|A Member's Bulletin Board. In most cases items posted here originated as email, except as noted. As a Member you are free to submit items to post here. Send to webmaster)|
|You Shall Be Highly Favored
Rev. Paulette Reed
Daughters of the Morning Ministries
We see throughout history the need for favor and grace from God. Noah found grace/favor in the eyes of the Lord (Genesis 6:1-8); Ruth found favor with Boaz, foreshadowing our relationship with Christ (Ruth 2:1-13); Israel will find grace with God (Jeremiah 31:1-14); Stephen, was a man full of God's grace and power which allowed him to do great wonders and miraculous signs among the people (Acts 6:8); and Job prays to God, finds favor with Him and is restored to his righteous state (Job 33:26). In (Isaiah 61:1,2) we see our tremendous need for God's favor and the declaration of its availability.
As the world seems to be spinning out of control, we must remember this, before the long awaited fulfillment of a promise, the oppression increases. However, God is in control and has deliveries and deliverers on the way (see Acts 7:17-18). We live by faith and not by sight (see Hebrews 11:1), confident that God is determined to release favor to His Church and secure in the knowledge that the world will be blessed by it.
His Spirit is upon us, He has anointed us to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent us to heal the brokenhearted and proclaim liberty to the captives, to open the prison doors for those who are bound and to proclaim the acceptable (favored) year of the Lord, and comfort all who mourn (See Isaiah 61:1,2).
As we look at the favor on Mary, mother of Jesus, we see a shadow of how God wants to use our lives here on earth, just as He used hers. It is incomprehensible to the finite mind that the Creator of the universe would humble Himself to become a helpless, totally dependent baby. We see how our heavenly Father wants us to be totally dependent upon Him. We immediately take note of the fact that the "baby" could not have survived without being fed and nurtured by His mother and father. This is so indicative of how all children of God must be fed by their spiritual mothers and fathers. It is as if there's an umbilical cord attaching heaven to earth, and the Lord says, "Feed my sheep" (John 21:17).
Being careful to keep the Holy Scripture sacred, we ask this question: Is it possible that some have been so careful to keep the Virgin Mary from becoming an icon that we actually allowed the pendulum to swing too far, missing what she was imparting to the church? After all, this woman of God carried in her womb the Rabbi, the Master Teacher, the Healer, the Miracle Worker, the Deliverer. Into Mary was deposited God Himself--with His glory and all of His attributes--so she may, in turn, pass that mantle down to all generations, to all who believe.
God Has Created His People to be Deliverers
Once, while wrestling with the enemy, I cried out, "Lord, You are my Deliverer!" Immediately, the voice of our Shepherd whispered to me, "And you are Mine." God has created His people to be deliverers; to conceive, carry, and deliver on earth, as it is in Heaven. We were created to conceive, carry, and deliver, both in the natural and the spiritual realms. Beloved, this now is the year for Heavenly favor; this is the year to see many dreams delivered!
As vessels--jars of clay--we're all carrying something: burdens, sins, wounds, and baggage. The more the church becomes emptied of itself, the more readily we can carry what God intended us to carry. In His eyes, we are virgins--pure and clothed in His righteousness. Consequently, He is hovering over us, looking for humble handmaidens/servants, vessels of honor, willing to carry the dreams of God from infancy to maturation, willing to carry the glory that will cover the earth.
I enjoy the way the Message Bible paraphrases Gabriel's proclamation. "Good Morning! You're beautiful with God's beauty, beautiful inside and out! God be with you" (Luke 1:28). The Scriptures go on to say Mary was frightened, as some of you may be in regard to a call from God. This is particularly true if bondages have been placed on you because of gender, age, or heritage. But, Gabriel goes on to say, "Mary, you have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you!" (v 30)
As long as we are totally dependent upon our Father, He is the One who will raise us to full stature. Then, we'll feed others even as Mary fed Jesus. I believe the Lord wants to bring thousands out from their hiding place in the womb, out of prayer closets and into the light. It's time! It's time for spiritual babies, visions, and dreams to be conceived and/or delivered.
You Shall Be HIGHLY FAVORED
Hallelujah! For those who believe and are prepared, humble, and fear not, God has a surprise for you in 2006. Do you believe God this day? We must believe! Why would He plant seeds, His Spirit, Himself, in an unreceptive womb?
Waiting is difficult when we're expecting. It seemed exciting when the messenger came and said, "You will become pregnant and give birth!" Perhaps years ago, even as a child, God sent a messenger into your life--someone who planted that tiny seed that acknowledged your gifts or the call on your life.
However, incubating that life became difficult after "the angel left," when ridicule set in, when you felt alone, when others didn't believe that the Holy One hovered over you. As transition moves you feel uncomfortable, restless, off balance, waking in the night, praying, pacing the floor, waiting, waiting, waiting. We were okay with those inconveniences as long as the delivery date seemed right on our schedule. When it seems we're way overdue, the wait becomes almost unbearable! Now is the time to trust God's perfect timing. He has worked out all the details in the hidden place. He knows if your "baby" is black or white, male or female, short or tall, big or small. Only He knows, as He has formed your dream in the womb and called it by name.
It may seem that nothing good can come out of your Nazareth, but God is not looking at our past, or even the place of conception. God isn't looking at our resources, our money, our talents; He's looking for a Bethlehem, a holy place to deliver His will, a humble place to cover His dreams in swaddling clothes and lay them in a protective manger until they grow and eventually enter the temple on their own.
You can't give up! There's no changing your mind when you're in the delivery room. God knows it's difficult. He shows us in His Word, "Hezekiah says: This day is a day of distress and rebuke and disgrace, as when children come to the point of birth and there is no strength to deliver them" (2 Kings 19:3). But, it's God's strength that will deliver your dreams for the neighborhoods and the nations. In fact, He renews our strength as we wait, so the longer we wait, the stronger we become. Rest assured--He is sending you helpers, midwives--so to speak. Jesus never leaves us to carry the load alone. Consider this--even Jesus had Simon to help carry the cross!
There Is A Biblical Protocol For Your Dreams To Be Birthed
"Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months (and helped her)" (Luke 1:56). The Lord may send you to serve other peoples' miracles before He delivers your own, but He will come through. All of His promises are "yes" and "amen." "Shall I bring you to the point of birth and not give delivery?" (Isaiah 66:7-9)
Even if it appears your dream, your "baby," suffered a spontaneous abortion, the devil is a liar. Even if your "baby" seems too small, don't despise small beginnings--even God became a baby. Remember, we are in the season of restoration and ALL will be restored in accordance with God's Word (see Acts 3:21). Look closely, as we approach an unprecedented harvest of souls. We see a cloud the size of a man's hand, and we sense the coming of rain/reign. Therein lies your hope, dear friends, even if you've tried and failed before. Go back, go back, even up to seven times. "Love never fails. . ." (see 1 Corinthians 13:8).
The closer we get to God releasing the great harvest, the stronger and more powerful the manifest Spirit of the Lord becomes. And, we know that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (see 2 Corinthians 3:17). Liberty sets us free from tradition and prejudice; it sets us free to receive and become messengers of God! It sets us free to run from the well and share the Good News. News isn't news if it isn't shared. Liberty sets us free to go quickly and tell disciples that Jesus has risen from the dead! Liberty allows the entire army of God to fulfill the Great Commission, as all authority in Heaven and on earth has been given to us. We'll go, making disciples of all nations, baptizing and teaching them to obey everything that God has commanded.
"I'm bursting with God-news! I'm dancing the song of my Savior God. God took one good look at me, and look what happened--I am the most fortunate woman on earth!" (Luke 1:46-47)
Expectation is the greenhouse for miracles. Are you expecting? Remember the blessing in Psalms 90:17, "May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon you …"
In 2006, may it be unto you as He has said!