The Dry Season

The sun is scorching you with what feels like laser beams of radiating heat. There’s an annoying ringing in your ears and a pounding sensation in your head. As the sand hits your face it feels tiny needles piercing your skin. The wind, it doesn’t stop here; it’s a force that continuously shifts sand and stone altering the landscape beyond all recognition. At times the gusts, hot and unpredictable, toss you around like the occasional “tumbleweed” that aimlessly races by you as if it were late for an appointment on the other side of the desert. You turn your back to the wind only to find that no matter which way you face, the wind swirls around you and soon you’re in a state of delirium. You don’t know north from south and east from west. Each step you take unknowingly forces you into a diabolical pattern of sorts. You remember hearing somewhere that if you’re right-handed, you likely favor your right leg as well and you will instinctively walk in a large circle, without the guidance of a fixed object or landscape to guide you, you’re lost.

“Just a drop of water,” you say to yourself, “would satisfy me for hours.” Your throat is parched; your tongue feels like an old piece of shoe leather and the grit from the blowing sand has found its way between your teeth as the persistent grains of sand siphon their way through your nose into your mouth. Your eyes are dry and the sand has clogged your tear ducts and each blink brings irritation and pain as your own unforgiving eyelids scrap across the surface of your eye ball like sandpaper.

The thought of dying this way never in a million years occurred to you but now it’s an increasing reality with each labored step you’re feeling closer to your doom. You just knew that you’d grow old wiling away the years in the comfort of your rocking chair.

“Do you hate me God?” You blurt out irreverent and belligerent, letting out a sarcastic chuckle, not expecting an answer anytime soon. “You’ve always been there for me before,” you yell “why are you ignoring me now?” You’d cry if there was an ounce of moisture left in you.

“How did I get here, somewhere I must have taken a wrong turn?” you mumble. “Somehow I must have mad God angry with me!”

Beneath your bare feet you feel something sharp crumble and your eyes become wide with horror as you realize it’s the dry bones of a previous traveler’s fateful demise. What shred of hope you had of survival is now gone. If you make it through this dry barren desert it won’t be by your own cunning and survival instincts. Only God can deliver you now and you become apologetic.

“Of course I know I’m not alone in all this God, I know you’re there. You said you’d always be there but I don’t feel you. I can’t see your hand at work in this. What’s worse is I don’t feel your love in this. Surely I must have done something to deserve this,” as you analyze the events of your life.

It’s easy to allow a sense of foreboding and condemnation to overwhelm you. The hopelessness is too much to bear you can easily see that giving up would be the logical thing to do here. You shrug those feelings off as you trudge on knowing full-well God wouldn’t purposely thrust you into a trial that would destroy you.

There’s a sudden silence and everything stops. Granules of sand pause in mid-air and the pounding of the sand against your wind-beaten skin stops. The throbbing in your head is gone, the sun’s torturing heat subsides and all is quiet.

There’s a whisper in the distance. As quiet as it is around you, your thoughts are still charged and your mind is still racing. You can’t make out what it is. It sounds like a still small voice, strangely familiar yet indiscernible.  You shake your head as if to loosen the incessant thoughts in your brain. “Is this one of those optical illusions or a mirage?” You question.

There it is again, yes, it is a voice, but not just any voice; the voice of a man. You’re quickly humbled as you realize just whose voice it is. There’s comfort in His tone, yet strength. There’s power yet compassion. You are suddenly and wonderfully aware of the presence of your Heavenly Father. The dangers you were surrounded with have been whisked away. The impending doom has turned to peaceful serenity. The moisture has returned to your eyes evidenced by the warm tears that run down your face. They’re not tears of sorrow but of joy unspeakable and full of glory. You feel the brush of a gentle finger wipe the tears from your eyes.

As abruptly as the winds ceased you were carried away to a place that was lush and green. The breezes were gentle and calm. There were sloping valleys and majestic mountain ranges. You found yourself beside a pool of cool clear water but strangely enough the desire for water had been satisfied not by this pool but by the exchange between you and your Savior. Moments ago you would have killed for a DROP of this water but somehow your appetite for things fleshly has changed. You realize man shall not live by bread alone but by every word the proceeds out of the mouth of God. As thirsty as your body had been for the cool clear water, you see now that the desert was only a type and shadow of what your soul has been enduring for many years.

There’s been leanness in your soul; a famine for the hearing of the Word of the Lord. The dearth in your soul can only be satisfied by seeking the face of the Master. He’s tenderly pleading for you to spend time in His presence. What you thirst for now are not the pleasures of this life. What you hunger for is not the fresh warm bread of the baker. Your soul is longing for communion with the King of kings and Lord of lords.

The desperation you felt in your body was painfully paralleled spiritually in your soul. The peril your body was experiencing has been a way of life with your soul for ages. You go day after day forcing your soul to get by on the dryness never affording it the joy and release it has so desperately longed for. Your soul delights in the presence of Jesus Christ yet you let days without number go by without so much as a whispered prayer. Your wilderness experience has given you valuable insight into things eternal…things that really matter. This wasn’t some arbitrary test meant to debase and demoralize you. Remarkably, your walk through the wilderness, that dry barren land, was a painful process but had a powerful purpose. You questioned God’s presence and motive in your trial when in reality He engineered it for the benefit of your soul. Now all you can do is praise Him for revealing this life-changing truth to you before it was too late.

Psalm 63:1-5 O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; 2 To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. 3 Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. 4 Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. 5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:

By Pastor RDM

The Anointing

anointingoilclothssmall1.jpg

From the earliest days of man’s history, anointing has played an important role in the transference of God’s presence, power, and favor to His servants. As man grew more reliant on God’s power and sufficiency, and less on his own cunning craftiness, they learned there was much more that could be accomplished.

Jacob anointed the pillow on which he slept the night God revealed Himself from the top of the ladder of Heaven. Jacob anointed his pillow and it became a pillar.

The anointing, as it was applied to Aaron and his sons, took a man and his family, and established the Levitical priesthood. God took a man who had allowed Israel to fashion a golden calf in Moses’ absence, and a man who had challenged Moses’ authority, to be the foreshadowing of Christ, our Eternal High Priest because of the anointing.

It was the God of David that anointed his head with oil and his cup over ran. Yes, the same man, who as child had been anointed the future King of Israel, the same man who in his lust committed adultery and murder. The same man, who in his arrogance, numbered the children of Israel, was well acquainted with the Oil of Gladness. He repented and found forgiveness, and said, “I shall be anointed with fresh oil.”

Oil was a constant in the worship and sacrifice of Israel, and it is clear to see that the oil of the Old Testament was without doubt the precursor to the anointing of the Holy Ghost in the New Testament.

The five wise and five foolish virgins’ level of oil was indicative of their readiness for the bridegroom.

In the book of Matthew, Jesus told his disciples when they fast, not to be like the hypocrites, but to anoint their heads and wash their face, “That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.”

The Samaritan tended to the wounds of the traveler with both oil and wine

In James, he commands the sick to call upon the elders of the church, to anoint and pray for them, and God shall heal them, and if there be any sin it shall be forgiven.

The anointing is not a static event in someone’s life. It is intended to activate the power, plan, and favor of God in all that it is applied to. The oil is the outward agent of the inward transference of God’s divine intervention in your life.

  • Use the Anointing Oil in every area of life…
  • Use it on the forehead of a sick child in the middle of the night.
  • Use it on the pillow of an unsaved loved one who refuses to answer the call of God on their life.
  • Use it on the vehicle of your teenager before they travel.
  • Use it on the job application or scholarship that you desperately want God’s favor in.
  • Use it to anoint a bill you cannot afford to pay and watch God unlock your finances.
  • Use it on yourself before you fast, and then wash your face.
  • Use it to anoint the doorposts of a new home or a home that is battling evil spirits.
  • Use it on a napkin or handkerchief like Apostle Paul to allow the transference of healing.

God’s Anointing, coupled with your prayer is unstoppable!

…and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.

Pastor RDM

Photo compliments of  Bro. Carlos Hernandez.

Please visit his blog at http://carloshernandezphoto.wordpress.com/ to view some of his artistry in documenting Apostolics in the 21st Century. Thanks Bro. Carlos!

If Thy Presence Go Not With Me

stone-trustConsider the following passage – paying close attention to Moses’ outright refusal to go any further without the LORD’s presence…

Exodus 33:12-23

12 And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. 13 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, show me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. 14 And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. 15 And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. 16 For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.

17 And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name. 18 And he said, I beseech thee, show me thy glory. 19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. 20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. 21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: 22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: 23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.

Taking that Next Step

Occasionally, I find myself in situations that push me beyond my comfort zone. Situations I personally feel inadequate to handle. Certainly, I understand the Lord is always with me, but the situations I’m describing are situations that will require a supernatural confirmation and reassurance. In reading the scripture above I learned I am not alone in feeling this way. Even after the mighty things God accomplished through Moses, he still needed the reassurance that the next step he was to take would be accompanied by the LORD. Moses realized early on, that there was not enough talent, skill, ability, charisma, or clout that could make up for not having the presence of God with him. Wouldn’t you think that past experience would have built up a certain level of confidence? Try as we may we can’t placate that feeling of being overwhelmed. The feeling that the next step we take is going require an extra level of certainty from the only ONE that can give it…God himself!

Dare I say, this present generation is at that junction. Our faith is being challenged. Our loved ones are under attack by sicknesses, some unto death. Our finances are in turmoil. Our economy, our way of life, our government, and dare I say our freedoms, are on the endangered list, if not experiencing outright extinction. If ever we needed that reassurance we need it now.

What About Trust?

But, all of this begs the question, “where does trust come in?” Surely Moses could have based his trust on past performance with God. He could have even based his trust on the Word of God. God continuously spoke to Moses, as a man speaks to his friend, face to face. How much more reassurance would you need? Perhaps this wasn’t about trust at all – maybe it was more about Moses’ willingness to stay put until he knew that God had called him to the next level.

Exodus 14:13-14 – And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will show to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. 14 The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

You see Moses learned, as we all should, that there are times that we must stand still! We mistake activity for productivity. Movement for progress. Busyness for business. Not so with God. If ever there was a time we need to stand still and see the hand of the LORD fight for HIS people it is today!

That’s not to say we should leave ourselves vulnerable or unprotected. Paul writes to the church at Ephesus, 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:(Ephesians 6:12-14)

The Great Shaking

Hebrews 12:26-29Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 For our God is a consuming fire.

There appears to be a shaking of sorts happening now! Globally our financial systems are in dire straits! Globally we are not only financially bankrupt, we are morally bankrupt! And as this world is shaking and reeling from the calamities it faces, this truly will be the time that the chaff will be separated from the wheat!

As Christians, we should echo the opening chorus in Psalms – 1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree plantedby the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

In Closing

And he (Moses) said unto him, “If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.” Moses’ remarks were far from being rooted in distrust, uncertainty, and disbelief. They were essential to the direction of the nation of Israel – God’s chosen people. We should mirror this pattern in our lives as God’s Elect! Wherever I go the Presence of the LORD must be a pre-requisite! I never want to GO where the presence of the LORD hasn’t led me. I never want to BE where the presence of the LORD hasn’t directed me. I never want to know what it’s like not to have the presence of the LORD, not just WITH me, but INSIDE of me!

James bluntly states in chapter 4 verses 13-15:  Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. 15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

We are such a blessed people to have a God that cares about our future. In fact He not only cares about it…He’s creating it as you read this posting! Prayerfully consider your next step. It could be that God doesn’t want you to step at all – He may want you to stay!