L. Kathleen Cline's Blog
One thing I have learned in the almost eleven years of mission ministry is if someone believes a lie, there is nothing you can do or say that will convince them otherwise. Only God can reveal the truth and open the heart to receive it. Lies based on fear, I believe, take root at the core to shore up an eroding foundation. As Christ-followers, we tell our children the danger of building your house upon the sand. Ironically, Satan entered the Church and convinced God’s people that God does not heal anymore; therefore, the foundation of healing became sand for many. So for the last two years, fear has struck the hearts of God’s people with one medical fear after another. The results became leaders of the Church proclaiming secular practices and bragging they had done their part and the trust in God eroded a little more and more.
Those that can see the truth that has watched secular spiritualism invade our church family are at a loss as to what to do. Maybe because we are tired of getting bullied and called names, or we have given up trying to get them to see the error of judgment. No matter the reason for the silence, with a good conscience, you cannot just sit by and watch evil slowly injure and kill people.
I believe in Ephesians 6:12 that our fight is in the heavenly realm. Our prayers become dangerous to the enemy when we proclaim God and His word over every situation. If Satan can convince you that your fear is more powerful than your God, then, like many, the foundation of your faith will begin to shift. If you understand that your God can defy nature, you will stand firm in your faith.
It will always boil down to this. Who is your God? Is the lie of Satan greater than your God?
So today, choose the ways of God like Moses did and reject the lure of the comforts of the world. Be a builder like Noah and not a floater. Be like the widow, a gatherer of containers for oil, and not the victim. It is your time to decide. How will history record your journey?
Declare! Declare! Declare! God’s word will not return to Him void. That’s a promise, and God can’t lie. So it is time you got into the battle with your prayers and decrees and show Satan just how strong your faith is in God.
I have been mulling over the part fasting should be playing in the age of grace. For two weeks, I have questioned my friends about why they fast. Most of my friends said the same thing: to get close to God or hear God. My friends are kind and allow me to challenge their thought processes or debate them concerning their answers. Yesterday at church, God finally brought a complete response to me about fasting.
Imagine yourself on a date or having an intimate dinner with someone, and they took out their phone and started scrolling. What if you were talking to a friend and they walked away from you to do something else? How would you feel if someone you loved screened their calls and refused to pick up the phone to talk with you? All three of those scenarios are how we treat God. God looks at the relationship with His people as a marriage. There is not one marriage that can survive without intimacy or that special closeness withheld for only one.
When we read verses about drawing near God or abiding with God, most people think of religious acts performed for God. Fasting is one of those acts. But, you see, God does not want us to perform for Him; God wants that one-on-one time reserved for Him. He wants us to set aside all the business of the world and make a date with Him. We are just like our Creator; we want those we love to spend quality time with us.
When Jesus fasted in the Bible, He was drawing close to God. Hunger is the strongest desire on earth. Spending time with His Father was more satisfying than food could ever be. For the ladies out there, remember the first few months with your love and how much weight you lost. That overwhelming passion is what God wants from His bride, not some contrive acts of service.
If you want me to talk about fasting as a form of repentance, then you need to remember we live in grace through faith that if we confess our sins, God forgives. Period! If fasting is the way you clear away the noise of this world so you can talk to God about essential issues, then yes, by all means. But at no point should fasting become the act of penance. Jesus paid it all, so stop insulting Him.
James 4 is a perfect example of how God feels about the things of this world coming before Him. I explain it this way to my ladies. Imagine your husband bringing home a girlfriend and having sex in front of you. The Holy Spirit lives inside us, and He must endure every godless action we do that we not only justify but love more than Him. Verse 5 says it best,” God jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us.” Let me sum it up this way. We not only cheat on God, but we also dare to bring cheap flowers called religious acts to appease God. How would you feel? Are flowers enough for the insult of cheating?
Fasting is not the problem. How we set up the date with God is personal for all of us. So, the question for all of us is the same. Are you singing, fasting, feeding the poor, or whatever you do, done out of love, adoration, or passion for God? Or are you trying to rectify a matter with a religious act? Are you performing to satisfy your own need to feel righteous instead of repenting? Are you performing for attention?
We all have to take notice of our quiet time with God. Devotion time should never be about checking a box. You are on a date with God. Ask Him what He wants to do today. Maybe He wants you to read a chapter to help defend yourself that day. Perhaps He wants you to gain His wisdom by reading Proverbs. God just might want to have a conversation. You won’t know till you ask. Whatever you do, ensure it is done from a heart of love and not under compulsion. No one wants to be with someone because they have to be. Your Creator wants you to choose freely.
Was fasting a foretelling of repentance and dying to self?
Everything in the Old Testament Jewish faith was the "first to establish the second," meaning the religious acts were a foretelling to set up the death and resurrection of Christ. The practice of circumcision is not a sacred act anymore, nor is sacrifice. Why? Because in the New Covenant through Jesus, circumcision is now of the heart and not the flesh. The book of Romans reminds us that every religious act of the flesh has been replaced by living under grace through faith. So why are we continuing the practice of fasting for repentance or sorrow? Is that not an act of flesh? Do we not believe that if we confess our sins, Jesus is faithful and just to forgive us? Why do you have to starve yourself to get God to move or hear Him? Don't we believe that He has heard us if we ask according to His will? Do you think God is motivated more by our acts of humility or our acts of faith? Does He not know the heart of His people? Here is a tricky question for you? Is fasting taking the place of your actions of obedience? So if you fast for abortion, you can vote for someone who supports it? If you fast, can you then remain silent and not be a voice for the innocent?
Here is a big question. Is proclaiming a fast on social media make you righteous? But, more importantly, is claiming I am obeying my God and daily dying to the flesh embarrassing to you?
In the next few days, I will be writing on fasting and why we are continuing the tradition?
With all honesty, this journey of questions all happened last week when one of my ladies asked a question about fasting, and it angered me. When I began to ask God why I got so upset, God began to ask me question after question. The first question was, "What verse in the New Covenant tells my people to fast?" By the way, the Gospels are under Old Covenant, and so was Jesus' time on earth. The second question was, "Was fasting intended to be a foretelling of repentance and dying to self?" So I am on this journey of discovery with you. I am in awe of what I have discovered and can't wait to share it with you.
Here is a thought till I post again. Fasting gives the impression of an action done by the righteous. Dying to self gives the appearance of a sinner walking away from the world and choosing God. It's a word game Satan has us playing, so we fall back on actions we can do instead of relying upon what Jesus did. Fasting is the old wineskin. The other is about one coming into alignment with God to strengthen their relationship with Him and trust Him by faith. The same applies to a whole nation. Calls to prayer do not require a fast for repentance or to express sorrow. If we confess our sins, it is what God's word says. Not perform for God but confess and repent. Has fasting become the act mentioned in Psalm 66:2, "Because of the greatness of Your power Your enemies will give feigned obedience to You?"
These are questions you should be asking God. Talk with you soon.
The other day, God reminded me of a story. When I was teaching in the old mission building, my classroom was the library. I loved the big tables that we could join together as we discussed God’s word. Then I had to move over to the men’s side of the building and teach in one of the classrooms. It was your standard room with conference tables. At the time, I felt the setup cold as I was way upfront from the ladies “teaching.” My director permitted me to join the tables together to make it more intimate. Since I was having trouble with my legs, she told me I could leave the tables joined together for the guys to put the room back together. She forgot to tell the guys. One day, a man came storming into my classroom and yelled at me. “You will put those tables back,” he demanded. I looked up and slowly said, “No.” He screamed again, “Yes, you will.” I again replied, “No, and if you have a problem with that answer, you can talk with my supervisor.” The look on his face was stunning as he stomped away. My boss later laughed because apparently, I freaked him out by telling him “no.” The irony was he was over that area. He had the authority over those rooms. Because He chose to run into the room and just scream and not identify his authority, I responded with a simple no answer.
We do the same thing. Declaring the word of God in the authority Jesus gave to us is not taught. Instead, we have movies and leaders that encourage us to scream at Satan. We accomplish nothing when we behave in this manner, just like that screaming man. Evil works in the spiritual, legal realm. Satan is a legalist, and we must declare God’s word when we resist the devil. Declarations are not about our emotions. We are God’s warriors, defending the sphere of influence God has appointed to us. Whether it is your country, property, family, finances, loved ones, ministry, business, or job, we were all given authority over something. I am speaking of authority from God, so Satan has no legal rights unless you relinquish your power to him. What has happened is God’s people were taught to beg and plead to God instead of standing on our faith and declaring God over situations. Resisting Satan is easy when you stand on God’s word and proclaim His truth over difficulties.
Imagine you are a manager over a store. Do you beg your boss to help you deal with personnel issues? If you have a rude customer, do you run to the phone and call your boss for them to deal with that customer? The exception to these scenarios comes into play only when those two situations go beyond your authority. Otherwise, your boss expects you to take charge of the store. The same is with God’s church. God appointed each of us to represent Him in every aspect of our lives. He has given you permission to stand on His word and protect and defend with all diligence. It’s time for us to stop conceding to evil and start putting on our armor and fighting with God’s word. Of course, you can’t declare what you don’t know, so yes, you have to learn God’s word. But that goes into a conversation about laziness which is for another day.
People who work with people with any type of addiction often wonder if they are making a difference. God informed me that my job often is to warn people and give them godly solutions. So, when they stand in front of God, they cannot claim they did not know. Today I listened to a sermon with great questions. I will ask them in a minute, but first, I want to remind everyone what God’s word says about our decision-making.
See, every day, we decide decisions starting with whether to get out of bed or not. But, let’s face it, our character or nature is where most decisions come out. So, for most, it is only with the big decisions that we might ask God, “What do you think?” As a result, self-reliance has become second nature and thought to be sound if it appears godly. The religious spirit will deceive and convince you that what you are doing is correct because it appeases your fear, brings immediate comfort, or brings a false sense of peace to your situation.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
Here are the sermon’s questions and statement. Do you listen to man, or do you listen to God? What is your source of information? We listen to the world and everything else other than God.
It is stunning how fear of health, well-being, and getting back to normal has encouraged God-fearing people to follow man's methods for the solution. God squeezes down on us to make choices and show what we believe. There are no more sidelines in which you can just stand and watch. God must clean up His church first before He turns His justice on society. I believe God’s word when it says My sheep know My voice. I do not think that my sister and brothers are apostates. What I do think is happening is God’s sheep is talking at God and not listening to God. There has become a confusion between self-reliance talk and seeking God for solutions. Declarations are being made over man’s solutions and declared as an answer from God because once again, it appeases our deepest fears and appears to be the answer that will achieve peace.
Man’s solution to today’s crisis is a scheme leading to mass murder and reliance on lifetime pharmaceuticals. Don’t take my word for it. Ask God. Not through your fear or if you have already made up your mind. Ask with an honest heart to obey. We are supposed to seek God, which means you require God to answer. Any decision made out of fear or self-centered desire is not from God, no matter how much you claim it to be. Here’s a tell-tale sign. If you have rage in your heart and want to silence me, then who is your god? You have made your choice. If you still question your decision concerning a matter or regret your actions, you know God forgives you. God is always about reconciliation with Him. Talk to Him. He has the solution. Trust Him, and He will guide your path straight. I speak as a witness to God’s mercy and grace. Please join me today as His witness.
One of the most precious lessons I learned from my mom was watching her struggle with her faith. There was no pretending she had it all together or that she fully understood God’s ways. I greatly admired her for that picture of sincerity. Now that I am in the senior category, I must say, it is not a lot of fun on this side. With age, experience comes and the understanding of the impact of actions. Consequences are hard to swallow and hard to watch as they impact the ones you love.
The other day I heard about a ministry called Speak Life. I will add the link below. Christa’s testimony is incredible but also very sobering. It was on abortion. How many just mentally ran for the door or wanted to stop reading? I get it. Abortion has become the nuclear bomb of all topics. People on either side get heated with the mention of the subject, and the rest of society tunes the noise out and walks off. So, as a sister or brother-in-Christ, I pray that you keep reading or just go to the link and check things out for yourself.
Jesus is coming after His church, and I am not talking about the rapture. For way over a year, God’s prophets have been warning God’s household to clean up their act. But, unfortunately, the comfortable don’t see issues. Christa’s testimony and prophetic warning knocked me out of my comfortable position last night. The church has allowed babies to be dehumanized and silenced, and at no point did we give voice or put up a fight in their defense. I think cheap grace made this possible because “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins,” right? Twenty-four hours ago, that was the comfortable thought I was sitting in, and I felt safe. But, as I said above, consequences are hard to swallow, and our God cannot ignore 70 million dead babies crying out for justice. Even though society dehumanized those precious lives by saying they were a clump of cells, it does not keep their Creator and Righteous Judge from defending them. The punch line from Christa’s prophetic message from the Groom to His bride was this warning. You, my beautiful bride, defend and speak for those babies that have no voice, or I will remove your voice. How’s that for a sobering thought?
See, Satan is blackmailing people when they commit this sin and dumping a bucket of shame on them. We all know shame. It has become an unwanted house guest for many of us that no matter what we do, we cannot evict. As one of my ladies declared last Thursday, shame is why she dives in a bottle. So do you see Jesus’s issue? On one side, He has his bride swimming in guilt under a gag order by Satan, and on the other, the blood of the babies crying out for justice. So what is the solution?
Do you believe that the blood of Jesus covers every sin known to man? Do you believe that we are a new creation in Christ, and the old is passed away, and the new has come? Then why aren’t we declaring our beliefs over those that commit abortion? Did you know there are seven abominations listed in Proverbs 6? The first one is haughty eyes. Unfortunately, Satan has successfully silenced the church because many people portray abortion as an unforgivable sin, which is a lie.
Forgiveness will always be about what Jesus did for us. All sins were paid in full by Jesus. So my message today will be I will be a voice for the silenced babies. By the words of my mouth, I testify that I am forgiven by God. If Jesus is asking for a voice, I will offer mine. Despite my shame or embarrassment, I will speak if my testimony prevents another from doing wrong. Siblings, Satan cannot blackmail us if we stop trying to protect our reputations and start testifying about God’s forgiveness. Shame is the worst feeling ever, but Jesus bore our shame so we could walk in liberty. So please consider being a voice and share any testimony you have about being set free. Because if the Son sets you free, then you will be free indeed. It’s time to speak. Be God’s witness.
A lovely lady named Tommy shared an incredible testimony with me. She has permitted me to tell you the story.
Tommy developed a debilitating gastric issue. She could not even go to church due to her problems. After seeing specialists with only more tests in her future with no answers, she pleaded with God. “God, you have to help me because no one knows what is wrong with me, and I cannot go on like this.” Early morning, Tommy was awakened by someone spelling a word. H-P-Y-L-O-R-I. She looked around the room, thinking it was her husband, but he was asleep in his lounge chair. Again, the voice spelled out H-P-Y-L-O-R-I. What? she thought. The voice repeated H-P-Y-L-O-R-I. Then Tommy thought maybe I should spell the word with them. “H-P-Y-L-O-R-I,” she said out loud two more times with the voice. Then Tommy just went back to sleep with extreme peace in her heart. The following day she googled the word and found every symptom she had under this diagnosis. She also discovered just a breath test was required to confirm she had this condition. When she called her family physician, they did the test for her. Three days later, she received a call from the nurse telling Tommy she must have an incredible connection with God because that was her diagnosis.
The thing is, Tommy’s connection to God is the same you and I have. God promises when we seek Him, earnestly seek Him, we will find Him. Plus, He might have your angel spell out your diagnosis to you. Somebody reading this needs to know that God works in the world of impossibles. So I highly recommend you seek God for your answers today. Photo by Cherry Laithang on Unsplash
#cryouttogod #prayfirst #powerofprayer #praywithoutceasing #morningprayer #jesusfollower #postswithpurpose #encouraging
I teach a 9th and 10th-grade girls' Sunday school class with one of my dear prayer warrior friends. Our Church has it, so each child's class has two adults present. My partner and I have both been feeling an extreme urge just to call it quits. Sunday was an extremely rough spiritual battle. It was odd that when I shared my overwhelming temptation, my partner also got the same message, which was self-pity. See, as I entered that sanctuary, everyone was having a great time socializing. Immediately I heard, "Because you teach in another building, no one knows you, and you are missing out. You could have fun like them if you quit because, look, it's like they are at a party and you are not invited." Crazy message, huh. Because my friend and I have been doing this for years, we are missing out on things, but joining the social fun would mean we would have to quit the calling of God.
This morning when God and I were mulling over the crazy temptation, God quickly reminded me mamas hear this same temptation all the time. Motherhood is one of the most critical ministries God can assign. It is also one of the most misunderstood, overlooked, underestimated, and belittled ministries. While you may feel like quitting and chucking your responsibilities, let me encourage you to hang tight. You, mama, are nurturing our nation's future. No wonder Satan wants you to feel left out and isolated. Remember, Satan came to kill, steal and destroy. Ask yourself, is it your future Satan is trying to kill or your child's? Stand firm and know God equips the ones He calls. So ask God for everything you spiritually and physically need to complete your mission of motherhood. You are the backbone of society. Pretty special calling if you ask me.
I have the most interesting story from my prayer partner. Miss Frances has allowed me to share. Two Fridays ago, she was up at 4 a.m. preparing to teach several chapters from the book of Daniel. Suddenly she heard piercing screams coming from outside, which sounded like her outdoor cat being torn apart. Miss Frances being a tiny woman and knowing a panther was spotted on the property, she went to get her husband to go outside. He quickly turned down this request since it was early and stated he would check when the sun came up. The screams were so intense that the dogs busted from their pen to chase whatever was making the noise. In the morning, the chickens were plastered to the back of their coop in sheer fear. Odd thing, though, they found no hair or blood, but kitty would not respond to the usual call. Saturday went by; then Sunday till Monday Miss Frances decided to pick up the cat’s bowls. My friend was confused and felt violated because she faithfully walked the property in prayer, covering the animals and land in God’s protection. How could this happen? Then suddenly, kitty comes running up as if nothing ever happen. After my friend rejoiced, the Holy Spirit had an interesting conversation with her about the event.
See, Miss Frances reacted to what she perceived in the natural. The screams stirred up fear, which in turn led her to come to the worse conclusion. Evil always tries and interprets what is going on around us. We all have heard it. “Things will never get better.” That’s it, evil won, and you lost.” “You might as well stop praying because there is no use.” My least favorite is, “Things will never get better till Jesus comes, so stop fighting.”
The story of Lazarus is a perfect example that it’s not over till God has His say. It may appear evil is winning at this very moment, but God has not made His move yet. He hasn’t engaged yet because He always gives people ample time to choose and repent. Times up, though, and when God moves, evil will try and interpret what you are seeing. Don’t allow it. We serve the one true living God. Don’t be like the chickens plastered against the wall. Praise God through the storm because the scream you are going to hear is evil going down. Photo by Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash
#praisegodinthestorm #cryouttogod #whoisyourgod #warriorsforchrist #nofearwithGod
The fear of the Lord is a good thing. You may ask me why. Well, Isaiah 11 teaches us many reasons why. First, the fear of God acknowledges the good intentions of God and motivates and delights even Jesus. When you read God’s word, it produces the fear of God. You know someone is walking in the fear of God because their life displays God’s wisdom. The fear of God restrains people from sinning along with giving confidence to the one walking by faith. Rulers and judges will act justly when they fear God. Here is my favorite benefit, it can result in rest and good sleep. When applied with humility, the fear of God can lead to riches, honor, and life. Finally, when we honor and obey God, His displayed protection will remind the enemy to fear God. So, the fear of God is a good thing. #whoisyourgod #livewithintent#faithoverfear #keepfaith