Is God Sovereign?


My intent with this post is not to open a theological can of worms. I am certainly not the final voice on all things theological. I do want to make a very important point regarding theology, however: The sovereignty of God does not mean He controls everything that takes place on earth. This should be obvious, but a religious mindset permeates the church (and many unbelievers, as well) that says God is in control of everything that occurs on earth.


The obvious negative connotations of this are dealt with through beliefs and statements such as, “there must be a reason;” “everything happens for a reason;” “all things work together for good;” “well, God is in control;” “nothing happens unless He allows it;” and so on. These statements and beliefs bring a degree of comfort to people, causing them to insert a sense of purpose into their pain. I understand this. However, problems, pain, loss, and difficulties don’t have to be allowed by God in order for Him to make them serve us. And the fact that He uses bad events doesn’t mean He is behind them.


God did not put sinful motives into the hearts of Joseph’s brothers causing them to sell him into slavery. He did, however, have the ability and sovereign power to use their evil, turning it into good. Yahweh did not put into the heart of King Saul to falsely accuse and persecute David. No part of this was caused by God, yet He did have a plan to use it for David’s good. The cave of Adullam, David’s home through much of that season, became his classroom and writing chamber. He wrote many of the Psalms from that cave, psalms that have touched hundreds of millions of people.


God does not have to cause it, to use it.


The word sovereign actually means “the greatest in power and authority.” This is obviously true of God - He is sovereign. The word does NOT mean “in control of everything.” The Bible is filled with actions that occurred that were not God’s will, nor did He “allow” them. God “allowing“ everything on earth is only true in the sense that He allows humans to possess a free will - we have the power of choice. I once heard the great Foursquare Pastor, Jack Hayford, say regarding this topic, “God is sovereign, but in His sovereignty, He has limited Himself.” He also said, “The quest of Jesus Christ on the earth is greatly crippled by wrong notions of the sovereignty of God.”


Pastor Hayford has a way with words! His point in the second statement was that a wrong concept of the sovereignty of God causes complacency and passivity in people...at times, irresponsibility. They believe - whether consciously or unconsciously - that God is in control of everything and will do what He wants, regardless of our involvement. This is so wrong. God works on earth through people. He needs our cooperation.


Having stated this balancing truth, I want to share the fourth passage of scripture regarding Holy Spirit shifting us from phase to phase, season to season. His divine shifts, changing the times and seasons (Daniel 2.20-21), occurs in us, not just in the world around us. Psalm 84:4-7 says we go from strength to strength:


How blessed are those who dwell in Thy house! They are ever praising Thee. How blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee; in whose heart are the highways to Zion! Passing through the valley of Baca, they make it a spring. The early rain also covers it with blessings. They go from strength to strength, every one of them appears before God in Zion.”


“Baca” means weeping; therefore, the valley of Baca means “the valley of weeping.” We frequently refer to difficult times and situations in life as valleys. As we pass through these valleys - aren’t you glad they aren’t permanent - refreshing springs can burst forth as we cooperate with God. A valley of tears can be transformed into a place from which the water of life flows. A barren, dry place can be transformed into a place of springs.


Notice that the place of new strength, doesn’t emerge after Baca, it is actually born at Baca - the place of weeping. The Hebrew word used for “strength” is also very revealing. Chayil is from the root word chuwl, the Old Testament word for travail or giving birth to something. What a picture! When we walk in faith and perseverance through difficult places, God can actually use them to birth (chuwl) new places of strength (chayil) in us. Like the cocoon of a butterfly, Baca can become a place of transformation. And like the butterfly, our destiny is not the cocoon of Baca - weeping; our destiny is the flight of freedom and victory.


The dry, barren places in our lives can indeed become places from which the river of life flows and new strength is born. God has been doing much work in this troubling time on earth. Unfortunately, many Christians have not realized that the difficult seasons of travail are often the conduit to bring us to new levels. Rather than persevering through these seasons, many have despised the Bacas in their lives and grown bitter or cynical. Rather than going from strength to strength, they unwittingly choose to remain in Baca, making it home. They don’t move from a place of plowing and sowing to one of reaping and blessing. Tragically, many miss the shifting of the times and seasons God wants to do for them.


Chayil, the word for strength, is also the word for army and for wealth. We can fight more effectively and prosper to a greater degree after having gone through the valleys of Baca - if we make them our servants. Yes, it can be difficult; we may not understand what is happening at the time, and it may even seem like we’re losing ground. But if we faithfully press on, allowing God to use the Baca times, He will transform them into boot camps and springs of blessing. Once on the other side, we’ll realize we’re stronger and more prosperous than before.


God wants us to go from one position of victory to another, from one phase of soldiering to another - enlistment to Bootcamp to infantry and so on. Some will go on to special forces.


Allow Holy Spirit to do what is necessary to shift you into the new. He will take you from one stage to another, and another, and another.


Pray with me:


Father, You have the necessary omniscience and omnipotence to transform anything satan, people, or life’s circumstances bring our way. What they mean for evil, You can use it for our good. Places of weeping can become birthing chambers, cocoons that house us while we’re transformed into those who can fly. Nothing can outmaneuver, outsmart, or out-plan You. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.


This is true for us individually, but it’s also true for nations. You are Ruler over the nations. We anchor ourselves to this truth. In America, though the righteous have been weeping, You are going to use this season to birth something new and good. We will allow nothing else. We use the authority You gave us to bind and loose, forbid and allow (Matthew 16:18-19), and we will accept nothing else.


We pray now for our brothers and sisters who have gone through difficult circumstances. The season has been very painful for many. But we now agree with them that You will do something good with it, and bring them forth as pure gold. Heal their hearts and strengthen their wings. In Christ’s name, amen.


Our decree:


We decree that going from strength to strength is our destiny; Baca is not our home.


Portions of today’s post were taken from my book God’s Timing for Your Life.


Click on the link below to watch the full video.



His Image and Likeness


We have been talking about Daniel 2:20-21, which says God changes the times and seasons. Many prophetic believers are confident this is occurring and that we are experiencing a divine shift into a time of great harvest. God does not create these shifts based on a whim or when He “finally decides” it’s time to do something. The God who sees the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10) never has to finally decide to do anything. He is a God of precision and order, purpose and design; He does nothing without strategic intent.


When it concerns harvest, God’s timing is determined by several things: the spiritual atmosphere of a region; the time it takes to prepare the hearts of a generation, both at individual and corporate levels; and the readiness of His reapers, the church. Since it is His will that none perish, He is always ready to save. It is the decisions and hearts of people that dictate when He can do so.


In Elijah’s day, God wanted to turn the hearts of Israel away from Jezebel’s influence long before He was able to do so. It took years of Elijah’s prophesying, a devastating drought, a power encounter that exposed the powerlessness of Baal, and 12-13 more years of work raising up Elijah’s successors. Only then was Jezebel fully overthrown. The timing of awakening is not determined only by what God wants!


We, the church, are an important part of this timing. This is why Jesus said on one occasion that the harvest was great but the laborers were few. He followed this by saying “...pray to the Lord of the harvest to send laborers” (Matthew 9:37-38). He tells us to ask because this is how He works on earth. He needs humans, whom He gave authority over the earth, to ask Him (see Ezekiel 22:30-31). He does not work in spite of people but through people. As profound as it seems, the God of the universe needs us! I took the first four chapters of my book, Intercessory Prayer, to teach on why prayer is necessary. If you don’t feel that you understand this, it would be a helpful read.


Because of this partnership, Holy Spirit is always working in the church and the world simultaneously to prepare for a harvest season. Going from revelation to revelation and faith to faith (as we have spoken of in the last two posts) is not just to mature us for individual growth and fruitfulness; it is also to prepare us for Holy Spirit’s next phase of activity on earth. As we increase in our level of maturity and understanding of His ways, He can use us to accomplish more and more for and with Him. As you can see, several factors affect the timing of God‘s shifts in the earth and in our lives.


We have looked at Proverbs 4:18 and Romans 1:17 as part of the divine shift. Another verse that mentions the phases of our spiritual maturing process is 2 Corinthians 3:18: “But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”


In order to truly understand this verse, it must be looked at in light of Adam’s fall. God made Adam and Eve - and in them the entire human race - in His image and likeness. The word “image” (tselem) in Genesis 1:26 comes from a word meaning “to shade.” Tselem means “a shadow, illusion or phantom.” We were created so much like God that it was illusionary! The word “likeness” (demuwth) is from the Hebrew word meaning “to compare.” Adam and Eve were comparable to God! Amazing. Made in His image and likeness, filled with His spirit, Adam and Eve were as much like God as they could be without being equals. And why not - He was creating family!


Psalms 8:5 says God crowned Adam with glory, which brings us to our text: being transformed from glory to glory. The Hebrew word for glory (kabowd) means “weighty” or “heavy”. The concept is related to authority and influence. Still today we use this concept, saying of individuals who are in charge of a place or situation, “they carry the weight.” We speak of people with great influence as individuals who “carry a lot of weight.” Adam and Eve “carried the weight” on earth; they were in charge. In order to represent Him effectively, God gave them His image and Spirit. When the rest of creation saw Adam and Eve, they saw God in them.


The New Testament word for glory (doxa) also includes the concept of image and likeness. Doxa, literally means “the appearance of a person or thing which causes it to be recognized for what it is.” This does not pertain only to God. The concept of “glorifying” something is acknowledging it for what it really is - it’s beauty, virtue or other distinctives. When we are using it in reference to God, we “glorify” Him because we recognize Him for who He is, which motivates us to honor or worship Him.


When the Bible speaks of humans having or bearing God‘s glory (Psalm 8:5; 1 Corinthians 11:7) it is not speaking of us receiving praise or honor. It is saying we look like Him. He is seen in us. Of course, when Adam and Eve sinned they lost the glory or image of God. He was no longer seen in them. The end result was that pride, rebellion, anger, violence, perversions and many other forms of sin were seen. When we are born again this changes. We receive His image once again in our spirit, and begin a process of transformation outwardly, which allows us to express His image to others - from glory to glory. Obviously, those around us are not to see our personal uniqueness; we want them to see Christ. It is His image we are being conformed into, His glory. We are to bring recognition of Him, not ourselves.


As far as a spiritual harvest is concerned, earth has been in a chronos season for 40 years. During this time, Holy Spirit has worked in the church to produce much change. The apostolic and prophetic anointings of Christ have been restored, worship has matured greatly and many in the church now understand what it means to be Christ’s Ekklesia. He has brought us to a level of maturity that more appropriately glorifies (pictures, reveals) Christ. As the worldwide revival gains momentum, the world will no longer look at us indifferently or with cynicism. They will instead recognize something about us that impresses them - not us, but Jesus. In this process, we have shifted to kairos and are moving toward fullness. The result will be harvest and great revival.


Paul who wrote the verse in 2 Corinthians 3:18 - “transformed...from glory to glory” - understood the process well. After his dramatic conversion, he waited in a chronos season for many years while God was “glorifying” him - making him look like Christ. When the time was right, Holy Spirit caused a divine shift, recorded in Acts 13:1-3, and allowed Paul to reveal Christ to the world.


He wants to do the same with us. As we allow Holy Spirit to transform us, we will look more like Christ and less like ourselves. At each new phase of glory, He can trust us with more authority, influence, and power. And we, like Paul, will be released to show the world a clearer picture of Christ.


Let’s make it happen. Move from glory to glory.


Pray with me:


Father, the world is desperately looking for You, they just don’t know it. We are Your living epistles or letters, Your ambassadors, Christians (“little Christs”). In order to reveal You to the world, You give us Your anointing, gifts, Spirit and, yes, glory. It is our desire that a new level of this representation, a new level of Your glory, will come upon the church. Let the shift occur.


We ask for this in our individual lives in order that we might manifest Your glory at home, work and play. We also ask for it in a corporate sense. Manifest Your glory through signs and wonders. Do so through great deliverances and salvation. Do so through the gifts of Your Spirit.


And manifest Your weighty glory, Your authority, in the government of this nation. Let the full weight of who You are descend on America - her government, education system, media, and every other segment of society. Show us Your glory!


Our decree:


We decree that the glory of God will be seen in our day!




Portions of today’s post were taken from my book God’s Timing for Your Life.


Click on the link below to watch the full prayer.



Update on Afghanistan and the Arizona Audit


Like many of you, my heart is still grieved concerning the unfinished situation in Afghanistan. We must not forget. There are Americans still waiting to leave Afghanistan, as well as translators and other Afghans who worked for the American and Afghanistan governments - hundreds, some say thousands. They live each day in fear that their lives will be taken from them. The unplanned American withdrawal is still wreaking havoc on many precious lives.


John Robb, the former president of World Vision and now Chairman of the Transformation Prayer Foundation, has spent his life in prayer, being a watchman over what happens on the earth. Because of John’s unique position, he receives information concerning needed prayer in different nations of the earth. Recently he shared an update concerning the Afghanistan situation. (For the sake of confidentiality and safety for those involved, I will keep these points generic. However, know that your prayers are making the difference between life and death for many.)


  • Some who were left behind have recently been able to get out on private chartered flights, others by coordinated convoys. Pray for favor at all the border posts. Pray also for financial provision so these convoys can continue. There are still thousands needing to be evacuated.

  • There are valid reports of Taliban death squads stalking neighborhoods, looking for those who served the former Afghanistan government as soldiers, police, and journalists. Pray for other nations to open their doors and offer swift and safe passage out to their countries.

  • Christian brothers and sisters could be executed for apostasy under the Taliban’s strict application of Islamic sharia law. However, even with this news, many are sharing the Gospel and the love of Christ. Some have even decided to stay in order to evangelize their nation’s people. Ask the Lord to grant our Afghan Christian brothers and sisters boldness to share the good news and saving grace of Jesus at this opportune time. Pray also that they will be hidden and protected.

  • Finally, among the thousands who were evacuated to the US, there is a small scattering of Christians. Pray that they will be witnesses for Christ here on our shores, sharing with their Afghanistan people. Pray for harvest among the Afghans here in America.

The Election Audit


For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.” (Luke 8:17 NLT)


The audit in Maricopa County, Arizona, has been strongly contested. Many Americans, Christian or not, have sensed that something was off regarding the 2020 elections. So many citizens in Maricopa County, AZ, complained about their voting experiences, the state Senate decided an audit was in order. Never before in the history of America has there been an audit of this depth and detail. Every ballot was examined, each ballot was counted by hand and machines numerous times, and all points in the “chain of custody” were examined.


On September 24th, the long-awaited audit results were released. The day before, on September 23rd, AZ Central ran a headline saying, “Arizona’s Audit showed no ‘Crime of the Century’? I’m Shocked!”(1) Other left-leaning media outlets, such as MSNBC, simply said something like, “Cyber Ninjas’ GOP-backed audit of Arizona votes still shows Biden won...”(2) I am always fascinated to see how quickly the Left tries to set the narrative. Ignoring the full purpose and scope of the audit, they rushed to create the narrative they wanted people to focus on.


Recounting the votes tells us nothing. Of course, Biden had the most votes in the “recount.” However, many discrepancies, anomalies, illegalities, and strange circumstances were discovered. “It is vitally important that you take time to watch the report yourself to fully understand the findings so you are informed. The audit was conducted by several highly qualified independent firms and individuals.”(3)


IFA explains specific findings: “Dr. V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, M.I.T. PhD., and his team from Echomail, investigated the mail-in ballot envelopes for signature anomalies, including blank signatures and scribbles as well as partial signatures. They found that many blank signature boxes were approved by election officials which would be in violation of election standards and laws.


“The most startling finding was something they did not expect in reviewing signatures. His team discovered 34,448 votes from those who voted more than once in the 2020 AZ general election. What this means is at least 17,224 votes were included in the results that should never have been accepted as valid, due to double, or in some cases triple, voting by the same voter. Keep in mind the Biden margin of victory in Arizona was 10,457 votes.”(4)


IFA goes on to report that the auditing firm found:


  • “More than 255,000 early votes shown in the county final vote file lacked a corresponding entry in the early voting returns file.

  • “More than 9,000 mail-in ballots were received and recorded than the official number of mail-in ballots sent out by the county.

  • “A canvass showed over 3,400 more ballots were cast than recorded.

  • “Precincts show 1,551 more ballots cast on election day than people who actually showed up to vote.

  • “More than 23,000 voted by mail despite moving to Maricopa County after the October 5 cutoff date.

  • “2,382 voters cast votes in Maricopa County, in person, after moving out of the county.

  • “More than 2,000 voters were given a full ballot instead of a presidential-only ballot because they moved out of Arizona within 29 days before the election in violation of election law.

  • “Nearly 300 deceased voters may have voted in the election

  • “Nearly 2,500 ballots were shown in the early vote returns that do not have a voter listed as casting them.

“While conducting an audit, it is crucially important that auditors receive complete cooperation from those they are auditing. That did not happen with respect to officials with Maricopa County. There was resistance and obstruction from the very beginning which was documented during the hearing. For example, only recently have they received an agreement to inspect routers which were withheld until after this audit report.


“We learned explosive findings from independent auditor, Ben Cotton, founder of CyFIR and an expert IT analyst. Cotton shared that Maricopa County deleted a large volume of county election records from the 2020 general election from computer servers just prior to the information being handed over to auditors, a violation of state election law.”(5)


Let’s continue to pray for truth to expose darkness, and for the media to be forced to report with accuracy. Americans deserve to know the full story of what happened. Even if it doesn’t change the outcome, it can provide protection for future elections, which we should all be in favor of.


Pray with me:


Lord, we pray for those in Afghanistan who need their miracle to get out. Comfort those who are trapped and we boldly ask that You grant them a way to leave. Cause the crooked places to be made straight, making way for their escape from the growing darkness there. Let the nations open up to receive them, even giving Your people strategies to help. Pour out needed resources and give us miraculous answers to prayer. Grant a holy boldness to Christians both in Afghanistan, as well as among the refugees, to witness for Christ in the midst of this tragedy.


Lord, You are Light and Truth. Shine Your light in the dark places of our nation. Cause the people and nations of the earth to cry out against injustice. We ask that nothing will stop the brave ones who continue to press for truth to be revealed. Give them Your boldness.


Father, we ask for Your mercy on our land. Don’t give us what we deserve but extend Your mercy to us. We agree with Your word: America will be saved. In Christ’s holy name we pray. Amen.


Today’s decree:


We decree that everything done in secret will be exposed by the light.


Click on the link below to watch the full video.


_____________________________



1.https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/laurieroberts/2021/09/23/dont-expect-arizona-audit-prove-crime-century/5837261001/

2.https://www.cnbc.com/2021/09/24/trump-friendly-cyber-ninjas-audit-of-arizona-votes-still-shows-biden-won.html

3. https://ifapray.org/blog/what-did-the-az-audit-reveal/

4. Ibid.

5. Ibid.