"It's Time to Change the Channel and Wake Up!"
By Candice Simmons
We have been encouraged as we see the outpouring of love and radical acts of kindness coming from many of you. It's been amazing to see how people have pulled together to help one another
and the sacrifices being made among those on the front lines. If you're one of those, we thank you! You know who you are!
I think the one big thing we're all learning during this time is to trust the Lord
more fully – from shortages on toilet paper and hand sanitizer to more serious problems, such as the loss of precious friends and loved ones. And our hearts go out to you if you've lost a loved one. Brian and I are praying for those who have lost loved
ones and those who are sick with this virus every day. We have received some amazing testimonies of healings, so we want to encourage you to join us in believing for more people to be healed. The Lord is still in the healing business. Even when you don't see
it, He's working. I believe that He's using this time to awaken our hearts and draw us closer to Him.
Confusion never promotes peace, but in the midst of all that's happening in the world of COVID, we
have an incredible hope – Jesus! He loves us. As my husband often says, Even if He were able to sleep, He would just stay up all night thinking about you. But He never slumbers or sleeps (Ps. 121:4) and He lives to intercede for us (Heb. 7:25). In fact,
both the Son and Holy Spirit are interceding for us right now and the Father is answering, so we're in good shape and we WILL come through this.
It's Time to Wake Up!
A couple of nights ago, I had a dream in which I saw people throughout the nations who were watching their televisions. And as they were taking in all the negative reports of deaths and theories about the virus, I watched the enemy casting shrouds
over them; shrouds that looked like webs. Immediately, I knew that they were webs of lies and defeat. The people became drowsy, as though they had been sedated, and instantly I knew that their minds were being poisoned with what they seen and heard. They were
taking in the words of death.
As I looked on, I saw little children coming over to them ever so innocently. They would enter their homes and apartments and change their channels until they found something
good to listen to. (Children can get away with it because of their innocence.) And as they did, one by one, the shrouds began to melt and slip off of them and I heard a booming voice shouting, "Wake up, wake up. It's time to wake up!"
The Lord is saying, "This is a wake up call!" It's time to change the channel for ourselves and others. Our life-giving words through phone calls, emails and social media can lift despondency off and break the spirit of death.
Let's flood the atmosphere with life-giving words and let's get the Gospel out there. People are dying and need what we have; the words of life and Jesus. Share some of the manna you gather each day. You'll be surprised at how the Lord will use
you as an agent of change, for you and I are called to change the atmosphere from death to life.
Rom. 13:11-12, "...It's time for us to wake up! For our full salvation is nearer now than when we first
believed. Night's darkness is dissolving away as a new day of destiny dawns. So we must once and for all strip away what is being done in the shadows of darkness, removing it like filthy clothes. And once for all we clothe ourselves with the radiance of light
as our weapon."
It's time for us to be awakened! It is time to the put off darkness and turn on that radiant light that's within, for it's meant to be a powerful weapon to defeat the darkness over this
land. Let's wake up and encourage others to do the same!
1 Thess. 5:11, "...Encourage the hearts of your fellow Believers and support one another..." The Lord is going to use your child-like faith to change
the channel and the atmosphere from fear and unbelief to the channel of hope and faith in the promises of God!
God the Father is speaking to you. Are you listening?
I would characterize what many are facing right now as a wilderness or desert journey. But take heart, He will use our experiences here to cause our desert season to blossom like a rose. For in the desert the Father speaks and awakens our hearts
to hear. In fact, the word for desert or wilderness in the Hebrew is midbar, which means "speech," so this desert is a place of speaking.
The question most people have when they're led into a desert experience
is why. There are ten named wildernesses in the desert wanderings of the Israelites, and every Christian will most likely go through eight of them in their lifetime. I feel as though the one we've entered into this season is the wilderness of Shur.
Ex. 15:22 (TPT), "Moses led Israel onward from the Red Sea into the Wilderness of Shur. For three days they trekked through the wilderness without finding water."
is a Hebrew word that means "a wall." God led them along a wall; they could not escape this desert. And so, none of us are escaping the wilderness of the coronavirus right now. Not one! We're up against a wall like the Hebrews were. They had followed the cloud
to a place of limitation. This was not because of their rebellion or disobedience; it was because of God's plan to trade their limitation for His limitless grace, mercy, love and power. They needed this for their advance, and so do we.
Limitations are God's veiled opportunities for God's miracle provisions. There is a realm of plenty just beyond our limitations. The end of your strength is the beginning of His. You could say it this way: The wilderness is simply a place in life
where we don't want to be, but it's the place where the God of glory meets with the barren soul, showing us the deepest lessons of our lives.
5 Lessons You Can Learn in the Wilderness
Here are five of those lessons that we can learn from our wilderness experiences:
1. After a new revelation, a new test will often follow.
Jesus for instance. No sooner had He heard the heavenly voice proclaim, "You are My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased," than He was led into the wilderness to face the temptation of satan. It was the Word of God that gave Him His breakthrough.
It's in this land of limitation that our sonship is proven. This is your time to crawl up on His lap and find that you are truly His son or daughter. Nothing will harm you when you find your place there, seated with
Him on His throne in heavenly places.
2. Great problems often follow great victories.
After a "Red Sea" there's usually a desert. The Israelites had
just been delivered from their enemy and were on their way to the Promise Land when three days in, they experienced a shortage of water.
After the dance of victory, we now see them bitter and complaining.
At times we assume that a continual experience of victory is the norm, when in fact, it is often sandwiched between the lessons we learn from our difficulties. But the lessons are worth a life time of cure from going that way again.
3. Testing comes before resting.
When we turn our faces to Christ in the midst of pain and impossibility, character and Christlikeness are formed within us. Miracles are meant to do more than
fascinate our souls; they're meant to convince us that God's faithfulness will not fail when the dry desert days come. The Israelites knew that God was powerful, but they did not yet know whether He was good. Christians, throughout the ages, have discovered
that God will turn everything into good if we will but love Him through the difficulties of life.
4. In the midst of our difficulties God designs tests that teach us His ways.
The Israelites had made a three-day trek into the wilderness when they ran out of water. So, when they saw the waters of Marah they must have been elated. But they soon became upset when they found that it was bitter and undrinkable, and they named
it Marah which means "bitter, grief and calamity" – after the way they were feeling. They were all dry, dusty and upset. How could this happen?
"So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, 'What
are we to drink?'" (Exodus 15:24)
The Hebrews cried out to Moses for water, but not to God. The same God that can handle the Red Sea can handle the virus of complaining. He can take the bitter waters of
Marah and make them sweet. And so, we, too, can experience a great breakthrough and then three days later be griping about the way leadership has led us wrong. Instead we need to take it to the Father who can make right all wrongs.
5. We can shorten the wilderness season by allowing God's purpose to be fulfilled in it.
The sooner we learn the lesson of Shur, the sooner we are promoted and given the grace to move out. And
although we see the wilderness as the outside influence around us, it's the wilderness within us that the Lord is really after. We must go heart deep. The beginning of your miracle is, even now, at work inside you. (Photo via Piqsels)
So, I ask you this question: What is it that the Lord is doing in you right now? I believe the Lord has something personal He's doing in every life. Are you anchored to hope? Hope in God is not a wishful fantasy, but our hope is an anchor that has
gone up inside the veil and into glory where Christ is seated on the throne. He is the anchor of our souls – both sure and steadfast.
Heb. 6:18-19, "...And now we have run into His heart to hide
ourselves in His faithfulness. This is where we find His strength and comfort, for He empowers us to seize what has already been established ahead of time – an unshakable hope! We have this certain hope like a strong, unbreakable anchor holding our souls
to God Himself."
In the midst of all of this chaos I have had some of my best sleep in years. As a lover of God, I came to realize that we are up against a wall and all we can do is to run into His heart
to be safe!
Prov. 18:10, "The character God is a tower of strength, for the lovers of God delight to run into His heart..."
Notice that it's His character
that is our tower of strength. The Hebrew word migdal means "tower." It's a homonym that can also be translated to "a bed of flowers." When His character is perfected in us it becomes like a bed of flowers; fragrant and peaceful. A beautiful resting place
for our souls.
The other morning as I awoke, I was singing the song "Shout Your Name" by Jon Thurlow:
You are our hearts desire
as our healer
Shout your name over us...
No one wants to make things right more than You
Have it Your way
Do what You long to do
I still believe
Anything can happen when You move
So would You come and move here
This is what He's saying to you right now. He's asking for you
to believe that He's your healer, your redeemer, and that He's awaking your heart to trust His love for you during this difficult season. May your heart be awakened!
"Set Your Eyes Upon Me"
"Stand firm in Me until I have become your confidence. Set your eyes upon Me and don't be worried about your future and your calling, for I am
the God who begins and completes, the Alpha and the Omega. Lean into Me and lean into My Word and find all that you need. The rest I bring will be sweet to your soul.
"Let Me arrange your priorities and
remove your distractions. Your true life is discovered when you lean into Me. Weakness disappears and worries vanish when you lean into Me. And I will cause My strength to overshadow you and it will give you the courage and discipline to move ahead.
"I have purposes for you that embrace eternity, and I have now begun to hasten those purposes to completion. For I have chosen you before time began to live in the fullness of My Spirit.
"Surrender to Me this day and do not hinder My Spirit's work to make you into the image of My Son, and you will see that I will perform miracles for you and in you. Amen!"