamentally changed warfare. Prior to the bow and arrow, men fought battles face to face. A warrior could only inflict damage within range of their own fist or the few dozen feet of an accurately thrown spear. Effectiveness in battle was limited to the immediate environment.

“The bow and arrow changed everything. Suddenly, a man could fire an arrow further and faster than he could run. He could inflict punishment on the enemy at great distance, perhaps even over a hill and out of line of sight. He could wage war where he could not go.

“Parenting children to be fiery believers in Jesus is an active means of waging war on multiple fronts, beyond our own reach and long after our lives are over. And if children are arrows from the Lord, as the Psalmist tells us, then every arrow matters.

“In 2006,” the Bohlenders say, “we were pursuing adoption as an extension of our prolife convictions. One day, I got a call from a social worker in Las Vegas telling me about a newborn baby girl. I was eager to hear more but wondered if we were one of several families she was considering? I asked her, ‘How many families are you talking to about this situation?’ The social worker, exhausted and frazzled, told me, ‘Buddy, if you want her, come and get her.’

Randy says, “Since that day, we’ve come to believe that the word of the Lord to the church in America is, ‘If you want the babies, go get them.’

“That started a journey of us adding six children by adoption to our family which already included four biological kids. Honestly, with ten kids, normal doesn’t work. A normal house, a normal van, a normal table at a restaurant….nothing normal works. People have asked, ‘How on earth did you decide to adopt six?’ We tell them that adoption is a little like getting a tattoo. You think long and hard about the first one. The second one comes a little easier, and by the time the third one comes around, you act pretty quickly. Suddenly, your arms are full of tattoos and you don’t really care. That’s the way it is with adoptions - they’re a part of you and have changed you.

“We deeply love our children,” they continue, “but from the beginning, we were not just adopting - we were scooping up arrows. We were making an intentional choice about where we were going to put our resources and energy, aiming to do damage to the kingdom of darkness in places we would never stand on our own.

“When you have ten children, people stare. They count noses, shake their heads and chuckle. They say things like, ‘Good for you…’ but deep down, we know they think we’re crazy. We’re not crazy, we’re just playing the long game of war. They may shake their heads in disbelief at us now, but in 150 years, my great-grandchildren, spread across the earth, will look back and think, ‘Grandpa was a genius.’”

This is so true. Short term thinking sometimes takes the position that more children to care for would limit one’s ability to be productive now. But it is never wise to neglect investing in the future in order to impact the present. It may seem that this allows one to make a bigger impact, or even reaching a place of renown more quickly. But high profile doesn’t always equate to high impact, a larger platform doesn’t necessarily equate to larger productivity. As Randy says,

“If you’re searching for impact, pick up an arrow and fire it where you will never live.

“In schools, foster care offices, crisis pregnancy centers, and Planned Parenthood clinics of America, the ground is littered with arrows. You may already have a few of your own, or you may have none in your quiver, but in this cultural battle, these arrows are at your feet. Wisdom would say we should scoop up those arrows, straighten them, and when the time is right, fire them into the future where they will inflict damage to the enemy and bring glory to the Lord - in ways we will never get an opportunity to do in our lifetime.

“Those who gather the arrows and with them win battles, gain authority and ability to extend values and ideologies over a conquered land. An arrow in your quiver is your primary influence over future generations. No longer is your influence limited to your own life. True mothers and fathers pass on spiritual DNA, shaping the earth for generations after they’ve been laid to rest.

“On a frigid January morning in 2005, 12 year-old Jackson stood with his dad on the sidewalk outside the U.S. Supreme Court in a silent prayer meeting. He wore red tape on his mouth with big, black letters that spelled “LIFE”. Jackson and his father joined thousands who had come to Washington, D.C., for the March for Life, and they were standing at the Court praying for the ending of abortion in America. As this young boy stood silently praying, a heckler approached and yelled loudly in his ear, ‘What are you going to do if you win? Are you going to take all the babies? You don’t even WANT all the babies!’

“The angry accusation challenged the prayer warriors that day as they pondered, ‘What will we do if we win?’ Is the body of Christ ready to be hands and feet for their prayers? The protestor didn’t know it, but his heckling planted the seeds of an adoption movement for the ending of abortion in America. The spirit of adoption is creating a counter-cultural revolution, a solution for the problematic question, “Are you going to take the babies?” As part of our intercession, adoption becomes an active, tangible means of spiritual warfare.”

If you, like Ceci and I, are too old to adopt (or have another prohibitive circumstance), consider doing what we have done and pay for an adoption - or help pay - for someone else’s. They’re very expensive. Many young couples simply can’t afford the cost of an adoption.

Pray with me:

Father, release the spirit of adoption across this nation. As the enemy spews the accusation that aborted babies are unwanted, may the Church rise up and call every child a wanted child! God, we declare a commitment to a culture of life in our nation. Show us how to give my time, energy, and resources to the adoption movement. Empower us to impart your Spirit to those around us, even to the fatherless and needy in my world.

Father, we declare that we want the arrows; we want the children! We ask for the honor of raising the children You bring to us. We decree the gathering and releasing of those arrows, that they would fly straight and true. Jesus, if You will give us the children, we will change nations with the story of Your grace and demonstrations of Your power. God, end abortion and send revival to America!

Our decree:

We decree that the church will arise with a passionate love for the unwanted babies and that life will win.

Randy Bohlender is a pastor in the KC area and his wife Kelsey, is director of Zoe’s House Adoption Agency in Kansas City, MO. You can find out more about them here.