Seated on High

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:19

The last few days I have noticed a pattern around many of those that I have been ministering to.

So many have talked about feeling heaviness or despair and I kept hearing the Lord say, “My children are sensing the atmosphere. There is a war being battled in the heavenlies.”

So I am here to remind you that you have been given discernment to not only sense what’s in the atmosphere, but to also shift the atmosphere into haven on earth.

You are POWERFUL! You are SEATED WITH CHRIST in heavenly places. You were created to CHANGE the atmosphere with Jesus. This means that you get to look down onto situations and change them with prayer.

It’s time to remember you have a heavenly perspective available to you! Let’s all look down and fell mountains to move in the name of Jesus!

In Christ,

Jenimar Pendleton

Resting in Freedom

The most important work that we can do is to minister to God. Our number one call is not to His people but to Him. The call to His people is ultimately a call to Him, but we want to first be securely fashioned to His heart. The whole point of our lives is to become one with Him and to allow ourselves to gaze upon His face knowing that we are chosen and forgiven friends of the Father. He thought of you in the garden. He became excited to see your generation come to pass so that you could be born into His glory and mystery.

But what do we do when all of His promises start to manifest in our lives? Most of us should know by now that when God trusts you with something, it comes with responsibility. He will give us a path into our destiny, but sometimes, we have to help with clearing the way. The promotion that we ask for comes with work, and I, personally, have never met a person who God had poured His abundance on that didn’t have to plow for the Kingdom.

Like any new thing, there is a honeymoon stage where everything comes with ease because we are charging the land, but what do we do when our human bodies and minds can’t keep up with the call?  The answer is simple. We rest. In the natural, that seems counter-intuitive. We see the mountain of work we have to do or the people that we know that need to see and experience the love of God through us, and we can be tempted to fall into the lie that rest cannot happen or is unnecessary.

I have recently found myself in that place, and to be honest, it is not my first time, but my hope is that it be my last.  I have been given from God so many blessings: a family, ministry, nations, a business, a network of amazing people, and provision that continues to teach me that you can never out give God, but the truth is that I got tired. Really tired. The kind of tired that turns into exhaustion and then leads you to second-guessing if all the favor that was given to you was actually not a blessing at all. Now don’t get me wrong, I have boundaries. I rarely over commit, and if I do, I repent and rearrange things. But I was missing some really powerful truths.

After a few weeks of exhaustion, I finally started to discuss the issue with Jesus while I was spending time with Him. And by spending time with Him, I mean playing worship music and lying on the floor because that’s all I had in me to do. As I lay there, He met me there, and I heard him say so clearly, “Ephesians 3.” I began to read it, and the power of His truth started to fill me. Ephesians 3:14-15 reads,

 “So I kneel humbly in awe before the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, the perfect Father of every father and child in heaven and on the earth. And I pray that he would unveil within you the unlimited riches of his glory and favor until supernatural strength floods your innermost being with his divine might and explosive power” (TPT).  

I began to decree those verses over myself. I said, “God, thank You that You are a perfect Father. Thank You that I am Your child. I pray that You unveil Your glory and favor to me. I know that right now You are supernaturally strengthening me down to my innermost being with Your divine might and explosive power!” I continued to read, and there it was, the truth to uncover the lie of doubt that I didn’t even know I had. Verse 20 reads,

Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you” (TPT).

I immediately started to repent because I realized that my exhaustion was rooted in the lie that it was my own ability getting things done. I had doubted in the mighty work of God to accomplish all that He had promised! His mighty power will accomplish all that He has called me to. Not just what He has called me to now but even the things yet to be revealed or that I haven’t even known to dream or request.  The beautiful part is that, if I allow Him to outdo my wildest dreams, if I allow myself to rest in these truths, it says that “his miraculous power will constantly energize me”!

I am a daughter of an almighty God, and the truth of that statement means that opportunities follow me, abundance is poured out on me, and people are attracted to Jesus in me. This is not boasting; it is just what Scripture says is given to those who are hidden in Christ. We will be a sweet aroma to those around us, and the light in us will attract the darkness—because there is no darkness in Christ Jesus—and all who are in the dark that are truly seeking the light.

These promises of my call are exciting, and if I am not careful, I will allow the feeling of excitement to fuel me instead of being fueled by the rest I find in Him. The excitement of an opportunity comes from Christ but is not the Christ. We must be careful that we don’t fall into the same temptation that plagued the Israelites in the wilderness. God laid out plan after plan to come into a relationship with them, and they chose to wander in the desert in their works instead of finding their rest in Him (Heb. 4:1-10).

“Now God has offered to us the same promise of entering into his realm of resting in confident faith. So we must be extremely careful to ensure that we all embrace the fullness of that promise and not fail to experience it. For we have heard the good news of deliverance just as they did, yet they didn’t join their faith with the Word. Instead, what they heard didn’t affect them deeply, for they doubted. For those of us who believe, faith activates the promise and we experience the realm of confident rest!” Hebrews 4:1-3 (TPT)

Part of that promise is that He will call us, anoint us, but first love us. In that love is the command of resting so that we can allow Him to flood over us and into our innermost being. So that He can energize us with His miraculous explosive power and manifest His wildest dreams for our lives. Beloved, resting in the Father is part of the gift of freedom, and today, He is inviting you to take a step deeper into that promise. Run after rest because our rest is God, and He is the hope and fruit of your salvation.

Featured Image by Averie Woodard

What is Your Yes?

My story starts over 10 years ago when I was in college. I encountered the Lord in a radical way and instantly had a heart for the nations. Even though, I had no idea what that meant. Just the same I had a go in my heart and I went all the way to Africa. It forever marked my heart for God’s people.  

When I returned, I had a zeal for the Lord and I was ready to go again. I asked the Lord, “Where are we going next?” So clearly, I heard him reply…CHINA. From that moment on I began to experience what it was like for the Lord to break your heart for a nation. Little did I know that it would be over 10 years before I would land on soil and have a small piece of a nation forever change my heart. 

I can’t tell you this story without talking about the in between. In that 11 years, life happened and the nations got pushed from the forefront on my mind. Trials happened, death happened, heartbreak happened and the list goes on … but GOD! God pursed my heart even when I didn’t recognize it. He led me into a romance with my father. The Lord had to restore things in my heart and even take me to other nations before I even remembered the burden I had for China. I tell you this today to tell you that God of the universe, your father, will resurrect the dreams of your heart in his time.  
Fast-forward to 2016. I had just returned from my first trip out of the country in over a decade and I was fully charged and ready to run. Literally, I was running and I heard the Lord say “It’s time to go to China. I stopped dead in my tracks and wept. (Now whether that was because the Lord caught me off guard or because I was out of shape, I will let you decide.)   So I ran towards preparing to go to trusting that the Lord would open the right door. I had the biggest unknown yes in my heart. I had no idea why I was going but I knew I was going. And began preparing to go spend 2 weeks loving on children that others had cast away. 

As I was preparing to go I heard the Lord speak again “Erin, this is a trip that will mark your heart”. I had no idea what that meant but I had this excitement and expectation like never before. I had such high expectations for crazy miracles and the supernatural. I got to the airport and as I approached the gate, I just wept. I had no idea why I was crying, I just felt the weight of a moment, a moment that my father had waited for since the beginning of time. I am here to tell you that there are moments that God is waiting for with you, that he has been waiting for since the beginning of creation. They are moments that forever mark your heart and change who you are in an instant. I was stepping into one of those moments, all because I said yes. What I didn’t realize is that along the way, my yes had picked up some expectations of what I wanted it to look like. 

A few days into my trip, I was lonely. This highly extroverted and energetic tiny traveler who was used to running 90 miles a minute and having constant brain stimulation found herself a little bored. While I had fallen in love with the children and community, I found myself a little disappointed, feeling like nothing major had happened. As I watched a children’s movie I couldn’t understand and held a sweet little child I said to the Lord “Why am I here Lord, I haven’t seen any miracles?”. The Lord responded in a soft fatherly way “Erin, is holding a child not enough for you? Would you travel halfway around the world just hold a child that I love?” Again, I stopped dead in my tracks and wept. 

In that moment my yes became truly abandoned to his heart. I remember just weeping and saying Yes Lord. Then he said “Good, because I am searching for people whose heart breaks for what my heart breaks for and holding a child is just as important as the signs and wonders.” That day the Lord shocked my heart to life in a way that I cannot fully explain but in that moment, I knew I would live my life saying yes to his heart and not my expectations. 

I told you this story to share a vulnerable piece of my journey and leave you with a couple of questions to ask your heart. What breaks your heart, that breaks his heart? 

You don’t have to fly half-way around the world. Simply, ask him, “What can we do today?” Remember that the smallest nudge from the Holy Spirit, while it may seem small to you might be big to him. Because yes is small. 
I can tell you from experience that an abandoned yes unlocks abandon freedom. So, I encourage you to get quiet and ask yourself, “Do I have expectations I need to lay down? And What is my yes?” 

Written by Erin Ramsey

Featured Image by Aktim from Pixabay

Religion or Relationship?

Are you into religion or relationship? For me, I’ll take relationship every time!

I realize that for many that may seem sacrilegious, or contrary to everything you have ever heard.  Religion, just for the sake of religion, is a dangerous thing!  The 6th chapter of Mathew talks at length about the religious Pharisees who lived by all of the rules and did things to be seen by others.  It’s super clear that Jesus wasn’t happy with them!

While I’m sure none of you are Pharisees, it can be easy for us to fall into the trap of “religious righteousness”.  Trust me, I speak from years of first had experience of being one of those people.  I spent many years of my life doing all of the “right” things in the name of rules and religion.  Sadly, so much of the time, this was done at the expense of the most important thing, a real relationship with God.

I grew up being taught by the church that if we didn’t do this, and we didn’t do that, we weren’t serving God properly.  I was really pretty good and keeping the rules, but at the same time, I was never good enough.  The emphasis was on trying to be perfect.  So, with any flaw at all, I wasn’t “good enough”.  This was the only way I knew at the time, but looking back it was a hard way to live.  It was hard for me, and I applied the same standards to others far too many times.

Thank God for relationship!  As the years rolled on, and I was exposed to more teaching, I was given the amazing gift of relationship over religion.

No matter what your version of relationship with your earthly father has looked like, you can have a relationship with your heavenly Father that is amazing!  Our Father in heaven longs for an intimate relationship with you.  Mathew 11:28-30 MSG says it like this:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. “I’ll show you how to take a real rest.  Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it.  Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.  Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

I would encourage you to run away from “religion” and run to your Father!  It changed my life, and the life of my children!

Written by Shannon McAbee

Featured photo by Pixels

Wisdom from the Wilderness

A few years ago, our family decided to become full-time missionaries in Latin America. We knew it was going to be an adventure with God, but we had no idea that it was the beginning of a journey that would take us through a wilderness season.

After attending language school, we arrived in Peru. All the comfort and fellowship that we had experienced in preparing for the mission field left my family and me to fend for ourselves. At one point in our time there, my wife fell into a deep depression that had me questioning if we should end this missionary journey that we were on and go back to the States where it would be easier to get the help we needed. It was an extremely difficult time that left us with many questions and very few answers. 

After several months, we started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. God had started to handpick people and place them in my life to help me in this time. God provided finances for both my wife Amanda and me to travel to Medellin, Colombia for a week which would lead us into separate encounters with God that would change our lives forever. Through the wilderness, I was able to see God clearer, and along the way, I grew stronger. Not only did I make it through the wilderness season, I came out on the other side ready to tackle a new assignment from the Lord. I believe that we are not just called to survive in the wilderness, but we have an invitation to flourish!

 I want to share with you three things that I learned during this season that will help those of you thrive in the wilderness.

  • 1. The wilderness season is a season that the Lord brings you into. Sometimes, we find ourselves in a wilderness season thinking that it is an attack from the enemy, but this is so far from the truth. Don’t get me wrong, the enemy will take advantage of this season and will come against you, but the enemy does not cause you to go into the wilderness season. So many will probably ask, “Why would God take me into a wilderness season?” In the Gospel of Luke, verse 4:1, it says, “Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where he was tempted by the devil for forty days.” At the end of Jesus’s time in the desert the Scriptures say that He walked out of the desert with the Holy Spirit and power! God walks you through the wilderness to fill you even further by the Holy Spirit and to fill you with power!!
  • 2. Your time in the wilderness should make you HUNGRY! While Jesus was in the wilderness, He ate nothing at all and became hungry (Luke 4:2). While I was going through my first wilderness season, I became extremely hungry. This was not a hunger that came from fasting or not eating; this was a spiritual hunger that came from having almost every piece of comfort taken from me. I started reading books and learning about the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I dug into Psalms and started reading how David made it through his wilderness season. I learned that David found his heart for Hod which led him into deep worship. This all made my soul hungry for more of the Father of Heaven, the Lord of all creation.
  • 3. God does not bring us into these seasons to make us feel alone but, rather, brings us into these seasons to bring us closer to Him. If you are in a wilderness season and feel alone, I would encourage you to press into the Father and listen to hear what He is revealing to you in and through this season. Get hungry for the Scriptures and learning! This season is a time to dig into who you are in Him and who He is.

The wilderness season is by no means easy. It is meant to squeeze you and make you uncomfortable, but what I now find exciting about the wilderness is that I know that it is a time of preparation for us to be launched into the next season of ministry and life. Embrace the wilderness and press into the Father to see what He has planned for you, and in the pressing, you will find a deeper revelation and understanding of the goodness of God and His loving heart.

Written by Jonathan Vining

Featured Image by Arto Marttinen

Go Back to the Beginning

I think that sometimes we get so caught up in what he has called us to birth that we forget that it all started with one day that he chose to step off the throne to throw his arms around us. 

Do you remember the beginning? The first time that Jesus brought his love affair with you to the forefront of your heart? Do you remember that day that everything changed? Do you remember how you felt? The way that everything looked more alive that the second before?

I remember the day like it as yesterday. I was broken. Not the kind of brokenness that we see in normal day to day, but a deep brokenness that seemed to stem throughout every area of my life. My marriage was broken, my self image was broken, my family was broken, and I had just lost my two month old nephew to a freak accident. I was broken. I felt unrepairable. I drank and partied to soothe myself but nothing seemed to fill the void. I felt so alone and hopeless. I remember having arrived from the funeral home after helping arrange the details of my nephew’s funeral and I could barely keep myself together. This is an unusual thing for me as I am the one that always has all her T’s crossed and I’s dotted, but on this day there was no way to hold it in. To save my pride I darted to the bathroom ran the shower so no one would hear me and I sobbed. It wasn’t a normal cry. It was the kind of crying that comes with a  million emotions and brings exhaustion instead of breakthrough. I was so angry with God because of all that was broken around me. I didn’t know what to do and I just yelled out as loud as I could, “what do you want from me?”! I heard God’s audible voice speak so clearly, “I just want you”. Those words I believe also had so much emotion in them. He wants me. He wanted me then and he wants me now. It was a statement filled with 1000 yes’s for me and about me. He wanted me. All of my brokenness. All of my distain, and he wanted to exchange it with all that He is. HIS words ring throughout eternity “I just want you”. 

Imagine that the creator of the universe, the God of awe and wonders, stops the world to tell you that you are his. Not only does he claim you as his own he then begins to tell you his plans for you and his innumerable thoughts of you. At the beginning his words become the only thing that satisfies. For me, it was like sleep interrupted my time with him. I could not go to sleep without him and I couldn’t wait to wake up to be with him.

“If I wasn’t careful I would allow the call of the future to overshadow the beauty of the beginning”

In the middle of this new and wonderful relationship I began to realize my purpose. I saw that God had an assignment for me and that there were so many people that needed to experience the same love he had poured out on me. If I wasn’t careful I would allow the call of the future to overshadow the beauty of the beginning. I believe that it becomes so easy to get caught up in all of the work for the Kingdom that you forget the beginning of your love affair with Jesus. I feel like there are so many of us that need to be reminded that the love affair with Jesus; the feeling of the first time you came face to face with him, is just one focus away. 

So, I want to encourage you, that no matter where you are, no matter how far you have run up the mountain, no matter how deep you have run into the cave, you can always go back to the beginning. In the beginning where he told you that you were his and that is all that has ever mattered. You can go back there and stand in the truth that Jesus said a 1000 yes’s over you and those yes’s are still ringing through eternity!

Written by Jenimar Pendleton

Photo by Julia Caesar on Unsplash