Finding Destiny in the Midst of Chaos – Gretchen Rodriguez

Finding Destiny in the Midst of Chaos, by Gretchen Rodriguez

Sometimes destiny unfolds in the most unusual circumstances. For me, everything changed when we moved back to the States, after serving on the mission field for nine years. We decided to move to California and become members of our dream church, Bethel. I was thrilled! Little did I know that a life-changing adventure was about to begin.
The journey with the Lord always guides us beyond ourselves. It leads us away from our “do” and straight into our “who”. This was exactly what I was about to discover. Though I fully believed I would continue in ministry, it wasn’t God’s top priority. His priority was, and always is, to help us understand exactly who we are in His eyes.
Weeks after being accepted on the church’s dance team, I injured my back. It was bad and I was devastated. I’d studied and taught ballet since I was three years old. I’d wanted to be on Bethel’s dance team for years. Now what was I going to do?
For six months, I did little more than lay flat. Though I wasn’t angry, I certainly had a lot of questions. We’ve all experienced times when God didn’t make sense and this was one of those times.
Have you ever felt like you were losing grip and unless God was hanging on to you, you’d be sucked into an emotional black hole? That’s how I felt. I had spent most of my life pouring into others through ministry and dance and now all I could do was—nothing. Nothing but focus on Him and worship. And that was all He wanted.
Though God never afflicts us with suffering and pain, He is the Master of reaching us in their midst. He began to teach me who I was, in greater depth than I had ever known.
During this time, God was fine-tuning my identity. Suddenly, I wasn’t Gretchen the missionary, Gretchen the dancer, or Gretchen the pastor. I was just—me. Known and loved by God. Hidden in His presence and enjoying every moment of it. I lost all desire to “do” anything. I was perfectly happy being a lovesick bride.
God knows how to use situations, which would otherwise bring devastation, and use them for our good. He’s a faithful Father. The victories we gain in the wilderness, become golden truths imprinted upon our souls, which can never be erased. Never despise the difficult times, because it is out of them that the greatest breakthroughs erupt.
From this place of total surrender, He resurrected a secret desire in my heart—a desire to become a writer. I began to take risks and do things I never thought I would. Titles no longer made me brave. His voice did. Courage lifted me up and wrapped me securely in His arms. I was strong because I found fulfillment in being His child.
I became a writer, not because I was searching for identity, but because I had found it. Out of heart-wrenching disappointment, I found my purpose—to be His and to be completely at peace with that and nothing more.
All that I did began to flow effortlessly from my love for Him. It was no longer about doing things to find my place, it was about doing things because I had found my reason for doing them.
Now, four years later, my back is getting stronger, I’m an assistant leader for our dance team and authoring books with Brian Simmons. Most importantly, I’ve learned how amazing it is to simply be me.
If you have found yourself in similar circumstances, where nothing is turning out the way you thought it would, hang on! You’re on the verge of your greatest breakthrough! God is calling you higher—to a life that challenges you in the most beautiful ways. He wants you to dream with Him, to hope in the face of countless disappointments, to believe in miracles, and to be so confident in His love for you that your life explodes with purpose!

“God, the searcher of the heart, knows fully our longings, yet he also understands the desires of the Spirit, because the Holy Spirit passionately pleads before God for us, his holy ones, in perfect harmony with God’s plan and our destiny.” Romans 8:27 The Passion Translation

Blessings, Gretchen Rodriguez

You can find Gretchen here: https://www.facebook.com/GretchenMureRodriguez/
Gretchen’s first book with Brian Simmons, Prayers on Fire 365 Days Praying the Psalms, can be found on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble.

“Time To Soar Higher, Roar Louder!”

Bobby_Carolyn_Conner_500px, Bullard, TX

“It is time to Soar higher and Roar louder” – Bobby Conner

I was in Singapore at the exact moment I was typing out the title for this teaching, and as soon as the last word was typed, suddenly, a group of jet planes flew just over the hotel where I was staying and it shook the place as they roared by. I think this is a strong confirmation. The Saints of God will be ready to roar as righteous lions and soar as prophetic eagles (see Isaiah 40:31 and Proverbs 28:1). God’s design and desire for Believers is to be bold, brave and very courageous (see Joshua 1:9). This is possible because of HE WHO dwells within us (see 1 John: 4:4). In Christ Jesus we are unstoppable and invincible (see Romans 8:37).

Yes, we will have conflicts and confrontations but the Scriptures declare: In God we are victorious and no weapons made works against us (see Isaiah 54:17).

Swift and Complete Obedience

By the overflowing grace of God this is my forty-seventh year in ministry! And I’ve had the wonderful privilege of preaching the Word of God around the world. I’ve averaged speaking five times a week for over forty-seven years. I said all that to say this—if I could give you any advice to help you be successful in your Christian walk it is this: “Practice swift and complete obedience! Do as quickly and completely, as you can, all God is asking you to do.” There is no substitute for obeying God. Truly obedience is better than sacrifice (see 1 Samuel 15:22).

During these chaotic changing times, it is crucial that we embrace the Lord’s promise given to us in John 10:27: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” Each one of us should earnestly pray, asking God to remove anything that would hinder us from clearly hearing and discerning His voice. (Photo via flickr)

Claim the promise found in Matthew 13:16-17—that we have blessed ears and blessed eyes; capable of hearing and seeing revealed truth. Ask the Spirit of Truth to open the eyes of your heart, flooding it with revelatory insights into the Word and ways of God (see Ephesians 1:17-18). Ask for wisdom to walk in alignment with the written Word of God (James 1:22).

Never forget the statement of Christ Jesus: But He replied, “It has been written, Man shall not live and be upheld and sustained by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4

Make a firm commitment to fully follow the Lamb wherever He leads (Revelation 14:4). Let the Word of God be a bright beacon, beaming, light for your pathway. God’s Word is a lamp to your feet and a light to your path (Psalm 119:105, 130). The Christian life is not lived stumbling in the darkness but walking confidently in the light (1 John 1:5-10).

The Opportunity to Advance the Kingdom

Yes, Scripture states: it will get ever increasingly darker in the world, but for the true children of God it will get lighter and brighter (Isaiah 60:1-3). We are living in unprecedented times; never before has there been such an opportunity for advancing the Kingdom of God. (Photo via Pixabay)

As followers of Christ, we are to be the light of the world, a city set high on a hill giving bright hope and light to a hurting world (see Matthew 5:14-16). We are called to walk boldly in the radiant light of Christ the King (see Psalm 36:9). We are instructed to walk as Children of Light (see Ephesians 5:8). The Church truly stands at an open door and the Lord has extended His invitation for us to come up higher (Revelation 4:1-4).

Notice these verses in Isaiah 21:11-12: “Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?” The watchman said, “The morning comes, and also the night…”

Just as the prophet reported about the night and the light appearing at the same time, these days also will be days of great contrast: joy and sorrow, jubilation and depression, life and death, peace and anarchy. The key to our victorious journey is our focus upon the finished work of Christ. It is Christ in us the assurance of Glory (see Colossians 1:27).

The Spirit of God is calling each of us to behold the Beloved in His glory. It is time to view the victorious King. The more we know about HIM, the more we will understand who we are to be.

As we remain steadfast in our quest to see Him as He is, then we will become more and more like HIM. As we behold HIM with an unveiled face we are changed— transformed into His likeness (see 2 Corinthians 3:18).

Great Praise and Adoration

The Spirit God is emphasizing Psalm 108. Great praise and adoration will arise as our eyes are restored and we behold the Lord in His awesome beauty, anointing, and power. We are about to be truly awestruck by the revelation of God’s glorious Son.

Get ready to experience a Holy Spirit invasion and a truly divine intervention as you study these verses:

O God, my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and give praise, even with my glory. Awake, lute and harp!
I will awaken the dawn.
I will praise You, O LORD, among the peoples, And I will sing praises to you, among the nations. For Your mercy is great above the heavens,
And Your truth reaches to the clouds.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, And Your glory above all the earth; That Your beloved may be delivered,
Save with your right hand, and hear me…

Give us help from trouble;
For the help of man is useless. Through God we will do valiantly, For it is He who shall tread down our enemies.
Psalm 108:1-6, 12-13

As we praise the Lord and extol His holy name, great help is released from Heaven. The last statement of this Psalm is key for these days: “Through God we will do valiantly, For it is He who shall tread down our enemies.”

How Shall We Live?

What will make the difference in how these crucial times affect your life? Simply this—your walk with Jesus Christ will make all the difference. Grace will be released to the soul that turns to Christ with a desperate heart. Judgment awaits the deceptive, rebellious heart. This judgment came quickly to the two pretenders, Ananias and Sapphira, in Acts 5. Their sin was lying about their hearts’ devotion to the Lord. This type of deception will now also be judged. (Photo via Pixabay)

These are days when the battle for our minds will rage. The foe will try to cause us to divert our eyes from the Lord and focus on the events occurring on earth. Now is the time to give earnest heed to the warnings found in Romans 8:5-6:

“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spirituality minded is life and peace.”

Let these words sink deep into your soul, for they will be life and peace to those who will hear and obey. Strive to become a doer of the Word and not just a hearer (see James 1:22).

The battle is for our minds. Proverbs 23:7 informs us “For as he [a person] thinks in his heart, so is he.” It is vital that we keep our hearts filled with the Living Word of God. We must keep our minds focused and stayed on the Lord (Isaiah 26:3). What we set our minds on will determine how we live during these dark days. The Scriptures remind us to set our minds “on things above” (see Colossians 3:2) and think on things that are pure and honest and good (see Philippians 4:8).

May the Spirit of God open the eyes of our understanding to give us wisdom and direction during these apocalyptic, dark days! With our eyes focused firmly upon the Lord and His steadfast promises, we are fearless, marching boldly and confidently into our future (see Jeremiah 31:17).

God bless you and your walk of victory in the Victorious One.

Bobby Conner
Eagles View Ministries
Email: manager@bobbyconner.org
Website: www.bobbyconner.org

Don’t Let a Familiar Spirit Limit Your Future ~ Wanda Alger

Before we can fully enter into the new territories and opportunities that God has for us this summer and fall, we need to address something that may hold some of us back: Familiar Spirits.

The Lord spoke this to me last week as my husband and I were about to put an offer on a beautiful property we felt led to buy. We went on-sight to pray for wisdom and, as we waited, the Lord indicated that there was a “Familiar Spirit” on the land. As I prayed further, I sensed He was addressing a stronghold at work that was limiting any offers being received for the property.

The previous owner and his family had been there for thirty years. Though I didn’t sense anything “evil” at work, the accumulated memories and perspectives, both good and bad, from the past life with this family had opened a door to a Familiar Spirit to take possession of the property. Until that was dealt with, it would be much more difficult for a new owner to acquire the property.

I have personally dealt with this type of ungodly spirit in my own life. The enemy takes advantage of our fondness for memories and perspectives from the past and can create a stronghold that limits our ability to receive NEW things. Our own experiences can become so “familiar” to us that we aren’t able to perceive or embrace new perspectives or priorities.  We can, unconsciously, idolize our past as something sacred. The result of this mindset will cause inner unrest and irritation at anything new that tries to come into our lives. That which was once meaningful and life-giving now becomes a stronghold of the past.

For it is not an enemy who taunts me – then I could bear it; it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me – then I could hide from him.  But it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend. We used to take sweet counsel together; within God’s house we walked in the throng. (Psalm 55:12-14)

The Lord had been preparing me for this revelation a month earlier. I had a dream where my left arm was being cut off! It wasn’t painful;  I simply knew it needed to be done. Even as I was lying on the operating table, my friends watched with me as an angel stood by to encourage me. Since that dream, I knew the Lord was preparing me for a pruning work in my life. I had no idea what it might be, but I knew that whatever it was, it was so familiar to me, it would feel like my left arm was being cut off.

On the same day we prayed over the property, I was driving around town and praying about this Familiar Spirit when the Lord reminded me of the dream about my left arm. He identified MY Familiar Spirit that was holding me back from stepping into the next season of ministry. I was absolutely shocked. The area He revealed had become such a part of my call and identity; I never would have imagined it could be a hindrance. Yet, as His truth sunk in, I realized how much my familiarity with this strength and gift had me stuck in a rut. Because I was so used to operating in a particular way, I wasn’t even open to considering other possibilities.

I began to experience the exact same feelings I had in the dream. Even though it would seem unthinkable to let go of this priority in my life, I knew it must be done in order to move forward and embrace new mindsets, new skill sets, and new perspectives. I had a total peace about it; even anticipation as to what the Lord was going to bring my way!  In praying through these Familiar Spirits I sensed a shift in the spirit and the Lord confirmed this reality when the owner of the property accepted our offer – the only offer he received – and took!

I believe this is a word from the Lord for many who are being prepared for some NEW things. Even as we have prayed for an outpouring of the Spirit in our lives and communities, some of our current wineskins are too familiar and will not be able to contain the new wine. Some of our patterns of thinking and ways of living, and even ministering, must be totally surrendered in order for the Lord to have absolute sway with His means and methods of bringing breakthrough.

Be alert to any mindsets, methods, or memories that are attached to a Familiar Spirit which may be limiting new possibilities in your future. Allow Him to fill you with greater faith and anticipation for the new things to come – even seemingly impossible things.

You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. (Psalm 139:3 NIV)

 

 

Wanda is a recognized Five-fold prophetic minister with Dove Christian Fellowship International and an ordained minister. She is also the Mobilization Director with Intercessors for America sharing the message of transforming revival. Wanda ministers along with her husband, Bobby, at Crossroads Community Church in Winchester, Virginia, which they planted in 1998. Follow her weekly blog at www.wandaalger.me or visit www.ifapray.org and click on Community Transformation to read more. She also maintains her community’s website regarding community transformation (www.transformwinchester.com).

Well Diggers

WELL PICTURE

This is a very apt and “now” Word for the body of Christ received by my good friend, Kathy de la Hunt from Howick, South Africa.  We need to pay heed to this Word and do some adjustments where applicable.

The name Beersheba caught my attention, being a place of fulfillment of God’s promises over our lives.  Continue reading “Well Diggers”

Worshiper Army

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Army of Worshipers

When the Scriptures refer to the “heavenly host,” we usually think of “choirs of angels.” The word “host” in the Bible meant “army” (Josh. 5:13-14). It is an important truth: the hosts of Heaven are worshiping armies. Indeed, no one can do warfare who is not first a worshiper of God. Continue reading “Worshiper Army”

One Thing – Dorsey E. Marshall

Intertwined

Welcome! Thank you for joining me each day for The Success Minute. I pray that you will make today great in your life. Share this with a friend! Have them sign up for their own copy. IT’S FREE! You may also email me at Dorsey43@cfaith.com

                              “Don’t become so involved in the Lord’s work that you neglect the Lord of that work!” 

ONE THING

“But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42

Being a person who is gifted in the kitchen and who loves to put together a nice meal for my guests, I can identify with Martha, Continue reading “One Thing – Dorsey E. Marshall”