Heaven Pt. 71

“He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.” 1 Sam. 2:9,10 KJV

Warning In the Wind- JE Lillie

On my way to New York City this afternoon I was listening to a well-known radio evangelist here in the States preaching a message about the end of the world, and the judgment of God. His take on the matter is that we are already in the tribulation of Revelation, AntiChrist is about to be revealed and the church is about to get severely whacked because God loves His children and thinks that we really need to go through tribulation so we can understand the crucified life! WHHHHHAAAAAATTTTTTT!!!

I nearly went over the guard rail on Interstate 95 as I listened to his closing prayer. Not one iota of hope. All grace was missing. The Blessed Hope had been replaced by cursed fear! I am so glad this was not the Good News  preached to me. I was already steeped in my world of gothic depression. Such a word might just have been enough to send me the rest of the way over the edge!

What I heard from the Scripture…what I still hear today echoed in the rightly divided Word of truth is… “He will keep the feet of his saints,…he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.” 

I do believe there is a judgment coming  but I believe that God will protect His people through this final judgment by removing us from the Earth before the judgment starts.

We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with
the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the
Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be
caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the
Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.” I Thess. 4:15-18 NLT

Yes there’s a warning in the wind. Judgment is coming but Scripture warns us so that we will be ready to escape it. I am not looking for the AntiChrist to rise. I’m looking for the Christ to make me rise!

The church is not appointed to go through wrath!

Heaven Pt. 70

“And the children of Israel enquired of the LORD, (for the ark of the covenant of God [was] there in those days,  And Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days,) saying, Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother, or shall I cease? And the LORD said, Go up; for to-morrow I will deliver them into thine hand….But when the flame began to arise up out of the city with a pillar of smoke, the Benjamites looked behind them, and, behold, the flame of the city ascended up to heaven.And when the men of Israel turned again, the men of Benjamin were amazed: for they saw that evil was come upon them….So that all which fell that day of Benjamin were twenty and five thousand men that drew the sword; all these [were] men of valour.” Judges 20:27,28,40,41,46

Judges 20 marks one of the darkest moments in Israel’s early history. The men of Gibeah in Benjamin committed an unspeakable crime and the other tribes of Israel rose up against the city to bring punishment. But the men of Benjamin came to the defense of their brother city and opposed the will of the national leadership. Battle ensued. God took the side against Benjamin and brought punishment down upon the heads of not just Gibeah but the entire tribe.

In hindsight perhaps Benjamin realized they should have just stayed out of the way. What was it I wonder that made them rise to the defense of Gibeah: Pride, loyalty, misguided grace?

How many times have I gotten in the way of God’s work in someone else’s life  for one of these reasons? How many of life’s lumps came to me simply because I didn’t know enough to back off when  God was doing harder work in someone I cared about? I wonder.

Have you ever stepped in God’s way when He was trying to deal with someone else’s life?

Heaven Pt. 69


“And the Angel of the LORD said to Manoah, ‘Though you detain Me, I will not eat your food. But if you offer a burnt offering, you must offer it to the LORD.’ (For Manoah did not know He [was] the Angel of the LORD.) Then Manoah said to the Angel of the LORD, ‘What [is] Your name, that when Your words come [to pass] we may honor You?’  And the Angel of the LORD said to him, ‘Why do you ask My name, seeing it [is] wonderful?’   So Manoah took the young goat with the grain offering, and offered it upon the rock to the LORD. And He did a wondrous thing while Manoah and his wife looked on– it happened as the flame went up toward heaven from the altar–the Angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar! When Manoah and his wife saw [this], they fell on their faces to the ground When the Angel of the LORD appeared no more to Manoah and his wife, then Manoah knew that He [was] the Angel of the LORD.” Judges 13:16-21 NKJV

The Angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah and his wife to predict the birth of their son Sampson, one of the greatest and most notorious of all Israel’s judges.

I wonder if it were you or I this stranger appeared to with such wild predictions what would our reaction be? Would we have questions? Would we, like Manoah, want the stranger to stick around for a while so we could grill him to make sure of his credentials? Would we ask for his name? When he refused to give us a name would we be a little skeptical? Would our skepticism be burned away as the man stepped into the fire and rocketed into the air?

I wonder. I have been privileged to see miracles. I have been privileged to share the story of miracles with others. I have been saddened when rather than rejoicing with me people  have opted for a more “scientific” explanation.

How often in our society have I heard “That’s not God! There’s a simple, logical explanation!”

How sad that as a culture we would rather have logic than Logos! We can’t even muster the faith of Manoah ( and folks he was not the epitome of a man of faith). I’m all for reason but when our reason separates us from the Lord it’s time to question it! Skepticism is not a fruit of the Spirit!


Heaven Pt. 68

“They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera.” Judges 5:20 KJV

Sisera was an enemy of God’s people. His armies were defeated by the Israelites led by one woman (Deborah). He died at the hands of another woman (Jael) while he was taking a nap.

It has been my experience that those who line themselves up against the Lord never end well. Though they make great boasts for a while and even have some success for a season, they are ultimately brought to nothing by the hand of Divine Providence.

Stories like the one from Judges chapter 5 remind me that I serve a God of omnipotent resources. While His enemies might appear powerful they cannot keep pace with the mighty hand of God! They are more to be pitied than feared, more to be prayed for than hated. Any pain they might be able to bring me will be repaid by the God who is my shield and protector. Perhaps it was for this reason that Jesus counselled “Love your enemies… and pray for those who despitefully use you.” Ma. 5:44

Let’s Pray: Father you know those in my life who stand opposed to You and to your work in my life. Father I bring them before You today and ask that You would have mercy on them. Please transform their hearts. Change them from enemies of the cross into mighty saints of God. In Jesus name I pray A-men!

Heaven Pt. 67

As the Amorites retreated down the road from Beth-horon, the LORD destroyed them with a terrible hailstorm from heaven that continued until they reached Azekah. The hail killed more of the enemy than the Israelites killed with the sword. Jos. 10:11 NLT

In Joshua chapter 9 the Gibeonites fooled the Israelites into signing a treaty with them. Yet in so doing they greatly angered the Amorite nations around them. Provoked to war, the Amorites surrounded Gibeon and set about its destruction in Joshua chapter 10. But the Gibeonites had an ace in the hole, Israel.  Calling on their new found friends  the Gibeonites hoped for salvation. And they received it in spades as Joshua 10:11 indicates.

I’m not sure the Gibeonites counted at all on God but the Israelites did.That is what made the difference in the war for Gibeon.

You and I both know people whom we would consider allies or friends in life…people who don’t know the God we serve but who do know we are people to be counted on in a crunch. At some point you will be given a divine appointment to meet a need for your friends with the power of God. When that opportunity comes make sure you are ready not only to fight in your own strength but make sure you bring something of the supernatural God along with you to the battle.

Let’s pray: Father God thank you for the souls you have placed in my pathway! Allow me the opportunity to be a supernatural witness of your love and glory to them I pray. Breathe salvation upon them through my life. In Jesus name A-men!


Heaven Pt. 66



And when the men of Ai looked behind them, they saw, and, behold, the smoke of the city ascended up to heaven, and they had no power to flee this way or that way: and the people that fled to the wilderness turned back upon the pursuers. Jos. 8:20 KJV

Where there is smoke there is usually fire. The men of Ai knew this. But by the time they saw the smoke it was already too late. They were trapped, brought low by their own arrogance.

Sometimes we miss the smoke signals in our lives just like the men of Ai did. Anything in life can block out our vision and make us blind to the thin rising tendrils of black death on our horizon: pride, foolishness, co-dependence, denial, overcommitment and the list goes on.

At any rate, we can deny the smoke only so long and then pieces of our lives just burn away and we experience loss. I’ve been there. I’ll bet you’ve probably been to the place of smoke and burning fire too. So often the first questions we ask after the smoke clears are “How did this happen? Who’s  to blame?” Maybe these questions are important to answer at some point; But I have learned the far more important questions to ask are “How do I let God in to change me so I don’t miss the smoke signals again? What blindness do I need to repent of so that what is rebuilt is not burned down again?”

If you are in a place of rebuilding let me assure you if you include God what you rebuild will be even stronger than before. Just don’t forget the next time you smell smoke don’t hesitate to put out the fire.

Let this song be your prayer today!

Heaven Pt. 65


“And she (Rahab) said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that [were] on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. And as soon as we had heard [these things], our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he [is] God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.” Josh. 2:9-11

In this passage of Scripture the enemies of God are quaking with fear because the people of God are marching onto the scene. Are the enemies of God afraid of the people? No the confession of Rahab is that the people of Canaan fear the Israelites because of the God that backs them up!

It is so easy for us to forget whose we are. We get into the middle of a life struggle and we forget that God is on our side. Sometimes we go one step further and we forget that we are on His side. That’s when life gets really sticky. That’s when the tide turns in our life battles and we begin to lose.

Have you forgotten God is on your side? Have you let the enemy convince you that you are certain to lose unless you fight in the flesh? Don’t believe the lie! Put yourself back in line with God’s blessings for you are made more than a conqueror!

Let’s pray: Father God you see my battles. I confess I have been at times tempted to doubt your mighty hand. I come today to renew my faith and to declare that I belong to a mighty God who will see me through to victory! I may have to battle but God I trust You to guard and preserve me through it all! In Jesus name A-men!

Heaven Pt. 63

“And of Joseph  he said, Blessed of the LORD [be] his land , for the precious things  of heaven , for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath ,” Deut. 33:13 KJV
I am thankful for the rain! Because of the roses, I am even more thankful for the dew.  You see, every year at this time our yard bursts into bloom with multiple thousands of wild and cultivated roses.

The fragrant shafts burst forth from nearly a quarter acre of bushes that over the last twenty-five years have slowly encroached on the landscape. You may remember, that last year I had to cut the roses out of my crab apple tree.

But they have also climbed high into the beech and dogwood trees. They would truly be a nuisance if they did not smell so absolutely beautiful!

Here’s the thing about rose season. Too much rain makes the roses melt right off the vine. Roses like the dew of Heaven. It comes every night and slakes the thirst of the the ever seeking roots, but never gives so much moisture that the fragrant petals rot before they can release their gift.

I love the rain. It’s one of God’s gifts to a fallen world. But the dew, now that was God’s gift from Heaven before the fall.

“And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and [there was] not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.” Ge. 2:5,6 KJV

Deuteronomy 33:13 reminds me that there is coming a restoration of all things! I wonder what a perfect world will look like! What do you think?