How do you Measure Faith?

How do you measure faith? If it takes a mustard seed size faith to move a mountain (Matt 17:20), then how much faith to see someone healed?

Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen. 

Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].” Hebrews 11:1 Amplified

To me, Faith is trusting in the character of God beyond my own understanding.
When I pray for something and it does not happen, even praying with complete faith and trust, if I say this did not happen because I did not have enough faith, I put all the pressure and blame on myself.

That is exactly what the enemy wants to happen! When I don’t get what I pray for the enemy would want me to doubt my faith in God. As a result, the enemy’s goal would be for me to start doubting God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do.

When I pray for something in faith believing God’s will to be done above my own, something switches from me being responsible for the answer to leaving it in God’s hand and trusting HIM to have the answer in His timing.

When I pray, Father, Your Kingdom Come On Earth as it is in heaven, not my will be done but Yours be done (Matt 6:10). My focus shifts on Him and His kingdom which is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom 14:17). If I can have peace and joy while walking in righteousness (right standing in him) before Him, then I am experiencing the kingdom of God.
If I live in that mindset it puts my focus on Him for whatever happens in my life.

By praying this way, I am focusing my attention on the Father, instead of my attention on the problem. If my trust and focus is on Him, not just relying on whatever size of faith I have, it begins to take my focus off of the issue. That begins to remove fear, doubt and disillusionment that can take place when you are surrounded by circumstances outside of your control.

Again, if I pray and think my faith will get me this answer, then my attention focuses on myself. I believe that is the opposite of what God intends for prayer.

I want my focus to be on the immense love of God, that he has me in the palm of his hands and whatever life and people throw at me I can rest in confidence in him. His character never changes his word never changes, his promises never fail.
Happy Monday!

The picture in this post was a gift from God last year. I took it right down the street from my house when Mount Hood had the most incredible lenticular clouds over the top. It’s a treasure.

Mental Victories: Hardest Fought but Greatest Reward

Today I used the verse below as a weapon to stomp on the enemy’s head. He kept trying to creep up and place degrading thoughts in my mind about myself. Hurtful words that had been spoken to me by another person, now used as a dagger the enemy constantly tries to annihilate me with.

Today I spoke this verse over myself again and again and it fortified a wall of the word of God around me blocking the enemy’s voice. I sat in peace when I normally would have been in turmoil.

Today, declaring this verse put on display the power of the word of God when it is hidden in our hearts and used against the enemy, as the word of Our Testimony.
⚡ I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.⚡

Righteousness means right standing with God. I know the purity of my heart and actions before God. I know my position in Christ. I am a daughter of the King.

Let this verse sink into your heart. Let it become your Battle Cry when the enemy comes to fill your mind with thoughts that tear you down. Knowing who we are in Christ enables us to walk each day filled with his grace and enablement to be able to do everything he has called us to do.

He made Christ who knew no sin to [judicially] be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we would become the righteousness of God [that is, we would be made acceptable to Him and placed in a right relationship with Him by His gracious lovingkindness].
2 Corinthians 5:21 Amplified

Follow & Stay up to date on what God is speaking to me on my Facebook Page. At times I will post shorts only on there. https://www.facebook.com/livelifeoutloudforgod/

Asking the Holy Spirit to Hover Over Your Prayer Targets

I heard a message years ago from Beni Johnson that talked about praying for our kids that the Holy Spirit would hover over them like the Holy Spirit did over the waters at creation. The testimonies that came in were unbelievable how lives were changed and how the prodigals returned.

I encourage you to listen to this song and where it says “Rest on Us” replace the US with the name of the person you are praying for. It is soo powerful to combine worship with prayer as it releases faith inside of us and joins our hearts and spirit with Papa God.

This song was playing right when I turned my car on this morning on Air1, I’m so thankful!
Now I’m so excited to hear testimonies from you!

Worship Song, Rest On Us from Maverick City Music.
https://youtu.be/8qryRCbNYro

Rip off those Grave Clothes, Hope to the Hopeless

Have you ever had one of those long seasons where fear, anger, grief and loss seem to drown out hope and make the promises of God seem like a mirage?
It may be in those seasons like the only thing to do is block out the world around you as much as you can and go on autopilot.
Then when you finally get to a place where you can relax and have peace you realize that all the relaxing in the world does not take the place of Jesus!

When decisions are made that are totally out of your control and you think that the promises God made will never come to pass. That is when we need to recognize the source of those thoughts, from the pit of hell. It is our responsibility to keep praying, keep trusting God, keep declaring His promises over you and your family. Over your children, their spouses, your grandchildren. Never stop crying out to God for His purposes to be done for His will to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.

It’s time to shake off those grave clothes! I will never forget a sermon I heard years ago that talked about the grave clothes we walk around in. When Jesus called Lazarus out of the tomb, he told him to Take off those Grave clothes he was wearing. We can walk around with the heaviness that the enemy wants us to stay in but Jesus makes us free, whole and restored. We can asknowledge that the King of Kings and the Lord of Lord’s is still on the throne. He hasn’t stopped believing his promises so we can’t either.

Time to see that Jesus sits on the throne and he has given us the keys of sin and death. He has given us Authority to trample on the enemy. It’s time to get our fight back. It’s time to realize who is the head and who is the tail. We are MORE Than CONQUERORS through Him who loves us and has called us according to His purposes.

Even if we can’t change the choices that we can’t control around us, we can change our thoughts, heart, attitude and response to it. God give us all the strength and courage to see beyond the surface of the problems. Help us to remember that, you take what the enemy meant for evil and turn it for good. Give us your eyes to see with hope that we will see a victory. We will pray with faith and hold on to hope not fear. We align our faith with the word of God. We will silence the lies of the enemy by speaking the word of God to every twisted idea. Turn on the Worship misic and worship your heart out! We will declare the promises of God every day.

~Sometimes I’m a Princess and
Sometimes I’m a Warrior~

https://youtu.be/q5m09rqOoxE

The Mental Battle is Real – So is its Victory

It’s time to no longer allow the enemy to take bits of truth and turn it into a twisted daggar.

This last year has been mentally challenging for many of us. But! We with the power of the Holy Spirit working through us can break through those strongholds that are twisting our mind into a frenzie!

Those areas that take a piece of truth and mix it with an assumption, add in some hurt, dissapointment, anger and resentment and you get a fortress in your mind the enemy has built walls around.

Keeping that fortress may allow you a time of self pity, which can feel justified at first, but it will always hurt more. Self pity is the lock and chain around the fortress. We must be willing to acknowledge self pity is wrong and that it is justifying our sinful response instead of acknowledging God’s ability to set us free.

The weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood]. Our weapons are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ,being ready to punish every act of disobedience, when your own obedience [as a church] is complete. – 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2Corinthians10:4-6&version=AMP

The only things that can break that is the truth of the word of God, the power of the Holy Spirit, repenting of holding on to those lying thoughts as truth and a determination to stop mulling over those painful thoughts after we receive forgiveness.

The next step is putting into action a plan for a new course. Finally seeing it through. You can get help all you want after that. But if the first steps are not taken it won’t do a lick of good. Conquer the battle in the mind first.

This is my testimony this week. I pray it helps you on your own journey of freedom.

National Day Of Prayer for COVID-19 Coronavirus

Today I join with our President and millions of Christians around the USA on this #NationalDayOfPrayer.

I declare #Psalms91 over us. Jesus you said, If I will be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me.” Jesus, I lift you up over the United States, I lift you up over the world. Draw all men and women and children unto you. Stretch out your hand and eliminate #covid19 the #coronavirus. We declare healing for all infected.

The Bible says it is by your stripes Jesus that we have been healed! We declare healing over those who are sick today. Let your people arise with faith and begin to lay hands on the sick and see them recover. This goes for every sickness and every disease. Let us see miracles break out across the country as your people rise in faith for the impossible. The same Holy Spirit that was poured out in Acts NEVER LOST His Power! The Blood of Jesus Never lost its power. The same blood of Jesus that washes away our sins, heals our bodies. Thank you #Jesus for your sacrifice on the cross for us. We declare health and wholeness for every body!

We will not bow to the spirit of fear! We reject fear and receive faith! For the Lord has not given us a spirit of fear but of Power Love and a Sound Mind! Father release a sound mind over every #government official. Let them lead with wisdom. I pray for our President Donald #Trump and First Lady Melania, their family, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife and family. Protect them, give them wisdom and guide them in truth and love. Father your will be done, your kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven. Provide, protect and heal our nation and the nations of the world. For yours is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory Forever Amen!

Psalms 91 produced by our friend Steve Carpenter and his kids with Hwy 19 Media Productions. https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10220228226269444&id=1041094279

When someone’s Destiny is cut short – Runing the race for someone else.

What are we supposed to think when someone has received a word from the Lord of something they will do or be a part of someday and they died before the fulfilment takes place? Do we stop believing in the prophetic or hearing the voice of God? How is this linked to faith?

Hebrews 11:1 says, Now faith is the substance (confident, assurance) of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Faith is believing in something God has said that we cannot see, with confidence that it will come to pass. So what happens when we feel God has said something to us but it does not come to pass in our lifetime or in the lifetime of our loved ones?

Many know Hebrews 11 as The Heroes of Faith chapter. But as I was reading it today, I was struck 2 times where it said they did not see the promises come to pass in their lifetime.

Hebrews 11:13, 16

“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”

We applaud them for their faith, not realizing they were human as well, and wrestled with probably the same thoughts we have. They did not see the promises fulfilled in their lifetime. They had to have confidence in God that he would fulfill his word and keep obeying and moving forward, if they saw it with their own eyes or not.

I can’t imagine what that would have been like… Actually, yes I can. I’ve already seen it in my own life. My grandma Johnson about a year or two before she died, went through prophetic assembly at our church. I remember listening to what they were saying and wondering how God was going to fulfill those things in her life. When she died suddenly before doing any of the things they spoke over her, I wrestled with the words they said. After her death, I remember reading through Hebrews 11 and felt like I was reading the last verse for the first time.

Hebrews 11:39-40 NIV

39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

Hebrews 11:39-40 Nkjv

39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.

Did you catch that? That they should not be made perfect apart from US! And in the NIV version it said since God had planned something better for US so that only together with US- They would be made Perfect.

To me that means the people who came after those Heroes of Faith were the ones who walked out the promises God had given them. If that happened when the Bible was written, it still happens today!

Who went before you that was given a promise from God they never saw fulfilled? What are the things that YOU who have the Baton will be carrying out to perfect their promise? What a sobering thought no wonder it says in chapter 12 verse 1

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the [a]author and [b]finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

When the Bible was written it was not written in chapters. It was usually a continual thought that flowed from one chapter to another. Unfortunately, many times we don’t read the word of God in context and keep reading before or after the verses that we are focusing on. I’m so glad my awesome College professors at Portland Bible College pounded that into us. Right after it was talking about the Heroes of Faith not seeing the promise that we are supposed to carry on, it goes on to tell US to run the race before us with endurance.

What an incredible revelation! Not only does it answer the probing question of why God can speak something and it not come to pass in our lifetime; it gives us the direction of how to take on the mandates God has spoken over those in the past and run our race with endurance.

The question then comes, what is our race?

How do I know the race that God has set for me?

The answer is simple.

You live each day dedicated to God 100%. Having ears that are open to hear his voice and living in obedience to him. Spending time reading, studying and applying the word of God. Planting yourself in a Bible based local church who is your spiritual covering/authority (wives as well as your husband who is your first level of covering).

You run your race by obeying the things that God has set in front of you to do each day. Trusting Him 100% that as you listen to him, receive counsel and wisdom from your spiritual leaders when needed you will be guided on your race. If your wisdom is lead in purity and peace your path will be made straight and you fill fulfill the race set before you.

James 3:13-18

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and [h]self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.

17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Ever decision should be made with the wisdom of God and first pure then with peace. That is another discussion for another day.

My favorite life verse is:

Prov 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

And lean not on your own understanding;

6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,

And He shall [b]direct your paths.

Let’s keep running, don’t give up if you don’t see someone elses words not fulfilled. If God asks you to, pick up their baton and run like your life depends on it. Because a fulfilled life WILL depend on it.

Faith – Trust – Heaven – The true story of Dean Braxton, his journey to heaven after being dead 2 hrs.

Some people think, if you desire at end of your life to go to heaven, you are giving up the fight a faith. Not True! It is a very delicate balance of believing in faith for healing to the very very end and at the same time having complete trust in God if death takes place. The hardest part is not resenting God if a loved one does join him in heaven.

It is almost like being stiff-necked and stubborn in your faith and quickly trusting God if we do not see the result we want., it may be easy to give up your faith when things happen that we don’t understand, but if you are ever in that place there are millions around the world who understand what that feels like and there are people who can help support you in that time of grief.

3 years ago Dean Braxton came to Destiny Christian Fellowship to share his testimony of dying and coming back to life after visiting heaven. He is so humble and genuine. This was my first impression of what he said.

“Incredible message from Dean Braxton today. Totally changed my perspective on dying. He went in for kidney stones and the toxin exploded through his body and he was Dead for 1hr 45min.

What he experienced in dying and what he felt and experienced in heaven he compared Biblically as he spoke today. He talked about animals in heaven and that everything is alive, everything has intelligence and is aware and alive. In revelations it ever talks about a bird that flies around the throne giving praise to God. He said he can’t accurately describe what it is like because you just dont have earthly words to describe it other than Pure Love and a Peace that is indescribable.

He said that when a believer in Christ is dying their spirit leaves their body even before the body breaths its last breath. What remains is like a car running out of gas. There is such a quick transition but total peace because you are in the presence of Jesus. He said as he arrived Jesus was there with all his family members as well as generations of those in his family who went before him. He said that everyone and everything welcomed him and was happy to see him. All our attitudes go away just pure thoughts and feelings. Negative relational Issues from people on Earth are gone. THAT is something to look foreword to.

He said that Jesus told him he needed him more on Earth than in heaven right now, that he had a mission to fulfill. Dean kept on saying that we are here for such a short time and that in heaven there is NO death and decay. That every day we wake up we are here for a shorter amount of time. We need to take advantage of every day. Sharing with those we know that Heaven is real, Jesus is real and his love surpasses the wrong things we do in life. Nothing compares to knowing Christ and realizing that not only did he die for our spiritual death but our physical death. The pain of death does not touch the believer! What a gift Christ gave us. Oh, Death where is your sting. Oh, grave where is your victory. He has overcome and we get to live with Him for eternity. He is our treasure and our reward!

For the full testimony, here is Dean’s Book. I would encourage you to read and share it with others who might still fear dying. It is such an encouragement.

Dean Braxton Heaven Experiencing Throne God

Why it is important to hear God’s voice for yourself

Reposted from August 2015

All of my life I have grown up in a prophetic culture where hearing a word from God from somebody else is the norm. I have gone to more conferences at a church than I can count. When you grow up constantly hearing words that God is telling someone else for your church, region, nation or world it is easy to put your own ears in the backseat.

Christians submerged in this culture have a tendancy to become lazy when it comes to activating their own ability to hear the voice of God. We tend to rely on others to give us the new “Heavy Revey“.

This is dangerous and sets you up to be malnourished in your own spiritual walk.

There are times in my life when I go through seasons of constantly listening to different pastors around the world, as well as, listening to online conferences. However, in the last couple years as I have entered in a different season of life with running our business, and I have not exposed myself to as much teaching/prophetic ministry as I have in the past. In one sense, I have missed out growing in certain areas of my spiritual walk. On the other hand, I have had to learn to tune my ears in to Gods voice and ask for discernment to understand what He is telling me and where He is guiding me.

I never want to get to the place in my life where all I am listening to are the revelations that God has given someone else. Because when that happens, I cut myself off from the life flow of the Spirit of God that He wants to pour in and through me.

Now you might say I don’t know how to hear the voice of God. He never speaks to me.

The good news is, that He does all the time we just need to learn to recognize it. This subject has been my heart’s cry since I was 12 years old. I would lay in bed at night crying out to God to hear His voice. I wanted to be like Solomon wanting wisdom and understanding. I wanted to hear his voice so clear.

When I was in Bible college I shared a word with a church in Klamath Falls entitled “Stop, Wait, and Listen.” Boy oh boy, do I wish the computer I used back then didn’t crash because I do not have my notes. The purpose of the message was to teach on how to begin to hear God’s voice.

The first thing we have to do is STOP. Many times when I’m in a church service or praying God will tell me to be quiet. When He says my name first, then tells me to be quiet it really gets my attention! Many times we talk and talk and talk and do not stop to give God a chance to speak to us. He comes to us in a still small voice. Like Elijah in the cave, God did not speak to him in the thunder or in the storm but in a still small voice.

If our voice is only thing we here, we will never hear HIS.

But next we need to WAIT. Now this is the hard part. We have to focus on HIM, our mind, heart, emotions and desires ALL FOCUSED ON HIM. There are a zillion distractions in our life and depending on your present circumstances waiting may feel like an impossibility. But this is where the majority of people who say they cannot hear Gods voice fail. They’re not willing to wait. In this waiting period, many times God begins to speak but we dismiss it on account of not realizing he is speaking.

Not everyone hears an audible voice, that would be a voice that everyone else around you can hear at the same time. Like when John the Baptist was baptizing Jesus and everyone around them heard God speak, “This is my son in whom I am well pleased.” That was an undeniable audible voice.

Some people hear a voice in their head or spirit, some may attribute it to being their conscience. But did you know, your conscience is the Holy Spirit – who is God. We think that our conscience is just “us”. We overlook the fact that God speaks to us all the time, we may not even know it and we don’t give Him the credit. So listen to that voice! He will always give you peace. He also will never contradict His written word.

Another way he speaks is through His Written Word – the Bible. You may be reading the Bible and a verse jumps out at you and you can’t get away from it. You reread it over and over and feel at the same time that a match was just lit in your heart. That is the Holy Spirit speaking through the word. Other times, you may be waiting on God and a verse goes through your mind. That is God speaking to you through his word. I would encourage you when that happens to look at that verse up and research the context of what it is saying.

Something else awesome that happens is when you receive a Bible passage in your mind to look up. You might hear the words Psalms 121. Then when you look up that passage it is exactly what you needed to hear. Sometimes I have heard passages like that and went to look them up and they meant nothing to me. But when I read down further it led me to exactly what I needed. Don’t get discouraged if that happens. Sometimes it will be right on and sometimes it will be off. I heard someone say not to take it too literally if it doesn’t work out correctly. Especially if you open up and read and “Judas went and hanged himself”. And especially if it says, “whatever you are going to do, do quickly”. Haha, be wise and have fun with it.

I have seen signs at a church recently that say “Meeting with God face-to-face, through His Word.” The first time I saw that title I got really excited because my experience of meeting God face-to-face has been with my face down in the carpet weeping while experiencing His intense presence & glory like nothing else, while seeing revelations in the spirit. But my experience is not something that you would typically find at the church I was at. It opened my eyes to the reason why we need every denomination in unity. Because every denomination has a piece of the puzzle that the other does not. The desire inside of me to experience God face-to-face in his word is growing more and more. It is definitely a paradigm shift for me to put those two phrases together, face-to-face – in his word. I long to be encountered by God through his word like I never have before.

It also important to discern when God is giving you a yellow light. A traffic light when yellow means caution. We need to make sure we know when we have a check in our spirit and God is telling us to stop or slow down.

The most important thing to do after he speaks is to LISTEN and put action to his words. Many times when he speaks it requires us to do something with what he says. If we doubt his words and never move forward with his instruction we will find ourselves stuck in a rut frustrated with life. He is always speaking, leading, guiding. If you feel stuck in a rut take some time to wait on the Lord and allow him to stir up the desires he has placed in your heart. But then ask, seek, knock and he will open doors before you that you never even dreamed possible.

I pray this blesses you and you’re able to share this with others who desire to hear Gods voice. – Rachelle Layzell

Here is a powerful song that reflects my hearts cry

I’m Listening by Chris McClarney

Forgiveness is not an option

Forgive quickly, forgive often. Unforgiveness leads to resentment which begins to build a thick wall between you and the other person. There is nothing worse than allowing a wall to stay between you and the other person when you have all the power to bring it down through humility and repentance. When the Bible says do not let the sun go down on your Wrath, that doesn’t mean insane crazy wrath like you think it does. It also means not forgiving the person who hurt you 100% completely with no resentment.

Choose forgiveness, repent for resentment to God and the other person. Allow God to break the walls down. Then Joy, Peace, and Love will come. I did and boy does it feel good!

If you are married you need to listen to this message. It was transform both of you no matter how long you have been married. If you are single this applies to you just as much. Thanks Dad, I needed this good kick in the pants. Wow, what powerful teaching straight from the word of God! Message from Joel Hjertstedt, Lead Pastor at Destiny Christian Fellowship. Milwaukie, Oregon http://www.destinycf.org

https://www.dropbox.com/s/tw73mx58dxwy32w/20181209_Sunday_Message_Joel_Hjertstedt.mp3?dl=0