Intercession: Path to Freedom from Anger

A couple of weeks ago, I read an article by Francis Frangipane called, What Are You Becoming? I have been pondering the thoughts he presented in it ever since. He commented at length on the anger which is consuming not only the world, but the Church as well. He pointed out that even anger over injustice, if not handled correctly, can lead us into bondage. One thought in particular I cannot get away from:

We must turn indignation into intercession.”

What happens as we bring anger — even justifiable, “righteous” anger — before the Lord in intercession?

Intercession sometimes starts out raw, where we share with the Lord our own opinions and emotions on a given subject. Ideally, we should wait upon the Lord until we can pray by the leading of His Spirit. However, we are not always ideal people, are we. All of us have moments when we charge into prayer from the perspective of our own rampaging souls.

However, as we continue to pour out our thoughts and emotions before the Lord, the Holy Spirit gradually and subtly shifts our prayers — and us. He softens us, quiets us, and changes how we perceive whatever we are praying into. And He takes our intercession in hand and adjusts it into right paths. This is especially true if we intermingle praying in our prayer language with praying from our understanding.

Jesus understood the power of intercession in breaking bondage off the ones who are praying. This is one reason He exhorted His disciples, Bless those who curse you, … and pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). When we decide, in obedience, to pray for those who hurt us and make us angry, although we may not start out well, the Holy Spirit will be faithful to take over and “lead us in [prayer] paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3).

When I was young in the Lord, we were repeatedly taught at our church thatBe transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2) was specifically talking about reading the Bible. So much was this interpretation instilled in us, that, until very recent years, I actually thought the verse mentioned Bible reading — even though I had read it dozens of times. But it doesn’t. Although absorbing the living Word of God is vital to having our minds renewed, God has other means as well. One of them is engaging in prayer, including intercession. Whether it is by the Word or prayer, the Lord transforms and renews us through interaction between our spirit and His Spirit.

So, let the Lord renew your mind on any given topic by taking it to Him in intercession and letting Him adjust how you pray. He can give you immediate revelation of how to tackle the issue differently, but usually it’s a process which takes time.

As we “turn indignation into intercession” several things happen:

1.) God convicts us of where we are at fault — spiritual blindness, hypocrisy, offense, bitterness, pride, and other bad attitudes — so that we can repent.

2.) He gives us unique revelation which we could not have thought of on our own about how to pray and what actions to adopt to bring solutions to problems.

3.) He gives us a prophetic voice (as opposed to an opinion) to speak into the situations which we have been interceding about. We are able to bring “salt” and “light” into the conversations we engage in.

4.) He conforms us into the image of Jesus. We become unoffendable pillars of righteousness. We are set free from self and the anger which self generates.

I’ve addressed how intercession can be a pathway to freedom from anger. What other bondages can it set us free from? What is God speaking to you? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Current Happenings

In a few days, I will get back to posting as usual. I’ve got a few notes ready, but just haven’t had the time to write them out yet, due to some health setbacks, including my mom having a small stroke which affected her sight in one eye. We are spending a lot of time in doctor offices right now! In the meantime, I invite you to …

Connect via FaceBook

I frequently  share smaller bits on my personal FaceBook page about current issues, what I am hearing in prayer, etc. which never come close to making it to the blog. I invite you to join me there. It is a public account, so you can follow along, or ask for a friend confirmation.  I do interact with many friends whom I have never met, and some of us have gotten to know each other well.

(Please keep in mind that I only confirm people as friends if I can see information on their profile which indicates they are real folks, with posts which are safe and clean. So, if you have your settings so nothing can be seen except by people who are already friends, I will not be able to confirm your friend request.)

I also have a business FaceBook page, where I post various thoughts and updates, if that would interest you more.

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Teach Your Kids to Hear God!

I also wanted to let you know about a special free offer for our newest book, Teach Your Kids to Hear God!  It’s a short book, which will debut September 1, 2016 at major online e-book stores. In the meantime, we are giving it away through August 31 to everyone who purchases our book, Character Building for Families, from our website.

Entering the Rest of God

We live in a Psalm 46:6 age: “The heathen raged; the kingdoms were moved.” Besides the turmoil and uncertainty we see nationally and internationally, many of us deal with personal difficulties in our health, finances, and relationships. Let’s face it: serenity is hard to come by in the 21st century! These extreme pressures are nothing new. The apostle Paul experienced stress too. He expressed it, “Our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side: outwardly there were fightings, inwardly there were fears” (2 Corinthians 7:5).

Yet, in the midst of difficult times, the Lord has promised rest of soul to His people. Hebrews 4:9 tells us, “There remains, therefore, a rest to the people of God.” So, how do we obtain it and then hang onto it?

Rest starts in the spirit and emanates outward to the soul. As we learn to connect with the Holy Spirit, we do experience more rest of soul, but on the other hand, we must also discipline the soul to be quiet and then to stay quiet, so that our spirit-man can connect with the Lord.

It takes deliberate determination to set aside the urgent things clamoring for our attention and to focus on Jesus. We all know this, for we are well acquainted with the story of Martha and Mary, in Luke 10:38-42. Martha was burdened down and troubled about many things. Her soul had no rest. But Mary, who didn’t allow immediate urgencies to keep her from sitting with Jesus, did have inner rest. Ah, this can be such hard work, though! Hebrews 4:11 says, “Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest ….”

Our soul, which involves all our natural abilities, thoughts, emotions, and instincts, tends to be in conflict with our spirit, which desires to come into God’s rest. The soul insists on fretting and trying to fix problems on its own. Therefore, our spirit must fight to gain the ascendancy, to subdue the natural tendencies of the soul.

We must force ourselves to step away from the issues of the day, small or great, to enter the pavilion of the Lord’s Presence. Worship can be a point of entrance into that place. So can meditating on a comforting Bible passage. These avenues quiet our soul so that our spirit can commune with the Holy Spirit.

Many ardent Christians are fretting at the soul level about the increasing wickedness about us, wondering how to fix it. However, as we sit in God’s Presence, inquiring of Him, He takes charge of our circumstances and begins to work change in them. He gives us insights on how to pray into problems to achieve the right solutions. Even when those solutions don’t come quickly, He gives us an abiding confidence in Him while we wait. Hebrews 4:10 tells us, “For he who has entered into His rest has also ceased from his own works, as God did from His.”

Here are a few Bible passages which will help you begin to enter the rest of God. Read and ponder them, and use them as springboards to prayer:

Psalm 46:10Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the heathen; I will be exalted in the earth.

“Father, help me to be still before You, to see and know Who You really are. Whenever I become fearful about the crazy things going on in the world, help me to remember that You are still in charge and that You have promised to be exalted in the earth.”

Isaiah 30:15, 16, 18For the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, says, “In returning and rest shall you be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and you would not.”

But you said, “No! for we will flee upon horses” (therefore you shall flee) and, “We will ride upon the swift” (therefore shall they that pursue you be swift).

Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you, and therefore will He be exalted, that He may have mercy upon you. For the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all those who wait for Him.

“Father, please forgive me for being so insistent on solving my problems on my own, instead of looking to You. Help me to rest in quiet confidence in You. I ask You to be my strength and my problem-solver from now on. Thank You for waiting patiently and graciously for me to yield my circumstances to You. I put these things in Your hands and receive the blessing You have promised to those who wait for You.”

Matthew 11:28-30Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavily weighed down, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls: for My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.

“Lord Jesus, I am coming to You now, just as You have invited me to. I receive Your promise of rest. Please take all my burdens and strivings. I want to sit with You and learn of You. Teach me to move and work with You, so that I can carry life easily and without anxiety.”

As you diligently seek to come into God’s place of rest, may He bless you with an abiding peace in your heart which is unshakable.

Have You Lost Your Hope?

Do you find yourself battling frequently with a feeling of having no hope? I have felt this way, especially in the last year or so. Many are the times when I have prayed, “God give me hope. Restore my hope.”

I don’t think it is just a response to the current state of our world, although that is a factor. For those of us who know the Lord, it might be a deliberate spiritual attack. And we cannot afford to take it lying down.

First of all, we must understand that God’s will for us is to be filled with hope. If we are experiencing the opposite, something is happening which is against His will. That should be a signal that we need to stand in warfare to retake what has been filched from us.

Hope is such an important part of our covenant with the Lord that He calls Himself “the God of hope”: “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit.”Romans 15:13

The God of hope desires to fill us with joy and peace as we believe on Him. He also wants us to abound in hope — which happens through the power of the Holy Spirit continually working within us. This verse has really come alive to me in recent weeks. I have meditated on it and prayed it back to the Lord frequently. As a result, I am sensing a fresh hope building inside of me.

Some people can pinpoint a specific disappointment or sorrow which caused them to lose their hope. If this is you, you may need to ask Jesus to heal the wound. Like blood oozes from an injured spot, an untended emotional wound can cause our hope to leak away. Maybe you cannot identify a specific cause. You just feel a general blanket of hopelessness weighing you down. No matter what the cause is, there are some ways we can fight back.

The Aggressive Use of God’s Word

Any time we are undergoing spiritual attack, declaring the Word is our prime weapon. It is called “the sword of the Spirit” in Ephesians 6:17. When Jesus was tempted by the devil (Luke 4:1-14), in each case, He parried Satan’s thrusts by declaring what the Scriptures said: “It is written.” The last verse of that passage tells us that when the assault was over, “Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee.”

In addition to quoting specific Scriptures to silence the enemy’s lies, meditate on uplifting verses about hope and the promises of God. Romans 15:4 tells us “that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” And Lamentations 3:26 reminds us, “It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.” If you need some verses to get you started, I’ve got a great list of them at my webpage, Encouragement from God’s Word. Even better, ask God to bring to your remembrance verses He wants to personalize to you to rebuild your hope.

Repentance

Along with the aggressive use of God’s Word, we must also repent of the words we have already spoken which aligned us with hopelessness:

  • “I can’t go on.”
  • “I give up.”
  • “This is never going to change.”
  • “There is no hope for me.”

These are sinful utterances, because they are not what God says about our situation. We need to ask His forgiveness for fighting against ourselves and against His plans for us through our contrary words.

Assuredly, the opportunity will come up again to fall into the same trap. So, when the hopeless feelings resurface, we must commit ourselves to resisting giving way to those wrong declarations. While in a faith battle, the less we verbalize how we feel, the better. Pour out your weakness to the Lord in your heart if you need to, but then also tell Him you will trust in Him in spite of the feelings. Don’t spill from your lips anything which opposes what God says about the situation.

Worship

Worship and praise dispel darkness and bring the atmosphere of heaven down all around us. Our outlook can completely change, if we persevere in deliberate extolling of the Lord. It is not easy. Worship is a sacrifice (Hebrews 13:15). It goes against our flesh.

It is also a tool of warfare. Psalm 8:2 tells us, “Out of the mouth of babies and infants You have ordained [established] strength because of Your enemies, that You might still the enemy and the avenger.” Jesus quoted this verse, “Out of the mouth of babies and infants You have perfected praise(Matthew 21:16). We are strengthened to overcome, and the turmoil with which the enemy tries to afflict us is silenced, as we aggressively worship.

Genuine hope is not based on the temporary situations we face right now. It has its foundation in Christ. Ultimately, our hope rests in living from an eternal perspective, our eyes fastened on Jesus, so that we are not like unbelievers, who have no hope.

May we take back from the enemy of our souls the hope which is rightfully ours, and may we then be bearers of it to our hurting world, assuring them that the hope we possess can be theirs in Christ, too.

The Shelter of the Most High (Book Review)

by Francis Frangipane

The Shelter of the Most High, by Francis FrangipaneI love Francis Frangipane’s writing.  His gentle but uncompromising commitment to humility and the servant lifestyle just grips me. He carries the authority to be able to say the things he does, because he has been through the fire and allowed the heat to refine him.

The Shelter of the Most High (affiliate link) is a book about intimacy with God and dwelling under His protective covering through prioritizing relationship with Him. It gives deep insight into what it means to cease striving in our own strength and truly enter into the rest of God (Hebrews 4). Basically, it’s a book about what the Christian life was always meant to be.

Here are a few quotes:

  • God has always been more concerned with the condition of our hearts than the activity of our hands. What we become to Him is far more consequential than all we will ever do for Him.
  • He will not fight for our attention; He must be sought. He will not startle us; He must be perceived …. We must learn to see Him Who is unseen.
  • Before the Lord is through with us, the way of Christ will be more than something we know; it will be something we instinctively choose in the midst of temptation or battle. This is where we graduate into the power of God.
  • Rescue is the constant pattern of God’s activity.
  • [God] intends to make your life a key that unlocks God’s shelter for others.
  • Our primary purpose in life must be to abide in Christ. Otherwise, we can become so   consumed with the deteriorating condition of the world that we fail to see the deteriorating condition of our own soul.

Other concepts revealed:

  • If we know God, we are in companionship with Him. If we are companioned with Him, He sees to it that we dwell in His rest. God’s rest means we are not fretting or striving to work. God works in us, with us, and surrounding us.
  • When we grasp Who God is, we enter into a place of spiritual immunity. We receive into ourselves the victory Jesus won for us — oneness with God in Christ.
  • Seeking and finding God is our end-all purpose and goal.
  • In the abiding place we are fascinated with Jesus, fastened on Him, guided by His voice, surrounded by His love, sheltered from distresses and distractions.
  • To Him, the voice of our weak prayers is sweet. We are lovely to Him.
  • The secret place of the Most High is not only a place of shelter, but also of restoration.
  • We come to a place where we can carry out our spiritual warfare from our position in the shelter of the Most High.

I highly recommend The Shelter of the Most High as essential reading for any Christian who desires to live an overcoming life in Christ from a place of absolute security and safety. If you long to go deeper in relationship with the Lord, absorbing the keys presented in this book will help you to get there.

God and the Small Prayer Group

Praying Together -- PixabayAre you part of a small prayer group? Does it discourage you that your group is small?

Our human thinking tells us that bigger is  better — especially when it comes to accomplishing goals. We tend to equate larger numbers with more success, more effectiveness. But when it comes to the kingdom of God this is not always the case. The amount of power or answers to prayer does not automatically increase proportionally with the number of people who attend your prayer group.

Perhaps Jesus wanted to encourage us away from the big-is-better idea when He said  in Matthew 18:19, 20, “If two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father Who is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there I am in the midst of them.”

The prayer group we lead is small, with current average attendance being about six of us. We’ve had as many as twelve at one time, but we’ve also gone as low as three some weeks. The most glorious times in God’s Presence, with the greatest sense of having accomplished much in intercession, have actually taken place when there were only a very few of us.

If how many attend isn’t the most important factor in receiving answers, then what is?

Unity — Sometimes it is easier to have common vision and agreement in smaller groups. Unity with the Spirit and with each other is a vital part of receiving the answers we seek.

When Jesus said, “If two of you shall agree on earth,” He was not referring to a half-hearted assent or tolerance of what each other are praying. He was talking about entire oneness of purpose, hearts joining together in faith for what we know is the will of the Father.

Part of achieving unity with each other is coming to a place where we are bonded with each other in love. That tends to happen more easily in smaller groups. Unity is the most important component of effective group prayer.

Attitude — Coming together with an expectancy that we will indeed hear the Lord and receive His answers to our petitions is also vital. A small group of prayer warriors who are committed to doing big business with God when they gather will be effective in changing the circumstances they pray into.

Prophetic Connection — Praying by revelation of the Holy Spirit is also a key factor. However, as much as I value praying according to what we hear from the Lord, that doesn’t mean that only those who are acutely prophetic can receive answers.

God is not impressed with how highly gifted we are in tapping into spiritual revelation. After all, He is the one who distributes revelatory gifts in the first place, so we can’t use what we are gifted in as a merit badge. He does not listen more intently to the highly prophetic person than He does to the brother or sister who less able to hear and see clearly in the spirit realm.

Sometimes people get prideful about how good they are at praying by revelation. They look down their noses at those who are less spiritually perceptive. We can’t do that. Maintaining a humble, fervent heart is more important than getting every last iota of what we pray correct. God sees our earnestness of heart, and He makes up for any deficiencies in our ability to pray correctly.

So, don’t be discouraged if your prayer group is small. God will unite your prayers with those of thousands of other small groups of intercessors across the nation and the world. You please Him by your faithfulness, and He will send you mighty answers as you stick with it.


House of Prayer ~ House of Power, by Lee Ann Rubsam

  House of Prayer ~ House of Power

Did You Know?

 Update:

Thank you to those who came for our May 14 Intercessor Workshop! We had a great time together, and I am so blessed to have had this chance to get together with both old friends and new. May the Lord take us all deeper in Him, and may the workshop bear lots of fruit in all of us!

Thank you!

On March 1, we released my 16th book, Your Intercession Questions Answered.  Many of you bought it, and I want to thank you so much for doing so!

Also, thank you to all of you who have purchased my other books. I appreciate every one who takes time to read the Out of the Fire blog, and those of you who also read my books — well, that’s just extra special.:-)

I have a favor to ask — If you have read any of my books, would you be so kind as to give them a star rating and a short review at Amazon? (A sentence or two is all it takes.) Even if you purchased them elsewhere, you can still review them at Amazon. It would help us TONS in spreading the word!

Reviews at GoodReads, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Kobo, or wherever else you may have purchased them are also much appreciated!

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Get Our Books at Your Public Library

Everybody loves to read for free, right? (Me too.) Our e-books are available through OverDrive, the major e-book supplier of libraries. But, libraries do not automatically stock every OverDrive title (there are just too many).

If you want your library to offer one or more of our books, just ask your librarian to walk you through the e-book request process.

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We Now Offer E-Books Directly to Our Customers

For some people, it’s a convenience thing to buy all in one place, especially if they are ordering our audio and print resources at the same time. AND, wherever you are in the world, you can buy them from us without hassle.

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We send you both the Kindle and E-pub versions via e-mail. (E-pub is for all the non-Kindle readers.) If you don’t have a Kindle or other e-book reader, you can download free apps to read right on your computer.

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For Our International Customers

We no longer sell our print books outside of the U. S. It just got too expensive to ship them, and it bothers my conscience to charge up to twice the price of the product itself for shipping.

Now the good news — You can always buy our e-books directly from us ( mp3 downloads of our audio resources, too). You can also get our e-books from the major e-book retailers you are accustomed to.

The following books are not available in e-book reader format, due to the complexity of their layout:

Character Building for Families,
River Life: Entering into the Character of Jesus, and
House of Prayer ~ House of Power

If you live in Canada, the  UK, or EU nations, you can still purchase them as paperbacks through your country’s Amazon store.

Purchase them as PDFs — We offer all of our international customers the option of purchasing these titles as PDFs — very reasonably, too. It is easy to order.  Our product page.

(U. S. customers — Sorry, we only offer these titles as PDFs to our international customers.)

Again, thank you to all of our Out of the Fire readers! I appreciate you so much, and love hearing from you!

Lee Ann Rubsam