It’s Time to Take Dominion Part II Kay Keith Peebles

My last post two weeks ago was “It’s Time to Take Dominion Part I”. In that teaching I noted three directions that can consume our focus/attention, and keep us struggling in the earthly realm, leaving us defeated. They are: Back – looking at our past; Around – being focused on our current circumstances; and Down – being focused on ourselves, our inabilities, insecurities and shortcomings. All of these directions of focus keep us self-centered. The problems created by these three outlooks have no solution in the natural realm. We cannot change our past, our current circumstances are temporary and how we perceive ourselves and our personal limitations will never change until our perspective changes. Our breakthrough does not come in the natural realm, it comes from the Lord. “It’s Time to Take Dominion Part II” will direct our attention to the supernatural realm in which the Kingdom of Heaven functions.

Jesus was asked by His disciples how to pray and He responded with a prayer we call “The Lord’s Prayer”. See Matthew 6:9-13. In that prayer He instructed His disciples to pray, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We, His church, are not to be wistfully longing for our heavenly home, but actively building His Kingdom here on earth! How do we do this? We consecrate our lives to do His will and not our own. We humble ourselves before the Lord and allow Him to transform our mind, will and emotions into His image. We make disciples who will do the works Christ did and even greater. We seed the atmosphere of the world with the atmosphere of heaven wherever we go. This teaching is meant to draw our attention from the earthly realm to the Kingdom of Heaven where all our answers, power and authority lie.

The Lord’s return is closer now than ever before. The signs Jesus discussed in Matthew 24 point to situations like the ones we are experiencing in the world today. Our modern day culture as well as the increase in many violent storms, earthquakes and destructive natural events are mentioned in Matthew 24:6-14. “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom and there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved, and this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

He also said that in the “end times” there would be those completely distracted by their personal lives. Distractions from the enemy will keep many from preparing and looking for the Lord’s return. We must change our perspective if we are to endure to the end. The Lord said when we see those things happening, we are to “look up”!
LOOK UP!

Psalm 121:1-8 “I will lift up my eyes to the hills—from whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your “keeper”; the LORD is your shade at your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul, the LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.” (Emphasis mine).

The Lord gave me more revelation on this scripture a few months ago. Faith in Him as my “keeper” has given me great peace, especially when thoughts of fear try to creep into my mind. We do not have the power to keep ourselves safe no matter how hard we try, but the Lord does. We may have limitations, but He does not, therefore, nothing is impossible with God. We may be weak but He is not. All glory and power belongs to Him. We may see in part, but He knows all things and freely gives us all we need to know to be victorious. Jesus is the Word of God and He will back up His Word with all the power and might of heaven. We need to believe what He has said and what He has already done. We must keep our gaze on Him by keeping our eyes looking upward.

We may relate to Jesus more through His humanity but we must look beyond His humanity to see He is the ruling and reigning authority in heaven. He is our resurrected LORD and all the dominion and power in heaven belong to Him. He is sovereign over all the works on earth and that of the devil. Our adoption into His family, and our inheritance in His Kingdom gives us the right to expect His intervention in our lives here on earth as well as the lives of those around us. He desires us to establish His Kingdom here on earth just as it is in heaven. In order for us to have authority in the earth today, our spiritual eyes must see Him as John saw Him on the Island of Patmos.

Revelation 1:10-18 “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet. ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last’… Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me, and having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, ‘Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.’ ”

Revelation 19:11-16 “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns, He had a name written that no one knew except himself. He was clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is called The Word of God…Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron, the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

When Jesus died, He spoke, “It is finished!” He, by His death and resurrection, had done everything necessary to take back possession of the earthly realm. He left the operation of His Kingdom in our hands. He told us how to bind and loosen the Kingdom of Heaven upon the earth. He told us how to pray and wage spiritual warfare. We were left responsible for making disciples who would walk in the same dominion and authority as the first 12. Like the first Adam, the Lord again charged us to take dominion by enforcing His will and His justice in the earth.

Psalm 24:7-10 “Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory.” Our eyes, our ears and our hearts are our gates. We must shift our focus to our resurrected LORD.

Alone, we are helpless and hopeless. When we put our trust in Who He is and What He said, we will walk in victory and we will be able to lead others to victory! He is our strength and He is our hope. When we believe, pray and declare His word, He will back us up with all the power of heaven. He has called us to come out of the world. We are not to operate (live) according to the systems of the world. He has given us a new and living way in which to walk. His Kingdom is governed by a different system of laws, attitudes and actions. He has beckoned us to be transformed into His image so that we can do the works He did. If we are to be completely transformed, we must set our gaze upon Him. He compels us to “Look Up”!

Standing Out In A Crowd by Larry W Peebles

Standing Out In A Crowd   by   Larry W Peebles   September 22, 2017   17.36

I had a feeling he was the one when I saw him standing across the street.  He was tall, distinguished looking, and well dressed.  He could hardly hold back the tears.  In a moment, we would know for certain.  My wife and I were on the final afternoon of three days of street evangelism meetings in a small town in Kenya.  Along with our Kenyan friends, the pastor and worship team from a local church, we had set up on the street corner of a busy transportation station, where taxis (14 passenger vans) were coming and going, moving people from one place to another.  These taxis are the principal means of transportation in this part of Kenya.  Cars are expensive, so if it is too far to walk, people use these taxis.    The traffic in and out of this transfer station is quite busy.  The locals had set up a market here also, selling snacks, drinks, fruit and other merchandise to the travelers coming through.  So it was on this street corner out in the open air we had been preaching the good news of the Gospel of Jesus for three days.

Each day we had drawn a crowd bigger than the day before.  The travelers coming and going, as well as the locals working the booths in the market would stop and listen to the message.  They would join the dancing and singing to the lively worship music.  My wife and I both spoke that last afternoon, and our messages were connected.  The messages were similar in theme not because we had planned it that way, as neither of us knew in advance what the other would say.  The messages were similar because God intended it that way.  He often does that when we both speak in a ministry setting.

I spoke from John 14:6, where Jesus says He is “the way, the truth, and the life.”  I was reminding the crowd that when Jesus comes into a new believer’s heart as Savior, He brings real life and truth, and reveals the direction and purpose for that life.  That was when I heard the Lord say He does not come for the crowd, but always for the individual.  The size of the crowd does not matter.  When He looks at the crowd, he sees only the individual.  What I heard in my spiritual ear was so strong I spoke it aloud to the crowd.  I announced that Jesus Himself would be walking into our gathering to receive one soul into His salvation.  At least one person within the sound of my voice would make the decision this very afternoon to invite Jesus into his heart and life to be Savior, Lord, and King.

When we had both finished our messages to the people, we turned the meeting over to the local pastor.  He summarized beautifully, asking if anyone present wished to give their life to Jesus, and begin a new life by making a decision to follow Him.   That was when I saw the one man standing across the street.  He stood out, although he was in the crowd.  His lower lip trembled as he fought back the tears.  When the pastor asked anyone who wanted to make such a decision to step forward, the man broke immediately from the crowd to cross the street.  A large crowd followed.  This man received his salvation, and many others were also saved or touched through prayer.

In my last position before I retired from a career in homebuilding, I was responsible for the entire operation of a Division of a large national homebuilding Company.  One year, that Division delivered 2850 homes in the local market.  That works out as an average of 11 homes per work day that were started, constructed, finished, sold and closed.  Someone asked how we could have possibly built, sold and closed 2850 homes in one year.  My response was quick- one home, one customer at a time.

Jesus works the same way.  He is the Savior of the world.  All of mankind will forever owe a debt of gratitude to Him for His saving work on the cross.  Our very eternal existence with Him in heaven is because He came to earth to pay the price for ours sins so that we can be reconciled to God.  However, He works that salvation one person at a time.  I have seen video of massive meetings in Africa where the crowd, numbered in the millions, came to hear the message of Jesus.  The number of people who came forward to receive salvation was in the hundreds of thousands.  Jesus did not respond to the millions or the hundreds of thousands.  He met each one individually, just as He came for that one man that afternoon in a small town in Kenya.

The man looked healthy and strong, but the tears on his face said his heart was broken.  I do not know if his tears were joy or pain or both.  I do not know his past, or his present situation.  I do know that in that moment of salvation the sins of his past were forgiven and washed away.  The man was given a new life, a second chance, literally a new birth.  Hope and help became available.  The burden of having to carry the weight of one’s own trouble was lifted, and great joy entered into the situation.  Each situation and individual is different, and that is the reason Jesus comes for one person at a time.

Some would say that receiving the initial gift of salvation is only a starting point, and that is true, but it is an important starting point.  Every journey begins with that all- important first step.  There may be memories to deal with, forgiveness to seek from others, and efforts made to break bad habits and behaviors.  Mentoring and study in the word of God will help strengthen the resolve to not go back to old ways.  Prayer will need to become a habit, like talking with a good friend.  Each person is unique, and each salvation experience is unique.  That is why Jesus comes to one at a time to receive His specially created child back home.

On this day, it was more than enough to celebrate one man being born again into a new life of following Jesus.  While much can be said about the process of salvation, here are five things to remember about what commonly happens when a life is turned over to Jesus:

  1. We are a new creation. When Jesus becomes the Lord and Savior of our lives, we are born again.  2 Corinthians 5:17- “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come.  The old has gone, the new is here!”
  2. We are free from past sins. Romans 8:2- “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”  The Bible says our sins are removed from us “as far as the east is from the west.”
  3. We are redeemed and forgiven. Ephesians 1:7- “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”
  4. We are not only free from sin, we are made righteous. 2 Corinthians 5:21- “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
  5. We are alive in Christ. Ephesians 2:4-5- “But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved.”  What we formerly considered living was merely the dead walking.  We move from being dead in sin to a new life in Christ.

Not only did the one man stand out in the crowd, but according to Luke 15:7, “there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.”  All of heaven danced and celebrated to the music along with us because of that one man’s decision that day in a small town in Kenya.  Something outstanding happened- a man’s life was changed forever.  That, my friends, is priceless.

It’s Time to Take Dominion Part I Kay Keith Peebles

Our victory or loss will be determined by where we focus our attention. The enemy tries to turn our focus in every direction except the one of victory: our past (back), our current circumstances (around us), and our inabilities/insecurities (down).

Looking Back-The Lord called Lot and his family out of Sodom and Gomorrah before He destroyed it. An angel told them not to look back. Genesis 19:17 “So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.” Lot’s wife did not heed the warning. She looked back unable to leave the past behind her and she turned into a pillar of salt. Genesis 19:26. Our past cannot help us and we must not let it haunt us.

The Israelites looked back at Egypt when Moses was up on Mt. Sinai for 40 days. They quickly discarded their deliverance the Lord had given them and began to worship the gods of Egypt. Many died in the wilderness because they could not see what the Lord was doing. Instead, they chose to look backward. Exodus 32:31-35 “Then Moses returned to the LORD and said, ‘Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! Yet now, if You will forgive their sin—but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.’ And the LORD said to Moses, ‘Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book. Now therefore, go, lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to you. Nevertheless, in the day when I visit for punishment, I will visit punishment upon them for their sin.’ So the LORD plagued the people because of what they did with the calf which Aaron made.” There is nothing in Egypt (the world) we need, nothing that can help us and nothing to desire.

Isaiah 43:18-19 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” We cannot go back and correct our past mistakes. We cannot change the choices we made or the damage we left behind other than asking for forgiveness. Our past is unchangeable and some aspects of it will affect us the rest of our lives. When we repent to God and ask forgiveness from those we hurt, we are then free from our connection to the past. One of the most important things we can do is to also forgive ourselves for the mistakes we made. Once we do all of those things, we are in a position to pull down the devil’s reminders to us with power and authority from God. Our past does not have the power to continue to haunt us unless we allow it.

One of the most powerful scriptures we have been given is our greatest tool of warfare against our past mistakes, 2 Corinthians 5:17. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature, the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

Looking Around – Our circumstances are in the earthly realm. If we stay focused upon what is going on around us, we will lose sight of what God is doing. Romans 8:5-9a “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you…”

Problems are either initiated by the devil, others or ourselves. Life in itself can create problems. When problems occur, they are evidence of something that is amiss. The “evidence” of a problem is at the surface level, but the cause of the problem is something greater that is hidden. The enemy always tries to make us set blame by looking at the “circumstantial” evidence hoping to keep us from attending to the true problem which is the root cause. Unless we cut off the root, the problem will continue to re-produce itself over and over again. Generational curses are passed down because one generation did not deal with the root causes. The majority of our problems are spiritual, not physical.

Ephesians 6:10-12 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” We will never find the answers we need by looking around at our circumstances. Defeat will always be the result when our focus is in the wrong direction.

Looking Down – Placing our focus on our inabilities, our unworthiness, or our weaknesses will keep our eyes looking down into the depths of defeat. Sometimes we think that when we focus on our inabilities we are being humble. The reality is, we are in pride. Humility is believing what God says we can do! We are also in pride when we focus on who others say we are whether good or bad. True humility is believing we are who God says we are! Psalm 8:4-6 “What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower that the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet.”

1 Corinthians 1:27 “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence, But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—that, as it is written, ‘He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.’”

When we are self-focused, we are self-absorbed. We do not have the personal power to resolve our problems that are spiritual. We lack the wisdom to fix everything that is wrong in our lives and we remain in a cycle of defeat. When we become God focused, we are God-absorbed. A God focus is full of faith. Faith makes the impossible possible. It knows the power required is not only accessible, it’s more than enough. It believes the supply required will come in abundance. It understands that in our weakness He is strong, in our inabilities, He is more than able. Whatever help we need is found in Him. There is therefore no climate of lack in any area at any time!

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

The result of simply changing our focus transitions us from looking to ourselves to find and fix all our problems to looking up and living in Him. Acts 17:28 “for in Him we live and move and have our being.” The Lord is coming back. Our focus must be on Him, His plans and His purposes. In order to be positioned to be used by the Lord, we must remember that all we know here will soon be gone. The only thing eternal is His Kingdom and those who truly call Him Lord. We must not allow the distractions all around us to miss the event of a lifetime, of all eternity! We can only take dominion by looking up!

Who Am I by Larry W Peebles

Who Am I   by   Larry W Peebles   September 8, 2017   17.34

This is not a riddle.  It is a simple but profound question.  In the “I AM” series, Parts 1 and 2 (July 28 and August 11 in the archives of this website), Jesus answered the question of who He eternally was/is/will be.  He did it without presenting a resume of His name, address, and contact information.  He offered no background information such as education or job related experience.  He did not submit information on past positions and titles held.  There was no offer of character references for anyone to check.  Better than any resume could, He answered any and all questions concerning His true identity in the seven I AM statements recorded in the Book of John.

The beauty of what He said not only successfully and completely told who He was, it also answered a number of other questions that mankind has debated since creation.  These are deep and thought-provoking questions such as “What is truth?”, “What is the purpose of life?”, “Why do I exist?”, and “Is there life after death?”  When Jesus spoke the seven I AM statements, he identified Himself and answered all these questions with such wisdom that a resume could have never explained.

Another of those age-old questions is the question of “Who am I?” Just as Jesus answered the question of who He is, so God also tells us who we are.  We can set aside the normal resume-type questions of where we were born, current address and contact info, education, accomplishments or job experience, hobbies, and goals and plans.  We will not need personality or intelligence tests.  To know the answer to the question “Who am I?”, we should go to the real authority.  We should turn to words spoken by God, as contained in His written word, as His words have power.  Let’s consult with the One who made us to see what He said about us.

I have chosen twenty topics where God has spoken about us.  The list is by no means exhaustive.  These Scriptures are worth reading over and over again until our minds and spirits are renewed with what He says about us as believers.  We must drive out of our minds what others have said, together with what we may have begun to believe about ourselves.

1. God is our loving Father. Matthew 6:26- “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much better than they?”  Jesus said in John 16:27-28- “No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and believed that I came from God.”  I John 4:8- “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”  Then consider Romans 8: 15- “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the spirit of adoption by whom we cry out ‘Abba (Daddy) Father’”.
2. God loves me. Romans 5:8- “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
3. We can come boldly and confidently to our Father through our faith in Christ. Ephesians 3:12.
4. We are God’s children. John 1:12- “Yet to all who did receive Him (Jesus), to those who believed in His name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
5. If we are children, then we are also heirs. Romans 8:17- “Now if we are children, then we are heirs- heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.”  Also, Galatians 4:7- “So you are no longer a slave (to sin), but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.”
6. Jesus calls us friend. John 15:15- “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business.  Instead, I call you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I Have made known to you.”
7. We are the temple of God. He lives in us.  1 Corinthians 6:19- “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?”
8. We are a new creation. When Jesus becomes the Lord and Savior of our lives, we are born again.  2 Corinthians 5:17- “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come.  The old has gone, the new is here!”
9. I am free from my past sins. Romans 8:2- “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”
10. I am redeemed and forgiven. Ephesians 1:7- “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”
11. I am not only free from sin, I am made righteous. 2 Corinthians 5:21- “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
12. I am alive in Christ. Ephesians 2:4-5- “But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved.”
13. I can be triumphant. 2 Corinthians 2:14- “Now thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere.”
14. I am more than a conqueror. Romans 8:37- “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
15. I am blessed with spiritual blessings. Ephesians 1:3- “Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places.”
16. My needs are supplied. Philippians 4:19- “But my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
17. I am a citizen of heaven. Philippians 3:20- “But our citizenship is in heaven.  And we eagerly await a Savor from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
18. I am an ambassador for Christ. Not only am I the son of a King, I am an ambassador.  2 Corinthians 5:20- “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.”
19. I am seated in heavenly places. Ephesians 2:6- “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.”
20. I have nothing to fear. 2 Chronicles 20:15- “This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army.  For the battle is not yours, but God’s.”’

These Scriptures contain the truth of what God has said about you and me.  He cannot lie because His words contain creative power.  If He said it, it is!  If He looked at a white wall and said the wall is green, it would not be a lie.  As soon as he said the wall is green, it would be green.  I encourage you to read these Scriptures for your own encouragement, and to realize the position and authority we have been given in Christ.  We are His children.  He thinks highly of us.

THE ALL-SUFFICIENT ONE Kay Keith Peebles

I grew up in an area called tornado alley. The first tornado I remember happened when I was in the eighth or ninth grade. The entire school was in the gymnasium and our choir, including me, was standing on risers singing our annual Easter program. The students were sitting on pull-out benches which rose like stairs to the height of the windows near the top of the gym. The windows were open because there was no air conditioning and it was a hot sultry day. Halfway into our program the windows began to bang violently against the metal frames. We heard a roar sounding like a huge freight train go over our building. Everyone froze where they were not knowing what was happening.
After the storm ended we lined up to go back to our classrooms. The room where I would have been was filled with mud and glass. Our projects which were left on our desks were scattered all over the floor making a huge mess. I realized we could have been seriously injured by flying glass or possibly killed, had we been in our original classrooms during the storm. We were told later that a postman was delivering the mail outside our school at the time of the tornado. He saw the funnel cloud coming. It flipped over his truck but he was not seriously injured. He had seen the tornado jump over our building doing very little damage to it. A few miles away the same funnel cloud tore off the roof of another school. The tornados we experienced in north central Texas were much more dangerous than those in Florida where we were living at the time of my next tornado story.
It all started when my husband was out of town a few days for quarterly business meetings. Our children were away in college and I was home alone. I didn’t mind having a couple of days to myself every now and then. I would usually plan a special project around the house on which to focus, in order to pass the time. During the summer months we would have rain storms blow through during the afternoon heat. Sometimes a tropical storm or hurricane would spin off tornados that were usually short lived. I was watching the news that evening and saw a weather report that storms were coming through later that night. They warned that a storm system could spawn a tornado in our area. I finished my chores, watched some TV in bed and heard the winds begin to pick up in intensity.
I was tired and ready to go to sleep. I checked the weather reports which brought no immediate cause for alarm. Before I drifted off, I decided to pray for my family and the possible storms that night. I prayed that the Lord would surround our yard with angels, I would be completely safe and that there would be no damage to our roof or our home. Our back yard had a large screen over the patio behind the house and we had a wooden fence around the entire lot. I prayed our fence would not be damaged nor the lanai screen connected to the house. I then drifted off to sleep.
The next morning while checking the news I learned that a tornado had done damage in our area. The same system hit a town 45 minutes away where it also did damage. I immediately walked around our yard to check for any problems. The only thing I saw out of order, was one large tree limb that had broken off in the wind. It had been caught by other branches which kept it from crashing into our lanai screen. It was evident the strong storm had come through but we had been completely protected. There was tornado damage around our area but it did not affect our yard. I rejoiced in the Lord’s protection of me and our home.
Six months later, I was watching an evangelist on TV who lived in our area. He was giving a testimony about his elderly mother who lived in that town 45 minutes away where the tornado had hit. He said that when the storm intensified, she prayed asking the Lord to spare her life, her rocking chair and her Bible. He was rejoicing that although her house was destroyed, the Lord had protected her life, her rocking chair and her Bible. Everything she had asked for was spared. I was rejoicing with him but I was puzzled about the difference in our outcomes. I knew that the Lord was no respecter of persons, to Him we were all equally loved and cared for. I asked why He protected all of my house and belongings and this wonderful woman of God lost her house. His answer to me was profound. He said, “I gave you each exactly what you had prayed.” Stunned, that began to motivate me to pray BIG prayers!
For years I have been studying the names of God. Each name is a glimpse into His character. One of my favorite names of God is El Shaddai – the All-Sufficient One. Scripture draws a picture of an animal nursing their young. There are enough breasts or teats to meet the need. No one would lack what they needed to survive and thrive. They would all be nurtured or sustained, and no one would be left out! It gives a portrayal of no lack, no want, more than enough, the All-Sufficient One! The name El Shaddai also means the All-Powerful One, all Sovereign One. His power transcends nature, the power of any earthly king or kingdom and all of the demonic realm.
The Lord God revealed Himself to Abraham as El Shaddai. He did so because Abraham needed to know that the God who promised a child through him and Sarah at an old age was capable of fulfilling His promise. Abraham also needed to know that the God who promised to him all the land he could see as his possession was able to deliver. He needed to believe that God was able to perform his promise that his descendants would be as great in number as the stars in the heavens or the grains of sand on the seashore. Why? Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. See Hebrews 11:1.
El Shaddai is sufficient within Himself to do anything He desires, says, promises or declares. The power of Almighty God, El Shaddai is more than enough to make every promise come to pass. He has no limitations. Many consider El Shaddai a connection to the “blessing” and “favor” of the Lord. Because He is All-Powerful and All-Sufficient, He is able to bless His people no matter their circumstances. The blessing of God does not require perfect circumstances in the natural realm. It requires faith in the One who provides the blessing and obedience to His word.
Isaac blessed Jacob as he left to find a wife. “May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you until you become a group of peoples. May He give the blessing [He gave to] Abraham to you and your descendants with you, that you may inherit the land He gave to Abraham, in which you are a sojourner.” Genesis 28:3-4.
The Lord God Himself spoke to Jacob in Genesis 35:11-12. “And God said to him, I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall come from you and kings shall be born of your stock; the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and to your descendants after I will give the land.”
We are a part of the seed of Abraham. We share in his blessings. His provision never ran out, he never lacked anything. He believed the word of the Lord and in His power to fulfill it. “For my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19.
Psalm 91:1 declares, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand].” “I have been young and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lends; and his descendants are blessed.” Psalm 37:25-26.
“And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation]. As it is written, He [the benevolent person] scatters abroad; He gives to the poor, His deeds of justice and goodness and kindness and benevolence will go on and endure forever. And [God] Who provides seed for the sower and bread for eating will also provide and multiply your [resources for] sowing and increase the fruits of your righteousness [which manifests itself in active goodness, kindness and charity].” 2 Corinthians 9:8-10.
“Blessed be the Lord who daily loads us with benefits.” Psalms 68:19. “The Lord shall command the blessing upon you in your storehouse and in all that you undertake, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God gives you.” Deuteronomy 28:8.
If we believe in the provision, sufficiency and power of El Shaddai, we will never fear that we will lack anything we need. When we trust in His care for His children, we will know that He is working for our good and He will never run out of supplies. God does not have to rob one of His children to take care of another. There is more than enough to go around and there will be left-overs in addition! Wherever we are lacking, we can ask for the provision of El Shaddai: spiritual, physical/healing, wisdom, and material needs.
“Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:1-5. He’s the All-Sufficient One, He is more than enough. He is El Shaddai!