If God is for me . . . who can be against me?

We must have Your Presence with us . . .

 Exodus 33:15, English Standard Version (ESV) | Exodus 33, Bible apps, Exodus

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"God's Covenantal People: An Invitation Into Intimacy" 

By Anne Ballard

 

 

In the month of October, God is inviting us into deeper intimacy with Him. There is grace to build community afresh and to develop new friendships. God is providing immediately and supernaturally for our areas of need. Take steps of faith in partnering with God and bringing Him what you have. It's time to form covenantal relationships where we cover each other in our weaknesses instead of ostracizing those with whom we disagree. This month, ask God for the steps of faith He'd have you take and how to partner with Him in seeing divine shifts in your life!

 

Invited into Intimacy

 

"Then Moses said to Him, 'If Your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.'" (Exodus 33:15)

 

We are all created for intimacy, as we are made in our Father's image. He longs to know us, and to be known by us. So many have become disenchanted by "religion". What is left is a gaping hole in their hearts. Whether they were wounded by the Church in some way, or they've become disenchanted with people whose failures have become public and known, they are seeking more; and whether they realize it or not, they are seeking a deep relationship.

 

God put inside of us the desire to know Him and to be known by Him. However, often in the Church we are taught all about God without truly knowing God the Person (or Jesus or Holy Spirit). Just as with people, we can know all about someone without actually knowing them. For instance, I can know all about a professional athlete without knowing them personally. The fact that I know all their sports stats does not mean that I have an actual relationship with them. In some cases, the knowledge of God can get in the way of relationship with Him.

 

Religion makes God impersonal, but the truth is that God created us for intimate, and intentional relationship. He knows the number of hairs on your head because you are His child. If you have felt distracted, disconnected and weary, this word is for you. If you're feeling raw and disillusioned with religion, God is inviting you back into an intimate relationship with Him.

 

Ask God what His next steps are for you to reconnect to His heart. Is He calling you to lay something down for a time? It could be fasting from social media or TV or something else that has taken the place of your time with Him. Lay that down on the altar and intentionally spend time in His presence – without agenda – simply for the enjoyment of being with Him. He delights in you, just as you delight in Him. Allow your heart to come back to the sweet enjoyment of His presence.

 

Cultivating Community

 

"For where two or three gather in My name, there am I with them." (Matthew 18:20)

 

There is power in gathering together. God designed us to live in connection and community with others. We need each other. The last two years have disrupted many community gatherings and made coming together challenging. Some of us have become disconnected from our community. It is time to return to gathering together. It could be with your church, but it could also be in other ways. Perhaps it's with a small group; a club around your hobbies such as a book club or a garden club; a close-knit group of friends you've grown distant from; or a women's group. We are better together. Just as iron sharpens iron, we deeply need what those around us have to offer.

 

According to researchers, one of the greatest indicators of long life is the quality of our social connections. We were created to do life in a community. We need people speaking into our lives, offering unique insights and perspectives, and learning and growing alongside us. Be intentional during this season to plug into a community. Many people have moved cities or states in the past few years, which can make communities feel especially challenging. If you're starting over, don't be intimidated or overwhelmed by building new connections. You're not alone. Instead, choose to be led by the Spirit. God has already placed connections before you. 

 

If you've been feeling isolated, alone and are longing for friends, then this word is for you. If you're struggling with rejection, depression or are new to an area, know that God has placed the desire for community/family on your heart for a reason. God is highlighting the need to be plugged into a community and He's leading you to that community. Pay attention to what He's bringing to your attention, or the groups that you are being connected with during this season.

 

Search your heart to discern the direction where God is leading you to build community. Pray about what steps you can take to get involved. Be bold! We can accomplish more and go so much farther when we are aligned with other people.

 

Immediate Provision

 

"Elisha replied to her, 'How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?’


'Your servant has nothing there at all,' she said, 'except a small jar of olive oil.'" (2 Kings 4:2)

 

God's provision can take many forms. Often, we think of provision as financial and coming in the form of money or dollar bills. However, sometimes provision can look like something else. I recently had an experience where I needed a repair on an air conditioning unit. The repair company quoted me $1,000. However, my neighbor was actually able to help me for free! In this story, provision wasn't an extra $1,000 for the AC repairman, but provision showed up through my neighbor.

 

In this Scripture (2 Kings 4:1-7) is a story of a widow. She came to the prophet Elisha in desperation. Her husband had died and his creditor was demanding repayment. Because she couldn't repay him, the creditor was coming for her sons to enslave them in order to pay the debt. She had a great and urgent need!

 

Elisha asked her what she had. She didn't have much, only a small amount of oil. Elisha told her to go to her neighbors and gather up every jar that she could find. He specified, "Don't ask for just a few" (see verse 3). Not only was he instructing her to anticipate God's provision, he was giving her an action step to take, in order to realize she wasn't powerless.

 

So she went to the neighbor's house, gathering jars. She filled every jar until she had not one left to fill. In this case, the Lord supernaturally provided for her so that she could sell what He gave in order to pay her debt.

 

Sometimes we need to use what we have and the Lord will meet us in that place and multiply it. God is calling us to look beyond our need to what He's already given us and partner with Him. He's inviting us to use what we have, and watch how He joins us. Could it have been the widow's faith that caused the oil to multiply, or perhaps her simple act of obedience? In gathering the jars, she was taking a step of faith even though she didn't fully know how God would provide.

 

If you have a need and don't know what to do, ask God for wisdom! This could be an ongoing need. There could be some urgency to the need, and perhaps even dire consequences if things don't shift! Yet God is a God of provision and He will show up for you.

 

God is inviting you to seek Him for His solutions, and to use what you have in your hand. What has God already provided? What would faith look like in this situation? How could you gather jars like the widow did as an act of faith? God will give you insight and supernatural provision!

 

Covenantal Relationships

 

"So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, 'May the LORD call David's enemies to account.' And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself." (1 Samuel 20:16-17)

 

In our increasingly "microwave mentality" culture, where video clips get shorter and shorter just to retain people's attention, a true understanding of the biblical meaning of covenant is more and more rare. Throughout the Bible, we see God making covenants with His people, and we see people making covenants with each other. Although there are different dynamics to each type of covenant, in general, a covenant represented a significant bond (involving families and bloodlines) that was connected to a promise, and not easily broken, forming the two into one. 

 

Society today (sometimes even within the Church) doesn't really have a grasp on this type of deep, meaningful and lasting relationship. God is calling His people to be set apart from society, and to be in God-ordained, covenantal relationships. Our thinking about all things must be biblically based, and not a product of or shaped by the world.

 

On the complete other side of the spectrum is "cancel culture." Cancel culture is something that is increasingly gaining momentum in this day and age. In cancel culture, if someone offends someone else or does something that the public deems wrong, they get punished by society at large. The one being canceled is usually called out on social media, then the herd mentality catapults the momentum into the stratosphere where everyone turns on them. In some cases, it can cause a lot of damage to an individual or to a company.

 

Although it's often called "accountability," at its core, "cancel culture" is bullying. There is no legal due process and no formal grievance procedure. The one who's offended becomes the judge and jury and rallies people around them. Can you see how cancel culture and this mindset of tearing others down, condemning, dividing and breeding hostility is the opposite of the heart of God? What the enemy can't have, he seeks to destroy.

 

God is calling us, as His people, to be in covenant relationships as a reflection of His heart and purpose for us. Being holy and set apart, our relationships should look different and be lasting and committed. Please note that I don't think that God is saying that ALL relationships are forever, but I believe He is highlighting some that can go deeper, and some that may need a renewed commitment. If you have been longing for more in your relationships, begin praying for covenantal relationships. God has put on your heart the importance of community, therefore ask God what relationships to invest more deeply in.

 

Are there any repairs or restoration that need to happen in your relationships? God may be leading you to the people that He wants you to have covenant relationships with. Ask God to show you where He's leading you, and what steps you can take to emulate His heart for relationships.

 

Declarations:

• I am cultivating fresh intimacy with God.

• I am being intentional in my relationships and building community.

• I am bringing what I have to God and watching Him multiply it.

• God is providing for me in unexpected and supernatural ways.

• I am forming covenantal relationships in connection with the heart of God.

 

 

 

 

By Anne Ballard
The Crowning Jewels
Website: www.thecrowningjewels.com
Email: hello@thecrowningjewels.com 

 

ElijahList Publications
528 Ellsworth St. SW
Albany, OR 97321
www.elijahlist.com
email: info@elijahlist.net
Phone 1-541-926-3250

 

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Latest comments

08.09 | 23:52

Thank you for this! You might enjoy my take on the whole 'Christmas' story, not born on Dec 25th etc,
https://tranzmachine.bandcamp.com/track/a-saviour-born

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17.03 | 00:11

Praise God! He is so good to all of us!

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16.03 | 15:20

I needed to hear this today. Its been sooo very difficult for a long time honestly asked God if I was the toxic one and just didn't realize it so I could repent

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11.01 | 20:32

this is so beautiful and such a testimony to the Lord's healing power and sanctification through our suffering. Much of my walk with Christ is similar to yours.

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