Posted by: Tom Graves | October 19, 2017

ARE YOU EXPERIENCING THE ABUNDANT LIFE?

ARE YOU EXPERIENCING THE ABUNDANT LIFE?

John 10:10: “The thief cometh not but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more ABUNDANTLY.”

Are you experiencing this ABUNDANT life that Jesus talks about? “ABUNDANT” here is Strong’s G4053, meaning “…superabundant (in quantity) or superior (in quality…)” (e-Sword). We should experience both having our needs met and having the ability to meet the needs of those around us. I am not talking about God making us rich financially, even though finances are a part of the abundant life. Rather, I am talking about having the ability to minister to a person, or to pray for a person’s need and for that person to know that God has moved on their behalf, whether the answer was exactly what they were expecting or simply God’s Grace to deal with the situation.

I remember a time many years ago, when our finances were tight, even though God always came through, sometimes at the last moment. Jeanie and I were praying about our needs. In particular, she was praying for a new couch for our home. I was praying for extra funds to pay our income tax liability for that year. Either would require about the same amount of money. A few days later, someone called and told Jeanie that they wanted to give her a new couch. We met the couple, Jeanie picked one out, and her prayer was answered. I must admit that I had a bad attitude in the whole situation. Why did God hear Jeanie and answer her prayer, but not answer mine?

This was the beginning of God dealing with a problem that I had had most of my life. I could pray for others, and many times see miracles, but when it came to praying for personal needs, many times I was batting zero.

It took a while, but God finally got through to me that I had what has been called an “orphan complex” or an “orphan spirit.” An orphan thinks or feels that they have to fight for everything that they get. They think or feel that they have no one to look out for them or take care of them, and in general they trust no one.

Thank goodness, Jesus confronted this issue directly in John 14:18 where He said: I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.” The Greek word translated “comfortless” is Strong’s G3737, ORPHANOS and it literally means “parentless or fatherless” (e-Sword). The Amplified Bible translates it this way, John 14:18: “I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, bereaved, and helpless]; I will come [back] to you.”

Thank God, He did not leave us as orphans! We are His sons and daughters and all that He has is ours. But many times we are like the older brother in the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32. Listen to his complaint, Luke 15:29: “And he, answering, said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment; and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends.”

Have you served God for many years, but feel that He doesn’t hear or answer when you pray? Listen to the father’s response, Luke 15:31: “And he said unto him, son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.” It was all his but he never laid hold on any of it because he felt like a servant (orphan) and not a son. He was also bitter at his younger brother and did not believe his father. Thank God, I no longer think or feel like an orphan. I know I am a beloved son of God.

GOD IS GOOD!!!

It is time for us to believe that we are the greatly beloved sons and daughters of the kindest, most beneficent, most loving God and all that He has is ours. We have a tendency to believe that all his promises are for heaven, after we die. In fact we have probably been taught that. But think about it for a moment. After we die, we will be with Him, we won’t lack anything. His promises are for the here and now! Psalm 23:1: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” When is this, now or in heaven? Verse 5 and 6b set the location and the time period: “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life…” The table is set before us now, not just in heaven. There won’t be any enemies in heaven. Our cups should run over all the days of our lives!

Luke 12:32b: “…it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Does this mean heaven? If you look at the verses that precede this statement, Luke 12:22-31, you will see that God is talking about everyday life; food, clothes, our bodies, and I think this includes our health. The scripture says God knows we need these things. He provides them when our focus is Him! Luke 12:31: “But rather seek ye the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.”

May God deliver you from an orphan spirit and instill within you the hope and joy that accompanies knowing that we are His sons and daughters, greatly beloved by our Father God. May His Kingdom come on this earth – in your home and in your heart, even as it is in Heaven! Remember, there is no sickness or pain and no lack in Heaven. That is God’s will for His Sons and Daughters – AN ABUNDANT LIFE!!!

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie Graves

 

Works Cited,

e-Sword, www. e-sword.net

Let this song bless you – it declares “I AM A CHILD OF GOD!”

 

 

Posted by: Tom Graves | October 10, 2017

REVIVAL, IT’S STARTING!!!

REVIVAL, IT’S STARTING!!!

Last Monday, October 2nd, 2017 I got an email from a friend. He knows how I am believing for revival to break out in St. Augustine. He said: “I keep up with my old church and thought you would like this…….more Lord” And he forwarded this report from his former church, The Barn, Vineyard Fellowship:

“A Visitation of God

We stand in awe of the Lord as He manifested His presence in an extraordinary way at last Friday’s Holy Spirit Night @ The Barn. After a powerful time of worship and a challenging teaching by Nick Palka followed by deep Holy Spirit ministry, at about 11 PM a “glory cloud” formed in the main meeting room. Those there described it as mist-like but also with a kind of shimmering glow. Such visible signs of God’s presence can appear during times of renewal and revival. For example, the Azusa Street revival at the turn of the twentieth century was marked by the almost daily appearance of a thick “glory cloud” so pronounced that those who entered it were obscured from view.  Astounding creative miracles occurred in greater number when the cloud of God’s presence manifested. We give the Lord all the glory for this extraordinary manifestation of His beauty and power, and we welcome Him more and more into The Barn as the outpouring of His Spirit gathers momentum!”

Last May, five of us from Spirit Alive Church, St. Augustine, went to Cultivate Revival at CIDRA Church, West Palm Beach, with speakers Bill Johnson and Randy Clark. On the last evening during worship with Steve Swanson, I was standing near the front with my face toward heaven, worshipping with my eyes closed. I opened my eyes and in the glow of the lights above, I saw what looked like small flecks of gold – it was amazing. Just a taste I think of a little bit of a Glory Cloud to create a hunger in me for more.  

At about 2:30 into the video you will see the little flecks that I saw that night! Do it again God!!!

As noted in the report from the Barn, The Glory Cloud was almost a daily occurrence at the Azusa Street Revival from 1906 through about 1910 in Los Angeles.

On November 13, 2013,  I received a copy of a book about the Azusa Street revival entitled True Stories of the Miracles of Azusa Street and Beyond, by Tommy Welchel. It so grabbed my attention and emotions that I read it through in two days. I read and I wept. I read a little more and I wept a little more! It is awesome.

One of the things that really stood out was the account of a prophecy given several times at Azusa Street by William Seymour, the leader of the revival, as well as by Charles Parham in New York City. I have read several other books on Azusa Street but to the best of my knowledge, I don’t remember this prophecy being mentioned. It may have been, but this time it really caught my attention. Here is one of several accounts of it in the book: “Sometime in 1910, Seymour just stood up on the stage, took the box off his head (if you don’t know about the box, you will have to read the book to find out) and started prophesying. He said in about a hundred years there would be another revival like Azusa Street. Only this time it would not be in one place. It would be all over the world. There would be a return of the Shekinah Glory and the miracles. This revival would not be with just one person or just pastors. It would be with everybody in the Body.This time the revival will not end until the Lord returns…On the opposite coast in New York City, according to Charles Parham’s granddaughter, Parham just stood up one day and declared the same prophecy, using almost the exact words. This happened within a couple of days of Seymour’s prophecy.” (pg 29).

One of the reasons this struck me so strong is because God has been speaking to me about the end times for several years now. Several years ago, on November 14, 2012, I had been fishing out on the Shores Pier all by myself. The wind was blowing from the north at 20 knots, gusting to 36 and there was a light rain but it was one of the most enjoyable times I have had out on that pier. I caught a few fish, but nothing spectacular, and I had to leave just as the whiting began to bite. But my spirit was soaring and I did not have an explanation for what I was feeling. I came home and started to get ready to take Jeanie to see her mom and run some errands. I was shaving and the Lord showed up and reminded me of something He had said to me a number of years before that. I realized then that what I had been feeling all that morning in my spirit was His Presence. God is good! All the time!

What God reminded me of that day was something He had said to me earlier about one of my favorite songs, “Days of Elijah.” I had been in a time of worship with “Days of Elijah” and I heard God say, “That song is the quintessential essence of the end times.” I know it was Him speaking to me because I had never heard the word quintessential and had no idea what it meant. I remember looking it up in the dictionary at the time and reading, “…of the quintessence; purest; most perfect.” Then I had to read the definition of quintessence, “1. the fifth essence, or ultimate substance, of which the heavenly bodies were thought to be composed in ancient and medieval philosophy…2. the pure concentrated essence of anything. 3. the most perfect manifestation or embodiment of a quality or thing.” I took that to mean that “Days of Elijah” contained the five (quint) essential elements of God’s program for the end times and the second coming of Jesus. I identified what I thought they must be from the underlined lyrics of the song. I now realize how they fit into the prophecy from Azusa Street. Here are the lyrics:

These are the days of Elijah,
Declaring the word of the Lord:
And these are the days of Your servant Moses,
Righteousness being restored.
And though these are days of great trial,
Of famine and darkness and sword,
Still, we are the voice in the desert crying
‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord!’

Behold He comes riding on the clouds,
Shining like the sun at the trumpet call;
Lift your voice, it’s the year of jubilee,
And out of Zion’s hill salvation comes.

These are the days of Ezekiel,
The dry bones becoming as flesh;
And these are the days of Your servant David,
Rebuilding a temple of praise.
These are the days of the harvest,
The fields are as white in Your world,
And we are the labourers in Your vineyard,
Declaring the word of the Lord!

There’s no God like Jehovah.
There’s no God like Jehovah!

The five essential elements of the end times are:

  1. The days of Elijah, preparing the way of the Lord, by declaring the Word of the Lord. (Malachi 3:1-6; 4:1 & 2)
  2. The days of Moses, righteousness being restored – Jesus is our righteousness! (Isaiah 26:9)
  3. The days of Ezekiel, the dry bones becoming flesh – The restoration and salvation of Israel (Ezekiel 37: 1-14)
  4. The days of David, rebuilding a temple of praise, i.e. The restoration of the tabernacle of David (Amos 9:11; Acts 15: 16-17)
  5. The days of the harvest, the final ingathering and great revival. (John 4:35)

All five of these “essential elements” will be part of this final revival that was prophesied 100 years ago, but “The restoration of the tabernacle of David” is one that really excites me. And it is the one I want to focus on here!

THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID

Amos 9:11: “In that day will I raise up THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:”

When David became King of Israel and established his capitol at Jerusalem, God gave him peace in all of Israel. One of the first things that David did after becoming King was bring the Ark of the Covenant, the visible representation of God’s power and glory, back to Jerusalem. You can find the story in II Samuel 6:1-19 and I Chronicles 13 & 15:1-16:43.

Sometime earlier, the Ark of the Covenant had been lost in battle, captured by the Philistines. God allowed this as judgment on Israel, but the Ark of the Covenant caused such problems for the Philistines, they put it on a cart and sent it back into Israel (see I Samuel 4-7). It ended up at the house of a man by the name of Abinadab. It stayed there during the entire reign of King Saul. It is significant that King Saul never felt the need to restore the Ark of the Covenant to its rightful place in Israel. King David, on the other hand was a man after God’s own heart. David wanted the Ark of the Covenant, representing God’s presence, power and glory in Jerusalem.

David prepared a tent in Jerusalem to receive the Ark of the Covenant and he went to Abinadab’s house to get the Ark of the Covenant. But David tried to carry the Ark of the Covenant on an ox cart, man’s way, and failed. God’s work has to be done in God’s way! The second time, however, David discovered God’s way to move the Ark of the Covenant, on the sanctified shoulders of the priests. This time, God helped them and they brought the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem and put it into the tent that David had prepared for it.

TWENTY- FOUR HOUR WORSHIP!

David then appointed worshippers to give praise to the Lord around the clock, 24 hours a day. I Chronicles 16:4-6: “And he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the LORD, and to record, and to thank and praise the LORD God of Israel: Asaph the chief, and next to him Zechariah, Jeiel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Mattithiah, and Eliab, and Benaiah, and Obededom: and Jeiel with psalteries and with harps; but Asaph made a sound with cymbals; Benaiah also and Jahaziel the priests with trumpets CONTINUALLY BEFORE THE ARK OF THE COVENANT OF GOD.” and verse 37: “So he left there before the ark of the covenant of the LORD Asaph and his brethren, TO MINISTER BEFORE THE ARK CONTINUALLY, AS EVERY DAY’S WORK REQUIRED.”

The interesting thing about this tent is that it had no veil. David was not only King, he was also prophet and priest before God and God allowed David to come into His very presence. Thus we read scriptures like I Chronicles 17:16: And David the king came and sat before the LORD, and said, Who am I, O LORD God, and what is mine house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?” David went right into the presence of God and sat down and talked with Him, and saw His power and His glory!

Several times in the Psalms David speaks of being in God’s Presence in the Temple, or the Sanctuary or the House of God. This had to be the Tabernacle of David, for Solomon’s Temple was yet to be built and the Tabernacle of Moses no longer existed.

Psalms 63:2: “To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.” David saw the Glory Cloud in the Tabernacle of David.

There were times I think that David actually slept in the Tabernacle of David, Psalms 17:15: “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.”

I think it was David’s favorite place, Psalms 27:4: “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.”

Think for a moment about the Ark of the Covenant, Here is how God described it to Moses in Exodus 25:17-22: “And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.”

Now, picture this – Where does God appear? Between the Cherubim! And God is light, so the wings of the Cherubim will cast a shadow – Think about how many times David spoke of the Shelter or the Shadow of your wings!!!

Psalms 61:4: “I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the shelter of thy wings. Selah.”

Psalms 17:8: “Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings.”

Psalms 36:7: “How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.”

Psalms 57:1: “To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave. Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.”

Psalms 63:7: “Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.”

Now think about Psalms 91:1-4: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.  Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” Bill Johnson talks about the fact that not only has the Glory Cloud appeared at Bethel a number of times, there are also times that feathers just fall in the meetings!

IT WAS GOD’S FAVORITE HOUSE (To borrow a phrase from Tommy Tenney)

This is what I find amazing about the Tabernacle of David, of all the places that the Ark of the Covenant was in, Moses’ tabernacle, the house of Abinadab, the house of Obed-edom, David’s tabernacle, or Solomon’s temple in all of its splendor, the one God liked best was David’s Tabernacle, because that is the one He is in the process of restoring right now! He wants us to be able to walk right into His presence, into His Glory and power, so that His Glory and power can “rub off” on us so we can carry His Glory out into the world. But it has to be carried on sanctified shoulders. (See Hebrews 10:19-20, II Corinthians 3:18-47, Ephesians 3:14-21 and II Timothy 2:19-26).

Now, Amos 9:11 starts with “In that day…” How can we be sure what that refers to? When the Council at Jerusalem was discussing the fact that God had opened the Preaching of the Gospel to the Gentiles through Peter, James quoted Amos 9:11 in Acts 15:15-17: “And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.”

“The Tabernacle of David was a Prophetic Prototype in the Old Testament of the nature of the New Testament Church” (Bill Johnson) It is what God is doing now!

FORETASTES GOD HAS GIVEN JEANIE AND MYSELF

In the summer of 1999, Jeanie and I were living in South Carolina, and had a foretaste of the restoration of the Tabernacle of David. We had visited the Brownsville Revival in Pensacola, Florida several times in 1998 and 1999. We had a hunger and thirst for more of God from the time we committed ourselves to fulltime ministry in 1977. Every time we would hear of a move of God, if possible, we would go and check it out. Up until going to Brownsville, we had always come away disappointed. It was always “Revival” done man’s way. Brownsville was different! From our first visit, we knew the presence of God was real. Some described it as “electricity in the air” and it did sort of feel that way at times. Night after night when we were there, we would watch literally hundreds of sinners flood the altars for salvation. By the third year, they had recorded over 130,000 salvations during the services. One night in particular, after the altar call was over and all who wanted prayer had been prayed for, (it was about 2AM and the service had started at 7PM) they “flashed the lights” as a signal for everyone to leave. There were some young people from Oklahoma who were “slain in the spirit” up around the altar and others with them picked them up to carry them out. They came up the aisle where Jeanie was standing with another lady in our group, and when they passed them, Jeanie said they were literally pushed backward by the power of God on these young people. Those were amazing days, but that is not the foretaste that I mentioned above.

Jeanie and I had become the Prayer Team Coordinators for the “Awake America Crusade” that was to be held by the Brownsville Revival team in Columbia, SC in September of 1999. As coordinators, Jeanie and I traveled around the state of South Carolina during the summer of 1999 training men and women for the prayer team for the crusade. God gave me the above message on the Tabernacle of David as the introduction to the training. As we would begin to share this Word from the Lord, the presence of the Lord would literally fill the room. One night we were in upstate SC at a large church, holding the training session in the choir room and God‘s presence filled that room more powerful than I had ever felt. Unknown to us at the time, there was also a youth meeting going on in the sanctuary. The Youth Pastor had come down the hall for some reason (God sent him) and the presence of the Lord was so strong in the choir room as he walked by, he stopped and opened the door to find out what was going on. He said he had never felt anything quite like that and asked if he could bring the entire youth group down to the choir room to experience the presence of God. We said yes and he quickly returned with the young people. A number of them were touched by the power of God. We were all amazed at what God did that night.

After another one of the training sessions at another church, the power of God was still so strong on Jeanie, that as she waved goodbye to one of the young men in the parking lot, the young man was “slain in the spirit,” powerfully touched by God. It was a foretaste of what God is going to do in these last of the last days.

Revival is starting all across America! God is raising up the Tabernacle of David in these last of the last days. The Glory Cloud has already appeared in meetings from coast to coast and the number of places will continue to grow. Let Him sanctify your shoulders that you might be able to carry His Glory to the world around you! More Lord, we want more of YOU!!!

Blessings to all, Tom and Jeanie Graves

 

 

 

Posted by: Tom Graves | May 16, 2017

ANSWERS TO PRAYER

ANSWERS TO PRAYER

I think it is true that everyone prays at times – I have heard the story that even the atheist, when he found himself in a life and death situation in WWII was heard crying out “God help me!” It doesn’t matter if we acknowledge a belief in God or not, there is a “God shaped void” on the inside of us that only God can fill and no matter what we try to use as a substitute to fill it, we will never be satisfied until we allow God to fill it with Himself. A lot of people reserve prayer for what they consider major issues of life – when they have tried all they know to try and nothing has improved- they will turn to prayer. In the last week, God has shown me that He is just as interested in the small issues in our lives as He is the big issues. God does answer prayer today and I hope the following two stories will encourage you to seek God’s help when in need, even in the little things.

GOD IS AMAZING, EVEN IN THE LITTLE THINGS

Our freezer went out a few days ago and for the second time in six months; we lost everything in the freezer. The other time was during the long power outage after hurricane Matthew. On Monday morning, I went to Home Depot to buy a new small chest freezer and God even blessed with a $50.00 off coupon in a special promotion – God is Good!!!I came home, got the new freezer set up and set the old one out on the street for a junk man. On Tuesday morning it was still there, so I said, “Father, send someone who needs this.” Less than 30 minutes later while I was still in the yard working, a junk man pulled up. I told him, “You are an answer to prayer. Less than 30 minutes ago I asked Father to send someone who needs this.” His response amazed me for he had also prayed that morning when he started out to pick up whatever he could find to sell. He said, “This morning when I left I said, ‘God, lead me to it!’” and he did!!! God is good, even in the little things!!!

My second story took place yesterday (Sunday). For those of you who may not know, I still work full time at 71 years of age. God has blessed to keep me in good health and in good shape. Six years ago when I semi-retired ministry, I asked God what He had for me to do. I felt His answer was to get a job at Walmart and pray for people. Two weeks later I was working there and have been blessed to pray for numerous people, both customers and employees. Sunday morning, my schedule called for me to be at work at 6 AM. On days where I have to be at work at 6 AM, I usually get up around 3:30 AM and spend some time in worship and prayer as I have my breakfast. By 5 AM I start my routine of getting showered and dressed to be able to leave home about 5:40 AM. I generally place everything that goes into my pockets on top of my chest of drawers so it’s all in one place the next morning. However, Sunday morning, my wallet was not with everything else and I had no idea why not! At that moment, I was not even sure I had had it with me when I came home on Saturday. Frightening thoughts raced through my mind, “Did it fall out of my pocket somewhere? Or, “Did someone pick my pocket? After thinking through my actions when I came home the day before, I felt sure I had it with me when I came home. To compound the problem, I was scheduled to go out of town on Wednesday for five days and I would not be able to replace my Id’s and bank cards in two days – panic time!

I looked for it until I had to leave for work so as not to be late. Jeanie would continue the search and we said a quick prayer that we would find it. At 8 AM, I called Jeanie and got the sad news that she had “Turned the house upside down and not found it!” Now I doubted that I had it with me when I got home. I asked Jeanie to get on line and check our accounts and see if there had been and activity overnight and then call me back and let me know the results. At 8:30 AM, the call came, “No activity on any card!” What a relief- maybe it is in the house somewhere! I hung up and immediately the Lord brought to mind a testimony that I had heard 40 years earlier before I had answered God’s call into ministry. I had a friend who attended the same church that Jeanie and I attended. John (not his real name) had horses and he and his wife and friends would often trailer them up to the mountains for a few days of trail riding. On this particular trip, John was wearing a sidearm in a holster but somewhere along the trail his gun had fallen from his holster. John had a close walk with Father God and prayed a simple prayer, “Father, show me where the gun fell out of my holster!” They then turned the horses around and begin riding back down the trail they had just come up. At a certain point, John felt the Lord said “STOP” and they did. John got off his horse and began to walk through the brush on the side where the gun would have fallen. Just a few steps off the trail, he spotted the gun and recovered it. I cried out to God, “God, if you could show John where his gun was, why can’t you show me where my wallet is?” God’s response was immediate, just two words, but I knew exactly what He meant, “Keyboard shelf.” I took my phone out and called Jeanie, when she answered I said, “Go to my computer and pull out the keyboard shelf!” There was a moment of silence and then I heard her shout, “Hallelujah!” I knew she had found it. Then it all came back to me, after I had gotten home, I went to the computer to check e-mails and Facebook. I had a request for some information that was on a card in my wallet. I apparently placed my wallet on the shelf that holds the keyboard and when I finished at the computer, I pushed the shelf into the closed position and my wallet was completely hidden from view.

Revelation 19:10b says, “… the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Bill Johnson, Senior Pastor of Bethel Church, Redding, California explains that “…the testimony of Jesus…” refers to what Jesus has done in response to prayer, whether it is healing or meeting a need, and “…prophecy…” declares what Jesus is going to do! Putting those two thoughts together, Bill says it means, “Do it again Jesus!” Jesus did it again for me, just like He had done it for John! The thing that excites me, Bill spoke about playing videos of healing testimonies in a meeting and seeing God heal others who are watching the video. I will be in a Bill Johnson and Randy Clark meeting this Wednesday through Saturday – DO IT AGAIN JESUS!!!

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie Graves

Posted by: Tom Graves | January 31, 2017

I HAD A DREAM

I HAD A DREAM

I had a dream early on Monday morning, January 23, 2017 and in that dream I was in a section or a wing of a large building. I had gone into the attic of that section for some reason that I don’t remember. It was a pitched roof, but not braced very well. I came back down into the middle of a large room, probably on the third or fourth floor. The building had a glass window wall where I could look out over the city I was in. I noticed a woman outside that window (no woman that I know) who was level with the floor I was on. My thought was how is she up level with me? I walked over to the window so I could see what was holding her up and saw that she was in the very top of what looked like a fir tree. As I watched, I could see that there were a number of other people up in that tree and they begin to shake it trying to get it or maybe her to fall. Then I saw a man dressed in black leather pants, shirtless with a black leather vest. He was in the tree about half way up. He began to shake that tree and was able to break the tree almost in half. He was injured when he fell to the sidewalk but was able to get up. I don’t know what happened to the woman (end of the dream).

When I awakened, I lay in the bed thinking about the dream and asking God what it meant. The section of the dream with the tree was what He impressed upon me. Particularly with what type of tree it was – it was an evergreen tree! Then He brought to my mind the Azusa Now meeting which I was able to watch as it was streamed live. The meeting was held in the L. A. Coliseum on April 9, 2016. During that day, Dutch Sheets spoke about an “Evergreen tree.” I felt it was imperative that I get up, find the video of Dutch Sheets message that day and watch it, which I did. I would recommend for you to watch it also as it brings a great understanding to what I am saying here.

THE STORY OF A FLAG

In the video, Dutch Sheets told the story of a dream a friend of his had about him. In the dream Dutch was a boxer and each of his gloves had a name on it. One glove said EVERLAST which is actually a glove brand but the other said EVERGREEN. With these two gloves, he fought five giants, one at a time, and was able to knock out all five with one punch each, alternating hands on each succeeding giant. [1]

Sometime later, Dutch was given a white flag with an evergreen tree on it and the words, “AN APPEAL TO HEAVEN” He then connected the two words EVERLAST  and EVERGREEN to Genesis 21:33, “And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God.” The word grove is the translation of Strong’s H815 and literally means a tamarisk tree. This tree represented the covenant made between Abraham and Abimelech. The tamarisk tree is an evergreen tree representing the EVERGREEN glove while God is “the everlasting God” representing the EVERLAST glove.

Dutch describes receiving the flag: “The Appeal to Heaven flag holds great significance as it relates to the founding of our nation, God’s eternal covenants, and our present hope for America. The first time I saw this flag was at the 2013 Spring Commencement Ceremony of Christ for the Nations Institute, where I formerly served as Executive Director.  I invited one of my spiritual sons to serve as commencement speaker.  He is a Captain in the United States Army and had just returned from serving as the legal adviser to a Special Operations Task Force in Afghanistan.

He briefly shared some history regarding the flag he was about to give me. It was quite significant as it had flown over our nation at its birthing. It was not the stars and stripes, but a flag commissioned by our first president, George Washington, before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 

In fact, before the Revolutionary War actually began, General Washington formed and financed America’s first Navy and commissioned them to sail with this flag flying overhead. During the American Revolution, an evergreen tree on a white standard could be seen flying in Massachusetts and before long, throughout all thirteen colonies.

The words “An Appeal to Heaven” became the decreed statement over the nation as this flag flew amid battlefields and encampments. This standard led the American Revolution’s grossly outnumbered and under-resourced troops into battle repeatedly as they fought and won the war for America’s freedom. The flag’s history is expansive and profound.” [2]

picture-flag-tre

AN INTERPRETATION OF MY DREAM

I sent a copy of my dream along with a link to the video to a couple of trusted friends and asked for their thoughts. My interpretation is a compilation of “our” thoughts.

The first place where I was in my dream was in the attic of the building. Being in the attic means I was exploring old things or things from the past. In the video, Dutch Sheets said, “America is returning to the ANCIENT PATHS to reap the harvest of the ages.” I think this refers to the coming revival or “Great Awakening” that is coming to America but it will only come as we APPEAL TO HEAVEN, i.e. pray, based on God’s covenant promises.

As I came down out of the attic to the third or fourth floor of the building, I saw a woman on the top of an evergreen tree. The tree represents AN APPEAL TO HEAVEN, i.e. an appeal to God’s covenant with His people and the woman at the top of the tree could represent the church standing on the covenant and promises of God. Those who were shaking the tree were those who claimed to be Christians but in reality were covenant breakers trying to stop God’s people from praying. One man in particular, dressed in black had been successful in breaking the tree in half but had himself been thrown down.

WHAT IT MEANS TO ME

I believe that this is a renewed call to continue in fervent prayer for the coming revival and “Great Awakening.” In the last year we have witnessed a miracle of God in sparing our nation because of our prayers. A year ago on the 5th of January, 2016, Franklin Graham began a 50 state “Decision America Tour.” He traveled to the capital of every state in the Union to pray for the upcoming election and to repent on behalf of the sins of America. There were other numerous prayer movements across the United States and several in Washington D.C. itself. And God answered our prayers.

Jonathan Cahn, speaking at an Inauguration breakfast on January 20, 2017 summed it up thus:

“The stakes of this election could not have been any higher. The Democratic campaign for the presidency was a battle to seal the changes enacted in the past eight years into permanency. At stake was the appointing of the Supreme Court justices who would determine America’s future as touching life and death, morality, and religious freedom.

For the first time in history, the Democratic platform called for the striking down of the Hyde Amendment, so that all Americans, could now through their taxes, directly fund the murder of unborn children.

And for the first time in American history, a major presidential candidate uttered these words: ‘Deep seated religious beliefs… must be changed…’ The war against God had now reached the stage that a mainstream candidate for the presidency could call for the overruling of God’s word, and for the eradicating of faith. And why was that faith to be altered? So that abortion could be expanded still further.

America stood at the threshold in the face of an election that threatened to establish for ages the edicts of apostasy and the ways godlessness, and an open war against the people and gospel of God.

And then there was Donald Trump. There had never been a candidate like him. Whatever it was that one was never supposed to do when running for president, he did them all. Poll after poll after poll foretold a sure Democratic victory if not a landslide. The only question was how much of a landslide and how much destruction the Republican Party would incur. The Democrats prepared for victory. The Republicans prepared for defeat. And the media, the pollsters, and the president prepared to be vindicated.

But then something happened. And nobody was sure exactly what. The election took a strange turn. And what everyone was sure could never happen… happened. The media was in shock. Democrats were in shock. Obama was in shock. The Republicans were in shock. And it appears that Donald Trump couldn’t believe it happened either.

But as it was written in ancient times, it is no less true to this day: ‘As high as the heavens are above the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways. And My thoughts than your thoughts.’

And as we can bear witness today in the city of Washington, on January 20, 2017 … ‘With God, nothing… shall be… impossible.’ [3]

God heard the prayers of His people and answered with a miracle victory that was not supposed to happen. That battle was won, but the war is not yet over and the people of God must be rallied again to prayer for our new President, for the coming revival and the coming “Great Awakening” of America.

THE MAN WHO BROKE THE TREE

Again, listen to the words of Jonathan Cahn and you decide:

“President Obama, with all respect that is due, as you approach the last hour of your presidency, you were shocked by the outcome of the election. And it now appears that your legacy will largely be undone.

You came to the presidency claiming that as a Christian you could not support the ending of marriage as it had always been known. And then you did everything in your power to end that very thing. And then you sought to force believers to take part in that very thing you said a believer could not support because of God. And then, those who would not take part of it, you sought to punish them.

If one believes that God is real, how can one do such things?

You came to the presidency speaking of tolerance. And yet you showed no tolerance for the lives of the unborn. But you zealously fought to defend the carrying out of their murder and, beyond that, to expand their murder around the world.

And then you went farther. You sought to force God’s people to partake in the killing of the unborn, to pay for their deaths. You even took them to court to coerce them into doing it.

If one has any fear of God, how can one do such things?

President Obama, on the day when marriage as we know it, as ordained in the Word of God, was, with your help, struck down in this land, you celebrated it by lighting up the White House in the colors of the rainbow. Did you not know that the rainbow does not belong to man – or to any movement of man? The rainbow… belongs to God. It is the sacred sign of God’s covenant, and the sacred colors of His throne?

If you believe that God is real, how could you use the sign of God to celebrate the striking down of the Word of God? And if you dishonor His throne, will He not dishonor yours?

If you overturn the edicts of God, should you be surprised that your own edicts will now be overturned? And if you strike down the precepts of God, will not your own precepts be struck down?” [3]

In my dream, he broke the tree, yet he fell with it! Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

A CALL TO PRAYER – APPEAL TO HEAVEN!

There is no doubt in my mind that God called for the establishment of the United States of America to further the establishment of His Kingdom, The Kingdom of God, on this earth. It is a mandate of Jesus Himself as He taught us to pray in Matthew 6: 9 & 10, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. THY KINGDOM COME. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

Pray for God’s Kingdom to come in this United States of America, in our capital, Washington, DC, in all fifty states of the Union. For God’s will to be done here, even as it is in heaven. Pray for our new President, and all those in his administration, for their protection and for God to grant them a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him and His direction for America.

Pray for the Supreme Court vacancy and any coming vacancies to be filled by persons of God’s choice. Pray for all the Judges to stand for God’s truth.

Pray for the Senate and the Congress to stand for what is right in God’s sight, according to His Word and for God’s will to be done in our nation.

Pray for Revival and a “Great Awakening” to once again shake this Nation. Pray, believing that; “America is returning to the ANCIENT PATHS to reap the harvest of the ages.”

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie Graves

Works cited:

[1]  You tube video on Evergreen

[2] Link to article: http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/48051-dutch-sheets-tells-story-behind-the-appeal-to-heaven-flag

[3] Link to http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/watchman-on-the-wall/62623-jonathan-cahn-s-last-words-to-obama-and-charge-to-president-trump

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Tom Graves | January 24, 2017

THE GOSPEL IN GENESIS 5!!!

THE GOSPEL IN THE GENEALOGY OF GENESIS 5

Here’s the Gospel hidden within the genealogy in Genesis chapter 5! When you take the literal meaning of the names of the first 10 generations of man, this is the message you get!!! God is amazing!!!

The Composite List

      Hebrew           Literal meaning in English

  1. Adam                            Man
  2. Seth                               Appointed
  3. Enosh                            Mortal
  4. Kenan                           Sorrow
  5. Mahalalel                     The Blessed God
  6. Jared                              Shall come down
  7. Enoch                            Teaching
  8. Methuselah                  His death shall bring
  9. Lamech                         The Despairing
  10. Noah                              Rest, or comfort

Now let’s put it all together:

Man (is) appointed mortal sorrow; (but) the Blessed God shall come down, teaching (that) His death shall bring (the) despairing rest.

That’s rather remarkable:

God is Good!!!

Blessings, Tom

Source:

From : http://www.khouse.org/articles/1996/44/

Posted by: Tom Graves | December 25, 2016

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

To all my friends who follow my blog, have a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!!! From this day on things are going to be different because the Kingdom of God is invading earth. Things aren’t going to be the same anymore. Things that you used to think of as impossible are going to become common place! “All these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.” Deuteronomy 28:2-6. Believe it!!!You are blessed in Jesus’ Name!!!

Blessings to all, Tom and Jeanie Graves

Posted by: Tom Graves | November 29, 2016

THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE

THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE

There is much discussion right now about the ELECTORAL COLLEGE and its function. Many people want to do away with it and just go with the national popular vote. Consider the following:

STATES RIGHTS

Our Nation is The United States of America – it is not simply “America.” The Constitution of The United States of America is very specific that it is the States who select the President and not simply the popular vote of “America.”

The following is the Preface from the “2016-presidential-election-brochure.pdf” which is printed by the Federal Government, based on the requirements of the Constitution, and sent to all fifty States:

“PREFACE

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is proud to acknowledge its role in the Presidential election process. NARA’s Office of the Federal Register (OFR) acts as the administrator of the Electoral College on behalf of the states, the Congress, and the American people. In this role, the OFR is charged with helping the states carry out their election responsibilities, ensuring the completeness and integrity of the Electoral College documents submitted to Congress, and informing the public about the Presidential election process. The Electoral College system was established under Article II and Amendment 12 of the U.S. Constitution. In each state, the voters choose electors to select the President and Vice President of the United States, based on the results of the November general election. Before the general election, the OFR sends an informational package to each state’s governor to officially notify them of their electoral responsibilities. As the results of the popular vote are finalized in each state, election officials send to the OFR Certificates of ascertainment, which establish the credentials of their electors. In December, the electors hold meetings in each state to cast their votes for President and Vice President. Those choices are documented in Certificates of Vote, which are sent to the OFR for review on behalf of the Congress. In January, the Congress sits in joint session to certify the election of the President and Vice President, based on the documentary evidence assembled and reviewed by the OFR. In the year after the election, electoral documents are held at the OFR for public viewing, and then transferred to the Archives of the United States for permanent retention and access. In this Presidential election year, the cover of this pamphlet shows a representation of the Electoral College system in celebration of the spirit of the American democratic process.” [1] (Red highlights mine)

THE ELECTORS ARE SIMPLY COURIERS

Please note the lines highlighted in red! The electors are not “free” to vote for whom they choose, rather, they are to cast their votes based on the results of the voting in the November election in their state! Neither can they change their vote once they get to Washington. They are simply couriers of the information of their states votes. Here is Article II of the Constitution as amended by Amendment 12 of the Constitution:  “…they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate; The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;—The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President…” [2]

Please note that the responsibility of the Electorate is to transmit the results of the vote in their State in a sealed and certified document to be delivered to the President of the Senate.

That sounds pretty cut and dried to me. It’s all about preserving the rights of the States to elect the President. If you do away with the ELECTORAL COLLEGE and simply go by the National popular votes the larger states will be able run rough-shod over the smaller states!

Please remember, we were founded on our Constitution and we should remain true to our Constitution and not be guided by the whims of politicians in our government.

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie Graves

Works cited:

[1] Copy of page 2, Link https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/resources/2016-presidential-election-brochure.pdf

[2] From page 7, Link https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/resources/2016-presidential-election-brochure.pdf

 

Posted by: Tom Graves | July 18, 2016

PRAYING THE SCRIPTURES FOR OUR NATION

PRAYING THE SCRIPTURES FOR OUR NATION

In view of the fact that the next two weeks will set the field for our Presidential election, please be in prayer for God’s will to be done in our nation according to His Word. The following is just a sample of what you could pray and agree with from His Word. There is much, much more that you could pray as you read and study God’s Word! Ask God to send revival and awakening to the United States of America!

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Father, have mercy on the United States of America! Break the power of the enemy over our nation. We humble ourselves; we pray and seek Your face. We turn from our wicked ways of doubt and unbelief (see Heb. 3:12-19). Thank You that You have heard from heaven, You have forgiven our sin and You are healing our land. (see II Chron. 7:14) Though we walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive us: You shall stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of our enemies, and Your right hand shall save us. (see Psalm 138:7).

Agree with Psalm 18:6-14: “In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet.  And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.  At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire. The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire. Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.”

Our government has declared that we cannot speak or pray publically in the Name of Jesus! Agree with Peter’s prayer when their government declared the same identical thing! And ask God to send the Holy Spirit with the same results!

Agree with Acts 4:17-33: “But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.  For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed. And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. 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 spake the word of God with boldness. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.”

Agree with Isaiah 51:7-9a: “Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation. Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old.”

Father, May “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10. May Thy kingdom come and Thy will be done in this United States, even as it is in heaven, in the mighty Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ of Nazareth. AMEN and AMEN!

Blessings to you from Tom and Jeanie Graves

Posted by: Tom Graves | June 27, 2016

OUR SEARCH FOR REVIVAL

OUR SEARCH FOR REVIVAL

Having grown up in the church, I was very familiar with what was called the spring and fall revivals. Both were week-long meetings, usually with a guest evangelist and special singing groups. In fact, it was in one of these meetings when I was 16 years old that God confirmed His call on me to become a minister. However, I ran from that call for 15 years. When I finally did respond to His call, I was 31, I was married and had 2 children. I moved our little family to seminary and ultimately to a church field in Virginia.

Jeanie and I would hear reports about a “Revival” in a certain place and we would go to check it out and we would come away thinking, “There has to be more!” Many times there was good preaching and good singing and our hearts were touched but our souls were not satisfied. We wanted to experience more of God. There were other times where we recognized that man was manipulating the meeting and the people, and we came away disappointed.

In the mid 1990’s we began to hear reports of what seemed to be two authentic moves of God. One was in Toronto, Canada at a Vineyard Church and the other was in Pensacola, Florida at the Brownsville Assembly of God. In the spring of 1998, Jeanie and I decided it was time to check out what was going on. The closest was Pensacola, only about an 11 hour drive, one way. Our first trip found us standing in line before noon with several thousand other people for the service that started at 7PM. Jeanie and I were privileged to travel to the Brownsville Revival a number of times between 1998 and 2000. It literally changed me, saved my marriage and probably my life. It was the first place I had ever been where the presence of the Lord was actually tangible and could be felt by the physical senses. Some even described the feeling as electricity loose in the building. God convicted me of the sin in my life, then He touched me and I will never be the same. The revival continued until the early 2000’s when the presence of God begin to wane. Various reasons have been espoused as to why it ended but I don’t think anyone knows for sure.

In one of our trips to Brownsville, I purchased a couple of cassette tapes by a man named Duncan Campbell. They had been recorded in the late 1960’s and contained Campbell’s account of a move of God that he had been part of on the Island of Lewis, in the town of Barvas, in Scotland from 1949 to 1953. I was so taken by the definition of revival that Duncan Campbell gave in regard to this outpouring of God’s Spirit that my daughter-in-law, Paige Graves, made a framed print for me. Quoting Duncan Campbell, it reads: “A Power-Force let loose, God steps out. The Holy Spirit begins to move among the people. God seems to be everywhere. REVIVAL: Not a special effort on the part of man; Not anything at all organized on the basis of human endeavor; But an awareness of God that grips the entire community.” That print hangs in our den as a constant reminder to me that revival is something God does, not man. But God does it in response to the prayers of His people.

IMG_0803

In my opinion, the fruit from these two revivals over the last twenty years have established their validity as genuine moves of God. Both revivals have produced Evangelists who have literally led millions of people to salvation all around the world.

What excites me is that I believe that God is getting ready to do it again! And this time not just in a few places by select leaders but all around the world by ordinary believers like you and me! On Thursday, January 7, 2016 while at work about 6:30 AM, I felt like the Lord said He was sending revival to St. Augustine Florida and I should let everyone know it is coming! So here it is: Revival is coming to St. Augustine Florida! I receive it here in the Mighty Name of Jesus!!! Blessed be the Name of the LORD!!! I don’t expect it to be the same as the Brownsville Revival, I expect it to be more because that is the way God works based upon the principle set forth in Haggai 2:9: “The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.”

The following video was published last year in honor of the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the Brownsville Revival. A friend of mine who now lives in Israel and is a graduate of the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry posted this video on Face Book this morning and it stirred up so many memories for me. May it stir your heart afresh for revival in your city even as it has mine for St. Augustine!

May God’s Blessings be upon you!

Tom and Jeanie Graves

Posted by: Tom Graves | February 15, 2016

YOU WERE MADE TO FLY!!!

YOU WERE MADE TO FLY!!!

Isaiah 40:31: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; THEY SHALL MOUNT UP WITH WINGS AS EAGLES; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

I love to watch eagles flying! They are so majestic and such beautiful birds. You may not know this, but when our founding fathers were trying to decide on a bird to represent our nation, tradition has it that Ben Franklin wanted it to be the wild turkey. However, the eagle won out and I am glad!

Gathering of eagles

A few years ago, Jeanie and I liked to go over to an observation deck overlooking Moultrie Creek. Directly across the creek was a very tall pine tree that had an eagle’s nest up near the top. Every spring, a pair of eagles would return to that nest to rear their young and we would take the binoculars and watch them bringing fish to the nest to feed their young. It was an amazing sight.

Last year, when I looked for the nest it was gone. I wondered why! What had happened? And then the Lord brought to mind the following verse: Deuteronomy 32:11-12:  “As an eagle STIRRETH UP HER NEST, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.”

When I was at seminary, my favorite professor, Dr. J. Leo Green, my Old Testament professor, spent an entire class on this verse. He explained that there are times when the baby eagle has become so comfortable and content in the comfort of the nest that it resists the parents’ efforts to coax it from the nest to teach it to fly. The parents then begin to disassemble the nest. The first thing they take out is the soft lining of their own feathers that they had plucked from their own bodies to make the nest warm, soft and comfortable. Next go the leaves and grass and finally the twigs and sticks that formed the foundation of the nest until the baby eagle is left on a limb with the cold wind blowing against it.

Then the mother eagle takes the young eagle in her talons and soars upward to a certain point and she opens her talons and shakes the little fellow free and he begins to fall toward the earth. Can you imagine what that poor little eagle is thinking? Has momma lost her mind? She’s never treated me like this before. She has always fed me, protected me and kept me warm – but now she’s catapulted me into space and I’m headed for the rocks below.

Meanwhile, the mother eagle soaring aloft, thinking to herself, if he is ever going to realize his destiny – if he is ever going to be anything more than a barnyard rooster he must learn to use his wings! He must learn to fly! At the last moment, just before the young eagle hits the ground, the mother eagle swoops under him and he lands gently on her back and up they go again. When the little fellow can get his breath he asks, “Why did you do that?” Momma simply replies, “Next time, flap your wings!” Up she sails again, higher and higher. She makes a loop and down he comes again. This time, she glides along beside him urging him to flap his wings. This is repeated time and again until finally, he gets the hang of using his wings and he begins to rise, higher and higher until eventually he is soaring toward the sun, the majestic king of the air!

God is beginning to stir the nest in which we have become so comfortable. When it seems like things are beginning to fall apart in your life, it may just be God stirring your nest so things can fall into place! It is God’s purpose to teach us that a life of ease is not the goal He has for us. Romans 8:28-29: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate TO BE CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” God’s goal for us is to be like Jesus! John 14:12: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” Amazing, but it is true!

Second, God is trying to enlarge our vision! To get us to fly higher – to believe for more. The best is yet to come! Ephesians 3:20-21: “Now unto him that is ABLE TO DO EXCEEDING ABUNDANTLY ABOVE ALL THAT WE ASK OR THINK, ACCORDING TO THE POWER THAT WORKETH IN US, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” God is able! He will never let you down! Trust Him to do above and beyond all you can ask or think!

One of my favorite worship leaders at Bethel Church, Redding, California, Steffany Gretzinger, put this into words in a short 3 minute spontaneous session of worship in the midst of a longer worship session. Let it bless your heart.

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie

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