He Can Move a Mountain, He is Mighty to Save

I’ve been listening to Kim Clement a lot lately at kimclement.com.

He has been extra anointed since he really embraced the significance of Israel and how much God is going to do in the actual land of Israel in the End Times. And how God still considers Israel the Apple of His Eye and will defend their right to the Land until the end of this age.

He is gathering together warriors from around the world to bless Israel and to work toward common goals of reaching out to needy people and wounded souls. He is praying for the needs of each person who sends in a prayer request on Facebook on Sunday mornings as he prays in his Garden that God instructed him to dedicate to prayer.

He is a gifted classical pianist and prophetic singer. He prophesies through music and words that the Lord gives him to speak.

He has been singing about “Speak to the mountain and the mountain will be removed”, and as I drove home and heard this song on the radio tonight, I was reminded that all we have to do is speak the Word of God, and our answers are on the way.

We all have mountains in our lives, and God wants to help us overcome them. Specifically, he is speaking to the mountain of debt. If you are having financial challenges right now, remember that nothing is impossible with God, or as Kim often says, “Impossible is nothing!”

Satan’s Domain: The Realm of Darkness

Francis Frangipane:
Satan’s Domain: The Realm of Darkness

Many Christians debate whether the devil is on the earth or in Hell; can he dwell in Christians or only in the world? The fact is, the devil is in darkness. Wherever there is spiritual darkness, there the devil will be.

Preparing for Spiritual Warfare

For most, the term spiritual warfare introduces a new but not necessarily welcomed dimension in their Christian experience. The thought of facing evil spirits in battle is an unsettling concept, especially since we came to Jesus as lost sheep, not warriors. Ultimately, some of us may never actually initiate spiritual warfare, but all of us must face the fact that the devil has initiated warfare against us. Therefore, it is essential to our basic well-being that we discern the areas of our nature that are unguarded and open to satanic assault.

Jude tells us, “And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day” (Jude 1:6).

When satan rebelled against God, he was placed under eternal judgment in what the Bible calls “pits” (2 Peter 2:4) or “bonds” of darkness. The devil and the fallen angels with him have been relegated to live in darkness. This darkness does not simply refer to areas void of visible light. The eternal darkness to which this Scripture refers is essentially a moral darkness, which ultimately degrades into literal darkness. However, its cause is not simply the absence of light; it is the absence of God, who is light.

It is vital to recognize that this darkness to which satan has been banished is not limited to areas outside of humanity. Unlike those who do not know Jesus, however, we have been delivered out of the domain or “authority” of darkness (see Colossians 1:13). We are not trapped in darkness if we have been born of light. But if we accommodate darkness through tolerance of sin, we leave ourselves vulnerable to satanic assault. For wherever there is willful disobedience to the Word of God, there is spiritual darkness and the potential for demonic activity.

Thus Jesus warned, “Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness” (Luke 11:35 KJV). There is a light in you. “The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord” (Proverbs 20:27). Your spirit, illuminated by the Spirit of Christ, becomes the “lamp of the Lord” through which He searches your heart. There is indeed a holy radiance surrounding a true Spirit-filled Christian. But when you harbor sin, the “light which is in thee” is “darkness.” Satan has a legal access, given to him by God, to dwell in the domain of darkness. Thus, we must grasp this point: The devil can traffic in any area of darkness, even the darkness that still exists in a Christian’s heart.

God’s Thresher

An example of satan having access to the carnal side of human nature is seen in Peter’s denial of Jesus. It is obvious that Peter failed. What we do not readily see, however, is what was occurring in the invisible world of the spirit.

Jesus predicted accurately that Peter would deny Him three times. Anyone looking at Peter’s actions that night might have simply concluded his denial was a manifestation of fear. Yet, Peter was not fearful by nature. This was the disciple who, a few hours earlier, drew a sword against the multitudes who had come to arrest Jesus. No, human fear did not cause Peter to deny the Lord. Peter’s denial was satanically induced.

Jesus had warned the apostle, “Simon, Simon, behold, satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:31–32). Behind the scenes, satan had demanded and received permission to sift Peter like wheat. Satan had access to an area of darkness in Peter’s heart.

How did satan cause Peter’s fall? After eating the Passover, Jesus told His disciples that one of them was going to betray Him. Scripture continues, “They began to discuss among themselves which one of them…was going to do this thing” (Luke 22:23).

This was a very somber time. Yet, during this terrible moment, “there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was…greatest” (Luke 22:24). They went from an attitude of shock and dismay to an argument concerning who among them was the greatest! Evidently Peter, the water-walker, who was also the boldest and most outspoken of the apostles, prevailed. We can imagine that Peter’s high visibility among the disciples left him with an air of superiority, which was fanned by satan into an attitude of presumption and boasting. Peter, being lifted up by pride, was being set up for a fall.

Pride caused satan’s fall, and pride was the very same darkness manipulated by satan to cause Peter’s fall. Lucifer, from experience, knew well the judgment of God against religious pride and envy. He knew personally that pride goes “before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18 KJV). Satan did not have a right to indiscriminately assault and destroy Peter. He had to secure permission from Peter’s Lord before he could come against the young apostle. But the fact is, the devil demanded permission to sift Peter, and he received it.

Submit to God

The trip wire that satan used to cause Peter’s fall was the disciple’s own sin of pride. Let us recognize before we do warfare that the areas we hide in darkness are the very areas of our future defeat. Often the battles we face will not cease until we discover and repent for the darkness that is within us. If we will be effective in spiritual warfare, we must be discerning of our own hearts; we must walk humbly with our God. Our first course of action must be, “Submit…to God.” Then, as we “resist the devil…he will flee” (James 4:7).

Satan will never be given permission to destroy the saints. Rather, he is limited to sifting us “like wheat.” The good news is that God knows there is wheat inside each of us. The outcome of this type of satanic assault, which is allowed through the permissive will of God, is to cleanse the soul of pride and produce greater meekness and transparency in our lives. It may feel terrible, but God causes it to work for good. Our husk-like outer nature must die to facilitate the breaking forth of the wheat-like nature of the new creation man. Both the chaff and the husk were necessary; they provided protection for us from the harsh elements of this life. But before God can truly use us, in one way or another we will pass through a time of threshing.

Peter’s husk nature was presumptuous and proud. His initial successes had made him ambitious and self-oriented. God can never entrust His Kingdom to anyone who has not been broken of pride, for pride is the armor of darkness itself. So, when satan demanded permission to assault Peter, Jesus said in effect, You can sift him, but you cannot destroy him. The warfare against Peter was devastating but measured. It served the purpose of God.

Peter was ignorant of the areas of darkness within him, and his ignorance left him open to attack. But the Lord would ask each of us, “Do you know the areas where you are vulnerable to satanic assault?” Jesus would have us not be ignorant of our need. In fact, when He reveals the sin in our hearts, it is so He might destroy the works of the devil. Thus, we should realize that the greatest defense we can have against the devil is to maintain an honest heart before God.

When the Holy Spirit shows us an area that needs repentance, we must overcome the instinct to defend ourselves. We must silence the little lawyer who steps out from a dark closet in our minds, pleading, “My client is not so bad.” Your “defense attorney” will defend you until the day you die – and if you listen to him you will never see what is wrong in you nor face what needs to change. For you to succeed in warfare, your self-preservation instincts must be submitted to the Lord Jesus, for Christ alone is your true advocate.

We cannot engage in spiritual battle without embracing this knowledge. Indeed, James 4:6 says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” God is opposed to the proud. That is a very important verse. If God is opposed to the proud, and we are too proud to humble ourselves and admit when we are wrong, then God is opposed to us.

James continues in verse 7, “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” When we see this verse, it is usually all by itself as a monument to spiritual warfare. However, it is in the context of repentance, humility, and possessing a clean heart that we find satan fleeing from us.

We must go beyond a vague submission to God; we must submit the exact area of our personal battle to Him. When we come against the power of the devil, it must be from a heart in submission to Jesus.

There is a recurring precept throughout this book. It is vital that you know, understand, and apply this principle for your future success in spiritual warfare. That principle is this: Victory begins with the name of Jesus on your lips, but it will not be consummated until the nature of Jesus is in your heart. This rule applies to every facet of spiritual warfare. Indeed, satan will be allowed to come against the area of your weakness until you realize God’s only answer is to become Christlike. As you begin to appropriate not just the name of Jesus but His nature as well, the adversary will withdraw. Satan will not continue to assault you if the circumstances he designed to destroy you are now working to perfect you.

The outcome of Peter’s experience was that after Pentecost, when God used him to heal a lame man, a more humble Peter spoke to the gathering crowd. He asked, “Why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk?” (Acts 3:12). Peter’s victory over pride and the devil began with the name of Jesus on his lips, and it was consummated by the nature of Jesus in his heart. The darkness in Peter was displaced with light; the pride in Peter was replaced with Christ.

Francis Frangipane
Ministries of Francis Frangipane
Email: francis1@frangipane.org

Francis Frangipane is the founder of River of Life Ministries in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and has traveled throughout the world ministering to thousands of pastors and intercessors from many backgrounds. Francis’ heartfelt prayer is to see established in every city Christlike pastors and intercessors, united before God, revealing the love of Christ to their communities. Since 1985, he has written fourteen books plus a number of study booklets. Over the past decades, Francis has served on a number of other ministry boards. However, in recent years he has gradually resigned from these various boards. As of June 2009, he has also retired from his position as senior pastor of River of Life Ministries. In this more simplified life, Frangipane is devoting himself to prayer and the ministry of God’s Word.

The Stick-Together Families

The Stick-Together Families
Edgar Guest

The stick-together families are happier by far
Than the brothers and the sisters who take separate highways are.
The gladdest people living are the wholesome folks who make
A circle at the fireside that no power but death can break.
And the finest of conventions ever held beneath the sun
Are the little family gatherings when the busy day is done.

There are rich folk, there are poor folk, who imagine they are wise,
And they’re very quick to shatter all the little family ties.
Each goes searching after pleasure in his own selected way,
Each with strangers likes to wander, and with strangers likes to play.
But it’s bitterness they harvest, and it’s empty joy they find,
For the children that are wisest are the stick-together kind.

There are some who seem to fancy that for gladness they must roam,
That for smiles that are the brightest they must wander far from home.
That the strange friend is the true friend, and they travel far astray
And they waste their lives in striving for a joy that’s far away,
But the gladdest sort of people, when the busy day is done,
Are the brothers and the sisters who together share their fun.

It’s the stick-together family that wins the joys of earth,
That hears the sweetest music and that finds the finest mirth;
It’s the old home roof that shelters all the charm that life can give;
There you find the gladdest play-ground, there the happiest spot to live.
And, O weary, wandering brother, if contentment you would win,
Come you back unto the fireside and be comrade with your kin.

From “Just Folks”, The Reilly & Lee Co., (c) 1917

A Real Man

Today I would like to dedicate this poem to Cody, Shawn and Patrick. I didn’t write the poem, but I pray that these young men will continue the fight to be real men in a culture that tries to turn them into something else.

And I would also like to dedicate this poem to my father-in-law, Gary L. Douglas, who was such a man.

A Real Man
Edgar Guest

Men are of two kinds, and he
Was of the kind I’d like to be.
Some preach their virtues, and a few
Express their lives by what they do.
That sort was he. No flowery phrase
Or glibly spoken words of praise
Won friends for him. He wasn’t cheap
Or shallow, but his course ran deep,
And it was pure. You know the kind.
Not many in a life you find
Whose deeds outrun their words so far
That more than what they seem they are.

There are two kinds of lies as well:
The kind you live, the ones you tell.
Back through his years from age to youth
He never acted one untruth.
Out in the open light he fought
And didn’t care what others thought
Nor what they said about his fight
If he believed that he was right.
The only deeds he ever hid
Were acts of kindness that he did.

What speech he had was plain and blunt.
His was an unattractive front.
Yet children loved him; babe and boy
Played with the strength he could employ,
Without one fear, and they are fleet
To sense injustice and deceit.
No back door gossip linked his name
With any shady tale of shame.
He did not have to compromise
With evil-doers, shrewd and wise,
And let them ply their vicious trade
Because of some past escapade.

Men are of two kinds, and he
Was of the kind I’d like to be.
No door at which he ever knocked
Against his manly form was locked.
If ever man on earth was free
And independent, it was he.
No broken pledge lost him respect,
He met all men with head erect,
And when he passed, I think there went
A soul to yonder firmament
So white, so splendid and so fine
It came almost to God’s design.

Cody Heeds the Call

Shawn has a friend from our previous life in Ohio. His name is Cody. His mom is my friend, Susan. Their family has remained faithful friends to us through the ups and downs and loop-de-loops that we’ve been through the last few years since we were thrust out of Ohio and “normal” life into our Journey of Fire. Their family’s life hasn’t been very normal for the last few years, either. We’ve called and prayed for each other. We’ve given to them, they’ve given to us. We’ve shared what the Lord is speaking to us. We’ve laughed and cried together. We’ve encouraged each other. Most of this has been between me and Susan.

But some of the relationship has been between me and Susan’s daughter, who is the artist that I feature in the sidebar of my blog, Emily Kate. We talk on the phone and used to chat online until they moved to a house that doesn’t have internet access (Can you believe it?) Their family came to visit us one time in Illinois, and we had a worship time with them that was so sweet that we felt God right there with us.

Susan’s oldest son, Cody, has maintained a long-distance relationship with Shawn through emails from time to time and a few visits and just a few talks on the phone. But the Lord has knit their hearts together, and He had a plan to strengthen that bond even more.

Two weeks ago, totally out of the blue, inspired by God, Cody called and asked Shawn if he could come and visit us for a while. None of us knew what was going to happen or exactly why Cody was supposed to come, but we all had the feeling that he was supposed to. So God worked out all the details for the visit, and Cody got to fly for the first time, and we got to enjoy his company for about eight days. He just became one of the family. He played chess with the little ones and anybody else who would play with him. He convinced us to get the board game Risk and played it with Garrett and Shawn – and Garrett won the game the first time he ever played it! He got a deck of cards and played Go Fish with Garrett. He became best buddies with Garrett. The little ones really loved him. He was a joy to have around.

We watched a movie all together, The Muppet Movie.

We had some talks and prayer times together. I prayed over Shawn and Cody that the Lord would speak to them and show them what He wants to do in their lives and how they can prepare for the next step in their lives. Like our family, they have homeschooled all the way through. We met years ago when Cody and Shawn were only about 8 years old, and I started doing their family’s homeschool assessments. Cody taught himself how to repair engines and how to restore cars, so the Lord spoke to us about how he could use those skills as a stepping stone to the goals he has to own his own farm some day and raise animals. As we talked and prayed together, things became crystal clear and we could just sense the hope and faith rising that this was possible and doable and that God would bless the work of his hands and prosper him. It was very exciting to see God unfold His plan for Cody’s life.

Shawn and Cody prayed together and did some Bible study.

We got some revelation from the Lord about the next steps Cody is to take to set things up for the bigger things that God has put in his heart to do.

One of the highlights was a worship time we had together. Anna played her guitar, and we sang some worship songs that she had learned. Then we sang in the spirit and sang whatever the Lord gave each of us as Anna strummed on her guitar. It was sweet, similar to the time we had with Cody’s whole family when they came to visit us in Illinois. The presence of the Lord was strong.

The Lord called him here, and he answered. It was mutually beneficial. We all enjoyed having him here. We got to know him better, and he got to know us better. We felt like he was a good friend before, but now he’s one of the family.

We hated to see him go. As a final send-off, we took him to our favorite ice cream place. We all went to the airport to see him off. It was a 3-hour trip there and back, but the little kids did very well.

It was a wonderful time of refreshing for all of us. Something new and different, out of the ordinary, a special time of ministry and memory-making with a very special person that the Lord has put in our lives. We are looking forward to what the Lord is going to do in Cody’s life and the life of his family.

Our hearts are knit together even more than they were before. We are thankful that the Lord orchestrated such a blessed time. Only He could have planned that and pulled it off without a hitch. Gary even got to be here for part of the time. It was just a perfectly blessed time. The Lord is doing great things for us, and we are glad. We are grateful to be in His service. And thankful to have friends who are so real and authentic. Hearts that are pure and seeking the will of the Father for their lives. May we always be found faithful and sensitive to His leading.