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  • May 5, 2021

    Devotion Finds A Way I don’t like losing things. Usually, I deal with it pretty well - unless of course, it is something that makes me late, such as car keys. Though I am unusually spiritual, weighted down with the fruit of the Spirit, I have been known to grow impatient on occasion when someone else moves my keys form where I placed them. How else could my wife always be the one to find them?! I don’t care if they were in the pocket of the coat I wore yesterday, I certainly didn’t leave them there. Then there is the remote for the television - not that I ever watch it - I’m far too spiritual for that. How many places can there possibly be in one room to hide the thing? My kids are creative geniuses. There is no other explanation for such inventive concealment. We never did find one remote that disappeared! Then there was the science project we lost. Well, it wasn’t really lost. Ceci’s dogs ate it! Yeah, I know, but this time they really did. It was a project testing cheeses, trying to determine which kind molded the most and the fastest. We were finished with the project; all the ugly and smelly cheeses were glued beautifully on the poster board, the explanations scripted nicely by each moldy slice. Three glorious weeks of watching cheese mold, and it was finally finished. The display was carefully leaned against the wall, and off we went to a Wednesday night church service. When we walked into the house later that night, poster board was scattered everywhere. While we had been gone, the dogs had a party. I walked into the room and saw that my daughter Sarah was distraught and angry, my wife was distressed, the dogs were hiding, and my younger daughter Hannah was just trying to stay out of everyone’s way. I tried to bring some calmness to the situation, “They didn’t mean anything by it,” I said. “They were just doing what came naturally to them.” Not to be denied an opportunity to show I’m smarter than dogs, I tried again. A little humor is what we need, I thought. “I bet it was funny seeing the look on the dogs’ faces when they tasted that mold,” I said through a small chuckle. It always helps to see the humor in situations such as this. I told my daughter, “If you can laugh about it, you’ll feel better.” She cried even harder, mumbling something. She then gave me a look that was similar to the one she was giving the dogs. Ceci gave me a look that was a cross between sarcasm and pity. While rolling her eyes she said, “Brilliant! Now we all feel better. We’ll just tell the teacher the dogs were hungry and ate the science project - I’m sure he will believe us.” I went to the school the following morning, after having slept with the dogs, and explained to the principal what had happened. “Our dogs ate Sarah’s science project,” I said. You can imagine my relief when he laughed. “Finally,” I said, “someone else who sees the humor in it!” Later that day I was looking for the remote. “The dogs ate it,” Sarah informed me with a sarcastic smile. I don’t like losing things - glasses, keys, pens, phone. But I especially hate losing the anointing and keen awareness of God. I don’t like it when the fire goes out or the sensitivity to Holy Spirit wanes. I find it disconcerting when the cutting edge becomes the dull edge. What most of us discover is that this happens gradually, without us consciously realizing it. We who have within us the well of salvation, the river of life, sometimes fail to drink from it. Seeking and loving God with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength is often lost in the melee of doing life. Priorities sometimes need to be re-prioritized. We “court” many things in life: success, advancement, fame, other people, glory, money, favor, and a myriad of other goals we humans strive to reach. Gordon Dahl aptly said, “Most middle-class Americans tend to worship their work, to work at their play, and to play at their worship.”1 This is so true. We often forget to drink from the fountain filling our spirits. Growing thirsty, we take another drink. Sometimes I feel like the small child in the “Family Circus” cartoon who ran up to his mother exclaiming, “I need a hug, Mommy. I used up the last one.”2 God’s desire, however, is that we continuously drink from the fountain, live in His river, and abide in His wrap around presence. In an interview for Today’s Christian Woman, writer and speaker Carol Kent says: “One day when [my son] Jason was young, we were eating breakfast together. I had on an old pair of slacks and a fuzzy old sweater. He flashed his baby blues at me over his bowl of cereal and said, ‘Mommy, you look so pretty today.’ “I had not yet gotten ready for the day and didn’t even have makeup on. So I said, ‘Honey, why would you say I look pretty today? Normally I’m dressed up in heels and a dress.’ “And he said, ‘When you look like that, I know you’re going some place; but when you look like this, I know you’re all mine.’”3 I do much of my praying in the woods. I love to walk there for hours, communing with the Lord. I usually wear grubby jeans, old boots, t-shirts or sweatshirts - depending on the weather, hats and other worn-out, non-professional attire. When I go to the office, I change into my nicer clothes. I think God prefers me in my grungy uniform. When He sees me dressed that way, He knows I’m all His. My experience in the woods is often like that described by A.W. Tozer. “There are occasions when for hours I lay prostrate before God without saying a word of prayer or a word of praise - I just gaze on Him and worship.”4 Sometimes no words are needed. We just enjoy one another’s company. “Alvin Straight, age 73, lived in Laurens, Iowa. His estranged brother, Lyle, age 80, lived 240 miles away in Blue River, Wisconsin. According to the Associated Press, Alvin’s brother had suffered a stroke, and Alvin wanted to see him and make amends, He had a transportation problem, however. He didn’t have a driver’s license because his legs and eyesight were bad, and he apparently had an aversion to taking a plane, train, or bus. “But Alvin didn’t let that stop him. In 1994 he hitched a trailer to his 1966 John Deere tractor lawn mower, climbed aboard, and drove it - 5 mph - all the way to Blue River, Wisconsin. “Devotion finds a way.”5 Beginning Friday, May 7, we are going to spend time together, enjoying the pleasure of the Father’s company. We will drink from His fountain, drawing near to Him. In Israel’s history, Yahweh typically encouraged them to draw near to Him before He performed great redemptive acts. As preparation for the coming revival, He is saying the same to us. Let’s do it! Let’s make the journey - and enjoy the pleasure of His company together. Pray with me: Father, as we enter into a time of drawing near to You, we ask You to draw near to us. And we are confident You will. Prepare us for the next season of Holy Spirit outpouring. Change our wine skins. Make them fresh and pliable. Help us to refocus and become undistracted by life and it’s challenges. Where we have lost our cutting edge, please re-sharpen it. Where we have lost our hunger, please help us find it. Where we have lost our commitment, please help us find repentance. Our desire is to be rightly positioned with You so You can do the wondrous things You desire to do in our nation and the world. In Christ’s name we ask this, amen. Rowell, Quotes & Idea Starters for Preaching and Teaching, p 181. Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, A Third Serving of Chicken Soup for the Coul (Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, Inc., 1996), p 99. Craig Brian Larson. Contemporary Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers and Writers (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1996), p 70. Michael L. Brown, From Holy Laughter to Holy fire (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers, Inc. 1996), p 186. Adapted from: Larson, Contemporary Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers and Writers, p 47.

  • May 4, 2021

    The Lightning of God I am becoming more and more aware that the Lord has raised up a remnant company of believers in this new era who know their God and will do great exploits (Daniel 11:32). I have spoken before of how the Lord has changed the Body of Christ since the 1990s, teaching us to pray. Back then it was hard to get a handful of people to a prayer gathering. Today, multitudes are praying, and doing so effectively. Our prayer gatherings have gone from a handful, meeting in churches once a week, to hundreds of thousands praying together via electronic means. Many of us are involved in multiple prayer meetings, some daily, like Give Him 15. Many more are praying together on a weekly basis. Millions are living lifestyles of intercession now, talking to the Lord as they go about their day. We are quickly becoming a people who know our God. And we are beginning to do great exploits. One cannot find themselves talking to God all day long and not be changed. As we pray in power daily with a faith-filled Body of Christ, our understanding increases, our faith grows, and we are motivated by Holy Spirit to act on the conversations we have with Him. Brian Simmons said, “The season of God's mighty power has arrived! A new day has dawned, and with it emerges a new breed of believers.”1 This new season will involve an incredible season of signs and wonders. They always accompany and confirm the gospel when God’s word is acted on; even more so during seasons of great revival. The following story is a wonderful example of what is coming. “Hearing Jun Mon’s cries of grief, the neighbors in this slum district outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, knew that her husband, Khev, had died. It came as no surprise, as his health had been steadily deteriorating, and he had been unconscious for the last few days. The witch doctor and herbal medicines - all the family could afford - had not been able to revive him, and now he was gone. “A couple of weeks earlier, a Christian house church group had brought some hope. They had observed the wife's despair as she sat outside her tumbledown one-room home, and upon learning that her husband was about to die, Theavy had led them in prayer for her. After hearing the gospel message, Jun Mon and her sister gladly accepted the Lord and were encouraged by the words of the Bible they received. “But now Khev was dead. Late that night, while sitting with Jun Mon and her sister to comfort them, Theavy felt led to pray and to share Scripture passages with them about Christ’s victory over death and the grave. After she left this young believer, Jun Mon continued to read about Jesus’ miracles and then knelt by her husband’s body. For three hours, she and her sister wept and pleaded with God to restore life and health to Him. “Although they had been praying for this miracle, they were shocked when Khev suddenly sat up in bed and declared he was alive! And also healthy and hungry! After eating he shared with them what he had experienced. Evidently at the same time that he stopped breathing, two men in black came and escorted him through darkness to a wide river. On the other side was a man with two books, one containing names of people who had died and the other holding names of people about to die. Khev was questioned but then told to go back home. As he began his journey home, he realized his escorts were gone and that his spirit and steps lightened as he went. Suddenly he came to a fork in the road - darkness on one path and brilliant light on the other. In the background he could hear voices debating which way he would choose. He chose the path of light and, as he stepped onto it, he heard a door slam. The next thing he remembered was suddenly sitting up in his own bed. “When Theavy and others came later to help Jun Mon, they were ecstatic to see Khev alive and walking. Rejoicing at the resurrection power of God, they shared with Khev about Jesus Christ, and he committed himself to the One who had restored his life. Not surprisingly, the home church grew from 4 to 32 in just a short time. Khev, healthy and strong, is a walking testimony to the grace and power of God.”2 Amazing power can be released through intercession. A powerful verse in Job pictures this. “He covers His hands with the lightning, and commands it to STRIKE THE MARK” (Job 36:32, emphasis added). The phrase “strike the mark” is translated from paga, the Hebrew word for “intercession.” When light or glory flashes from God’s presence, striking the desired target, this pictures intercession. Have you ever seen a tree struck by lightning? If so, you’ve seen a picture of intercession. I love to pray in forests and woods. At times I come across trees struck by lightning. The lightning is so hot, it literally changes the molecular structure of trees and twists the trunks until they look like the stripes on a candy cane. The temperature in a lightning bolt can reach 30,000 Celsius (45,000 degrees Fahrenheit), hotter than the surface of the sun.3 That’s hot! And God uses that to exemplify the power of intercession! Habakkuk 3:4 also speaks of light flashing forth from the hand of God: “His radiance is like the sunlight: He has rays flashing from His hand, and there is the hiding of His power.” The Amplified translation is also very descriptive: “And His brightness was like the sunlight; rays streamed from His hand, and there [in the sunlike splendor] was the hiding place of His power.”4 Our prayers are actually used to release this power, causing both God’s judgments and blessings to be brought forth. Pray with me: Father, we thank You for the power of Holy Spirit. We thank You for the great honor of being filled with this power and of being allowed to partner with You in releasing it to people. Your Word makes it very clear that in times of revival, awakening and outpourings of Your Spirit, this power is released in greater measure to perform signs and wonders, pointing people to Christ. We ask for this increase now. Bring it forth to convince people of our good news message. We pray for boldness to come to the church, confidence to pray in the name of Jesus for people needing miracles. Awaken Your people to renewed faith in Your promise that You will confirm Your word with signs and wonders. And Lord, one more thing. Just as we did yesterday, we pray regarding the audit taking place in Arizona. We pray for truth to prevail. We pray for those working there, that they will operate at the highest levels of skill and integrity. We pray that their equipment will work well. We pray that all of the volunteers needed will be available. We ask you to release your lightning against every attempt to sabotage this audit, including fear and intimidation, violence or lawsuits. And again, we ask You for the financial provision needed to finish it fully. We thank You for this and ask this in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen. Our decree: We decree that the power of God will accompany the preaching of the gospel, and be released exponentially in the earth. Jane Rumph, Stories from the Front Lines (Grand Rapids MI: Chosen, 1996), pp 187-191. Dutch Sheets, Intercessory Prayer (Ventura, CA: Regal, 1996), p 80.

  • May 3, 2021

    A Win for All Americans I have said many times that God supports the concept of government. He endorses, honors, and works through government. His plan is that justice, peace, and righteousness flow into the earth realm through government, at every level: the individual, the family, cities, and nations. This is why I take such an interest in government. However, God hates the political spirit. This spirit craves power and control. It divides, oppresses, serves self and is controlled by pride. We should pray against this spirit, and for pure and righteous government. For this reason, we are staying in touch with people on site at the Arizona Senate audit of the 2020 elections. The audit taking place in Arizona’s largest county is on pace to be done by next month’s deadline, though there continue to be efforts to stop or delay it. As we mentioned in our previous post regarding this audit (GH15 4/20/21), legislators in 47 states are working to pass election integrity bills. Here at Give Him 15, our role is not to choose a political side, but to pray that righteousness and truth prevail. Transparent and fair elections are the backbone of American freedom - “we the people” choose our leaders - and America’s freedom is necessary for worldwide evangelism. The current lack of trust in our election process is a great threat to this. Over half of voters say cheating likely impacted the 2020 presidential election. This lack of trust can be eradicated by honest and transparent investigations into what occurred. When this happens, all Americans - of both parties - win. The audit will include: Scanning all 2.1 million paper ballots Doing a full manual recount Investigating the registration rules and votes cast to verify that only legal, registered voters participated Checking the vote counts Performing a cyber forensic audit on the electronic voting machines and systems used The attempts to stop the audit are somewhat puzzling. Both parties and all Americans want fair elections and must have confidence in the system. This audit is not an attempt to overturn the 2020 results, only to reassure voters by determining if flaws exist, enabling them to be fixed, if they do. Lawyers for the Senate have thus far prevailed in all legal attempts to delay or stop the process. They argued that delaying the audit would result in slowing the state Legislature’s weighing of election reform bills, since the audit results will directly inform the legislation. The Senate also argued that there need be no fear of the audit, as the ballots and machines are being secured well, by armed guards, and that voter privacy is being protected. In a recent court challenge, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Daniel Martin, a Democrat-appointed judge, said plaintiffs didn’t provide “substantive evidence of any breaches or threatened breaches of voter privacy.” Our contacts there tell us that even though the legal challenges have failed, those opposed to the audit are still working hard to interfere: “[a major international news network] has been harassing workers before they go through security. One woman said they pushed a microphone through her car window, took pictures of her and her license plate. Workers are scared.” Another “on the ground” person told us: “Please pray for my physical security. The opposition is out of legal options, so they are now demanding entrance to the building. [There are already independent observers there from both parties.] We need the radicals to stay away. It is getting nasty. We’re hearing they may try to organize/bring in antifa.” Again, it is puzzling why anyone would oppose this audit. Both parties, I would think, would want to put to rest, once and for all, accusations of cheating. What better way to begin healing the nation than by proving the election was fair. We must pray that the opposition fails in their attempts to stop the audit. We don’t want to be divided. We also need to pray for the necessary funding to come for this. It is costing in the neighborhood of $3 million. The Arizona Senate only has funding for a small percentage of this - I believe in the 10% range. The rest is being raised by private citizens. Please pray that the finances come in quickly. Again, America is critical to the great harvest coming to the nations. Without a healthy America, despots, dictators, and evil people will bring unimaginable devastation. And America can only remain healthy if the American people are confident in the God-given freedoms they enjoy, and in the people they truly elect. This audit is worthy of our prayers. Pray with me: Father, we pray for our friends in Arizona, fellow citizens as well as brothers and sisters. We thank You for the stand they are making to serve our nation through this audit. We all need to have renewed reassurance of our nation’s election integrity. You are a God of integrity and justice. You have always demanded honesty from Your people in order to secure Your blessings. We pray for those involved in this audit. We pray it is done with the utmost skill and accuracy. We ask You to ensure that no mistakes are made, nothing is lost, and that when it is finished, all Americans can be confident it was completely fair and accurate. We also pray for more workers and observers so the work can go on around the clock. We pray against all opposition. We ask You to protect all of the workers and observers. In the name of Jesus, we bind the spirit of violence and destruction. Please protect the equipment, the people, the building, the Senators, the intercessors who are praying for them, and the attorneys and legal team. We ask You to bring peace to the workers - keep them from being overcome by fear and stress. And we ask You to provide the necessary funds for this. Please bring in the money needed to accomplish this well and fully. We ask for all of this in the name of Christ, amen. Our decree: We decree that righteousness and justice will prevail in Arizona.

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